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  1. #1
    Full Member
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    I just posted the following on the fraud board;
    quote:
    Just a heads up. There might be something very fishy going on with the conversion rates and batched sales (or should I say the lack the of) at KBTOYS.COM/ETOYS.COM (Same company now, two websites).

    Has anyone else noticed a lack of reported sales? Myself and many others have sites with very loyal customer bases. We have customers who shop at KBTOYS, ETOYS, Amazon, and dozens of other merchants for holiday gifts. Most of the other merchants are tracking consistent sales results. The conversion ratios have been the same for almost four years. Now, ever since KB/EToys moved to CJ, they are tracking about 1/10th the number of sales!!!!

    The excuses are flying. First, I was told that it might be the one day cookie. However, many of the other merchants, including Amazon, have a one day or a zero day cookie. I can't imagine how a one-day cookie can causes sales to decrease by 90% when most of the visitors are impulse buying. Then I heard that the lack of sales tracking may be caused by KB/Etoys only paying commission on sales from First-time customers. However, nowhere in the program information at CJ does it state that! If this is the case, then it's FRAUD! Someone else also suggested that the decline was a result of batched reports and sales are only posted AFTER they are shipped. But weeks are going by with thousands of clickthroughs and only a few dozen sales [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_frown.gif[/img]

    HELP!

    To make matters even worse, I think KB/Etoys is in bed with BIZRATE.COM. I watched several people make some test sales at KB through one of my sites and at the end of the sale, a Bizrate pop-up ad appears asking the shopper to visit Bizrate.com and complete a shopping survey. Those sales still haven't shown on my commission reports. Does anyone think the bizrate.com link was put there by KB or was it a result of a previous bizrate.com cookie??? To add fuel to the fire, KB/Etoys has a strict policy of turning off commission for any merchants who violate their strict policy of not bidding at the ppc sites on KB trademark names and not including them in affiliate site url's. Yet, if you look at Overture.com you'll see that KB is allowing the following #1 listing under the extremely popular term kbtoys;

    BizRate.com Superfind: Kbkids
    Stop searching and start shopping! Click here and you'll find great deals on Kbkids at the best online stores, as rated by millions of customers like you! www.bizrate.com
    (Advertiser's Max Bid: $0.15)


    I'd like CJ to confirm whether or not Bizrate.com's KBToys/Etoys commission rate was turned off like everyone else who violates the agreement!!!

    So here we sit, wasting the holiday season away because a once very reliable toy merchant chooses to screw us royally!!!


    My question is this, is it possible that Bizrate.com is installing a cookie or some type of Parasiteware that is allowing them to Hijack my sales??? The computers that I saw the Bizrate pop-up survey appear after the KBtoys sales had been used previously to visit Bizrate.com (but they never actually clicked-through to kbtoys.com once inside the Bizrate.com website). Is it possible that Bizrate.com is installing merchant cookies for each of their merchants with their own affiliate codes???

    Any other thoughts or any ideas that I might be missing?

  2. #2
    Defender of Truth, Justice and the Affiliate Way
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    Seaslug44,

    There may be many reasons for your decline in conversions, but something fishy going on per the Bizrate survey isn't one of them. [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif[/img] Bizrate has taken a very strong stance against parasitic activity, and they themselves are feeling the financial impact of these companies who leech.

    The BizRate survey comes up after the sale has been completed. That means that the tracking info for the sale tagged to a particular affiliate has already been sent. So any cookie (if any was) placed by Bizrate on the consumers computer would have no impact, since the sale has already occurred. Any diversions of commissions have to occur prior to the transaction being completed.

    The bizrate survey is just used to provide feedback from customers on a companies level of service, etc to be used by on their site for consumer's education. It's just a rating system.

    Henri from BizRate will probably pop in at some point and can possibly elaborate further.

    Try doing a search here at ABW for KB Toys and EToys and see if others experienced similiar conversions last Christmas.

    Keep Your Hands Off My Cookies

  3. #3
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
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    17,328
    Consider the history of eToys and also KBtoys as it pertains to their affiliate programs. Both blatently turned off sales tracking before exiting Linkshare and neither paid commission balances. When did KBtoys time their move from LS and why did no sales from my hundreds of shoppers show any activity that Christmas season? Who manages KBtoys affiliate program & web site and why are they 100% committed to play with parasites and not post on any affiliate boards.

    We know eToys was a IdeaLabs incubated site and they also control the strings at CJ. Then comes the Amazon partnership deal to sell toys there which ran into serious problems. What is the financial health of this Brick-n-Mortar company as many like K-Mart are one step from F**kedCompany's Hall of Shame.

    Too many variables so they are a banner only merchant for me only in the themed areas.

    WebMaster Mike

  4. #4
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    quote:
    The BizRate survey comes up after the sale has been completed. That means that the tracking info for the sale tagged to a particular affiliate has already been sent. So any cookie (if any was) placed by Bizrate on the consumers computer would have no impact, since the sale has already occurred. Any diversions of commissions have to occur prior to the transaction being completed.


    Here is my fear... A shopper buys something from a merchant and visits the Bizrate.com website to complete the survey. While there, what if Bizrate alters or installs the merchant cookies for a few dozen merchants to make it appear as though the shopper actually clicked-through to those merchants while on the Bizrate.com site. Now when the visitor makes a purchase at KB, Etoys, or any other merchant, how do I know that the cookie is being changed over to my website's tracking so that I receive the commission? Also, I'm still not sure that the pop-up survey was instituted by Kaybee.

    Also, it's not a very Biased business when a company that presents itself to the public as a business rating company also earns commission from the same companies that they are supposed to be tracking customer satisfaction for. What if Standard & Poors, J.D. Powers, A.M. Best, Consumer Reports, etc... all recieved sales commissions from the companies they rated??? Is Bizrate another affiliate site disguising itself as a rating company??? If so, shouldn't they have a disclosure that states they receive commission?

  5. #5
    Defender of Truth, Justice and the Affiliate Way
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    I can understand your concern given your stats and all that has been going on. But the fight is best won by educating yourself as to how these programs operate and researching a company that your are suspcious of. It's always a good idea to have some facts under your belt for your own protection. [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif[/img]

    quote:
    A shopper buys something from a merchant and visits the Bizrate.com website to complete the survey. While there, what if Bizrate alters or installs the merchant cookies for a few dozen merchants to make it appear as though the shopper actually clicked-through to those merchants while on the Bizrate.com site. Now when the visitor makes a purchase at KB, Etoys, or any other merchant, how do I know that the cookie is being changed over to my website's tracking so that I receive the commission? Also, I'm still not sure that the pop-up survey was instituted by Kaybee.



    Because that's not how the cookie technology works. A cookie is just a small text file that stores information on your hard drive. It not an executable file that is just waiting to activate itself. It's just sitting there waiting for something to call on it and the information is there. Even if Bizrate did install a bunch of cookies on their visitors computers and one was Kayee, and then that same person came to your site, click your link, and made a purchase, you would get the sale. If Kaybee is tracking and honoring commissions like they should. This is because the click on your affiliate link set a new cookie overwriting what bizrate may have put there and your cookie would count. BizRate would have to be interloping during your customer's clickstream from your site to the final checkout receipt page to garner your commission. There is absolutely no evidence that BizRate does that.

    quote:
    it's not a very Biased business when a company that presents itself to the public as a business rating company also earns commission from the same companies that they are supposed to be tracking customer satisfaction for.


    First check BizRate's site under the merchant section and read what and how they charge merchants. Also many consumer protection agencies charge for their memberships, that doesn't necessarily make them biased. Even the Better Business Bureau charges businesses to be members. Also not all merchants listed on BizRate are certified, thus the survey. Also BizRate is not earning affialate commissions. They are getting paid by certified members by membership and non certified are by click-throughs. So how would they benefit by altering affiliate cookies?

    As far as them receiving compensation from their merchants and possible biased. Well all I know is that I've seen some really lousy ratings on their certified merchants who are shelling out the most bucks. If BizRate does not accurately report the feedback gathered from their visitors then they loose their reputation with consumers and their whole business model has gone to hell in a hand basket. I have used similiar services and there was always a some type of membership fee involved and feedback was not sugar coated.

    I understand your frustration over your stats with Kaybee. This has been mentioned more than once by other affiliates. But I really think you are directing at the wrong source and maybe need to take a closer look at Kaybee themselves. Especially with some of the replies that have been posted by other members to both of your posts already.

    Keep Your Hands Off My Cookies

  6. #6
    Newbie
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    January 18th, 2005
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    Wow BLFH, what else do I need to add? I think you covered most of it. :-)
    I should have hopped on to the board earlier, but I had a new arrival in the family that distracted me.

    To recap, BizRate.com runs a marketplace. For such a marketplace to be effective, the information that it provides needs to be trusted.
    Similarly to eBay's seller rating system, and before even eBay implemented its seller rating system, BizRate.com created a merchant evaluation and rating system. That was in 1996. Our rating system endured and is considered to be the best in the industry because it is the most comprehensive:

    Ratings are given by actual customers, at the point of sale of the merchant himself.

    In addition, BizRate.com asks every single customer to rate the merchant. This is a census, not a sample. And the response rate is up to 20%.

    So while others boast of merchant ratings, they may average 10-50 ratings per merchant. We average 25,000 ratings per merchant.

    The point here is that for BizRate.com to survive, it MUST keep and foster trust from its merchants and consumers, and as such must do double the work to ensure that the ratings and marketplace $$$s don't interfere with each other.

    Plus, if you think about the causal effects, it couldn't be any other way: Assume we keep crooks on our marketplace who pay us a lot. We push a bunch of users to them. Those users get their money stolen from them, and get very angry. They'll never return to BizRate.com. So what's the point?

    To finish up, the BizRate marketplace works in many ways like a standard affiliate, and does not ever interfere with other affiliates and their commissions.
    The BizRate.com survey system, on the other hand, has nothing to do with affilates nor with commissions. It is just an image with a link, and it is either located on the merchant's order receipt page, or on a popup window that's triggered by the merchant's order receipt page.

    Henri Asseily
    CTO and co-founder, BizRate.com

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