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  1. #1
    Affiliate Manager nish's Avatar
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    Question How do Networks and merchants deal with double payment problem?
    Lets say a merchant runs an independent (in-house) affiliate program as well as a program with a Network. Affiliate X registers with the indie program and Affiliate Y registers with the Network program. A visitor comes to the mercahnt's site thru Affiliate Y's site. Lets say after a day, the same visitor comes to the merchant's site thru Affiliate X's site and makes a purchase.

    Now who gets the commission? Ofcourse, Affiliate X (registered with the indy program) should get the commision. But the Network doesn't know about this and would ask the merchant to give the commission to Affiliate Y. This would be double payment. In this case, can the merchant dispute this and tell the Network not to pay the commision to Affiliate Y? Even if the merchant is able to do so, its possible that Affiliate Y might feel cheated because he/she doesn't know for sure if the latest click came thru Affiliate X.

    So how do merchants and Netwokrs deal with such cases? Do they use the same cookie and overwrite it or do they use different cookies?

  2. #2
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
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    Some pay both. (This is usually unintentional.)

    Some manually review the transactions and reverse the oldest one when there's a duplicate. (That's a lot of work.)

    It depends on which networks(s), but often the network cookies are separate.

    What typically needs to be done is to have an extra cookie on the merchant site to identify which network the latest click came from. Then, during checkout, you can check that cookie to determine which network the sale should be applied to.
    Michael Coley
    Amazing-Bargains.com
     Affiliate Tips | Merchant Best Practices | Affiliate Friendly? | Couponing | CPA Networks? | ABW Tips | Activating Affiliates
    "Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world." Nelson Mandela

  3. #3
    ABW Ambassador
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    Good question
    BDS runs on SAS + our original indie program.

    Our programmers wrote some code to solve the problem, which is a real problem.
    I'm not a tech person and can't explain it further other than so say it cost us some money up front.

  4. #4
    Affiliate Manager nish's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Adam Ward
    it cost us some money up front.
    Adam.. It cost you money as in... you had to pay money to SAS or to yr programmers?

    Thanks,
    -nish

  5. #5
    Resident Genius and Staunch Capitalist Leader's Avatar
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    In this case, can the merchant dispute this and tell the Network not to pay the commision to Affiliate Y? Even if the merchant is able to do so, its possible that Affiliate Y might feel cheated because he/she doesn't know for sure if the latest click came thru Affiliate X.
    THAT's a definite. That excuse is too hard to verify, and therefore considered bogus as a standard.
    There is no knowledge that is not power. ~Hemingway

  6. #6
    Affiliate Manager nish's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MichaelColey
    Some manually review the transactions and reverse the oldest one when there's a duplicate. (That's a lot of work.)
    Would Networks let the merchants do that?

  7. #7
    ABW Ambassador
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    nish:

    We paid nothing to SAS
    We paid our contract programmers.
    SAS was helpful in the process of testing.

  8. #8
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nish
    Would Networks let the merchants do that (reverse the oldest duplicate transaction)?
    I've seen it done. I don't recommend it. Reversals (for any reason) are despised by affiliates so it's best to keep those to a minimum.
    Michael Coley
    Amazing-Bargains.com
     Affiliate Tips | Merchant Best Practices | Affiliate Friendly? | Couponing | CPA Networks? | ABW Tips | Activating Affiliates
    "Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world." Nelson Mandela

  9. #9
    Affiliate Network Rep
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    Network advice
    Hi

    I still see some merchants with this problem in the UK usually due to the advice given to them by whoever set their program up. It really should be a non issue.

    When code is being used on the paid ok page by the merchant given to them by the network it should only be set to be displayed when the correct identifier is there.

    If visitor A. goes down an affiliate link for our network they are tagged as having come from us . As long as both networks are doing their jobs properly and advising merchants correctly then only one networks code will be displayed when the visitor goes on to purchase.

    The double tracking issues arise when a network advises the merchant to call their code on every transaction regardless of whether it has come from the networks affiliates.

    Not only can this lead to double tracking but all the merchants sales numbers can then be seen by the network which has got privacy issue written all over it.

    We work in an unregulated industry and people will always try and cut corners but with boards like ABW and ethical networks out there who understand how things should be done then we can progress the industry in a sensible way to achieve the longevity that we all want.

    If anyone wants anymore information on this subject feel free to drop me a line

    malcolm.cowley@perfiliate.com
    +44 (0) 191 241 6500
    www.buy.at

  10. #10
    Affiliate Manager nish's Avatar
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    peraffiliate, you made very good points.

    "The double tracking issues arise when a network advises the merchant to call their code on every transaction regardless of whether it has come from the networks affiliates."

    Which are the Networks that advise this? What do SAS, CJ, Linkshare do?

    cheers!
    -nish

  11. #11
    Analytics Dude Kevin's Avatar
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    In your example, nish, perhaps affiliate Y should have had a stronger "call to action" so that the item was purchased the first day...

    Of course, none of us can make that happen every time, so the question is still valid.

    But a good lesson for affiliates to learn from this discussion is to get your visitors to buy when they visit, as it will help alleviate these problems.

  12. #12
    Affiliate Network Rep
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    Network advice
    Hi

    Thanks Nish and apologies as it would be petty of me to out networks for bad practise on public boards - I'm sure you can understand my reasoning for not doing this.

    The truth is for the last 6 months I have spoken to many companies globally to find out what is " best practise " in our industry and do I and the network I represent know about it , conform to it or are we actually setting the bar ourselves.

    I came to America recently to see how things are done from a different perspective in a more mature market to ours in the UK and concluded that although there was some things I could bring back that there was quite a bit which we could pass on also.

    I would be keen to attend more events in the US and globally to pass on what we consider best practise to provide a better environment for affiliates.

    I like to think that through channels like ABW and A4u that our network and myself can provide a balance and showcase our industry in a more ethical light so that big business's take affiliates even more seriously than they do now and we all ultimately make more money and provide a higher quality of customer.

    Mal

    malcolm.cowley@perfiliate.com
    +44 (0) 191 2416500
    www.buy.at

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