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  1. #1
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    Ebay affiliate cookies. I don't get it.
    According to the Ebay, when someone clicks on one of our affiliate links, there are two cookies set: (1) a 30-day cookie for ACRU, and (2) a 7-day cookie for revenue share.

    Using the IE Cookie Viewer, I'm seeing neither. I first cleared all cookies from MSIE. I then clicked on one of my affiliate links (created with the editor kit), and checked the resulting cookies:

    [CJ tracking domain] set two cookies, both expiring 10/20/2010 (ignore extra periods; appaarently [CJ tracking domain] is a 4-letter word here)

    ebay.com set 3 cookies, expiring 10/19/2006, 10/19/2007, 10/19/2010

    google.com set 1 cookie, expiring 1/17/2038

    mediaplex.com set 1 cookie, expiring 6/21/2009

    qksrv.net set 2 cookies, both expriing 10/18/2010


    Where are the 7-day and 30-day cookies? Or am I misunderstanding the way this works?
    Last edited by MichaelColey; October 20th, 2005 at 05:52 PM. Reason: Removed references to new CJ tracking domains.
    EPN - Cautiously, but paranoically, optimistic.

  2. #2
    Full Member fg20878's Avatar
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    They might use software to figure out if the cookie is 7-days old for a winning bid. I guess cookies are used for tracking users(not just cj sales) for EBAY.

  3. #3
    Chick with Brains Tracy's Avatar
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    I think that eBay is now aware that there are issues with the tracking. I've posted there specific issues, but my posts never were responded to. However, this was posted by eBay tonight:

    Dear eBay Affiliates,

    Thanks to feedback from many of you on the discussion board, eBay has been able to identify some corner scenario tracking issues. We are working hard to determine the scope and solve of these potential problems and will strive to deliver further information in the shortest timeline possible. We appreciate your understanding as we work through this transition.

    Thanks!

    The eBay affiliate team

  4. #4
    ABW Ambassador Andy's Avatar
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    Thanks to feedback from many of you on the discussion board, eBay has been able to identify some corner scenario tracking issues.
    Anyone care to venture what a "corner scenario tracking issue" might be?

    My eBay sales have been wacky since September 1st. Initially, I chalked it up to the Hurricane Katrina tragedy, but the recovery just hasn't returned. Impressions and clicks continue to show normal numbers, but bids and BINS are way down. Something is definitely not working properly...

    Thanks for posting this, Tracy. I rarely get to the eBay Affiliate boards. Guess I should make that a more frequent destination.

    Andy

  5. #5
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    If I had to guess, it involves cookies placed before the switch to the new program, and bids placed after it.

    I noticed that I was not being paid 10 cents for bids placed in October with older cookies, yet when those bids won I was not compensated for the winning bid either.

    I suppose that makes some sense; if the cookie is 7 days, but the clickthrough was done 10 days before Oct 1, there would be no bid cookie placed, so no revenue share.

    But the cookie was placed under the old rules, so I think there should be something paid.

    Maybe eBay will at least forgive the 6.5% initial reversal rate for the first month.

    Ralph

  6. #6
    Chick with Brains Tracy's Avatar
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    I think it is bigger than just cookies placed before the switch. I think there is an error in the program logic with the new 7-Day Cookies.

    What I'm seeing over and over again, are instances where a person hits an auction and places a bid. Their bid does not beat a previous bid, so they sit there and keep bidding until they finally outbid a previous bidder, and then eventually win the auction. The bids are often seconds apart, and yet I'm not getting the "Winning Bid" txn the next day.

    This means to me that the old logic is coming into play. I'm getting credit for the first bid, but subsequent bids are not credited to me, even though it is obvious that the bidder didn't go somewhere else and pick up somebody else's cookie in the interim.

    On the other hand, that same bidder might bid at other auctions on the initial cookie, only place one bid and win, and I get credit for those bids. It looks like to me that the error in the programming logic is that the software is only crediting us with the first bid made on each auction. Hopefully, this is what eBay is going back and looking at.

    I'm also noticing the initial txns on click dates that are older than 10 days. In my mind, I shouldn't even be receiving these txns because they exceed the 7-day cookie.

    Finally, I'm receiving "Winning Bid" txns for auctions I never received the initial Bid or BIN txn for. Not complaining about the extra winning income, BUT I should have received the initial txn. There is no way to check that eBay's program is working correctly if I am only receiving half the information.

    However, it is seeing those extra "Winning Bids" that made it possible for me to see that bidders I described above who made multiple bids on one auction I did not receive credit for, but during the same session won auctions with one bid that I did receive credit for.

  7. #7
    Ad Network Rep ToddCrawford's Avatar
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    Cookie logic explained. Advertiser has a referral period of 7 days. CJ cookie is set on click through and expires in 2010 (or whenever). Transaction occurs four days later. Tracking reports transaction to CJ. We then look at the program term publisher is on and see what the referral period is (in this case it is 7 days). I The cookie does not actual determine the referral period, the program term does - the logic is on the backend.
    Todd Crawford
    Co-Founder, Impact Radius

    Give me a minute before I post again

  8. #8
    Full Member fg20878's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tracy
    ...
    This means to me that the old logic is coming into play. I'm getting credit for the first bid, but subsequent bids are not credited to me, even though it is obvious that the bidder didn't go somewhere else and pick up somebody else's cookie in the interim...
    If this is actually how the backend progrom works, then Ebay needs to fix its program because on their website it says:
    "The eBay program compensates forall Winning Bids or BINs per click from your Web site within a 7 day period."

    Todd,
    If Tracy's claim is true, both CJ and US already lost a lot of money. Can you verify that?

  9. #9
    Ad Network Rep ToddCrawford's Avatar
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    I'll ask someone from the eBay team to review this post and see if they can provide any more clarification.
    Todd Crawford
    Co-Founder, Impact Radius

    Give me a minute before I post again

  10. #10
    Full Member fg20878's Avatar
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    Thank you, Todd.

  11. #11
    Chick with Brains Tracy's Avatar
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    Here is a good example of the 7-Day Cookie not working the way it is supposed to:

    http://offer.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.d...tem=7358977603

    The click date on the txn I received: 22-Oct-2005 16:34 PDT

    The event date: 22-Oct-2005 16:36 PDT

    Notice what happened? There was only one bidder. He made his first bid at Oct-22-05 16:36:18 PDT. Then 48 seconds later he/she made a second bid, probably increasing his high bid limit at Oct-22-05 16:37:06 PDT.

    Did he/she win the Auction? Yes

    Did anybody place a competing bid? No

    Did I get credit for the Winning Bid? No

    I'll say it again. Something is wrong with the logic of the 7-Day cookie tracking. If this bidder had not placed the second bid 48 seconds later, I have no doubt that the txn would have showed up in my logs as a "Winning Bid." However, since he/she placed that second bid, I did not get credit. I have a growing list of instances where this has happened over and over again.

  12. #12
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    This is again a classic example of something that should have been beta tested intensively with all the bugs worked out before going live. It's time for Ebay/CJ to show they have some grasp of the concept of business ethics and do the reverse of reversals...in other words reward us with the commissions we have coming to us that we have been screwed out of due to ongoing tracking issues.....tracking issues both CJ and Ebay have lied through their teeth about until forced to the brink in the face of mountains of overwhelming contrary evidence.

  13. #13
    Chick with Brains Tracy's Avatar
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    eBay has posted this at their forum:

    As mentioned before, we are still investigating a few tracking issues. In terms of BINs directly, please note a couple things. First, there is an Action Type "Buy-It-Now" which should be viewed as a counter. This type will count the number of BINs, show a $0.00 Sale Amount. The BINs revenue will then be reported under "Winning Bid" in your reports.

    Please also note that the reporting for Bids and BINs is different from that used in WINNING BIDS. Winning Bids, as published on our website, are over a 7 day cookie duration. Our tracking for Bids and BINs which are reported for counting, have been on a 30 day cookie. In addition, they represent only the first bid after the click, where as Winning Bids are all Bids within a 7 day window.

    This points out that these are NOT apples to apples comparisons, so keep this in mind when looking at conversion metrics.
    If I'm reading this correctly, what they are saying is that the old tracking is in place for reporting Bids/BINS over a 30 day period. We only receive a report of the first Bid/BIN placed on a click. However, the "Winning Bids" tracking is for 7-days and we receive commissions on all Bids/BINs placed within that 7-day window.

    If this is what they are doing ... it is crap! How are we supposed to verify that tracking is working properly if they are not going to report all Bids/BINs placed on our cookie when they happen (not just the first bid/BIN placed)?

    The only way I can think to do it is do a search on each Bidder by name, and then look up all the auctions that person has participated in and track the bid date/time. That is time prohibitive. The fact that several of the bids/BINs eBay has reported are not being paid as "Winning Bids" when they should have (see example above) says that there are serious problem with this system. Obviously, it was not properly beta tested prior to launch.

  14. #14
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    There's no good way to track anyway, because of people's cookies being overwritten by other affiliates.

    I've tried to look up the auctions won by users that had a bid cookie placed. But it's not that easy -- the winning auction transactions are credited based on when the auction ended, not when the bid was placed, and you can't even sort a user's winning auctions based on when they bid -- it's just by when the auction ends.

    If someone put in a bunch of bids for future auctions, then bid from your site, it would be very, very tedious to figure out which bids should be credited to you.

    And then it would be impossible to know when another affiliate took that cookie away from you.

  15. #15
    Chick with Brains Tracy's Avatar
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    Not necessarily true. I started a spreadsheet on day one. I look up each auction, then highlight the end date/time and paste it into a column of the spreadsheet next to each auction. I also paste the name of the Bidder in another column, and the start & end bid in columns to calculate eBay profits, and enter Yes or No in another column as to whether they one. If the auction still has a few days to go, I leave that blank. I just keep sorting the database on the End Date/Time of the auction.

    I now having a running database of all the auctions. Each day when they post the "Winning Bids" I insert them into the database in a section of the previous days ending auctions. Then I sort only the records ending on that date on the OrderID and match up the Winning Bids with the Bids/BINs initially placed. This is how I am able to easily identify the winning auctions that I'm not getting credit for.

  16. #16
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    Not only was it not properly beta tested (if beta tested at all), it also seems there were some fairly obvious errors in the logistics of the entire scheme. Whether the result of incompetence or corruption, it's impossible to have any confidence in Ebay or CJ with this sort of thing going on routinely.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tracy
    Not necessarily true. I started a spreadsheet on day one. I look up each auction, then highlight the end date/time and paste it into a column of the spreadsheet next to each auction. I also paste the name of the Bidder in another column, and the start & end bid in columns to calculate eBay profits, and enter Yes or No in another column as to whether they one. If the auction still has a few days to go, I leave that blank. I just keep sorting the database on the End Date/Time of the auction.

    I now having a running database of all the auctions. Each day when they post the "Winning Bids" I insert them into the database in a section of the previous days ending auctions. Then I sort only the records ending on that date on the OrderID and match up the Winning Bids with the Bids/BINs initially placed. This is how I am able to easily identify the winning auctions that I'm not getting credit for.
    Egads! I admire your dedication, but with any amount of traffic, trying to reconcile all of this could become a full-time job.

    What CJ (working with Ebay) needs to do is provide us with an easy mechanism to reconcile each "Winning Bid" with its matching originating Bid/BIN. Two things would help: (1) a column of links in the "Winning Bid" entries that pops up its corresponding original Bid/Bin entry. (2) A column in the Bid/BIN entries that, once a Winning Bid is posted, turns to "Win" or some sort of indicator along with a link to that Winning Bid entry.

    Also, for every line entry (Bid, BIN, Winning Bid, Registration) there should be a clickable link to the Ebay auction or Stores sale in question.

    Something.

    Anything.
    EPN - Cautiously, but paranoically, optimistic.

  18. #18
    ABW Ambassador Andy's Avatar
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    If you had a 28 hour day, you would likely be able to track down the history of these bids/BINs, but who has a 28 hour day?

    Just like CJ's new Account Manager, this new eBay program is unnecessarily confusing and unintuitive. Why can't CJ and merchants understand that we want, clean, accurate, timely reports that don't require a degree in accounting to understand?

    I wonder if this is intentional to confuse us, hoping at some point we'll just take whatever we're offered and shutup out of sheer frustration.

    Andy

  19. #19
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    You can certainly verify the bids that were reported to you, but you CAN'T verify the purchases made in the 7 days after the bid cookie is set unless you start with a bid cookie, then check the auctions the user won in the 7 days since they bid, and then check those wins to see when the bids were placed (before or after the bid from your site), and then try and guess if another affiliate overwrote your cookie.

    That's impossible to do.

  20. #20
    Chick with Brains Tracy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dharding
    Egads! I admire your dedication, but with any amount of traffic, trying to reconcile all of this could become a full-time job.
    LOL! Actually, this is nothing to the amount of data I'm used to massaging. Over the years I've developed a lot of speed using Excel. It takes me about 30 minutes, twice a day. First thing in the morning I download all the Bids/BINs from the previous day. I have a formula (which I posted somewhere in another thread) that automatically creates the URL so all I have to do is copy and paste it to see the bid history. That's when I enter the name of the Bidder and the End Date.

    Then later in the day, when the "Winning Bids" are posted, I download them, and sort as I explained above.

    I never intended to make this a daily routine. I just wanted to verify that what was going on with the changes in the program was correct. With all the missing "Winning Bids" I'm identifying, and what seems to be causing them, I'm glad I've kept it up. I am going to continue to keep it up until eBay straightens this mess out. At least I have a log of all the bids/BINs I should have been paid for and wasn't, which I can send to them and ask for an explanation if one doesn't come from them soon.

    On Friday, Todd said, "I'll ask someone from the eBay team to review this post and see if they can provide any more clarification."

    I guess they're still trying to figure out what's screwed up in the logic of the program because it sure hasn't been fixed yet, and nobody has posted here or at the eBay forum when it will be fixed.

  21. #21
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    If CJ is true to form, things will get worse before they get better... and we'll never hear a peep from anyone by way of notification.
    EPN - Cautiously, but paranoically, optimistic.

  22. #22
    Chick with Brains Tracy's Avatar
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    I think I've found yet another bug in the program. Now it is becoming obvious that I'm not getting paid for the auctions listed by people in other countries, even though the person who wins the auction is in the US.

    http://offer.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.d...tem=7358138691

    This is just plain maddening. When are they going to sort this mess out?

  23. #23
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    My guess is that the auction originates as an ebay.co.uk auction and is only visible through the "See items from other countries" link, but since it is in fact not a true U.S. Ebay auction, you don't get any commission. (You might get 0.17 for an ebay.co.uk click, if you're part of their program).

    That's just a guess on my part.

    As Ebay becomes this huge global "Ebay" and the lines between regional Ebays become more and more blurred, it becomes more imperative than ever that the multiple Ebays get their poop in a group across the board and offer a single comprehensive comission system.
    EPN - Cautiously, but paranoically, optimistic.

  24. #24
    Full Member TLE's Avatar
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    I've found another bug also, having to do with the accounting for the amounts.

    I'd received a 2.15 commission for this item, based on a 5.38 sale amount:
    http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...tem=7185734751

    Tuan

  25. #25
    Chick with Brains Tracy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dharding
    My guess is that the auction originates as an ebay.co.uk auction and is only visible through the "See items from other countries" link, but since it is in fact not a true U.S. Ebay auction, you don't get any commission. (You might get 0.17 for an ebay.co.uk click, if you're part of their program).
    No, I'm not a member of any program except the U.S. eBay.com. The issue here is that if the UK Seller lists that they will ship to the U.S., then the auction shows up in the Editor Kit listings. Before the change in the program, if somebody placed a bid on one of these auctions, I got the 10 cents. I should get paid under the new structure since they are displaying the auctions in my editor kit results, and I am sending the Buyer to eBay.

    Even if I were a member of the UK program, the person would have clicked on the link through my Editor Kit listing with US program codes in it. I doubt a US buyer would first go through the UK listings. This is so confusing. What I'm trying to say is there is no way to easily separate the eBay countries on my pages, and I'm losing out because of it.

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