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  1. #1
    ABW Ambassador La_Valette's Avatar
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    Reversals Should Be Banned, Period.
    There's just no way for publishers to defend against them being used unethically by merchants to get free traffic and sales. Honest merchants could always factor in their reversal rate into the commissions they pay out if this is a particular problem for them. It would simplify the structure for all sides and let affiliates know for sure what they're getting.

  2. #2
    affiliate emeritus missdonna's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by La_Valette
    There's just no way for publishers to defend against them being used unethically by merchants to get free traffic and sales. Honest merchants could always factor in their reversal rate into the commissions they pay out if this is a particular problem for them. It would simplify the structure for all sides and let affiliates know for sure what they're getting.
    I don't know about you, but a lot of otherwise honest affiliates would be tempted to do lots of "test purchases" then return the products for a refund.

    And the dishonest ones would have an agreement with each other to buy from each others links and return the products.
    Affiliate Marketing - The hardest easy money I ever made.

  3. #3
    Chick with Brains Tracy's Avatar
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    Banning reversals is not the solution. In addition to the excellent point MissDonna makes that it would just open the process to abuse by dishonest affiliates, there are also dishonest people out there making fraudulent purchases with stolen credit cards. Merchants shouldn't have to bear the brunt of those losses.

    The solution is to take a closer look at any merchant that is making an above-average number of reversals. Since this affects CJ's bottomline, as well as the affiliates', CJ should be investigating and terminating merchants that abuse the power and can't prove that the reversals are for valid reasons.

    I've been very fortunate. My reversals have always been minimal, and the merchants have always been able to explain the valid reasons for reversing transactions. If you are promoting a merchant that is reversing a large percentage of the sales, then perhaps you should sever your relationship.

  4. #4
    ABW Ambassador La_Valette's Avatar
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    I boot all merchants who can't explain their reversals. Unfortunately it appears there's an emerging pattern in CJ of merchants letting traffic run until the last possible moment (the 9th of each month) before it locks, and then reversing a whole bunch of transactions. This has happened to me with two separate merchants over yesterday and today. None of them are replying to my emails. It looks like their plan is to take what they can get from one publisher and then move on to new unsuspecting publishers.

  5. #5
    Life is Supposed to be Fun! Rexanne's Avatar
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    In a perfect world, reversal commission "should" be deducted from publishers. If there is no compensation to the merchant, there shouldn't be compensation for the sales person either. It's the price we pay to be "independent contractors."

    The issue is trusting the merchants to be honest about reversals. As stated above, if a merchant has a high rate of reversals, dump them. We really have no other choice. Just as we dump non-converting merchants.
    Peace,

    Rexanne

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  6. #6
    Affiliate Manager nish's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by La_Valette
    I boot all merchants who can't explain their reversals.
    Reversals are inevitable because lot of merchants have 30 day return policy. But you have a good point. Merchants should better explain the reversals very clearly.

    -nishith

  7. #7
    MasterMike HardwareGeek's Avatar
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    Well I don't promote a lot of merchants but a few.
    And for the past 6 months out of all the sales I have made I have just had 1 reversal.

    Yay

  8. #8
    Life is Supposed to be Fun! Rexanne's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HardwareGeek
    Well I don't promote a lot of merchants but a few.
    And for the past 6 months out of all the sales I have made I have just had 1 reversal.

    Yay
    I don't see a lot of reversals either. Maybe it's the products we sell or we just got lucky bu partnering with mercants who don't have a big reversal rate. Either way, the only power we have is who to promote. If I had a merchant who's sales reversed more than 1 in 50, I'd run like hell. The first reversal would cause me to watch that merchant like a hawk and a second reversal would send my hackles up.
    Peace,

    Rexanne

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  9. #9
    AM Navigator Geno Prussakov's Avatar
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    La_Valette, put yourself in the merchant's shoes for the following 30 seconds. You get a sale. It's through one of your affiliates. But it's from Morocco. The guy's credit card didn't pass AVS check, and he paid by a credit card of "John Brown" (who is obviously no relative of his). Also, the sale is for $2489.95 + FedEx Intl shipping. What would you do? Pay your hard-working affiliate $298.79 in commissions, or try to verify the identity of the customer, and once you've found out that he's using a stolen cc, cancel the order?

    Geno

  10. #10
    Life is Supposed to be Fun! Rexanne's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Geno - RussianLegacy
    La_Valette, put yourself in the merchant's shoes for the following 30 seconds. You get a sale. It's through one of your affiliates. But it's from Morocco. The guy's credit card didn't pass AVS check, and he paid by a credit card of "John Brown" (who is obviously no relative of his). Also, the sale is for $2489.95 + FedEx Intl shipping. What would you do? Pay your hard-working affiliate $298.79 in commissions, or try to verify the identity of the customer, and once you've found out that he's using a stolen cc, cancel the order?

    Geno
    Exactly. We as publishers, assume the same liability with returns as merchants and rightfully so.

    If one is working in sales off line, one's sale's commission is cut if the product is returned. Same principle. An issue only arises if the merchant is unscrupulous or their product(s) tend to be returned at an alarming rate.
    Peace,

    Rexanne

    Rexanne.com
    Loving Everyone's Child Creates Magic


  11. #11
    Full Member fg20878's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by La_Valette
    There's just no way for publishers to defend against them being used unethically by merchants to get free traffic and sales. Honest merchants could always factor in their reversal rate into the commissions they pay out if this is a particular problem for them. It would simplify the structure for all sides and let affiliates know for sure what they're getting.
    If no reversals allowed, a lot of CJ merchants will be out of business within days if not hours.

  12. #12
    ABW Ambassador La_Valette's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Geno - RussianLegacy
    La_Valette, put yourself in the merchant's shoes for the following 30 seconds. You get a sale. It's through one of your affiliates. But it's from Morocco. The guy's credit card didn't pass AVS check, and he paid by a credit card of "John Brown" (who is obviously no relative of his). Also, the sale is for $2489.95 + FedEx Intl shipping. What would you do? Pay your hard-working affiliate $298.79 in commissions, or try to verify the identity of the customer, and once you've found out that he's using a stolen cc, cancel the order?

    Geno
    That one's easy. Check out the customer/order fully and make sure he's kosher first. Then pay the affiliate. It might incur a delay, but at least the affiliate will know the money is his to keep when it shows up in his reports.

  13. #13
    ABW Ambassador La_Valette's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fg20878
    If no reversals allowed, a lot of CJ merchants will be out of business within days if not hours.
    I doubt it. Merchants who "depend on reversals", if any exist, should be out of business by the way.

  14. #14
    15 years and counting
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    If no reversals allowed, a lot of CJ merchants will be out of business within days if not hours.
    That's not just true.
    Some merchants have a business plan with free shipping both ways like Zappos and reverse an average a 30% but it's not true for many merchants.
    If you know how to promote your products to the right demographic avoiding false promotions or other tricks you're not going to experience many reversals. Don't dissapoint your visitors, that's it.
    People need to learn what is really affiliate marketing.

  15. #15
    AM Navigator Geno Prussakov's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by La_Valette
    That one's easy. Check out the customer/order fully and make sure he's kosher first. Then pay the affiliate. It might incur a delay, but at least the affiliate will know the money is his to keep when it shows up in his reports.
    Don't know hot it is with CJ, but most other networks add commission to your account in real time (that is: a sale occurs - the money shows in your account). Customer verifiction - if necessary - is obviously perfomed by a merchant after that.

    Geno

  16. #16
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    It's kind of true. Many would have to give up their affiliate program if they did that. This was talked about in the past and you had merchants saying pretty much the same thing. Reversals are a part of the business, if it bothers you, just pull the merchants. People return stuff, people use bad CC, it happens.

  17. #17
    AM Navigator Geno Prussakov's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TrustNo1
    Reversals are a part of the business, if it bothers you, just pull the merchants. People return stuff, people use bad CC, it happens.
    Exactly!

    Geno

  18. #18
    AM Navigator Geno Prussakov's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by La_Valette
    Check out the customer/order fully and make sure he's kosher first. Then pay the affiliate. It might incur a delay, but at least the affiliate will know the money is his to keep when it shows up in his reports.
    Asking an upon-the-verification/check payment is asking the impossible for those merchants that are on CJ and/or other networks. It would only be possible with a merchant that's running an indie, La_Valette.

    Geno

  19. #19
    15 years and counting
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zeus
    That's not just true.
    Some merchants have a business plan with free shipping both ways like Zappos and reverse an average a 30% but it's not true for many merchants.
    If you know how to promote your products to the right demographic avoiding false promotions or other tricks you're not going to experience many reversals. Don't dissapoint your visitors, that's it.
    People need to learn what is really affiliate marketing.
    I did'nt read this thread all the way. My answer don't make too much sense.
    Sure, merchants need to reverse fraudulent orders and its part of the business.
    And, no I don't think many merchants abuse this priviledge. Affiliates are not dumb, they don't promote crooked merchants and merchants need good affiliates.

  20. #20
    AM Navigator Geno Prussakov's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zeus
    ...I don't think many merchants abuse this priviledge.
    Sound like a contrary experience has motivated La_Valette to start this thread......

  21. #21
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    Yeah, i think most merchants are honest and reverse that way too. They want affiliates to promote them and help them push their stuff and too many reversals or suspect reversals and that's a good way for that not to happen. It's not in their best interest to do that. You'll always have those few that try something tricky, but i think that number is really low. And some merchants just seem to have a bad setup that lends itself to reversals. Like not catching bad CC at checkout or lots of out of stock stuff but the order goes thru and has to be reversed later because of that. And people return stuff. I understand that happens and really don't have a problem with. One of my favorite merchants actually sent me a detailed reason for a reversal, and it's rare they reverse. They get strong promotion from me. I will say that when they do reverse, I like real explanations, not a big fan of "other".

  22. #22
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    Just to add a little something...I know in my program all of these reporting processes(new order, canceled order, returned order) are automated and I assume that is the case for most other programs as well.

    If programs didn't reverse these types of orders it would take little time before publishers were taking advantage.

  23. #23
    ABW Ambassador La_Valette's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AdamGEC
    If programs didn't reverse these types of orders it would take little time before publishers were taking advantage.
    Of course, that's what a merchant would say. As a publisher, how do I know that merchants aren't taking advantage with the status quo?

  24. #24
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    I think some affiliates have no idea the high rate of attempted fraud and *****y/complaining customers there are.

    Which is why you need to trust your merchants and choose them carefully. If you can't trust the merchants you work with, all is lost. Reversals happen.

    And if you really hate reversals, stay away from clothes. At least in my experience, that is the worst market for returns/chargebacks.

    Chet

  25. #25
    Affiliate Manager
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    Quote Originally Posted by La_Valette
    Of course, that's what a merchant would say. As a publisher, how do I know that merchants aren't taking advantage with the status quo?
    It is no benefit to me to consistently reverse orders, it obviously ticks off the publisher, and as an AM that is the exact opposite of what my goal is.

    Also if I were to reverse an order it would decrease the revenue coming through the affiliate channel again opposite of what my goals are.

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