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  1. #1
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    As I see more posts here always claiming fraud this or being ripped off by so and so merchant,how much of it it is actual truth. While certainly problems occur, and there may be some problems with a few merchants is it natural for someone to come in state fraud is happening when we may not know all sides to the story, (such as maybe unauthorized incentive site etc etc)
    It just seems lots of this gets posted in here yet who do we beleive?
    I have come in here and posted my sales have s*cked for one reason or another, although usually traffic may not be high enough, but to outright say I'm getting ripped off or something because of fraud it just doesn't seem quite right.
    I have my own thoughts about the way I would post a problem. Is there not a better way people can post in here except claiming fraud and deceipt without solid evidence???

    This post has nothing to do with parasiteware stealing sales though.Totally different argument for that one.


    WW

    It was so cold last winter that I saw a lawyer with his hands in his own pockets.

  2. #2
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    I can totally relate.

    Perhaps People when claiming fraud, bring out all the facts. Like how many click throughs, etc, instead of thier tracking 's off, etc.

    Also if your trying to sell toys on an auto site, don't be surprised if you have no sales.

    I usually question myself before blaming others.

    What am I doing wrong? look at ad copy etc.
    Is there a better way to promote them, example just one product, or two, perhaps put them at the top of the page.


    I also don't even start to question myself or the merchant till 500 click throughs.

    IF they don't convert under 1 in 500 click throughs, they are history, period. Obviosly this store isn't what my visitors want.

    ------------------------------------------------------------Minds are like parachutes - they only function when open. Thomas Dewar

  3. #3
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    When one of your merchants goes from top performer to 7-day epc of $0.00 because sales are not being tracked, let's see how cool and collected you choose to be.

    Not "a" sale, or "my" sales, but all sales network wide not being tracked.

    The merchant himself says that he know that the sales are not being tracked.

    Commission Junction acknowledges that the sales are not being tracked.

    There are too many SHEEP here whose philosophy is simply to drop the merchant and move along.

    As long as this is the prevailing attitude, merchants will continue to get away with this BS.

    It is time for them to be held accountable.

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  4. #4
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    And furthermore, concerning "facts" and "evidence", a message board is not the place for that. Notice how topics are closed because of rules concernong legal/litigation issues?

    Some of us are doing things (or a least TRYING to) to bring us closer to the day that we ALL will get paid by ALL of the merchants that we generate sales for. If you don't want to work with us, please don't work against us. We trying to feed your kids as well as ours.

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  5. #5
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    >>Too much Crying wolf????<<

    Yes.

    "The only thing that helps me maintain my slender grip on reality is the friendship I share with my collection of singing potatoes." -- Holly, from Red Dwarf

  6. #6
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    One of the values of this board is that when someone suspects a problem, they can check to see what others are experiencing.

    It's always a challenge to sort out normal statistical ups and downs and one's own errors (coding or targeting) to deduce whether there's a genuine glitch at the merchant's end. If there is, someone else will see it too. If others are seeing normal behaviour, that's useful information too.

    Maybe someone could write a course manual on "Affiliate Trouble-Shooting 101"!

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  7. #7
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    quote:
    When one of your merchants goes from top performer to 7-day epc of $0.00 because sales are not being tracked, let's see how cool and collected you choose to be.

    Not "a" sale, or "my" sales, but all sales network wide not being tracked.

    The merchant himself says that he know that the sales are not being tracked.

    Commission Junction acknowledges that the sales are not being tracked.

    There are too many SHEEP here whose philosophy is simply to drop the merchant and move along.

    As long as this is the prevailing attitude, merchants will continue to get away with this BS.

    It is time for them to be held accountable.

    Legitimate claims, yes, scream bloody murder as loud as you can.

    Maybe we need a spot in here to have a suspicious activety posting forum where ALL facts get posted properly. I just see some posts that are totally off the wall and just seem more sour grapes than a legitimate problem.
    WW

    It was so cold last winter that I saw a lawyer with his hands in his own pockets.

  8. #8
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    quote:

    As long as this is the prevailing attitude, merchants will continue to get away with this BS.

    It is time for them to be held accountable.





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  9. #9
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    quote:
    There are too many SHEEP here whose philosophy is simply to drop the merchant and move along


    This Sheep don't waste time. If I feel someone's not tracking I contact them, and the 3rd provider, also will ask around, and even get a new link up. (I once just changed the link and presto sales just poured in, and guess what I told everyone to grab a new link, something is funky.) It all depeneds on how much I like what the particular merchant has to offer. If it's just another joe on the block with the same types of products as 10 others, I drop and walk away, But if it's unique, and I wish it work out, then I start to try to figure why its not working.

    Maybe I'm lucky and I have enough traffic, that 500 clicks don't take long to figure out what works and what doesn't. If it took me 6 months to figure out what converts, on my site, Maybe I'd be more frustrated at the system.


    quote:

    And furthermore, concerning "facts" and "evidence", a message board is not the place for that. Notice how topics are closed because of rules concernong legal/litigation issues?




    I first of all meant facts...like how many clicks it took, not your website, ad copy etc.

    If your going to accuse someone of fraud, shouldn't you at least try to back it up as to why you think this.

    A prime example is in the Fredericks of Hollywood topic, and the first person said they stopped tracking...for the last year.....Yes people did jump on it...... but the fact remained some one assumed something...makeing an a** out of them and Hollywood both.

    This is what I was referring too...People jumping to conclusions, just because it's not working for them, There's been tons of REAL good Fraud concerns on this board, not everyone cries and whines, and cries fraud, but there are some trends that are questionable of simply ....they're not converting for me, so they're tracking must be off.

    Its fine to say example is Fredericks of Hollywood converting for anyone? they aren't for me, I sent them 410 clicks and not one sale.


    What I am getting at ...is there more subtle ways of finding out what a merchant is up to rather than accusations.



    quote:
    Some of us are doing things (or a least TRYING to) to bring us closer to the day that we ALL will get paid by ALL of the merchants that we generate sales for. If you don't want to work with us, please don't work against us. We trying to feed your kids as well as ours.



    This is everyone's goal to an extent, but I simply don't have the time, to run around and make sure everyone's tracking is ok, 24 hours a day, as I said earlier, Unless I just love their stuff they sell, they're dumped, and Move on.

    I choose my battles. When WHen u was big, I emailed over a hundred merchants, and many of them came in here, and changed their ways.

    I spend my days working on sites, pages, and promoting, I feel I personally don't have the time to hold every merchants hand, showing them how to run the perfect affiliate program. I get chocked once in a while, and contact them, or every once in a while I 'll contact one, that I would like to promote more, and have a one on one conversation.

    Sometimes Time is just simply costing money, and you must figure out what your priorities are.

    ------------------------------------------------------------Minds are like parachutes - they only function when open. Thomas Dewar

  10. #10
    ABW Founder Haiko de Poel, Jr.'s Avatar
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    quote:
    Maybe we need a spot in here to have a suspicious activety posting forum where ALL facts get posted properly


    We do ... the Merchant Fraud forum.

    Haiko

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  11. #11
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    quote:
    We do ... the Merchant Fraud forum.


    oops had one of my brain cramps again

    WW

    It was so cold last winter that I saw a lawyer with his hands in his own pockets.

  12. #12
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    Yes, we have the fraud forum. Yes there are all too many occasions when somebody thinks they are being ripped off just because one of the merchants they are using has not been converting sales for them.

    The point that I had hoped to establish is this: In cases where there absolutely, positively is a case of fraud, whether by crookery or by negligence (stupidity) on the part of the merchant, the solution to the problem is to DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT.

    Sure, you can just drop the merchant. But then others are still being screwed. And you may well get poor results from the next merchant you use.

    If more of us would work together to solve this problem, instead than just walking away with it, this affiliate marketing game would be a lot more pleasant and profitable for all of us.

    Recently there was a problem with a merchant whose sales were no longer tracking. Turns out it was because they had made a bunch of stupid mistakes while actually trying to IMPROVE their marketing campaign, and tracking got screwed up.
    At least for me, this was one of my top converting merchants. Instead of just dropping them and walking away, I lit a fire under their heels, and the problem got fixed.

    Damned shame if I hadn't done something about it. Now I have my best merchant stuffing money in my pockets again. Also they offer an excellent, unique product line that is not available anywhere else, so there was no way to "replace" them (and the accompanying income) even if I wanted to.

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  13. #13
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
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    The day a merchant has to hire two additional warehouse guys to fulfill affiliate generated orders should be a day of celebration. Unfortunately the majority of affiliate enabled merchants look at that expense as if it was caused by this group of carpetbaggers who alos deamnd their cut. So they spin their wheels trying every means to get that extra exppense funded by lowering commissions thru eliminating product links -decreasing cookie day -lowering commissions -installing outside 800# call centers and e-mail campaigns to divert sales or playing games with reporting tags.

    WebMaster Mike

  14. #14
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    >>If more of us would work together to solve this problem, instead than just walking away with it, this affiliate marketing game would be a lot more pleasant and profitable for all of us.<<

    My counterpoint would be, I'm a tough customer to convince. And before I take a stance on a merchant, I want evidence and I won't jump on the bandwagon without it. You say this is not the place for facts/stats -- I say without them, I'm not joing anyone's parade.

    I've worked with hundreds of merchants for a while now and I've only seen one merchant (excluding parasiteware issues) where I believe they intentionally hosed up their tracking (recIEve.dll) or "ripped off" the affiliate.

    I've seen tons of evidence of incompetence, boneheadedness, and carelessness, but that's a while 'nuther story.

    If I joined the war every time there was a call to arms around here, I'd have to get a day job because I sure wouldn't have time to do Affiliate Marketing.

    Until I'm given evidence of misdoing, I intend to JUST keep walking away from the merchants that don't work for me.

    "The only thing that helps me maintain my slender grip on reality is the friendship I share with my collection of singing potatoes." -- Holly, from Red Dwarf

  15. #15
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    quote:
    facts/stats


    These facts were posted at CJ admin area.

    Merchant's 7-day EPC $0.00, for the last 3 weeks.

    Merchant says, and I quote, "the sales are not tracking right now"

    If another affiliate of this merchant had asked, I would have forwarded the emails from both the merchant and CJ to them for their perusal.

    Anyway, the problem has now been fixed at this point. Much to the benefit of others.

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  16. #16
    Resident Genius and Staunch Capitalist Leader's Avatar
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    That's just the point, Deelz--you had *evidence* of a problem with that merchant (the $0.00 7 day EPC, and his admission. Although the 7 day EPC is solid evidence even without the confession).

    That's a whole different thing than just *assuming* the "switch" is off because one or a few sites aren't making any sales.

    Some of the merchants complained about here for "fraud" show fine stats when I look up their profiles. In those cases, the evidence is in the merchant's favor even if certain sites aren't having success with them.

    And I agree with Cedric on this:

    quote:
    If I joined the war every time there was a call to arms around here, I'd have to get a day job because I sure wouldn't have time to do Affiliate Marketing.


    And I have better things to do than try to un-hose tracking at merchants. I'm not so enamoured with any single product that I *have to* have it on my sites.

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  17. #17
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    There is way too much Cryin' about people complainin' of CJ's unreliable, undependable tracking and yeah, no sales reported, occured or not.

    - BluesX

  18. #18
    ABW Ambassador Packy's Avatar
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    Walleye and others,

    See this other thread and there are plenty more around. http://abw.infopop.cc/6/ubb.x?a=tpc&...9&m=6306063901

    Maybe if CJ had some kind of compliance that worked then there wouldn't be any reason to cry wolf. These are just a couple of many instances where tracking didn't work for several days and we are not aware of the problems. Maybe if CJ or the merchants would let us know that a merchant isn't tracking then some of us could have some confidence in their system. Time after time I read so and so hasn't tracked for a week or longer after the fact and CJ obviously wasn't aware of the problem or just decided to not inform us. Niether does the merchant. [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_mad.gif[/img]

    You can't tell me that a week goes by before they check their stats to see if sales are coming in. You mean to tell me that they don't notice this problem withing several hours. I personally don't buy it. We are told that compliance looks at the network sytem wide stats and they all look ok, as a matter of fact they are higher than normal. Hmmmmmm! OK Believe as you must [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif[/img]

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    [This message was edited by DaPackster on August 28, 2002 at 01:39 PM.]

  19. #19
    ABW Ambassador Akiva's Avatar
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    Hi all [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif[/img] Let me weigh in from a CJ merchant point of view.

    A few things:
    - CJ's system is as reliable as any other affiliate network so if you trust merchants when they upload transaction data to Linkshare, you can trust CJ's real-time reporting.
    - Tracking problems are on the merchant's end.
    - If there is anything funny going on, it's usually the merchant playing games so they don't have to pay commission on every affiliate sale. If this happens at CJ, you can bet it happens at Linkshare.

    My company is with CJ for a little over a year and we have not had any problems with tracking. We are honest and treat our affiliate's as true partners. So when an affiliate will e-mail me asking me about a transaction, I reply within one business day with a detailed reply about the order and why it was reversed. The problem with merchants that have problems, is usually because they are not honest. Now how can CJ know whether or not a merchant is honest when they join the network? I think CJ should begin monitoring merchant responses to affiliate questions. In other words, contact with merchants should be solely through the CJ messaging system and CJ should monitor how long responses are taking. Affiliates should also be able to rate the merchant's response. If a merchant gets some unsatisfactory ratings, client services should look into it. Doing something like this puts CJ's finger on merchant-affiliate relations and will help weed out the dishonest merchants.

    Crying foul is not the worst thing when it's the only thing to do at the moment.

    My 2 cents.

    Akiva Bergstrom
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    akiva@essentialapparel.com
    800-556-2937 ext 751
    www.essentialapparel.com

  20. #20
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    My argument is NOT with the reporting of problems -- it's with the assumption and supporting fervor that EVERY problem is "fraud," every problem is a merchant trying to "scam" affiliates. My problem is the tendency to go from Affiliate to Raving Madman(woman) in a split-second -- without any consideration that there may be other causes behind the problem.

    Generally, there are 857 reasons OTHER than "fraud" that are also viable in explaining what's happening with a particular merchant. IMO, if you use the terms "fraud" or "scam", either you have supporting evidence or you have no credibility.

    "The only thing that helps me maintain my slender grip on reality is the friendship I share with my collection of singing potatoes." -- Holly, from Red Dwarf

  21. #21
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    quote:
    My argument is NOT with the reporting of problems -- it's with the assumption and supporting fervor that EVERY problem is "fraud,"


    This is pretty much my point when I started the thread.
    When I first started at this board and even now, I do use what people say and also merchants posts in ABW to help in my decisions if I should join up with them. I was more or less hoping that instead of ranting on about a non existant problem, lets make certain if it's fraud there are stats to back it up. If in fact it is only a slow time or seasonal downturn a post screaming rip off or it's a fraud does nothing to help out any of us who continue to draw info and help from ABW to make our sites and income grow.

    WW

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  22. #22
    ABW Ambassador Packy's Avatar
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    Akiva'

    quote:
    We are honest and treat our affiliate's as true partners.


    I wish this was true about all merchants. From your point of view. It you have many sales coming in each day and then all of the sudden you show that no sales are showing up from your affiliates. How long would it normally take for you to notice this. A few hours, a day, several days? Would it take 7 days for this to be noticed??? Also if you did notice that no sales were coming in from the affiliates who joined your program. What would you do, IMO from the way that you sound you would contact your affiliates and CJ right away to let them know of the problem isn't that true?

    I think my biggest problem that I have is it takes that long for a merchant to notify the affiliates of a tracking problem. What makes it even worse is that CJ doesn't even notify us of a tracking problem that I am aware of. All we get or use to get was a deactivated email. No reason as to why the merchant was deactivated. Whether it be because their tracking didn't work for weeks or whether it is because of payment. It would be nice if we could start feeling like we were actually part of this business. Thats my concerns.

    I do agree with you that this goes on everywhere and not just with CJ. Just in my case it doesn't seem to happen as often at the other places. JMO!

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