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  1. #1
    ABW Ambassador Grumpy's Avatar
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    Angry No wonder sales are plummeting!!!
    I am so furious I could just about blow a fuse!! If any of you guys have pages for your merchants where you have used either direct product links or URL redirects, I suggest you go and check each one individually because there is a MAJOR SCREW-UP at CJ with linking codes. I haven't been able to understand the sudden drop in sales (particularly for 2 merchants that convert very well for me) but now, guess what?, I sure do. Every single product link is pointing to either the wrong category or product, and all URL redirects are landing on the merchants' home pages instead of where they should be landing. I only noticed it this morning and have checked a lot of my links, with the same result.

    CJ this is totally unacceptable as many of us have hundreds of pages where we have used YOUR direct product and YOUR URL redirect codes and now we are literally left standing with our fingers up our arses, and losing commissions in the process, as site visitors are not seeing what they are looking for. Imagine somebody looking for a pair of slippers and ending up on a page with massage chairs!! (that's just one example). Somehow I don't think that visitor will be coming back any time soon. There are just too many things going wrong since you decided to force your LMI on us - AND, for your information, the codes don't work using your JS codes either as I have tested them. Just put things back to what they used to be and forget about your LMI initiative!! We just want to do our work with minimal fuss and bother and without getting headaches in the process.

  2. #2
    Member SALocalcom's Avatar
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    I had this same problem with JC Whitney, but it wasn't CJs fault, it was JCW. May not be the same as your difficulty, but it drove me crazy. I don't like making new links. Once I make one I don't want to change it, or redo it especially if it works and makes $$.
    Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety. Benjamin Franklin-1752[url="http://www.salocal.com/goldwing/goldwing_tech.htm"][/url]

  3. #3
    ABW Ambassador Grumpy's Avatar
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    This is definitely a CJ problem as it is happening with at least 3 of my merchants. If it was isolated to only one merchant I could understand that the problem lies with that merchant. However, after posting here, I used CJ's product linking for 3 different merchants and created a few links... in all instances, after inserting the codes on a page, the products went to the wrong product or landing page. Even some banner codes are not working correctly. In any case I have sent CJ a message to tell them that this is happening and asking them to do something about it. Something is very wrong in their system right now with their codes, and they need to fix it ASAP.

  4. #4
    The "other" left wing davidh's Avatar
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    That happens to me a lot with Sheplers links. They work fine when I make them, but after a short while they start to go to "page not found". I wish they would at least go to the home page.
    CUSTOM BANNERS by GRAPHICS CANDY ~ Banner Sets and Website Graphics ~ Professional design, reasonable rates
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  5. #5
    Member SALocalcom's Avatar
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    I did start checking my links, and one of the first ones I checked went to a "no results" (ebay search strings) page. After that it, and the rest of the pages worked fine, but I did see the same problem. Have you tried calling them? Putting up a case take weeks these days.
    Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety. Benjamin Franklin-1752[url="http://www.salocal.com/goldwing/goldwing_tech.htm"][/url]

  6. #6
    ABW Ambassador mailman's Avatar
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    I don't know what's going on in this business but it seems to be getting tougher every day and it's not just CJ . I checked the status of my Shareasale merchants and was quite shocked. Out of 100 ,24 are Temporaily Offline with 23 Low on Funds! This is not Shareasales fault but the merchant's as this is a great feature. The problem is that this becomes very time consuming when one has to remove links. It also becomes frustating to customers who click on dead links. I don't seem to get an email from Shareasale when a merchant goes Temporarily Offline,does anyone here get one? I also noticed that some of these merchants slip thru the cracks as it must be quite chore for Shareasale to keep on top of this. I have over the years noticed that some merchants will introduce an affiate program with the sole purpose of getting traffic to their sites. Once they have achieved this they simply let the affiate program slide. It is without doubt a very inexpensive way to get traffic directed to one's site especially with the number of affiliate sites that will promote them.

  7. #7
    ABW Ambassador Ron Bechdolt's Avatar
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    Wow, you are right! Not all of my links redirect to the merchants home page, but most of them do. That would certainliy explain the drop in sales. I can't wait to contact my merchants personally and let them know about this.

    I'd contact CJ's AAQ support, but as they are several weeks behind I'm sure a call from the merchants will get much faster response.
    Ron Bechdolt | Affiliate Program Management Consultant
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  8. #8
    The slot machine that IS paid! Billy Kay's Avatar
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    I'm afraid to look

  9. #9
    ABW Ambassador Grumpy's Avatar
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    I've already contacted CJ's AAQ support and the merchants I have so far found who are affected . Fortunately, so far it looks like only 3 of them, but that's 3 too many in my book. Of course I don't use direct product linking or redirects for all CJ merchants so it may be extending to a lot more that I don't know of. Fortunately, it appears that the PSC's are working OK for the merchants who provide this feature - it would be a nightmare if those were also going crazy!! FYI 2 of the merchants who have been affected the most from my end are Designer Linens and Brookstone. I still have to go through the rest of them and, like Billy Kay, I'm afraid to look!! I will post here if I find more - perhaps you guys can do the same, as it would save us all a lot of work if we knew who the merchants are.

  10. #10
    ABW Ambassador Grumpy's Avatar
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    Quick Update!
    It's happening with the GoldenCan merchant feeds as well

  11. #11
    Affiliate Manager Alan Hamilton's Avatar
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    Mailman - on the SaS low fund issue, as I undersstand it, it could be that there are merchants who do not realize an account balance is low. Maybe contacting the merchant online or by phone would cure some of it quickly.

    If a merchant funds $2,000 in the commission account, and then sets funding to trigger a deposit when the funds reach $1,000 the balance may be $1,020.00 and yet it may show "low balance." Perhaps Brian can shed better light on that one than I - but it happened to us once so I know it is possible. Either way, a quick call to a merchant may be the fast resolve.

    Cheers
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  12. #12
    ABW Ambassador Ron Bechdolt's Avatar
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    Uh Oh, what the heck is going on???

    Well, I had great news today that a top competitor (at another network) for my best CJ merchant (one where the CJ links are having the above mentioned problem) is uping their commission rate. I've already been switching over links (with amazing conversion rates) and this is just the impitus I need to move most of the rest. I was just waiting to see if CJ backed off on the JS links requirement, but I can't wait if I'm losing sales because of their linking problems.

    Like I said, what the heck is going on at CJ? Just what is that ValueClick is making them do that is causing all these problems???
    Ron Bechdolt | Affiliate Program Management Consultant
    7 Days A Week Marketing

  13. #13
    ABW Ambassador Ron Bechdolt's Avatar
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    Ahhhh, it appears CJ knows about this problem (but is not bothering to alert us): http://forum.abestweb.com/showpost.p...9&postcount=10
    Ron Bechdolt | Affiliate Program Management Consultant
    7 Days A Week Marketing

  14. #14
    ABW Ambassador Grumpy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 7-days
    Ahhhh, it appears CJ knows about this problem (but is not bothering to alert us): http://forum.abestweb.com/showpost.p...9&postcount=10
    Ron I also saw that thread - thing is, it's not only just happening with Legacy links. Last night I tried making URL redirect links for Designer Linens using the JS codes and I get the same results (wrong landing page!). I've also noticed that, when you try to "Highlight/Copy" the code you get an alert on the taskbar "Error on Page" so there is definitely something wrong.

    As far as you switching over from your best merchant at CJ to another competitor... good for you . Think it's time I started doing the same. Yes CJ was a great network until ValueClick got their sticky fingers on it - if they continue to screw around with it, it's only going to go from bad to worse in no time at all.

  15. #15
    Lite On The Do, Heavy On The Nuts Donuts's Avatar
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    June was my best profit month ever. On July 26, I went beyond my monthly profit record just set for June, and the month ain't over yet! I don't promote any CJ merchants. I left long before LMI and am glad I did.

    By the way, at ShareASale, it's rare that I'll work with a merchant there that's not on auto-deposit. If so, it's usually with conditions that I'll work on promoting them as they move towards auto-deposit. There's no similar safeguard in place at CJ - CJ sometimes even allows them to go months beyond, allowing affs to sell stuff, where the merchant isn't paying and is in arrears... tells you how well CJ is looking out for their affiliates.

  16. #16
    ABW Ambassador mailman's Avatar
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    Donuts. I won't ask you what merchants you promote but could you shed some like on what networks you use eg Linkshare etc. I to have dropped all CJ merchants and it's really sad because they used to be the best in this game. Without affiliates I don't know how they are going to survive financually. I really don't understand their thoughts on this.

  17. #17
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    "I don't promote any CJ merchants. I left long before LMI and am glad I did."

    That's great but some people want to work with certain merchants and those certain merchants are at CJ, so links going to the wrong page are a problem.

    As far as SAS, I only work with Auto Deposit merchants because I don't take the ones that aren't on it seriously. And I think SAS should move to making it mandatory because this has been a constant negative towards the network. Merchants going offline with no notice.

  18. #18
    Lite On The Do, Heavy On The Nuts Donuts's Avatar
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    I have my own biases against CJ for several reasons that I think are very valid, BUT there are many affiliates making GREAT money with CJ merchants - affiliates I know first hand. I happen to favor ShareASale Exclusive merchants on auto-deposit and indie merchants using Kowabunga's MyAp. My own biases aside for a second, I doubt it's the choice of network that will make or break any affiliate. I do think it can affect your overall chances for success, but not to the degree that would mean using CJ dooms you to certain failure - not even close.

    Find good Affiliate Managers / Outsourced Program Managers - that path should lead you to the best merchants. Most of the best ones are ABW members in my opinion. And their talents are not hidden or unknown here either.

    During what is normally a slower season for selling, I am setting new overall profit records for a variety of reasons. Mainly, I build my business in layers and have done so for years. Working with several good AMs / OPMs and continuing to add new elements to my portfolio is why I'm excelling - it's not anything secret, mysterious or unique to me at all.

    And the number of good AMs / OPMs seems to be growing lately to me - a good trend for us all! Michael Nunez has a new OPM gig - check his stuff out. Greg Rice is growing - I had a conference call with him recently about his test country gig - some good stuff there. I met Kristen of Batteries.com (CJ and SAS - no secret which I'd pick) at Aff Summit and she strikes me as a very good AM as well. Carolyn Tang at SAS is very involved in several SAS programs there like bent gear and village hat shop - she's a great resource. Andy Rodriguez's stuff has been VERY good to me. Chuck Hamrick is on top of things and shoots straighter than just about anybody else I've ever met in our industry. Chris Sanderson is popular with many affs here. Deb Loxly at CafePress has an aff program that pays 20% and has products covering so many niches I could cry (many of the artists behind those products, if you just ask, will make custom graphics and custom PRODUCTS for your site to help you promote them!). Geno's growing his portfolio as well. Getting involved with the AMs & OPMs that are posting members here is simply the very best tip I can imagine I can offer.

  19. #19
    ABW Ambassador
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    Yes, SAS is great and everybody you just mentioned. But all that has nothing to do with the problem of links going to the wrong place. Affiliates have different business models and have certain merchants they want to work with and need to work with in order to be competitive. And if they're at CJ then links going to the wrong place is a problem.

  20. #20
    ABW Ambassador mailman's Avatar
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    Thanks Donuts! Nice read and good info!

  21. #21
    What's the word? Rhia7's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TrustNo1
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    As far as SAS, I only work with Auto Deposit merchants
    How does the webmaster know which merchants are on Auto Deposit?
    ~Rhia7 -- Remember the 7
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  22. #22
    Lite On The Do, Heavy On The Nuts Donuts's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TrustNo1
    That's great but some people want to work with certain merchants and those certain merchants are at CJ, so links going to the wrong page are a problem.
    When problems become routine, communication to address them becomes unproductive (or is nonexistant), solutions come in unreliable degrees and your time goes to waste fixing things you've already built or fixed before, there comes a time for each and every affiliate to balance those things and decide how much they can swallow. Since each episode is tied inextricably to an opportunity lost / opportunity cost, continuing to spend your time building your business under those conditions, while certainly your right to do so, over the long run, might very well be moving you backwards or planting you idly in one spot.

    Focusing on today's issue is important Trust, I totally get what you're saying. But it seems from here, from outside of these never ending CJ issues, that it would be wise for most to also look at the larger picture sometime in the near future.

  23. #23
    Lite On The Do, Heavy On The Nuts Donuts's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rhia7
    How does the webmaster know which merchants are on Auto Deposit?
    They are marked there clearly (hover over the icons next to the merchants details in SAS). If you need more, post in the SAS forums and I'll answer there.

    TrustNo1 also started a great post inviting SAS merchants on auto-deposit to list themselves here:
    http://forum.abestweb.com/showthread.php?t=48659

  24. #24
    ABW Ambassador
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    "How does the webmaster know which merchants are on Auto Deposit?"

    You have to look at the merchant details and it will say.

    Donuts
    My point is you do great at SAS, that's great. But what's that got to do with this problem? Links are going to the wrong pages, has nothing to do with SAS. If merchants at CJ are also at SAS or Performics, then I put up SAS or Performics links. You also have a different business model. Some have shopping directories/deal sites such as myself and the successful ones have merchants from all the major networks. Some just work with a few and can be more selective, different business models. Merchants ultimately decide on what network they're going to be on. I love SAS but they still need to do some things to get those merchants. I still can't get good reports, something as simple as last months stats. And the offline merchants problem needs to be addressed. It's a lingering problem. Doens't look good for the network. They need to set the bar higher.

  25. #25
    Lite On The Do, Heavy On The Nuts Donuts's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TrustNo1
    Yes, SAS is great and everybody you just mentioned. But all that has nothing to do with the problem of links going to the wrong place. Affiliates have different business models and have certain merchants they want to work with and need to work with in order to be competitive. And if they're at CJ then links going to the wrong place is a problem.
    I totally agree with you.

    It's my understanding that this issue has been reported to CJ. So I don't see anything else that an individual can do to address this issue.

    It might be interesting to check with Michael Nunez - his new Bounce service seems tailored to addressing problems of link maintenance. See his post here:
    http://forum.abestweb.com/showthread.php?t=76349

    Somebody mentioned GoldenCAN was afected I think - so I would guess that since GC is affected, it's not possible to deep link, that Bounce would also not work (a functioning page-specific CJ link is required somewhere in the process).

    Deep linking always makes me high profits from high relevancy and excellent conversions rates - so the merchants must be interested here too. But I think it's been posted that merchants were contacted.

    So, in my mind, you're back to waiting for CJ's response. That's unsettling for sure - because we all know that feeling - and we know it too well.

    Throw some realistic lost sales figures at the merchants I guess - to create a sense of urgency.

    Yep, out of good ideas here... and admit what I have posted is of no immediate help either. Sorry, wish I had something positive to contribute other than reminding people to not just forget this episode once it's eventually solved.

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