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  1. #1
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    How to Verify Affiliate Return Day Cookie
    Can anyone provide a step-by-step demonstration of how to determine the number of return days of a network affiliate cookie in IE 6?

    Affiliates should have the opportunity to confirm the number of return days a merchant claims to provide through their affiliate links. I have a few merchants whom I'm beginning to wonder if they really do provide the number of return days they claim to.

  2. #2
    Outsourced Program Manager
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    Quote Originally Posted by Snowman
    Can anyone provide a step-by-step demonstration of how to determine the number of return days of a network affiliate cookie in IE 6?

    Affiliates should have the opportunity to confirm the number of return days a merchant claims to provide through their affiliate links. I have a few merchants whom I'm beginning to wonder if they really do provide the number of return days they claim to.
    Hi Snowman,

    In my experience with Linkshare affiliate cookies, merchants are instructed to set the cookie to never expire (I believe we had set ours to expire in the year 2020). This way, the cookie stays there, and the rules set at the network level use the data pulled from the cookie to determine whether it is eligible for commission or not. This is how they can generate their "non commissionable" sales report. In other words, the network says, "just set to cookie to last a lot longer than what your return days are and we'll figure the rest out."

    Thus, if merchants are following this best practice, any errors would happen at the network level, not the merchant level.

    An area of disconnect that I've recently discovered is when a merchant tries to determine whether to call a cookie during a return visit.

    So, in my opinion, the best thing to take away from this is the following:
    1. Verify with your merchants that they have set the cookie to never expire and that the network sorts the return days out.
    2. For pixel based tracking networks, verify with them that it is required for merchants to fire the pixel at every instance of the shopping cart, and not try to determince if/when the pixel should be fired.

    Hope all is well with you...

    -Mike

  3. #3
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    Thanks so much, Mike.

    Based on what you've said about the non-commissionable sales report, why isn't that info. provided for all Linkshare merchants? I only get that data for one Linkshare merchant. As the former affiliate manager for Easyclicktravel.com, can you tell me why I can't generate a non-commissionable sales report for ECT?

    Based on your explanation that Linkshare determines whether or not the return days have been exceeded, how can we confirm that Linkshare is accurately calculating this based on the merchant's stated number of return days? As you know, mistakes do happen, so I feel that there should be a way for affiliates to verify this.

  4. #4
    Outsourced Program Manager
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    No problem Snowman, I'll always help you if I can.

    Based on what you've said about the non-commissionable sales report, why isn't that info. provided for all Linkshare merchants? I only get that data for one Linkshare merchant. As the former affiliate manager for Easyclicktravel.com, can you tell me why I can't generate a non-commissionable sales report for ECT?
    It should be available for all Linkshare Merchants. I don't see why it wouldn't be. If it isn't showing up for you, I suggest contacting the merchant and having them ask Linkshare why the reports aren't there. I can't comment on ECT, but if you email Jon, their new AM, I'm sure he could help you out.

    Based on your explanation that Linkshare determines whether or not the return days have been exceeded, how can we confirm that Linkshare is accurately calculating this based on the merchant's stated number of return days? As you know, mistakes do happen, so I feel that there should be a way for affiliates to verify this.
    First, it is important to remember that Linkshare doesn't get paid on non-commissionable sales either, so it is in their best interest to calculate return days correctly.

    As far as verifying, some cookies will show exact information, such as the EasyClickTravel cookie. I just clicked on one of your banners for them, opened the cookie, and was surprised to find that it expires in a month, not in 2020 as I described in my first post. I am not sure when this change occurred, but it doesn't matter since this is still longer than their return days on LS.

    So, that could be a step one, open the cookie, and see when it expires. If it expires prior to the return days advertised, then there is a problem.

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