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  1. #1
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    Does "Extended" = Deadbeat Merchant?
    I don't promote many cj merchants and this is the first time that I've had commissions end up in the extended column. Is this something I should worry about?

  2. #2
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
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    Not necessarily.

    A lot of times, it's the "corporate" merchants who do it, and they extend to cover part or all of their "customer return" period that they offer.

    Other times, CJ does the extending because the merchant didn't pay. Again, this is usually from the larger merchants, because those are the only ones that CJ usually allows to run their programs on "credit". Most merchants have to maintain an escrow.

    It's very, very rare that a CJ merchant extends with evil intentions of reversing everything and not paying.
    Michael Coley
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  3. #3
    Affiliate Manager cbsturg's Avatar
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    As Michael has pointed out, I have had very few of my extended commissions reversed. Still, that doesn't make it any less obnoxious to have to wait another pay cycle to get the money you've earned...
    Chris Sturgill
    "All my life I've had one dream, to achieve my many goals." - H. Simpson

  4. #4
    Resident Genius and Staunch Capitalist Leader's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aunt Lily
    I don't promote many cj merchants and this is the first time that I've had commissions end up in the extended column. Is this something I should worry about?
    Sometimes!
    And, sometimes not.

    I hate to be so vague, but I've had both cases.

    I think one of the big things to watch for is if a merchant with an established program (one that's been open a few years) suddenly starts having lots of extensions (or they go to an extend-everything policy) when they previously did not. If that happens...something is up, and it's often not something that's any good.

    But if an established merchant has *always* been an extender, it's usually fine (other than the suckage of having to wait an extra month to get the commissions!).

    On the other hand, *new* merchants often make lots of changes in their first year or two, as they deal with issues they didn't expect when they opened their program. So if a new merchant does it, it could be anything--they may just be tinkering around, or they may have found that they get too much stuff back just after the normal reversal period ends.

    Still, the big thing is what happens *after* the extension period is over. Some merchants who extend a lot are just being overcautious, and the stuff usually stays sold--and, you get paid. But occasionally there is one who will end up doing lots of reversing. If it turns out that they're reversal maniacs, that's when it's time to replace them.

  5. #5
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    Thanks guys.

    This isn't a large corporate type, so I'll just sit pat for a while and see what develops.

  6. #6
    web dev with whiskers tn-morgen's Avatar
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    I had an extension this month, too. Reading this thread helped to clarify what it might be about.

    With the merchant in question, I have little experience, since this is their first conversion, but the sale was in the "new" group for a while, now it's in the extended.

    Thanks!

  7. #7
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    If you've previously had sales from a particular merchant that were not extended and then all of a sudden you start seeing one or more sales extended, it's best to contact the merchant to ask them why the sale was extended because there are reasons for extending sales that can be unique to that merchant.

    For hotel bookings that are only commissionable if the hotel stay is used (not cancelled during the cancellation window), some travel suppliers show the commission at the time of booking while other travel suppliers do not show the commission until the stay has been completed. For those who show the commission at the time of booking for a stay that is weeks or months in the future, the commission will likely be extended because it really hasn't been earned yet. Doing it this way actually works in the affiliate's favor because CJ will allow the merchant to only extend for one month, so if the stay is more than a month away, you will earn a commission even if the booking is cancelled after the extension period but before the stay is due to occur. This is how Westin/Sheraton works. There are others as well.

    For other hotel suppliers, they don't even show the commission until after the stay has occurred (they show the original booking with $0.00 commission). This protects the hotel from ever paying a commission on cancelled bookings.

    So again, there may be unique reasons for extending sales depending on the merchant. Contact the merchant and ask them why your sale has been extended.

  8. #8
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    Is there anywhere that we can find explanation of terms in CJ's report? I've always confused by some terms such as advanced sale, sale action, extended sale and some detail terms. Tried to search on CJ's help section but couldn't find anywhere.

  9. #9
    Life is Supposed to be Fun! Rexanne's Avatar
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    Got an extended sale in my reports this month from a merchant who didn't automatically extend all sales (a lot do ... ) and questioned the AM - his reply was that they had to start extending all sales because of rogue affiliates in CJ who had been abusing the system and cheating them. Lovely, huh?

    I suggested they move their program to SAS so they wouldn't have these issues. heh heh heh
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    Rexanne

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  10. #10
    Affiliate Manager cbsturg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rexanne
    I suggested they move their program to SAS so they wouldn't have these issues. heh heh heh
    It's amazing that you can pay a lot less but still get so much more. It seems to fly in the face of everything I learned in Econ-110...
    Chris Sturgill
    "All my life I've had one dream, to achieve my many goals." - H. Simpson

  11. #11
    Verbosely Virtuous Mutt spacedog's Avatar
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    Everything the others in this thread have said is correct, and I'll add that if a company that previously had not extended transactions starts doing this, and especially if they are lead-based, you need to be concerned.

    You'll know they are a deadbeat merchant if, after the one-month extension period ends, and the "payout script period" ends (between the 12th and 17th or so of each month -- the period during which "locked" transactions move to "closed" and then drop into Current Balance) all of your Locked transactions from this particular merchant that were previously extended will be stuck in Locked status after the 17th or so of the month. All your other merchants' payments will show in Current Balance, while the deadbeat's will sit indefinitely in Locked. This is what is happening to me with Ameriquest right now.

    Unfortunately, since it takes more than a month after your commissions from a given month are initially generated to see that things are stuck in Locked status (after being extended), it means you probably don't know when to stop promoting that merchant until you've already given them weeks worth of traffic.

    This is especially painful if you're doing PPC, and/or if you just spent a lot of time and effort promoting this merchant while believing that there was nothing wrong. So pay careful attention to transactions in extended and locked status. Being vigilant may not save you from several weeks of promotion of a deadbeat (sadly), but it certainly will save you from months of frustration.

    Remember, CJ does not tell us as publishers what is going on with merchants that don't pay up. You have to keep track of this yourself. CJ feels it is up to the merchant to communicate with its affiliates. They don't seem to feel the need to tell us (unless we ask, as I found out today after a phone call to CJ's support) that a merchant is having trouble paying or has simply lost touch with them. This is one of my primary gripes with CJ. And yes, they often let this go on for months, especially with their bigger merchant partners like Ameriquest. CJ's support rep assured me that their Advertiser Department does everything it can to work with merchants to pay what they owe when they've fallen behind. But she also said they are very careful to exhaust all attempts before pulling the plug on a merchant's program. In my opinion, they let a lot of merchants get away with far too much before shutting them down.

  12. #12

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    I have 4 or 5 merchants that routinely extend transactions all the time. Just means they are paying out at 60 days basically.

    Though a few such as AmeriQuest is a sign there is something definitely wrong with their program.

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