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  1. #1
    ABW Founder Haiko de Poel, Jr.'s Avatar
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    All,

    How would you feel if the merchant you promote, overwrote your affiliate set cookies?

    [eg. If someone went to the merchant's site, within your cookie duration, via a regular SE link (eg google [non adwords listing] and your existing affiliate cookie was OVERWRITTEN by the merchant DIRECTLY? ]

    How long would you represent such merchant,if at all?

    <font size="2" face="Verdana">Haiko


    The secret of success is constancy of purpose. ~ Disraeli
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  2. #2
    ABW Ambassador FFoc's Avatar
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    Hot Rock.

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  3. #3
    ABW Ambassador DesignerWiz's Avatar
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    Wow Haiko,

    If that happened to me and I had solid proof of this ... instant axe!

    I would not give the merchant the opportunity to try to wiggle out of this issue with a song & dance explanation of....

    "whooopppssss .. something was accidently set wrong on the panel, or some other lame a$$ excuse .. please give me your affiliate ID# and I'll be sure to credit you .. so sorry."

    Ray Thomas
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  4. #4
    Defender of Truth, Justice and the Affiliate Way
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    I would have to say....how is that any different than the parasites?

    Keep Your Hands Off My Cookies

  5. #5
    ABW Ambassador
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    What if it was a banner ad campaign they purchased? Same deal or is search engine traffic sacred?

    That is not to be flip, I do think there is a difference in traffic and would not be happy to see the search engine scenario, but for some reason would have less of an issue with the banner scenario.

    Chet

  6. #6
    ABW Ambassador buy_online's Avatar
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    Is this just a "what-if," or are we going to end up with a big surprise?

    I vote for big surprise.

    Somehow, it wouldn't surprise me in the least that one, or some merchants would do this - would make me angry too.

    Fred

    "Those who deny freedom to others, deserve it not for themselves; and, under a just God, can not long retain it." Abraham Lincoln

  7. #7
    ABW Ambassador DesignerWiz's Avatar
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> I would have to say....how is that any different than the parasites? <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
    It's truly a sad situation if the parasite is the actual merchant themselves!

    Bad enough affiliates have so many hurtles to jump over to make a small check and to top it off the merchant cut's you out in a variety of ways like reversals and now through their own parasite methods.

    Ray Thomas
    DesignerWiz.com CEO
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  8. #8
    pph Expert! Gordon's Avatar
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> I would have to say....how is that any different than the parasites? <HR></BLOCKQUOTE><BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> It's truly a sad situation if the parasite is the actual merchant themselves!
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE> I do agree with the above statements but I would think if indeed it is happening this way then the merchants concerned are worse than the parasite.

    Travel safe
    Gordon
    YouTrek

  9. #9
    ABW Ambassador mousejockey's Avatar
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    Drop them like a Hot Potato...what gives Haiko?

    "I haven't failed, I've just found 10,000 reasons why it doesn't work"
    Thomas Edison

  10. #10
    ABW Ambassador Sam Bay's Avatar
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    I'd say "hold your horses, everyone".

    If the click that is coming from advertiser's non-affiliate advertisement efforts, I think it's reasonable. We get our cookies written by non-parasitic affiliates everyday. It's not a lot different than that, in actuality.

    As in Haiko's example, the visitor comes from and SE link. Let's say merchant has spent $30,000 to optimize their websites and get free traffic. If they keep paying affiliates for the free traffic they get from SEs, they'd be double-paying for the same commissions.

    On the other hand, if the visitor is writing in the URL, re-visitin the affiliate site, accessing it from bookmarks, then owerwriting would not be fair.

  11. #11
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    Much of the job that a good affiliate does is etch the merchant's name into the mind of our site's visitor ("branding"). If it was not, then why would there be cookies to insure that we get credit for referrals within a reasonable time frame? Many customers do not buy on the first visit. They shop around and come back later.

    So if a previous visitor to my site remembers Overstock.com, for example, as a result of my promotional efforts, I damned sure should get credit for the referral. Even if it is a click on an SE link. Many people (maybe most, on AOL at least) dont know how to type a url into the address bar; they enter it as a search.

    -----------------------------

    Hell wasn't big enough so I had to come back.

  12. #12
    ABW Ambassador Sam Bay's Avatar
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Deelzebub:
    Much of the job that a good affiliate does is etch the merchant's name into the mind of our site's visitor ("branding").<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Unfortunately, we do not get paid properly for the "branding" we help the merchants get. DoubleClick does.

  13. #13
    ABW Ambassador
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> How long would you represent such merchant,if at all?
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Long enough to document enough evidence to serve papers with confidence

    -----------------------------

    Hell wasn't big enough so I had to come back.

  14. #14
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    lol deelz.

    While think I know what is coming, here are my thoughts.

    If it's a straight SE listing (ie, not purchased by the merchant) the sale should still be the affiliates. Purchased by merchant listing includes promotions such as adwords (google & partner sites), sponsored listings (overture & partner sites) etc

    Although there is also the arguement if the merchant has paid to increase S.E. rankings (ie. SEO service/ad copy etc). While it's a free click, a price has been paid to optimise the site etc.

    I'm for the affiliate getting the sale, but see this is going to raise some issues.

    Pete

  15. #15
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    I don't like it at all. It appears I just recently lost credit on a significant sale where I made a purchase and it never tracked.

    After an investigation and discussion with the AM, it turns out that an email from the merchant from the middle of last year (that I have never seen much less clicked on got credit for my sale). During our discussion it became apparent that the merchant emails are overwriting my cookie.

    It's hard enough to get a valid cookie duration as is and this is just another undermining of it in my mind. Lets see - I place an order, the merchants follows up with order confirmation or it's shipped along with an "ad" in the email and if clicked on - my cookie is destroyed.

    I'm speculating my case is the same merchant you are refering to Haiko.

  16. #16
    ABW Ambassador
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    Because of what DeelZ said and the idiot AOL'ers and others who don't know the difference between Search and Location, I'd be upset if this was SOP for a merchant. But I wouldn't be surprised. And aren't some SE monetizing the links anyway?

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  17. #17
    Super Sh!t Stirrer SSanf's Avatar
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    OK, this sounds pretty bad. Come on, drop the other shoe. More details.

    If this is indeed nefarious activity, I think we should run the merchant out of town on a rail.

    The Wolf Credo: Respect the elders. Teach the young. Cooperate with the pack. Play when you can. Hunt when you must. Rest in between. Share your affections. Voice your feelings. Leave your mark.

  18. #18
    ABW Ambassador Akiva's Avatar
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    Just some food for fodder.

    #1 Cookies can only be overwritten from the issuing domain name, unless the merchant employs an ActiveX plugin, or something to the tune of what the parasites are doing, in order to overwrite the cookie.

    #2 Batch reporting merchant's can easily do this, as the tracking cookie is written by their domain.

    I'm clean

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  19. #19
    Defender of Truth, Justice and the Affiliate Way
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    If the merchant is stating they have anything but a 0 day cookie, then for me this is a problem. And happypoon's example is just as bad, if not even worse.

    I suppose that it is a merchant's right to use such a practice. For both their free and paid SE listings. However, it becomes a matter of transparency and providing affiliates with accurate information regarding the specifics of their program so that affiliates can make an informed decision on whether or not they wish to participate in the program under those conditions. If a merchant is proclaiming "we will pay you x% on any visitor from your site that returns in x days and makes a purchase" and practices this type of cookie management, then they are misleading their affilates in their TOS, which is a contract between the merchant and affiliate. That is not good.

    Akiva, there are many different ways merchants implement their affiliate programs. This practice would be very easy to implement from any merchant that issues the cookie from their domain, aside from just merchant's that batch. However many merchant's do batch, because they don't report commissions until the product is actually shipped. Also there are more and more merchants running independent programs. Even within the CJ system, I've seen merchant's that issue their own cookie along with the one from CJ...not all these merchant's necessarily batch. If they are issuing their own cookie also, I think this could be done. All they would have to do is start hitting the reversal buttun on the 10th using any of the many reasons provided to them. But glad to hear you run a clean program.

    Keep Your Hands Off My Cookies

  20. #20
    ABW Veteran Student Heyder's Avatar
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    This one all comes down to opinions and contractual agreements for the affiliate program.

    What I've understood so far was that I set a cookie and get credit if they come back for a purchase by typing in the merchants url into their address bar. Even though this is likely not going to happen since most will go to a search engine and type in the merchants name.

    The specifics probably haven't ever been addressed before so I wouldn't condemn the merchant for it just yet.

    On second thought does this merchant want their affiliates to make money like so many of them claim? I want a merchant that wants to help me make money. If they don't want to help me make money maybe they shouldn't have an affiliate program.

  21. #21
    ABW Ambassador JJJay's Avatar
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    So are you gonna let us know who is doing it. If not whats the point of this thread???

  22. #22
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> How would you feel if the merchant you promote, overwrote your affiliate set cookies? <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>I have to just add that I think most DO indeed do this, as well as the networks themselves. Send your visitors through any cookie-related link and it will be overwritten in any way possible by them. Send through CJ or Linkshare and you'll see how qwik qksrv serves them only. Of course, I cannot prove that any merchant or network does this [at this time] but it sure has passed through my mind since '96 on countless occassions.

    Haiko . . . please spilleth the beans~!

    Brian
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    If you're not living on the edge, you're taking up too much room~!

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