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  1. #1
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    Question What causes $0 sale/commissions?
    Over the weekend I came across a transaction which was a $0 sale, $0 commission. The AM says it happens occasionally, he's sure it happens on the buyer's end when they do something.

    As a web architect myself I'm not so sure. You add a product to your cart. The product has a price. You check out your cart and when you pay you aren't asked how much you'd like to pay, it totals the cost of the items in your cart from the prices stored in the database. Otherwise, if you're passing the prices by querystring then, whoooeee, you're in deep trouble... And if someone attempts to buy a non-existent product, then even so why did a transaction occur? Etc., etc. I hate when the wheels start grinding like this...

    Anyone else have any insights? Is this a glitch/bug that needs a support ticket? Is it a red flag? How often does it happen to you?

  2. #2
    Visual Artist & ABW Ambassador lostdeviant's Avatar
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    It could happen if the merchant has a promotion of buy one get a coupon for free whatever. You get the sale and weeks later the same person uses the coupon for 100% off the other item.

  3. #3
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    Hrm, that's plausible. I don't think the merchant has been offering such coupons, but I should ask.

    But then wouldn't the AM know this and have provided that very explanation when I asked? "Oh, the buyer used the xxx coupon from one of your past sales" instead of "that happens occasionally, it's something the user is doing on their end."

  4. #4
    ABW Ambassador 2busy's Avatar
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    I had a couple, the AM told me that those were test purchases they made with my ID in the URI. Check in your Activity Details though because I have another two from different merchants that told me the commission isn't shown in my account until all chance of reversal has passed. Keeps neater stats I guess.

  5. #5
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    If they don't pay commission until the sale is for sure delivered and not returned, it should show up as a pending sale. Some do it for 60 days on higher ticket big items, but even though it isn't paid for the 60 days it shows the sale made and pending and the date when it will lock.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2busy
    I had a couple, the AM told me that those were test purchases they made with my ID in the URI. Check in your Activity Details though because I have another two from different merchants that told me the commission isn't shown in my account until all chance of reversal has passed. Keeps neater stats I guess.
    In my case the merchant didn't say they were test purchases when I asked. I've had a few of those too, but they're usually non-$0 and they're immediately voided with the reason "Testing" or some such. I actually like seeing those, they make me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

    Also, as Marcia said, you're referring to pending transactions which show up as non-zero commissions in activity details but with a "Pending" status and a "lock date". I've got plenty of those and this isn't one of them.

  7. #7
    Visual Artist & ABW Ambassador lostdeviant's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr_C
    Hrm, that's plausible. I don't think the merchant has been offering such coupons, but I should ask.

    But then wouldn't the AM know this and have provided that very explanation when I asked? "Oh, the buyer used the xxx coupon from one of your past sales" instead of "that happens occasionally, it's something the user is doing on their end."
    Yes, I'd expect the AM to be able to look up the sale by its ID and tell me what it was (promotion, etc.). No, I don't think a site visitor could cause it to appear as an error.

    If the AM couldn't figure it out, I'd have serious doubts about that merchant's sales tracking.

  8. #8
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    One way (there are other ways too) this could happen is also if a customer uses gift cards .. Some merchants do not commission the sales paid by redeeming the gift cards. Some don't pay sales commission on gift cards itself etc. Typically, a merchant pays commission on only one side of the transaction involving a "gift card" ..

  9. #9
    Newbie Rolet's Avatar
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    also it can occur when someone "revisits" their sales confirmation page, like hitting the refresh button or book marking it

  10. #10
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    Why am I seeing $0.00 transactions?
    Two scenarios:

    (1) I've seen situations during (pre-launch) testing, where the programmer used the exact same sequence for purchases and for users who just sign up for a newsletter, so that it's treated as a zero-dollar "purchase" and reported as a zero-dollar transaction in an affiliate report.

    (2) Some merchants actually offer "products" that consumers must place in a shopping card and "purchase" for $0.00. "Computer Scrapbook" is a good example: they offer some free downloadables. When I placed a "test order" for one of these, it showed up in my ShareASale stats as a $0.00 transaction. (I just checked and found that out of the 19 transactions reported for that merchant, 18 are $0.00 transactions.)

    Last edited by markwelch; January 8th, 2008 at 08:50 AM.

  11. #11
    ABW Ambassador 2busy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marcia
    If they don't pay commission until the sale is for sure delivered and not returned, it should show up as a pending sale. Some do it for 60 days on higher ticket big items, but even though it isn't paid for the 60 days it shows the sale made and pending and the date when it will lock.
    You are right, I had to dig around to find it. The sale showed on the Today's Stats report but no commission. There is more information on the Activity Details report that's why I mentioned he might want to check there.

  12. #12
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    Wow, lots of ideas and insights, proving the value of the forum once again. Thank you everyone.

    I'm liking Mark's second theory that it could be a freebie added to the cart. I don't see anything on the site offered for free but that doesn't mean it isn't there. The merchant sells language software so I wonder if there's a post-purchase link to supplemental course material.

    I'll have to ask the AM about this later. I'll keep everyone posted if the mystery is solved or deepened.

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