I like some afﬁliate programmes. We joined the Amazon one back in 1997 and remain on it. We joined Reporting.net or BeFree in the 1990s as well, and TradeDoubler just after the turn of the century.
Others have seemed a bit dodgy. We were spammed 21 times by Linkshare after leaving it as a merchant. I remember unsubscribing and writing cease-and-desist letters (that’s hard copy) and continuing to be spammed. It only stopped after I began contacting merchants. I’ve never rejoined. It’s just hard to forgive someone who ignores a lawyer’s letter.
Lucire had worked with numerous merchants, such as Steinmetz’s Ashford.com and Diamond.com, and Blueﬂy, for years at BeFree, but each one disappeared after Commission Junction bought out BeFree. Or, should I say, they went from BeFree to CJ: I imagine CJ must make the deal more tempting for them at the merchant end.
But here is a word of warning: read the CJ agreement before you join.
I don’t know if Ashford et al know, but every time CJ or a merchant using CJ contacts me, I stop at these clauses in the agreement:
(f) Dormant Accounts. If Publisher’s Account has not been credited with a valid, compensable Transaction that has not been Charged-back during any rolling, six consecutive calendar month period (“Dormant Account”), a dormant account fee at CJ’s then-current rate shall be applied to Publisher’s Account each calendar month that Publisher’s Account remains an open yet Dormant Account or until Your Account balance reaches a zero balance, at which time the Account shall become deactivated. Transactions will not be counted if the Transaction subsequently becomes a Charge-back.
(g) Negative Accounts. You may have a negative balance if Your Account is debited amounts equivalent to previous Payouts for Charge-backs and You do not have an adequate Account balance to cover the Charge-back amounts. When You have a negative balance, You must immediately remit payment to CJ in an amount sufﬁcient to bring Your Account to a zero balance, or Your Account is subject to 1.5% interest per month, compounded monthly.
I don’t know the motive to this other than simple proﬁt, because the cost to CJ for managing an account must be relatively tiny, and it is the only company, to my knowledge, that applies such a charge.
It’s too bad: Lucire’s original online edition still does reasonable trafﬁc and it’s been improving since a low point in mid-2006. But our American readers, who make up 40 to 45 per cent, won’t be able to indulge in CJ merchants through our site. I know we’re unlikely to trigger the charges, but you just never know.
CJ has not lied. It has been very clear that it will apply such a charge. I think it has done as a matter of policy, and has done so for a long, long time. But so many site owners will simply click ‘Accept’ without reading the agreement. There is still a collegial spirit in some parts of the internet, and I argue that such charges are unexpected.
In fact, each time someone tells me about CJ, I go back and read the agreement, thinking that no one would still be so nasty in 2007 and risk getting blogged about negatively. I believe that these charges are harmful to the programme’s brand.
Since I am in a position to be a merchant, I certainly won’t choose an afﬁliate programme that is likely to incur the wrath of independent online publishers—and a Google search suggests that there are some people who really dislike CJ.
Caveat emptor, I say. Posted by Jack Yan, 06:43
Thank you very much for your comments on my new blog this morning, they were much appreciated.
You're right about affiliates programs too. I love the amazon one, but have been a member of another for some time and they have never shown any credit at all to my account, even though I know of at least three sizable orders close relatives did through my site.
Some real con artists out there.
You’re welcome, Pete. I was really impressed with your vector illustrations—there’s precision, pop art and life all moulded into one. Thoroughly enjoyed them.Post a Comment
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