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Of the merchants I have checked, it is set at 45 days. I don't know if the merchant can adjust this yet or not, but it looks like they (merchants) will have control.
This will really mix things up with CJ, unless they offer some kind of notification to affiliates, and time delay for merchants changing this.
This is discouraging.
Discussion here [webmasterworld.com] about problems with this setup at LinkShare.
I also noticed a new merchant who had a decent cookie expiration time, but there was a *note under the commission rate box stating the time would change to one day after the first week.
I did note one new merchant who set their expire time to 60 days, which is 15 more than CJ used to have as standard.
At least CJ is making it easy to spot the changes by merchants.
...another reason to login and check CJ system mail every day...
IMO, that is what this is all about. As an affiliate, you send a visitor to a merchant/advertiser. A large percentage of the "Action" in CPA doesn't take place until later. If you did not promote the program and explain it, offering your own opinion, many of those visitors would have never found that site/program. Cutting us out of the deal is just not acceptable to me.
I think 30 days is a reasonable figure, with 15 being a minimum. Any merchant that goes to 1 day will immediately feel the blade of my axe.
You're going to be doing a lot of choppin'.
I think the low duration ploy is particularly targeting webmasters that are less informed about affiliate networks.
Cookie nibbling, reducing the duration after the program is under way, is THE way CPA merchants can launch the program, get their links established, and then adjust the payout without making a significant change in the apparent face value of their offering. Kudos to CJ.
Being new to the affiliate game, I wasn't aware that the 45 day standard was previously fixed for CJ merchants. While the ability to reduce that reduces the protection of affiliates, it's bound to be a competitive issue in signing up merchants. CJ has raised the bar for merchants lately with increased setup fees and monthly minimums, and I can see how cookie duration would come into play. That said, I don't hold CJ accountable for the merchant's marketing decision.... that's between the individual merchant and the potential affiliate. I like the notification I get on payout changes and cookie duration should be a part of that.
I am a staunch advocate of laissez faire policies for the networks themselves -as long as I'm given ALL of the information necessary to make an informed decision. After that, wielding the axe is my business.
I have done this type of thing in the past, with little to no reponse. The merchants are usually fully aware of what they are doing, and the repercussions of such. I think they usually do it because they have so many affiliates not familiar with these type of tactics, and don't stay on top of the game, they (merchants) win out because of the changes that benefit them, and they lose only a few affiliates.
>I don't hold CJ accountable
Neither do I. I totally agree with your statements, you have to evaluate each merchant on their own merits.
I wasn't slamming CJ for this, this is a good move for merchants. Good for merchants usually means more available merchants, and more flexibility for all of us. Just clarifying the situation, I am totally fine with it since they notify us of changes. We just have to stay on top of the CJ mail system to stay informed of our merchants' status - commissions and cookie durations.