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If you want to try an individual program, dig around and ask other webmasters if they have been paid, and on time. I have been burned, and many others have, by many individual programs.
Sorry, I'm new to this. Thanks!
As for specific products, that's going to be hit-or-miss. Look at some of your competitors and watch for affiliate coding in the urls as you click. That will tip you off on some possible prospects.
I have only had one problem with a CJ merchant not paying. That was several months ago, and from what I understand, they now have tightened up with merchant payouts (I saw part of a contract that showed CJ would have some control over the account from which payment was drafted). I don't think this is a real problem with CJ anymore.
Instead of trying to find something to promote specifically, look around CJ and figure out what merchants they have that you can fit into your site. Keep your mind open and take your time when checking out the merchants, it takes a while to go through them.
I would like to add that just because one person will bid $1 does not prove the point.
That indiviual my be misguided.
If, on the other hand, there are multiple bidders all from the same affiliate that are bidding against eachother in terms of bids, title and description - then that makes for further investigation of that affiliate program.
It then might indicate that the sites convert and the affiliates get paid in a timely manner.
I'm in total agreement with you on that point. If you see the top 2 way outbid everyone else, chances are they have that cash cow generator (for goto) "take me to the top". If on the other hand there are a number of affiliates bidding in the same range, chances are there's gold in them there hills.