13596Re: amazon ps
- Jan 2, 2005
> << More than you wanted to know, I'm sure, but if it helps the Society geta
> few more commissions... 8-) >>in
> Wow! Whew! Thank you.
> I was only responsible for the second post, not the first one about
> hardcovers and paperbacks.
> I read what you pasted, but I still don't quite understand. So if I log
> to amazon w/o mythsoc link. put stuff in my basket, go out, and later goin
> thru mythsoc, does it get it or no? If I go in thru mythsoc, put stuff inWell, then, how about some more brain exercise--have to get you back in
> my cart, but check out another time and not thru mythsoc, then it doesn't?
> And that thing about two purchases on one login is especially interesting.
> I can't wait until school starts again. I think my brain is completely
> fried. Happy New Year, everyone.
> Elizabeth Apgar Triano
> amor vincit omnia
Warning that this entire post is about who gets credit for an Amazon
purchase; anyone not interested in that, _please_ skip to the next post!
And, especially because this stuff takes w-a-y more explaining than it's
probably worth, if anyone has more questions maybe they should be emailed to
me (or to whoever is in charge of the mythsoc associate program). I don't
imagine this is quite on-topic for the list, and a seemingly simple question
can have anything but a simple answer! 8-)
Also a big caveat here that I'm neither an attorney nor an Amazon
employee/spokesperson, but this is how I understand it. If someone spots
something they know is wrong, please post a correction or let me know!
I just re-read what I pasted, and I think I might contact Amazon suggesting
they change one word in the first paragraph. They use the word "purchases"
in a place where it seems they're talking about items being put into the
shopping cart. Whether they mean that or something else, "purchases" is
really ambiguous there.
But the answer to your question would be in the second paragraph:
"It is of course possible that a customer may arrive at Amazon.com via your
Associates link, add an item to his Shopping Cart, and then leave Amazon.com
without placing an order. As long as the item was added to the customer's
Shopping Cart during this 24-hour window, you will still earn a referral fee
if the order is placed before the Shopping Cart expires (usually after 90
So if someone enters Amazon through a mythsoc link, puts an item into his
shopping cart while still "tagged" with mythsoc's associate ID number (see
below), and comes back and purchases the item that's in the shopping cart
within "usually"?? 90 days, mythsoc would be credited _whether or not_ the
customer entered through mythsoc's link when he actually ordered it.
OTOH, if someone puts something into the shopping cart while _not_ "tagged"
with mythsoc's associate ID, mythsoc does not get credit for the sale, _even
if_ the customer enters through mythsoc's site when he actually orders it.
Maybe it would help to look at this from the POV of two associates--the one
JC uses to put something into his shopping cart, and the one he uses to
actually place the order. When we say "mythsoc doesn't get the credit,"
that's because a different associate is getting it--and vice versa. They're
both playing by the same rules. (The exception, of course, is when someone
doesn't use any affiliate link, but just browses directly to
http:www.amazon.com, in which case Amazon gets to keep all the money.)
One reason this is complicated is that we're looking at the system from an
angle it's not meant to address. The system doesn't consider the idea that a
_customer_ might be interested in who's getting the commission for a sale.
Amazon's careful to work things so that _associates_ are all treated the
same; the program would probably fall apart if they didn't.
I think another reason it's complicated is that Amazon seems to use its
usual tracking/cookie system to decide when a customer's session ends, and
if an associate link is involved that just becomes part of the system, as
opposed to setting up an entirely separate system for tracking associate
links; a separate system just for that would be more elegant, scientifically
speaking--you'd hope! So, for any of this to make sense, it helps to think
like a computer program (1/0, on/off, yes/no). There are no _people_
watching and saying, for example, "Oh, he entered through a different site,
so they don't get credit for this one." The computer simply flips things on
and off as it's been programmed to do. BTW, I have a feeling this whole
thing could get completely screwed up if a customer has cookies disabled.
Joe Customer goes to mythsoc, clicks on a mythsoc associate link to
Amazon--mythsoc ID is turned on.
JC shops at Amazon. Anything he puts into his cart while mythsoc ID is
turned on is "tagged" with the mythsoc ID.
ID tag is turned off if JC:
--leaves Amazon and re-enters through a different associate's link (because
the second associate's ID is turned on, and two ID tags can't be on at the
--actually places an order (because, according to the computer, that ends
JC's "session" and everything involving that "session" is turned off; this
one in particular I blame on Amazon's use of their generic tracking system).
--24 hours elapse (if the mythsoc ID is still "on" after 24 hours, the
computer turns it off).
But if an item was tagged with mythsoc's ID when it was placed into the
shopping cart, _that_ tag stays on (because the computer still sees it as
being connected with that "session"). The only time that would change is if
the shopping cart "expires," because that turns off every tag connected with
that shopping cart. (The equivalent of an employee at a "brick and mortar"
store seeing a shopping cart sitting for so long that it's assumed to be
abandoned, so he puts the stuff back on the shelves.) IMHO, the "usually"
90 days is in the agreement to cover any associate complaints if some factor
would happen to affect the 90-day length on a particular cart--again, it
doesn't address the idea that a _customer_ might want to know who's getting
So if JC enters Amazon through several different affiliates' links over a
90-day period, puts an item into his cart during each session, and then
actually orders the items all at the same time, each item would be credited
to a different affiliate, because the system will "look at" the ID tag on
BTW, pre-orders are treated like orders (that is, there's no 90-day limit),
_if_ the pre-order is actually placed, and the item isn't just put into the
shopping cart. If JC clicked on a mythsoc associate link, went to Amazon
today and pre-ordered HP6 (which isn't due to be released for 6-7 months),
mythsoc would get the commission on the sale _when_ and _if_the item
actually ships. If whoever's in charge of mythsoc's associate program checks
their statistics, they'll see that copy of HP6 sitting in their "ordered
items" file. If JC cancels the pre-order before the book ships, mythsoc
gets no commission. That's true with anything ordered from Amazon, though;
because Amazon doesn't charge JC's credit card until an item ships, mythsoc
isn't credited with the commission until then.
Now, if JC goes in through the mythsoc link, doesn't actually pre-order HP6
but just puts it into his shopping cart thinking he'll come back and
actually order it when it's released in 6-7 months--tough luck, because the
shopping cart will have expired. If he wants the book, he has to start all
over with putting it into his shopping cart, and whichever associate's ID
he's tagged with when he puts the "new" copy into the cart will get the
Are we having fun yet?? ;-)
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