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13596Re: amazon ps

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  • tghsaw
    Jan 2, 2005
      > << More than you wanted to know, I'm sure, but if it helps the Society get
      > few more commissions... 8-) >>
      > 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 go
      > thru mythsoc, does it get it or no? If I go in thru mythsoc, put stuff 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.
      > Lizzie
      > Elizabeth Apgar Triano
      > lizziewriter@...
      > amor vincit omnia
      > www.lizziewriter.com
      > www.danburymineralogicalsociety.org
      > >

      Well, then, how about some more brain exercise--have to get you back in
      shape! ;-)

      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
      same time).
      --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
      the commission.

      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
      each item.

      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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