Recently I have seen a lot of posts in forums and blogs questioning trust with their affiliate company. Be it tracking or shaving statistics. I have a simple question for you all.


By Jeremy Schoemaker

Jeremy "ShoeMoney" Schoemaker is the founder & CEO of ShoeMoney Media Group, and to date has sold 6 companies and done over 10 million in affiliate revenue. In 2013 Jeremy released his #1 International Best selling Autobiography titled "Nothing's Changed But My Change" - The ShoeMoney Story. You can read more about Jeremy on his wikipedia page here.

87 thoughts on “Do You Trust Your Affililate Company?”
  1. I’ve been fairly lucky when trying out some of the smaller affiliate companies. PrimaryAds and AffiliateFuel are some of the smaller guys i’ve tried out over the years and i’ve had success with them.

  2. Im sure like any industry you will have the odd “bad egg” but I think you really need to put some faith in the networks as without us they have no business.

  3. I agree with Bandoni, there is a self-regulatory mechanism on the market, people that are not trustworthy will get burned sooner or later

  4. I should probably elaborate further on this point.

    One of my favorite affiliate companies had a merchant offer that was having technical issues and their site wasn’t resolving (bare in mind this was an issue with the merchant and not the affiliate companies fault). They eventually resolved the problem, but my account manager actually looked at what the average conversion I was having for that particular offer was in the past and credited me based on the number of clicks I drove during the downtime. I’ve never had an affiliate company go that far to compensate me for lost revenue. That in and of itself speaks volumes on their behalf and as long as they stay that way, they’ll always have me as a publisher. Their eagerness to please went a long way with me.

    You still can look at other factors, like your own experience. If an identical offer works well with another network and you try it out with someone else because they have a higher payout, but the conversion sucks compared to what you are used too, you can be sure something is up. Keeping an eye on stats and sometimes just going with your gut can go a long way in helping you weed out the good from the bad.

    Often times, having an open dialogue with your account rep will really help you out with affiliate companies. You’d be surprised what you can get when you bring something to their attention.

  5. I just don’t see many of these companies becoming transparent enough to ever really let us see what’s going on. No backup data for us.

  6. I trust Azoogle more than I trust CJ, because I’ve heard about CJ reversing a lot of leads. CJ seems a lot more “corporate” than Azoogle, which seems to be a lot more laid back.

  7. No I don’t trust my affiliate company, they seem to be in some unethical marketing, why wouldn’t they be unethical to me?

  8. Do I trust them not to cheat? Yeah, pretty much. Do I trust them to be totally competent? Not so much. I trust very few people to be totally competent.

    I’ll give you an example. I had one advertiser pay me $991 through CJ last month. When they reported stats to me directly, though, that number should have been well over $1,000. Is that CJ shaving, or one of them screwing up the stats somewhere along the way? I’m inclined to think the latter, but maybe I’m forcing myself to do that so I don’t become paranoid that everyone’s out to cheat me.

  9. You have no choice but to trust them. Unless of course you start your own network or deal directly with merchants. I’d like to think that any company doing stat shaving, which is illegal and called stealing, would eventually get caught and go to out of business or to jail.

  10. If you are doing business with them you have to trust them. I think companies as wholes you can trust them… More times i worry about the affiliates managers than the actual company. I think if you can gain a real trust with your AM then the trust for the company follows. As some companies i quit promoting just because the AM i had seemed to fishy with the questions they were asking etc..

  11. If you don’t trust your affiliate, why are you using them? A lot of vendors use multiple affiliate programs and so you should go with one that you trust. For those that don’t have multiple aff programs, I suppose you are at mercy of the program but you should use your own analytics to figure out if you’re being hosed.

  12. I recently experience this too, the site was having some redirect issues as a result of their servers crashing but they just extrapolated how much I would’ve gotten based on the month before and paid that out as compensation. That’s pretty good!

  13. I ever believe! And almost all the time we get disapointed!
    We used included to believe in Google´s AdSense, but now…

  14. Good point. Maybe it’s better than getting nothing sometimes. I’d definitely start shifting my eggs to a new basket though.

  15. There really isn’t a Yes or No answer to this.

    You may trust but still be suspicious because you only have but so much control. To give an absolute “Yes” would suggest you know for a fact everything is on the up and up. Affiliates only have so much control.

  16. I’m sure there are some affiliates that try to rip us off, but I figure these are the type of companies that aren’t going to last long.

  17. even they provide the report , i still not 100% trust them though. Because they can just manipulate the data, and we as the user wont know anyway.

  18. My favorite affiliate program is AffiliateFuture. They are really good in my eyes, no bad experiences. Some affiliates in the past have had fishy charge backs and such.

  19. It is better than nothing but apply to all the programs even if you don’t need it at the moment because you never know when:
    1) an aff might intentionally screw you
    2) an aff might go under

    If they’re honest, they won’t screw you but they could always crumble under their own incompetence so you need some redundancy built in.

  20. Ive used CJ for some time now and have not had any problems with them but ive heard some shady things. Has anyone had a bad experience with them?

  21. Search around, there are a lot of ugly war stories about them not paying out and claiming the vendor was late on payments even when the vendor showed they were current.

  22. I was going to say the same thing. At the end of the day they will always look after their own interests before yours.

  23. Agreed. CJ doesn’t have the best reputation, but fortunately I’ve yet to see their ugly side.

  24. I don’t believe that the majority of people who voted actually believe that they cannot trust thier affiliate programs or networks. If this were the case then they would’nt be promoting them. I think people see a controversial subject to be voted upon and want to drum up drama where there normally would be none. In other words, I think the majority of the people that voted that they don’t trust thier programs are full of shit.

  25. I’ve heard the same things about CJ, but haven’t had any trouble thus far. Of course, they could be robbing me blind by not reporting conversions, but… I have no reason to think that they are, so I’m giving them the benefit of the doubt. Besides, they’re not a very big income stream for me.

  26. If their interests are parrelel with yours then you “COULD” trust them, afterall affiliate companies need affiliates to profit 😉

  27. EXACTLY! I couldn’t have said it better.

    Without affiliates they are nothing so you’d HOPE they have both interests (the same) in mind.

  28. CJ is known to scrub so be careful.

    I’ve yet to have any “fantastic” results with CJ, but maybe I’m just not trying hard enough.

  29. I don’t think it’s worth the trouble for affiliate companies to scam affiliates, even if they were ethically-challenged enough to do it. Plus, all it takes is one disgruntled employee to leak the info to completely tank the business.

  30. I trust mine and was shocked when I was credited leads when a campaign went down for a day even though it was redirected to a lower converting one and I was still making money.

    I didn’t expect it and was confused when I couldn’t figure out where these leads come from until I read my email. 🙂

  31. You can put some faith in them, but you better not put all your eggs in one boat, or you’re risk will be rather high.

  32. Any large business that’s dependent on technology is also dependent on the weaknesses of technology. As the saying goes there are lies, damm lies and statistics. Regarding CJ shaving – I’m sure yes, there’d be a commercial incentive to – although all affiliate businesses largely create their own rules based on their business model.

    Yes they do have to comply with the relevant laws, but most affiliates (unless the amounts are meaningful) will not look behind the statistics. Most people automatically assume what they see in writing if it’s almost true (eg $991 instead of $1001 won’t be noticed) but say $9.91 instead of $991 will. It depends on the order of magnitude of the error really.

    Things like Javascript, cookies etc – don’t have total 100% adoption rates. Even Javascript + non-javascript image tracking tags don’t cover 100% of users – what about the % that disabled javascript + the display of images (slow connections, the blind etc). Ultimately though affiliate businesses do change, but often the pace of change is hampered somewhat by their size.


    Commission Junction member on the publisher side since 1999

  33. i not very sure about this..But at first i will try..It’s free.if doesn’t had come as the way the company said,then i will go away..

  34. Just to clarify my vote. I TRUST the ones I work with now… there are plenty I DID NOT TRUST over the years… and hence they were dropped like a bad habit.

    I’ve always preached this… work hard to find those diamonds in the rough affiliates that you do trust. The ones that you can count on to work with you and not against you. Once you find those few gems, build those relationships and grow your businesses together.

    I’ll admit most of our successful partnerships are with smaller programs…

  35. “I TRUST the ones I work with now…”

    That’s a good distinction to make, and gets back to the point that if you don’t trust them, why are you still working with them?

  36. Shockingly, it is a case of almost a break even! Anyway, I am not surprised. IF you do not trust a party, just avoid doing business with them altogether. Mutual trust has to be built, especially in terms of following the conditions laid out between both parties in the first place.

  37. I agree I think TOO many people believe and trust in Google Adsense blindly. It hurts especially when you are close to payment or doing well and then they send you an email saying “we have detected fraudulent clicks” – how? Because the advertiser didn’t make any money on their shitty landing page?

  38. I trust mine, but there’s many that I don’t. The current one I’m using even paid back some revokes when they got nothing. They helped me and other affiliates take a loss at their own expense.

  39. > Do You Trust Your Affiliate Company?

    I think this is too broad. I have different levels of trust for different types of “affiliate companies”.

    I don’t think affiliate networks (CJ, LinkShare, Performics, etc.), cpa networks (Azoogle, PrimaryAds, etc), big indie programs (Amazon), small indie programs, etc. should be lumped together.

  40. I wanted to ask a broad question 😉 At first I started doing a big writeup but then I thought it would skew the results.

  41. I agree completely… but all in all how transparent are any of the affiliate companies, they want us to be total transparent but most wont be totally trasnparent with us so it takes a little bit of a balancing act and gaining trust over time. I am sure there are some people that trust company A while another person would touch that company because they got burned by them and so on.

  42. ShoeMoney! Why don’t you come up with a poll with a list of the popular affiliate companies out there so people can cast their vote for the best one, this way we can get an idea of what people really think of these companies…?

  43. I trust all the affiliates that I use, I only use about 4 different ones, but the ones that I do use are simply great

  44. Azoogle has always paid on time for me, never missed a payment, and when there was a problem it was fixed that day. So yes i trust them.

  45. You should publish the writeup a few days from now… I’d like to hear your opinion on it.

  46. So how do you think it would break down if these groups were separated out?

  47. Sorry – late night typing in the UK – should have qualified that. I’ll only use an affiliate that I already have a relationship with (i.e. purchased product from), that has been recommended by someone I trust or is recommended indirectly on sites that I trust.

  48. I voted yes… largely because it didn’t help if I didn’t trust them anyway. As long as they send me money, I’m A-OK.

  49. I’ve worked with for over a month now and I can honestly say that they’re the most reliable network I’ve done business with. Just like they said they would, they started giving me weekly payments and I think they’re going to be big in the not too distant future. Plus their affiliate managers you can get a hold of like ALL day.

  50. I won’t trust an affiliate until I’ve received at least 3 payments on time, especially so if it’s an unknown in the market. With a company like Google it’s different.

  51. Has anyone else noticed variances between MyBlogLog’s stat tracker (off-site clicks) for their Adsense ads and what Google is reporting? If so, how far off are you seeing? Yesterday Google only acknowledged 25% of the Adsense clicks that MBL claimed to have occurred.

  52. I’m pretty sure that if you posted the poll in the opposite way (first yes and then no) we would have a different result

  53. There is a time delay between Google’s tracking and MyBlogLog’s tracking. Since Google is on the west coast, it will continue to track clicks until 3 AM EST while MBL tracks until 12 AM. So, there are 3 hours worth of clicks that will appear on the wrong day.

  54. There have been times when I’ve felt like the tracking was flawed. Actually I know it has. And the company did nothing about it. They did however pay on time every week, but I got in the high X,XXX each day, and no matter how much I ramped up my volume, at the end of the day it slowed. I decided to switch to a different affiliate for the last few hours of the day, to see if it did drop off or not, and it did not.

    The fact that they paid on time, and were gracious at other times, made me turn my head. Things have seemed fine since.

  55. I checked by to give catchup time for any delay, but that made no difference. Google continues to report only a fraction of what MBL says is happening.

    So this isn’t happening to anyone else?

  56. We do what we can to keep an eye on traffic, and sales, but with any web based application/software package, their are going to be errors, resulting in loss of sale.

  57. I get a couple hundred clicks per day and the variance between MBL and Google was less than ten clicks which would be expected.

  58. Agreed. The only reason I’m a member of any of my affiliate sites is because of recommendations.

  59. […] getting credit for leads which I am generating. There was a post on Shoemoney’s blog about whether or not you trust your affiliate company. I usually do trust them, but lately I […]

  60. I have a network into me for over $50,000 USD and refuses to pay.

    Some are great, others are run by losers.

  61. Jeremy, are using Democracy Poll for the research? Careful with that, some older versions of the plugin could mess around with your database. The newest version should be fine though.

  62. I voted no, I know that a lot of companies are out there for their interest not ours.

  63. Maybe I still trust them because I’m a small fry in the ad world. If I ever start making real money I’m sure my views will change.

  64. […] – Most people do not trust Affiliate companies to pay out. In a recent poll conducted here of 730 people 58% voted they did not trust their affiliate company. I think this is due to a lack […]

  65. At least there are forums like this blog where the worst offenders soon get called out.

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