II made my living exclusively as an affiliate and program owner so that I can see all sides of the “affiliate shaving” issue. Let me give you a quick inside scoop on how “shaving” works.
1. The default for affiliate codes is not to show anything appended to the link (www.mylink.com/?mylinkcode). By default, ehe JV ZOO affiliate system is solely relying on cookies. When you set up a product, there is a small checkbox for vendors to “enable linkcodes”, but it's small and hidden away. Meaning, if the sale went to someone who is restricting cookies on their browser or had tighter security settings. The sale goes “back to the house, ” and no credit is given the affiliate.
2. if the links are enabled (?mylinkcode) is an “override” to the cookie. If you are an affiliate, thus is the better option, but there is still a serious problem, and I will explain why in a bit.
In this scenario, both the cookie and the link code are both used. That way, if an affiliate lands a sale, the linkcode will override the cookie and credit will go to the affiliate that sent the traffic. That's more fair IMO.
The problem comes in at JV Zoo and (in my opinion) it's even worse on Clickbank. Both programs have primitive unencrypted link codes (Example: xxxjay or swF14). If one of the vendors (who is also an affiliate) decides he wants to pop some code into a WordpPress plug-in, a piece of software, toolbar or malware — it would be as easy as extend replacing “xxxjay” with “thieves” on Notepad.
By not encrypting, you are leaving yourself wide open to “cookie stuffing” which overrides both!
I am not trying to make any accusations but to make things worse both Clickbank and JV ZOO are written on proprietary platforms. That means anyone along the chain can tamper with the codes and go virtually unnoticed.
Say that some shady Russian programmer decided to open up an affiliate account and shave off a small amount of money (a la Office Space) it would be incredibly easy to do.
And of course in the worst scenario, the owners might decide they need a new Ferrari and turn up the “shave” and take .5 of the sales and put it in their pocket, it would be a shit ton of money and nobody would know!
I was beginning to think I was losing my touch as an affiliate until I started promoting products outside of Jv Zoo / Clickbank and started printing money virtually overnight.
“Shaving” is as old as time itself in the affiliate business. With vendors that are both in affiliates and merchants coupled with an affiliate tracking system coded in the Stone Age….
Hopefully, by now you can see the problem!