Improving Your Results
Avoiding Fraud in Sales Programs
By Rob Wood
Wed, 9 Nov 2005, 20:24:00

The sad fact is that the internet is one of the realms where fraudsters seem to haunt. However, with a little planning and research at the beginning, most Merchants are more than well enough equipped to minimize and even eradicate fraud from their affiliate program. This tutorial will take you through a few of the things that you can do to avoid fraud in your sales programs.

In Affiliate Marketing, there are a couple of program types that are relatively secure from fraud. They are the %sale model and the per sale model. Luckily these two program types also seem to be clixGalore's biggest strength! If you already have a %Sale or per sale program then there are a few things you can do to make it almost airtight from fraud. If you don't have one of these types of programs and fraud is a big concern for you then these are the programs types you should be looking at!

The reason that these program types are so secure is that a sale must be made in your online store prior to commission being paid to the Affiliate. There are no obvious ways for most fraudsters to attack this system unless they have a stolen credit card (which is something that should raise alarms with your credit card gateway provider). If you have a secure payment gateway provider then there should be no reason that you cannot eradicate 99% of fraud (some Merchants have managed to go for the whole programs without losing money to a single case of fraud).

There are two parts of your clixGalore account that you can use to make it even more difficult for fraudsters to attack your program.

The first thing to do is manually approve all sales. That way you can compare the orders your receive through your own payment gateway with the notifications of orders that were placed through Affiliates at clixGalore. If one of your orders is fraudulant at your end, you can also ensure that the Affiliate is not paid a commission on that order by simply declining the order when you log into clixGalore. Sale programs can set up this option by logging in and going to "Program Maintenance" > "Edit Merchant Program / Banners" and then clicking on the name of the program. On the next page there is a check-box which allows you to set auto-approval of sales. This should be unchecked! Doing this will usually eradicate the vast majority of fraud from your Affiliate Sales campaign.

Set Your program to automatically approve or decline sales.

To really clamp down on fraud, some sales program Merchants also elect to manually vet their Affiliates. While this usually isn't necessary for most Merchants (as the amount of fraud stopped with this method alone is probably not great) it may be something you could consiuder if you want to eliminate the most possible fraud. By manually vetting each Affiliate application you can ensure that each Affiliate you approve is reputable and has a method of marketing that you would be happy to allow (The level of vetting is really up to the individual Merchant). To set the system to allow you to vet Affiliates manually just go to "Program Maintenance" > " Edit Merchant Programs / Banners" and click on the name of the program. Then on the next page is a checkbox that allows you to auto-approve Affiliate applications. This shoudl be unchecked.

You can automatically approve Affiliate requests or do it manually.

If you follow these two procedures in addition to having a reliable payment processing gateway providor then it would be within the realms of possibility for a Merchant to totally eradicate fraud from their program. With only a small amount of planning and a little extra work it is often worthwhile

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