Every once in a while we are asked, “how can we prevent our affiliates from making purchases through their own affiliate links?”. Well, the answer in short is, you can’t. Not reliably anyways. Not with todays technology available to us. In theory, we could do things like IP blocking, issue cookies, etc. But, at the end of the day, technology is going to prevent us from truly blocking this sort of activity. A savvy enough affiliate can get around these types of things.
For years now, we’ve always encouraged affiliate managers to actually allow it. Since technology limitations prevent us from reliably stopping this activity, why not embrace and allow your affiliates to give themselves a commission for their own purchase? We have a Minimum Payout Balance feature that can help circumvent someone expecting to give themselves an instant “discount” by simply signing up for your affiliate program then making a purchase through their own marketing link.
Using this feature, you can require affiliates to earn a specified commission amount before becoming eligible for payout. So for instance, you might set this amount to something that should require the affiliate to generate 2-3 commissions before becoming eligible. This prevents a “one-off” commission from being payable. Your affiliates will need to either purchase more product themselves or do some regular marketing to earn more commissions for payout.
In the above example, you’ll see we’ve set a minimum payout balance of $100.00. This means, the affiliate will not be payable until the minimum $100.00 is earned. When you click on Pay Affiliates, you will only get a list of accounts that have met your minimum payout balance requirement. Accounts will simply roll over from month-to-month until met. Once met, they will appear in the list for payment.
Note: If you are using the Signup Bonus feature, any signup bonus outstanding on the affiliate account will NOT count towards the minimum payout balance. For instance, you require $100.00 and the affiliate has earned $85.00 plus he has a $25.00 signup bonus. That totals $110.00 but $25.00 is a signup bonus so the account is still not yet payable. The Minimum Payout Balance is calculated from “earned” commissions only.