Why Flipkart Affiliate Program Cannot be trusted, and why I will never use it again.







Flipkart-Affiliate-Program-with-it-

Update: June 7th 2014 1600 IST.
Yesterday night at around 11PM Mr Manmeet Singh (Channel lead, Affiliate Program) called me and tried to explain there is no fraud and they are not trying to fleece the affiliates. And in between mentioned that it is a common occurrence and they cancel thousands of order everyday. The reports and cancelation details he sent me seemed genuine.This can not happen as I mentioned below why this can rarely happen. This got me thinking I looked deep into the issue andturns out it is not a case of fraud but, a case of carelessness and sloppy code from their developers. According to their terms, affiliate cookie should be unset when the first sale is made from our link. But they don’t unset it when the sale is made.

So when Moto E was launched, orders were being cancelled automatically for lot of users and every time there tried to order it again, it was counted as a new sale and  credited to our account.

It is not acceptable for a company with this high reputation and size to produce sloppy code like this. This is only one case we found, there could be several such bugs resulting from their sloppy code. A friend of mine uncovered another issue, I can not make it public at this time but will update the post when the time comes.

When there are lot of attacks happening on high profile sites like linked in, ebay, and the vulnerabilities that are discovered everyday, there is no place for sloppy code like this, definitely not on huge sites like flipkart. I might even reconsider shopping on flipkart leave alone being an affiliate. This might seem like I’m blowing this out of proportion, but wait till my friends findings are made public.

They sent me an excel sheet with details about the cancelled orders, and I asked for some further information and offered to remove the post if they bring transparency.

new-0

Their response

new

Things to note here

  • First two users COD verification failed, only they should explain why the orders were credited to my account when verification failed.
  • No issues with the third.
  • The last user is an old friend, we prepared for JEE together in 2004 and haven’t been in touch all these days. I talked to him about it today and he told me that his orders were cancelled every time he tried to order one, so he ended ordering 10times, and was successfully able to order it the following day. A lead I sent them purchased the product even after their failure the first 10 times, yet I haven’t been credited for the sale.

If this is the level of commitment they have towards their affiliates, why should anyone use them?

Here is the proof of my findings. This is my first screencast with voice over, so thanks for bearing with my voice, and the ummmsss.

On 13th May I was casually scrolling to my Facebook feed on my mobile and suddenly a post caught my attention. It was about Moto E, which was being launched the following day exclusively by Flipkart. I thought it was good opportunity to test and play with Facebook ads. I quickly jumped of my bed to get on my Mac, and created an ad and posted in the pages I own and on my own time line.

I posted the ad before the launch as the cookie life time was 24 hours, and posting the ad 12 hours before would increase the reach of the ad by the time it really mattered.

Here are the promoted posts/ads

Flipkarts ad on TechBU's fan page, see the reach, shares, likes.
Flipkarts ad on TechBU‘s fan page, see the reach, shares, likes.
Same performance on TheGeekDaily fan page to.
Same performance on TheGeekDaily fan page to.
One more
One more
This one was quite popular, more than 15 people copied this status. With their own affiliate link ofcourse.
This one was quite popular, more than 15 people copied this status. With their own affiliate link ofcourse.

12 Sales I made on day 1As a result of these campaigns, I was able to sell couple of units with in hour of the launch. The final tally before I went to bed that day around 3AM was 12 units sold with a commission of rs 3359.52. This is little less than I spent on the ads, I did not care. I was just happy that my first paid affiliate campaign worked and did not fall flat like a dud.

Everything was good so far until this happened.
I woke up at around 9AM the following day, and the first thing I did was to check the flipkart affiliate earnings. Flipkart affiliates even made it to my bookmarks toolbar yesterday. I was expecting around 25 sales based on how the campaign was doing. I was shocked to see only 3 sales. I immediately mailed their affiliate support and here is how it went.

1

2

3

For this they said that the orders were cancelled by the orders management team. Thing to note here

Their order management team works at night, cool.

We affiliates spend, money, time, and our precious resources to send them leads, instead of doing everything in their power to convert that lead into a sale, they kill the leads.

4

5

For this they give me BS, standard answer which doesn’t, say, convey or prove anything.

6

From here on I was passed as a ball between their order management team and the affiliate team, they did not talk anything that would make sense until I threatened them saying I would write a blog post about the whole incident.

7

My email to their order management team.

8

And their order management team asks me to contact their affiliate team, f*** joke.

9

This is when I replied them strongly and threaded to write a blog post

10

This is when they started moving their @$$$

11

If they could not handle the demand why ask us to promote it at all. This not their first exclusive launch, they launched Moto G before this. They should have estimated the demand beforehand.

Then we wouldn’t have invested our time, money and effort in promoting it.

12

Flipkart asking Affiliates to promote Moto E
Flipkart asking Affiliates to promote Moto E

Then this new guy comes into picture, I have to explain him everything. Doesn’t seem to have a clue about the issue at hand or how their affiliate system works.

Ask’s me to provide the order ID’s, how they fuck am I going to get them? He keeps asking the same on the phone.

For those who don’t know, flipkarts affiliate reporting sucks. They do not give any useful data, its highly in their favour to alter reports rig data. Forget getting the order ID’s

13

14

15

This is where it gets interesting, and where they take affiliates for fools. Read on to find out what he says is pure BS.

16

Later, on discussion about this on phone he told me that the orders were made from 2 account. This is why what he said is BS, and why I decided to stop reasoning with them and write this blog post instead.

My last email to them.
My last email to them.
  • Initially they said that the orders were cancelled as they could not meet the demand. If what they were saying is true, they would have said that the orders were from the same account in the first email itself with out waiting my time.
  • Not just me, lot of people in Facebook friends list reported the same when I posted about this.
  • For what they are saying to be true there are two cases
    1. The product is bought in a single bulk order.
    2. The user bought the phone from my link, cleared his cache, then went back to flipkart and through my affiliate link and bought the product again.
    This did not happen just once or twice, but six times. To add cake on top of the cake, it wasn’t just one but two users who did this.

If one had happened, then the order wouldn’t have been reordered as only one sale according to their terms.

  1. If in a particular transaction, the customer buys 3 quantities of product ‘A’ and 2 quantities of product ‘B’ the total number of items is 2.

  2. If the same product ‘A’ is ordered by the customer in 2 different orders, number of items would be 2.

A single person ordering a product through my affiliate link even twice is highly unlikely, as according to their terms of services, and FAQ, my cookie will expire as soon as the user places the order.

Flipkart-Affiliate-TermsFor someone to buy a product even twice form my affiliate link all the planets and moons in our solar system should come in a straight line. Leave alone ordering 6, that to by two people.

I won’t say I love flipkart, but I don’t hate them either. I’m happy to see a Indian startup reach such heights.
But things like this shouldn’t happen, companies shouldn’t take affiliates for granted we help them build their business. A message has to be sent, they won’t get a free pass out of things like this.

If you have been scammed by Flipkart affiliate program, raise your voice, share your story in comments, share this article. Show them they can not get away with things like these.

PS: To be fair to them, I mailed them about the article and offered to publish their side of the story if they want to.

Like a boss !!

Other cases of Flipkart fraud

http://winappleworld.com/flipkart-fraud-pricing-stunned/

Please up vote on reddit
http://www.reddit.com/r/india/comments/27hy28/flipkart_affiliate_program_is_a_fraud/

73 Replies to “Why Flipkart Affiliate Program Cannot be trusted, and why I will never use it again.”

  1. I always had a doubt on them. Me and my friend got so many clicks on our blogs on the flipkart affiliated urls we created. We hardly got any sales, it was decided by me and him to stop using this fraudulent companies crap affiliate system.

  2. I’m just thinking of moving to affiliate program in my niche with flipkart and this post made me to think otherwise. You have all valid points here

  3. That’s ridiculous from the Flipkart side. I didn’t expect this. Goign by the proofs and facts you have presented, I am tempted to search for any alternative.

  4. nice job bringing this up in open forum… with amazon.in spreading its wings in INDIA, flipkart should be more careful than ever and not try to fool the users..

  5. They even cancelled 30% of my orders. I am still exchanging emails with them, lets see if they do something or else I will also end up writing something similar, very soon.

  6. I also faced same problem on the day of launching Moto e i Selled three mobiles after 1 day i seen my earning reports its showing and they said they are cancelled because of out of stack for that why they need like us they fooling and making money from affliate its really a worst Affliate one

  7. this is ridiculous. i was also planning to give a hands on flipkart affiliates but this post changed my mind. satish, you are absolutely right about their affiliate portal. it is not such transplant for affiliates and marketers.

  8. I am not into Affiliate marketing but I made my first sale promoting moto e, and was surprised to see the commission I earned, set to 0.
    “Order Management Team Cancelled the order” was the only reply I got from affiliate team.

  9. I dont Know why did you to go for Flipkart in first place. Amazon is the only solution when it comes to AM. They do the best job in world and support is superb.

    I cant talk about flipkart as I never ever been a flipkart affiliate. But…if the above story is true then it proves that my decision was right to keep myself away from them and its shame for a very well reputed company.

    They even don’t understood whats going on through your mails…..:-)

  10. Flipart Is a fucking Shit i dont know why people using it . I have never seen a simple good coupon in this site. Ebay is best ever.Flikart is no1 today becuz foolish indians buy wht they seen on tv ads. I never used flipkart affilate .and in future no plan and will say to all peoples in touch not to use.

  11. Well, I never realized something like this can take place, so never monitored anything. It seems now I need to evaluate things for sure.

    1. Even I do not check my flipkart account at all. I only did this time as I was trying a new mode of promotion.
      It would become a lot trustworthy if they could send an email whenever a sale is made through our link.
      This won’t be a resource hogger, and will take less than hour to code and above all they do not have to change their underlying architecture.

  12. Flipkart should use some bots instead of employing cs executives if they want to reply with these kind of answers. And this is not the first time we are hearing there cheating with the affiliates.
    Its time to move on to amazon with trusted and proven affiliate system.

  13. Hello Satish sir, I have just started with affiliate programs and this post is really an eye opener, but I would like to mention here that “Cannot” is a single word and a biggie like you can’t do such a mistake in title of the post.

  14. Satish,

    Let me think this way. Ecommerce websites are there to sell products and earn money right? So we affiliates got the sales..(it’s not leads) sales comes by valid purchases. So who the hell on earth cancel the potential customers if there is less inventory? Maybe they can update the customers about the delay of orders.

    So that is the something so creppy part to cut off the commissions..I never expected this kind of things from a company who want to be number 1 ecommerce company in india.

    Very unhappy and amazon just rocks in every thing.

    1. That is exactly my point. As an affiliate we are doing our part and sending them leads, and its their f**** responsibility to do everything in their power to convert those leads into sales. Instead they are killing sales.
      Why should we spend our time, resources and money when they do not value our efforts.

      If it hurts them so much to pay the affiliates, why have it in the first place.

  15. Buddy, I ordered a philips trimmer from Flipkart, that has 2 parts missing. Customer care didn’t respond properly. Luckily I got Amazon for my next 4 orders. So far so good with Amazon. Flipkart sucks.

  16. I think this would be the biggest reason why flipkart would loose sales from affiliate. All affiliate should stop using flipkart, so it’s product sale would be automatically gets down and they would soon start loosing business over Indian shopping websites.

    Amazon india is the best as per my views, because they actually pays. In my case, snapdeal is also not paying commission on time, saying you would receive within 7 days but it has been around 5 times 7 days gone but nothing was happened.

    I think Indian affiliate programs sucks and all are fraud like flipkart.

    1. Yes Bhavesh
      I’m agree with you.
      All bloggers and internet Marketers should create an union. Not to promote flipkart products.
      It will automatically degrade their business as well brands.
      This is the best example that Why “India is able to create a brand like Google, Amazon or Alibaba”.
      Greedy people. :/
      Regards
      Akshay Makadiya

  17. WTF.. If brand like Flipkart can do this with us, then whom we will trust. looks like all indian companies are doing this kind frauds.
    Even we have to rely on their tracking system where they have full control to modify the records. It sucks.
    Feeling very sorry for the incident happened with you. 🙁

  18. They do cheat sometimes. Whatever, leaving apart this incident…I have already moved out of flipkart affiliate program due to their revised commissions which is offering just 1% – 3% maximum on electronic gadgets. Thats very low compared to the previous commission rates.

  19. I am just getting started with Flipkart affiliate program and made a couple of sales, around 6 Moto E, in the past 4-5 days. After reading this post, I’m not quite sure if I should spend time and effort in this program. If Flipkart promises to play fair, I will be happy to help build their business. And, a word to you Satish, let go of the past. You did a great job, but Flipkart played the bad guy. You will be successful with something different soon. 🙂

  20. Hi Satish,

    As discussed, we are very sorry to hear about the below incident and your experience with Flipkart Affiliate Program listed on your blog. Firstly, we would like to offer our sincere apology for the delayed response in communicating the specific reason for each order cancellation (total of 11 Moto E orders) in your affiliate account’s Cancelled Order Report.

    As a responsible affiliate program with thousands of enlisted affiliate partners who trust us, we endeavor to reply to each affiliate query/ email in the best possible way, but sometimes our efforts may fall short of the expectations of our esteemed affiliate partners (as in this case).

    Pls find below our inputs for the Cancelled Order Report of your affiliate account for 14-May-2014:-
    • Out of a total 15 Moto E orders (on 14-May), 11 Moto E orders are showing in the ‘Cancelled Order Report’. In the affiliate account’s Order Reports, Cancelled Orders are those which have been cancelled or returned as per our order management system (it can be cancelled either by the customer or by Flipkart CS team due to various reasons). In such cases, as no sale has happened, Affiliate system disqualifies affiliate commissions automatically for all such cancelled or returned orders.
    • From the attached excel, it shows that all the 11 Moto E orders are cancelled by CS team due to various reasons. Mostly the reason is Bulk Order/ Fraud Alert for 9 of the cancelled/ returned Moto E orders: 6 by one person with email id rammy*****@*****.com and 3 by another person with email id vdsavaliya***@*****.com . Balance 2 orders were cancelled by CS due to ‘Order disapproved for COD call verification fail’. Flipkart pays to its affiliates for eligible orders only after the 30-day replacement period is over; any cancelled or returned orders are not eligible for commissions.

    Affiliate commissions for these 11 Moto E orders cannot be approved as they are cancelled (COD verification failed or Bulk order/ Fraud alert). Such cases have happened with many other affiliate partners too due to bulk booking of Moto E on the launch day (14th May) by customers from their affiliate ids and our CS/ Fraud Detection team identified such orders (through affiliate channel or otherwise) & cancelled them on the same/ next day.

    Hope the above helps to resolve your queries. It is never our intention to scam/ fleece any of our affiliate partners. It has always been our endeavor to provide the best of services & features to our affiliate partners and we are always open to learning and taking constructive criticism & feedback from our affiliate partners to make Flipkart Affiliate Program better.

    Let us know in case you are still not satisfied with the above response. Our program head will be glad to call you at a time/ day convenient to you for any further clarifications that you may require. Our sincerest apologies once again for the inconvenienced faced by you.

    Thanks & Regards,
    Flipkart Affiliate Team.

    1. When i referred my friend to one of my newly design website. i saw few sale not showing in my affiliate login.
      My friends bought Mi 4, still no conversion nor order showing in the latest list.

      Is this Flip kart Scam still on ?

  21. Glad to see Flipkart took the initiative to reply here, but seems like the story changed from the getgo… I’d much rather use a network like CJ, LS, SAS or the like to promote///

    Pretty awesome that you took the time to record the entire transaction….

  22. Hi,

    I was thinking to promote affiliate links of Flipkart but suddenly I landed on your blog post through Facebook. Flipkart really sucks. They have no respect for affiliate promoters they have respect only for money. That’s why Google also have less trust on Indian sites. Amazon is a best affiliate program.

    Thanks for all the information in detail brother..

    ~Gagan Masoun

  23. satish your are really great, probably now a days Flipkart is the no 1 shooing website in India, that is the reason they really dont care about us. I believe we should go with Amazon Affiliate Program.

  24. Flipkart is right here . You are just over-reacting to your loss and not even understanding their reply . FK ban the buyer accounts if they feel he/she a reseller (by checking buying history or bulk purchases) . Moto E is not available offline . so some might have thought to hoard it and sell at premium 😉 . That’s why the orders were cancelled .

    And for those Amazon lovers 🙂 – FK affiliate is far-far better than Amazon India’s . I am using both since they were launched in India . You will see this when you will compare the sales from both of them . Amazon’s affiliate algos are BS . In my experience they count around 25-30% of genuine sales .

    FK has decreased the affiliate rates considerably and I think these will decrease more with time . So earn while you can and happy affiliating 😉

    PS: I am talking mainly about gadget sales .

  25. Really an excellent and elaborate job by Satish.

    Great!!

    I am also facing the same problem with an affiliate link of Flipkart. When the orders were of low value, everything was working fine. But, when I convinced some of my friends to buy laptops from my affiliate link the orders started to get cancelled by ‘itself’.

    I don’t think with these types of cheap, insensitive mentality Flipkart can climb the ladder of success further. A complete lack of transparency.

  26. Interesting article. I do have a website which refers leads to flipkart (only for books). After reading your article, I checked my affiliate traffic report and stunned.

    Though there are regular referrals to flipkart from my site, the conversion rate became 0% from Dec 2013 onwards. For the past 8 months, out of the thousands of leads from my website, no one bought anything from flipkart. Very hard to believe. I dont promote my website. The traffic is organic by word of mouth and via social networks.

    I sent them an email. Lets see if they respond at all.

  27. Has anyone received their flipkart affiliate payment for the month of June 2014? Usually the payments are dispatched well before the 15th of the month so payments for June must be made before the 15th of August, however, I haven’t received the payment as yet this time and they are not replying to any of my emails.

    Their affiliate support is really terrible.

  28. Flipkart should change their affiliate management system, it should be robust and trustful like Amazon etc. Time to learn for Flipkart from Amazon. Thanks for writing the post because many of us just ignore such type of incidents.

    1. flipkart is not having robust affiliate management system like amazon. they are just using the hard work of the affiliate partners.

    1. its strategy to save the money from affiliate accounts.
      Question2: is flipkart is doing only wasting the time of the part time working users.???
      Question3: is it totally waste of time and money????
      Question4: Flipkart is not tracking the affiliate links????

  29. Hi Satish,

    A very detailed and a good post. I have signed up with flipkart affiliate program recently and promoting some of their products already on my technology blog http://www.DigitalShangrila.com .

    After reading your post I don’t think I will be using flipkart affiliate program until I have no alternative for a product I want to promote.

    Thank you for sharing this!!

  30. I made sales worth 3lakhs on flipkart in the last 3 days, from which I earned an affiliate income more than 5000.
    Surprisingly almost all the high returning sales were cancelled by flipkart.
    Today my account has only 800-900 income in affiliate, and I have lost around 4000+ in my affiliate income in the last 3 days.

    1. yes, same situation i am facing..they cancelled the afiliate money and right now i stopped my website and shutdown for the same.

  31. Bro , why don’t you take some serious action by lodging a complaint E-commerce Frauds ?
    Maybe cybercrime ?
    Coz it is possible now , and i read a article of where a fellow filed a complaint on google ad-sense and got his earnings back through court.

  32. My affiliate account says 2800 visits and only 1 sale !! I was thinking something wrong from my side. Now I understand the fraud they are doing. I am right away stopping Flipkart Affiliate Marketing

  33. same as i am facing the problem with flipkart.
    example: my user bought the moto x play mobile on 11th February, 2016 via my affiliate link on website. i tracked all links on my website and got 600 clicks on the affiliate links???
    Question1: is its possible then conversion rate will be 0%.????
    Question2: is flipkart is doing only wasting the time of the part time working users.???
    Question3: is it totally waste of time and money????
    Question4: Flipkart is not tracking the affiliate links????

    So that i promised myself that i can’t continue work on flipkart and also i am not having spare time to flipkart.

    Bye bye flipkart…you really sucks the hard work of the affiliaters

  34. OMG, i have http://www.sscbooks.co.in site and all paid book link go to FLIPKART. my site is 5 day old and have a lot of traffic. if flipkart is doing these type of things then i decide to remove flipkart affiliate prog and i will join amazon affiliate. i am waiting for order report today. more than 200 people click on paid book link daily and i got only 2 purchase???
    ok
    my site contains only free and paid books. if a user click on paid link instead of free pdf link then it is 80% chance that he want to purchase hard copy.
    so guys i am waiting for today’s report and if i smell somthing bad then i will switch my account to AMAZON

  35. I have given them almost 150 fresh installs every day they are showing revenue but at the end of month they makes your balance 0. According to them installs are low quality this is really cheat and this affiliate program just using developers to get some install and they are not paying anything to them and just used to say low quality downloads.

    Strongly not recommended.

  36. This is the most detailed post i have seen which is related to ‘flipkart affiliate work’.
    I totally agree with you that flipkart may be cheating on their affiliates.
    Even i have seen sudden decrease in earnings and when i checked it shows ‘Item returned or cancelled by user’.
    Though it’s possible that people have cancelled their order but sometimes it was high as 40% and personally i believe that’s not possible.

    When i started with this program i was earning on an average of Rs. 60,000 per month.
    But later on my income suddenly decreases as it showed lots and lots of cancellations/return orders.

    One more issue which i face was their payments system – as they never release payment on time. I have to keep reminding them about the payment.

    but in the last i have received all of them..

    Anyways!
    Keep up the awesome work.

  37. I just signed up to flipkart affiliate and was going to scan a photocopy of my pan card and cancelled cheque as per their requirements. Found your post while searching for some flipkart affiliate answers. Now I am hesitant to join their affiliate network. Maybe I’ll try snapdeal or just stick only with amazon for now.

    Thanks for the post. Really, the big vendors like flipkart have no right to play with affiliates time and money. And they shouldn’t get a free pass with bad intentions. Think boycot 😀

  38. Another case of FRAUDULENT activities by Flipkart. If you remember there was one Citibank combo offer during Jan 2017 on Apple products i.e. if you buy Iphone 7 and Macbook Air from Flipkart as one order, you will get Rs22500 cashback. Now they are denying cashback straightaway.
    I have tweeted some pics of offer and Flipkart’s replies here: “https://twitter.com/ansh_rox/status/860110917920534528”

    Retweet if you consider this as fraud.

  39. Its an absolute fraud, do not use the affiliate program.

    I work on an only marketing agency, we started to generate lots on traffic to Flipkart, thousands of orders and more than 160,000 Rupee in a few weeks.

    Couple weeks later I noticed none of the affiliate fees get approved. after numerous emails to the support they accused me on making all these orders myself under my affiliate ID,
    so I basically purchased around 1,000,000 to each from the affiliate. although I showed them all traffic sources are legit and these are different people (of course they can see that them selves as all orders are from different users and payment methods)

    This is absorbed, they just cancelled and rejected 99% of the orders.

    Beware, its a Hugh scam.

    J

  40. Flipkart executive spoke to me today and said pan card details were given is wrong.may I ask how can it possible I ordered as pramod Kumar Mahto my name on pancard is pramod kumar mahto father name is vasudev Mahto all details are genuine.i am sick of your excuses it’s been already a more than a week and no resolution. Please help me out asap.I have ordered the Nike NSW SOCCER Sneakers
    from flipkart with order id OD110053779482901000 worth rs.3189.
    My alternate cell. 8850301087

  41. I earned Rs. 800+ on Flipkart Affiliate. But after some days, they were not verified my account and suspend my affiliate account. Now! I am unable to login. No one is replying from Flipkart affiliate team.
    They are playing scam. I don’t recommend to go with Flipkart affiliate.

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