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sneakydave asked ·

Affiliate replacement in URL question

I'm working on a forum app for eBay links in which it replaces links to eBay products in posts/messages with affiliate links to the forum owners account. I've done some research on this, and I almost have it working the way I want, but I'm curious about a couple of things. For instance, if I have a url like: http://www.ebay.co.uk/sch/CPUs-Processors-/164/i.html?_sop=12&_nkw=intel+i7+processor I can easily wrap that into an affiliate link through the ebay.rover subdomain URL with the necessary placement id, campaign id, and customid identifiers. My question is if this will work with affiliate links themselves? For instance, if a URL on a message post contains the rover.ebay.com. Can THAT url be the the ∓re query parameter in the new URL? Or do I need to take the rover subdomains, interrogate them, and replace the campaign id, customid, and placementid with my own values? Thanks ---------- After looking through some documentation, and testing the link generator, it appears that those affiliate links can still be used as a "new" affliiate link of a different program, but I just don't know if the new different program gets compensated for it, or if the "original" affiliate does.
affiliate.trackingid
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helios825 answered ·
These are some interesting questions you ask. While you may be able to "get away with" double rover hops, I wouldn't recommend it. Not only will it be unclear which affiliate get the commission (potentially it'll be the forum poster), but you're asking for trouble (like failed destination page resolution) by complicating it like that. I guess the scenario here is that the forum probably forbids users to post affiliate links, so if someone does violate that and post their own rover link, your software in handling general eBay link rewrites should also be able to rewrite that rover link to the forum owner's tracking instead. Ideally you'd parse the initial rover link itself to learn its final eBay destination, then build your own rover link with the owner's tracking code (campid). Resolving that final destination could be done by calling the original rover link itself and jumping through the hops to final URL and going with that. But that'll take time and resources, as well as create false clicks for the original poster, so I don't recommend it. If the rover link has an ∓re= parameter at the end, that's usually the eBay destination page itself, so you could grab that. But you should be able to do something simpler: Take the original rover link and simply replace the campid with the owner's campid. If you do go that route, also be sure to drop the pubid (it's optional), or replace that param too. There'll be some issues to attend to, like if the owner isn't accepted into all ePN programs/countries, and thus an incoming rotation/placement ID for such a country wouldn't track. Also, customid's would/should need to be addressed, etc. And there may also be users who enter an invalid rover link, perhaps intentionally to be a nuisance, or accidentally, if they paste things wrong, or the forum post editor tries to strip out javascript or otherwise mangles the rover link.
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helios825 answered ·
Correct, not all rover links use the ∓re= param. Those that do are intended for a specific/custom eBay destination URL. The affiliate might've specified it in ePN's Link Generator, or I think even the eBay API returns those kinds of rover links. Rover links without mpre are the kind you can generate in Link Generator for specific ItemID#s or Stores or eBay homepages, stuff like that. BTW, I have seen and used some seemingly-functional examples of using a rotation ID for eBay US, but the mpre= landing page might be on eBay UK or another eBay country-site. I haven't tested this kind of cross-tracking/landing extensively, but it seems to work in terms of both proper destination as well as intended tracking/crediting. This may help you if you're replacing rotation/placement IDs to sync ePN program acceptance, or if you expect users to want to land on 1 eBay country-site, but are expected to complete their purchase on another (like Canadian users who like to go right to eBay.com instead of eBay.ca).
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sneakydave answered ·

Thanks, that's what I thought, something like ... 1) If it's a rover url, find the mpre url, decode it, and build my own rover link from that. or 2) If there is no mpre id, then replace the campaign id, publisher id (if it exists), and also the placement id (country id) of the rover link with my own values.

Is there always an mpre id on rover URL's? ---- Edit: I guess there isn't always an mpre with a rover url, so for those, I'm better off just replacing the campaign id in the rover url, rather than rebuild it with mine with the decoded mpreg tag. Thanks
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