Author Topic: My dashboard is bleeding sales  (Read 7527 times)  

Offline Patty Jansen

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My dashboard is bleeding sales
« on: July 14, 2018, 05:49:18 am »
They're just... vanishing. No returns, not nothing. The money is gone, too. These are not KU books.

I'm making screenshots like crazy, and will wait until tomorrow morning before sending stuff to see if they come back.

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    Offline 91831

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    Re: My dashboard is bleeding sales
    « Reply #1 on: July 14, 2018, 05:55:13 am »
    OMG, Patty! 
    I'm guessing you're not just talking about today's sales, but more before today?

    Offline Patty Jansen

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    Re: My dashboard is bleeding sales
    « Reply #2 on: July 14, 2018, 05:57:44 am »
    This month's sales. I keep losing them. Just now another one gone, most of them on a $9.99 box set that I spent some effort advertising on AMS. I have proof of some of the sales disappearing.

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    Re: My dashboard is bleeding sales
    « Reply #3 on: July 14, 2018, 05:58:08 am »
    I just ran here because the same thing is happening to me. No returns recorded. I've been downloading my reports over and over, trying to find out where they're going and it's like they never existed. :(

    Offline Patty Jansen

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    Re: My dashboard is bleeding sales
    « Reply #4 on: July 14, 2018, 05:59:36 am »
    I just ran here because the same thing is happening to me. No returns recorded. I've been downloading my reports over and over, trying to find out where they're going and it's like they never existed. :(

    THIS.

    I don't know what's happening. Over the past hour, I've lost close to $100 in sales. WHAT THE [expletive] AMAZON?

    Offline Wifey

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    Re: My dashboard is bleeding sales
    « Reply #5 on: July 14, 2018, 06:03:52 am »
    This happened to me last month. I lost 33 sales (for me that's a lot.) I have screen shots too. I've emailed Amazon 4 times.  They still can't tell me what happened.
    « Last Edit: July 14, 2018, 06:06:26 am by DebH »

    Offline Patty Jansen

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    Re: My dashboard is bleeding sales
    « Reply #6 on: July 14, 2018, 06:06:35 am »
    Oh, I have zero trust that they'll either resolve it or bring the sales back.

    Ironically, they're all titles I've advertised on AMS. Methinks I might ditch the AMS advertising.

    Offline Wifey

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    Re: My dashboard is bleeding sales
    « Reply #7 on: July 14, 2018, 06:13:27 am »
    Yes!!! I believe it has something to do with AMS. I had a bump for a new release on a first day of an ad. The next morning the ad was paused (not by me. I had to email them to get it running again.) Then most of the sales from that first day never made it to the MTD page. Two weeks later they vanished.

    Offline Patty Jansen

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    Re: My dashboard is bleeding sales
    « Reply #8 on: July 14, 2018, 06:21:08 am »
    So, not only does AMS fail to report properly, it reports phantom sales making us think the ads work, only to tell us later "hahaha, we were just joking."

    Seriously, I'm so DONE with this.

    Offline dianapersaud

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    Re: My dashboard is bleeding sales
    « Reply #9 on: July 14, 2018, 06:26:01 am »
    So, not only does AMS fail to report properly, it reports phantom sales making us think the ads work, only to tell us later "hahaha, we were just joking."

    Seriously, I'm so DONE with this.

    I'm sitting here wondering how in the world Amazon got to be so big and so successful when they appear to be so incompetent. It boggles my mind. It really does.

    My husband just read an article that said by the end of the year Amazon will have about 50% of the retail market. Not true since so many businesses sell through them BUT again--how are they this incompetent with something so simple as GATHERING DATA?

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    Offline Atlantisatheart

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    Re: My dashboard is bleeding sales
    « Reply #10 on: July 14, 2018, 06:27:06 am »
    Didn't someone on here say that AMS tracks clicks, not just yours but other authors? So, if someone buys their book after clicking your ad, does/is/has AMS been reporting that as a sale for us and then maybe something glitched and that got logged as a sale on our dash.

    I hope not.

    Offline Patty Jansen

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    Re: My dashboard is bleeding sales
    « Reply #11 on: July 14, 2018, 06:31:21 am »
    Didn't someone on here say that AMS tracks clicks, not just yours but other authors? So, if someone buys their book after clicking your ad, does/is/has AMS been reporting that as a sale for us and then maybe something glitched and that got logged as a sale on our dash.

    I hope not.

    No idea.

    All I know is three books are affected, all three were advertised through AMS.

    I had a Bookbub today. If it was some sort of random percentage thingie, you'd have thunk that some of those 1600-odd sales would have vanished, or sales of the other volumes in the series? NOPE. They were not advertised on AMS.

    Offline Escapee

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    Re: My dashboard is bleeding sales
    « Reply #12 on: July 14, 2018, 06:41:58 am »
    I don't use AMS and never have, but I noticed a drop in my CA sales on the dashboard. There aren't any returns recorded and no sign of why there has been a drop in money.

    Offline Patty Jansen

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    Re: My dashboard is bleeding sales
    « Reply #13 on: July 14, 2018, 06:46:06 am »
    Time to sound the KDP bat signal.

    I sent them a message. Unlike other sites, there is nowhere to attach a screenshot file. I should go to bed now.

    Mine are all in the US.

    Offline Used To Be BH

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    Re: My dashboard is bleeding sales
    « Reply #14 on: July 14, 2018, 06:48:01 am »
    It's possible that the problem is neither incompetent data gathering nor AMS ads. I don't have as many sales as Patty to begin with, so I'm not seeing the same kind of drop, but last month I did have something like seven sales disappear somewhere between the bar graph and the monthly sales table. This month that happened to a couple more, and then it happened this morning to three sales already recorded in the monthly sales total.

    The books affected in my account are in KU in some cases and not in others. They aren't consistently AMS ad books, either. Honestly, I'm not seeing a pattern with mine at all.

    Amazon may not care about us, but it does care about appearances. Disappearing sales are harder to explain away than disappearing pages read, so I doubt Amazon is doing that on purpose. A random glitch could be possible, but if it's happening this generally, it looks like something pretty big.

    This is my thought. I hasten to preface it by saying I'm just speculating. We know Amazon is doing some things to crack down on scammers. We know scammers make use of fake accounts that normally have fake credit card information. Could Amazon have found a better way to identify and investigate such accounts? And if so, might other fake accounts (not KU scammers but just traditional credit card frauds) have also been noticed faster than they would have been in the past? About the only thing that would make a sale disappear normally without a refund showing would be credit card fraud.

    I just reported to KDP. Everyone would the problem should do the same. Let's see if we can get a reasonable response.

    Why would credit card fraud accounts purchase ebooks? I don't know, but when I first put a book up on Smashwords, I was ecstatic to get five sales right away.  Then all five disappeared days later. When I asked about them, I was told they were purchases made with stolen credit cards. Five copies of one relatively obscure book get bought by a stolen card or cards more or less simultaneously? That sounds ridiculous, but that's what Smashwords said happened.
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    Offline Simon Haynes

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    Re: My dashboard is bleeding sales
    « Reply #15 on: July 14, 2018, 07:14:57 am »
    I have apps on Google Play Store, and around a quarter of the reported sales are refunded or declined (presumably due to fraud.)

    Unlike Amazon, they leave the 'sale + refund' in the reports, so you can see them all. They don't just vanish data.

    I sympathise, and I hope they can explain what happened. Better, hope they can reverse things so those sales reappear.


     

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    Offline GoneToWriterSanctum

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    Re: My dashboard is bleeding sales
    « Reply #16 on: July 14, 2018, 07:30:56 am »
    I don't consent
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    Offline GrahamCrackers

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    Re: My dashboard is bleeding sales
    « Reply #17 on: July 14, 2018, 07:31:12 am »
    Very sorry to hear this, it must be extremely frustrating and confusing to watch it happen in real time.

    I have apps on Google Play Store, and around a quarter of the reported sales are refunded or declined (presumably due to fraud.)

    Unlike Amazon, they leave the 'sale + refund' in the reports, so you can see them all. They don't just vanish data.

    I sympathise, and I hope they can explain what happened. Better, hope they can reverse things so those sales reappear.

    There's a definite benefit to following a more traditional accounting route. Been a long time since I had to do finance but we would always "contra" or explicitly state a refund on a line item when we had to enter in a negative. At the end of the day input versus output had to make sense and reconcile back to zero. If 10 books go out of the door, then you should be able to see the finances add up to 10 books coming in less any returns/adjustments. If anything, writing code that correctly shows account movements is in itself a form of self-audit and would quickly flag problems, a benefit for both Amazon and the author. Just because the item is digital doesn't mean it shouldn't be tracked correctly like any other type of product.

    Another guess though is that they have no financial incentive to show us explicit, reconcilable numbers.  :(

    Also, AMS keeps getting flagged as a potential problem. People who were being stripped of reads all seem to have it in common from the reading I have done on this board. I think you may be right to shut that down until they give you some reasonable explanation. Seems crazy that people are using it, adjusting their strats and spends on the results, and then watching later as they remove the data that led to the spending. Anyone else doing this would be called a scammer, so I hope they can explain what is going on, because it really isn't looking good right about now.

    ETA: Looks like they were glitching and money is showing back up.
    « Last Edit: July 14, 2018, 10:07:12 am by GrahamCrackers »

    Offline AltMe

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    Re: My dashboard is bleeding sales
    « Reply #18 on: July 14, 2018, 07:39:39 am »
    I had this happen at the end of March. But I couldn't prove it with their own files.

    For those affected, I suggest you download every file you can, several times a day, renaming each one for date and time.

    Only by comparison of Amazon's files will you be able to prove something is happening.

    The main problem is, Amazon overwrites its files all the time. So anything which vanishes, vanishes because the file was overwritten, not updated. And for that reason, Amazon people cant see anything untoward happening, because there is no log file, just an overwritten file.

    Collect enough version of the same files, and you might be able to convince someone there is a problem.


    Until then, forget about Amazon people being able to see a problem.

    BTW, I already tried screen prints from BookReport, and got the standard dont give a toss about 3rd party reports. You have to be able to prove their own files changed.
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    Offline Marti talbott

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    Re: My dashboard is bleeding sales
    « Reply #19 on: July 14, 2018, 08:02:05 am »
    Yep, I'm down 6 sales this morning from last night. None are AMS ad related so I can only assume the sales were credit card failures, although I thought those were approved before they showed up in the month-to-date.

    One look at the job openings for Amazon and we can see where their biggest problem is - they can't find qualified tech people. Maybe they don't pay enough to fill those positions? Don't know, but if they are short handed or having to replace the people who knew what was going on, that might be the problem.

    Personally, I think they try to incorporate new things too quickly, and that something new, screws up all the old stuff. I wouldn't want to be working there right now.
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    Offline Not any more

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    Re: My dashboard is bleeding sales
    « Reply #20 on: July 14, 2018, 08:04:54 am »
    Amazon posts a sale when the customer clicks on a book. When the payment clears, they post the royalty. If the credit card payment doesn't clear, they remove the sale. This is not considered a return. Therefore, until the money is posted, don't consider a sale as final. Not saying that's what's happening, and I've never seen it with a lot of books in a short period of time.
    This post remains on KBoards over my objections.

    Offline I'm a Little Teapot

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    Re: My dashboard is bleeding sales
    « Reply #21 on: July 14, 2018, 08:17:05 am »
    I don't know WTH is going on. I've gained about $40 for June and I've lost a few bucks for this month.


    ETA: I don't use AMS ads. I refuse to use them because I believe they're connected to all the shenanigans with page reads.

    ETA2: And while I was editing this post I lost another $9.
    « Last Edit: July 14, 2018, 08:24:02 am by SevenDays »

    Offline Some Random Guy

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    Re: My dashboard is bleeding sales
    « Reply #22 on: July 14, 2018, 08:22:37 am »
    Looks like I'm losing some blood too.  Thanks, Amazon!  I love you so much. :'(

    Offline Marti talbott

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    Re: My dashboard is bleeding sales
    « Reply #23 on: July 14, 2018, 08:28:32 am »
    I don't know WTH is going on. I've gained about $40 for June and I've lost a few bucks for this month.

    I noticed a small June increase too this morning. Maybe the problem has to do with the sales not registering in June and were instead carried over to July. Actually, the June increase in dollars matches the July decrease. If that's what their doing, then I'm happy. My June month-to-date and the units ordered were way off.
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    Offline I'm a Little Teapot

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    Re: My dashboard is bleeding sales
    « Reply #24 on: July 14, 2018, 08:31:51 am »
    I noticed a small June increase too this morning. Maybe the problem has to do with the sales not registering in June and were instead carried over to July. Actually, the June increase in dollars matches the July decrease. If that's what their doing, then I'm happy. My June month-to-date and the units ordered were way off.

    Hmm ... looks like that's what's happening here, too. Jeez, their lack of transparency drives me bananas.

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