Friday 5 November 2010

How To Track Sales In Squidoo: I'm seeing points but no royalties!

If you sell something through one of the Squidoo sales modules,you earn a commission. The new points system now notifies you when you make a sale. But now people are starting to complain that they aren't seeing any money on their dashboard!

This hasn't actually changed from the way it always was. Sales show up in the Royalties tab in the stats pages for the individual lenses as soon as eBay or Amazon (the only reporting modules right now) notify Squidoo. So usually within a day or two (but not always).

Now you get a pop-up, points and a direct link to the sale page as soon as Squidoo gets this information. Previously, a lot people just didn't check the Royalties page very much, and so never noticed that the sales arrived there first.

I'm writing this up as a blog post because a) it's getting repetitive b) it's a fairly short article and c) Squidoo is having lens editing problems so I can't make a new one and I don't want to wait half an hour ^_^

If you're new enough not to know how the Amazon royalties work, there's probably a few other things you don't know yet. Please, please read this Squidu forum post: A Quick Guide for Newbies: The basics of actually getting paid on Squidoo

But When Does The Money Show Up?
The actual pending royalty shows up on the My Lenses tab when the item has shipped safely. Amazon usually ships and updates within a week, but eBay only sends the royalty amounts once a month [eBay pays out on the 25th of the following month].

This is because it's much easier to just not pay anyone for an order that gets cancelled than it is to tell you you're getting paid, then try and revoke it.

If it gets returned later - well, this is why it takes so long to actually get your hands on your commissions. Amazon gives buyers 45 days to change their minds (and Squidoo rounds this up to roughly two months to fit it into the normal pay schedule). But at this point you would have seen the pending money.

Another point to remember is that it is an estimate and a very conservative one. Squidoo doesn't want to over-promise the royalty you will receive, and the Squidoo-Amazon pay out varies, depending on how many items Squidoo sold in a month (and whether it made it into the top 8.5% tier - 4.25% for you).

Note: You can now check the accurate royalty in the Earnings tab of a lens - it's listed in a lump sum for each day (i.e. item 1 and 2 ship on the same day and are added together, item 3 is the next day), but is the correct amount.

Possible variations/glitches: Two copies of the same book were ordered from the same lens on the same day. I only got one notification/ set of points, so this may be a (rare) source of confusion.

So in summary:

  1. You get points as soon as Squidoo knows about the sale, which is generally two days later for Amazon.
  2. The listing also appears in the royalties tab of the lens at the same time
  3. You don't see the pending royalties until Amazon or eBay updates them
  4. Amazon updates two days after the item is safely shipped, eBay updates two months later, right before you get paid. The Amazon dashboard update is once a day - usually in the evening in New Zealand (for me).
  5. The pending Amazon royalties are usually an underestimate until Amazon actually pays Squidoo
  6. The eBay earnings cannot be calculated by Squidoo, because eBay uses a strange click-value payout
Weird bugs that can and have occurred with Amazon and eBay royalties:

1. Disappearing eBay Royalties in the second half of 2010. eBay sales were disappearing about a month later off the royalties tab. This was a display bug, and the money still got paid out.

If your sale has vanished, it has not been returned, it just isn't displaying properly. A returned item will have [RETURNED] on it (this goes for Amazon as well).
eBay sales, including one returned item

2. Mystery Amazon Sales in the same timeframe. Certain lenses aren't recording what they actually sold, they just have mystery money appear on the dashboard. These sales are valid, and the right amount of money is paid out (I ordered something myself to test), but it is very frustrating not knowing what you are selling. Submit a bug report.
There was a mass disappearance just before Christmas 2010, but this was promptly fixed, so now November sales onward show fine. However, I still don't have my September or October sales on the originally problematic lenses.

3. Mystery Money
I've seen two further mystery money situations - one mine, one someone else's - which are extremely unusual.
The first was a WIP lens getting assigned someone else's Amazon ID (they deleted their lens, apparently, just as someone bought something) and ending up with a nice commission.

The second was several months of money appearing - but it was a glitch, and they were seeing the sales from someone else's lens (similar to the first case, actually, except that they were not actually getting this money). As I recall, Squidoo let them have the royalty money anyway, because of the terrible disappointment.

What to do if you aren't seeing money or having other problems
1. Wait, as there's an inbuilt delay of up to a week with even very normal Amazon sales.

2. Check what you sold - is it weird, are there second-hand/non-Amazon sellers, is it not yet released? It's very possible that they bought it cheap second-hand, pre-ordered it, there was a one-day discount, or it's a complicated item to ship - or even that they ordered it with several other items, and the entire delivery is waiting on one item. Or perhaps everything is shipping separately, so you haven't seen all the royalties yet.

3. Check WHERE you sold it - if you get a notification via Squidoo, then it's on Squidoo's associate account and will not appear in your own Amazon Associate account. If there's nothing on Squidoo, and it has appeared in your own Amazon Associate account then Squidoo has nothing to do with it.

4. If it has been a month or more, and you can't see a reason why it wouldn't work, then you can try asking in the SquidU forums to see if there's anything you missed or if other people are having problems.

5. Submit a bug report as this is the only way Squidoo will officially know about it. The more different reports the better, as they prioritise them by the number of people affected.

More about the points:
Monsters and Points: Squidoo Just Got Fun

More about making money on Squidoo:
Top 10 ways to make money on Squidoo
A Quick Guide for Newbies: The basics of actually getting paid on Squidoo


  1. Hi Flynn - this is a good summary of how the process works. Here some additional points that I've figured out.

    1. Sales appear on Squidoo exactly two days after the customer has ordered them. So, and item purchased on the 15th, it will appear on the 17th.

    2. If the item shipped on the same day it was ordered, then the commission will appear as pending $$$ on the dashboard at the same time.

    (There's a small delay in when that pending $$$ actually appears, but I think that it should turn up when Lensrank updates.)

    3. Otherwise, the pending revenue will appear on the dashboard exactly 2 days after the item has been shipped to the customer. (This is most significant when considering pre-ordered items).


  2. Awesome, thanks Fluff, I was hoping someone would confirm!

    I think the dashboard update is slightly separate from the lensrank one, but not by much and it seems linked to that time.

  3. Thanks just what I was looking for :)

  4. Hi Flynn,

    This is a great explanation about how the payment system works, but I received a notification that someone bought an item from my lense on 12/6/10 and earnings still have not updated 15 days later. Am I missing something?

  5. Hi Anon :D
    It was Amazon, right? eBay updates ages later. It's possible it still hasn't shipped - especially if they bought it from a different seller than Amazon itself. The earnings don't update until couple of days after. Is it a weirdish item? (e.g. pre-order, out of stock, really big, or mostly offered used?)

    It's also possible there's some kind of very weird bug - but the shipping is most likely. If you're really worried save the details, give it another week, then... ah, that is Christmas, so you might want to wait a little longer anyway before submitting a bug report ;D

  6. Thanks, this answered a lot of questions for me.

  7. Hello. Thank you for nice post.

    I have a problem. I was making money from Amazon sales. And from 5/29/2013 I see no updates in Royalties. It just sopped. I made no changes on that date.

    What could it be? Thanks.

    1. There was a bug with Amazon royalties from that date. It was a fixed a couple of days ago.

    2. to clarify: sales were made, just not showing up properly.


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