What is a hold

What is a hold
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Is it possible that a 30-day hold is normal or too long? We will discuss ways to reduce or get rid of the hold. In this article, we will explore in detail all aspects related to the hold, explain what is an acceptable verification period, and where you can find offers with immediate payments.

What is a hold in arbitrage

In the arbitrage operation, “Hold” refers to the period during which a CPA network evaluates the quality of leads brought in. This process includes checking for bots, motivated traffic, and compliance with all terms and conditions of the offer.

The term “on hold” means that conversions are in the verification process. During this period, the affiliate’s funds are frozen and the arbitrageur is unable to withdraw them. If the verification process reveals violations, such as incorrect traffic geography or the presence of bots, the advertiser can refuse to pay the arbitrator, and the affiliate network can even block the account for fraud.

Each offer in CPA networks has its specifications, including commission rate, acceptable traffic sources, and processing time. Typically, “hold” is measured in days. In most cases, payments to arbitrageurs are made as soon as the verification is complete, although there can sometimes be delays of 1-2 days after verification.

It is important to note that not all CPA networks use the term “hold” to refer to verification time. In some cases, it may be described as “Existing client” or “Average processing”.

Why hold

The main purpose of a hold in affiliate programs is to protect brands from unwanted traffic and fraud by traffic arbitrageurs.

As an example, let’s imagine a situation where an advertiser pays a commission to webmasters for every registration on their online store. An unscrupulous webmaster may use bots and incentivize traffic to rack up registrations. Without a hold system, the arbitrageur will get paid right away and the store owner will suffer losses because these “customers” do not make real purchases.

Hold provides time to check the quality of leads and finalize transactions. For example, a customer can cancel a purchase within 14 days of full payment, especially for clothing and footwear purchases. For travel offers such as airfare, the average refund period is around 6-7 days, depending on the company. Thus, the hold for each offer takes into account the possibility of the customer returning the purchase.

The length of the hold depends on

Each offer has an individual hold: for one product the processing period may be 14 days, for another – 30 days. In addition, the hold is not a fixed value. Even if the terms and conditions of the offer specify 14 days, it does not mean that the check will take exactly that amount of time. The duration of the check may be much shorter or, on the contrary, slightly longer than the specified period. It depends on the peculiarities of each particular case. Four key factors affect the duration of the quality assurance process.

  • Offer Vertical: There are specialized areas where the lag period is extended. For high-value offers (like loans), the processing period can reach 40-45 days, while for simpler offers (those that do not require a financial investment, like applying) this period is reduced to 1-2 days;
  • Conversion type: An example would be basic one-step offers that are verified by affiliate programs quickly, with minimal lag time. There are also more complex conversion types where many factors are taken into account during the verification process: cancellation and bounce rates, payouts, etc. An example of this type is CPS (Cost Per Sale) — a model in which the arbitrageur receives a commission only if the transaction is fully completed;
  • Ampire’s experience: Traffic from newcomers to CPA networks is usually scrutinized, so the lag period is longer for them than for experienced agents;
  • KPI: As a rule, the higher the KPI of the arbitrator, the faster the delay period passes.

Can you lower the hold or work without it

To reduce or eliminate the hold, you should know that it doesn’t always happen quickly, especially for beginners. However, we’ve put together a set of tips that can help:

  • Build your skills: Many affiliate networks for experienced webmasters reduce the hold to a minimum or eliminate it. The more time you work with a particular affiliate program, the more lucrative offers will be available to you.
  • Focus on attracting high-quality traffic: The higher the quality of your traffic, the sooner you can earn conversions. Avoid using unfair methods, such as directing bots and motivated traffic to an advertiser’s page. Such actions can quickly lead to detection, loss of funds, and blocking of your account on the affiliate network.
  • When working with online stores, focus on GEOs with fast delivery: This will speed up lead processing and reduce the hold.
  • Marketplaces and large stores usually set a long hold due to high customer flow and the difficulty of quickly validating leads.

Offers with full prepayment usually do not include a waiting period for payment. For beginners, these conditions are more convenient, because the payment is almost instantaneous.

Which Hold to Choose

Each vertical has its own unique average processing period. For commodities (Nutra, supplements), this period typically ranges from 14 to 45 days. This process includes several steps: order placement, delivery, and return options.

Delivery times can vary widely. For example, city express delivery can take anywhere from an hour to a day. For international orders, the standard delivery time is around 30 days. The time you hold the money (hold) will depend on the speed of delivery to the buyer.

If the promised delivery is within a week, the average hold period will be about 21 days: 7 days for delivery plus time for returns. During holidays and sale periods, this period can increase two to three times. Thus, for food and dietary supplements, the total retention period can range from one day to one and a half months. As for e-commerce offers, their processing period is usually the same:

  • Travel: Confirmation of a booking usually takes 30 to 40 days. This delay is because customers often book flights and accommodation well in advance, allowing them to cancel the reservation and get a refund.
  • Mobile games and apps: Achieving specific performance indicators (KPIs) is important here. Advertisers often set specific requirements, such as the need to spend at least 30 minutes in the app. KPI is defined as the percentage of users who meet this condition. Validation periods in this area vary from 7 to 30 days.
  • Financial Offers: In the case of microloans, the application processing takes only a few hours, so the waiting time for confirmation is also short – up to one day. In the case of credit cards and bank accounts, the verification process is more complicated, including verification of documents and analysis of the client’s financial status, which can take up to four weeks.
  • Soft and online services: Since there is no need for shipping here, the time to confirm an order is usually shorter. Customers are given a trial period (a week to a month) during which they can decide whether to renew their subscription or not. The waiting time for confirmation depends on the length of this trial period.

Hold represents a unique protection for the advertiser. There is no reason to worry about long delays in payments: if all the requirements of the offer are met, honestly earned funds are guaranteed to be paid out.

Alex Lead Panda

Alex is our traffic arbitrage editor, and his work is pure magic. He combines a deep understanding of online advertising with excellent editorial skills. Alex knows how to optimize content and make it easy to understand. His talent is not only in working with text, but also in understanding the needs of the target audience. And he does it all with ease and attention to detail, creating high quality content for all our readers.
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