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A cookie is a value stored on an end user’s computer and is used to track affiliate sales. The duration is the length of time the cookie stays on the computer after clicking an affiliate link. For example, with a 30-day cookie duration, this means that if a user clicks an affiliate link and makes a purchase within 30 days, the affiliate receives credit for the sale.
Wirecutter's affiliate program might make you doubt the legitimacy of Wirecutter's recommendations -- but, in fact, it's quite the opposite. Wirecutter only makes commission when a reader purchases a product from an affiliate retailer and doesn't return the product. Wirecutter, then, has no incentive to promote inferior products -- if they did, they'd make less money and turn away readers.
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