If You Market On Clickbank...

9 replies
Or you get commissions from copy projects on CB as I do...

You may want to read this section on 'risk tiers'...

Refunds and Chargebacks

Looks like CB are gearing up for another clear out.
#clickbank #market
  • Profile picture of the author MikeHumphreys
    Matt, thanks for sharing this... I appreciate it.

    My only question for ClickBank would be what refund or chargeback rates determine the color level. For example, if my client's product is averaging a 10% refund rate (pretty good for a CB product in my experience), then where would that rank on the risk/color level?

    I would think some categories (i.e. biz-opp, IM) may have a higher likelihood of being deemed "high risk" than others.
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  • Profile picture of the author surzygyy
    This would harm my forex products at clickbank as mostly refund rate is 15-20% due to customers manipulation on refund...
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    • Profile picture of the author leighs31
      I think it has been open to so much abuse that people just buy and refund everything. They should concentrate on outing out these people that do it on a consistent basis. You will always have refunds that it is just typical but I guess if you show people exactly what they are getting rather than most of the marketing that doesn't really tell you then you can refuse a refund based on giving them the information up front.

      There was a lot of trickery in the IM scene that you really didn't know exactly what you were buying. It was more like - well it is not facebook, its not twitter. Well what the hell is it then. Guess times are changing and we have to account for that.
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  • Profile picture of the author Daniel Scott
    Clickbank really seem to be doing their best to screw themselves over lately.

    Between their inconsistent regulations, unfriendly terms, and even flat-out refusing to sell good products (as has happened to a few clients)...

    Well, I'm not surprised they've lost such a huge market share lately.

    It's ironic they're bitching about 5% refund rates when in my experience you can pretty much add about 20% to your refund rate if you sell through CB as opposed to your own shopping cart (requests themselves are way higher, in fact).

    With all the affiliates jumping ship, soon CB won't have any aces in the hole... if they haven't reached that point already.

    -Daniel
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  • Profile picture of the author BrianMcLeod
    Not to be a sanctimonious dickhole, but...

    [Begin Sanctimonious Dickhole Rant]

    Who couldn't see this coming?

    Here's my take:

    What's the most efficient mechanism for regulatory bodies / underwriters to pinch off a market they don't like? In different terms, where's the bottleneck?

    PAYMENT PROCESSING.

    Wipes out large herds in one fell swoop instead of expensive, labor-intensive individual enforcement actions.

    Why sweep when you can swoop? Squeeze the payment processors and they'll do all the hard work of pinching off the "bad guys".

    And so you have CB, PP and other payment transmitters of various ilk scrambling to comply with increasing top-down pressure to clean up their yards or else.

    With PP, it's pretty obvious to anyone with a clue that fraudulent purchases and chargebacks are a deal-breaking "bad thing" for PP's relationship with Visa and MC... Internet Marketing creates a vastly disproportionate number of chargebacks and fraud - hence, the great PP slap of doom on so many accounts that don't even represent a real risk, they just fit the profile/traffic. Ask me how I know (don't really ask). Same problem exists with "a real merchant account" - the clueless IM'ers imaginary golden parachute.

    With CB, since they are the ipso facto merchant, they've been able to beat back the beast with their famously liberal refund policy. If a consumer if dissatisfied for any reason, even NO reason, they get their money back.. no harm, no foul. Except... Visa/Mastercard.

    These are not proactive steps taken by a market segment trying to "do the right thing" and regulate itself or improve customer experience - they are reactions, moves made in somewhat desperate fashion to avoid catastrophic consequences for endemic problems in a business model that is no longer compliant with current rules/laws/policy.

    AND this is all purely conjecture - the only people who REALLY know the whats and the whys are NOT EVER going to talk about it.

    Brian
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  • Profile picture of the author davemiz
    I'm going to assume, from what I know, that they're doing this to clean up THEIR business.... because of the OVERWHELMING amount of scam artists and shysters pillaging customers (many of whom we all know in the IM niche)... and the ridiculous amount of heat they've gotten from the FTC and CC companies.

    20-30-50% refund rates, kinda killed things...
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  • Profile picture of the author Jennie Heckel
    Hi All,

    I do work with many Clickbank clients in IM, self help, alternative health and related markets.

    The comments above are right on.

    Most of my best Clickbank clients have closed their Clickbank accounts.

    They now hire a JV Broker to broker their launches with other JV's because they can't keep their products approved for very long... IF they get them approved in the first place or run into problems with refunds and higher refund penalties.

    CB is trying to reduce refunds but is going about it in a way that alienates the good marketers who have low refund rates (and low sales) as well as those that they want to penalize.

    About CB and their new regulations...

    My personal experience:

    1. It is getting harder and harder to get a product approved. Sometimes CB will make me do tiny changes to copy/video scripts (that just don't make any sense to me) but in order to get the product approved you have to comply.

    2. You must have all video scripts approved first before you create the video.
    All this extra expense is causing many of my clients to go to Clicksure and other marketing platforms that are less of a headache to deal with to get products approved and have less penalties if refunded.

    2. You are required to use a new Clickbank Disclaimer (it's a Clickbank java script that Clickbank provides). This is added to the bottom of the main sales page and the download page: that "Clickbank does not approve/recommend/endorse what is on this sales letter page."

    3. The biggest problem is even with a low refund rate you can still get your account closed. Clickbank decides what your ranking is, what your refund rate is and what they feel like refunding and penalizing you with when someone requests a refund.

    You have only 1 day try to avoid a refund and the penalty by contacting the person who wants the refund to fix the problem, or Clickbank automatically refunds their money.

    If you get a few affiliates that use excessive hype to sell your product and get penalized with high refund rates it can easily cause your rating to lower and your account to lose points (you can lose and gain points each day depending on your ranking) and become closed.

    Add to all of that, the only notice you get when your account is closed is an email.

    So you have to keep a constant watch on your Clickbank account to be sure the refund rate is not too high or your account can get closed and it is very hard to get Clickbank to reopen a closed account and reapprove a product.

    Yes, Clickbank has refund problems and as usual is doing their level best to make it hard for all marketers to comply and make any money.

    But when push came to shove, and refund rates went sky high, Clickbank is doing what they feel they have to in order to clean up the CB Marketplace as easily and quickly as they can with their automated algorithums.

    Note: To help curb serial refunders,

    If a person buys and refunds 3 Clickbank products in a row, during a certain time period, Clickbank will ban their abilty to make any more purchases. So Clickbank is trying to stop this problem too.

    In the end it is a good thing to remove the bad products with false claims and high refund rates. That is good for all of us whether a marketer, copywriter or product purchaser.

    But as a copywriter and marketer this makes it much harder for those "good products to get approved" that did comply by the old rules, before all the new rules were created.

    FYI: (FROM CLICKBANK'S WEBSITE) YOU HAVE UNTIL JANUARY 2, 2012 TO FIX YOUR CB PRODUCT PAGES.

    With the implementation of these tiers effective January 2, 2013, ClickBank will be updating its fees and account terminations rules and will be adding new vendor quality ratings to the Marketplace. Details of these changes, and how to understand the impact to your account, are included below. Accounts with risk issues are advised to take corrective action to improve account quality prior to January 2, 2013 to avoid penalties and possible termination.

    I hope all of you that have products on the Clickbank Marketplace will take the time to read their new rules and comply before the deadline date.

    Jennie Heckel
    Sales Letter Copywriter
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  • Profile picture of the author sethczerepak
    This is happening all over the internet, the "big boys" like Clickbank and Google are cleaning up and it's only going to get "worse," for those who are trying to take shortcuts. Personally, anytime I see something like this I'm relieved and excited about the end result. True, it might be a bit of a hassle to get your foot in the door and some of the good product creators and affiliates might get punished along with the bad.

    But for the people who are creating value, giving great customer service and are in it for the long haul, things like this are going to be a blessing.
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