Buying clickbank products through your own CB Account..

42 replies
Is this frowned upon?? I'm currently marketing a specific product in a niche and to tailor my articles better I was thinking of buying the product.. but I really don't want to spend full price as I might market other products too.

So will they give me the commission for my own purchase and is this ok to do occasionally for marketing purposes?
#account #buying #clickbank #products
  • Profile picture of the author Nickolie0990
    yeah you can purchase clickbank products through your own affiliate link and yes they will pay the commission. Who cares if other people think it is unethical, Clickbank dosn't care.

    Mark
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    • Profile picture of the author zena lour
      i don't know if it's frowned upon but who cares??
      you want to save money, and buying it through your link would save you money and you would get the commission.



      zena
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  • Profile picture of the author onemorewarrior
    I tried to buy a product I was promoting just to see how the whole process worked and if the vendor was legit. The sale went thru but I never received my commission due to the terms of service at clickbank I believe that you have to have 5 unique credit card numbers or sales in order to collect the money. Clickbank most likely does not like you buying thru your own link just like google frowns upon clicking on your adsense ads. I would personally not buy thru my link.Just saying
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    • Profile picture of the author Alexa Smith
      Banned
      Originally Posted by onemorewarrior View Post

      I never received my commission due to the terms of service at clickbank I believe that you have to have 5 unique credit card numbers or sales in order to collect the money.
      Yes, you have to comply with the Customer Distribution Requirement before you get any money from them.

      That commission will be sitting there, though, and you'll get it in future.

      And if you bought by credit-card it'll count as one of your five to qualify for the CDR.

      Originally Posted by onemorewarrior View Post

      Clickbank most likely does not like you buying thru your own link just like google frowns upon clicking on your adsense ads.
      This is incorrect.

      You're perfectly entitled to buy through your own hoplink. And in fact should certainly do so, if you can't get a review copy of a product you're interested in promoting, rather than promote anything without actually seeing it. I've bought many products through my own hoplink, and so have thousands of other affiliates. (That's how those "IM-advice" products get a gravity of 300+: loads of affiliates have bought one copy each through their own links - every one is another point on the gravity!).
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      • Originally Posted by Alexa Smith View Post

        You're perfectly entitled to buy through your own hoplink. And in fact should certainly do so, if you can't get a review copy of a product you're interested in promoting, rather than promote anything without actually seeing it.
        According to my Clickbank stats, most people purchase the product to get a discount, not to review and promote it. I see dozens upon dozens of one-hoplink buyers in my clickbank analytic dashboards.

        I personally do not think it's OK to use your clickbank hoplink just to get a 50% or 75% discount if you dont plan on promoting it. That's what a hoplink is: an affiliate link!

        But anyway, Clickbank doesnt seem to care so I guess no one cares.
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        • Profile picture of the author Alexa Smith
          Banned
          Originally Posted by Anonymous Affiliate View Post

          I personally do not think it's OK to use your clickbank hoplink just to get a 50% or 75% discount if you dont plan on promoting it.
          Would you feel happier if people bought things through their friend's hoplink instead? I don't see it making any financial difference to the vendor, but maybe for some reason I don't understand, you'd prefer that? Or do you expect someone who just happens to be a Clickbank affiliate to pay the full retail price to the vendor just because they happen to be a Clickbank affiliate, whereas any other customer would typically be buying through someone else's affiliate link anyway? :rolleyes:
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          • Originally Posted by Alexa Smith View Post

            Would you feel happier if people bought things through their friend's hoplink instead? I don't see it making any financial difference to the vendor, but maybe for some reason I don't understand, you'd prefer that? Or do you expect someone who just happens to be a Clickbank affiliate to pay the full retail price to the vendor just because they happen to be a Clickbank affiliate, whereas any other customer would typically be buying through someone else's affiliate link anyway? :rolleyes:
            Because the very point of Clickbank is to run an affiliate network, not a discount coupon system.

            One-hoplink-buyers, or what's the same people buying through their own hoplink without the intention of ever promoting the product, exploit clickbank to get products AS A CUSTOMER (as opposed to as an affiliate) at a massively discounted price. See the difference between using an affiliate hoplink as a cheeky customer vs. using it as a legit affiliate?

            Hoplinks are promotional tools, not discretionary and exploitable discount coupons.

            If you're cool with that, more power to you. :rolleyes: (rolly eyes for you, I know you love them).

            Originally Posted by Alexa Smith View Post

            I don't see it making any financial difference to the vendor
            Here's how:

            1) They steal the commission of the rightful affiliate who actually conducted the promotional effort to lead him to the sales page. That legit affiliate might have paid for PPC campaigns, or banner buys, or articles in ezines, or whatever, and his commission is stolen in the last moment. Thus his EPC (earnings per click) lowers and eventually he might decide to not promote that product any more.

            2) They steal part of the vendor's profit by getting a discount on a product they NEVER promoted and NEVER delivered any further exposure to the sales page.

            Yes Alexa, that's a nice use of an affiliate hoplink right there...
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            • Profile picture of the author Alexa Smith
              Banned
              Originally Posted by Anonymous Affiliate View Post

              They steal the commission of the rightful affiliate who actually conducted the promotional effort to lead him to the sales page.
              Thanks for your reply, AA. This interpretation of yours actually rests on your definition of the word "rightful". It's valid only if you define "rightful" as including some cases which other people exclude from its definition. In other words it's an essentially circular argument: it assumes some parts of what it purports to justify. I'm not saying or even implying that that, in itself, necessarily makes its conclusion wrong, and I do respect your point of view (and perhaps a little more than you respect mine). But it is a circular argument. And actually I disagree with its conclusion because I (and Clickbank themselves, by the way) both apparently define "rightfully" differently from how you define it.

              Originally Posted by Anonymous Affiliate View Post

              Yes Alexa, that's a nice use of an affiliate hoplink right there...
              It is but how does that lend any strength to your argument rather than to mine? :confused:

              I don't expect to make sales of the product to people who are already themselves Clickbank affiliates (which is why, with that one exception which I promote for other reasons, I promote nothing in that niche/market at all). I may be naive in some ways, but I'm not that naive.
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              • Originally Posted by Alexa Smith View Post

                Thanks for your reply, AA. This interpretation of yours actually rests on your definition of the word "rightful". It's valid only if you define "rightful" as including some cases which other people exclude from its definition.
                Let's not argue semantics Alexa, we're both too familiar with IM for that.

                An rightful affiliate is someone who genuinely promotes a product, however his means of promotion might be. A one-hoplink-buyer promotes nothing but his own personal discount coupon by buying off his own hoplink. That's not what an affiliate network (Clickbank) nor an affiliate link should be about.


                Originally Posted by Alexa Smith View Post

                I don't expect to make sales of the product to people who are already themselves Clickbank affiliates (which is why, with that one exception which I promote for other reasons, I promote nothing in that niche/market at all). I may be naive in some ways, but I'm not that naive.
                EXACTLY!

                So rightful affiliates in the IM niche get whacked because they generate traffic (sometimes PAID traffic) to sales pages where potential customers exploit their "affiliate" status in order to get a bogus discount, stealing the rightful affiliate's commission in the process and getting a discount they are not entitled for.

                Again, I must stress: those people buy as customers, not as affiliates, and therefore they should not use their affiliate hoplink.

                Solution? clickbank should pay from the 2nd sale on each product. The commission would indeed be credited but not paid until a 2nd sale on that product is referred.
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                • Profile picture of the author Diane S
                  Originally Posted by Anonymous Affiliate View Post

                  Solution? clickbank should pay from the 2nd sale on each product. The commission would indeed be credited but not paid until a 2nd sale on that product is referred.
                  I have seen many products listed where the payout on the first sale is $0.00 So this already exists as an option - am I right?
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                  • Originally Posted by Diane S View Post

                    I have seen many products listed where the payout on the first sale is $0.00 So this already exists as an option - am I right?
                    What??? can you point me to any URL where I can see that please?
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                  • Profile picture of the author Alexa Smith
                    Banned
                    Originally Posted by Diane S View Post

                    I have seen many products listed where the payout on the first sale is $0.00 So this already exists as an option - am I right?
                    No, Diane. Not on Clickbank.

                    I'm guessing, but I think I might sense what you were perhaps thinking of, there? On some other affiliate networks there are products listed for which the affiliate's payout on the first sale can be $0.00 for one of two different reasons:-

                    (i) They divide the vendor and affiliate cuts by "whole payments" (e.g. for 50% commission the vendor gets the whole of the odd-numbered sales including the first payment, leaving the affiliate $0.00 on those (but Clickbank doesn't work that way); or ...

                    (ii) They start with a "free trial" which is processed as a $0.00 sale (the credit-card number is taken for the cancellable rebill, but nothing's initially charged against it) ... but again, not at Clickbank, where the minimum "initial trial price" is $4.95.
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                    • Profile picture of the author light_taurus
                      Originally Posted by Alexa Smith View Post

                      No, Diane. Not on Clickbank.

                      I'm guessing, but I think I might sense what you were perhaps thinking of, there? On some other affiliate networks there are products listed for which the affiliate's payout on the first sale can be $0.00 for one of two different reasons:-

                      (i) They divide the vendor and affiliate cuts by "whole payments" (e.g. for 50% commission the vendor gets the whole of the odd-numbered sales including the first payment, leaving the affiliate $0.00 on those (but Clickbank doesn't work that way); or ...

                      (ii) They start with a "free trial" which is processed as a $0.00 sale (the credit-card number is taken for the cancellable rebill, but nothing's initially charged against it) ... but again, not at Clickbank, where the minimum "initial trial price" is $4.95.
                      Clickbank has $1.00 trials. And affiliate gets $0(not 100% sure).
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                      • Profile picture of the author Nathan Hangen
                        This is why you don't use Clickbank.

                        Sadly, you can't prevent people from buying through their own hoplink, and worse yet, you can't prevent them getting a refund after they do so.
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            • Profile picture of the author John Romaine
              Originally Posted by Anonymous Affiliate View Post

              Because the very point of Clickbank is to run an affiliate network, not a discount coupon system.

              One-hoplink-buyers, or what's the same people buying through their own hoplink without the intention of ever promoting the product, exploit clickbank to get products AS A CUSTOMER (as opposed to as an affiliate) at a massively discounted price. See the difference between using an affiliate hoplink as a cheeky customer vs. using it as a legit affiliate?

              Hoplinks are promotional tools, not discretionary and exploitable discount coupons.

              If you're cool with that, more power to you. :rolleyes: (rolly eyes for you, I know you love them).



              Here's how:

              1) They steal the commission of the rightful affiliate who actually conducted the promotional effort to lead him to the sales page. That legit affiliate might have paid for PPC campaigns, or banner buys, or articles in ezines, or whatever, and his commission is stolen in the last moment. Thus his EPC (earnings per click) lowers and eventually he might decide to not promote that product any more.

              2) They steal part of the vendor's profit by getting a discount on a product they NEVER promoted and NEVER delivered any further exposure to the sales page.

              Yes Alexa, that's a nice use of an affiliate hoplink right there...
              As a product creator myself I agree with Anonymous Affiliate 100% on this one.

              Theres nothing more annoying than someone purposely buying under their own affiliate ID to save a few dollars. That to me is cheating the system.

              When you invest months and months of hard work and efforts, and thousands of dollars towards marketing and development of a product, and someone makes purchase to get 50% off simply for the sake of out, is just lousy.

              Affiliates dont care, that much is obvious. But as a vendor, its VERY annoying.
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    • Profile picture of the author jbhyip
      Originally Posted by onemorewarrior View Post

      I tried to buy a product I was promoting just to see how the whole process worked and if the vendor was legit. The sale went thru but I never received my commission due to the terms of service at clickbank I believe that you have to have 5 unique credit card numbers or sales in order to collect the money. Clickbank most likely does not like you buying thru your own link just like google frowns upon clicking on your adsense ads. I would personally not buy thru my link.Just saying
      Yes this is true, but after the requirements are met you will get all you have earned, including what you bought yourself.
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    • Originally Posted by onemorewarrior View Post

      I tried to buy a product I was promoting just to see how the whole process worked and if the vendor was legit. The sale went thru but I never received my commission due to the terms of service at clickbank I believe that you have to have 5 unique credit card numbers or sales in order to collect the money. Clickbank most likely does not like you buying thru your own link just like google frowns upon clicking on your adsense ads. I would personally not buy thru my link.Just saying
      As Alexa mentioned above, you will get the commission. Man I hate that rule about the 5 sales from different people and different vendors. I can understand if they let your money just sit there waiting for you, but after a certain period of time (I think maybe about 90 days) they start knocking off a portion of it each month? Why? It's one thing I've never understood with Clickbank.
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      • Profile picture of the author abs007
        Originally Posted by TBInternetMarketing View Post

        As Alexa mentioned above, you will get the commission. Man I hate that rule about the 5 sales from different people and different vendors. I can understand if they let your money just sit there waiting for you, but after a certain period of time (I think maybe about 90 days) they start knocking off a portion of it each month? Why? It's one thing I've never understood with Clickbank.
        HI - I believe the money is knocked of after 90 days if your account hasnt brought any more sales in -

        If however your account did bring in sales within the 90 day period then you shouldnt get any deducted

        thanks
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      • Profile picture of the author Alexa Smith
        Banned
        Originally Posted by TBInternetMarketing View Post

        Man I hate that rule about the 5 sales from different people and different vendors.
        It's a nuisance when you have to deal with it, but at least you only ever have to do it once.

        For many people, it's easy enough to find 2 or 3 relatives/friends who'll buy the $4 chocolate-cake recipe e-book through your hoplink (it pays commission, too!) and that gets you qualified anyway.

        And it's five different credit-cards, not five different people - also worth remembering!

        Originally Posted by TBInternetMarketing View Post

        Why? It's one thing I've never understood with Clickbank.
        It's actually there to protect affiliates.

        If they didn't have that rule or something very like it, there'd be nothing to stop any customer from registering as an affiliate (free) and earning and immediately getting paid their own commission. And then it would hardly be possible to make a sale at all. So just as well they have it, really? (The whole system wouldn't work without it.)

        Originally Posted by abs007 View Post

        HI - I believe the money is knocked of after 90 days if your account hasnt brought any more sales in -
        This is a different matter. You're talking here about the "dormant account charges" (which are scandalous and completely indefensible) which start at $1 per pay period (that's $1 every two weeks) after 90 days from the date of your most recent sale.

        Again, all you have to do to get round it is buy a $3/$4 product yourself, using your own hoplink, and that gives you another 90 days.

        Originally Posted by JRCarson View Post

        If you have enough money, you could have a 100 gravity product tomorrow!
        There are other, easier ways, too. Many vendors use them. It's yet another reason (not that we needed one!) why high gravity doesn't necessarily indicate very much at all in terms of sales.
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        • Profile picture of the author Scott Logan
          Alexa,

          I've been around for quite a while online, and Alexa you have also opened my eyes to something I never thought about.

          ref. Inflating of the gravity by purchasing your own product.

          (That's how those "IM-advice" products get a gravity of 300+: loads of affiliates have bought one copy each through their own links - every one is another point on the gravity!).
          Which gets me to thinking, I imagine a vendor could just get approval for their main product by CB (item #1) and then add a $4.95 "special offer" version (ex. item 78)

          Then purchase a bunch of copies at the "special offer" price point, which inflates their gravity of the overall product if I understand things correctly.

          Then when they are trying to attract affiliates, they appear more worthy of attention and then simply delete the "special offer" price so it's not even known to the public.

          That's slicker then ****...pardon my french

          All I can say after that is "WOW"
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          • Profile picture of the author Alexa Smith
            Banned
            Originally Posted by Scottie_Logan View Post

            Alexa,

            I've been around for quite a while online, and Alexa you have also opened my eyes to something I never thought about.

            ref. Inflating of the gravity by purchasing your own product.
            Oooh, it's all the rage.

            As long as there enough affiliates about who imagine that there's a correlation between gravity and numbers of sales, or one between gravity and conversion-rates, vendors will keep on doing this. They start it off with a boost and then eventually it becomes self-perpetuating, in a sense: gravity attracts affiliates and affiliates cause gravity increases, too.

            Originally Posted by Scottie_Logan View Post

            I imagine a vendor could just get approval for their main product by CB (item #1) and then add a $4.95 "special offer" version (ex. item 78)

            Then purchase a bunch of copies at the "special offer" price point, which inflates their gravity of the overall product if I understand things correctly.
            Yes, price-changes are one of the ways this can be done.

            There are "launch services" that do this for vendors.

            In various ways, some of which have been mentioned above.

            Originally Posted by Scottie_Logan View Post

            That's slicker then ****...pardon my french
            Bien sûr, Chéri
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    • Profile picture of the author Diane S
      Originally Posted by onemorewarrior View Post

      I tried to buy a product I was promoting just to see how the whole process worked and if the vendor was legit. The sale went thru but I never received my commission...
      You might have needed to clear your cookies prior to your purchase to get the affiliate sale. The sale probably went straight to the vendor.
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  • Profile picture of the author AlanT
    I think it really depends on the merchant and your reason for buying the product. If you're reviewing a product as something you may want to promote, I think that's a much better reason than buying for your own personal use.

    Some merchants don't care, and will even encourage their affiliates to buy through their own link. Others discourage it.

    The safest bet is to approach the merchant directly, explain that you're considering promoting their product and would like to see a copy first, and see what they say.
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    • Profile picture of the author myob
      Originally Posted by AlanT View Post

      I think it really depends on the merchant and your reason for buying the product. If you're reviewing a product as something you may want to promote, I think that's a much better reason than buying for your own personal use.

      Some merchants don't care, and will even encourage their affiliates to buy through their own link. Others discourage it.

      The safest bet is to approach the merchant directly, explain that you're considering promoting their product and would like to see a copy first, and see what they say.
      So, whose affiliate link do you use if the merchant says NO!? :rolleyes:
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      • Profile picture of the author dking1
        It may not sound ethical but since clickbank allows it who cares. Anyway you are spending your own money and you can get a discount. The only thing is that you can not just collect commission on your purchases alone, there must be at least five credit card purchase so its perfectly ok
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      • Profile picture of the author AlanT
        Originally Posted by myob View Post

        So, whose affiliate link do you use if the merchant says NO!? :rolleyes:
        Well, if you found the merchant through another affiliate, your computer will still have the cookie.

        In some cases, the merchant may GIVE you a review copy, especially if they can see that you could be a good affiliate for them.
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        • Profile picture of the author myob
          Originally Posted by AlanT View Post

          ...In some cases, the merchant may GIVE you a review copy, especially if they can see that you could be a good affiliate for them.
          Begging for a copy is even better than using your own affiliate link.
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  • Profile picture of the author developyourlife
    Obviously you can buy it through your own link. I've done this with a ton of products. Why wouldn't you be able to?
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    • Profile picture of the author JRCarson
      This is how a lot of people inflate their gravity. Open 10 accounts and buy their own product through their accounts.
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      • Profile picture of the author Linda_C
        Originally Posted by JRCarson View Post

        This is how a lot of people inflate their gravity. Open 10 accounts and buy their own product through their accounts.
        Seriously? Man, I've been around a L-O-N-G time and I wouldn't have thought of that one. (Consider my eyes opened, lol)

        I do, however, encourage my affiliates to buy through their own affiliate link to get the commission on a review copy.
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        • Profile picture of the author JRCarson
          Originally Posted by Linda_C View Post

          Seriously? Man, I've been around a L-O-N-G time and I wouldn't have thought of that one. (Consider my eyes opened, lol)

          I do, however, encourage my affiliates to buy through their own affiliate link to get the commission on a review copy.
          If you have enough money, you could have a 100 gravity product tomorrow!
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          • Profile picture of the author Linda_C
            Originally Posted by JRCarson View Post

            If you have enough money, you could have a 100 gravity product tomorrow!
            Cripes. If you dropped the price to rock bottom, it wouldn't even take that much money. LOL. Course, all those 100 clickbank account you create to buy them with would need to meet the criteria to get paid... lol.

            Seems like a lot of pain in the butt to elevate your own gravity that way.

            Seriously. 14 years online and I never thought of this. What color of naive am I?? lol.
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  • Profile picture of the author bethsuzi
    IMO of course it is ok to buy a product on clickbank through your own hoplink when the reason you want the product is so you can promote it more efficiently and relevantly.

    It would be ridiculous to think otherwise.

    It's not like you went to the bother of setting up a website and created a hoplink to buy a product at a discount rate for your OWN personal perusal.

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    • Originally Posted by bethsuzi View Post

      It's not like you went to the bother of setting up a website and created a hoplink to buy a product at a discount rate for your OWN personal perusal.
      Creating a Clickbank hoplink takes about 12 second... at the most...

      My stats as a clickbank vendor show truckloads of one-hoplink-buyers. Guess why?
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      • Profile picture of the author bethsuzi
        Originally Posted by Anonymous Affiliate View Post

        Creating a Clickbank hoplink takes about 12 second... at the most...

        My stats as a clickbank vendor show truckloads of one-hoplink-buyers. Guess why?
        Yes but the OP genuinely wants to promote the product so I assume he will have a website or squeeze page of some description.

        I can totally understand that a vendor would not be happy about affiliates using hoplinks to buy a product they want to use themselves, that really isn't fair but in the instance where the affilate is just looking to be a better affiliate FOR the vendor then it's a different story.

        Personally I have always asked for a review copy and got it and would say that should really be the first step but if not, I think it is ok to use your hoplink.

        Bethsuzi
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  • Quote:
    Originally Posted by TBInternetMarketing
    Why? It's one thing I've never understood with Clickbank.
    It's actually there to protect affiliates.

    If they didn't have that rule or something very like it, there'd be nothing to stop any customer from registering as an affiliate (free) and earning and immediately getting paid their own commission. And then it would hardly be possible to make a sale at all. So just as well they have it, really? (The whole system wouldn't work without it.)


    Thanks Alexa. Yes I had thought of this before, but when you consider 99.99% of buyers don't even know what affiliate marketing is, it seems a little crazy. I like your chocolate cake recipe example though
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  • Profile picture of the author scott33
    that's against clickbanks TOS...

    be careful ...
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  • Profile picture of the author AllanWard
    I've read numerous debates on this subject over the years. If you list a product on Clickbank, you need to accept that people will buy it with their own links. Whilst some will do this to get their hands on your product with no intention of promoting it, others will buy it because they want to promote your product and actually want to produce a genuine review.

    When you sell on Clickbank, you're expecting to get a certain percentage of every sale anyway, not the full amount. So why is it a big issue if someone buys through their link - it's still a sale. Granted, the relationship has no great long term value, unlike a sale to a genuine affiliate who wants to promote your product. But it's still a sale. And because it's all electronic, it costs you nothing to provide the sale.
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  • Profile picture of the author scott33
    I heard stories of people doing this and getting all there commissions revoked for punishment.. I wouldn't do it..

    if the product is not that popular you can probably get a review copy or find the download area on google...

    this would probably work on RAP.. plus you get it back instantly
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    • Profile picture of the author Sid Hale
      Sorry to burst your bubble, but...

      Originally Posted by scott33 View Post

      this would probably work on RAP.. plus you get it back instantly
      The affiliate NEVER gets paid on the first sale with RAP, and Paypal doesn't allow you to purchase from yourself.
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  • Profile picture of the author John Romaine
    Originally Posted by ncmedia View Post

    5. I don't care if 100% of my sales come from real affiliates or faked affiliates, they are still sales.
    Jamie : Hey nice car.
    Barry : Yeah thanks, its a 6 series BMW, the latest model.

    Jamie : Where'd you get the money for this?
    Barry : I robbed a bank.

    Jamie : Isnt that illegal?
    Barry : Meh, who cares. BMW should be grateful they made a sale.
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  • Profile picture of the author John Romaine
    Originally Posted by ncmedia View Post

    irrelevant argument
    I know dude, was just messin with ya.

    We can agree to disagree. No big deal.
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