Top 10 reasons why I no longer wish to work with Clickbank

93 replies
Well this morning I got up, checked my email and had another refund request. This equates to $380 worth of refunds in just a matter of days. This time, again, just like the last one as explained in THIS THREAD - just minutes after purchase.

This is beyond a joke. Really is.

Im so sick and tired of Clickbank's BS, Ive put together a list of my top 10 reasons why I no longer wish to use their services.

1. Refund requests/serial refunders

This should be self explanatory. As a vendor, I feel COMPLETELY POWERLESS to stop this. Infact, when it comes to Clickbank and refunds, the process seems too easy. I dont know how many times Ive received a refund request with no explanation from the customer as to WHY they want their money back. There's no dispute process, and no way to deny the request. It just gets honoured, period. You cant tell me that more and more people arent becoming aware of this and simply abusing this privilege.

I tried escalating a refund request to Clickbank support just recently, and they basically told me that while it was frustrating, that there wasnt anything that could be done. Even though it was OBVIOUS that the person purchased with intent to refund.

Absolute BS.

2. Product approval BS

It's absolutely frustrating having to jump through so many hoops to satisfy Clickbank staff in order to have a product approved. Not only does this take time, but there's usually days worth of waiting between the email ping pong that typically goes on. I understand that Clickbank are probably extremely busy trying to service everyones needs, but from a vendors point of view, these delays are just annoying.

Whats more frustrating is that I could easily search through the marketplace and find a dozen or so Clickbank sites that dont appear to conform to the same rules that seem to be imposed upon on me or my newly created product/website during the approval process. If there are standards, set them across the board and enforce them appropriately. At the moment, theres far too many inconcistencies which gives the impression that Clickbank is being run by amatuers.


3. Pricing dictatorship

What gives Alex, or Karen, or Steve, or any other member of Clickbank staff the right to tell me what price I should sell my product at?

SERIOUSLY?

Let me tell you theres nothing more insulting than being told after having just invested $3,000 and 4 months of my time towards developing a product that I can only sell it for $48 rather than $97 because they "dont feel its priced right".

F*cking says who????

If my pricing is out, then thats for ME to find out through marketing, research and customer feedback.

Its extremely annoying investing time towards developing a product, with intent to sell it at $97, only to be told by someone who knows nothing about me, the way I operate my business or the quality of my products that "...maybe after 8 weeks of good sales and low refunds, we might consider it at $97"

4. Account pricing limitations

Okay, so I already have an account created, a product listed, and making sales at $97. I'm making an effort to build a list, interact with that list and perform regular surveys. To further help my customers and develop additional products, I decide to put a comprehensive video training course together. At this stage I already KNOW what they want, and how much theyre willing to pay - which is $197.

So I log into my account, and try to raise the pricing limitation from Clickbanks default $100 to $200 to accommodate my new product which at this point is still under development.

This is where it gets sticky.

Im asked at this point, for a pitch page, and a thank you page. This means obviously that I must invest the time towards putting these pages together, and ensuring everything is in place to satisfy Clickbank before submitting my request for approval.

But whats to say that theyre going to say YES???? I could literally spend days putting this stuff together only to have them tell me "...sorry, we think your product is only worth $127" (SEE POINT 3)

Im not going to waste my time, developing pages and content only to have some big wig at Clickbank deny me. My time isnt worth $0.

5. Clickbank being abused as a discount voucher system

There's nothing more annoying than conversing with someone via email back and forth for an hour or so, answering their questions, assisting them as best you can, then offering them a 50% discount because they request it - then when you see their order come through - they have the NERVE to take further advantage of your genorisity by purchasing under their own affiliate ID. So instead of paying $97 for a product, they pay $21.

This flat out blows.

6. Powerless as a vendor

As a vendor and product creator, I have to say, with all these shinannigans going on with Clickbank, I feel almost powerless in a sense. This shouldnt be the case. I cant dispute refunds, Im fighting with Clickbank staff for approvals, and pricing limitations, and refunds seem to be increasing.

I may as well just put the download link on my home page with the words CLICK HERE FOR FREE.


7. Affiliates blasting useless sites all over the web

Sure having affiliates should be considered a bonus, but when I browse the web and find absolute garbage filled crappy sites that dont provide any value at all to the user except flashy banner ads, adsense and CLICK HERE CLICK HERE rubbish, used in conjunction with spun $1 articles from Indonesia, it makes me shake my head.

Why cant I as a vendor have some kind of idea of WHO is promoting my product and HOW.


8. Payment thresholds

I dont know about others, but if youve ever been in the position of needing cash to simply "get by" or "make ends meet" and you have several Clickbank accounts that are just under the payment threshold, this can be a little frustrating. Especially when you've got $2,000 sitting in funds you cant access. I know this might be a bit trivial but I cant help but think Clickbank is simply cashing in on interest.

The other issue is account termination. Twice now, Ive wanted to close an account and set the threshold so that all of my money would be released. Or so I thought. Clickbank always retains some money to cover refunds, and chargebacks, so if you have $532 in your account, and you decide to close it, consider yourself lucky if you get $480 back. You can pretty much kiss the other $50 goodbye.

9. Marketplace of garbage products

By no means am I applying this to EVERYONE within the marketplace. But lets face it, theres a LOT of garbage in there, and quite frankly, as Rich Struck said in another thread, Im not sure I want to be associated with it. Seems like Clickbank was willing to sell anything at one point to make a dollar and now that the FTC has stepped in - its us that feels the boot in the bum.

10. I couldnt think of another one, I'll leave this up to someone else. Im sure there's more....
#clickbank #longer #reasons #top #work
  • Profile picture of the author Rich Struck
    I feel your pain re: refunds. Clickbank has got to do something about this problem. In the meantime I'm furiously taking down links.
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    • Profile picture of the author kindsvater
      10. Affiliates posting sites with page titles - Your Product Scam?

      10.1 Affiliates postings sites with page titles - Your Product Fraud?

      10.2 Affiliates posting fraudulent reviews.

      10.2.1. ClickBank not giving a crap although you complain and point out affiliate sites that are completely fraudulent in "reviewing" product after product.

      10.3 Affiliates simply copying your sales letter.

      10.4 Checking your website stats and seeing all sorts of referred traffic. Then looking closer and seeing China, Russia, Ukraine, etc.

      .
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      • Profile picture of the author John Romaine
        Originally Posted by kindsvater View Post

        10. Affiliates posting sites with page titles - Your Product Scam?

        10.1 Affiliates postings sites with page titles - Your Product Fraud?
        Yeah Ive got a lot of that. Even fake "Free Download" links that redirect the user back to my site.

        Originally Posted by kindsvater View Post

        10.3 Affiliates simply copying your sales letter.
        Yeah, had a few of those already. Right down to the images.

        Originally Posted by kindsvater View Post

        10.4 Checking your website stats and seeing all sorts of referred traffic. Then looking closer and seeing China, Russia, Ukraine, etc.
        Ive had my site getting traffic from Ad Clicking networks, and submitted complaints to Clickbank about them, and theyve actually been good in actioning these. However its usually two or three days later theyre back.

        It throws out statistics big time. All of them of course are dodgy affiliates.
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  • Profile picture of the author martynez
    real eye-opening thread
    thanks for sharing

    and happy to see some solution on this
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  • Profile picture of the author tim_benedict
    Never was comfortable with clickbank, so never completely followed up getting set up with them; now ya'll have put my gut feelings into words. Thanks.
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    • Profile picture of the author jryan
      Let me first say and preface that I do not like Clickbank

      However many good solid comapnies accept refunds no questions asked

      LL Bean comes to mind...I practically buy all of my clothes there....recently because I made a mistake in my sleeve size...I was returning all of my shirts and getting new ones. I also on my shirts have my initials monogrammed...so this is a total loss for this company except if you think about it and are a business owner it really does not matter in terms of taxes.
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      • Profile picture of the author John Romaine
        Originally Posted by jryan View Post

        Let me first say and preface that I do not like Clickbank

        However many good solid comapnies accept refunds no questions asked

        LL Bean comes to mind...I practically buy all of my clothes there....recently because I made a mistake in my sleeve size...I was returning all of my shirts and getting new ones. I also on my shirts have my initials monogrammed...so this is a total loss for this company except if you think about it and are a business owner it really does not matter in terms of taxes.
        So you returned the product, yes?
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      • Profile picture of the author Davioli
        Originally Posted by jryan View Post

        Let me first say and preface that I do not like Clickbank

        However many good solid comapnies accept refunds no questions asked

        LL Bean comes to mind...I practically buy all of my clothes there....recently because I made a mistake in my sleeve size...I was returning all of my shirts and getting new ones. I also on my shirts have my initials monogrammed...so this is a total loss for this company except if you think about it and are a business owner it really does not matter in terms of taxes.
        It is understandable that physical products should have a good refund policy. When you return a physical product you're returning the right to use it as well.

        With a digital product: Compare it to buying a movie... you buy a cd.. copy the movie from the cd and return the CD back to the vendor and ask for a refund. How cool is that?
        How would you like being the Cd seller in the above scenario?
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  • Profile picture of the author zbrshakeel
    Hey don't put a refund option to your website.You might be thinking then how will I generate sales when I don't give any guarantee
    Well Convince them with your sales letter like were so confident in our product that we are not giving a refund guarantee somewhat like this ..At least you will generate sales that will be yours and you know that you don't have to give it back
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    • Profile picture of the author John Romaine
      Originally Posted by zbrshakeel View Post

      Hey don't put a refund option to your website.You might be thinking then how will I generate sales when I don't give any guarantee
      Well Convince them with your sales letter like were so confident in our product that we are not giving a refund guarantee somewhat like this ..At least you will generate sales that will be yours and you know that you don't have to give it back
      You dont have this option with Clickbank. They enforce a 60 day money back guarantee regardless.
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  • 10. Clickbank's outrageous 7.5% transaction fee. That's simply crazy expensive!
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  • Profile picture of the author alfa_375
    I don't that the clickbank was having these many problem to sell a product.
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  • Profile picture of the author Alexa Smith
    Banned
    Many will agree with you, Johnny.

    I don't, really.

    But I speak from a position of bias: I'm making a really good living from ClickBank, have been for a couple of years or so, and it's increasing steadily nearly every month. That's about as biased as you can get, I admit.

    Originally Posted by ramone_johnny View Post

    this morning I got up, checked my email and had another refund request.
    The easy refunds are what facilitates the easy sales.

    Leaving aside all the usual stuff about how refund rates vary dramatically from affiliate to affiliate for the same product, and the fact that ClickBank removes from the Marketplace any products which have a high refund-rate across a wide range of affiliates, my feeling is that without ClickBank's refund policy, I might not be making a living at all. They do ban serial refunders, too.

    Originally Posted by ramone_johnny View Post

    There's no dispute process, and no way to deny the request. It just gets honoured, period.
    Exactly the point. That's why making sales there is so easy.

    Is it good, or bad, that they have a reputation for "honouring their guarantee"?

    If they didn't, how many people would be "up in arms" about it?

    Originally Posted by ramone_johnny View Post

    You cant tell me that more and more people arent becoming aware of this and simply abusing this privilege.
    You're right; I can't.

    But I can tell you that I don't care.

    Originally Posted by ramone_johnny View Post

    2. Product approval BS

    It's absolutely frustrating having to jump through so many hoops to satisfy Clickbank staff in order to have a product approved.
    I think it speaks at least relatively highly of them. They've recently changed many of their rules to become FTC-compliant, and I really welcome that.

    Originally Posted by ramone_johnny View Post

    Not only does this take time
    What's the rush?

    Originally Posted by ramone_johnny View Post

    from a vendors point of view, these delays are just annoying.
    And that's honestly a reason not to work with ClickBank any more? :p

    Originally Posted by ramone_johnny View Post

    Whats more frustrating is that I could easily search through the marketplace and find a dozen or so Clickbank sites that dont appear to conform to the same rules that seem to be imposed upon on me or my newly created product/website during the approval process.
    There are thousands of articles in EZA that wouldn't be acceptable under current guidelines. They're not relevant to me, and my business.

    Those products aren't relevant to you, and your business, Johnny.

    Originally Posted by ramone_johnny View Post

    At the moment, theres far too many inconcistencies which gives the impression that Clickbank is being run by amatuers.
    Here I agree with you, to some extent. They do appear, to some extent, to be being run by incompetent amateurs. BUT there are are signs of that changing. Many things are improving. They take complaints more seriously than they used to. They reply a bit more promptly and efficiently ("a bit", I said!). They put on a good show recently at their big meeting in America. They're getting strict about idiot scumbag vendors lying to people on their sales pages. There are signs of moves in the right direction: this is all I'm saying. We should welcome all those things.

    Originally Posted by ramone_johnny View Post

    What gives Alex, or Karen, or Steve, or any other member of Clickbank staff the right to tell me what price I should sell my product at?
    I don't know. The fact that it's their bat and their ball and they can go home whenever they like? Here it seems you have a good point.

    Originally Posted by ramone_johnny View Post

    But whats to say that theyre going to say YES???? I could literally spend days putting this stuff together only to have them tell me "...sorry, we think your product is only worth $127" (SEE POINT 3)

    Im not going to waste my time, developing pages and content only to have some big wig at Clickbank deny me. My time isnt worth $0.
    Again, they get to make up the rules because it's their site. They may do this incompetently (I honestly don't know) but I kind of understand their motivation for wanting to do it at all. And I think you probably do, too, really, in spite of the understandable frustration?

    Originally Posted by ramone_johnny View Post

    There's nothing more annoying than conversing with someone via email back and forth for an hour or so, answering their questions, assisting them as best you can, then offering them a 50% discount because they request it - then when you see their order come through - they have the NERVE to take further advantage of your genorisity by purchasing under their own affiliate ID.
    They're entitled.

    Those are the rules of the game.

    Again, you benefit from them too, Johnny. But you're drawing attention (albeit perfectly reasonably) only to the ways you lose from them.

    Originally Posted by ramone_johnny View Post

    This flat out blows.
    You're a vendor.

    You're entitled to the vendor share of the sale. And that's all.

    If that person had originally been told about your product by another affiliate, you'd only be getting the vendor share anyway, even if it were disallowed to buy through your own link.

    I sometimes buy products through my own affiliate link, if I'm thinking about promoting them as an affiliate (and never ask for a refund, if I've done that, whether I'm promoting them or not). It's obviously and clearly to vendors' benefit that I can do that.

    Originally Posted by ramone_johnny View Post

    6. Powerless as a vendor
    This duplicates some of your other points. Yes, yes, you can't dispute refunds; we know that. That's why you can make so many sales. You can't count that as two separate points. :p

    Originally Posted by ramone_johnny View Post

    Sure having affiliates should be considered a bonus, but when I browse the web and find absolute garbage filled crappy sites that dont provide any value at all to the user except flashy banner ads, adsense and CLICK HERE CLICK HERE rubbish, used in conjunction with spun $1 articles from Indonesia, it makes me shake my head.
    So you're complaining about ClickBank trying to make everything FTC-complaint and adhere to reasonable standards AND you're complaining that they're not? You're a hard man to please, John ...

    Originally Posted by ramone_johnny View Post

    Why cant I as a vendor have some kind of idea of WHO is promoting my product and HOW.
    You can.

    You can choose to accept only the affiliates you want. And keep an eye on them yourself. You can effectively make up your own rules about this, if you want to.

    Originally Posted by ramone_johnny View Post

    you have several Clickbank accounts that are just under the payment threshold, this can be a little frustrating. Especially when you've got $2,000 sitting in funds you cant access. I know this might be a bit trivial but I cant help but think Clickbank is simply cashing in on interest.
    You can change your payment thresholds, you know?

    You're "scraping the barrel" here, and you know it.

    Originally Posted by ramone_johnny View Post

    Im not sure I want to be associated with it. Seems like Clickbank was willing to sell anything at one point to make a dollar and now that the FTC has stepped in - its us that feels the boot in the bum.
    Again ... you're having it both ways, here.

    The one thing you haven't complained about in this thread would be, in my opinion, the most justifiable complaint of the whole lot, and that's the "dormant account charges", but I've said enough about those, elsewhere.

    In short, there are some genuine signs of improvements at ClickBank. Let's see what happens.
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    • Profile picture of the author beefyg
      Thanks for this! It was very informative.
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  • Profile picture of the author John Romaine
    Hey Alexa,

    You know I always value your opinions and although we obviously disagree on some matters here, I still thank you for sharing your thoughts.
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    • Profile picture of the author Alexa Smith
      Banned
      Thanks, Johnny. Obviously ClickBank has - to put it very mildly - a less than stellar history of "customer service" (I mean vendors and affiliates here, not retail customers) from the perspective of those of us making our livings this way. I've whined enough about them myself, in the past.

      I do understand your frustrations in your dealings with them. And clearly some of your points are unarguable (even by me!).

      Four specific things make me think that things there - from your perspective and mine - might be starting to improve significantly ...

      (i) Over the last three/four months, I've been approached twice (independently) by "ClickBank stars" who have had meetings with ClickBank about "forthcoming improvements to their service" and been asked for lists of comments/observations to be discussed, on the understanding that ClickBank were at least willing to look at them and discuss them - requests with which I've co-operated (far more fully and in much more detail on one occasion than on the other, I admit);

      (ii) I've heard several "interesting" accounts, just recently, of their big meeting in America which speak to me of some fundamental changes of attitude and behaviour there (and in my opinion this is what was needed);

      (iii) Whatever their underlying motivations (about which a skepchick like me makes no assumptions), I've been impressed by the recent changes in "product/sales-page acceptability" and the stance they seem (at least) to be trying to move toward, over preventing vendors from lying to and deceiving their customers ... and am willing to give them the benefit of the doubt about this, and acknowledge that (a) it's a move in the right direction, and (b) it can easily be interpreted, at least to some extent, as fitting in with my perception of changes in "attitude"/"behaviour";

      (iv) They have more competition now than ever before, and it's perhaps going to be less easy now for them to "get away with crap" than it has been in the past - and they surely know this, too.

      So, let's see. :confused:
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      • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
        Johnny, although I have a Clickbank seller's account, I haven't used it in years. So I read your list with interest.

        I think many of your frustrations are due to Clickbank's actual business model. I also think that a lot of sellers get used to the idea that CB is a payment processor.

        Remember, when someone buys a product through CB, they are not buying it from you. They are buying it through Clickbank, which gives Clickbank all kinds of different rights - like easy refunds, tougher acceptance standards, etc.

        As for a #10, Alexa beat me to it. I was going to mention that idiotic "dormant account" fee...
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        • Profile picture of the author Rus Sells
          Remember, when someone buys a product through CB, they are not buying it from you. They are buying it through Clickbank, which gives Clickbank all kinds of different rights - like easy refunds, tougher acceptance standards, etc.
          Exactly why I'll NEVER use Clickbank. I could go on, but essentially what you give up in control of your own product isn't worth the extra sales imho.
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        • Profile picture of the author Dan C. Rinnert
          Originally Posted by ramone_johnny View Post

          It's absolutely frustrating having to jump through so many hoops to satisfy Clickbank staff in order to have a product approved. Not only does this take time, but there's usually days worth of waiting between the email ping pong that typically goes on. I understand that Clickbank are probably extremely busy trying to service everyones needs, but from a vendors point of view, these delays are just annoying.
          Plan ahead. A few days wait, in my opinion, is no big deal. Online marketers are largely spoiled, from what I can see. In the offline world, some things take weeks or months to get approval. By comparison, a few days is nothing at all.

          Im asked at this point, for a pitch page, and a thank you page. This means obviously that I must invest the time towards putting these pages together, and ensuring everything is in place to satisfy Clickbank before submitting my request for approval.

          But whats to say that theyre going to say YES???? I could literally spend days putting this stuff together only to have them tell me "...sorry, we think your product is only worth $127"
          That's just a cost of doing business. Try getting a book published in the offline world. You might have to write dozens of letters, sending them out to different publishing houses, with no guarantee any of them will be even interested in publishing your book. That takes a lot of time and money. By comparison, putting together a couple web pages? No big deal.

          There's nothing more annoying than conversing with someone via email back and forth for an hour or so, answering their questions, assisting them as best you can, then offering them a 50% discount because they request it - then when you see their order come through - they have the NERVE to take further advantage of your genorisity by purchasing under their own affiliate ID. So instead of paying $97 for a product, they pay $21.
          I believe this is far less of a problem in non-IM niches. For my non-IM Clickbank products, I cannot recall anyone using their own affiliate ID to buy a copy.

          Originally Posted by Anonymous Affiliate View Post

          10. Clickbank's outrageous 7.5% transaction fee. That's simply crazy expensive!
          But, for that they will accept a variety of credit cards, plus PayPal, and they will handle all the 1099s and stuff for affiliates so you don't need to bother with that. For all that, 7.5% is a good deal to me.

          Originally Posted by bcagle View Post

          I was told that I could put them all on one page, but when I try to do this with different types of products the result is, shall we say, less than productive.

          So, unless I want to set up some of those pages offering dozens of ebooks for sale and promote that, I have to essentially purchase (pay the fee for) another Vendor account for each different offer.
          There are scripts available that will let you manage multiple products under a single Clickbank account better than Clickbank's system alone.

          Originally Posted by JohnMcCabe View Post

          As for a #10, Alexa beat me to it. I was going to mention that idiotic "dormant account" fee...
          Yes! That is one of the things I do not like either. Especially if you have multiple accounts, and some accounts decline in sales while you focus on others.

          Their CDR needs to be updated too. Too often, you'll have a majority of people paying with PayPal, and then it can be difficult to reach that five payment methods threshold.
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          • Profile picture of the author Alexa Smith
            Banned
            Originally Posted by Dan C. Rinnert View Post

            Their CDR needs to be updated too. Too often, you'll have a majority of people paying with PayPal, and then it can be difficult to reach that five payment methods threshold.
            Yes, I agree with this, too. I completely understand that the CDR's designed to protect affiliates, and that it does in fact protect affiliates, and that the entire system wouldn't really work without it, but it could do with an update, clearly, to take into account the preponderance of customers' PayPal payments.
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      • Profile picture of the author John Romaine
        Originally Posted by Alexa Smith View Post

        Thanks, Johnny. Obviously ClickBank has - to put it very mildly - a less than stellar history of "customer service" (I mean vendors and affiliates here, not retail customers) from the perspective of those of us making our livings this way. I've whined enough about them myself, in the past.
        Alexa, just as a thought, I wonder if Clickbank could possibly start acknowledging established vendors that contribute higher quality products, with low refund rates and consider granting them more privileges and a bit more flexibility when it comes to pricing and support?

        I feel even now, after having several products listed, and having been with Clickbank for years, that each time I submit a request, or seek some form of support, I'm treated like a total noob.

        Perhaps something like they do on Ezine with membership levels :confused:

        PS - Its 3:45am here, Im off to bed. Ill follow up on this tomorrow
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        • Profile picture of the author Alexa Smith
          Banned
          Originally Posted by ramone_johnny View Post

          Alexa, just as a thought, I wonder if Clickbank could possibly start acknowledging established vendors that contribute higher quality products, with low refund rates and consider granting them more privileges and a bit more flexibility when it comes to pricing and support?
          They should; it's a good idea.

          Not being a vendor myself I hadn't realised the extent to which they interefere, as a retailer, with the vendor's pricing decisions. I'm surprised.

          Originally Posted by ramone_johnny View Post

          I feel even now, after having several products listed, and having been with Clickbank for years, that each time I submit a request, or seek some form of support, I'm treated like a total noob.

          Perhaps something like they do on Ezine with membership levels
          It sounds a good idea to me ... (you can sort of understand them being a bit cautious over someone's first product, perhaps?).

          Originally Posted by ramone_johnny View Post

          PS - Its 3:45am here, Im off to bed.
          "Young generation of today: no stamina" ... :rolleyes:
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  • Profile picture of the author bcagle
    Reading this thread has brought out some interesting points that I can easily relate too.
    As a NEW VENDOR I encountered the usual Clickbank mandates for my pages, and then of course the restrictions on pricing.
    The last straw for me was 'discovering' ( hey, I printed and read every one of their pages on vendor contract and all other faq pages- something like 40 pages total)that while a vendor may have "up to 50 products" per account, no where was I told, or did I read, or could I find anything that explained that once you set up your 'marketplace' with a link (to my first product) that you could not 'point' affiliate traffic to other products.

    I was told that I could put them all on one page, but when I try to do this with different types of products the result is, shall we say, less than productive.

    So, unless I want to set up some of those pages offering dozens of ebooks for sale and promote that, I have to essentially purchase (pay the fee for) another Vendor account for each different offer.

    HAD this been explained up front, I might have reconsidered my original product or waited until I had enough for a page full.

    Then I also encountered the pricing restrictions. I created a membership site at $97.00/year with upsell to $197. The site is loaded with content and well worth 3 times that amount, however, because I was a New vendor I could not sell anything over the 50 mark. So, I restructured at $37/mo, only to find that they did not 'approve' that amount. Why? You tell me because I cannot get an answer from anyone. So, several months of work for nothing?

    While I applaud Clickbank for trying to implement guidelines to protect the consumers, I can't help but question the customer service being supplied to the vendors who, frankly, are their business.

    I just can't understand the way they justify their business practices, and while I understand they are in business to make money, aren't we all, perhaps it would be advantageous to look at HOW they are conducting their customer services and perhaps work to make some changes along the way.

    Barbara Cagle
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  • Profile picture of the author ColinChia
    This has been a debate for quite sometime...

    There's a reason BIG ClickBank launches don't happen quite so often anymore!

    They need to get their act together because they are losing a tonne of business - well, who cares? I don't. There is plenty more money to be made - outside of ClickBank!
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    • Profile picture of the author myob
      [DELETED]
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      • With regards to "refund abuse" it varies MASSIVELY from Niche to Niche.

        It seems that a huge majority of MMO products have terrible refund rates, and this is simply because people in this Niche know of Clickbank, and people know how easy it is to get a refund.

        Now I pick Niche's where people probably haven't even heard of Clickbank, so they are unaware of how easy it is to get a refund. It's working for me (Speaking as an affiliate)
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  • Profile picture of the author Gary McCaffrey
    The most annoying refund request I've had, and I've seen this 3 or 4 times, the message the buyer sent to CB went something like this:

    "Want refund for the following items:
    #6KTSBVBG
    ...
    ..."

    And proceeded to list 15 to 20 CB receipt ID's. My product among a dozen or so other products from other vendors. All refunded at once no questions asked.
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    • Profile picture of the author BillyBee
      Johnny, are your products in the make money category?

      I'm just curious how many of these problems are avoidable by picking more credible markets.
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    • Profile picture of the author Brandon Tanner
      Of course ClickBank is not perfect, but the truth is, NO payment processor or gateway is. Every single one of them have their pluses and minuses.

      For the most part, I like ClickBank, and have been fortunate enough that none of my products have ever had a refund rate greater than 3% (even in the IM niche). I can live with that. IMO it damn sure beats using Paypal, and risk having a big chunk of $$$ frozen for 6 months! (which seems to be happening to just about everyone who is doing any decent volume these days, especially in the IM/MMO niche). You think you have a high refund rate now? If you use Paypal and they freeze your account, then your "refund rate" might as well be 100%, lol.

      As per CB's product/pricing approval, you have to look at it from their perspective too. They are simply trying to protect their business by sorting out the very few good product submissions (1%) from the tons of garbage product submissions (99%) that they get every week. But if you have a quality product, then once they get to know you, they will let you price it at pretty much whatever you want (at least that's been my experience).

      As per who your affiliates are, you can control that to an extent by A) not listing your product in the CB marketplace (which IMO is way overrated, because 99% of the affiliates that hang out there aren't going to help you one bit), and B) manually approve each affiliate that signs up to your program via a submission form on your site, before giving them access to your affiliate tools page. And then focus on recruiting better affiliates and JV partners outside of the CB marketplace. That won't completely eliminate your bad affiliates of course, but it will reduce them significantly.

      So maybe I'm a bit biased towards CB, but IMO their "necessary evils" aren't quite as bad as the "necessary evils" of other payment processors I've dealt with.
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      • Profile picture of the author kencalhn
        although I've never sold anything on cb in my life, preferring instead to sell via my own site networks, I will be testing an info product there; it seems like it may be worthwhile to use for lead generation/exposure to a new marketplace of buyers, though i personally won't ever base an entire business off of a single marketplace focus (whether that be amazon affiliate marketing or cb or other), still worth testing though I'd think.

        idea for refund-reducing, don't know if this is possible, but I'd offer the main product as normal, but say that they get new content once a month for 4-6 months after their initial purchase... (eg "How to Grow Spinach ebook + video #1" you get now... but the "super spinach tips video gets sent out as a free/included bonus 91 days after purchase etc)... which would likely reduce refunds a lot, since they know you wouldn't email them with updated links to new content if they refunded... is that in cb's tos? re additional content dripped out over time post-purchase?
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    • Profile picture of the author LilBlackDress
      Originally Posted by Gary McCaffrey View Post

      The most annoying refund request I've had, and I've seen this 3 or 4 times, the message the buyer sent to CB went something like this:

      "Want refund for the following items:
      #6KTSBVBG
      ...
      ..."

      And proceeded to list 15 to 20 CB receipt ID's. My product among a dozen or so other products from other vendors. All refunded at once no questions asked.
      That is crazy.
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      • Profile picture of the author myob
        As an affiliate, none of these issues are of any concern to me at all. In fact, a major selling point for Clickbank products is there is an unconditional 60 day money-back guarantee, as well as other recent consumer protection enhancement standards put in place. If a product cannot withstand the rigors of marketing and customer satisfaction, I have no problem switching to another product. There are many quality and even excellent Clickbank products to choose from and promote.
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  • Profile picture of the author Eduard Stinga
    I was quite enthusiastic about launching a few products of mine on Clickbank, but after reading this thread I don't really know what to believe. Guess I'll do it anyway and see how it goes. Anyway, I like their new changes, so I'm sure things are getting better!
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  • Profile picture of the author wpo1408
    I first started using CB about 10 years ago.

    Sometimes I don't bother with it for years.

    Several times I have sold things, but I have never received a dime for one reason or another.

    Sod CB.

    Don't go there unless you are a big hitter.

    Owen
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  • Profile picture of the author GeorgR.
    There is too much negativity in your thread.

    YES - there are negative points with clickbank, YES there are serial refunders, YES there are fees etc..etc...

    But...CB provides a platform where literally everyone can sign up for free and start promoting affiliate products or their own products. Even with the fees, refunders etc. you can make money in a rather easy and uncomplicated way.

    OVERALL, i think it's good thing to have clickbank. Tell me, where else can you sign up for free and start making money as easily, eg. you could find a vendor who provides a pre-made landing page...drive traffic to it and make money right away?

    As for the approval process, i never had any significant problems except once i had to reword very minor things, no issue here
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    • Profile picture of the author John Romaine
      Originally Posted by Gary McCaffrey View Post

      The most annoying refund request I've had, and I've seen this 3 or 4 times, the message the buyer sent to CB went something like this:

      "Want refund for the following items:
      #6KTSBVBG
      ...
      ..."

      And proceeded to list 15 to 20 CB receipt ID's. My product among a dozen or so other products from other vendors. All refunded at once no questions asked.
      Very interesting point. Today, not too long after posting this thread actually, I received an apology from someone who requested a refund who had mistaken MY product, for someone elses!

      In his words .."Ive purchased several Clickbank products over the past week and two of them so far have been absolute garbage.."

      He then went on to ask me which product/website was mine, and then said that he was happy with it

      Originally Posted by BillyBee View Post

      Johnny, are your products in the make money category?

      I'm just curious how many of these problems are avoidable by picking more credible markets.
      Hi Billy, no mate. I dont promote anything in the MMO marketplace.

      Originally Posted by precious007 View Post

      It's not Clickbank's fault that you're getting refunds.

      The fault is solely yours because you're promoting the WRONG product.
      Do you even know what Im promoting/selling?

      Originally Posted by GeorgR. View Post

      There is too much negativity in your thread.

      YES - there are negative points with clickbank, YES there are serial refunders, YES there are fees etc..etc...

      But...CB provides a platform where literally everyone can sign up for free and start promoting affiliate products or their own products. Even with the fees, refunders etc. you can make money in a rather easy and uncomplicated way.

      OVERALL, i think it's good thing to have clickbank. Tell me, where else can you sign up for free and start making money as easily, eg. you could find a vendor who provides a pre-made landing page...drive traffic to it and make money right away?

      As for the approval process, i never had any significant problems except once i had to reword very minor things, no issue here
      George, I think the levels of frustration may vary significantly between affiliates and vendors, but thats just my opinion.
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  • Originally Posted by ramone_johnny View Post

    5. Clickbank being abused as a discount voucher system
    This one pisses me off specially. Clickbank is an affiliate network, not a self-generated discount voucher system.

    Too many people buy through their own link without the intention of ever promoting the product. Clickbank should take action against that because it's simply not cool.
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    • Profile picture of the author J Bold
      Originally Posted by Anonymous Affiliate View Post

      This one pisses me off specially. Clickbank is an affiliate network, not a self-generated discount voucher system.

      Too many people buy through their own link without the intention of ever promoting the product. Clickbank should take action against that because it's simply not cool.
      I've never understood this gripe.

      If they are going to buy through their affiliate link it's likely they wouldn't have bought unless they could get that discount.

      That's money you probably wouldn't have got, period. How is that not cool?

      So, what's better, 50% of the money or 0% of the money?
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    • Profile picture of the author svensky
      Originally Posted by Anonymous Affiliate View Post

      This one pisses me off specially. Clickbank is an affiliate network, not a self-generated discount voucher system.

      Too many people buy through their own link without the intention of ever promoting the product. Clickbank should take action against that because it's simply not cool.
      This has been happening to me quite a lot recently - it's a huge disappointment to see a CB Sale notification for my product only to find 1/4th of the price earned in my account.:rolleyes: If they are going to promote my product, then by all means (heck I'll even give them a free membership if that's the issue), but to just simply get a 75% discount right off the bat, that's a bit disappointing for me. At least it is increasing my marketplace gravity LOL!

      p.s My product is already discounted to a $27 lifetime fee - so that's only $6 after fees and affiliate commissions .
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  • Profile picture of the author satrap
    I have never been a big CB user. I just always had this weird feeling abut it. I dont mean to say every vendor there is a scammer, but I always had this view of CB being a somewhat scammy place. I dont know why, but thats how I feel.
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    • Profile picture of the author Alexa Smith
      Banned
      Originally Posted by satrap View Post

      I dont know why, but thats how I feel.
      Yes, I hear you there. I suspect it may partly be because - understandably - we view it "as internet marketers" and perhaps tend to think instinctively of "internet marketing advice" products and "MMO" products. And those, it must be said, are clearly, collectively, the hypiest, scammiest offerings there?
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  • Profile picture of the author David Louis Monk
    Has the situation got worse with Clickbank over the last couple of years? I have bought a lot of products through Clickbank and now whenever I see a 60-day guarantee I guess the sale is going to go through Clickbank.
    I have to force myself to stop buying of late for products are getting so hyped up and misleading that I find I have returned quite a few in recent months. I do not want to appear a serial refunder.
    My policy is that I will buy knowing I have a 60-day guarantee. If the guarantee is that I will make money in this time, and I do not (with no strings attached) then so long as I know I have given the product a fair shot, I will refund it.

    Also, I know sellers do not want to give too much away, but sometimes you have to buy the product just to find out if it is another " new method" you know nothing about or find it is something very similar to what has already been purchased. If sellers could say a little bit more about what methods are involved it would help.

    When I ask for a refund from Clickbank, I always give a justification for my request so that Clickbank are given a reason and hopefully, they will not be totting up my refunds and deciding I have become a serial refunder. I have given Clickbank a rest for a while as the WSO's are piling in and as the WSOs are a good pice WSOs are winning the day for me at the moment.

    Of course these comments are from a buyer's perspective and not one who has a Clickbank product to sell or is making affiliate commissions from Clickbank products.
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    • Profile picture of the author Alexa Smith
      Banned
      Interesting observations, David.

      Originally Posted by David Louis Monk View Post

      Has the situation got worse with Clickbank over the last couple of years?
      I don't have a strong enough stomach to look in detail at the "IM-advice" or "MMO" (or "Forex") products, so I can't comment on those; I don't think the rest have. It's true there are - in many niches - a few ludicrously hyped-up sales pages evidently written by people pretending to be copywriters and copying what they see without understanding how it works, or doesn't, but predictably enough those hardly sell at all because their target audiences are typically alienated by those sales pages (is my firm impression).

      But the big change, recently, is this, which is very welcome indeed (just a bit overdue!).
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    • Profile picture of the author Chris Sorrell
      An easy way to avoid all or at least most of those gripes would be to simply sell through your own merchant and find affiliates accordingly. Then you could price it as high or as low as you liked, have all sorts of upsells/downsells and continuity programs available and also dramatically cut down your refund rate.

      You could find a ton of decent affiliates off forums, search engine searches, alexa.com site demographics, jvnotifypro announcements and seminars etc, so really, what would you be losing by not having it available on clickbank?

      You may find a lot of affiliates would actually prefer that scenario as you would be in control of your own refund policy which means more money for you and more money for your affiliates. Everyone wins.
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  • Profile picture of the author garyv
    Personally - I love ClickBank's refund policy. It forces vendors (I'm one of them) to sell quality products, and to clean up the entire process. I love knowing, that if I take care of my customers better than my clickbank competitor, that I might just take some of his affiliates.

    If you're a vendor, and you can't make a profit because of too many refunds, then there's something wrong with the quality of your product, or with the process. And if you listen to your customers, it's not hard at all to figure it out.

    And if you're an affiliate, then you need to have back-ups of every product you sell from different vendors. You should be split testing them anyway, because there's always the potential that another product will sell better than the current one you're promoting. - Then if a product tends to have too many refunds, you can easily switch it out.

    But DON'T just sit back and blame the middle man. Take charge of your own money making actions. - Or DON'T - More for me!
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    • Profile picture of the author jonj31070
      Originally Posted by garyv View Post

      Personally - I love ClickBank's refund policy. It forces vendors (I'm one of them) to sell quality products, and to clean up the entire process. I love knowing, that if I take care of my customers better than my clickbank competitor, that I might just take some of his affiliates.

      If you're a vendor, and you can't make a profit because of too many refunds, then there's something wrong with the quality of your product, or with the process. And if you listen to your customers, it's not hard at all to figure it out.

      And if you're an affiliate, then you need to have back-ups of every product you sell from different vendors. You should be split testing them anyway, because there's always the potential that another product will sell better than the current one you're promoting. - Then if a product tends to have too many refunds, you can easily switch it out.

      But DON'T just sit back and blame the middle man. Take charge of your own money making actions. - Or DON'T - More for me!
      That is what I was waiting for! The refund rate is high for some vendors because they sell crap. I'm still somewhat new to IM and have bought my fair share of Clickbank garbage, and yes, returned a lot of it, because it was crap. However, I have found some really good programs that I did not refund.

      Bottom line:If you sell a quality product you will not have many refunds.
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  • Profile picture of the author murtuza
    yeah, I was annoyed with their pricing policy, they did not allow me to setup a $97 product and high ticket products sales were out of reach for me to setup there. I went about setting up my affiliate tracking with the new 2checkout global affiliates beta, it is cool and I have recently done my testing with their affiliate management and it works great. Their support is super fact and it works excellently.

    It is also flexible and we can setup all kinds of products out there with no restrictions. Also the best part is that their affiliate tracking is free, you only have to pay the per sale 5.5% fee and they have made the affiliate tracking free. It's a real peace to sell products using 2co. Hope this helps...
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    • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
      Originally Posted by kencalhn View Post

      idea for refund-reducing, don't know if this is possible, but I'd offer the main product as normal, but say that they get new content once a month for 4-6 months after their initial purchase... (eg "How to Grow Spinach ebook + video #1" you get now... but the "super spinach tips video gets sent out as a free/included bonus 91 days after purchase etc)... which would likely reduce refunds a lot, since they know you wouldn't email them with updated links to new content if they refunded... is that in cb's tos? re additional content dripped out over time post-purchase?
      I haven't gone back to check the TOS for this, but if I were the one looking at a refund request, I'd start the 60 day timer when the last delivery was made (completing the product).

      Better is a strategy of sending "unadvertised bonuses" at irregular intervals over the first few months after purchase. That's assuming you could get them onto your update list...
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  • Profile picture of the author OMichael
    Very good points indeed. I think CB can act as they do cos there's no real competition. period.
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  • Profile picture of the author netnutmike
    All very great points!

    No to add to the poo poo party

    I have been slowly moving my products to Rapid Action Profits and running them both through clickbank and idavi. The goal is to eventually get them 100% off of clickbank and 100% in Rap and iDavi. At least with payments through paypal directly you have some say in the refund process.

    And rather than paying the per site setup fee for every new product, you just pay $195 one time and use it as much as you want. The listing in iDavi is 100% free and brings you tons of affiliates.

    Anyways, great post on why not to use CB.
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    • Profile picture of the author Alexa Smith
      Banned
      Originally Posted by netnutmike View Post

      At least with payments through paypal directly you have some say in the refund process.
      Just to play an advocate's devil here, for a moment (I don't do "devil's advocate"), it's also sometimes argued by people that one of the advantages of ClickBank over those other places is that you don't have to live in fear of PayPal arbitrarily freezing your assets off for 6 months over any "unexpected volume" or whatever, and ClickBank pays you right into your own bank account. "Just saying"
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      • Profile picture of the author netnutmike
        That is a great point Alexa!

        I know a lot of people doing the instant commissions through paypal and none of them have had an issue (yet). From what I have researched most of the people that have were playing with fire with the Paypal TOS. I understand it is quite vague in a few places when it comes to get rich quick products and their interpretation of that.

        But your point is very true. Clickbank isolates you from the entire refund process but I think that is also one of the problems with Clickbank as well.

        That is probably how they keep from getting their paypal account frozen, just say yes to every request.
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        • Profile picture of the author fonoi
          Originally Posted by ramone_johnny View Post

          3. Pricing dictatorship

          What gives Alex, or Karen, or Steve, or any other member of Clickbank staff the right to tell me what price I should sell my product at?

          SERIOUSLY?

          Let me tell you theres nothing more insulting than being told after having just invested $3,000 and 4 months of my time towards developing a product that I can only sell it for $48 rather than $97 because they "dont feel its priced right".

          F*cking says who????

          If my pricing is out, then thats for ME to find out through marketing, research and customer feedback.

          Its extremely annoying investing time towards developing a product, with intent to sell it at $97, only to be told by someone who knows nothing about me, the way I operate my business or the quality of my products that "...maybe after 8 weeks of good sales and low refunds, we might consider it at $97"
          While I do agree that you should have control over your pricing, I also think there may be more variables involved.

          As you have said there are a rash of serial refunders at the moment and Clickbank may just be protecting themselves (and you) by having certain requirments to charge a higher price for your product.

          They do have the "inside" info after all and may see that $47 has a much lower refund rate then $97, but they will allow you to charge $97 if you can prove after a cooling down period that your product is quality.

          While you may expect Clickbank to evaluate the quality of the information in every product, I think it is unreasonable to expect them to be experts on every subject. Then you also have the objective part, what may look good to a beginner gardener for example, will be thought of as beginner reshashed trash to an expert landscaper.
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        • Profile picture of the author Steven Wagenheim
          I have no horse in this race anymore (pretty much retired and will probably
          never put another product up on CB again) but here is my 2 cents on CB.

          As an affiliate, if you know anything about marketing at all, the place is a gold
          mine. You should see some of the stuff I have "set and forget" that sells and
          gives me NO hassle from refunds, customer support or anything.

          Key is knowing what niches to stay away from and what niches to tackle.

          As a vendor, yeah, they blow. I don't need their service at all to make sales
          and unless you're going to heavily promote your affiliate program, just having
          your product in the marketplace means nothing. NOBODY will see it unless the
          gravity is high to begin with, which makes it a real catch 22. Of course you
          can game the gravity system easily (won't get into it here as I've discussed
          this at length in other threads) but I'm just not into doing that. It's too much
          hassle.

          I thanked you because you obviously put a lot of thought into your post, but
          I don't agree with everything, especially the threshold stuff. I think you can
          make it as low as $10, so there is no beef there. If your money is tied up,
          it's YOUR fault.

          Having said that, I hate CB as a vendor and will never use them again. They
          simply give me no benefits without me having to work like a dog to take
          advantage of them.

          As an affiliate, I love them.

          My 2 cents on the subject.
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        • Profile picture of the author virtualgeek
          Why make 10 when number 1 says it all? I mean seriously unless your product is totally secured(needs passwords to open/use etc.) they could just buy it and get a refund and keep the product.
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  • Profile picture of the author Benjamin Ehinger
    Reason #10 - Clickbank steals from Affiliates and has for years. I have had many instances where a product converted very well for a little while and as soon as I started to make a good amount of money all of the sudden it dropped of.

    I don't promote many Clickbank products anymore and try to stick with physical products from affiliate marketplaces that are trustworthy and don't steal from those that make them money.

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  • Profile picture of the author Hostpany
    Originally Posted by ramone_johnny View Post

    Well this morning I got up, checked my email and had another refund request. This equates to $380 worth of refunds in just a matter of days. This time, again, just like the last one as explained in THIS THREAD - just minutes after purchase.
    Interesting thread, but May I ask you something? Will Clickbank still refund the money to your customers even if you sell a physical product?

    This is what I was thinking that you should do, why not go ahead and turn your 217 page ebook into a physical product, at max it should cost about 5 bucks per book if you buy it in bulks.

    So to buy 200 books it should cost approximately around $1,000. Assuming the price of each book to be made is 5 bucks. (It should be around there)

    You don't need to acquire an ISBN if you're selling the book through your own market such as selling books to your customers.

    This will take extra time, and a bit more work, but the refunds should be a lot lower. Now even if they try to refund your book, do you honestly think Clickbank will go ahead and refund the money to your customers without them having to return your book?

    This should work, what do you think? Now wouldn't that lower the refund rates?

    The only problem I see is the Shipping cost, gas money, and extra time in your hands to deliver books per order.

    You should be able to increase your price with an upgraded product.
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    • Profile picture of the author John Romaine
      Originally Posted by Hostpany View Post

      Interesting thread, but May I ask you something? Will Clickbank still refund the money to your customers even if you sell a physical product?

      This is what I was thinking that you should do, why not go ahead and turn your 217 page ebook into a physical product.
      Interesting suggestion.

      I sent an email to disk.com yesterday enquiring about turning one of my products into a physical product, and will be sure to come back and post my findings.
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  • Profile picture of the author Adie
    I stopped using CB long time ago after they held my money for some s2pid reasons... thanks for bringing this out..
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  • Profile picture of the author Paul Barrs
    Johnny,

    Terrific post; very well thought out and one of the best I've read for a long time.

    Alexa, kudos to you to for your replies - I don't know where you get the time to write them -

    Unfortunately this is something that we all have to share, *and* deal with.

    Recently I made the decision of putting almost everything of mine into my members site for ONLINE delivery, not digital download. Yes, there are downland components, but not the core -

    Although I am pissed that CB won't let me "sell it yet" for more than $100 (I want to eventually get it up to $500 for full access) I'm in the process of changing the sales model and putting "part access" available on front end, OTO upsell on backend to full access - tests have shown it's working and generating more sales.

    However, on the other side of the coin.... I put in my first ever CB refund this past week for a product I bought about 3 weeks back. In my opinion it simply didn't deliver what I believed it promised (software). I tried it when I first downloaded - not happy. Talked it through with developer, still not happy. Left it a few weeks, tried again - nup. Put in a refund request.

    Then the developer sent me msg accusing me of "slapping him across the face"... WTF?

    So the CB refund policy is there for good reason, but unfortunately it also gets abused. Let's be thankfull through that they don't "close accounts" as readily as Paypal and hold your money back from you.

    That's a positive that cannot be overstated.

    Paul Barrs
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  • Profile picture of the author sal64
    I guess their auto-refund policy sucks big time.

    I run sister sites, and get hardly any refunds on the non CB site.

    The big hoopla about CB was the lure of instant affiliate, and even that doesn't really happen unless you have a gun product and killer conversions.

    So it's just another payment processor for mine.

    Paydotcom.com is pretty good and offers everything CB has with the ball-squeezing approval method.

    So I am leaning towards my own affiliate management these days.

    As far as fees go, I like ejunkie heaps and they have an affiliate program.

    CB just doesn't offer the same benefits as it once did IMO.
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  • Profile picture of the author uebomoyi
    I kind of think some of the clickbank rules needed to be applied. With all of the garbage for product launches taking advantage of people's minds, I think it's best for them to start penalizing people who offer garbage products. However in your case, I can understand your position and I am very sorry to hear about that. Clickbank should definitely do something about the fact that the consumer has the right to refund immediately. That is pretty bogus, hopefully they'll create some type of regulation to solve this problem.

    James
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  • Profile picture of the author Pixel Minisite
    I always wanted to try CB, I guess I need to think about it
    thanks for sharing your experience
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  • Profile picture of the author nagidr
    i can relate to:"Marketplace of garbage products"
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  • Profile picture of the author BabyMama
    I went off clickbank a few years ago. I just find there whole system difficult as an affiliate. I don't really deal with affiliate marketing anymore but I know there are some much better sites which give instand payments direct to your paypal and offer much easier affiliate incentives.

    RAP Bank is one of them.

    Just my 2c
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    • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
      Originally Posted by Benjamin Ehinger View Post

      Reason #10 - Clickbank steals from Affiliates and has for years. I have had many instances where a product converted very well for a little while and as soon as I started to make a good amount of money all of the sudden it dropped of.

      Benjamin Ehinger
      You lost me here...

      How does a volume dropoff equate to Clickbank stealing from you?

      Are you saying that there is someone at Clickbank monitoring your affiliate account, with instructions to cut you off as soon as they think you've made enough money? Or that somehow they are singling you out and deciding to skim your commissions, but waiting to do it until you're making enough sales?

      It might be more reasonable to assume a shady product owner would be up to something than a reseller who gets their percentage regardless of who makes the sale.

      Even more reasonable to assume that you've sold the people available to you who are interested in that product, especially in the 'hot' niches. They may have just lost interest in a given product because there's a new one chasing them.

      Without some kind of proof, you just sound paranoid...
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      • Profile picture of the author Benjamin Ehinger
        Originally Posted by JohnMcCabe View Post

        You lost me here...

        How does a volume dropoff equate to Clickbank stealing from you?

        Are you saying that there is someone at Clickbank monitoring your affiliate account, with instructions to cut you off as soon as they think you've made enough money? Or that somehow they are singling you out and deciding to skim your commissions, but waiting to do it until you're making enough sales?

        It might be more reasonable to assume a shady product owner would be up to something than a reseller who gets their percentage regardless of who makes the sale.

        Even more reasonable to assume that you've sold the people available to you who are interested in that product, especially in the 'hot' niches. They may have just lost interest in a given product because there's a new one chasing them.

        Without some kind of proof, you just sound paranoid...
        Nope not paranoid and I have seen it happen to others as well. I currently have 6 clickbank accounts because if I switch the same products over to a new account they perform well again for about a month, then drop off. I got so sick of dealing with this pattern that I moved on.

        Clickbank has, in my opinion, ghost affiliates that they use to create commissions for their company. I am not the only one that has felt this way and even though I won't take the time to prove it because I don't have it, others have. When you are still getting the same amount of traffic and conversions go from 1 out of 100 or 200 to 1 out of 10,000 there is a problem.

        I could blame product owners, but it has happened to me with several different products from many different owners. I simply use Clickbank as a last resort if I can't find the product I want to promote anywhere else. I don't trust them.

        Benjamin Ehinger
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        • Profile picture of the author Alexa Smith
          Banned
          Originally Posted by Benjamin Ehinger View Post

          I won't take the time to prove it because I don't have it
          Then you might be well advised not to allege it in public, Benjamin. Understandably, it'll only get you ridiculed.

          Originally Posted by Benjamin Ehinger View Post

          I simply use Clickbank as a last resort if I can't find the product I want to promote anywhere else. I don't trust them.
          That's very dramatically different from the allegations of criminal fraud you made above.
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        • Profile picture of the author garyv
          Originally Posted by Benjamin Ehinger View Post

          I won't take the time to prove it because I don't have it, others have. When you are still getting the same amount of traffic and conversions go from 1 out of 100 or 200 to 1 out of 10,000 there is a problem.
          Actually, in all of the years I've been with Clickbank, I have yet to see someone provide any proof of Clickbank's wrong-doing. And I admit, in the past I've had plenty of shenanigans going on w/ my stats and numbers and thought that it could only possibly be Clickbank doing it. That was until I started using my own tracking software. And now any time there's something weird going on with my numbers, almost 100% of the time it has something to do with Google - not every time. Once in a while I have an affiliate that sends me some weird traffic. But never has it been Clickbank's doing.

          And believe me, some of my products I track so tightly that I can practically tell what my visitor had for breakfast that morning. And if Clickbank or some "ghost affiliate" tried to divert any of my traffic, I'd pick up on it. - It hasn't happened. And by the way, I have caught some CPA companies red handed.
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  • Profile picture of the author Nathy Curiel
    I personally never liked Clickbank and then still own me 200 usd ..
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  • Profile picture of the author Radio1
    Ramone... Excellent post. You bring a lot of understanding to a newbie, answering a lot of my "what the heck?" questions.
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    I've spent thousands on sure thing marketing systems. You're welcome. :)

    BA

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  • Profile picture of the author Mike Tyler
    While ClickBank lack a few essential vendor rules,
    they are indeed very professional and great affiliate platform.

    They have started removing a lot of products from their marketplace after the new September 2011 Terms of Service was implemented. But as a vendor, ClickBank must seriously rethink their refund rules.

    I've got dudes that buying my product and five minutes later requesting a refund telling ClickBank that they already knew the stuff in my product. What a easy way getting the vendors products without paying a dime.

    That should be the topic for the new Terms of Service change.

    Mike Tyler.
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  • Profile picture of the author thekaver
    these are all great points!

    especally point 1! i feel your pain there bro, i have had this also! The only plus side to it is the sales by far greatly out weight the refunds so it still a good place to big make money

    thanks
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  • Profile picture of the author nowfindadam
    So if you were looking at selling a product that had been tested on the WF and converted well, where else would you suggest selling it?

    CB does have a mega amount of affiliates there, is there a CB spinoff somewhere else we could be looking?
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    • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
      Originally Posted by nowfindadam View Post

      So if you were looking at selling a product that had been tested on the WF and converted well, where else would you suggest selling it?

      CB does have a mega amount of affiliates there, is there a CB spinoff somewhere else we could be looking?
      One of the myths of using Clickbank is that, if you list your product with them, you automatically have tens of thousands of affiliates.

      While technically true, in practice you still have to recruit those affiliates. Look at the marketplace, with thousands of products (particularly in the 'desperate niches' IMers seem to prefer). Like Google searchers, how many actually go beyond the first page or two when looking for products to promote?
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  • Profile picture of the author Sams IMRS
    Well About the Refunds - I have no issues with CB they have been very prompt.

    However Thanks for the other points, I vendor in CJ, AMAZON and Paydotcom great place to work with. try those out.
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  • Profile picture of the author laptopwarmonmylap
    Banned
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    • Profile picture of the author John Romaine
      Originally Posted by laptopwarmonmylap View Post

      What a baby!

      Name calling.

      You know, if you live in Sydney, you're more than welcome to come say that to my face.
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  • Profile picture of the author GaryShouldis
    I'm currently looking for an affiliate program, thanks for the ClickBank update. I thought it looked like alot of junk when I was on their site
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  • Profile picture of the author Alex Kage
    So Clickbank is going down the drain. Great, what's next? CJ?
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    • Profile picture of the author Stefan Vee
      I Love Clickbank, but I agree that they make it too easy to get a refund.

      Less than 30 minutes ago, I got 3 refunds from 3 separate vendor accounts, ALL refund tickets initiated by the same person and ALL within 5 minutes.

      All 3 had this reason:
      • Reason Selected: I do not recognize the purchase.
      • Comments: "I don't remember ordering the product and can't find it on my computer to show that I did indeed download it."
      Sure wish they blacklisted that guy
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      • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
        Originally Posted by Stefan Vee View Post

        I Love Clickbank, but I agree that they make it too easy to get a refund.

        Less than 30 minutes ago, I got 3 refunds from 3 separate vendor accounts, ALL refund tickets initiated by the same person and ALL within 5 minutes.

        All 3 had this reason:
        • Reason Selected: I do not recognize the purchase.
        • Comments: "I don't remember ordering the product and can't find it on my computer to show that I did indeed download it."
        Sure wish they blacklisted that guy
        Send your proof to Clickbank. They might blacklist the guy.

        On a more general note, if you catch someone abusing a system you use, compile your evidence and raise the issue with the system provider. Your chances of getting any action are way better than letting it slide and then venting on a forum.

        In this case, if the guy is doing it to you, he's likely doing it to others as well. If no one reports him, how is CB supposed to know there's a problem?
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        • Profile picture of the author Stefan Vee
          Originally Posted by JohnMcCabe View Post

          Send your proof to Clickbank. They might blacklist the guy.

          On a more general note, if you catch someone abusing a system you use, compile your evidence and raise the issue with the system provider. Your chances of getting any action are way better than letting it slide and then venting on a forum.

          In this case, if the guy is doing it to you, he's likely doing it to others as well. If no one reports him, how is CB supposed to know there's a problem?
          By "system provider" you do mean Clickbank, right? I escalated one of the tickets to Clickbank with reference to the other 2 tickets.

          I do think CB does know about the Warrior Forum and I do presume that they are fully aware of the situation. I would be shocked if they are NOT!
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  • Profile picture of the author baseball_card
    My main reason why I am disappointed with Clickbank is because I have tried it on a small portion of my sites and have yet to make a single sale. That isn't their fault if my traffic isn't converting, but other affiliates convert and obviously Clickbank isn't working out for me.
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  • Profile picture of the author Ryan Sterling
    Can't fight the power! Almost 2 big ones paid out, they call the shots and you are just the puppet at the end of their strings.

    Trust me, I've got the Google Slap. Not much I can do but follow the rules and bow to the mighty.
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  • Profile picture of the author Vulk
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  • Profile picture of the author jryan
    My take on this is as Markters and with all the publishing tools (digital or real) out there...you do not need clickbank.

    Since there are so many problems and they run their business the way they run their business...do not use them.

    If you were to look at the numbers....do it yourself without a refund...or a reason to refund website of your own. Have a place or link for affiliates when they come to your site as you market to get the right affiliates.

    This seems to make more sense to me as I am in complete control (well almost) the entire process.

    Sounds to me like be a vendor on clickbank has no value
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    • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
      Originally Posted by Stefan Vee View Post

      By "system provider" you do mean Clickbank, right? I escalated one of the tickets to Clickbank with reference to the other 2 tickets.

      I do think CB does know about the Warrior Forum and I do presume that they are fully aware of the situation. I would be shocked if they are NOT!
      In your case, I did indeed mean Clickbank. But the principle applies equally to any other sysytem provider - PayPal, SaaS vendors, individual product vendors, etc.

      I'd be shocked if CB was unaware of the Warrior Forum. I'd be even more shocked if they actually had someone monitoring posts just in case one of their vendors had a specific issue.

      I'd be shocked (and worried) if they were unaware of the general problem of serial refunders and product thieves. I'd be even more shocked if they tried to police individual problem buyers without some kind of notification, or if they relied on the assorted rants, complaints, whining, etc. you see here. Especially with Rule #1 prohibiting posters from directly identifying individuals.

      I'd like to know how your escalation turns out...
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      • Profile picture of the author Stefan Vee
        Originally Posted by JohnMcCabe View Post

        I'd be shocked if CB was unaware of the Warrior Forum. I'd be even more shocked if they actually had someone monitoring posts just in case one of their vendors had a specific issue.
        I'd be shocked too if it was just ONE!

        Originally Posted by JohnMcCabe View Post

        I'd be shocked (and worried) if they were unaware of the general problem of serial refunders and product thieves. I'd be even more shocked if they tried to police individual problem buyers without some kind of notification, or if they relied on the assorted rants, complaints, whining, etc. you see here. Especially with Rule #1 prohibiting posters from directly identifying individuals.
        Like I said in my original reply, ... I do love Clickbank's services! I hate it too when someone says that CB sucks because they only had 2 sales this month (compared to the 4 sales they had in the previous month). IMHO, Clickbank is by all means a GREAT company!

        Originally Posted by JohnMcCabe View Post

        I'd like to know how your escalation turns out...
        I escalated tickets before and I fully understand why Clickbank can't always give feedback about how these issues turned out. Consumers have legal rights too!
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  • Profile picture of the author BigMarv
    Originally Posted by ramone_johnny View Post

    Well this morning I got up, checked my email and had another refund request. This equates to $380 worth of refunds in just a matter of days. This time, again, just like the last one as explained in THIS THREAD - just minutes after purchase.

    This is beyond a joke. Really is.

    Im so sick and tired of Clickbank's BS, Ive put together a list of my top 10 reasons why I no longer wish to use their services.

    1. Refund requests/serial refunders

    This should be self explanatory. As a vendor, I feel COMPLETELY POWERLESS to stop this. Infact, when it comes to Clickbank and refunds, the process seems too easy. I dont know how many times Ive received a refund request with no explanation from the customer as to WHY they want their money back. There's no dispute process, and no way to deny the request. It just gets honoured, period. You cant tell me that more and more people arent becoming aware of this and simply abusing this privilege.

    I tried escalating a refund request to Clickbank support just recently, and they basically told me that while it was frustrating, that there wasnt anything that could be done. Even though it was OBVIOUS that the person purchased with intent to refund.

    Absolute BS.

    2. Product approval BS

    It's absolutely frustrating having to jump through so many hoops to satisfy Clickbank staff in order to have a product approved. Not only does this take time, but there's usually days worth of waiting between the email ping pong that typically goes on. I understand that Clickbank are probably extremely busy trying to service everyones needs, but from a vendors point of view, these delays are just annoying.

    Whats more frustrating is that I could easily search through the marketplace and find a dozen or so Clickbank sites that dont appear to conform to the same rules that seem to be imposed upon on me or my newly created product/website during the approval process. If there are standards, set them across the board and enforce them appropriately. At the moment, theres far too many inconcistencies which gives the impression that Clickbank is being run by amatuers.


    3. Pricing dictatorship

    What gives Alex, or Karen, or Steve, or any other member of Clickbank staff the right to tell me what price I should sell my product at?

    SERIOUSLY?

    Let me tell you theres nothing more insulting than being told after having just invested $3,000 and 4 months of my time towards developing a product that I can only sell it for $48 rather than $97 because they "dont feel its priced right".

    F*cking says who????

    If my pricing is out, then thats for ME to find out through marketing, research and customer feedback.

    Its extremely annoying investing time towards developing a product, with intent to sell it at $97, only to be told by someone who knows nothing about me, the way I operate my business or the quality of my products that "...maybe after 8 weeks of good sales and low refunds, we might consider it at $97"

    4. Account pricing limitations

    Okay, so I already have an account created, a product listed, and making sales at $97. I'm making an effort to build a list, interact with that list and perform regular surveys. To further help my customers and develop additional products, I decide to put a comprehensive video training course together. At this stage I already KNOW what they want, and how much theyre willing to pay - which is $197.

    So I log into my account, and try to raise the pricing limitation from Clickbanks default $100 to $200 to accommodate my new product which at this point is still under development.

    This is where it gets sticky.

    Im asked at this point, for a pitch page, and a thank you page. This means obviously that I must invest the time towards putting these pages together, and ensuring everything is in place to satisfy Clickbank before submitting my request for approval.

    But whats to say that theyre going to say YES???? I could literally spend days putting this stuff together only to have them tell me "...sorry, we think your product is only worth $127" (SEE POINT 3)

    Im not going to waste my time, developing pages and content only to have some big wig at Clickbank deny me. My time isnt worth $0.

    5. Clickbank being abused as a discount voucher system

    There's nothing more annoying than conversing with someone via email back and forth for an hour or so, answering their questions, assisting them as best you can, then offering them a 50% discount because they request it - then when you see their order come through - they have the NERVE to take further advantage of your genorisity by purchasing under their own affiliate ID. So instead of paying $97 for a product, they pay $21.

    This flat out blows.

    6. Powerless as a vendor

    As a vendor and product creator, I have to say, with all these shinannigans going on with Clickbank, I feel almost powerless in a sense. This shouldnt be the case. I cant dispute refunds, Im fighting with Clickbank staff for approvals, and pricing limitations, and refunds seem to be increasing.

    I may as well just put the download link on my home page with the words CLICK HERE FOR FREE.


    7. Affiliates blasting useless sites all over the web

    Sure having affiliates should be considered a bonus, but when I browse the web and find absolute garbage filled crappy sites that dont provide any value at all to the user except flashy banner ads, adsense and CLICK HERE CLICK HERE rubbish, used in conjunction with spun $1 articles from Indonesia, it makes me shake my head.

    Why cant I as a vendor have some kind of idea of WHO is promoting my product and HOW.


    8. Payment thresholds

    I dont know about others, but if youve ever been in the position of needing cash to simply "get by" or "make ends meet" and you have several Clickbank accounts that are just under the payment threshold, this can be a little frustrating. Especially when you've got $2,000 sitting in funds you cant access. I know this might be a bit trivial but I cant help but think Clickbank is simply cashing in on interest.

    The other issue is account termination. Twice now, Ive wanted to close an account and set the threshold so that all of my money would be released. Or so I thought. Clickbank always retains some money to cover refunds, and chargebacks, so if you have $532 in your account, and you decide to close it, consider yourself lucky if you get $480 back. You can pretty much kiss the other $50 goodbye.

    9. Marketplace of garbage products

    By no means am I applying this to EVERYONE within the marketplace. But lets face it, theres a LOT of garbage in there, and quite frankly, as Rich Struck said in another thread, Im not sure I want to be associated with it. Seems like Clickbank was willing to sell anything at one point to make a dollar and now that the FTC has stepped in - its us that feels the boot in the bum.

    10. I couldnt think of another one, I'll leave this up to someone else. Im sure there's more....

    All I can say is that ClickBank has put hundreds of thousands of dollars into my pockets of the past 10 years. So, whatever they are doing, I'm not complianing.
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  • Profile picture of the author hoedha
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    • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
      Originally Posted by hoedha View Post

      wow..great info here.. i'm just about to start as clickbank affiliate..but if all of this is true, then maybe i will consider other money making options..
      Go back and read it again. Most of the discussion is about working with Clickbank as a seller, not an affiliate.

      In fact, many of the things that give product developers headaches make buying through CB attractive to consumers, and therefor attractive to affiliates.

      There are a lot of people pulling down a comfortable full time income as Clickbank affiliates. Product selection is a big part of it, as is how you pre-sell that product.
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  • Profile picture of the author Ryan David
    I'd agree with others that, at least in my case as a customer, the 60 day refund policy is a HUGE selling point.

    I'm not afraid to admit that I'm a liberal refund requester if I take a chance on a product and don't feel like it delivers based on the sales page. If that's the case, I refund and never look at the product again.

    A lot of those products I would've never , ever purchased if there wasn't a refund policy like Clickbanks.
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