Clickbank - Scams, junk and copyright infringement?

37 replies
Hi warriors,

For those that don't know, I'm relatively new to both the forums, and IM. In fact, it was only earlier this week that I finally decided to make a clickbank account, and start for the first time to attempt affiliate marketing. I went to the marketplace shortly after making the account, and found literally hundreds of items to promote, many of them offering high commission rates.

I thought I was in affiliate marketer's heaven (which, in a sense, I suppose I was). I immediately singled out some products which sounded like the sort of stuff I'd like to promote. But when I started to do research into the product itself, a very ugly truth reared its head.

Basically all the products I looked at were either junk, didn't work properly, never honoured refund promises or were shameless verbatim copies of other people's work, which was often already available for free online. I searched for a good few hours to see if there were any products in my areas of interest (namely Computers/Internet, Software & Services and Games), and I can count on one hand the number of products I found that I would actually consider promoting.

And half that time was spend wading through the countless hundreds of affiliate sites gushing with praise and admiration for what I would describe as nothing more than a scam. I mean, I often had to dig a bit to find a real review of the product, and it was almost always damning, bringing to light all kinds of issues with the product, and claims about refunds not being honoured almost always went hand-in-hand with these.

What bothers me more however, is that Clickbank appears to do nothing about this problem at all. I could be wrong, but nearly all of the big-selling, high gravity products and vendors were almost universally peddling snake oil. And given the difficulty of finding honest reviews of these products, its no surprise so many people get ripped off.

Now, I refuse to promote a product that either shamelessly copies other people's work, or is a blatant scam, and as you could imagine, this has made using Clickbank somewhat difficult. So I'm just wondering, how do you guys get around this problem? Do you investigate the products you promote, or do you just go ahead and promote them?

Honestly, I'm finding this issue quite frustrating and time consuming, so if anyone has any advice in regards to this, it would be greatly appreciated .

Thanks,
Trivium
#clickbank #copyright #infringement #junk #scams
  • Profile picture of the author BlackRob
    I agree Clickbank can be a very frustrating place to look for something to promote, especially when you are new to internet marketing, the only way around this problem I can see is to go into the warrior special offer section, and pick a product that you would like to promote from there. Obviously you will need to contact the product owner first to see if they have an affiliate program, but I am sure you will find a lot will have that in place.
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  • Profile picture of the author John Romaine
    You do what I do. You create your own products.

    I tend to agree with what you're saying though. The trick is, it's best to be aware of this now, rather than later. There's a lot of rubbish in there, but there's also a lot of great products.

    I would recommend taking your time and finding the good ones. You're always best taking a month to get it right first, rather than 6 months trying to fix it later.

    If the web/computers/internet is your thing, feel free to have a look my sites within my signature.

    I can assure you they're good quality, original products that deliver.

    Good luck dude.
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  • Profile picture of the author HeySal
    I do it the easy way. I just stay the hell as far away from CB as I can get. I was a vendor on there once and never had so many headaches in my life. There are a lot of other places to get products if you want affiliate products. If you don't like one program, just pick another one.
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    • Profile picture of the author John Romaine
      Originally Posted by HeySal View Post

      I do it the easy way. I just stay the hell as far away from CB as I can get. I was a vendor on there once and never had so many headaches in my life. There are a lot of other places to get products if you want affiliate products. If you don't like one program, just pick another one.
      Sal, who are you with now, if you dont mind me asking?

      Im ditching them too.
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      • Profile picture of the author HeySal
        Originally Posted by ramone_johnny View Post

        Sal, who are you with now, if you dont mind me asking?

        Im ditching them too.
        For my own stuff, RAP. For affiliate stuff I use Share-a-sale. Not sure what they have in the IM categories, but I'm not in IM categories. I've got a few physical product companies that I go straight through the company's affiliate programs with no middlemen involved.

        I would say RAP probably has a good line up of IM affiliate products - not sure if they are better than clickbank's, but you get whole sales instead of partial sales - which means you also are responsible for refunds of your sales. For instance, the one ebook I had on there was 100% of every other sale. So I'd get paid on the affiliate's first sale, the affiliate on their second sale. If someone had refunded on my sale, I'd do the refund - on their sale they do because they get all the money -- and it's instant, not held for any period of time.

        I had refunds up the ying from CB affiliates who would buy the products then refund - never have had a refund request on anything I've sold elsewhere. I'm real fussy about the quality I put out. CB was nothing but a 3 ring circus sideshow.
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        • Profile picture of the author John Romaine
          Originally Posted by HeySal View Post

          For my own stuff, RAP. For affiliate stuff I use Share-a-sale. Not sure what they have in the IM categories, but I'm not in IM categories. I've got a few physical product companies that I go straight through the company's affiliate programs with no middlemen involved.

          I would say RAP probably has a good line up of IM affiliate products - not sure if they are better than clickbank's, but you get whole sales instead of partial sales - which means you also are responsible for refunds of your sales. For instance, the one ebook I had on there was 100% of every other sale. So I'd get paid on the affiliate's first sale, the affiliate on their second sale. If someone had refunded on my sale, I'd do the refund - on their sale they do because they get all the money -- and it's instant, not held for any period of time.

          I had refunds up the ying from CB affiliates who would buy the products then refund - never have had a refund request on anything I've sold elsewhere. I'm real fussy about the quality I put out. CB was nothing but a 3 ring circus sideshow.
          As a vendor I agree 100%.

          Thanks for that.
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        • Profile picture of the author Trivium
          Originally Posted by HeySal View Post

          For my own stuff, RAP. For affiliate stuff I use Share-a-sale.

          ...

          I had refunds up the ying from CB affiliates who would buy the products then refund - never have had a refund request on anything I've sold elsewhere. I'm real fussy about the quality I put out. CB was nothing but a 3 ring circus sideshow.
          You'll have to forgive my ignorance, but what is RAP? Anyway, if I wasn't disillusioned with clickbank before making this thread (which I was anyway), I certainly am now. But in a sense, I think it's a good thing - I really didn't like what I was seeing after I actually tried to consider promoting something.


          @ B and B: I have to agree with you there. And even if I was considering promoting something without actually buying it, I would have researched it as thoroughly as I could, and found out as much about the product and its quality as humanely possible (and importantly, found no significant negative feedback on it)

          @ sbuccariel: I might look into that now that you mentioned it. Haven't really looked at the WSO section of the forums much. Still learning my way around, it seems

          @ Lori Kelly: Thanks for the link. It was quite interesting to read, and the opinions and experiences did help. Cheers!
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          • Profile picture of the author Alexa Smith
            Banned
            Originally Posted by Trivium View Post

            You'll have to forgive my ignorance
            We won't "have" to forgive it.

            You mean you'd like us to forgive it.

            Personally, I forgive it.

            What I don't forgive quite so easily is all the accompanying prejudice, bluster, and ill-informed and judgmental nonsense that makes you start off a thread called "Clickbank - Scams, junk and copyright infringement" and make some of the grotesquely inaccurate statements you've offered here, in a forum full of people making our livings as ClickBank affiliates and/or vendors, when you have so very little clue of anything you're talking about. Personally, I find that pretty offensive, actually.

            Just my perspective.
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            • Profile picture of the author John Romaine
              Originally Posted by Alexa Smith View Post

              We won't "have" to forgive it.

              You mean you'd like us to forgive it.

              Personally, I forgive it.

              What I don't forgive quite so easily is all the accompanying prejudice, bluster, and ill-informed and judgmental nonsense that makes you start off a thread called "Clickbank - Scams, junk and copyright infringement" and make some of the grotesquely inaccurate statements you've offered here, in a forum full of people making our livings as ClickBank affiliates and/or vendors, when you have so very little clue of anything you're talking about. Personally, I find that pretty offensive, actually.

              Just my perspective.
              Are you a Clickbank vendor yet Alexa?
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  • Profile picture of the author Trivium
    Originally Posted by Chris Kent View Post

    "Never honored refund requests"?

    Sorry dude, that's an outright LIE. A customer can easily get a refund via Clickbank.
    That's what I thought too - that refunds would be available via Clickbank. However these were a frequent complaint for a few select products I found on the marketplace. I revisited a product I actually checked out recently, and found that it actually had a trial version (which from what I heard caused the very problems it was meant to fix, before 'detecting' them and prompting you to upgrade to the full version to fix them - as was reported by several complaints on CNET). Its possible that this was handled outside clickbank, but I do not know this for certain.

    I believe the point I was trying to make is that the vendors for these sorts of items are unscrupulous at peddling crap, and will do anything in their power to pilch whatever money they can from their customers.

    @ BlackRob, ramone_johnny, and HeySal: Thanks for all the advice .


    EDIT: +1 on ramone's question too. I'm curious to know the answer as well
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  • Profile picture of the author Brendan Vraibel
    I learned a long time ago to NEVER promote something without purchasing it first. It's very easy to lose the trust of your subscribers or site visitors by promoting a crap product. There's a lot of it on there for sure but there are plenty of honest, well converting products too.
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  • Profile picture of the author sbucciarel
    Banned
    If I pushed other people's products, which I don't except for a couple rare products, I would rather pay the $5/mnth WSO Pro fee and promote Warrior products that I know are sound and a good value than to try to find a decent Clickbank product.
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  • Profile picture of the author Lori Kelly
    Some of the information in this thread might help you.

    http://www.warriorforum.com/main-int...ds-wisdom.html
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  • Profile picture of the author TheJustWarrior
    Since when is clickbank public enemy number 1?

    These types of threads really are a waste of bandwidth and piss me right off.

    Isn't the number ONE rule of this forum that you do NOT trash other businesses?

    Why is clickbank an exception?

    honestly, people who have bad experiences with cb or any other of life's little let downs and saddy bad moments, they should find a quiet place and have a little sob and maybe a nap, then they will feel all better.

    Frankly why the hec are you ungrateful if you are a user and if you dont like it? Dont let the door hit ya.

    ps their money clock just hit $2 billion dollars paid, thats not bad for a little outfit in boise idaho.

    Rock on cb, you try your best and attempt to meet the needs of all.

    Full freakin STOP
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    • Profile picture of the author John Romaine
      Originally Posted by TheJustWarrior View Post

      These types of threads really are a waste of bandwidth and piss me right off.
      Dude, have a lexapro sandwhich.
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      • Profile picture of the author TheJustWarrior
        Originally Posted by ramone_johnny View Post

        Dude, have a lexapro sandwhich.

        I dont need any enhancements...Im plenty bad as it is.

        The clickbank bashing is out of place and certainly against the TOS of the Warrior Forum.

        Professionalism is something you cant always expect, but you can definitely try and conduct YOURSELF professionally. Goodluck.
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    • Profile picture of the author Social Media Ava
      I've had a Clickbank account for years. I have NEVER used it. Really I don't know how to use it. I've been there, I've looked at it, I've rummaged through the products, and that's where I get stuck. I think I have the basics...

      - pick a product
      - grab your link from CB
      - create a squeeze page or whatever
      - get paid

      First, I'm not really trying to have 5000 websites that just sit. For the products with decent commissions, they can be pretty expensive. I have problems promoting something that I have not read or used myself. What the heck do you write about it. "I've HEARD this was really good. Buy it."

      I'd much rather earn my commissions or affiliate money promoting products by warriors or my own stuff. The only thing CB has that I don't is a big market and lots of people. Bah. I'll work around it if it takes 100 years.
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      • Profile picture of the author TheJustWarrior
        Originally Posted by waxingpoetic75 View Post

        "I've HEARD this was really good. Buy it."
        Have you heard of pre selling?

        You never, ever need to even know what the product is, your job, as an affiliate, your only job, is to write really well about the topic.

        Reviews, especially blatant stupid reviews, like"I think this one is the best blah blah" fool NO ONE

        To pre sell, simply identify the hot buttons of the topic and press them...thats it.
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    • Profile picture of the author Trivium
      Originally Posted by Alexa Smith View Post

      What I don't forgive quite so easily is all the accompanying prejudice, bluster, and ill-informed and judgmental nonsense that makes you start off a thread called "Clickbank - Scams, junk and copyright infringement" and make some of the grotesquely inaccurate statements you've offered here, in a forum full of people making our livings as ClickBank affiliates and/or vendors, when you have so very little clue of anything you're talking about. Personally, I find that pretty offensive, actually.
      Man.. this is a prime example of why I should not be posting threads well past midnight. I think a big problem is the title. I really should have thought a bit more about it at the time. As they say though, hindsight is 20-20 vision. Thank you for bringing that to my attention.

      My main complaint here is not wholly directed at clickbank as a company per se, but rather the immense amount of products in their marketplace that are either scams, or showing blatant disregard for other people's personal property. In no way did I intend to tar all products and vendors on clickbank with the same brush, but was simply venting my frustration at how much crap buries the good quality content that can be found there (for I know it exists.. somewhere).


      Originally Posted by TheJustWarrior View Post

      honestly, people who have bad experiences with cb or any other of life's little let downs and saddy bad moments, they should find a quiet place and have a little sob and maybe a nap, then they will feel all better.

      Frankly why the hec are you ungrateful if you are a user and if you dont like it? Dont let the door hit ya.
      I haven't had any bad experiences with clickbank personally, unless you include my finding out about all the scams and piracy rampant amongst the products there a 'bad experience'. I have currently only selected one product I've began to promote, and I am very happy with the quality of it - and my research found no negative reviews or comments on it whatsoever. On top of that, I feel you missed the main point of my post. Hopefully this one will rectify that.


      Still, despite majority of the blame falling on the vendors of such fraudulent products, ClickBank has to be at least partially accountable for offering such products for promotion. I joined ClickBank thinking (naively, it turns out) that the company would make some attempt to filter the products it offers for promotion. Evidently, this is not the case, and I believe it should be. Just an opinion, when it all gets down to it, but I feel it has a point.


      In summary, I meant the "scams, junk and copyright infringement" to refer to the many products ClickBank has in its marketplace that fall into one of those categories - they were never meant to be a description of the company itself. It just came out that way as a result of my foolish wording, and I do apologise to anyone offended by it.
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      • Profile picture of the author TheJustWarrior
        Originally Posted by Trivium View Post



        I have currently only selected one product I've began to promote, and I am very happy with the quality of it - and my research found no negative reviews or comments on it whatsoever. On top of that, I feel you missed the main point of my post. Hopefully this one will rectify that.

        As long as you're happy princess
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    • Profile picture of the author SteveJohnson
      Originally Posted by TheJustWarrior View Post

      ... These types of threads really are a waste of bandwidth and piss me right off.
      They're only a waste of YOUR bandwidth if you click on the thread title. Which you did, obviously. Had you not clicked, you wouldn't have been pissed right off, either. So you've wasted your bandwidth and gotten yourself pissed right off - voluntarily.

      How does that make you feel?

      Isn't the number ONE rule of this forum that you do NOT trash other businesses?
      No, it isn't. http://www.warriorforum.com/main-int...ing-forum.html

      The number ONE rule says nothing about 'trashing other businesses'. The spirit of R#1 isn't violated here. Disclaimer: I am not a moderator of this forum so "R#1 isn't violated here" is merely my opinion. (well, I guess I am a moderator: http://www.warriorforum.com/main-int...moderator.html )

      BTW, I'm not defending the OP's point of view. I disagree with quite a bit of it.

      I don't even know why I went on this long. Maybe I subconsciously recognized the need for typing practice.
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      • Profile picture of the author TheJustWarrior
        Originally Posted by SteveJohnson View Post

        How does that make you feel?




        Like an ant trying to yell at me. Id say the rule below indicates that you take it up with clickbank.

        Rule #1

        If you have a problem with another Warrior, a Guru, or God, take it up with them directly. Not here. No exceptions.
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        • Profile picture of the author SteveJohnson
          Originally Posted by TheJustWarrior View Post

          Like an ant trying to yelling at me. Id say the rule below indicates that you take it up with clickbank.
          LOL!

          I know you probably didn't hear that, me being an ant and all. Wonder if they make mini PA systems?

          Rest assured, I will rest much easier tonight knowing that a long-time forum member such as yourself is providing expert guidance on the forum rules. I really must say that I had no inkling that the OP was violating the rules. Thanks for your insight.
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          • Profile picture of the author TheJustWarrior
            Originally Posted by SteveJohnson View Post

            LOL!

            I know you probably didn't hear that, me being an ant and all. Wonder if they make mini PA systems?

            Rest assured, I will rest much easier tonight knowing that a long-time forum member such as yourself is providing expert guidance on the forum rules. I really must say that I had no inkling that the OP was violating the rules. Thanks for your insight.

            Im glad you'll rest better.

            dunno, seems right to give cb exactly the same courtesy on the forum,
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        • Profile picture of the author shqipo
          Originally Posted by TheJustWarrior View Post

          Like an ant trying to yell at me. Id say the rule below indicates that you take it up with clickbank.

          Rule #1

          If you have a problem with another Warrior, a Guru, or God, take it up with them directly. Not here. No exceptions.
          OK so which of those three is CB?
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          • Profile picture of the author TheJustWarrior
            Originally Posted by shqipo View Post

            OK so which of those three is CB?
            The spirit of warrior forum is to be fair to businesses and not name or shame on the forum. Take your "little issue" up privately and not on the forum.

            I didnt write rule number 1

            Its warrior forums rule and its easy to understand what Allen Says means regarding the rule.

            BTW, There's 30,000 clickbank vendors that would love to shout down any thread like this. Taint and tarnish all you like, but the quality spectrum of clickbank vendors is the same as asking "how long is a piece of string"

            Some witty, smart and talented people on clickbank offering some outstanding products, also theres newbie crap too, so..whats the point of threads like these? a mothers club meeting?
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  • Profile picture of the author Dominis Marketing
    There's always two sides to every story and one part of it does not make the whole.

    You see bad products, but there are also good ones. You mentioned it inside your post but your title is biased. Billions are made in clickbank and something that successful can't be all bad.

    Do your due diligence when promoting a product. Talk to the vendor and ask for a review copy if you can. This way you can be confident of what you promote.

    You can also try other markets, like one advice here go to warriorplus and check out WSO's offering commissions.
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  • Profile picture of the author Robert Michael
    RAP stands for Rapid Action Profits

    Rapid Action Profits

    However she is talking about launching her own product and including an affiliate program so other people can sell it for her.

    As an affiliate, go with RAP Bank*Instant Commissions Vault

    All of the products are run with RAP, giving you instant commissions directly to your PayPal for all of the products. Some cost just a few bucks, others cost hundreds. But you get instant commissions for all of them.

    Plus they give you direct links that you can send out on Twitter, share on Facebook, email them to your grams, lol whatever you want to do to make sales, you can do. No restrictions on how you can promote them like with CPA.

    You can also check out DigiResults — Work Less, Sell More and iDavi - THE Digital Product Marketplace

    They also pay instant commissions. Although digiresults, you have to be approved by the vendor first. RAPBank is instant approval, you can sign up and start promoting in minutes.

    Not sure about iDavi, might be instant approval or they might have to approve you first. But either way, I've never used Clickbank and I like to think of myself as a damn good affiliate marketer.

    Also, you need to try promoting more than just 1 product.. How hard is it to post a link? Come on now. You only know what you THINK performs well.. But without trying them first hand, how can you be sure?
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  • Profile picture of the author Bill_Z
    I am a vendor and affiliate of IM and non-IM products on CB. I have no problems, except for their high fees. There is a ton of junk for sure, but there is junk everywhere. I don't understand the hate either, honestly. You have to investigate the product you promote, plain and simple, and that doesn't change whether it's on CB or not.
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  • Profile picture of the author momfriend
    I agree with you. I too spent hours in the marketplace searching and thinking yeah this will be nice. That was 2 years and more ago. and guess what? my daily account is $0.00
    So go figure with that? what is the secret that no one seems to reveal " oh yah I make income every week with clickbank"
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  • Profile picture of the author Robert H Cwik
    Originally Posted by Trivium View Post

    Hi warriors,

    ---cut---

    Now, I refuse to promote a product that either shamelessly copies other people's work, or is a blatant scam

    ---cut---
    Trivium
    I can only say: welcome to the club. I did exactly the same, and now I look at each product really carefully before I start promoting it.
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  • Profile picture of the author PunditGonzo
    I agree you need to test a product and know as much about it as possible before you sell the thing...How people can do it any other way is beyond me. It's unethical and sheer stupidity.
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    • Profile picture of the author mrinternational
      A good way to see past the "bad" products go to cbengine.com and see what is selling and what is not. then purchase the top 4 in whatever niche you like, review the products with honest pros and cons and out of the four give your pick as which is the best and say it on your site, blog or list even on the one you liked the most give out what you didn't like and you will get plenty of sales doing this.
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      • Profile picture of the author Alexa Smith
        Banned
        Originally Posted by mrinternational View Post

        A good way to see past the "bad" products go to cbengine.com and see what is selling and what is not.
        There's a problem with this theory, I'm afraid.

        Cbengine doesn't know what's selling and what isn't. They (and all the other sites like them) have no access to any information more than ClickBank's Marketplace statistics, to which you and I have exactly the same access as they have.

        What they do have is their own "secret, proprietary algorithm" from which they (and all the other sites like them) claim to be able to work out what's selling well.

        You can have some interesting conversations with vendors of multiple products, about which of their products is actually the "big seller". And whether it will be the one that "those sites" claim is the big seller is entirely random, of course.

        Sales figures are simply not disclosed.

        Nor can they be worked out from information that is disclosed. (And the information that is disclosed is disclosed specifically with that in mind!).

        I strongly suspect that what a lot of those "secret, proprietary algorithms" do involves making assumptions from the products' gravity figures. It's quite remarkable how many people/companies still assume that there's some correlation between gravity and sales numbers. (There's actually none at all).

        For myself, promoting about 20 different ClickBank products and making 500 - 600 sales per month, I'd love to know which products are the bestsellers (so that I can make sure to avoid them, to cut down on the competition a little ), but unfortunately there's simply no reliable information available on this subject. Understandably, of course.
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  • Profile picture of the author Chris Sorrell
    Other marketplaces you could check out are jvzoo.com, digiresults, plimus, idavi, payspree and many more. Either that or just do google searches for the sort of items you feel you want to promote and then try and find affiliate programs for them.

    If you want to promote physical items then go down the amazon, shareasale or commission junction route.

    Also, there are plenty of very good quality products on clickbank if you look past the usual high gravity bluster which is rarely an indicator of quality.
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  • Profile picture of the author Regal Content
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    • Profile picture of the author Fred Young
      If you're concerned with the quality of the product, you could always contact the vendor via e-mail and ask for a review copy.

      I would do this for any CB product I was going to promote.
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