What Is The Worst Affiliate Commission Offer You Have Ever Seen?

17 replies
I'd like to know what kind of crap is out there, figuratively speaking. Just saw a guy today, who wants to take nearly 70% of the sale for himself, and the product is not even $50, either.

I baulked at him, because of how nutty that really sounds- especially when the affiliates in this case, would be the ones doing all the work, getting the audience, building the list- working on their business.

This guy, however, seems to think that is completely fine. There's another thread on this forum too, of a guy whining a bit about his struggle to find a JV partner... and a lot of posts in that thread too, are commenting on the nature of his 50/50 deal, that he thinks would be so great... but others on the outside looking in (potential affiliates, potential J.V. partners etc...)- see it differently.

I'd like, to therefore, create a thread, where other people chime in too, about some of the worst offers, or most absurd propositions they have seen- and why.

This thread could be useful in the future, when I want to show people that I am not the ONLY person who feels this way, about people who don't understand the concept of treating their affiliates or J.V. partners well- especially if that person is going to be bringing sales and customers to the table.
#affiliate #commission #offer #worst
  • Profile picture of the author talfighel
    In the past I have seen offers that allows the customer to pay a one time fee of $7 and the affiliate would get $3-$4 commission. That is crazy right there for any affiliate to be making money with.

    Originally Posted by Dominican View Post

    I'd like to know what kind of crap is out there, figuratively speaking. Just saw a guy today, who wants to take nearly 70% of the sale for himself, and the product is not even $50, either.
    Paying out 30% commissions is acceptable when you have real and physical products that you actually ship out to a customer's house. If you go to a place like ShareASale.com, you will see many offers there that only offer anywhere between 20%-40% commissions.

    If you are selling an online course or anything that allows the customer to download the product through their computer, I would expect to make at least 50%-75% commission.
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    • Profile picture of the author Dominican
      Originally Posted by talfighel View Post

      In the past I have seen offers that allows the customer to pay a one time fee of $7 and the affiliate would get $3-$4 commission. That is crazy right there for any affiliate to be making money with.



      Paying out 30% commissions is acceptable when you have real and physical products that you actually ship out to a customer's house. If you go to a place like ShareASale.com, you will see many offers there that only offer anywhere between 20%-40% commissions.

      If you are selling an online course or anything that allows the customer to download the product through their computer, I would expect to make at least 50%-75% commission.
      Exactly- for an online course or product, it looks pretty greedy for a vendor to be asking for more than a majority from the sale commission, and to be giving a measly minority commission to an affiliate.

      If vendors actually expect affiliates to take them seriously, and not even just "affiliates"- GOOD affiliates, then they should be able to recognize that they have to treat their affiliates nicely too, and that starts with the payouts... to say the very least.
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      • Profile picture of the author talfighel
        Originally Posted by Dominican View Post

        Exactly- for an online course or product, it looks pretty greedy for a vendor to be asking for more than a majority from the sale commission, and to be giving a measly minority commission to an affiliate.

        If vendors actually expect affiliates to take them seriously, and not even just "affiliates"- GOOD affiliates, then they should be able to recognize that they have to treat their affiliates nicely too, and that starts with the payouts... to say the very least.
        Like I said, if it is a PHYSICAL product then it is OK to take 70% of the sale to yourself if you are a vendor.

        Ebooks, online memberships, and courses that can be downloaded online...........You should give the affiliates at least 50%. Even 50% is not that good. Most courses online offer 75% or more commissions.
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        • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
          Amazon pays out 4%-8% in 'advertising fees', and people are happy with that. Except for those spoiled by the commissions vendors can afford on digital products like ebooks on Clickbank.

          By the time you take everything into account, 8% may actually be half of the margin on some products.

          Another thought...

          Do you really believe that the vendor who pay out 75-100% commissions are doing it because they want to be fair to affiliates? If they could get away with paying 10%, they would.

          As it is, the competition for affiliates is strong, so vendors dangle high commissions to lure affiliates. But if that 75% commission is balanced with a 75% refund rate, are you really that much further ahead?

          The serious affiliates I know look at the whole offer, not just the commission rate.
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          • Profile picture of the author Dominican
            Originally Posted by JohnMcCabe View Post

            Amazon pays out 4%-8% in 'advertising fees', and people are happy with that. Except for those spoiled by the commissions vendors can afford on digital products like ebooks on Clickbank.

            By the time you take everything into account, 8% may actually be half of the margin on some products.

            Another thought...

            Do you really believe that the vendor who pay out 75-100% commissions are doing it because they want to be fair to affiliates? If they could get away with paying 10%, they would.

            As it is, the competition for affiliates is strong, so vendors dangle high commissions to lure affiliates. But if that 75% commission is balanced with a 75% refund rate, are you really that much further ahead?

            The serious affiliates I know look at the whole offer, not just the commission rate.
            What about vendors who actually appreciate the affiliates, and who also understand that affiliates do a lot of the brunt work? I know of some vendors, who would easily give over 50%+, and even up to 75% on purpose, regardless of whether or not they could lower it, they'd take it higher, too if they could.

            These same vendors are also not dealing with a high refund rate, quite the contrary, actually. To pull something like this off, effectively, I would think that a person would have to have a lower refund rate- if they actually want somebody to take them seriously with high commissions.

            But I am hearing something else from warriors here, that they disagree-

            It just baffles me, however, that even if the vendors want to take the largest chunk- what have they actually done, besides create the product, to earn that huge chunk?

            I am talking about affiliates here, who would be possibly investing money, creating campaigns, putting up websites- and the works. I am talking about affiliates who are putting in their time, their money, their golden nugget methods- to make money themselves, and who are pushing somebody else's product, to do it.

            These affiliates, should be treated as a business partner- and not as a random stranger. They bring a lot of value, to vendors, and do a lot of work that Vendors would otherwise be hooped, if such affiliates did not exist.
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            • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
              Originally Posted by Dominican View Post

              What about vendors who actually appreciate the affiliates, and who also understand that affiliates do a lot of the brunt work? I know of some vendors, who would easily give over 50%+, and even up to 75% on purpose, regardless of whether or not they could lower it, they'd take it higher, too if they could.
              There are indeed entities which willingly give away all but the bare-bones necessary to stay alive. They're called charities.

              It sounds to me like you've either not found these affiliate angels or you've drunk the kool-aid they're pouring. Vendors generally don't start their businesses with the intent of giving their profits away.

              They may treat their most valuable affiliates very well, even to the point of telling them that the vendor would gladly pay more in commission if they could, but if said affiliate was no longer viable, they'd be cut loose like a pro ballplayer with one too many injuries.

              Originally Posted by Dominican View Post

              These same vendors are also not dealing with a high refund rate, quite the contrary, actually. To pull something like this off, effectively, I would think that a person would have to have a lower refund rate- if they actually want somebody to take them seriously with high commissions.
              To sustain high commissions over a long haul requires one of two things. Either a quality product that retains good affiliates or enough new affiliates that the vendor can make out with high refund rates. This is much like email marketing - some people find their profit in nurturing a list and treating them well, others by churning and burning.

              Originally Posted by Dominican View Post

              But I am hearing something else from warriors here, that they disagree-

              It just baffles me, however, that even if the vendors want to take the largest chunk- what have they actually done, besides create the product, to earn that huge chunk?
              Huh? Without vendors providing products, and taking on the risks involved as well as the support issues, affiliates would still be sitting around telling each other how rich they were going to get when they developed their product.

              If you think it's that easy, cross the street and collect the lion's share for yourself. Or would you be one of those vendors whose only purpose for existence is to make sure long-suffering affiliates make most of the money?

              Originally Posted by Dominican View Post

              I am talking about affiliates here, who would be possibly investing money, creating campaigns, putting up websites- and the works. I am talking about affiliates who are putting in their time, their money, their golden nugget methods- to make money themselves, and who are pushing somebody else's product, to do it.
              And all for those selfish bastids who risked their time, money, knowledge, reputation and more to create and run an affiliate program, then want some of the reward for themselves.

              Cry me a river...

              Originally Posted by Dominican View Post

              These affiliates, should be treated as a business partner- and not as a random stranger. They bring a lot of value, to vendors, and do a lot of work that Vendors would otherwise be hooped, if such affiliates did not exist.
              Leave out the self-aggrandizing whining from earlier, lead with this, and I agree with you. That's why I've always believed, as both vendor and affiliate, that a 50-50 split of the profit was fair. Not the price, the profit.

              If a physical product has a 20% margin, a 10% commission sounds a lot better. In the case of digital products, the marginal cost of a unit is so close to zero that a 50-50 split on price (less processing cost, a la Clickbank) seems fair.

              I have a younger brother who was close to my age, so my folks were tasked with creating fair divisions of limited things, like cakes, sandwiches, 'extra' money, etc. Whoever got a larger portion would protest that the other was being favored. They later said that they knew they were being fair when both of us thought we were getting the short end of the stick.
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              • Profile picture of the author RapidImpact
                Originally Posted by JohnMcCabe View Post

                That's why I've always believed, as both vendor and affiliate, that a 50-50 split of the profit was fair. Not the price, the profit.
                Beautiful post! +1
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          • Profile picture of the author datingworld
            Originally Posted by JohnMcCabe View Post

            But if that 75% commission is balanced with a 75% refund rate, are you really that much further ahead?
            Great words to be kept in mind when going into affiliate business...


            You need to take everything into consideration, not just the percentage ...
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  • Profile picture of the author RogueOne
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    The ones that offer 100% commission on every other sale, starting with the second one. Does anyone really fall for this nonsense?
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    • Profile picture of the author Dominican
      Originally Posted by RogueOne View Post

      The ones that offer 100% commission on every other sale, starting with the second one. Does anyone really fall for this nonsense?
      I know a guy who offers 100% commissions, to anybody who wants to come in and join, for the first few days. This was offered in an attempt to bring in affiliates, but as you are pointing out, some people might take it the "other" way, and then it becomes bad P.R.

      If a vendor was actually doing this to reward the affiliates, then I suppose it's not really a bad thing, is it?
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  • Profile picture of the author alvinchua91
    Some people offer even 100% on the main product, while they take sales of backend products... But most often, it's 75% payout.. At least I give affiliates 75%.
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  • Profile picture of the author techbul
    Since the affiliate is the one bringing in traffic and sales, I believe he is also the one entitled to the biggest part of the sale. I've been doing 100% commission launches recently, and they've been the most successful thus far.
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  • Profile picture of the author MouseandMice
    0% for a bunch of different items, 2% for other stuff.

    Go on CJ and you'll see horrible affiliate structures. I feel like they actually hurt more than they help.
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    • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
      Originally Posted by MouseandMice View Post

      0% for a bunch of different items, 2% for other stuff.

      Go on CJ and you'll see horrible affiliate structures. I feel like they actually hurt more than they help.
      I've seen some of those. I get the impression that the person running the affiliate program has a mandate from above that the company must have an affiliate program, but the person doesn't really want to manage affiliates.
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  • Profile picture of the author bwh1
    100% on anything below 10 bucks and no backend offer.

    Serious affiliates do not work their butt off to build a list for others.

    G.
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  • Profile picture of the author LilBlackDress
    I sell an affiliate product that offers just a few dollars per sale. For some reason I never looked at the commission amount duh. I just decided to sell it because I really liked it myself.

    And guess what? Though it sounds like a lousy commission I have sold hundreds of that particular product and did I mention it was recurring
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  • Profile picture of the author RapidImpact
    Originally Posted by Dominican View Post

    Just saw a guy today, who wants to take nearly 70% of the sale for himself, and the product is not even $50, either.
    Originally Posted by Dominican View Post

    Exactly- for an online course or product, it looks pretty greedy for a vendor to be asking for more than a majority from the sale commission, and to be giving a measly minority commission to an affiliate.

    This post is so asinine I think you gave me CANCER!

    You think a 30% commission is bad? ...Typical greedy affiliate bitching about commissions without the slightest of consideration as to how much each party is investing.

    Assuming we're talking about a half decent product here and a typical affiliate...

    Product Creator: Spent the last several months and thousands of dollars developing a quality product, writing sales copy (or hiring a top name), creating a sales video, designing a landing page, setting up and paying for a CDN, fine tuning an entire sales funnel complete with upsells/downsells, creating affiliate tools such as banners, emails & possibly contests. Has to deal with ongoing product support and updates...etc.


    Affiliate: Copies and pastes one of the pre-written emails the product creator provided and clicks "Send".


    So the product creator invests a shitload of time and money and assumes all the risk but yeah, the affiliate that just fires out an email to a bulk email list they've got after a couple months of free list swaps should get the majority of the sale - give me a f***ing break kid.

    You can't just take the offered commission at face value there's a LOT more that goes into it such as how much each party is investing, refund rate, long term operating costs, and what the end conversion is going to be. What's the better offer?

    $50 Product with professional sales copy and OTO's - @ 30% commission that converts at 15% with a refund rate of 1%
    $50 Product slapped together with no OTO @ 75% commission that converts at 2% with a refund rate of 10%


    Originally Posted by techbul View Post

    Since the affiliate is the one bringing in traffic and sales, I believe he is also the one entitled to the biggest part of the sale. I've been doing 100% commission launches recently, and they've been the most successful thus far.
    Affiliate bringing in traffic - YES. Affiliate solely responsible for sales - Not so much...

    Unless you've got a list of turbo loyal die-hard fans that buy anything you say it's the product and general marketing that actually sells the product once an affiliate brings in the traffic. Sure your recommendation helps but if the product was crap people wouldn't buy. Remember people buy products to solve problems and it's the product creator that's fulfilling that need not the affiliate.
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