Clickbank Affiliate Marketing Scam?

If you use or are about to use ClickBank to sell your products or to try to make a living as an affiliate you need to read this.

I’ll be upfront here … I don’t like officious organisations that are too big for their boots and I really think action needs to be taken against organisations that have unreasonable and unrealistic terms and conditions.  In this case I’m hoping that Clickbank are not too big for their boots and will be reasonable because in my opinion (and that of others ) I think they do have an unreasonable and unrealistic term and condition which they need to change in order to keep up with the times.

The article that has caused me to put this post out there is Is Clickbank Scamming Affiliate Marketers? by Len Thurmond and I urge you to read it in full to understand the full implications to your business.

The focus of the argument is that one of Clickbank’s terms says that before they will pay you any money you are owed, you must have made at least five sales from 5 different credit card numbers, and have two different payment methods (either Visa, MasterCard, or PayPal) … and multiple Paypal sales don’t count towards your 5 different credit card numbers!  – and it gets worse!!! – read Len’s article on how Clickbank can take money from your account if you fail to meet this requirement.

Years ago when I was starting out with ClickBank I struggled to get those five sales with five unique cards but I did get there … eventually.  These days it’s  not going to be that easy for those starting out as Mastercard isn’t as popular as it was and in the online world, these days PayPal is a (if not the) dominant payment force.

In the interests of fairness it has to be said that once you do meet these requirements Clickbank do pay out on a regular basis and have been more reliable than some affiliate programs I’ve used.

I also understand Clickbank’s reasoning and I quote from their Customer Distribution Requirement

This requirement is in place to help prevent Affiliates from abusing the ClickBank Affiliate program by using their accounts for the sole purpose of fraudulently collecting rebates and/or discounts on their own purchases.

But surely technology and PayPal’s own anti fraud measures mean that Clickbank can and should now review a condition that existed when they started out, has served it’s purpose and that can be improved without detriment to the company.

I may be wrong but verified PayPal accounts are tied to real people and banking accounts.  PayPal accounts are funded from unique credit and debit cards as well as banking accounts so why can’t (or won’t) Clickbank class PayPal sales as unique and allow them to count towards those five unique sales?

What do you think?

Kevin Polley has been involved with computers and the internet since 1997. Apart from being an accomplished ecommerce consultant he is also highly experienced in Organic Search Engine Optimization techniques.

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105 comments
StarEx
StarEx

CB was working fine and I was about to make my first payout. It was in the process of doing so, now suddenly my account is deleted. So I will never see that money. What hacks just stealing from the little guy. And now my website is messed up with all the affiliate links leading to nowhere

basictech
basictech

I was fairly new to IM, I made a sale; Ya-hoooo!!! Right? Wrong!!! My commission was suppose to be $29.00 on this product. I received $9.00. No explanation as to why, this product had no down-sell. Here's the sad part, I made no sales through clickbank for over 90 days, and since I could not get my money due to their policy, They zapped it at $1.00 a day after the 90 days. Talk about greed!!!

harmonnium
harmonnium

@basictech I had the same story, but worse. They took over $100 of me. This was my first money I made with them.My advice to NEWBIES: do not get involved until you are sure you will be selling on the constant basis. Otherwise, you will get into slavery and will be working for the clickbank pocket for a few years. 


DonnaMulholland
DonnaMulholland

they better send my £35 pounds  70p out to my address

(edited out your address - If you're fool enough to publish personal info in a public forum then maybe you got hacked ? - just sayin' :)

DonnaMulholland
DonnaMulholland

they are a f***ing scam they took £35 pounds out off my bank account without my bank account without my permission i agree with bababooey795

bababooey795
bababooey795

Clickbank is not worth the hassle. Before Paypal, maybe you had no choice but to use clickbank, but they have silly fees, bizarre rules, and many people complain they never get paid a dime.

BullRider2012
BullRider2012

Hey Kevin....   First...   I would like to thank-you for looking out for the small business guy/gal.  I am currently considering the use of Click Bank and found your article just below Click Bank's link on Google.  I noticed the latest comment is from August 3, 2013.  I'm not sure if you are aware of this and chances are you are the one that caused Click Bank to revise their CDR policy.  However, the good news is they now accept PayPal as one of the 5 different payment methods required before getting paid.  Below is a copy from their CDR policy:

***************************************************************

CUSTOMER DISTRIBUTION REQUIREMENT (CDR)

ClickBank will withhold payment of any balance until an account shows a minimum of 5 sales using at least two of the following payment methods:

  • American Express
  • Carte Bleue
  • Diners Club
  • Discover
  • ELV (European Direct Debit)
  • JCB
  • Maestro
  • MasterCard
  • PayPal
  • Visa

This requirement is in place to help prevent Affiliates from abusing the ClickBank Affiliate program by using their accounts for the sole purpose of fraudulently collecting rebates and/or discounts on their own purchases.

Once you have met the Customer Distribution Requirement, your account will begin issuing payments normally, in accordance with our Accounting Policy, beginning on the next payment issuing date.

mutualadvantage
mutualadvantage moderator

@BullRider2012 Thanks for letting me know, that's great news but I doubt I'm the sole cause of ClickBank changing their policies (even though I'd like to think I was :)  )

As I've said before CB aren't a bad company and I know lots of people who use their service to make money as an affiliate or selling products.

There's lots of things I don't like relating to how ClickBank make/take money from small business owners but it's cheaper (possibly) and less hassle using CB than setting up your own affiliate service.

Good luck with your ventures and stay in touch - it's always interesting knowing how people get on.

best

Kevin

Latest blog post: Thanks for that

AndrzejLumpeks
AndrzejLumpeks

So OK. My English is not good. Can SOMEONE EXPLAIN me what's going on right now there on CB? Who is the BAD guys? Some scam vendors and ClickBank cause they don't solve the problems with these guys? Or just ClickBank and their system? Cause I want to be a honest vendor on ClickBank offering products for pretty good commission, when I finish translating my product to English. I think when I am honest than affiliate partners will be happy to? Am I right? I think CB is still big market and I need good and hard-working partners. Answer me please. Greetings.

mutualadvantage
mutualadvantage moderator

@AndrzejLumpeks The answer I guess depends on your perspective. Bad vendors are bad vendors.  Bad products are bad products. Clickbank don't offer commissions that is upto the vendor. ClickBank 'process' transactions.  Play by their rules and you 'should' be OK.

The simple fact is that IF you put in the time required it IS possible to make money through ClickBank both as a vendor and and affiliate.  You are right also in thinking that looking after your affiliates will help you in the long run... but remember you still need to eat :)

Latest blog post: Thanks for that

harmonnium
harmonnium

@mutualadvantage @AndrzejLumpeks not true! It is the CLICKBANK that punish their affiliates if they don't make any sales ( HA! it looks like  clickbank think affiliates do it on purpose!) and it is CLICKBANK that takes all your earnings in order to punish you. They explain it with that it's needed for tax purposes. Why do affiliates must pay tax for them? Hm?

Another time i say:KEEP AWAY if you don't know what exactly you have to do when dealing with clickbank.

basictech
basictech

Thanks for participating in other conversations but your  link was removed 'cos I don't allow blatant advertising or linking without reason.  thx Kev

basictech
basictech

@basictech

Kevin, I am not exactly sure I know what you are talking about. I do not go around spamming other peoples comment sections, but if I did leave a link it would have been to my Imbasics blog which is relevant to the conversation and FREE. Although there are some things you can purchase on it (just like any other site on the web) it is not the purpose of the blog. Right up front on the first page it states, "this blog is FREE along with all the tools and information" If you had actually read the blog, you would have known the purpose of it, thank you, Randy Baith @ basictech

basictech
basictech

The more I think about this, the more irritated I become. You are basically calling me a spammer. Sharing is what the IM community is about. I did not come on here and just start posting links. I made several relevant comments on the topic and posted one link to my FREE blog. You require that people sign up here to comment, that means you are collecting email addresses and/or requiring access to people social site information, but you do not allow links? I can understand the moderation because of spammers, I do the same, I hate spammers, but you seem to have a one way street here when it comes to "sharing". I am a good person just trying to build relationships, that to me is far more important than making a sale.

mutualadvantage
mutualadvantage moderator

@basictech Hi Randy,  The point here is that you didn't make a comment with a link like you had in so many of the other comments on this post - you just left a link - That I find unacceptable and as it's my blog I took the correct action.

Latest blog post: Thanks for that

mutualadvantage
mutualadvantage moderator

@basictechYou really need to learn about certain aspects of commenting - as the prime example you say 

"You require that people sign up here to comment, that means you are collecting email addresses and/or requiring access to people social site information, but you do not allow links?" - 

 I don't require anything Randy - that's LiveFyre, the folks who provide this service. - 

And where do you get the idea that just because you make more than a few comments on someone else's blog that it gives you the right to post a comment with nothing in it other than a link to your blog (free or not) when there is/was nothing on it (that I could see) that has anything to do with ClickBank problems?

So ... please feel free to not comment here further - and besides why should I allow ANY links when your username is a link to your profile and that should be enough.

Latest blog post: Thanks for that

basictech
basictech

@mutualadvantage @basictech That's fine, If I did that I apologize, it is not how I do things and was not intentional. Somehow the system must have got things messed up.

basictech
basictech

@mutualadvantage @basictech  You are right, and I am big enough to admit when I am wrong, I realized it after submitting that comment. I get notifications on conversations at times and when I click the link it goes strait to the comments, as I am sure you know. i am signed up to so many social places I sometimes forget were I am. On another note, yea it is your comment section, but why do you have to be such a rude jerk? you could have just deleted my link and left it at that, but nooooo you had to make me out to look like a spammer.

snakeout
snakeout

I just quit clickbank because there is no security for its affiliats that spend there money on advertising for there venders and there venders use an e-mail tracking and contact them behind your back. this is no protection for me spending my money and the venders stealing the account away.

Google Facts
Google Facts

I was debating on using Click Bank for my site http://googlethatshit.net and figured I would read some reviews first.  Turns out when I type in "Click Bank" into google the first thing that pops up is "clickbank scam".  I guess I will have to give it a shot and find out for myself.

famousewriter
famousewriter

I think is just an excuse not to pay you until they have to.  I they have  million new people and none of them receive a check until they get 5 sales from three different payment methods, how man millions do they make by this process.  They got use to getting this money and are not about to give it up, is my guess.

basictech
basictech

@famousewriter I have been trying my hand at affiliate marketing for about 4 years now. I have watched CB change their site 3 times, and it gets less user friendly each time. I have been building my sites over these 4 years and have very few sales. The commissions I have made are either not what it is suppose to be or gets zapped because I have not made enough over a 90 day period to collect a check. I am not going to delete my affiliate links, but I am not going to promote anymore. Why should I waste my time promoting something and not get the commission?

harmonnium
harmonnium

@basictech @famousewriter I bought a few websites on purpose to promote clickbank products. Once the money started coming in -- they took everything. Well... to be honest --- they were a little generous and gave me $7 ( ........!!!). $100 they kept for themselves. 

mark999
mark999

As buyer I never had problems with CB. When I ask refund I got my money back. But as affiliate marketer Clickbank is on my opinion scam. After using 6 years I will quit with them by myself or they will close my account because of  this new stupid rules with colors.

 

For example I had 42 sales(3 different products) and 4 refunds, my status is RED - "Unacceptable" just before payout. Ok, I think lets try with other Affiliate Company and choose product with only few sales at CB. I change links and put new from other Affiliate Company and for my surprise I had 62 sales in one week and just one refund.

 

Then I ask friend to buy product over my link just to see if his click and sale will be recognized. But nope, no clicks or sales from my friend.

MarkGabel
MarkGabel

Your article is spot on. However there's more you can include. Here's the latest. I've been an affiliate as well as a vendor on CB for over 10 years now.  Just today I noticed that my account is on the "yellow" which means that if I continue to gain charge backs I will incur additional fees in next year (2013). I called to find out what the story was.  It seems that there was a product in the amount of $97 that someone had erroneously purchased 3 times. When that party realized that they charged it back-who wouldn't.  Being on the phone with CB support we agreed that this was in fact the issue.  Low and beholds it wasn't until a week later when the Yellow threat popped up and that's when I called and explained just as I had written here. I said how could I be held responsible and punished for someone purchasing a product 3 times in error? The responsibility clearly lies with the vendor whose sales page is misleading or even falsely stated-such sales pages could confuse any sane person. Yet I was told that it was my fault for not knowing this and that I should do my homework before promoting CB vendors.  This is transparent to me.  CB is a major partner with the major credit card companies and it's through their master account that people purchase and herein lies the rub.  They, CB, were lax and complacent through the years and they fostered such deception on the general buying public.  The sky was the limit on false advertising claims in both print and video.  Now that they got their hands slapped they are making us affiliate pay for their sins and making us think we are to blame. I think it's about time that we adopted the occupy wall street concept and go elsewhere and promote other products on other sites.  (This is NOT an endorsement of any Occupy Movement however)

basictech
basictech

@MarkGabel I think you're right Mark, they have gotten way too greedy no matter the reason. Most of us are not super-affiliates and are just trying to make a business work. How can we if we keep getting penalized for things we have no control over. Has anyone noticed the new changes? What did they do, fire their web developer and hire a grade-schooler?

zignafox
zignafox

I've come across several scammers using Clickbank for selling illegal or fraudulent material, and Clickbank does NOT shut them down when you report them. One of these scammers have earned millions over the last couple of years. How can this continue?

Angel Ramos
Angel Ramos

Hi Kevin I just finished reading all this posts about Clickbank and how some people think it's a scam,well to be honest I just started my blog less than a month ago and haven't received any commissions yet and have a few Clickbank Merchants on my site but for some weird reason I my self think they're leggit and am looking forward on making my first commissio through Clickbank. Thanks for all the imput. To Our Success; Angel Ramos

Alan V
Alan V

I have been pondering using Clickbank as a means to affiliate market a book but remain unsure if it is a complete scam and worth the trouble. Sitting on a fence, thinking about the old saying that where there is smoke there is usually fire.

paul
paul

For a moment there I was shocked as I didn't remember writing this "I’ll be upfront here … I don’t like officious organisations that are too big for their boots and I really think action needs to be taken against organisations that have unreasonable and unrealistic terms and conditions." and I didn't but I could have becuase Paypal is my problem, and has been for a while now, and for those that don't know, Paypal sell customer details to list marketers and I do not care what they say, they do. I had 2 accounts set up with them and had one difference, one had a combination of mine and my brothers birthdays in its information, and it is the only time I have ever done that, and I still get marketing calls and mail (snail type) from people wishing me a happy birthday and would you like to buy this and the brithday is for that wacko date and not my birthday. Needless to say both accounts are long cancelled as I violated their policy about giving them false personal information and then asked how much they got for my personal information as I wanted the money, after all it was my info wasn't it. So now that has been said, what can people who Paypal/ebay don't like do about getting payments to clickbank, any suggestions/alternatives would be welcomed. And for those that trust Paypal/ebay with all their personal info, I do hope you are right but you should remember that they are a corporation and their only aim in life is to make money, any way they can, and like a lotof corporations today think that it is only illegal if they get caught and they get caught by someone with deep pockets. Look at Apple, they sold devices that track and record all your personal info and they are still free, even if they committed upwards of 200 criminal offences according to one law professor who was asked his opinion. Do i qualify as a member of the "I don’t like officious organisations that are too big for their boots and I really think action needs to be taken against organisations that have unreasonable and unrealistic terms and conditions." Now??

Jay
Jay

ClickBank is not a scam, but all the propaganda of making hundreds or thousands dollars a day is completely fake. Don't fall for it, it's all bullshit. Own experience.

Taswiz
Taswiz

My site is a 50/50 mix of products and article advise. 90% of the products on display are clickbank based. There are really good products and some that turn out to be not so good but over-all in my opinion Clickbank themselves are very reputable and supportive to vendor, retailer and customer alike. I have been selling as a retailer for years now and have to say that even with my high opinion of Clickbank I disagree with their choice not to recognise Pay-Pal as a verification of retailer legitimacy. Pay-Pal accounts link to a single bank account. This bank account can only set up a single Pay-Pal account. So a person cannot set up multiple Pay-Pal accounts as to appear to be many different people. Think about it, even if they could who would go to that much bother just to make a small discount anyway? I believe Clickbank is hurting its own reputation by not recognising Pay-Pal because they are making it look like they just do not want to pay out. I really doubt they are that way inclined but it still looks bad to those just starting out.

Paulo
Paulo

Can someone pelase tell me if is a scam or not? ...because i create a account clickbank yesterday but I didin't do anything yet ... but i gave my credit card number to clickbank (47£) ... so now i'm afread (after i read all the rumor about clickbank) that clickbanks continuos to take money from my account ... Can anyone prove me that clickbank is not a scam ... ?

Michael Skilling
Michael Skilling

Hi Kevin I am a vendor of marketing ebooks, just read your post on clickbank, my question is this, I have come across several companies promoting affiliate marketing, could you let me know if each of these companies have thier own group of affiliates. so would it be wise to go with more that one company. also at the moment I am looking to promote my own group of affiliates& would luike to ask you about paying them, my question is this if I have a 60 day money back Guarantee when should I pay My affiliates. I would like to pay my affiliates on every sale they make reguardless of the amount. I really would appreciate your feedback ASAP. Best Wishes Michael Skilling

Jane
Jane

i made a purchase of the 100 powersite earnings by Tom Bell but I can not go to step 2 on how to earn. I just did it cause they wrote that anyone can use do it even without experience. Now I am facing a wall and I am so worried the credit cad I used will just be charged like some cases I read here. Please help me get forward. I am now so down and desperate but I believe there are people like you out there who can assist us. I still am going back on visiting websites hoping I can finally earn. Hope this will soon come true...

Jacqui
Jacqui

Having just read the various comments regarding the five different payment types rules I am very concerned. As I have only just started out as a blogger (is that even the correct term?) I am worried that I will not be able to collect any of the money which is fundamentally mine! I would rather get out now than before I have a carrot dangled in front of me showing me the way out of my current dire circumstances. Could you please explain the 'rules' to me, so that I will at least be clear as to why my work so far has been for nothing, if that turns out to be the case. CB really could be more user-friendly you know.

J. E. Dennis O'Connor
J. E. Dennis O'Connor

Hi all, I have just signed up with AIS, who also use Clickbank, as i am totally new to this; but not unintelligent; I am concerned that if i continue with this programme, i will end up even further in the financial shit than i am at present. Any advice? Cheers, Den

Nicolas
Nicolas

personally, i'm starting to think that you can't money with clickbank and other affiliate sites... i did 75$ with an another affiliate site but i dont remember the name of it right now since i didnt go there for a year... that site said that i had to reach 100$ b4 i got my 1st pay check and i never reach it... I'm really starting that i'm wasting my time on this... at least i can do money as an analyst programmer:)

Ramon
Ramon

Hello Kevin, I'm new at all this and would like some advice if possible. I just joined Fast Income Pro to see how can I start the posting link business. I have not joined Clickbank at this moment and dont know if i should. I want to develipe something working at home. Can you give me advice, thanks Ramon Martinez

F. Carlson
F. Carlson

I used Clickbank twice in the last couple of years. After both transactions, fraudulent activity started to appear on the credit card I used. I had not used this particular card for any other transactions for several months so I must conclude that my information leaked out of Clickbank. In two instances the charges came from a small company in Michigan, just outside Detroit. The third incident followed a couple of months later and the nature of the fraudulent transaction indicates the number is circulating. The credit card company caught it, reversed the charge and is changing my account number. A reasonable person would come to the same conclusion about Clickbank being the source of the leak of my information.

hampton buffkin
hampton buffkin

CLICKBANK IS A SCAM AND THEY STOLE MY MONEY SORRY AS ESCUSES FOR HUMAN LIFE I HOPE THEY DIE IN PAIN CLICKBANK I WANT MY MONEY BACK RIGHT NOW. YOU SOLD ME A FAKE SERVICE THAT DOESNT EVEN WORK A LITTLE BIT.

AMANDA
AMANDA

Hi Kev; I think you are very kind and generous for providing these very lost people, like myself, information about Clickbank. I went to a Profit Power Seminar in Melbourne and was asked to come on a 2-days workshop which will cost me AUS $5000 and the organisers will show me from A to Z on how to earn money through clickbank. DO you think this is worthwhile for me? From what i gathered on this forum. It seems awfully hard to earn the first $100 let alone earn back $5000 I am thinking of investing. Please help. Kindest regards, Amanda

Amy
Amy

I am new to this too and am very skeptical but have an open mind about this. The one thing that I am frustrated with is their lack of response time and their vague directions. I have clicked on to promote some products, received the http info and do not know what to do from here- how do I promote the links on line???? How do I start this?? The answer is probably right in front of me, but I'm not seeing it! Can you please help????

Alan
Alan

LOL thanks Kevin. I agree with what you said about paypal, But I see a lot of frustration with cb and I truely believe that there has got to be a better way for clickBank to service their customers better, I believe the polocies they have in place is a way to make a few extra bucks. I could only imagine how well they could do considering, if what I researched is true, that over 90% of their customers are dormant due to their policies! At the time I'm working on a way to overcome these obstacles where it will be easy for anyone to do. Alan ps. cool forum

Alan
Alan

would love to see an answer on Vivian's comment, feb. 13th!

Matt Robison
Matt Robison

I purchased auto traffic monopoly and I to have no luck at using it they never sent me a CD just took my money and never replyed to my e mails. Go figuer I think Andrew is a scam but I'm not giving up on click bank just yet. Try,Try again I always say.

jason
jason

Dont see the problem with CB ive been with them for just over 3 years now, not sure if they taking sales from me as i have no way of really checking this with the amount of sales im making, but they have always paid on time everytime i do roughly $4000 per month on average in sales, so i cant complain with CB been good to me.

JACK TIMPANO
JACK TIMPANO

Hi Kevin I need some advice I recently bought a click bank program with my credit card for $38.00 AUS. i was suppose to get it online, but since i made this purchase by credit card.............i didn't receive it since. Do they send this out my mail ? Looking forward to your prompt response Jack.

Yolisa
Yolisa

Hi Kevin, I was very iffy about clickbank. I haven't tried it yet but you really made me believe its not a scam.

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