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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