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What's wrong with Clickbank. Why I resigned from Clickbank.
Years ago I joined ClickBank and I have made quite a lot of money in commission promoting the many merchants which have been featured at ClickBank.
It has never been easy with Clickbank, because although there are some good worthwhile merchants (vendors) there, there has typically always been a vast number that I would not promote. Some of lines of business have been in my opinion decidedly dodgy, for example nasty things to do with cybersquatted domains, spam e-mail lists, medical remedies whose claims are unlikely to be sustainable, and get rich quick schemes. The dodgy lines of business within the merchant portfolio have never been a problem as I have simply gone through a process of pick-and-choose and mined the gold nuggets out of the tons of shale.
I was first paid by Clickbank in September 2003, and money has come in gradually over a long period, right up until August 2011.
The problem is that in the summer of 2011, Clickbank introduced a huge verbose litigious contract. This was very time-consuming and expensive to clear, and during that time Clickbank banned access to their system. It was not possible to sift any new links during this time. Also, in 2011, I was in hospital twice, so, no work done on further developments in sifting through Clickbank.
Usually with this sort of thing there would be no problem, as all of the links already on my website would continue to do some good. However, at Clickbank there is another problem, which is short-termist merchants whose affiliate programs disappear after a short time. There is no telling if the links are any good from one week to another. Therefore, after a while, many of the links have expired and are now "dead".
The merciless system at Clickbank blames the affiliate for this, classing any account which does not have time to waste chasing such dead links, as "dormant". Dormant accounts at Clickbank are punished by being fined. After three months the fines are $1 per month, and then after another three months they increase to $5 per month, and then after a year they increase to $50 per month. I feel this system has been devised in order to allow Clickbank to extract money from the affiliates and somehow to claim it's legal to do so. Well, regardless of whether it's legal, it's not fair. Also, as well as the unfair fines and charges, there's also a penalty of $2.50 for paying the affiliate. So, if you have a threshold of $100, as soon as the affiliate account reaches $100 you get $97.50 , or if you have a threshold of $10, as soon as the affiliate account reaches $10 you get $7.50 as a cheque.
Most affiliate companies do not charge the affiliate for being paid. It is a bit like supermarkets that charge an admission fee; they don't get so many customers!
However, once an affiliate company such as Clickbank starts charging affiliates punishment penalties because the affiliate is ill in hospital or for having merchants that have expired their affiliate programs, the whole thing becomes like "a joke" except not funny.
I have pointed out the problems at Clickbank to the people at Clickbank. The have responded politely, but they seem to think it's "fair".
Well, I don't. I think it's not fair. If things aren't fair, I don't take it well. In the case of Clickbank, my response is to resign from the network and to remove every last Clickbank affiliate link from my website. Here are the pages and categories which had Clickbank links but no longer have any Clickbank links now they've all been removed!: Architecture , Building and Construction , Buying your own Domain Name , Cats , Charities , ClickBank , Dance , Disney , Dogs , Environment and Ecology , Fish , Gardening , Gluten Free , Golf , History Erasers , Horse-related , Hosting , How to Stop annoying Pop-Ups! , Internet Service Providers , Linguistics , List of Tax Havens , Music Makers , Music , Newspapers , Rats , Tracers and finders of people , Tranny stuff , Trucks , Weddings , and Witchcraft
It is my opinion that an affiliate marketing company should make money by commission from successful sales, and not by extracting money from affiliate accounts!
Whether I will ever get paid by Clickbank the money which I consider they owe to me, is another matter.
However, at least I won't be putting work into trying to make money on Clickbank affiliate programs only to have the money extracted from my account after I've earned it.
There are many good honest affiliate marketing companies that don't behave in ways I consider disreputable. The emphasis shifts to places that I consider behave in ways which are fair.
It is sad for the merchants at Clickbank, and I feel sorry for them. However, I'm not going to waste effort so Clickbank to take away money from my affiliate account.
Looking around online I see Google has a favourite term "clickbank scam", and many websites have written about "the Clickbank Scam". Well, I wouldn't go so far as to say that Clickbank is a Scam!. Some of the things on offer within the vast merchant portfolio may be disreputable, but to be fair to Clickbank I don't think they can be expected to have responsibility over that. It would be like expecting the publishers of the Phone Book responsible if any of the companies with phone numbers in there turned out to be rogue traders.
So, in my opinion, Clickbank is not a scam, and should not be blamed for disreputability of merchants within the Clickbank portfolio. However, I do think that Clickbank should be fair to affiliates, and it is my considered opinion that they have not been fair. That is why I have resigned from Clickbank.
There are other affiliate marketing networks which behave it a much fairer way to affiliates, and that's where the good business is to be found.
Update: Upon resigning from Clickbank, it is proving tricky to get paid the money which Clickbank owe me for affiliate commission already earned. Several excuses have been used for this, but really it doesn't make them look good.
Update: 2011/09/22 a cheque for $43.92 received. This is considerably less than the amount which I believe they owed! They've missed an opportunity there, as they could have salvaged what remains of their reputation, but no. This suggests the "reputation" wasn't worth that much! Still, this is largely irrelevant. I am rid of them, and that's what matters!
In conclusion, although I would disagree with the suggestion that "ClickBank is a Scam!", a comment too commonly made online, I consider that honest affiliate marketing is better served at the other affiliate marketing companies