You might want to ask yourself Is Clickbank a scam? before you become a seller or reseller (affiliate) with Clickbank.com.
After having several problems with Clickbank myself, I decided to do some research to see if I could find out if there was more going on with Clickbank.
It took some time to go through all the information, and it is clear that Clickbank is not as good as they pretend to be. There are certain points you must know before you become an affiliate or vendor with Clickbank.
What Is Clickbank?
Clickbank is the biggest retailer of downloadable products on the internet, where vendors can have their products sold through 1000s of affiliates.
The affiliate will get a share when a sale is made for doing the work to sell the product, without owning the product, or having to deal with updates and customer service.
Before you open a Clickbank account, and start to promote Clickbank products, you’d better read this article to know what you can expect from Clickbank. This will also prevent you from having the same problems I had.
It is very easy to become an affiliate with Clickbank, and that is also a problem as there are always spammers who can easily become a member too.
One thing I have noticed is that Clickbank is not really doing much to stop spammers and scammers. More on this later in this article.
Clickbank Marketplace Products: Quality Or Garbage?
Many products in the Clickbank marketplace are just garbage, not even half as good as they pretend to be. Especially in the money making niche you can find many get rich quick scams.
As an affiliate it is wise to buy the product yourself, to be able to write an honest review about the product. This means that you will buy a product with false promises, not worth spending your money on.
I have been writing many reviews about “make money online programs”, and almost all are scam products. That are the kind of products they are selling. It makes you wonder, Is Clickbank a scam?
They have a vendor and products requirements policy, I wonder what good that will do for the product because Clickbank allows many scammers to sell their products through them.
It will not make the product any better, only the website needs to have several things implemented by the rules from Clickbank. You can read it al here: product requirements.
How To Get A Clickbank Refund
When a product is not good, you can ask for a refund by the Clickbank customer service, as almost all products have a refund guarantee.
You have to fill in an online Clickbank refund request form, but sometimes it can be difficult to get your money back. That was a problem I experienced myself with a product from Ewen Chia with a so called 100% money back guarantee.
This comes from the Clickbank website:”We want you to love every product you buy from ClickBank. If you aren’t completely satisfied with your purchase, let us know.
We’ll do everything we can to make it right, right away. So, go ahead and shop away. We’ve got your back.” Just one big lie to make you buy from them!
When a sale is made, as well the vendor (seller) as the affiliate (reseller) have to pay a small amount (7.5% + $1) for using Clickbank as their payment processor.
When a refund request is made, the small amount will also be paid back, so Clickbank is not making any money on the order. That is a reason NOT to refund a sale!
Clickbank Scam? Honest Company Or Thieves?
Then there is something else: It is not possible to see if you get your money if a sale is made. In other words, Clickbank can keep money behind that you made as an affiliate or vendor.
It is possible to check this if you know people who will buy the product from the website or through your affiliate link. The reason I write this down is simple: I don’t trust Clickbank anymore after all the bad news I have been reading about them.
Here is a comment I’ve found:
“Four of my clients clicked on the same ClickBank link as given by ClickBank. I was not paid on any of the referrals. ClickBank said that the links that they issued me were no good. Now I am having difficulty canceling my account. Nothing but bogus.”
At the end of this article I’ve put 2 links where you can find more negative news about Clickbank. It will raise a lot of questions how good this company is and if you want to become a vendor or affiliate with them.
About Dormant Accounts
Here is another way how Clickbank steals money that you made:
“Accounts with a positive balance but no earnings for an extended period of time are considered dormant.
Dormant accounts are subject to a charge of $1 per pay period after 90 days of no earnings, $5 per pay period after 180 days of no earnings, and $50 per pay period after 365 days of no earnings.
It is your responsibility to manage your account to prevent dormant fees. ClickBank will not notify you when your account is dormant.”
Of course Clickbank will NOT notify you, they can make a very nice extra income that way. Especially from starters who hardly make any money, and then also see that money being taken away by a bunch of thieves, called Clickbank.
It happened to me in the past, it was money that I made. I worked for it but I have never seen the money because it ended up in the pockets of these so called “good guys” from Clickbank. See the screenshot below how Clickbank took my money away.
As I didn’t reached the set amount to be paid out in the image above, I changed it to $50 to prevent Clickbank from taking my money again. As an affiliate you want to make money, and it can be hard, because of competition.
If that little bit of money is also being taken away, many people will stop trying to make money online with affiliate marketing. Thank you very much, Clickbank thieves.
Clickbank Will Keep Your Money
Here is another way how Clickbank steals money through a forgotten account name: “NOTE: If you can’t remember your account nickname, you will need to open a new account. No Exceptions“.
In other words: all the money you made through that forgotten account ends up in the pockets of the Clickbank thieves. Clickbank is not so customer friendly as they pretend to be.
It is easy for Clickbank to check what your account name is, as it is connected with your email address. Just as you can ask for a forgotten password, you should also be able to ask for a forgotten nickname. This is more bad info about Clickbank, but it keeps going on.
Clickbank Doesn’t Work
Talking about passwords: One day I couldn’t remember my password for my second account and clicked on the link to retrieve my password. I was going to get an email within 5 minutes, but half an hour later there was still no email.
I did it a second time and even the next day there was no email. I tried it a third time and had the same result: NOTHING! So I could not login to my account to check my stats or change any information. Clickbank sucks!
And that was not all: I changed my bank account number and the payout to $50 dollar and was going to get an email with a link to click on, but I never received that email or a link.
I had to go through the whole process again, changing all the information and again there was no email with a link. And this also happened three times. Clickbanks sucks!
So I cannot check my other account if I made money, or change any details, like the pay out amount or bank account number. To get it changed, I have to contact support, not really handy.
And I don’t expect any help from them, in fact, I’m not even going to try it. I am already taking the Clickbank links off of my page and change them to another affiliate provider.
Different Payment Processors?
I was promoting a product and found out that payments were not taken care of by Clickbank, but by tlmportal (https://tlmportal.online) where I could not find my affiliate ID.
When the product is sold, I might not get my share of the sale. In fact, I could not find ONE sale with that product. This could mean either the product has never been sold, or the affiliate (that’s me) won’t get his share of the sale.
In that case the vendor will get all the money, although there was a Clickbank hoplink. This made me decide not to promote Clickbank products anymore.
To stay on the safe side, try not to pay with Clickbank, but if possible pay with Paypal, especially with trials and memberships. With Paypal it is easier to get your money back, and you can open a dispute if necessary.
More Bad News About Clickbank
When you do a search for a product on the Clickbank marketplace, you might end up with several results pages. It is hard to see what the page number is, as it is not good visible and only at the bottom of the page.
But, again, there is more bad news: Sometimes a page is full of products but without any affiliate info available (N.A.). See the screenshot on the right.
Why put products online that don’t have affiliate info available? That doesn’t make any sense at all. Click the image on the right to see a larger image.
The price of the product is available from the website, and the affiliate percentage is also available. Then the amount that an affiliate can earn is easy to calculate.
As you can see in the image, almost at the bottom is a product with hardly any information (fast diet secrets (view mobile)). This is of course not enough information to have a product sold as an affiliate.
Clickbank should not accept this kind of info that is not helpful for affiliates. And when an affiliate is not making sales, Clickbank doesn’t make money from that affiliate either.
If the vendor can put up a website with the product, he should also be able to fill in more information on the marketplace. The info would be good for the affiliate, but also to get more affiliates to promote his product.
Resellers who put hardly any information on the Clickbank marketplace, are not doing a good job to have their product sold. It makes you wonder if the product is any good.
Clickbank University Program
And what to think of the Clickbank University (CBU): their own highly recommended (of course) affiliate marketing program to make money online.
Have a look at the price: a membership program from $47 each month, upsells of $297 a year for a website builder (while WordPress is free) and another $97 for the advanced master class.
The video took much longer than the three minutes they talked about in the beginning. It was one big sales video, talking only how good the product was. As the video took way too long, I stopped it for a moment.
When I wanted to go on, the video started all the way from the beginning. That sucks! I had to subscribe to get more info about the program and kept receiving emails all the time, from Clickbank trying to sell me the CBU program.
But it became worse; they said in the video: “Clickbank only makes money if you make money”. That is a BIG LIE! When a product is sold directly from the merchants’ site (the seller), they also make money.
Clickbank charges an amount of $49.95 as an activation fee, and a small fee (7.5% + $1) when a sale is made, for as well the vendor as the affiliate.
After watching the video how good their product was, I had to go to the download page, and Clickbank pretended that the product was free. I ended up on the sales page with a price from more than $1000 (at that time).
The product is allso not so good as they pretend it to be, just like many products being sold through Clickbank. And here is some more bad news about Clickbank University:
For almost the same price ($49 per month or $359 for a whole year) you can become a member with Wealthy Affiliate and get better training than from Clickbank University. You can be sure this training is better and the owners are also keeping the training up-to-date.
Clickbank University: Not A Good Program
The course is very expensive if you compare it with similar affiliate marketing programs
You can not move ahead as the lessons are given by the week
The support is not good; many questions are not answered or it is done by fellow members, that is wrong
There is no web hosting with it, so if you want to set up a website, you need to buy web hosting
The course is only to sell downloadable products, not for physical products
Although the program is not a scam, the price is too high
As always, they try to sell you more for a higher price to get more money out of your pocket
This course is what Clickbank should give away for free to their vendors and affiliates. If the training is indeed as good as they say it is, they can create vendors and affiliates that are much more successful.
And if vendors and affiliates make more money, Clickbank will make more money too; a win-win situation.
You would be better of to start with Wealthy Affiliate where they teach you how to build a profitable business, starting with a good foundation. There are also no upsells, and the owners are online many times for support and to answer questions.
Click the image below to read a review about Wealthy Affiliate, it will open in a new window. It is not a new review, but I can assure you that Wealthy Affiliate has evolved in a very positive way.
Zero Tolerance For Spammers?
According to their own information, Clickbank have zero tolerance for spammers. I have been reporting many spammers in the past, even send the spam email with headers to Clickbank, put the affiliate name in the email, but it takes too long to take spammers down.
Also, when a person want to become an affiliate, he/she have to give personal information, such as name, address, and bank account details.
I have told them to change the affiliate agreement and let spammers pay a fine, after taking down their account, but they just don’t do it. This would be a good way to stop spammers and earn some money from them as well.
Products Not Available
Another problem I had, was that some products have been taken offline. If a person clicked the link on my website to the sales page, then the product was not available anymore.
Not only did I missed out on commissions, Clickbank was also not making money from my work as an affiliate, and it is not good for SEO if a link doesn’t work.
Clickbank can send affiliates info about which products have been taken offline, or will be taken offline, so that the affiliate can change the hoplink to another product that is still available.
This is a way for affiliates to make more money and Clickbank would make more money also. Again, this would be a win-win situation, but it looks like Clickbank does not want to become any better.
Clickbank Can Suspend Your Account
Then there is something else you must know: It’s important for vendors and affiliates to know that Clickbank can simply decide to suspend your account for whatever kind of reason and keep your commission without informing you.
Is this a company you want to do business with or promote their products? I don’t think so. Another reason that will make you think “Is Clickbank a scam”?
If I have to give Clickbank a number form 1 to 10, they won’t get any higher than a 3. And that is just because they have the biggest affiliate marketplace on the internet.
If you want to read more bad news about Clickbank, here are 2 links with a lot of negative Clickbank information.