It’s a common debate in the affiliate world – to use Clickbank or not to use Clickbank. While it is probably the largest marketplace of information products on the web all with built in affiliate programs, you will often hear chatter about the dark side of Clickbank and a million reasons why you should avoid it. Most commonly is their “easy refund” process and the instant chronic refund seekers of the web coupled with the affiliate link theft that many people feel the need to avoid the Clickbank marketplace, both as affiliates and for their own products.
I’m not going to sugar coat it, the refund process at Clickbank is really dead simple easy, I think it’s a case of a few bad apples spoiled the whole darn bunch in the case of instant refund seekers. Occassionally those people will show up, buy your product, and immediately request a refund through Clickbank’s marketplace – sometimes within minutes. It does happen, but I don’t think it’s the norm. And when it does happen…. Well, did you really want that rotten person in your space anyway? Probably not.
Some people might say I have my head in the clouds, but I like to believe that people are generally nice to each other. I know it’s not always the case, but I try really hard to see things in a positive light. Though, I must say sometimes it’s really hard. There can be a lot of stinkers out there, as Nicole Dean might tell you. The truth is, I don’t have time for stinkers so they can just take a hike and get out of my space whether it’s online or offline.
I’ve used Clickbank both as an affiliate and as an info product seller for several years now. As an info product seller, I will tell you that I’ve only ever experienced the “instant refund” phenomena twice in a two year period. In addition to those two “instant” refunds I received one additional refund request in that two year period. I’d say that probably makes my return rate better than Wal-Mart’s, right?
And Clickbank makes it so easy to sell your info product. I put off adding a product there because I thought it was going to be crazy and difficult. There is an approval process and you do pay a set-up fee, but it wasn’t difficult by any stretch of the imagination to get my first info product set up over there. They do charge a small fee per sale, but they handle everything on the finance side of things, including sending out 1099s to affiliates every year. For me it’s worth that small fee to not have to worry about sending out payments and paperwork every month, it’s point and click easy.
Now, as an affiliate is where things get a bit tricky. The affiliate commission theft can happen and I think that it probably happens more often than the “instant refund” problem. This is when someones sees that the product is through Clickbank during the checkout process and they exit back to the sales page and insert their own affiliate ID into the URL, essentially giving themselves a discount on the product because the Clickbank marketplace credits the last affiliate ID entered so they wiped out the cookie identifying you as the affiliate and create a new one crediting themselves.
Clickbank doesn’t really approve of this process, but they haven’t really fixed it either, so many affiliate marketers view it as a problem. This affiliate commission theft happens mostly in the internet marketing and make money online info product niches, because often the people purchasing products in those niches are intimately familiar with how Clickbank works and they know how to game the system. You have much less to worry about if you’re in a different niche selling ebooks – for example, if you’re selling craft patterns or recipe books.
So is Clickbank right for your info product? Well, only you can decide that. I think it’s worth setting it up there even if it is not your sole method of selling the product. You can always set up another sales page and use a different merchant account if you don’t want to use Clickbank all the time, but still have the benefit of being in the CB marketplace for affiliates to find you.
But, is Clickbank right for you as an affiliate marketer? Again, only you can decide. You can do things like using a redirect URL on your affiliate link so they won’t see the standard string of code and insert their own affiliate link, etc… It just depends on how much effort you want to put into it. If there are a number of products in the CB marketplace that match your audience and you want to promote those, I think it’s worth it. I also think it’s worth taking the time to purchase those products or to request a review copy and go through the product before you promote it to your community.
P.S. Want to get your own info product on Clickbank, but aren’t sure how to do all the little things you need to do? Guess what? There’s an info product for that!
This guide from Nicole Dean will show you how to set up your product, the best ways to deliver the product to customers, where to store the product files, ways to product your download pages from internet thieves, and walk you through adding it to the Clickbank marketplace step-by-step.