Is Clickbank a scam?
The simple answer to that question is NO! That's it no need to read anymore clear off and do something more meaningful with your life.
Well to be honest it's not as quite straghtforward as that...it depends on what you define as scam...people across the world have different levels of meaning.
It's best if we run through a few examples to best illustrate what we mean.
First let's say what Clickbank is first of all. In short Clickbank provides a means for people with digital products (the vendors) to sell their wares. Usually a product is delivered in the form of some downloadable link from a webpage that the person gets taken too straight after purchase. This could be like an e-book in PDF form for instance.
The thing about Clickbank which makes it so different and appealing to other sites which sell products is the affiliate system. An affiliate is a person who earns money generating commissions on selling products and usually these commissions are massive compared to most things - the minimum commission is usually 50%! So Clickbank effectively attracts lots of people to sell vendors products - so that's the really good bit if you are a vendor.
So let's get back to the question - is Clickbank a scam?
No! That's it no need to read anymore clear off..oh sorry been down that path...
Okay let's answer from the three different perspectives "the purchaser", "the Vendor" and "the affiliate".
When your used to them you can spot a typical Clickbank product when you land on the page...usually it's just a one page site...there isn't a method you can easily e-mail the vendor before buying...check out any terms or conditions...it's just one long page of sales blurb designed to make you part with your hard earned wonga! The sales copy will be so fantastic you'll pull a muscle while ripping the credit card from your wallet so you can get your hands(well eyes anyway as it's usually a digital product - have I told you that before?) on their product. This is where it might start to go wrong for some people - they'll get an e-mail or get taken to a page to download their product...maybe the page is broken or something...immediately you cry SCAM...so many times I see this on the internet where people say don't buy from there - they just took my money and didn't supply the goods. Or they get their goods but the sales hype was just that - hype - you would have to jump through so many hoops that they never told you about in the sales copy. Or in fact there can be so many different reasons here..we could write a book! In short a lot of purchasers will shout SCAM.
Most of the time it isn't a scam...most of the time the reality is that the purchaser has built this product up even more than the vendor, of what it can really do for you. Also a lot of purchasers aren't computer savvy and don't know how easy it is to start the ball rolling and getting your Clickbank refund...
So you've spend hundreds of man hours crafting your product - it's perfect (in your eyes), once you've paid your $49.95 - you can sell pretty much as many products as you want - assuming you have legitmate products that people can download - as you can only sell as far as I'm aware digital downloadable goods. So let's say you have a 100 page ebook on how to lose weight (very popular), and you sell it for $19.95 and offer 50% commission if any affiliates sell it for you (a bit more on affiliates later). You first sale comes through 3 days after setting up - your excited it's the first sale you've ever made online - you're on your way to making a million bucks! Next disaster strikes within 2 hours the purchaser has asked for a refund and lo and behold Clickbank have given it to them without even consulting you. Yep! You heard it right! - Clickbank have given your first customer all the money back. SCAM I here you cry!
No it's not a scam because under Clickbank terms you actually sell your product to Clickbank first. Heres how this one spins out...Each time you sell a product ClickBank will purchase the product from you at the wholesale price, which for standard products is 92.5% of the approved retail price. If U.S. sales tax applies, ClickBank buys the product at 92.5% of the order form total. In addition, ClickBank charges $1 per transaction. Therefore, on each sale ClickBank effectively keeps 7.5% plus $1. This takes place before affiliate commissions are paid out. SCAM I here you cry again...7.5%+$1 on every sale before you've begun seems very high when there isn't even a physical product being sold. Clickbank are making money hand over fist! But hey you signed up and you knew this before hand - so you had a choice didn't you...so no..not a scam at all!
So on two fronts Vendors can feel aggrieved and scammed - but on both fronts Clickbank is legitimate to do what they want. They will argue that by giving a refund straight away - you won't get a chargeback (a chargeback will actually cost you money)...so not only will you not get any money for selling your product you will also have to dig deep into your pocket! Double ouch!
As an affiliate it is your job to push traffic to a Clickbank product and hopefully earn some affiliate commission in doing so. This as I've already stated is usually 50% after the clickbank fees are taken out. In the past affiliate marketers had money taken from them via affiliate link hijacking - this can be avoided using permanent redirects using a .htaccess file. Also as an affiliate if a refund is given or a chargeback happens on the order again you lose all your commission on those sales.
So as you can see there are plenty of reasons why somebody might call Clickbank a scam - but in reality Clickbank is completely above board.