I received an email from a guy named Eric looking to promote some product using ClickBank. Eric claimed that he was getting low returns and in need of a way to generate more sales. He also mentioned that he was recently scammed on Paypal by one of the vendors, but for his efforts he received no support.
I visited Eric’s website and found out that he was promoting a book that sells for $7. He listed the exact same eBook on the ClickBank site that I did. I was convinced that this was a blatant attempt to promote one of the products, since I couldn’t imagine that ClickBank would have 2 different products in the same niche.
Eric’s eBook did sound interesting and I initially planned to purchase it and see what he was talking about. However, I quit after I ran my credit card through 2 Websites and received a disastrous payment of $1,000, which Eric guaranteed would happen. The payment was totally unexpected and I had no way to contact ClickBank since the payment was made through a Paypal account set up for me.
I’m glad I gave it a try, but I have no idea what happened to the $1,000. It was for a coaching program which I never received, or the product, so I’m not sure what happened to it. Either way, I was definitely financially misled.
I asked Eric about it a year later and here is what he had to say:
“Yes it was me. Unfortunately I made a lot of sales that aren’t there and people continue to order products through my affiliate account”.
He continued, “Unfortunately I’ve beenalysis by the merchants whose products are related to my websites, products I advertise and represent”.
Why was I supposedly scammed?
Whilst reporting issues to both Paypal and Clickbank support, I was informed that while payments are made in good faith, it’s not always easy to get paid. Like I said earlier, payments are made in good faith, they are made on a Net 30 basis, which varies from one affiliate company to the next.
Payment thresholds are different from one company to the next and you have to check each one. Furthermore, you have to try to reach the payment threshold before they cut you off. They often use a holds Top enhanced or snowballing payment which is meant to represent big payouts for quite a few months or years and when you’re just starting out, that sort of payment pattern is likely to be expected.
Is this considered affiliate fraud?
Keep in mind that just because someone joins a company or program doesn’t mean that they are going to automatically start promoting it. You need to do your own advertising efforts to send the company your website visitors and tell them why you like the program. Maybe you were one of the first ones to join, or maybe you were one of the slowest ones to join. Whoever’s case it is, doesn’t matter. You are still responsible for your own actions online.
I strongly recommend that you only promote the products and services of companies who have good reputations for being fair. Even though a company may have a good offer, if you are only earning a few pennies a day, it could turn into a campaign of deception. The last thing you want to do is be known for being one of the unscrupulousicky people online.