Many of us have either bought or sold products using ClickBank. It’s the world’s largest digital online marketplace for buyers and a huge source of income for many product developers and affiliates.
But it doesn’t always get a great rap…
To put it mildly there is a huge amount of junk on there. A trip through its darkest recesses is like being dragged backwards through hedge. A hedge made of snakes, self-help slogans and shattered dreams.
Actually I might be overdoing it there a tad. There are also some genuinely brilliant products on there including Bonus Bagging – an Insider’s Edge reader favourite.
Also to be fair to ClickBank they’ve made a marked effort over the past year or two to try and weed out some of the rogue vendors. They’ve made changes to their terms and conditions and become increasingly vigilant about blocking shoddy product creators.
I think this is part of the reason why we’ve seen a rise in ClickBank clones popping up recently. Major product launchers with giant, spammy lists are desperate to sell but have been banned from ClickBank and need new platforms to work with.
But that’s not what I wanted to talk about here. The big news is that this week ClickBank has announced a major change to their website and how it will work from January 2013.
This is something that will impact product owners, affiliates and buyers a like – so it is likely to affect nearly all of us in some way, shape or form
What are the changes?
ClickBank is introducing a new rating system for products, products owners and affiliates.
It’s done quite scientifically with ratings based on refunds and chargebacks.
If you have a ClickBank account you can actually see a preview of what yours would be currently. There are 6 different levels or tiers as they call them:
Violet Tier – Lowest risk account, great performance, exceptional customer satisfaction
Blue Tier – Low risk account, great performance, strong customer satisfaction
Green Tier – New or Good quality with good customer satisfaction
Yellow Tier – Some risk issues, these should be identified and corrected
Orange Tier – Major risk issues which must be improved, account termination potential
Red Tier – Out of compliance with risk standards and must be improved as soon as possible, at risk of account termination
If you want to see all the gory details and what they mean you can get a run down here: ClickBank Risk Tiers
In theory this new system should mean at a glance product ratings… and less hot air merchants
Part of the reason ClickBank have done this is because refunds and chargebacks cost them money, which obviously they hate.
They’d much prefer their vendors to produce products that people actually want to keep so that they don’t have to stump up the various costs involved.
So what they’re doing here is in part farming out some of these penalties to those they consider to be poor vendors and affiliates – hence the rating system.
Let’s look at an example…
If you’ve created a product that 70% of people ask for a refund for (for example) then you’re going to get a lot of black marks against your name and eventually you’re going to hit the Orange or Red Tier category and have your account terminated.
Similarly if you’re an affiliate who keeps telling people to buy terrible products that they don’t want – you’ll be put in one of ClickBank’s higher risk tiers. You might not have your account banned but you will be liable for a percentage share of the costs outlined.
Now there’s a lot of grumbling and huffing in Internet marketing forums about this but actually I think there could be some merit in these changes. If it means scam vendors stop putting rubbish on there – great. If it means over zealous affiliates stop plugging products they have tried or done any research into that’s great too.
It’ll be interesting to see how things develop.
Watch this space!