There has been a lot said and written about Clickbank and most of it is glowing about what a great organization it is and a great marketplace. But there is no company or even internet service that is perfect. So as you study getting involved with the Clickbank “movement”, it is good to know the great things that this, the largest internet marketplace has to offer. But it is also to know the weaknesses of Clickbank as well. That way you don’t have any surprises and nothing comes up to surprise you once you are an active member of the community.
Clickbank definitely puts its best foot forward in taking good care of its merchants and their affiliates. And that is as it should be because these two large communities are the very reason why the service is such a smashing success. So without question the ease at which you can sign onto Clickbank, set up an account as a merchant or as an affiliate, and be right into the middle of the marketplace makes this one of Clickbank’s greatest advantages.
The only negative about not only the ease of getting started on Clickbank but of the hundreds or thousands of glowing reviews and articles about the service is that it is easy for a “newbie” to come to Clickbank thinking that with 20 minutes of signup, they will be making big money in the Clickbank marketplace. Of course, seasoned Clickbank veterans know that the laws of economics have not been suspended in the world of Clickbank, and the law that says “you only get back what you put into something” still is in full force even here on the internet. So there is work to be done to become really prosperous on Clickbank. But because the potential return on the investment is so huge, that effort is likely to pay you back handsomely.
The customer service side of the ClickBank corporate culture is both their strongest hand to play and their Achilles Heal in many respects. Clickbank has done a superior job of setting up policies and an approach to customer service that is clear to the customer and easy to take advantage of. The language of their help pages is well done and Clickbank maintains a live help desk so there is never a time when a customer cannot get help to move to the next phase. So this is one business area that Clickbank truly shines.
The Achilles Heal which also comes from their zeal to offer world-class customer service is the Clickbank refund policy which while certainly a great policy for the customer, is one that causes endless problems for Clickbank, its merchants, and affiliates. In context, all products sold in Clickbank are digital products. That means a digital copy is delivered after the sale. But this also means that the very idea of a “return” is absurd. And yet Clickbank has an ironclad, no questions asked refund policy.
This policy opens the door for massive problems because there really is no way to check customers who are buying digital products and then filing for a refund. That means that this refund policy is basically open season for shoplifting or theft on Clickbank. Any customer that wishes to can purchase a product, pay for it and download it or acquire the product and any product keys or codes needed to use it. Then it is just as easy to get a refund as there is that “no questions asked” policy. So that customers can virtually continue to get products, pay for them then cash in on the refund. Since there really is no such thing as a “return”, they get to keep the product free of charge.
It’s a virtual authorized and legal method of getting free products from Clickbank. It’s a problem that Clickbank is addressing as best it can. One possible solution that will only work on some products is a follow-up usage code. You can issue a temporary code to enable the product to work for the timeframe of the refund period. Then you can implement internal timings into the software so the customer must receive a permanent code after the trial or refund period passes. In that way, if customers “steal” your digital product, it’s only for a few weeks. But obviously, this solution won’t work for every product.