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We written a lot about ClickBank on this blog, including our Clickbank review, introduction to ClickBank hoplinks and conversion tracking for ClickBank affiliates. Now we should probably tell about the scary stuff no one told you about ClickBank.

Unlike most affiliate networks, there’s a real good chance that you will never get paid from ClickBank unless you’re making regular commissions via their network. Here are three reasons why.

1. You Need To Make At Least 5 Sales to Get Paid

You will never get paid if you make one or two sales. In fact, you need to make at least 5 sales (best case scenario) to actually get paid the first time.

According to ClickBank:

ClickBank will withhold payment of any account balance until the following criteria is met:

  • Sales made with 5 or more different credit card numbers; and,
  • Sales made with two different payment methods (either Visa, MasterCard, PayPal or European Direct Debit(ELV)). Note: PayPal purchases do not count toward the minimum 5 different credit card numbers.

This requirement is in place to help prevent Affiliates from abusing the ClickBank Affiliate program by using their accounts for the sole purpose of fraudulently collecting rebates and/or discounts on their own purchases.

Once you have met the Customer Distribution Requirement, your account will begin issuing payments normally, in accordance with our Accounting Policy, beginning on the next payment issuing date.

What this means is that a single sales doesn’t matter. 100 affiliate sales don’t matter either if everyone paid via their VISA credit cards or PayPal. Make sure you understand this requirement, as it closely relates to the next shocking fact you never knew about ClickBank.

2. There’s a “Dormant” Fee Up to $100 a Month

Yes, if you do not make any new commissions, ClickBank will penalize you for it. Deductions start at $1 per “Pay Period” which is every two weeks in ClickBank.

According to ClickBank:

Accounts with a positive balance but no earnings for an extended period of time are considered dormant. Dormant accounts are subject to a charge of $1 per pay period after 90 days of no earnings, $5 per pay period after 180 days of no earnings, and $50 per pay period after 365 days of no earnings.

The above example is from one of my joint venture ClickBank accounts. Unfortunately, after the initial sales for this product none of the partners (including me) bothered to do anything about the income. We thought we’ll just leave it there till be can get more JV partners to promote the product. That never happened however.

From several thousand dollars in the year 2007/08 you can see how this had depleted to $0 simply because this account was dormant and we had set the minimum payout to $5,000. Last year we had $50 deducted from our account every pay period, which is biweekly, resulting in a $100 deduction per month. Needless to say in a couple of months our earnings were completely wiped out.

I only realized this after checking that dormant account. We should have taken the money out sooner while there was still something to be paid out.

3. You May Never Get Paid

If you decide to promote Clickbank products, you need to keep it going till you get past the minimum 5 sales requirement, and set your minimum payout as low as possible, to actually start getting paid. If you decide to “take a break” from ClickBank you may return a year later to find that your earnings have disappeared.

There’s a real chance that you may never get paid from ClickBank despite all your hard work promoting their products as an affiliate. Be glad you read this!

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