Make More from Your Merchant Affiliations

Ed is the guy who will spend hours researching and analyzing product listings on eBay, Amazon and other independent online merchants to get the best deals.

He proudly announces his ‘wins’ whenever he buys something on eBay for $24 that sells in town for $79.

He’s equally proud when he saves just 5 bucks.

To acknowledge his online shopping prowess, I had just posted a compliment on Ed’s blog about his ability to find great deals online when not even 15 minutes later he tells me that he’s just purchased a Clickbank product to learn how to make his own solar panels.

He then somewhat sheepishly adds “… but I forgot to use my Clickbank ID“.


The product that he bought is GreenDIYenergy which sells for $49.97, pays a 75% commission ($32.54).

There’s also an upsell that increases the commission to $79.00.

Because Ed didn’t buy into the upsell, he only flushed $32.54 down the toilet. (I say “only” rather sarcastically, as I don’t like wasting money period — it’s better saved and then spent on shoes. :-) )

Actually, Ed probably flushed the full $49.97, considering I would have contacted the merchant to ask for a “review copy” which is mentioned on his Affiliate Support pages.

So folks… don’t make the same mistake that Ed made.

If you’re buying something from a Clickbank merchant in order to do a product review, save yourself some money and request a review copy (if they are offered) or at very least, buy the product through your affiliate link.

Hey, even if you’re NOT planning to do a product review and are just purchasing it for your own use – use your Clickbank ID and save some money! (Assuming you’re a good Clickbank affiliate, one who makes sales).


  1. says

    Hi Ros,

    This is interesting to me. I thought Amazon would close down your account if you bought anything with your own affiliate link. I can see it’s not true of all affiliate networks, but I have been carefully avoiding using my link, just to keep from getting closed down.

    Thank you for the info.


  2. Marian says

    That’s what I do and would recommend. The bad thing is there are still many people who aren’t honest and after getting a review copy do nothing with it. No feedback at all.


  3. says

    I haven’t been to your site for a long time and have been pleasantly surprised by all the great content here. Also, do you cover blogging in the latest version of your handbook? I have one from several years ago and I don’t believe it had anything about blogging.


  4. William Wallace-Bruce says

    Thanks for the tip. I would have done the same. We really appreciate tips like these. keep them flowing. Thanks

  5. Tammy says

    For each of our different sites do we need to set up different clickbank, Commision Junction etc accounts? Or can we use same ones for all different sites?

    • says

      Hi Tammy,

      You only need one account for each network. You can set up your links to indicate from which site each click/sale originated from within the Network Interface.


  6. CaroC says

    :) I’m a, duh … once with CB. Thanks for tips. Do we use affiliate id from blog or whatever, or at Clickbank? Apparently it can be a way to keep CB account from becoming dormant, (when you keep seeing zeros).

    Thanks again.

  7. Dominique says

    And what would you advise someone to do when they receive an e-mail from you trying to talk them into buying someone else’s Clickbank book. Use their own affiliate ID as well?

    Can’t agree with this post.

  8. shinq anthony gbadamosi says

    this is more than useful,all i need to say, you shall live long to eat the fruit of your labour.we are really enjoying you here in nigeria,this is great,requesting a review copy saves alot thanks mum.

  9. Jim says

    Hi Roz,

    Doh!! …
    It could have been worse. He could have bought it through one of your affiliate links and payed you the commish!

    But seriously, I thought that “they” get mad at you for purchasing through your own affiliate link. I’ve never tried it.


    • Lynn says

      Like Jim above, I also thought it was against Clickbank rules to buy through your own affiliate ID. And I wasn’t aware that people offer review copies either.

      So thanks, Ros, that was a very useful article :-)


    • Alan says

      I was under the same impression. Reading their Accounting Policy under Customer Distribution Requirements, they state –

      “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.”

    • says

      Hi Alan,

      The full text of that section reads:

      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, or PayPal). 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.

      So, if all you did was use your Clickbank account to get product discounts, then it is indeed wrong.

      However, buying a product for the purpose of reviewing and promoting it is quite a different matter. I can’t imagine any merchant getting upset with that. I rather expect that’s what my Clickbank affiliates will do if they plan to review my book. Not to mention all those who bought it with their Clickbank accounts and never bothered to promote it! :-)


  10. says

    Thanks for the tip Ros…I wasn’t aware that you could actually request a review copy from an author. Would you do that with the intention of doing a review, or were there ulterior motives involved?

    • says

      HI Ron,

      I would always check the merchant’s affiliate page first to see whether they make the offer.

      If not, and I’ve promoted products for that merchant before, I would certainly ask.

      And I’d only do it for the purpose of writing a review.

      Hope that helps.


  11. says

    Interesting. I didn’t realize they sometimes offer review copies there. Thank you. Tho wouldn’t there also be an advantage to going thru it totally from scratch, even tho paying extra, since it means you can then write about the entire process for your reader?

    • says

      Hi Kaye,

      There isn’t too much to explain to your visitors about going through the Clickbank process — but having a little excerpt down near the bottom of the page about it could be a good idea… although ultimately I do think that’s the merchant’s responsibility.


  12. says

    I wish I could read this post a week ago!

    Recently i purchased “Naturally Skinsational” book from Clickbank and guess what? Yeah I forgot to use my clickbank ID.

    Bad Vicky now cookie! :)

    Best wishes,

  13. says

    Rosalind, that is an easy mistake to make. There is no reason to pay more for a product than is necessary. The product Ed purchased is a good one. I also purchased it. I also paid the full price. Forgot to use my clickbank ID. We all make mistakes.

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