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Does accepting affiliate commissions cheat your customer?

November 27th, 2018 by Bob Bly

Recently I sent, as an affiliate of WW, an email to my list
promoting her upcoming webinar.

Subscriber RK immediately emailed me: “Is this a shameless plug?”

Meaning: “Are you just doing this for the money, Bob?”

Well, if RK is reading this essay, then I want to take this
opportunity to educate him — and others who hold his wrong-headed
view — as to how the internet marketing world really works.

To begin with, it is a standard practice for people to be paid
for their products and services. It’s simply working for a

You wouldn’t ask your dentist to whiten your teeth for free,
right? And when you fill up at the gas station, you give them
your credit card.

So this idea that products and services, including information
products, should be free … and it is wrong to get compensated for
providing them … strikes me as odd, to say the least.

Next, I don’t offer affiliate products just for the commissions:
The truth is, in most instances, I make more money from a sales
email that promotes my own products.

No, the main reason I offer affiliate products to my subscribers
is that I don’t know everything about everything.

Therefore, when I feel my subscribers want to learn something I
am not qualified to teach, I find a product that does teach what
you want or need to know — and then offer it to my list.

One common complaint among online shoppers is the perception that
affiliate commissions are not revealed and are a secret pay-off that
takes place without the customer’s knowledge.

Well, not by me; here’s the standard disclaimer on every sales
email I send out:

“The Direct Response Letter only recommends products that we’ve
either personally checked out ourselves, or that come from people
we know and trust. For doing so, we sometimes
receive a sales commission.”

Again, not the case at all: The products I offer through
affiliate marketing are the exact price they sell for when there
is no affiliate involved.

Yes, I get a commission for affiliate products I sell to my list.
But that commission is paid to me as a percentage of the sale by
my affiliate; no extra charge is ever tacked on to the consumer’s

Subscribers are also concerned that I don’t vet the affiliate
products I offer them and just do it, as RK accuses, to make

The fact is, I only sell products from affiliate partners whom I
either know personally or at least know by reputation and think
highly of their work.

If I sell a book, I may not read the whole book. But I spend enough
time reviewing its contents to make sure it is well worth the asking

Plus, I only sell products where the affiliate offers an
unconditional money-guarantee of satisfaction to ensure you are
happy with your purchase.

My main complaint with RK, aside from him being snarky, is his
lack of understand of how the business world works — and his
erroneous belief that it is somehow immoral to make money by
providing people with products and services they want.


This entry was posted on Tuesday, November 27th, 2018 at 10:29 am and is filed under Online Marketing. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

7 responses about “Does accepting affiliate commissions cheat your customer?”

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  4. corporate gift items dubai said:

    Affiliate Marketing is considered a job only. There’s nothing as cheating or all. Our customers are not paying any extra money. Its actually the profit of the company is reducing.

  5. ready to occupy villas in kottayam said:

    If affiliate marketing is like cheating, then all business and most other working people are cheating others. We work inorder to have a decent income and not to make others prosperous. So there’s no bad in affiliate marketing.

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