ShareASale Review – Scam or Legit? The Truth Exposed

Are you looking for a ShareASale review? If you want to make money online, you might have heard of ShareASale. But you may wonder if this affiliate network is a scam.

The internet is rife with reports of scams. Affiliate marketing is particularly true in that regard.

ShareASale is one affiliate network that people like to refer to as a scam when talking about different affiliate networks.

The majority of these claims, however, come from users who have only been using the network for a short time. Furthermore, the affiliate network has plenty of positive reviews.

Then, what is the truth? Can affiliate marketers benefit from ShareASale, or is it a scam network?

To help you make a more informed decision, I have thoroughly researched ShareASale so I can tell you more about it.

At the end of this review, I’ll also share with you a platform where I’ve learned affiliate marketing skills that have enabled me to make a full-time passive income.

ShareASale Review – Key Takeaways

  • Affiliate Network Name: ShareASale
  • Website: https://www.shareasale.com/
  • Overall Ranking: 4.7/5
  • ShareASale Scam or Legit: It’s not a scam. It’s a legit platform for merchants and affiliate marketers.
  • Who is ShareASale For: Merchants who want to recruit affiliates; Affiliate marketing looking for products or services to promote

In this ShareASale review, I’m going to cover the following.

What is ShareASale?

ShareASale is one of the largest affiliate networks. Over the course of nearly 20 years, it has established a reputation as a provider of affiliate marketing services. 

ShareASale Review - Scam or Legit? The Truth Exposed

According to the company website, it aims to provide customers with an “advanced Affiliate Marketing platform”. 

Awin, a global affiliate network, has acquired a considerable portion of ShareASale’s affiliate operations since January 2017. In addition to bringing increased reach to ShareASale, 

ShareASale now offers further opportunities for international affiliates to grow their businesses. In countries where affiliates and publishers have hitherto been denied access to ShareASale affiliate network, they can join now.

Its headquarters are in Chicago, Illinois. In addition to its membership in the Performance Marketing Association, OTDA belongs to the Illinois Technology Association. 

Merchants can also choose from over 3,900 affiliate programs offered by this company. You can find many popular merchants on the website, such as Weebly, Johnston & Murphy, Sears Parts Direct, etc.

Recommendation: Best Learning Platform For Affiliate Marketing

How To Sign Up for ShareASale?

As a first step, we must analyze how simple (or complicated) it is to sign up for a ShareASale account.

There are certain affiliate networks that make this far more complicated than necessary.

  1. Choose your username and password, and let them know where you live.
  2. Create your main affiliate website—this domain will be used later by ShareASale to verify your account. The network is stringent about what affiliate marketing sites are permitted on the network, including adult content.
  3. It will be far more effective to use an email address @yourdomain.com rather than a free email address like @gmail.com. Google, Yahoo, Live, etc.
  4. Remember to include the name of who you want payment made to for affiliate checks when you provide full contact details.
  5. You can choose your preferred payment method, but there isn’t a PayPal option.
  6. After reviewing their terms and conditions, you must agree to them and then click on the confirmation email to submit your finalized application.

It typically takes ShareASale a day or two to approve an account, but weekends and holidays are not included. 

It took only 24 hours for my new application to be approved. The process was far simpler than other networks I tested, where I simply gave up after trying them.

All in all, you shouldn’t need to spend more than 15 minutes completing your application.

You might check out the video below to get a quick overview of the ShareASale affiliate account homepage:

What Affiliate Programs Does ShareASale Offer?

Nearly 4,000 offers are available on ShareASale. The affiliate programs listed below fall under multiple categories, making it easy for affiliates to choose between them based on their preferences. 

To choose from, you can find fashion vendors, business vendors, green vendors, home and garden vendors, and a lot more.

Depending on the merchant, the sale commission varies for each offer. Some companies may offer sales commissions as low as 3.00% while others offer sales commissions as high as 30%. Some programs, too, offer flat fees like $20 per lead or $40 per sale.

Currently, there are 5,921 pay-per-sale programs and 333 pay-per-lead programs on the company’s website. Programs are being added on a daily basis, so there’s no lack of choice.

The quality of offers depends entirely on what you choose to take up. In addition to our discussion above, sales commissions can range from 3% to 30% or more. Now, a low commissions offer does not automatically imply that it is of lesser quality. 

Affiliates may also benefit from other perks and add-ons, which makes this an excellent offer overall. Depending on your needs, you may receive materials, such as sophisticated sales banners, links, etc.

The more complex the lure on your platform is, the greater the chance that your readers will follow your referral to the merchant’s website. 

This way it makes your job as an affiliate much easier. This is an especially important step for pay-per-click sites as it ensures that your earnings will be high.

ShareASale offers a variety of high-quality products from well-known brands. While offers change constantly, here are some of the top brands at the time of writing:

  • Weebly
  • Reebok
  • MyPillow
  • Brooklinen
  • Erin Condren
  • Smile Direct Club
  • Sun Basket

Moreover, ShareASale offers an extensive range of niche offers of higher quality. ShareASale does not have many spammy offers (aka low-quality CPA networks). It is comparable to both Flex Offers and Commission Junction.

Recommendation: Best Learning Platform For Affiliate Marketing

How Does ShareASale Work?

It would be boring to go over every menu option in detail. In addition, affiliates are interested in only two aspects of this stuff:

  • Where can I find the products?
  • How do I create my affiliate link?

Finding Affiliate Programs

Now, here is where ShareASale kicks all other affiliate networks out of the water.

It is the same as their competitors – click on ‘Merchants’ and then ‘Search for Merchants’.

There are various categories available here, so you can find one that interests you.

As far as ShareASale is concerned, there is nothing new until you realize you can pick from thousands of merchants.

Affiliate programs can be sorted by:

  • 7 or 30-day EPC
  • Sale Commission
  • Lead Commission
  • Hit/Click Commission
  • Alphabetical
  • Start Date
  • Cookie Length
  • Power Rank (internal metric) 
  • Joined Status

It is, however, the ‘Modify Search’ submenu that I find most useful. It’s like having superpowers to find just the affiliate programs you’re looking for.

In any adequate amount of detail, there are a lot of search parameters to cover, but my favourites are:

  • Auto-Approval
  • EPC Greater Than
  • Commission Rate Greater Than
  • Two-tier Program

I am able to find programs that will automatically approve my application and pay the commission amount I desire, as well as an EPC that shows I will make long-term cash, as well as the option of getting paid for referrals made by sub-affiliates.

Compared to ShareASale, networks much bigger and better can’t even touch this search functionality.

The process of finding an affiliate program that fits your needs has never been easier.

Creating Affiliate Links

Creating an affiliate link on ShareASale is as simple as it gets, as you might have guessed by now.

From the top nav menu, click on Links and then ‘Get a Link/Banner’. From the subsequent screen, simply click on ‘Get Links.’

All that remains is deciding what kind of ad creative you want (text link, banner, etc.) and then grabbing the HTML code.

Other interesting ways to create affiliate links can be found on ShareASale. A bookmarklet is still in beta, which would explain its poor performance.

  • A short link can be created using the Custom Link Tool they have in-house
  • It allows you to create product galleries through Make-A-Page
  • Banners displaying specific products can be created with Product Showcase

In terms of sheer innovation, ShareASale scores high here.

Getting Paid

We’re now going to talk about how you’ll get paid for driving traffic to ShareASale’s merchants.

You’d be paid on March 20th for any sales you made through February 20th. ShareASale pays affiliates based on a net 30 model.

The three options are Direct Deposit, Mail Check, and Payoneer. I find it a bit annoying that they don’t offer PayPal.

Paying you via direct deposit is the most efficient way to do this, as it goes straight into your bank account, plus there is no hassle of having to cash a check or pay handling fees associated with it.

The ShareASale affiliate account must be balanced with $50 before any payments can be triggered.

Many people actually complain that it should be $10, not $50. But if you can’t make $50 from affiliate marketing, then perhaps you aren’t doing the right job.

Publisher Help

So what if you don’t understand how to create a link to a particular affiliate program, your payment hasn’t arrived, or you are simply overconfident?

Customer service at ShareASale can assist you.

You get an introductory tutorial in your welcome email, but let’s say you have a specific question. They have a knowledge base (called Help Center) that functions well but the interface reminds me of 2002 – it is displayed in an iFrame while scrollbars are available.

There are email addresses and telephone numbers, but there is no info regarding customer service.

There need to be significant changes made to the help section of the site.

ShareASale Payout Terms and Options

When a merchant approves your application, you’ll receive a unique link that you can place on your website. Depending on the offer format you select, you will earn commissions. 

Pay per click, pay per sales or pay per leads are all types of pay-per-click. The commission you receive from a merchant depends on what your arrangement is.

Shareasale.com will handle the payment. Unless your account balance falls below $50 in previous transactions, you will be paid on the 20th of every month. 

There is no interest charged on the money you have deposited. Payoneer or by cheque are both options for receiving your money.

However, if a merchant is void or, in other words, if they do not pay or change the terms of payment, ShareASale will recover the marketing commission, if it has been previously credited. 

A deduction will be made from your future earnings if your account balance falls below the void balance. In cases of fraud, returned merchandise, re-duplicate transactions, etc., a merchant may cancel a transaction.

It is important to note that commissions will be deducted automatically from your account. You will never be asked to send money to ShareASale.

Recommendation: Best Learning Platform For Affiliate Marketing

Cons and Complaints of ShareASale

It’s easy to understand why some doubt the reliability of ShareASale when so many people claim that it’s a scam. 

Let’s examine the biggest grievances people post online.

1. The Affiliate links Don’t Work Very Well With WordPress

There are a lot of affiliate links that aren’t WordPress-friendly. This is because, when switching back and forth between the text and visual modes, ShareASale inserts characters such as “&” in affiliate links, which WordPress automatically obliterates and replaces with “&nbsp.”. 

The fact that I can preview my content as I am formatting it is pretty important to me because I’m a very visual person. After switching over to the visual formatter, the characters are automatically replaced and my ShareASale text styles become invalid. 

Because of this, I have to add my links right before I publish in a plain text viewer, which is confusing because the text is all raw code.

Certainly, there are reports on what has been clicked, but I’m not able to tell if I have any broken links. 

I’m particularly frustrated by this, as I am sure a lot of my links were inadvertently broken over the years when making edits to articles in WordPress.

2. No Notice of Program Termination

The ShareASale affiliate network has received complaints from some affiliates about merchant programs being removed from the network without notice. 

No affiliates received notification that their affiliate links had been deleted, so they were suddenly useless. The problem here is fairly large, and ShareASale should address it.

The affiliate who keeps track of tracking and reports, however, will be able to tell when something isn’t right with one of his or her links.

3. Account Deletion and Fees Threat

There is a $50 payout threshold for ShareASale affiliates. Compared with most of its competitors, this is quite a bit higher, which may put off potential affiliates. 

Even worse, You may risk your account being deleted if your balance is below $25. You may be charged $25 if you don’t reach the $50 threshold with ShareASale. 

For new affiliate marketers, this can pose a greater problem since they may not have an adequate amount of sales yet. For larger affiliate marketers, this isn’t a significant issue.

4. Poor Customer Service 

There is no way for ShareASale customers to contact some personnel within the actual network if they are having a problem with a ShareASale product. If you wish to return the product, you need to contact the seller directly. 

The problem with ShareASale is twofold: first, what’s the point of even having a support system? Secondly, how about when the product owner is disappointing? What if contacting the product owner wasn’t easy? All of these questions are realistic. 

I’ve encountered issues with products I bought from ShareASale and I found it difficult to reach the owner. Furthermore, all support I could get from ShareASale was indirect, and I ended up disputing some charges with my credit card company.

5. Quality Programs Face Fierce Competition. 

If you ask me, this is a good problem. Why do I say that? It is because the more competition there is, the higher will be the amount of searching as everyone is promoting the product.

Thus, if you can master advanced SEO (search engine optimization) techniques and rank your article on the first page of your target keywords, you might get sales automatically.

This is what you can learn for free from my #1 recommended affiliate training platform.

Recommendation: Best Learning Platform For Affiliate Marketing

Pros of ShareASale

1. Signing Up is Easy.

Creating an account is simple. Signing up for ShareASale is a quick and easy five-step process that only takes a few minutes. For new publishers, ShareASale has made signing up as straightforward as possible.

As a vendor, you can then connect to a massive group of affiliates who will promote your products, and a software system is designed to compensate these affiliates and you for each sale (you don’t have to know how to program, this network handles it all for you).

2. A Wide Variety of Merchants

The product line of ShareASale covers almost anything: tech, weddings, apparel, fitness, automotive, gifts or productivity. There are over 4800 different merchants available on their platform spanning over 40 different categories! Those numbers are astounding, and they keep growing each day.

The merchants represented here include many big names in their fields, including Viator, WP Engine, Mod Cloth, Jillian Michaels, and the NBA Store. 

You can choose from a variety of different programs at ShareASale, since small and large brands are represented there.

3. Easy and Efficient Search Functions

How are you going to find the merchant program that fits your business the best out of over 4,800 available on ShareASale?

Here are ShareASale’s fantastic search options. By using specific keywords, EPC, commission rates, merchant status, or how long they’ve been a ShareASale merchant, you can filter your searches further.

The other feature that ShareASale offers is a PowerRank, which helps you sort through the best of the available merchants. Using this search, you can view the 100 most popular merchants currently on ShareASale.

You will be able to find your ideal affiliate program easily using these tools.

4. Easy To Use

As the company claims, ShareASale is extremely user-friendly. Users will find it easy to navigate, has an extensive knowledge base, and is perfect for both individuals just getting started and those with some experience.

If you’re an affiliate marketer with several websites you wish to monetize with ShareASale, then you are in luck. The network simplifies the application process for website owners who run more than one website.

All the websites you currently own will be listed in order of importance, allowing you to upload all of them. This will eliminate the need for you to enroll multiple times for different merchant programs. You only need to submit one application to get all your websites included.

Recommendation: Best Learning Platform For Affiliate Marketing

Any Better Alternatives To ShareASale?

Today, ShareASale is considered one of the top affiliate programs online due to the variety of products and high payout rates.

It’s great news that ShareASale isn’t the only name around. Alternatives to ShareASale have helped affiliate marketing reach new heights.

Here are the ShareASale alternatives that offer equal value.

ClickBank

We have included ClickBank as our first ShareASale alternative. Known as one of the top American retailers and affiliate networks, ClickBank has thousands of physical and digital products on its site that affiliates can promote and earn a regular income from.

Founded in 1998, ClickBank’s transparency, high-quality tracking system, and high commissions that vendors provide to their affiliates have made this platform a trusted platform.

The simplicity of this platform is another reason why it is so renowned. This system is very easy to use on the backend and makes it very easy for affiliates and vendors to understand their numbers.

CJ Affiliate

Affiliate programs like CJ Affiliate are among the largest around, as well as ShareASale. There are millions of companies, products, brands, and services available for online promotion at this site. 

Among the products they offer is everything from technology devices to pet accessories and restaurants.

Barnes & Noble, J. Crew, and Office Depot are among the brands represented. The commission varies depending on the program.

CJ requires you to apply for each offer like Rakuten. Even if you’ve been accepted into the network, you need to complete this step. If you’re not used to it, this can be a frustrating obstacle to overcome.

CJ continues to be the best option for buyers due to its access to large brands. Despite its age, this affiliate network continues to deal with a wide range of premium brands that do not advertise elsewhere.

JVZoo

Affiliate programs like JVZoo have a large affiliate network that has 800,000 active advertisers. 

Affiliates and vendors are connected through the JVZoo affiliate network. It facilitates vendor relationships and affiliations without the intervention of higher officials. This allows vendors to work directly with affiliates and to design their promotions as they see fit.

By signing up with this network, you will be able to utilize the skills you have gained through working at ShareASale with digital offers. You can use the offers to work with any content you’ve already built out for ShareASale offers.

Commission payouts can be received instantly through this network’s unique payment system. It can only be used by certain affiliate offers since the vendor must activate it.

Beginners also love this network because of its friendliness. You won’t have much trouble getting accepted here, compared to other ShareASale replacements on this list. If you do join this network, you will have access to lots of resources that will assist you in getting started.

Affiliate Window

Affiliate Window, like the other ShareASale alternatives, offers affiliates thousands of products and services to promote online. Furthermore, Affiliate Window offers affiliates of different levels of experience the opportunity to participate in a global market. There are big brands represented by Affiliate Window, including Under Armour, Burton, and HP.

Rakuten

Rakuten offers an affiliate program that is highly regarded. Additionally, they offer affiliates an easy-to-use dashboard that displays earnings, clicks, and conversions information. Eight years in a row, this affiliate network has been voted the mThink’s best affiliate marketing network.

However, this affiliate marketing network only provides commissions on direct sales, and it only deals with physical goods. It may be more convenient to choose between information and physical products on another network if you prefer this.

Moreover, this network’s affiliate registration process is more difficult than other networks’. In order to get attention from advertisers, your website must be popular. There is more information to gather and it takes longer. After joining successfully, each affiliate offer must be applied for separately.

Amazon Associates

Since Amazon Associates is one of the biggest affiliate programs in the world, it is a great place to start. With millions of products available, you’re sure to find a product that appeals to your niche. As long as you’re a member of their affiliate program, you can promote anything.

Amazon has a tiered commission structure ranging from 1% to 10% per sale. The structure is based on product categories, with Luxury Beauty, Luxury Stores Beauty, and Amazon Coins paying out the highest commissions.

There is a physical product for almost every need on Amazon. Even though some don’t offer the highest commissions, you can build a website around selling them.

There’s no warning when Amazon exercises its discretion. The platform can ban you without stating a reason. In spite of their high performance and good reputations, high-performing affiliates often struggle to survive.

Choosing Amazon means that you will have the flexibility of being able to sell a wide variety of physical products. Promotions for digital and physical products are endless.

Market Health

The health/beauty niche is the focus of Market Health, an affiliate marketing company with years of experience. 

There is still a large number of products to sell, despite its narrow niche. The company managing the network also manufactures some of these health products.

Market health offers a physical product-focused network focused on health foods. Vitamins and supplements are among the products shipped directly to consumers, as are powders and creams.

Small affiliate networks have a tendency to maintain closer relationships with their partners. The rates here are higher than those on some other networks because publishers with strong websites can negotiate higher rates.

If personalized attention is what’s most important to you, choose this ShareASale alternative. Affiliate networks that sell their own products are few and far between and this is one of them.

PeerFly

PeerFly is an affiliate network focused on CPA offers, with a strong user platform and well-curated offers. The products you can promote include those in many different niches including health, fashion, and eCommerce. B2B offers are also available.

On the network, commission structures and affiliate offers are as diverse as the offers. With some advertisers, you can work out revenue share deals or CPS offers.

PeerFly has fewer affiliate offers than Google AdSense, but it has plenty of offers other than those that are digital.

PeerFly’s platform has been praised by many users in reviews. With its easy navigation and rich features, it was developed in-house by PeerFly.

Choose PeerFly if you want to start promoting CPA offers (but also have the flexibility to experiment with others on the same platform), and you want to mainly generate leads. With PeerFly, these kinds of affiliate offers will be easier to find.

Advertisers, publishers, and offers chosen by this network must be serious about its rules. Affiliates starting here may find it challenging, but if your experience is decent, you will encounter fewer low-quality offers.

eBay Partner Network

A vast affiliate network similar to Amazon’s, but eBay’s affiliate program operates differently.

Unlike Amazon, eBay rewards you based on the amount of traffic you drive. It could either be a better bargain or a worse bargain, depending on the product.

In light of eBay’s emphasis on CPCs, the traffic requirements for affiliates are higher than those for most programs. The rest isn’t too hard as long as your website has traffic.

When buyers follow your link but don’t trust the website however they end up on, they might stop short of converting. There are millions of accounts on eBay, a well-known website.

CPC commissions can be earned by selling physical goods through the eBay partner network. You could promote plenty of products and some of them come with high commission rates for affiliates.

Recommendation: Best Learning Platform For Affiliate Marketing

Is ShareASale A Scam?

ShareASale is NOT a scam.

ShareASale affiliate programs are sometimes of poor quality. Overhyped junk products are easy to come by. But that’s only half the story.

It’s a megastore filled with lots of good programs too. ShareASale is like a mega supermarket with everything under one roof.

You must always do good research to achieve success. If you choose to promote the products, ensure that they are authentic. 

Check out the refund rates of products as well. If you really want to find out what a product is like, you should buy it. 

To ensure you understand ShareASale’s affiliate program before joining, make sure you carefully review it. Overall, ShareASale looks like an offer you shouldn’t overlook!

Final Verdict: ShareASale Review

As we can see, ShareASale is not a scam. For affiliate marketers, it can be an important tool in earning money.

You may not be able to earn your main income from ShareASale, but it can contribute significantly to your affiliate marketing income.

However, if you want to take your affiliate marketing to the next level, you must learn how to drive organic traffic to your affiliate site.

The more you know about keyword rankings, SEO metrics, and backlinks, the better you will be able to compete.

All these valuable insights can be learned for free from my #1 recommended platform.

How To Make A Full-time Passive Income on Affiliate Marketing?

To make a full-time passive income from affiliate marketing, you need to master advanced SEO techniques so that you can quickly scale your affiliate business.

 My #1 recommended platform to learn advanced SEO is called Wealthy Affiliate.

Wealthy Affiliate is an all-in-one platform for building your affiliate marketing business from scratch.

When you join Wealthy Affiliate, you can get access to the first-class web hosting service, keyword research tools, community support, comprehensive training, writing tools, and other software to help you build an online business step-by-step.

You can register a free account with Wealthy Affiliate, which enables you to get started with affiliate marketing right away without paying a penny.

If you like the platform, you can then upgrade to the premium membership to get access to everything on the platform. There are no upsells afterwards.

But How Much Can You Earn with Wealthy Affiliate?

A 21-year old student from Wealthy Affiliate was able to earn $7,395 in just 1 week, which means he made more than $1k a day…all while applying what is taught inside Wealthy Affiliate.

ShareASale Review - Scam or Legit? The Truth Exposed

Wealthy Affiliate has a long history. It has been established for 15 years and there are many success stories in the past decade.

Actually, Wealthy Affiliate has more than a million members so far, so you can see how popular this platform is.

To give you more examples, here are some of the other inspiring success stories of Wealthy Affiliate members.

If you don’t trust my words, you can go to Trustpilot to see what the members have to say:

ShareASale Review - Scam or Legit? The Truth Exposed

At the time of writing, Wealthy Affiliate is rated 4.8 out of 5, which is excellent. It’s incredible to get such a high rating with more than 400 reviews.

If there are only two or three good reviews, you may say they are fake reviews. But you cannot fake it when there are more than 400 reviews there. Remember, Trustpilot has a very intelligent system to detect fake reviews.

Where to Join Wealthy Affiliate?

Wealthy Affiliate has a very simple pricing scheme. It has a free and premium membership. The premium membership only costs $49/month or $395/year.

If you want to feel about Wealthy Affiliate, you can sign up for the free starter membership here (no credit card required). You can select to be a free member with no time limit.

And as a starter member, you can get instant access to the community, live chat, over 500 training modules, 2 classrooms, networking, commenting, 1 free website, access to the keyword tool.

You can enjoy all these values without paying a penny.

So I strongly recommend you to register a free account and see it yourself.

Recommendation: Best Learning Platform For Affiliate Marketing

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