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Anyone else facing issues with commissions on Envato

Discussion in 'Internet Marketing' started by prakash, Mar 29, 2015.

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  1. I have been an affiliate in the Envato market and have a few sales via the affiliate market.
    Now this month I received a negative commission. When I checked the details - they had removed a sale that was done in August 2015! I was surprised because I did not know why they had to reverse a transaction that was done almost 6 months back. Hence I contacted support and finally the ticket was raised to a Level 2 support incharge. The reason for reversal was given as
    A user referred via your referral link must not be related to you or your business or company.

    I checked the details and found that a client of mine had purchased the theme for his site and its a genuine sale. The said client is neither my family, my relative or anyone in my friend circle. I also told them that they can check and verify client details. I was again told that a referral cannot be done to anyone related to you or your business or company. Hence, based on that it means that I cannot refer a client of mine on the Envato network and earn referrals. If so, I told them that it would mean anyone in the web development business cannot refer and if someone refers and earns commissions it would be considered null and void. There has been no further response from them and Envato only says what they have done is right and each time they mention the above statement.

    Has anyone else faced such a situation?
  2. I been an affiliate of Envato for years and never had any transactions revoked. So this really surprises me. Even more so because the sale was made around 6 months ago.

    I am confused as to how they could have even known someone was a client of yours. Additionally, if someone was a client of yours, what difference does it make? Even their only sellers use the affiliate tracking links on their design websites, which technically means they are referring clients.

    Therefore, I am perplexed as to why you have been singled out.

    On a site note, Envato has always treated affiliates poorly.
  3. Yes I too was surprised to find the reversal 6 months after the sale was made. Each time I email the support, the only reason they give is the one I mentioned above
    A user referred via your referral link must not be related to you or your business or company.

    Hence, I am not sure why this has happened. I mentioned to them that if they found the sale was via some fake account then they were right, but thats not the case. I am still following up with them on this so lets see what happens, but this is really disappointing because if they reverse commissions like this they they will not need to pay commissions to anyone.
  4. I had an issue with them in the past because they allowed theme stores to redirect links from affiliates. And they did nothing about it. They're stance was "Sorry, we have no plans to address this".

    I wish you the best of luck, but I also know their affiliate support is awful.
  5. I escalated the matter again but again received the same response from Envato Support
    A user referred via your referral link must not be related to you or your business or company.

    All they say is as the client is related to your business, you cannot earn commissions on such sales.

    Hence, if this is really true the in the long term most design houses would see their commissions being reversed. I pray its a one off incident and due to some misunderstanding they have reversed the commission, but my point is after multiple emails and proving that the client is a separate legal entity and in no way connected to me (country of residence, business etc are all different) and the only connecting point is that I designed a website for him they give the reason that I cannot refer a user related to your business which means that if I am in web development business I cannot refer a client to Envato for themes and earn money!
  6. It is unlikely Envato are going to change their stance or give you a proper answer as to why this has happened. It seems bizarre to me that this issue has even arose since there are thousands of companies that use referral links on their websites to generate additional traffic.
  7. You won't believe this. They deducted commissions from my account today too!

    Deposit of $41.00 (referral cut of $12.30) by username (disabled for "PayPal Fraud") on 2015-03-01 15:03:05 +1100 Deposit of $60.00 (referral cut of $18.00) by username (disabled for "PayPal Fraud") on 2015-03-22 02:39:37 +1100 ​
  8. @Kevin Muldoon so based on that information it means its not a one of instance that happened to me but looks like there are many like me who are seeing their commissions reversed. And just to this my sale had happened in August 2014 so given that some may even see their commissions debited months later too, so I am not sure how their entire accounting works because how would they take over 6 months and then one fine day say "oh we just found out some issue with the commission and we are debiting it back.
  9. Reversing sales from people who used fake credit cards etc is normal, though in all the years of promoting Envato products, that was the first time any commission has ever been reversed. And I had two commissions reversed at once.

    Six months seems a long time for any payment to be reversed. The most I have seen in other affiliate programs is two months / sixty days.
  10. Haha it's ridiculous, however TF affiliate program sucks like old ****
    I checked my old referrals, isn't if funny?:
    screenshot-themeforest net 2015-04-11 21-36-19.png

    PS, But I like Envato Studio, quick and very simple jobs but 30% fee is killing sometimes. However sometimes you can earn $150 under one hour (3 WP installs, 3 theme installs, 3 sample data imports, done).
  11. It's crazy the amount of traffic affiliates send them and how little they pay in return.
  12. I don't think new affiliate marketers understand how insulting this issue really is. I have been an affiliate for many companies in the past 5 years and I have never seen such a sneaky cookie policy like Envato's. I referred around 20 of my clients to a specific theme and I did an hour long tutorial on the theme, and I didn't get 1 sale from the referrals. I'm so pissed off I wasted my time to do such a detailed video praising Envato and they are stealing my commissions.

    The thought never even crossed my mind to read their affiliate program terms of service. assumed they paid 30% commissions on each refer like any normal program. This is a big disappointment and a lesson learned. I feel like writing several blog posts about this but I know it would not do anything for my company at this point. I just hope a new WP marketplace comes of this and blows them out of the water!

    I can't wait for that day!


    Seth Riley

    PS. I know authors are tired of their policies as well, it's not just affiliates, they rip everybody off!
    Leo Koo and Kevin Muldoon like this.
  13. I can understand your frustration Seth. But in their defence, their affiliate program sign up page clearly states that:

    When a new user clicks your referral link, signs up for an account and purchases an item (or deposits money) via any of the Envato Market sites, you will receive 30% of that person's first cash deposit or purchase price. If they deposit $20 into their account, you get $6. If they buy a $200 item, you get $60.
    Envato do not give any support to affiliates, but their terms are clear and I feel it is the responsibility of affiliates to read those terms before signing up. It's not like it was hidden deep in a 10,000 word terms and conditions page. It is clear on the signup page. So I do not think they are stealing commissions from you.

    Hope you don't take this post the wrong way. I'm not their biggest fan, but I do think it is your responsibility to read their commission structure before promoting them. On a positive note, they are always prompt with payments and have never ripped anyone off in that regard. Compare that to a company such as Fiverr, who owes me hundreds of dollars and did not pay and do not respond to my email correspondence.

    Put yourself in my shoes. You did a one hour tutorial. I have published hundreds of articles (if not more) that linked to ThemeForest and CodeCanyon. I don't even want to think about how many hours I wasted promoting them. Many of my associates in the WordPress niche have spent just as much time promoting them.

    Though on a positive light, I always referred products there that I liked. I never referred them with the sole intention of making money. My thought was always "My readers will find this useful". Also, it is perhaps easier to convince someone to buy something from an Envato store because there are so many products there. So if you refer someone to a theme and they don't buy it, they might end up buying something else. The big problem, however, is that most of the people you do refer are probably members already. And that's how affiliates get a raw deal (and I do agree with you on this).

    You referred 20 people. But it looks like none of those people actually purchased anything. Over the last few months I have referred around 1,500 visitors per month and that has generated around 25 new registrations and 15 to 20 deposits per month on average. With income varying between $100 and $200, it is not exactly a fantastic amount of money. But Envato know that they can get away with this because they are so big. If they had paid 10% commissions of each member referred, I would probably be earning thousands of dollars from them every month as I have been promoting them since 2008 and have referred around 1,000 members.

    Many authors are tired of their policies. However, those same authors want access to the huge traffic levels that the Envato marketplaces offer. They need to make sacrifices to sell on Envato stores, but when you consider how many customers they have access to, it is normally a good trade off.

    My biggest criticism of ThemeForest is that they don't adhere to GPL correctly. Which is bullcrap considering how much money they make from WordPress.

    There definitely needs to be more competition in this niche. I have discussed this issue with some colleagues and we are considering launching our own store. Not saying we can compete with a behemoth such as Envato, but it would be good to offer an alternative.
  14. Hello,
    I faced the issue commission from my envato account was deducted for the same reasons .
    A user referred via your referral link must not be related to you or your business or company.

    As it states in the terms and conditions of the affiliate program:

    A user referred via your referral link must not be related to you or your business or company.

    It also states:

    Above all, use of the Affiliate Program is subject to a fair use policy which gives Envato the right to review each and every referral.

    In the future, to gain commissions you need to refer people externally. Unfortunately I am unable to discuss this particular referral with you any further."

    This is there response .
    They don't even discuss further . I had 8-10 email exchanges with my issue .

    @prakash my situation is same like yours. I referred one of my clients to envato , explained them the benefits ,support and updates of themes etc. Convince them to buy . Made sale of theme . And no way we are related on any terms . And still this issue has come up .

    Thanks & Regards,
  15. @pavan - so I think this issue is not one off but if they are planning to reverse commissions like this, I think all referrals made by individual freelancers or web studios to their clients would be considered invalid and all would stand to lose their commissions. The main issue is how come they can reverse a transaction after almost a year. My personal take is that its nothing but a way of avoiding payments to affiliates. Given this I already stopped referring customers to the site and try to find alternative themes for the customers.
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