It’s funny the things you pick up when doing research for a review like this.
Like the fact that 100% of the other JVZoo “reviews” are hilariously shilling for a notoriously bad affiliate marketing training program.
But those reviews aren’t biased, right?
It’s not 2008 guys – maybe learn a new tactic.
Anyways, I promise not to try to sell you anything, especially not that training program.
Instead in this JVZoo review, we’re going to take a look under the hood of this affiliate network.
JVZoo.com has been around since 2011.
They claim the reason they launched the business is that the “…digital marketing space at the time was going downhill fast..”
Which is true – ClickBank had become swamped with affiliate marketer nut jobs.
Most of whom made completely insane income claims around their products.
The digital product scene was primed for a competitor to enter the market, and JVZoo was happy to do just that.
Since then they’ve grown from a small startup to become a platform with over 800,000 active affiliates.
They even feature on the Inc 5000 list.
So, with 18 million products sold they must be doing something right?
Let’s find out.
As is the norm with all but one of the affiliate networks out there (I’m looking at you, Awin) JVZoo is free to join.
And they emphasize this with a prominent ‘Start for Free’ button on their home page.
The signup process has 4 steps, starting with entering your name, email address, and choosing a password for your new account.
You’re then sent a verification email with an activation link embedded into it.
And once you log in you’re then asked to choose a payment method.
Or your payment processor – but they’re only for product creators.
Most affiliates choose PayPal when working with JVZoo because you can get paid your commissions instantly.
Yup, no waiting weeks or months – you get paid as you make the sale.
But there’s nuance here, which I explain a little later.
There’s also a stupidly large bump in the signup process at this point, one I don’t remember when I first signed up for JVZoo years ago.
It appears like you have to upgrade to a ‘PayPal Business’ account, or Payoneer account, to actually complete the signup process.
“This is fucking stupid”, I thought, “…I don’t want or need either.”
Until I noticed a ‘House’ icon in the bottom row:
It’s not actually named anything – it’s just down there all by itself.
And all you have to do is enter your address details instead to continue registering.
I wonder if JVZoo has ever checked how many signups they lose at this point?
I’m also wondering why no other “JVZoo review” picked up on this.
You’re then presented with a list of “Recommended tools” but that’s the final step of the activation process.
What brands can you promote?
With most other affiliate marketing networks, it’s usually easy enough to find a few brand names you’ll recognize.
But that’s not going to be the case with JVZoo.
Unless you’re an SEO or affiliate marketer, in which case you’ll notice some familiar names…like SENuke, for example.
Here’s a selection of the best-selling products on their platform right now – just to give you an idea of what to expect:
You get the general idea here – you’re not going to be promoting Nike, Apple, or Microsoft.
JVZoo is basically ClickBank but with better payment terms for affiliates. (We do have a post with JVZoo vs ClickBank detailed comparison.)
Ease of Use
So once you’ve sorted out your login, what’s the user experience like?
There’s a lot going on, most of which is nested in several menus.
Your default view of this screen is accessed via the ‘Overview’ menu option.
And right beneath that, you have ‘Hot Topics’ taking up an awful lot of screen real estate to tell you what competitions are ending now, etc.
Personally, I’d use this space for a nice mini icon-driven dashboard for affiliates instead.
The other menu options are:
Affiliates – Dashboard, Stats, Approved products, Find products, Bonuses, Transactions, and Knowledgebase
Sellers – only relevant for course/product creators
Products – ‘Marketplace’, launch list, Top sellers, Featured products
My Account – 14 different options from account details to APIs, plugins, and widget creators
Tools – Recommended tools and User search.
I could dedicate half this review to covering each of the menu options in anything approaching reasonable detail.
But I’m not going to.
I’ll explain why in the next section.
Finding affiliate programs
The reason for not covering every menu option in detail is because it would be boring as hell.
But also because affiliates really only want to know two things when it comes to this stuff:
- Where are the products at?
- How do I set up my affiliate link?
The first of these questions is answered by the ‘Find Products’ menu option:
You’re brought to what is basically a huge list of product offers that you can filter through.
You can do that by:
Which is just as well considering there are 57,600 active offers on JVZoo right now.
It’s also worth taking a second here to explain something.
There’s a big difference between JVZoo “Top Sellers” and a product being considered excellent.
So it’s kinda like “50 Shades of Gray”, but for digital products aimed at the “make money online” crowd.
What you should look for instead is the intersection between good sales numbers and a low refund rate:
The snag is that you can’t filter by refund rate or any other metric – you can only sort those values by column.
You also have to apply to each program individually.
Fortunately, most of the product creators on JVZoo are eager beavers when it comes to making money.
Especially any JVZoo top seller.
So approval only takes a few minutes in most cases.
Which brings us neatly to the second most important thing for affiliates – setting up referral links.
Creating affiliate links
Once you’re approved for whatever digital products you want to promote it’s time to look at creating your affiliate link.
You can do that by searching for the product by name.
But it’s much faster to just check out what products you’ve already been approved to promote:
Then click on ‘Get Links’.
A pop-up then appears with your affiliate referral code snippet:
“Delayed” in this instance means that the publisher/creator will hang onto your commission payment until they’re sure you’re legit.
Basically, that you’re not going to “cash in” and then “cash out” a week later, leaving them with a ton of refunds.
Overall, finding products to promote on JVZoo feels like a grind.
But their database reacts like it’s completely overloaded.
So, as a JVZoo affiliate type of person, how and when do you get paid?
This is really down to the program or offer you’re promoting.
A lot of the offers on JVZoo will make instant commission payments to your PayPal account.
But only once you’ve proven yourself and become a ‘Premium Affiliate’.
And doing that requires making a lot of sales and having a low refund rate.
The problem is you’re not given targets to work towards – you’re advised to contact their helpdesk instead.
So…in the absence of instant payments you’ll be dealing with a net-90 payment timeframe.
Yup, just like Amazon.
There are a number of payment options available to you, including:
- Direct deposit (via JVZoo Pay)
Make sure there’s a payment option compatible with the banks in your country though.
Nobody wants to promote products if they can’t get paid.
Your account must have a net positive balance of $50 to trigger a payment from JVZoo.
Yes, your JVZoo account can have a negative balance.
Like if you get hit with a load of refunds.
So, be really picky about what offers you put effort into promoting.
So what happens if you run into a problem?
JVZoo actually does a pretty good job of supporting affiliates and sellers alike.
(They also run their own web hosting service, but that’s a story for another day.)
You can choose between:
- Searching the knowledgebase:
- Opening a ticket
And their knowledgebase is organized in a clear and structured way.
Which makes it easy to find the answer you’re looking for.
Their support desk is available (via ticket) 7 days a week, excluding certain holidays.
So that’s an objective look at the inner workings of JVZoo itself.
What about the subjective opinions of the many people who use the network on a day-to-day basis?
Especially affiliate marketers.
Let’s review some of those opinions.
Another user laid a straightforward truth bomb on people asking if JVZoo was a legit network or not:
And here’s a guy with some more colorful language to get the same message across:
Surely there are some negative JVZoo reviews out there?
Here’s one person who couldn’t buy what they wanted….so threatened to lodge a complaint with ‘Trading Standards’.
And somebody who actually successfully made their purchase…but didn’t like the software:
The biggest problem JVZoo appears to have is reputational.
Their complaints stem from customers not liking the software they bought…but blaming the platform.
Which is like ringing Amazon to complain that Windows 8 is a bit shit.
But these complaints are avoidable because JVZoo could simply ban the less-than-honest creators from the network.
And surprisingly the worst offenders don’t appear to be the “make money online in 24 hours!!” types.
Instead, it’s actually some of their “top sellers” – JVZoo take note.
JV Zoo Summary
Year established: 2011
Number of merchants: 5,000+
Offer types: CPS
Weighing it up
So, all things being equal, should you give JVZoo a shot…or not?
Here’s a mini-review of what we liked and disliked about this particular network.
- Tens of thousands of digital products
- Big commission rates from 50% to 100%
- Quick account signup and instant approval
- Creating affiliate links takes seconds
- Solid knowledge base and ticket support system
- Low payout threshold
- Possible to get paid instant commissions
- There are genuinely good products among the bad
- JVZoo badly need to review their account activation process
- Some really questionable products/sales pages in their database
- They need to clean the “dead” products from their inventory
And that brings us to the end of our JVZoo review.
Is JVZoo a “perfect” alternative to ClickBank?
But it is a worthy competitor.
The thing is that means you encounter the same problems i.e. publishers making ridiculous income claims for products that are – in some cases – quite obviously bad.
Some of them border on literal copyright infringement.
With that said, there are still good products to be found on JVZoo.
And when you see that you can get paid a 50% commission rate, you’ll understand why so many affiliates push these products.
They make them a lot of money.
Which is why you’re here – to figure out how to make money online, right?
In that case, you’ll enjoy our free training that explains how to set up your first affiliate website.
We cover all the basics – from niche and keyword research to what it takes to get a site up and running.
Free of charge.
With no obligation to purchase anything.