Now here’s some money I wish I would have kept in my pocket. I purchased this Clickbank Marketplace Import Tool for WordPress and feel I would have been better off flushing my money down the toilet. At least someone else wouldn’t be enjoying it for selling a product that did not work. Here’s the full story.
I had been wanting to import the clickbank marketplace feed into WordPress for some time now but really hadn’t been able to find any way to do that. I had taken a few shots at converting the feed to csv a few times and gave up knowing I could be doing something more productive with my time.
As a result, I started a website, Craigs Review , where I’m adding in each product by hand. It takes a while but I feel it’s probably the best way anyhow since most of the Clickbank Marketplace Feed is full of descriptions that are aimed at the affiliate with the payout commissions, payout amounts, affiliate urls, etc.. which is another story in itself. I wish they would put together a seperate feed with good, usable descriptions. They’re really dropping the ball on that one.
So I was searching Google for “importing clickbank marketplace feed” and came across Owagu.com Clickbank Marketplace (http://clickbank.owagu.com/clickbank-to-wordpress-loader-script/) Loader. (at the time of this post, their site seems to be down)
At first glance, it looks pretty cool. Just install the WordPress plugin, push a button and it fills your site up with all the clickbank products.
Um… yeah, it sounded good.
I eagerly forked over the $27 bucks and downloaded the plugin. Payment was set up through Paypal and there were no problems receiving the download url a few minutes later through an email.
The first sign of a problem was that there was absolutely no documentation that comes with the download. Nothing regarding installation, usage, settings… nothing.
The files themselves were not in a folder like you would normally see and I didn’t want to just upload the loose files directly into my plugins folder so I opened the script up and had a look. Doing this I was able to determine that the files were supposed to be in a folder and because I can understand the script I could tell which folder the script wanted to access so I created the unprovided folder and uploaded the plugin files.
Success! I was able to activate the plugin from within WordPress and then the scripts admin page from underneath the WordPress settings column.
The script reported that it had indeed found the Marketplace feed and that we were able to proceed to step 2 which was to do a “preview”. By clicking the preview button, the script was supposed to import a few products and give you a chance to confirm it had worked before moving on to step 3 which was to start importing the entire database.
I pushed the button and nothing happened. No preview, no error messages, just absolutely nothing.
I started looking for a way to contact these people and see if they could tell me what may be wrong but I couldn’t really find any way of contacting them through their website. I know that an email address was included on the download page but since it was counting the downloads and I had already used one, I wanted to avoid going back into that section in case I needed to download again so I went to their blogs comment section about this product and saw that others were having the same problem and the same response “it works” and “it’s not our job to support your servers” was given.
The only helpful thing I could find there was a reference to simpleXML which I confirmed was enabled on my server through my hosting company.
I commented about my problem and waited for an answer. The last reply there was Oct. 1st, 2010 and it was now Feb. 2011 so I didn’t really think that would be a productive means of communication so I went through Paypal and filed a dispute the next day after receiving no response.
In the dispute, I did not ask for my money back and did not escalate the dispute to a Paypal claim asking them to become involved. At this point, I simply wanted the product I had paid for to work.
While waiting, I decided to take another crack at converting that datafeed to an importable status myself.
Ok, I botched it a few times but the end result is over 13,000 products that I was able to import myself using a rss importer plugin. I cut the feed up into multiple, bite size files of approx. 2000 products each after choking the server trying to do them all at once. You know, max exec limitations and all that stuff.
You can see how they look at WahVidz. Unfortunately, as I mentioned above there is just so much affiliate related lingo in the descriptions, it really seems pointless now.
I’m going to break these files down even further and seperate them into sub-categories so anyone can either import them all one at a time or create niche specific websites by just using the products that match their content and offer them to you here. I’ll create a new post on this site when I get them ready and edit this page and drop a link to them here for you if you want them.
Ok, back to business.
Since there had been no response through Paypal and I had successfully converted the database on my own, I went ahead and requested a refund.
Shocker! I actually heard back from them this time. Of course, it was to deny the refund but that was the first sign to me that their was an actual live person on the other end of this transaction somewhere so I was at least encouraged by that.
I replied explaining my situation and that the product did not work and again asked for a refund. I received another reply with cut and paste from his websites disclaimer with babble like “This script has been tested and is fully functional”, “dozens of customers are using this script without problem”, “some local server settings in your system that may prevent execution”,…
…and then it gets a little weird as he starts making comparisons to buying his script to buying lingerie… “understand that lingerie stores do not accept returned underwear (worn or not) … we do not refund commercial versions of our products (used or not)”.
All of the above rhetoric when he clearly states that if you can not get the script to run, he will refund your payment. http://wordpress.org/support/topic/plugin-owagucom-clickbank-marketplace-loader-does-nothing
Looks like his words means nothing. This is a person with horrible business ethics it seems who will say anything to get your money.
I think it’s important to look for a takeaway to justify the loss, at least if you either learn something yourself or help others learn something, then it will be money well spent.
Here’s my takeaway for you to ponder.
I spend a lot of money on my online business buying scripts and services. Just because this script did not work for whatever reason doesn’t mean that I would not have purchased any of your other products or services. As long as i feel that I was treated fairly and that you stand behind your product.
Now you can be certain that you will never see another penny from me again… ever. All the potential future business lost over a measly $27, not to mention the negative publicity you may be likely to receive. Check out sites like Ripoff Report or Angies List to see what I mean.
Don’t let a small thing turn into a big thing when it’s not necessary. Just take care of your customers and your customers will take care of you. Sure there may be abuse but that’s going to happen anyway. There’s no such thing as an unlimited pool of prospective customers. Treasure each one you get!
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