A few days ago, ClickBank posted some welcome news on their blog:

As part of our ongoing commitment to providing high quality products to consumers, ClickBank is adjusting certain fees relating to refund and chargeback rates for ClickBank vendors. These changes will affect a very small number of ClickBank vendors, and will not affect affiliates.

Beginning October 17, 2011, vendor accounts with a refund rate at or above 15% over a rolling 60-day period and/or chargeback rate at or above 1% over a rolling 70-day period may be subject to additional fees or penalties.

This, along with their continued emphasis on the promotional guideline changes they implemented back in August, shows that they're really getting serious about cleaning up their marketplace.

They say that this change will affect a "very small number of ClickBank vendors." I just ran an analysis of the data that's available in their marketplace XML feed against pricing data, and while I obviously don't have the actual figures, the publicly available data strongly suggests that nearly 300 vendors have refund rates over 15%. And I found many others that may be over 15% where the data is less conclusive.

The vast majority of these have very low gravity scores, indicating low sales volume. So even if their refund rates are as high as the data suggests, their impact is pretty low. But 9 in the "highly likely" group have gravity scores over 50 (one is near 500), plus an additional 29 in the "less conclusive" group.

In the grand scheme of ClickBank's marketplace, 9 to 38 high-impact offenders is, as they say, "a very small number". But it's the high-impact offenders that people remember. So dealing with them -- either by making it less profitable to hype low quality products, or by removing them from the marketplace completely -- should help ClickBank's reputation. Update: it just occurred to me to check this -- as of Oct 19, 124 vendors have gravity over 50, and the vendor with the second highest gravity score is in the "highly likely" to be over 15% category (as is the #10 gravity score). 9 to 38 offenders is about 7 - 31%. Small number. Big percentage of the biggest sellers.

Congratulations and thanks to ClickBank for taking action to improve the quality and reputation of your marketplace. As the worst offenders are weeded out or change their methods, it'll be easier for affiliates to find products worth promoting and to profit from working with you.