ShareASale Review – Is it a Scam or Legit?

If you are familiar with affiliate marketing, you probably know Amazon. Other than this giant brand, what other affiliate marketing programs are available in the market? Have you heard about ShareASale? It is a legit program. In fact, it has gained its popularity over time. Want to know more? Read my ShareASale Review.

ShareASale Review

Name: ShareASale
Website: https://www.shareasale.com
Overall Rank: 60 out of 100
Price: $0
Who it’s for: Intermediate – Expert

Introduction to ShareASale!

ShareASale is based in Chicago and it was founded in 2000. Similarly to the rest of the affiliate marketing programs, it serves both the affiliate and merchant. People like us (bloggers) user their websites to promote and advertise products and earn commissions when someone clicks or buys under your referrals.

Advertisers use ShareASale’s platform to upload their banners and referral links for the bloggers or website owners to place them on the websites. Whenever readers or internet users click on the banner or buy the product from the banner, then you will be earning some commission.

ShareASale provides affiliates with hypertext markup language (HTML) referral links and banner for the products that you want to advertise on your websites. It is fairly easy to copy and paste these HTMLs on widgets on your site just like Amazon affiliate program.

ShareASale Review

Why Being a ShareASale Affiliate Makes Sense!

(+) ShareASale allows the affiliates to produce their attractive video that is able to be embedded into affiliate’s website. So far, I think only ShareASale has done a good job in trying to stand out from the competitors.

(+) It has an useful utility that allows affiliates to identify promotional offers and commissions. For the products that you want to promote on your website, you can simply download the production information in Excel (CSV) format and the document contains the tracking URLs.

(+) ShareASale has done a good job in easing the pain for affiliates to sort the products in different categories. It has several choices to earn your commission, it has pay-per-sale, pay-per-click and pay-per-lead options. Navigation through the product categories and commission types can be easy and fun.

(+) It is relatively easier to register with ShareASale.

(+) It has a referral program that allows users to get referrals and earn referral commission.

(+) It has a relatively large amount of Merchants. At the time of writing, there are over 2,000 merchants on ShareASale. That simply means there are lot options for affiliates to chose the products that they want to promote.

(+) ShareASale pays their affiliates on time without delays. In some others’ opinion, it is better than Commission Junction due to higher commission rate.

There must be some negative sides of ShareASale

(-) I think the start up fee (to join the merchandiser program) is slightly too high in ShareASale, $550 is not a small amount. Although it is a one time fee but I think it is acceptable for companies who want to advertise their products.

(-) Although ShareASale has great interface and functionalities, it is not optimized for newbies. It is rather difficult to choose the right product to promote on the websites.

(-) A lot of people find it difficult to understand the reports. Some affiliates have left good comments on their generated reports. I think it is just personal preference. Personally, I do not like their reports.

(-) Too many steps involved. To get started, one has to check in for the merchandiser program via company’s websites. Then, one has to submit his or her application and wait for the reply from ShareASale. The reply normally comes with a welcome package.

Conclusion

I think ShareASale is worth trying if you are experienced bloggers and already have steady traffic to your websites. If you are a newbie in this territory, I would suggest you to trying something else. There are some other affiliate marketing networks available and you can read my review here.

Quick Note:

As mentioned in my previous post, it is not advisable to bombard all affiliate links on your websites. You might think the more you promote the products, the higher chances you will earn more money. This is not the case when it comes to online marketing. Doing that will kill the ranking of your site. You can find out more from my SEO Strategies.

ShareASale Review

Most importantly, write effectively and do proper keyword research. I have learned mine from Wealthy Affiliate (#1 Recommendation) and I recommend you to do the same. Learn the proper way to blog, promote and sustain your online business.

I hope you enjoy reading this review on ShareASale.

ShareASale Review

Regards,

Alex

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Alex Y

Alex is the owner of Managing Your Finance. He helps newbies start their own online businesses. Sign up for his 7-Day Free training course and learn how to start making a sustainable income online and quit your 9-to-5 job.

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48 Responses

  1. roamy says:

    Hello Alex
    Visited your site, was so impressed l had to come back,a gain wonderful post.
    Many affiliates especially newbies hear about ShareASale but they do not understand how it works, but you have explained things so well and in an easy to understand way that your readers will be able to understand.
    Personally l find the best offered in share a sale is their affiliate programme.Imagine what you could earn if you refer one of those marketing gurus to Shareasale?

    But as you said, the $550 is quite high especially when one is getting started.
    Again,thanks for a wonderful read,the review is very informative.

    • Alex Y says:

      Hello Roamy, great thanks for dropping by again and left me a compliment. I hope my review on this product does give a good overview especially who is interested at earning money online. It is not too bad but indeed the entry fee is quite steep and not everyone can affort that. I have also recommended another program that offers a lot of goodies. Come and have a read here Wealthy Affiliate Review (Updated 2015)

  2. Patrick says:

    Hello Alex, this is a good subject you have reviewed here. I do not use them as I think there are other better paying affiliate programs out there.
    But it is only one of many to have in your basket at any one time.
    I think you need to add some more detail of their workings and how they operate in regards to the quality of their products and the rate of commissions they actually pay out?
    I think you have marked them a bit too high for my liking, at {60 out 100} but you have them in the right area..?
    You are correct when you say that they are a bit costly at $550, and not for newbies. most people joining up would like to have a free start up of 30 or 60 days, to see if it’s for them?
    Patrick.

    • Alex Y says:

      Dear Patrick, indeed there are a lot more better programs out there that are probably cheaper and do the same trick. Thanks for leaving the comments. I will add slghty more info on how they work and they operate in regards to the product quality.

      It’s really too pricy for someone who would like to them out. They should implement like what Wealthy Affiliate offers – free account and try the first 10 lessons.

      Regards,

      Alex

  3. Bob Lynch says:

    Hi Alex,

    Thanks for the review on Share A Sale. I’ve heard the name and have thought about checking them out but haven’t yet.

    After reading your review I doubt I’ll be looking into them anytime soon. As you said $550 is not smart.

    I’m not all that smart either but I’m not about to pay $550.

    The article was well written and informative.

    Good job.

    • Alex Y says:

      Dear Bob,

      Thanks for dropping by and giving it a read.

      I think it is still worth trying as there are some bloggers earn lucrative income from ShareASale IF you have additional budget since it requires a significant upfront – $550 to start up.

      In my opinion, overall it is a better program as compared to Commission Junction.

  4. Mike says:

    Hi Alex, Thanks for the thoughtful review of ShareaSale. I have used them on my sites with reasonable success over the years. T think you are correct in your assessment that their positives outweigh their negative. Additionally, when I have had an issue or two over the years, they are quick to respond and get things fixed up.

    • Alex Y says:

      Hi Mike, I am glad that you find it works fine with you. I think ShareASale is worth trying as there are significant number of people earn great commission from their system. I wish you all the best Mike!

  5. Josh says:

    Hey Alex,
    What a bummer!!! I thought ShareASale was free to enroll as an affiliate and I wasn’t aware of the $550 fee.

    I did enroll for their affiliate program over the weekend and am still waiting to hear back from regarding my application.

    I agree with you, with the limited functionality I had after registering myself, there are good option to basically promote anything that is of interest to you.

    It’s also nice to know that they pay on time, but this $550 price tag is kind of a deal breaker for me 🙁

    • Alex Y says:

      Hi Josh, indeed it is not that attractive when it comes to the setup fee. I think it is quite steep for beginners withwith fairly new websites. That is why I think it is more suitable for intermediates and experts who have sites with relatively high traffic.

      However, some people have been working well with ShareASale and they have earn great income from the Affiliate Program.

  6. Tasos Perte Tzortzis says:

    Hi Alex , well said , ShareAsale is one of my favourite affiliate platforms.As you described the tools are crafty and are not easily found elsewhere.

    The merchants and their products are qualitative , not like some other networks , like Clickbank or Clicksure , where everything is crap.

    I believe they are expanding lately , what you think?

    Good advices and an honest point of view.Cheers

    • Alex Y says:

      Hello, I think ShareASale is quite a good and legit program. They pay on schedule and that’s why they stand out from other programs in the market.

      I am not a big fan of Clickbank and Clicksure. I would still stick with ShareASale.

      I think they are expanding constantly, not just lately. I think it has gained popularity over time in the market and it seems to be a trusted brand.

  7. James says:

    Nice review. Besides the cost this looks like a pretty good program to sign up with.

    I like how they pay their affiliates without any delays.

    I do agree that Wealthy Affiliate is a great choice especially for beginners. Affiliate marketing can be discouraging without the proper tools and Wealthy Affiliate makes sure you have the tools necessary to be a success in this business.

    Thanks for the review.

    • Alex Y says:

      Hi James,

      I think the cost join the merchandiser program is reasonable for companies who want to advertise their products. But definitely not for a small merchandiser who just want to sell a thing or two.

      This is the best part of ShareASale as most of other programs do not pay in time.

      WA indeed offers a lot of great tools, advice, technique and SEO tricks to help its affiliates to succeed. I have just got a new page up and you can have a read on #1 Recommendation.

  8. Darren says:

    I’m a member of ShareASale. I think it’s okay, but sometimes the functionality of their website annoys me; especially when you’re trying to search a new merchant. I like the fact that they have a referral program. It was one of the reasons I signed up with them.

    I’m not sure where you got the $550 joining fee from. ShareASale is free to join as an affiliate.

    Good post. Thanks for sharing.

    • Alex Y says:

      Great to know you are a member of ShareASale. I also think ShareASale is a good affiliate marketing companies.

      The $550 is a setup fee to join the merchandiser program, and not as affiliates.

      Do share more with us your experience with ShareASale from time to time.

  9. Dylan says:

    Hey, I rally like the concept of your website and everything is very easy to read. Your website is also very easy to navigate and read around.

    ShareASale seems like a very interesting website. I’m a little confused about what exactly is but from i understand its a place where you out banners or advertisements for your product and you earn money when people click on it or buy from it.

    That seems like a good idea but i agree that price is a little high, especially if you are new tot he game and aren’t going to make that money back fast.

    Overall it seems like a pretty nice place and not a scam.

    Thanks for the info.

    • Alex Y says:

      Thanks Dylan for dropping by.

      ShareASale indeed a very interesting and legit program. It is quite similar with Amazon Affiliate programs. However, they offer more functionalities on creating different banners and easier to locate specific products that you want to promote.

      Please note that the price is for those who want to become merchandizers of ShareASale and not as associates.

  10. Lionismee says:

    Hi Alex,
    Thanks for the heads up on ShareASale. I am in the process of looking for affiliates that will fit with my site and your insights, especially the cons section, helped me think through some important ideas concerning this market. Your writing is clear and concise which helped me to keep reading rather than to click away. Keep up the good work.

    • Alex Y says:

      Hi,

      I hope this article serves as a good reference for you. It does have a few good things about ShareASale. To me, it is a trustable product. Other than Amazon, ShareASale is definitely the other option.

      Just in case you missed my previous blog on my experience with Amazon Affiliate program, you can read How To Make Money While Traveling.

      Have a good day!

  11. dauphinbleu says:

    Hi Alex,

    I currently still in the process of building my website but am thinking about joining them. Maybe it’s not really the best program available. Thanks for making a review about ShareASale program. It gives me some insight about what I might found inside. What do you think about the quality of the product they have?

    • Alex Y says:

      Hi there, I am glad you are in the process of building your website. I guess you are seeing the potential of earning passive income via blogging? ShareASale by far, it is a not-too-bad program and I think it has a lot of good things about this product. It is worth a try if you are considering one in near future.

      They offer a wide variety of products as compared to other programs in the market. Again, it is a trustable program.

      Let me know if you have further questions.

      Regards,

      Alex

  12. Sheila says:

    Hi Alex,
    I’m pretty new to the blogging world. I have heard of share a sale but was unaware that they charge such a steep fee to join. I don’t think bloggers you have to pay to advertise on thier sites. Why would you when there are so many other networks that don’t charge anything to thier affilaites? Thanks for the great info, I think this is one Affiliate marketing Network I will pass on.

  13. Market Merchant says:

    Hey Alex
    I have viewed your site and it has very useful information in it. I love the bright blue you used for your color scheme as to make readers come to your site . Love your review about ShareASale. I defiantly think that it is not for beginners especially for someone who is just starting out because this is very expensive, $550 is a lot to put out especially if your not a risk taker.

    Thank you for the site and very useful information,

    Zach Campbell (Owner/Operator)
    Market Merchant (MM+)

    • Alex Y says:

      Hey Zach,

      Thanks for dropping by again.

      It is not for new or small merchandisers who wants to merchandise their products, but definitely a good one for beginners to help promote products on their websites. I think ShareASale is a good brand and they own a good reputation in the market.

      Do come and visit more.

      Regards,

      Alex

  14. Bryan says:

    Alex,

    ShareASale sounds like a great affiliate program, minus the large fee to get started. If you had to recommend 3 affiliate programs for newbies, what would make it on to your list?

    I’ve found a lot of helpful information here, thanks for taking the time to write such quality and informative content.

    Bryan-

    • Alex Y says:

      Dear Bryan,

      Thanks for dropping by. Just to clarify, ShareASale does not require any cent unless you are the merchandise. If you want to help to promote products on your website, you do not need to pay anything.

      I would recommend three affiliate programs for newbies:-

      1. #1 Recommendation – It is almost an all-in-one platform where you could sign up and register a brand new website, a platform that teaches its members how to start a website, get to know about SEO, online training classes and a huge community that helps each other to grow your site. I recommend this to most readers due to its completeness of information and up-to-date SEO algorithm.

      2. Amazon Affiliate – A trusted and reputable brand in the market. The commission may be low, but it adds up to a huge number if you manage to gain traffic to your site. Refer to item (1) above to learn how to gain traffic.

      3. ShareASale – It is my second recommended “Amazon”. Perhaps you have misunderstood the pricing above but it is free to join and they are reliable.

      Let me know if you want to know more 🙂

      Regards,

      Alex

  15. Marvin says:

    You know, Alex, I signed up for a ShareaSale affiliate account months ago, and never have yet taken the time to really figure out how to use it effectively. Thanks to this succinct and informative review, I now have a much better handle on how to implement it – thanks much!

    I also agree that the Merchandiser up front fee is a bit too high. I also agree there are too many hoops to jump through to really get it working for you. I remember I did actually apply for a couple (maybe 3?) Merchandiser programs – months ago – and never heard back from them.

    • Alex Y says:

      Hi Marvin, thanks for giving your comments. I am surprised that they have not come back to you regarding your application! Do you think by any chance the email went to your junk mail? I think it is still worth contacting them again. It looks like I gotta bring the rating down.

      Thanks for your feedback!

      Regards,

      Alex

  16. Florence Ki says:

    You are right. There are so many complex information in ShareASale. But no doubt, it is really a great marketplace if you are looking to promote your products. I personally promote products found in ShareASale. However, I do find the information pretty complex to understand. Really took much of my time to digest this info. Regardless, I still find this platform very useful to build a business online.

    • Alex Y says:

      Hi Florence, ShareASale perhaps has less established system as Amazon, but I believe they are constantly improving. It is a relatively good affiliate program. Most importantly, it is legit and they pay on time.

  17. Raymundo says:

    Hi, thanks for the great info. I should have read this page this morning…! Because coincidentally I found ShareASale, I just joined, and was accepted within a few hours. But when I was looking at the “account/payment information” page, it said $500 and I wasn’t sure what it meant!

    Of course I haven’t paid and I’m not going to….. Unless it means that when you’ve made your first $500 affiliate profit, they’ll deduct it??? But that’s quite a lot!

    Thanks again, it was very good to know.

    • Alex Y says:

      Dear Raymundo,

      Do not get too worry about the $500, you only need to pay that if you want to be a merchandiser. If you want to be the publisher, you don’t need to pay a cent.

      Keep exploring ShareASale and let me know how it works out. I believe it is a not-bad product.

      Regards,

      Alex

  18. Cathy says:

    Hi there Alex,

    As an affiliate marketer, my dislike for ShareASale is that they don’t take the time to remove inactive merchants. In the past, I have applied for merchants that seemed to offer very high commissions only to find out weeks later that the merchant is no longer valid. I mean, even their official website is not working.

    Although there are other better merchants on ShareASale, I learned my lesson not to rely on a single merchant when applying for affiliate program. Apply a few and check on their response frequently to help save time.

    • Alex Y says:

      Hi Cathy,

      Thanks for sharing your experience here with me and the readers. I am surprised to know that they advertise merchants that are no longer valid. This can be very frustrating and consequently repels your readers from coming to your site again!

      I agree with you that affiliate marketers should not only rely on one affiliate program. I guess that explains why Amazon Affiliate program is still so popular until today.

      Regards,

      Alex

  19. Jovo says:

    Hi, I tend to agree with most what you say about ShareASale. Though I would probably gave them a lower mark than you. I am an affiliate with them and so far did not make any money, but this is not the reason for my negative opinion. Communication with them is far from easy, I am very dissatisfied in that respect. I agree with your list of Cons.

    • Alex Y says:

      Hi. Thanks for sharing your experience with ShareASale. I have seen a lot of negative feedback from the comments left on this post. Perhaps, this is not a great affiliate program, but it is still a legit one. There are some other affiliate programs you can look at. For example, Amazon and Google AdSense.

  20. Alexey says:

    I think ShareASale like you stated can be wonderful for big companies who dont mind spending lots of money to promote their business.
    Except for the price, it sounds like a pretty good product.
    People who are running small businesse or like me – my own online business will probably search for cheaper products.
    Thanks
    Alexey.

    • Alex Y says:

      If you are thinking to promote your product, the other way to do it is through bloggers’ websites, it will be much cheaper than advertising it on ShareASale. You will have to approach these bloggers in person then. However, if you have a wide variety of products, it may be worth advertising through ShareASale. They have a big group of affiliates and that will definitely help to boost your product sales.

  21. Bob Brooks says:

    Thanks for the post, I consider myself somewhat new and have started learning affiliate marketing and was wondering if their was something else besides amazon. You opened my eyes to be careful, I think I would have a tough time with shareasale and that 550.00 would be a big risk. Your site reminds me to research and not jump at the shiny object. Thanks for your post

    • Alex Y says:

      There are many good affiliate marketing programs out there. ShareASale does not require you to pay 550 to become their affiliates. Only those who would like to advertise their products need to pay 550 to get the products on ShareASale showcase.

  22. Heather Grace says:

    I have signed up for Shareasale but have not promoted anything from there as of yet. I agree with on many aspects of this review. Especially the too many steps part. That is why I haven’t promoted anything – I gave up haha. It was way too involved and was afraid I was wasting my time. As time goes on, perhaps I will try my hand again but there are so many affiliate programs out there, I think they should consider streamlinning that.

    • Alex Y says:

      ShareASale is not a not-bad option as compared to Amazon associate. There are some states in the U.S have no access to become an Amazon associate. Most cases, I recommend people to join ShareASale.

  23. Jovo says:

    Hi, interesting text about Shareasale. I see that you give them a rather low rate. I would agree with that, perhaps I would rate them even lower. My experience with them is far from good, had some unapproved affiliate application for weeks without any outcome. Finally I just gave up. Quite confusing platform. Thank you for the text.

  24. Chris Cucchiara says:

    I appreciate you laying out both the pros and cons of ShareASale. I have never heard of it so it was informative. How do you think it compares to the other big platforms like CB Traffic Junction and Amazon Affiliate? Do you feel that it has a good enough reputation to retain buying customers as good as the ones mentioned above?

    • Alex Y says:

      Hi Chris,

      ShareASale is definitely another option other than CB and Amazon Affiliate. It is not too bad at all and there are quite a variety of products you can promote. In the US, some states are not able to use Amazon. People can opt for ShareASale. It has a good reputation and I would recommend people to go for it.

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