Thrivecart stole/wiped and denied me my affiliate commissions – as one of their top affiliates/advocates for over 4years. So if you plan on getting on the platform – have a second thoughts. Instead, consider something like SamCart or anything else worthy of your money. But not Thrivecart!
If they can do this to someone who has brought them almost $100k worth of sales by referring customers to them.
What about you being just a user?
Think about it.
I’m talking about $24k worth of owed commissions here.
Seriously, it was never my intention to write this.
But it’s so sad to see a platform I was once crazy about and always puts first in the majority of my recommendations get cold towards their advocates.
Before I get into the entire story of how I first got involved with Thrivecart. And how they denied me my hard work, tears, and sweat.
Let me update you on a little backstory:
Click here to skip to the PayPal backstory. (takes you to my Thrivecart experience).
I’ve been in the online marketing and affiliate business since late 2017.
Getting started and finding my feet in the industry wasn’t a friendly one. A long time ago I shared a few of my initial battles in my story here.
Especially coming from a third-world country where the odds are highly against you. regardless, I conquered!
In my own lane at least.
However one of the plagues that have haunted me for the past 5 years as a publisher and affiliate is PayPal. I know having a PP business account is one of the requirements.
Unfortunately, PayPal isn’t allowed in Nigeria.
That never deterred me from wanting to make a living online.
The PayPal fiasco was a long one. Not until 2020…
In the struggle to get a working PayPal – I got a means to set up my LLC in the States – KhrisDigital Marketing LLC.
Through an agent with help of a friend.
I got access to an EIN.
I created a Stripe account, a bank account through Mercury, and a U.S. business PayPal.
Sign of relief, right?
I got that feeling of breakthrough to finally receive owed commissions from partners that pay via PayPal.
In fact prior to setting up a U.S. business – I had one old PayPal created by a friend back in 2018 – it got limited due to lack of verification. I abandoned that before setting up the U.S. one.
But this time, I was 101% confident that I’m safe.
After all, I got all documents.
Well, I never knew this was just the beginning of my struggle.
A few months after collecting some payouts – I got an email to verify my identity.
I submitted every U.S. business document I had.
A few days later I got this:
They were unable to confirm my identity with the information I had submitted.
I got nervous and began to panic because this isn’t what I hoped for.
Frankly, I do NOT have some of the details they asked for.
The next day I got this:
I got broken and frustrated.
Thoughts to give up flew in.
Maybe I should go find a job?
That crazy validation that “this marketing isn’t for me” took over.
Like “I must live in a better country to make it online” crept in.
Still, I never gave up.
I had to reach out to some of my affiliate partners to pause my payouts pending when I resolve my issues or find a way to create another PayPal account.
Also, had to plead with some of my affiliate managers and even the SaaS owners to find an alternative method.
Here’s one I sent:
Below is their response of agreeing to do a wire transfer for me:
They kept their word and they processed my payment when I wanted to withdraw my funds.
Unfortunately, PayPal was the only medium on LinkMink.
But they agreed to pause my payouts till I got my PayPal sorted:
They agreed to pause my payments until I get the issue resolved.
And another affiliate manager decided to mark my payouts on hold:
Somehow, during all these years I have managed to get 65% of the affiliate managers/owners to process my payout via wire transfers.
About 25% held my payouts pending when I resolve my issues with PayPal.
The remaining 10% were either lost, sent to a limited PP address, or later resent back to the vendor. Some commissions lost to date.
In fact, some asked me to raise my threshold to like $1,000 – so they can arrange a manual payout when I earn up to that:
The automatic payment won’t happen on a monthly basis – cuz I’ve raised the threshold.
I’ll be forever grateful to platforms like these. I never joke with them for this privilege.
I did the same for a few platforms.
Luckily for me, a popular email marketing platform I had set to over the $5k threshold introduced a wire payout option sometime last year:
I was ecstatic! Cuz my payout threshold was almost $5k already.
Then here comes Thrivecart:
You may be wondering what their stand was in my case.
Let’s find out… 🙁
Then Here’s Comes Thrivecart
Now, the one that broke the camel’s back.
Just like my interaction with dozens of other platforms regarding my PayPal limitations…
Here’s the email I sent to Thrivecart when I had issues with my PayPal:
Below is the response I got from Dale of Thrivecart:
If commission payouts are attempted to a PayPal account which is restricted or rejects the payment, these automatically fail and get added to a different queue that’s periodically retried by our accounts team as commissions are retired.
I have let the affiliate team know as well so they should look to skip your specific payments in upcoming batches until you come back to us.
Then he came back to the chat and said this:
Additionally, just had confirmation from development team that it’ll probably be easier to simply disconnect your PayPal account from your affiliate dashboard – this way no vendor is going to be able to try and pay you commissions via PayPal. Then once things are resolved with PayPal – you can reconnect it, let vendors know, and they can then retry payments as part of their next schedule.
To disconnect PayPal from your affiliate dashboard, simply click through to a product where you get the affiliate link, then click the green button that says “PayPal: Active” then click the disconnect button.
This means, I will continue to earn commissions but my payments won’t be processed until I reconnect my PayPal to my Thrivecart affiliate account.
It was Dale who suggested I disconnect my PayPal at first. So that when things resolve I can reconnect it.
However, I got worried that removing my PayPal might affect my affiliate links or prevent them from tracking.
I asked him:
Removing your PayPal account will show a warning that you need to connect a PayPal account to access your affiliate link. This only prevents the affiliate link from showing – as you already have an affiliate link, commissions will continue to get tracked – they just won’t pay out until a valid PayPal account is connected and the commissions retried. Note that for ThriveCart specifically, commission payouts need to occur to a valid connected PayPal account.
This meant that my affiliate commissions will continue to be tracked.
However, he also notes that for Thrivecart, commission payouts are done to a valid connected PayPal account.
To my understanding of the last paragraph, this means other affiliate vendors on the platform could choose to pay via other means outside of PayPal. But Thrivecart software only pays via PayPal. No mention of a grace period nor affiliate terms here that says commissions get wiped after a ‘grace’ period.
So, I went about my business. Trying to resolve my PayPal issues and even processing my relocation to a PayPal-enabled country – for months.
Thrivecart Stops Tracking My Clicks
PayPal issues were still unresolved.
I reached out to Thrivecart support once again to see if there could be a way:
Quoting some parts of the email:
If it’s regarding the payout of commissions you’ve earned for ThriveCart, then as we discussed back in Feb 2021 (ticket #122164) you need to have a verified business PayPal account connected to received commission payouts. You disconnected PayPal due to a dispute and you wanted to know if this would affect the system tracking referrals.
Our affiliate program terms (https://legal.thrivecart.com/platform/affiliate-terms/) require affiliates to have connected a verified business PayPal account to the platform in order to be paid commissions, we don’t manually payout commissions as we previously discussed.
If your questions/concerns are regarding payouts, then you’ll need to connect a compatible PayPal account, and let us know – we can then ask the accounts team to queue these up.
I understand, their affiliate terms required a business PayPal for payouts to be processed.
Nevertheless, I was trying my luck if they’d make an exception for a top affiliate (from Nigeria) who has brought almost $100k worth of sales.
Again, he never stated nor informed me that my commissions would be wiped after a given time.
I replied about how fruitless it has been with PayPal and how badly I needed the funds ($20k+):
Felt a bit of relief when he empathized with me and told me he’d asked Thrivecart ‘accounts’:
I’m really sorry to hear about the hard time you’ve been having with PayPal, I can only imagine the frustration you’ve been going through.
I have asked accounts if there is any other options available here, but I can’t make any guarantees. What method of payout would you be looking for with PayPal being unavailable, out of curiosity? As we’re not a US-based business, this is one of the reason we don’t offer manual payouts.
Ultimately, the best thing is to have a verified/confirmed business PayPal account connected to your affiliate dashboard which can then receive these payouts.
He got back to me a few hours later:
Quoting Dale’s response:
Just wanted to reach out and provide you with bit of an update after speaking with our accounts team and I’m sorry to reconfirm, but we’re only able to payout commissions through the integrated PayPal method to a verified business PayPal account. Without going into all the details, the way things are set up for accounting, tax, etc, is handled, payouts need to go through this method and is why it’s a stipulation for affiliates to have a valid PayPal account to be eligible for the affiliate program and eligible for payouts.
What the team is going to do though, to help prevent any future confusion or issue is put a temporary hold on your promotions, this will stop future referrals being tracked and prevent commissions from continuing to accrue, much like a new affiliate who wouldn’t be eligible to earn commission without a valid PayPal account being connected.
Your existing sales and commission stats will remain in your account and once you’ve got a verified and suitable business PayPal account connected we can look at reviewing payouts and approval back into the program.
Please reach out once you’ve got a PayPal account sorted Khris.
Well, according to him, they had to discontinue my affiliate links from tracking. To prevent confusion. Meaning every visitor that buys Thrivecart from my affiliate link won’t get attributed to me.
More like free traffic?
I had no problem with this initially.
Again, from this email – Dale told me that my existing sales and commission stats will remain in my account. No mention of wiping or scamming me of my commissions.
Still, in the same chat in a bid to avoid sending free traffic, I replied some days later:
But it failed.
Here’s Dale’s response:
Not a problem.
For clarity, your links will still continue to load (and track clicks) but we have temporary held your ability to earn new commissions (these will no longer accrue as you’re not currently eligible to earn commission without having a suitable PayPal account connected).
We’d be happy to resume this once you’ve got a compatible PayPal account connected and commissions can be paid to you.
No mention of wiping my earned commissions.
He said my links will continue to track, but I will be unable to earn new commissions since my PayPal has been disconnected.
Not until mid-January 2023.
I logged into my Thrivecart account.
And behold! 😢
My Thrivecart affiliate dashboard (with unpaid commissions) usually looked this way:
Now turned this:
$24,895 have been wiped away from my Thrivecart affiliate dashboard!
No payouts. Without warning. No notice. No emails. Nothing!
The thing is, at first, I thought it was an internal error or some bug.
I reached out to Thrivecart to find out what happened to my commissions:
This was on the 17th of January 2023.
No response whatsoever after 3 days.
I had to follow up again on the 20th:
I even had to go into their official Facebook group to comment on an update Josh Bartlett (founder of Thrivecart) made on Thrivecart securing a $35 million investment from LTV SaaS Growth Fund:
Less than a day later, I brought it to his attention that I’d reached out to support about my wiped commissions, that I got no response from anyone.
He replied that someone will attend to me.
I couldn’t get the screenshot of the response because the FB group admin deleted my thread and left ONLY my congratulatory comment.
More on that.
Quoting Josh from his FB response:
I’ll have support respond to you via the support desk. I know that specific countries and PayPal account jurisdictions are outside of our affiliate programs terms so there may have been something that needed to be looked into or clarified there. The support desk will be the best way to look into this but I’ll make sure I’m up to speed on your ticket and speak to the team as well.
Not up to 24 hours after I raised this in the group thread – Dale finally responded to my email.
Being January 23rd 2023:
A week later, I got no response.
I reached out again.
On February 1st:
Again, I had to comment under the same Facebook thread to get Josh Bartlett’s attention. I mean, it was already 2weeks after I brought this to his attention.
No email from Dale or their support team.
Below is a screenshot of the screen recording I did from the thread:
As if I knew the thread would get deleted – I had to record it after dropping my last comment.
Finally, almost a month after my initial email – Dale responded with a message that made me devasted, broke me down, and almost drove me into depression.
Below is what he said:
Thanks for your patience here whilst we completed a further deeper review on your account and situation, and we’re now ready to confirm officially the situation here.
ThriveCart’s affiliate terms that are agreed to when signing up to be a ThriveCart affiliate (https://legal.thrivecart.com/platform/affiliate-terms/), require affiliates to have an eligible PayPal account to earn and be paid commissions. As your PayPal account was revoked by PayPal and you no longer had an eligible PayPal account, you were no longer an eligible affiliate for ThriveCart from that point forward. Any referrals sent during this time were not eligible for commissions and we do not allow ineligible commissions to build up. This is why after this came to light, your account was restricted and prevented from earning further commissions. I understand we offered a grace period to connect a an eligible PayPal account, but this was closer to a year ago.
You account has since been adjusted to reflect your legitimate referrals and payouts.
You are still unable to earn commissions as you do not have a valid affiliate account at this time.
Should, in the future you connect a suitable PayPal account to your dashboard and let us know, we can review your account again and possible look to reactive so that you could earn commissions moving forward (should you meet the requirements of the affiliate program).
This time they changed the narrative entirely to suit them.
Before I come back to the card these guys played on me.
I’d like to mention that Thrivecart is a popular SaaS platform in the marketing niche.
Over the past 4years, I have put in a ton of money and resources promoting them for years and made over $40k+ in commissions.
That’s almost $100k in sales!
If you read through my communication with them – you’d see that Dale never mentioned anything about a grace period or unqualified commissions being taken back.
Don’t forget, he made the suggestion of disconnecting my PayPal at first.
I raised a concern about this and he said:
commissions will continue to get tracked
Just that they just won’t pay out until a valid PayPal account is connected and the commissions retried.
Many months after, I reached out to remind him and pleaded for an alternative payment method.
He said my links will continue to track, but I will be unable to earn new commissions since my PayPal has been disconnected.
I had no problem with this.
Not until recently they got my commissions wiped and changed the entire story – when obviously none of the affiliate terms states on taking back commissions earned due to disconnected PayPal.
Here’s the paragraph about the payment (PayPal) terms:
Regardless, this was an issue I raised earlier back in 2021. They were perfectly okay with it.
For a fact, this isn’t my fault!
I operate in a country (Nigeria) where PayPal isn’t allowed. Even though I have my LLC in the States and process payments from Stripe, Wise, and other platforms, I still got my business PayPal shut down.
Thrivecart was aware of this.
Not an influencer, social media person or outspoken marketer – but I’ve been in this business for 5years and one thing I never let hold me back is my limitations.
Which I never let hold me back.
But for Thrivecart to deny me my commissions. Is making me go crazy!
I began asking myself a couple of questions:
Are they trying to justify stealing my money after generating about $100k in revenue for them?
Maybe the Thrivecart leadership teams got greedy because of $35 million acquisitions/investments. Cuz owners got changed
Is it because I’m a Nigerian and they found it very easy to take advantage of a guy who’s working his a** off to make ends meet?
So incredibly disappointing when a platform you trust (and use) suddenly wipes your commissions and refuses to pay you what you’re owed. Betrayal of the trust and confidence I had in them.
This is why I had to write about these experiences and share them with others to raise awareness and prevent others from falling victim to similar situations.
I mean, if you don’t want me any longer – pay me my commissions owed at least – and let me go, right?
This is my very first experience in this industry tbh. Could be a sign of me being welcomed? LoL
My Next Plan?
I have dozens of my Thrivecart (and Convertbox which they acquired too) affiliate links scattered all over the internet:
And I’m also a lifetime user of Thrivecart and Convertbox.
I love and use these platforms in my business. But no embittered affiliate like myself would want to keep sending customers their way.
I rather redirect all of my links to this particular post or that of a close competitor.
This is the ideal thing to do in my book.
Will also make sure my friends do the same. They did this to me. They can do it to anyone!
$24k is crazy money where I come from.
That is approximately 17 million Naira!
A figure that’d take an average Nigerian over a decade to earn.
Anyone who knows me knows I worked (and still work) extra hard to get to this point.
Thrivecart used to be great. But as far as I and everyone around me is concerned – they are a scam!
Could it be that the recent $ 35 million investment they secured might be the beginning of the end for them? I can’t tell.
Josh is no longer the CEO.
And he’s very much aware of what happened to my wiped commissions. The top brass of a SaaS company like Thrivecart should at least care if you ask me.