Why CBD Affiliate Programs are bad for the CBD market

The CBD industry is absolutely buzzing right now. Everyday it seems like there’s more news about a change in one state or another’s legislation as they race to keep up with the federal rulings following the passing of the 2018 Farm Bill. The vast majority of these rulings are excitingly progressive and are helping to place more structure around the industry. This will only help to validate the products that enter the market and eventually help to drive down costs.

Then, every hour it seems like there’s a new CBD company or brand joining the ranks. The vast majority of these are legitimate companies who are trying to produce, harvest, distribute, sell and market hemp-derived CBD products and that’s awesome. Generally speaking, intense competition in the early stages of an unregulated market will be great for driving down the costs long-term. It also means there’s a ton of rapid innovation going on with the companies. They’re creating new products with higher potency and finding more cost effective ways to get it to you- the consumers! This is exciting for us at Hemp Crate Co because we want to deliver our customers the best possible products at lowest possible costs.

However, there are also some others entering the market who are less concerned with promoting CBD and its benefits and are more concerned with making a quick buck. One of the most popular ways companies are doing this is through affiliate marketing.

What are CBD affiliate programs?

Affiliate programs aren’t a new sales tactic. They’ve existed essentially as long as e-commerce itself has existed.

Affiliate programs, also called affiliate marketing, is simply the act of allowing other individuals or platforms to bring your brand sales by giving them a cut of the commission from that sale.

The tactic has long been popular in the makeup and beauty industry. Avon, for example, has over 240,000 “Avon Representatives” who are allowed to purchase the makeup products at discounted prices and are then able to resell them using generally whatever tactics they see fit. There are many legitimate, powerful and influential brands who use affiliate marketing as an additional sales channel. Amazon, for example, in its early days used affiliate marketing to drive traffic to its site when they were still mainly an online bookstore.

Image from OmniStar

The types of affiliate programs that can be employed, as you can see, vary widely from industry to industry and company to company. There are two distinct types of affiliate marketing; individual based or platform based.

We generally don’t have a problem with platform affiliate marketing. Platform affiliate marketing occurs when brands pay blogs and websites a percentage of a any sale that originates from their blog or site. This is just a good and effective way to drive traffic to your business. The website or blog deserves to be compensated for building up a deep following base that they are sharing with other companies.

However, individual affiliate programs are crippling the progression of the CBD industry.

Why are individual CBD affiliate programs harmful to the CBD market?

Individual CBD programs, like the aforementioned Avon makeup program, allow basically anyone with a pulse and a computer to sign up to become an official re-seller of a brands products for example. So what’s the problem with that anyways? We’re entrepreneurs here at Hemp Crate Co and will always fight for the little guy but only if that little guy is knowledgeable on the subject they’re trying to sell and has the customers best intentions at heart.

With affiliate programs you gets mountains of misinformation flooding the market. Anyone can sign up to sell the products to anyone else meaning that the people selling the products lack even basic knowledge about what they’re selling. Want to know where you the hemp in your CBD tincture is being grown?

Joe Schmo just started selling that tincture last week and he only had to invest $100 to get his first shipment. He has no idea where the hemp is farmed and he’ll say just about anything to get the sale.

In addition to the misinformation that’s spread, the quality of products that are being sold through these programs are often massively inferior to legitimate brands who have been doing their best to put high-quality products out there. The companies who use individual affiliate programs will often have multiple brands underneath the company so that the consumer feels like they’re getting a wide variety of products.

How to find quality CBD products?

For the average consumer, it can often be difficult to tell if you’re buying products from an affiliate program or though a legitimate brand. We’re here to help! Here are some simple steps you can follow to make sure you’re buy the highest quality CBD products:

  1. Never buy CBD from an individual. If an individual is trying to sell you CBD, likely by reaching out on Facebook or Instagram, they’re likely re-selling a low-quality brand’s CBD products.
  2. Do your research. A simple google search of the brand followed by “review” should tell you whether or not consumers are happy with the product they’re getting. You can also use social media aggregation sites, such as Reddit, to see what the mass-public’s opinion of a brand or product is.
  3. Talk to your friends. Ask people you trust whether they like what they’re using. They’ll be honest with you, unlike the ‘saleseman’ in your Insta DMs.
  4. Always review the 3rd party lab results. Any legitimate brand will happily send you their 3rd party lab results from every batch of products they run. We post ours on our website from every brand included in our crates and in our store.
  5. Try before your buy. This issue is one of the reasons we founded Hemp Crate Co in the first place. We wanted consumers to be able to test our CBD products at an affordable price before landing on products they like. We spend an inordinate amount of time researching, testing, and trend analyzing to make sure we are bringing you the latest and greatest in CBD products. Try one of our boxes today, curated from only the highest quality brands, and find a product (or products!) that work for you!

Have more questions on how to find the best CBD products on the market? Reach out to us at human@hempcrate.co and we’d love to help!

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