What Is Rakuten Affiliate Network (Formally Linkshare)

Rakuten Marketing

My Rakuten Review

You may have landed here because you are wondering what is Rakuten Affiliate Network. No matter what landed you here, I will answer that question for you.

If you are in affiliate marketing or have thought about getting into affiliate marketing, you may have heard of Rakuten Affiliate Marketing. Consumers can also buy products from the Rakuten website.

Rakuten Affiliate Network is a platform where companies join in order to promote their products (advertisers) and affiliates join in order to promote the products (publishers) of those companies. At Rakuten the advertisers and publishers can connect with one another. But wait there’s more.

Yes, it is SORT of like ClickBank, except that Rakuten doesn’t have “Scammy” products. Their member site is set up similar to ClickBank. But wait, there is more to this. I will share what I discovered further down.

Rakuten has signed some very reputable and well-known brands. I love seeing brands/companies that I have heard of and known about.

If you do not known the company, you should always ask questions and do your research before recommending the product to others. YES, you need to research the products and the advertisers, even the ones on Rakuten. I’ll explain further down.

Rakuten Affiliate Network

Founded in 1997 in 2005 Rakuten acquired LinkShare and in 2014 it was re branded to Rakuten Affiliate Network per Wikipedia

Founded by Hiroshi Mikitani a Japanese billionaire (also per Wikipedia)

Located all over the world including the United States, the headquarters is in Tokyo

Voted the #1 affiliate marketing network 7 years in a row

Price for publishers to join Free

Price for advertisers is unknown

My personal rank 4 out of 5 (the user interface could use improvement)

Is Rakuten For You

Before deciding if it is for you, I would continue to read before making that decision. If you are looking to promote products and earn a commission, then Rakuten MAY be for you.

If you are an advertiser with a legitimate product and you are seeking the assistance of publishers to help get more sales of your product/products, then Rakuten MAY be for you. Last but not least,

if you are a consumer who might be shopping for a specific item or you are comparing prices, then Rakuten MAY be for you.

So why did I say Rakuten MAY be for you? Anytime you are going to make a purchase from the internet, are looking to have someone promote your products, or are looking to become a publisher through a marketing affiliate program, you always need to research them.

Yes, you heard right. I will include what I discovered about Rakuten, in hopes of saving you time from having to do it yourself.

I of course can’t tell you my experience from the advertisers point of view as I am not trying to sell anyone anything. Unfortunately, I won’t be of much help, but I will provide you with some help.

Products And Services

Rakuten offers many products that you can buy. As I stated earlier they have well-known name brands such as pictured below. They also have several services like hosting services and digital products as well.Name Brands at Rakuten

They have everything from tooth brushes to T.V. There is even a bulk shopping club that will deliver the products for free if you spend over $49.00.

Don’t get your hopes up though. ClubBulk may not have EVERYTHING that you are looking for. They aren’t like Costco or any of the well known companies providing products for sale in bulk quantities.

Rakuten BlubBulk products

Anytime we make purchases online, we definitely need to check the reviews of the site and of the seller as well as look to see how long they have been selling with the current site.

We have all come to known and love the popular Amazon, but that doesn’t mean you don’t need to check the seller out, right?

I am sure I don’t need to remind you that the internet and the online world has become more convenient over the years, but there are even more scam artists as well. Until you known what to look for, you need to research as much as you can.

Customer Reviews

While researching the reviews from customers of Rakuten, most were from dissatisfied customers. But these were customers who bought physical products from the advertisers.

Many of these customers were upset because they were instructed by Rakuten that they would have to contact the seller in order to get a refund or information on where the product was.

Here are a few that I wanted to share with you in order to give you a better idea of the types of complaints that were turned in by different customers. These were found on Consumer Affairs.

I personally think that many of the complaints were legit. Rakuten may not be responsible for the deal that is being made by the consumer and advertiser, BUT maybe they should pick better advertisers.

I would also like to add that Rakuten should consider participating in Consumer Affairs in order to avoid them gaining a “bad customer ranking”. They could use the reviews to better the overall consumer experience.

Rakuten ReviewRakuten reviewsRakuten Reviews

Tools For The Trade

Rakuten has tools and training to help you along your journey to find affiliates and promote products. They also have ways of advertisers helping publishers maximize their commissions.

The only tools I was able to find were about using the items in the menu in the back end, back office, whatever you would like to call it. There are also videos to help you as well.

Menu In Rakuten back office


Each item on the menu will open a drop down. They are pretty self-explanatory. To me this isn’t considered “tools”. Tools would be a keyword research tool, a website builder platform etc.

Programs is where you would go in order to find a product to promote. You can use categories to search for a specific type of product, search new advertisers and even premium advertisers.

Links will allow you to get links, access product link finder and deep links. There is a compliance tool located here that is a JavaScript snippet that you place in your website title. It will update your advertisers information automatically when there is a change in it, as long as you are partnered with the advertiser.

You can run report to see how you are doing with the product you have chosen, and you can generate links for the product as well.

Reports overview will tell you how many impressions, clicks, EPC (earnings per click), sales and commissions.

You advertiser will have banners, links and pictures that you can use on your website to help you promote the product that you have chosen.


For publishers you can click on support and then choose live chat. I did use the live chat and he was very nice and polite. However, I was given a link to go to get the answer to my question.

As for customer support, you can get an idea from the reviews provided at Consumer Affairs. There were only a couple of good ones that I seen.

For publishers there are tips that you can read that will help you with creating content, getting traffic etc. This is what they consider training. There are also videos (50 minutes long).

What I Think Of Rakuten- Legit Or Not

Rakuten is definitely legit. As I stated before, no matter how you are planning to use their program, you need to do your research.

I think as a publisher, advertiser and customer, it is a service I would recommend although I would still suggest that everyone proceed with caution.

With the way the internet is nowadays, scammers are very intelligent and are able to make their way into even the best programs

If you are wanting to promote products then you I would start by trying to promote products through an advertiser that you known and trust, like WalMart etc.

The training can help you, even as a beginner. I would recommend paying close attention to the training and even take notes in order.

As a publisher you will need to write content and then choose products that fit your niche. You will also need a website and a means for getting traffic, free or paid.

I hope that I have given you a thorough breakdown of Rakuten and that you found this to be of great use. If you have any questions, comments or concerns, please leave them down below. I love hearing from you as much as I love to respond.

Thank you and I look forward to hearing from you.


Wishing you the best in all you do

Lee Ann


Lee Ann Cermak-McQuay

I am a family oriented mother and love being involved with my little ones. My husband is the best guy a girl could ask for. I love helping others which is why I created this site. I know what it is like to NEED to work and earn an income, but not be able to do it outside the home. I am now able to help others find work they can do from home. And I love it.


  1. Funny enough, I was just looking for information about networks and found that most networks don’t show themselves fully. How would I know it’s right for me? It can get really frustrating. Rakuten was on the list and this article cleared up some of my confusion. Thanks!

    • Thank you. I am glad this information helped to clarify some things for you. I don’t think Rakuten is a scam itself, but I do think that we need to know more about the product before buying or promoting it. It is the same for anything in the online world. You don’t just buy the first product you come to, that is how you in to trouble and loose money. Always find out the who, what, when, where and why and it will make your experience less stressful.
      you can check out my number one recommendation as it is straight forward and easy step by step training is provided. Along with state of the art tools and support. All in one place.
      Wishing you the best in all you do
      Lee Ann

  2. I was really curious about this affiliate network. I’ve been doing my research on a few others but I didn’t really know that much. I like that you presented some of the negative reviews to give some perspective. Keep up the good work, I am enjoying these reviews!

    • I am glad I was able to help you with this information On Rakuten Affiliate Network.
      I believe reviews are very important anytime that you are going to be buying something.
      As a member of Rakuten, I wanted to know what others were saying. There were a lot of complaints from customers, but they weren’t buying from well known companies or reputable marketers.
      Research will save you time and money. I hope this information answered any questions you might have had.
      Wishing you the best in all you do
      Lee Ann

  3. Lee Ann,
    I have used Rakuten for more than three years without any trouble. I only use it for Affiliate Marketing, no drop shipping. Never had a customer complaint. I find it easy to get deep links or any report that I need. Payments are dependent on the Affiliate partner.
    For the beginner, they need to select their Affiliate partner carefully. I do use the Walmart program.
    You have to pay attention to the details of each vendors requirements.
    Thanks for your view.

    • Thank you John. You have pretty much said the same thing I have. I appreciate you sharing your experience with us. I definitely agree that everyone needs to pay attention to the vendor as well as the product itself. That is how you get into a bad situation. I can’t stress enough how important research can be as an affiliate or a customer. Know the facts before you buy.
      Wishing you the best in all you do
      Lee Ann

  4. What a very interesting and detailed review on Rakuten, I learned some new things I didn’t know abut them previously and am an affiliate with them

    Thanks for sharing

    • Thank you Dave. I love it when I get to hear from other actual members.
      Are you an active member with Rakuten and if so how long have you been with them?
      Would you mind sharing your experience with us?
      I know they have legitimate products, but I did see some that I want to investigate more. They seemed to not be on the up and up. Have you come across any products like this or sellers with a bad history?
      I am looking forward to your reply.
      Wishing you the best in all you do
      Lee Ann

  5. A lot of interesting information here. Thanks for diving deep into this affiliate network. They seem to have a lot of great retailers. Thank you for advising us to research any and all products that we are looking to purchase or promote. This was very helpful, thank you.

    • I am glad that you found this interesting, I hope that it has provided you with what to look for if you plan to purchase products or promote products through Rakuten.
      They seem to be legit, but while checking out some of the products to promote, there were a couple that seemed to be a little fishy. Rakuten affiliate network does have name brand stores on there and I suggest using one that you know and trust, but I would still check out the one promoting them to ensure they are reputable.
      Wishing you the best in all you do
      Lee Ann

  6. Good overview I think a lot of people are still trying to figure out the concept of Affiliate marketing, what is and the benefit and how to determine the best affiliate program, Thanks for breaking this one down. I believe this will be of great use not only to myself but others as well.

    • I am glad you liked this information Sheryl. I agree. When I first started I honestly didn’t know much about affiliate marketing either. When I joined Wealthy Affiliate, they taught me everything I needed to know and then some. They helped me get my business up and running and even gave the tools and support that was needed. I had searched many years and come across different types of programs, but none of them truly gave you everything you needed like Wealthy Affiliate, and charged much more for just basic information. If you are looking to get into affiliate marketing, I suggest starting there.
      Wishing you the best in all you do
      Lee Ann

  7. Hi Lee Ann, thanks for bringing Rakuten to my attention again. I have a one time experience as a customer. Unfortunately, it wasn’t the best. I made 3 orders, one was canceled and the other 2 were split, so that I had to pay 2 times for the shipping. Honestly, they can’t come even close to Amazon, because Amazon has the best system and is most user-friendly service. Maybe you still can generate some good revenue as an affiliate.

    • THank you Felix for sharing you experience with Rakuten. Your experience is very similar to the ones on the Consumer Affairs website. There were so many complaints compared to the few good reviews.
      I think that researching is the key no matter if you are a customer or looking to be an affiliate. You need to know what you are getting, who you are getting it from and what others are saying about it/them. This is one way to help stop the aggravation before it starts and will save you money as well.
      Wishing you the best in all you do
      Lee Ann

  8. Oh wow, this was quite a thorough review. As a beginner affiliate marketer, I am on the lookout for high quality affiliate programs. I am glad to hear they offer training for beginners. It can be overwhelming if you are new to making money online.

    I do have a question though. What are the learning programs that Rakuten offers like? They sound like a good option for a beginner affiliate marketer, but I would like to learn more. With the size of the internet though, there are probably better programs than Rakuten’s.

    Thank you for sharing and I hope you make it a great day!

    • Hello Alex. I am glad you enjoyed my post about Rakuten.
      I wouldn’t really suggest using them if you are a beginner. The training, they offer there is pretty basic and they leave a lot of important factors out. It is really geared toward those who know a little about affiliate marketing. Also, if you are a beginner, you may not be able to tell a good product from a bad one. Choosing a bad product and then promoting it can cause your readers to not trust you. Not that I think they have a lot of bad products, but I am sure some have snuck through. If you are looking for a legit program with top notch training, you should really check out the number one training platform. They will teach you everything you need to know and so much more, with the tools and support to help you through.
      If I can be of further assistance please let me know. I will be posting more reviews, so please keep checking back.
      Thank you
      Wishing you the best in all you do
      Lee Ann

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