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  1. #1
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    Hi everyone,

    I've been at the affiliate game for about a year. I have always depended on a few websites to bring in sales, and they have, just not as many sales as I desire.

    So the other day I ran across something (affiliate link included) that appeared to be a scam involving affiliate sign ups in exchange for a "Free iPod" (for those of you who don't know what an iPod is, it is Apple's 'revolutionary' mp3 player).

    I thought "for sure, this isn't real" ... the premise is that you sign up for a "free offer" and get five people to do the same, and they send you a free iPod. Then I got to thinking ... maybe this is real? I mean, only a small percentage of the people that sign up will ever go through with referring 5 friends, so they're making enough money to send out iPods and turn a profit. Interesting.

    So I started doing research. A lot of research. It appears to be valid, run by a company called "Gratis Internet " or "Gratis Networks" (BBB Review). They also run sites like freeflatscreens.com, freecondoms.com, and freedvds.com.

    As far as being legit, this site pretty much proves that it works (this guy got his iPod):

    http://freeipodguide.com

    But what really struck me is the idea. Why aren't more people doing this? Surely Gratis Internet has a deal with the iPod distributor (ecost.com) so they can get them for wholesale. This seems like an excellent customer aquisition method for affiliate marketers.

    Maybe I should start a similar website, hm.

    Jason PG

  2. #2
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    Jason,

    I don't know my Spidey sense is telling me watch out.LOL

    Have you filled out the form and looked at the merchants they are promoting? They must all be PPC or PPA.

    I am not crazy about get your friends to do stuff schemes. Mostly because my friends suck and I can't even get most of them to buy off the sites I have.

    On another note I don't know why with all the 2 tiered programs out there that we don't all sign up under other ABW members when we start a program.

    I know that people don't like to share what they are doing in fear of being copied. With all the traffic that this site gets I think we could help one another out.

    I know this happens in some circles of people who really know one another and I have seen post before to this effect. I can't believe with all the great mind something could not be worked out to level the field.

    Just some thoughts, sorry for rambling it's early and no coffee as of yet.

    Spider Man

  3. #3
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    I have signed up (in fact, I've "qualified" for the free iPOD, so we'll see what happens).

    Here are they merchants they list:

    AOL® 9.0 with MusicNet
    Columbia House DVD
    AOL for Broadband (existing broadband users)
    GM Card
    Nexiderm
    PetCare RX
    Video Professor
    White Smile
    BMG Music Service
    eBay

    So there is a wide range. They are counting on people not going through with the process, I think. Because once you get your 5 referals, you have to log back in and click "Redeem" .. then there is a processing period, and the item finally ships.

    So, to me, this seems like an incredible way to make money, I just don't have t knowledge to write such order tracking software

    Jason PG

  4. #4
    ABW Adviser Panel Dynamoo's Avatar
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    Spider Man, I think you're spidey sense is right.

    Essentially, this looks like a pyramid scheme/matrix/MLM/whatever where the main driver is signing other people up. If each signup has a real, fiscal value, then you can pass that value "up" the pyramid and convert it into an iPod. Simple..

    ..except the schemes generally require exponential growth to keep going, and eventually you just run out of people and the thing collapses.

    I've seen similar schemes for electronic items where you put in £25 (about $40 I guess) to get a £400 item, but you have to recruit a load of other members to get the item. Basically, you're just taking a gamble with your £25 stake...

    ..and like all gambling, in the long run the house always wins. So the people runnng the free iPod promotion will also get some money out of it. And therefore the scheme will always manage to pay out less than is paid in overall.

    Here's the biggest catch: to stay on the right side of the law you have to be very, very careful. In many places this type of scheme might be considered illegal. I know in the UK it looks like a law might be introduced to regulate this sort of thing under gambling laws.
    Innovative advertising with Slimeware Corporation and Telephore. Mail-order fuel with Petrol Direct.

  5. #5
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    here's another post about the same site.


    http://abw.infopop.cc/eve/ubb.x?a=tp...6136#628106136

  6. #6
    ABW Ambassador
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    This explains the "I'm looking for a site that offers free ipods to offer on my site" post of several days ago.

    Slow creeping tree sap spam. Smelled it coming.

    Ditch the BS and try selling "STUFF" that people want to "BUY" and you may eventually line your pockets with wads of smelly green "CASH".

    Chain-letter-type schemes are a waste of time as they always have been. Do you know ONE person who has ever made any money with any such scheme. Or do you even know one person who knows one person who.......get the point.

  7. #7
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    Here's how it works.

    You sign up 1,000 and they each get 3 friends (on average) to sign up, who get 3 friend, who get 3 friends, etc.

    Thats 1,000 + 3,000 + 9,000 + 27,000 and the list gets bigger by 3 times the last total every iteration.

    Pretty soon you have a REAL list of names and emails. Then you go knock on DoubleClicks door and say you have a 1 Million Double Opt-in, it's okay to send spam email list.

    They swoon. You throw water on their face. They get up. Say "way cool" and cut you a check for $10,000 for every time they sell the list to their major advertisers for $20,000.

    You clean up, they clean up, the advertisers clean up, the affiliates and the people that never get an iPod, well you know - fecal matter occurs.

    You make a few hundred grand and have to spend 5% max on iPods, which if you sell the list to people like real networks, they might give you the all the iPods you need plus money.

    You don't see Yahoo doing CPA do you? They might do some in a hybrid deal or if they are the end merchant but call them up, or DoubleClick or Google and ask them to do a CPA deal with and see what answer you get.

    Try it with ABC, the Wall Street Journal, the LA Times.......see what answer you get...

    Seems to me the guys NOT doing CPA are making multiple millions while the guys focusing on the CPA hope I sell something and get rich myth are making the almost thousands.

  8. #8
    ABW Founder Haiko de Poel, Jr.'s Avatar
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Jersey Jean:
    Here's how it works.

    ...the people that never get an iPod, well you know - fecal matter occurs. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    I'm good with math ... it's called FRAUD!

    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Try it with ABC, the Wall Street Journal, the LA Times.......see what answer you get... <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    An orange jumpsuit with "Department of Corrections"? AKA -The fecal matter gets flushed away!
    Continued Success,

    Haiko
    The secret of success is constancy of purpose ~ Disraeli

  9. #9
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    no offense to those having BBB listing, but it's a pure joke.

    Jersey Jean knows the deal behind such sites.

  10. #10
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    For $20 bucks in PPC charges I almost have everything in place to secure a new iPod.

    I just have to complete my "offer" selection and I will be there.

    I will report back here when my iPod arrives. I really don't think this is a scam, and I am willing to gamble $20.00 for a new 20gb iPod!

    Burke
    ==================
    Want a FREE iPod? Click Here

  11. #11
    Defender of Truth, Justice and the Affiliate Way
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    Oh my. I would never subject my friends to something like that. Folks I don't like maybe, but not my friends.

    If I'm that desparate for a free iPod from my friends, I'll just drop big loud hints around Christams and my B-day.

    And Moo is correct about being careful on the legal issue. Such things are certainly illegal where I am. A couple of years ago, our local Sheriff's department got caught up in some online pyramid/MLM thing. Pretty much all the deputies and reservist were up to their eyesballs in it with all their friends and family before the Sheriff caught on. What a huge blackeye they took and they still get ribbed about it. Needless to say the folks behind the scheme went down in a big bad way. Pretty everyone in the Sheriff's department got fined and a few caught suspensions.

  12. #12
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    Thought I would report back. I got my free iPod yesterday!

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