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  1. #1
    Newbie
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    There is a growing concern among affiliate webmasters that The
    Vendare Group (which runs blink.com, jackpot.com and
    bigprizes.com with your service) is using LinkShare's somewhat
    unique "contact merchant for payment" system as a tool to defraud
    their affiliates. We would like to know whether you're aware of this
    and whether you have any safeguards in place to catch it.


    We became concerned about this company this week when we
    noticed that our Linkshare stats for their three sites had built up a
    significant balance over the last three months (roughly $1,000
    total), yet for various reasons we have yet to see a dime in
    payment from Vendare.


    We performed a Web search on their name and found several
    pages and message boards in which other affiliates claim that
    Vendare has a history of non-payment with Commission Junction
    and other programs, for which they were terminated. (see )http://www.affiliatesos.com/j/jackpot.htm) for one example. The
    concern is that Vendare is now exploiting LinkShare's system,
    which does not require prepayment as do most of the other affiliate
    brokerage services.


    Please note that we are not aware of any purposeful fraud as of yet,
    but we do see a bubble building. We are very concerned about this
    and will most definitely take legal action should it become clear that
    no payments will be made--quite possibly a class action--against Vendare
    if it becomes clear that they are defrauding affiliates.
    As a busy affiliate site, our policy is to pursue every collection not so much for the
    dollar amount, but rather to send a message that defrauding us or
    any other affiliate is not tolerated. :mad:


    In the mean time, we would like to know whether LinkShare has
    taken any action on this issue and whether you can provide us any
    assurances that Vendare plans to cover their debts?

    [ 05-02-2002: Message edited by: ideagirl ]

  2. #2
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
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    The Vendare Group is closely aliened with multiple shady e-mail list brokerages who run spamm farms. They run sites which are fronts for spammers and dubeous opt-in marketers and you can bet the FTC has gotten complaints on those who never received the prizes offered. Hope you don't keep sending traffic to them once you get paid. That move just disrespects the privacy of your hard earned visitors.

    The Linkshare closet is littered with these prize, earn points and rebate scammers who all closed down operations without pay off affiliate commissions. They seem to just buy a new 35.00 occupational license and sart the same game all over again harvesting privacy info and e-mail addresses to sell to multiple bidders. Hint ..they have no product therefore ...where does the money come from to payu you?

    [ 05-02-2002: Message edited by: EcomCity.com ]

  3. #3
    ABW Founder Haiko de Poel, Jr.'s Avatar
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    ideagirl,

    Hi and welcome to ABW! <IMG src=http://www.abestweb.com/smilies/welcome.gif>

    Hopefully Stephen Messer (CEO of Linkshare) can shed some light on this issue as well.

    Haiko

  4. #4
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    Hi, thanks for your input - we are anxiously awaiting a reply from Mr. Messer. We hoped that posting here might get his attention, as we have so far not had much luck elsewhere. It is unfortunate, because our other Linkshare accounts do well and pay in a relatively timely manner. We had to threaten one with leagl action (our attorney just loves us ;0 ), but they sent out a check and are now paying regularly. Hopefully all will be cleared up shortly [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif[/img] [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif[/img]

  5. #5
    Affiliate Network Rep
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    Hi and welcome to this message board. I am not aware of any issues but I would be happy to ask my customer service team to look into it. Give me a few days to see what we can find out.

    Best regards,
    Stephen

  6. #6
    ABW Ambassador Packy's Avatar
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    IdeaGirl,

    My advise to you is to join Jackpot through some place else if you decide to stay with them. No offense to Steve and Linkshare intended. It is directed towards the Vendare Group. As long as they are the ones sending the check I would get out now. I might think differently if Linkshare was in charge of the checks but last I checked they weren't.

    Jackpot burned me through Commission Junction. Supposedly CJ says they never received any of the money owed to them. As to what kind of actions CJ took to try to collect hasn't been told. I still use them through other companys that cut the check themseves and not Jackpot cutting the checks. You have more of a chance if a big company is trying to get payment than you yourself trying to collect. Again this isn't nothing against Linkshare. I like Linkshare in it self but I don't trust Jackpot and the main company.

    I use them through Direct Leads right now. They are a couple of months behind there but I know that direct Leads will do everything in their power to collect. They just got paid from I think Cool Savings who owed them for quite sometime and they didn't give up collecting. Also I believe they are at VallueClick but the lead is alot less. I think 50 cents. JMO!

    Steve, what would be nice and I have posted this before in another thread is if all the trusted 3rd party companys could find away to put competition on the side burner and maybe find away to communicate as to which merchants are stiffing company's and shut the door on them until they pay up. An example being: Jackpot stiffed CJ for what was owed. If CJ could maybe communicate this info to all of the other company's like Linkshare and so on and all of you shut them out because of them stiffing another company they would have no choice but to pay up or go under. Kind of like a credit check history on the merchants. JMO!

    BTW Steve, any word yet on the sudden drop with Iwon leads. I just went and pulled most of the Linkshare links to them and had to switch to another company that pays less but so far is converting at 10% compared to I think 1% with Linkshare. Something is up and should be checked into. <IMG src=http://www.abestweb.com/ubb/icons/icon36.gif>

  7. #7
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    Stephen,

    We appreciate you checking into it - as I said, we have been happy with our Linkshare programs to date, but as full-time affiliate webmasters, we need that dough to keep the power on, and when a company owes us that much, then doesn't respond to our communications, it sets off a red flag. Thanks.

  8. #8
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    Hey Steve,

    Are you aware you exist?

    Because it is amazing how you have no clues about anything that's important.

    But keep those cards and letters coming. I keep adding them to my file so when you get to sit in the witness stand, you can hang yourself.

  9. #9
    ABW Ambassador Packy's Avatar
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    Fred, I have never said anything negative about you in all the posts that I have made-BUTTTTT, there is no reason for you to post in this thread unless you have something to contribute.

    What you posted is just a threat towards Steve that has nothing to do with what Ideagirl asked and what I am curious to hear about. Enough already. Let us get our information. Jeeesh! Start your own post would ya please. <IMG src=http://www.abestweb.com/ubb/icons/icon36.gif>

  10. #10
    ABW Founder Haiko de Poel, Jr.'s Avatar
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    Fred,

    I must echo the sentiment expressed by GB.

    Forgive the colloquialism but "shoot or get off the pot!"

    Please don't continue to say you will "Go #2 (as per the above)" in every other post ... it conveys a really negative imagery towards you and your (warranted(?)) cause.

    Haiko

  11. #11
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    Stephen,

    We are still waiting for a response - have you heard anything from Vendare? Thanks. :confused:

  12. #12
    ABW Ambassador Packy's Avatar
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    Bump! ?????

  13. #13
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
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    Do you really expect the kid whose hand gets caught in the cookie jar to respond? Little like Morpheus posting responses to runing theftwarez.

  14. #14
    Guest
    Here's the thing that makes my want to upchuck some finely cooked Shrimp. Go to overture.com, type in "Games", or "Free Games". Yep, you guessed it. Jackpot.com is #1 at 23/26 cents a click. They have to pre-pay for that listing to remain.

    Yeah, I had to switch the links from VLCK to Linkshare when VLCK deactivated them. I hated that. I feel like I will never see that money via Linkshare. What's a guy to do though? Have a "Free Game" page, with no free games, or only 2 or 3? Have a "Free Game" page that generates little or no revenue? I would rather have the link pointing to a source that, at least I have a 1 in 500 shot of being paid. Sure beats linking straight to Jackpot.com.

    Or does it?

  15. #15
    ABW Ambassador Packy's Avatar
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    Shrimp, Have you checked out Direct Leads. Jackpot is paying $1.20 there. IMO we would be more likely to have a big company like DL collect the money than for us to do it on our own. Feel free to go through my link in my sig but either way it might be worth you checking it out.

    Jackpot has always been a risk for me and they have stiffed me once before through CJ! They are however one of my best performers so it's a chance I have to take. :confused:

    BTW- I never got a link to the bingo place you were using????

  16. #16
    Guest
    Gameboy,

    Sorry, but I really don't want to say the company or give a link. I will say that it is not a CJ merchant, but an in house source, and they are not with any affiliate network that I know of. If I didn’t feel good about promoting the site to unknown visitors to my website, why in the world would I lead a friend down a path in which I don’t feel comfortable with. Well, friend meaning fellow webmaster.

    I've tried to sign up for Direct Leads over 5 times. Each time I make one mistake on the sign up form, click on through, then I have to go back and enter ALL my info all over again. I just gave up. I'm sure they are a good company, and their site looks great, I just don't have 2 hours in my day to sign up for an affiliate network.

    Ok, that sounded a little pompous. I apologize.

    I need to go fry some Shrimp.

    CAUTION!!! If you go to Florida and check out the seafood shop, and notice Shrimp with "head on" ALOT cheaper, then don't buy it (run on – I know). The head constitutes more weight per annum than the rest of the body, not to mention it's a downright pain in the arse to chop heads off 50 fat shrimp, while everyone in the family is saying, "is the SHRIMP DONE YET?????"

    Trust me on that one. I wouldn't steer you wrong when it comes to Shrimp.

    Anyway, it’s bothering me more to promote a Linkshare merchant, than it ever did with the Bingo sponsor. Maybe it’s a dose of poor character on my part. Maybe it’s a dose of the thousand pounds of reality Linkshare has dumped on me in the past. Reality being, this is a doggy dog business. People actually set up shop assuming they ARE NOT going to pay you. Unfortunately, Linkshare is a breeding ground, or at least they were.

    Nothing more on Linkshare.

  17. #17
    ABW Ambassador
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    They are not up to date on payments at DL at all. Actually they are now over 90 days in arrears. (And they owe us thousands)

    Patrick, have you been paid for February yet from DL concerning Jackpot?

    I am afraid they raised the payout to 1.20 just to sucker us into one more month of free leads!!!????

  18. #18
    ABW Ambassador Packy's Avatar
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    Shrimp,

    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Sorry, but I really don't want to say the company or give a link. I will say that it is not a CJ merchant, but an in house source, and they are not with any affiliate network that I know of. If I didn’t feel good about promoting the site to unknown visitors to my website, why in the world would I lead a friend down a path in which I don’t feel comfortable with. Well, friend meaning fellow webmaster.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    No problem seeing how you put it that way. <IMG src=http://www.abestweb.com/ubb/icons/icon12.gif> And I will remember your tips about Shrimp. I can usually force down a couple a year. Ewwwww! Ummm, no offense intended to you personally though Shrimp. Now Scallops are a different story! <IMG src=http://www.abestweb.com/ubb/icons/icon7.gif>

    Breeze,

    I still haven't received the Feb payment from them. Thye owe me quite a bit of money also. I'm not too worried about it yet but come around the 20th I will start worrying if i don't see some movement in where the money is sitting right now. They ran out of leads earlier today and I see that they gave another 15000 or so leads to Direct Leads so I would have to hope that DL knows what they are doing. When they raised it to $1.20 what you said is the first thing that popped into my mind also. I'll give it another week before I start getting worried I guess.

  19. #19
    ABW Ambassador
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    Patrick, I guess you just got this tonight as well huh?

    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Jackpot just bought another 14,300 leads and payout remains the same at $1.20/lead!! <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Almost like they were reading this thread when they sent the newsletter!?!?

    If they just bought another 14,300 leads why don't our payment figures move with that payment?

    Accounts receivable etc...

    *irked in la*

    lmao 4 now

  20. #20
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    From the Vendare rah-rah page at idealbs.com:

    "In January 2001, the Vendare Group crowned David Halliday of Georgetown a millionaire at the conclusion of its Super Spin finale, guest hosted by comedian Bob Saget. David joins three previous million-dollar Vendare Group winners. Congrats!"

    http://www.idealab.com/companies/vendare.tp

    Ok, if they can pay some guy $1,000,000 on national television, why can't they pay their freakin' affiliates? (dumb question, I know, but the more research I do on this company the more irritated I get) :mad:

  21. #21
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
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    To take the sting out of dealing with these e-mail harvesting non paying wanks put up a few sales sites. Free game traffic is worthless, MP3 traffic is worthless, FreeBee Lotto or incent traffic is worthless..so why expect there to be lasting value in passing off this traffic to the bottom feeders. So 1990's and this battle field is littered with bodies leaving only the sleezy copycats and spammers to attract money.

  22. #22
    Guest
    Mike,

    You’re a handful man lol.

    "Free game traffic is worthless, MP3 traffic is worthless, FreeBee Lotto or incent traffic is worthless"

    You're wrong on that one Mike.

    Totals $48,619.48 4,721 5,573 84,450 1,291,561 0.065 $37.64 0.122 $57.57

    But you're right if you meant something just isn't right about Jackpot.

    Mike, You really need to eat more Shrimp.

    Shrimp doctor <--writes Mike a script for Shrimp

  23. #23
    Guest
    Looks like they are back at Valueclick for 90 cents per lead. All the old links (prior to the 10th) don't work. Well, they don't appear to be tracking.

    Fishy isn't it?

  24. #24
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
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    Reselling that type of traffic is worthless unless a webmaster sucker is born every minute. The players in that arena just strip the sellable stuff (e-mail addresses) from the traffic then reward a few and wait for more. Tell you how worthless it is ...I WON'T pay you $5.00 to send 10,000 of them to EcomCity.com ..even if you offered. They are about the value of buying just the shrimp heads.

    [ 05-14-2002: Message edited by: EcomCity.com ]

    [ 05-15-2002: Message edited by: EcomCity.com ]

  25. #25
    Guest
    Mike,

    That traffic wouldn't be a good fit for your site, I agree, but that doesn't make it "worthless".

    Online game players are really good folks, and are actually fun to market to. Most haven't done well in their marketing efforts (yahoo/zone.com/etc). But take Boxerjam.com for example. I bet they would buy my 10,000 visitors for, not $5, but $1,500. They can pay that, because they know how to get a ROI on the game audience.

    I also agree with you that some of the online game sites are simply creative marketing fronts, but not all of them.

    Wonder if I could market a Shrimp game?

    Hmmm

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