Monday, April 27, 2009

Offers Ethics

Today I would like to talk about how important it is to be ethical about the offers that you do. This business is completely dependent on the advertisers willingness to offer their products and trials for an incentive. Unethical offer completion has been an increasing problem lately.

Incentive sites, any of them, mypoints, inboxdollars, referral sites like zipnadazilch and Git-r-free, they do not get paid if the lead is invalid. An invalid lead can be anything from someone who used false information, someone who uses a prepaid credit card to avoid being charged automatically by the company, someone who cancels the trial early or without trying the offer out legitimately. If sites get reports of invalid leads especially ones deemed fraudulent they could put your account on hold. They can also talk with other site owners (they have crosschecking software that is compatible with the scripts of most sites) and warn them about you. Do you blame them? If they are paying you prizes or cash for completing offers for them and they are not getting paid for your leads then they are losing money.

Here are some important things to remember when completing offers:

1. You should always use your accurate information (real address/ph #/etc). Advertisers use resources to find out if you are a real person using real information and if they find out that you are using false information not only will they revoke any credit you get from an incentive site, the site could also put your account on hold so you can't use it any more.

2. You can only do an offer once. Advertisers in almost all cases are only paying sites who bring in fresh leads. They want people who have never had or tried their product before so that they can convince you to keep using it. If you complete an offer on one site and then complete it again on another site then the advertiser will know and will revoke your credit at the least from the first site but most likely from both sites, resulting in you being blacklisted at both sites.

3. You should genuinlly be interested in trying the product if you are going to complete an offer. If your only intention is to complete the offer so that you can get paid for it then that is FRAUD! If you sign up for the offer and do not keep the trial for the whole period or don't log in to the website included or participate in the requirements of the trial that is FRAUD. You should at least have some interest in the offer and if your reasoning for canceling an offer is that the monthly service after the trial costs too much then there is reason for the advertiser to be skeptical because you should read the offers Terms of Service before completing it and if you knew from the beginning that it was too much then you should have never tried the offer.

4. You should NEVER talk about canceling offers. When you start getting referrals for incentive sites it is important for you to take this to heart. It may seem harmless to you to tell someone that they can get paid for an offer and they can cancel the next day, but what you are doing is assisting someone in commiting offer fraud. Every single incentive site, even pay to click sites like Cash Grab and Inbox Dollars have it in their terms of service that you can not tell people to cancel or how to cancel. The best thing for you to do is educate your referrals while training them to ALWAYS read the Terms of Service. That will have the information that they need to know to cancel the trial and the costs and requirements of the program they are signing up for. I personally screen print or copy and paste the terms of service into a file so that I have them for my records to look back on. It also ensures that I won't lose the contact information for the company. You may think that you can get away with it, but some how or another Karma will come back to you. If a site sees referrals that you bring constantly getting credits revoked for canceling offers or if all of your referrals do the same offer then it will send up a red flag.

Aside from the fact that the incentive sites will lose the money that they are so generous to pass on to you and they will blacklist you from their site and potentially many other sites creating a domino effect, offers that constantly get frauded will pull out of the incentive industry all together. An example of this is Pacific Webworks. They are the owners of the offers that would teach you how to use Ebay to make money and similar concepts. Recently they pulled out of incentives completely. Their trials were inexpensive, $1.95-$4.95 each. At first they used to let you try each one of their offers once. Then they started having too many people sign up for all of them and not try them all so they limited it to 1 every 3 months. Then there was still people taking advantage of it. I am not talking a few here and there. Think in grand scales. If this offer was on every incentive site and there are hundreds of those and there are hundreds of thousands of people signed up at the forums that trade these sites, and there are thousands of people with blogs advertising about the deals they could potentially lose a lot of money from fraudulent sign ups. So then they limited us to only being allowed to do one offer ever. They were taken advantage of so much that they took their generosity away and put limits on it. They also started paying the sites less resulting in them being worth less on the sites. Now we can't do them at all. Scholastic has pulled most of their offers too. Blockbuster has threatened to leave and has lowered how much they pay out because of the fraud on their offers. There are consequences to the instant spreading that certain things cause on the internet.

Think of it this way. How do you feel when you hear about a deal but by the time that you hear about it some greedy person has found a loop hole and used up the alotment of that code or bought all of the product for the deal just to turn around and sell it on ebay for a profit? You feel cheated don't you? We have all seen how fast coupons get printed, freebies are dried up, and stuff is sold once word gets out on the internet. Now think of that in terms of the advertisers getting screwed because even one person just tells someone to cancel their offer on the 2nd day and they will get their prize still.

If anyone has anything to add about offer ethics or anything else about ethics and freebies feel free to leave a comment. I would like it to stay civil though. Any attacking or blatant disrespect will be deleted.

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