Beware of Affiliate Marketing Scams
There are plenty of affiliate marketing scams and questionable programs out there and I feel a few suggestions and tips are in order to help affiliate marketers from falling into the traps of these scammers.
Deciding Whom to Trust
Here’s one of the best tips on avoiding affiliate marketing scams I can let you in on: watch out for merchants who steal back their own commissions.
Beware of Floater Boxes
How does this scam work? As a partner/affiliate, when you send a user to a merchant’s target page through your link, does a “floater” appear? It’s that annoying pop-up box known as a browser helper object that encourages the customer to register right away! by filling in his info in the box.
The floater box takes the commission away from you because the customer doesn’t complete the sale or enter information at the page you sent him to. Your cookie and affiliate marketing commission are lost; you’ve been scammed!
So here’s the tip: Never affiliate with a merchant that uses this floater box technique.
Beware of Free Sites
Merchants who offer “free sites” are often involved in another of the affiliate marketing scams. These merchants give you (the partner) a free webpage to be a web publisher (“affiliate”). It’s hosted at their site on their server, and all you have to do is advertise, write articles, send emails, do link-sharing, hand out business cards, pay for advertising, and whatever it is you have to do to bring in customers to your “free” hosted page displaying the product or service. And then...
You guessed it! The merchant gets the customer and you get shafted. With free sites, you don’t know the stats of who visits or what actions occurred, and you never know about the commissions you’ve missed out on.
Read What Others Say about Scammers
Here’s another tip in the battle against affiliate marketing scams: One of the best keyword search terms you must remember to use is simply the word scam. Anytime you think a program sounds too good to be true, enter that brand keyword + scam and view the results.
Let’s take a look at one brand you may have heard about:
You are listening to the radio while working in your shop and hear the frequent radio ad about Andy Willoughby and his Three Step Plan. (“How in the world are you anyway?”) Such a nice folksy sales pitch, low key, and don’t you want to make money working from home? Well, don’tcha? Are you wondering is this a pyramid scheme or MLM? It’ll cost you $35 to join and find out.
The secret product of the Three Step Plan is Xango™ Juice, priced at $37 a bottle or four for $100. It’s Mangosteen, a dietary juice supplement which has no published clinical test studies to back up its claims.
Never Pay to Join an Affiliate Program
We aren’t saying that Three Step Plan is scamming people because they do in fact sell a product. If you can find customers who will pay $37 for fruit juice then knock yourself out -- but you the affiliate marketer shouldn’t have to pay $35 to join a company’s affiliate program to find out what product you’ll be selling.
In addition to searching on the term “scam” you can also go directly to the Consumeraffairs.com website and read if there are complaints against a company or website you are suspicious about. Use these types of consumer advocate sites to learn from others who have already made the mistake of joining various affiliate marketing scams. If people have been hurt or have lost money due to a particular vendor, they want to warn others about it online.
Join the Honest Networks and Programs
What I’ve mentioned so far is just the tip of the iceberg but I’ll be posting many more articles on affiliate marketing scams here, as well as how to stop commission theft. Don’t be scared off or discouraged about this business by any means; there’s billions of dollars involved in Internet advertising and you’ll find many honest, reliable affiliate marketing programs out there to participate in so that you can join the revenue stream. Just do some due diligence first and avoid the scammers.
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