So last night I was up all night with my allergies, didn’t get to sleep until 7:30am. In that time period I got up and took a shower, and started to really think about my life, and affiliate marketing. I started thinking about something I had completely avoided thinking about, because I knew it would change my perspective on the industry, and knew it would also severely negatively affect my income.
Whether we like to admit the fact or not, A LOT of business in affiliate marketing completely scams and screws people over; and we’re the guys in the background making a profit from it. I started thinking about the most popular niches out there and the effect it had on the hundreds of thousands of people signing up for these offers. I myself have promoted these offers, and even was currently promoting them, until now. We completely take for granted all the money we make online, and the lengths we’ll go to to make that money sometimes. Let’s just look at a few of the popular niches out there today…
Payday loans are one of the biggest verticals in the financial sector. I personally know affiliates making over $30k/day on payday loans, and I myself have gotten into them quite a bit. What is a payday loan? Simply put, a person in desperate need (here comes the first moral issue, targeting people who are desperate for money) signs up for a loan. When he doesn’t pay the loan back, he’s charged 400% in interest and ends up being in debt for years. Rather then rambling on about it, I’ll just quote some real testimonials I searched and found last night.
Small Loans, a predatory lender owned by Money Tree, Inc, gave a $200 “payday loan” to a disabled, elderly, illiterate man and thereafter took in his benefits check for him and paid him a small “allowance” out of it, less the money they deducted as “repayment” on the loan. All told, they took thousands from the man over a period of years, bleeding him so badly that he ended up homeless, begging for power to run the machine that treated his chronic lung infection.
Mr. Milford is chronically broke because each month, in what he calls “my ritual,” he travels 30 miles to Gallup [New Mexico] and visits 16 storefront money-lending shops. Mr. Milford, who is 59 and receives a civil service pension and veteran’s disability benefits, doles out some $1,500 monthly to the lenders just to cover the interest on what he had intended several years ago to be short-term “payday loans.”
Sure most of these people are stupid, but can we use that as a legitimate excuse to ruin their lives? Hell no. Payday loans completely screw people over, and for this argument’s sake we’re going to disregard idiots using it for gambling debt or something like that, because either way we’re still harming thousands of good people.
Green Tea/Acai Berry Diet Pills
The green tea/acai phenomenon is huge right now in affiliate marketing. There’s ads all over Facebook urging overweight people that they can really lose weight for free with the help of green tea. The fact alone that we’re leading these people to believe that drinking green tea is going to make them lose fat is bullshit. The sites are filled with fake testimonials and people even pose as fat chicks to get conversions. It gets worse though, they think they’re paying $3.95 to get a free trial bottle, but in the fine print they opt-in to be sent a bottle a month if they don’t cancel within 7 days. These assholes charge $90 for a 1 month supply bottle and just rebill the persons credit card every month. Most people don’t realize it until they’ve been hit a couple times and paid $200 bucks and gotten crappy pills that didn’t help anyways. What makes it worse is that these places don’t pick up their customer support number, don’t respond to emails, and don’t try to every provide ANY help to the poor suckers that were charged. I’ve bought this stuff to examine it myself, and it’s a crappy little bottle in a small plastic wrap that gets mailed to you. Do you know how much it costs the advertiser to produce a bottle of this shit? UNDER $1.00. Trust me, in the past I looked into doing it myself. They charge people $90 for something that cost them a buck, and then upsell them on 10 other crappy products that don’t work.
I took the week’s supply…felt no different…and said “oh well…I’ve done worse things with $3.99.”
I know you’re waiting for the other show to hit the ground and duck…here it comes!
I get a package in the mail with a bottle of 60 pills. I go on line and look at my credit card and they have charged my card an additional $74.99!!!!!!
First I called the c/c company and am disputing the charge but I know I will lose. I contacted Performance Products USA at acai.performanceproductsusa.com and was refered to their webpage buried among millions with a click on accept terms which has a negative marketing plan and they will continue to hit my card for $74.99 until I opt out of the program.
I used the sample GreenTeaLLC sent for 4.99 they claim I signed a contract to take 84.90 a month for their Product I did not! It does not work it is a scam.
I called the told them to cancel any further orders.
They have charged me for three orders 2 i didnot
receive.I was told they will only refund 60 dollars.
THey were supposed to stop taking the money from
my Acct. But Haven’t. I received my bank statement
and they taken another 84.90 out I am very angry
what can I Do ?
I don’t even really have to go into ringtones and mobile stuff because everybody knows they’re deceptive. Again these people are idiots for reading the text that says $9.99/month or $2.99/day, but either way we’re taking advantage of them because they just read the PIN and confirm it. I did ringtones for a long time, who hasn’t tried them? Sure they’re the least harmful of any of the other offers I’ve mentioned, but it’s still the principle of ripping people off. Crush offers advertise “You have (2) new crushes!”, so you sign up to find out and just get a retarded horoscope subscription service.
Flycell, a NY company, billed me $20 a month on my cell phone bill for four months (total $80). By the time I tracked down who was billing me, I contacted them and told them I never asked for or received any service from them (I don’t even know what they do) and asked for a refund. They refused.
The sources above took me literally 10 minutes to find, and there’s hundreds of other stories out there. Now sure you’re going to have pissed off people in any niche or any place; there’s always people who aren’t satisfied with what they bought into. But the point is at least they knew they were buying into it. People taking out payday loans are unaware to the fact that if they don’t pay the loan back, they’re going to end up in debt for years. There’s a reason payday loans are completely BANNED in several states. Fat people signing up for the next hot thing in acai don’t realize they’re going to be billed $90 for a horrible product; they just want to try it for a week and see that it does nothing and only a healthy diet and exercise will help them achieve what they want. Teenagers with cellphones don’t really care what’s on the bill, most of the time their parents are paying it so the parents end up being the ones screwed and pissed off.
I’m certainly not saying that now we should just all stay away from every niche out there, because there are consumers out there who do want to buy products. Even if the product doesn’t work out for them how they wanted it to, they still were aware of the fact that they had to pay for it. I believe in karma and that’s what got me thinking on the subject, and I’m done promoting these things that either completely ruin peoples lives, or scam them for a quick buck. Is it worth making a lot of money for yourself when you know that you had to screw literally thousands of people to do it? Just think about the kind of negative effect you’re having on all these peoples lives.
I’m going to lose A LOT of profit but I’ve already paused my campaigns and sent emails out to the networks/direct advertisers that I was working with giving them my reasons for cutting the campaigns. There’s plenty of legitimate money to be made online and I do have a few of them running so I’ll be fine. I already have enough money and doing these things to thousands of people just isn’t worth it and I feel better already now that I’ve stopped. Sure just because my ad drops off means someone elses ad will take it’s place, and this stuff will always be promoted, but that’s not the point.
If you do want to promote in these shady/deceptive niches, head over to my page for shady affiliates who want to do shady things and let me know what you’re interested in and I’ll see what I can do.