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Old 15th August 2010, 01:11 AM   #1
Uncayimmy
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SwagBucks and Other Sumthin for Nuthin Programs

So, my wife loves deals. She's always finding web specials (she just got a $10 off coupon for kids shoes at JC Penny and found a pair on clearance, so she got the shoes including delivery charges for $1.08). Anyway, she's into SwagBucks these days.

Basically, you do web searches through their search site. They throw up sponsored ads (labeled as such) along with the best unsponsored "organic" links. Presumably they make their money on the pay-per-click stuff. Randomly (it seems) they reward you with SwagBucks. You can then use them to buy stuff in their store. My wife has purchased over $250 in gift certificates to Amazon with her SwagBucks.

I tried it and for most of my searching it seems to work fine - I quickly got used to looking past the first couple of sponsored ads, though a lot of my searches had no sponsors. For trickier searches I will still use Google. In the interest of full disclosure, if you click the link above and sign up, she'll get some referral SwagBucks (and so will you if you refer people). You can go directly to their site if you prefer.

She was also telling me about another site that rebates your purchases at some on-line store (I forgot the site name and my wife's asleep - sorry). What this site does is have you register with them and "shop" on their site for several different stores. You click through and place your order. They then rebate 3% back to you after an appropriate waiting period.

What I figured it out is that they are part of the affiliate programs that seemingly anyone can sign up for. I am an affiliate for a couple of on-line musical instrument stores, and I link to specific products from my bass players website (www.azwebpages.com/bass).

For those who are not familiar with these affiliate programs, what the stores do is provide a way for you link to their site that identifies you as an affiliate. They have a bunch of ways for you to display their products. When somebody places an order, you get a percentage back.

What it appears that this site does is then kick back part of that to you. I didn't think the affiliate programs would permit that, but apparently they do since this particular site has been around a while.

The Internet has certainly added some interesting twists to shopping. Funny thing is I never heard of this stuff until this week - we took a road trip and had time to chat (we have two young kids, so you know how that is). Anybody know of any other sumthin for nuthin deals like these?
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Old 15th August 2010, 08:03 AM   #2
MLH1138
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Sounds a bit like a UK site called Quidco. They're basically just an affiliate for a number of other sites - you click Quidco's affiliate link, get redirected to the retailer's site, make a purchase and get "cashback" on the purchase after a period of time.

It works fairly reliably - I think I got ~20 cashback last year - with three caveats:

1) Quidco keep the first 5 of your cashback for any given year.
2) Sometimes the cashback process doesn't work, and you end up chasing for it.
3) You can't assume the retailers Quidco links to provide the best value for money - even with the cashback - so you should still shop around to make sure you're getting the best deal.
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Old 15th August 2010, 11:37 AM   #3
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A lot of younger people are into Lockerz.
You basically log in to your account and get points. Answering certain daily questions will get you a few more points. You get to get certain prizes once you've accumulated enough points. Its basically another Swagbucks site. However, you need an invitation to join.

You can also fill out those pesky ad surveys for sites to get money.
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Old 16th August 2010, 05:44 AM   #4
fagin
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Originally Posted by Nerd View Post
A lot of younger people are into Lockerz.
You basically log in to your account and get points. Answering certain daily questions will get you a few more points. You get to get certain prizes once you've accumulated enough points. Its basically another Swagbucks site. However, you need an invitation to join.

You can also fill out those pesky ad surveys for sites to get money.
My 14 yr old fills out loads of surveys and the money he gets supplements his pocket money - must average out about 10-20 a month.
Except he fills them in as a 40 odd year old IT boffin and/or CEO.

I've tried to work out whether it's immoral or not, I suppose it is, but they don't seem concerned about verifying the info, so I don't lose any sleep.
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Old 17th August 2010, 11:36 PM   #5
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Is the first link in the OP a personal referral link?

Aren't those against forum rules?

(I'm not saying Unca has done this intentionally, but, then again, that is exactly what the OP is about. Perhaps his wife tricked him into posting that link )

ETA: OK, I missed the last sentence of paragraph 3 in my first skim, it's definitely a referral link and it's intentional. Either way, I'm pretty sure that is against forum rules.
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Old 18th August 2010, 12:02 AM   #6
Uncayimmy
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Originally Posted by OnlyTellsTruths View Post
Is the first link in the OP a personal referral link?

Aren't those against forum rules?

(I'm not saying Unca has done this intentionally, but, then again, that is exactly what the OP is about. Perhaps his wife tricked him into posting that link )

ETA: OK, I missed the last sentence of paragraph 3 in my first skim, it's definitely a referral link and it's intentional. Either way, I'm pretty sure that is against forum rules.
I'm not aware of anything in the membership agreement that prohibits posting such a link. It's not spamming as defined by Rule 6 as far as I know. My signature and that of many other people include commercial links. I figure if I'm gonna link to the site, and somebody decides to sign up, might as well take advantage of it. I disclosed the nature of the link to make it clear what would happen. Visiting the site itself to look around doesn't cost you anything nor does she benefit in any way.

I find this area of marketing and making money rather interesting. I'm amazed at the number of coupon sites out there that do nothing but provide you with coupon codes. Some even provide feedback as to whether the codes work or not, and interestingly, some people report conflicting results. If you Google Coupon Codes, there are sites advertising for you to come to their site for free coupon codes. Presumably they make money from their own advertising. I've used these sites to save tens of dollars on various purchases.

It also seems like SwagBucks is doing the whole affiliate program thing as well. For example, if you buy at NewEgg through them, you get two SwagBucks for each dollar spent. Based on the $5 Amazon gift certificate price, which my wife says is the best deal, each SwagBuck is worth a little bit more than a penny. So with NewEgg that works out to about a 2% rebate.
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Old 18th August 2010, 02:59 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by UncaYimmy View Post
<snip>My signature and that of many other people include commercial links.<snip>
I think you are well aware that there is a difference between a commercial link and a personalized referral link.

I used to run a forum as large as the JREF (boy that was too much work for no pay ), and referral links were a huge no-no. It amounts to the users having their own ads in their posts. There are some referral links that can make more money than banner ads.

I don't feel like scanning the MA so we'll let a mod fill us in on the details.

BTW: Unca, I hope you don't think this has anything at all to do with you personally! I like you, you always have a very...... interesting opinion .
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Old 18th August 2010, 03:19 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by OnlyTellsTruths View Post
I think you are well aware that there is a difference between a commercial link and a personalized referral link.

I used to run a forum as large as the JREF (boy that was too much work for no pay ), and referral links were a huge no-no. It amounts to the users having their own ads in their posts. There are some referral links that can make more money than banner ads.

I don't feel like scanning the MA so we'll let a mod fill us in on the details.

BTW: Unca, I hope you don't think this has anything at all to do with you personally! I like you, you always have a very...... interesting opinion .
I didn't take it personally, but thanks for saying as much. Discussing forum management issues outside the Forum Management area is a no-no, so we shouldn't go down that road.

However, I'd be interested to know why personalized referral links were a big no-no on the board you moderated. I have no problems with them so long as people aren't spamming the forum. Thus signatures are cool, and in-context links are cool. I find them rather innocuous.
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Old 20th August 2010, 05:29 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by UncaYimmy View Post
I didn't take it personally, but thanks for saying as much. Discussing forum management issues outside the Forum Management area is a no-no, so we shouldn't go down that road.

However, I'd be interested to know why personalized referral links were a big no-no on the board you moderated. I have no problems with them so long as people aren't spamming the forum. Thus signatures are cool, and in-context links are cool. I find them rather innocuous.
Still waiting for exact clarification in the Questions sub-forum. Also I've answered your question there (before I even saw it ). I don't want to link since discussion of the various programs should be in this thread, while (as you said) discussion of the exact forum rule(s) involved should be in the appropriate Fourm Management sub-forum.

I hope I didn't scare anyone off from a legitimate discussion about an interesting topic.
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Old 24th August 2010, 11:19 AM   #10
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So when you sign up, are you then bombarded with spam?
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Old 24th August 2010, 09:31 PM   #11
Uncayimmy
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My wife says she has received virtually no spam from SwagBucks.
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Old 31st August 2010, 12:12 PM   #12
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Years ago I was subscribed to something like that. Until I measured the amount of time it took me to click on links vs. amount of money I was getting, and I realized it paid far less than minimum wage.
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Old 31st August 2010, 12:26 PM   #13
Uncayimmy
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Originally Posted by Mark6 View Post
Years ago I was subscribed to something like that. Until I measured the amount of time it took me to click on links vs. amount of money I was getting, and I realized it paid far less than minimum wage.
If you just search to win Swagbucks, it's not worth the effort, that's for sure. But if you regularly do a lot of searching just for ***** and grins (or for work), why not?
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