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More easy money - arbitration with Amazon Mechanical Turk

Discussion in 'Making Money' started by dj4play, Jan 13, 2009.

  1. dj4play

    dj4play Newbie

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    After reading the incredibly useful post for making $80 a day earlier today, an idea popped into my head - so I decided to try it with an aff account I already have and it works a treat!!

    It's both cheaper and easier - take a look and see what you think:

    1. Get your affiliate network account - I use CJ
    2. Find a lead generation payout ie. user registration, email signup etc for as much as possible. Say between $1-5
    3. Get an Amaz0n M3chanical Turk account


    So basically, another easy affiliate arb. The difference is that with the mturk programme, you set the price for the 'hit' ie. for the task to be completed and this can be as little as 1 cent - set this to however much you're happy with. There are a lot of foreign users on here from say India, who are happy to carry out the task, even for the measly sum. I knew this from the crabby prices when I tried the service out myself to make some cash on the flip side.

    Again, make sure you use a suitable 'check' so that the user has to get a certain keyphrase from the account/email verification or completion page that they can't find on google etc.

    Another great thing about the program - you can reject a 'hit' if they don't get the right keyphrase so you can cut down on your failed conversions.

    Hope this makes sense and I'm not duplicating too much of what's been said before! :)
     
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  2. graphicnut

    graphicnut Supreme Member

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    never heard of mechanical turk :)
     
  3. dj4play

    dj4play Newbie

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    Give it a quick google - it's basically a 'work' site run by Amaz0n to do little tasks that computers are unable to do. A bit like those sites that get users to complete captchas. Other stuff they have are things like transcriptions, user-testing, grammar checks etc.
     
  4. rjaff

    rjaff Junior Member

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    so what type of offers can you use and im wondering when you say a suitable check what are you referring to can you give a bit more details i have used mturk just like u when i was looking to make money but i want to know how can i use mturk with cj what type of offers would you suggest. Thanks a ton
     
  5. giantsfan0806

    giantsfan0806 Junior Member

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    so this is just paying people to fill out fake leads i presume
     
  6. FilthyCro

    FilthyCro Registered Member

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    wouldnt this show up as an very high conversion rate and so raise suspicion?
     
  7. darklegion

    darklegion Regular Member

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    If I am not mistaken doing this is against Amazon's TOS... I already contacted them a month ago asking if this was OK and they told me no.
     
  8. simmo

    simmo Registered Member

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    I've also been looking into using Mechanical Turk and exactly the same idea popped into my head. My idea was to find an incentivizable zip/email submit offer and offer just a few cents to everybody that completes it. I'd make the job sound as though it was something like testing out a web page rather than saying complete an offer which might help you fly under Amazon's radar.

    Obviously this method would give you a very high conversion rate hence the reason I suggest using an incentivizable offer - and then double-check that the offer allows cash incentives since not all incentivizable offers do. I'd also recommend cloaking the link to your offer so that the advertiser doesn't see where your traffic is coming from.

    To ensure that people have completed the task correctly you would need to have some simple verification in place. This could be something as asking for the third word on the next page that appears after you submit your email address.

    One thing to remember is that email submits can be notorious for shaving leads so you probably wouldn't get as high a ROI as you might expect. It might still be worth giving this a whirl with a low budget test campaign because even $5 would be enough to pay 100 people to complete the form at $0.05 each.
     
  9. GoldenTiger

    GoldenTiger Junior Member

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    To the OP... just wondering what kinds of results did you have? Did it make any decent money?

    The problem is that it IS against Amazon TOS (there is a text somewhere on the site that says something like "You cant have people give out personal infos or click on affiliate links").
    This shouldnt be a major issue, like Simmo said, dont make it obvious... Say something like "Need people to test if my website's database works correctly", and dont use your "main" amazon account for this.


    Second problem, the OP mentionned that it is full of Indians willing to do work for cheap.... true... but lets not forget that Indians cant do USA email submits (unless they are behind a proxy, but bad idea, CPA network will quickly think youre doing something screwy if 90% of your leads come from known proxies). Man if I could pay Indians $0.05 to fill out $1.50 email submits all day long, I would be driving a Lamborghini by now.
    The point is, when you create your task, you need to select that you want people from USA only (or whatever country your lead is supposed to come from).

    And finally, yeah blank the referrer and stick to incentive offers. It is normal for "incentive" offers to have higher than average conversion rates, but still, use your common sense, and dont start sending 1000 leads a day to the same network and same offer.

    Would be curious to know if someone tried this before, and what kind of results they had.
     
  10. dj4play

    dj4play Newbie

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    Hi all, I appreciate the questions - the thing is, all of these have been answered before. Obviously arb'ing your affiliate is completely against TOS - but just remind me, this is a BH forum right?!

    As is said in other threads - you need to double refresh, I'd suggest a resemblance domain from dot tk then using the CPA generator plugin for wordpress (if that's what you use). Additionally, having the link on an appropriate page on your SITE would give additional credence to keep your affiliate's mind at rest.

    As for Amazon TOS - if you are smart and cover up the Hits purpose well, this should be a problem.

    In terms of earnings I honestly made about $100 in 2 days (since the 13th) but I haven't been blasting the leads - trying to drip feed them through this little system so that it matches the impressions the account is receiving.

    I hope this helps. :)
     
  11. ill_favors

    ill_favors Newbie

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    This is the idea I had a couple of days ago. I didn't post about it, but it's funny that someone else is doing this.
     
  12. MikeR

    MikeR Newbie

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    "To ensure that people have completed the task correctly
    you would need to have some simple verification in place.
    This could be something as asking for the third word
    on the next page that appears after you submit
    your email address."


    Seems a good idea...but on second thoughts this precaution
    may not be necessary, might even be counterproductive.:confused:

    OK, let's assume (now Dubya's home with Texas cattle-rustling mafiosi),
    most other people are basically honest.


    Hey, all you're asking them to do is hit one lonely link just once.
    97% of them will be bang-on-target.

    If you're worried about any overworked, underpaid people downing tools
    on the job, you can always incentivize your Turk by offering her double...
    2 cents instead of only 1

    If a few folk don't get it right...any non-finisher usefully contributes
    to a less-than-100% click-through rate

    They help make your stats look even more natural to spying eyes.

    Isn't that what SEO gooroos are always advocating?


    MikeR :cool:
     
  13. FleshJoe

    FleshJoe Power Member

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    To make it seem natural, buy some cheap traffic at $15/10K or something (go to DP or WP and buy traffic packages there, obviously only allowed countries).

    One issue with these traffic packages is they send a huge short burst of traffic. What you want instead is a few hits each day, esp if you only do a few hits a day on the mturk job.

    To the OP, did you find people in the set of allowed countries that are willing to 'test your link' for you?
     
  14. grahamhead

    grahamhead Registered Member

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    I have a method that brings home the bacon with mturk but my "requestor" account has been banned because I am non US and I funded my turks with a UK card. However it did make a pretty penny for the 3 weeks it was running. $20 spent and $750 dollars back.

    Please PM me if you want the details but a warning is I would like a little tickle of the revenue as this was my only method of making real money whilst my WH sites take shape. Am I allowed to do this?
     
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  15. grahamhead

    grahamhead Registered Member

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    No more PM's please, I have given the method to someone who is implementing this
     
  16. dayomoto

    dayomoto Junior Member

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    why done u just make another account and buy a u.s vcc to pay for your expenses if it makes u that much profit..
     
  17. blackeye

    blackeye Newbie

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    grahamhead, that sounds interesting. i'm deep skilled on the requester side and have a few ideas of my own on how to exploit that massive workforce for profit. i've read the developer materials and the tos. it appears people above in this thread have learned how to skirt the tos. i'm not so sure they have though - it depends on how they structure the hits. if the worker perceives you're skirting the tos then you are screwed because they'll eventually flag you and now your account is frozen. that's a real hassle as each requester account is tied to an amazon account and amazon does a good job of checking identities.

    so i'm wondering if there aren't some semi legitimate or whitehat ways to use mechanical turk for massive profit. there obviously are whitehat strategies that have been proven to work; castingwords does transcription, for example. and i think it's possible to break the tos but you have to cloak your intentions from the workers.

    re: american workers. there is an easy way to filter out workers by region. it's totally within the api. i can't remember if it's part of 'qualifications' or some other section but yeah it's easy to filter by country.

    sorry no secret sauce in this message. i've got some ideas and need help on them but haven't decided how to articulate them here. it just takes one stupid ego mistake and the whole show falls apart. that said i would love to brainstorm with others here about the opportunities because they are massive and they do require coordination and technical knowhow. i'm not opposed to scripting solutions myself using the requester tools etc. but the web interface is very powerful in its own right. how clever are we, because that is all that is keeping us from that lamborghini.