Upromise violating TOS?

Discussion in 'Affiliate Programs' started by wallofiron, Dec 25, 2010.

  1. wallofiron

    wallofiron Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

    Nov 24, 2009
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    I don't get this HUGE affiliate website.

    Upromise - It seems to me that it violates all types of affiliate publisher TOS rules. Its 100% incentive affiliate traffic imo.

    You get money back by clicking on their links and buying from them. However they have been around for 10 years and have won numerous awards. Yet I cant incentivize my affiliate traffic or I will be booted from every affiliate network so fast my head would spin.

    what gives?
  2. Remington

    Remington Regular Member

    Feb 27, 2009
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    LOL it's been a long time since I've seen that name on a forum!

    A particular whitehat affiliate forum I once frequented used to be JAMMED with threads about 'em, so I learned quite a bit about how they manage it. In between the mindless "they're crooks" posts and worthless sickening holier-than-thou condemnations, it finally turned out that:

    they were generally making special private deals with merchants as well as - later on - blatantly signing up as an incentive site (which you can do at CJ, and likely others).

    Before that, they blatantly blackhatted it and just did their thing, permission or not. But, as you've noted, they started way back around 10 years ago. It used to be a lot easier to do stuff like that then.

    As things got stricter, they responded with loads of Public Relations efforts that convinced merchants not to throw 'em out.

    Another thing is, these sites don't stop with just getting permission from merchants. They actually make deals that give them higher commissions than the average guy!! This is how they can offer such a huge cash back (or donation) amount and still make money!

    How they convince merchants to go along with that is simple: volume. The big ones can, at least for some products, send a lot of buyers. Or at least make it *look like* they're responsible for sending a lot.

    The value of such traffic is dubious, because unless they've been forced to change it, they have ways for buyers to click their link and get a cookie even when they're already on the merchant site. So, money for nothing.

    In terms of getting a similar site approved, it's actually easier now. At CJ you can just check off "incentives" and the merchants decide for themselves whether to let you sign up. The business model, though, is now dominated by a few giants. Competing with them will be tough since they're well-established and trusted by buyers.

    It's a blackhatter's delight if you can get one of these running and doing well. Getting started seems like it would be hard though. You'd have to not only build trust with the buyers so they believe you'll pay out, but - and probably more importantly - be able to set up deals with the merchants so you can compete with the incentive rate offered by the big sites.

    As for that forum I mentioned, I left there because I realized I'd rather be running places like Upromise than reading butthurt complaints from the competition they were destroying :D

    I finally decided, due to the hurdles I mentioned, that my efforts would be better spent on other projects. But I have to give 'em a tip of my black hat. They're some real masters of the game.
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