71 replies
I recently promoted a contest by a well known marketer where he was paying affiliates $1 per person you referred who signed up.

Since there was no mention of when affiliates would be paid anywhere on the site and I like to try and keep track of things a little, I sent an email to their support department asking about it.

Just got a reply this morning:

"We will pay out affiliates who made a minimum of $20.00 in February."

If they were upfront about it, then that's cool, but it wasn't mentioned anywhere - probably because most people wouldn't have promoted it had they know they'd have to wait 5 months to be paid.

The other thing that rubbed me the same way is that there's a $20 minimum payout.

If it was mentioned on the site, then it's not a big deal, but it wasn't. I did earn more than $20, but a lot of people wouldn't have, won't know about it and won't be paid.

Is this ethical? What do you think?
#affiliate commissions #ethical #kidding #payout limit
  • Profile picture of the author Steven Carl Kelly
    I don't believe it is unethical, however I don't consider this a good practice and therefore I wouldn't continue to promote their program since they weren't upfront about the terms.
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    • Profile picture of the author Justin Michie
      I guess it's not so much unethical - it's just not something I would have expected from this person and was a little ticked I wasted time on it...
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  • Profile picture of the author Michael Lee
    I personally think that any ethical marketer should pay the amount due to its affiliates in a timely manner, no matter how small.

    Michael
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    • Profile picture of the author Steven Carl Kelly
      Originally Posted by Michael Lee View Post

      I personally think that any ethical marketer should pay the amount due to its affiliates in a timely manner, no matter how small.
      Yes, but who decides what is "timely"?
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    • Profile picture of the author Chris Lockwood
      Originally Posted by Michael Lee View Post

      I personally think that any ethical marketer should pay the amount due to its affiliates in a timely manner, no matter how small.

      Michael
      Is Google unethical for not paying Adsense publishers until they've made $100?

      I'm just asking. (Yes, I know Adsense is not an affiliate program, but this is basically the same situation as far as getting paid?)


      As for the original question, are you sure the $20 minimum wasn't buried in fine print somewhere?
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      • Profile picture of the author Richard HAN
        Chris

        Originally Posted by Chris Lockwood View Post

        Is Google unethical for not paying Adsense publishers until they've made $100?

        I'm just asking. (Yes, I know Adsense is not an affiliate program, but this is basically the same situation as far as getting paid?)


        As for the original question, are you sure the $20 minimum wasn't buried in fine print somewhere?
        Irrelevant example here. Google is upfront about this min $100 income to get paid. So, you actually take part in the program with your eyes wide open.

        I see you haven't change your style of posting...
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        • Profile picture of the author Chris Lockwood
          Originally Posted by Richard HAN View Post

          Irrelevant example here. Google is upfront about this min $100 income to get paid. So, you actually take part in the program with your eyes wide open.

          I see you haven't change your style of posting...
          It's VERY relevant, because people are saying the $20 minimum is unethical without even having seen the terms of the promo. So I asked for their opinion as to whether it was OK for Google to have a much higher minimum.

          You're right, it was another great point I made. Thanks for noticing and complimenting me!
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  • Profile picture of the author midwestmedia
    Don't even get me started on affiliate commissions! Grrr...I've been trying to collect commissions from day one of my association with a particular Warrior affiliate program owner and have not received a penny. This goes back nearly 7 months at this point! So I know how you feel.

    No, what you've described is not ethical. Upon bringing this to their attention, and realizing that there was a tremendous oversight in not laying out the affiliate program terms, they should have made all affiliates whole at that point, amended the Terms and then went along with their payout plan with new affiliates having full awareness of the payout structure.

    Making affiliates wait for commissions is foolish. Who would work for free? Therefore, pay your affiliates early and often and they will work for you over and over again.

    I think you have a right to be ticked. Affiliates are performing actual work for pay whether affiliate program owners want to admit that or not. It's the ultimate pay for performance model yet some still screw it up and offend affiliates with either ridiculous affiliate terms or total lack of integrity by not paying affiliates.

    It's really a dumb way to run a business....
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  • Profile picture of the author Jesus Perez
    How "new" is the marketer? I could see myself overlooking this during my first launch. Followed by a firm slap to the forehead.

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    • Profile picture of the author Justin Michie
      Timely should be in a reasonable amount of time - maybe one or two months to get your ducks in a row, but surely not 5.

      BlueSquares - it's not a new marketer, it's a well known and successful person who's been online for a long time. While I guess it could have been an oversight, I don't think it is given their experience and attention to detail with all other parts of the promo.
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      • Profile picture of the author ThomM
        If one of the sign ups buys their product will they wait 5 months to get paid?
        I don't think so.
        I think that it's not only unethical but lower then whale poop and we all know where that settles to.
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      • Profile picture of the author Angela V. Edwards
        Originally Posted by Justin Michie View Post

        Timely should be in a reasonable amount of time - maybe one or two months to get your ducks in a row, but surely not 5.

        BlueSquares - it's not a new marketer, it's a well known and successful person who's been online for a long time. While I guess it could have been an oversight, I don't think it is given their experience and attention to detail with all other parts of the promo.
        I think I promoted the same offer. Didn't see anything from it and have been wondering about it.
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  • Profile picture of the author Cali16
    Making people wait 5 months for their commissions is not necessarily "unethical", but I would certainly say it is a very poor business practice and marketing strategy. If you really want to maintain the enthusiasm of those referring, then pay quickly (like every two weeks or so) and that will keep the momentum going. If those referring start realizing they haven't been paid and several weeks have passed, they will probably stop referring and the marketer who is supposed to pay is going to have lost a lot of credibility. If he was upfront about the payout details, then that would be different, but I still believe he is shooting himself in the foot by such a delay for the reasons I stated above.

    However, if he or she is only going to pay those who referred at least 20 people and not pay those who referred less than 20, then that is not only unethical, it is blatantly dishonest (your post was a bit unclear on this part, but it gave the impression that $20 was the minimum payout...). So, in the long run, IMO, this marketer's approach is only going to damage his reputation and credibility.
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  • Profile picture of the author No Limits
    Well, a bit of hair splitting here. Creates more of a PR nightmare to put one over than to just pay. Keep on them.
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  • Profile picture of the author BIG Mike
    Banned
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    • Profile picture of the author midwestmedia
      Originally Posted by BIG Mike View Post

      Personally, I don't think it's ethical, always assuming of course that nothing was detailed in the fine print somewhere. I also question the legality of it - but don't want to start a long legal debate by non-lawyers, LOL.

      Myu gut feeling is that by February the funds may not be available to pay out commissions. The money is there now, so paying out now or with a reasonable timeframe (say 30 days), seems the smart thing to do.

      But then, that's why I never take anyone up on those kinds of offers.

      Agreed...money has a funny way of disappearing when someone waits that long to pay commissions. It's pretty sad actually, and I think most people thinking of starting affiliate programs would probably do well to think twice and really evaluate whether they are up to the task.
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  • Profile picture of the author cclou
    Definitely not ethical. Waiting until February would make me want to not promote for this person again, but having a $20 minimum that wasn't transparent is even worse.
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  • Profile picture of the author write-stuff
    I agree, definately unethical. If there were payout criteria, they should have been plainly stated to you up front. But then in the marketing world, it doesn't seem like ethics are much of an issue (in general, of course).
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    • Profile picture of the author Jose Delgado
      I didn't know about this either...

      sent out a small email to a few people not too long ago and so far got 11 referrals= $11.

      They should have made it clearer but what the heck, oh well.
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  • Profile picture of the author matthewd
    Sucks on the receiving end, eh Justin?
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  • Profile picture of the author Re-cycle
    Is this the Russell Brunson new contest you're talking about?
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  • Profile picture of the author Tom Dean
    I feel it is unethical if not stated clearly on the affiliate page. 5 months is quite a long time & I don't see why there would be such a long wait.

    90 days until payout is fine (when stated) with the reason being, that is the length of the refund period (usually).
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  • Profile picture of the author Mike Montgomery
    It seems kind of borderline to me
    but it's definitely not the right way
    to run your business.

    There's no better way to run off good
    affiliates than to pull some crap like that
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  • Profile picture of the author JasonParker
    Originally Posted by Justin Michie View Post

    I recently promoted a contest by a well known marketer where he was paying affiliates $1 per person you referred who signed up.

    Since there was no mention of when affiliates would be paid anywhere on the site and I like to try and keep track of things a little, I sent an email to their support department asking about it.

    Just got a reply this morning:

    "We will pay out affiliates who made a minimum of $20.00 in February."

    If they were upfront about it, then that's cool, but it wasn't mentioned anywhere - probably because most people wouldn't have promoted it had they know they'd have to wait 5 months to be paid.

    The other thing that rubbed me the same way is that there's a $20 minimum payout.

    If it was mentioned on the site, then it's not a big deal, but it wasn't. I did earn more than $20, but a lot of people wouldn't have, won't know about it and won't be paid.

    Is this ethical? What do you think?
    Hey Justin. I personally think it's unethical to not state the terms of an affiliate program then make stuff up off the top of your head later on so you can steal the hard earned money of small-time internet marketers who can't simply drive more than 40 to a site at the click of a send button.
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  • Profile picture of the author AlexKaplo
    I personally think that's unethical and it's simply something I would never do.

    I really don't appreciate marketers that like to "hide" stuff in the small print... Best of luck with your promotion!~

    Regards,

    -Alex Kaplo
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  • Profile picture of the author sheryll
    I also think it's unethical, that kind of stuff should be laid out clearly. Lots of affiliate marketers are self employed and having to wait 5 months to be paid, that just seems way too long.
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  • Profile picture of the author TeamGlobal
    Originally Posted by Justin Michie View Post

    "We will pay out affiliates who made a minimum of $20.00 in February."
    It is unethical as there was no mention of the $20.00 minimum requirement initially.

    It is counterproductive and shortsighted to deceive those people who are trying to help you make money.

    All The Best,


    Tony
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    • Profile picture of the author Jose Delgado
      and actually, the members area says that they are doing that affiliate thing to help newbies make their "first" dollar.


      or shall I say, 20 dollars, IF they can do that. and on top of that, wait 5 months.
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  • Profile picture of the author ragnartm
    not exactly unethical well ethical.. hmm not sure, but come on, we're talking adding 2 lines to a website, I'm surprised an old school marketer failed at doing so.
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    • Profile picture of the author dpwilliams
      If it isn't unethical...it definitely is sneaky.

      With a minimum $20 payout...They are getting a free service from the newbie promoters.

      Kind of reminds me of insurance companies that hire new agents...get them to convert all their friends and family...then throw them the phone book.

      Of course the new agents don't last long...

      But the insurance company has successfully gained new customers.
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      • Profile picture of the author JazzOscar
        Unethical.

        Greed in the details.

        See it more and more.
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  • Profile picture of the author primuskannan
    Five month, more if you include the launch date, for a payout is a long time in the internet time zone.

    Certainly a sneaky way to promote, how many people would be eager to promote a product if a five month waiting period and a miminum payout limit is mentioned to the affiliates beforehand.

    What about the leads that are generated by people who earn below $20.
    They should be valuable to the marketer who can benefit from future sales while shafting the affiliates.

    Nice very Nice. Should be a point in here somewhere.

    Kulasekaran
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  • Profile picture of the author seree
    Unethical.

    This might be a trick to earn more by those big name marketer.

    If they don't use this trick, they might think they are leaving money on the table.

    hehe.
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  • Profile picture of the author halille
    Justin this marketer is not ethical at all

    and i will never buy anything more from him, even if he released his expensive workshop for 7$
    I have bought expensive crappy packages of his affiliate rubbish information that were probably the worst marketing package i ever bought.

    I had bad experience with this guy and he is just running after the cash, he don't care at all about his customers

    he even brag about this as being a very aggressive marketer

    at least you can use it on your own promotion, to expose these "******* marketing" mindset. That's not the way to deal with yoru affiliates and customers

    In popular english: this guy is a sneaky *******

    Halille
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    • Profile picture of the author Clark
      Originally Posted by halille View Post

      Justin this marketer is not ethical at all

      and i will never buy anything more from him, even if he released his expensive workshop for 7$
      I have bought expensive crappy packages of his affiliate rubbish information that were probably the worst marketing package i ever bought.

      I had bad experience with this guy and he is just running after the cash, he don't care at all about his customers

      he even brag about this as being a very aggressive marketer

      at least you can use it on your own promotion, to expose these "******* marketing" mindset. That's not the way to deal with yoru affiliates and customers

      In popular english: this guy is a sneaky *******

      Halille
      *******MARKETING.COM is available!

      I bet that URL will be snapped up before the day ends by some sneaky *******
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  • Profile picture of the author Sid Kaplan
    Unfortunately, "caveat emptor" applies. We need to read the "fine print" folks, or contact them for details. I have learned that in IM, making assumptions can be dangerous.

    I know a lot of people (by the number of emails I got) who jumped on this promotion so I the marketer must have a ton of leads for which he may or may not be paying out.

    This could be avoided by just adding a few lines as to how this "magic $1" referral is going to be paid out - then folks could decide whether to play in his sandbox or not.

    Get to know who the people are behind your promotions before jumping in. Ask questions - if you don't get the answers - don't play.

    And if you want to talk ethical - look at investment banking in the US...LOL

    Much success to all.

    Sid
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  • Profile picture of the author Michael Oksa
    IF, and it sounds like a big IF, the marketer just didn't think to put up all of the terms and conditions, then it COULD be an honest oversight. The situation could rectified in several ways - including paying people as soon as they reach $20. There may be legitimate reasons for making people wait, but if it was an honest mistake they should be paid now.

    HOWEVER, if the marketer didn't divulge the payment threshold, or when payments would be sent because they were afraid fewer people would promote it, THEN that's a lie of omission, and that IS unethical.

    I know what my guess is, but only February will show if I'm right.

    ~Michael
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  • Profile picture of the author grumpyjacksa
    well, i guess the person on question will have a different set of affiliates for the next promotion. nobody will fall for that twice. and people talk.......
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  • Profile picture of the author mmurtha
    Hi Justin,

    I guess I'll play the bad guy for a minute or two.

    A question like you proposed in the OP is like asking if a nickle is a lot of money. To a child, or poor person, yes, it may seem like a lot of money. But to someone who has or makes good money, it isn't.

    See what I'm saying?

    For instance what is ethical to some, may not be unethical to others. Each individual has to come to their own conclusion in the end.

    Now for the good guy's stuff lol ...

    Yeah, I think I'd call it unethical because I saw it as being deceptive. But then again, the person who ran this affiliate program might have made a drastic mistake. That happens more than people realize.

    Mike's right, in the end, it's best for people to ask specific questions about each affiliate program if the terms are not clear before they sign up.

    Perhaps this is a good lesson for everyone who signed up for his. I know it should be for all of us here that are viewing your thread. At least it has the makings for a good case study of what not to do.


    Mary
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    • Profile picture of the author Steven Wagenheim
      I think it's more of a case that the guy just didn't think through his plan than
      one of ethics. He made all these rules but forgot to fill the peanut gallery in
      on them.

      Yes, I know...I'm giving him the benefit of the doubt. Maybe I'm wrong. Maybe
      he knew all along what he was doing but to get more affiliates, he didn't
      disclose certain details. If that's the case, karma will get him. I am a firm
      believer in karma.
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      • Profile picture of the author Richard HAN
        Steven

        On the contrary, my opinion is that the "well known marketer" did actually think through his plan.

        Here's my take... There's a difference of 5 months between now and Feb 2009. Have you actually seen a product launch that takes this long? Max I have seen is a couple of months because you want to strike while your prospects is getting warm to your product.

        Hence, my take is that this "well known marketer" is:

        1. Trying to build his leads pool at a low cost of $1 per leads;
        2. Launch his paid product via marketing to this pool of leads, hence saving loads of payable commission as this pool of leads would have been considered his direct customers vs referred customers;
        3. Use the income made from his paid product launch to pay for the leads;

        Now, while I don't think this is shady (in fact, I think this is smart thinking), I am not happy about the $20 min. required for commission payment.

        I would never take part in affiliate programs that has a minimum amount before being paid. Just not right to hold people's money when it is made legitimately earned.
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        • Profile picture of the author Steven Wagenheim
          Originally Posted by Richard HAN View Post

          Steven

          On the contrary, my opinion is that the "well known marketer" did actually think through his plan.

          Here's my take... There's a difference of 5 months between now and Feb 2009. Have you actually seen a product launch that takes this long? Max I have seen is a couple of months because you want to strike while your prospects is getting warm to your product.

          Hence, my take is that this "well known marketer" is:

          1. Trying to build his leads pool at a low cost of $1 per leads;
          2. Launch his paid product via marketing to this pool of leads, hence saving loads of payable commission as this pool of leads would have been considered his direct customers vs referred customers;
          3. Use the income made from his paid product launch to pay for the leads;

          Now, while I don't think this is shady (in fact, I think this is smart thinking), I am not happy about the $20 min. required for commission payment.

          I would never take part in affiliate programs that has a minimum amount before being paid. Just not right to hold people's money when it is made legitimately earned.

          Thanks Richard. See, I never thought of that because I don't think of
          clever things like this. I'm pretty straight forward with my marketing.
          Probably why my success is limited.

          Oh well.
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      • Profile picture of the author Karen Blundell
        Originally Posted by Steven Wagenheim View Post

        I think it's more of a case that the guy just didn't think through his plan than
        one of ethics. He made all these rules but forgot to fill the peanut gallery in
        on them.

        Yes, I know...I'm giving him the benefit of the doubt. Maybe I'm wrong. Maybe
        he knew all along what he was doing but to get more affiliates, he didn't
        disclose certain details. If that's the case, karma will get him. I am a firm
        believer in karma.
        I too like to give people the benefit of the doubt and if this guy did deliberately set out to mislead affiliates then, yeah, karma will come back to bite him in the butt sooner than later.
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  • Profile picture of the author thatgirlJ
    I cannot see any reason for these payouts to be made in February...unless that's the date they have "up their sleeve" for whatever this $1 campaign will lead to. In that case it seems they are taking advantage of their affiliates.

    Justin's not new to the game so it seems like a lot of people, new and experienced, had the wool pulled over their eyes.

    I think something that goes against the expectation of the majority of affiliates is unethical.
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  • Profile picture of the author esr
    I know the offer you're talking about. I received emails about it from lots of people when it started. I didn't do it, though, because it seemed too good to be true. $1 for every person who downloads a FREE report?

    Sounds like my instincts were right. I do feel bad for all those who put work into this and won't see a dime till next year. =(
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  • Profile picture of the author Mohamed_Mnafeg
    I know this guy, last year he made $1,300,000 in one month using this technique but with an ethical way
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    • Profile picture of the author elitesalesgroup
      I was actually promoting this contest until I couldn't find the info anywhere about payment. I actually called the number on the help page .Within a few hours a lady called me back and told me , the same as the original poster mentioned. Not untilFeb and not unless you've made $20. I find it very unethical because the details are deliberately omitted.

      If you take a look at his site, you'll see that there is much emphasis placed on signing up, training , the free corvette hes giving away, etc..He mentioned that newbies can make their first dollar but nowhere does he say you have to earn $20 to collect anything. What if I only get 19 referrals? I am after all a newbie. All of my hard work would be for naught.

      Needless to say, I stopped promoting his product about 3 seconds after I got off the phone with the lady.

      On a side note, its kind of obvious that others who are promoting this affiliate program aren't aware of the time frame.

      The hook that got me interested in the first place was a blog post that said something like" Make $1 per referral, have money in time for holiday shopping". I was looking forward to having money around mid December.
      So this guy was uninformed also and just made up his own details. For a short period of time ( 2 days) I fell for it.
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  • Profile picture of the author webmarketinc
    Hello everyone!

    This is my first post in this forum and I thought why not. I started marketing online in 1997. Since then I have done over 40 million in online sales direct to consumer and b2b sales. Since the early days of SEO it has gotten alot tougher and I'm here to learn new things and not to be so dependant on PPC. As for Russell I can't help but think this may be one of those things ( Mistakes) that has been overlooked. I've made a ton of mistakes in our bussiness ramping to our peak of 10 million a year. Many times I thought I had all bases covered only to find out later that what I thought was common sense and that someone who I employed would have taken care of didn't get done. I was the one to blame because I was the one who started the business I had to hold on to the tigers tale. Anyways I can see how I would get upset also if I recieved the email and I may have actualy said worse if I started this thread. But..

    The only thing I can think of here is that Russell is trying to do a good thing but it sure looks like he made a mistake.

    Can I understand why it would take 5 months? No! But maybe he has a reason that has not been expressed properly and whoever sent the email stating that payment won't come until February is mistaken or not answering properly.

    I think I would look into it further before I slammed him to much. I've learned some interesting things from him so far. I'm impressed that he gives this training away for free.

    Mike
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  • Profile picture of the author Michael Oksa
    To put it simply...

    IF it was an honest mistake, then it was just that and not unethical.

    IF it was done on purpose to get more people to promote it, then it's unethical.

    All the best,
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  • Profile picture of the author romesaranto
    It was stated clearly in the Affiliate Agreement when you sign up.

    Paragraph 18:

    You have no right to commissions based upon subsequent sales, or where "cookies" are used,
    overwritten or deleted even where the customer first arrived at the Company site through your
    Affiliate link. Commissions will only be paid when the buyer makes a purchase on the same
    visit using your Affiliate link or with your "cookie" indicating you as the affiliate. Affiliates
    will only be paid at the end of the contest Feb 3rd, 2009. Affiliates will only be paid if their
    overall commission checks total at least $20.00.
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    • Profile picture of the author russbrun
      Hey Guys -

      Wow, I thought I'd just jump in here before I'm drug completely under the train.

      First off, we did something similar to this last year with the IM-Myth. The main problems we ran into were people who earned $1 commission, and then when we tried to pay via paypal it cost more to send them the money then they earned. We also found that 95% of our fraud came from people who referred less then 10 people.

      Because of that we made the minimum payout higher. We put it in our affiliate agreement. Maybe I'll also add it on the affiliate page with bold print if that would help clear things up to everyone.

      The reason we aren't paying until february is because this is a contest. We are picking a winner for the Corvette in February and will be doing a closing ceremony where we pay out affiliate commissions to everyone and show stats for top sales. It's going to be a fun thing to close the contest - not doing it to try to screw anyone over. Again posted in affiliate agreement, but i'll go add it to top of member pages also.

      Anyway - I'm sure some out there will keep casting stones, and I apologize for the misunderstandings. But we're trying our best, trying to raise money for charity, giving away hours of free training and helping people as much as possible without charging anything.

      Thanks
      Russell Brunson
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      • Profile picture of the author Lance K
        Originally Posted by russbrun View Post


        First off, we did something similar to this last year with the IM-Myth. The main problems we ran into were people who earned $1 commission, and then when we tried to pay via paypal it cost more to send them the money then they earned.
        Even so, I'd assume you acquired subscribers at a profitable level.


        Originally Posted by russbrun View Post

        We also found that 95% of our fraud came from people who referred less then 10 people.

        Because of that we made the minimum payout higher.
        Now that makes total sense.

        Regardless, it sounds like you had all the bases covered in your affiliate agreement.
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        "You can have everything in life you want if you will just help enough other people get what they want."
        ~ Zig Ziglar
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        • Profile picture of the author russbrun
          [QUOTE=Lance K;196273]Even so, I'd assume you acquired subscribers at a profitable level.

          Yes, we did acquired the subscriber at a profitable level - the problem was I would send someone $1 in paypal, and I can't remember all the paypal fees they were getting nothing at all.

          Anyway - hope that makes sense.

          Thanks,
          RUssell
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          • Profile picture of the author Lance K
            Originally Posted by russbrun View Post

            Originally Posted by Lance K View Post

            Even so, I'd assume you acquired subscribers at a profitable level.
            Yes, we did acquired the subscriber at a profitable level - the problem was I would send someone $1 in paypal, and I can't remember all the paypal fees they were getting nothing at all.

            Anyway - hope that makes sense.

            Thanks,
            RUssell
            Ah, got it. I thought you meant YOU were paying fees and they were still getting the dollar.

            Regardless, your fraud comment puts things in perspective. Take Care.
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            • Profile picture of the author Richard HAN
              Originally Posted by Lance K View Post

              Ah, got it. I thought you meant YOU were paying fees and they were still getting the dollar.

              Regardless, your fraud comment puts things in perspective. Take Care.
              Yes, that's the case with using PayPal Masspay feature. The sender will be responsible for paying the fees while the recipient receive the amount as he should received.

              Russel, thanks for coming on board to clear things up.
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      • Profile picture of the author halille
        Originally Posted by russbrun View Post

        Hey Guys -

        Wow, I thought I'd just jump in here before I'm drug completely under the train.

        First off, we did something similar to this last year with the IM-Myth. The main problems we ran into were people who earned $1 commission, and then when we tried to pay via paypal it cost more to send them the money then they earned. We also found that 95% of our fraud came from people who referred less then 10 people.

        Because of that we made the minimum payout higher. We put it in our affiliate agreement. Maybe I'll also add it on the affiliate page with bold print if that would help clear things up to everyone.

        The reason we aren't paying until february is because this is a contest. We are picking a winner for the Corvette in February and will be doing a closing ceremony where we pay out affiliate commissions to everyone and show stats for top sales. It's going to be a fun thing to close the contest - not doing it to try to screw anyone over. Again posted in affiliate agreement, but i'll go add it to top of member pages also.

        Anyway - I'm sure some out there will keep casting stones, and I apologize for the misunderstandings. But we're trying our best, trying to raise money for charity, giving away hours of free training and helping people as much as possible without charging anything.

        Thanks
        Russell Brunson
        Hi Russell

        at least you have the guts to post here, and i like that

        but this is not here that you must apologize, but to the thousands of people who promote your products and are unaware of that

        Check the poll above, more than 80% Tell you that it is not ethical

        This is not an attorney session, and it's not about terms of services and legal agreement. Even you put these text on your website won't change a thing that if your affiliates find out about it, like some did here.
        You would have lost the trust of more than 80% of your affiliates?
        And you know that most people never read these boring text.

        And you are selling high ends products on "How to have hordes of affiliates promote your products"

        This is even a common practice in the corporate world, to keep the money for longer and earn on the interest rate. That's probably what your financial consultant will recommend.
        But in the end of the day 80% of the affiliates that will discover that will be pissed off period.

        Halille

        ps: the affiliates are the guys who are funding the Corvette to maybe win it. I love this niche, too much fun
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        • Profile picture of the author Lance K
          Originally Posted by halille View Post

          Check the poll above, more than 80% Tell you that it is not ethical
          Yes, but the poll was presented under the pretense that affiliates were not aware of the February pay date and the $20 minimum payout. But as has been stated since then, both of those items were fully explained in the affiliate agreement.
          Signature
          "You can have everything in life you want if you will just help enough other people get what they want."
          ~ Zig Ziglar
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          • Profile picture of the author halille
            Originally Posted by Lance K View Post

            Yes, but the poll was presented under the pretense that affiliates were not aware of the February pay date and the $20 minimum payout. But as has been stated since then, both of those items were fully explained in the affiliate agreement.
            Hi Lance,

            what i say it's all about trust

            from a lawyer or attorney point of view it's ethical

            from someone who trust his partners that's not period

            For me any sneaky tricks or tips like this one or the "Columbo" practiced by Russell and recommended by some top gurus are just rubbish sneaky tricks to get more money from your clients.
            And even an attorney will see some some beauty in these tricks, i just see manipulation and unethical behavior

            If you think about it, there are some marketers who are focused so much on money that they cross the border of ethics a few times per day

            And this post is about ethic, it's not about Russell, it's bigger than that. It's about marketers crossing the border by writing clever terms to abuse the trust affiliates and customers have put in them.

            The affiliates who joined in the first place, received an email stating "1$ per lead" and they joined. Now if in this same email, it was stated "1$ per lead that you will receive in 5months if you pass the 20$ barrier", a lot of them would just have deleted this email

            Just my 50cents
            Halille
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            • Profile picture of the author Lance K
              Originally Posted by halille View Post

              The affiliates who joined in the first place, received an email stating "1$ per lead" and they joined. Now if in this same email, it was stated "1$ per lead that you will receive in 5months if you pass the 20$ barrier", a lot of them would just have deleted this email
              Then is it not also a question of the affiliate's ethics? Saying they have read, understand, and agree to the terms of the affiliate agreement when they in fact haven't.
              Signature
              "You can have everything in life you want if you will just help enough other people get what they want."
              ~ Zig Ziglar
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              • Profile picture of the author elitesalesgroup
                I'll admit, I didn't read the affiliate agreement. I clicked on it , it opened as a pdf and for some reason my computer wouldn't open it. So I just joined anyway. But when you actually join, there is nowhere on the site that explains the payment structure.
                On Clickbank for example, after you join, you can go at anytime to review the payment infomation. On this site, it is not clearly presented.
                I'm sorry if I portrayed Mr Russell negatively in my post. Its my fault that I couldnt read the agreement before joining.
                At any rate, I still can't afford to wait until February to receive payment so I won't be spending any more of my time pushing this project .
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              • Profile picture of the author halille
                Originally Posted by Lance K View Post

                Then is it not also a question of the affiliate's ethics? Saying they have read, understand, and agree to the terms of the affiliate agreement when they in fact haven't.
                Lance,

                the guys who promote affiliates program base their decisions on trust.
                It's just that I don't like so much the win-WIN model; i prefer the win-win

                Now the fact that some people find it normal to have these kind of practices is up to them. It's all how to approach marketing and the ETHICS you have in business. Some people just don't have any ethics, and it's the same in the offline world.

                Think about these little guys who just started to promote their first program, they will be a little pissed off next month when they will ask for their payment.

                I promote affiliates program in others niches and i never saw any sneaky tactics like these, that's unfortunately typical of internet marketing.

                So I wanted to be sure to post here, to help people that have no experience to be more aware. And save them from the painful experience I have gone though in the past, when I trusted the wrong Big dog.

                So the next time you receive an email to promote the next big win-WIN affiliate program from the "Scratch Backer Squad".
                Check it twice, and if you find something fishy. Just go back to this email, and scroll down until you find the link unsubscribe, and do yourself a big favor: "unsubscribe"

                All the best
                Halille
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                • Profile picture of the author Lance K
                  Originally Posted by halille View Post


                  Think about these little guys who just started to promote their first program, they will be a little pissed off next month when they will ask for their payment.
                  Not if they themselves were ethical and read the affiliate agreement as they said they did.
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      • Profile picture of the author davezan
        Originally Posted by halille View Post

        So basically he just told us that he didn't fulfill the agreement last year because some guy have cheated the system.
        Russell never said that. He said this:

        Originally Posted by russbrun View Post

        First off, we did something similar to this last year with the IM-Myth. The main problems we ran into were people who earned $1 commission, and then when we tried to pay via paypal it cost more to send them the money then they earned. We also found that 95% of our fraud came from people who referred less then 10 people.

        Because of that we made the minimum payout higher. We put it in our affiliate agreement. Maybe I'll also add it on the affiliate page with bold print if that would help clear things up to everyone.

        The reason we aren't paying until february is because this is a contest. We are picking a winner for the Corvette in February and will be doing a closing ceremony where we pay out affiliate commissions to everyone and show stats for top sales. It's going to be a fun thing to close the contest - not doing it to try to screw anyone over. Again posted in affiliate agreement, but i'll go add it to top of member pages also.

        Anyway - I'm sure some out there will keep casting stones, and I apologize for the misunderstandings. But we're trying our best, trying to raise money for charity, giving away hours of free training and helping people as much as possible without charging anything.
        In other words, it turned out to be a more costly "venture" than he thought.
        He figured putting that minimum payout requirement in the affiliate contract
        would help, but didn't realize "many" people wanted that upfront on the sales
        page, too.

        He did subsequently apologize and say he's not trying to screw anyone over.
        Not that that won't stop some people from believing he has some malicious
        intent, though.

        This kinda poses a dilemma: how much should one say or post online, and how
        much they don't have to state, yet possibly maximize results without causing
        any possible "undue" harm. Nowadays people demand more "transparency", so
        that'll be a constant challenge especially for marketing.

        Oh, and I'm not really defending Russell. I'm just posting how I understood his
        post to be, and I guess it boils down to what or how people wish to interpret
        or understand their words to mean.
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        David

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  • Profile picture of the author Darth Executor
    No, it's not ethical. In fact, it is a scam (the not telling people they need to make at least 20 to get paid part).
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  • Profile picture of the author JimLillig
    If disclosure iss a component of business ethics then for sure. I am sure that they will suffer many negative posts because of their practice. As an advertiser I have always posted a .pdf schedule for payments to affiliates. Cuts down on many responses by having it clearly available in the affiliate admin.
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    Jim Lillig
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    Blog: www.jimlillig.com

    Download my book on how to win using CPA networks: http://www.jimlillig.com/state_of_CPA.pdf

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  • Profile picture of the author WebSlicers
    Quite unethical for me. Every contest should have clear mechanics just so to avoid conflicts such as those you mentioned. But these kind of online contests are rampant and therefore people should be very careful before engaging in such promotions.
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  • Profile picture of the author halille
    Not ethical period, from a past customer of this big GuGusse

    Ethical marketer certified
    Halille
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  • Profile picture of the author fingers4hire
    I don't think it's unethical, but it sure is on the fence. It's sort of running neck in neck with if I don't tell you the entire truth, does that make it a lie?
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  • Profile picture of the author halille
    **Edited, my last post on this thread**

    Ok guys, I just edited this post my mistake i posted to fast and apologize.

    Anyway, as most people think I am attacking Russell when my feeling is just reviewing as an affiliate of the last year program here is what you can do and decide for yourself

    Google the program of last year(hint add some keywords in your search) and see what affiliates of last year have to say about the program. With that information you will have enough information to put everything in perspective.

    Ethical certified marketer
    Halille

    ps:rationalization is what can destroy your path to wealth creation, when you have been burned once, you must acknowledge it to go froward with a clear vision to avoid the mistakes you made in the past.
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  • Profile picture of the author ahlexis
    Unethical? You be the judge.

    Once upon a time, in a land far far away (USSA) (United Socialist States of America!) an insurance company said they needed a bailout. Their basic core business is strong, but their other businesses are not. They took the $85 billion the US Treasury said they could have access to (or most of it, anyway) and then went out and spent lots of money on spa treatments after receiving the $85 billion due to the "lack of liquidity" or whatever.

    I happened to be shopping for life insurance, and looking at their "core business" to see if it was really sound. Yes, it is. Yes, there is a high likelihood that they will be able to meet all of their insurance obligations in the future. Their rate quote seemed more than fair.

    Then I rethought about the purchase. What was I really buying? It turned out that wasn't actually life insurance. No, I was buying the peace of mind that would allow me to sleep at night without worrying about something that the insurance would cover.

    Guess what?

    No sale.

    Why?

    Business decisions are based in a core set of ethics. And the company's ethics seemed sorely lacking.

    What's this got to do with the affiliate promotion?

    Lack of details (that seems in this case intentional) appears to be due to a lack of ethics. Furthermore, even though there actually might NOT be a lack of ethics, the APPEARANCE of such a lack is cause enough that most affiliate marketers should not be willing to risk their much-more-hard-to-come-by-than-money time on something that appears to be so shady.

    This same lack of ethics just might lead the affiliate program runner down a path of shorting the customers the affiliates are marketing to. And the affiliate's name is attached to the recommendation, therefore their own credibility is on the line.

    Perhaps the affiliate program people/company needs to rethink their offer, or be more transparent.

    But in the current condition?

    Again. No sale.
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