Thursday, December 3, 2009

Incentivized Freebie Programs

What is an "Incentivized Freebie Program?"
Well, have you ever seen those ads that say "Fill out our survey and get a free (Unbelievable prize, like an Xbox 360, PS3, Laptop, etc)"
Well, those are real. They are NOT completely truthful, though, as there is a LOT more than filling out a survey.

So how does it work?
Well, you fill out the survey, which, is usually there to get your email address - the less honest companies can sell this even if you don't keep going through the remaining steps, so they still profit from your visit.
Next, the important part, you have to sign up for certain offers. Depending on the website, there should be a "credit" system in place, and you need so many credits to reach your prize. Offers that cost money can be worth a full credit or more, but free ones are often only worth a quarter or half a credit.
Then, you have to get a certain amount of people to join, and ALSO fill out enough offers for them to get a prize. This is known as "Going Green" - because many of the sites show your status as green when you've successfully done enough offers.

Now, by itself, there's no easy to make money from this. However, many different groups have cropped up involving a bit of clever teamwork to make this a profitable setup.

Simply put, rather than pestering your friends to join as well, you post on one of the forums, such as ( that you need, say, 3 people to go green for you.
If the prize you're going for is cash, you usually give a portion of the money to them for going green for you, or do a trade where you go green for them as well on one of their sites.

So in the end, if your prize was say, $100, you could walk away with $50-$75 as profit.

But, alas, it's not as simple as that. (Simple? O_o;;)
Most of the offers you need to sign up for are free trials. This means unless you want to incur actual fees, you have to keep *very* careful records, and be sure to cancel such things before they come to the point of charging you money.
Which is a practice that's frowned upon by the advertisers.


1: Find a website with a prize you like, and think is reasonable. Sign up, preferably under someone else so you can get paid by them just for "going green" for them.
2: Complete enough offers to get the credits you need for your prize. (On some sites, you only have to do this once, then you can continuously just get other people to go green for you)
2.5: Cancel any offers before the trials are up, if any, if you choose not to keep the service. Some are actually really good deals worth keeping.
3: Get enough people to go green for you so that you can collect your prize.
4: Collect your prize, and, on sites that permit it, repeat from step 3.

-Really does make money, and some people manage to make a rather impressive amount of profit per month.

-Can help you meet some really interesting people online.

-Forums involving this tend to be friendly, and have plenty of tips for avoiding scams.

-You can end up with some rather neat freebies (Just make sure the shipping and handling charges aren't blown up to ridiculous proportions!)

-Some risk, as if you're paying someone to go green, they could scam you by taking your money, and then the company rejecting their green. (Which happens if they sign up with fake information) This can be avoided by waiting for "Verified Green" - which sometimes requires you to message the administrators of the website, or implementing a 3Day waiting period until you pay those who work for you.

-Can incur some hefty fees if you forget to cancel any trial offers.

-Rather time consuming, certainly not a passive income by any means.

-Requires lots of book keeping to ensure you get profits.

In the end I did personally profit from this, but only barely. I nearly didn't, as one offer I did never told what the S&H charges were, then charged me over $30 dollars for shipping. Upon complaining, however, they refunded my S&H in full.

At another point, a "Piggyback" offer (Which is an offer that you get signed up for WITH another offer, which isn't always easy to see when this is happening) charged me over $50 unexpectedly, causing overdrawn charges on my account when a few checks I had written elsewhere went through.
All fees were undone, including the overdrawn charge, so again, things worked out, but there's a bit of stress involved.
This was also an important lesson in keeping my business and personal accounts separate ^_^;; Something I think all of us online money makers are bound to learn eventually.

Good luck out there everyone ^_^

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