Is Varolo.com A Scam?
Lately I’ve been seeing a lot of ads for Varolo.com on one of my favorite make money opportunities Clixsense. I’ll be honest I usually ignore most ads because they tend to be less than promising to put it lightly and that’s across the board whether it’s on a website, TV commercial, etc. But I’m just a little jaded like that.
I probably would have continued to ignore this opportunity but some of their pesky reps have been spamming my facebook fanpage. So I figured I might as well see what all this nonsense is about. By the way, I don’t judge a company because of spammers. I’ve learned that there are always rogue people in every industry that do their own thing that may give a company a bad name. The affiliate marketing and work at home industries are a perfect example of this. It’s not necessarily representative of a whole company or industry though. It’s just a few bad apples in the bunch. So keep that in mind.
With all that said, let’s dig deeper into this company.
What is Varolo?
Like one of my favorite websites Clixsense Varolo pays people for viewing ads. It just went out of Beta on April 17th, 2011 after eight months of pre-launch. The ads that Varolo deals with are mainly along the lines of commercials like you see on TV. It is free to sign up & no upgrades to get “better” ads etc.
Varolo is banking that with DVRs letting you skip over commercials and fewer people reading magazines and newspapers, advertisers are looking for new outlets to get the most bang for their bucks. And it’s already proven with sites like Clixsense, YouData, Hits4pay, Swagbucks, etc., that consumers are more willing to deal with advertisements if you compensate them for it! So it’s a proven concept that does seem to work.
Varolo's confusing compensation plan
With Hits4Pay or a site like InboxDollars you get an email, go to their site, click on the ad, and after some time goes by, you get paid. You get about a penny or two per ad. It’s pretty straightforward with those companies. You don’t need to be a rocket scientist to figure it out. But Varolo is a whole other ball game in terms of how they structure payment for your ad viewing. So I was going to attempt to try to explain it to you in this review. But being the simple simon that I am, I still had problems grasping it. So I let my fingers do the walking and did a search on Google to see if someone did a better job of explaining the compensation. Alas there was this video which you should check out by clicking here.
Hopefully it made a lot more sense to you after watching that video. If not, try giving the FAQ a read by clicking here. I’ll be honest, even after reading the FAQ I couldn’t really grasp the payment structure.
At the end of the day just know this, if you don’t build your referrals you’re not going to make money from viewing the ads alone with this company. I’ve reviewed a lot of opportunities and I know getting referrals is the weakness for most people in this industry. So you may be tempted to stop reading about this company now. I don’t really blame you. But you do have another way to earn money that doesn’t depend on referrals.
Varolo offers a weekly jackpot. For every ad you read you get an entry into the jackpot. In late April 2011 that jackpot was about $300. So there is a chance to make money that way. But it’s totally by chance like winning in Vegas or the lottery. Your efforts don’t guarantee you any income which will be viewed as a waste of time for most people. The other great thing for those of you that have a village is that if by some dumb blind luck one of your village members wins the jackpot, it is added as earning and you get the % credit. So that’s yet another incentive to get your village going.
They claim there are about 140 possible ads to read a week. Some will be duplicates, but that is how it works in this business. As long as it is on your list of ads to view, duplicate or not, you will earn credit for it.
How do you get paid?
The threshold is $20 which isn't too bad, I would prefer that it be lower but the fact that it is not a sky high threshold is a good sign. They pay you by Pay-Pal and you get paid when you request it. So if you are a person who likes bigger payouts less frequently you can just hold off. If you are like me and want the $$ as soon as you earn it, you request it when it hits $20. The same status bar that tells you what your village earned so far, tells you what your account holds. I have no idea why there isn’t an automatic payment system built in, they seem to have a lot of other tracking data, so that for me I think that is odd. Since it just went live there has not been enough time to hear belly aching about not getting paid. So far the bellyaching has been about other things, which I talk about later.
If your earnings reach $600 (or whatever the new tax amount) is in one calendar year, you will have to fill out a w-9 and Varolo will send you a 1099 at the end of the year. This is standard procedure for any U.S. based legitimate work at home company. It is the law, so complaints about giving out this personal information is irrelevant to me since I’ve done it with many legitimate work at home companies I work with. By the way you can read more about working at home and taxes by clicking here.
How much money can you earn or rather how do they come up with what your village has earned?
This totally depends on your village, as you can see. Advertisers pay Varolo a penny or two for each ad viewed. With your first level, you will get 8% of all the ads they viewed, the second 6% the third 4% and the fourth level 2%. They have it all programmed in to keep track so you have a running total.
They also put on the status bar the number of ads available and what your personal % is for the week, so you will know how many more ads to read to get full or as close to full credit as possible.
You must sign up people who are going to stick with it and you have to keep up with your ad/commercial view habits as well. This part is no different than other pay-per-click programs, the more people you get, the better you do, assuming they are active! Varolo’s business model sort of forces this issue which is good or bad depending on what side of the fence you’re on.
You probably guessed from my introduction and general tone of this review that there would be cons to this, as there are with any business. Well you’re right! So lets get to the things that stand out the most from where I stand.
1. Why do I need a rocket scientist to figure out the payment structure of this opportunity?
Look I’m a simple dude. I just want to take some basic action and get a rate for that action. I don’t think I should need to dig for further information to determine how much money I can make from your company and how. This compensation plan reminds me of those MLM matrices that I hate so much. It just shouldn’t be this complicated. But you have to take this complaint with a grain of salt because I am such a simpleton. I have awful spelling and grammar, so I may not be the best judge in terms of this aspect of the business. But I suspect a lot of folks reading this agree with me.
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2. Referrals are a must!
With a lot of opportunities I personally recommend you can still make money on your own efforts without recruiting a soul. Sure it’s going to be less money and take a longer time but it is totally possible. A lot of you do eventually step up and get some Internet marketing training so you can increase your referrals and thus income. But many of you do just fine just going the non-referral route. With Varolo they damn near punish you for not getting referrals. From a business point of view I totally understand why they do it. It almost guarantees having active users which is what advertisers want. Slackers won’t really join this opportunity and that’s great for Varolo and the company. But my counter to that is there are some individuals that can’t recruit others to save their lives. But they can control their own actions and are willing to put in the work. It doesn’t seem fair that these people aren’t welcomed. Giving them an entry to jackpot as compensation seems like a rip to me. They should follow ICS lead who gives everyone jackpot entries and money for their activities whether they have referrals or not. The referral program is in place there as well but not participating in it doesn’t really hurt you like it does with Varolo. So if you’ve always struggled with getting referrals, then you probably don’t need to be part of this company.
3. Profile discrimination.
One thing they have you do before starting with this company is fill out a profile, so you only get ads about topics of interest to you. I wonder if that then limits the total number of ads that you can read a week. I know for surveys and other sites a profile can make you or break you depending on how desirable it is to marketers. So that is something that gives me pause. But it is a factor that plays into other types of opportunities like this so it’s not unique to this company. However it’s worth noting because I’ve heard people bitch and moan that certain survey companies are scams because they weren’t getting any surveys.
4. Giving credit where it's due!
Speaking of bitching, there has been some of that in terms of referral credit. Apparently when someone starts to sign up and gets interrupted, or decides they want to think about it some more, If they come back later, even with your link, you don't always get the credit. Honestly this could be a number of technical issues from a user end that causes this or maybe Varolo has a short tracking cookie. It’s hard to judge from where I’m sitting. This may not even happen a lot. But it’s something that has come up which is understandable concern since this opportunity heavily depends on referrals.
So Is Varolo legit?
I personally do not like their business model. They’re sort of a ghetto hybrid of a PTC and MLM Matrix type of site. They want to encourage membership growth by building a village & pushing the idea that the power of many is better than a lonely individual. They do that by not giving your credit for your personal viewing, but make you view anyway to get credit for your village. At the end of the day, what it really ends up being is a way not to pay you 100% of your viewing time and your downline's viewing time. Oh, they will pay the 100% but the system also makes it very easy to miss out on that chance. Does that mean it is a scam? Probably not, but they are playing monkey business with what other companies have been able to do clearly and simply.
I always have a hard time reviewing these new companies that are either in Beta or just out of beta because I cannot use a proven track record to guide you. At the same time, these often are the programs you all are asking me about as they are the hot topic online at the moment. So I have to depend on you all and your personal experiences with proof of getting paid and if they follow through with things like do you really get 140 ads per week and what their customer service is really like. So I look forward to hearing more details from you all about this below. But in the meantime, based on what I know about my audience and their difficulty in trying to get referrals, I would probably pass. If you’re already great at getting referrals or are a trained Internet marketer then it’s probably easy money for you. Either way I would love to hear your opinion below. Hopefully all those reps out there will chime in!
By the way if these type of opportunities don’t really do it for you and you’re looking for more of a regular job situation, visit our work at home jobs page here.