Is The Blastoff Network A Scam?
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Lately I've been hearing a lot of talk on the "streets" about the Blastoff Network. Truth be told, I visited the page and was immediately turned off by the whole personalized portal concept. I thought to myself why do I need to join this company to create a personalized page of my favorite sites? Isn't this why I have my bookmarks and other start pages from companies like Google and Yahoo? Needless to say, I just left the page and kept it moving. But then I kept getting random emails from strangers and my buddies like Phil. The company seemed to be mentioned everywhere. As a marketer, I appreciate good viral marketing when I see it. So I figured there must be something to all this. You already know how I do, I got on top of my research and I'm here to share my findings with you. So let's get cracking into this review like a thong.
How The Blastoff Network Works:
The Blastoff Network is basically a gateway site that has an affiliate relationship with merchants such as Walmart, Avis, Best Buy, Target, and so on. As you know affiliate marketers get paid when you purchase something or take some type of action on their affiliate links. I won't even get into the other aspect of the Blastoff Network which is the whole personalized homepage thing. It's pointless and doesn't make you any money so there is no need to discuss it. As previously stated, the Blastoff Network is an affiliate of various merchants.
1. So the Blastoff Network has set up their website where they list all the companies they're affiliated with.
2. You create a free account with the Blastoff Network. They use this information so they can track and pay you.
3. Then you can browse through the Blastoff Network online mall which consist of links to various online stores ( Over 300 at the time of this article) such as iTunes, Target, Starbucks, Walmart, Barnes & Nobles, etc. Each of them are labeled with a certain cash back % which you are entitled to.
4. When you want to purchase something from a Blastoff Merchant, you just click on their link in the Blastoff Mall and you will be taken to their official site (i.e. Amazon.com, Ebay.com, etc).
5. By using that link, the Merchant can track that the Blastoff Network is entitled to a commission which it will then give you a portion of. This is vital, if you want to save cash shopping online, you have to visit the merchants site through the link in the Blastoff Mall rather than go directly to the website.
6. In a about a month you are then paid a portion of the commission (1% and 15% of the item excluding shipping, handling, and taxes) that BlastOff Network has earned as an affiliate.
In essence it's sort of like a rebate program but without all the song and dance that most companies put you through to get that cash back.
Blastoff Network Referral / Affiliate Program:
In addition to getting these cash rebates, you're also paid for your referrals purchases which is probably where you'll make the most money. So even if you don't really do a lot of shopping online, referring people that do on occasion or often can really ad up. This is assuming you have the proper training as an affiliate marketer.
Blastoff mails out reward checks on the 15th of the month after your account reaches $20 or more in approved funds. As long as they have your correct name and mailing address, there's nothing you need to do to receive it.
The Cons / Negatives of the BlastOff Network:
1. Blastoff Network is an unnecessary middleman.
So I know some of my smart affiliate marketers are thinking to themselves, "Why do I even need the Blastoff Network?" Couldn't I just cut the middle man out and become a direct affiliate of all these companies I use? After all, then I'll get the full commissions on my own purchase instead of the small portion that the BlastOff Network provides me. Under normal circumstances this would be a huge savings or discount for you.
Honestly that was my first thought as well. But there are quite a few holes in this thought process.
– Most of companies are managed by big affiliate networks which doesn't allow "self-purchasing" by affiliates. Well how would they know Eddy?
Well when you sign up as an affiliate you register your name and address. They can cross reference this information with sales made via your affiliate link. If this information matches, you won't be eligible to earn a commission from any product shipped to your name and address. Obviously there are ways to get around this but I won't get into it. lol
– The other problem is that it may be very time consuming to try to sign up for all the company's affiliate programs.
– Furthermore some companies only want to sign affiliates with proven records or established sites that are related to their subject matter.
So that's several reasons why the "self-purchasing" affiliate route isn't practical and why you may consider a company like BlastOff Network. I think most people would argue that receiving some of the money you earn back from online purchases is better than not receiving it all which is the case for most of us. As someone that preaches that every cent counts, I can't really argue against this logic.
2. Blastoff Network is limited to the U.S. at this time.
As stated on their site: "Currently, we only mail checks to US addresses, including PO Boxes, APO's, and FPO's. Only US citizens 18 years old or older are eligible to earn cash-back rewards."
3. Payments are only made via check.
This always burns me. I don't do well with delayed gratification. I prefer PayPal or Direct Deposit. Waiting for a check and then trekking to a bank just seems so prehistoric to me. It's like using a pay phone or wearing a members only jacket. Who still does that? But I guess money is money.
4. Blastoff Network's is in bed with Prepaid Legal.
During their pre-launch the Blastoff Network had entered into a relationship with Prepaid Legal Services which would allow their associates to recruit members for BlastoffNetwork.com. The benefit for you and I was that we would be able to start building our referral base before the doors officially opened on the Blastoff Network in October. But this came at a cost. Naturally you were required to become a Prepaid Legal Associate. This would end up costing you about $100 ($72 for the associates fee and $27 for a membership fee, and then $17 per month after that). That being said, it was never a requirement to join Blastoff Network. It was purely optional. But of course people fail to read information and made assumptions instead of performing their due diligence. Either case, this is no longer an issue since Blastoff Network is no longer in pre-launch.
5. Blastoff Network is a pyramid scheme.
According to Wikipedia, a pyramid scheme is a non-sustainable business model that involves the exchange of money primarily for enrolling other people into the scheme, often without any product or service being delivered. Based on this, I don't see the correlation with the Blastoff Network since there is no fee to join and you're not required to enroll other people to make money.
6. Earning Commissions is difficult.
Let's face it, most of us don't shop all that much and consistently online. So in order to really make some decent money, you'll really have to focus on the Blastoff Network referral program. If I could buy my groceries online and paying bills counted, I would make a killing with this by my own efforts. But the fact of the matter is my personal online purchases wouldn't make me much. I think since most of you aren't trained affiliates and probably don't want to harass your family and friends, your income will be very limited for most of the year. But if you're anything like me, come Christmas time I shop online like crazy. So that's probably when you can make a lot of money on your own efforts.
Honestly the opportunity seems sound. But I've tried programs like this in the past ( BigCrumbs.com ) and never really made a lot of money with it. Maybe it's my audience who doesn't do a lot of online shopping. Or perhaps I just suck. Who knows? I guess like anything if I put enough energy and time into working it, I can make more money with it. With that said, I would love to find evidence of people who have joined the Blastoff Network and have actually made money with it. I've read a lot of hype from people to join, but I haven't read a lot of folks discussing that they actually made money with it. This may be a matter of circumstances since the Blastoff Network just came out of beta.
Either way, if you do have any experience with the company, I want to hear from you. However please avoid the fluff, hype or self promotion comments. I've had enough unsolicited emails from people encouraging me to join the Blastoff Network. This immediately draw my suspicions. So most of those emails were filed away in a special place on my computer called the trash bin. In any event, I'll continue to monitor this opportunity to see how it pans out. For the fun of it, I've become a member. Christmas is coming soon and I plan to do most of my shopping online as usual. I've never seen the fascination in crowded malls and paying more for items. So I'll be giving the Blastoff Network a try. At the very least I can save myself some more money. I love opportunities like this because I really lose nothing if it doesn't work. So with that said, you may want to give Blastoff Network a shot as well if it's of interest to you. If not you can always try many of my other non-traditional work at home recommendations here and the work at home companies page for traditional work at home jobs. As always I have you covered whatever your preference may be.
In any event, let me know what your thoughts are on the Blastoff Network and their opportunity. Considering all the yammering going on about this opportunity, I'm sure I'll be hearing a mouthful from the fans and skeptics. I look forward to hearing your thoughts. Don't leave me hanging. lol