This review is driven by my need to communicate to my readers about my personal experience with Project Payday as well as my observations on the going-on at online forums, personal blogs and survey panel review sites with regards to this specific survey panel.
Is Project Payday a complete scam? Do real people make any form of money with this site?…
The above questions have been ringing in people’s mind since PPD inception in 2006.
The way I see it, it is healthy sign, as it means that netizens are getting more careful about these claims of making easy money online.
In fact, I advocate all internet operators to be subjected to stringent questionings, legit or otherwise, so that nobody can take anything for granted…
For myself, my involvement with PPD started a long time back, so I like to think I certainly qualify to put myself on the line and explain what this PPD is all about.
Monika St. John founded Project Payday in 2006.
This is where the intrigue starts. Nobody has a clue if this name points to a real person. My guess is that Monika St. John does NOT represent a real person.
While checking the website out, I noticed that the Webmaster has conveniently excluded the “About” page. I did a fair bit of poking around on the web, hopeful to chance upon any stuff that could be linked to a Monika St. John. But it was to be all in vain, as clever investigation on the social media also did not throw out any useful hint.
Apparently these folks behind PPD are hell bent in hiding in anonymity, so it is no surprise that the important job of promoting and developing the website is designated to a bunch of professional marketers.
These are smart creative people, so they know all about fake aliases or non-existent business owners.
Better Business Bureau’s Rating
Driven by curiosity, I next headed out to the Better Business Bureau website.
Whoever is running it, they seem to have gotten the stamp of approval from BBB, which handed them an “A” grade for their operation.
The profile of PPD here declares that it is a setup based in Denver. Colorado and it is a BBB accredited business since 11/09/2010.
If you are familiar with BBB, it is not their practice to hand out an A rating to just about any Tom, Dick and Harry. So you have to admire PPD is able to achieve this feat despite of the secrecy surrounding the company!
BBB also listed 47 cases pertaining to complaints and/or issues pertaining to PPD, and remarkably all 47 cases are reported to have been resolved.
With the ongoing mystery on the site, you can’t help but feel that the 47 cases could be all staged, perhaps originated by the staff or their advertisers.
The Working of Project Payday
The site states boldly that nobody needs to spend a penny to become a member here. But on the sidelines, just as prominently, it goes on to say that new members have to complete some offers (mostly free trials) before the membership can become truly free of charge.
Of course, there is a get out clause, i.e. pay $35 and you become a life member instantly.
However it makes no secret that its operation is based entirely on the business model called IFW, i.e. Incentivized Freebie Website.
In a more expanded version, IFW makes clear that the specific site would pay you either cash (or free gifts) in exchange for encouraging other people to complete trial offers from big companies.
Collectively, IFWs claim to have an extensive network of partners, they include Equifax, Discover Card, NetFlix, Identity Guard, Vistaprint, Big Fish Games and many more.
In summary, Project Payday embodies online techniques and approaches you can learn in order to earn money with different CPA offers through this method called an incentivized offer. CPA (or “Cost Per Action”) is a way of earning money when some other folks complete the required action.
Here is how CPA Works:
Let us take a acne treating cream as example.
The acne cream is retailed at $50 but you just need to bear the cost of shipping/handling, so that is going to be $5 in total.
With that $5 paid, you send back the receipt, and in return you get $20 as compensation for your effort and time.
Some effort is required as you have to make call to the company to cancel the acne cream subscription from the supplier, if not, it runs on auto-renewal basis, so now you have bypassed that process.
This is more than decent earning, right?…
You started off with an initial outlay of $5 and that investment yields $20, we are talking about net profit of $15.
Assuming you were referred by somebody for this transaction, he or she would be due also some commission from the company selling the acne cream. The commission is in recognition of his or her effort to bring in another customer (that is you).
So in the end, everybody gets something to gain.
How Do You Make Money with PPD?
As mentioned earlier, IFW involves training on CPA use to make some earning. This training is split into 4 areas in general.
The first 3 methods revolve around the direct application of IFWs technique. How one differs from another can be simply boiled down to: YOU are the one who complete those trial offers or you get OTHERS to get them done.
I would suggest get others complete these offers, if nothing, this is a more productive way of doing things. You can do so by means of solicitation, and your rewards could come in the form of check, merchandise or PayPal credit.
If merchandise is your choice, the site would often advice for you to trade off your prize on eBay.com, so that you can turn in a quick cash profit.
Well this suggestion may sound innocent enough, I would say “please not” unless there is no hurry to “cash out” the prize. Reason being that eBay may be the most popular auction platform around, that does not make it an easy site for you to sell stuff, and time taken to complete the whole transaction is often long.
The 4th method of the training capitalizes on the affiliation angle, or specifically referring people to this program. When you engage this method, the earning you stand to make on any individual referral could range from $1.50 to $6. Another factor that could influence your earning is the traffic you generate (in term of volume and quality).
On paper, everything may sound nice.
But when you look deeper into it, you soon realize it takes tons (OK thousands would sound more realistic) of leads just to make the earning look decent. This is clearly too challenging for newbie to manage.
The Moral & Ethical Struggle
The thing is that whatever and however you earn with ITW is completely above board, even though there is controversy on this approach. But there certainly exists some downside, which makes some netizens more hesitant on embracing ITW when you think that the upside is not exactly encouraging.
On the business front, there are always the more aggressive companies that incentivize people as some sort of recognition for helping to push their products and services, plus referring new leads.
But not all businesses operate the same way; as such strategy can potentially lead to monetary loss if not handled right.
The risk is that they could end up with a commission system that is flawed, i.e. paying unnecessarily to non-interested people who may have no desire for the companies’ products and services.
Ultimately it is your call if you want to label such operation ethical or otherwise.
There is no easy answer and I figure it has to your ethics and morals compass. Essentially, it boils down to your individual value system to tell right from wrong.
Morals dilemma aside, one useful way to evaluate drawing income and decide if this can represent a money earning option is to look at pros and cons of it.
Let’s take a glance at what IFWs are apart from their pros and cons so as to make things easier for people wanting to earn money via promotions:
- Take “trial offers” and start to earn income.
- Most products on trials come from established brands.
- Clever use of incentives (bribe) to entice people to complete your offers.
- Completely free offers are aplenty (on the other hand, those investment requiring trials are not cheap).
- Partners are mostly well-established companies, minimum fear of non-payment.
- You can only do any one particular trial offer just once, no matter how enticing it is.
- If you do not cancel your trial subscription before expiry date, a debit will be made against your credit card automatically.
- Your inbox would be flooded with spam and junk mail.
- Sometimes it can be challenging to get people complete offers for you.
How Much Can You Really Make?
There are a number of outrageous claims coming out from their website, including stories of homemakers being able to make an amazing $1000 every month in the side lines by applying its various techniques. But should we take all these with a pinch of salt or simply dismiss them all together?
You would hate this phrase, but really “IT Depends”,
and here is why…
Strictly speaking, it is not fair to label Project Payday as a scam.
As outlandish as some of their claims are, it is almost impossible to disprove that their ways of making money are just a bunch of BS.
Lawyers familiar with fraudulent laws would never be able to make a case against the company for engaging in unethical business conducts. But then again, the world is no longer as BLACK and WHITE as it used to be.
If you don’t have a conscience issue or moral dilemma, PPD can be a handy option especially if you are looking to turn around $50-$500 very quickly.
Still it pays to be disciplined in this game.
You should always stay on top of the game so a well thought out plan is necessary. And you want to pay attention to the expiry periods of the various trial offers (assuming you take more than one).
Failure to cancel the subscription or return the product in time would end up with you incur a cost, either in the form of late penalty or continual subscription.
In fact, when you are ready to surrender your credit card information, there is always this inherent risk of vendors or providers making it especially tough for you to back out from deals (even trial offers).
Having said that, I like to stress that this risk is not exclusive to PPD alone, but also to a great number of businesses in general. You may be even the strictest disciplinarian, but to pull off this on long term basis would simply be too challenging. I have never seen a guy who makes a living out of PPD.
Warning About Project Payday Reviews
When I surf the web to investigate this PPD phenomenon, one thing that struck me is the unbelievably large number of review postings that seem to have a positive bias.
True to the nature of its business, these are all the work of Project Payday affiliates (To understand how affiliate marketing works and how it remakes the business landscape, click here).
The game plan (remember I told you that a plan is necessary) is simple enough; you read these postings and start to get excited, you then go on to sign up with PPD and a nice $1.50 will go into their pockets.
It is just a peculiar nature of the internet.
You start to write blogs and reviews, and you become popular on your platform. This is now time to monetize your popularity; you give your blogs and reviews a subtle twist so the subjects becomes more right than they really are.
The more apt you are able to handle this, the more sponsors would line up your door, and the more money you stand to make.
I have been in this game too long to see through all of these. The money part does not excite me one bit, but I always feel motivated to provide a good investigative material to our readers, so that they can draw their own conclusions.
This is especially true with online money making ventures, as I strongly feel that any self-righteous man should not build his riches at the expense of people who hit the net for that extra bit of income.
Is Project Payday a Scam?
The story sounds familiar. Since the inception of PPD in 2006, the founders (whoever or whatever it is) have ploughed in some good MILLIONS of dollars.
So, it could make a nice story to be read and admired.
But if you hold any intention to enroll into their program, there ought to be things you got to look at, before you decide to make them your regular source of income.
First off, Project Payday is not a scam!
I don’t know how all these negative feedback and comments came about. But when the authoritative and independent business rating agency, BBB, announces that it is all fair game at PPD, you tend to brush away these dissenting voices.
In fact, the BBB was so impressed with PPD that it has no hesitation to award the “A” rating to the company.
So, it comes clean on the accusation of scam, but that does not necessarily qualify PPD as a good source of income.
Granted, if you are in a hurry to look for that extra $50, this can be an attractive option. But there are some hurdles to clear before you lay your hand on that $50; regularly clear your inbox from the spam mails, and the discipline to return test product or cancel service subscription before the expiry date, lest you don’t get re-billed.
But if you think you want to find a site that helps you earn money over long haul, I suggest you look into those paid survey panels or start a e-commerce venture itself. I think Project PayDay is not designed with that in mind.