Friday, March 9, 2007

Getting stuff for free? - well sort of...

Further to my article (getting stuff for free) there are alternate methods to get those goodies for free. These are called paid referrals, referral trading, and conga lines.

Paid referrals and referral trading is a simple concept, where you trade referrals with others. Each helping the other complete their required offers and get the freebie. You complete an offer under their referral code for them to receive the signup credit, and they reciprocate for your free site offer. is an example of a community driven website that helps users’ trade referrals. As I mentioned in my previous article, I paid for referrals (pay4trade) which you can do as well. Paid referrals cost somewhere in the $5 – $50 range depending on the value of free item you are after, and the amount of time you wish to advertise the pay 4 trade. charges you a fee to advertise your trade t its members which typically costs $5 – 15 for 10 days. Site members can rate each other on how quickly they completed the offer, and how quickly they were paid for the signup. I spent $60 in advertising, and $180 in referral costs. Each of my signups made $20 on average for completing an offer under my referral account.

Conga lines are like chain letters, where you signup on a list, and graduate up a level as new people are added to the list. These are quite popular, however very hard to manage. Here today gone tomorrow.

Offers vary from medicine to audio clubs. Each offer has different nuances. Many offers will require a credit card to sign up, and will require an ongoing subscription. Other offers may allow you to cancel after a trial period ends, and often will refund your complete costs. It is your responsibility to learn the conditions and ask questions before you take the plunge. Offers may automatically renew a subscription without your consent – which you gave upon your initial signup, and will require you to call them and have the subscription cancelled. Check availability in your country, they may charge you additional shipping. In my case, I had to signup 2 additional referrals to get shipping to Canada. I opted for the paypal cash instead of the 10 referrals for the xbox 360.

Best advice:
- decide on what item you want, estimate its value in a retail store
- research the different websites for the cost (number of referrals) and how much it may cost you to get this item
- check the websites for the offers that you can complete
- check community websites, forums, and other groups to get opinions and advice
- verify that offers are valid in your country, if you get the free item, does it cost more to ship to you?
- what is the general opinion of the site’s reliability, technical support, policies, referral completion time limits
- is the item new, or refurbished (which it may very well be)
- how will you get signups (you cannot spam, if you get caught, they will negate your account)
- will you use conga lines, or referral trading sites

Helpful links: (for your information only, I do not condone or have affiliations with these sites)

Wikipedia (general information) (referral trading, user forums, and pay4trades)
conga lines (general information about conga lines)
forums (refstop user groups)