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Last Updated: 5/17/2005 7:47:11 PM
Original Creation Date: 5/17/2005 7:47:11 PM
**All times are EST**




Netbux.org Scam or Not?

By Erik Rodriguez

This article is about the Netbux.org "pay to surf" website. Netbux.org allows users to search through their portal, and will pay up to $ .80 per day.



Introduction

Historically, I never participated in any "pay to surf" programs. There are more out there than you think. The only reason I tried this one was because a friend told me about it. Initially, it looked good. Unlike other programs, you didn't have to download an annoying little tool bar that stays on your desktop while you surf. Netbux simply forwards your search to a search engine of your choice through their portal page. This allows them to have an outlined "frame" in which they can run their own paid advertising.




The idea is that as people search frequently, they will eventually click an ad here or there. Some users will even click these ads on purpose to support the site. The next few paragraphs explain why I think Netbux.org will not survive much longer, and/or incur a large amount of debt. The author of this article holds a bachelors degree in Economics from the University of Florida.

Netbux Business Model

While the business model seems strong, there are several problems with it:
  • Ad Relevance
  • Very Liberal Referral Program
  • Accounting/Payment Issues
  • Lack of Professionalism, Planning, and Organization
For some reason, Netbux does not use Google's Adsense program. Adsense is a targeted ad placement program that works VERY well. You've probably already noticed it on many sites including this one. I'm assuming that there is a valid reason for this. Sites and organizations can generate a tremendous amount of revenue from Adsense if they have a large amount of traffic. Netbux is certainly not hurting for traffic.

Netbux.org will pay you up to $.80/day for your searches. This works out to $.02 cents with a 40 search max per day. They will also pay you the same amount for each "referral" search. So if you and a friend perform 40 searches per day for a week this is what the payout looks like:



Remember, this figure represents 7 days with two people. This cost increases exponentially as more referrals are added. While this is attractive to users, this model combined with the following factors walks a fine line.

The accounting and payment issues are a little shady. Not to mention that fact that Netbux has somehow avoided requiring a SS# or Tax ID most other payout systems require. To start, they have changed their payout system several times. They went from taking and sending money via paypal, to storm pay. These aren't bad choices, and are probably cheaper than processing and mailing checks. However, changing payment sources indicates some type of problem. All the factors mentioned above aren't nears as bad summed as the next section...

Netbux.Org is by far the mostly poorly organized and planned operation I've ever observed. First, Netbux isn't even referred to as an organization, it is run by some guy named Chad French. I did a Google search for "Chad French" and came up with nothing. For all we know, this guy could be a convicted felon on house arrest. Now, I'm not saying he is, but I figured someone running a popular website would have some kind of easily available publications or information. The payments are done by his wife. Accounts are audited manually, and Chad claims his wife is very busy. I'm sure she is, but what kind of way is that to do bookkeeping? Wouldn't it make senese to get some other people working or use some kind of automated system. Next, the site is god-awful slow! While Chad claims the site was under DDoS attack, this is something that should have been planned for. The site has "switched servers" multiple times, and it doesn't seem to help. How can you justify taking money from advertisers and not providing them with the service they paid for? If Netbux does continue to grow, it should be running on a cluster of servers. I'm sure his excuse would be that the site just got "too big, too fast." Right. Thefacebook.com receives more roughly 23 times more traffic than Netbux. Thefacebook is running on a cluster of servers, and the site hasn't had any problems with extended downtime.

Conclusion

In conclusion, I do not recommend Netbux to anyone. From what I've seen, it's only a matter of time before the site goes under. If there would be any single point of failure it would be lack of planning. Most large projects, especially technical projects like this one, require very careful planning. Also, a project this size should include more people than one guy and his wife. So to answer the original question, it's not a scam. However, a poorly planned and operated venture doesn't compare well to a scam either.



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