ShoppingAds is a popular monetization method that I've recommended before here at the Monetizer blog. They offer banner style images and text links which direct people to eBay auctions. Should someone purchase the item, you profit with a nice commission. The minimum amount to be earned is $50 before payout.
The Monetizer had surpassed that $50 mark and was on schedule to receive my first payment from the company on January 26th, 2009. Lo and behold upon logging in on Monday, ShoppingAds had the following note covering my account area:
All currently accrued monthly earnings are pending.
Unfortunately for reasons beyond our control,
they may be disqualified at any time by our affiliate advertising partner before the next payout date.
To receive payment your traffic must follow the following guidelines:
* No adult content, your website/blog can not have adult content or themes.
* No forcing ANY clicks what so ever, any computer program or forced website popups (and so on) forcing your web visitors to receive a ShoppingAds click when they visit one of your webpages is strictly prohibited.
* No homemade eBay or ShoppingAds banners or graphics of any kind for your links, you must run a ShoppingAds banner generated from the website "get ads" page or valid ShoppingAds link that contains the words "on eBay" in the visible link text.
* We must be able to see your incoming referrer information, if you are running ads in an environment which obscures where your clicks are coming from, we'll need you to contact us with the URLs where your ShoppingAds are being displayed.
* Absolutely no posting of links or ads to 3rd party websites!
You must be the owner of the website where you are displaying ads.
I.E. posting links to "craigslist" pages, "woot.com" forums, etc.
or any other forums/blogs (and so on) that you are not the website owner of is prohibited.
* You may not display ShoppingAds links as an advertiser through a 3rd party ad network.
I.E. signing up for "adbrite" and buying your ShoppingAds links out for different website publishers to display.
* You may only have ONE ShoppingAds account.
If the same one publisher is caught running ads on more than one ShoppingAds signup all related accounts will be removed from the program.
If you do not follow the above guidelines our affiliate partner may remove your account and not pay for your traffic, therefore you can not receive your earnings.
Our staff here at ShoppingAds will work hard to make sure that your traffic is accounted for and will be considered valid for payment.
Contact us right away if you have any questions about how your blog or site may be disqualified.
(include the URL where ShoppingAds are running as well)
Thank you and we appreciate you for being a publisher!
Ok no problems there, but it's funny how bill collectors will all but knock down our doors with a battering ram if a payment isn't on time. The "unfortunately for reasons beyond our control" part doesn't sit well with me. Things do happen, but that language right there is very similar to Google's policy of just yanking an account without paying up, with no explanation. It's disappointing in the regard that people can honestly run ShoppingAds on their blog or website, and then be declined a payment which may have taken several months to acrrue. Of course I have a few more days to go to see if they pay up and will post the results.
In the meantime, a lesson learned is to tread with caution when using affiliate programs or moneymakers. As I blogged once before each program has specific rules to be familiar with, and "fine print". Some pay once every few months, some every other week, etc. Clickbank has an interesting payment policy based on how many different credit card and check or Paypal orders you've received. You can see in the text block above many of ShoppingAds rules and restrictions for accounts. Another thing to consider is the fact that while you may be self-employed blogging or running niche sites, having just one or a couple programs running really controls your finances. If they choose to not pay you or just flat go out of business, you could find your income source greatly diminished or gone.
I recommend if you have a decent traffic site to choose eBay partner Network if your site qualifies. They offer a payout every few weeks for a minimum of just $5. New eBay signups can earn you up to $25. Many bloggers and marketers are keen on building niche sites using eBay's Partner Network as it can provide some nice passive income if done properly.
Here's to your success!