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Pay Dot Com Scam?

PayDotComIt depends on who is reading this right now…

Are you a consumer – a person who bought a product off of PayDotDom?  Well then, admittedly there are a number of scam-like products floating around on PayDotCom.  You might think that PayDotCom is a scam. Or are you an affiliate marketer looking for another place to find products?  You might have a more forgiving view of the company.

Recently, I found myself signing up for another PayDotCom account to promote a product.  I found myself fighting all of these “upsell” items just to get signed up.  Now, I know that this is the big, wild world of affiliate marketing, but I still found myself muttering under my breath, “Mike, have some fucking class for a change” (Mike Filsaime – see below)

In short and in my opinion, Pay Dot Com is a loosely run operation.  But not a “scam” or “fraud” in the dictionary sense of the word.

What is PayDotCom?

PayDotCom is an affiliate company that specializes in selling info products, e-books and software.

When I think of “scam,” I think of an operation that is out to defraud you.  Pay Dot Com is not a fraud operation.  However…

The thing about Pay Dot Com is that it looks very professional when you first see it.  It has a very attractive interface, an easy sign up, and it looks very much like Clickbank.   Actually it really has a better interface then Clickbank. It’s the type of interface that Clickbank should have.

The other thing about Pay Dot Com, and this is completely my own error, is that I initially thought that it was a subsidiary of PayPal. Payments are made into your account by PayPal. Again, Pay Dot Com does not purport to be affiliated with PayPal.

God-Like Power Over Affiliates

Why I am suspicious of PayDotCom is that merchants deal directly with affiliates.  When you first sign up for PayDotCom, make your first sales, and then wait to be paid — well, it’s a bit of a shock to the system to see the merchant paying you directly through PayPal.

I don’t like this.  Merchants have no obligation to pay you what you’re owed.  I will venture to say that most merchants are honest and do pay you.  But it’s a bit too arbitrary for my taste.

If the merchant gets cold feet, the affiliate does not get paid. It is all at the whim of the merchant.

If I want arbitrary, I’ll just sign up directly for a merchant’s own affiliate program.  Then, I can deal with some funky quasi affiliate manager — and I’ll have him steal from me directly.

But if I’m forking over a percentage to PayDotCom, I would like a little protection for my money.

PayDotCom is a Virtual Company

The main problem with Pay Dot Com is that it is basically a virtual affiliate company. Do they have any employees? Does Pay Dot Com consist of anything other than a website:  an automatic go-between for merchants and affiliates?  Doesn’t appear so.

You see, even though I have enumerated some Clickbank’s bad points, Clickbank is a real company. Clickbank has a large staff and all payments are handled through them. After all, that’s why you use an affiliate companies: they act as as a buffer between the affiliate and the merchant.

Tip:  Affiliates Need a Buffer Zone

I don’t think it’s ever good to have the merchant and affiliate dealing with each other in such close contact with payment issues. Yes, I think that the merchant should be available and should give the affiliate as much help as possible. But when it comes to issues like payment, it is good to have that buffer between the two parties.

Red Flag:  A Mike Filsaime Venture

Mike FilsaimeAnd another personal bias: it took me some time before I figured out that this was run by super-successful marketer Mike Filsaime.  I’m sure Mike is a fine human being who loves dogs and little children, but I can never seem to get rid of him.  Whenever I get off of one of his unhelpful autoresponders, it seems like I’m on another one within a few weeks.  My personal bias, again.  But Mike:  Hey, make your mailing lists a little more informative, OK?

Read here for other interesting points on features about PayDotCom that may qualify it for scam status.