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Bux.to Bux Scam?
To be quite honest I am only writing this review because I noticed in our recent newsletter that a review of Bux.to was given a diamond award. Could it have told the truth thinks I? I read the relevant review and then looked at the others for Bux.to. Now I have absolutely no doubt in my mind that the Diamond award was warranted (it was a wonderfully crafted review) however both in that particular review and all the others for Bux.to I have to say that my experience could not possibly be more different.
I joined Bux.to on the 21st June 2007. Why? Well this was probably through boredom and I was wondering why all of a sudden I was seeing lots of ads for the site. There were in those days' lots of ads to click on at Bux.to - and some of them were quite interesting - although I quickly realised that in actual fact they were dominated by Clickbank products; there seemed the scope to earn some money for next to no effort.
Now you know the old saying -
If it looks too good to be true it probably is.
Well read on.
After some time the number of ads dropped to three or four a day and were often generated by the site administrator as an exhortation to either upgrade to premium at a cost of $59 per annum (when you would see a minimum 20 ads per day) or to buy referrals at costs ranging from $16.98 for 15 members up to $459 for 500 members. In addition to this Premium members were to be guaranteed $0.0125 per click and the same for each of their referrals. Now to be perfectly honest when this started happening I faced two choices either jump in immediately as a Premium Member to get the 20 ads per day or sit back and wait. Being the cautious type and suspicious of the standard of the adverts displayed I held off and stayed as a standard member.
I was also very suspicious of the business model. Ads can be bought in the following quantities: 1000 visits @ $19.10 = $0.0191 per visit 2500 visits @ $46.75 = $0.0187 per visit 5000 visits @ $91.50 = $0.0183 per visit 10000 visits @ $179.00 = $0.0179 per visit 50000 visits @ $875.00 = $0.0179 per visit 100000 visits @ $1710.00 = $0.0171 per visit 500000 visits @ $8350.00 = $0.0167 per visit 1000000 visits @ $15999.00 = $0.015999 per visit
On the face of it these rates seem very good for profit but, and assuming all ads are 'real' paid for ads, when one considers referrals the payout is far too high.
A standard member gets $0.01 per click leaving a profit of $0.0091 per ad. However, Bux.to have pushed the sale of referrals very very hard. In the case of a premium member the premium member gets $0.00125 per click and $0.00125 for the click of a referral and assuming the referral is a standard member the receive $0.01 for a click. That is to say $0.035 is paid out for two clicks which in very the best case (1000 visits) costs $0.0382 which represents a very tiny profit $0.0016 per click. In the worst case for the business model (a purchase 0f 1000000 visits) $0.035 is paid out with an income of only $0.03198 an outright loss.
I suppose I should acknowledge that there would be some un-referred members for whom each click represents a notional profit. However given the effort put into selling un-referred members these must be very few.
As I write this there are 9 ads available to me on the site. 5 of these are Bux.to self-generated ads of the "I got paid - it's not a scam" type and the other 4 are Clickbank (or very similar) e-book type of ads. That is to say there is no income generated for 55.5% of the ads and shall we say little likelihood of significant income from the rest as these are tired old ads that have run for a long long time. Even if all ads were true paid for ads I believe I have already shown there is little scope for profit but when so many ads are self-generated there can, in fact, be no profit.
A brief look at the costs of running the site shows that with Nominet fees, site administration, payment processor fees, the cost of setting up a Mastercard etc etc. the costs of administering the site must be enormous. Consider the traffic generated with all those ads being clicked! This is not a little site and will attract relatively high costs from any ISP.
So where is "profit" generated?
Well there is money rolling about in the scheme from those that have joined, clicked a few links and then disappeared. There will also be money freed by those who in the end give up hope of ever seeing their cash and disappear quietly (that's me). The only 'real' income generation comes from selling Premium membership and referrals. Given that there seem to be many who opted for premium membership at $59 per annum and many who admit to paying $459 for 500 referrals it must be this money that is being used to pay members. Some claim the site has as many as 3,000,000 members so that is a lot of income!
For those familiar with Ponzi schemes (if you are not familiar with the term try http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ponzi_scheme) I would suggest that Bux.to has all the hallmarks of such a scheme there simply must be real headline payments to encourage others to join and in this case become upgraded members who buy referrals.
But Bux.to issues a MasterCard I hear you say. Go to the Payoneer website and see how easy this is to set up - frighteningly easy! Not only that, you will incur costs to use the card part of which go back to Bux.to to keep the whole operation going. Very smooth indeed!
If you are small fry (like me) and want to get paid you have no chance. I requested payment of a little over $10 on the 18th Dec 2007 - I knew there were payment problems with PayPal and given the 60 working day terms did not raise a support ticket until 28th April 2008.
I made a payment request on 18 December 2007. According to your TOC I should have been paid ages ago.
The reply (on the same day):
Payments are made via AlertPay. Make an account at www.alertpay.com and update your profile details if you haven't already. Payment is currently delayed. Please accept our deepest apologies for this. Check Success Stories on http://buxbb.com to see who is being paid today. Be patient, you will be paid soon. Please do not send any more tickets on the matter, as we are doing our utmost to catch up, and repeated tickets will slow down the the whole ticket system, and uses staff that could be solving other cases or doing payments. Thanks for your consideration during this time. :)
Of course I had already updated my account records with my AlertPay details. Note "Check Success Stories" - Ponzi schemes rely on this type of reassurance to members of schemes. The implication is that if only you upgraded you would be paid.
On the 10th May 2008 I wrote:
I think having waited almost five months I have been incredibly patient. If you are really paying the sums out your ads say I'm sure you could put just a little into the effort required to pay my paltry sum.
The reply (11th May 2008)
We do not pay to Paypal. Payments are made via Alertpay. Please make an account at http://www.alertpay.com and update your Bux.to details if you haven't already done so.
If you want to calculate around which date you can be paid, see the Bux.to Estimated Payment Date Calculator | http://www.buxtopayments.com
We will endeavour to process and issue your payment via AlertPay or Bux.to card within 30 business days for premium and 60 business days for standard members, however due to our extensive audit procedure means we cannot guarantee this.
Payments are currently delayed. The reason for the long wait is the current issues we have with AlertPay. Please read the forum for more details. Please accept our deepest apologies for this. Check Success Stories at http://buxbb.com/index.php?showforum=6 to see who is being paid today.
Be patient, you will be paid soon. Please do not send any more tickets on the matter, as we are doing our utmost to catch up, and repeated tickets will slow down the the (sic) whole ticket system, and uses staff that could be solving other cases or doing payments. Thanks for your consideration during this time.
I visited http://www.buxtopayments.com that showed me I should have been paid on 17th March 2008! See the reassurance I can find in the success stories. Finally - it's my fault I've not been paid I'm raising support tickets.
I'm really pleased to see from the reviews here that some people have had their investments back and more - but be warned there are many more who have not seen a cent of the cash due to them. In fact one of the things that fascinates me is that in order for a Ponzi scheme to work those who do receive cash will hopefully spread the word and in the modern era this site is the perfect place to spread the word.
I long to be proved wrong but until it can be proved otherwise I am sure that this site is a major Ponzi scheme with the scope to run for some time yet. Some day there will be those who upgrade to Premium Member at $59 and pay $459 for 500 referrals and they will do it just before the plug is pulled - losing the lot.
Now you know the old saying -
If it looks too good to be true it probably is!
Join by all means, support the site if you must - go on do it. Just don't cry you weren't warned when it all goes wrong. For those who do receive cash - count your blessings!
If you want to join this type of site I can tell you that I was paid by both Wordlinx and Linkgrand within hours of requesting payment.
Now those that in various forums support Bux.to (normally those that have invested heavily in) will go apopleptic when they get their eyes on this review and I guess I can expect to be flamed remorselessy - well bring it on! I believe every word I have written.
I too registered to this based on the Diamond review - i am disgusted by the "customer service" had my request for payment cancelled after about 11months waiting. C
elinor.z 21.06.2008 23:07
I joined Bux.to after reading the first review on Ciao. So I cannot go along with some of the things that you say, but the review is very well written and explanatory from your point of view. There is always an oposite side to look at though, I shall write one soon. well done though and very interesting ...elinor.
jenny967 28.05.2008 23:04
I joined this site some time ago but I never bothered with it much,now I`m glad I did`nt, great review and E from me!! Jenny xx