Over $2k Commissions from Scam Products. - Don't Know How to Feel About It

Last Update: March 02, 2019

So recently I've made some commissions from scam products, but IT'S NOT WHAT YOU THINK.

That said, I still get a bit of an uneasy feeling making money like this.

Let me explain...

So a while back I remember someone talking about including affiliate links to products that they review and conclude are scams.

Example: Title: Is "Product Name" a Scam? - Conclusion: Yes it is a scam... but here is a link to purchase it if you want to.

I remember the person saying they were making commissions from scam products even though they were telling readers that they were scams.

But whatever... I figured what's the point?...I mean... it probably wasn't much anyhow, right? And if it is just a commission here and there it might not be worth the time.

I figured it would take more time setting up the affiliate links and applying to new affiliate programs if I had to than it would be worth from the money I'd make.

Then I decided to give it a try

I applied to an affiliate program that worked with several of the products that I'd reviewed and concluded they were pretty much scams for the most part.

I then inserted my affiliate links and that was that.

But I didn't do this for every product I'd ever reviewed. That would be too time consuming. My strategy was to do it for several products I reviewed that I had good rankings in Google and were getting some decent traffic.

Then I let them be.

Come to find out I've made over $2k from this stuff...!

Now it's not like I just found this out. I knew I've been making a hundred dollars here and there. But it's not like I've been monitoring this closely and the payments are sent out way after you earn them, so seeing that I've made this much was a shocker.

Should I consider myself a scammer?

In my product reviews I make it very clear what my opinion is. I don't necessarily call the products a scam, but I will say things like "I sure as heck wouldn't buy it" or "I will not be recommending this because of..." or "you can definitely find cheaper alternatives elsewhere"... things like this.

HOWEVER, I also say something along the lines of "but if you really want to buy this you can do so at (website name with affiliate link)"

I guess it's their choice and I'm definitely not suckering these people into purchasing, but WHY THE HECK ARE THEY BUYING THIS STUFF?

The point of me writing these reviews is to direct them to products that are actually good... yet they buy into the overpriced scammy ones.

I feel like I make some pretty good arguments as to why they shouldn't buy.... but they go and buy anyhow.

  • Maybe they still feel it's worth the money
  • Maybe they just want to do the opposite of what I say they should do
  • Maybe the just don't feel like taking the time to look into other products
  • Maybe they have money to blow

Who knows...

But anyways.... I don't really know how to feel about this.

What do you think?

Should I change my username to Kyle the scammer or is this ok?

Takeaway: Affiliate links are good even for products that suck

Now I wouldn't go about putting affiliate links in every review you've ever written. I think that would largely be a waste of time and might make Google see your site as being too spammy, which could hurt rankings.

However, what I would do is include affiliate links to product reviews, even if they are crappy products, that are getting some good traffic.

You can check in Google Analytics or Search Console to see if you have any reviews that are bringing in good traffic and decide from there.

You can still direct readers to a better alternative product but still include a link to the crappy product just in case they feel like buying it for some reason.

So what do you think about this? Have you had similar experiences?

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Recent messages
amhil23 Premium
I guess you could say you're not leaving any money on the table as Kyle states in the training.

As long as you've written reviews that you believe outlines the positives and negatives to a good level and even suggest that people don't buy it, if they buy it and find out that it's as bad an experience as you mentioned in your review, that's a loss on their part.

If you're making money because of your readers hard headedness not to trust in your opinion, that's a loss for them and hopefully they actually learn from their rashness in making bad purchasing decisions.
Wdcope Premium
If I do a review, I don't put the link of the one I am reviewing. I would just put their name, otherwise I am promoting what I don't want others to get involved in. That would be like so unethical in my mind even if it was to get traffic. It be like doing a review on a certain stock to stay away from but I go and invest in it anyways. My readers and followers would have no faith in me, plus very hypocritical. Not the rules I follow in life!
el-jefe-Kyle Premium Plus
I understand that. But you could look at it from another perspective.... these people are obviously purchasing for a reason and they don't have to agree with what I say, which I guess they don't 100% if they are buying it and I'm saying they shouldn't.

But ya I get what you are saying. That is why I still feel a bit weird about it.
MoneyMech Premium
I wouldn't feel bad in the slightest. These people would probably have gone and bought through someone else if you didn't provide a link. Regardless of your standpoint, adding a link is a convenience for the viewer, and it means more cha-ching for your hard work on that article.

I don't care what people say, it is 100% accurate to say that a negative review actually helps people buy items, because they go in with their eyes open.
BlSt Premium
Shocking findings indeed. What you should understand is that you can take a horse to a stream, but you will never force it to drink from it. You did your job telling them the product is not worth it. Their final decision now is theirs to make. So you cannot be held responsible for any decision they make. Interesting indeed. Hmmmm...
ericcantu Premium Plus
Haha, Kyle the Scammer has a great ring to it, lol jk.

Hey man, you're doing your part being honest with your reviews. Ultimately you can't control what people do or click on. If anything, you're giving them solid info about what they're about to buy. Who knows why people take a chance on some of these shady opportunities, but at least now they won't be blindsided when something "scammy" doesn't work.

If anything, you may also get those people who return to your page and now take the better option having seen that you were actually telling the truth about the scam. Now you have credibility.

All in all, it really shows that affiliate marketing can be even more successful than we imagine.
BlSt Premium
el-jefe-Kyle Premium Plus
Haha, ya.

That's true. I would have never imagined making commissions like these before trying. I can't see why people are buying, but it is what it is.

And you're right... most of them probably will realize they shouldn't have bought like I warned them not to and hopefully they'll come back to my site.
Wdcope Premium
Perhaps. A link to the other program is fine, but to be signed up in it and get dollars off of that I feel is not ethical. No matter how you put lipstick on the pig it is still a pig. Sorry, the ethics I have sound old school, but I grew up in a family business, that did not consider money no matter how derived is ok. If that is the case would we give back money found or consider it just too bad for the person who lost it!
ericcantu Premium Plus
Well I agree with you in that I would say that to lie to someone to get them to buy a product is very unethical :) But if you have a store and you plainly tell a customer that product A is a way better bang for your buck and beats out product B, but they still choose product B, there's nothing unethical about that. We have no idea why a customer chooses what they choose. Maybe they're buying it to create their own review. Who knows? As long as we're honest, that's what is key :)

In unrelated news, I'm now starving and want tacos. lol.
BenjisDad Premium Plus
Some people just have their minds made up. They will buy regardless of what you tell them.
el-jefe-Kyle Premium Plus
Ya I guess so.

Maybe next time I'll make my affiliate links "DO NOT CLICK THIS LINK TO PURCHASE".
Cav1966 Premium
I bet if you do that they will purchase..that might make for a good case study
el-jefe-Kyle Premium Plus
Miren Premium
Lol some people still do what you tell them not to do. I've reached the conclusion that it's easier to lie to someone than to convince someone they have been lied to.