Zeek Rewards Review: SPAM, Penny Auctions & MLM
Ever heard of Zeekler?
Yeah, I hadn’t either but when the company Zeek Rewards came across my desk for review I soon learned that Zeekler was Zeek Reward’s parent company, with the latter operating as the affiliate and marketing company of the former.
Dealing primarily in Penny Auctions (I’ll go more into that later), Zeekler aims to provide its members an income opportunity through its affiliate arm Zeek Rewards.
Read on for a full review of the Zeek Rewards business opportunity.
Zeek Rewards is the affiliate arm of the penny auction site Zeekler. Both companies are owned by Rex Venture Group LLC who are listed as a subsidiary of Lighthouse America US.
Staff wise, Zeek Rewards (and Zeekler) is CEO’d by Paul Burks (photo right). Burks previously ran something called the ‘Free Store Club’ which was a now defunct MLM opportunity.
From what I can gather, Free Store Club was a replicated storefront you could purchase into with products you could then stock your store with. The basic idea was that you’d promote your storefront and coupled with a MLM compensation backend, earn a commission on the sales made through your store.
Zeekler seems to be the next incarnation of Free Store Club in that Burks provides the products Zeekler puts up for auction via whatever wholesale channels he was using to stock Free Store Club.
The Zeek Rewards Product
Utilising the Zeekler backend, either via a commission on bids made through Zeekler (these bids are commissionable), or operating your own replicated Zeekler storefront (provided to you upon signup), members of Zeek Rewards can retail various products that Zeekler has on offer.
Stocked by CEO Paul Burk’s wholesale channels, depending on which membership option you pick (how much money you’re willing to pay for a monthly subscription), members can pick and choose what inventory they want to put in their store and even have the option of adding their own products too.
As far as Zeeklers auctions go, you’ll be selling bid pack purchases which you’ll then earn a commission on.
These bids don’t have any real world value, but within Zeekler each bid has a bid value of 65 cents.
Now although strictly speaking not a product, I’ve decided to include the various auctions available at Zeekler seeing as a basic understanding of how they work is essential in order to establish the value of Zeekler’s bid packs.
Penny auctions typically start at $0.01 and from here members can place a bid on the item, typically raising the price between 0.01 and 0.08.
Each auction has a timer and as the timer approaches 30 or so seconds, each time a new bid is placed it resets itself to around 30 seconds. When bidders are finished bidding (keep in mind each bid increases the price) and the timer runs out, you have a winner.
Reveal Price Auction
In a reveal price auction an item starts at a fixed price, which is allegedly close to the retail price of the item.
This price is unknown to bidders and they must bid to see the current price. With each bid on the item the price drops incrementally.
Once the price hits a reserve, bidders then have the option of purchasing the product, or continuing to bid on it and drop the price further. Once the reserve has been met, the first bidder to agree on the price shown to them wins the auction.
Falling Price Auction
In a falling price auction, the price of an item incrementally drops each second until it hits a reserve price. Bidders can ‘drop’ the price themselves (I’m not sure why they’d want to given the price is dropping anyway) at any time by placing a bid.
All participants in the auction are able to purchase the item at any time, at which point the auction is ended.
Zeekler’s Premier Auctions function in the same manner as a regular penny auction but they come with an entry fee that must be paid in order to participate in the auction.
VIP auctions carry an entrance fee and each member is given a certain number of VIP bids. Using these bids doesn’t cost anything unless you win the auction, at which point the auction is over and the winner pays the winning bid for the item.
Minimum bid amounts and the time an auction runs for differ from auction to auction depending on what is being auctioned off at the time.
Membership ranks for Zeek Rewards
As far as I can tell, there are three membership levels within Zeek Rewards and their sole purpose is to further reward either Silver, Gold or Diamond paid members who recruit others to the business.
Distributor – A Silver Affiliate becomes a Distributor upon personally recruiting two qualified preferred customers. Distributors are entitled to
- matrix commissions of 25 cents for each Silver, Gold or Diamond paid affiliate in their matrix
- 5% on first generation and 2.5% on second generation VIP bid purchases.
Manager – A Gold Affiliate becomes a Manager upon personally recruiting two qualified preferred customers. Managers are entitled to
- matrix commissions of 35 cents for each Silver and $1 for each Gold or Diamond paid affiliate in their matrix
- 7% on first generation and 3.5% on second generation VIP bid purchases.
Executive – A Diamond Affiliate becomes an Executive upon personally recruiting two qualified preferred customers. Executives are entitled to
- matrix commissions of 40 cents for each Silver, $1.50 for each Gold and $3.50 for each Diamond paid affiliate in their matrix
- 10% on first generation and 5% on second generation VIP bid purchases.
The Zeek Rewards Compensation Plan
The Zeek Rewards compensation plans is membership based and offers its members a variety of ways to earn commissions utilising the Zeekler website.
Here’s a rundown of the various ways in which Zeek Rewards affiliates can earn commissions;
Zeek Rewards offers a 20% retail commission on all Bid Pack purchases made by personally sponsored retail customers you refer to Zeekler.
Retail Store Commissions
Upon joining Zeek Rewards you will be given a replicated Zeekler retail store. Depending on which membership level you join Zeek Rewards at, members are able to pick and choose what inventory they wish to stock and even stock their own items for sale.
Commissions earnt in the retail store are the difference between the wholesale price and retail price of anything you sell.
Affiliate membership commissions
Zeek Rewards will pay out 20% a month on any Silver, Gold or Diamond membership you sell. This is a recurring commission paid out monthly for the life of the sponsored account.
Retail Profit Pool
For qualified Zeek Rewards affiliates, the company offers what they call a Retail Profit Pool. This pool is made up to 50% of the company’s gross retail profit on the sale of bid packs on any given day.
To qualify for this pool, members must either hold a Silver, Gold or Diamond membership, post an ad for zeekler.com on the internet (more on this forced spam by Zeek Rewards in the conclusion of this article) and have sold a bid pack or given away VIP bids on that particular day.
The Retail Profit Pool is calculated daily and is a percentage commission paid based on the amount of VIP ProfitPoints you’ve earnt (via the sale of bid packs or the giving away of VIP bids).
The 2×5 Forced Matrix
The Zeek Rewards compensation plan utilises a 2×5 forced matrix.
With you at the top this matrix runs five levels deep with two legs branching out on each level. As you start to fill it up, your 2×5 matrix should look something like this;
With 62 positions available to be filled, the forced matrix pays out a monthly flat commission of up to $3.50 (for the exact amounts, refer to the membership ranks earlier in this article) for each paid subscription member in your matrix.
Note that the matrix does extend beyond five levels however beyond five levels a Matching Bonus is paid (you must have various numbers of preferred customers and paid subscription affiliates in order to qualify).
The compensation plan doesn’t mention what this matching bonus is however, and I’ve been unable to verify the exact amounts independently via a third party.
The Diamond Executive Pool
The Diamond Executive Pool is made up of $1 from each new Gold and Diamond subscription or renewal (1st month of renewal) paid for any given month.
To qualify for a share in the Diamond Executive Pool, Diamond (or Executive membership rank) members need to sell silver, gold or diamond affiliate subscriptions.
The amount of shares earnt per subscription sold are 1 for a Silver subscription, 5 for Gold and 10 for Diamond.
The Generation Bonus is made up of a contribution each time a company wide Silver, Gold or Diamond affiliate subscription renewal is paid.
The amounts contributed to the bonus are 25 cents per Silver, $1 per Gold and $2 per Diamond subscriptions renewed.
To qualify for a share in the Generation Bonus, qualified Zeek Rewards members must personally sponsor 6 manager membership rank or higher members.
Joining Zeek Rewards
For those wishing to join Zeek Rewards, there are four options available to them;
Joining Zeek Rewards as a ‘free affiliate’ costs nothing and members receive
- a replicated Zeekler penny auction site
- a replicated Zeekler retail store
- entry into the 2×5 matrix (note that as a free affiliate however you are ineligible for matrix commissions and are ‘compressed’ out when commission are calculated).
A Silver Affiliate account costs you $10 a month and on top of the Free Affiliate benefits, members
- are able to receive matrix commissions
- have access to store inventory with ‘higher margins‘ and ‘deeper discounts‘
A Gold Affiliate account costs you $50 a month. Gold affiliate members
- have access to ‘even higher profit margins and deeper discounts‘ in their retail store
- are able to add their own departments and products and remove those they don’t want within their retail store
A Diamond Affiliate account costs you $99 a month. Diamond affiliate members
- get the ‘highest profit margins and deepest discounts‘ for their retail store
- the ability to add their own departments and products to their retail store
- customisation of how their retail store looks
- a lead capture system (replicated capture page?)
- participation in the Diamond Executive Pool
The main problem I can see with the Zeek Rewards opportunity is that it basically is just one of three businesses run by the same guy.
You’ve got the wholesale distributor side of things, the penny auction site and really, do you actually need a MLM distribution model to attract members? I mean, if the penny auction model is that great shouldn’t it itself attract new members and retain them?
This brings me to my next point of analysis;
Who is using the Zeekler penny auction site and how?
Ironically, here’s how Zeekler advertise their penny auctions;
You know that online shopping has become an overwhelming drag these days.
Are you looking for serious deals, right now? With a little fun and excitement while you’re shopping?
Are you someone who can’t wait to get up at 4am on Black Friday to snag and sometimes battle for the best deals all season?
Or are you someone who avoids crowds and chaos like the plague.
The irony being that, due to the auction models used by Zeekler, online shopping with them is anything but fast and convenient.
Think about it, only one person can win an item and for everybody else, the money they’ve invested in the auction is gone.
Where else can you put money towards a tangible product only to have to walk away with nothing in the end.
Whilst overall the penny auction appears to be a frustrating experience for the end user, company wise they are a ludicrous money spinner.
Take for example product X, it can be an iPod, laptop, digital camera… so long as it’s a hot item people are going to bid on, it doesn’t matter.
Product X has a retail value of $200, but debuts in a penny auction on Zeekler for just 1 cent. With bids incrementally increasing the auction price by 8 cents, let’s say the final bidding price is just $30.
That’s a whopping 85% off the retail price! Sounds great huh? Wrong.
Let’s take look at how we got to the $30 price. At 8 cents a bid, to get to $30 from 1 cent requires 375 bids.
That’s $243.75 in bids alone, and if we add on the final $30 sale price, this brings up the total spend by Zeekler users to $273.75.
Not bad for an item that retails at $200, forget about whatever lower wholesale price Zeekler paid to stock the item themselves.
Keep in mind the above example uses at 85% discount price. Realistically people are probably going to bid above $30 for a high demand $200 item.
And that’s where the long-term viability problem lies with penny auctions like Zeekler.
That $243.75 loss is spread out between everyone who didn’t win the item.
After the honeymoon period in the beginner auction area (where you can’t bid unless you have less than three item wins to your account), Zeekler users are buttered up with a sense of ‘hey, this is easy… why wasn’t I doing this earlier!’ (no doubt helped by careful product selection in the beginner area).
Once in the wide world of general auction though, after a few losses and the giant time sink of bidding on auctions to buy stuff is, most people are probably going to walk away with nothing and take a financial hit for the opportunity to do so.
So given that most people aren’t going to win enough auctions to justify their losses (pure statical mathematics), how do you keep them around?
Answer: You throw them a MLM income opportunity and give them a vested financial stake that relies on the success of your penny auction site.
Enter Zeek Rewards.
Looking at what’s available to members, I’d guess that most of their profits are going to be from the auctions themselves.
Replicated sales portals are useless. They don’t rank in the search engines, you have to not only drive traffic to them yourself but also compete with specialist stores selling the same products, and they have much more buying power than Zeekler does.
This leaves the auctions and given you make a commission on bids when they are bought this is what you’re going to wind up convincing people to buy.
Given that this alone won’t keep them around (they’re unlikely to make a repeat bid purchase unless they get extremely lucky and win some auctions in succession), you’ve then got to try to rope them into the compensation plan so that they too have a vested financial interest in the site.
Thus looking at the greater picture, what we wind up with is a penny auction site that is populated by people who stand to make commissions each time a bid is made on a product.
An organically successful marketplace? Hardly.
Proof alone of this is the fact the in order to be actively qualified, Zeek Rewards members actually have to spam advertisements for the company every 24 hours.
No I’m not kidding. The Zeek Rewards backoffice has an advertisement area that generates banner or text ads for members to copy, and then it provides them with a directory of free classified ads sites that they can click through to paste their spam on.
This isn’t voluntary, this is a company requirement. I mean hell, being required to spam the crap out of the internet in this day and age should be grounds enough alone to make most people run from a MLM opportunity screaming.
Furthermore, this isn’t the first time penny auctions have been combined with MLM, remember Dubli?
After much hype and multiple global launches they eventually flopped and disappeared. I imagine given time the same thing will happen with Zeek Rewards too.
Penny auctions work for the company and if the userbase gets too big inevitably you wind up with an angry userbase frustrated at the fact they can’t win anything.
Given all the members are doing is pumping money into the system and rarely winning anything, they leave.
Eventually, even a MLM compensation plan isn’t going to be enough for them to stick around and that’s probably where we’ll see Zeek Rewards eventually wind up.
Based on my completely amateur analysis based on US laws, this comp plan is illegal, as it directly rewards members for recruiting, which subjects it to anti-pyramid scheme legislation.
Thanks Oz for the review.
Disclosure: I’ve signed up for zeek rewards.
i haven’t got involved in any other MLMs since an unfortunate Amway experience as a 20 year old in the 1980’s. All that attempted recruiting of friends stuff gave me a poor reputation that took years to overcome.
Anyway, I’ve been a member for just over 6 weeks. But I’m only interested in the retail profit pool side (RPP), which means I haven’t recruited – nor am i interested in or required to do that in the future.
Let me explain how things have gone for me.
So I subscribed to pay $10/month and i bought $50 worth of bids to start up. That gave me 50 of what they call VIP points. Each day, as long as I place a free ad for zeekler anywhere on the web (spam? maybe), the company pays out a % in its RPP. This amount has, so far, varied between 0.5% and 3% each day. You then get to choose what % you want to ‘repurchase’ as more VIP points or claim it as cash.
So i set to the recommended 100% repurchase and watched it compounds daily. After about 6 weeks, the 50 points had grown to 100. With some bonus points the company gives, my balance is now at about 300. If the RPP continues at the same rate, my VIP points should reach 1000 by the end of the year, and 2000 by the end of Feb. At that point i plan on collecting, which should be about $20-30 / day. It should only take me a week to recover my expenses.
But you can see that if you wait longer until your balance was, say, 10000 that, in theory, you could be making $100-$200 /day.
Only i can’t stop wondering what will happen when everyone else decides to ‘cash in’ so i’m keen to get out before that!
Still, it’s 5 minutes a day of cutting and pasting, a smallish investment, no recruiting, and perhaps the chance to make some $$$.
Not holding my breath though.
The VIP points are redeemable at 50 cents a point right (I remember reading that in one of their examples)? And don’t you have to give out the VIP bids to get actual points? Who are you giving them out to?
Even with 2000 points by the end of February, that’s still only $1000. Made from $50 that’s impressive but not the timeframe it took to make it.
As you note it does compound so it will grow faster but that’s a huge risk in my opinion. I guess with an initial $50 investment and as you say few minutes a day spamming the internet it’s no too bad from your perspective.
Company wise though they’re obviously covering this return with the sale of bids that are being used in the penny auctions as this delivers a solid profit for the company on high interest (consumer interest, not financial interest) items.
If everybody did what you were doing, and I imagine there’s quite a few already doing this, I’m sure you can appreciate that if nobody is buying bids and spending them as they’re meant to be used the company can’t mathematically pay out the returns.
Remember that your points are only virtual currency, nothing is real until you cash out. And if Zeek Rewards can’t make a profit and pay everyone out, I imagine they’ve got a clause somewhere that’ll reduce the dollar amount each VIP point is worth will be reduced until they do.
They’re obviously not going to go bust paying out members.
And as for spam, would you be promoting Zeek Rewards if it wasn’t required?
That’s not right. You can’t directly cash in the points. It’s only by using the points to generate cash through the RPP that they can be redeemed. So if the RPP paid an average of 1.5%/day with 1000 points I would receive $15/day. That’s the only way i can “cash out”.
2000 points is not $1000.
The company runs a “customer co-op” which automatically gives away bids on my behalf to cutomers, if i don’t have any myself (which I don’t).
The points don’t actually have a redeemable value (as mentioned above)so there’s no need for the company to have to reduce it. The retail profit pool isn’t guranteed. So if the company stopped making $$ that would be the end of it.
What they have managed to set up though, is to have (almost)everyone re-investing most of the profit back in the company.
When/if people stop doing that and switch to cash out will be interesting.
Ah ok, sorry my bad (I got a bit of a headache analysing the Zeek Rewards comp plan, it’s pretty badly written).
So in effect you’re getting a return based on a company made up % off of the points you have, with your points holding no dollar value?
Jesus, what are they going to do when everybody’s points eclipses their Penny Auction profits? They’re effectively creating money to pay out as a return but the return is so low they’ve got everybody re-investing their return to build their principal!
And the big red flag is they’re basing the new day’s payout % based on the previous day’s automated purchase of new points! This is naturally only going to increase as everybody’s points grow larger… but in effect no new actual money is being created!
I hope someobody is keeping track of all this at Zeek Rewards, otherwise god help them if enough people decide to cash out and collapse a large chunk of their cashflow!
ZR is starting to sound more like an investment scheme than a MLM if most people are using it like yourself (entirely their fault for setting it up that way).
I’ll come back to you in a couple of months and let everyone know how it’s going.
I can’t see it lasting either, at least in its current format. But hell, i was too curious this time and if I’m lucky i still could do alright. Oh yeah, and sorry for the spam.
This is “self-generated inflation”. It’s a bogus compensation model. Sounds impressive, but the “growth” is not based on anything substantial. Furthermore, it has the danger of being declared “illegal banking” in nations where banking is heavily regulated.
Some of you people need to understand what “spam” is: Placing a daily ad on an online classified website is NOT spam.
Also, with the changes implemented by Zeek Rewards recently, they are in full compliance with US laws. Zeek Rewards is NOT a pyramid scheme.
Members who take the time to submit an advertisement once per day for the Zeekler penny auction site, are “rewarded” with a portion of the companies daily profits. Recruiting is NOT required.
As far as commissions, those are affiliate commissions based on bid pack sales to Zeekler customers. When a Zeekler customer(Not a zeek rewards member), referred by your sales advertisement, makes a bid pack purchase, you receive an affiliate commission of 20%.
I’m an affiliate salesman for 4 major credit/debit card companies. According to some of you peoples interpretations of “Pyramid schemes”, these are illegal too. Come on people! Educate yourselves before you speak.
But hundreds, possibly thousands of people doing it solely because a company refuses to pay them if they don’t, most certainly is.
These people wouldn’t be advertising daily otherwise, nobody but spammers place classified ads daily.
And where are these profits coming from?
Zeek members can purchase VIP bids and then give them away via the internal co-op, so yes they don’t need to recruit.
Somebody has to buy these bids though for the company to make a profit though no? The problem is that Zeek are promising customers on a (no doubt every growing) waiting list. This means they clearly don’t have enough customers to go around.
Regardless of this fact though, they are still going ahead and paying out commissions as if they had customers but honoring the point values earnt of their members for commission purposes (the bids actually haven’t been passed on as there’s not enough customers to pass them on to!).
Coupled with the fact that due to everybody’s points will increase over time, further increasing the disparity between incoming customer demand and bids being bought by existing members, how on Earth is this even going to be remotely stable?
At the moment the concept is barely two months old and is relying on the fact that everybody is re-investing their profit back into the purchase of more points.
What do you think is going to happen when people want to cash out?
As far as the affiliate commissions go, there’s no problem there as you have real customers (unlike Zeek’s co-op watiing list of virtual customers who don’t exist).
That’s a rather stupid thing to say.
Are the credit/debt companies’ compensation plans word for word identical to Zeek Rewards?
Didn’t think so.
Claiming Zeek rewards is unsustainable is not the same as claiming all affiliate programs are unsustainable.
Ladies and Gents. This whole thing sounds like a carbon copy of ASD (Ad Surf Daily ) Save your time and money and run away from this very very quickly.
It is laughable when someone criticizes something they know nothing about! Rather than try to run Zeek Rewards into the ground, why not first figure out how they work so you will know the truth! Zeek wouldn’t be here today if they weren’t complying with the law. They are a legitimate company!
Do you know how Real Estate agents get paid? How about insurance agents? How about other sales people? Do you know how all MLM’s pay out their peopel?
Would you put in an ad for Nordstroms if they didn’t pay you and instruct you how to do it? Just because you can’t comprehend how Zeek works, doesn’t mean it’s a bad company or a bad deal. Get the facts guy!
So what exactly is incorrect here? I see a whole lot of waffle from yourself and nothing specific.
Just the same old ‘waaah it’s not a scam, you just don’t understand it!’ It’s precisely because I do understand it that I’ve written what I’ve written.
Real estate and insurance agents aren’t in MLM, so what’s your point?
No idea what Nordstroms is, but unless it’s a MLM company that pays you to spam the internet it’s irrelevant.
I salute Oz on an impressive blog and thank him for the public service it provides.
A little background on the “Free Store Club”, the “store” it provided you with was a replicated sub domain of the parent website. What that means is that your individual store was functionally invisible to search engines.
Paul would sell you SEO services but they never really would help, unless someone clicked on your own individual link [youraffilatename.freestoreclub dot com] they’d never find your store. So much for retail sales but that doesn’t mean you couldn’t make money off your store.
You see, retail sales were completely unimportant to Free Store Club, you could always just recruit more paying affiliates in exchange for a cut of their monthly dues (they call them hosting fees). Sorry if the following link is a bit long, it’s an archive dot org snap shot of an old Free Store Club comp plan page:
Also, there was at least one “buisness opportunity” that fell between FSC and Zeek, it’s New Net Mail. It’s like E-Mail only much much better, it’s e-mail with a (decidedly triangular shaped) compensation plan. For your inspection:
So they give the service away for free, you only have to pay if you wish to earn money by recruiting other paying affiliates (who in turn earn money by recruiting other paying members, and so on, and so on, and so on).
Paul Burks has a provable history for running shady little pyramid schemes and I hope Zeek Rewards becomes just successful enough to gain him the attention of regulatory agencies that his “14 years of rock solid” buisness experience has thus far eluded.
I have a question for Zeek Rewards members and really anyone participating in penny auctions anywhere, how do you know you aren’t getting scammed when you place a bid? What if an auction was about to end but the item price hadn’t been bid up high enough to cover the website owner’s price for the item?
What’s to keep them from programing the system from throwing in a “shill bid”? If their own software casts a bid under a fake user name and it wins the auction, they keep all the money from any real bids cast and they keep the item to relist for another auction.
Why, if I were an unscrupulous penny auction owner I could insure I never lost a dime by selling an item at a loss and you’d never be able to prove I was doing it.
But while Paul Burks ran pyramid schemes for years, he’s never been accused for rigging his own auctions. I mean, he has to draw the line somewhere. Doesn’t he?
And one small follow up question if I could beg the indulgence of any Zeek Reward affiliate. What is Zeek Reward’s North Carolina Auction license number? Perhaps I’m overlooking it somewhere but I don’t see it on their website and for the life of me I can’t find either Paul’s name or any of his companies name in the search utility on the North Carolina Auctioneer’s License Board website. Perhaps you’ll have better luck than I did:
Surely Paul and his company have all the proper licenses for the buisness they are running. Don’t they?
I always find it amusing when people write articles about things they know nothing about.
Oz is the same type of person that will tell you how to perform heart surgery based on being under a light anesthesia while watching a tooth get extracted in a mirror.
More than likely a friend invited him to zeek and his friend is now making a lot of money. In order to save face he is bashing something making statements when he has NO idea even how the program works.
Give me your email address and I will send you $500 in bids to try to win something in the auction. Yes I am paying for the bids and they do cost ME $500. But because you have the welfare mentality I know YOU will not appreciate the fact that I am in business buying the bids to entice YOU into purchasing your own.
I have won in the auctions. You can win in the auctions. I have MANY customers that I created which is what REAL affiliates do instead of depend on a company pool.
PS for your information the income for affiliates is completely based on the money spent in the auctions, stores and other outlets. If no one bids in the auctions NOBODY makes any profit share that day.
True there is a minor MLM component but it is virtually insignificant. The MLM pays on providing you websites, stores at discount, company support, back office, training etc just like every other legitimate internet business. The MLM pay has NOTHING to do with the bids or the auctions other than selling stores and websites.
Before you decide you want to be a heart surgeon, I recommend you go back to school and learn what you are talking about. No I am not going to tell you how it works because you are the one claiming you know it so go do the work before spouting.
PS – So ebay and all other sites that do auctions and penny auctions are scams in your mind? Just because you do not know how to bid in an auction does not mean it is not a viable program. Do not give your stupid answer that it has MLM to it so it is not legit. I already told you the MLM is insignificant. It is just a method of advertising to others and drawing a crowd.
PPS – Yes others DO advertise daily in classified ads, on ebay, on google, in the newspaper, on billboards, through text messages, via flyers, via mailers, via postcards. Requiring the affiliates to do so is brilliant as can be seen from the Alexa ratings making them in the top 5000 pages viewed on the internet. But just like you not joining zeek with your friend now making money, the company has high rankings and YOU are slamming them because your credibility on what you are talking about is worthless.
No thanks, find some other suckers to distribute your points too.
And once people work out they’re getting ripped, off you go to find new customers who’ve never heard of penny auctions.
All the meanwhile you take part in Zeek’s investment game and continue to disperse your VIP bids to unsuspecting people hoping to lure them in and inject new money into the system.
Not when you’re conducting a review on the MLM business opportunity itself.
How can the compensation plan pay you on a website, store, company support, back office and training – none of those activities are sales, they’re non-revenue generating services the company provides.
You have to use the services to rope people in and convert them into members before they realise the penny auctions alone are just a dead end.
There’s no organic marketplace here, it’s just people interest in the MLM income (and investment program) roping new members in.
Irrelevant, ebay et al are not MLM companies. Nor do they have dodgy investment schemes with virtual shares.
Nah it’s not. All it does is force existing members to spam the internet to attract new members into the scheme.
There’s already enough spam on the internet with dodgy companies like Zeek forcing their members to add to it.
I always find it amusing someone should choose to start a rebuttal with a personal attack.
And this proves what exactly? That the auction works? That wasn’t the problem Oz was saying.
What did you sell your customers? Those “bid packs”? or retail store?
False. Bid packs made money for whoever sold them already. But that’s not where the problems are.
Now that is the problem, because… If you recruit someone, who pays to join, and you get paid for that, and that someone is expected to go out and do the same thing… THEN you have a pyramid scheme. And that’s what affiliate membership commission is.
The feeling is mutual, and I’m not Oz.
What have you been posting? Bull****?
Irrelevant derail attempt.
Having 50000 spammers instead of 5 is sorta brilliant… Making a distributed spam network. Not exactly admirable though.
I rest my case. No critical thinking whatsoever. I answered your questions but you preferred to ignore them and reply with your false understanding of how the program works. Once again, read and study what you are writing about BEFORE you try to look intelligent on what you are discussing. What you are doing is no different than a supposed front line war correspondent writing from the safety of his Chicago hotel room. For your information MLM IS LEGAL and taught at the Harvard Business School. Please provide your certification for your law degree that qualifies you to respond on what is or is not legal. And for you K. Chang, I cannot believe there are two people in one little place writing about something they know little if anything about other than personal opinions. Yes, they are personal attacks because they are personal opinions not based on fact.
What you said wasn’t ignored, it was just replied to and called out as bullshit.
Instead, you ignored the reply and published a ‘waaaah you just don’t get it’ reply that addresses nothing put forth to you.
I suggest this is something you need to do as clearly when somebody challenges you on the legality of Zeek as an investment all you can do is cry about a lack of critical thinking and understanding, when it’s anything but.
No shit sherlock, shady investment programs attached to penny auction fronts that trade in virtual returns aren’t though.
The big money in Zeek comes from the referral of others and participation in the investment program. The rest is just ‘look at us, we’re legal’ fodder.
If you’ve got nothing else of substance to add other than more waste-of-time ‘you just don’t get it replies’ without mentioning the specifics of what everyone, except you and your scamster buddies, isn’t getting here – don’t bother.
I stand by what I said. I answered your questions, you ignored the answers. You did as most children do when they do not get what they want and start to jump up and down and throw profanity.
Just because you call something “bullshit” does not mean it is. That is just your uneducated tantrum. I said you do not know the subject you are talking about.
You proved that with many inaccuracies in your statements about the program. You said no one real ever bids in the auctions or wins anything. I offered you bids so you could prove YOU were a real person bidding in the auction and you ignored your rant that the auctions were false when I said I have won.
I told you profit share is based on bids USED in the auction and you ignored the fact and wrongfully said that is not so.
I said the MLM component is insignificant and based on the monthly fees for services that you wrongfully say is illegal.
People charge for websites and services all day long and they pay agents to sell those items. Just because the services are sold MLM does NOT make them illegal. Your illiterate understanding of what a “sale is” proves you should not be writing on this subject but probably should not be writing at all.
Ebay and other auction sites ARE relevant. Just because they are not MLM does not mean they do not follow the same laws. As stated elsewhere, Ebay is not registered as an auction site in the same state as the one you are complaining about.
The company is NOT an investment and just because you call an elephant a mouse does not make it one. That is just an opinion. Once again your wrongful assumption that placing ads in classified sites is spam shows your immaturity in understanding the advertising business.
Just for your information, classified ad sites can refuse or not post the comments before they become “spam” to the public.
And Oz and mister or miss or misses K Chang, after a due diligence study of the areas you post, you are either the same person or living together or working together.
Just because you make it look like multiple people to justify quantity opinion does not make your answers more real. Democrats in America do this all the time on social networks.
I have found the same person posing as over twenty different individuals. Now that is an opinion of MINE but based on the evidence I would bet it is true.
Of course I gave bid packs to my customers. If you understood the program, that is what I am supposed to do.
Bid packs are sold and commissioned just like any product sold in the store. My comment was that PROFIT SHARE ONLY occurs when someone spends bids in the auctions.
Sorry Oz and K or the same person, that is just the way it is and your opinion does not change it any more than you calling the elephant a mouse.
I have gone to school on it and I do know what I am talking about. My statement remains the same, you do not know what you are talking about. I am posting truth and you are posting opinion. Just because you did not figure out a way to get your alexa rating to 5000 does not mean they were not brilliant doing so.
Call it spam if you want, that is just your opinion. Rebutting that it is spam is just an opinion. Yes I answered your questions – again – but you offer NO critical thinking reply.
You can imply you are using critical thinking but once again it is just your opinion when in fact you have no facts to back your challenge. Once again, such language.
It is not an investment program, it is profit sharing. Calling the elephant a mouse does not make it so.
Mate you can cry all you want.
1. Giving away bids does not prove anything of relevance, all it proves is that yes – I can use your bids and the penny auctions are useable.
Nobody ever said they weren’t.
Being able to use them does not prove that people are using them (other than those being suckered into the investment scam.
From a consumer standpoint penny auctions are a complete waste of time, as evidenced in the example given in the original article. Thus once they figure that out (after losing money and having nothing to show for it), what’s left?
Pour money into the investment scheme, spam the internet and hope to sucker more people with the lure of penny auction bids too.
You’re reasoning is akin to ‘here, I’ll give $100 to invest in a ponzi scheme and you’ll get a return.. SEE the system works!’
Until Zeek creates more virtual shares than it can pay out off it’s virtual penny auction revenues, the company will no doubt pay out. It’s when this reaches critical point that’s the problem, and as everyone’s virtual profits increases over time – this approaches faster and faster.
2. Ebay et al are not MLM or ‘profit share’ so they are irrelevant.
3. Waffle waffle waffle, at the end of the day you’re buying virtual bids, giving these bids away to virtual customers and earing a ROI on the imaginary sales of said virtual customers.
Oh sure you might have a few real “customers” you’re giving bids away to try and convince them to invest real money into Zeek, but that’s not by and large how the investment program works.
4. Any MLM component is important because it makes up the business model. Nobody ever said MLM is illegal, the investment side of Zeek (and the fact they pay commissions on recruitment) is dodgy as hell.
Yeah… you heard it here first folks, I’m 20 different people. Gotta love the crap scamm pushers come up with.
6. You publish ads on the internet because a company forces you to do so in order to earn commissions, that’s spam. You’re cluttering up the internet with advertising bullshit nobody cares about or reads – and only because you don’t get paid if you don’t.
Spam – end of story.
Considering the profit is virtual (bids sold to a never ending supply of virtual customers the company claims to have), it’s an effective investment with a guaranteed ROI.
You need products and services to sell to generate profit share, selling and giving away virtual bids is not a product. And don’t bother bringing up eBay again – they earn their money through inhouse advertising network and fees for auction listings.
eBay et al are not MLM, profit shares, dodgy investment schemes or penny auctions.
1. Thank you. You are finally coming around. I do buy bids (they are real not virtual – do not use some abstract definition that bids are on the internet so are virtual), I give the bids away and they are usable in real auctions for real products. You finally understand the business model.
2. Ebay does have a profit share program. I make money from it.
3. See #1 above about virtual bids. ALL my customers are real and many have won auctions.
4. Okay, focus on the MLM. People are paid commissions on the sale of websites, back office, wholesale stores and product. Your opinion that it is dodgy is just that, an unfounded opinion.
5. I never said YOU were 20 different people. I said I suspect you and K. Chang have a questionable relationship.
6. You say it is spam, most say it is not. Just your opinion and your opinion is just that, an opinion not a FACT.
7. Call the bids whatever you want, they do not pay unless spent in the auctions. If not spent, there is NO profit. Come by this month when we auction $5000 cash, $4000 vacation for four, three sets of Superbowl tickets and a new mustang car. I know you think all this is virtual too but it just shows your lack of educated understanding of the program. See #2 above on Ebay.
PS – Know you think you are going to keep writing until you burn me out. Well I know you are probably sitting on welfare someplace and have nothing else to do. I on the other hand own several businesses, I am a very successful scientist and engineer, I am very successful in MLM, I do training and motivation, I have written books, I have over 100 godchildren, I care for a 90 year old STEP FATHER, I care for a fully handicapped wife and extended family, I helped people go from nothing to success MANY times and I have taken many third world people for FREE in zeek and paid $10 for silver and $30 to their account to bootstrap them from shear poverty to above the national average monthly income.
No sir, when I leave here it is because I am bored with your intellect and stupid opinions.
and something something magic stuff – then you earn a ROI.
Zeek offer to buy your bids and this is the big question mark in terms of dodginess.
Nah they don’t, they have an affiliate program.
No doubt, but the fact that I can pump money into Zeek, sell my bids to a never ending supply of “virtual customers” provided by the company is a huge red flag.
For recruiting new members.
And in giving my bids away to Zeek, there are no checks and balances ensuring this even takes place.
Mate don’t care. It’s irrelevant.
My point exactly. I think we’re done here chief.
There is no golden egg, Zeek just take your points and give them to virtual customers. The probability they can take 100% of everyone’s dumped bids and give them away no matter how large the amounts people invest into the program is ridiculous.
Has Zeek ever refused to take bids from anyone on the grounds they don’t have enough customers?
@Oz and K Chang You guys never cease to amaze me! The first time I met U both was when I vested in TVI Express and you guys r still doing your thing. I am at awe with the knowledge you two have about MLM’s.
I have a friend that just joined Zeek 7 days ago. This friend has paid $10000 in VIP bids. It’s the 4th day now, and my friend has made just over $850.00 in VIP Point Balance so far averaging just under $200/day and all she is doing is putting in her ads every night.
Another friend who showed us his profits, got in Zeek 7 mos and has made over 28,000 in VIP Point Balance with equates to dollars according to them. This friend is averaging $400/day in VIP points balances. Another friend who became an affiliate back in Mar 2011 has 130,000 VIP Pts as of Nov. 2011.
Now Im new to this one. Can U explained why they are making so much money in profit bonuses and taking out $3000 cash/mo? Im totally confused. Thx so much! I listened to U guys concerning TVI and took your advice.
That’s just it. We’re talking the virtual currency of point balances, not actual dollars.
If everybody decided they’d had enough and cashed out of Zeek the entire company would fall apart as the company has been printing money with bids by dispersing them to ‘virtual customers’.
Let’s be realistic, there’s no way known Zeek can guarantee averages, with real customers you’d have massive swings from day to day sales – especially when we’re talking penny auctions.
Yet these guys manage to be pretty consistent… are they just disposing of people’s bids to virtual customers and calculating daily payouts based on the amount of ‘actual’ money pumped into the system each day by new and existing members?
You tell me.
At this stage I think it’s better to avoid this opportunity, and let your friends keep the feeling of success for themselves – as long as it will last. I’ll guess they will be stuck with some worthless VIP Points after a while, if they continue to be “all in” for a few more months.
The main problem here is that we can’t find any external sources of revenue capable of creating the ROI Return of Investment here. Most of the money in the system seems to come from the “investors” themselves.
* most of the marketing tries to attract investors rather than real users. I have only checked different investor websites, and I haven’t checked those “daily ads” that are used.
* penny auctions isn’t that popular, “a stable and increasing group of customers, eagerly awaiting more bids to be released each and every day, fighting for the right to buy more bids before the supply is emptied.” 🙂
* Free Store Club stores doesn’t seem to have any considerable revenue, or a large number of real customers. They look more like “hobby” than “business”, designed more to feel like a real store than to act like a real store.
Other red flags
There are several other red flags here too, most of them less important. One of them may be worth mentioning – the “Legal Staff” red flag, claiming to have an “in house” Legal Staff making them compliant with laws. Usually such “Legal Staff” is the owner himself acting as a hobby-lawyer, finding laws that seems suitable to protect his own interests. I will usually cause a lot of trouble when people are acting as hobby-lawyers, instead of using professional lawyers. It seems like they just recently have started to use a professional lawyer.
I believe Zeek Rewards is a Ponzi scheme, using money from new investors to pay the old investors. The managers here may still believe they run a legal business, that they sell “products” or “services” rather than “investments”. This means they may be more willing to put up a fight in the court if investors tries to sue them.
The combination of Ponzi scheme and an owner acting as a hobby-lawyer is a worst case scenario.
* first you loose your money when the recruitment of new investors slows down, and the money they have to pay out exceeds the money coming in.
* then you have to fight the management and owner in court, feeling they have done all the right things, and feeling like victims when investors tries to sue them, feeling the investors are “the bad guys”. 🙂
Experience do have some value, but I think you should try to avoid this specific experience.
Because VIP POints are worthless UNTIL REDEEMED. This is the same pattern with TVI Express’s “double-secured eWallet”. By NOT paying you directly, they think they can avoid FTC attention as they claim payment in VIP points is not money and they can avoid being labelled a pyramid scheme. However, everybody understands that VIP Points is $1 per point. So it IS virtual currency, and that runs into trouble in so many places… Breaking banking laws, pyramid schemes, etc etc.
Neither is relevant to Zeekler’s compensation model.
Your opinion that our opinion is dodgy is in itself “dodgy” as you are trying to draw “hasty generalization”. Commission paid on SALES is legal, but is that what Zeekrewards actually do? Nope.
And you have a very active imagination. We both bust scams, that’s about as common as we get.
Spam (verb) = sending unsolicited advertisement messages
Unless you can prove that the messages posted are solicited, or are not advertisements, your argument is doomed.
Oh, sure, the “don’t you have something better to do” insult. Hilarious, dude, hilarious.
Read through all this interesting discussion. Also read through other reviews on this site. Quite interesting. While I have not read through all of the reviews on this site, I have an impression that this site is only for skeptic/negative/you name the right word reviews.
In the end, people conclude not to join any of the reviewed schemes. Once again, I have not read all reviews.
On an other note, about Zeek, I am in, and I can see a bit of confusion from the part of Oz, K Chang. While the VIP points are virtual points, they are not ever redeemed.
The VIP point balance is what the daily profit share is calculated upon. IF one has 1000 VIP points, then the average daily share of 1.4% will give 14$ profit shared, and this can be withdrawn anytime, if wished.
I don’t choose what companies admins and owners launch, any negativity is a reflection the MLM industry at large and what types of companies those in it choose to launch.
And that’s where the investment comes from. How do you get VIP points? You have to purchase VIP bids.
The steps in the middle (giving them away) are irrelevant as the total end sum of the equation is
1. buy vip points.
2. earn a ROI on them.
Using ‘but you have to give the points away’ line is like saying you didn’t eat breakfast this morning, you
1. woke up
2. bought some bread
3. put it in the toaster
4. spread some butter on the warm toast
5. ate it
See, totally not the same as eating breakfast.
Is it possible to SELL the VIP Points to others if you like to quit?
Or are they “lost” or “confiscated” if you decide to quit?
VIP Points acts a some sort of “investment”, because you PAY real money for them and they’re also used to calculate daily Return of Investment, ROI.
If VIP Points are not redeemable then ROI will be much lower than in real investments until you “break even”, having withdrawn your initial investment as cash. Being able to sell VIP Points would have compensated partly for the loss of initial investment if someone wants to quit.
* As far as I can see, new investors pay real money for VIP Points, much like a permanent “contribution” to the company – never to be paid back to the investors? The only reason for people to pay this “contribution” is the promise of daily ROI.
* And as far as I can see, the company use these “contributions” from new investors to pay a daily ROI to all investors? Money has to come from somewhere, and the other sources of possible revenue doesn’t seem very active.
* And since the ROI is high, most of the investors will increase their “contribution” (reinvest daily ROI) to earn more money, before they start to withdraw more money than they have invested initially? The only motive for increasing the contribution is the promise of daily ROI.
This looks very similar to a Ponzi scheme, so the risk here is that those “contributions” from new investors may slow down, or the business may be shut down by authorities (if I have guessed right in relation to the different sources of revenue).
If they do use money from new investors to pay daily ROI then it isn’t a very good idea to join this now. This scheme seems to be close to a peak, where they eventually will have to reduce the daily ROI, and are also at risk of being shut down, leaving most of the investors with worthless VIP Points and an experience richer.
I may have guessed wrong in relation to how the daily ROI is generated, and also in relation to how close this scheme is to a peak. I’ll guess “time will tell” here, sometimes in the near future.
The other thing to consider is that the affiliates buy and give away A LOT of FREE bids and many people have posted videos and articles talking about how they won something for nothing. It’s enticing.
If you can sign up and get 250 bids – that’s a good start to play.
My sister’s colleague purchased $3500 worth of bids to get started in February of 2011. Her check for 1 week (the week before last in fact) was $3200. Her check for this past week was $5000. Not to mention all the other checks from when she started cashing out back in October.
She’s been able to buy a brand new roof and start remodeling their home. I’d definitely say she’s at least earned back her investment.
Her uncle (who got her started) who is a professor up North is earning $14,000/week. He, of course, started when ZR was launched. He gives away A LOT of bids and what he makes is nothing to sneeze at – even if it doesn’t last forever.
One more thing, you don’t have to buy anything – if your repurchase is set at 100% that will be done for you and you need only pay the monthly subscription.
As the earnings compound daily more VIP points will be purchased automatically and the return will increase.
The brother of the colleague has NO ONE in his matrix. He’s a diamond and he posts ads. He’s not as high as she is but doing nicely.
This doesn’t surprise me in the slightest and is indicative of how most members using Zeek are making their money. They’re giving their bids away to the company who are paying them out on commissions without actually giving these bids away to customers.
And with everyone giving their bids to Zeek themselves, who obviously don’t have some infinity queue of customers, where do you think these returns are coming from?
Both your sister’s colleague and her uncle have joined early and built up their VIP points over time… I hope they’re conscience is fine with the reality that their “commissions” have come from the new money being invested by those that joined after them.
It’ll truly be interesting to see if Zeek’s new attorneys make them scrap the giving away of points to the company who then *something something mumble mumble magic stuff happens here with wands and fairies* pay out a return.
And regarding this whole Kevin Grimes compliance thing, the latest appears to be that the company is charging all members $4.95 ($9.95 after 14 days) to get certified complaint.
Lol, since when do companies charge members for compliance checking?
The question is who’s being compliant… the company, or the members?
The most important question for people here shouldn’t be what others have earned, but if the business model here is able to continue to pay for several months if they join now.
A big red flag here is that most people tries to avoid analysing the business model, and instead focus only on current income / possible income. They don’t even analyse if this is a possible Ponzi scheme, or if it’s close to it’s peak – close to the point where they should avoid it as best as they can.
Most of the marketing I have seen here tries to attract new investors rather than customers. This will usually mean that they use money from new investors to pay old investors. Joining under such circumstances means the money you invest will be lost if recruitment slows down within a few months.
Most of the examples mentioned here have used 6-12 months to build up their VIP Points before they start to withdraw money. This means that this scheme must be able to continue for at least 1 year if you want to make any money here. They will also need an increasing supply of new investors willing to pay.
Sorry, I’m not able to believe in this scenario.
The more you look at ZeekRewards, the less sense it makes.
In all businesses, the idea is to take in more money than it spends, right? It’s called PROFIT.
Where does ZeekReward’s money come from? What is its income?
* There’s people buying bidpacks for $$$
* There’s profit from the penny auctions (it should turn a profit) but are these Zeekler’s income, or ZeekRewards?
* And there’s the monthly fees for the higher-level memberships
There’s this HUGE GRAY AREA where you don’t know which is the service (i.e. bids and such you’re selling) and which is the membership rewards, that’s why this is POTENTIALLY ILLEGAL PYRAMID SCHEME. It’s all mixed up, much like BPX and TVI Express.
Regarding the whole ‘but it’s not spam!’ thing, recently Zeek members were banned from advertising on Craig’s list and in the last few days also appear to have copped a ban from posting spam over at classifiedads.com.
Turns out major classified networks don’t fancy being nuked with copious amounts of duplicate content spam ads…
This has to be the most comprehensive post I found on the internet why to keep away from this ZeekRewards program.
At the end you’re dipping in the money for possible profits, with a HUGE risk that this cards tower will collapse before you know it.
Oz, I think the whole “get paid to advertise” part is slightly different than you’ve portrayed it here. I think the actual value derived from the ads is almost minimal, so it’s not that Zeek needs members to advertise to bring in more members, but that Zeek is convincing the gullible they are doing some that has real value, therefore they are entitled to a share of the profits.
If you look at the actual value of the work being done, and even if you suspend reality for a second and assume the daily profit share is real money, Zeek would be the stupidest business in the world to spend hundreds of thousands a day on spammy free classified ads.
If Zeek really wanted to advertise and attain real customers to the penny auction, they could easily hire an ad agency and get real ads. So the ad placement is just part of the scam to trick people into thinking they get something for almost no work.
I don’t think Zeek is relying on the ads to acquire new customers. They are relying on word-of-mouth/distributors like any other auto-surf.
I agree the value from the ads is minimal, you have Zeek members running around advising other members to place an ad a day and to avoid spam detection rules delete the old ad each day before you post the new one. Can you get any spammier than that?
Rather I was highlighting the sillyness of the act, which is essentially ‘spam the internet or you won’t get paid a return on your investment’.
Zeek compliance department is telling everyone to take down all marketing materials that is not from corporate. This means all youtube videos, all blogs, articles, anything that talks about Zeek Rewards, daily profit share, any links to replicated sites that are not presented as part of corporate-provided marketing. You have to pay extra for the “marketing system”.
Even if you drank the kool-aid and wanted to promote this, now you can only do it by word of mouth and sending people to the corporate videos. I think what is happening is that corporate is losing control of people selling the investment scam.
At least within the high risk investment community, you know you’re investing in a scam, you just hope to cash out before the thing crashes. But now that they have so many MLM’ers from the more traditional product side learning about Zeek, these poor saps think any negative analysis vs. Zeek can be grouped in the same category as those who “just don’t get MLM” when all of the criticism is focused on the fake investment scheme.
I don’t understand how this could not end badly?
Perhaps the reason for the mandatory compliance training is so when the class action lawsuits hit after it crashes, the company can say “Hey, distributors knew it was not an investment, they even took a comprehensive compliance course, passed this test, and were certified. How could they not know this was not an investment and profits were not guaranteed?”
At least this proves that ZeekRewards does *care* about keeping itself in business, doesn’t it? So it’s not a fly-by-night outfit that wants to grab money then disappear… Or is that the impression it wants to give?
If MLM doesn’t rein it its reps it CAN be charged with with false representation and other things. The Texas Attorney General went after Mannatech for “allowing” its reps make unsubstantiated claims about how their products have all sorts of miraculous benefits, like treat variety of diseases, and that was like many years ago.
It’s clear that some promoters of ZeekRewards have been making bogus claims that forced the company’s hand. The question is… how effective will this be? Will ZeekRewards terminate those who left their bogus ads on? What if it was zombified and revived by spam video sites and such? Whose fault is it then?
The company shares fault in ALLOWING the stuff to get out of hand in the first place, but at least it seem to be trying to do the right thing. Overall, slightly positive.
I believe the intention here is more like “let’s cover our own asses”. The marketing compliance is only a part of all those red flags here. The biggest red flag is how the money paid as “daily interests” are generated, if they’re generated from “investors” or from “customers”.
ZeekRewards seems to be close to it’s peak. Doing some efforts to make the marketing become more compliant will probably reduce the recruitment of new investors, and thus also reduce the “daily interests” Zeek will be able to pay – if I have identified the revenue model correctly.
When an opportunity starts to “cover their own asses” it will raise even more red flags for an investor. Usually it will mean that they’re not able to continue with the terms and conditions they had initially, and also that the chances of loosing money on the investment have increased.
I don’t think this is “slightly positive” for most investors?
Given that Zeek will happily put you into a queue to give your bids away to a company generated customer, but still take those bids off your hands and pay you a return on your investment before they’ve actually given the bids away to anyone – I think the answer is obvious.
Ah, but what exactly is an “investor” here? If we mean the participants of ZeekRewards, then they are going to view it as a slightly positive. We on the outside would question why does a company needed to “rein in” any reps to START WITH. 🙂
By “slightly”, I mean like on the level of 1-2%, hardly significant. They have a huge negative balance to start. 😉
Your analysis on this is backwards. It is not in the interest of the investor, where investor is the person who buys VIP bids and depends on daily profit share for profit.
The entire revenue model depends on getting more investors. So if the compliance restrictions no longer allow you to recruit effectively, fewer investors = less incoming revenue = less profit share.
My assessment on why they have the compliance is all to cover their legal behinds. They are getting ready for when the company cannot provide the same daily profit share and distributors start shouting “scam”.
Now, here is the part that is different from the autosurf industry. Instead of just taking the money and running and shutting down, I think what Zeek will do is just lower the profit share. They will start paying out a profit share of 0.5% or 0.4% or 0.3% and just let the virtual currency evaporate on its own. That way they can claim legally they are not a scam.
You see the difference here? Instead of just promoting an investment with equity and a return like the autosurfs, Zeek is going way out of its way to emphasize, disclaim, and make you sign agreements on everything you do (i.e. when you send in a check you have to sign a document saying you agree ‘is not a “deposit” or “investment” and cannot be “withdrawn”‘). Now they role out the mandatory compliance (for a fee).
So when the money game collapses, instead of just shutting down and vanishing (which would be illegal and result in criminal prosecution), they instead pay back the daily profit just like they always have. But the rate, which they emphasize over and over again is variable and not guaranteed, starts dropping to some small amount as to reduce the actual equity available to investors to some fraction of what was originally put in.
Some people with large balances will still make money. Say you built your balance from 1000 to 100,000. Even a rate of 0.3%, you can still cash out about $30k. But since it is a pyramid, all the NEW investors who have not built their balances up over 3x the original investment, they will all be victims.
I predict Zeek may make some other changes to extend the life of the money-game. They might change the 90-day expiration period to a longer period, so they can drip feed a much lower profit share. They can offer promotions such as “deposit money and receive 2x in points”. Or “deposit money during St. Patrick’s Day week and receive a lucky multiplier on your points”. They can keep adding new variations to get people to add more money and extend the game longer, but each variation will just increase the number of points.
This paragraph is all speculation (I began with “I predict”), but I offer this as a warning to any investors reading this… if you start seeing this behavior it’s the beginning of the end. Cash out before everyone else does, so you stay ahead of the curve.
I had exactly the same prediction, even if I didn’t post it. I didn’t have all the details either, but the main prediction was exactly the same = a continously lower daily percentage paid to investors.
Investors may still be able to attract new investors for a period of time, based on the previous results. Often people forget to calculate the examples of income they see, and they may accept old income examples for a period of time. The effect here will probably be more gradually than immidiate.
I have had a few dialogues on forums with a few people experienced in investment schemes. They usually will try to withdraw their initial investment at some point, rather than be “all in” all the time. They also tries to detect any trouble before it starts to affect their investments, and are usually out of the game with most of their investments when the scheme collapses. “Timing is everything” is their most common advise. More unexperiencd investors are usually “all in”, mostly because they’re getting “the thrill of their lifetime” rather than money.
I will reexamine your predictions six months from now and if not a single sign shows that you are correct… I will demand an apology for making me gullible of your words. But if you are right, then I will give you a big hug. Sounds fair?
Actually, no. As someone who is hired by these large companies these plans are legal and require much effort.
I am part of the organization as well as a consultant with a few large MLM organizations online. Zeek and any other MLM must follow strict rules or be shut down.
For 14 years the company has had some failures, but it has had more successes. While I am not a member of the opportunities and companies I consult for, I am only a member here. I do love the program and it does work, but there is work to be done.
If I went around yelling SCAM! all day long, I might as well have a 9-5 job and forget about any dream that I might have. On the contrary though, I have taken the dream into reality online through many multiple streams of income, this being one of them.
It can be done here no matter what a nay sayer believes. Nay sayers fail before they begin. I enjoy promoting not only opportunities online, but my own products and services and that of others…it’s not the fact that we buy stuff everyday, it’s where we buy stuff.
I have seen many SCAM reports online, even Mr. MLM Watchdog, remember, they are still people promoting something in the end no matter what their site is about, even this one.
This site is about REVERSE MARKETING to Quibids is all…nothing more, nothing less than someone grabbing our attention to what they want us to focus on, and a good job they are doing.
You’re mixing up Zeekler and ZeekRewards. Just based on that I wouldn’t bothering hiring you as you can’t even keep your facts straight.
Oh, sure, accuse others of being a competitor just because they wrote something you perceive as “negative”. it’s standard pseudo-science tactics used by Creationists and Holocaust deniers.
Any company that focuses on a business model that pays out commissions for recruiting is most definitely not legal (in most countries).
Stop giving crappy advice to these companies you claim are hiring you (please drop some names).
So your “dream” is to actively participate in scams, cool.
Lol, with this kind of intelligence I severely doubt you consult for any company (other than in your own mind).
Quibids? I don’t even know what that is (without a Google search).
But no please, continue participating in your scams and claiming they aren’t illegal recruit scams.
(note the complete lack of concrete rebuttal to any of Zeek Rewards’ shortcomings in his comment – just a load of waffle and the good ol’ ‘waaah you just work for ‘xxx’ company’ tactic).
And you are basing your opinion on what cases or laws, exactly?
I am basing my amateur opinion on explanation by Grimes and Reese, Gerald Nehra, and the American FTC. Who are you basing your opinion on? Care to cite them? I’ll cite mine when you do.
I think you are right, if everyone decided to cash out at around the same time the company would collapse. However, you could say the say thing about banks. If everyone did a run on the banks at the same time the banking system would collapse as well. So, I doubt that will happen anytime soon.
People are greedy by nature. If they can see their $1,000 investment in Zeek doubling every 90 days they’ll leave it in there for a while. As more people see these type of returns more and more people from around the world will join which should keep Zeek in business for a number of years.
After reading everyones comments here I would say no one is either right or wrong because only time will tell. However, nothing last forever.
If everyone did a run on a single bank, the banking system would be fine.
If everyone withdrew all of their money from a bank, everyone would get all of their money back. If everyone withdrew all of their money from Zeek, the points would become virtually devalued by a factor of 10 or more instantly.
This is true only if you can maintain a pyramid model. If no new people join, the growth of the $1000 new accounts won’t grow fast enough to catch up with the growth of those with $100,000 and $1,000,000. So the risk with Zeek is not just based on people’s propensity to maintain 100% repurchase for compound growth, but that AND the constant growth of more investors.
I was shown the zeek rewards “opportunity” by a friend, and upon inspection, I have reached many of the same conclusions reached above. This company is bound to dissolve.
In addition to the problems mentioned above, I have found two other issues. First, you cannot cash in rewards points, you can only choose not to reinvest them (or a percentage of them). This means that with withdrawal process is quite slow, and as your points earned ninety days ago expire, your earnings only decrease.
Getting out any substantial amount of money once the company begins to dissolve will be impossible.
Secondly, zeek rewards is around 500 in Alexa rank, where as zeekler is around 2000. With the rewards site getting this much more traffic than the “cash cow” penny bid site, it becomes obvious that the rewards program is the actual cash cow.
I read in other forums etc that people are still ‘investing’ $1000’s of dollars into zeek. Whilst I’m now convinced it’s basically a ponzi, i think their structure is designed well enough to avoid a sudden crash and will keep paying for quite a while.
As has been said before, I think in the last days they will just softly reduce the RPP over time so that affiliates get paid a lower % of what they thought they would until zeek softly folds. I hope so (rather than crash).
I never put much in myself, but I’ve got my initial money back and (on 80/20) am making pocket money ($100pm but rising, maybe).
When investors start moving to cash, the rate will drop very fast. That will cause more investors to move to cash and even though it will take 90 days, the rate will drop so fast people will lose 70-80% of their balance. In other words, you want to get out before the rate drops rather than thinking that the rate will decline slowly and you can cash out during the decline.
Dear Mr “Oz”,
I just would like to express my appreciation and gratitude for what you’re doing here. I’ve just seen many different discussions on Zeek, but none of them was as educative as this one. Your argumentation is simply flawless and undisputable – even for a non-English-speaking-country-citizen like me. 🙂
Finally, it helped me make my decision not to join this “circle of greed”, although it was presented to me by rather a trustworthy person. 🙁 It looks they are wrong too, sometimes…
I believe that I could make some money though with ZR before it folds down, but unfortunately my ethics will not let me participate in this kind of “business oportunity”.
Thank you once again for your patience at fencing off all those ZR-defenders. I understand them though – cash is king theses days. :/
Keep up the good work. Greetings from Poland.
PS: I hope I won’t be labelled as one of your over 20 alter-egos. 😉
Just had another thought.
The “points” system is just a way to move money from lower end to higher end.
Everybody puts in the “same” (okay tiered) amount monthly fee.
However, those who have more points, theoretically gets a bigger chunk of the money assuming same reinvestment.
If you have 1000 pts, you’ll make a lot less than if you have 100000 pts, even if you do the same reinvestment, at the same profit share. Your withdrawal amount would be negligible. You are encouraged to reinvest 100% (i.e. take NO money out) to “grow” your balance.
So people who have very little points are basically feeding money into the system (net loss), so the people on top, who has a ton of points, can take money out of the system (net gain).
Thanks for the kind words Voice of appreciation.
Further thought… This scheme’s innovation is it allows you to immediately join at a HIGHER level (skipping over the bottom rungs and the suckers suffering net loss) and go immediately to net gain.
Most schemes make you stay at low level until you recruit enough suckers under you. This one doesn’t even need you to do that. Interesting.
I know people are making money from this scam. Unfortunately, much more people will be hurt when the inevitable end happens. How can this be stopped by the regulators or FTC before a lot more people and ultimately our economy suffer from this non- sustainable scheme? The founders are probably laundering millions of money off shore since this business from what I gather is spreading like wildfire. If anyone here know how to contact the regulators report this illegal activity fast before more families who are right now desperate suffer more losses in the end.
I tried bidding on the auction website. It seems like on items I was bidding, the price kept on going up and up. Not even close to how much the same item was purchased from previous closed auctions. My gut feel is that they hired a bunch people in a third world country for $5 a day 24/7 to hike up the price and if nobody wins, they re-auction same item the next day. FTC, check this out please.
This is pure speculation on my part, but they don’t need to hire any one. They control the server, after all. They can just rig the bidding process internally: only let a certain percentage of the bids win, and let their own shill accounts win the rest.
So the actual number of “winners” may be far lower than it appeared, and this way they don’t even have to stock so much inventory to be auctioned off.
Which would also explain why ZeekRewards is needed, as Zeekler can’t be making THAT much profit if they’re reverse auctioning stuff for tiny prices and SOME with free bids. All that merchandise have to come from somewhere and cost something. Yet ZeekRewards is NOT supposed to be a revenue generator but an EXPENSE for Zeekler.
To give out $$$ that ZeekRewards has been giving out, Zeekler have to be RAKING IN money (though much of it is “virtual” VIP points).
The whole model just makes no sense when analyzed from the outside. Yet if you consider it from the angle “the whole thing is a con including Zeekler” it makes much more sense.
However, again, this is pure SPECULATION on my part with NO SUPPORTING EVIDENCE. However this scenario makes more sense than other explanations, such as “Zeekler is raking money to be fed into ZeekRewards”. (Why have Zeekrewards then?)
The only ones who know for sure aren’t telling.
Regarding this “opportunity”….I got pushed and pushed into this thing since it only cost $10/month and there was “no recruiting” necessary. So, I started at Silver level and increased my points up to about 250 or so by spamming the internet daily over about 3-4 months.
Next, I started getting the greedy Emails from my sponsors – the ones with spreadsheets illustrating how you could make BILLIONS of dollars ( yes, no exaggeration ) in just 2 years by buying $1000 or $10000 worth of VIP points and spamming the Internet.
Red flag #1 – I told them I was not interested in paying a bunch of money upfront and here they are laying pressure on me to buy in for thousands of dollars.
Red flag #2 – Zeek starts changing the rules and pushing this “compliance course” like it is a benefit – sorry in a normal company this is free not something you need to buy and it is a hassle you endure, not something you brag about and promote.
Reg flag #3 – now, you suddenly have to produce 2 paying customers each month ( not recruit members ). This is basically not going to happen unless you like scamming strangers, or making up fake Emails and financing them with prepaid gift cards.
There goes a ton of people exiting quickly who only joined because they wanted to grow their points passively, not recruit people.
Well, I saw the signs and starting cashing out ( repurchase percentage at 0% ) as of the start of them pushing the compliance program, so I should be totally cashed out and at zero points in about 1 month or so. Then I am canceling the subscription as well.
Basically redeemed my money in time, which wasn’t much but at least it’s safe and I can sleep soundly not dragging my friends into a scam.
Of course, my sponsors think I just don’t “get it”… Well, whatever. They are also claiming to be making thousands of dollars a week – only problem is they are only making “points” which won’t be worth crap before they can cash them out.
The scam is over and I’m cashing out before the percentage drops below 1.1% and the hordes run for the exits. Anybody that thinks a spreadsheet showing how you can make BILLIONs in 2 years is an encouragement must be really stupid. It just shows you the fact that it can’t last that long before it dies.
You really think an inferior penny auction is gonna make BILLIONS in profits???? Seriously????
Red flag #5 – Any legitimate penny auction has the MOST traffic on weekends, not the LEAST traffic then. Therefore, the profit percentages just didn’t make sense since Quibids is loaded up on weekends yet Zeekler shows low profit margins on weekends.
So there’s a big clue that the penny auction is the cover business (think money laundering), not the profit driver. So, a full blown ponzi scheme.
For anyone that’s in this and telling people to buy into this thing with thousands of dollars – how are you going to feel when you just setup your friends, family and business associates to hold the bag while you profit off their failure?
When it ends, more people will lose than will gain. The party is already getting long in the tooth. Run for the exits now while you still can. Tell your friends and family to quit before you become the family pariah when they lose their money.
It’s all a ponzi. The only question is how long it will last, and what your personal ethics are if you know it’s a ponzi and you recruit others into it.
The penny auction has been down for as much as a full day the past 2 weeks, with downtime almost every day for 1-20 hours at a time. In addition, when the auctions restart it takes 1-2 hours to get them to the 20-second bidding stage. Yet during all this time the profit share hasn’t skipped a beat.
Zeek has already said their profit formula includes the affiliate investments, so that’s nothing new. What they don’t reveal is the ratio between penny auction and affiliate money which would clearly reveal the ponzi nature of the business.
Think about it this way. If it is not a ponzi, you can freeze all new affiliates and just operate the penny auction and people could still profit. But if you freeze new affiliates and the whole money scheme collapses then you know it’s a ponzi.
This is a very simple test case and I am sure all the Zeek lawyers and staff know it is a ponzi. Which makes you sick to listen to their faux elation on the corporate calls. (Well, maybe it’s not faux, maybe they are happy as heck they are making millions off those who will be left holding the bag).
Why do they want me to purchase the (profit Sharing) bids with a cashier’s check mailed to North Carolina?
Wouldn’t you think a company with this type of online capability could develop a secured system to accept a normal transfer of funds….
Just seems weird to me. Reminds me of off shore betting sites….I must respectfully disagree with your idea that driving traffic to a web site through classified advertising (Spamming as you call it) is a bad idea.
no business survives without advertising. Their online system to achieve this is actually a pretty good idea…
I am glad i found your site….I signed up ($99.00) but I too agree that they are making their money by paying old members with money from new members and although I could recruit enough people into this business to make money i would feel real bad when this thing falls apart and leaves my friends on the hook.
Thanks for your insight you saved me some money.
Advertising sure, but nobody is visiting crappy classified sites to see penny auction ads, let alone the same ad from thousands of ZR members.
Forcing your members to advertise (spam) isn’t really a long-term strategy, nor is it effective. There’s a reason Zeek Rewards has far more traffic driven to it (non-spam advertising) than Zeekler.
Glad to see you guys are still stealing other people’s dreams. I doubt any of you math wizards that claim all you know about zeek even finished grade school math.
Well for your information the compensation program is brilliant as I said months ago. I now have “hundreds” of third world members that paid $10 one time as a silver and $10 for bids and now have thousands in their accounts.
All are taking out over $140 a month well over their national monthly average income for those that are even lucky enough to get a job. I am glad to see you skim away the people that I would NEVER want in my downline that blindly follow you like sheep and miss the same opportunity those that I help are experiencing.
So you’re just another ‘it’s paying, so how can it be a scam?’ recruiter?
Recruiting third world country nationals into Ponzi schemes. People who most likely don’t have the money or means to get into contact with you should you disappear after the Ponzi collapses… geez that’s a lot of baggage to carry around.
They might be making some money since the ponzi hasn’t collapsed yet, but your math doesn’t add up.
Your first comment was Jan 7. Let’s give you the benefit of the doubt and say you came on here “months ago”, let’s say the very first Zeek post by Oz on Sep 21, 2011. Assume your third world recruits signed up and purchased $10 in Nov, call it 4-months exactly. That means they had $10 in bids plus the 110 bonus points.
On day 60, their bonus points would have converted to 149 VIP points + their $10 initial purchase would be at 23, with 10 points expiring 30 days later. So with 149+23=172, factoring in 90-day bid expiration, 4-months later they would have only 359 points, with 149 expiring in 30 days, and then the rest expiration gradually.
So what you described is no where close to “thousands”. Now can you take 359 points and go 80% reinvestment and cash out 20% per day? Sure you can, you’ll cash out $38 a month.
So do this for 2 months and you’ll cash out $76, and have paid $60 in monthly fees + $10 initial purchase. So you’re net profit is about $6, but you do have a point balance around 400 points now 6-months in.
Can the ponzi be profitable with what you described? Sure it can, but if you knew 6 months ago that the ponzi will still be around you could’ve mortgaged the house with 20/20 hindsight. Since people who buy in NOW do not know if the ponzi will be around 6+ months, the risk in real-time is much different than in hindsight.
If you are going to pay $10/month the initial investment should be higher than $10 so your revenue is a higher ratio of your monthly fees.
It smell, walk and wack like a ponzi scheme. It is a scam. I wonder what the IRS will do when all the members start claiming their business expense from 1099s with huge amount of money that they never really receive.
Members will cry and Zeekler owners will walk away laughing. The people put their money, the people will deal with the IRS. And Zeekler owners will be drinking margaritas in Mexico.
I got in, and got out of Zeekler the same month. Its a shame that people can’t see how the game is play. When I checked zeekler I came to the same conclusion, Its a ponzi.
Their penny auction is a joke. This is suppose to be their product, to make it a mlm. However most of their members don’t care for the penny auction website. I suggest the ones promoting zeekler to spend some time in your product.
Thank You Oz,Chang and Jimmy and anyone that is trying to show the light. And yes let the Feds rain on Zeekler.
Bravo Mr Hat, your are a Diamond, now you deserve a Company tour. It will be at their beautiful office warehouse where management works.
Take a look at their address in google. Oh I forgot thats where they store all the electronics and goodies that they auction. -)
Yea sad MLM distroyed my marriage my former Stewart “Bubba ” Giardina is known to lure people into ponzi deals.
He hasn’t worked a real job in over 20 plus years takes other peoples money wrecks familys and lives.
I had my CPA tell me about this. He learned about it by doing a client’s taxes. I’ve researched it, looked at it closely, read all the arguments here and I’ve come to the conclusion that I think is a problem in America.
If people think it’s a scam then they will not participate, buy bids, buy membership, etc… There are scammers in the world and I doubt this is an intentional scam (my opinion) but if this is not something that the market will like then it will fail.
Why do we need government to bail us out. If we lose on anything whose fault is that? I’ve lost money on investments, business ventures and even trying to “help” friends or family. I’m smarter because of my mistakes but I would never yell “Hey Big Brother, Please Bail Me Out”!
I’ve been very successful with alot of ventures as well so if you’re smart, diligent and determined you have the potential to be successful.
There is no personal responsibility in this country anymore. It’s a shame really. This site right here proves that we don’t need more government oversight or bailouts or protection… the market can determine the course for any business sufficiently.
Yes, some people will get hurt. Guess I’m ruthless for acknowledging that or not caring that much about them. Why might you ask? Well it goes back to something my dad once told me… “Son, if you’re going to be stupid enough to stick your hand by that gators mouth you’re going to suffer a painful bite”. Or you can just use the more standard “if you play with fire you’re eventually going to get burnt”.
I like this site and appreciate the whole market expressing their opinions, experience, educated analysis, etc.
One thing I will add to this for would be members: if they market this as an investment are they registered with the SEC? Also, from a tax perspective…. there are some “gifting” issues that could come into play.
Again, I’m more of a libertarian so I would do away with the IRS and the SEC altogether but I’m just sayin…
This was originally marketed as an investment with promise to “earn 125% ROI”. Then the lawyers stepped in and Aug 2011, ZR changed to a variable rate with virtual points that expire after 90-days.
All they did was mask the passive investment component of a guaranteed return and the concept of “equity” by using virtual points.
Then in Jan 2012, ZR disallowed the use of any banking terms including the words “compound” or “investment”. You could no longer share spreadsheets showing compound growth scenarios.
So the way ZR is marketed now is by innuendo and suggestion. The reality is it’s still a passive investment no matter how you disguise the virtual points. How the daily profit share can be sustained over time is a the magic ponzi question.
I’ll guess it will depend on where we draw the lines for “personal responsibility”, and where we draw the lines between “business” and “scam”?
In an unregulated market, a scam will have better chances than a legitime business model, it will have lower startup costs and will be able to generate more profit.
That’s why these markets exists and thrives, as “side markets” to the legitime markets. Making a market less regulated (in some particular areas like laws, standards etc.) will favourize scams on the expense of legitime business models.
Since you didn’t manage to handle the personal responsibility yourself in the first place, you should probably focus on that area first? It seems like you’re more than willing to join possible scams as long as they give you a fair chance of ROI?
Note: I choosed to draw different lines than your own, just to illustrate something here. The lines I used are far more strict than my own.
In my model, I placed you as a part of the problem rather than as a part of the solution. I used very strict definitions for “personal responsibility”, stricter definitions than I will be able to follow myself (but who cares about that?).
In my model, you have already failed to show the “personal responsibility” needed to make an unregulated market work, in your statement “Yes, some people will get hurt. Guess I’m ruthless for acknowledging that or not caring that much about them.”
“Toxic Waste Disposal Company”
If we translate your ideas over to specific areas:
I will be able to run a “Toxic Waste Disposal Company” located in one country, collecting toxic waste in a second country (at very competitive price), and dump it in a third country (at very low costs, because I don’t have to do any specific processing of the waste).
Only people in the third country will be hurt, and I will be able to maximize profit and outperform my competitors in the second country (where the toxic waste is collected).
“Live by the sword and die by the sword”
If we introduce a specific set of ideas, we will usually have to accept them ourselves, even if they are translated into other areas than where we originally introduced them.
I will gladly accept your idea of having unregulated markets in different areas, as long as you are willing to accept my “Toxic Waste Disposal Company” to use your neighbourhood as a dumping place. Only you and your neighbours will be hurt, and it will allow me to maximize my profit and become more successful.
“Yes, some people will be hurt, but they will have to show some personal responsibility in how to handle the situation. It will be THEIR responsibility instead of mine.”
Your father’s “Words of Wisdom” were probably given to you when you was 4 or 5 years old? “Painful bite” sounds more like a baby alligator than a fully grown one.
And he didn’t tell you about the “death roll” and other techniques used by grown up gators, or that they can run faster than you over a short distance?
The need for market regulation is because people usually will overestimate how smart or intelligent they are, and because they usually will choose the wrong sets of definitions and ideas.
You are not the first one who have believed in ideas designed for a 5 year old kid, or have used such ideas to defend a viewpoint. The major difference is that your ideas were very easy to detect as “immature”.
Your dad’s “Words of Wisdom” were never designed to be repeated in front of a grown up audience, or to be used as a set of ideas you could base your whole life upon. They were probably meant for a situation there and then when you was 5 years old, and it may be an idea to replace them with more grown up ideas.
Zeek Rewards was down last night and for the past 7 hours this morning. It is 3:30pm EDT now and you have to have your daily ad in by 5:00pm EDT.
I wonder how many people will miss today’s daily profit share deadline due to Zeek Rewards downtime?
I wonder if the daily profit share will skip a beat or if it will be the same rate that it always is even though no transactions could have been completed for most of the day. The 5pm cutoff just 90 minutes away.
I want the truth,
ZeekRewardsNews latest post shows their crack IT staff is either totallt inexperienced and in over their heads or just incompetent. Why post to your hundreds of thousands of members askinf them to send you a traceroute? Are they pretending to “sound smart” knowing that most of members will be impressed because they don’t know what a traceroute is?
Similar to the absurdidty of spamming classified ad sites, I ask what will a few thousand traceroute reports tell you that a few dozen won’t? Why can’t ZR just test from multiple locations themsleves… they have remote staff all over the US, can ask the ISP, or just buy $5/month shell accounts?
Why not just have customer service ask thoses calling in or using live chat or opening web ticket to run a traceroute? That is a few hundred people right there.
Any seasoned internet tehcies will just laugh at the request. Do you see any other MLM’s with an appeal to members to send in traceroutes? (And remember the ZeekSquad before.)
You gotta give them a break. I mean there’s only so much you can do with family members and assorted kitchen staff.
They’re probably still reading “Running an MLM company and website for Dummies” :).
With those millions of dollars of revenue from all the lucrative penny auctions, I am sure they are close to being able to afford a couple of contractors for a couple of weeks to solve their problems. After all, once the Mountain Dew, pizza and hot pockets run out, you gotta do somethin’…..
Anybody that would use these juvenile cartoons in their corporate communications and talk to people like they’re santa’s little helpers or something needs help.
Surely the lawyers must be telling them they might be infringing on copyrights from kid’s bedtime story book illustrations such as Dr. Seuss so they better knock it off.
On the plus side, after nuking out all the VIP point liabilities from 1 year’s worth of accumulation from all Zeek affiliates in 6 countries, they might have bought themselves a few more weeks to keep the Ponzi alive….
Also, did you get a load of the documentation they are requiring for them to get refunds – as if they have no records of their own to know what people bought what. It is clear they really don’t want to pay much of this back.
Zeek on scammers… Ponzi on to Madoff-land…
DDOS attack is relatively easily thwarted by using an ISP that is “hardened” against such attacks. Clearly, that’s not in the budget despite the massive profits paid out to ZR members.
Zeek Rewards seem to be having more and more trouble. It’s interesting that during all of the upheavael the last 2 months, including extended server downtime for both Zeekler and Zeek Rewards, and the DDoS attacks, and the payment processor problems, that the daily profit share hasn’t skipped a beat.
– DDoS attacks are on-going and ZR is blocking legitimate affiliates as part of their efforts to block the attackers.
– Even when you can get in to the home page and login, the backoffice sometimes hangs. But the DDoS attackesr can’t be attacking the backoffice (you need an account to do that).
– Zeek’s eWallet still has problems. Users have reported when enabling the “sweep to” bank account option (as recommended in their PowerPoint presentation), the weekly cash payouts from Zeek hit NxPay, then NxPay puts the money in your bank account (deducting $1.50) and then takes it right back out (deducting $1.50).
Looks like more buggy software and affiliates have not had any luck recovering the $1.50 fees.
– Customer Support is auto-closing tickets older than X days. Some serious issues that have never been resolved are not just auto-closed, requiring affiliates to open new tickets.
Some affiliates have had new members show up under the wrong sponsor but no action from Zeek customer support to address the issue.
– Several reports of payments from SolidTrustPay not hitting when buying bids. STP gives confirmation but nothing shows up in ZR. Affiliates have to provide detailed information to ZR to manually investigate each issue.
AP and STP issues have been on-going for a few weeks, with Zeek blaming the AP and STP servers, but other business aren’t reporting the same AP and STP issues. Perhaps ZR programming isn’t handling the callback correctly.
All these software changes to play gestapo on who to block and not block perhaps is resulting in bugging back office software? (Speculation based on the fact that every time Zeek announces a new change and the backoffice is upgraded, payment problems arise).
– Server downtime for maintenance occurs often during business hours last few days. No one knows what the real issues are. Is it the server updates ZR keeps talking about? Fighting fraud? DDoS attacks? You eventually run out of excuses.
And why can’t ZR with all of their huge profits invest in a real web server design using load balancers and content distribution network providers? Or leveraging cloud providers like Amazon, Google, or Microsoft in a distributed web environment?
It’d take a really big DDoS attack to take down a cloud provider. Or just pay the cost of a real DDoS reverse proxy like all the gambling sites do. Maybe it’s not worth the expense because the revenues is little “real” profit (just “redistributed” revenue).
– Still no compliance training or approval of independent affiliate marketing. This was supposed to be available Feb 1, 2012. There were multiple Zeek calls and blog posts about the final touches and fine tuning and affiliate “leaders” beta testing the compliance course.
Perhaps Zeek has done some polling and realize if they force mandatory compliance training, many affiliates will switch to cash out mode because it’s hard to recruit new affiliates when they are forced to take training upon signing up.
Who wants to be forced to pay for their own training just to join a passive investment MLM?
– A bunch of third party customer providers have popped up and selling customers. While there may be a legitimate provider in there somewhere, these can just as easily be fake customers. This could cause problems down the road and by forcing the acquisition of new customers to third parties indirectly (by no longer providing them), Zeek could be setting themselves up for problems with the FTC Business Opportunity Rule.
Just because you turn a blind eye to the third-party doesn’t mean you’re satisfying the Business Opportunity rule if you know the customers are bogus.
– The issue on “sanctions” and the nonsensical response by CEO Paul Burks and Troy Dooly are still leaving neutral observers baffled.
HOWEVER, the checks keep on coming. So who’s to think there are any problems?
I agree the cheesy pennyhead cartoons are pretty weak. I wonder if anyone has even recieved a refund yet.
Good summary of all the shady crap Zeek has been doing.
Sounds like Troy is falling for the ZR hype:
I would like to hear from some people that have cashed out and received there money how long does it take was the amount you expected etc….
I keep reading so much about Zeek rewards yet no one has wrote about cashing out and how much they made that’s what I want to hear about so until I hear about that its a pyramid scheme Ponzi scheme
Cashing out does not indicate whether or not a business is a ponzi or pyramid scheme, the business model does.
I’ve cashed out over 10k (actual checks in the mail). There is a 2-week drag + processing time, averaging about 3 weeks total from when you request your check and when you receive it.
I know it is a ponzi. I have an aggressive cash out strategy as I do not think it will last long.
The difference with Zeek vs. other ponzi’s such as HYIP’s and AdSurf’s which I also “invest” (or “gamble” with) is that it doesn’t feel like a scam.
My best guess on this is that Paul Burks intended to build a legitimate business, but the reality is that the penny auction brings in almost zero revenue and they ended up with an investment ponzi. They then had to “double down” on the truth and transparency and are trying everything they can to put window dressing on an illegal ponzi to make it legal (compliance courses, lawyers, consultants, Troy Dooly, etc.).
In the end, if almost all the revenue is coming from affiliates investing in buying bids, it’s an investment ponzi.
There still was no good answer provided by Zeek or Troy Dooly (with his insider access) about the “sanctions” that Paul Burks mentioned. That has been well dissected here, and nothing that Burks or Dooly has said makes any sense with regards to sanctions.
Who can tell me how goods are delivered to the buyer? How much is shipping, say in Australia? Is there guaranteed products?
How much have you invested? And how long have you been in for?
Dear Colsta, I would be interested to know how you have gotten on so far as I’m considering getting in to this scheme with my eyes wide open and I have read your posts with interest. Thank you
No one has yet given me a good answer on why ZeekRewardsNews has AdSense blocks on their main page. It started with just the text banner across the top, but now includes Google Content Network ad block as well.
What would one think of any other MLM had AdSense ads on their main page?
Why would a company generating millions in profits per day need a few piddly AdSense clicks?
I will wait and see how it plays out in that I am already in. Thanks for the commits
@Jimmy I was going to invest in this crap a month ago but just looking at the site itself reminds me of a cheap suit and adsense for f***s sake what a joke. I tried posting it on zeekrewards obviously wasn’t approved.
As far as I’m concerned behind mlm saved me thousands.
Now I just wonder when this pig with lipstick is going to squeal lol.
I guess the penny auctions are doing so swimmingly well that Zeek can not roll out another income source “Zeebates”.
Oh boy, hasn’t this been tried a hundred times by other companies? Only now, Zeek has a captive audience so they can try and force everyone to use the toolbar and make affiliate commissions.
MyShoppingGenie tried the whole toolbar affiliate shopping thing. They failed and shut up shop May 2012. And isn’t this just a toolbar verion of Rex’s Shopping Daisy (which nobody uses anyway).
When the bulk of your members are only in it to particupate in a 90 day ROI scheme… affiliate shopping isn’t going to do much.
Either that, or they’re cloning Lyoness. 😀
If you read every Zeek post or phone call and change the words “growing pains” with “incompetent amateurs” everything starts making sense.
Here’s a fun back and forth between two affiliates over at MMG:
???? sail or bail what to do.
@terry That’s up to you.
i was hopeing this was a light at the end of a tunnel but not a train? I know many who could use a little break in life.
Read up as much as you can from as many sources as you can and go from there. There’s a ton of information, analysis and discussion on BehindMLM to get you started but by all means expand your research to include other sources.
Many affiliates I’ve talked to in the last week, regardless of how they got into Zeek with eyes wide open or not, are cashing out to get their initial investment back. Some are aggressively doing 0% reinvest, others 50/50, etc.
The thing with HYIP’s is no one has a crystal ball. If you did, you could make a fortune timing all of the HYIP’s out there, legal and otherwise.
Jimmy can attest to a guy over on my hub that insist on treating my logically supported premises as “opinions”.
Microsoft researcher explained that Nigerian e-mail scam is self-selecting: only the dumbest and most gullible people would respond to a scam so stupid.
Yes, there’s an implication there. 😉
Actually historically if there is a run on a bank you don’t always get all of your money back… There is however the FDIC which insures your deposit up to 100k, over that you may just be out of luck.
And of course being unsecured and uninsured your money in Zeek has no protection!!
Zeek Rewards isn’t a bank.
Of course, I was pointing out the obvious that Zeek points are not worth anything once a run starts, or very little at best. The bank part was a simple correction to the previous statement.
Sad part is I called a friend who is in Zeek, completely unaware and believes its an infallible business, I suggested he take out what he can, his response was “why? I’m making 2 grand a day”.
I expressed my concerns and the concerns I have learned of reading this site, his response was a canned pitch right from the mouths of the zeek rulers!
Unless he’s withdrawing $2,000 into his bank account daily, he’s not making 2 grand a day.
All he’s making are virtual vip points that hold no inherent value outside of Zeek Rewards.
FYI the limit is at $250k through 2013 in the US and will likely be extended or made permanent.
The usual rationale behind a bank run is that you as a depositor want to get your money out before liquidity dries and bank goes bankrupt. However, note that even without FDIC insurance, there is still underlying asset value to back your funds (loans, real estate, other income assets), it’s just the bank can’t produce the liquidity at this moment at the end of a bank run.
In other words, with the exception of fraud & deceit, you’ll get most or all of your money back once the bank unwinds its loan positions, etc. regardless of FDIC insurance.
Contrast this with a Ponzi where once the money dries up, there are no underlying assets to sell to recuperate money. So the risk of a mass Zeek withdrawal will have a much worse impact to affiliates than a bank run would have to depositors (even without FDIC insurance).
That said, maybe Zeek purposefully screwed up the Get Satisfaction login not out of IT competence, but as a way of preventing any further forum discussion until they sort out the cash flow / eWallet / banking problems that supposedly were all resolved weeks ago.
In a Ponzi, you want to absolutely avoid herd thinking unless you are the one directing the propaganda (“always reinvest at least 80%”). A centralized support forum allows for herd thinking to form freely even with moderators deleting posts and locking topics.
Bottom line is it’s not money until it’s in your bank account, so to speak. It takes 90 days to completely cash out, assuming you get paid and you don’t face the weeks delay many have recently.
Most affiliates I’ve talked to are cashing out some to get their initial investment back. Whether this translates into an overall trend of more withdrawals long-term, or just over the next few weeks, is to be seen.
However, what will be interesting is if my few conversations and what I’ve seen on the forums is representative of the overall trend, Zeek may be encountering some tight cash flow constraints in the upcoming pay periods.
The first sign that there’s a problem (other than late/non-payment) is if we start seeing promos for more cash injection. I’m waiting for some special type of premium offer such as JBP. Maybe something like “buy $10k in points get 12k points credit, requirement is that you cannot cash out the 12k points for at least 90 days”.
You mean like a mandatory compliance/marketing course?
My expert analysis on this says that it’s not so much for cash injection, but more to weed out the thousands of free affiliates, mostly from third world countries where a few $ per day is a living wage.
If it will cost you $30 plus $10/month to get silver and you have to make an initial $10 bid purchase, then those 100 free bonus points that you compound to 160 VIP points in 60 days isn’t as attractive any more.
This is more about cost avoidance and increasing the average investment of Silver affiliates to a higher initial buy-in by increasing the costs to join.
That’s what I was thinking too. They said all affiliates would have to get it so I’d presume they’d include the free ones too. With maybe a million affiliates that would be around $29m.
If true, I love the irony that Zeek Rewards are weeding them out with a compliance course that doesn’t apply to them and a marketing system that is useless to them (it’s all in English).
Quite the Paul Burks masterstroke that one.
Remember that many affiliates are payong $15/month for the videos already, so this lowers the cost for active affiliates using the video marketing system.
Most of the revenue goes to the third party video company (with ASD links). The revenue to Zeek is a lot less than $29M all things considered.
That’s what I heard/read too… and was wondering why they would share so much of the revenue with a third party, considering it wouldn’t cost more than a couple thousand to produce. Ah, the ASD links – all makes sense now.
From a very cynical viewpoint, if the Feds shutdown Zeek, the revenue generated by the marketing company would be untouched. It would be interesting to see if any Zeek management has any ownership in the marketing company.
Also, if Zeek were legitimately sharing up to 50% of revenue, revenue paid to marketing wouldn’t be deducted.
Zeek is requiring people to pay by credit card (to the marketing company) rather than using cash available from the daily profit share. I would think it’d be a lot easier for Zeek to pay the marketing company weekly with one big check and make it easy on affiliates to take the course.
Unless the intent of all this is to force new incoming revenue. For the current video marketing series that cost $15/month, you have to pay for it with credit card, so same drill.
It’s not that UHSBB (or whatever that initials are) again, is it?
Yes, from PPBlog:
USHBB is the company that is creating all of the Zeek approved marketing videos, currently optional at $15/month but soon to be mandatory for an annual fee of $30 that also includes the Grimes compliance course.
It’s clear they found their niche: helping scams succeed!
Something is wrong with Zeekler’s penny auction. I am seeing people configure ABE, still have bids available that haven’t been used, and lose to single bids. My guess is Zeek’s crackpot IT team (Dawn’s words) have done such a great job that even ABE (supposedly guaranteed to bid for you) is even failing.
I also am still seeing web server times out and the auction closed even though I am submitting bids. I saw this happen in two of my auctions, and it wasn’t a result of temporary IP QoS or whatever they are doing (open multiple browser tabs to load multiple auctions and they all lock up – it’s like Zeek is trying to prevent “the hackers” yet they block legitimate bidders… NOT A SERIOUS AUCTION).
In yet another auction, my auction bot looses to a single bidder, but my auction bot ALWAYS gets the bid in. Yes, I have an auction bot and I’ve used it on Quibids without every missing a single bid.
I’d open a ticket but I doubt that would get any attention. Can you imagine any other penny auction if there was even a small hint of server problems or other impropriety, the auction site would immediately investigate. Simillary, in the online poker world, even a small accusation of server problems, collussion, or chip dumping gets immediately attention because their reputation is key to maintaing a thriving business.
But with Zeekler, they don’t care. Tickets go unanswered. Items go unshipped/unpaid. It takes extraordianry escalation effort to get attention when things go wrong (supposedly that only happens 0.1% accoridng to Paul Burks).
In any case, there are some great deals to be had now because the web server timeouts and ABE failing periodically are leveling the playing field. It makes Zeekler a real lottery all of a sudden.
If zeek doesnt get on the ball with their IT and their customer service there will be so many people pulling out that they wont even get a chance to do special promos, they are just going to pick up and run to zonalibre and grab OUR money.
They *already* have your money, actually. 🙂
Great thread! An acquaintance recently recommended signing up for zeek rewards. What troubles me the most about the system is that when going to the Zeekler Penny Auction site, I couldn’t find ANYTHING worth using my free bids on.
Maybe this is a slow time, but there were no laptops, Mustangs or anything as mentioned in the promotional videos.
I find it would be very challenging to promote when I don’t find value in the base product.
I just perused some of the zeekler “winner’s circle” completed auctions and was amazed at how many auctions closed with people paying more, in both bids purchased and the final auction price, than the item is worth.
I know this is due to bid inflation from affiliates who view the bids as basically worthless since once they purchased them they’re supposed to give them away, but there’s no way that any retail customer (read: non-zeek rewards participant) can win any auction with free or purchased bids and make it worth their while.
Oz did an entry on this a while back, but this overbidding is still going on. You really notice it with the gift card auctions. For example, right now I’m looking at a $50 Macy’s gift card won for $32.79 using 493 bids. No way I’d try to compete with that.
Basically the bidders are used to the bids being FREE. They don’t realize they paid for each bid. FTC has a warning on this, it’s just not widely circulated.
And here’s another guy who used fraudulent “risk-free free trials” to advertise like 10 different businesses, including a penny auction
Quite interesting and informative reading. While knowing you can make money on this if you are at the front end of the program is possible, being a moral and ethical person and feeling good about myself and not scamming others is worth more than the quick buck.
Thank you for taking the time to break it down. I’ve passed the info on to my friends who are involved with the Zeek Rewards.
It’s amazing how people are willing to listen & believe dickheads who are not involved in Zeek & publish nonsense like they do on this page.
Try listening to people who are actually involved with Zeek to get your answers, not some morons who think they know how it works & tell you it is a scam. Obviously they do not even know the definition of scam.
Scams are designed to defraud people & trick them out of their money with no return. There’s plenty of schemes like that out there. Zeek Rewards is definitely not one of them.
Plenty of people are making a lot of money from Zeek & drawing out money every week. I could do that now if I wanted but I am choosing to build my business up to a level where I can live off it. I am also helping my friends to do the same. It would be wrong of me to keep this amazing opportunity to myself.
I would not want to ever have to convince anyone to join Zeek. If they are not intelligent enough to see how good it is when they are presented with the facts then that is their problem. Apart from that, I do not need to sponsor anyone for this to work. I’ll be making money without them anyway – & from day 1!
To those knockers on this page. Please do not ever join Zeek. We don’t want people like you involved. Besides, we don’t want everyone to join. There still has to be some people left to work in a normal job. (That’s if you even have a job).
I know for a fact from my projections I will be able to make more from Zeek than my current job in 6 months. (by that I mean actually drawing money each week). What a great “scam” this is. Bring it on!!!
Whether or not a Zeek affiliate or non-affiliate goes over the business model, what difference does it make?
Being an affiliate or not only makes a difference if you’re going to start asserting stuff like this:
you need to re-invest your daily ROI. Yeah we get it, we know how the business model works and we know people are withdrawing. That however doesn’t change the mechanics of the business model, nor confirm legitimacy.
Well I hope in your recruiting efforts your explicitly telling your prospects exactly how much of the daily ROI paid out in Zeek Rewards is made up of affiliate money. Wouldn’t want to mislead them or anything.
Oh dear… at least the ‘I’m getting paid so how can it be a scam’ crowd usually base their argument on… y’know, getting paid. This clown is using “projections”.
No worries son, best of luck with your virtual earnings and projections. And spare a thought for the affiliate who’s money you’ll be withdrawing. Your own invested money has already long gone into another affiliate’s pocket.
Asking someone who’s been defrauded, but does not realize it yet, is like asking a drug addict (not trying to quit yet) whether he likes his dealer. Completely useless.
If that’s the sort of logic you use to defend Zeek, Zeek is doomed.
K. Chang, this guy followed your 1, 2, 3, choose your own adventure formula to a tee! Kudos!
The majority of the people who have posted here are affiliates. You will probably find a few near top earners here, too.
Do you use a spreadsheet?
With 100% reinvestment the VIP balance (and the RPP) will double in appr. 100 days — if we start counting after the first 90 days (after your initial purchase has retired).
So if you started with $10,000, your VIP balance after day 90 will be around 28,000 (after the 10,000 retirement).
* day 190: 56,000 – 62,000
* day 290: 112,000 – 124,000
* day 390: 224,000 – 248,000
* day 490: 448,000 – 496,000
* day 590: 896,000 – 992,000
If you first plan to live off something, then you might as well live GOOD off it. All it requires is 100 days on a 100% reinvestment to double your payouts.
You can continue to reinvest 100% to day 1500. Your VIP balance will then be around 500 million VIP points, and you can withdraw around $1,5 million per day if you follow an 80/20 plan.
People can clearly live off that amount, don’t you agree? If you continue with 100% reinvestment to day 1800, your VIP balance will be around 4,000,000,000 (4 billion), and you can withdraw $12 million per day with an 80/20 plan.
Your own family will probably remember you for generations if you follow a plan like that — “Our great grandfather, the founder of the family’s wealth”. “He made his fortune from a penny auction, as an entrepreneur and a business builder”.
Oh yeahhh! I get to use the trusty KC troll spotter cheat sheet!
you snooze you lose:
It’s amazing how people are willing to listen & believe dickheads who are not involved in Zeek & publish nonsense like they do on this page.
ooooh ooooh 2b!!
take your pick…
I swear there has to be a “you’re too stupid to understand it” fallacy
This is just childish/cultish babble
I’ll post an updated version later. 😉
I’m ready for that big hug.
Read the news… “Zeek closes headquarters”. Oz is spot-on!
@Dave. Not yet. I am not in Zeek but heard about the opportunity. Now they are being investigated not closed down. Wait until next week before you gloat.
Luis H…Got to sec.gov website. As of today all assests of Zeek, Rex Venture Group and Paul Burks are frozen and gone into receivership.
The SEC has charged each entity with operating a Ponzie scheme. The SEC has fined burks with a $4 million fine, to which he has agreed to pay, of course without admitting guilt.
The SEC charges Burks with siphoning off $11 million for his own use and distributing $1 to family. That’s a no no in a legitimate business.
Further the BBB of northeastern North Carolina received over 39 complaints about the company.
My search shows Burks actually has a home in Las Vegas and has run several similar “internet companies” similar to Zeek. He starts a venture when things get hot, he shuts it down and moves on.
He had operations in Las Vegas, then Kentucky, now North Carolina. Four million is probably nothing to him. Always do your research when approached by someone trying to recruit you into “making unlimited income on the internet.”
Hi Paul..Zeek Rewards was a dream come true for me. I gave everything I had worked since i started working and today I am a sad young lady with little to nothing to look forward to.
My dreams of owning a new house and car to get me by have all been dashed away.
What’s truly sad is your ATTITUDE if you think an illegal ponzi scehem is the only way you can afford a new house/car.
@Dan — Now, now, now, Dan… If Solange didn’t know, then Solange was victim of fraud, multiple times. Stop being so hard on the victims.
@Solange — you’ve been victim of a “judas goat”
kiss your money goodbye sheeplers!
And when the clawbacks come and you have to pay back 90% of what you earned (or more if you contest the lawsuit), then you’ll have to sell your house and car.
And you’re likely to lose money there as well, as the car will have declined in value from when it was new, and you wouldn’t have covered enough in house value appreciation to offset the interest and broker fees you’ll have to pay.
How many other Zeek “leaders” who have made 5 and 6 figures and have spent the $ are now not only looking at having to pay it back, but even worse, paying back more than they have because they were living high on the hog with ill-gotten profits?
I just wanted to thank everyone who commented on this topic, regardless of which side of the fence you were on.
Reading the comments from start to finish tells an amazing story, and gives a real-time look at Zeek crumbling “business” right before everyone’s eyes. Of particular note is how the Zeek defenders commented less and less as time went on, with the business model becoming harder to defend.
I hope this information will remain archived for years to come. People will read it, and hopefully see similarities to other “businesses” in the future.
No worries Observer, glad you found the discussion useful.
I too hope it will stand as an eye-opening archive, along with the rest of BehindMLM, for many years to come.