Free IPods… Myth or scam?


[EDIT] Taken my referal link out since some people seemed irritated by it. My point is to see who fesable these schemes are with minimal effort and will post periodic updates. What can I say, I was bored this weekend and thought i’d meddle with this concept some 😉


There has been alot of contravorsy about all those “Free XXXXX” sites out there and there has also been alot of media coverage. The process seems easy enough. The one site that has been getting alot of coverage is one by GratisIntenet, called www.freeipods.com. The idea is simple, you sign up on their site, pick one offer from a wide variety (some are free trials) and then refer 5 friends to the website. In fact, Wired has even featured an article on the topic. Here is the link: http://www.wired.com/news/mac/0,2125,64614,00.html


The idea is that the website gets money from the offers the users sign up for. Then this money is converted into an IPod. Although it does look a little like a pyramid scheme, because you only have to refer 5 people, it works more along the lines of viral marketing. So i’ve decided to give it a try and give all my readers an unbiased version of how well it really works.


Lets see if this concept really works…


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Comments (5)

  1. Dominic Self says:

    "because you only have to refer 5 people"

    Each one of which you have to convince will be able to sign up another 5 – and *those* 5 should be the kind of people who will sign up *another* 5. Each. (Nobody wants to be the last in the chain, or even anywhere near the last, because they don’t want to piss of their friends.)

    So, you’ve got 5 + (5 * 5) + (5 * 5 * 5) = 155 people before you can safely forget it. But wait, it’s a safe bet that many of these will be thinking of the *same* 155 people to refer, in which case you need to know a lot more who are willing to participate in order to make it work.

    In short – it’s a pyramid scheme 😉

  2. Sebastien St-Laurent says:

    >Each one of which you have to convince will >be able to sign up another 5 – and *those* 5 >should be the kind of people who will sign up >*another* 5. Each. (Nobody wants to be the >last in the chain, or even anywhere near the >last, because they don’t want to piss of >their friends.)

    Actually, from my understanding. All your referals need to do is pick an offer for you to get credit. If they want their IPods also they will need to get 5 more people each but from my end all I need to do is get 5 people who will pick one offer from the list.

    > In short – it’s a pyramid scheme 😉

    In theory yes… However, if you compare agains other "free stuff" sites like the Matrix ones, the amount of work needed is the same for each participant. Of course, there will be a point where too many people will have joined and refering new members will be almost impossible.

  3. russ says:

    i managed to get in on this deal early and i did in fact receive a free iPod, however it took a lot of doing to get 5 people to complete an offer.

  4. Dominic Self says:

    Sebastien, that’s true, but no matter how nice your friends are I’m willing to bet they’d want a free iPod too – and the major way to "sell" the deal to them is that they will be able to sell it on…!

    I’m not saying that pyramid schemes should always be seen as pure scams, after all, look at how pensions work

    (Note – that’s a UK reference, I don’t know if the situation is the same in the US.)

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