Product Name: My Advertising Pays (MAPS)
Product Owner: Mike Dees
Advertised Price: Free to start, then $20/mo
Upsells: Credit packs – $49.99-$1000
What I like: Nothing
What I dislike: Everything
Recommended: No, unless you want to cash in because you like scams
What in tarnation is a “revenue distribution advertising platform”?
My Advertising Pays (MAP for short) is a “revenue distribution advertising platform” (if your bs meter isn’t going off yet, keep reading). In their own words,
We are a $0 debt company and a profitable revenue distribution advertising platform that shares its profits every 20 minutes with all members whom have purchased a Credit Pack and clicked on 10 sites in the M.A.P Traffic Exchange.
Usually when a company describes what they are or do, they don’t immediately note that they are a “$0 debt company”. The average user does not care how much debt a company has. Think that stopped anyone from joining Facebook when it was running on investment money? Nope.
So MAP immediately wants people to know that they’re reliable, before telling you what they do. That’s a red flag.
Here’s how it works: you buy a credit pack for $50 and you earn $60.
The $50 credit pack is what you pay to put your advertising on their ‘platform’. For that, you must click on 10 ads per day (and you have to stay on the ad for several seconds before being allowed to click another ad). In return, you get back $60. See what they did? It’s not called an investment – you’re ‘buying advertising’. That’s a slick way to avoid being called a Ponzi scheme.
Now you might make some money if someone clicks on your ad and buys your product/service. I’m going to leave that out because it is not money that MAP makes and therefore does not affect the company’s finances.
Let’s do the math
Members of the exchange can buy credit packs, from $50 to a max of $1000. Plus they pay $20/mo for the standard payment processing crap. That’s it. Let’s do some simple math with 20 members:
- Each member buys one credit pack for $50. That makes MAP $1000 ($50 x 20).
- Each member stays for 2 months. Membership costs $20/mo, with the first month free. That makes MAP $400 ($20 x 20).
- MAP now has $1400.
- Each member does their 10 clicks a day and their credit packs become worth $60. (How long does this take? They can’t “guarantee profits or a time frame” by law. Let’s say 2 months for sake of argument.)
- The members credit is now worth $1200 ($60 x 20)- leaving MAP with $200.
They made some money. Maybe this is sustainable?
BUT they have an affiliate program so members can earn more by signing up more people – 10% for each credit pack a referral purchases. And affiliates don’t have to buy credit packs to participate in the platform. Let’s add that wrinkle to the math – this time we have 10 members referred by 10 people:
- Each member buys one credit pack for $50. That makes MAP $500 ($50 x 10).
- Each member stays for 2 months. Membership costs $20/mo, with the first month free. That makes MAP $200 ($20 x 10).
- MAP now has $700.
- Each member does their 10 clicks a day and their credit packs become worth $60.
- The members credit is now worth $600 ($60 x 10).
- The 10 members who referred the other 10 makes 10% of each credit pack his/her referrals bought. They bought $500 in credit packs ($50 x 10), of which 10% is $50.
- MAP owes the members & affiliates a total of $650 ($600 + $50), leaving the company with $50.
So what may have been a $200 profit for MAP drops to $50. That is a razor thin margin. And you know that anyone wanting to cash in will recruit as many people as possible. MAP has to scale to make money themselves – and in order for MAP to survive.
What happens when there are more people referring members than buying credits?
Goodbye MAPS (accompanied by the sound of Mike Deese & friends laughing all the way to their bank in Anguilla). They could cancel the affiliate program altogether, which would probably piss a bunch of people off who would then ditch MAP.
It’s not sustainable.
Technically, the math checks out – barely. But this is most definitely in the ‘too good to be true’ category. MAPS has to pay merchant account fees on money they earn too. The second there are more affiliates than paying members, MAP will collapse. They’ve been around for 6 months and I doubt they’ll be around this time next year.
I leave you with a NSFW video of a Cheech & Chong skit this brought to mind – if it looks, smells & tastes like it, it probably is. If your ears are sensitive to swears, don’t watch the video and if you’re at work don’t listen without headphones!)
What do you think? Is this a Ponzi scheme or not?
Definition from Wikipedia.