Christmas is coming up and one of the easiest ways to knock lots of ducks down with few stones, is the perenial Useful/Interesting/Dust-collecting book. So I decided to take advantage of one of the numerous offers of 'Join now, get 15 free'. However, I thought I'd have a bit of a scout around and see if I could find any Referral Sites that could make the deal even sweeter, and of course, I could.
To begin with, there are sites such as
Now despite the websites for many of these looking a lot like those god-awful Oxfam shops you see set up in the Shopunits Time Forgot, they have a fantastic niche. These organisations negotiate commissions for putting business the way of the online retailers and pass a little of that back in the form of cash-backs and donations to charities. So if you are spending money online, going straight to Amazon is nothing short of a criminal waste : You can get discounts and help a worthy cause using one of these portals.
Secondly, there are Personal Gift incentive sites. Now there has been lots of noise over these, mainly because of confusion over the blurred-edges between rip-off services (much loved by Ringtone companies), Pyramid or Multi-Level Marketing schemes and 'refer-and-earn' sites. It is difficult to see the wood for the trees, or it would be if it wasn't for the Internet, but a quick Google showed up the goodies and the baddies pretty darned quick.
As an example, the Office of Free Trade closed down Mobiles4free under the 'unfair lotteries' provision as it was clear that the further down the list you were, the less likely it was you would actually end-up with their promoted item. Some others however appear to have been in business for a considerable length of time (Years, not months) and you can find what appear to be genuinely happy recipients of iPods and the like.
I have taken the plunge with freeipods.com using an email address I can easily track spam with, and committed my details in the hope that I can prove it worthwhile. The deal is I subscribe to a trial service (in this case, with World books, 6 titles for silly money and only 4 more books in the course of a year) and get 5 others to signup to one of their offers using the unique link they provide (so they can attribute new members to my account).
So, all I have to do now is to get 5 people to join in, either because they want to take part in the experiment, or they just want to help me get my daughter an iPod! And just to muddy the waters a little, the first 5 people who sign-up using my referral link will get a Free £10 Note from me! I get an iPod for £50, we get to prove or disprove the theory that you don't get nothing for nothing.