Ok, here I was minding my own business… and working on my blog when along came the mail carrier. Soooo, ok, I go and get my mail for the day. Lo and behold, here’s an envelope addressed to me – my physical address – with a message emblazoned in red right on the envelope. ..Ready?
“Amazing new way to make easy money on the internet
Revealed for the first time inside”
Here’s the pic of the whole mailer:
I see that it’s return address is the “Hiring Department” and the business is based in California. Hmm, I thought.. well, OK, I’ll open it. So, I open it up, and yes, I took the time to read this lengthy eight page letter which, basically, talks about affiliate marketing …without mentioning “affiliate marketing.”
In fact, the letter doesn’t even provide you with their specific URL… which I found odd. So, stepping back now, and putting on my full mode skeptic glasses, here is the overall picture, what I found, what I’ve concluded, and why I’m blogging about Kids Characters at all.
Overall Picture of Kids Characters and their “Amazing” Offer
The letter talks about how “you” can make explosive profits overnight with NO selling and NO experience required. But, it also tells you that only 50 “lucky people” will benefit from this amazing opportunity. The letter explains that this is not a get rich quick scheme, but rather, a more realistic opportunity with a goal of earning a comfortable part-time income – all while using emotionally charged and targeted language that hits you right between the eyes if you’re struggling financially and looking for “something” to help you generate “something” to help you pay your bills…. …Red Flag #1
Well, I’m here to STOP you so that you can make an informed decision before you think about parting with your hard earned dollars, but first, here’s more…
The letter goes on to explain the HUGE market out there with massive profits that are there for the taking. And, while you’re reading, you’re also taking in all the images of well-known characters such as: the Minions, Hello Kitty, Cinderella, Snow White, Spiderman, Winnie The Poo, Mickey and Minnie Mouse, and a few more. All you need to do is learn about their method and the fact that their toys are based on characters “like Mickey Mouse, Sponge Bob, Bugs Bunny, Spiderman, Barbie, Barney, and more.” …Have you noticed the word – “like?”
From my experience around the “w.w.w.” and knowing a thing or two about Licensing, I do know that those stores that do sell things that actually have Disney, Universal, or Marvel characters depicted or printed, DO pay a pretty darn penny for the Licensing Rights to do so. In fact, you really aren’t even supposed to use images of Licensed Trade Marked goods as that alone is Infringement and considered a Trade Mark violation, and I also notice that they are not using the (TM) designation… Red Flag #2. So, OK, let’s just go and check out this site… once I Google it, that is.
Ok, I found the URL: KidsCharacters.org based in California. Yes, that’s the place:
Kids Characters, LLC
501-I South Reino Road, Ste 116
Newbury Park, CA 91320
Anyway, while there, and giving them the benefit of doubt, the first thing I looked for was the “official” Affiliate link. …There wasn’t one. …Red Flag #3. The next thing I notice is that their site is a sub-domain from some “mcssl.com” site – which, when you look that up and do a little research on them – is a site that may be used for processing payments and fraud. …Red Flag #4.
The Affiliate link is offered by many sites – many reputable sites – as the way to join as an Affiliate and begin promoting or marketing their particular site in exchange for the agreed upon commissions offered by the company. Many sites use third-party Affiliate Network sites such as Commission Junction, Share A Sale, Rakuten, ClickBank, and more. Without getting too far off-topic, and for those of you who are new to Affiliate Marketing, well, you can read more by jumping around this site that you’re on right now. Or, use the drop down menus above if you wish to learn where to begin and how to become an Affiliate Marketer yourself.
Ok, let’s get back to Kids Characters – shall we?
So, there is no official Affiliate link, and no Official offer to become an Affiliate marketer for this company other than what is stated in this form letter. They are also not going through any type of Third-party Affiliate Network – one that makes sure you are paid for your efforts. The only offer in this letter is that once you drive traffic to their site, they will pay you 50% of of the profits. But, if there’s no third-party, and no way for you to check on traffic or verified sales, how would you ever know how much you “should” be paid? Are you supposed to just “trust them?”…Red Flag #5.
But, “Wait – There’s More!”
Here’s What Else I Found In This Offer by Kids Characters!
Their letter goes on to explain that they will teach you – how to build traffic – for their site. Yes! Not only are they offering you this amazing opportunity to promote their Kids Characters website, they will also teach you – in their start-up guide – how to run around, do mailings, place ads, buy radio spots, and drop off brochures – all for one simple low fee of ….$119.00 plus $9.95 for shipping and handling! All I have to do is call 1-800-956-8429 and hope to be one of the 50 people chosen. And, this amazing letter is pre-signed “Yours for easier profits, Tony Strizich.” Wow – what an offer!
What I’ve Concluded About Kids Characters:
Well, you know.. if there’s one thing I really can’t stand is… just stuff like this… using deceitful tactics and trying to take advantage of people who may not be versed in Affiliate Marketing and who simply want an ethical and legal way to earn a buck.. or two. And, seeing that they’ve been so nice in sending me all this lovely literature about promoting a website about kids toys, kids clothing, and more, there’s only one thing I can do. 🙂 I simply must share it with the legal departments over at Disney and Universal. ..Yes, I’m still the Wavemaker. 🙂
Why I Wrote This Post About Kids Characters:
In the meantime, I decided to write this post to help get out the word and warn people about this “opportunity.” It’s not an opportunity for you. It’s an opportunity for THEM to reach into YOUR wallet and obtain $119 plus another $9.95 for shipping and handling to snail mail you a guide that they say will “teach” you how to promote their one obscure website while reiterating their promise to pay you 50% of profits all while violating well-known TradeMarks from well-known companies and well-known “Kids” Characters that most, if not all, kids absolutely love.
Bottom Line – Don’t Do It!
Just remember – Be Skeptical – Be Safe – and Educate Yourself BEFORE shelling out any of YOUR hard earned money. There are valid ways to learn how to become an Affiliate Marketer, and if you do want to learn more from me, just click this little box.
To Your Wealth!