free gifts - scam or for real?
February 18, 2005 10:52 AM   Subscribe

Browsing on ebay I have noticed many ads for ipods and other electronics either for free or for about $40. Can they be for real?

(Forgive me if this was already asked and answered - I couldn't find it.)

Although extremely skeptical at first, I'm starting to believe it might be possible because the people posting have such good ebay reputations and it seems unlikely they would risk negative feedback.

For example, this one: Or this one: Or this one:

My questions:
(1) Do these websites really work? Do people really get the "free gifts"?
(2) Is there something illegal about participating in this process?
(3) If these aren't scams, which websites are the best?
posted by Amizu to Shopping (8 answers total)
If you do what they say, you WILL get the free ipod. However, what they say is 'spam your friends for us!'

Don't do that.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 10:53 AM on February 18, 2005

You're buying instructions on how to set up a pyramid scheme that will land an iPod in your mailbox?
posted by AlexReynolds at 11:00 AM on February 18, 2005

Yes, you're buying instructions on how to complete offers such as

You will not get an ipod for $40, you will get links to websites where you can get a free ipod if you refer 5 people or whatever.
posted by null terminated at 11:06 AM on February 18, 2005

There is a Wired article on the site, which seems to be legit. But the ebay ones are more likely scams, or so I have heard.
posted by scrim at 11:07 AM on February 18, 2005

Yes, the sites work. Yes, it's a pyramid scheme.

I'm currently working on a 20gb ipod from 'offercentral' (not their site) if you're interested, but I'm trying to do it with the people who are willing to help me and/or owe me favors.

The 'gratis network' just got its TRUSTe status revoked despite being much-loved by the free-ipod-getting community. I've never done any offers with them, but if you search forums for them you find a lot of threads (and pictures even of the people who got their free stuff).

Email me (no flames please) if you're interested in joining my end of the pyramid. Then what you'd need to do is find five people, none of whom share your home address (or IP address) and get them to sign up under you. And then... wait for the Fedex guy.

But whatever you do, don't pay for this information. It's all out there for free.
posted by codger at 11:09 AM on February 18, 2005

You guys know pyramid schemes are illegal in the US, yes?
posted by AlexReynolds at 11:18 AM on February 18, 2005

I believe this differs from a pyramid scheme in that all the money comes from sponsers, and not the people themselves. I was able to get a free 27" flat screen and a free ipod, and no cost to myself. But definitely don't pay for this information.
posted by null terminated at 1:46 PM on February 18, 2005

While a Wired article (cited above) said that the web is legitimate (and explains how the system works), another Wired article discusses "EBay Scam Uses IPods as Bait"
posted by WestCoaster at 2:42 PM on February 18, 2005

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