I checked out a website called Kickstarter. The entire premise implied by this site seems quite bogus to me. They claim to be a website that attracts funding to help people with creative projects. They claim the site is meant to help artists, writers, designers (of all kinds!), filmmakers, musicians, journalists, athletes, adventurers, inventors, bloggers, illustrators, explorers, curators, promoters, performers, and others.
The idea is that a person wants to do something (make a movie, produce a music cd, publish a book… whatever. You come up with a project plan to attract donations, funding, pledges. You provide rewards to contributors based on how much they pledge. Lets say you want to create a line of products (calendars, t-shirts, bumper stickers) for a specific theme (nature, politics…). What you do is offer rewards to people who contribute to your project. Maybe they give $10, and you reward with a bumper sticker, $25 and they get the t-shirt… and so on.
Nice idea right? Sure, if they actually had an environment that provided an audience of potential donors…. but they don’t. Absolutely no where on their website do they say “bring your own donors”, but that is exactly what they will tell you to do. They want you to have a healthy size list of contacts. This includes social networking sites like facebook, friendster, myspace, message forums… you get the idea. Then…. they want you to encourage dozens or even hundreds of your contacts to join kickstarter to view, and (you guessed it) fund your project.
What do they provide you ask? They will accept your pledges (through Amazon’s payment system), but they will not charge anyone until you reach your goal amount. If you don’t reach your goal, no one gets charged. If you DO reach your goal (or exceed it), everyone’s pledge is processed on Amazon, and THEN…
Kickstarter takes 5% of all donations as a fee on successful projects! Amazon, which processes Kickstarter donations, also charges up to five percent.
If you raise $5000, Kickstarter gets $250… $10,000, they get $500… That doesn’t even count what Amazon will charge for processing the payment.
My question is, what did they do to deserve that fee? Nothing! You join the site, you plan and organize your own project, you create a reward system for donors, you bring your own donors, and if you beg enough of your own contacts for money to reach your goal, kickstarter will take 5% of it plus what you lose in processing fees to Amazon.
So… I bet you are wondering… “couldn’t I just have my contacts, friends, and family write me checks, or use a free basic paypal account (without fees) to collect money for my wonderful project?” Yes you could! You could even promise the same rewards & gifts to people.
So what does kickstarter actually provide? They offer a website for you to show off your idea to everyone you already know, with video or pictures. You could accomplish the exact same thing with a blog, and a basic paypal account. If some of your contacts are local to you, they could just hand you checks.
Are the 5-10% in fees worth it? Only if you are really lazy, which doesn’t make sense if you have a great idea, plan, or project in mind. That in itself takes a lot of effort, so do the work and collect the money yourself.
So I say again, what do they really offer? Nothing!
You do all the work, you bring all the people, they collect all the money and they keep some of it. That is what Kickstarter is all about.
What the internet needs is a site similar to this, but marketed better to truly attract random and anonymous donors to well thought out projects that offer decent rewards to contributors. This would work for anyone, including non-profits. All that would be needed is basic verification of projects seeking larger donation goals. A little fraud prevention, and some simple follow up (to make sure people get their rewards), and THEN I could see charging a small fee for the service.
So… before you get excited about kickstarter, or any site like it… if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Be optimistic, but be careful too. Trust but verify!
If you dislike the new Facebook timeline as much as I do, there is a solution.
It’s called TimeLineRemove.
Listed below are the plugins for Firefox, Internet Explorer, Safari, and Chrome:
If you need information on how to install / remove any of these plugins go to:
TimeLineRemove is the creator of these plugins, and you should visit their website to check for occasional updates. The plugins listed here are current as of August 11th 2012.
Here is a simple list of weather radar websites to help you track storms for your area:
Online fundraising is not as easy as setting up a page and watching money roll in. It just does not work that way. Even fundraising websites can’t produce a quick and easy result. Most of the members of fundraising websites are people who *need* help, not provide help. While they can offer moral support, don’t expect much for donations. I’m sure there may be a few people that are *givers* that go to these sites to help… but they are the vast minority. Some of the fundraisers on these websites actually do pretty well. If its a high profile charity or situation, people know about it. You had better be willing to spend a lot of time promoting your need or cause, and be willing to share personal information, as well as integrating it into your social networking pages like Facebook.
If you are willing to do all that… you might want to check some of these sites out:
With Chipin, you can create a fundraising widget and place it in your blog or website. You can link it to your paypal to accept donations.
The greedy or needy site is more suited for small requests ($50 or less), *BUT* you can list a wish for a higher amount, and it even connects with Chipin nicely. As with most social fundraising, you should try to promote your “wish” on your own website or social media platform.
You can use Kapipal to raise money for projects, presents, group purchases, charity, and any other dream! It connects with paypal as well. You can offer rewards to donors if you wish.
Pledgie is a broad based fundraising site, like most of these sites, you can link it to paypal. You can like it on Facebook, or Twitter. Again, success does depend on how well you promote it.
Fundly works much like the other sites, but you can also embed it into your Facebook.
GoFundMe personal online fundraising websites are perfect for individuals, groups & organizations! It can also be linked into Facebook.
Microgiving is a universal fundraising site. They do require you submit a W9 tax form, and they do take 13% of the donations received (10% fee, 3% for credit card processing).
I can’t say much about Wish upon a hero, because my registration never seemed to work (no validation email). Check it out, maybe you will have better results.
Modest Needs looks like a good site. It strives to avoid fraud, but this mean you have to provide a lot of personal information (fax a photo ID, provide bank balance info, ect…)
GiveForward is an outstanding website for people with financial related medical needs. This even includes pet related vet bills. It can be used for other needs too.
Well… that about does it for now. I may update this post again later if I find any more sites, or new information. Good luck with your fundraising needs.
In a Kickstarter campaign, a man who identifies himself as Seth Westphal claims to be the founder and CEO of an independent gaming studio called Little Monsters Productions. The art for the proposed game was copied from other artists on the web and the photos of Little Monsters studios were taken from another independent gaming studio, Burton Design Group.
”Mr. Westphal was an office manager with our company, not a game developer”, Mr. Burton of Burton Design Group said, and ”he was released from our studio back in February for noncompliance.” Mr. Westphal came in late, didn’t get work done, and didn’t follow procedure”, Mr. Burton said. ”Seth Westphal is a fraud. Don’t pay him for any games. He’s not a game developer.”
Some artists who had their work ripped off on the Kickstarter page contacted him two days ago, Mr. Burton said. He hopes all who are responsible for trying to defraud gamers are brought to justice.
The fraudulent Kickstarter has since been deleted, and the site for Little Monsters Productions was pulled.
But Little Monsters Productions, which claimed to comprise 12 people, was answering to its critics at first. When commenters on Kickstarter pointed out the stolen photos, the creators answered back in the comments.
According to the project creators, some of the people behind the campaign used to work at the independent gaming studio Burton Design Group but left because “the owner was being shady with funds.”
Mr. Burton said he does not know what the creators were referring to.
Quibids.com is one of the largest penny auction websites currently operating in the United States. Penny auctions have been around for awhile, but have only recently gotten lots of attention from people outside of the penny auction community.
Penny auction websites attract people to them by promising expensive, big ticket items at unbelievably low prices – for example, Quibids shows a new iPad, which retails at $499 for the most basic model, selling for $22.54. But this winning bid of $22.54 is misleading. This isn’t the truth of how much it costs to win that iPad.
The way penny auctions work is that you are only able to bid a single penny at any time during the auction. However, at Quibids.com, you must purchase each 1 cent bid for 60 cents. So an iPad that retails for $499 but was won for the grand total of 2,254 one cent bids (or $22.54) which actually cost 60 cents each means that the iPad just sold for $1352.40.
Though the person who wins the item usually has paid less than retail for what they have received, citing $22.54 as the winning bid is extremely misleading.
So is Quibids a Scam?
All penny auctions, regardless of reputation, are a bad idea and should be avoided.
First of all, Quibids.com and other penny auction sites require people to pay for the option to bid, but don’t allow them to bid in increments of their choosing. This means that Quibids is forcing the price up and profiting all the while.
On eBay, the seller and buyer have the auction monitored by the website, which is the trusted third party. On Quibids.com, there is no trusted third party. Quibids is the seller and the auctioneer. It works in their favor – and their favor only – to drive the price up in these small 1 or 2 cent increments.
Quibids tries to redeem themselves by offering you the “By It Now” option, which is when you can take the total amount of your failed bids and apply that toward the retail price of the item you were bidding on. Say you bid $80 total on an iPod Nano that cost $150. For the remaining $70, Quibids will sell you a Nano. Well, $70 plus tax, fees, and shipping and handling.
And if you’re not willing to part with that extra $70 (there was a reason after all that you didn’t want to pay full retail price for that item), then you’re simply out your $80 with nothing to show for it.
It’s much better to stick to legitimate auction sites like eBay, instead of spending lots of frustrating time and effort on penny auction websites like Quibids, Beezid, SwipeBid, BidsTick, DealFun, StealBids, BidRivals, Jeaper, ZBiddy, BidRodeo, BidCactus, Swoopo, MadBid.
Did you receive a little green postcard today (I did)? Does it say to call to schedule pickup? There is no package waiting for you, just a scam. I recommend to anyone who reads this, that they should file a BBB complaint, and a report to either the FTC or your state attorney general.
Here is the deal with that scam….. they sell vacation packages and vouchers. Please read this wonderful BBB report on the real company responsible for it all:
This Business is not BBB Accredited
CDA Consulting LLC
(888) 501-1505 11229 Highway 64 E, Tyler, TX 75707-3442
Additional Phone Numbers
- (903) 780-6510
- (877) 818-2492
- (877) 623-1611
- (855) 796-5672
On a scale of A+ to F, the BBB gave CDA consulting an: F
CDA Consulting LLC is not BBB Accredited.
Businesses are under no obligation to seek BBB accreditation, and some businesses are not accredited because they have not sought BBB accreditation.
To be accredited by BBB, a business must apply for accreditation and BBB must determine that the business meets BBB accreditation standards, which include a commitment to make a good faith effort to resolve any consumer complaints. BBB Accredited Businesses must pay a fee for accreditation review/monitoring and for support of BBB services to the public.
Reason for Rating
Factors that lowered CDA Consulting LLC’s rating include:
- Length of time business has been operating.
- 89 complaints filed against business
- Failure to respond to 62 complaints filed against business.
- 10 serious complaints filed against business.
- Overall complaint history with BBB.
- BBB does not have sufficient information to determine size of business. BBB evaluation of business is based on rating formula’s smallest size classification.
- BBB does not have sufficient background information on this business.
Customer Complaints Summary
89 complaints closed with BBB in last 3 years | 25 closed in last 12 months
|Complaint Type||Total Closed Complaints|
|Advertising / Sales Issues||78|
|Billing / Collection Issues||1|
|Problems with Product / Service||2|
|Guarantee / Warranty Issues||0|
|Total Closed Complaints||89|
Additional Complaint Information
This company sends postcards under various names requesting that consumers: “Please call to schedule pickup.” Consumers allege the card implies that they have missed the delivery of a package and must call a toll free number or a 903 area code number to schedule a package delivery. Consumers claim it is an attempt to sell them a vacation package.
In September, 2010, Ms Smith contacted BBB stating that CDA Consulting (also known as Express Package Delivery) does not ask for a fee nor do their marketing people ask for credit card numbers.
· Government Actions
BBB knows of no significant government actions involving CDA Consulting LLC.
· Advertising Review
BBB has nothing to report concerning CDA Consulting LLC’s advertising at this time.
As of September 2010, the company states “…The gifts offered are in the form of rebate programs. They spend a certain amount at the places we (CDA) suggest each month, send in a copy of their receipts and we send them back a certain amount until the amount has been satisfied, this is for retail rebates, gasoline rebates or dining rebates. Each month they spend $300.00 for, gas, food, clothes, or whatever they chose, one store or a combination, as long as it is on the list ( a store on the CDA list). They do this for 12 months. Each month they send us copies of these receipts (from companies on the CDA list totaling $300) and we reimburse $25.00 per month until they have received a total of $300.00. They have to do this every month or it cancels the program.”
In September, 2010, Mona Smith, Office Manager notified BBB that this company was purchased by Shawna Paslay from the previous owner Teresa Dudley on October 14, 2009. The current owner purchased the corporate name, phone number and other assets of the former CDA Consulting, LLC, but not the liabilities of the company, and have claimed no responsibility for providing refunds owed by the previous owners.
BBB file opened: 10/14/2009
Type of Entity
Limited Liability Corporation
Shawna Paslay the owner of CDA Consulting LLC aka Express Package Delivery was previously the Registered Agent for CDA Consulting LLC owned by Teresa Dudley. Mona Smith, Office Manager, for CDA Consulting LLC was previously the Office Manager for Teresa Dudley’s company CDA Consulting LLC. The company owned by Teresa Dudley went out of business with a “F” rating due to unanswered compliants. Teresa Dudley’s company was known under a number of different names in marketing its various campaigns.
Primary Contact: Ms Shawna Paslay (Owner)Complaint Contact: Ms Mona Smith (Office Manager)
Vacation Certificates & Vouchers
Products & Services
September 2010, CDA Consulting notified BBB that it is mailing postcards offering gifts for calling their office.
When consumers call, the CDA will attempt to set an appointment for the consumer to attend a presentation where sales representatives from companies offering vacation opportunities will encourage them to purchase a vacation package.
Please see “Other Information” for more detail on the CDA gift offers.
Alternate Business Names
Apex Services – Combined Package Service – Express Package Delivery – Package Services – Summit Package Service
More info found on another website:
Business Contact and Profile for CDA Consulting, LLC
Name: CDA Consulting, LLC
Phone: (888) 501-1505
Address: PO Box 820
Whitehouse, TX 75791-0820
Principal: Ms Teresa Dudley, Owner
Customer Contact: Mrs. Mona Smith, HR / Payroll Administrator – (903) 565-6088
File Open Date: July 2004
Type of Business: Vacation Certificates & Vouchers, Marketing Programs & Services, Services – General, Telemarketing Services, Travel Clubs, Vacation Time Share
Additional DBA Names: J Marketing & Research
Express Package Delivery
Call Center Solutions, LLC
Department of Disbursement
Department of Distribution Division of Acquisition
Current Occupant – CDA
Certified Delivery Association