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Travel Affiliate Program Scams

Travel Affiliate Program ScamI need to make more money.I hear the chorus every day, “make money, make money.”So I did a short search through various travel affiliate programs this morning, and found a site called TravelSpot.us.I browsed through their program, grew a little suspicios about a few things, but kept browsing. I signed up on [...]

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Travel Affiliate Program Scam

I need to make more money.

I hear the chorus every day, “make money, make money.”

So I did a short search through various travel affiliate programs this morning, and found a site called TravelSpot.us.

I browsed through their program, grew a little suspicios about a few things, but kept browsing.

I signed up on a slight whim to check it out further, and received an email stating their terms and conditions.

Along with a long list of keywords that I would not be permitted to use I found a section of the site that said in big, bold letters: “Free Setup.”

Within this section was printed the following words:

“Depending on the volume of your monthly unique-visitors’ traffic, a Security Deposit is required to customize and connect the TravelSpot .US booking engine with your website.”

The price: $500

I laughed out loud.

“Not free as in “free,” but free as in you have to pay for it!”

It then became readily apparent that they are trying to charge people five hundred dollars to sell their crap.

I don’t want to sell crap. I don’t want to sell tours. I don’t want to sell hotels. I don’t want to sell airline tickets.

And I definitely do not want to pay half a thousand dollars to do so.

I just want to sell words. It is only a shallow pity that there are far more vendors of my product than there are buyers.

So I will now continue to search for a reputable affiliate program to sell some crap.

Today I need to make money, tomorrow I will need to make more money.

Travel Affiliate Program Scam

Filed under: Turkey

About the Author:

I am the founder and editor of Vagabond Journey. I’ve been traveling the world since 1999, through 91 countries. I am the author of the book, Ghost Cities of China and have written for The Guardian, Forbes, Bloomberg, The Diplomat, the South China Morning Post, and other publications. has written 3705 posts on Vagabond Journey. Contact the author.

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13 comments… add one

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  • Organic May 29, 2010, 1:59 am

    Yes, it just isn’t worth it to even deal with most of those people. Stick with your Amazon links and Google Ads for now.

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  • Jeff June 28, 2010, 10:27 am

    You never mentioned anything about any legit affiliate travel programs.
    Anyway,one should be wary of these scams. An affilaite never need to pay anything to promote other people’s stuff.

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    • Wade | Vagabond Journey.com June 29, 2010, 8:17 pm

      We expect all affiliate programs to be legit. An affiliate program that is honest is not news — they are suppose to be honest.

      Good point about how you should never have to pay to sell someone else’s product. Right on.

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  • deer October 11, 2010, 12:24 am

    there r good affiliate program,and there is the Scams. you need to look and check them like i do. first i check them on Alexa Traffic Rank for info..
    how long r thay in business.if contact information is available. and so an.

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    • Wade | Vagabond Journey.com October 11, 2010, 12:49 pm

      Even in legit affiliate programs it seems as if the webmaster gets next to nothing while the company takes free advertising and traffic. Pay per sale affiliate programs are often not worth it for the publisher, as it is my job to send traffic to a website, and it is the website’s job to make a sale. It is awful to look at affiliate stats to find that you have sent hundreds of visitors to a website for no money.

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      • deer October 11, 2010, 2:51 pm

        is so many affiliate programs, travel programs is very bad because of the Commission 3% or 5% not worth it for your time! bot there r affiliate that pay 25% to 50% search for 1.with white label website.

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        • Wade | Vagabond Journey.com October 11, 2010, 10:58 pm

          Very right on, the 3% crap commission affiliate programs are a joke. The ones who give 25 to 50% could be good, but I found that these commissions are often only offered for digital products.

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  • Nitin Sharma November 30, 2010, 3:06 pm

    I also have something to say…the $500 that you saw is basically if a client doesn’t have any website and want to buy a one then Travelspot charge (includes design & development fee and Domain name) as they sell their turnkey website to the user and the website is already functional and generating revenue. However, if you have your own functional website then you can sign up with Travel spot and can become their affiliate partner free of cost.

    Hope this will give a fair idea on the pricing and the product.


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    • Wade | Vagabond Journey.com December 1, 2010, 10:26 am

      It has been my experience that most affiliate programs amount to an affiliate giving a company a lot of free advertising and traffic for very little payout. Most affiliate programs are essentially scams, as instead of paying for honest advertising, companies try to get affiliates to do it for free with the promise of receiving commissions that end up being next to nothing. It is the job of an affiliate to send traffic to a website, it is the job of the website to sell their own product, it is a sorry state when I send a site tons of traffic and don’t receive any payout because their website cannot successfully turn traffic into sales.

      Link Reply
  • Nitin Sharma December 1, 2010, 11:26 am


    I agree with you that there should be some compensation but only when you sign up for their advertising model. Travelspot is a private label solution provider to travel agents and who would like to start their own travel business without any cost. Also,Travelspot doesn’t accept direct booking coming to them through email or phone as they only accept the booking coming from their affiliates ONLY.

    Hence, I don’t think that its fair to pay advertising cost by Travelspot to their affiliates as they have sign up for affiliates program and they accept booking only through their affiliates.

    Moreover, the commission is also very competative if you compare with other private lable solution provider and i must say the comeepnsation on each booking that an affiliate generate is not NEXT TO NOTHING.


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  • Corrisa Malone April 23, 2013, 3:37 pm

    This is what affiliate marketing is – selling someone else’s product in exchange for commission.

    As an affiliate it is smarter to capture your traffic emails addresses before sending them off to the offer page. It’s your choice what you do with the traffic you generate. Lots of affiliates just spend their traffic to the offer page and make a good living at doing it that way because they know how to drive LOTS of traffic.

    If you don’t want to sell someone ele’s product, then just create your own and get 100% commission!

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    • VagabondJourney April 23, 2013, 8:42 pm

      Yes, we are fully aware of what affiliate marketing is. I think you missed the point here.

      Link Reply
  • Mitchell Blatt May 3, 2013, 4:44 am

    NeverBlue is an affiliate network with a ton of programs. One that might work here is CTrip, China’s most popular hotel and flight booking website, and they have a program under the NeverBlue network.

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