Websitetester.biz – Is it a Scam or Real Business?
Tuesday, August 17th, 2010
Tuesday, August 17th, 2010
A few weeks ago a new “job from home” offer hit the internet. Until today nearly 300,000 people from all over the world registered at websitetester.biz. But there are rumors that it is only a scam by fraudsters to collect email and bank data.
We contacted the initiator, Alpha Market Research, Inc. (AMR), to find some answers. We thank Michael DeBias, CEO of AMR, for the first official interview.
Q: Michael, about two months ago, the site of the AMR Website Tester project went online. What kind of results have you received so far?
A: On June 8, our website, www.websitetester.biz, went “live”. Since then, on an average, three (3) new users per minute have registered – a total of more than 290,000 people from 144 different nations. We expect that by the end of the pre-launch of August 31, some 360,000 website testers will be registered.
Q: Did you expect this success?
A: No! We knew that our project with users and businesses would be received well, but this overwhelming rush really surprised us.
Q: What are the reactions of companies?
A: We have already received numerous inquiries from companies that would like to have one or more of their websites tested. Now our aim is to contact as many companies as possible with our AMR Success Strategy.
Q: What’s so new about your service?
A: So far, most website tests are restricted to test the functions and usability of websites. Those tests miss the most important dimension – namely, the question of: “In general, how do the users like the website?” But this is crucial for the success or failure of a website. How does it help, when your website has a shopping cart with great features, but most visitors leave the website without placing an order?
Our testers are focused precisely on this area and provide valuable information to businesses where their website could be improved in terms of design and content.
Q: Isn’t that what surveys are for?
A: Many companies have placed a survey on their website to gather comments from their visitors. But there’s a catch: only very few users are willing to invest time for such a survey. Also there will be rarely no opinions of potential customers, and those opinions are exactly what the companies need in order to make any improvements.
Our site testers visit the websites of our clients in order to evaluate them. We make sure that only the testers that belong to the target group of the company assess the pages. In fact, each tester is simultaneously a potential new client (if he likes the site or the product and if any coupon is offered).
Q: Are you assuming that your site testers are becoming customers of your clients?
A: No website tester is obligated to buy any product or to order anything. But, if they like an offer, why shouldn’t they use it? That is why we encourage companies to offer a product-purchase coupon to the tester, as part of their compensation. From the company’s point of view, there is no cost initially for the coupon and from the tester’s point of view, they are happier to see a $5 coupon than let’s say, 20 cents.
Q: Can you illustrate that with an example?
A: Absolutely! Consider a company that offers professional e-books. A tester, who needs only five minutes of time to evaluate this site, might discover an e-book that interests him – if so, it is much better for him to be compensated with US$ 1.00 plus a $5 coupon rather than US$1.20. And all the testers who do not use the coupon have earned a very respectable, pro-rated income of US$ 12 per hour.
The company lowers its cost for the test by giving out coupons, and has a good chance to get the first new customers right through the website test.
Q: This is convincing. Are there any other advantages for the company?
A: When a website test for a company is completed, we setup a special affiliate program for each company. Our site testers then automatically become an “Army of Affiliates” that provide risk-free sales for the companies.
Q: How expensive is this service to the company?
A: In any case, less costly than you might think: Regional companies can use our AMR Success Strategy from US$ 99 plus a small fee for each completed website test. Even International companies are still under US$ 1,000 set-up costs.
Q: In some forums, one could read that it is AMR’s goal just to collect the email addresses of the users or to know the users’ bank data.
A: If that were our intention, we would hardly hire Country Managers and Affiliate Management Consultants around the world for the acquisition and processing of website-tester jobs.
On the other hand, it is not surprising that such speculations have arisen because there are some black sheep on the Internet. We appreciate when active users warn others of a possible fraud. In the case of AMR, however, these warnings are false and unfounded.
Q: In a blog, it has been stated that AMR probably is initiated by fraudsters from Africa…
A: … in another, that we are a sect from Australia! (Laughs) The truth is that we are a US based company, founded and registered in the state of Nevada. Each user can check this information easily online at the official website of the Secretary of State of the State of Nevada. I myself live in Las Vegas, Nevada, where we maintain a small office for administration tasks. Most of the work is done by our international team.
Q: How big is the AMR Team?
A: To respond professionally to this high number of applications and the overwhelming interest of the companies, our team is growing almost daily. Our team consists of programmers, marketing professionals, administrative staff, country managers and affiliate experts. In total, more than 50 people contribute to the success of our project. At the end of 2010, there will be about 200 team members.
Q: What are your goals for Alpha Market Research, Inc.?
A: Alpha is the first letter in the alphabet. And that is the perfect position for AMR in international comparison. Already during the pre-launch, we have built the world’s largest network of website testers – Alexa.com lists us as one of the 8,000 most frequented sites throughout the Internet and on Google.com we are # 1 on hits for the search term “website tester”. Not bad for a start-up company after only two months, right?
Q: That’s true! On your pre-launch website, you name for each user a so-called “potential income”. How realistic is this number?
A: This figure is the maximum income that a website tester can reach under optimal conditions. We are not able to provide these optimal conditions right from day one, September 1, because we have to allow some time to pass to accumulate actual competed website tests. Then of course a lot depends on the readiness of the single site tester. What I can guarantee them is that each website tester will be compensated in a fair manner for his job performance.
Q: Thank you for this interview!
A: You’re welcome!