Home > Marketing > How Many Traffic Exchange Owners Lost Paypal?

How Many Traffic Exchange Owners Lost Paypal?

Over that last weeks I’ve noticed several traffic exchange and viral mailer owners seem to have had their Paypal accounts limited – and I’m curious if anyone out there in marketing land knows more than I do about the reasons.  Of course, I have my suspicions as to why Paypal may have limited some of these accounts, but the fact of the matter is I know very little for sure.  Of the sites I’ve encountered that have removed Paypal, I haven’t seen any “major edits” to the websites – just the removal of Paypal buttons.  Paypal is still mentioned on affiliate pages…hmmmm.

Here’s what I do know:

  • Mark Fox’s sites seem to have a limited account, but I can’t be sure.  Magical Mailer does not have Paypal as a purchase option anymore, yet Traffic Magician does.  Both still show Paypal as the primary option for affiliate cashouts.
  • Marcy McManaway’s TESS and PunchCardMailer both have Paypal purchase buttons removed.  In fact, for many of the advertising services offered, there are no longer any payment buttons available to members.  Not to mention, Marcy’s blog seems to redirect to TESS now.   In the spirit of giving credit where it may be due, I do recall an email or few from Marcy McManaway to members, regarding the Paypal removal.  Not much detail in those though…
  • Debbie Nicholson’s mailers – including Aussie Mailer, RedStagMailer and others – all have had Paypal removed as a purchase option.  In a recent Admin email, Debbie mentioned that Paypal is holding her funds for 6 months.  Again, not much detail in these admin emails, but it’s a start.

Those are the just the few situations I know of so far…

Of course, like I mentioned above, I have some pretty strong suspicions about why Paypal suddenly “targeted” the TE and mailer industry – and it has little to do with the actual business models of these advertising websites.  Rather, a couple of months ago a huge spike in “100% commission” sites came about, along with the “LeasedAdSpace” website, also paying member-to-member with 100% commissions.  If you don’t already know, promoting these sorts of “direct 100% commission” programs has always been frowned on by Paypal (you’ll have to trust me on that, or Google the matter for yourself).  As it turns out (and as evidenced by the public Member list at LeasedAdSpace), a lot of TE owners ran around promoting the instant commissions sites – in essence putting their affiliate’s earned-but-not-yet-paid commissions at risk.  Heck, in the case of LAS, those involved are/were promoting a multi-level instant-pay matrix using Paypal (that’s real bad, btw).  Hmmm….again.

Here’s a friendly reminder for online rookies:  Paypal does not see as legit – and likely never will – anything that pays direct member-to-member at a rate of 100% as the recent spate of site launches and scripts does.  As an affiliate for these such programs, you’re not selling the product as an owner, you’re not supporting it, and in over-simplified terms – you guessed it – Paypal essentially sees such “pay plans” as member-to-member cash-gifting, regardless of any purported product or service attached.  (Yes, JVZoo and PaySpree are exceptions – consider them “Paypal vetted” gateways for 100% commissions on definable products – although I don’t really dig Payspree).  I’m sure other exceptions exist, but that’s not my main point here, eh.


At the end of the day, two questions to you, the readers:

  1. Do you know more than I do about Mark, Marcy, and Debbie’s respective sites and/or Paypal limitations?
  2. Anyone know if additional notable owners have had accounts limited?
  3. Do you think I’m way off-base on my guess about the link between limitations and owners using their Paypal accounts to promote pay plans of which Paypal doesn’t approve?

Let me know what you know – and remember, you won’t find me “promoting” any kind of 100% member-to-member “programs” or the like – so don’t promote yours in the comments either.

Eager to hear what folks think…


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  1. Rewards4surfing got hit as well. Its just a traffic exchange. I got an email saying they dont support its business model. I asked for more info and they said they assume r4s is a Ponzi, pyramid, mlm get rich quick scheme. I have a business model just like most te around and dont pay more than 30% comms. So now im going to email them to prove that its NOT the above. I wonder if we should all petition Paypal to not lump TE in with other bad owners and ask for our business model instead of presuming we are bad. I havent had any paypal disputes. My paypal was only limited for a weekend but i am not allowed to send/ receive payments for r4s. Tell that to my upgraded subscribers who i have to email them to cancel. Anyway any good petition sites? As a community we are all at risk eventually. We are guilty unless we prove we are innocent.

    • Hi Kris, thanks for the update! (pardon my delay, been on holiday). I’m familiar with your exchange, and would concur that it is like “most TE around” and not an MLM. I’m not yet up to speed on any petitions going about, but would love to know if you’ve found one in the interim. Best of luck sorting things out. Cheers!

  2. One of the sites I use just went through this. On their forums the Admin said that PayPal does a round of checks about every 6 months and will limit while they look into the site.

    It really seems to scare site owners so they just don’t try to work with PayPal. Another site I was on that this happened to, only had to make a couple of changes to their site and PayPal had told them what the problem was. An easy fix and the limit was lifted.

    I happy PayPal does this, helps me know where to put my money and that it is a safer bet when I do.

    • I agree with your comment about the “Paypal checks” being an advantage in some ways – emphasis on the some, of course. Are you able to offer any specifics on the PP-approved changes the site owner your referenced made? Thanks for the feedback!

  3. I fell foul of Paypal limiting my account and demanding I remove them from my website about 3 years ago, long before these recent sites came out, as did another site owner at the time that I knew. That was when Instant Profit Sites hit the internet in a big way, where members get direct payments in sequence with the owner, anything from 20% to 75%.
    While not strictly 100% commission sites, they do pay direct payments instead of just commission.
    Two of my members also had their PP accounts limited for receiving commission payments in this manner, but PP refused to tell me why they thought my site broke their terms, and to this day can only guess why they picked on that one particular site when many, many more of them were allowed to continue using PP.
    I decided to just do as I was told and remove all traces of PP from the site, but they kept finding instances where PP was mentioned, even at my blog, which I eventually had to close to get my PP account back. My friend, however, would not back down and pushed and pushed until they gave in and let her continue with PP. I tried to reason with them for a while, but they simply weren’t having it and thought my site was a pyramid/ponzi scheme, mlm or other such site.
    At the time the only thing I could think of was that they saw a photo of a Mayan temple in the header and thought it was a pyramid scheme, but having read your post I’m now wondering if they have software trawling the net for keywords, which would explain why they wouldn’t tell me anything at all, because it might give me a clue as to what they’re looking for.
    I know they don’t like commission amounts greater than 50%, but it almost seems like they pick random sites and go after the owners for fun.
    I can’t remember exactly what text I had on the site at the time, but 100% commission was almost certainly in there somewhere. All my other IPS sites were left alone, despite using similar wording. We’ve since sold most of them.
    There are other owners out there suffering the same fate, so I suspect the truth is somewhere between your theory and the fact that PP may just be incompetent and don’t understand online marketing to any great degree (my theory).
    That doesn’t explain why they went after the sites if the owners were simply promoting these other new sites, but the fact that they kept telling me I had to remove more things every time I went back to them after removing more instances of PP (and of course never once gave me a clue as to where the other ones were), and the fact they limited the accounts of two of my members, might point to them simply punishing people who promote stuff they don’t like.
    Needless to say, I despise Paypal and hate the fact I’m so reliant on them.
    Hope this helps in some way.

    • Hi Martin, thanks for sharing your story – sounds like a hassle, indeed! To your point about Paypal perhaps not understanding some forms of IM, I think you are onto something there. Perhaps membership-site owners could further explain what their business models “are” on the outside of their sites, to prevent some of the issues with Paypal? Not trying to sway your mind on Paypal – just a thought for the discussion. +1 to you for perseverance…cheers!

  4. Talk to the owner of Smiley Traffic, or read his member page for some *basic* details. He has been limited before and just got smacked again. I don’t know if you noticed in the past or not, but PP TOS says it only allows “certain” MLMs (which is what it classes *all* TEs and PTCs with more than 1 level of commissions, and in essence, they’re being accurate). And NONE of those MLMs rent or sell “referrals” or “down lines”.

    • No doubt, I’m familiar that the owner of Smiley has had to work very hard over the years to protect his business. The moving targets provided by PP TOS certainly don’t help eh. Thanks for the comment!

      • BTW–GOTSafelist also lost their Paypal, a real shock given how old/established they are. They switched to Payza immediately, but it will still be a tough transition for all involved.

        We do need a petition of some sort–perhaps at Change.org or one of the other sites.

        Fortune’s Traffic (mine) hasn’t been bothered as of yet, but we’re still small enough to be below the radar, so to speak. Even so, I am getting my Payza/STP/2checkout accounts squared away this week, and keeping no money in PP anyway.

        • Wow, that’s a big one – they’ve been around for a long time indeed. Thanks for the tip, I just logged in and saw the news myself. I wonder if this may truly be the time for a different (new) payment option to appear on the horizon?

          • The whole thing stinks like a 3 year old fish, as far as I am concerned. GOTSafelist hasn’t changed their business model a bit for as long as I can remember, and PP has always known the details of the business.

            And they have yet to answer my inquiry; I asked them to state SPECIFICALLY what type of MLM *is* acceptable, as their terms say “certain MLMs”. And I fail to see how they could claim that GOTsafelist, Smiley, or any of the others are even MLM/Ponzi to begin with, as none of our business models fit the legal definitions of either MLM or Ponzi.

            We do need a new payment alternative, very badly, and have for some time. But as it is nearly impossible legally and prohibitively expensive to start a third party processing firm (especially if you want to do business in the USA or any 1st world country), our options at the moment are limited to existing 3rd party processors and Bitcoin–which most countries are trying very hard to regulate or outlaw.

            My M.O. at the moment is keep near zero in PP–so any payments I make using it come directly out of the attached bank account, or there is just enough there to cover them, and bring every other payment option I can get verified into use. Once I have the majority of my sales and payments routing through my other payment processors, I will remove Paypal entirely from Fortunes, and I am not going to be using it at all on the new site I’m building (at least not directly, that one has a merchant shopping cart account with a Paypal option).

    • I feel for the members and the owners. I personally quit using several mailers and TE’s due to waiting forever to get paid (and some still never paid) PayPal in my opinion has reasons for limiting someones business account. You may not have any disputes or are following all the rules, BUT here is the unspoken PayPal rule that is not listed in the Terms. Clixsense and NeoBux (Especially NeoBux) Break the PayPal Terms or TOS but Clixsense offers 8 Levels deep and NeoBux sells thousands of rented referrals everyday (Ponzi) Why are they in the clear? PayPal looks at your Reserves or How much money is Left in the account. You have 30 days to dispute any transaction. Clixsense and NeoBux are worth millions and clearly violate PP’s TOS. They allow it because they have the money to back it up.

      TE or Mailer Owner Suggestion on How to Prevent your account getting limited. Say you sell 3 upgrades at $50 each = $150 Leave it. You have to have reserves in your account to cover any and all problems that can come up. PayPal has been torched over the years from Credit Cards not being a valid backup payment or bank accounts with no money in them. The only way they can know for sure is if the money is in the PP account.

      I don’t think its fair especially most TE owners are honest. It comes down to the money. Your not going to this happen to EasyHits4u or Tim Tech Te’s because of the size of their bank accounts. If you don’t have a consistent track record of having substantial amount of money left in your PayPal account you will always be at risk when these ‘checks’ happen. If your taking in a $1,000 per week and your average balance is $100 your going to get limited eventually.

      • Hi Mike, thanks for your feedback (I’ve been on holiday). You make a great point about maintaining a balance for owners – if I recall, rumor had it that’s part of what Neo had to do several years back when they were limited (stack some cash in PP for backup) – although of course it’s hard to know for sure. On the CS side, I know a handful of other MLM setups that use Paypal (GDI, and if I recall TrafficWave has it now). Like you said, on some levels it may boil down to the account owner’s ability to shoulder the risk for Paypal eh? Thanks for the comment, cheers!

  5. Farlina Carroll

    Hmmm, noticed about Deborah’s sites as well. On top of that, she has not been paying her subscriber’s commissions as well as not replying to any support tickets. Stopped of my subscriptions to all her sites.

    • Thanks for the update Farlina (pardon my delay, been on holiday!). Curious to see if her sites will be able to rebound, no doubt. Cheers!

    • Paypal also told me and gave 30 days to cancel all subscriptions because Rewards4surfing is not allowed to receive or send through paypal. I manually pay commissions via my personal Paypal now with NO note attached. Hence I have to ask members when they want to be paid to send via support ticket so I have a record.

    • I belong to Aussie Mailer, one of Debbie’s sites. Back In Feb, I had 11 dollars and some change in my commissions account. I looked at my account one day, and the 11.00 was gone, so I figured, it went into my paypal account. Well, it didn’t and it never did, I had a rough time even getting in touch with Debbie, and when I explained the problem to her, she said she was having problems with cheaters and next time I need to talk to her use Skype. I still don’t know what happened to my money, and now Debbie has been saying she it still trying to work with paypal to get this taken care of but they won’t listen. There are places on line where you can file reports about bad service. Rip off Report is one, and I actually filed a complaint with the New Zeland better business bureau about Debbie. Also there is a site called true ctr list where you can read reviews of different mailers and write your own reviews. I heard Mark Fox was having problems paying members, also, I belong to some of his sites, too. but I haven’t requested a payment. The problem is, owners get away with this, and there is no way to recoup the money. There should be a way to get it back, but I doubt that will happen.

      • Hi Phyllis, thanks for your feedback – I’d say it’s definitely disappointing, to say the least. My summer break is coming to an end, looking forward to hearing if either of these situations have improved for you. Cheers!

  6. I think this paypal s**! is nonsense, I read email longer than a year to reach the $20 payout mark. I requested Debbie Nicholson website Redstagmailer many times about the paypal issue. She doesn;t bother to answer me back. I’m afraid the same will happens to Mark Fox site Rockstarmailer i’m almost at the 20$ payout mark. Will you please investigate these 3 owners as im not from America. Thanks

    • Izak, Mark Fox too? Hmmm. I have issues with getting payments from Puffin Mailers as well. Been 2 months. Have USD54 but no payments yet. Cancelled most of my mailers except Mark Fox’s page. Worrying abit. Good thing i didnt subscribed to the yearly is really subscription. Wish we know what is going on.

  7. the bakerymailer not pays users, a friend told me that waiting for a year and not pay him. I wait one month..

  8. I trust Debbie Nicholson explicity even though others complain. I know how hard she is working to figure out some way to pay. Also how frustrated she is getting with it all as well as those who are going around making her name mud by assuming. If they read her admin mails they know exactly what is going on, not only with paypal and other payment options, but in her personal life as well.

    Paypal is ticking me off as more and more owners are having accounts frozen. Some years back TE’s had trouble with paypal thinking they were pyramd schemes, but it was decided they weren’t since we only earn from ONE level of referrals. Why can’t they figure this out now??

    I would, however, like to know if this has anything at all to do with the fact that I cashed out at Gladiatorhits and Protrafficshop both on January 31 and still have not been paid….nor do they bother to reply to support tickets.
    And Mark Fox paid me fine on the sites that I was upgraded on, yet I am waiting since February 23rd for my cashout at trafficroyal.
    Then there is BigFootMailer that I cashed out a few months ago and also no replies to my 2 support tickets…and also no reply to a facebook message either.

    • Definitely more questions than answers in the industry right now. I noticed on the Warrior Forum that Frank Salinas has also run into trouble. Let’s hope we see plenty of transparency all around eh. Thanks for your feedback!

  9. Easyhits4u has had their Paypal account limited and have said they will not use them in the future..

Have an opinion?