March 18, 2014: TimTech SOLD NerdBux.

NerdBux Animated Banner

It was TimTech’s first foray into PTC ownership after a series of impressive business successes, starting with the I Love Hits, StartXchange, and Sweeva triumvirate of traffic exchanges, and the ongoing success of the video training program and downline builder, Click-Track-Profit. These are all excellent programs I use every day to advertise and build my business.

NerdBux has been one of the “core four” Paid-To-Click (PTC) advertising sites I use to promote and earn in my professional online marketing business. If you are not already familiar with my story you can read it here: “The Amazing Tale of 4 PTCs.”

NerdBux has been one of the “winners” in this Amazing Tale, earning A LOT of money for many folks including ME, right up until the day of sale. Earnings dropped off quite a bit after sale… but have not declined to zero. The site has not vanished. Over the past 10 days I’ve been logging in and clicking all available ads, and am continuing to earn money every day, though not at previous levels.

So in my view, NerdBux is not dead, at least not yet, but TRUST — one of the most important facets of successful business operation — has been significantly eroded.

THE WARNING SIGNS

There were warning signs that TimTech was having trouble managing the growth of their fledgeling PTC. Because of their previous string of successes, people were ready and willing to join this new NerdBux PTC that launched in early June, 2013. Within a few weeks, membership was growing by 500 to 1,000 new signups per day. They were able to sustain this growth into 2014 because so many members were earning really decent income from the site, and spreading the word that NerdBux was a fantastic opportunity.

That fast ramp up in late 2013 happened to coincide with the annual increase in 4th quarter ad spending which has become a familiar pattern. Lots of money was flowing, and NerdBux members were reaping the benefits. Then 2014 came, the torrent turned to a trickle, members were no longer earning anywhere near the levels of previous months, and opinions began to sour.

By February 2014 it became apparent NerdBux was having cashflow problems. Cashout requests were being delayed, cashout thresholds increased, and other restrictions regarding rental or renewal of referrals were implemented. This compounded a growing disillusionment among the membership, many of whom were new to PTCs and not familiar with the business cycle ebb and flow of earnings.

THE CHEATERS

Then on February 26, 2014 TimTech reported in a forum post that NerdBux was the victim of massive cheating. In a video chat a couple days later, CMO Jon Olson said they had lost “tens of thousands” of dollars to cheaters, without going into details about how the fraud and abuse was perpetrated. They began a thorough housecleaning, deleting the accounts of all members where there was evidence of cheating.

That caused an abrupt decline in member earnings because some of those deleted accounts had also been rented to other active members. Plus the delayed cashouts remained problematic, and members were very vocal on the NerdBux Forum about not getting paid.

TimTech made a couple attempts to revive cashflow by offering some great ad deals, and that helped spur member earnings, but did not immediately solve the cashout issues.

THE SALE

News of the sale of NerdBux to a well-known but apparently not well-liked individual came on March 18, 2014. It’s likely that a good portion of the membership just stopped clicking at that point, and wrote off the site as dead and gone.

The new owner, Jeffrey Johnson, moved the site to new servers and for several days site availability was spotty. Since then the Nerdbux Forums have been closed except for announcements from Johnson himself, and Rented Referral pages have been removed from navigation. So for the moment no one is able to manage their rented referrals, which in most PTCs is where a large part of earnings are generated.

Here are the forum announcements from the new owner (with my comments in parentheses):

  1. “No longer need to click to earn from refs.” (Surely this is temporary.)
  2. “No bashing of TimTech allowed on this forum.” (People will do it anyway, and probably bash the new owner too, at risk of having their accounts deleted.)
  3. “PayPal has blacklisted the nerdbux.com domain.” (This will be a challenge to remedy until Johnson can refresh his PayPal account with enough funds to satisfy all pending cashout requests.)
  4. “SolidTrust pay added.” (It’s likely that quite a few members do not have SolidTrust accounts.)
  5. “Removing inactives for next few weeks.” (This may explain why the Rented Referrals pages have gone missing. And if you want to stick around and see what happens, you probably ought to click once in a while. ;)

At the time of sale, I had over 400 rented referrals, and a good portion of them were extended out to 90 days or more. I have to wonder if I’ll have any rentals left by the time Johnson completes his purging activity. And yet I still seem to be earning from rented referrals, because my direct referral clicks are not substantial enough to account for all my earnings.

One obvious bright spot in this whole picture is that advertisers have upped their spending at NerdBux — there are more and more ads to click on every day. If that trend continues, I think it will bring back a lot of the existing membership that has been sitting on the sidelines.

DID TIMTECH SELL TOO SOON?

Jon Olson, Tim Linden, Justin Ledvina, and Larry Dame — these are really smart guys and it must’ve badly shaken their confidence to be unable to figure out how to turn the NerdBux debacle around and stop the hemorrhaging. It’s actually not the first time they quit something that showed promise. (Remember Sitizens, anybody?)

We don’t know what they saw that caused them to cut bait and sell out as quickly as they did. The relentless daily complaints, accusations, and badmouthing on the NerdBux forums must have been demoralizing. Maybe they’d just had enough of it and wanted out. One thing they made clear after the sale was that NerdBux was taking way too much focus away from their other successful business ventures.

NerdBux - Awesome Alexa Rank!

Did they sell too soon? NerdBux came from nowhere in mid-2013 to become one of the most-visited properties on the internet, briefly breaking into the Alexa Top 1000.

Today NerdBux is ranked as the 1,052nd most popular site on the internet.

That is still an amazing rank.

And there’s just a hint, at the far right edge of that chart, that the slide in popularity may be leveling off. Now it’s up to Jeffrey Johnson to see if he can reclaim the trust that has been lost and make NerdBux fly again. I wish him the best of success.

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18 Responses to “The Rise and Fall of NerdBux”

  1. Adam Brockie says:

    Hi Pete

    Excellent recap of events, I have seen others’ on blogs but none so in-depth.

    I had totally forgotten of Sitizens, but, I never joined it either.

    Anyhow, thanks again for staying on top of it, I personally have not been there in a couple weeks. I lost about $35 with the money I had in earnings and purchase balance. Plus the lifetime membership of $97. Sure thought the lifetime would be longer LOL. RIP Nerdbux, July 2013 – March 2014.

    Adam

    • Tame Bear says:

      Someone else emailed me to say their account has been suspended. Johnson has already alerted membership that he is deleting “inactive accounts,” so if you want to keep using NerdNux, just be sure to log in and click a few ads. If you haven’t logged in since the sale, you might be surprised at your earnings!

  2. Adam Brockie says:

    Wow, lots of changes indeed. You were right about earnings, they were up $3 however, direct referrals went from 107 to 27 LOL. So I guess 80 folks in my downline are suspended or kicked for inactivity. Thanks for the tip, will check it periodically.

    Adam

  3. Rasa says:

    You should read the post about Nerdbux and it’s new owner, then you can decide if you still want to click https://www.facebook.com/notes/ptc-investigations/nerdbux-nerdbuxcom-a-scam-jj-now-owns-it/644186985630799

  4. Tame Bear says:

    Yes Rasa, this new owner has a reputation, doesn’t he. I have had no previous dealings with Jeffrey Johnson or other sites he owns, so I am taking a wait-and-see approach, and continuing to click and earn. I estimate my next opportunity to make a withdrawal won’t be for a few months, so he has some time to demonstrate he’s not the scammer others say he is. We’ll see.

  5. Tame Bear says:

    NOTE: Cashout minimum at NerdBux had been set at $25 but was recently lowered to $10. (Before TimTech sold, the cashout minimum was $8.) More: The NerdBux home page right now shows total membership of 84,055 with 234 new members joining today. (Before TimTech sold, membership was over 330,000 — which gives some idea of the scale of cheating going on.) Looks like Johnson has been deleting THOUSANDS of accounts.

    Interestingly, I now have MORE rented referrals than I did a month ago. But not a lot of them are clicking. I’ve lost some direct referrals, but that was probably due to inactivity; all my active direct referrals are still there.

    In my view, it’s worth logging in every day and clicking the minimum 20 ads just to see what happens with the site in the future.

  6. Ole Schneider-Konrad says:

    I used my nerdbux exclusively for advertising and purchased millions of banner impressions from timtech. Since the sale of nerdbux I could no longer login to my account. Trying to let resend access data didn’t work. Obviously the new owner removed my account. Support tickets are not replied to either, they just get marked resolved. This is what I call fraudulent behavior. Congrats for supporting this guy.

    • Tame Bear says:

      Hi Ole, I just sent a support ticket, so I’ll see if he replies or not. Or closes the ticket without a response. I can imagine Johnson is getting A LOT of support requests since he bought out TimTech!

  7. Tame Bear says:

    Here is a link to NerdBux ranking page at Alexa.com:
    http://www.alexa.com/siteinfo/nerdbux.com

    Looks like the site’s popularity is continuing to slide, but I also notice that bounce rate is declining, and daily page views and time spent on the site are increasing. That indicates the membership is showing some renewed interest as the site becomes more stable. As always, proceed with caution, but these are hopeful signs that NerdBux is not dead.

  8. As a Lifetime member of NB and a daily active member of NB
    There is absolutely no reason for my account to have been deleted and yet there ya go, account deleted.
    Having had experience with JJ in a previous incarnation I can tell you there are no suprises there.

    |Many of the Lifetime members that I know have had there account deleted. are they cheaters, am I a cheater, never in my life have I cheated others for personal gain.
    So I am unsure what JJ considers a cheater. I guess someone that has invested a lot of money and has money in their account to withdraw.

    I cannot hold JJ totally responsible for this, Yes I am peeved that JJ has done the blatant rip off, but I am also peeved at the strategic sale that was made

  9. Tame Bear says:

    I paid for a Lifetime upgrade too, after I had already paid for a one-year upgrade. If my account had been deleted, I would have been royally peeved too — that’s a blatant rip off.

    That said, I spoke with one person yesterday who thought his account had been deleted because he was not able to log in one day. At my prompting he tried logging in again, and found he could — his account had not actually been deleted. So it would be good to re-check, in case the site was just temporarily down. Not saying that’s your prob, Russell, but it’s worth checking more than once, and requesting a password reminder too, when you can’t log in.

  10. Adam Brockie says:

    Hello. I was a Lifetime member of Nerdbux as well. I thought my account had been deleted. I tried once more to login and it took last week, I was allowed in. As I had a decent amount in earnings due, I took a chance and was able to submit a payout request of $25. I heard nothing for 5 days and thought there was no way to receive this. Lo and behold, I received $22.50 in my PayPal account Saturday. I checked payout proofs and about 10 of us were paid by JJ’s company, Cute LLC I believe it is. The last payouts were about 16 days prior. It was just a shot in the dark, but he did make the payout. I was pleasantly surprised. So, if you can get in, I suggest you all try the same thing.

  11. Tame Bear says:

    Glad to hear that, Adam. I don’t have enough in earnings right now to request a payout yet ($10 minimum) I’ve had some money sitting in my purchase account, so today I bought a $4 24hr Fixed Ad. Tomorrow I’ll let you know how many clicks the ad got; so far it’s had 508 hits and I’ve got 1 new signup from it.

    I check the NerdBux front page now and then to see what the numbers there look like. Total membership is down to 13,404 (from a high of over 300,000 when TimTech owned it) and new members today = 375. Of course any of these numbers could be faked if you own the site, but it would be in JJ’s interest to “keep it real” and manage a genuine comeback based on new membership.

    • Tame Bear says:

      Final results of my NerdBux 24hr Fixed Ad:

      Ad cost: $4
      Total Ad Views: 5,108
      List Subscribers: 4
      PTC Direct Referrals: 1
      Conversion Rate: 0.08%
      Cost per Subscriber: $1
      Cost per Direct Referral: $4

      In a previous post titled Sticky Ads on ClixSense I estimated that a List Subscriber in my business is worth $4.18, and a PTC Direct Referral is worth $24.95. So this $4 ad earned a net profit in the neighborhood of $12.72 to $20.95. Money well-spent.

  12. Shelayne says:

    Hi Pete,

    Have you been able to log into Nerdbux since he changed everything? I was able to for a day or two and now all I get is “There was a problem signing in.” I submitted a support ticket but no reply This was the last forum post from JJ
    $ 183.38 Income
    $ 39.67558 Cash earned

    $143.70 Total Profit

    So we priced things on site so that members should not worry about payment.

    To make up for lost earnings of members from old site we will be holding contest every month for next year or two. We plan to give away few hundred dollars this month in the first one. Even though based on terms of our takeover of NerdBux this is not needed.

  13. Tame Bear says:

    Shelayne, I am no longer in NerdBux and I no longer recommend or promote it. Whenever it comes up, I advise people to stay away from it, and from JJ. (Sorry — I posted that information in comments on several of my other blog posts having to do with NerdBux, but apparently I missed this one.)

    Yeah, my account was deleted along with many thousands of other member accounts. And I was a lifetime member. The new owner, Jeffrey Johnson, cut NerdBux membership from over 300,000 down to about 4,000.

    I don’t know why my account was deleted. And of course once your account is gone you can’t log in to submit a support ticket about it. Johnson did a great disservice to many people, and not honoring lifetime memberships — people who were really committed to the site’s success — was a really BAD way to go about it. It just created even more anger towards the guy.

    Frankly I believe that Johnson is a mean-spirited person, and I want nothing more to do with him, or NerdBux, or any of the other sites the guy runs.

  14. Shelayne says:

    Just as I suspected. Thanks Pete. We reap what we sow!

    God bless and wishing you the best!

    Shelayne

  15. Again, another well promising ptc website gone bad..

    There is only one ptc website which you should trust and that’s … well, you know who..

    I don’t want my comment to be considered spam..

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