Let's be honest, some acquaintances occasionally label you as a charlatan or a scammer. And your parents either don't understand what you do, working as some kind of arbitrager, or whenever they can, they suggest quitting deceiving people and finding a regular job.
Yes, traffic arbitrage is often lumped together with less-than-legal activities and sometimes simply referred to as a 'dark practice.' But what if for you, traffic arbitrage is a legitimate business, and you mainly promote white-hat offers without deceiving anyone? Should you be concerned about your conscience and wake up in the middle of the night in a cold sweat? In this article, we delve into the nuances of morality, ethics, and the psychology of affiliate marketing and explore whether the reputation of all arbitrageurs is truly tarnished.
Why has it become easy to deceive?
If we step away from lofty speeches and conduct an analysis, it's easy to see with the naked eye that many arbitrageurs have an abundance of 'spy' tools such as cloaking, spy services, auto-registrars, and various methods to bypass bans in their arsenal. It would seem that if everyone operated within the bounds of marketing laws and advertising platform rules, the 'cloak and dagger' tactics wouldn't be necessary. However, circumventing strict creative approval processes doesn't always indicate harm from the offer.
However, blatant deception is not uncommon in arbitrage. Why do many engage in such behavior? The answer is quite straightforward—arbitrageurs often don't have direct contact with the end customer. They calmly funnel traffic through familiar channels based on specified parameters and remain blissfully unaware of any issues. They don't need to interact with the person who submitted an application, which means they don't have to make false promises, look someone in the eye, or grapple with a guilty conscience. This is not just a problem in arbitrage but also prevalent in any form of digital marketing.
One big disclaimer
You know what you're selling, and distancing yourself from outright garbage won't work. Yes, money may not have a smell, but many specialists in black niches leave the industry or transition to white-hat practices after several years, driven by their conscience. Whether it's worth it is for you to decide. Ultimately, if a person is determined to engage in schemes and profit from deceived users, no articles or arguments will deter them.
The question of conscience in less ethical niches was commented on by psychologist with 25 years of experience and author of several books, Andrey Zberovskiy:
Here, it's essential to understand one thing: our brains are wired in such a way that a person can justify themselves in absolutely anything, even in the most unimaginable wrongdoings. The brain will lead us astray to ensure our survival. This is the grim truth of psychology.
However, there is a flip side to such work. I've had many people come to me for counseling who burned out in such professions. When you work in an unethical field for a long time and become conscious of your actions, it can lead to depression.
It's very easy to work under the influence of beliefs like "it's not a big deal," "the customer will spend that money somewhere else anyway," "if not in your casino, then in another," "I'm just helping manage money that's burning a hole in their pocket." Conscience also finds comfort in the legality of such activities. Advertising on state channels and banners for bookmakers plastered all over the city. However, it won't save you from the possibility of dire consequences.
A double-edged sword on both verticals
Statistics indicate that the most popular verticals in the Russian arbitrage market are gambling and nutra. Deception in casinos and worthless pills or the development of strategic thinking in gaming and essential vitamins for immunity – it depends on how you look at it. Arbitrage, by definition, does not have a positive or negative connotation. If you give the same sticks to two different people, one may start building a shelter to hide from the sun, while the other might go causing trouble in the city streets and hitting people on the head. Only their own conscience will be their measure. Let's analyze moral dilemmas using the example of the three largest arbitrage verticals.
In the defendant's bench, we have gambling and betting – those very villains who leave people penniless and drowning in debt. They turn users into compulsive gamblers. And arbitrageurs not only profit from shattered destinies but also contribute to them.
In the phrase "gambling games," the key word is "games." Casinos, as well as sports betting, are elements of the entertainment and experience industry. If the doors of bookmakers and online casinos were closed to gamblers, they would most likely seek another source of the sweet thrill of excitement and quick endorphins.
Furthermore, if we look from the perspective of gambling and betting product providers, they have no interest in compulsive gamblers and low-income individuals who are risking their last pennies in casinos. The desired target audience for such establishments consists of established and successful individuals who can distinguish between entertainment and income. They are willing to wager a substantial amount on bets and slots without blinking an eye and will not come forward with complaints to the creators of gambling games.
Finding love online is impossible. Why pay for communication when you can find it on the street, in a club, at the supermarket, or even in the library? Besides, there are plenty of free dating apps available.
Before finding "the one," you'll have to make an effort, whether it's swiping on an app or going on a date with a friend's friend. When it comes to meeting people on the street or in any public place, there's a high risk of encountering a maniac or a thief.
In paid dating services, clients pay for the time saved in searching and sorting suitable candidates. Not to mention people with special needs in both sexual and regular communication. Even the rarest fetishes or simple shyness and communication difficulties can find a solution by turning to specialists. The user satisfies their need for communication, and the intermediary earns a percentage as a fee. And everyone is happy.
You sell useless weight loss pills to lovely ladies, and your 'enhancers' don't work.
Many people need a simple solution to their problems. You probably have at least one acquaintance who always comes up with a hundred arguments and unconventional methods to treat their ailment, even if you insist on the importance of seeing a doctor. Of course, we're not talking about serious illnesses here. But the target audience of nutra offers is often those who want to rejuvenate, lose weight, or get rid of cellulite. For them, it's easiest to start small and create the appearance of willpower. Even if the futility of internet-sourced anti-cellulite gadgets is evident to everyone.
Will a weight loss pill solve the problem of excess weight that has been lingering for several years? Unlikely. But this miracle pill can help improve metabolism or accelerate the metabolic process. And unwavering belief in magical vitamins will only boost confidence on the path to the goal.
The central thesis of the article is the idea that everyone has their own level of permissiveness, and what one person may consider routine, another may perceive as a grave offense. The key is what you believe in and the values that guide you in your work. Besides, white-hat offers are still relevant. Before launching a new campaign, ask yourself, "Would I buy this product?" or "Would I recommend this item to a friend?" If there is a strong subconscious rejection, and you clearly understand that the product is an obvious sham, make a choice in favor of a different offer. The affiliate marketing world is brimming with offers, and a professional arbitrator knows a thousand and one ways to attract traffic to any product.
Yes, we've explored arbitrage from different angles, but that doesn't mean you now have carte blanche for deceit and misleading users. And if you're in the camp of those whose inner world opposes promoting gray and black offers, it doesn't mean it's time to quit affiliate marketing. We wish everyone a life in harmony with their conscience, and may it allow you to expand your opportunities in the affiliate market and increase ROI.