ZeekRewards is the network marketing division that promotes Zeekler.com, and Zeekler's "Penny Auction" site.
ZeekRewards is helmed by Paul Burks, under parent company Lighthouse America, a 14 year old entity that appears to have been in continuous operation for that entire period. However, continuous operation does not necessarily mean successful operation.
Lighthouse America was also the parent company of FreeStore Club, an online buy and selling MLM that never really seemed to reach momentum. Some reviews claim that FreeStore Club went under, but the ZeekRewards site states that FreeStore Club has been incorporated into the back end of ZeekRewards. The FreeStore Club website ( freestoreclub.com ) now goes to an under-construction website.
ZeekRewards was launched when Lighthouse America took over defunct ( some say bankrupt ) penny auction site iTicketBid, with a commitment to honor outstanding prizes owed iTicketBid members. Some iTicketBid members have claimed in online forums that those commitments have not been honored.
ZeekRewards members purchase and promote "bid packs" for commission. To share in at least one segment of the commission pool, members must also post one online ad for Zeekler.com *every day*. Hence the level of Zeekler online advertising spam I have been noticing. This is a very curious requirement, and while it seems to have launched brand awareness, my suspicion is that the URL will be banned from many advertising sites very soon, just as it has for other companies like MyLeadCompany.com.
The exact requirement reads:
"* A Qualified Affiliate" is a Preferred Customer or Representative who is currently enrolled in one of our monthly Premium Business Center subscription plans (Silver, Gold or Diamond), has enrolled Retail Customers or joined the Customer Co-op, has given away a minimum of 10 VIP Bids as samples, and has placed a qualifying advertisement for Zeekler.com for the current 24 hour period and submitted it through his or her ZeekRewards back office. "
The Zeekler.com site has two Penny Auction "certification seals", which these days are almost meaningless as anyone with a website and an image editor can create their own certification seal in about five minutes. I have been trying to find an archived web copy of iTicketBid, to see if that Penny Auction site was ALSO certified by these same self-made penny auction authorities.
Qualification for certification is not very rigorous. When the seal is clicked for one certification, it takes you to an ad promoting Penny Auction software and consulting services - which leads me to wonder if they are the back-end software provider. Which would be like Microsoft giving my business a certification seal because I use Office 2010 to read my email.
The other seal leads to a site with these simple requirements for ZeekRewards to be featured in their directory:
Must have 2 out of 3: phone number, physical address, or email
( My favorite ): Must verify their legitimacy through a testimonial page or user confirmation.
There is no way to validate testimonials. They are used everywhere with first names and last initials and every one I have read on the most obviously illegitimate sites have read like they were written by the owners friends and family.
I find all the hype objectionable - it's rather disingenuous to use Alexa ratings as a measure of company success, when a requirement of your company is to have members create links in order to get paid. Also, the last time I checked, the 'business journal' they are using as an example of being named the '#1 network marketing company' is an advertorial publication. I.E. you pay to be company of the month.
Does this mean that my ZeekRewards review is branding this company as a scam? Not necessarily. Other penny auction sites and reverse auction sites have done very well. Most notably Dubli. But there are a few dings in Paul Burks business history, and several complaints to be found - enough to make the warning light go off and make me suggest considerable due diligence and not to over invest or have unreasonable expectations.
With a company like ZeekRewards promoting so heavily, saturation is a key issue. The requirements for purchase and use of Bid Packs may be considered "front loading" by some experts, and may raise the eyebrow of regulators in the future.