I’ve been reading this post on Penny Auction Watch:
..and can agree with Amanda that many of the search results are “very interesting“, as she says.
The claims from “anonymous” and others really should be chucked out for believability because they are unsubstantiated. But there still lie many interesting things. Things like the Google screen-shots which demonstrate links over long periods of time between a clutch of business entities, most of which include substantial volumes of complaints and dissatisfaction summarised by the word “scam”.
This linkage is there in the internet record, no matter how much business entities chop and change their identity, on-line or off-line.
Of particular interest is Amanda’s mention of a SellOffAuctions blog. I remember this when it started, but it’s no longer extant although this huge web comment stream gives a description of its genesis. However, a quick Google search on the first line of the text pulls out the two blogs in Amanda’s narrative.
TerraMarketing’s output is in this shot below, but the SellOffAuctions blog is now unavailable:
Yet the SellOffAuctions basic blog contents at start-up show up clearly in the Google cache of the web-page:
…and the original “Why Free Isn’t Better?” post from the old blog is here on yet another Willms blog:
What Does this Mean?
Well the thread at PAW makes plain that a high degree of website copying has been going on. A guy claiming to be from SellOffAuctions makes this point as an excuse to speed up the site set-up. Others have pointed out that if this is the case and there has been no collusion with SwipeAuctions, then the brief happy Willms’ outfit would have a very good case for copyright infringement.
One extra spanner in the works that may block any suing is that on-line templates exist for the express purpose of setting up “Bid Auction” type websites! So of course they’d be similar! (That is a screendump of a Google search for Bid Auction software on the right!) This does not explain the similarity in the blog postings mentioned below, though.
Another extra spanner that might possibly confuse people over intra-website or intra-business linkages is the addition of the SellOffAuction.com domain (n.b. no trailing s). This was pointed out here.
It Is Very Interesting
It’s also very interesting that two blog posts from the Willms’ website stable found their way into the Google cache of a direct competitors blog, is it not? We now know that the blog was pulled, but in its entirety? Maybe after all, there was copying and the blog was simply pulled as being past its purpose. This happens all the time, not least with Willms’ myriad of blogs such as described here.
The WHOIS records for all websites above follow the usual patterns with the notable introduction of “Internet Holdings” into the mix (what happened to TerraMarketting?) and also the movement of some Willms domains to the Ashton Manning registrant noted a while back:
One Last Twist!
There is of course potentially, a plethora of SellOffAuction domains. the dot net one, is one and a full screenshot is on the left complete with a the biggest footer of exclusion clauses that I’ve ever seen!. Here’s what the top of the page looks like:
Even more interestingly, all the links supposedly go to SellOffAuctions.com if you look carefully – except they don’t!! They actually point to:
…which then redirects to:
Leading Edge Marketing Inc.
c/o DM Contact Management Ltd.
Suite 100 – 645 Tyee Road
Victoria, British Columbia V9A 6X5
Leading Edge Marketing’s T&C contain the USA phone number 1-866-621-6886 which throw up a few complaints mainly from folks who don’t like porn. Personally, I can take it or leave it. I just don’t like thieving scammy bastards.
In this case, it’s an affiliate fuck up either by design or accident.
That’s about it. I can’t find direct linkages for now. There’s too much supposition and too little actual proof. Sechrists pop up and go. Blogs pop up and go. Websites pop up and go. So for now, that’s it. Inconclusive is my take on any connection.