How a get-rich-quick scheme got this guy rich

Lots of get rich quick scheme are all over the place, especially the internet. You know the popular sayings “if it’s too good to be true, it’s probably is”. Well, a 28-year-old went ahead to believe one of those get rich quick scheme and became a millionaire instantly.

Sometimes in January, Martin read about a new startup retail/tech company called, which had been holding a contest to get people to sign their friends up for a preview version of its service. The startup promised to give 100,000 shares of the company to the person with the highest number of referrals.

Martin spent $18,000 advertising on sites like Swagbucks and Gifthulk, which reward people for signing up for stuff online. Martin works in IT, but it was actually some family members who had suggested those sites to him — early attempts to advertise with Facebook and Google didn’t get him very far.

Within three weeks, Martin referred more than 8,000 people for’s “Insider” program. The startup announced Thursday that Martin was the top-enroller, and it handed over the 100,000 shares.

Funny thing about those 100,000 shares: Though isn’t even open to the public yet, the company has already secured $220 million in funding, and it’s on the verge of nearly tripling that investment. Though is secretive about its finances, 100,000 shares is easily worth millions of dollars ( puts the number as high as $20 million).
Martin says he has no idea how much those shares are worth — but he’ll be happy if he makes back his investment. He noted that the shares are locked up until the company is sold or makes an initial public offering, so he can’t cash out just yet.
“I’m not planning on making any lifestyle changes,” Martin said. “I bought some snow crab legs to celebrate, but that’s about it.” was founded by entrepreneur Marc Lore, who sold his company to Amazon in 2010 for $540 million. The company plans to take on Amazon (AMZN, Tech30) by signing up members for $50 a year. In turn, it will offer super-steep discounts on everything (10% to 15% lower than anywhere else online, claims). Think of it like an online version of Costco (COST).

Martin couldn’t give his impressions of the site, though. He said gave insiders a sneak peak, but he hasn’t used it himself — he was too focused on signing other people up for the site.
“I’m excited about it, though!” Martin said.

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