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Compumom from MyLot started a discussion about, a paid to write site she discovered recently. I went to take a look and the site has a large number of grammar mistakes and weird sentence strutures.

Which raises one red flag for me.

The site claims it has been around for 3 years and for the top 10 most popular experts, the most popular expert has earned $255 and the "expert" in the number 10 spot has made a whooping $10. Yes $10.

2nd red flag.

Their most popular article ---> Business case study: Panera Bread

Summary of the article as copied and pasted from Oboulo

"Panera Bread began back in 1981. It started out as a small sandwich shop. After going public the company grew in size with the addition of more stores. It is currently headquartered in Missouri. Revenue has seen a tremendous change for the better. This year alone revenue is expected to come out near one billion U.S. dollars. In order to achieve its great success the company had to implement many successful strategies. These strategies include; identifying the opportunities and threats, analyzing the target market, determining position in the market, deciding on a growth strategy and figuring out the marketing mix."

Hmm, not a very well written article for "most viewed documents in the past 30 days"

3rd red flag.

On articles they are accepting

"We are looking for a wide variety of documents, so it is easy to make money as a Ambassador. Among other documents, we will consider: term papers, essays, articles, market surveys, college and graduate school application essays."

Does graduate school application essays mean what i think it is? Hmm, so customers can't actually complain about the poor standards of work that they are getting, since they shouldn't be doing that in the first place...

4th red flag.

I could probably uncover more stuff, but there are way too many red flags already. I would rather concentrate on researching sites that might actually have a chance of being legitamate. For now, I'm flagging this site as "Highly Suspicious".


Editor said…
It is not a scam, and I have always been paid. Some people might have ethical objections because it is possible for someone to plagiarize papers that Oboulo has purchased, but it is also possible to plagiarize any number of media--newspapers, journals, etc. I have no objection.

I don't recommend writing *for* Oboulo, per se. I do recommend writing all your own papers for college and then trying to sell them *to* Oboulo.

For more info on how to do this, see my blog:
iakul said…
I believe that the "ethical objections" you refer to is more the fact that people who write for Oboulo are writing students' college papers for them, which is not exactly legit.

I think most writers take it as a given fact that if you write web content of any sort, it's possible that someone will plagiarise it. I don't see how "ethical objections" on the writer's part comes into it. (Unless you are using some strange definition of "ethical objections" and/or "plagiarise")

You write something, someone plagiarises it, you are the victim and have to decide whether to pursue the matter or whether it's too much trouble and let it slip. You are the one something unethical is being done to.

Writing for Oboulo is not unethical because you might be plagiarised. It's unethical because you are writing papers for someone who should have done his or her own work.
Many institutions limit access to their online information. Making this information available will be an asset to all.
Anonymous said…
oboulo is a scam. they never paid me the fee per piece after my work was approved for submission. after 2 years of what i thought was no activity, i went to cancel my account. they would not let me. i asked for their rules so i could have some lawyer friends make sure their terms were legit. i went to check my account and all record of any conversation between customer care and i was expunged from my account without my permission or notification. this site is shady. i can't be the only author they have done this to or else they would not have eradicated the evidence. again, i was never paid, i never received any payment for my work, no one bought my work, i collected no royalties. all i wanted was to cancel my account and move on. they won't release my work. they won't take it from the site. what if i have made money and they just kept it? they certainly kept my submission fees. stay away from them and spread the word.
Editor said…
Anonymous said: "oboulo is a scam. they never paid me the fee per piece after my work was approved for submission. . . . they certainly kept my submission fees."

Oboulo doesn't pay per document anymore; it pays royalties when someone else pays to view your documents. If no one else pays to view your work you receive nothing. You must have submitted your documents after Oboulo stopped it's original payment system.

And when you write "[Oboulo] certainly kept my submission fees," well, you are certainly mistaken. Oboulo does not and never did charge writers to submit.

For more information on Oboulo you can visit my blog at

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