BustedTees offers sales commission through Facebook app

The snarky t-shirt retail site, owned by CollegeHumor's parent company, has created a Facebook application so that users can earn a cut of the revenue when people buy merchandise through their profiles.

BustedTees, the Web site responsible for that "Prose before Hos" t-shirt that you wore to your English 101 final exam, has announced a Facebook Platform application that offers to split cash revenue with users willing to install it.

The application has soft-launched and is set to launch formally in a few days.

The model here is similar to traditional "affiliate programs" for advertising on Web sites and blogs--and indeed, it's essentially a "Facebookified" version of BustedTees' existing affiliate program. Pimp them on your Facebook profile, and you'll get a cut of the cash when it produces results. It's $5 per shirt, to be exact, and if you install the BustedTees widget by clicking on the profile of a friend who already has it, that friend will make $1 per shirt sold through your profile. You get paid either through checks in the mail or via Paypal.

I spoke with BustedTees representatives to see if there were any concerns about the app getting flagged as a pyramid scheme, which happened to online music start-up BurnLounge earlier this year. Apparently, the BustedTees application won't run into that problem because you only earn a commission from friends who've installed the app directly from your profile--"it only runs one level deep," retail director Josh Mohrer told me.

(While BustedTees likely won't have an issue with pyramid scheme allegations, expect talk of multi-level marketing to surface more as Facebook application developers divert their attention away from zombie attacks and food fights, and more towards, well, revenue.)

So you probably can't get rich off it, but the BustedTees Facebook app could presumably earn you some extra beer money if there are lots of people on your Facebook friends list who have a penchant for BustedTees' fare--which tends to be along the same lines of the we're-cool-kids-but-still-huge-dorks modus operandi of its sister site CollegeHumor. Both are part of the InterActiveCorp-owned Connected Ventures.

Among BustedTees' offerings are t-shirts printed with viral Web in-jokes (like the "Dramatic Chipmunk"), references to Frat Pack movies (like a logo for "Speaker City," a nod to the movie Old School) and early-'90s kiddie nostalgia (like "The Beets Killer Tofu Tour '96," which has now gotten that irritating song from Doug stuck in my head), and some more straightforward slogans, like "Jesus Hates the Yankees."

About the author

Caroline McCarthy, a CNET News staff writer, is a downtown Manhattanite happily addicted to social-media tools and restaurant blogs. Her pre-CNET resume includes interning at an IT security firm and brewing cappuccinos.

 

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