The tipster quoting incorrect profit figures & how to avoid copy and paste tipster reviews

When it comes to analysing tipsters, I like to think the SBC review process is very detailed – pulling apart all facets of a service to really get to the truth of whether they make a genuine profit or not

Normally the talking points we uncover focus on topics like a tipster with an efficient staking plan, ability to profit at Betfair SP or even something like the fact they make more backing a horse to win rather than playing it safe each-way.

Yet, in SBC Issue #113 we came across a very rare occurrence – a tipster quoting a completely incorrect Return on Investment (ROI) figure.

It was a major difference too as our figures showed the correct ROI of 13.66% vs their own 21.04%. A difference of 7.38% ROI!

For those of you unfamiliar with ROI, it is a simple calculation that divides the profit you have made by your stake.

So, for example, if you placed a £100 bet and won £10, you would have a 10% ROI (this is 100 divided by 10).

ROI is therefore a handy calculation as it puts your profit into context. Anyone can quote a high profit figure, but if you had to stake a lot to make it, then it is less impressive.

Why were we the first to uncover this?

Naturally the first port of call once we discovered the error was to put it to the tipster themselves, who agreed with our findings and have since changed their website to reflect the correct figures. Changing their claimed ROI on site from 21% down to 13% in line with what we uncovered and what was accurate.

Why this error took place is a bit of a mystery as no explanation was forthcoming.

Perhaps it was based on a simple miscalculation or misunderstanding of how to calculate ROI?

Whatever the reason, this was a major blackmark in terms of our ratings for this service, especially as trust is hard won and easily lost in the tipster world, so they have plenty to do to convince us this was a genuine mistake.

The very strange thing about this particular tipster is the fact that prior to their SBC review in Issue 113, they had been analysed by several other review sites, yet none of them had noticed this ROI error.

In fact, a couple of online reviews were still quoting the totally incorrect figure of 21% ROI and seem to have simply copied and pasted what the tipster had told them, without checking this for themselves.

Because if they had taken just 2 minutes to check the results, they would have quickly realised the figures they had were completely wrong.

If it’s free – you are the product!

All of this leads me onto my next point in advising caution with some free tipster reviews you might find online.

As most of us know these days – when something is free to access – it means you are the product in some way.

We see it with ‘free tips’ sites like the Racing Post owned – or, who although they supply tips for free (not very good ones either), they make money when you click their bookmaker adverts.

When it comes to tipster reviews, there is no such thing as a free lunch either as they use affiliate links which reward the reviewer should you join the service they are featuring.

Some affiliate programs pay out 50% of the tipster fee to the reviewer and do so on a recurring basis, so the money that can be made is substantial every month.

One high profile tipster with plenty of reviews online currently charges £59 a month and pays out 50% to affiliates, which works out as £29.50 per sale per month.

Even if you referred just 25 people, that would make you £737.50 per month.

Increase that to 50 customers and that is £1,475 per month and often for sending just one email or writing one review.

And if you are so lazy you can’t even be bothered to write a review, you can also get pre-written content to simply copy and paste.

It is why you might often see the same content on different sites when it comes to tipsters.

Or why you are seeing them quoting the incorrect ROI on the tipster I mentioned at the start of this article.

Buyer beware with affiliate reviews

Of course, not all free sites are bad or work in an unethical way, but it’s always worth asking why the information they provide is supplied without charge.

Whether its free tips, reviews or anything else for that matter – if they are investing time and resources into a free website, how exactly are they making money?

If its affiliate reviews, it’s also worth asking – how does the incentive of needing people to join the tipsters they feature impact the independence of their reviews?

Because if you don’t join them, they don’t get paid!

Whatever course you take, it pays to be aware of how the industry works as per free tips and tipster reviews. Buyer beware!

SBC’s different approach…

If tipsters’ interest you, then you can read our detailed reviews on hundreds of them with a Smart Betting Club membership, which includes access to a 13 year back catalogue and our ‘Hall of Fame’ ratings.

The Smart Betting Club is also proud to be 100% independent, which ensures we use no affiliate links nor accept bungs or favours in exchange for writing positive reviews.

Rather than take a cut or a percentage of any sales to the tipsters we review, instead the Smart Betting Club service is funded by subscription fees to our service.

Thus, providing you with full confidence that when we review a tipster positively, it is based on a genuine appreciation of their service and NOT because the tipster has paid us to say something positive.

It is a fully transparent model so as a member you know our reviews and recommendations are always 100% genuine.

So, by joining the Smart Betting Club, you help to contribute to our continued independent stance and enable us to review more tipsters on your behalf.

Subscribe NOW to the Smart Betting Club and gain instant access

Peter Ling

Smart Betting Club Owner and Founder

16 ‘ Bad Tipster’ Warning Signs & The Bookie/Tipster Profit Share Problem

Last week I was pleased to be quoted in an article published by the Guardian newspaper on the growing issue of tipsters and betting websites profiting from advising losing tips.

You can read the article in full here and whilst some of the phrasing at times I disagree with (for example I don’t think all tipsters involved are deliberately recommending losing tips – some after all are just bad at tipping) it serves to illustrate the problems that can confront you when seeking out quality tipping advice without expert guidance.

The problem the Guardian highlighted is one created by bookmakers who incentivise bad tipsters by offering a profit share of the losses their tips make from the customers they refer. This is done through what are termed ‘affiliate programs’ which are commonly used by many legitimate businesses across all kinds of industries.

Whilst I have no beef with affiliate programs per se – those that reward people with a profit share of losses are always going to be open to abuse and I am pleased to see this being clamped down on.

To illustrate the scale of the problem, this intriguing Football365 article made allegations about one particularly popular social media tipster with questions to answer on this front.

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How To Avoid Tipster Scams

Frustrated by the bad name these loss-share tipsters are giving the industry, one long-running and highly respected racing tipster, Wayne, owner of the Northern Monkey Punter tipster service shared his own ‘signs of a bad tipster’ shortlist on Twitter.

And with Wayne’s permission, I have copied his ‘signs of a bad tipster’ shortlist below and added a few extra points of my own to watch out for!

16 Signs Of A Bad Tipster…

  1. Tipsters who ‘Boom’ on social media when they have a winner.
  2. Tipsters who don’t have a proper registered website or address for transparency. After all, if they don’t have the time and wherewithal to setup a website these days – how serious can they really be?
  3. Tipsters with a short history of past bets. You need many hundreds, if not thousands of past bets to see if a tipster has a long-term edge. Otherwise they might have just got lucky!
  4. Tipsters that post bets with bookmaker affiliate links. As the Guardian article outlines, this is a warning sign that they might be taking up to a 30% cut from any losing bets you place with the bookmaker they are recommending.
  5. Tipsters who don’t proof their advice to a trusted third party (like SBC) who can verify them as a genuine expert. Also ensures losers can’t be conveniently deleted.
  6. Tipsters that don’t put up their full history of results for you to view (not just the winners!).
  7. Racing Tipsters who settle bets at prices available 5pm the night before racing. Several high-profile tipsters do it, yet these prices are not obtainable to punters staking more than £20. Even if you can get on, you will have your stakes restricted and accounts closed quickly.
  8. Tipsters that settle bets with prices available with poorly rated firms who are quick to restrict punters with even a modicum of ability. The likes of Stan James, Boylesports & Betfred are 3 notorious for this practice.
  9. Tipsters that settle bets at one standout price with just one bookmaker. If following a popular tipster, the chance of you matching those odds are minimal.
  10. Tipsters that contact you via post – where exactly have they got your details from? Some claim they will pay you if you the bet loses and request commission on winners should it win. Its total rubbish. The reality – they’ll run a mile if the bet loses and you’ll never hear from them again.
  11. Tipsters that claim to have inside information. Many members of the public think racing is fixed and so some rogue tipsters try to play on that idea by claiming to have inside information. This information is almost always totally bogus and you are being taken for a ride.
  12. Tipsters with no concept of value. They put up the most likely winner of the race (even if a 1/4 favourite) and never discuss odds.
  13. Tipsters who give no reasoning behind their bets (system based tipsters can be excused here) but surely you want to know why a tipster fancies a bet before you place it?
  14. Tipsters who post doctored images of winning bet slips from unproofed bets. It’s very easy these days to make up ‘winning bet’ slips and you can’t take them at face value as proof of success.
  15. Tipsters who quote winning amounts totally out of context – for example ‘Service X has made £5000 during Ascot’ with no stakes given to put that figure into perspective. It’s just a headline grabbing exercise. What if you had to risk £500,000 to make that £5,000? That doesn’t look so good after all does it!
  16. Tipsters who provide no advice or guidance on betting bank management and a staking plan to follow. If they are making up this as they go – chances are they are doing the same with their tips.

My thanks to to Wayne for sharing these tips. For further reading on him – check out our 2016 case study of why we rate Wayne’s service so highly.

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How To Find The Right Experts To Follow

Whilst there are undoubtedly plenty of rogue tipsters out there, especially on social media (where it is very easy to create new accounts and delete posts) there are equally many genuine, professional tipsters such as Wayne for you to follow.

If you are interested in learning more on just who these tipsters are including detailed, independent reviews of what they offer and who it is suitable for, then the Smart Betting Club is here to help.

Access to our service provides all the expert guidance you need on the tipsters to follow – those proven to genuinely make their follower money (and not the bookmakers!)

You can currently save £38 on the cost of subscription so don’t delay, sign-up right now and let us help you get started betting better right away!

Join the Smart Betting Club today and learn how we can help you and your betting.

Best Regards,

Peter Ling
Smart Betting Club Editor