Media Whiz Aquires AuctionAds

by Jeremy Schoemaker on July 27, 2007 · 152 comments

This story was first announced on techcrunch

auctionadsIn March of 2006 I was talking to Dave (aka Dillsmack) and off-hand I mentioned that I thought it would be cool if we built an advertising platform that allowed users to write their own ads with their own affiliate code. Within a couple days, Dave showed me ShoeMoneyAds. We opened this platform up, and invited as many people as we could while keeping reins on the hardware. Several hundred people used SMA in this incarnation for many months, with very few changes along the way. During that summer we were in San Jose for SES and some people mentioned that we should add an eBay component to SMA. A few days later Dave had fully integrated the eBay API into the SMA platform and we were serving eBay item ads with each user’s own eBay affiliate link. The system worked, but with no caching in place was not very scalable. That fall, at Vegas Pubcon (notice how much gets accomplished at these conferences) one of the great eBay affiliate program employees suggested that we build a sub-affiliate network using the ShoeMoneyAds/eBay technology. We thought that sounded cool but we were still killing it in the ringtone industry and put it on the back burner.

Fast forward to February of this year our revenue from ringtones was down about 300% and it was pretty obvious we needed to find something new to go after. We had plenty of capital built up from our own affiliate marketing so we could try a few things. I really liked the idea of starting my own advertising network using the eBay API. There were some key ingredients missing though that I needed to hash out before approaching Dave to build it:

1) Customer Service – We had never done any customer service. We are developers/marketers not customer service people. In fact we suck at customer service. If we were going to have our own advertising network we needed to figure out how to do customer service.

2) Payments – There is no margin for error when you’re playing with other people’s money. You need an accurate system, and the people in place to manage the payments.

So I talked to a good friend of mine, Patrick Gavin, who has years of experience handling both customer service and mass payouts from Text Link Ads and I pitched him the idea of AuctionAds. He was game to try it so he ran it up the flagpole over at Media Whiz and we went forward.

I then told Dave that I wanted to move forward on AuctionAds and explained the situation with Media Whiz how they were going to be a minority stake holder in AuctionAds and provide customer support and the mass payment knowledge. At this time I felt it was necessary to bring Dave in as an equal partner in AuctionAds. We structured it so that we both owned 50% each of the company that owned the majority of AuctionAds. This means whatever I made he made also. Dave has been loyal and with me for a long time and I knew it was going to be a ton of work for him on this and I wanted him to reap the same rewards as I would get.

Here we are, roughly one year later. AuctionAds has had arguably the biggest launch of any advertising network, ever. Over 25,000 publishers displaying 300+ million AuctionAds ads per day and all in only 4 months after launch. All the success was not without some growing pains though. We basically came to the realization that we had to make a choice: AucitonAds/ShoeMoney Media Group INC could bring in a staff of people, train them and all that (which we had ZERO experience in doing) OR we could sell the company to someone who already has tons of experience in that area and can take AuctionAds to the next level.

With that I am very proud to announce that today we signed a deal we have been working on for the past 15 days or so. Media Whiz is now the sole owner of AuctionAds. This adds another great advertising product to Media Whiz’s arsenal.

So what is in store for Dave and me now? Well, we have several things cooking ;) Never fear.

full disclosure

About the author...

– who has written 2895 posts on

Jeremy "ShoeMoney" Schoemaker is the founder & CEO of the ShoeMoney Blog, Elite Retreat Internet Conference, & the PAR Program. In 2013 Jeremy released his #1 Amazon Best selling Autobiography titled "Nothing's Changed But My Change" - The ShoeMoney Story. Jeremy currently lives in Lincoln Nebraska with his wife and 2 daughters.

Jeremy recommends you check out these amazing posts:

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1 ismar

can we have some numbers? numbers are always motivational

2 Peter Koning

Congratulations. I’m sure the price was right :)

3 Paul Bradish

Congrats on the sale!

4 PrintnPost

WOW…Congrats!…Thats the type of story Im trying to pull off one of these days!

5 45n5

congrats on the sale to dave and jeremy.. look forward to your next big project.

6 Hawaii SEO


7 Rob Serfozo

Great deal Shoe. Congrats to you you and Dave.

8 Stuart

Nice job! You guys did one heck of a job with AA and I hope you cashed well… which I’m sure you did.

9 ToddW


Share us some numbers ;)

10 Joe

Inspiring stuff.

11 Get Featured

Congratulations! You don’t have to give us an exact price, just give us the number of digits :)

12 markus941

Congratulations. I guess that’s what happens when you “just get stuff done”. Cheers!

13 doolally

Well Done!

14 Cheyne

Congratulations Jeremy.

15 Joe

Congrats Shoe! And by the sounds of it, congrats Media Whiz!

16 Mike Mothenr

That is a true success story. I have followed the progress of AuctionAds and it was one of those “of course” types of ideas, but at least somebody came up with it and executed it well. Congrats!

17 quadszilla

Congrats – but we want numbers!

18 Mubin

It doesn’t matter how much it was sold for, Im sure mediawhiz got an AWESOME deal, everywhere I go I see ads for with auctions ads. EVERYWHERE I go, even on wblogtools.

Shoe congrats man, im sure it must have looked hectic when you realized just how awesome this thing was. It would have been awesome to see you run this for some more time and see it grow under you. But whatever, I seriously hope you got a coupla million for this, and congrats to Dave as well, Im sure this is a message for all employess if your loyal to your employer they will be cool with you.

Another puff of fresh air in the web 2.0 bubble…

19 AdVolcano

Congrats, that was an amazing turn around!

20 JeffPosaka

Nice work. Congrats! Hope to see you at Pubcon and hear more about what’s in the works.

21 Grivon

Congratulations shoe, your impressions are something adbrite mite even have to worry about!! “So what is in store for Dave and me now?”

Buy the shoemoney jet????? :p congrats again!

22 RightStarter

Congrats Shoe!

What does this mean for AA publishers? Part of the reason I love AA is because you were running it – does Media Whiz plan to stick to your business model?

23 Ari Shohat

Hey, big congrats on this, I am sure plans only get bigger from here on!

24 KeywordDonkey


25 SonicReducer

Nice work. So I guess now you will be retiring and buying a small carribean island :)

26 Cameron Olthuis

Congrats Shoe, that’s so awesome bro. I am so stoked for you and Dave, well deserved for two very hard working/smart guys.


27 CPA Affiliates

Congrats shoe! I know you are glad to build it up and pass it on to capable hands now on to the next project!

28 John

Awww man, I guess this means DDN won’t be doing the customer service on the forums anymore…I loved reading his replies when you guys first launched. Smack talk/customer service, it was great.


29 Butler

Congrats on the sale and even better job of sharing the wealth. Lesson to any start up guy, do whatever it takes to develop it fast, sell and start all over again.

30 Zac Johnson

Congrats. A good program that many have been making some good money with. A good deal for both sides, and hopefully the affiliates too!

31 Andrew Johnson

Congratulations on developing, launching, and selling AuctionAds in a record amount of time, serial entrepreneurship at its best!

32 Jonathan

Definitely cool that I got to meet both of you, David and Jeremy, in the TLA office weeks back.

Glad to have you all on board with Mediawhiz now :)

33 Tranix

100K is my guess :-)

Congrats guys

34 Paul.

This had to be a couple million plus deal. The earing potential of AuctionAds is huge.

Kind of sad about the sale, but whatever you gotta do.

35 Paul.

I doubt they need VC when they can easily get it done themselves.

36 Rob

“I then told Dave that I wanted to move forward on AuctionAds and explained the situation with Media Whiz how they were going to be a minority stake holder in AuctionAds and provide customer support and the mass payment knowledge.”

So given that AuctionAds had no customer support, does this mean it’s safe to say text-link-ads has none either and I shouldn’t try them?

37 mahdi yusuf

congrats!! :D

38 Funny t-shirts

Congrats on the success, guys. It’s kind of a shame to have to let it go just as it was gaining major growth but I’m sure your bank account isn’t complaining ;)

39 Icheb

“our revenue from ringtones was down about 300%”

You DO realize that if the revenue were down 300% you would be paying someone 2 times the amount of revenue that you were earning before?

40 Fable

Congrats on the sale, shoe! I’m sure they’ll take care of your baby. ;)


41 tom huveners

yea, nice job, but we want numbers :D
and what’s your next project :D

42 myspace-comments

Wow, congrats! It is amazing how fast auctionads grew but also easy to see why. Such a simple idea executed so well and you have the start of an awesome service/company. Although it seems sad that you won’t be running it anymore it’s also exciting knowing that you may have more time now for some other really cool service or product that you can amaze us all with heheh. Keep it up shoe and bring it on!

43 SomeGuy

Your ringtone business went down 300%? Did you mean 30%? Nothing can go down more than 100% :)

44 Ali

Congratulations man, I have yet to sign up with AA though. Will do as soon as I get myself structured up.

45 fatgadget

Congratulations on selling Auction Ads, I have been using it for a couple of weeks now and have been very pleased with it.

46 macewan

Congratulations. Hope you know how much you inspire those of us new to this scene.

47 Deelip

Congratulation jeremy!
I can guess how much you sold this for.

48 Travel Notebook

Holy cow Shoe! Congrats, that is HUGE news. I hope you got a really good deal because AuctionAds is worth tons of cash. Can you give us a ballpark number? Must be several million dollars…

49 gsyi

Seems to be a really nice deal, congratulations!

50 Pedro Sttau

Very surprising indeed. Congratulations. Jeremy I never really did see you as a “Maintenance” guy.

51 Jonathan Volk

It matters to me. I want some numbers too!!! :D

52 the buxr widget

Please please.. Throw out a ballpark number? Six or Seven figures… come on Shoe! :)

53 Stephen Ralph

Great success story for you both. God bless the American dream. =)

54 Study Guide

So… what will this imply for the existing users?

55 Travel Notebook

six figures? There is no way he sold this website for 6 figures.

56 Eric

TechCrunch gets to break all the good news. Looking forward to the next big ShoeProject.

57 Quais

Congrats to both of you!! Great work!! I hope that the acquisition is also a good thing for the users of AuctionAds. And yes an indication of a price range for the deal would be nice.

58 cooliojones

I want to sell something for $1 billion too! :D

59 Increase WebSite Traffic

also very interested to see if numbers are released here :)

60 Michael Fultz

I like to hear success stories! Keep up the good work!!

61 Dave

unless your are loosing money….

62 Don@AffiliateWatcher

I can’t say that I’m surprised. It seemed lately that AuctionAds was consuming ya’ll. I figured something major was going to break (either you or the equipment ;) ) or that you’d sell it. Glad to see you found a company to pony up the $$$.


63 Pogung177

Shoe was created brilian business masterpiece. By developed a AuctionAds, you are not just a popular among millions of affiliate marketer. I guest in the next day you’ll create new inovation which people never create.

64 teddy

Hey man congratulations on selling that company. I hope you got some big kiznash out of those beatches!

65 The Dino

did you plane since the start of the auctionads to sell it or you just decide now?

66 androo


67 andrew

wait for the AuctionAds sells for 1.6 billion link bait.


Congratulations on this! It is truly a great accomplishment, and you should be proud…

69 CatherineL

Well done. It is unusual to see a business built and sold in such a short time, and I bet you put in a lot of hard work. It was a smart move to get MediaWhiz involved in the early stages.

70 Anuj Seth

Congratulations on the deal Shoe.

The Online Presence Blog

71 Chris Nielsen

I hope I’m wrong, but I have a bad feeling about this for the publishers…

72 Joeychgo

Congrats Jeremy. Congrats.

73 BloggingDosh

So how much was the deal for?

74 Douglas Karr

Congratulations! Well done.

75 Johny Mnemonic

Good stuff – super quick turnaround – f..n fenomenal.

76 stupid 3gp

Congrats .. I hope it is better for auction ads and you did the right decision at the right time. With such a growth you need some company who can take good care of your auction ads.

77 Leonid Shalimov

Congratulations, great job with the program. Made the right decision in my book, again, congrats :).

78 Jonathan

Both TLA and AuctionAds definitely have support.

79 Joeychgo

Nah – It will be good for publishers.

80 Coin Counter

What impresses me most is the speed of concept -> launch -> success -> sale. Amazing result, definitely the fruit of a lot of work. Congrats and good luck with the next project

81 Cristián

I hope the advertising network I’m thinking of does 10% as well as AuctionAds.

82 adsense

Very good topic thank you

83 tarsier

a job well done. hey, you must be swimming on money by now. haha. truly, those who work hard and smart will be rewarded.

84 Life is Colourful

And can someone tell me, why AuctionAds stopped working and never paid out for the remaining money in the accounts? I am still supposed to be paid for the last payment since the month they screwed everything up.

85 Alexume
86 Dr.Internet

Congrats man!

87 Ahoester


88 Enlargement

I am amazed with it. It is a good thing for my research. Thanks

89 Arkadaşlık Sitesi

Congrats man!

90 Matt

Whatever happened to AuctionAds anyway?

Did it just go down ever since Ebay decided no sub affiliate networks? Sucks for Media Whiz… I’m surprised they haven’t switched over to a different auction affiliate program like Swoopo though.

91 上海翻译公司

In reading the article I was reminded of just how quiet our computers are to laptops with Windows flavored operating systems.

92 結婚新聞

how quiet our computers are to laptops with Windows flavored operating systems.

93 婚活サイト

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94 darren

great siye thanks for sharing the info

95 合法ハーブ

This site is nice.
Nice to meet you!

96 合法パウダー

Thank you for the good information.


Sounds good!!!

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