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GDI, is it another scam or a legit business?

Price: $10/month
Owners: Principal: Mr. Alan Ezeir, President
Principal: Mr. Michael Starr, CEO
Overall Ranking: 60 over 100

GDI, Product Overview

* (Other names for this business listed on the BBB site are,, and

When I created my first blog and was trying to use Traffic Exchanges as a cheap means of driving traffic to my site, I discovered many online businesses advertised by other surfers. One of them which caught my fancy was Global Domains International, popularly known as GDI. In this review I am going to give you my experience with this company spiced with details garnered from other sources on the internet.

The big question, or rather, the big questions, on your mind right now are: is GDI scam? And if it’s legitimate, can you make money with it working online from home?

Now, what is GDI?

GDI is a network marketing program founded by Michael Starr and Alan Ezeir in November 1999. The business of the company is the sale of unique domain names ending as .ws and domain hosting. That is why The Better Business Bureau (BBB) labelled GDI’s business category on its website as Internet Services Web Design.

The .ws is the domain extension which belongs to the tiny island nation of Western Samoa, deep in the South Pacific that GDI thought could be successfully marketed worldwide as the ‘WebSite’ top-level domain. But you would agree with me that it is rare to see a website using that domain extension.
All the same if you join GDI, your business too will be the promotion of the .ws domain registration and hosting package, both for $10 per month. For each $10 sale you make, you earn a $1 commission.


It’s easy to sign up to GDI. Once that is done, you receive the following:
• A 7-day free trial (to test the scheme)
• A unique domain name (ending with the .ws extension)
• Quality domain hosting (with 100MB storage space)
• A simple-to-use website builder (for setting up your website which also has 100MB of gallery storage space)
• 10 custom email addresses for your domain (each provided with 1GB of storage space)
• The possibility to redirect your domain to another location

The Affiliate Program

GDI also features an affiliate programme. You refer people into the business and get paid a commission when they set up a paid account. There is therefore the possibility of earning passive residual income from your downline up to GDI’s 5-level deep multilevel marketing compensation plan.
To be sincere, I signed up for GDI simply because of the affiliate program since I loved the idea of earning passive income.

The Good & the Bad

The Good:

Longevity: It is reassuring to note that GDI has been around for quite some time (one of the important considerations about choosing an internet company to work with). It is one of the most popular and well-known business opportunities online today and has a pretty solid reputation of being totally honest with its affiliates.

Low cost: GDI’s business model is cheap. At only $10 a month, you’re in business for yourself and with your own domain, secure hosting, and custom email. You can use your website for personal purposes or for business and share your passion with the world. Setting a domain name with the .ws platform would not be as competitive as with .com, .net, etc. where most of the interesting names you may want to use have already been taken.

Contests: GDI organizes extra cash bonus contests for you to earn some more money when you sign a certain number of affiliates. For every 5 paid affiliates you refer in a one week period, you’ll earn a $100 cash bonus. Refer twice, thrice, etc. that number of new paid affiliates in one week and you’ll earn two, three, etc. times $100!

$5,000 Heavy Hitter Bonus: Any affiliate referring 1,000 or more paid affiliates in any consecutive 4 week period is eligible to receive the Heavy Hitter Bonus.

Email service: Do you have your own list but don’t want to personally sell anything to it? Send this list to GDI and they will email the people on your behalf about the GDI business opportunity.

Verified phone leads: You can also buy “verified phone leads” from GDI for $3 each. GDI stresses you call these people about the business opportunity. I bought such a lead and being in a part of the world where international communication is very expensive, I sent them mails instead. But despite reminders I never heard from any of them. Was it for the reason that I didn’t call or were the leads one of those worthless lists? Whatever it was, for me that was money thrown out the window and a decisive factor which pushed me to retrograde my account from paid to free.

GDI business cards: You can also purchase GDI business cards for your “business”.

The Bad:

Petty commission: The affiliate commission given on each sale is too low. You’re going to earn $1 for each person you sign up and the same amount for people on your downline up to 5 levels deep. But getting only a dollar per sale per month wouldn’t allow you to set aside something as advertising budget. So the only viable option left you is to grow your GDI business through organic search methods. These need time and expertise. Little wonder many people think of the GDI business as a bit challenging.

For me it definitely was as I never made a single dollar up to today.

Heavy marketing needed: Because of the low commission payouts, you will have to do a whole lot of marketing and work to get enough signups and make some decent income.
Need for large downline: The only real way you can make a significant income from the GDI scheme is to build a large downline. So, if you have active distributors under you, you will earn commission from their time and effort. Good as this deal is, the question is can you pull it off? I never did.
Limited website builder: The website builder is a bit limited as it does not give you the possibility to really customize the page as you want.

Limited website storage space: The 100MB storage space is too small and may not serve the purposes of especially professionals with large projects.

Duplicate websites: Websites provided within GDI are duplicated sites (not unique). Such sites are extremely hard to get good rankings in the search engines. While to make money working from home you need a website and traffic to it to get conversions.

Expensive domain name registration and hosting: GDI’s price for a domain name and hosting is not competitive compared to many other reputable providers of such services.

An as example, Godaddy, one of the most important domain name registrars and hosting company, sells top-tier domains for $10 a year and hosting for $4.95 a month. The case is not different with NameCheap where I registered this website for $10.87 a whole year.

Limited web hosting: The basic web hosting offered by GDI is a bit limited compared to the competition.

Unpopularity of the .ws domain name: GDI, in promoting the .ws domain extension, had imagined that it would be the domain extension of the 21st Century as the .com had been as .ws best symbolized the word website. But this has not been the case.

Pyramid scheme: Somebody sold me in on the idea of selling domain names and hosting and I also had to go out and sell at least 5 people in on the same idea and they had to do the same up to 5 levels before I can make money with GDI. That’s a pyramid scheme and nothing else.

Extra expense: Studies show that people who join an MLM opportunity need to spend $300 per month just to break even. At $1 commission per sign up and to just to break even, you’ll have to make up to 300 sales each month. To make any profit at all, your number of sales must of course be more than that figure. You will agree with me that that is very difficult, if not impossible, in today’s highly competitive domain name and hosting market.

Many rip-off reports about GDI: During research for this review I fell on a Rip-Off Report where many people complained about GDI. Not surprising their complaints concerned the lack of a product to sell, the commission level and the impossibility to make money with GDI.

No product to sell: It is a known fact in the marketing world that in order to really make money online from home, you must have a product to sell. Unfortunately GDI doesn’t have a product for you to sell.

The Better Business Bureau’s opinion: On the BBB site, the Bureau says that considering GDI’s explanation of the program, they have concerns about its nature. They suspect the primary focus and purpose of the program is the recruitment of others into the program to earn commission, instead of the sale of goods or services. BBB recognizes that affiliates do sell domain name and registration services, but they think that the majority of the sales are made during the recruitment process.

Who is GDI For?

GDI can be a profitable online income stream for very persuasive internet marketers. But for others who do not master proper marketing online or any marketing at all, GDI would be nothing more than pure frustration, as it had been for me.

GDI Tools & Training

The training within the affiliate program is very basic. You are not even taught how to drive traffic to your website which is the way to make sales and therefore earn money on the Internet. No wonder a newbie like me without any serious internet marketing skills or training at that time was not able to sign up people and start making a significant income promoting .ws domains names and web site hosting accounts.

GDI Support

You can open a ticket if you have some difficulties. The only time I had to use it, I got satisfactory response and within a reasonable period of time. However there is no community nor forum let alone support from the owners.

GDI Price

It costs $10 a month to get a .ws domain at GDI. This includes your domain name, basic web hosting, an affiliate website, 10 Post Office Protocol (POP) email accounts, an email marketing system, a bulk emailer, and a few other services.

My Final Opinion of GDI

By now I think you have answers to the questions raised at the beginning of this review, namely, is GDI scam? And if it’s legitimate, can you make money with it working online from home? All the same I will give you my final opinion of this internet business.

The first thing I realized as a member of GDI was that the income potential is generally not encouraging. Also the negative aspects of GDI outweigh the positive ones, especially in relation to the return on investments, be they financial or otherwise. S1 per signup a month looks to me a pittance.
But that doesn’t mean that I would go about shouting that GDI is a scam. Sure, the GDI scheme has serious shortcomings, but it also displays some money-making sides.

GDI’s overpriced domain names and hosting isn’t going to make the task of marketing any easier for their members and it certainly didn’t for me even after joining promotional teams such as GDI COOP where I was placed on a rotator which registered leads but no sales. That was another way where I threw money out the window each month. I opted out of them all.

However if you crave a .ws website, then GDI is the one and only place for you to have it. But if you’re looking for a good way to thoroughly learn the ropes of affiliate marketing and to create an authority website step by step, (and why not to use them to run your GDI business successfully), then my suggestion is down here.

GDI at a Glance…

Name: GDI
Owners: Principal: Mr. Alan Ezeir, President
Principal: Mr. Michael Starr, CEO
Price: $10/month
Overall Scam Rank: 60 out of 100


If you have any comments about this post, please leave them in the comment box below or contact me on my Wealthy Affiliate Profile.

Wealthy Affiliate will equip you with the web creation and affiliate marketing tools to market any business online professionally. Check it here.
Your personal guide to securing your future online

2 thoughts on “GDI, is it another scam or a legit business?”

  1. Nice review Akoli…I think I will pass on GDI. I see you are promoting Wealthy Affiliate. Great choice there…very legit program. I will be following your excellent reviews.


    • Hi Jeff,
      Thanks for stopping by. Yeah, I was an affiliate of GDI (or, am I still?) and ended up only spending month after month and not gaining even a single referral although I joined teams supposed to get me referrals quickly and bought so-called phone verified leads. Thank God, I finally found Wealthy Affiliate which is a beacon of hope in this apparently wild jungle called online work at home.

      Take care,


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