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Starting an International Dating Service?

Discuss dating, relationships and foreign women.

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Starting an International Dating Service?

Postby fschmidt » Fri May 10, 2013 5:38 pm

I am thinking of going into this business and I am starting to explore the market. Since I am married, I can't really try out the services, so I would appreciate any feedback from people who have used these services.

I see 2 types of services out there. The first are purely online and are mostly rip-offs. They charge for contact info or for video chat time. I guess many put the women up to this and are scams. The second time is expensive personalized service. This includes the foreign tours services that arrange for men to meet women abroad. My idea is to offer a cheap and honest purely online service. I considered the international dating business about 10 years ago but there were 2 problems then. One was that most women in poorer countries didn't have internet access. The other was that there was no decent language translation service. Both of these are no longer problems.

So my idea is this: Everything on the site will have built in translation, so whenever people communicate, what they say will be translated. I will offer this for chat and for email. I will not charge for contact info or communications. All this will be free. I will warn users not to send money if requested to do so, and to report such activity. Requesting money will be banned and violators will be thrown out.

So I have a set problems I need to solve. I need to make money. And I need some way for people to identify if the person they are talking to is serious. Combining these, my idea is to allow a user (usually a man) to pay to remove another user (presumably a woman) from search results. The person removed would be notified and would have the option at any time to undo this removal. So for example, I may charge $1 per day for removal. A guy pays to have a woman who he is serious about removed from search results. The woman is notified and this lets her know that the guy is serious about her. His motivation, of course, is to prevent other guys from hitting on her. If the woman isn't interested in the guy, she will want to undo the removal so that other guys can find her. When she does this, the guy will be notified and then he will know that she isn't serious about him. And of course when she does this, he will no longer pay. Presumably the guy would pay until either the woman rejects the search block or they get married and remove themselves entirely from the system.

Feedback?
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Postby kai1275 » Fri May 10, 2013 5:50 pm

I got a big one for you.

Make the girls to post a picture of themselves with their user name to go along with their profile pictures. This almost certainly keeps the photoshopped, airbrushed, scammers and whores from wasting your time and everyone elses. Sites that do not have this are rampant. Look at those links Winston posts of hot asian women and you will know what I am talking about. When I was dating online for Chinese women, I seriously skipped any profile that did not have any normal pictures with natural face and/or no makeup on, or verified accounts with them holding a sign with their screen name next to the glamour shots.

Gotta have women with no makeup on or in normal everyday looks if increase the validity of the selection.
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Postby fschmidt » Fri May 10, 2013 5:55 pm

kai1275 wrote:Make the girls to post a picture of themselves with their user name to go along with their profile pictures.

Thanks, this is a good idea. But I am somewhat confused about what women get out of using fake pictures. I mean if their goal is marriage, the guy will see them eventually, and if they look very different from the pictures, the guy will then know that they are a liar and will be unlikely to marry them.
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Postby kai1275 » Fri May 10, 2013 6:09 pm

fschmidt wrote:
kai1275 wrote:Make the girls to post a picture of themselves with their user name to go along with their profile pictures.

Thanks, this is a good idea. But I am somewhat confused about what women get out of using fake pictures. I mean if their goal is marriage, the guy will see them eventually, and if they look very different from the pictures, the guy will then know that they are a liar and will be unlikely to marry them.


DUDE! LMAO! You have Nooooo idea! Scammers use the sick mother, sick someone else, I need money for XXXX, they always have some reason. As a rule of thumb your men are supposed to immediately report any woman that asks for money, but that does not always work as well as you will want. Even if the scammer just wants 100USD, they will still use airbrushed photos to get what they want. Some think the man will still love them once they get to know them first before revealing an uglier mug.....

Those are the ones that go "Teee hee hee" when you ask them to do a webcam chat.
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Postby fschmidt » Fri May 10, 2013 6:18 pm

kai1275 wrote:You have Nooooo idea! Scammers use the sick mother, sick someone else, I need money for XXXX, they always have some reason. As a rule of thumb your men are supposed to immediately report any woman that asks for money, but that does not always work as well as you will want. Even if the scammer just wants 100USD, they will still use airbrushed photos to get what they want. Some think the man will still love them once they get to know them first before revealing an uglier mug.....

Well, like I said, I haven't used these services which is why I need this kind of feedback. So okay, I will ask users to post pictures with their username in it. That should prevent using someone else's picture. But by "airbrushed photos", do you mean that they airbrush their own photos? That seems like a lot of work and they can still do this to their own pics with their username in it.
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Postby kai1275 » Fri May 10, 2013 6:29 pm

fschmidt wrote:
kai1275 wrote:You have Nooooo idea! Scammers use the sick mother, sick someone else, I need money for XXXX, they always have some reason. As a rule of thumb your men are supposed to immediately report any woman that asks for money, but that does not always work as well as you will want. Even if the scammer just wants 100USD, they will still use airbrushed photos to get what they want. Some think the man will still love them once they get to know them first before revealing an uglier mug.....

Well, like I said, I haven't used these services which is why I need this kind of feedback. So okay, I will ask users to post pictures with their username in it. That should prevent using someone else's picture. But by "airbrushed photos", do you mean that they airbrush their own photos? That seems like a lot of work and they can still do this to their own pics with their username in it.


Never underestimate a determined woman with a plan. Photoshop is hugely popular in East Asia with women. They ALL use it. My fiancee has big breasts for a Chinese woman with a perfect body. She put up 4 pics of herself with no makeup and a winter coat one for a good reason. I could see how pretty she was through that, but no one else on that site could. The big breasts were a huge surprise to me when I found out 2 months later. She gets hit on almost everyday by Chinese men who see her chest. Now that she has my ring, that came to a screeching stop.

She even knows how to photoshop pictures and I watched her show me how girls there do that all the time on her PC one of the times I was there. Weibo and Qzone pages of Chinese girls are littered with junk like that.
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Postby Christianfilipinacom » Fri May 10, 2013 11:50 pm

Hi fschmidt,

You have a nice idea there about paying to remove someone from search results. You might be able to build a site around it. You mentioned that you want to make money. That's a nice idea. Unfortunately, it is almost completely incompatible with starting or running a dating site. In order to have a successful dating site, you need to lose a lot of money, probably for 5-10 years, before being able to make any money. If you look at the history of dating sites, almost every one of them that has succeeded, has done so by losing a huge amount of money for 5+ years. Most businesses are like this, of course. If you look at dating sites out there, they typically pay around $5-$50 per free level "free" member in advertising, whether that is to a crazy guy like Winston here, or adwords, or affiliates, etc. Then maybe 10% or 20% of your free level members end up being paying customers, and on average they pay about 3 months worth, so maybe $40-$100 depending on your business model. If you do the simple math, you see that you are basically paying 100% of your revenue in advertising. So then your loss comes because you also need to develop a good technology ($40,000 minimum), web hosting, customer service, content creation... Most dating site owners give it up. If you truly have a fire in you, and can withstand the losses, you might be able to help quality people connect who otherwise would never have met.

Feel free to ask any other questions. I can't promise I'll answer all of them, but we are the founders and owners of the best Filipina dating site. As long as you are trying hard to do the right thing and intend to educate rather than defraud people, we are happy to help you.
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Postby Winston » Sat May 11, 2013 1:01 am

Christianfilipinacom wrote:Hi fschmidt,

You have a nice idea there about paying to remove someone from search results. You might be able to build a site around it. You mentioned that you want to make money. That's a nice idea. Unfortunately, it is almost completely incompatible with starting or running a dating site. In order to have a successful dating site, you need to lose a lot of money, probably for 5-10 years, before being able to make any money. If you look at the history of dating sites, almost every one of them that has succeeded, has done so by losing a huge amount of money for 5+ years. Most businesses are like this, of course. If you look at dating sites out there, they typically pay around $5-$50 per free level "free" member in advertising, whether that is to a crazy guy like Winston here, or adwords, or affiliates, etc. Then maybe 10% or 20% of your free level members end up being paying customers, and on average they pay about 3 months worth, so maybe $40-$100 depending on your business model. If you do the simple math, you see that you are basically paying 100% of your revenue in advertising. So then your loss comes because you also need to develop a good technology ($40,000 minimum), web hosting, customer service, content creation... Most dating site owners give it up. If you truly have a fire in you, and can withstand the losses, you might be able to help quality people connect who otherwise would never have met.

Feel free to ask any other questions. I can't promise I'll answer all of them, but we are the founders and owners of the best Filipina dating site. As long as you are trying hard to do the right thing and intend to educate rather than defraud people, we are happy to help you.


First, I'll take your "crazy guy like Winston" as a compliment. :P

Wow I didn't know starting a dating site was that hard. The OP was talking about a dating service though. Not sure if he's interested in a dating site.

What about all the packaged dating site software out there with templates that help you jumpstart a dating site? I've seen some on Ebay and also on Google. You can find them by Googling "dating site software".

You guys can also ask Xiongmao about it. He is trying to start a free dating site monetized with ads, like DateinAsia does, and says it's a lot harder than he thought.

How did Markus Frind, the guy who founded PlentyofFish.com and makes $10,000 a day from Adsense, supposedly, become so successful? What did he do that no one else did? In his online interviews that I read, he doesn't say. He only says that he persisted, worked hard and tried something new everyday, until his site went viral. But he doesn't get into specifics.
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Postby fschmidt » Sat May 11, 2013 3:02 am

Christianfilipinacom wrote:Hi fschmidt,

You have a nice idea there about paying to remove someone from search results. You might be able to build a site around it. You mentioned that you want to make money. That's a nice idea. Unfortunately, it is almost completely incompatible with starting or running a dating site. In order to have a successful dating site, you need to lose a lot of money, probably for 5-10 years, before being able to make any money. If you look at the history of dating sites, almost every one of them that has succeeded, has done so by losing a huge amount of money for 5+ years. Most businesses are like this, of course. If you look at dating sites out there, they typically pay around $5-$50 per free level "free" member in advertising, whether that is to a crazy guy like Winston here, or adwords, or affiliates, etc. Then maybe 10% or 20% of your free level members end up being paying customers, and on average they pay about 3 months worth, so maybe $40-$100 depending on your business model. If you do the simple math, you see that you are basically paying 100% of your revenue in advertising. So then your loss comes because you also need to develop a good technology ($40,000 minimum), web hosting, customer service, content creation... Most dating site owners give it up. If you truly have a fire in you, and can withstand the losses, you might be able to help quality people connect who otherwise would never have met.

Feel free to ask any other questions. I can't promise I'll answer all of them, but we are the founders and owners of the best Filipina dating site. As long as you are trying hard to do the right thing and intend to educate rather than defraud people, we are happy to help you.

Thanks Christianfilipinacom, I guess we will be competitors if I go into this, but since I will focus on language translation, I won't particularly target the Philippines. To answer the issues you raise, I am a programmer with plenty of cash to invest and my friend is an expert at adwords marketing.
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Postby Christianfilipinacom » Sat May 11, 2013 3:20 am

So you mean that the interactions would be translated like Babelfish in the Douglas Adams book? That's a neat idea also. But sounds very complicated, so you need to be a serious rock star programmer to accomplish it.

We welcome any good competitors. Actually, we are in a small network of reputable international dating sites that are developing joint outreach efforts. We would welcome you also if you are on the side of good not evil. We believe that the evil sites out there, while very powerful and large, have to fight the headwind of increased consciousness about their ways, and that this headwind is becoming significant. The good and neutral sites are doing well and will continue to do better and better. We believe that ironically, the good sites benefit from more good competitors because of the consciousness effect of educating people.

Winston's forum here is a good place to talk about these issues, even though we abhor his dedication to posting pictures of 80% naked women who don't even exist.
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Postby drealm » Sat May 11, 2013 4:01 am

Our of curiosity I've tried the following services as a paid member:

http://www.mexicancupid.com/
http://www.chineselovelinks.com/
http://www.pof.com/
https://www.zoosk.com/

Mexican Cupid and Chinese Love Links are owned by the same parent company that runs quite a few other sites. Mexican Cupid, Chinese Love Links and POF make money by charging a flat monthly fee for on site messages and profile ranking. There's tiered membership and the higher memberships rank you higher. They also make money off ad placements.

Zoosk is a new company, they charge a flat monthly fee, a initial registration fee and credits. Even if you pay the registration fee and your monthly fee you cannot contact people without credits. You can buy credits in different amounts. All communications cost credits and your ranking is determined by credits also. So Zoosk is by far the most expensive.

Let's compare your cost to competitors:

a) = yours
b) = competitors

a) 100% of women start as non-exclusive
b) 100% of women start as exclusive

a): $1 a day X 30 days = $30 a month for exclusivity to 1 woman
b): $30 a month flat fee = $30 a month member shared exclusivity of 100% of women

The question is how big is the member pool? If you're the only person in the pool, then you get 100% of women. Even if there are other paid members in the pool the % is so small in most cases that it doesn't make a big impact. So for $30 you would get less exclusivity under model a). You would also have more competition because now 100% of people can talk to a non-excluded woman where as under the monthly model only paid members can. Also the barrier to take someone exclusive is lower ($30 vs $1) so more people will take someone exclusive.

So it sounds like there's less benefit for people who are willing to pay. This may appeal to a price point where people will average less than a flat monthly fee. But I don't know if this pool of people is big enough to make money off of. I also suspect any customer who was interested in your model from a pricing stand point probably isn't very serious and therefore wouldn't pay for very long.

You should also take into account that while you can control exclusivity on site, the first thing people do on these sites is exchange off-site contact info such as skype. This is done for convenience more than anything else because no one's going to log onto your site just to talk to one person. Also you're likely to miss when a person is online because no one will keep their browser for that site open all the time.
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Postby Renata » Sat May 18, 2013 9:18 pm

Speed dating is always something I wanted to try for fun, but it's also a great way to meet people. Are there any online speed dating sites where you pay to speed date? It would happen like a real organised event. Let's say at 8PM you login to a cartain room on the site & speed date via cams. The hook would be to realease pics of the speed daters with no profiles. The site would have interacial speed dates, christian speed dates, intercontinent speed dates, like american guys & german women, .. any possible combinations you could think of, limitless. You login to speed date by checking a schedule & pay upfront for that hour where you get to meet maybe 6-12 people. The only negative I could think about is language barriers.
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Postby fschmidt » Wed May 29, 2013 2:29 am

The whole idea of speed dating seems depressing to me. It is a shallow and stressful way to judge someone. Are there any guys here who like Renata's idea?
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Postby fschmidt » Wed May 29, 2013 2:34 am

I found this thread about Date in Asia very interesting.

http://www.happierabroad.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=7047
http://www.dateinasia.com/

The most interesting point is that men are the biggest problem.

http://www.happierabroad.com/forum/view ... 8580#68580
http://www.happierabroad.com/forum/view ... 517#107517

My previous idea doesn't address this. Now I think men should pay to be connected to women. The way it would work is that women would specify how many men they want to be connected to. Men would then bid to be in a connected slot. The number of slots would be public. The benefit for men is that they would know how many men a woman is connected to. Women scammers would want lots of connections, and this would be a warning for men. Men would pay per day for a connection. This would start at $0 and be bid up. So more desirable women would cost more to connect to. The benefit for men is that they would know how many men a woman is connected to, so men wouldn't waste their time. The benefit for women is that men who are paying to be connected to them probably aren't there just to waste time. Thoughts?
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Postby Jester » Wed May 29, 2013 3:49 am

fschmidt wrote:The whole idea of speed dating seems depressing to me. It is a shallow and stressful way to judge someone. Are there any guys here who like Renata's idea?


Ummm, actually I LOVE it.

Sounds like fun, like a party, not so "Romeo-and-Juliet", right-off-the-bat.

A site for extroverts I suppose.

If I thought they had the demographic I am serious about, I would pay serious money for each event.

The technology seems damn hard though.
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