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Shady Products and "Scams"


A beginners guide to scams

Tutorials and Information
There are at least 10,000 products to sell on the web and there are several hundred new ones everyday. Just check the number of products for sale at clickbank.
So how do we know what is legitimate or not?

The word "scam" is bandied about the web like crazy. In a lot of cases the person calling a product a scam is just a disillusioned person that either could not understand the product or was not prepared to use the purchased product. Now on the other hand, YES there are scams out there. Be carefull.
We have read reports that up to 90% of the products are scams. We don't really believe those numbers. Generally, some of the products are valid, BUT, the majority are just old and played out, extremely badly produced, old information or just not supported by the seller. You will not make any money on these. These are the products that we do not want to purchase or promote.

But don't forget-Some of them really are scams and rip-offs!

You purchase a product in good faith and it does not meet your perceived expectations or it Just never made you any money. Does that make it a scam? Maybe, maybe not. Maybe we did not have enough education, experience or proper setup to use the product or on the other hand, the marketer had every intention to take your money and run.

As a beginning marketer we need to know how to access the different products that are available to us in such a way that we feel secure that the products will work for us and we are not being fooled by a nicely written sales page for a product that is junk.


There are a number of things that an experienced marketer should be looking for when looking for products to sell, resell or become an affiliate of.

*  Does the sales page have an actual product or does it just have an e-mail address for more information.

* A note on e-mail addresses. When you see an e-mail address from a free e-mail company, such as Yahoo, Hotmail, Live or AOL, it should be a warning to you that this individual has limited resources, they may just be trolling for e-mail addresses for spam mailing, to sell the addresses to a mass mailer or might possibly be reselling products whether they are good or bad. A reputable site has an e-mail address related to the site and business.

* If the site has a membership fee, it is probably a Multi Level Marketing (MLM) site or even a pyramid scheme. If the only money being generated is from membership, the members are just passing the money around and no specific person is making a good living. In MLM the first people in the program start creating a downline by having new people join and then they create their downline and so on. The price paid to join is split up from the sales person and each person going up the line. Everyone makes a little and no one makes a  lot.

*  Is there a way to contact the company either by phone, mail or e-mail? If not, watch out. We should also look for support information and a process to contact customer support.

*  Is it free or fee? You should never have to pay a fee for general information. The page that you landed on should have enough information for you to have enough information to do a little searching on the validity of the company. There will almost certainly be a small fee for their in-depth information, but not always. If there is an upfront fee the site is probably an scam.

*  Be very careful of testimonials. Some unscrupulous sites create their own. This is illegal but due to the difficulty of proving the charge, very few people are prosecuted. Read how they are written. Are they the same style and verbiage as the rest of the page and do they sound the same?

*  Is there a decent refund period? Unfortunately most purchasers never ask for a refund for some reason. Usually they just forget about it or just can't remember how to ask. A good policy would be 45 to 60 days. This gives you enough time to analyze the product and get it returned if it is not what you thought it was due to their advertising copy. Remember-the credit card companies will give you 30 days to cancel the purchase on a card.

*  What is the site's track record? Do a Google search or other search engine lookup on the company and other information you found on their page. Remember, not all people will find every product to their liking and they may write a bad review. You will have to decipher what is real or not. Try the company name and then the product name followed by the word scam in your search engines search field. This may list some documents pertaining to the product.

Let's look at a few of the bad or questionable programs.

Get paid to shop (secret shopper, mystery shopper)
Here is one that asks you to pay for a list of companies that will pay you to be a secret shopper and evaluate their stores. Alternatively you can join a company that will set up all of the shopping for you. After you fill out the in-depth form you will be asked to do certain shopping depending on the information you put on the form. You will be asked to purchase specific items,  or even meals, and then be reimbursed for the items. You get to keep the items but won't get rich on them. You also won't get hundreds of appointments per month. There is one thing you will get though, spam mail like crazy. It also takes quite a while to get yourself known well enough to get the better assignments.

Paid Surveys
As you have probably seen, these are heavily promoted. "You can make $100's of dollars a day filling out surveys." This works by you paying a fee in order to get a list of the survey companies and then you have to sign up with each one. Filling out all of those applications is very time consuming. After filling out the forms at each survey company, they will send you surveys that meet the certain strict requirements they took from the information you put on the form. Survey companies can be found for free on the net and they never ask for a fee. In order to make any real money you would have to do thousands of surveys a month and that just is not going to happen. You can make a few dollars or points to redeem for awards. Now the companies have a large amount of information on you that can be sold to other marketers as leads. More spam mail. Be careful.

Envelope Stuffing
Two things on this one. Yes there are a few companies that really will pay you but they are hard to find. Don't necessarily believe the advertising. Also if you are really going to work this one hard, it is a real job that takes a huge amount of time for very little money. There are much better ways to have a business at home.

Data Entry or Typing from home
Sorry-We have not found any of these programs that really work and pay an amount that is equal to the amount of time you put in. Forget it.

Paid to surf
This is a type of pyramid scheme. Also this is just bad ethics and possibly illegal. To make any real amount of money you have to get other people to surf specific websites (MLM). This works by you surfing particular websites and clicking through to new sites. It seems that the Pay to surf companies are just attempting to rank their own members web pages higher in the search engines by click activity as well as getting paid (adwords?) from clicking on advertisements. This amounts to stealing money from well intended adword ads. There are a lot of money making claims for this type of income but it has pretty much died as a revenue maker. Good.

Multi Level Marketing (MLM)
It used to be that MLM was a very valid way to promote a companies products. A person would be paid a commission on any product sold for the manufacturer. This really worked well in rural areas by word of mouth. On the internet today the concept has grown because of ease of use to make the top people in the MLM company a good amount of money from the work of the associates that are below them. Eventually the product is super saturated in the market and no one is selling enough to make a living. This is called dilution of product. There becomes to many sales people for the product. Since almost any product can be purchased on the internet at the lowest pricing, the idea of MLM is becoming extinct in this marketplace.

Affiliate Scams
Oh yes there are quite a few affiliate scams in the world. We have covered some of the topics above and the most important point to take from all of this is to be aware.

Read, research and then research some more.

Always search for the products validity. Put the product name in the search field with the word scam to see what comes up. If a product is questionable it will show up in a number of blogs or scam sites. Again, read these carefully. They may just be written by a very disappointed person. The report my not be about a bad product-just an inexperienced person that feels taken or "scammed".
One of our favorite sites is called It sometimes takes a few different search terms to find what you are looking for, but be patient. ROR also gives the complaint company a chance to rebut the charges. Great site.

In summary, always do due diligence. Really look hard at the products that you are interested in and make sure that you are happy before you spend any of your own money. As we learned, before we got some training, you can spend a lot of cash purchasing products that are selling pie-in-the-sky and see no return on your investment.

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