As you know over the last couple of days I have been promoting Internet Selling For Newbies and yesterday I asked if you thought Omar was right about the rant he had when someone said the offer wasn’t free because he had to pay shipping to have the product delivered to his home. I have posted that email here just in case you missed it.
I received a ton of responses and this prompted me to contact Omar to see if he would mind me writing up a blog post about this. Omar then got back to me with the response below.
*** Omar’s Email Start ***
Here are my thoughts…
We have all been burned at one time or another by some sort of “hidden charge” or fine print forced continuity option thingy.
We get very angry, we feel deceived, we feel robbed. In reality the truth of the matter is that most times we simply failed to read carefully. I am no exception to this, it has happened to me several times before. We always see those legal links at the bottom of pages and the “click here to agree” radio buttons but we do act impulsively without taking the time to examine the offer.
Then a month later we see a second charge and NOW we yell “bloody murder”. It’s happened to us all, myself included.
Many marketers out there know that most people just don’t read the page carefully. Bad marketers take advantage of that fact and they impose “silent add on’s” to orders that are easily overlooked by the consumer who’s just excited about getting his/her new product.
Over the past couple of years we’ve seen a lot of this in our Internet Marketing community. Marketers use all sorts of merchant accounts that require consumers to enter their credit card details directly into the website they are purchasing from.
This puts the marketer in a unique vantage point. Once he/she stores that data. Billing, re-billing and the like can be easily tagged on to a checkout process known as a “session id”.
The methods of marketing we use today of upsells, downsells, add on options, suggested products and the like… works very well. These methods are used by companies, like Amazon, eBay, Walmart and many other commerce giants. They are not illegal or unethical in any way.
However – these prudent methods have been tarnished by unethical marketers and hence our subscribers are now very skeptical when they see more than one offer on a website. They say… “Ohh No – he’s trying to sell me something else, quick -get off this site!” LOL
That’s like going to McDonalds and canceling your order all together simply because the cashiers asks if you’d like to add a Large soda for 39 cents extra, or if you’d like to super-size your order. Why are we perfectly comfortable with those upsells but not those we see on websites?
In my opinion the answer is this… FEAR. We have been burned in the past and we are afraid of making a bad decision that can’t be easily undone. You see, if they screw up my order at McDonalds I can just walk right up to the counter and tell them to get it right or demand my money back. But online, you have to send emails, create support tickets and hope to hear back from a human.
The fear of re-living this experience precludes us from taking the actions we want to with regards of purchasing a product online. I totally understand that fear, I have experienced it myself and I will not criticize anyone for it.
My rant was about a selfish person that wanted me to do everything for him. He was looking for a hand out not a head start. He wasn’t willing to invest in shipping and he implied that I am a bad marketer because I wouldn’t pay it for him. It is a mentality that I will never agree with. But the “forced continuity fear” is something all together different and it is something that I do completely resonate with.
Mike and I have gone through great lengths to implement a secure alternative. Here’s what’s different about InternetSellingForNewbies.com
#1 We ask that the customer pay for s/h of the CD-Rom and we don’t inflate the cost of shipping. 9.97 is exactly what the fulfillment company charges us per unit to produce, package and ship a CD domestically. (more for international due to postage and customs charge)
#2 We offer an optional 30 Day FREE trial of MDC magazine on the order page. This trial can be easily removed by pressing one button that says “REMOVE FROM CART”
#3 WE USE PAYPAL. (this is key) You see by us using PayPal we are actually empowering the consumer with a huge and powerful advocate. Unlike a regular merchant account. One can easily log into their PayPal account and manage payments and subscriptions and see exactly what has been charged. The customers payment details are stored by PAYPAL not by us. THAT IS HUGE.
#4 The customer has to review and approve their order items a total of FOUR times in the checkout process. Twice on our site and twice on their PayPal account page. Each time their entire order is listed and they can remove anything they may have “accidentally” selected.
Noticed I put “accidentally” in quotes.. I’m not being facetious but we all know that there are many consumers that will intentionally order things and later claim they were scammed. The axe swings both ways.
We are amongst the first marketers in our community to implement the new PayPal API technology that streamlines all of this additional security and peace of mind for the consumer. We are very proud to do this and we hope to pave the way for other marketers to do the same in the future.
In conclusion I will call upon everyone to always read the contents of any offer before you make a purchase. That is just good, prudent business sense. I call upon all marketers to not hide behind a support desk, we put our email, physical address and phone number right on our website. We make it easy and we even encourage you to contact us before you make a purchase if something appears unclear. Last but not least we make it easy for YOU to control the outcome by using the worlds most trusted payment system as an added layer of protection and security, PayPal.
*** Omar’s Email End ***
I think Omar has pretty much summed up his thoughts and I once again have to agree. The truth is so many bad marketers have made this kind of offer seem bad but I’d love to hear what you think.
BTW, the offer for Internet Selling For Newbies is here, please make sure you check the offer out before commenting.