FTC Thoughts

A post for those of us who market on the internet.

There are a lot of people panicking and complaining about the F.T.C. (Federal Trade Commission) and the heavy handed actions they are taking with online marketers.

The interesting thing is that they are only enforcing rules that were always in existence but have not been enforced on the internet as strictly as they have been in other forms of media.

I always find it interesting that people get all upset when good business practices and consumer rights are enforced upon them.   I would not run a business that makes it standard practice to screw people, lie to to people, or generally provide substandard value, so this has never really been a concern to me.

Just today I got an email by a well known online marketer that stated this about his product:

... received rave reviews (which unfortunately
we can't print due to the damn new FTC regulations!).

You might think that he has cause for complaint – although I am not sure which rules his reviews were breaking.   However, the interesting thing is that I went the sales page for his product and after reading the page I was greeted with an exit popup when I tried to leave.

Exit popups are fairly common these days.  This particular one offered me an extra $20 discount if I changed my mind and decided to buy after all. It was a ONE TIME ONLY offer that I would never see again if I closed the window.

Here is my problem.  I would be seriously annoyed had I bought at the price first offered, because they were more than happy to sell it $20 cheaper.  But even more annoying is the blatent ONE TIME ONLY offer LIE.  Because I re-entered the site to check (several times), and was offered exactly the same ONE TIME ONLY offer each time.

My point is, here is a classic example of an online marketer complaining about the F.T.C. regulations, while at the same time blatantly trying to rip off his customers.

I say “shame on you Dan Raine.”

Make Money Online

Modern Day Gold Rush

As an excellent example of the fact that we learn nothing from history is the Make Money Online exploitation that occurs on the internet.

Thousands of people sign up to the many courses being launched every month.  Some of the courses costing hundreds of dollars and some even costing thousands of dollars.

But just as in days gone by when people rushed to the gold fields it is not the miners that get rich but the store keepers and publicans.  One or two miners strike it rich by fluke just to keep the frenzy building.

Online it is no different. Every now and then someone breaks through and makes thousands of dollars “while they sleep.”  However, for everyone that succeeds there are thousands who fail miserably.  One thing is for sure, those “store keepers” and “publicans” of the Internet Marketing world are getting rich.

It is a sad sight to behold these people flocking to their slaughter. Investing money they don’t have to buy a product that will underwhelm them by its results.  Yet they will not be deterred. They have read the advertising that clearly states they will get rich quick if they own that course.

Please, do yourself a favour and stop chasing the gold at the end of the internet rainbow.  Most people will never recover the cost of their latest course, much less make money online.

Internet Mafia

I was at the library today (long story) and I came across this book in the computer section:

The Accidental Billionaires

And I was intrigued as to why it was filed in the middle of all the various computer manuals so I picked it up.

Anyway, long story short, I ended up skim reading through the whole book as it was quite an entertaining read.

If you want to get an idea of what really goes on behind the scenes of these house-hold named internet companies I suggest you grab a copy. I was not surprised to learn what I did, as I have experienced the seedy side of the internet up close and personal myself.

I don’t know how much was fact and how much was embellishment in this story, but I do that nothing has changed. There are still people stealing ideas, stealing traffic, back stabbing, and outright robbing other people blind even as you read this.

Nothing much has changed, except those start-up companies are billion dollar enterprises and there are new companies fighting for global niche domination every day.

All I can advise is that you take the proper care to protect yourself from these kind of shenanigans before venturing too far out into the world wide web way of doing business.