Tuesday, December 31, 2013

How to Find an Online Training Company That Doesn't Scam You.

Building your own home business starts with getting trained - honestly.

photocredit: Don Hawkins

Finding an honest Internet elibrary or training center is far from a risky situation if you go with your eyes wide open.

Many people have gotten scammed, but far more people have found ethical sites they can get useful information from.

The trick is to know what you are looking for.

There are just a few points to keep in mind:
  • What is the reputation of this company or site?
  • Do they give away highly valuable materials as samples?
  • How much are they asking for monthly or weekly?
  • Do they use shady sales practices to get you to buy?


You find what people think about any particular site by Googling: "[brand name] scam" (without the quotes.)  This will give you a fair overview of the experiences others have had with that company.

You are looking for products, brands, and sites which have around 50% on average positive reviewsAmazon, for instance, is known for the huge amount of fake, glowing reviews for their books. Because only about 2% of all the readers naturally leave reviews. Especially curious is someone getting 5,000 positive reviews within a few days of the book's release. You'll find they are some celebrity type, or are giving a special away to their huge mailing list.

Generally, since it's easier to criticize anonymously than be positive, you'll find an average amount of trolls venting on whatever comes out. So if you have about 50% positive, you know that there is something good about the product, brand, or site.

That's just a rough rule of thumb. You want to look for reviews which point out what could be improved as well as what they found useful. Either completely bad or completely good are both unreal.

If you find 80 or 90% uniformly bad, then you know to look elsewhere - just as if you find 95% great. (No one is that perfect.)

Valuable giveaways

These days, it's common practice to help people first in order to get their trust. They'll give away something which they could commonly sell for $20 - $50 or more in order to get you interested and involved with them.

One trick to doing this without having to give your email address is to simply Google "[product name] pdf" or "[product name] filetype:pdf" - because the effort it takes to get a PDF together is more substantial than just setting up a web page. You can tell right off what quality they are and how intelligent they think you are.

30 or 40 pages of well laid-out material which is sensible, helpful, and useful is quite a different scene than a 2-page piece full of links.  A decent piece will have their contact information there, and where to get more information.

Reputable firms will often give their most valuable information away for free, figuring that you are going to need their video's, courses, or coaching to help understand and apply it.

What they want from you

Which brings up the next point: what do they want you to pay? This is always monthly or might even be weekly. The idea is to get you paying them on a regular basis for real profits.

Remember: a scam is anything you didn't get the expected/promised value for the money you invested.

The great companies will be working with you for several months, giving you far more than you asked for in order to gain your complete trust. Because they know it costs far more to get a new customer than it does to keep an existing client.

They want you to succeed. For years.

Scammers know that most people can be drawn along for a couple of months before they quit. Their business model is to get a high payment right off, stretching any residual income coming from monthly payments - as well as selling you additional services. You'll find several different people calling you at various times in order to up-sell you goods and services.

Scammers rely on their anonymity to allow them to dupe new people every week. They have to. (And this is why it's often effective to hit the complaint forums with your personal story. That eventually forces scammers to change their name again - which means incorporation records, bank accounts and credit providers - and start over. However, the people in the Attorney General's office know who they are...)

Your best defense? Stick to your budget.

Honest vendors will tell you right up front about their immediate and unconditional refund option - and then work with you to ensure you are so satisfied you never want to leave them. While some people can invest more than others, honest vendors will respect your budget and not try to pry more out of you than you can realistically afford.

Again, they are interested in having you around for a very long while, so will go the other route of offering you high-value items for low cost and then later encourage you to get their higher-priced items once your own income is established.

Watch out for high-pressure sales gimmicks

These people who keep you on the phone for a couple of hours and then insist you buy right then are smoking some strange weed. You never met them before, but they know if they can get you to say yes enough times, you'll basically be hypnotized into buying by the time they are through.

In some states, there is only a 3-day "buyer's remorse" period where they are legally required to give you a refund. This is a hold-over from buying used cars, where the wife made the husband (or vice-versa) take the danged thing back (or it broke down.)

Online scammer companies know that the shipping itself will take longer than that. Reputable companies such as Clickbank, for instance, gives at least a 60-day guarantee on it's digital goods.

Know right off what your time period is. You need to be able to go away and do research to verify what you were just told. If the sales person won't help you with these, then it's probably a scam.

- - - -

That will help you get started in this area.

Next, I plan to give you a short list of proved honest online sites you can test for yourself. (And these won't even have affiliate links on them...)

Until then...
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