With the large amounts of internet and affiliate marketing products online, it has become quite difficult to work out which are legitimate affiliate marketing companies and which ones are nothing more than scams.
There are many people out there who have fallen for some of these scams, and spent hundreds or even thousands of dollars on products that sound fantastic, but are don’t live up to their hype at all.
Many internet marketers make a profit by being persuasive, so it isn’t really a surprise that they can convince people to fork over money. But, how do you get around this.
Common Signs of a Poor Product
The majority of poor quality internet marketing products are easy to spot – particularly as most of them use the same techniques.
When I look at the marketing for any product, the first thing I look at is the hype. In other worse, I consider whether the product claims are unrealistic, and most of the time they are.
Looking at the claims can tell you a lot about what the product actually offers and, more importantly, what type of product it is. Here are some key questions to consider:
- Do the claims seem unrealistic?
- Does the product offer high profits for minimal work?
- Are the authors vague about what the product actually is, or how it makes money?
- Do the authors claim that the product is unique, a secret or something that the gurus use?
If your answer to any of these questions is yes, then it is likely you are dealing with a poor quality product, and probably one that is specifically trying to mislead you.
In fairness, not every product that uses this approach is bad. I have run into a few that are worth the time, mainly because they were low priced to start off with. However, I cannot think of a single one that I would actually recommend.
After all, if the product is trying to mislead you from the very beginning, chances are you should probably avoid it.
I also want to point out that the common money back guarantees that products offer doesn’t actually mean anything, such as the image to the right.
Most affiliate marketing companies have little accountability, and there really is no way to make sure they actually give you your money back if you ask for it.
This can get even more tricky if you are dealing with a company that has recurring payments and some people have found that they have to cancel their credit cards to stop the company billing them.
Now, that’s an extreme case of course, and most of the time you won’t run into any issue with getting a refund or stopping billing. However, do be aware that there is always an element of risk.
I do want to note that if you pick products from a reliable vendor, you will have a much better chance of getting your refund. An example of this is Clickbank.
Personally, I don’t like Clickbank because their products tend to be very low quality.
However, they do have a good refund policy, and you go through them for a refund, rather than through the product owners.
I have ordered products through Clickbank to review and have never had any issues with getting a refund, which is an advantage.
For recurring payments, I suggest always choosing products that let you pay through PayPal. PayPal gives you the ability to cancel recurring payments directly on your account, without having to go through the vendor at all.
This works in the majority of cases. The only exception I have found so far is Clickbank, but you can cancel subscriptions through Clickbank itself without too much hassle.
Is there a trial?
Many legitimate affiliate marketing companies have started to offer trials.
Sometimes this will be a limited time version of their entire product, or of the lowest tier of what they have to offer. Other times this will be a free membership that has limited features.
Free trials are one of the best ways to work out whether something is worth putting money into and whether the product actually lives up to its hype.
I love getting the chance to look inside products that I am unsure about. Often I will find out enough about the product to realize it isn’t for me – which saves me money in the long run.
I have also found good products this way. After all, it’s much less risky to try and see whether a product actually does what you think it will.
For example, the main site that I promote is Wealthy Affiliate, which offers extensive training and support for affiliate marketing. Not only is the site free to try out, but it also has a free membership. In fact, users don’t even need to provide credit card details unless they want to use the paid membership. That gives people a safe way to learn exactly what Wealthy Affiliate is about before they put any money down.