It's not ethical to offer UPSELLS?

27 replies
Most affiliate marketers will say that it is not ethical to offer more products on the back end for your customers to buy from. Some even go crazy when it is offered to them. ( I am referring to people who are already affiliate marketers themselves but like to buy all sorts of new shiny products on the market)

Do you think that it is not ethical to offer your customers more products on the back end?

I think that it is very ethical. You are giving your customers more value and you are able to earn more money.

I would rather earn $100-$500 and more from upsells then just earning a one time or low residual income of $20 per customer.

What do you guys think?
#ethical #offer #upsells
  • Profile picture of the author MikeFriedman
    The only time I would label it as unethical is when someone is selling a technique or course and you need to purchase one of the upsells in order to actually do what it is they are teaching. Unless that is clearly mentioned on the sales page, it seems like a dick move to me.
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    • Profile picture of the author NyNyDanDan
      Originally Posted by MikeFriedman View Post

      The only time I would label it as unethical is when someone is selling a technique or course and you need to purchase one of the upsells in order to actually do what it is they are teaching. Unless that is clearly mentioned on the sales page, it seems like a dick move to me.
      AMEN Mike! "Congratulations on your purchase! BUT, to really make this system work you also need to buy XYZ". A complimentary product is a different animal: "Thanks for buying my 'Learn how to read music book' and if you want to learn how to write your own songs too then have a look at this..."

      Complimentary: good...you need this or else: bad
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      • Profile picture of the author zacharybarden
        Originally Posted by NyNyDanDan View Post

        AMEN Mike! "Congratulations on your purchase! BUT, to really make this system work you also need to buy XYZ". A complimentary product is a different animal: "Thanks for buying my 'Learn how to read music book' and if you want to learn how to write your own songs too then have a look at this..."

        Complimentary: good...you need this or else: bad
        This hit home for me... I agree with your example 100%. Throw more complimentary goods in there, as it will only make your consumer love you more.
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  • Profile picture of the author Leonhart
    Banned
    I don't see Upsells as something unethical at all. Yes, you're right, some people will complain but if the upsell will bring your customer more value and help you make you even more money, definitely go for it!

    I think it would be unethical if for example in your sales page you say something like: You will get the exact landing pages and email swipes that have made me $100 in 7 days and after people buy your main offer you try to upsell them the "email swipes" or the "landing pages" for $47. That was not a great example but hopefully you get the idea.

    I've noticed people who complain the most about upsells are people who never got what they paid for on the first place.

    But again this is my opinion,

    Leon.
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    • Profile picture of the author Steve B
      Personally, I don't see upsells as being unethical but there is a strong chance that many customers will see them as being annoying and tedious if they are not done right.

      IMO, here are some things that will make customers mad:

      • Having to sit through long videos to get to the point
      • Having upsells that are not in any way related to what I was buying
      • Having upsells that were necessary to make the original product work
      • Having upsells that were already presented as an option on the web site at full price
      • Having one upsell, after another, after another, after another (the most I have witnessed is 7 upsells in a row) and I'll never buy from those guys again
      So upsells can be both good and bad, depending upon how they are presented and what they contain.

      Steve
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  • Profile picture of the author Rod Cortez
    Upsells in and of themselves are neutral as a concept. It boils down to implementation. For example, if someone offers an upsell to a main product as "optional" but it turns out that one HAS to have to make the original product (or service) work, then that's unethical.

    But let's say you offer a product for $97 bucks and you have an upsell for a piece of software that would make that product more efficient to use (i.e. more automated), then that's perfectly ethical because it's adding value to the original product and the upsell is NOT necessary to have.

    Buyer and consumer psychology has always fascinated me. Some people will balk at an online upsell, yet won't blink twice when they're offered an upsell at a restaurant or while buying a car or a piece of jewelry or even a smart phone.

    Upsells are everywhere and they aren't ethical or not ethical as a general concept, it's in how it's implemented.

    RoD
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  • Profile picture of the author nicheblogger75
    I think it is definitely ethical. The only way I would consider it to be unethical is if the upsell was necessary to make the product work. However, as long as you are offering a complete product on the front end that does not require the upsell to work then it's completely ethical.

    I make the majority of my online income as an affiliate, and in my experience it is standard practice to have at least 2 products in your sales funnel, and often times 3 or more. Many sales funnels also contain downsells.

    I can't see why an affiliate ( a successful one at least), would object to upsells and downsells, since it only means more chances to earn commission. I have had dozens of instances (maybe hundreds by now) where a buyer has gone through and purchased every product in a funnel, resulting in commissions into the hundreds of dollars from one buyer.

    As I said, as long as you don't do what I refer to as "stringing," which would be getting someone to make a front end purchase and then dropping it on them that they need to buy the upsell too or the product will be useless, then it is totally ethical.

    In other words, as long as your upsells are related products which only act to enhance the value of the front end product, you are certainly being 100% ethical.
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  • Profile picture of the author Paul Guilfoyle
    "Would you like fries with that?"
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    • Profile picture of the author The IM Institute
      Originally Posted by Paul Guilfoyle View Post

      "Would you like fries with that?"
      Immediately what I thought about too!
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    • Profile picture of the author discrat
      Originally Posted by Paul Guilfoyle View Post

      "Would you like fries with that?"
      No, and STFU ... if I want fries I will tell you
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      • Profile picture of the author StephenGB
        Originally Posted by discrat View Post

        No, and STFU ... if I want fries I will tell you
        They are only doing a job, following the policy of their employer and trying to help you. We can all be a bit sharp with the help at times. Then they do something horrible to your food.
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  • Profile picture of the author trobo
    As others have mentioned, if the upsell is required to make the original product work, then yes it is unethical.

    If someone is overly sensitive to upsells and gets offended by them, you have to seriously consider if they are the type of customer you really want anyway.
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  • Profile picture of the author zdebx
    Nothing wrong upsells as long as they build up the value of the original product.

    However, as Mike Friedman mentioned, an upsell must not be used as the "final part" of the initial product. The whole point of it is to offer something valuable on top, but with the option to leave it, rather than having to purchase it, because otherwise the main product is useless.
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  • Profile picture of the author yukon
    Banned
    It's not ethical to offer UPSELLS?
    I'm guessing you've never been to a fast food restaurant.

    Would you like to Biggie Size that?
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  • Profile picture of the author Randall Magwood
    Originally Posted by talfighel View Post

    What do you guys think?
    talfighel...let em starve.

    They even griped about Jesus.
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  • Profile picture of the author TakenAction
    Why is this even a thread?

    Of course its not un-ethical...

    Just don't make the up-sells the only way to have a "complete" form of the core product...

    That's basically it...
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  • Profile picture of the author Mark Singletary
    Here's something from another recent post I wrote:


    What I'm talking about is the "perverted" ways many IMers do their work.

    For example, the comments about upselling from the "real marketers" sounds normal and necessary. The question is often asked, have you ever went to buy a hamburger and the clerk asks "would you like fries with that?" Of course we all have. Upsells are part of smart business. It even happens at bookstores with discount cards or special membership offers or gift wrapping or any number of other related type things.

    But here's the problem. When we go to buy a double cheeseburger, this never happens:

    1. Would you like fries with that?
    2. No? What about upgrading to a Big Mac?
    3. No? Want an apple pie?
    4. No? What about if I take half off the Big Mac and throw in an apple pie?
    5. No? Okay how about you keep the double cheeseburger, I'll cut the price in half, and with the difference give you a Big Mac and an apple pie so you'll only be spending 10 cents more than your regular purchase?
    6. No? Okay we understand. Here's your receipt but before you can eat your hamburger you need to go into the backroom and watch the entirety of one of our new 30 minute commercials and then and only then will you get your hamburger.

    That's where the negativity comes from with the buyers.
    Mark
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  • It is not unethical, but many internet marketers have done a very poor job of implementing them.

    In many OTO's it seems they are necessary to get the initial product to work correctly. When that occurs it is unethical.

    I personally find them annoying and refuse to add them to any product I sell. I am willing to give up short-term money to keep customers happy.
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  • Profile picture of the author Jackson Tan
    For me, it voice down to what the upsell is all about. If the upsell is required for the initial product to work or function effectively, it as good as saying, you can't eat the cheeseburger without getting the fries. Then, it sucks. "Here's my email marketing course BUT you need my autoresponder to work"

    How, about getting this extra spicy curry sauce for your nuggets, it tastes great.. well, then this is ethical..

    Cheers
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  • Profile picture of the author PBScott
    It is unethical to sell anything to anyone that they don't need, but we all have to make a living.
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  • Profile picture of the author Van Dam
    Upsells are OK if they are something that compliments the product you are selling rather than something that is necessary to make it work. If the upsell is the later than you are dealing with an unethical seller in my book.
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  • Profile picture of the author StephenGB
    Every product in the chain should deliver what it says and be standalone. Up selling is about offering greater value than before. Say you are some sort of expert coach, the following may apply.

    Give a free report. Offer book or course from the report. (up sell 1)
    People who buy book you offer them the course again (up sell 2)
    People who attend or follow the course, you offer 1 on 1 mentoring (up sell 3)

    You move from stranger, to supplier, to trusted advisor.
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  • Profile picture of the author alauddinkaka
    What is the meaning of upsell ? Please tell me the answer.
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    • Profile picture of the author StephenGB
      Originally Posted by alauddinkaka View Post

      What is the meaning of upsell ? Please tell me the answer.
      Offering greater value at each stage of the selling process. Buying and selling is merely the exchange of value.

      What is unethical is to try and sell something of no value or that is harmful (negative value). Cigarette companies and all shops selling cigarettes are unethical.
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  • Profile picture of the author seobro
    That depends, if you are giving me a free product I do not mind an up sell as you need to make some money. However, if I am paying for a report, I do not want to have to swim in a spammy sea. Put yourself in the shoes of your consumer. Do you want to have to click page after page. Often I get lost with all the up sells when I paid seven dollar for a report - why is the number always seven. Like that is suppose to be magic.

    I do not like up sells any. People who stuff a report full of links at the end to sell me stuff is OK as that is considered a resource. However, I expect to get what I ordered not nag ware asking me for more money. If you want the features you thought you ordered, you must up grade to our premium pro version.
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  • Profile picture of the author gluckspilz
    How many people here actually split what they really thing.

    I know this whole complimentary thing makes sense and that an upsell to make the front end work is just plain stupid... But you guys do realize that it comes down to "Problems --> Solution". Regardless of what you're selling, as long as it solves their problem. Sell it.

    Front End: YouTube Marketing
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    Stupid funnel? Tested & Proven!

    Nothing compliments anything!

    IN OTHER WORDS! THE ONLY BLARDY WAY TO KNOW FOR SURE IS JUST TO TEST THE CRAP OUT OF YOUR FUNNEL. TWEAK IT UNTIL YOU ROI! TADA!!! ONLINE MARKETING 101
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  • Profile picture of the author Ardral
    IMO, it's definitely not unethical at all.

    However, if a product is crippled without the OTO and it is not stated on the sales page then you will never buy from that seller again. There is one seller here on the WF that I know did/does that with their Wordpress plugins - never brought (or looked at) their products since.
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