Do You Find This Offensive?...

48 replies
Lets say you purchase a $2,000 product or a $5,000 seminar/coaching course. The offer was for a limited quantity and you end up being one of the X number of people who are lucky enough to get in.

Fast forward six months and now the same marketer gives it away for free in order to attract people into a $97 a month forced continuity newsletter.

As a former customer, do you find this objectionable?

What are your thoughts on this marketing strategy?
#find #offensive
  • Profile picture of the author Jagged
    Hi Ron...

    Wouldn't bother me much....S*** happens.
    As long as I felt I received value for the $2,000 product...then it wouldn't matter to me what happened 6 months down the road...
    Beside...In the 6 months time, hopefully...I could take what I've learned & parlee that into thousands more...

    The product or seminar probably ran it's course in the owners eye's...

    I bought a car a week before "cash for clunkers"....I'm not pissed...I still got a great deal with a lot of value...

    Good luck,
    Ken
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  • Profile picture of the author BJ Min
    ron, yeah...i would feel weird if i was in your situation...but i heard this interesting theory several times...

    it's better to PAY for the products rather than getting it for free...because if you pay for it, you are more motivated to actually read the course and take action in it...

    i was a psychology major in college and i also learned it is the same for therapy...it's good to pay for your therapy instead of getting free therapy...because you end up doing the work and taking it more seriously...

    but yah...it would feel weird if that course was free afterwards...kind of lowers the perceived value...
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  • Profile picture of the author Troy_Phillips
    They are probably just giving away a teaser and teaching the rest in the cont .


    If the producer runs the cont right he will get $4000 out of the same $2000 product and it will take them a while to get it all.

    You paid $2000 and got it all at one time to digest at your own pace .

    I see where you are coming from but the person that bought the complete package is the winner
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  • Profile picture of the author CDarklock
    Originally Posted by Ron Douglas View Post

    As a former customer, do you find this objectionable?
    No. Time is money. Having that information six months early should have given me enough time to make back my cost and more. In fact, if I've got my own IM business, I've probably turned some of it into a product of my own, which I've probably been selling to some of the same people who will get it as part of the continuity.

    All part of the process... I buy a product, I use some of the coaching as a springboard to create a new product, and when the first product is offered as a bonus - I use that to sell it as an affiliate (or just a member of the IM community, lacking an affiliate program).

    "Remember my XYZ product? This is the training that led me to create it, and there's a lot more good stuff in it, and that's just the bonus for the new continuity program Ron just started; so you can bet I'll be joining up, and you should too."
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    • Profile picture of the author Killer Joe
      Hi Ron,

      I've seen a few of these 'after the fact seminars' and it seems to me, without having attended one, the real benefit of going to it is the networking that you can accomplish with other attendees and/or speakers.

      KJ
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    • Profile picture of the author Kevin Riley
      Wouldn't bother me, but it is a tactic I wouldn't employ in my business. I like to create products that will hold value over a long time - not just during launch - and refuse to devalue them. I often get asked to put products in things like firesales, etc. and I refuse as this would devalue my product. I also don't like to treat my valued customers who purchased the product that way.

      At the moment I'm running a clearance sale on a physical product because I want to clear out my stock at my one fulfillment house. I agonized over knocking the price down, after many bought it at full price, but after a talk with some of my earlier buyers, I got feedback that they had been more than happy to pay the full price and understood the clearance sale was justified.

      I believe one needs to seriously consider customers before doing any price cuts.
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      • Profile picture of the author Dal.K
        I think it devalues the product to offer it free, especially when you consider the original price. Like Kevin said, it's not the way to go if you want your products to hold their value.
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        • Profile picture of the author Steven Wagenheim
          This is what I don't understand.

          The offline world does this ALL the time.

          Think about all the new software that ends up one day in the discount rack.

          We don't give it a second thought.

          Why is it in the online world, we have such a dim view of this practice.

          The advantages of getting something when it first came out is that you
          get a jump on the folks who are waiting for it to hit the discount racks. In
          some cases, depending on what the product is, this could mean thousands
          of dollars in extra income.

          I don't have a problem with it. Of course, I don't buy many things anyway.
          But if I do...I want it NOW. I realize that maybe 6 months from now it will
          be less. But I don't want to wait 6 months.

          Look at electronics. A new technology comes out (remember DVDs) and
          it's a fortune. Now look what the units cost. Sure, you could have waited
          until the costs came down, but then you would have done without all those
          months, or even years, of enjoyment.

          In the auto business, there is something called leftovers. These are new
          cars (never been owned) but last year's model. They sell for thousands
          off the original sticker price. Now, you could wait until October of the
          next year to get one of these, but that means having to wait all that
          time before making your purchase.

          I could keep giving examples but I think you got the point.

          This is a perfectly acceptable practice in many industries.

          And yet, when it comes to IM, if you do this, many people look at you as
          if you were the devil.

          I don't get it.
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  • Profile picture of the author ppcpimp
    It sucks for you but not much you can do about it so why waste any more thought on it. If it rubbed you the wrong way just don't buy anything from said source again.
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    • Profile picture of the author Ron Douglas
      Originally Posted by ppcpimp View Post

      It sucks for you but not much you can do about it so why waste any more thought on it. If it rubbed you the wrong way just don't buy anything from said source again.
      It's actually a hypothetical question. Just trying to get a feeling for what customers would think.
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      • Profile picture of the author candoit2
        Originally Posted by Ron Douglas View Post

        It's actually a hypothetical question. Just trying to get a feeling for what customers would think.
        The people who bought and never took action or move at a slower pace will probably be mad at themselves, blame the product seller and overall not be happy to see it free.

        Aaron
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  • Profile picture of the author rapidscc
    Since I usually write about these things, I noticed that it is becoming a common trend to release the recording of a high end seminar a few months of years after the event.

    In some cases by purchasing the seminar recordings (comes with PDF, VIDEO, and AUDIO)
    you'll even receive a bonus.

    So honestly, if I were one of those who attended the seminar for the "KNOWLEDGE" and not for the "NETWORKING" I'd be PISSED.

    Imaging those who will get the recording will be able to enjoy the same lessons I learned over and over again in different media formats (AUDIO for listening on your car, VIDEO for watching) and all I have is just a memory and some printed materials while paying maybe 10 to 20 times more.

    However, the case would be different if I also attended to expand my network, and if the same marketer offered me the recordings at half the going rate

    Now to give an actual example that happened to me. (on an ebook I bought a month ago)

    About a month ago I purchased an ebook, I was so excited, I thought I made a good purchase. The ebook I bought didn't come with any bonuses. But with the sales page I thought it was great. However after reading I realized that it won't apply to some people who can't get into the programs discussed in the ebook. I felt dismayed yet I didn't asked for a refund. Sometimes we just don't get what we want, so I thought I better leave it to experience...However, after just a few days I saw the same Internet marketer GIVING THE EBOOK AWAY FOR FREE! Man I was PISSED! and that same marketer would not get a cent from me from now on..ever!

    but then, that's just me

    All Success!

    Omar
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    • Profile picture of the author radhika
      Yes. I feel it as offensive. The cost is not just 5 or 10 dollars. $2000.00 is big chunk of money.

      But personally I don't like this business tactic so I wouldn't implement on my site.

      .
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  • Profile picture of the author Shane Dolby
    Do you get mad at walmart when they put the item you bought 2 weeks ago on sale?

    Happens all the time in retail whats the big deal its his business not yours how he does business and treats his customers is his business if you dont like it go somewhere else..

    Simple

    Shane
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    • Profile picture of the author Randy Meirndorf
      With how fast everything changes on the internet, a Six month jumpstart on some great info, would be worth paying the premium price.

      And if it was profit building info and the others that paid top dollar for the same info were making bank from it and now selling their own course with the same info, it would be logical for the original seller to offer it at a discount or as a freebie to his or her next project. Just my 2 cents.
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      • Profile picture of the author TimGross
        It's not really hypothetical (as you said) since some people are doing precisely what you're describing (although I appreciate that you're trying not to ruffle feathers)...

        It's short-term thinking for short-term profits. Your best customers are the ones plunking down $2,000 for a package, and if they feel burned and resentful for others essentially being able to get it as a free bonus 6 months later, they may be hard to sell to later.

        As CDarklock said, that's if there's not a big 1st-mover advantage (ie, unless the package really HAS lost a lot of value due to changes in the marketplace)
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  • Profile picture of the author intromaster
    happens all the time in the real world.. examples

    verizon, time warner, directv, comcast, dish, cablevision and a million other companies do it..give new customers their best deals and the long time customers get the shaft!
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  • Profile picture of the author Christie Love
    Actually, this has happened to me a few times. Now, I watch closely to a marketer's tactics to see if discounting their prices in the future is a common thing. If it is, I just wait.

    If I absolutely need what's offered in the program, the price I paid for it is not important at that time and I choose to suffer the consequences if the price goes down after a while.
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    • Profile picture of the author achivement84
      A ctually I would be furious ...

      It`s totally uncomfortable situation , if it happened with me i will feel as i was cheated.I think i will not trust to buy from the same site again.

      Regards
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      • Profile picture of the author Anup Mahajan
        This happens all the time.. Even the top guns use this strategy to gain new customers..

        Think of it in this way..

        When the product was released you were among a handful of persons who owned the product.. You got a headstart so when it is released to general public you were already a veteran in that field.. Unless the product is absolute garbage you had time to use the information and get the maximum out of it...

        So chill out and move ahead...

        Cheers,
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  • Profile picture of the author Sumit Menon
    Nope.. I got it six months before! I had six months more to work on it... It was fresh info when I got it.

    But when they get it, there are like 500 people who have already seen it long ago.
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  • Profile picture of the author drmani
    Originally Posted by Ron Douglas View Post

    Lets say you purchase a $2,000 product or a $5,000 seminar/coaching course. The offer was for a limited quantity and you end up being one of the X number of people who are lucky enough to get in.

    Fast forward six months and now the same marketer gives it away for free in order to attract people into a $97 a month forced continuity newsletter.

    As a former customer, do you find this objectionable?

    What are your thoughts on this marketing strategy?
    Jay Abraham usually makes available his high-end programs in MULTIPLE formats. You'll get printed material, DVD recordings, CDs of swipe files or other content and this will arrive before, during or after the live event.

    After a while, the 'support' material and the recordings of the live event could be part of a full 'home study' course/program - often at lower price.

    The reason why most of the attendees at a live event (who paid more for it) will not feel cheated or disappointed at that is because of the way it has been PRESENTED to them.

    "Come to my live event, and get to INTERACT with some of the brightest minds I've assembled. And even ask me clarifying questions. Not only that, I'll give you access for some weeks to come, by letting you be part of a weekly tele-seminar... etc."

    And when the home study version launches, the positioning is:

    "You get almost exactly the same material my seminar attendees paid $X for - at a fraction of the cost!"

    ... which is an attractive deal to prospects who weren't at the live event - but allows those 'lucky attendees' to smile quietly in satisfaction, because they know the home study buyers don't get the "personal access"... which has greater perceived value!

    Contrast that against the perception YOU have in this hypothetical case study, where you see a program you paid several thousand dollars for becoming a lead generator for a (comparatively) low-priced monthly subscription - and this is a recipe for disappointed buyers.

    It's all in the 'marketing'

    All success
    Dr.Mani
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  • Profile picture of the author Bev Clement
    I think it depends on how it's done.

    6 months down the road is a long time, and you can get a good headstart over anyone new buying it.

    However, there are some marketers who launch a product today, and they give a bonus of the product launched last week or month, and the month before. If you wait another month you will be able to get all their previous products as bonuses. I have seen some marketers put up a wso for a product, and while that is live within a day or two launch another one, giving you the other wso for free. That I would find annoying.

    Why? Because I might find product a and buy, and then discover product b and see I could have had both for the same price.
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  • Profile picture of the author Scott Ames
    I have to be different and say it would bother me. Not the cost, but that I was told it was limited and only x number will get in. Suddenly they have plenty of them to give away.

    It had better be a cut down version or different in some way or I would be upset.
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  • Profile picture of the author James Lancaster
    Banned
    [DELETED]
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    • Profile picture of the author Kay King
      I had to think about this one because I have seen it done. It wouldn't anger me as it's not up to me how someone sells their product.

      But I realized my own reaction to seeing a product rather quickly used in a manner like this gives ME the impression "product is outdated already".

      Top notch products that are popular, effective and....selling well....don't need to be reduced in price. How much smarter would it be to develop an "advanced/related" course product to build a membership around - and then also offer a great discount on the original product for those who signup for a six month membership?

      kay
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  • Profile picture of the author la dominatrix
    it has happened to me for a $4999 product and it is cool. I had seven or eight months to put that information to good use. Although anyone had a right to be annoyed at say three months and then a freebie but a fair amoutn of time is fine.
    La dominatrix
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  • Profile picture of the author Susanrh
    Isn't this all part of marketing? Everyone is in business to maximise their profits.

    It's like queuing at midnight to get the latest games console as soon as it's released. Everyone in that queue knows that if they wait they can get the same thing, or better, cheaper. But if you want it now to be the first then you pay and absorb the (perceived) loss.

    All over this forum people are being told that to succeed they must take what they have rewrite, repackage and resell it over again, this is just the same idea made big.

    Susan
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  • Profile picture of the author Joe Giannetti
    I be mad .......I think continuity programs should be BANNED.
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    • Profile picture of the author Scott Ames
      Originally Posted by Joe Giannetti View Post

      I be mad .......I think continuity programs should be BANNED.
      Yeah that CountryWide one is really bugging me. So is AT&T and Comcast.
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  • Profile picture of the author Ernest Frank
    I've experienced such case before. I get very angry in the beginning. However, I'm lucky that the training that I've bought brings me more fortune! It doesn't really matters anymore.....

    sometime lucky...sometimes not.

    BR
    EF
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  • Profile picture of the author bjradioguy
    It would not bother me at all. As many here already stated, you got the information 6 months before everyone else. The only time I would be angry is if I did not feel like I had gotten my money's worth when I took the course.

    We all try to get the most out of every product we create, I would never expect someone to shelve a great product that they made $2000 on 6 months ago.
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    • Profile picture of the author Niche
      Not sure what the concern is here. At the time you bought it the market value was whatever it was. 6 months later, things changed. As long as you acted on the product when you bought it, not sure there is a concern here at all

      You got a 6 month headstart for your money and you would only have bought the product because you thought it was worth the asking price
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      • Profile picture of the author Ron Douglas
        Originally Posted by Niche View Post

        Not sure what the concern is here. At the time you bought it the market value was whatever it was. 6 months later, things changed. As long as you acted on the product when you bought it, not sure there is a concern here at all

        You got a 6 month headstart for your money and you would only have bought the product because you thought it was worth the asking price
        Personally, I wouldn't be pissed. But I don't think like the average customer.

        I can tell you from experience that I've launched a product for $77 and a few months later promoted the same product to the same list on sale for $47. A bunch of loyal customers who bought at $77 were not happy.

        Now were talking about a formerly $2,000 course being given away for FREE. Anyone can get it, cancel their subscription and pay nothing.

        I think it's a killer marketing strategy to build continuity income, but if it's the same exact product that your loyal customers paid $2,000 for, some of them will feel like they got screwed.

        Think about it this way. You go into a car dealership and the salesman offers you an exclusive limited quantity BMW for $10,000. Only 100 of these cars have been built and it's a great price that you may not get tomorrow unless you act now. You buy the car.

        Fast forward six months and your next door neighbor pulls up in the same exact car. He tells you that he just got it today and they were giving them away for free to anyone who tries their warranty program for $2,000 a year recurring (first month free, cancel at any time).

        How would you feel as the customer who paid $10,000 for the so called exclusive offer?

        I know this is an extreme example, but it's not much different.

        I think Dr. Mani hit it on the head - it's all about how you position and describe the initial offer. Somehow you have to make it different in perceived value.
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  • Profile picture of the author Kent Tee
    It wouldn't bother me..I got the first hand information when bought it before anybody else.

    Sometimes I might get extra value when becoming the first batch of customers, interesting enough is I will buy again when it introduce the new version...just to learn the funnel of their marketing system.
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  • Profile picture of the author LilBlackDress
    I would be very upset to pay $2,000 plus and then have it available for $97 a month 6 months later.

    At $97 you can get a feel for if you want more and you can cancel if the value is not there.
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    • Profile picture of the author misterwrecker
      Originally Posted by LilBlackDress View Post

      I would be very upset to pay $2,000 plus and then have it available for $97 a month 6 months later.

      At $97 you can get a feel for if you want more and you can cancel if the value is not there.


      I think the OP is saying the product is given away totally free as a bonus so you buy his $97/month course which is a separate product.




      -John
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      • Profile picture of the author Ram
        I wouldn't do it, but then I only sell evergreen products.

        It depends on how the original offer was made. If the marketer said only X number will ever be sold (or only X number of people will ever get to participate) then yes, I can see how some would be royally pissed -- and rightly so.

        The marketer lied to them. They paid for exclusivity and and they paid a lot of green to get lied to.

        But if the marketer only made it available for a certain number of days, then took it off the market for some time., it's a different situation. As long as they marketer did not say - or imply - that only X copies will ever be sold or only X number of people will get the info.
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        • Profile picture of the author The 13th Warrior
          Your customers come first.

          If you don't care about keeping them for the long haul and always needing to get fresh new customers because either you can't keep them or they will not buy from you at the frequency they used to, then have at it.

          If something is actually worth that much and the knowledge in it can sustain its value over the long haul, then devaluing it seems to be a disservice to your loyal customers, especially if it is the exact same product.

          The exception maybe is if it is a strategy that when used at the time of purchase can result in many times what was paid for it, but has a shelf life of a few months, something that is going to work only for a limited time until saturation of said knowledge and methods.

          Then , maybe months later, it STILL works, but not to the moneymaking extent it used to.

          Customers come first.

          If customer feelings and satisfaction is not the top priority, neither will be one's business longevity.

          Its about business building, not one-trick wonder, quick, gimmicky cash pumps that does not meet the needs of your loyal customers.

          There are marketers, that I can count on one finger, that when they put out a product, even if you can't or don't want to use it, its gold, well made, thoughtful, and I would not ask for a refund because it was made so well and is so useful if one was to decide to get into that field.

          In business, your reputation and customers is all you have, and if done right, all you ever need.

          One marketer that actually done that, sell it 75% or more of what he used to charge it but here where the circumstances:

          1) it was a mail-order specific methodology and it is now the internet age

          2) the PRINCIPLES of the strategy/product is timeless, but the methodology in the internet age has changed drastically

          3) folks who implemented his strategies at the time of mailorder got way more profits than they ever paid for the original product

          4) that product is about 20-30 years old

          5) Almost all his customers have moved well beyond those methods because they are mail-order strategies.

          6) the principles are still gold and worth paying for at the 75% plus discount rate.

          7) this guys business practices, recommendations, products and reputation is beyond impeccable, trustworthy and honest, almost freakishly so

          8) he rarely, if ever, recommends other marketers because he seen first hand, behind the scenes that most do not practice what they preach and can barely pay their bills

          9) most of his strategies and philosophy go against the established grain of marketing folklore

          The 13 th Warrior
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          • Profile picture of the author Ray Erdmann
            It's been said time and time again in this thead that this type of 'tactic' (call it what you want, it doesn't really matter) is constantly being used by many of the "top guns" in the IM world...why? Probably because it 'works' in accomplishing whatever it is the current 'marketer' is wanting to obtain by offering said product at a discounted price, whether is more "$$$$" to their bottom line, or maybe to increase a mailing list..but I'm sure there's a few good reasons for it other then the outright assumption of wanting to piss off past customers who paid full-price...and as IM'ers, aren't we all trying to duplicate the success of others in hopes that our own businesses become even more successful?

            I agree w/those who said that the information obtained 6 months prior gives them ample time to put that information/knowledge to good use before 100's or even 1000's of others start going at it, thus hopefully increasing their own business success simply because who knows if what's being taught NOW is even going to be applicable 6 months from now.

            Another aspect of what I think most folks are overlooking is....in the example of paying $2,000 +/- for attending say a 'weekend coaching program', is the 'networking aspect' that is available to all during the downtime of the coaching event.

            Sure, the product creator can come back 6 months later and offer the same 'information' in a variety of formats (PDF, video, audio, etc., etc.,) at a fraction of the price, thus possibly making a few of the original attendees feel a little less then thrilled that they had to pay full-price...but what is the value they themselves obtained by 'networking' during such a live event that can never be duplicated with a marked down home study course?

            And if you paid full price for any type of product/service 6 months prior and now find out that it's being offered at a fraction of the price you paid...and you're PISSED OFF....that just tells me you weren't able to take the information obtained 6 months prior, use it to your benefit, when there was little to no competition and thus, obtain a nice ROI!

            PS: In my own IM experience, I'd say less then 5% of the "IM Top Guns" who actually say "X number units are left'...ACTUALLY MEAN IT..the other 95% +/-, are using it as a 'sales tactic' to induce a 'gotta buy it now while supplies last' buyer mentality...
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            • Profile picture of the author gpower2
              I agree with Steve. Marketing is marketing whether it is online or off. Timing online is almost everything and even if you received the same information that was later given away free, chances are you were able to capitalize on said information way before the freebies got it.

              Investing in your business is necessary. People online are far too often looking to get something for nothing.

              When I opened up one of my brick and mortar retail businesses several years back, my partners and I thought nothing of investing over $30,000 up front and over $3,500 per month just to keep the doors open! We didn't even break even for 2 years and that is considered good in the offline world.

              It's the cost of doing business.
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              • Profile picture of the author pluto1
                I say, nothing wrong with giving it away for free, but take off some important tips to keep your customers who bought from you in the higher bracket. Maybe give away a compact copy. I would definitely be pissed!
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  • Profile picture of the author Chris_Willow
    Ron,
    I'd be pissed if the product was given away for free.
    But CDarklock has a valid point and the fact that you've paid a LOT of money for something means you'll do more to make it worth it (aka take more action).
    A few people act on free reports but business owners who attend costly seminars are more likely to actually imply some of the stuff.

    That's my take on it. At least trying to get the positive side of things lol
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  • Profile picture of the author TristanPerry
    If it's just a small discount I wouldn't mind too much.

    But for me, if I purchased something for $x,xxx and then a few months later it was given away for $0, I'd see that as a $x,xxx loss (even if the course was worth the price paid)

    Same as if, in the real World, I purchased a car and a few months later it was much, much cheaper or free (and I don't mean a few thousand off since this is normal; the OP is discussing when a $x,xxx product is then given away for $0 )

    Of course, I can understand the business reasons for why people do this, but I personally don't like it from a consumer point of view.

    And logically so
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  • Profile picture of the author MizzCindy
    A few different factors would impact my overall reaction.

    Is it the exact same product with all the same perceived benefits? How long between purchasing at full price and seeing the discounted offer? How deep is the discount? How much value did I get from the originally priced product (note - not how valuable was it if used properly, but how much value did I actually get out of it)?

    All these factors would make a difference.

    I'll tell you one very important thing though. My most likely action would be to not purchase anything from that marketer again - at least not right away - if I think a much better deal may be had on it in the not-too-distant future.

    I'd rather not have first crack at a product if I suspect I'm going to be snookered by the person selling it.

    Cindy
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  • Profile picture of the author kemdev
    Originally Posted by Ron Douglas View Post

    Lets say you purchase a $2,000 product or a $5,000 seminar/coaching course. The offer was for a limited quantity and you end up being one of the X number of people who are lucky enough to get in.

    Fast forward six months and now the same marketer gives it away for free in order to attract people into a $97 a month forced continuity newsletter.

    As a former customer, do you find this objectionable?

    What are your thoughts on this marketing strategy?
    What I find is even more offensive is the quality of some of
    those products that marketers once charged two grand for.

    Too many times, people get into the thinking that just
    because they paid a ridiculous amount of money for something
    it means that item is infinitely more valuable.
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  • Profile picture of the author tommyp
    If you had promised you wouldn't sell it then I might wrinkle my nose.

    If you didn't say that but I tried very hard to make the information work and it wasn't any good or at least good for me and then you gave it away I would probably get annoyed.

    If I made my money back plus some I really wouldn't care.
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