If You Recommend a Product Shouldn't You OWN it

24 replies
I don't mean own it in the dictionary way. I mean should you stand behind your recommendation. Own it as in take responsibility for having recommended it?

Right now I am helping out some guys that bought a product (won't ever name it or the person who did the JV for it) and got royally ripped.

Almost all of them were referred by email to the product. The actual seller eventually went AWOL but the "referrer" stuck around but did nothing but indicate that it was "not my product" . No other help of any kind and moved merrily along.


What is your take on the level of responsibility you feel when a JV goes bad and your subscribers get had? In a sense its true. its not your product and you can't be responsible for what someone else does but does the list owner bare any kind of responsibility? Curious because I receive offers every day with recommendations. I know its not their product and I know they are getting paid but I tend to believe they really would try to help in some way if I got had by their recommendation.
#product #recommend
  • Profile picture of the author King Shiloh
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    Mike,

    You are 100% right! I should or suppose to own it but the downside is that affiliate marketing is so 'wicked' that the vendors hide some very important things away from the affiliates. And the worst part of it is that it might negatively affect the reputation of an innocent affiliate.

    In fact, this is one of the dangers or disadvantages of affiliate marketing.
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    • Profile picture of the author Mike Anthony
      Yeah King I can understand that. I'm really talking about how you handle it when those things happen. In this case the affiliate could have jumped in and helped by giving instructions on how best to get a refund and I even offered the affiliate a product of my own for FREE to help him make it up to his list.

      He declined again citing it was not his product and not his problem. I know enough of them to know that he never offered anything or jumped in to help people get refunds and this wasn't a newbie but an experienced marketer. Just made me wonder if this is a standard attitude now. I am at the stage where I don;t buy much IM products anymore (except software) so I don't know if things are different now.
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    • Profile picture of the author koolphoto
      In everyday life we encounter a number of stupid and greedy people who are looking for either shortcuts to riches or an ego boost.

      Living in a large city I see this attitude a lot. Some of these people gravitate to the internet to try and fulfill these dreams they have. It doesn't seem to matter if they lose their credibility because in a few months they can market to a new crowd anyway.

      If they are smart, which many are not, they learn that this isn't the way to riches and some change their ways.

      But, the problem is that there will always be someone to replace them.

      I have found this to be especially the case with affiliate marketing.

      So as a buyer you need to do due dillegence.

      If and when I buy a product on a recommendation, It is by a person I know and trust. I have been following their posts for awhile on a blog or a forum. Their advice makes sense to me.

      I subscribe to their email report or newsletter and see if they give good information or just try to constantly sell to me. If I get a product recommendation every email or every other email I remove myself from their list.

      I might sound jaded but I have discovered many gems this way that have helped me towards my marketing goal and also a few good friends.
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      • Profile picture of the author sal64
        Never promote what you don't own... never promote what you have not used.

        If you do, then have the integrity to tell your list the truth and suggest that it may help them... or it may not.

        Quite simple really.
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        • Profile picture of the author Kay King
          Ideally, someone would recommend "buy this because I know it's a great product" when in reality they are saying "buy this because I"ll make commission if you do". Everyday affiliate marketing.

          Then when it blows up they shuffle and whistle and say "not my fault".

          kay
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        • Profile picture of the author King Shiloh
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          Originally Posted by sal64 View Post

          Never promote what you don't own... never promote what you have not used.

          If you do, then have the integrity to tell your list the truth and suggest that it may help them... or it may not.

          Quite simple really.
          Is it really simple? What if you don't need the product? What if you can't afford the product? What if someone you trust so much recommended the product to you?
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          • Profile picture of the author sal64
            Originally Posted by King Shiloh View Post

            Is it really simple? What if you don't need the product? What if you can't afford the product? What if someone you trust so much recommended the product to you?
            What price integrity?

            It comes down to how you pitch it to your list don't it?

            Most times, people promote using the product creator's emails because affiliates want everything done for them... isn't that how it goes?

            Let's be honest here... high priced items are promoted for the $$$. If you wanna get real, then rebate the affiliate % back to your list.

            I stand by my comments. which is why I won't recommend what I have not used before.

            Oh... and there's a hint: Try getting a review copy.
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          • Profile picture of the author brendan301
            Originally Posted by King Shiloh View Post

            Is it really simple? What if you don't need the product? What if you can't afford the product? What if someone you trust so much recommended the product to you?
            personally i won't buy a product if the person recommending it doesn't own it. to me that makes no sense. how can you recommend something you don't user or own? am I supposed to trust someone's reputation? i won't. some big names in IM have released garbage products and services, so I take products/services on a case by case basis.

            at the same time I won't recommend something that I don't own or haven't used.
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  • Profile picture of the author King Shiloh
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    Sorry Mike, this is just the reason why I don't promote any product that is not offered by Clickbank. Clickbank does not need to contact any body before issuing a refund.

    I don't know if it is a standard because I'm not into such line of affiliate marketing. But that must be a bad standard unless their TOS says that you can't get a refund.
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  • Profile picture of the author garyv
    Usually a marketer that pushes too many bad deals will eventually have an ineffective list anyway. I would at least do like you said, and offer them a free bonus to make up for it.

    However, you can't always expect that. When you buy a new car and it's a lemon, do you go back and deal directly w/ the salesman, or w/ the dealership? You can't expect a salesman to back up every deal if the dealership goes under. Or if you buy a computer at BestBuy because it was recommended to you by the salesman, you wouldn't expect to get satisfaction from the salesman if BestBuy went bust.

    Affiliates are sales people. And while they should do their best to make customers happy, a customer also has their own responsibility of doing their due diligence when it comes to product research. Caveat emptor.
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  • Profile picture of the author Andrea Wilson
    I never thought of this before. All Im after now is how can I build a list and how can I make my first sale. Affiliate marketing can be a nasty game sometimes. The least we can do: sell affiliate products from reputable sites only.

    I believe in that, we should promote a product that we believe in. That applies the most if you made the product. But if you have only seen this product from the affiliate site itself then its different.

    Andrea
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    • Profile picture of the author Tina Golden
      I believe that you step out of the realm of being "just a salesman" when you are the list owner. You have a responsibility to your list to offer them products that will actually help them. Or at least, that should be your goal with your list, don't you think?

      Tina
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      • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
        Mike, I can only tell you how I would handle such a situation, should I ever find myself in the affiliate's shoes...

        First off, the bare minimum I owe my list is an apology for making a bum recommendation, and an explanation of what was behind it.

        Second, I would try to offer something that would allow the burned buyers to accomplish the same thing. At no charge, if possible. Failing that, I'd try to strike a deal where list members could get the alternate product at a big discount (like whatever amount the affiliate commission is, by giving up the commission).

        Finally, like Sal mentioned, if I had no direct experience with the product, I would say so up front, adding my rationale for the recommendation.

        Hopefully, that would be enough to keep the relationship going...
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        • Profile picture of the author Mike Anthony
          Originally Posted by JohnMcCabe View Post


          Second, I would try to offer something that would allow the burned buyers to accomplish the same thing. At no charge, if possible. Failing that, I'd try to strike a deal where list members could get the alternate product at a big discount (like whatever amount the affiliate commission is, by giving up the commission).
          Now that sounds reasonable. I think if you even try and can't come up with any of those things then you still have owned up to it. Okay I can see its not the standard approach that this person had. Good to know.
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  • Profile picture of the author AFI
    I admittedly didn't read this whole article. However I just wanted to say that I can't afford half the stuff I am promoting so I disagree. I do understand where you're coming from but I don't feel like you need to own it.
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    • Profile picture of the author Mike Anthony
      Originally Posted by AFI View Post

      I admittedly didn't read this whole article. However I just wanted to say that I can't afford half the stuff I am promoting so I disagree. I do understand where you're coming from but I don't feel like you need to own it.
      Hi Jen I think you might have rushed through the OP from the title. I don't mean own it as in buy it. I mean own it as in take responsibility for having recommended it.
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  • Profile picture of the author J Bold
    Can you really test every single product you promote? I do not think so. Does a grocery store taste test every new single product of food they sell? Surely not. But they will probably make sure it's up to legal standards for food, etc. They'll make sure consumers liked the companies food in the past.

    You can do your research on the product owner and their previous products, see if they have a solid history and whatnot.

    Say it all looks great, and you promote their product, and then it all goes awry and it's the fault of the product owner, of course, not you. What then?

    You just have to say sorry, it looked good, it looked great, he has a solid history, but just did not deliver on this one.

    That's business. That's affiliate marketing.
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    • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
      Originally Posted by redicelander View Post

      Say it all looks great, and you promote their product, and then it all goes awry and it's the fault of the product owner, of course, not you. What then?

      You just have to say sorry, it looked good, it looked great, he has a solid history, but just did not deliver on this one.
      That's the real point of the original post. Taking responsibility for making a bum recommendation. Make enough offers, and you'll sell someone a bum steer someday. It happens.

      Like I said in my post, at a bare minimum you owe your list an apology and an explanation...

      Has nothing to do with owning/testing every product you promote.
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    • Profile picture of the author sal64
      Originally Posted by redicelander View Post

      Can you really test every single product you promote? I do not think so. Does a grocery store taste test every new single product of food they sell? Surely not. But they will probably make sure it's up to legal standards for food, etc. They'll make sure consumers liked the companies food in the past.

      You can do your research on the product owner and their previous products, see if they have a solid history and whatnot.

      Say it all looks great, and you promote their product, and then it all goes awry and it's the fault of the product owner, of course, not you. What then?

      You just have to say sorry, it looked good, it looked great, he has a solid history, but just did not deliver on this one.

      That's business. That's affiliate marketing.
      Yes, but the grocery store owner doesn't email you with a specific recommendation, does he? Nor does he make any claims about a specific product.
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      • Profile picture of the author Mike Anthony
        Originally Posted by sal64 View Post

        Yes, but the grocery store owner doesn't email you with a specific recommendation, does he? Nor does he make any claims about a specific product.
        Thats a key point. If you are going to go on at how great the product is just so that you can gt a commission then you really have to own the fact that YOU are the one selling it and from that standpoint it IS your product.
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        • Profile picture of the author wwood
          I think that each affiliate should have tested, or at least should know what he is talkin about...but this is impossible.

          Moreover I have to say that in my experience, it's very difficult to have a product copy from merchants, but I think this is normal.

          So, at leats, each affiliate should promote only products wich he "thinks" are good.

          There is another problem moreover: if someone searches on google "product name"+review, he can't trust what he finds, because the SERP results are all affiliate pages.
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          • Profile picture of the author Mike Anthony
            Originally Posted by wwood View Post


            So, at leats, each affiliate should promote only products wich he "thinks" are good.
            that has to be some tangible reason though. Unfortunately people have a tendency to "think" it be good because of the payout.
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            • Profile picture of the author trishworks4u
              Maybe it's just me, or i'm sitting a little too high on my horse here but I think you should "own it" in the real dictionary sense of the word - and I'm speaking about IM products here.

              I have promoted very few IM products and the ones that I have stood behind were ones that I own and use on a daily basis. I won't even consider something that is "the next big thing".

              I have hundreds of non-IM niche blogs, however, and don't feel the need to "own" those products. It's just different to me. The mindset is much different between products and IM. There aren't as many scam hemorrhoid creams out there as there are scam "$5,000/day Magic Money" ebooks.
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