Should Income Claims be Banned in ......

49 replies
..... the WSO section?

Controversial thought for the day.
#banned #claims #income
  • Profile picture of the author taskemann
    No. Then nobody want to buy the products... It's simple
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  • Profile picture of the author Alexa Smith
    Banned
    Well ... I don't know how "controversial" it is. We'll see, I imagine.

    But skepchicks quite like a bit of controversy, so I'll put my oar in and say that personally, I'd be delighted for them to banned, and I suspect (though offering no evidence for this at all) that eventually they will be, simply because it will gradually become untenable for them not to be.

    I think it would enhance the forum's credibility and reputation, and both directly and indirectly be good for all of us, and for the public image of "internet marketing". In the short term, of course, it would lose some money for Allen.

    I've seen Paul Myers say a few times, quite openly, that his personal preference would also be for income claims to be disallowed.

    On issues like this, in my experience, people are either "part of the problem" or they're "part of the solution". The people who whine the loudest and most consistently about "excessive regulation" and "nanny statism" and all the rest of it are generally the ones causing the problems, typically perhaps not quite having the sensitivity and perceptiveness to appreciate that the strength, force and frequency of regulation of any industry, over the decades, is inevitably proportional to the "lower-end activities" of its participants and practitioners. It was ever thus.

    My extreme and perhaps unpopular view is that we have lamentably failed to regulate ourselves voluntarily and should welcome the imposition of external regulation that might help to "clean up our image". In macrocosm, as internet marketers. And in microcosm, as Warriors.

    But ultimately, of course, it isn't our business as we don't own the place - and it's actually good of Allen to allow free discussion of such subjects that are really his business only.
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  • Profile picture of the author Mike Baker
    I don't care if a WSO seller sprouts of saying they make such and such using their system, but I think any kind of imcome proof should be banned. Clickbank, PayPal, PayDotCom, etc screenshots.
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  • Profile picture of the author rosetrees
    Would banning income claims mean that sellers would focus more on describing what their product actually does?

    Would it also reduce the number of "tell me tell me" newbies who come and complain that they bought all these products that promised to make them sheds load of money only to find they needed to do some work?
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    • Profile picture of the author Alexa Smith
      Banned
      Originally Posted by rosetrees View Post

      Would banning income claims mean that sellers would focus more on describing what their product actually does?
      Maybe. Gradually. Eventually. And that would be a good thing.

      In the short term, though, it would perhaps mean that they'd whine and complain and try to sell them somewhere else instead (which would cost Allen money). Remember, these are - collectively - marketers who genuinely believe that (a) they're not doing anything wrong, and (b) they can't sell their products without doing this. :rolleyes:

      Originally Posted by rosetrees View Post

      Would it also reduce the number of "tell me tell me" newbies who come and complain that they bought all these products that promised to make them sheds load of money only to find they needed to do some work?
      I think it would. And wouldn't that be welcome?
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  • Profile picture of the author lioncirth
    I do a lot of work in the health industry and product claims are being regulated in the UK. Any benefits the product does must be proven.

    I would expect in 5 or so years, people that claim they make X amount of money would also need to provide proof.
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  • Profile picture of the author SShip
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    • Profile picture of the author Jill Carpenter
      Seller should be able to say "I made x amount of dollars doing this" but I think anything else like an income claim that suggests that anyone else can do the same should be removed.

      Someone had something recently - Make X amount in the next X hours. Turns out a big majority coming back onto the thread said there was no way you could do it in the next X hours after purchasing product. And perhaps there was someone out there who could - but this method was also aimed at new people who most likely would not achieve that.

      There has also been a mass outbreak of fudged screenshots lately. I think those should be allowed to stay - if not for the pure reason of identifying who is full of it.
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  • Profile picture of the author theory expert
    Banned
    LOL Jill...

    What is really funny when the WSO owner gets called out...

    ..I was observing a WSO where the owner was quite boisterous about his income claims. He went from low four figures to 5 figures a day all in one sitting. I kept quiet because I lack diplomacy.

    However, a couple of wise men stepped in and started to question the owner on his BS. What did he do in response?
    He immediately closed the WSO and never acknowledged the questions and comments of the wise men.

    It really is the wild wild west in internet marketing.

    Any fool can make money.
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    • Profile picture of the author Kay King
      Any fool can make money.
      ...or spend money...:p
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    • Profile picture of the author George Wright
      Originally Posted by Team X View Post

      It really is the wild wild west in internet marketing.

      Any fool can make money.
      Much like real World Marketing. Any fool can have a job, own an offline business, sports team, real estate empire, on and on.

      It doesn't take brains to make money it just takes dedication.

      George Wright
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  • Profile picture of the author Andy Fletcher
    If you ban something from the WSO forum it will just move somewhere else.

    Take backlink products for example. They were banned from WSO for a while and the result was backlinksforum.com sprung into existence.

    I'm not saying that's a good thing or a bad thing but anyone suggesting that doing so would help regulate/clean up our industry needs a bit of a reality check.
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  • Profile picture of the author Wiz Khalifa
    What's the fun in it if we don't have any idea what to expect the outcome to be...
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    • Profile picture of the author myob
      The entertainment value of income claims are ... priceless.
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    • Profile picture of the author Ross Vegas
      I like this on the surface...

      But it flies in the face of humanity.

      We are a species that invented space travel, can grow living tissue, cut objects with beams of light, and do all sorts of things unfathomable to previous generations.

      That is to say, deep down we are not the least bit concerned with the mundane and practical. We want to dream and believe in what's possible and push those limits until it's achieved. Even if only one in a million will ever do it. We want to know it's at least possible.

      Unfortunately, for many people just having the dream is rewarding enough. (and I'm not just talking money...people want to be the next sports star, get all the girls, become president, get ripped abs, jump higher, look like a model, etc) Which is why I believe this will never go away.

      But on the flip side What happened after the 4 minute mile, or the "million dollar day"? It became real and achievable, and more and more people reached that goal. That's a tangible positive aspect to results based marketing.

      Can your average 600 pound person lose 400 in two years? Will even 1 out of thousands ever do that? No, but the one who did inspires the rest to at least get off the couch.

      We need benchmarks, steps, and progress to motivate and push us further. Just the way it goes.

      It's just too bad that people take advantage of it to the extreme in our marketplace.
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  • Profile picture of the author Nathy Curiel
    If you banned the ridiculous high claims ,then the WSO owner obligate to provide better info to us to get a sale ..
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  • Profile picture of the author sloanjim
    You mean some lie on the Net? NoOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO.................. ..........
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  • Profile picture of the author Rickie
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    • Profile picture of the author vliddico
      What an interesting question.
      What someone earns and what you earn are going to be entirely different because of the conditioning we have when it comes to earning money. Wealthy people have very different habits to those that earn very little. Money is in consciousness and in effective dollar productive, daily action. One thing I have learned is that if it's too good to be true it is.
      I am not saying you won't be a millionaire, but like anything - this is a business and you have to build it, there is no way you can convince me that a push button product will ever produce those results, even if they do they are not scalable as a business and fly in the face of natural law, mainly sowing and reaping. If you don't do the work (or your outsourced team doesn't) you don't earn the money.
      What most products sell on is a hope method, but you learn very little about what you did to produce repeatable results. From my point of view I always coach from an educating point of view.
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  • Profile picture of the author Chase Shelby
    I would imagine the hundreds of replies asking "How much can you make with this method?" or "Would this make me $XXX today?"

    That said I could see any offer being toned down and still performing fine.

    Subconsciously (or consciously for some) we all know that making $50k in a month with a push button product isn't feasable.
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    • Profile picture of the author Black Hat Cat
      Banned
      I'm really going out on a limb here I know, but....wouldn't it be easier to just ignore them if you have a problem with them?
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      • Profile picture of the author Josh Anderson
        Originally Posted by Black Hat Cat View Post

        I'm really going out on a limb here I know, but....wouldn't it be easier to just ignore them if you have a problem with them?
        I am with you, people should have some semblance of personal responsibility and do their due diligence, but the FTC feels differently.

        And unfortunately even due diligence does not always work as some companies have gone to great lengths to provide shills who will say anything to convince others a product is great...

        Even those that have not experienced real valid results..

        Heck, I will even go so far as to say that a large portion... and in some cases a majority of testimonials used are either fake, bought, or given by those who just want to scratch someone's back or see their name on a site when they have not even produced valid or useful results with the product and in many cases... where they have not even used or fully reviewed the product they are giving a testimonial for.

        The WSO forum is overflowing with those kinds of testimonials backing products that make bold financial claims.
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        • Profile picture of the author Alan Petersen
          As per the FTC, anyone making income claims needs to back it up with an "earnings claim" report on file to prove it.

          Ask for one. If they don't have one or they give you runaround and you feel uncomfortable then ignore it. I don't it's job of the WF to police it.

          And this report isn't screenshots of PayPal or ClickBank accounts.
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  • Profile picture of the author LarryC
    There are many tricky gradations when it comes to income claims. There's a difference, for example, between saying "I Make $1045.79 Per Day Using My System" (Personally, I hate those exact numbers -who cares about the spare change?) and saying "You Can Make Over $1000 Per Day Using My System." Of course, whether you say "I made" or "You can make" the problem of authenticity remains.

    Then there are the weasel words "up to." Saying you can make "up to" $1,000 per day means somewhere between $0 and $1000. Technically, this is true of just about any method of making money, including looking for spare change on the beach.

    Banning any mention of income in WSOs might make them a little boring, if less deceptive. And it could be argued that such a ban would unfairly discriminate against people making honest income claims.
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    • Profile picture of the author Heidi White
      Originally Posted by LarryC View Post

      Then there are the weasel words "up to." Saying you can make "up to" $1,000 per day means somewhere between $0 and $1000. Technically, this is true of just about any method of making money, including looking for spare change on the beach.
      I've actually seen WSO's saying you can make 0 to $1,000.00 per day.

      Not very tempting...

      Originally Posted by Jill Carpenter View Post

      Seller should be able to say "I made x amount of dollars doing this" but I think anything else like an income claim that suggests that anyone else can do the same should be removed.

      Someone had something recently - Make X amount in the next X hours. Turns out a big majority coming back onto the thread said there was no way you could do it in the next X hours after purchasing product. And perhaps there was someone out there who could - but this method was also aimed at new people who most likely would not achieve that.

      There has also been a mass outbreak of fudged screenshots lately. I think those should be allowed to stay - if not for the pure reason of identifying who is full of it.
      I think that people - especially newbies - may not want to only know that the seller made X dollars. They want to hear that THEY can make X dollars - without being as experienced, bright, or good looking as the seller.

      Also - that mass outbreak comment was funny....I wish someone would do a WSO on 'how to spot a fake screenshot.'
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    • Profile picture of the author kindsvater
      Originally Posted by LarryC View Post

      Then there are the weasel words "up to."
      That always cracks me up.

      "With this system you can make up to $543.64 per day."

      (AND NOT A PENNY MORE)

      Because there is some magical ceiling. Or the system collapses.

      .
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  • Profile picture of the author Josh Anderson
    Originally Posted by rosetrees View Post

    ..... the WSO section? Controversial thought for the day.
    Should they be banned here? Not up to me.

    Would I ban financial claims if it were up to me?

    Yes.

    I would ban any potential earnings claim that says YOU can "Make $X...." and anything similar.

    Why?

    Because the FTC requires specific data to prove that its possible and that it is what can be expected by the average buyer.

    And since that is very hard to verify for every advertiser my solution would simply be to ban potential earnings claims.
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  • Profile picture of the author gananathan
    Why do we even need income claims? What does it prove?

    If you are buying a product from someone, how does his/her income claim help you? Maybe they are lying, maybe they are not. How does it matter? What matters is whether the info is useful to you.

    Regardless of the income claims of the owner, this is the only thing that matters. Now the same info may help one to achieve income level far beyond what they thought possible. For another, the same info could lead to a lot of time spent with nothing to show for it.

    The only thing that matters is how you do with the info, not what the owner claims it did for them or what they claim it will do for you.
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    • Profile picture of the author theory expert
      Banned
      Originally Posted by gananathan View Post

      Why do we even need income claims? What does it prove?

      If you are buying a product from someone, how does his/her income claim help you? Maybe they are lying, maybe they are not. How does it matter? What matters is whether the info is useful to you.
      This is my opinion, but, it matters a great deal....

      If they will lie about their income claims then the method is only theory.

      If someone said....I make $2000 a day and you can to buying ads.

      As great and true as that is, the writer in question didn't do it no matter how great we "think" the material is. Basically you are buying 3rd hand experience....maybe they researched books on some guy who done it. Great, but, do they really have insight as to how he did it? What is really behind closed doors?

      Ok I said enough.

      Have a good one

      Just an opinion
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  • Profile picture of the author JasonGiorgini
    You mean to tell me people lie about how much money they make online? Are you trying to tell me I can't learn a $50,000 per month system for only $7? Mind Blown!
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  • Profile picture of the author BloggingPro
    Should we ban the weight loss products from claiming we'll lose 15 pounds a week with their methods? Should car companies be banned from listing MPG rating's, when in fact they are tested in near perfect conditions?

    What is the difference between someone claiming they make $10k a month with their product and say that baby diaper product that claims it will contain even the biggest of poop-explosions?

    Nothing. It's called HYPE. Same reason the UFC sells out arena's across the country. Should we ban them for over-hyping a fight that ends two minutes into the first round? I didn't think so.

    You either believe the HYPE or you don't. It's simple as that. To ban that means we are simply guiding the sheep along, protecting them from the world that awaits them. I don't believe in that. I am firmly against it. Did you get ripped off? Bet you won't DO that again will you.

    Does the product really make you 10k a month? Something tells you NO? Then don't buy it.

    I would rather teach the visitors of that section how to smell bull****, than "try" to rid ourselves of the bull****! Why? Because the BS will always fall through the cracks, its better to take a pro-active approach and EDUCATE instead of a reactive approach and simply BAN certain practices.
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  • Profile picture of the author JustFelix
    No, if that is exactly what the product does then it needs to be added to the sales page.
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    • Profile picture of the author retirewithsandie
      Originally Posted by gananathan View Post

      Why do we even need income claims? What does it prove?
      I've never understood that either. I've seen some that didn't have income claims/"proof" and 50 million people asking for proof. You can fake screenshots & video "watch me log into my account" screenshots. HELLO people, if they're able to blot out their log in & personal information they can fake those screenshots.

      And those screenshots don't tell you where the money was made from. They could be selling other products/services. So those 100 sales may not be from the WSO they're selling.

      And as the posters above mentioned, those do not include refunds whether it's Clickbank, selling something & being paid through Paypal, etc.
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      • Profile picture of the author ronc0011
        Question..Do you beeleive eveything you her on tv/ Do you buy every thing Some sales person tells you that you need?


        I think people should be able to make any claim they think they can sell nd it's up to the buyer to use some discressionn jugement .Frankly I have no use for the ethics Nazis It's kind of like "Please somone one protect me from my own stupidity. honestly some people shouldn't be allowed outside by themselves without adult supervision.
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        • Profile picture of the author Jill Carpenter
          Originally Posted by ronc0011 View Post


          I think people should be able to make any claim they think they can sell nd it's up to the buyer to use some discressionn jugement .
          It's all fine and dandy - until you realize it was a sociopath supplying fake pictures for a diet that could kill someone. And creating fake sock puppet accounts of successful users of the plan. Too bad it took a few months before people were winding up in the hospital with more severe issues.

          You go right ahead. Obviously you don't need anyone to watch your back for you - you are too smart.
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        • Profile picture of the author Alexa Smith
          Banned
          Originally Posted by ronc0011 View Post

          I think people should be able to make any claim they think they can sell nd it's up to the buyer to use some discressionn jugement .
          You're by no means alone in thinking that.

          In fact, it's precisely because so many people think that, and act on it, that the number of regulators and the extent of their powers continually increase over the years as our collective public reputation gradually deteriorates further and further.
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      • Profile picture of the author kindsvater
        Let me just state my personal preference would be to ban claims of how much money can be made.

        But as we will see, it is easier to state a desire to get rid of bogus offers, which is really the issue, than to have an easy to implement policy.

        Not just for the WSO forum. As I write this there is a huge forum banner staring at me: "Earn $500+ Per Day! ... 24 Hours Only - Act Now!"

        Not just an income claim, but this banner has been running all week with it's "24 hours only" claim.

        But that banner also has a "100% 1-Year Guarantee".

        Does the guarantee make the income claim different? Having a money-back guarantee if you do not earn that much per day?

        What about the coaching offers promising students they will make a certain amount of money per month?

        It doesn't seem like this thread is directed at the coaching offers or guarantees.

        Would banning claims of how much money can be made simply cause a slight shift in wording to how much money the seller claims to have made - with the implication that is how much a buyer can also make?

        Would banning claims simply shift the test to equivalents? "This system will make a Cadillac payment for you every day ..."

        What about income claims that are true? I can think of a WSO I could pump out, a short guide, where if you follow the instructions you will make money. Guaranteed. (Hmm, maybe I should do one.) I can even tell you how much you will make. (Not $500 per day with no work though, so the WSO would probably be a loser.)

        Are WSOs with outrageous claims actually selling what the buyer wants? A fantasy about making tons of money without doing any work. The buyer isn't buying the system at all - just an emotional hit.

        And this doesn't even scratch the surface of other issues raised such as bogus screen shots, testimonials, etc.

        As someone mentioned, where does hype end and fraud begin?

        It would be nice to see some comments from those making income claims, and not those of us simply looking at claims and saying that is putrid garbage.

        .
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  • Profile picture of the author E. Brian Rose
    FYI: In March 2011, the FTC filed more than 90 actions against companies and individuals that used false or misleading income claims in their advertising.

    It's just a matter of time before somebody comes in here to take a peek.

    The moral:
    • Don't fabricate income claims in your WSOs.
    • Use Earnings Disclaimers in your WSOs.
    • Don't falsify proof of income.
    • Don't be a douchebag.
    Also, see this post: http://www.warriorforum.com/main-int...me-claims.html
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  • Profile picture of the author Rough Outline
    I think false income claims shouldn't be allowed, that's horrifically obvious. But trying to sort out the truth from the lies can be so difficult, that banning all income claims might seem like the best option.

    However, if you buy from a reputable buyer who offers a refund period, then you shouldn't really get burnt by false income claims. Just be smart when buying WSOs and don't get sucked in by all the hype.
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  • Profile picture of the author Jacob Cuculiza
    People should be smart enough to only buy if the products seems okay. Everyone knows that the seller is "selling" of c ;-)
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  • Profile picture of the author rashoman
    Based on my own experience I can only say that I have not yet purchased a WSO that didn't provide at least "some" value that was worth the $17.00. If they were more expensive I might complain. Some guidelines might be in order but I suspect the market would weed out the liars over time anyway. As the old adage says "there is a sucker born every minute" and a scam as well I suspect. Perhaps getting burned teaches one a valuable lesson otherwise how do we learn to distinquish between the genuine and the fake.
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  • Profile picture of the author Mike Hill
    Originally Posted by rosetrees View Post

    ..... the WSO section?

    Controversial thought for the day.

    NO, because we are all grown adults here responsible for our own actions. If a person buys based on an income claim headline then they deserve what they get! That being said there are some legitimate programs out there really making what they claim!
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  • Profile picture of the author Kierkegaard
    The trouble with the claims is that they have to escalate or they sound rubbish in comparison to others.

    Most experienced IMers can tell when the sums don't add up (and when the proposed idea is fundamentally flawed). Newbies can't tell so easily and need to exercise more caution and common sense.

    Having said that, I can appreciate that someone who has just lost his job or is facing redundancy might allow himself to believe the claims might be true. Especially if it's half three in the morning and he's been desperately searching the internet looking for a way out of his financial troubles.
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    • Profile picture of the author myob
      In sales there will always be a certain amount of hype. And generally with more competition, there is going to be increased hype attempting to scream above the others. But come on. We are marketers here, and know the drill.

      It seems that common sense and judgement are suspended when people succumb to some of these clearly overarching claims. I am not in favor of banning income claims in the WSO Forum, as there already are FTC laws (at least in the US) with strict non-compliance penalties.

      Protecting idiots from themselves is not only burdensome, but will never help these idiots learn some valuable lessons. It perhaps would be better for warriors themselves to callout vendors to substantiate or rein in the more "over zealous" hype.

      Can't we just perhaps be even a bit strident as peers and moderate ourselves with the obviously over the top claims? I would hate to see moderators reduced to becoming babysitters.
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  • Profile picture of the author timpears
    Does anyone actually pay attention to the income claims any more? They are all pretty much bull **** anyway.
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  • Profile picture of the author mikemcmillan
    I've said this before, but whether it's here, Clickbank, wherever...

    People show earnings shots on their sales page. I actually think many are legit. But in many cases the people with those shots have huge lists they market to. In many cases their earnings are not even remotely related to their use of their own product, they come from mailing affiliate offers to their lists of 10,000... 50,000... or 100,000 subscribers.

    If an unsuspecting newbie had their list and knew what to do with it, they'd be knocking down the cheddar too! But without that kind of list, many people buying the product have little chance of any serious earnings with the product.

    On the other hand, unsuspecting newbies make up a pretty hefty percentage of the IM buying crowd, so maybe it's smart marketing to feed them the red meat in ads they want--push a button and out comes the money. --Mike
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    • Profile picture of the author Keith Everett
      Originally Posted by mikemcmillan View Post

      I've said this before, but whether it's here, Clickbank, wherever...

      People show earnings shots on their sales page. I actually think many are legit. But in many cases the people with those shots have huge lists they market to. In many cases their earnings are not even remotely related to their use of their own product, they come from mailing affiliate offers to their lists of 10,000... 50,000... or 100,000 subscribers.

      If an unsuspecting newbie had their list and knew what to do with it, they'd be knocking down the cheddar too! But without that kind of list, many people buying the product have little chance of any serious earnings with the product.

      On the other hand, unsuspecting newbies make up a pretty hefty percentage of the IM buying crowd, so maybe it's smart marketing to feed them the red meat in ads they want--push a button and out comes the money. --Mike
      Absolutely Mike.. Income claims are really only relevant to the product owner, as it's NIGH impossible for EVERYONE to reproduce those earnings, their is no "one size fits all product" It's just a guide, true or false.. but only a guide. Also, if the income claims turn out to be PIE in the SKY, you can also have the option to get a refund..

      I think Income Claims perhaps should be banned if NO refund is on offer..
      What do you think?

      Keith
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  • Profile picture of the author Burton Lancaster
    I don't think it should be banned, but I think it is up to the buyer to take a logical look at the body copy.... take out all the emotional hooks ... Forget the illusions of grandeur ....read the sales letter again, then determine if it's still worth the purchase.
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  • Profile picture of the author RussRuffino
    I put income claims in my WSO's for 3 reasons:

    Reason 1: They're all true! So I have a right to share, not so I can brag, but so other people can know what's POSSIBLE. Also, I only tell people how much I have personally earned using one method or another. But I never tell people how much THEY can make, because I don't know.

    Reason 2: As a buyer, I like to see income claims because I want to know who's making money and who's not. Anyone can throw together a WSO, but if you're not making money online, you have no business teaching others how to make money online.

    Reason 3: Income claims massively, yes MASSIVELY, increase conversions.

    If your income claims are fake, obviously that's illegal. But if you were able to take a simple method/traffic source/software/whatever and monetize it, then I want to know that. Are some of those income claims fake? Probably...but those people tend to get caught anyway, so who cares?

    To ban income claims would be throwing the baby out with the bath water. It would be like banning restaurants because some restaurants give people food poisoning. Even when I was just buying WSO's and not selling them, I always want to know that someone has made REAL MONEY using the method they're teaching.

    Russ
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