Do Upsells Mean the Original Product Was a Lie?

by dhpkc
12 replies
Let me start off by saying I understand the point and the power of upselling. I was a server in a couple of restaurants for years and have run several fast food/diner type restaurants as well. Upselling can easily increase a day's profits by 50-100%. I must also admit that the first Clickbank product I purchased I was lured in by an upsell as well. I was brand new to the game and was blinded by my excitement to the fact that I purchased the product because of the (false?) promises, then I was told in an upsell attempt that to realize the promises of the first product I must also have the second product. I'm sure all of you have seen this more than a couple of times.

The reason I bring this issue to the Warrior Forum is because for the first time I just saw this very thing happening here in the forum. Out of curiosity I was going over some of the newer WSO's and without naming names or products, there was a WSO being offered and a fellow warrior flat out asked if there were any upsells upon purchase. The WSO owner answered honestly and said there are indeed 2 upsells that you will encounter upon purchasing the WSO. Now, this WSO is much like every Clickbank product offer you've ever seen (incidentally, this WSO is in fact being sold on Clickbank as well): screenshots of various revenue streams including $30,000+ in 1 day on Clickbank, promises of fortunes, questions regarding what you would do with that kind of money/freedom, and so on and so forth.

So now I address the title of this thread: Do upsells mean the original product was a lie? Now as a disclaimer I did not purchase the mentioned WSO so I don't know what the upsells are, but this WSO seems just like the first Clickbank product I ever purchased. Both promised me wealth, both assured me this was the only information/product I needed to finally breakthrough and see serious results, etc. Then after you purchase the product, you are told that to REALLY see results you must have this other product, or these other products.

What am I missing? When did internet marketing become a ploy to exploit the newbies and try to extract every dollar out of them possible simply because they don't know better? And what of the promises in the original product? Only AFTER you have purchased the product suddenly those promises don't mean anything UNLESS you purchase another product or two to go along with it.

To me this tactic (not in all cases, but in many cases) is blatant deception and I have been sick of it for a long time. It would be like a restaurant advertising that they have the most flavorful hamburger in the city for only $2. You go to the restaurant based on their advertisement and you order the burger, pay the $2, then after they give you your receipt they tell you that the burger you just ordered is plain, just the bun and the meat with no seasonings or toppings at all and if you want to have the toppings and the sauce that actually make the burger the most flavorful burger in the city then you have to pay another $2. This is NOT upselling. THIS IS DECEPTION. It seems to me that you are going to be very hard pressed to find a tactic that ONLY works on firsttimers and newbies that I wouldn't consider shady at best.
#lie #original #product #upsells
  • Profile picture of the author jaynycla
    Originally Posted by dhpkc View Post

    Let me start off by saying I understand the point and the power of upselling. I was a server in a couple of restaurants for years and have run several fast food/diner type restaurants as well. Upselling can easily increase a day's profits by 50-100%. I must also admit that the first Clickbank product I purchased I was lured in by an upsell as well. I was brand new to the game and was blinded by my excitement to the fact that I purchased the product because of the (false?) promises, then I was told in an upsell attempt that to realize the promises of the first product I must also have the second product. I'm sure all of you have seen this more than a couple of times.

    The reason I bring this issue to the Warrior Forum is because for the first time I just saw this very thing happening here in the forum. Out of curiosity I was going over some of the newer WSO's and without naming names or products, there was a WSO being offered and a fellow warrior flat out asked if there were any upsells upon purchase. The WSO owner answered honestly and said there are indeed 2 upsells that you will encounter upon purchasing the WSO. Now, this WSO is much like every Clickbank product offer you've ever seen (incidentally, this WSO is in fact being sold on Clickbank as well): screenshots of various revenue streams including $30,000+ in 1 day on Clickbank, promises of fortunes, questions regarding what you would do with that kind of money/freedom, and so on and so forth.

    So now I address the title of this thread: Do upsells mean the original product was a lie? Now as a disclaimer I did not purchase the mentioned WSO so I don't know what the upsells are, but this WSO seems just like the first Clickbank product I ever purchased. Both promised me wealth, both assured me this was the only information/product I needed to finally breakthrough and see serious results, etc. Then after you purchase the product, you are told that to REALLY see results you must have this other product, or these other products.

    What am I missing? When did internet marketing become a ploy to exploit the newbies and try to extract every dollar out of them possible simply because they don't know better? And what of the promises in the original product? Only AFTER you have purchased the product suddenly those promises don't mean anything UNLESS you purchase another product or two to go along with it.

    To me this tactic (not in all cases, but in many cases) is blatant deception and I have been sick of it for a long time. It would be like a restaurant advertising that they have the most flavorful hamburger in the city for only $2. You go to the restaurant based on their advertisement and you order the burger, pay the $2, then after they give you your receipt they tell you that the burger you just ordered is plain, just the bun and the meat with no seasonings or toppings at all and if you want to have the toppings and the sauce that actually make the burger the most flavorful burger in the city then you have to pay another $2. This is NOT upselling. THIS IS DECEPTION. It seems to me that you are going to be very hard pressed to find a tactic that ONLY works on firsttimers and newbies that I wouldn't consider shady at best.

    You have to practice due diligence.

    You learned a very important lesson that you cant be blinded by the excitement of making money to overlook if what you are looking at is a great business opportunity.

    There are good WSO on here but you have to get honest reviews by other members and use your own BS detector lol

    Hope this helps.
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  • Profile picture of the author Michael Oksa
    With all due respect, you're only guessing, as you yourself said you didn't purchase the product.

    CAN it be a "lie"? Sure.

    Is EVERY upsell a "lie"? Not at all.

    IF you can achieve the claims made in the sales letter without any upsells, then I would say that is honest. Upsells are often designed to make the process EASIER, but that doesn't make the original product a lie.

    For example, if a product talks about how submitting your articles to 50 select directories can improve your rankings, and it shows you how to do it...that would be fine. AND...if the upsell is simply an AUTOMATED tool for those exact 50 directories, then that doesn't change the message of the original product, it just makes it easier. Nothing wrong with that.

    Furthermore, a lot of upsells are simply different formats of the original product, plus some nice bonuses. Again, nothing wrong with that.

    You need to be careful about making generalizations based on one WSO with upsells - ESPECIALLY when you didn't buy the product or its upsells.

    All the best,
    Michael
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  • Profile picture of the author LindseyRainwater
    You do have an interesting point. I agree that some marketers are using upsells to leverage people. "Well, yeah, you bought the original product. But to REALLY make it work you have to buy THIS too!"

    It's sad when marketers do that. It's like an unpleasant P.S. at the bottom of a letter.

    Thankfully, they also seem to be the ones who get steamrollered by angry customers. Karma can be a b-.

    But I don't think upselling is necessarily BAD. I'm planning an upsell for a product that I have in the works right now, and while it would make a nice addition to the original product, that's all it is.

    There is no reason why you would have to buy the upsell, and it will also be something you could buy at a later time - I'm not touting it as a "one-time-offer-you'll-never-see-this-again-unless-of-course-you-revisit-this-page." (I hate that.)

    So I think upselling is good if the product compliments the one that you were advertising.

    My only other thought is that you should only ask once. *Just my opinion!* But I was sent through a wave of "Wait! Click cancel for a special offer!" pages - 5 of them. And by the time the last one came around, it had nothing to do with the original offer!

    So, I guess that is a long way of saying: Just like anything else in IM, applied properly, upsells can make everyone happy. Abuse them, and you might just peeve everyone.
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    • Profile picture of the author ShayB
      I think it depends on the upsell and what the original product is.

      As has been mentioned before, if you don't need the upsell in order to make the technique work - but it simply makes the process automated or easier - I don't see a thing wrong with it.

      If it is a product that is related or helpful - but, again, isn't required to make the original WSO work - I don't see a problem with that, either.

      I will give an example of an upsell but I always buy from a particular vendor.

      I have someone that I buy PLR materials from. I always get their upsell.

      The PLR is fantastic, but the upsell is a WordPress theme and other goodies that I don't need to make the product work, but they are an excellent addition.

      I also don't see a problem with the merchant having an upsell that simply shows some of the other products he or she has. A lot of people want to know what else you have for sale, so having a thank you page or upsell page that lists your other products is actually a service, IMHO.
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      • Profile picture of the author dhpkc
        Originally Posted by Michael Oksa View Post

        With all due respect, you're only guessing, as you yourself said you didn't purchase the product.

        CAN it be a "lie"? Sure.

        Is EVERY upsell a "lie"? Not at all.

        IF you can achieve the claims made in the sales letter without any upsells, then I would say that is honest. Upsells are often designed to make the process EASIER, but that doesn't make the original product a lie.

        For example, if a product talks about how submitting your articles to 50 select directories can improve your rankings, and it shows you how to do it...that would be fine. AND...if the upsell is simply an AUTOMATED tool for those exact 50 directories, then that doesn't change the message of the original product, it just makes it easier. Nothing wrong with that.

        Furthermore, a lot of upsells are simply different formats of the original product, plus some nice bonuses. Again, nothing wrong with that.

        You need to be careful about making generalizations based on one WSO with upsells - ESPECIALLY when you didn't buy the product or its upsells.

        All the best,
        Michael
        You are absolutely right. Admittedly I have no idea what the upsells are for the mentioned WSO. And to be perfectly clear, I have purchased a different product from the seller of this WSO which I absolutely loved.

        I agree with everything you said and with the upsells you mentioned. I did not intend to make a sweeping generalization about upselling. I simply wanted to discuss the shady upselling where you are promised the world with a product only to find out that after you purchase that product if you REALLY want to have the world you have to buy another product or two.

        Originally Posted by ShayRockhold View Post

        I think it depends on the upsell and what the original product is.

        As has been mentioned before, if you don't need the upsell in order to make the technique work - but it simply makes the process automated or easier - I don't see a thing wrong with it.

        If it is a product that is related or helpful - but, again, isn't required to make the original WSO work - I don't see a problem with that, either.

        I will give an example of an upsell but I always buy from a particular vendor.

        I have someone that I buy PLR materials from. I always get their upsell.

        The PLR is fantastic, but the upsell is a WordPress theme and other goodies that I don't need to make the product work, but they are an excellent addition.

        I also don't see a problem with the merchant having an upsell that simply shows some of the other products he or she has. A lot of people want to know what else you have for sale, so having a thank you page or upsell page that lists your other products is actually a service, IMHO.
        I completely agree. Certainly there is a place for upselling and it can be and often is done in a professional manner where no deception is involved and value is genuinely offered. I meant this thread as a place to discuss what I refer to as shady upselling.

        Originally Posted by LindseyRainwater View Post

        You do have an interesting point. I agree that some marketers are using upsells to leverage people. "Well, yeah, you bought the original product. But to REALLY make it work you have to buy THIS too!"

        It's sad when marketers do that. It's like an unpleasant P.S. at the bottom of a letter.

        Thankfully, they also seem to be the ones who get steamrollered by angry customers. Karma can be a b-.

        But I don't think upselling is necessarily BAD. I'm planning an upsell for a product that I have in the works right now, and while it would make a nice addition to the original product, that's all it is.

        There is no reason why you would have to buy the upsell, and it will also be something you could buy at a later time - I'm not touting it as a "one-time-offer-you'll-never-see-this-again-unless-of-course-you-revisit-this-page." (I hate that.)

        So I think upselling is good if the product compliments the one that you were advertising.

        My only other thought is that you should only ask once. *Just my opinion!* But I was sent through a wave of "Wait! Click cancel for a special offer!" pages - 5 of them. And by the time the last one came around, it had nothing to do with the original offer!

        So, I guess that is a long way of saying: Just like anything else in IM, applied properly, upsells can make everyone happy. Abuse them, and you might just peeve everyone.
        Thanks for your thoughts and I completely agree with each of your points. Thanks for bringing up that old scarcity tactic where sellers say "You will NEVER see this again!" only to find it offered later as a bonus *or* "This page will be taken down VERY soon!" only to come back months or years later to see that the page is still up but still stands to be taken down "very soon". I hate that too!
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        • Profile picture of the author Oggyoi
          "You do have an interesting point. I agree that some marketers are using upsells to leverage people. "Well, yeah, you bought the original product. But to REALLY make it work you have to buy THIS too!"

          I agree with this.
          I have been caught out myself, buying something to find to get the results promised/advertised you actually need to pay for another service or additional outlay.

          It's like seeing a car for sale in the showroom that will do 5000 miles on a gallon of petrol, then to be told you need to buy a set of special tyres at $500 each tyre or something like that.
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  • Profile picture of the author Venturetothetop
    Upselling means 'ADDING" an additional item or service (often at a unrefusable price).

    For example, I sell a 26 week video course to help experienced online marketers achieve the financial returns they always dreamed of. I make it very clear that it is a video course and member are expecting nothing else.

    However, occasionally I offer an upsell with personal one to one coaching with one of the desiginated course coaches (sometimes I do this directly after signup or sometimes later throughout the course). It is an 'additional service' and thus an upsell.

    An upsell must be an additional product, if as you the OP states, the upsell is actually being used as part of the product and thus decieving the potential customer - then that is 'false advertising' and against the law in many countries.
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    • Profile picture of the author dhpkc
      Originally Posted by Venturetothetop View Post

      Upselling means 'ADDING" an additional item or service (often at a unrefusable price).

      For example, I sell a 26 week video course to help experienced online marketers achieve the financial returns they always dreamed of. I make it very clear that it is a video course and member are expecting nothing else.

      However, occasionally I offer an upsell with personal one to one coaching with one of the desiginated course coaches (sometimes I do this directly after signup or sometimes later throughout the course). It is an 'additional service' and thus an upsell.

      An upsell must be an additional product, if as you the OP states, the upsell is actually being used as part of the product and thus decieving the potential customer - then that is 'false advertising' and against the law in many countries.
      Perfectly put. Thanks.
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  • Profile picture of the author Istvan Horvath
    Q: Do Upsells Mean the Original Product Was a Lie?

    Not necessarily. If the original product doesn't perform as described on its own salespage without the upsell... then yes, it was a lie.

    If the upsell (OTO) is a related product or would make the use of the original product even easier or offers a training to cut down the learning curve - then it was not a lie.

    Sorry for the following personal example.
    Presently, I am selling a report that helps the buyer to avoid the usual and most common mistakes made while setting up a WordPress site. Not on the WSO but on its own sales page (yes, it is sold even outside of wso!) there is an OTO. And a real one: I mean the script will prevent you seeing the offer twice.

    Now, the original report and the tips in it work very well by themselves. No need to buy anything else to understand or apply it to every single WP site the buyer plans to do. However, since the seller assumes the buyer could be interested in other WP-related products, the OTO is another stand-alone product: a video course teaching how to set up multiple WP sites.

    I have also seen crappy upsells and excellent OTOs. Depends on the seller...
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    • Profile picture of the author dhpkc
      Originally Posted by Istvan Horvath View Post

      Q: Do Upsells Mean the Original Product Was a Lie?

      Not necessarily. If the original product doesn't perform as described on its own salespage without the upsell... then yes, it was a lie.

      If the upsell (OTO) is a related product or would make the use of the original product even easier or offers a training to cut down the learning curve - then it was not a lie.

      Sorry for the following personal example.
      Presently, I am selling a report that helps the buyer to avoid the usual and most common mistakes made while setting up a WordPress site. Not on the WSO but on its own sales page (yes, it is sold even outside of wso!) there is an OTO. And a real one: I mean the script will prevent you seeing the offer twice.

      Now, the original report and the tips in it work very well by themselves. No need to buy anything else to understand or apply it to every single WP site the buyer plans to do. However, since the seller assumes the buyer could be interested in other WP-related products, the OTO is another stand-alone product: a video course teaching how to set up multiple WP sites.

      I have also seen crappy upsells and excellent OTOs. Depends on the seller...
      No need to apologize for personal examples; in my opinion those are the best kind.

      I too have seen both good and crappy upsells. I have also seen many OTO's that mysteriously appear again as a bonus of some kind.
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  • Profile picture of the author timpears
    The up sell is the perfect time to make another sale to your customer. You have a brand new (most of the time) customer and your best list is your buyers list. So you have another chance to make a sale. It might be something that enhances the first purchase, or something totally different.
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