I've noticed an increasing trend in WSO threads and with the advent of the WSOPro affiliate program it's getting worse.
Simply put, I see a LOT of people violating the WSO forum rules by posting negative and off-topic garbage in WSO threads- even though they haven't purchased the product!
There's nothing wrong with people who've purchased something leaving an honest negative review if that's how they feel. There IS something wrong with a bunch of people deriding a product or seller when they haven't even seen the product at hand.
I recently experienced this myself. Despite multiple positive reviews, one person left a negative one. I felt it was unwarranted and wrong...but such is the nature of the forum. He can do that.
Then, a bunch of people came in and quoted that one negative review and said things like, "ok, thanks another crappy WSO I won't buy" and "good review- will not buy". (I'm paraphrasing these as they were eventually deleted)
Then, someone incorrectly claimed I had multiple upsells (I did not). This would not be a huge deal by itself, but then people came in and proudly proclaimed how they would "never buy from someone offering upsells, let alone more than one. I won't be buying!" and another one claimed I was "guilty of bait & switch because I had an upsell" and also announced they would not buy either.
Pretty soon, despite hundreds of sales, the first page of my thread was filled up with negative crap from people who hadn't even purchased my product.
My conversion rate went into the toilet.
The mods eventually deleted those posts, but it took almost a full day to get some of them removed and in the interim it affected my sales and hurt my affiliates as well. (not to mention, it made my affiliates look like they were promoting a bad offer)
I don't think I'm exaggerating when I say those posts cost my affiliates thousands of dollars in sales and made them look bad.
But it's not just me.
I've seen posters incorrectly claim there was a forced-optin and soon the thread explodes with people proudly stating they won't buy because of it (even when it wasn't even true- but of course, they didn't buy so they don't know).
I've seen people state they won't buy because there's an upsell and pretty soon there is an angry mob agreeing with them. (Is this still a marketing forum?)
I've seen debates break out in WSO threads arguing over which is the best video-editing software. Completely off-topic and hurtful to the offer...but they don't care.
I've seen the most negative garbage get dumped on sellers because their product contains an affiliate recommendation...and soon there are a bunch of "non-buyers" in there agreeing with them.
This crap really needs to stop. It's unfair to sellers and affiliates and diminishing the value of the WSO forum. Again, I'm not talking about LEGITIMATE negative reviews, but negative and off-topic posts from non-buyers.
Looking at these threads I realized that probably 90% of these types of posts come from people with less than 100 posts. Many have less than 20.
I suspect with the new WSOPro affiliate program, there are a lot of new visitors being driven to the WSO thread.
I've learned, from contact with some of these people, that:
They don't realize the WSO forum is paid. They think listings are free. (which probably accounts for some of their actions)
They don't realize there are separate rules for that section.I can't think of any great solution to this problem that wouldn't have other repercussions.
Perhaps some simple notice on the WSO forum when a post is about to be made? Something like:
"CAUTION: You are about to post in the WSO Forum. This is a paid marketplace with it's own rules. They can be found here." with a link.
Or maybe something more verbose is needed as a warning. I don't know. When in doubt, assume you're dealing with idiots I say.
I've seen some offers from new sellers that look good. According to their stats on WSOPro they haven't even sold 10 copies and yet morons are in their thread leaving ignorant comments and dashing their hopes of having a good WSO and perhaps, even recovering their listing fee. It's simply not fair to the seller.
There's been a lot of WSO-seller bashing lately, and with the increase in affiliate promotions I can see where some of that comes from.
However, this is an issue where sellers deserve better than having an army of unwitting troll non-buyers popping into every thread and listing reasons why they aren't buying or arguing their person beliefs as fact. (e.g. I don't like upsells)
What say you?