by JakeR
12 replies
It seems that a list is one of the biggest ways to sustain income online. I was wondering if it is illegal to sell a list? Say I have a list of people who all opted in to my internet marketing site in exchange for a free ebook. If I wanted, could I sell that list to someone if they were interested in buying?

I'm not sure if their are legal ramifications involved with this.

Thanks for the help.
#list #selling
  • Profile picture of the author paul nicholls
    hey jake

    yeah a list is the best online asset you can ever build

    as to selling a list... i would never do it

    the best lists to build are the ones where people know, like and trust you and it doesnt happen overnight

    you can buy buy lists but its not something that often gets talked about because generally if someone is selling a list it means its worthless and more than likely burned to death and the open rates are probably very poor

    if you are building a list for the solo purpose of selling it on again to make money then you are in the wrong mindset. A good list is the foundation of your business where you are building prospects and customers so why you would want to then sell it is beyond me

    however as to the legal issues of selling a list, i dont have an answer but its not something i would ever do in the IM niche myself

    paul
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    • Profile picture of the author shaunchu
      Hi Jake,

      I would not suggest that you sell your list.

      If you want to make money from your list, you can consider to do a solo ad. That means, for a certain price, you send an email ad of your solo ad buyer to your list for them to subscribe to. Its the decision of your list to decide whether they want to subscribe to your buyer's list.

      In this case, you get the money, but instead of selling your list, you are actually offering your list an opportunity to subscribe to your buyer's list.

      You can refer to the ad swap/solo ad section to understand more on how this work.

      Hope this helps..


      Shaun
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  • Profile picture of the author WhiteDove
    I agree, you lose them, but if you don't care to hold on to them, sure sell it.
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  • Profile picture of the author John Romaine
    Instead of asking us, why don't you ask every person on that list if they're comfortable with you selling their details.

    Im sure the resounding answer would be, NO.
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    • Profile picture of the author JakeR
      Thanks for all the advice, I really appreciate it. It was something that just hit me while lying in bed last night...people want lists so why not create lists to sell to those who want them?

      I'm not saying I'm doing this, I don't have any lists at the moment, it was just a thought.


      Rock on Warriors!!!
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      • Profile picture of the author imgeek2727
        My opt-in boxes say "your information will not be shared or sold to any third party". I like to keep my word.
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  • Profile picture of the author Troy_Phillips
    What were the terms your list signed up under?

    What does your privacy policy state?

    Lead generation is a different business model than list building but the policies are not the same at sign up.

    Not being a lawyer, doctor, or movie star, I don't know the full legal ramifications but could easily see a list member going the civil route, and winning, if you promise not to sell their info and then you ... sell it!
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  • Profile picture of the author TestiVar
    You sell the business, not the customer list of that business.

    How would the business survive without it's customer list?

    You would be starting all over using only new customers and almost all businesses pay more for a new customer than their earn on the first sale.

    If you are no longer interested in your business, then sell it. The customer list is an asset of the business and goes with it.
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  • Profile picture of the author Dann Vicker
    This solely depends on your privacy policy, and what terms the subscriber has opted in at. Personally, the only way I'd sell access to my list is via a soload. At least, this way, the subscriber has the option to give out his email address to a third party by choice.
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    • Profile picture of the author gvsridhar171
      In less than 3 months time, I had built a list of 7000 + ... I was thrilled, excited and patted my own back thinking I have done one of the best jobs ever which many are struggling to do.

      Then made the biggest mistake .... Thought I would make big money now and started promoting all sorts of clickbank products, amazon products and many other affiliate products.

      Spent $20 a month only for sending 7500 mails. End result ... after some time I got only 20% opens and the rest didn't even open my mails. This result taught me the biggest lesson. The lesson I learnt was not to bombard the list with too many offers.

      What does this mean ? These are people who have subscribed to my list and were willing to receive my newsletters. But I almost lost them because of I irritated them with unwanted mails.

      When this can happen to a subscribed list, imagine what will happen to bought out list.

      I therefore suggest, please don't sell your list nor try to make money by allowing others to send solo ads to your list. Don't do that. You might lose all of them for ever.
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  • Profile picture of the author Scott Burton
    Originally Posted by JakeR View Post

    It seems that a list is one of the biggest ways to sustain income online. I was wondering if it is illegal to sell a list? Say I have a list of people who all opted in to my internet marketing site in exchange for a free ebook. If I wanted, could I sell that list to someone if they were interested in buying?

    I'm not sure if their are legal ramifications involved with this.

    Thanks for the help.
    First, this isn't a legal advice forum, the majority of us are not lawyers.

    However, my immediate reaction to "is it illegal to sell a list" is it depends

    Under what terms were the names/addresses on the list acquired? i.e. privacy policy disclosures, assertion the list would not be sold, distributed, shared, sent undesired messages, etc.

    STRICTLY speaking, a list is an asset that can be sold. However, the terms it was compiled under may change that.

    If the members of the list were ever given the clear expectation that the list would not be sold, shared, etc. Then it is essential to honor that, whether legally obligated or not, there is the ethical side to consider too.
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  • Profile picture of the author Cataclysm1987
    I've done this before.

    Usually when you sell a list, you basically have to sell the business with it too, which I did. I sold the entire site the list had along with the list itself.

    This means I could no longer compete with the buyer for the attention of the list. Although it was an annoying change, the same thing would happen if you ate at a particular restaurant and they changed management. Most people wouldn't notice too much as long as their information isn't being shared and the list only ends up in the hands of one qualified individual or company to manage it.
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