Is it time to end WSO income claims?

62 replies
I've made it no secret that I loathe income claims..

..and not so long ago if you wanted to sell a WSO it seemed like that was the fastest way to get traction (I might be wrong about that)..

..but either way there's no skill in adding a higher number than the next guy.

IMO, the case against income claims is fairly solid:

Legal and ethical issues aside:
  • Sets unrealistic goals which ultimately leads to failure
  • Encourages shiny object syndrome and get rich quick mentality
  • Rarely provides the skillset needed to build a real business

Just for my own interest, how to do you guys feel about income claims?
#claims #end #income #time #wso
  • Profile picture of the author GGpaul
    Originally Posted by Michael Meaney View Post

    I've made it no secret that I loathe income claims..

    ..and not so long ago if you wanted to sell a WSO it seemed like that was the fastest way to get traction (I might be wrong about that)..

    ..but either way there's no skill in adding a higher number than the next guy.

    IMO, the case against making them is fairly solid:

    Legal and ethical issues aside:
    • Sets unrealistic goals which ultimately leads to failure
    • Encourages shiny object syndrome and get rich quick mentality
    • Rarely provides the skillset needed to build a real business

    Just for my own interest, how to do you guys feel about income claims?
    I never like to make income claims just cause it's a touchy subject on my mind. I get customers / clients because they heard about me through word of mouth. I let the action do the talking. I'm sincere at what I do, and I lend them a hand as much as I can. I don't need to make a claim so they can be intrigued by what I do. If they want help then they'll get it. But that's just me.
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  • Profile picture of the author tpw
    I never use them in my own offers. And not doing so is a two-edged sword.

    Some people discount my success stories, because I won't share my income numbers with anyone beyond my wife and the IRS.

    Some people misinterpret the use of "proof" as evidence that they can make as much as I have made using the technique. Given that there are so many factors that go into one's personal success story, it is rarely the case that the student will make as much as the teacher of a particular methodology.

    I voted "no" on your poll, because I believe the offering of proof should be judged by each individual seller, if they are so inclined to do so.
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  • Profile picture of the author Randall Magwood
    I could care less about them. Just by reading the text/info on a sales letter page, i can tell if it's the product for me. For newbies.... they will get duped one way or another.
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  • Profile picture of the author drewfioravanti
    No. A fact is a fact. If you make $30K per month using a software, strategy or whatever, and state "I make $30K per month doing this", that is a fact.

    Now, if you say "You will make $30K per month doing this", that is a different story. As it is not fact, merely speculation.
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    • Profile picture of the author TjarkHartmann
      I think sharing the amount of income they personally made is great.

      But if they start talking about YOU making that sort of money following a certain program.. that's where my red flag goes up.

      How are you going to tell me that I will make (insert ridiculous amount of money here)?

      I don't trust anything like that unless they are highly recognized and established like AWAI's copywriting course.
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    • Profile picture of the author Lucian Lada
      Originally Posted by drewfioravanti View Post

      No. A fact is a fact. If you make $30K per month using a software, strategy or whatever, and state "I make $30K per month doing this", that is a fact.
      Just out of curiosity, why don't you complete that sentence with: "... but I have no idea how much you're going to make using this software/technique, and I make no guarantee you'll make even 10% as much as I do."?

      That is a fact, too, you know.
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  • Profile picture of the author AdamPayne
    I hate putting them on my WSOs… In fact, I never have. But then you get people asking for 'proof'

    What I have made has zero connection to what anyone else can/will make.
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  • Profile picture of the author Brent Stangel
    I won't share my income numbers with anyone beyond my wife and the IRS.
    I don't have a wife but I'd rather not even share it with those other guys. (;

    For newbies.... they will get duped one way or another
    Sad but true.

    If not income claims then something else.

    I'd sure hate to handle their CS after buyers realize they won't be getting rich any time soon.
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    • Profile picture of the author Chris Grable
      Why not change the poll to add... "I couldn't care less." as a third option?

      This is one of those never ending discussion topics. While we, potential buyers, certainly have a stake in the topic.... it is really more an issue for the seller, the site owner AND the government.

      I subscribe to the buyer beware model and I like purchasing WSO's because we the community/buyers have the ability to go right into the sales thread and leave feedback. On those occasions that I bought a "dud"... I felt more animosity or disappointment in the folks who I could see that left positive feedback that wasn't deserved.

      Cheers,
      chris
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      • Profile picture of the author Paul Myers
        A couple of times when this has been brought up, it's been answered with sensibly vague but promising sounding comments. Once by Matt Barrie and another time by whoever is now posting as admin. (Might also be Matt.)

        I am cautiously optimistic.


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    • Profile picture of the author Mike Anthony
      Originally Posted by Brent Stangel View Post

      Sad but true.

      If not income claims then something else.
      .
      Pictures of possessions, sales copy that states the seller is living the good life, claims of a $100,000 dollar job they quit (and other creative workarounds from income claims). The make money online niche would take a big hit if it couldn't convey you will get rich after buying its products
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  • Profile picture of the author Viper64
    I voted no. I use their income claims and how much they "push" it as one of the factors I use to judge whether or not it will actually end up being a quality product. As far as I'm concerned you should be able to sell a product based on it's merits and if they go overboard with income claims my gut tells me it's all hype and little substance.
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  • Profile picture of the author nova320
    I voted "No" as well. I don't think income claim is damaging but it can be misleading to customers. But I've also assumed that income potential varies. It doesn't really matter to me as I judge a product based on its content and quality.
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  • Profile picture of the author BIG Mike
    Banned
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    • Profile picture of the author tpw
      Originally Posted by BIG Mike View Post

      I was just thinking (after browsing through the WSO forum) that it's become to the WF what those tacky ads were to comic books I used to read as a kid: useless, but expected and promptly ignored, except to make fun of them and those who got suckered into buying.

      The one ad I remember seeing all of the time when I was a kid was the x-ray glasses, that would supposedly let you see threw the girl's clothes. LOL
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      • Profile picture of the author Colin Palfrey
        Originally Posted by tpw View Post

        The one ad I remember seeing all of the time when I was a kid was the x-ray glasses, that would supposedly let you see threw the girl's clothes. LOL
        I sent off for them. They were deeply disappointing.
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    • Profile picture of the author sbucciarel
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      Originally Posted by BIG Mike View Post

      I was just thinking (after browsing through the WSO forum) that it's become to the WF what those tacky ads were to comic books I used to read as a kid
      lol. Some of the ads remind me of that too, and have got to be geared to newbies who are determined to chase dreams, in spite of all common sense saying that this can't be true.

      I fell for this one.



      Whatever I got, it didn't look anything like the picture.
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  • Profile picture of the author JtxTop
    They shouldn't be promoting the income claim but instead focus on the features and benefits of the product itself, if the product is good enough, no income claim is necessary, as people see more and more income claims, they will become more and more skeptic
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  • Profile picture of the author twranks
    Been around the forum for quite a while and I have no clue what an income claim is. Can anyone elaborate for me?
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  • Profile picture of the author brutecky
    I always laugh at threads like this. Here is an idea .. if you got a problem with those ads .. dont buy from them.. if everyone did this then they would fast vanish. Oh and if your going to say you dont buy from them .. then what do you care what the ad says .. since your not a customer of them, so they dont effect you.
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    • Profile picture of the author sbucciarel
      Banned
      Originally Posted by brutecky View Post

      I always laugh at threads like this. Here is an idea .. if you got a problem with those ads .. dont buy from them.. if everyone did this then they would fast vanish. Oh and if your going to say you dont buy from them .. then what do you care what the ad says .. since your not a customer of them, so they dont effect you.
      Sometimes, it isn't just all about us. Some of us actually do care that newbies fall for fake income claims and fake stats and get burned over and over. And some of us do care that "Internet Marketers" have a terrible reputation because a fair amount of the players want to sell, sell, sell, with little to no regard for truth in advertising and customer satisfaction... so some of us are lumped into a "group" with a tarnished reputation, whether we deserve it or not.
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      • Profile picture of the author brutecky
        Originally Posted by sbucciarel View Post

        Sometimes, it isn't just all about us. Some of us actually do care that newbies fall for fake income claims and fake stats and get burned over and over. And some of us do care that "Internet Marketers" have a terrible reputation because a fair amount of the players want to sell, sell, sell, with little to no regard for truth in advertising and customer satisfaction... so some of us are lumped into a "group" with a tarnished reputation, whether we deserve it or not.
        If your so concerned about the newbies getting burned then start a real 100% honest review site, one that doesn't just push every product that comes down the line and is not afraid to say when its really bad (like I did)

        But making the general "income claims are bad" statement is silly. Honestly I think that people just complain about it just for the sake of complaining. If they really wanted to "help the newbie" they would actually test the product, and report on its quality (not only do I put the review on my site, but when I review a WSO I post my findings in the thread). There are lots of people here that hate the WSO income claims so much ... but not enough to take any action on their own it seems.
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        • Profile picture of the author Alexa Smith
          Banned
          Originally Posted by brutecky View Post

          If they really wanted to "help the newbie" they would actually test the product, and report on its quality
          Wow, this is asking a lot?

          I'm not in any IM or MMO niches at all, so you surely can't expect me to do that?!

          That doesn't detract from the sincerity of my opinion on this question, though. It still disturbs me that people are allowed to make income-claims in WSO sales-posts. Some of them are intended to deceive people, and some of them do deceive people. What's to like, about that? To be very honest, the thread is a little scary to me, also: it disturbs me that 25 people (so far) apparently voted in favor of this. (I suppose many are the people actually doing it?).
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          • Profile picture of the author tpw
            Originally Posted by Alexa Smith View Post

            it disturbs me that 25 people (so far) apparently voted in favor of this. (I suppose many are the people actually doing it?).

            No.

            I voted in favor of it, not b/c I do it, but b/c I believe that people should have the option to do it or not.

            If someone wants to sell their product, following the FTC guidelines for such sales techniques, then who am I to say it should not be done at all.

            As with everything, there is a right way and a wrong way to do things. If people are doing it the right way, there is no problem.
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          • Profile picture of the author brutecky
            Originally Posted by Alexa Smith View Post

            Some of them are intended to deceive people, and some of them do deceive people.
            Well Alexa, all you have to do is go to a thread that you feel has outrageous claims and post this simple message

            "Just a tip to new people to IM, when a seller makes an income claim that is based on their results, of course your results will vary and may not be as lucrative as the ones displayed here"

            Thats all you or anyone has to do in order the 'help the newbie', I bet 1 no one actually does it, and 2 those same people who dont do it keep complaining.
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            • Profile picture of the author Andre Slater
              I think this topic is never going to reach an agreement because there will always be claims for everything... There is fluff everywhere... Legally fluff is allowed and I think this topic can apply to any product or service.

              Maybe the topic should be "Is it time to end WSO's that don't have disclaimers?"

              I think this topic is explosive because it deals directly with MONEY...

              If you turn on the TV. Majority of the commercials have fluff in them...

              "The Best Soul Food In ____"
              "The Most Comfortable Shoes In the World"

              Look at products in these Major Niches:

              1. The Diet Niche - "lose 28 pounds in 5 days"
              2. The Adult Niche - "Increase the size of this"
              3. The Beauty Niche - 'Use this skin cream and you can look like the stars"

              Go to Restaurants do your burgers look like the pictures?

              Papa Johns Better Ingredients Better Pizza...

              I can keep going on.

              Again I vote NO because there is a difference between

              Honesty * Puffery * Deception

              and they are honestly some great products out there and even if a newbie gets his hands on a great product doesnt mean they will do anything with it...
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            • Profile picture of the author Alexa Smith
              Banned
              Originally Posted by brutecky View Post

              Well Alexa, all you have to do is go to a thread that you feel has outrageous claims and post this simple message

              "Just a tip to new people to IM, when a seller makes an income claim that is based on their results, of course your results will vary and may not be as lucrative as the ones displayed here"
              Unfortunately not, Brutecky. The forum rules prohibit that. That would pretty clearly be "negative posting without having bought the WSO", as WSO sellers would rightly be quick to point out.

              The reality is that if we don't regulate ourselves, as internet marketers, it will be done to us externally. There'll be more regulators with more and more powers, and in the long run that's bad for all of us.
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              • Profile picture of the author brutecky
                Originally Posted by Alexa Smith View Post

                That would pretty clearly be "negative posting without having bought the WSO", as WSO sellers would rightly be quick to point out.
                Nothing negative about a disclaimer at all, especially since the statement I suggested said nothing at all about the 'product' you would be posting on. Honestly this is a poor excuse as to why you cant actually put in some effort to 'help newbies', something you claim is so important to you.

                Originally Posted by sbucciarel View Post

                But I will warn newbies about income claims, and have done so consistently in the forum when the topic comes up.
                Good for you! Im glad to see that some people actually act on their convictions instead of just whine about them.
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                • Profile picture of the author Alexa Smith
                  Banned
                  Originally Posted by brutecky View Post

                  Nothing negative about a disclaimer at all, especially since the statement I suggested said nothing at all about the 'product' you would be posting on.
                  You try it if you want to: I value my Warrior Forum membership too much.
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        • Profile picture of the author sbucciarel
          Banned
          Originally Posted by brutecky View Post

          If your so concerned about the newbies getting burned then start a real 100% honest review site, one that doesn't just push every product that comes down the line and is not afraid to say when its really bad (like I did)

          But making the general "income claims are bad" statement is silly. Honestly I think that people just complain about it just for the sake of complaining. If they really wanted to "help the newbie" they would actually test the product, and report on its quality (not only do I put the review on my site, but when I review a WSO I post my findings in the thread). There are lots of people here that hate the WSO income claims so much ... but not enough to take any action on their own it seems.
          I have zero intention of starting a review site to review products that I don't want or need. I would have to purchase them, which I have no intention of doing. I have a 99% satisfaction with the products that I buy because I don't buy "methods" based on hyped up income claims. I buy solid products that will help my business endeavors. I don't chase dreams.

          But I will warn newbies about income claims, and have done so consistently in the forum when the topic comes up.

          I also don't buy products based on "reviews" by people who have an obvious profit motive for giving reviews. I make my decisions based solely on my own criteria and never visit these so called "review" sites.

          Yes, I think it's a shame that so many newbies get sucked into this and buy one product after another with hyped up income claims, and are broke and very unhappy when they finally give up on them, but I am not the WSO police and am not responsible for people making stupid decisions based on promises in copy that would make most people wonder ... is this true? One stupid decision, I feel bad about it when I hear about it. Two and more stupid decisions, well, you can't do anything about stupid.
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  • Profile picture of the author ronrule
    I think income claims are an important deciding factor, they should absolutely stay. They help determine the credibility of the seller and whether the product is worth reading about.

    A little common sense goes a long way... if you saw an ad on Craigslist that was for a 68 Volkswagen claiming you'll be able to do 0-60 in 1 second and a top speed of 300 MPH while getting 800 MPG, common sense would tell you it was bogus.

    But that doesn't mean another guy shouldn't be able to sell a Corvette and claim you'll be able to do 0-60 in 4 seconds and get 29 MPG...
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  • Profile picture of the author Alexa Smith
    Banned
    Originally Posted by Michael Meaney View Post

    IMO, the case against income claims is fairly solid
    Very solid, I think.

    Originally Posted by Michael Meaney View Post

    Just for my own interest, how to do you guys feel about income claims?
    Well, you already know that I support your position unreservedly, and have been saying so for years, just probably with a little less tact than you've put it.

    I'm also very interested and pleased that Paul feels cautiously optimistic about this subject.

    Meanwhile, I continue to urge Warriors not to buy WSO's (or other, similar products anywhere else) whose sales-pages make income claims.
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  • Profile picture of the author seobro
    I like the sea monkeys ad where it say you can TRAIN em. Maybe we can train use car sales man... oops, I mean internet markets - sorry,

    Hey buddy, I got a real beauty for you. Its got your name on it. Better hurry, three guys just called me up. They are coming right over. THIS IS A REAL STEAL OF A DEAL!
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  • Profile picture of the author Colin Palfrey
    Regarding income claims, the problem is that if the forum impose conditions on income claims, they are in a way agreeing that what does get put through has been accepted and approved by them.

    This is fine as long as you are only verifying it's an IM offer, if you're verifying income claims then you're in legally dangerous water.

    As for removing them completely that would again mean anything that gets through would be the responsibility of the forum, and it would see many leaving the WSO section to run their offers elsewhere.

    Much like removing the affiliate programs, it would get rid of a lot of rubbish...and profit for the forum. Not a trade off that I can see being acceptable for a company that must show it is making money.
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    • Profile picture of the author Steven Wagenheim
      I think we're talking about two different things here, though I may be mistaken.

      1) I made $X in Y year.

      2) You can make $X in Y year,

      Are not the same thing.

      I have no problem with (1) as long as the seller can really back it up. Problem is, with how easy it is to fake screen shots or whatever today, I'm not even sure that's possible anymore. Even an IRS tax return can easily be faked.

      As for (2) isn't that against the new FTC regulations anyway? Again, maybe I'm wrong but I don't think you can even put that on a sales page. In fact, any testimonials with income claims have to backed up by documentation detailing exactly what that person did to make that income.

      I have a report that I made a long time ago about complying with the FTC that I used to sell but since I've chucked that business maybe I'll just upload it to the War Room or something and let people read it. It spells out everything pretty clearly about what you can and can't do based on the document that I downloaded from the FTC itself. It was one of the longest and most boring reads I ever had. But it's stuff you really need to know especially if you're a marketer or a copywriter. They can't get away with half the crap they got away with 10 years ago. Times have really changed.

      As far as my vote in the poll, I voted yes, ban them. But I am very biased as I have a bad taste in my mouth from MMO products anyway. So take my opinion with a grain of salt.
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      • Profile picture of the author Alexa Smith
        Banned
        Originally Posted by Steven Wagenheim View Post

        1) I made in Y year.

        2) You can make in Y year,

        Are not the same thing.
        I agree that they're two different things.

        But there are ways of saying the first which heavily imply the second.

        What scares me is the naivety of some people who seem genuinely to imagine that the fact that the first one might be true of themselves necessarily makes it legal to state it as a sales representation, because that's wrong in law. Never mind in ethics and morality.

        Originally Posted by Steven Wagenheim View Post

        I have no problem with (1) as long as the seller can really back it up.
        Regulators and courts do have a problem with it, under some circumstances.

        And of course there are laws (similar ones in the US and Europe, anyway) about what else you have to say with that, if you say that at all.

        Originally Posted by Steven Wagenheim View Post

        Times have really changed.
        For sure. "Nos et mutamur in illis".
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    • Profile picture of the author ronrule
      Originally Posted by Colin Palfrey View Post

      Regarding income claims, the problem is that if the forum impose conditions on income claims, they are in a way agreeing that what does get put through has been accepted and approved by them.

      This is fine as long as you are only verifying it's an IM offer, if you're verifying income claims then you're in legally dangerous water.
      Eh, not really... it falls under the Communications Decency Act of 1996.

      Under the CDA, “providers” of computer services are given broad immunity for publishing statements of third parties (User-Generated Content). This is a very important provision for two reasons. The definition of "provider" applies to anyone who maintains a website that allows user-generated content, or accepts unmodified published material that originated on another site.

      Protection does not apply to the speaker of the content, but it is granted to those who publish the statements of others.

      In other words, as long as WarriorForum does not contribute to the content, the forum is protected from liability.

      What's interesting is how contributions are defined... basically ANY modification to the content (including "suggested titles" for posts, etc.) can be defined as a contribution. Some time ago, Roommates.com was sued for discrimination and couldn't claim CDA protection because it "constructively participated in the creation of part of the discriminatory statements". If their system hadn't offered a title suggestion, they would have been covered under the CDA, but because their system modified the author's original content they were no longer protected by CDA and were treated as a contributor to the content.

      But since WarriorForum doesn't modify the messaging of any WSO's, they would be covered by the CDA and thus not liable for any claims made by users. Allowing or disallowing a post based on a set of rules wouldn't impact the CDA protection, WF would only be liable if WF made modifications to the message.
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      • Profile picture of the author Chris Grable
        Originally Posted by ronrule View Post

        Eh, not really... it falls under the Communications Decency Act of 1996.

        Under the CDA, "providers" of computer services are given broad immunity for publishing statements of third parties (User-Generated Content). This is a very important provision for two reasons. The definition of "provider" applies to anyone who maintains a website that allows user-generated content, or accepts unmodified published material that originated on another site.

        Protection does not apply to the speaker of the content, but it is granted to those who publish the statements of others.

        In other words, as long as WarriorForum does not contribute to the content, the forum is protected from liability.

        What's interesting is how contributions are defined... basically ANY modification to the content (including "suggested titles" for posts, etc.) can be defined as a contribution. Some time ago, Roommates.com was sued for discrimination and couldn't claim CDA protection because it "constructively participated in the creation of part of the discriminatory statements". If their system hadn't offered a title suggestion, they would have been covered under the CDA, but because their system modified the author's original content they were no longer protected by CDA and were treated as a contributor to the content.

        But since WarriorForum doesn't modify the messaging of any WSO's, they would be covered by the CDA and thus not liable for any claims made by users.
        I don't know Ron. If the forum passed some and refused others based on its own "analysis" then it might well be accused of endorsing those it accepted... which might very well be considered materially contributing to it.

        On the other hand of the forum said.... we aren't the government... and we charged with judging compliance with he law, BUT..l these are our own standards....This is what we will accept and this is what we won't accept... it might work fine assuming that their rules were straightforward enough not to GENERATE a bunch of controversy.

        Having said all that.... If I had a product that made me money and I COULD guarantee someone else a certain level of success..... I would be frustrated if I could not say that.... But I don't.... so I won't. <grin>

        chris
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        • Profile picture of the author ronrule
          Originally Posted by Chris Grable View Post

          I don't know Ron. If the forum passed some and refused others based on its own "analysis" then it might well be accused of endorsing those it accepted... which might very well be considered materially contributing to it.
          Under the law, they're only a contributor if they modify the message from what was originally posted. Simply "allowing it", without making changes, doesn't make them liable. WF has the right to allow or disallow whatever it chooses, allowing users to post content doesn't constitute an endorsement simply because other content was not permitted, so WF would still be protected under the CDA.
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          • Profile picture of the author Chris Grable
            You and I are saying two different things..... I agree that the forum can set up its own arbitrary set of publication standards and then steadfastly adhere to them.

            I don't think they can or should put themselves in the role of analyst and approve WSOs based on their analysis of the seller's compliance with the law. If they do that.... I believe they ARE contributing and by default endorsing the WSOs that they approve for publication.

            cheers,
            chris
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            • Profile picture of the author Chris Grable
              Personally, what I would rather see is a requirement on sellers and marketplaces that they track and display actual numbers of sales and returns/refunds.... down to the affiliate level.

              EDIT:... yes, I would be just as happy to see gross purchase and refund rates for buyers...

              cag
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              • Profile picture of the author ronrule
                Originally Posted by Chris Grable View Post

                Personally, what I would rather see is a requirement on sellers and marketplaces that they track and display actual numbers of sales and returns/refunds.... down to the affiliate level.
                You can see that now at the payment processor level - both JVZoo and Warrior+ show realtime sales and refund rates. They don't show it at the affiliate level because that's considered private data (who's promoting and how much they sell is a private contract between the product creator and the affiliate). But you can see sales and refunds for every product already.

                That's not something the Forum would have access to, only the payment processor would, so there isn't any realistic way to mandate that the WF shows the data.
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                • Profile picture of the author Chris Grable
                  Originally Posted by ronrule View Post

                  You can see that now at the payment processor level - both JVZoo and Warrior+ show realtime sales and refund rates. They don't show it at the affiliate level because that's considered private data (who's promoting and how much they sell is a private contract between the product creator and the affiliate). But you can see sales and refunds for every product already.

                  That's not something the Forum would have access to, only the payment processor would, so there isn't any realistic way to mandate that the WF shows the data.
                  LOL... you and I are destined to be on different sides of everything today. My point, not well stated, was that... as a condition of doing business in this marketplace (WF) that data should be made available to forum members as a benefit of their membership..... even the affiliate data. They are all, of course, welcome to keep their info private.... but then NOT do business on the WF.

                  And yes, I get that there might not be a way to do this now.... but with a little development....

                  cag
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                  • Profile picture of the author ronrule
                    Originally Posted by Chris Grable View Post

                    LOL... you and I are destined to be on different sides of everything today. My point, not well stated, was that... as a condition of doing business in this marketplace (WF) that data should be made available to forum members as a benefit of their membership..... even the affiliate data. They are all, of course, welcome to keep their info private.... but then NOT do business on the WF.

                    And yes, I get that there might not be a way to do this now.... but with a little development....

                    cag
                    The sales and refund data is already visible, but why the affiliate data? Aside from the fact that it would guarantee no one ever launched anything, I don't understand the reason you would request it.
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                    • Profile picture of the author Chris Grable
                      Originally Posted by ronrule View Post

                      The sales and refund data is already visible, but why the affiliate data? Aside from the fact that it would guarantee no one ever launched anything, I don't understand the reason you would request it.
                      Levels the playing field. I like transparency.... Have been marketed awful hard in the past by affiliates who don't mind inflating or creating claims... One of these days, when I launch my own WSO, I would like to have info about potential affiliates. Who are they? How long have they been in the business? Success rate? Customer satisfaction? Those just off the top of my head...

                      cag
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                      • Profile picture of the author Mark Hess
                        Originally Posted by Chris Grable View Post

                        Levels the playing field. I like transparency.... Have been marketed awful hard in the past by affiliates who don't mind inflating or creating claims... One of these days, when I launch my own WSO, I would like to have info about potential affiliates. Who are they? How long have they been in the business? Success rate? Customer satisfaction? Those just off the top of my head...

                        cag
                        Chris, In JVZoo when an affiliate request comes in, the vendor can see the number of sales that affiliate has made, 50+, 100+, 1,000+ etc... (but not conversion % or refund rate)

                        In W+, you get the number of sales, conversion, and refund rate...

                        In W+ when I request approval vendors see this: http://screencast.com/t/jUUG36y5

                        The number of sales are not exact and there are cutoffs for each threshold in W+ I actually have 9579.
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                        • Profile picture of the author Jeff Schuman
                          I never liked to make income claims for my online products or services because I did not do that in my 20 year offline sales career. I never talked about my income with my customers or sales associates and I never asked them about their income. That is a personal subject.

                          However, if someone wants to make income claims on a product they are selling, as long as it is verifiable and honest, that is fine with me.
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                          Jeff Schuman - Blog Writer For Hire! Buy affordable, quality niche blog articles. Fast turnaround.
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                        • Profile picture of the author Chris Grable
                          Originally Posted by Mark Hess View Post

                          Chris, In JVZoo when an affiliate request comes in, the vendor can see the number of sales that affiliate has made, 50+, 100+, 1,000+ etc... (but not conversion % or refund rate)

                          In W+, you get the number of sales, conversion, and refund rate...

                          In W+ when I request approval vendors see this: 2014-06-06_1528 - MarkHess's library

                          The number of sales are not exact and there are cutoffs for each threshold in W+ I actually have 9579.
                          Thanks Mark! That's really good to know!

                          Cheers,
                          chris
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                      • Profile picture of the author ronrule
                        Originally Posted by Chris Grable View Post

                        Levels the playing field. I like transparency.... Have been marketed awful hard in the past by affiliates who don't mind inflating or creating claims... One of these days, when I launch my own WSO, I would like to have info about potential affiliates. Who are they? How long have they been in the business? Success rate? Customer satisfaction? Those just off the top of my head...

                        cag
                        That data is out there for product creators (most sellers have direct relationships with their affiliates, and all are manually approved by the product creator - you don't just have people blindly promoting your stuff without your knowledge). When an affiliate requests to promote your product, their past sales and refund data is already visible to you.

                        To say that data should be extended to end users is a bad idea though. The good affiliates are picky about what they promote and are constantly bombarded by product creators and promotion requests. If WF forced a list of affiliates to be visible to anyone who looked at a WSO, affiliates wouldn't promote anything that was on WF - and as a result, sellers wouldn't either. It would effectively kill the WSO section.

                        Even putting that aside, making affiliate data visible is overkill.... that would be like demanding a TV station keep track of all of the other TV stations airing the same commercial. There's really not any logical reason for it that I can think of. Some things aren't the host's job and shouldn't be.
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            • Profile picture of the author ronrule
              Originally Posted by Chris Grable View Post

              You and I are saying two different things..... I agree that the forum can set up its own arbitrary set of publication standards and then steadfastly adhere to them.

              I don't think they can or should put themselves in the role of analyst and approve WSOs based on their analysis of the seller's compliance with the law. If they do that.... I believe they ARE contributing and by default endorsing the WSOs that they approve for publication.

              cheers,
              chris
              I understand what you're saying, I'm saying it's incorrect. Allowing a post without modifying it is exactly what's protected by the CDA. Allowing it does not constitute a contribution. Only modifying the post would remove CDA protection.

              Even if they outright and openly endorsed it, as long as they didn't modify the author's original wording, they are still covered by the CDA because it's user-generated content.

              The CDA was created to extend the same protections afforded to media companies to telecommunications and web providers. Before the CDA, you couldn't sue a TV station for airing a commercial that turned out to be a scam, or sue the phone company if a scammer called you on the phone, but there was no protection for web providers if a website or email was used to perpetuate a scam. Technically, prior to 1996 if you had fallen for the Nigerian Money scam, you could have sued your ISP for being a participant by allowing that email to be delivered.

              The CDA provided necessary protection to service providers that transit information over their networks, and that protection extends to forums and social networks. It absolves providers of all liability for content that's posted on their networks by third parties, providing the network has a mechanism to disable access to the content if the content is found to be in violation of any laws.

              If a bunch of users say "this is a scam", WarriorForum is still protected and can leave the content up if they choose. If the FTC says "this is a scam", or receives a federal court order, WarriorForum is legally obligated to take it down - in that situation, they only become liable if they don't take it down within the timeframe the takedown order mandates.
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  • Profile picture of the author Tsnyder
    Originally Posted by Michael Meaney View Post

    I've made it no secret that I loathe income claims..

    ..and not so long ago if you wanted to sell a WSO it seemed like that was the fastest way to get traction (I might be wrong about that)..

    ..but either way there's no skill in adding a higher number than the next guy.

    IMO, the case against income claims is fairly solid:

    Legal and ethical issues aside:
    • Sets unrealistic goals which ultimately leads to failure
    • Encourages shiny object syndrome and get rich quick mentality
    • Rarely provides the skillset needed to build a real business

    Just for my own interest, how to do you guys feel about income claims?
    I think that anyone who buys a WSO, or any other product, based on
    an income claim isn't a real business person and has precious little chance
    of succeeding with or without the claim.
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  • Profile picture of the author Johnny12345
    Originally Posted by Michael Meaney View Post

    IMO, the case against income claims is fairly solid

    There is absolutely nothing wrong with making income claims as long as those claims are TRUE and you follow the FTC rules.

    Within the rules, the FTC allows such claims. Why wouldn't the Warrior Forum?

    The problem here has always been that some WSO sellers act as if the Warrior Forum is a safe haven from the FTC. It is not.

    If you sell WSOs, you can and should read about the new rules at the FTC website.

    John
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  • Profile picture of the author johnben1444
    It's not only disheartening but fraudulent and most of such offers doesn't hold any water.

    The most worrisome thing is, when there is a need for donations
    our so called millionaires will be nowhere to be found.
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  • Profile picture of the author Andre Slater
    I personally don't think they are damaging.

    I feel like if you actually have made what you say, then I don't see an issue with it. If your company made 10 Million Dollars or If you made 3k in 10 days using software and you honestly made it actually made it and you can teach it, I see no issues...

    Heck, I was looking in the Classified section of my Local newspaper and saw an job advertisement for a Sales Professional avg income $60-$100k so we are no the only ones who do it.

    Also In my opinion I think income claims will always be used to sell products because people want to know that what they are buying works and if your promoting a "Money Making" system or software then people will want to see "Proof" that it works, just like any other product.
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  • Profile picture of the author Mark Hess
    I think the entire thing is a slippery slope and it could easily end up being a "be careful what you wish for..." type of situation.

    If people think the offers were vague and blind before which basically bait newbies into buying...

    Just wait until the first question on EVERY WSO thread is:

    "How much money can I make?"

    Then the seller responds:

    "Well, I'm not not allowed to say. It could be zero or it could be millions. I'm not permitted to put a specific number on it."

    Then the first review comes in:

    "I just went through the PDF, WOW, I know the seller isn't allowed to say how much they made, but I'm sure they must have cleaned up with this method."

    When that plays out, how many people would fall for that?

    There's a lot of people who purchase IM products like lottery tickets.

    Like others have said, there's a big difference between "I made this..." and "You will make this..." but really, all someone would have to do is change "you" in their copy to "find out how I bank..." anyway.

    I personally believe at the end of the day each individual is responsible for what they purchase. This is an open forum where a buyer can put up a review in the thread anytime they want voicing their opinion.
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  • Profile picture of the author travlinguy
    Some income claims are true and verifiable.
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  • Profile picture of the author kindsvater
    There's a big difference between "I made X" and "You will make X".

    Only a fool would make the latter claim, and only a bigger fool would buy the product.

    On the one hand fraudulent sellers should not be allowed and need to be dealt with. On the other hand, I have a philosophical issue worrying about protecting someone else from their foolishness.

    If it isn't a dollar amount then a seller can simply say, Make Enough Each Month to Cover Your House Payment.

    And why stop at income claims? How about promises to get on the first page of Google for any keyword? Every time I see that I want to say my keyword is: google - have fun guys.

    A brief look at the WSO section just now showed only a few income claims. This caught my attention:

    Snatch Up To $874.38 In Daily Commissions With This EVERGREEN Outsourcing System

    I don't even have to look at the sale page to know this is virtually guaranteed to be fraudulent. Let me ask you this - do you expect to see a barrier preventing someone from making $874.39 per day? If not, it is bogus.

    I have yet to see an "up to" claim be legit.

    This number shenanigans is seen in a variety of contexts, such as Get up to 117 new visitors per day.

    Why allow that if "income" claims are banned?

    Here is another one, with no precise income claim but still making an income claim:

    This Method Will Put Money In Your Pocket In The Next 24 Hours - GUARANTEED

    I don't see a problem letting that title run (I have not looked at the ad or product) unless it turns out to be false.

    Increase your conversions by up to 74% - Something like that was pimped by the new owners of the forum right after buying the place. It was, IMHO, quite embarrassing. If the owners are going to make that claim as far as I'm concerned this is a non-starter of a discussion. Fire away.

    .
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  • Why not regulate everything?
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    soon people... Relax...
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  • Profile picture of the author yukon
    Banned
    I would never buy a product that made an income claim.
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    Hi
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  • Profile picture of the author Tim3
    Are WSO income claims damaging?

    They are extremely damaging to the person making them who see only dollar bills.

    Once word spreads your credibility will tank.

    Income claims are the 'sizzle'
    but unfortunately many of the 'sausages' are often just rusk and gristle.
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  • From reading I can see most warrior hate freedom and are for regulation but even that I'm the 1% i'm for it if someone want to say something that upsets every other warrior I think he should be free to do it, I know this will not happen I get it but I"m for freedom. Just my 2 cents event that I know freedom will not what is popular.
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    soon people... Relax...
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  • Profile picture of the author travlinguy
    I think society is loaded to the teeth with regulations. Enough already.

    And, if someone makes an income claim, or any other claim for that matter, that isn't true and it is found out not to be true, then that individual should be held accountable for fraud and any other crime that may be involved in misleading the public. Simple.
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  • Profile picture of the author David Keith
    i guess my thoughts are that people want the ability to succeed beyond their wildess dreams. unfortunately they fail to realize that the freedom to succeed big also come with the freedom to fail big too.

    The high failure rate of IMers is not unique to this industry. what percentage of wannabe NBA players make the nba?.... Almost all high reward 1%ish type of lifestyles (and jobs that power them) have an extreme failure rate just like the dream IM lifestyle does. There just are not that many people with the intellectual horsepower and all the skill required to make this work.

    as far as income claims go. according to my lawyer many of the sales letters on the wso forum are in violation of the ftc rules regarding income claims and testimonials. But i got no skin in that game, so its not my ass on the line. I have made my thoughts on the subject heard many times.

    As far as full 100% regulation. Thats just not possible. Take me for instance. I got nearly 2 decades of online marketing experience. Truthfully if i read every wso or IM product created this year, i wouldnt learn all that much. a few gems of course, but mostly it would all look like rehashed stuff to me. But what about to guy who just started 2 weeks ago. That same rehashed stuff is all new to him. So full on regulation of "bad" or "rehashed" products is just not possible.

    That being said, there is a reason the ftc guidlines exist regarding income claims and testimonials. its because when those things are allowed to go unchecked, society has learned that sellers will take advantage of consumers.

    The real problem here is that a hefty percentage of the wso consumers are not really tying to be in business and provide value to others. They are trying to "take" ...they just want money. That disposition rarely brings success when it comes to making money flow from others people piles into yours.

    That way of thinking makes people dream. It makes them susceptible to all sorts of emotional triggers that many of us "real business" folks just dont fall victim too.

    My 2 cents is that the problem is the buyers, not the sellers. We have a very desperate and "dumbed down" consumer in the IM market.

    One very predictable thing in life is that any behavior you reward, you will get more of. so if a sales letter makes income claims and people buy more of that product, then guess what...expect more income claims to show up.

    It aint rocket science, but it very may well may be against the law...lol
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