Why do people buy informational products when they can get stuff for free?

42 replies
Why are people buying ebooks when there's already a bunch of free information on the internet?
#buy #free #informational #people #products #stuff
  • Profile picture of the author writeaway
    Convenience. You can get free infp off blogs but much of that info might be fragmented, incomplete, or lack enough actionable details.
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  • Profile picture of the author SteveFinch
    They might be to lazy to search for it, or in a hurry, or simply don't believe what they find online so turn to the perceived extra value of a book.
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    • Profile picture of the author marciayudkin
      Because it's really hard to find all the information you're really looking for, well-organized, in the same place.

      Recently I went to a friend's blog about a year-long sabbatical, and like most blogs, it was organized with the most recent posts first. It makes no sense to read these posts in reverse order, but I couldn't find a way to easily click on the posts in the order in which they were written. That's the kind of stupid little obstacle that causes people to prefer reading ebooks.

      Marcia Yudkin
      Check out Marcia Yudkin's No-Hype Marketing Academy for courses on copywriting, publicity, infomarketing, marketing plans, naming, and branding - not to mention the popular "Marketing for Introverts" course.
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  • Profile picture of the author Brent Stangel
    Originally Posted by bigfoot12 View Post

    Why are people buying ebooks when there's already a bunch of free information on the internet?
    Because ebooks are generally laid out in a step-by-step order. Instead of trying to put all the pieces together yourself, you can buy someone else's knowledge and experience.
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    • Bigfoot12,

      Originally Posted by bigfoot12 View Post

      Why are people buying ebooks when there's already a bunch of free information on the internet?
      Because it usually costs almost nothing for the target market, i.e. You may call a $10,000 or so educational product "expensive", but that may just be you and not the target buyers who are used to investing fiscal capital and tapping expert manpower resources to improve the bottom-line results of their company departments or to further their consulting careers, since they normally have better things to do than just spend their time in collecting, analyzing, verifying and testing the info that they need on their own (or than just waste their time in managing their staff in doing these things on their own);

      If it were from an author who's branded as an expert in the subject matter, then that's added value for almost nothing;

      If the entire back end / front end system were at least decent enough to make prospects think and feel that the author is credible enough to sell something with beneficial content for almost nothing and has gone great lengths to provide valuable content and efficient customer support, then that's added value for almost nothing;

      Since the author usually provides a moneyback guarantee along with a no-questions-asked refund policy, then that's added value for almost nothing; and

      =>> Did I already say that it usually costs almost nothing, in exchange for the customer's time, stress and frustration, which normally cost a lot more than nothing?
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      • Profile picture of the author kindsvater
        Your question assumes that information available for free is equivalent to information you purchase.

        I wouldn't make that assumption.

        Some of the worst, most wrong and horrific information is available for free on the net. Including this forum. When you purchase information presumably you are obtaining expert advise you can count on.

        Why do people go to auto repair shops when information about how to fix their car is on the Internet?

        Why do people pay lawyers when they can represent themselves and get advice online?

        Why do people pay doctors, psychologists, stock brokers, technicians, etc. Why do people buy books? Why do people buy magazines? Why pay for TV?

        Why ask the question? Can't you find the answer for free?

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    • Profile picture of the author Highway55
      Originally Posted by Brent Stangel View Post

      Because ebooks are generally laid out in a step-by-step order. Instead of trying to put all the pieces together yourself, you can buy someone else's knowledge and experience.
      Exactly. A good program is laid out in step by step fashion. Plus you get the benefit (if the writer is good, and the content is legit) of asking questions.

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      • Profile picture of the author edusegzy1
        When you spend money on something you are more likely to care.
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        • Profile picture of the author gjabiz
          I've spent hundreds of dollars buying information I couldn't get anywhere else.

          Two examples. Several hundred for The Forbidden Keys to Persuasion, by Blair Warren.

          Several hundred for a Harvey Brody course on TOLL positions, also, not available anywhere else.

          In the book, Think and Reach Par, Napoleon Hill writes about SPECIALIZED KNOWLEDGE, the ind you can't find anywhere else.

          So, that is one of my biggest reasons, for mundane stuff, Timne is more valuable than money.

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  • Profile picture of the author BrianMcLeod
    Originally Posted by bigfoot12 View Post

    Why are people buying ebooks when there's already a bunch of free information on the internet?
    Why do people start one-line threads?

    Same same.
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    • Profile picture of the author agmccall
      Originally Posted by BrianMcLeod View Post

      Why do people start one-line threads?

      Same same.
      because, sometimes one line says it all


      "Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work." Thomas Edison

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  • Profile picture of the author Kishor Mhaskar
    Nothing is FREE my friend can either get information against time or money. Its totally depends on you how will you get it.

    And guess what " Time is Money" . So ultimately you buying it against your time.
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  • Profile picture of the author Alex Athey
    To look at this from another perspective, there's an interesting bit of psychology that affects people who buy vs freebie hunters: when you choose to invest anything (including money) you automatically mentally value something more than what is just given to you.

    When it comes to a product that involves doing work--like many informational products on building a business and similar topics--you're more likely to follow through if you've invested into the product. Even a $5 purchase tells your brain that you value it enough to pay for it, so the information must be worth acting on.

    I saw an informal study a while back where someone polled a bunch of people on a heavy bittorrenting/pirate-style forum. They looked at how much material the users there had grabbed (and some of them had GB's worth of ebooks and videos) vs how much they actually put the information to use. The people who took the most had fewer actual results compared to some of the categories of people who had only pirated a little bit.

    That's why when a friend wants me to send them a copy of something I've bought I always encourage them to buy their own...they're much more likely to actually do something with it then. Same them happens with loaning fiction books, if I can't get them excited enough about reading something for them to buy it themselves I rarely bother.
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  • Profile picture of the author George Wright
    In my county, LA, California there are plenty of places to get very good free food. Food banks, Rescue Missions and big package store samples abound. Fancy restaurants even pass out free food at closing to anyone who cares to come and get it.

    I just like to buy my goodies at Mickey D's or the local Farmer's market. Heck, if I needed the other sources to survive I'd be there in a hot minute.

    Since my funds allow me to take the easy way out and buy what I need I just choose to do so.

    Not hating the freebie seekers one bit. The stuff I buy in MMO and IM is just faster to get. To quote a Youtube star. Looking all over the net for free reliable information...

    "I don't have time for that."

    George Wright, P.S. Unless I'm compiling/researching for an eBook I'm going to sell that is
    "The first chapter sells the book; the last chapter sells the next book." Mickey Spillane
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  • Profile picture of the author Tim3
    Originally Posted by bigfoot12 View Post

    Why are people buying ebooks when there's already a bunch of free information on the internet?
    How do you know how much of that free information is not parroted drivel, designed not to help you at all, but to increase the webmasters traffic by cashing in on a popular search term.

    I buy ebooks because they save hours of researching time, and the fact that the information received in them is usually correct and often complete for the task in hand.

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  • Profile picture of the author Daniel Evans
    Originally Posted by bigfoot12 View Post

    Why are people buying ebooks when there's already a bunch of free information on the internet?
    For the same reason you're using this forum.
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  • Profile picture of the author Newd
    The only reason I'll buy something is because I think it will save me time, money or give me more power somehow in what I want to do. This is why I suspect some people buy ebooks. I myself, have never purchased an ebook, but if the perceived value is attracting me enough and it falls into my aforementioned reasons then I'll buy it!
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  • Profile picture of the author tybolton
    That's why you're an IM'er. The day the average internet user figures that out = game over for you and many more imer's.
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  • Profile picture of the author MUSER88
    You don't know for sure which one is legit or not. I myself is still in the learning process of internet marketing and I can not distinguish which one is legit or not, when it comes from a free product.
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    • Profile picture of the author Nightengale
      Alex and George have it right.

      People buy information that's freely available elsewhere for a number of reasons:

      1. "I don't have time for that."

      So true! IM and research is incredibly time-consuming. If I can get the info here and now instead of having to dig for it, and STILL have no idea how much longer it's going to take me, why wouldn't I buy it?

      2. ALL of the necessary info, well-organized, in one place.

      This is similar to #1, but not quite. This is the primary reason I bought my first expensive, comprehensive IM course.

      So much IM info focuses on just one method, tactic or area of IM. Podcasting. Ezines. Video. Etc. But NO ONE was putting ALL of those pieces together.

      The course I bought did that: showed me how ALL of the pieces fit together, from A-Z. That was priceless to me.

      3. A particular/specific slant on a more general topic.

      You can find lots of info on how to publish an ezine. Or how to do surveys.

      But how much of that info tells you how to actually make money with surveys or ezines? So much of the other info is academic, not entrepreneurial.

      Knowing how to actually make money with info that's traditionally more academic is incredibly valuable.

      4. Industry/group-specific info.

      Many people can't see how something would apply to THEM. They devoutly believe their situation is different/unique and genuinely want info tailored to them.

      For example, let's say you own a car repair shop. There's plenty of info on social media. But not as much (or none) info on social media for car repair shops. So if you can give them that, they'll buy it.

      5. Tested/Proven Info

      In so many cases, information for sale has been tested/proven in a way that free info hasn't/isn't. Authors and information marketers know their info is held to a higher standard simply because people expect certain things for their money and expect their money's worth. Therefore, they vet and test their info like free info is never vetted/tested.

      In IM, how-to-make-money info, this often translates into personal experience. The seller has done what he's teaching and gotten results.

      7. Info unavailable anywhere else.

      Some people write and sell info that's really not available anywhere else -- or is only very minimally available.

      My own business coach does this. She sells a course on her area of expertise, which she had a long experience in (14 years now). There are almost no books or other courses about it. And she sells hers for $2700.

      Smart woman.

      Hope that helps!

      "You can't market here. This is a marketing discussion forum!"
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  • Profile picture of the author ohman1988
    Hey there! It's definitely weird to think that, but when anyone buys anything they do it in confidence! They believe in not only the product, but the person making that product. In most cases, if a person feels that the person relaying the product has a lot of knowledge and the product is great, then they have no problem throwing a little money to try it out too!

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    • Profile picture of the author tybolton
      Originally Posted by Sarevok View Post

      Because of great copywriting?

      That could have something to do with it...
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  • Profile picture of the author craighakwins
    Because sometimes it's just better, not always but in a lot of cases it is. Also it's sort of a trust thing as well. People would rather pay for something from someone they know.
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  • Profile picture of the author dana67
    Originally Posted by bigfoot12 View Post

    Why are people buying ebooks when there's already a bunch of free information on the internet?
    Because they are too lazy to look on their own?
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  • Profile picture of the author themusiccoach
    Mostly they do not know how to dig the stuff up for free and are scared of legal consequences if they do.

    I for one do not agree that information paid for gets used more

    I think it is just case study reporting and I would love to see some results from long term studies.

    I know many, mnay people that paid for WSO's and never looked at them.

    The best part of being a creator is that when you get to the pro level you create 90% more than you consume so it really never comes up.

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  • Profile picture of the author january14n
    I think because they are entice with the testimonial they have read from the product. Just like in the offline community people believe with products that are referred from them by their trusted source. It just works the same as to online.
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  • Profile picture of the author Clyde Dennis
    Why do people eat at restaurants when they could do it at home?
    Why do people cook at home when there are restaurants the will do it for them?
    Why do people wear jeans when they could just as easily wear slacks?
    Why do people wear slacks when they could just as easily wear jeans?

    ...and on and on and on.

    Why? Because those kinds of choices are each individuals to make. Well, that and we all value things differently.

    That pack of cigarettes that I wouldn't even consider paying a penny for, some others value highly enough to pay what... $4, $5 a pack for.

    There are as many reasons whey some one would pay for information as there are people who want it, and for that I'm thankful.
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  • Profile picture of the author Graham Maddison
    Give someone the option to get it free if they sign up to your list or pay $7 for an instant download ... you will be surprised how many will actually pay for the information.

    I tried this some years ago and I have never understood why anyone would want to pay for something when they can get it for free... same product ..free or paid.
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  • Profile picture of the author Sid Hale
    Mostly good responses here.

    In short... you get what you pay for.

    Even though much of the "free" information is good:
    1. it is often incomplete
    2. it is often wrong

    So, at some point you have to question the real value of "free". Not only might you spend an inordinate amount of time "researching" (I use that word loosely) to find such information, but you really have no assurances that the information is accurate.

    There are a lot of people in this world that just like to hear themselves talk. You can get a lot of free "information" (there I go using words loosely, again) from them - but how much is it really worth? I hope you aren't building your business around it, as it could be totally wrong!

    Sid Hale
    Coming Soon... Rapid Action Profits (Pro)

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  • Profile picture of the author Melissahoster
    Originally Posted by bigfoot12 View Post

    Why are people buying ebooks when there's already a bunch of free information on the internet?

    Paid e-books often contain gold nuggets that you'd have a hard time finding for free. Apart from that, people always buy thinking it can save them time and get them started immediately. The money they pay is supposed to make up for time lost in search and research and that again makes IMers happy who make bank selling products.
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  • Profile picture of the author rlopez88
    That's what I ask a lot too. I guess because people are lazy and they want all the information in one place and instead of researching on their own.
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  • Profile picture of the author Global Content Services
    It is sometimes hard to trust stuff that you get for free, considering you need it for mind enrichment. Just generally speaking.
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    • Profile picture of the author fredlynx
      There's fish in the ocean, meat in the form of animals in the forest, berries and mushrooms etc etc...
      Still, people go to the convenience store...
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  • Profile picture of the author sbucciarel
    Why do people go to school or college? To learn from people that they consider experts or that they respect.

    Do a Google search on any topic at all, and the info will be free, but who is giving it to you? Just because people type something and upload it to the Internet doesn't make that info valuable.

    I prefer to eliminate all the research that goes into finding and vetting information and get it all from one reliable source.
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  • Profile picture of the author Stuart Walker
    Time is money.

    I could spend 5hrs trying to get a complete picture about what I want to know or instead I can buy something where the research is done for me and compiled in a nice easy to view book / ebook.

    I know what I prefer.
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  • Profile picture of the author mikeink
    Why do people by a cookbook for?
    The information is in there on how to make PANCAKES from scratch.
    and not from Aunt Jermania

    So there is no time lost looking up the recipe online.

    Well let me see. OH yea need to start work on my ???????? again.
    Been working for slave wages to long.

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  • Profile picture of the author Lurk
    Probably because they dont want to have a free sub domain that when you click it, it goes to a 404 page.


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  • Profile picture of the author RedShifted
    Lack of intelligence or for mere entertainment.

    I've read many of the classic business books like "Think & Grow Rich", "4 Hour Work Week", "The Ultimate Sales Letter", "The Unfair Advantage" etc etc and those books are entertaining and educational... but I didn't learn any PRACTICAL information.

    Because I'm not trying to build an internationally renowned, multibillion dollar car manufacturing facility. I'm not trying to write and sell a best selling book. I'm not trying to become another Dan Kennedy.

    All the profitable methods I use and apply today, are methods I learned through 1 thing -

    1) Testing.

    You can research and read your ass off, but you don't learn a thing till you get your hands "dirty". And the truth is, I could have skipped all those books, got right to taking action and I'd be in the same exact position I'm in today.
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    • Profile picture of the author Stefan Vee
      Free stuff is anything between "yes", "no" and "maybe" answered by anyone (with or without an opinion).
      A GOOD premium info-product is about "yes", "no" and "maybe" answered by an expert who likes to be paid for his knowledge and expertise.
      If the expert answers "yes", you probably could have found a similar "yes" elsewhere on the internet for free.
      If the expert answers "no" or "maybe", then most likely you could have found a similar answer at some place else for free too.
      Then why pay?
      The fact that I am absolutely sure that an expert answered "yes", "no" or "maybe" is what differs for me.
      It saves me TONS of time.
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