A.: We have decided to drop that program. (1) It was inconvenient to set up meeting facilities in this area. (2) EBay was not doing nearly enough to promote the Education Specialists that are out in the field, and (3) too many people see no need to pay for training, even though we see MANY people using eBay badly.
A.: Several things:
- We did not do proper research on the topic before introducing the site, and therefore we did not get the traffic to it that we had hoped for.
- It was not paying its own way.
- The site builder that we used (a free one) had too many glitches in the program, and was causing us too much wasted time.
- Since it was more of a "catalog" site, there were way too many products on the site and way too many pages, making it a nightmare to maintain.
- The look of the site needed updating, partly due to the (too simplified) web builder that we were using.
Q.: In this marketing information that you have been sharing, why should we believe what you tell us in your recommendations?
A.: That's a very good question. We have been involved with internet marketing since the end of the year 1999. Our official license date was 1/1/2000. You can read our "About Us" page and see what we have accomplished during that time, and prior to it.
I left my job as a master electrician and robotics technician for an employer around that same time, and have been studying information and techniques from over a hundred different professional marketers ever since. Every spare minute of time has been spent studying the various aspects of online marketing, through books, reports, videos, audios, and seminars. That is combined with over 40 years of real life business experience, managing businesses worth as much as $8,000,000 (in 1980's money).
Now I feel as though I have finally caught up to the rest of the world (and in some areas surpassed it) in the internet marketing knowledge gained. Since I had a head start as a robotics technician, I feel that the technical aspects of it are my strong points. The psychology of it, I'm still learning!
In most other areas of education, ten+ years of learning would be equivalent to at least a Master's Degree! But that doesn't mean that a professor who teaches finance is going to be a multi-millionaire, either! Everyone has their own particular "niches" to work with, and their reasons for doing what they do.
As of 2010, we are both retired from the working world, and our goal is to make the extra money we want in the least amount of time, and to have fun. We're not trying to create a multi-million dollar empire. We are happy to make a decent living. (My wife worked on our business part time until Spring of 2005, when she left her job with a major bank when we moved to Arkansas, and has been working side by side with me ever since.)
Q.: If you are so knowledgeable, why don't we see your name mentioned in the marketing arena more?
A.: Like the majority of the marketers in the world, we have struggled to get a feel for what path we wanted to follow, and in the process, tried many that didn't work out. It has only been in the last few years that we have really put a plan together for where we want to go from here.
Also, we still had to make a living, and until 2010, our service business still took a lot of our time, keeping us from implementing many of the things we have learned. It's not that we don't know how to do them, we just haven't had time. I can easily advise a person what they should do in much less time than it takes to actually do it. Therefore, I can share my knowledge with a great many people without going out and performing that activity myself.
It is up to them how they apply that knowledge. Some will... 95% won't. I am only interested in working with people who are serious, and self-starters. Also, there are many things that I have learned that are in areas which I do not care to pursue, because they are not on my own path.
Fancy graphics are not what sells, although a site has to be "somewhat" visually appealing as well as easy to navigate. It's the content and the sales message that sells. Some of the most plain-looking sites in the world (and also the ugliest) are some of the best money-making sites in the world. The wise marketer knows from where the money flows.No one person is an expert at everything, not even the top rated "gurus". They all have their specialty areas of marketing. They are all in a constant state of learning, as are we. But we all have knowledge that someone else doesn't, which is why becoming active in a group of people who have similar goals is crucial to success. People who only sit on the sidelines and observe, without asking questions or implementing what they learn, aren't going to get very far in anything.
One young marketer only got started in 2008 and is already a millionaire because he knows how to do one thing very well, and therefore is qualified to teach only that method to others. But does he know all that we know? There is no way he could cram ten years of study into just two years!
Our knowledge is much more "diversified" than his! But...it also shows why specializing in one thing and doing it well is usually the best path. Some people have fallen into one aspect or another of marketing and have done EXTREMELY well, especially if they had a mentor to help them. However, as in everything else, those people are in the minority. Only a small percentage of online entrepreneurs ever become millionaires, but many manage to make a comfortable living from it.
Some young "go-getters" may thrive on creating a multi-million dollar business, while "older folks" may only be interested in meeting their budget, and anything beyond that is a bonus. As with any money making venture, it takes work, and you only get out of it what you have time to put into it.
Even the most respected online report about marketers and their products only lists the top 300, and most of those are marketers who sell marketing materials to other "wanna be" marketers. There is no way they can keep track of everyone, when there are over 750,000 people making a full or part time living just on eBay alone! That doesn't even count the ones who are selling their own or other people's products from web sites, providing services such as graphic arts, IT work, computer repair or any one of the countless other sales venues available to them!We have learned one thing in life, and that is that you don't have to be a millionaire to be considered successful. If you can meet the goals that you set for yourself, and accomplish what you set out to do, then you are successful.
If all you want to do is make enough extra money to supplement a regular job, you can be successful at it. Just make sure that your goals and expectations are realistic, and grow from there. Less than 5% of all marketers make enough money to meet their expenses in "overnight" endeavors. Any business takes time to grow. Anyone who who tries to tell you that you are going to become rich overnight is lying to you!
The internet is a vast wasteland of useless information for the most part. It is VERY hard to stay focused on one particular avenue when you are getting started, because you may not know what path you want to follow. One link leads to another link, and yet to another link, and before long you are lost, both in direction, as well as having wasted valuable time.
Much of what we offer is free, and if we make a little from our recommendations of some of the other products, or generous donations from people we have helped, then why not? That's what marketing is all about.....making sales, and making money. The rest is learned as you go at whatever pace you have set for yourself.
The tools and knowledge are available to ANYONE. But no one can make you work or give you more time. Your own success depends upon YOU and the decisions you alone have to make. When you reach a point that you have surpassed our knowledge level, then good for you! By then you will know who the next one is that can guide you further down the road.
Q.: What if I am not satisfied with a product we purchase from you on one of your other sites?
A.: If it was purchased directly from us (such as on eBay or from one of our sites) we will refund your money to you. If it's a physical product, we'll make the refund once we receive the product back in original condition, or at least an emailed photo of the damaged item. However, you must pay the return shipping costs.
For downloadable products, we will just take your word for it.....for now. However, we are working on converting all of our digital products to a format that will allow us full control, including shutting off access to many of them if necessary.
If you purchase a product through one of our links, from another vendor, then he is the one that sold it to you, and he handles the questions, the customer service, the transaction, the warehousing and the shipping. If there is a problem with the product or the order, then you need to contact him.
Look at it this way, if we told you a Chevy was a good car and you went and bought one from a dealer, and then had a problem with it... would you expect us to take care of warranty work for you? I don't think so. That's General Motor's problem. However, if you have a bad experience with anyone we recommend, please let us know. We won't recommend anyone who doesn't provide excellent products and customer service!
Q.: What if I don't want to use a credit card to pay for the product(s) I want?
A.: PayPal also has the ability to pay by electronic check online (as long as you have a verified account with them, which is very easy to set up). We never see your payment information... not even the online check. That is all handled on PayPal's secure servers. They send us the information on what to ship and who to ship it to....that's all. Where possible, you can send us a check or money order, if you wish (except for eBay sales, which HAVE to be run through PayPal), but we must wait until the check clears before we ship your order.
We no longer process credit cards offline (in person or by phone), both for security reasons, as well as expense. The few times a year that we processed credit cards by phone did not justify the costs for the service. Also, we are not always in the office to take calls. However, if we are face to face, you can always use any computer (mine or yours) to log into PayPal and make an immediate payment by any means they allow. As soon as you are done, I will receive notice of it by email, and you're good to go!
Are you still afraid of purchasing on the internet?
Only a proper education and open mind can remove a fear of anything, whether it be handling spiders or snakes or purchasing on the web. I can tell you that we have been both buying AND selling on the web for over 15 years, and have NEVER had a problem that was not OUR OWN fault! And once we realized what the problem was, we never made that same mistake again!
I have heard people make every lame excuse in the book about why they won't shop online, and EVERY excuse I have heard can be attributed to one thing: The customer did not read the instructions or have proper knowledge of the system! Not once have I ever seen a case where the payment processor was at fault!
The one and only instance where we did not receive our goods after making a purchase was again, OUR FAULT! We didn't check out the vendor's credibility first. We realized after the fact that the vendor did not have proper contact information on the site, and after trying in vain to contact him, we simply did a fund reversal request through our bank and got our money back. Problem solved!
If you have heard anything on the news about people breaking into websites, please don't be alarmed by such things. Why? It's nearly always web sites that don't have proper safety measures in place. Because nearly every web site that processes orders online are protected by an encryption process on the servers, and credit card transactions are nearly always handled by third-party companies that specialize in such things.
This site has been hacked in the past, and someone tried to establish themselves as an administrator on the site. Again, it was my own fault because of the way I had the site set up, which I have since corrected. That's also why I have automatic "notifiers" in place that alert me to any actions on the sites. But my notifications caught them within minutes and I was able to remove them, and I then turned them over to the federal authorities!
I don't claim to have the kind of security that payment processors have because I don't handle payments on ANY of my sites! That's why we use professional payment processors to handle transactions!
When you hear of places getting hacked, it always seems to be stores...never payment processing companies. And most of the hacks are people trying to make a point, not necessarily because they want to actually "use" the information that they access...although some do. Even large stores do not use their own payment processors to handle credit and debit cards. Unless they need to ship something to you, they have no reason to store your home address or any other information than what they need to process the sale.
A web site itself does not need to have encryption unless it handles sensitive information. Clicking a link IS NOT sensitive information. Neither is the shipping information you must provide to the vendor. It's the payment FOR that purchase that contains sensitive information, which is why we (nor anyone else) do not do that on our site.
The purchase request (the "add to cart" or "buy now" button) opens a window in the payment processor's web site (in our case, PayPal), the largest and most trusted name in online payment processing in the world, and THEY handle the payment processing. We never see your credit card information. All we know is what you ordered and how and where to ship it. That's all we need to know.
An encryption process is many, many times more complex than you can imagine. One of our suppliers once told us that the process they use is "forty times more complicated than the protection applied to government radio transmissions used during operation Desert Storm."
Now, I don't know about you, but if a much less complicated process is good enough to keep vital information out of the hands of our nation's enemies, then what do you have to worry about with buying on the web? Absolutely nothing! Your chances of having credit card information stolen at a brick and mortar type store is 10,000 times more likely, because OTHER people.... strangers... may have your card in their hands! It takes less than 2 seconds to make a card imprint in clay and copy the three numbers off the back of it. Things like that happen at restaurants every day! It CAN'T happen on the web!
We do not obtain or store any of our customers information except what is necessary to know that we have been paid (PayPal verifies that), what you have ordered, and your shipping information. Your actual payment information (card number, etc.) goes through PayPal, the largest and most successful payment processor on the web (plus it is owned by Ebay, the largest and most successful online auction house on the web) so you know it will be processed with the tightest security available. We never see your payment information.
Don't like shipping fees?
The IRS doesn't allow nearly enough of a deduction to cover the cost of operating our vehicles, and if you aren't in business and can't deduct your mileage, you don't get anything back!
When I was still making payments on our Dakota Quad-Cab, I kept good records of all the expenses incurred (payments, insurance, taxes, maintenance, fuel, etc.), and the mileage driven every year. I was surprised to find that the total expenses came to 75 cents per mile! Obviously, I chose to take the actual expenses when filing our taxes, rather than the standard mileage deduction the IRS allows, otherwise I would have been losing money! And if you don't run a small business, you get nothing back anyway!
If you live in a rural area, where you don't have much of a choice in stores, the problem gets even worse! You have to drive even farther to get what you want! Most stores on the internet have LOWER PRICES because their overhead costs are lower, so even if there were shipping added, you're still paying a lower price than you would by driving to the local mall! Also, you can do all the comparison shopping for price while sitting at your table or watching TV. You will know immediately who has the best prices to save you money, and can have the item on its way to you in less time than you can get the car out of the garage!
If you shop internet stores regularly, you will find that they have frequent sales, rebates and free shipping on many of their items. Plus, there's the added benefit of (usually) NO SALES TAX* when you purchase on the web (unless the vendor has a store in the state in which you live)!
So relax, sit back, and enjoy your shopping! Let someone else fight the traffic and the added expense! The fear of making a mistake and punching the wrong button is the worst fear that anyone has on the computer or internet. The only way to get over it is to get the experience and the only way to do that is to just DO IT! Practice makes perfect!
I have been working with computers since 1986, and have been buying and selling on the web since 1999. I haven't blown anything up yet, no one has stolen any of my money or financial information, I have saved THOUSANDS of DOLLARS by finding better deals and having them delivered to my door than I ever could have found at a physical store, and I have used the web to make money!
* (Check with your tax person, but internet purchases may be subject to sales tax if purchased in your own state, or you may have to pay your state's "use tax" when you file your taxes at the end of the year. Currently, only a handful of states are charging sales tax on internet sales, but there is legislation pending to make it mandatory for all states.)
We pride ourselves in providing a quality product, and we offer a money back guarantee (on products purchased directly from us) if you are not satisfied with your purchase. If you have any questions about our products before you place an order, please leave us a comment below and we will replay ASAP. We will be glad to answer your questions.