Plimus Bans Internet Marketing Products (Because of $37 Clickbank-Style Offers)

Plimus (the payment processor) has now officially banned internet marketing products:

Valued Plimus Affiliate,

We wanted to advise you we are no longer supporting Internet Marketing (IM) and Business Operations (Biz-Ops) products, for which our records show you are an affiliate. This does not affect any previous sales referrals you are due payment for. Payouts of those will proceed without issue. Since the product is no longer offered on Plimus there will be no future commissions to be earned.

Thank you for marketing one of our vendor products. We hope you will go to the Plimus Marketplace and find new products for you to promote and earn commission on. If there is something we can do to assist please do not hesitate to contact us.

The Plimus Team

I'm actually surprised it took this long. If you haven't heard of Plimus, here's what happened. You may have seen "blind offer" sales letters... the ones that say: you don't deserve to be on this page, make money from home, earn a residual income, run this software and make money.

"You're 6 clicks away from making a million dollars."

"Don't trust the gurus, they lie to you,
by the way I am a guru, you should trust me."

"If you want 6 times as much money just run the software 6 times."

Most of this "traffic" and "marketing" software was usually something simple like a domain name finder, email harvester, blog comment spammer, bulk page generator or something similar... not even worth $10.

The sales letter hyped up the "results" of the product showing you tons of earnings screenshots... telling you this ISN'T AdSense, this ISN'T SEO, this ISN'T product creation... buy here to find out what it is.

As you can imagine the refund rate on this was pretty high. Payment processors like Clickbank can tolerate a pretty high refund rate but this was even too much for them.

What happened: these products were banned from Clickbank they all moved to Plimus... and now they're banned from Plimus.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with a small percentage of marketers "ruining it for the rest of us" ... it was bound to happen eventually, just like:

  • "Biz opps" and "multilevel marketing" are banned from PayPal
  • "Internet marketing" mailing lists are banned from MailChimp
  • "Non-typical results" are banned according to the FTC
  • "Make money online" products were originally banned from Facebook Ads
  • "Work from home" videos are recently being banned from YouTube
  • "Get rich quick" products are banned from Google AdWords
  • "Social media" products are banned from Clickbank
  • "Public domain" (non-unique) content was recently banned from Amazon Kindle

The moral of the story is: tell me exactly what your offer is and be very careful about relying on results and income claims to make your sale.

If you're selling software, I just want to see screenshots. If you're selling information, I just want to know what the information is. And most importantly (this was huge back when AdSense courses were coming out)... if your system makes $10,000 per day... why is it only $37???

What do you think about all this?

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Comments (95)

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  1. John Deck says:

    Most of the above I know of. Kindle banning PLR (non-unique)content, when did that happen? Though I am not one bit surprised.


  2. Robert Plank says:

    Hi John,

    This is the email Amazon sent to Kindle publishers yesterday (Saturday):

    Dear Publisher,

    We’re implementing a new policy standard that improves the customer experience problem caused by multiple, undifferentiated copies of public domain titles in our Kindle catalog.

    To protect the customer experience, weÒ€ℒve stopped accepting and selling duplicate, undifferentiated versions of KDP public domain titles. We will continue to offer differentiated versions, such as unique translations or illustrated versions. As a result, we are no longer accepting the following book(s) for sale on our web site:

    Our vision is to have high-quality editions of every public domain title in the world available on Kindle, including a free edition of each, and to avoid the confusion that is caused by having a large number of undifferentiated versions.

    If you believe that we have wrongly identified this title as an undifferentiated version of a public domain title, please republish your title through KDP, clearly describing in the title and description fields how the title is differentiated. If you have any questions or concerns regarding this process, please reply to … Please allow up to 7 days for a response.

    Thank you,

    They are fine with you publishing PLR as long as no one has put it on Kindle yet (kind of like how EzineArticles is fine with PLR as long as you’re the first person to publish it)… Amazon just doesn’t want 1000 identical copies of Sherlock Holmes in the Kindle store.

  3. John says:

    Hey rob, totally agree with you except for your last comment:

    “And most importantly (this was huge back when AdSense courses were coming out)… if your system makes $10,000 per day… why is it only $37???”

    I’ve seen many reputable marketers (matt and john rhodes, and many more)… all sell some form of system that made $X,XXX in XX days/months… for usually a small fee (under $100)….

    are you saying all income claim’s systems are fraudulent?

  4. Robert Plank says:

    Poker Johnny,

    If it’s “guaranteed” to make me $10,000 in a day, why is it only priced at $10? Why isn’t it priced at $100 or $1000 or even $10,000 if it is worth that much, and will make my money back in a day?

  5. Carlos says:

    Finally! It is about time. I have tried many of those programs and its not just that they don’t make hundreds of thousands per month…they don’t make hundreds of dollars per month. In fact, none that I’ve tried even made a dollar. I returned every one. I’m glad companies are finally cracking down on this crap. It is just a hassle and a waste of time. If the programs actually worked, people wouldn’t return them and they wouldn’t be banned.

  6. Robert Plank says:


    Why did you have to try “many” of these programs? Why didn’t you stop after one or two?

  7. Bolaji O says:

    Hey Robert,

    Thanks for sharing this news, and mapping out the trend.

    The risks of using short-cuts to get ahead are catching up with the purveyors of said short-cuts.

    Unfortunately, the “Make Money Online ” niche is full of new prospects, desperately seeking an alternative to a job they loathe (or unemployment).

    And so their entry into the market at a desperate time in their lives makes them more prone to ignore the internal warnings that tell them to stay away from blind offers, too-good-to-be-true offers, and push-button-then-cash-comes-out offers. πŸ™‚

    The snake oil salesmen that continue to push this deceptive stuff will find another pond to migrate to, and will eventually turn that into a cesspool as well.

    Until there’s no more demand for “get rich quick” schemes. Which, as long as there’s a recession (and probably even after the economy springs back)… that demand ain’t going nowhere. πŸ™‚

    Great food for thought.



  8. Robert Plank says:


    “Get rich quick” existed pre-recession, pre-depression, pre-biblical times… just look at how ridiculous Ponzi schemes were and people still went for them. People still play the lottery even though you would have to play once a week for 50,000 years just to have a 50/50 chance of winning the jackpot… and even if you did, statistically you’d have to share it with at least one other person, and you’d pay taxes on it, and (also statistically) you’d be happier NOT winning.

  9. It’s nice when SELLERS and BUYERS learn the “pay for what you get” message…

    Makes the whole marketplace better for bother BUYERS and SELLERS…

  10. Robert Plank says:

    Hi Lance,

    You and I have been fighting that battle since we both started marketing…

    The average person would rather buy ten $10 ebooks than one $100 home study course… because they would rather get a “bargain” and pay a low price for bad information and potentially pass over a slightly higher priced offer that is worth many times more than the cost.

  11. Bolaji O says:

    @Poker Johnny,

    Lee McIntyre said on an interview I was just listening to – he takes issue with guru marketers who sell the branches, but not the roots.

    Often the marketer very well may have achieved the results as advertised $XX,XXX from that particular strategy.

    So the branches you see are real.

    However, that marketer may have other assets (root) that allowed them to get such good results from the strategy.

    After all – the same water, sunlight and nutrients applied to a shoot and an oak tree, will have drastically different results.

    Note Robert’s use of parenthesis around “guaranteed”.

    Whenever that term is used or even implied, one should be cautious. Even when those grandiose results are true, they won’t be typical (unless you have a business footprint, and similar know-how, to the seller.)

    Another simple analogy is that a Ferrari can easily go above 120MPH… but a pro race car driver is much more prepared to get the most out of the car than a teenage kid. πŸ™‚

    Great discussion.

  12. Jane says:

    Agree with Bolaji. Whilst there’s still demand for get rich quick schemes, people will continue to buy them and the purveyors will find other routes to market.

    People need to grow up and realise that if it was THAT easy to make $1m, everyone would be doing it. The marketers take advantage of humans’ greed and laziness.

    The truth about business success is that it requires tenacity, taking calculated risks, hard work and usually some kind of innovation. Most people, frankly, do not have these qualities in abundance and are not prepared to put in the 10 years hard work to become an “over night” success.

  13. Ian Fernando says:

    I knew it too and I called it! damn these greedy guys – you are right why sell your product for 37$ when its making 100k in just 12 hours… lol

  14. Mitch Powell says:

    A lot of these exclusions are no surprise to me. But there is one thing that jumped out at me right away. That is, if Plimus is such a professional company, how could they make the mistake of referring to “biz-ops” as “business OPERATIONS?” Digital products that contain information about the operation of a business ought to be just fine with them. On the other hand, digital products that promote business OPPORTUNITIES is what I think they really meant to say in their letter. Who did the proofreading before they sent out that very important letter?

  15. @Jane,

    You mean I can’t buy your $37 course, read half, implement a third and retire???

    I want a REFUND!



  16. John says:

    I can see your view point, but again…

    The majority of offers online have guarantees.

    I think yes, some of these offers particularly the push button software… boasting about millions of dollars are all just garbage…

    however not all of them are like this… and sometimes the consumer is to blame.

    The reason why I say this is because i am making a full time living from buying a course (i wont name him here)… but it was $67 and now even though i’m not earning $20,000 per month… im making a solid $5-6,000 every month from his teachings.

    I’ve also seen a lot of people complain and call his stuff a scam when in fact they just are too lazy to actually take action.

  17. Robert Plank says:


    There is still a percentage that just won’t refund out of shame, or don’t know the refund process… they are playing a numbers game… if they sell 20,000 copies at $37 and half the people refund… they make a decent amount of money even after commissions selling stuff that doesn’t work…

    I have seen some shady stuff go down such as billing customers even after they chargeback or requiring customers to mail a physical item in just to stop a monthly rebill… not even to get a refund… just to keep the credit card from being billed… pretty bad stuff.

    But I agree with you, there are LOTS of good offers out there.

  18. I will buy anyone’s product right now IF…

    That can get me a $2k return for $17 in 7 days (do I actually have to do something? because that might change my mind)…

    That kind of guarantee screams FTC all over it… I’m just saying..

  19. hopefully these actions will keep that lower 2% that have no integrity about how and who they obtain $$ from. Hiding behind ‘its legal’ instead if ‘its right, its a win-win for everyone involved’.

  20. Geoff says:

    It is sad how many marketer’s prey on desperate people with the whole make a million dollars by next week strategy, I guess that has been around as long as capitalism, and probably longer. Thanks for providing actual tools and training that work.

  21. hagar says:

    I wasn’t aware of the Kindle block on public domain, but it doesn’t surprise me… there’s been several WSO’s on doing exactly that kind of publishing. More of a concern to me, is that Congress actually rolled back public domain classification on a number of “standard” reference and teaching texts, making it illegal to reprint sections of them, and actually rendering some historical and archeological textbooks in violation… Germany and Italy have done similar things in the past, but it’s a first for our government.

  22. Honesty and integrity are not dead, but a few have tried to kill them for us all. Thanks for the heads up, Robert. I believe we’re into the beginnings of the regulation stage for the internet. Don’t like it at all, but sad that the scammers are making it hard for all of us.

    Keep up the great work, Robert!

    Theresa 😎

  23. Robert Plank says:


    The way I see it, I have seen plenty of “dark side” marketers doing great (or looking great) now, but they won’t be in business in a year or two… or if they do it’ll be under a different name.

  24. How sad that there is no $money tree growing behind those $997, now $497, now $97, now $47, and even now $27
    money making schemes. I am really wondering why Plimus and Clickbank took so long to check out the realities before allowing the sale of the “products”? For my part all I really want to sell are real things via Amazon, CJ and the world where real people can buy real things – not dreams.

    Good work Robert.

  25. Jeff Bode says:

    Paypal has banned shut down a number of people selling “IM” products recently even though they have low refund rates, charge backs, don’t use blind copy sales pages…

    FYI I would never guarantee any results on my sales pages.. most people will not put in enough effort regardless

  26. Adwello says:

    Well, I for one am very tired of being offered the fad CB products promising me overnight riches in exchange for shelling out $37 – oh sorry, $27 if I leave the sales page (although there are only 3 copies available at this discount price) and I think these are devaluing the entire affiliate marketing niche, sadly.

    Now no one knows whom to trust any more. I think subscriber lists which feature direct affiliate link after link are also to blame, with major autoresponders becoming increasingly wary of affiliates.

    Personally, I have never bought into the lead generation to promote affiliate links via email game: I believe in integrity and offering solid content value – people want advice and tips not sales pages.

    True, marketers like to make a living – so serve your subscribers well with genuine links to blog post content and free reports, and link from these to your own product sales page. Everyone respects an expert.

    I have departed the affiliate marketing niche for Success Mindset – the chance to offer real value to my readers based on my research and life experience – also a point of contact for building a real blog community which offers value to all.

  27. As a newbie to IM and, like most newbies, a bit desperate to succeed, what do you experts recommend I do? I have been following Welly Mulia’s course which I think is very good and I know that you shouldn’t be a NALO – no action, learn only – but I still feel I need more help.

    Thanks for any advice you can give.


  28. I think this will open up the doors for all to have products and sell them for a fair share of the market.

    The Kindle thing, I am very glad to hear πŸ™‚

    Maybe effort will be equal to return one day.

  29. Chris says:

    So, who is still allowing these type of products? ‘Perhaps’ a short Ebook (for $7 :P) telling us all where we can still sell ‘biz opp’ & IM products? I just today bought one of the ‘new’ Facebook deals, (w/MRR’s of course), for a Facebook > Amazon/Ebay store setup; thru 2Checkout, but used my Paypal acct. And it went thru fine so what’s up with that? Paypal is willing to take your ‘biz opp/im’ cash but thru a proxy?

    (That list would be good, and great if it was free!)

  30. Robert Plank says:


    I’m pretty sure PayPal doesn’t consider an ebook (even one about how to make money) a bizopp, they just don’t want you running any 2-tier or multi-level stuff or “pay me to join my affiliate program” kind of stuff through them.

  31. Gary says:

    I haven’t seen anything but junk promoted via plimus so I’m not surprised they didn’t want to become widely associated with the like of it.

  32. Robert Plank says:

    Same here Gary. I’m glad Plimus nipped this in the bud early so they can grow to become a legit solution just like PayPal, Clickbank, 1ShoppingCart, and 2Checkout.

  33. “Lee McIntyre said on an interview I was just listening to – he takes issue with guru marketers who sell the branches, but not the roots.”

    I like that saying, I used to call it “selling homeing pigeons” πŸ™‚

    How many have parted with squillions to then have their hard drives disintegrate???

    => create the desire->this->to be like x
    => get affiliates->this->list for x
    => sell the fulfillment->this->money for x
    => destroy the competition->this->last man standing is x

    Fail Fast πŸ™‚

  34. Glen Wayne says:

    The good news is that there is a fairly large group of very successful internet marketers that are fed up with the garbage out there. They are banding together and at the moment have a “code of honor” in place that will have a very positive impact on the I.M. world.

    (Over the past eight months I have seen this grow tremendously.)

    This movement is growing and getting stronger everyday. Great things will come out of this.

    This world always has a good vs. bad struggle going on and this is true of I.M. world right now but the good will prevail!

  35. Chris says:

    ….oops, hit send too early. I’ve spent considerable $ this week alone, most thru WSO Pro; and none were a problem. Every single one went thru my Paypal account w/o a hitch.
    We all knew this was bound to happen as previously mentioned, but more importantly; the avenues to continue selling ‘biz opp/im’ stuff is needed NOW. There are tons of products in both these categories that ‘shouldn’t’ be penalized as I’m sure they will.
    Is there anywhere to go for more detailed info on how to get around this? (that list!)

    It’s funny, because the product seller mentioned above stated that he was having to sell thru 2CO because of ‘his problems’ with Paypal. Yet, as mentioned; I used PP w/o a hitch after going thru 2CO.

    Anyway, thanks Bob; will have to go to the sites in your list and see what’s allowed.

  36. Trevor Baret says:

    Thanks for the information.

    A couple there I am not sure I understand, particularly -“Work from home” videos are recently being banned from YouTube

    This means that it is hard to use video marketing.

    Robert and Lance have certainly had a number of videos on YouTube. You might get away with calling them “information” videos, but they usually included a sales pitch for one of your various “work from home” courses. Of course you don’t call them that, but the fact is that what you are selling is the way to work from home and “fire your boss”.

    So where do we market our products.

    Why would PayPal ban Network Marketing – it is one of the most stable marketing systems known today, and growing bigger all the time and supported and used by some of the biggest names in business (like Coke).

    Just some thoughts…

  37. Robert Plank says:

    I actually had a YouTube account banned a few years ago because I put too many PowerPoint-based video articles on there with a pitch at the end.

    If you are going to market straightforward stuff, go with PayPal or Clickbank. If you’re going with any crazy payment systems or MLM kind of stuff, get your own merchant account, and tell your merchant provider what you are doing ahead of time.

  38. This banning stuff just confuses me at first, and I know that once the dust settles and I have thought about it a little bit, plenty of opportunities will arise that need just a little bit of thought and effort. Meanwhile, push-button marketers will have given up and pronounced it ‘dead’, and there will be big gaps for the rest of us to fill. Ethically. So I see it as a good thing in that regard.

    But there are lots of unclear parts to this. Have Plimus given clear definitions of what an ‘Internet Marketing product’ actually is and is not? Would they say that Webinar Crusher is an internet marketing product, for example, as to a degree it involves marketing and using the internet? I need them to be more specific about what they are banning.

    Is it just the case that they’ll ban you if you use the phrases that they are targeting, but if you don’t, they won’t (yet)? This is how Youtube appear to have gone about banning accounts in recent weeks.

    If I have a product on copywriting for online sales letters, should I be worried? How am I going to convince people that this isn’t internet marketing?

    So now there are some more new rules to follow. It’s fun when things change, we need to adapt and change in order to grow. It just feels a little uncomfortable, that’s all.

    Robert, you make a great point about how people repeatedly go for $10 crud rather than $100+ gold. I think that buyers are confused by price as an indicator of value, and they ‘know’ that they can take 10 risks on products at $10 for every 1 risk at $100. They have no real way of knowing that the $100 product is way better, just on price alone (but buyers often do not do their due diligence, and buy on emotional triggers from the sales letters, and lap up ‘price drop’ nonsense. I base this anecdotally on my own poor judgement in the past – I have no hard data on how buyers behave. I doubt that I am the only one who has done that though).

    If price were a trusted indicator of value, then we would all buy those $2000 products that often turn out to be incomplete and/or unclear (not your products though guys!). But I often see cheap $10 WSO’s that are much better step-by-step foolproof guides than the $2000 courses that turn out to be lots of vague fluff and filler.

    And on price to value ratio: you do some pretty outrageous price drops yourselves, and I guess if you look back you could say the same thing – why did you sell $7000 of value for $497 or $997 etc? Or from the other angle, why did you say it was worth $7000? I have an understanding of why you use that tactic, and I am fine with it, but would others view it the same way?

    You and Lance teach what you do and have the evidence to back it up. That’s why I keep buying your stuff, because you show me how it works, I go and do it, and it works. The issue as I see it is educating the marketplace to understand why your kinds of evidence are so much more trustworthy than a few testimonials, screenshots of accounts, and a persuasive sales pitch.

  39. Scott says:

    I might be wrong but the last time I checked the FTC website it addressed MLMers who show their commission checks (whether in person or online). The FTC considers that a ‘form of enticement’ and is also illegal.

    My question to all intelligent marketers is, “why would you NEED to make income claims, show screenshots or checks to make money?”

    In a way, you’re basically “selling” money to make money.

  40. Luke says:

    The only bad I see is that with a broad stroke some good products will get dumped with the bad. I didn’t use Plimus so it didn’t affect me directly but certainly it was time for a lot of the “Clickbank rejects” to get bumped off of Plimus as well.

    Unfortunately, Paypal seems to be taking a rather aggressive stance as of late. I’ve read more than one horror story from marketers that seemed to have been running a fairly decent setup but were banned regardless.

    Always have a backup plan…

  41. Clyde says:

    I suppose the bottom line is we should not buy anything that looks or sounds to good to be true. Also, it would be advisable to know, like and trust the person doing the selling. Guess I just shot myself in the foot for any sales from the URL I listed.

    The other thing is don’t sell anything you would not be happy if your mom or daughter bought it and charge what it is worth.

    Just my thoughts but it sort of looks like Robert and Lance’s plan as well.

  42. This is fantastic. Now if Clickbank would crack down on similar hyped up products we can go back to 2009 and sell courses that are closer to the real proven method of online marketing.

    Of course this means consolidation in the industry with established experts earning more money than ever and average “no name” people continuing to struggle as suspicion and scam fears get worse by the day.

    Sorry if that sounds negative but that is just the reality of online marketing.

  43. Robert Plank says:


    Clickbank is cracking down especially on products that run huge volume and have huge refund rates.

    I’m not sure why you have such a negative attitude about it but you can still make money… maybe you would be happier in a different niche than internet marketing.

  44. Clyde says:

    We could all get Merchant Accounts through our banks and cut out Paypal, etc. all together.

  45. Robert Plank says:


    What’s so bad about PayPal? If you want to handle all your own telephone support, be my guest.

  46. “Robert, you make a great point about how people repeatedly go for $10 crud rather than $100+ gold.”

    Maybe they started off buying what was meant to be %=$100 gold that was then free or a few dollars the next week, rendering it worthless and useless, another way to make sure there is no competeition left.

    => sell High->this->x gets the big bucks
    => overexposure->this->competition=(0);
    echo’x wins again’;

    Mr X’s credebility has tested the faith of many.

  47. Well it bound to happen… sooner or later.

    But Plimus is kind of scary for me to deal with personally and I would not use them as a payment processor. I’ve been on the receiving end too many times even with a verified Paypal email where I have to wait for a phone verification. Maybe because I’m not in the US… but still its way too much hassle for someone who has paid and yet has to wait for “verification” to get their hands on what they have paid for.

    Coming to the produts themselves… well out of the 1000s of dollars I’ve spent only a fraction even deserves a mention. There truly are only a handful of genuine IMers (or call them gurus) who really put out great courses and products.

    Also, there will always be a new place for such people to thrive… I mean I cannot imagine the Warrior Forum banning all such products, WSOs and “WF gurus”. In fact you run the risk of being banned if you speak out otherwise at such places… so I am sure gurus selling get rich schemes will find a new way and a new place to market their products.

  48. Donna says:

    Interesting dialogue following your on-target post!

    I, too, dislike seeing those proof of income photos of people’s ClickBank accounts or any accounts, their new Ferrari, their multi-million dollar homes, etc. It’s insulting to the reader, who knows that they themselves will likely never savor such enormous wealth.

    And yet, being the dreamers we are, somehow we convince ourselves that we should buy this “amazing product” on the outside chance we could make a few thousand or even a few hundred.

    “All with just a few mouse clicks…”

    Way back when I was a newbie, I fell for the old script that said you had to buy before midnight tonight or pay twice the price in the morning. Argh! Months later I checked the same site and the same message, only with today’s date was ‘threatening’ the potential buyer with a price increase.

    Anyway, just wanted to say I appreciate your informative blog and your excellent products, I’ve never regretted a single purchase from you.

  49. Robert Plank says:


    There are a couple of these that still get me to buy out of curiosity. There was one where a guy goes to a garbage man on the street, takes out his iPhone, sets up a website for him, then fast-forward 15 minutes later and he has 50 bucks in it… he says “where can we send the check” and “I’ll write down this code for you and you can type it in at the internet cafe to make more money”

    It is targeting the desperate, lazy, gullible, lowest common denominator crowd… not sustainable.

  50. Arelthia says:

    Companies like Plimus and Youtube are doing what they have to do to avoid their own legal mess.

  51. Samantha says:

    This is absolutely Awesome and way too late, but better late than never. I say this because these products and sales letters/techniques should have never been allowed or approved from the very beginning. They are a complete insult to anyone with morals and intelligence; for that matter anyone who breaths!

  52. Ed says:

    Rajiv, yes, I wonder how long it will take for the Warrior Forum to clean up it’s own act. Talk about a bunch of foxes tending the fox den! I’ve gotten some real garbage from there – everyone’s a ‘GURU’ and I’ve been threatened by the seller by PM on calling him on his garbage or misrepresentation. Real sweet in the threads, but behind the scenes …yikes!

    Back to the subject of this thread, I have found some absolute gems in the $37 products, but still have yet to find any >$300 product to be worth 10% of that, at least not in this business, so I don’t do that any more. I might consider it if it was extremely focused on solving a severe business problem I was having, though, but treading lightly even then.

    I don’t know, I guess I’m in the minority here, but I’m getting real tired of businesses on the ‘Net telling you what you can buy, where you can buy it, how you must buy it, what price you will pay, etc. and especially Google telling you WHAT web sites you are allowed to see if you have to use ‘Search’ to get there. Especially since it’s in the false guise of “an improved user experience” when it’s truly nothing more than age-old revenue driven decision making. The customers never have received consideration beyond which ones are likely to deliver more in profits.

    This is all heading for a huge reconstruction and I sure hope there’s a wide consensus when the next gen of the Internet rolls out and not three 16 year-olds pulling the strings to maximize profits.

  53. Donna, I did that for years, and, bought at the high price, and found that it was pennies shortly after.

    I did it because, I have a lot of faith, and, “Faith is Eternal”. I kept thinking that it would hold value for all, but, $600,000 later……

    X has all my money I made by hard work growing trees.




  54. Clickbank recently announced that they are taking a harsher attitude against these cheap products and I think all the affiliate programs will follow suite in order to assist the FTC in getting rid of the cheats out there who think they can make quick buck. Although it will be difficult but it is a start.
    Secondly it assist the marketers in promoting decent products that are of value.

  55. Love this topic. When I put out an offering I work very hard to give 10 times the value of what I am charging for my product. I also think that targeting the type of people that will follow through with what you teach is also key. That is why I don’t teach newbies affiliate marketing. Keep the good stuff coming Robert.

  56. To qualify.

    My poison was not those types of products.
    One will buy what motivates them, if it greed, then they will buy those.

    Mine was knowledge, ability to achieve a wonderful site… that became many, as all the products seemed so great.. it may have been greed also, but, was for what I would call tangable digital… plr expecially… the possibilities and urgency conveyed.

    We can clean up the net, by resisting, buy ethically, and sell the same way.

    If a business has no customers, it closes fast.

    The same goes with the environment, we all look to legislation to change our world, then complain of overlegislating.

    Individually and as a collective, we have the power to change the way things are.

  57. Ann Marie says:


    Thanks for the article. I have also enjoyed reading everyone’s input and I am so encouraged at how many IMs are willing to raise a standard of excellence.

    As an IM newbie I am learning one thing. Be real for you are dealing with real people.

    Always remembering I too am a customer…how do I want a product/service presented to me?

    Besides if the product/service is good there is no need to over inflate it with hype. Excitement is good especially when it is about a REAL product/service that has REAL benefits.

  58. Hi Robert,
    I have recently come full circle in my learning of Internet Marketing and almost ready to publish my site. I too like many others have spent a small fortune on training materials, programs etc, much of it not worth the band width to download. It is unfortunate there is so many dodgy marketers and the industry is trying to curb this with methods as you discuss. I suggest that the industry looks to countries with fair regulatory controls.

    In my country “New Zealand”, we have a law called “The Fair Trading Act”. This law has proven to knock out all the unrealistic and bold claims often made to the prospective buyer. If a claim is made about a product then it must comply. If a company in N.Z is found to blatantly misrepresent a product then they could face prosecution and fines up to $200000.

    Needless to say New Zealand has become one of the safest places in the world in which to be a consumer. If the internet industry giants could enforce even part of N.Zs policies then this would rid us of the blatant illegal and immoral rip offs.


  59. Ray says:


    It’s obvious the IM making money niche has to clean up it’s act. Not enough high profile marketers such as yourself are highlighting the seedier side of the business.

    There should be put in place some form of standard business code of ethical conduct. Because one thing is for sure, there is a storm coming.

  60. Marcel says:

    I love this industry but we have a lot to clean up.

  61. Chris says:

    “It is targeting the desperate, lazy, gullible, lowest common denominator crowd… not sustainable”

    BS is BS – Good Riddance! Hope they clean up CB especially.

    People question why I never had a never had a problem with Paypal… ? Never sold off-the-wall BS.

    At the end of the day, are you willing to walk down the street and put up “rent money” for a legal storefront on your business. If you are willing and can sustain it, then you just about passed the BS test.

    Anyone who send out a kind of “crap parade” should be cut out. They’re just leaving better business for us.

    Nice to have finally met you in person back in DC

    All the best,

  62. Rik says:

    The IM niche is one of many crazy turns. Just last week I had a good IM friend tell me that his conversion rate went down almost 30%..

    He blames it on if you are not Doing a “Launch” that nobody is listening. Robert thank you for posting this info I received the notice as well and agree pretty much with what you said.

    The big question is how to make the shift over to the mobile marketing.. My stats are blowing up with folks that only go to my sites using a mobile device. I guess it is time to get with the times or be left behind.

  63. Robert Plank says:


    I think every niche including IM is doing fine. What’s wrong with doing a launch? You should be making a big deal out of your stuff no matter what it is. If you have affiliates that helps too. Even if you have affiliates, they should be promoting. You should be sending emails to your list several days before you come out with stuff and remind them over and over again.

    If something is new, people will pay attention to it… even if you’re just updating your course or explaining how some current event makes your product even MORE relevant than it was last month or last year.

  64. Hal Humphries says:

    Hi, Robert (and everybody) !

    Lance Tamashiro said above,

    “It’s nice when SELLERS and BUYERS learn the ‘pay for what you get’ message…”

    I believe that those who fell for the wild claims DID “pay for what they got” – i.e., they bought garbage and are now paying the price of feeling very foolish – a good, but sometimes costly, objecct lesson from the school of hard knocks.

    That’s on the buyers’ end.

    On the sellers’ end, the guiding principle should be, “make sure the customer/client ‘gets what they pay for'”.

    It might seem to be a fine distinction, but there are differences.

    Yes, everyone wants a bargain, and yes, everyone believes the internet (and the products/services that are offered), does/should offer almost instantaneous positive and similar results.

    Our society demands instant gratification, and the internet seems to make it possible. Society, as a whole, must bear some of the brunt for this misconception, but years of slick copywriting has also contributed to our indoctrination and mis-beliefs.

    Years back, Frank Kern ran afoul of the FTC and paid the price, too, because his copy implied “you ‘will'”, moreso than “you ‘could’/’might'” do as well.

    All things – good or ill – eventually go the way of the dodo. Some should have gone a lot sooner.

    What makes this situation all the worse is the fact of our economy making people that much more desperate in ‘wanting’ something to ‘work’ so much, that they’re willing to suspend rational thinking to achieve the desired results. And, don’t even think of talking to them about having to “work” to achieve their goals !

    As long as there are people in that circumstance, unfortunately, there will always be ‘pond scum’ (sorry, pond scum for the insult) passing themselves off as ‘human beings’ who will take advantage of them πŸ™

    It’s inevitable that these turns of events should have happened.

    For the sake of all of the hopefuls, “caveat emptor”.

    For those who provide products/services… under-promise and over-deliver, and you’ll never go wrong.

    My websites are currently in development πŸ™‚

  65. John Lindsey says:

    Allow me to play devil’s advocate here for a minute.

    Admittedly, the “3 clicks to $1M” type products appeal
    to the ‘something for nothing crowd’, and the way these products sell tells me there must be a huge segment of the population that is always looking for the no-work way to wealth.

    Why do casinos flourish? Because people are looking for something for nothing. Does anyone try to shut down Las Vegas or Atlantic City because people go there and gamble away their rent money? Of course not.

    Kev mentioned that New Zealand’s Fair Trading Act makes NZ a safe place to be a consumer, but NZ also has a national lottery. A lottery is nothing more than a voluntary tax paid by the poor and/or ignorant. I find that to be a bit hypocritical.

    And I have a question for people who are selling the so-called “good” products. Statistics show that 90% of the people who buy your products either won’t use them, or will give it one shot and when it doesn’t work, it will sit there and collect cyber dust on their hard drive. Does that cause you to have second thoughts about what you’re selling?

    Just remember, when you point a finger, the other 3 are pointing back at you. And just for the record, I don’t sell IM niche products. As I said, I was just playing devil’s advocate.

  66. Joe says:

    Robert has it correct…
    “The average person would rather buy ten $10 ebooks than one $100 home study course… because they would rather get a “bargain” and pay a low price for bad information and potentially pass over a slightly higher priced offer that is worth many times more than the cost.”

    There are bargins and then there are bargins. I’ve done the same thing and made the same mistakes. It took a while but I finally learned that the old adage of ‘you get what you pay for’ is correct.

    There is no way you will know on the front end if something is a ‘bargin.’ No matter if it’s $100 or $1000, if you make more than you paid for it then it’s a bargin because it will keep making money for you.

  67. Rob Summers says:

    Hello Robert,

    You say “Clickbank is cracking down especially on products that run huge volume and have huge refund rates”

    but do clickbank actually look at the product that is being sold and if they do, do they keep tabs on the “high refund rate” sellers when they release other products?

  68. Robert Plank says:

    They do keep tabs on the entire account. Many many years ago, I was trying to get my price limit on Clickbank lifted from $250 to $500 and they said get your refund rate down below 10% and we’ll do it… a couple months later I brought it down to 6%… emailed them again and they raised it no problem.

  69. Joe says:

    I agree. I have often wondered about the $17 – $37 offers for a product supposedly guaranteed to make thousands. Ok sometimes it may be legitimate if someone is first starting out, but then again there is no evidence that the product can meet the promises.

    These bad apples need to be taken out and down.

  70. Joe says:

    And you are so correct in your statement. If folks are just starting out they probably aren’t going to make the full amount that is possible simply because they don’t know all the ins and outs yet. So a $17 or $37 product might not be bad for someone just starting.
    The other thing is, how many folks buy something and either leave it on their hard drive without trying it or try it once and say it sucks.
    Unless they’ve worked it then they’re not being fair to themselves or the publisher of the product.
    With that said, it doesn’t negate the fact that there is some real ‘stuff’ out there that needs to disappear.

  71. Alan says:

    What a useful warning from Robert and a very interesting insight from all the commenters.

    This is timely from my perspective because I am just about the start making money on the ‘Net again after several years of leaving it alone:-

    I used to make money on the Internet priimarily by making and selling websites but also through affiiate programs in the IM area – mostly services but also info products. I then took my info product business off line and sold them through newspaper Ads.

    Perhaps this will be a new trend? Maybe now is the time to start a hardcopy offline Busops Newsletter?

    Anyways I need to start making a decent income off the ‘Net soon because I’m retiring to thailand and need an income there.

    Thanks Robert for the tip off. this is definately soemthing to keep an eye on.

  72. Robert Plank says:


    Flipping websites has made a big comeback lately especially with all the WordPress themes… in fact, from my point of view, WP is bringing AdSense back into style… and Flippa has overtaken Sitepoint and Digitalpoint as a really popular place to sell a site.

  73. Tony says:

    I agree that all blind offers are usually scams. I also agree that a great deal of the “how I made $10,000” last week and you can have it for only $37 are also scams. In fact, I’ve often referred to Clickbank as Crookbank, simply because they allow so many crooks.

    However, there is a lot of information that does make people a lot of money that they can sell and they want to sell cheaply. Let me give you an example.

    If I figure out how to target demographics on facebook, how to get the best response with those demographics and I provide a step by step tutorial on how I did it. It is not somehow dishonest for me to write about it and then sell that information for $37, even if I made a $20,000 a month profit from facebook. One has nothing to do with the other. Obviously if I sell 5000 copies at $37, then I’ve just made $185,000. Wow right?

    Likewise, if I figure out the best way to hire programmers from eLance or oDesk and I write articles and record videos about the experiences I learned while having them create a unique iphone or android app. And then I write about how I got that app online for sale and promoted it and I only earned $1500 a month. It doesn’t matter that my course is $297.

    People want that helpful information to save them time and frustration of having to figure it out on their own and it’s valuable to them. So if I sell 50 copies a month for a tidy $15,000 profit each month. It doesn’t mean I scammed them.

    My point being.. Yes there are tons of scams online. But the fact that I’ve made X amount of dollars and you can find out how for Y amount, has nothing to do with whether or not it’s a scam. It’s all about the quality of the content.

    It’s too bad that a few people are making it hard on the rest of us simply by their lack of ethics and creative ability.

  74. Robert Plank says:


    I agree with you but how much of a ratio is too big? If you make $20k a month… teach the system how you did it… and double your income… that still makes sense.

    But when these guys are saying $500k a month and the system is only $37? At some point, the results are too big or the price is too low…

  75. Sud,L says:

    It’s a logical move by very reputably entities in a very competitive realm. When they saw the system they’re using has a leak, they have to fixed it. There is a leak, and people using it for their own sake, then the boss recognized it. At one point people are very lazy to create and sell high quality products that hard to compete, and the other hand there is a system that allows it to exist. When a change has to be done, everyone should aware this is a necessity. Only unique products will exist in any circumstance. Just my 2cents…

  76. @ Robert”I always enjoy talking with you but there was a
    little bit of undertone of “conspiracy” this…
    “syndicate” that… a couple people saying things
    like, this is how “they” have set it up and I’m
    not going to make money because “they” have setup
    the system so I’ll never succeed.


    I dont know Robert wether you have ever been on the other side of things. I have 158,000 emails in one email account alone.

    Geuss what, I read most of them, hundreds a day, and have done for 7 years, and, in the 90’s as well, when private label rights were $3,000 for an MSaccess database.

    I see so many people encapslated in a reality created by self interested individuals. It is also very obvious that there is no hope for many. Sad but true, and yes, your own niche would guarantee some success, if that is the aim.

    I even had IM’ers come to my home, borrow money, and pay me back with shit at 10 times the cost it was released on the WF for…. and, when seeking some kind of acknowledgent on the WF, as the product had Trojens in it, I was howled down. To add insult ot injury, by some I had purchased well from.

    The lack of regard for anyone else by some, is sickening, and, the imposing on kindness in that sort of manner, is the epitomy of ignorant self indulgence and greed.

    You may cause a debate, and then, round them all up again with a selling pitch, but, the truth is, ego stroking is the “boys club” called the WF, and credability is gained by good experiences, not bad, as so many have had.

    I prefered your products when you taught creativity, not marketing as such.

    Night in Oz πŸ™‚

  77. Robert Plank says:


    If you don’t like that crowd then you need to get out more.

    You have that tiny group of people who put out bad products (who luckily won’t be in business for long).

    The warrior forum is WAY bigger than that tiny crowd.

    The internet marketing crowd is WAY WAY WAY bigger than the Warrior Forum.

    And if you look at all the places there are to make money on the internet, that is WAY bigger than internet marketers.

    You also don’t have to read every email that comes in, and it becomes your fault (not theirs) if you keep buying unrealistic products over and over expecting a different result.

    Just something to think about.

  78. I am glad you agree with me, expanding the market, getting out of the click, is the freedom so many need.

    The WF has deteriated in recent months, as I think many would agree, but, I of all people will agree it is the few. Merely stating, or trying to show you that some have had godawfull times.

    This is my hobby Robert, we have grown 46million trees in our nursery, and, it was never my aim to make money online, if it was, i would have.

    I have my plan, and, hopefully can move forward soon.

    But I did love the videos you made on php, would love to see more πŸ™‚

    Nighty sorry to be harshx

  79. Robert Plank says:


    Why don’t you use what you’ve learned about internet marketing, direct response copy, and email marketing to grow your offline business more?

  80. Dave Gale says:

    The unethical marketers are looking for the easy money – I say they are shortsighted… I’m sure the unethical marketing will still continue but this makes it easier for honest marketers to stand out, build a relationship with their customers and make longterm profits.


  81. Jeff Moreau says:

    It’s a shame to see another payment processor close down to internet marketers.
    There are honest people out there and this affects all and it gives you one less option to use for payments.

  82. John Lindsey said: And I have a question for people who are selling the so-called “good” products. Statistics show that 90% of the people who buy your products either won’t use them, or will give it one shot and when it doesn’t work, it will sit there and collect cyber dust on their hard drive. Does that cause you to have second thoughts about what you’re selling?

    And I say: I think that certain marketers defy these statistics. Certainly I learned a lot from Robert & Lance about how to get customers to consume my product and then to put it to good use. So yes, those stats do cause me to have second thoughts about what I am selling. As a result, I am much more focused on how to get customers to participate and flourish by using what I sell them.

  83. Robert Plank says:


    What are you specifically doing to get your customers to take action?

    Followup sequence? Reward system?

  84. Robert Plank says:

    I know a guy who monitored who opened his software and he also saw that 90% of people didn’t even run it. You can easily bring that number down with…

    1. an email as soon as they join
    2. a reminder email 24 hours later to make sure they took action
    3. a followup sequence
    4. an installation video… many people (including me) want to see it in action before using
    5. a quick personal email or phone call when they buy
    6. a community where they can ask questions and show their case studies
    7. an extra level they can “unlock” (even by hand) after completing a task

  85. Sud,L says:

    Once I challenged a guy who sell a blogging system for $47. I said to him, ‘Ok mate, I’ll buy your product along with your two up-sells that’ll cost me for $497. And I’ll follow your all instructions to get my tenfold ROI of $50k in six months. But with one condition, if your system failed to deliver the results you’d claimed at your sale letter, then you have to issue a refund me. Otherwise, I’ll spread the words!’… Then there is no news till today…. What do you think?

  86. Robert Plank says:


    Did he provide a refund period? Most legit products do.

  87. Lee says:

    Me thinks what is needed online, if there is not one already, is an independent body or forum or group who monitor products and place bad products and authors on an “Alert List” or similar.

    The Warrior Forum may be a good start for IM products,
    for example. If you know Allen, suggest it.

    All affiliate centers like CJ and processors like ClickBank, Plimus etc. should kep a running list of baddies and show on their sites where these lists are located.

    Bona-fide Vendors could be given an “Approved” mark by these processors or review sites, which over time will become a “Badge of Honour” and a sales booster.

    Good business runs on “What gets rewarded, gets done”.
    People are the same. Anywhere.

    Eventually, this open reporting should reduce bad stuff and their creators.


  88. Robert Plank says:


    I don’t think anything like that will really exist.

    Look at the BBB. Look at IMReportCard. Look at Consumer Reports. A huge joke, no one looks at them, and it’s too easy to lodge a false complaint. Plus there’s no money in creating such a service.

    The only way to tell is if the merchant account pulls them down. But even then they can setup a new merchant account, create a new LLC, a new pen name and a new product. You can always refund or chargeback.

  89. Thanks Robert, selling plants on eBay πŸ™‚

    But what an interesting day, if you read the thread, and see the opinions of all.

    I must say, that many have been ripped on the net, and there is a need to clean it up.

    But the responsibility is still ours, we can turn off the computer, unsubscribe or whatever. But would this be failure, to lose what you may have invested so much time and money in?

    I also noted that the only things that have upset me, emotionally, on my journey, is:

    1. To hear of others misfortunes and bad experiences.
    2. To have had a visit to my home, and been ripped off.

    So, why is a face to face rippoff so much more upsetting, considering it was only $1,000?

    I think it must be the simple fact that if its your choice, if you can decide without being compremised personally, you can and must take responsibility for that. (but is this ok? or is it why people dont trust the net?)


    To have formed a personal relationship, face to face, and be comprmised due to your good nature, is a betrayal.

    The anominity of the net is the problem as you point out above.

    We need an answer to this.

  90. Hi Robert,

    Thanks for making this move of Plimus more useful by posting the related bans from other Companies.

    Exactly you gave the quick and easy solution that is win-win for both customer and the seller. Easy to write salesletter (oh how hard it is to wrote those letters) and easy to understand for the customer.. So one goes for best offer, knowing exactly what they are paying for…

    PS. I got chance to listen replay of your recent Webnair and WOW i really love your pratical tips on content production! Keep it up! πŸ™‚

  91. Thank you Robert for your reply. I understand how frustrating it can be to see all these people pushing $37 products that show how they supposedly made $500,000.
    I don’t have a problem with people showing me how they made money. It’s when they make outrageous claims saying that I can do exactly what they did by ONLY getting their course or pushing a button. Obviously that’s just not true.

    However, it’s common practice to tell others how you create wealth. Just look at all the books by Jack Canfield, Timothy Ferriss, Donald Trump, Bill Bartmann, Mark Victor Hansen, and all of the millionaires and billionaires who write books, hold seminars, host mastermind groups, and so much more. Are they all crooks simply because they sell information and motivation (as little as a few bucks) on how they created their wealth, time and money management, wealth creation principles, creating automated systems, and so forth?

    Is Bill Bartmann crooked because he’s a Billionaire who sells an audiobook on audible/amazon for $2.95?

    No. But, he’s also not trying to convince you that you can just push a button and do nothing, and wake up as a billionaire. I contend it’s about the false expectations, not about the author’s earning to book price ratio.

  92. Robert Plank says:


    Does Bill Bartmann’s book claim to make you a billionaire by applying the book? Or is it just, “I’ve made a billionaire with this, here’s how I did it”? Big difference.

  93. Exactly Robert. That’s exactly what my point is. It’s not about how much money was made versus the cost of a book, course, etc. It’s all about the outrageous claims and false expectations.

    It’s like with Millionaire Messenger by Brendon Burchard. His book clearly lays out a game plan for becoming a millionaire by being a “messenger,” but it in no way tries to suggest that merely reading a book alone will make you a millionaire.

    The deception comes from those who make false claims about just doing 10 things and press one little button and you’ll make millions.

    As someone who has fought with weight a good deal of my life, I would say that it’s a lot like all of those advertisements for diets that are supposed to make you lose 30lbs in 30 days. Only in the fine print, likely after you’ve purchased the product, will you see details about diet requirements and the recommended workouts, and yes ultimately that the results in the commercial are “not typical.”

    But if they told you that, simply taking a pill and not changing anything wasn’t going to do anything other than waste your money.. then they wouldn’t sell many pills!

    False expectations are ultimately why the FCC goes after so many companies. Unfortunately, by the time they get to them, people have usually wasted millions.

  94. Robert,

    I have been seeing these pages for awhile now on the internet. In fact I was sent to one of these pages by a very well known marketer (who shall remain nameless). The ads are so darn good…its like they hired a professional ad agency to create mini movies for them. I am thinking specifically of the one with the Mission Impossible theme and the guy living in Monaco.

    A while back I bought one of these programs (dumb) and after a week I refunded, it was garbage.

    Good move Plimus, good move!

    Jason C. Maxwell

    p.s. I sent your interview to my list this morning…people are SO excited about it!

  95. I think it’s a valid point you and Lance talk about: the shitty products many have released give huge administration in handling refund requests – and Plimus has already been a very slow system. If you forget your password things are going to run awry…

    I tried to sell a good US friend’s product through Plimus, and nothing went through their systems, and consequently this marketer (previously a Dane) changed his vendor system. But in the process the entire momentum was lost, and that was just a lesson in never relying on newcomers.

    Personally, I prefer selling either through direct affiliate links or ClickBank… πŸ˜‰

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