Affiliate marketing is an industry filled to the brim with scams, frauds, cons, and other synonyms of the word. Oftentimes, these scams are cleverly made and marketed. Believe me, some scams are extremely well made. So, you’re probably wondering how to avoid affiliate marketing scams. Have no fear, friend!
Although I have a review section where I analyze scams (and legit products), using the 3 signs I’m gonna present right here can often let you know right away.
I also recommend reading my affiliate marketing introduction, if you’re not familiar with the business.
Lastly, although I say ‘scam,’ most products aren’t actually so. They give you what they promise, but the misleading marketing and deceit involved means you can call them ‘scams.’
Get Rich Quick Claims
This is pretty obvious. We’ve all heard it it at one point or another:
- “Get started now and make $150 in your first 24 hours!”
- “Make $10,000 in 2 months using this program!”
- “Sign up and make $100 in an hour with this trick!”
You get the idea. This is where the affiliate marketing industry gets it’s bad reputation from.
This sign really burns my britches. Look, we all wanna be rich instantly. It’s a core desire, and fortunately for scammers, it appeals to everyone. For a marketer, what could be a better demographic?
Most of these scammers are known as ‘gurus’ in the industry. Even though they’re shady. they’re still very good at what they do. When you see a sales page showing how much cash the author makes in a day, that boasting is probably true. They likely do make that much.
And they only got to that point after years of learning and experience! Actually, that’s not some fact I’m proud of mentioning. Most of those sales pages make it clear how hard it was for the creators… right before going on to say it’s possible to get there in a day.
That’s how you know you’re being cheated. No one who just got through years of hardship would say they have a way to skip it all. This kind of false promise preys on those desperate not to work.
I’m not saying it’s impossible to make money through affiliate marketing, but thinking you can make 200 smackers a day with a bogus technique is just being unrealistic.
Think about it, would these guys really give away their secret to success for $20 (around that range)? Of course not, which brings me to the next sign…
Upsells, Upsells, Upsells!
I repeated the headline thrice! So you have to pay 3x as much attention!
You know what really grinds my gears? Upsells. For those who don’t know, upsells are basically more expensive offers thrown on you after you buy a cheap product.
Upsells are the one defining factor of a scam. After a sales page promises you untold riches for 30 bucks, then forces a $100 upsell on you, it’s time to walk away. Just, the nerve they have saying there’s more to what they promised would be the only thing to buy!
The trouble with upsells is a lot of products only tell you about them after you buy! Pretty sneaky, huh?
These upsells are the building block of a ‘sales funnel.’ Put simply, as you buy more products, more and more are thrust upon you. Eventually you end up spending a 1000 greenbacks on what you thought was $10 technique! See the damage upsells cause?
It’s important to mention that not all upsells are bad. A simple membership upgrade from a free trial is not an upsell. Using Amazon Prime in not an upsell. Upsells are full of false promises.
Always look around and see if a product has upsells before spending. If it does, just leave.
Done for You
This sign really ruffles my feathers. And I don’t even have feathers to ruffle in the first place!
So you’re a total internet novice who just happened to find this amazingly tempting sales page. If you’re anything like I was, chances are you’d immediately notice one of these phrases:
- Completely done for you!
- Just copy and paste!
- No work needed!
This is the kind of talk that makes newbies salivate (er, not that I would know). Especially when compounded with the common ‘even newbies can do this’ exaggeration. I remember thinking,
“Wow! It’s so easy to make money online!” I wish it were, Makki, I wish it were.
But this is also exactly the kind of talk that assures a careful observer that this purchase isn’t worth it. How on Earth could anyone make money just copy and pasting? It contradicts the laws of physi- business! Laws of business.
I recently reviewed a product that promised a ready made website and hundreds of dollars a day in eBook sales. Sounds cool, right? In reality, the website was a simple landing page. How is a newbie supposed to get traffic?
‘Done for you’ are the words you need to avoid. More generally, anything that assures you that you don’t have to work hard or wait a long time to make a quick clam (I’m using up all of my dollar synonyms here) is just not worth a purchase.
That’s right! I said I’d give you 3 signs, but you’re getting an extra one! It’s totally not because I wanted a longer article or anything. Um, let’s forget I wrote that and move on, OK?
Anyway, if you’ve ever been on a sales page, you’ve surely seen the testimonials. These are where some allegedly real customers share their successes with the product.
Now, these can be pretty damn convincing, since real accounts are relatable and often are marked ‘real.’ But sadly, some of these, I should say most, aren’t real at all.
The fact is, if you see a positive review of a product that otherwise looks scammy, it’s probably paid. If you’re seeing extraordinarily positive testimonials on a sales page, then be aware that they might be bogus. There’s no way to prove their authenticity.
And if you see a video testimonial, know that there’s a whole industry of actors specializing in testimonials.
If you’re reading a full positive review on another website, then keep in mind that the reviewer could be trying to score some commissions by getting you to buy the product. It pays better than a truthful, negative review, right?
But just hold on! Not all testimonials ever are fake. Most indeed are, but if you see a product that otherwise checks out, there’s no reason to doubt the reviews.
Decisive Discernment!! Reader Takes Watch!!!
These 3 (ahem, 4) signs will go a long way in helping you fend off scams. Remember, always try to read as much reviews as possible to be sure that you’re not being played. I shamelessly recommend my reviews, if you want a bona fide, certified opinion.
(I’m not really bona fide, certified, but I just watched Aladdin and those lyrics from the Genie song fit here.)
A saying I recall that’s relevant here is, ‘when in doubt, throw it out.’
OK, that’s for rotten food, but it works here quite nicely! Don’t forget that scammers can be very believable. I’ve been fooled by some of the most authentic looking people you can find.
If you’re looking for a proven, scam free (also just free, period), and genuinely helpful affiliate marketing service, check out my #1 recommendation here. You won’t be disappointed!
Were these signs helpful to your scam evasiveness level? Have you fallen for scams of these natures in the past? Don’t be shy, do tell! I’ve been played like a sucker more times than I can count!
Your pal in scam hunting,