Right now I am relaxing at Atlanta Bread Company (a.k.a the poor man’s Panera) eating some frontier chicken chilli and listening to some clown at the table next to me try and sell some web service to a yuppie couple. It sounds similar to the Stores Online presentation I went to a couple years back.
For those who don’t know, which is hopefully most of you, Stores Online is a company that offers quick, simple, and easy to set up ecoomerce websites. Here’s how it works from the perspective of the person who has always dreamed of running an online business:
- You sign up – Pay Stores Online (it’s not free)
- Look through the list of website tonight supported vendors
- Decide what you want to sell
- Use the simple template driven Website creation tool
- Use the simple software to load all the products you wish to sell onto your site
- Sign up – pay, for the supported Merchant Account
- Market your site with SEO (search engine optimization), and other methods
- Buy tons and tons of hookers and cocaine
Yep I threw in a South Park reference.
Here’s the thing; while the nuts and bolts of what they say they offer are true (easy to set up, large list of vendors, etc..), the likelyhood of sucess and income potential are very over inflated. It’s like when you watch a commercial for Stacker Two or Hydroxy Cut and the voice over says in an enthusiastic shout “Just look at these atypical results”. People hear that and think “oh these are the typical results and according to this commercial it is likely i will have the exact same results.” The commercial is actually counting on the viewer not knowing that the word “atypical” means “not typical”.
These get rich quick websites also pray on the ignorance of their targets by going after people who don’t have a large amount of knowledge of the internet and how ecommerce works. The biggest of these ignorances is the amount of effort that is involved in running and maintaining a website, even as simple as the one being advertised.
As I continue to listen to this sales pitch I hear the sales person using several familiar tactics:
- Rhetorical questions
- Unfair comparisons
- Sucess stories
- Misleading or inacurate math
- No pressure but time sensitive
I would continue to bitch about this guy’s presentation, but to be fair, I can’t hear the name of the site or service he’s selling. But I do know StoresOnline so I went there and I found this page with Customer Testimonials:
I decided to take a closer look at that last listing there for MtHealthy.com so I clicked on the link which gave me this page.
Ok, to be fair the domain mthealthy.com seams to be doing fine and this seems to just be a problem with them linking to mhealthy.com (notice the lack of a “t”) by accident. Either way this was funny to me. I also looked at a bunch of the other sites and I really think that the pictures and write up are completely unrelated to the sites.
I’m half tempted to ask the guy the name of the site as he and the yuppies head out, but I think it probably would have came across poorly if I had. Oh wait, it’s not a couple. It’s one person as the buyer and then a sales person and some random hot chick he’s using as bait for the customer. Well played sir.