Aug 052008
 

Hi

It’s been a while since my last post, as I’ve been really busy on my offline projects.

I should be continuing with the review of Michael Cheney’s Affiliate Millions course in the next post. I’ve been looking at some other stuff as well with a view to promoting when I can.

My issues with Paypal continue unabated but they are certainly saving me a fortune, I haven’t bought any new stuff for ages, partly because it’s a little difficult with no Paypal account and partly because I just haven’t seen anything I think is worth buying at the moment. The whole IM marketplace seems to be fairly quiet at the moment, unless it’s just me.

Talking about Paypal, they never fail to amaze me! As we all know a Paypal account is very convenient and makes it very easy to buy online and we also know that you can pay by credit/debit card for items using Paypal but without actually signing into your Paypal account.  But what I’d like to know is ‘Why can’t I use the same credit card as the one I’ve got registered in my Paypal account?’

They won’t let me remove it from the account but they also refuse to accept payment using it outside my account. It’s just another example of Paypal ‘lording’ it over online users for no apparent reason.

Another strange thing happened the other day as well, I got an email from Paypal telling me to log into my account to ‘restore it’. I thought great they’ve finally decided to offer some real customer service and value and have changed their minds about my non-transgression of their rules.

But No, when I logged in, they are still showing the incorrect reason for my account being limited and did not provide anywhere for me to enter the information they requested in the email. As you might have guessed I sent them a reply, which respectfully pointed out their error and that only they could restore my account as they were the ones who limited it and I await a reply. No doubt I’ll get the automated robot reply ‘We regret to inform you that we cannot overturn the limitation on your account.’ which is getting a little tedious to say the least.

The one positive I will take away from this is that they mentioned in this email that my account would be reinstated after 180 days. Now I know that’s normal but that’s the first time they have ever mentioned it, so we live in hope. I’ll probably not use it that much but the convenience makes it worthwhile to buy things with.

Anyway, until next time

To Your Success

Graham
Respond2Net

Jul 172008
 

Hi

I’m back from my trip, which seemed to pass far too quickly, and the only two decent days we had with the weather here in the UK, were the two days we were traveling … Typical!

Anyway, in this post I’d first like to start with an apology regarding Dominate Social Networking.

This package is still not released and available to purchase. I’ve listed it with Clickbank and they are refusing to approve it in their marketplace because ‘they do not list products in the Social Networking niche’ . I’ve checked and they already have at least 7 products listed for this niche so someone has obviously made a mistake. I’ve informed them of the existing products and I’m waiting for a reply from them hopefully approving Dominate Social Networking

If they still refuse to list it then I will have to sell it from one of my own websites but unfortunately, without a useable Paypal account, I will have no way to offer affiliate commissions until I can sort something else out.

So onto the real reason for this post, a continuation of my review of Michael Cheney’s Affiliate Millions course. The next video in the series is How to Create Hungry Hordes of Happy Buyers and is the longest video in the series.

In this video, Michael walks you step-by-step through one of his affiliate campaigns, showing you how he started in pre-launch at least a week before he actually started promoting the product. He explains how he sent people to his blog first, then raises their level of curiosity using specific techniques.

He then goes on to explain how to setup your own domain which actually goes to the official affiliate website, so that anyone entering your own website will always go to the affiliate page and think that they are entering the actual site anyway.

I’ve used some of these techniques in my own websites, not so much for affiliate products but for products where I have resell rights. I try to obtain a domain name which closely resembles the real product site, so that there is a direct link between the product and my own site. Michael Cheney’s Affiliate Millions website is a good example of this.

My domain is ‘TheGuideToAffiliateMillions.com’ but it is promoting Micheal Cheney’s Affiliate Millions product.

When you do this for an affiliate product, it allows you to put up more information about the product on your own website, such as videos, reviews etc. which is what Michael explains in the video.

By doing this you are preparing visitors to really want to buy the affiliate product and when you eventually send them to the real affiliate page they tend to just buy, without reading through tons of copy.

Many affiliates these days pre-launch products and this is an ideal way to prime your own list into buying the product through your affiliate link.

It also allows you to add more people to your list, which is the ultimate tool in your online marketing. I tried this with Dominate Social Networking but unfortunately Clickbank have let me down on that at the moment.

Lesson: With your own products make sure they are available before doing a pre-launch and hold them back for a while, to build that anticipation in your visitors.

Michael also gives some insight into using other forms of promotion, such as YouTube, in your pre-launch efforts as these are great sites to get traffic from.

So there you have it, the next video in Michaels Affiliate Millions course, we’re half way through with the following being what’s left.

  • How To Activate Auto Pilot Affiliate Riches
  • How To Create a Cash-Erupting Volcano Using Viral Video
  • How To Turn On a Tornado of Traffic to Your Affiliate Offers
  • How To Create Money Magnets
  • How to Get a List of Red Hot Prospects

As you can see we still have some very interesting topics left to review

On a couple of final items, I’m still offering 50% Upgrades to Pro on my text ad exchange Ads Plus Traffic and have just added a very special deal on Solo Ads, so please have a look at the site and join especially if you want more Traffic , Signups , Sales and Profits into your online business. Click the link above or the really colorful banner on the right.

The second item concerns our friends at Paypal. I thought as it had been a month since I had my account Limited I would respectfully ask if they would reconsider. It was a pointless exercise as all I got back was an automated reply, saying:

We regret to inform you that we cannot overturn the limitation on your account. Due to the violation of Paypal’s Acceptable Use Policy, your account has been permanently limited. We will remain with this decision and consider the matter closed at this stage.

So my email has obviously not even been read by a human being and Paypal continue to provide exceptional customer service!! I intend sending the same email every month, just to see how long it takes before a real person replies to me.

Until the next time

Graham
Respond2Net

Jun 252008
 

Hi

Following on from my previous post, something happened yesterday which really made my day.

I received an email from Paypal asking me to complete a Customer Satisfaction Survey regarding my recent issue. I thought they were having a laugh when I first saw it, but it was for real!

Some of the questions ran along the lines of ‘How satisfied were you with the way in which Paypal handled your issue ? ‘, and then the very next question was ‘Please explain why you marked the previous question as Extremely Unsatisfied

Now this was obviously like most Paypal emails, autogenerated from an automated system and I don’t really expect anyone to even read my comments or reply but needless to say my answers were not in the most positive vein. I wonder why! What should have been a five minute survey, actually took me around 30 minutes to complete. But boy did I enjoy completing it! It will be interesting to see if I ever get a response. I’m not expecting one as that would come under the heading of ‘Customer Service’ which clearly is a foreign concept to anyone at Paypal.

Anyway, I’ve spent the last few days adding a new payment processor to all my websites. Although I’ve got accounts with Alertpay, Google Checkout, MoneyBookers, PayDotCom etc., I’ve actually chosen to use SafePay .

The reason I’ve chosen SafePay is the ease of use they provide on their website. The whole thing gives a much better feeling of professionalism and good customer service.

In particular, unlike Paypal, any Buy Now or Subscription payment button you create is saved in your account. This is great, as it means if you decide to change the price, all you need to do is go into your account, open the button, change the amount and resave the button, then change the code on your website. And changing the code on your website may be just changing the price in the actual line of code –  Simple. You don’t need to re-create everything for the button like you do in Paypal. Everything you need to include in a button code is entered on a single page, no jumping around multiple pages where is easy to miss something.

Another good feature is that you can list every domain where your buttons should be, so that only domains you own can include your SafePay payment buttons, this should be useful to prevent your buttons going onto dodgy websites, just because you’ve signed up to be an affiliate.

You can limit the type of email accounts that can purchase from you, so you can not allow free email accounts if you want, which helps to prevent purchases from possible scammers.

All in all, so far I’m very happy with the way everything works from SafePay , I’ll keep you informed of progress, and on any developments from Paypal, if there are any.

Until the next time

Graham Lee
Respond2Net

Jun 202008
 

Hi

Feeling a little bit fed-up today because ‘those lovely people at’ Paypal, Permanently Limited my account yesterday and I spent most of the day in damage limitation mode, trying to sort out my account with them and trying to sort out alternatives for all the subscriptions I have with them.

And the reason they’ve limited my account may surprise a few people, it certainly did me, and is something a lot of people should be aware of and be worried about.

They appear to have taken a dislike to one of the programs I am an Affiliate of and have given their usual reason of:

We are hereby notifying you that, after a recent review of your account activity, it has been determined that you are in violation of PayPal’s Acceptable Use Policy regarding your sales of a pyramid program at stealthmoneymaker.com. Therefore, your account has been permanently limited.

Now I agree that the name does sound a little suspect but this program gives away a Free ebook which then offers you the opportunity to purchase products with resell rights and resell them through their website under your own Affiliate ID and earn 100% of the profits, there is NO PAYMENT to your upline at all except your initial ONCE ONLY payment to your supplier. So you are basically buying a product with resale rights and selling it.

That is the whole concept of commerce, You Buy Goods and You Sell Goods!

But Paypal do not seem to understand the concept of commerce or of the definition of a Pyramid scheme, which is:

A fraudulent moneymaking scheme in which people are recruited to make payments to others above them in a hierarchy while expecting to receive payments from people recruited below them. Eventually the number of new recruits fails to sustain the payment structure, and the scheme collapses with most people losing the money they paid in.

or

Typically, new recruits pay a sum of money to join the "program" and become a distributor of a product or service, and are told that they’ll make money based on the number of new recruits they in turn bring in. The basic idea is that the higher up on the pyramid you are, the more money you’ll make.

They seem to have missed the following points:

  • Payments (plural) are NOT made to the people above you, it’s a single once only payment to your Supplier .
  • No-one is recruited into the business or program, because there is no business or program to recruit them into, all you are doing is buying products and reselling products to new customers, and ONLY to your own new customers for 100% profit . Neither you nor your customers pay anything to someone else further up the ‘non-existent’ chain.
  • You pay ONCE to the person whose advert you responded to and then you advertise as an affiliate and earn 100% of every sale you make. That’s One Hundred Percent.
  • You do not pay anyone above you for any sale you make, so no-one above you makes any profit from your advertising and marketing efforts. Which begs the question, How can the higher up the pyramid you are, make you more money? You are not paying anything to anyone higher than your supplier, who you’ve already paid ONCE for your resaleable products and the same is true for all your customers. So where is the pyramid ?

I’ve been caught out myself with pyramid schemes in the past and know what to look for and avoid them like the plague but I think it’s more a case of Paypal not liking the name of the program, rather than them believing it to be a pyramid scheme. But of course they won’t admit they do not understand normal commerce practice, or that they do not understand the definition of a pyramid scheme, or that they have even made a mistake. They are God and what they say rules! No amount of appealing and explaining by me has shifted their position, all they say is ‘they will not change their position and the issue is closed in their opinion’ . I’ve worked both in retail and in customer service and Customer Service this is NOT!

But hey, we all know about the ‘dickensian’ way Paypal operate their business and always try to stay on the right side of their rules but they certainly do not make it easy, especially when they make up their own interpretations as they go along. But we live and learn.

What it basically means is that they have effectively shut down some of my websites and income streams until I can change them to use a different payment processor. This could take a while but there are many more payment processors out there I can use, many of which offer a much more professional service than Paypal do anyway and are covered by regulations governing the financial services industry, so you have a lot more protection from the sort of thing Paypal are trying to self-govern. I don’t really have that many sales going through Paypal anyway but it’s a real nuisance having to change my websites.

Which also makes me think, What ‘account activity’ are Paypal concerned about ? I’ve not actively started promoting StealthMoneyMaker yet and hence have not made any sales and therefore have no account activity, so how do they know about what I’m promoting if it’s only based on ‘account activity’ ? Sounds like they are checking up on all my online activities, which surely breaks some form of privacy laws, which sounds very suspect and unprofessional, coming from a company who are so obviously concerned about privacy themselves. Makes me very nervous about what else they might be doing!

But anyway I’ve calmed down a bit since yesterday, when I went through that terrible panicked feeling about what I was going to do. Today I’m still a little fed-up but have decided to get on with my business without Paypal. As far as I’m concerned it’s their loss not mine, as I simply will not use them as a payment processor in the future, if they ever reinstate my account.

My biggest loss will be in the commssions I earn from those places which only use Paypal as a payment option. But even that is compensated for in some respects, as it has made me look at all those subscriptions and cancel a lot of them because I just don’t use the websites anymore. So far I must have saved about $150 a month and I’ve still got about another $150 worth to sort out, many of which I’ll probably cancel when they become due anyway.

So Thanks Paypal , you’ve saved me around $200-$300 per month and you have ‘benefited’ by having lost all those credit card fees you would have charged me. I hope in time Paypal will reconsider and reinstate my account because using Paypal is the most convenient way to pay for goods online, but I certainly will not be using them as my payment processor again, it’s not worth the risk to my business.

Finally, the Warning I mentioned in the title of this post is to everyone who uses Paypal as their payment processor to sell products online. All you are doing is Buying and Selling goods , but unfortunately Paypal seems to believe that this normal commerce practice is a pyramid scheme. So check what you are doing very, very carefully and if you are at all in doubt, change your payment processor immediately.

Is your online business really worth the risk of ‘ungoverned’ or should I say ‘self-governed’ operations like Paypal, deciding they don’t like what you do and effectively shutting your business down ?

Mine certainly is not, so I’ll use a more reputable company to deal with, as my payment processor from now on!

Until the next time

Graham
Respond2Net

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