Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Don't Get Ripped Off On The Internet--Five Tips For Newbies


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Don't Get Ripped Off On The Internet--Five Tips For Newbies

Author: Joanne Fritz

If you are new to doing business on the Internet, the experience can be overwhelming. Cyberspace seems like a big, disorganized bazaar with hundreds of vendors shouting at you to buy their products. Except that these vendors use sales letters that could persuade anyone to do anything! It is more than easy to end up with products you can't use and don't really want. To make it all more manageable I have developed some criteria to use when evaluating products. The following five tips have helped me save money and avoid getting stuck with products that I don't really need or that are too advanced for my level of expertise.

1. Before buying any product, make sure there is a good guarantee. Look for assurance that you can return the product and get your money back, no questions asked. All the best products do have such guarantees. Stick with those sellers. Also, check to see if there is an affiliate program for that product. If you really like the product, you will be able to promote it to others and earn a commission.

2. There are many services that require payment on a monthly basis such as private websites, web hosting, and list managers. Think about the annual cost as well as the monthly. That will help bring some objectivity to the decision to purchase that service. Twenty dollars a month may not seem like a lot, until you realize that you'll lay out $240 for the year. If you do purchase a monthly service, make sure there is an easy way to stop your subscription any time you find that you are not using it, or your financial situation has changed, or you found a better deal. You should be able to cancel right from the service's home page or member site.

Hint: If you pay for a monthly subscription through PayPal, you must go to PayPal to stop the subscription. It's easy to do...the trick is to remember which items you used PayPal for.

3. Don't buy software products unless they offer a trial download. That way you are not risking any money and you can see very quickly if that product is for you. I have bought software that I just couldn't figure out how to use...not because it was a bad product but my skills were not yet sophisticated enough. Many of the best products on the web do offer a trial.

4. If you are evaluating network marketing programs, don't buy what you can't understand. For instance, if I cannot understand the compensation plan (and many, if not most, of these plans are quite complex) I stay away. Also, get acquainted with the sponsor you will be signing up under. Send an email or ask that person to call you. You should look for a sponsor who understands the program, who can explain it well, and who is willing to help you. That person is your mentor...choose wisely.

5. If you are attracted to an ebook or manual, see if the seller offers a free email course. Many will send you a multi-part course by email that is based on their ebook. That will give you an idea about the seller's writing style and whether this book really offers anything new. Plus it gives you time to "cool" off and make a more objective decision.

Using these tips may help you make better decisions about what to purchase on the Internet. We are blessed with riches in cyberspace, but overindulgence can give us a hangover and play havoc with our budget.

About the Author

Joanne Fritz, Ph.D. is publisher of several websites including:
http://www.notyetretired.com for people over 50 who want to keep working and earning in retirement; and
http://www.ebiz-for-seniors.com providing information on the best products for mature beginners.


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