You’ve seen the commercials that hypnotize you into reaching for your wallet. By the time you realize that you are on the phone you have given a stranger your credit card number and have pledged the next year of your life to five easy payments.
Before you turn on your television, arm yourself with these reviews of:
Top Ten Moneymaking Infomercial Rip-offs
1. Carleton Sheets Real Estate Investing
The premise is to help you buy property that has been foreclosed; increasing your “net worth”, making it possible for you to buy another one.
The problem is, if a legitimate investor hasn’t already bought the foreclosed house it’s because they know how much it’s really worth.
According to Sheets your “worth” is measured in the appraised value of the houses you buy, regardless of what they are actually worth or how much you owe. A house appraised for $20,000 can actually be worth $5000 in the market in which it is located. It may need $10,000 in repairs and you may find yourself owing $15,000 for the loan on it.
Your Carlton Sheets worth: $20,000.
Actual value for the house NEGATIVE $5000.
2. Don Lapre’s Making Money Course
“You get just 20 people to try the greatest vitamin in the world, we will send you a check for a thousand dollars,” Lapre promises in the infomercial. What Lapre is actually selling is Web sites that advertise his vitamins. His customers buy a Web site then hope somebody shows up to buy vitamins. One woman invested $5000 in her website and sold exactly 23 bottles of vitamins. His “mentors” are telemarketers working from a script, and the equivalent of his lead list can be found by picking up any phone book.
3. Matthew Lesko Books
Real Grants… for those who have established themselves as a non-profit organization, school or government organization AND who have access to a grantwriter to write the grants and follow through the lengthy and detailed process it takes to obtain a government grant and all the strings attached. All his valuable information is available free at sba.gov.
4. Dan Kennedy’s Gold Inner Circle
Free Three month Membership to a newsletter that describes other moneymaking schemes that you can find anywhere on the web or in the library. You submit $5.95 and your credit card number up front; they charge you $39.97 a month. (unless you remember after 89 days to cancel your membership) Once they have activated your paying membership you pay for the first month, the second month is cancelled. Minimum investment $45.92
5. Jeff Paul’s “Making Money in your Underwear”
For your initial investment you get a slew of books and tapes that require a serious amount of time to digest. Before you have finished the first book, the sales calls start. First you are encouraged to set up a high interest merchant account lease that is nearly impossible to cancel, then they “upsell” more books and cds, as well as a subscription to their newsletter, website design and hosting etc. Customer support is rude and not helpful in any way. Save the attorney’s fees, don’t order it..
6. Dave Espino’s Working Wholesale List Secrets to Money
This is simply a door opener to their highly motivated sales force. They sell coaching, web design, and software packages for $5,298 and more. (all “conveniently financed”) They are affiliated with the Whitney Education Group which sound legitimate but employs high school kids at minimum wage to coach you using scripts; a common practice with ongoing mentoring programs
7. Russ Dalby America’s Note Network
Asks for $39.95, when you call and after you supply your card number you find out that is just the first payment. The first book gives you little information so when you get the call for the second book, you feel you actually need it, to justify wasting your money on the first. The three-month guarantee period takes nearly six months to complete if you have the tenacity to follow through. They are banking that you won’t.
8. John Beck’s Amazing Profits
Another Real Estate Seminar: Customers pay $59.95 to become a lead for every get rich scheme in the country. Like so many other programs of this type, the information you actually receive is worthless, Your own information is sold to a database, which is distribued to telemarketers who now have you for years, and the possibility of any refund is slim.
9. John Burley Progressive Profits
Don’t let the name fool you, neither progressive nor profitable, this company sells a real estate system, and aggressively markets you, like all others described, but is best known for it’s expensive seminars. $5000 for a three day seminar. Attendees often report that any information given at the seminar happens in the first two hours and that they spend the next two days listening to re-iterated statements because they paid for it!
10. Internet Treasure Chest
Promises to provide you with wholesale products that you can sell for a profit online. Each product can be found online for a lower price than the average person can afford to sell them. You are responsible for the cost of the web page, advertising, and your time in sales. (Don’t worry, they are happy to sell you a web page, advertising and their time… and required updates, further literature, sales leads, a merchant account lease….)
The Cash Flow Generator
Only available secondhand on auction sites like Ebay, this company went bankrupt, following it’s methods and the methods of some of those described above, will grant you the same fate.