How Not to Price Your Products – IMP#002

August 11, 2012 , 34 Comments

In today’s episode, Paul McCarthy and Shane Melaugh take a dive into the world of Internet Marketing products. We explore the contrast between the “guru launches” of yesteryear and the new trend of doing price-dumping with WSOs.

Get our thoughts on both, discover why we didn’t join either of those bandwagons and how the wrong pricing strategy can be deadly for your business.

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We very strongly do not endorse the forums linked to above, or anyone associated with them. We mentioned them and (nofollow-) linked to them purely for your amusement.

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Let us know about your thoughts on pricing and the weird things happening in the IM niche by leaving a comment below!

About ​Shane Melaugh

I'm the founder of ActiveGrowth and Thrive Themes and over the last years, I've created and marketed a dozen different software, information and SaaS products. Apart from running my business, I spend most of my time reading, learning, developing skills and helping other people develop theirs. On ActiveGrowth, I want to help you become a better entrepreneur and product creator. Read more about my story here.

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  • Andy Iskandar says:

    About WSOs…
    Although I agree with you, there are some good marketers in there. I run an online marketing consultancy and I regularly buy “offline marketing” WSOs to keep my finger on the pulse. I sometimes find good ones, though that’s becoming to be quite rare nowadays.

    These WSOs often have a ton of testimonials but they are vague and non-specific. You mentioned one reason why this is. But to me, sometimes it seems like the people who left these testimonials just like being portrayed. It’s as if they like seeing their name in print.

    About $2K “Guru” Products…
    I’ve actually bought a $2K product from one of the names you mentioned, Mike Koenigs. It was an “offline marketing” product. I actually liked it. I have no complains about it and it is because of this product that I am in business today.

    However, generally, I agree with you about this whole $2K product business. It may be just me but I think there is something fundamentally wrong about pricing your product at such a high price just so that you can give affiliates huge payouts and extravagant prizes.

  • Hi there,

    I was notified of your dig at the forum I own with Bobby Walker (you know, the one you called the worst idea ever) so I thought I’d step in and offer some perspective for you.

    Its obvious you have not done your research because several of your comments are false.

    For starters, vendors currently selling WSO’s have indeed done split testing with self hosted pages with comments and found the market prefers the forum model. They feel safer in the forum atmosphere for many reasons which I won’t go into here.

    But hey, what do those WSO guys know…they’re not winning any big launch contests..oh wait yes they are. In fact, one of them just made over $100,000 on the Skybuilder launch from Greg Jacobs..what a ignorant guy he must be!

    Next up you chuckle at the forum but you apparently have failed to research and find our that we also own We saw that people enjoyed using a forum model for their business but did not want want our network to have to rely on a forum owned by someone else so we built

    Surely that would never work right? Oh but it does as proven by our last offer which is now closing in on 3,000 sales in 48 hours with $5.11 epcs.

    I did a very healthy six figure net income in the WSO marketplace in 2011 before developing changing my focus to ProductPay and FSO.

    My partner was one of the top merchants on Clickbank selling millions of dollars worth of products with his partner Adheel Chowdry, so while you sit and chuckle on your soapbox next time you might want to research your topic just a bit more.

    Best of luck,

    James Sides

    • Hi James,

      Thanks for joining in!
      With ProductPay, you’ve definitely moved up the food chain and that’s one of the things I talked about favorably on the podcast.

      Concerning the “cloning” of the WSO section of the warrior forum, it can also be looked at as a move up the food chain, but I do see some issues with that. Do you not agree about the whole market being involved in a race to the bottom? And don’t you think it’s an issue to make a copy of a business model that’s currently on it’s way down?

      And isn’t there an issue with having a forum that takes only the special offers section of the WF, but doesn’t offer anything beyond that, as a forum?
      Doesn’t some of the benefit people get from WSOs stem from the fact that there’s an active community in the forum, where people know and recognize each other from other threads and discussions?

      Also, how thoroughly were the tests of forum offers vs. non-forum offers? How many people conducted them?

      Finally, you like to mention earnings figures and “big” names in IM. I’m not sure what you expect my reaction to that to be. I don’t care about how much money you personally, certain individuals on your forum or people you know make. On the podcast, we were talking about the, let’s say “micro-economy” of the IM niche and how we see two different pricing models take effect on it.
      You didn’t address any of that in your comment. And that’s a real shame, since your insight as someone who actually owns a marketplace like that could be very interesting.

      • Shane,

        I DO agree with you that the market is in a race to the bottom. There are some major issues with the Wso marketplace that go well beyond the reasoning on the podcast though.

        My personal opinion is this; A LOT of people making WSO’s have very little skill as marketers outside of that market. Is this to say they are bad people, no of course not but what you had was a market that really came into its own after the collapse of Clickbank and for some reason people decided that the new “in thing” was to teach others how to make money with WSOs by teaching about topics they had no real expertise in.

        It really boiled down to a bit of a pyramid scheme in my eyes and if I had any say it in, those types of products would have never been allowed on the forum. (I can assure you we won’t allow those on

        So long story short, many of these folks are either not sure how to market outside of Warrior Forum or they are not confident enough to try it so they do the worst thing possible; they beat up their list promoting other low ticket items instead of building proper funnels.

        Their leads become less and less responsive meaning they need more and more leads to maintain the same income. Since the only way they know to acquire new leads is by launching another WSO it becomes necessary for them to launch more and more products closer and closer together.

        The model is absolutely not sustainable.

        So you can see, a lot of the things you said I actually agreed with right up til the point you decided to take an unwarranted cheap shot at the forum that I own.

        Unfortunately you did make some statements during the podcast that were a bit far fetched; especially in regards to webinars. You stated that you had a friend/jv who did a webinar with you and he only put on 150 or so people out of his 10,000+ buyers list.

        Well, the fact is one webinar isn’t a very good indication of an entire market. There’s lots of reason folks might not have shown up including a lack of interest in the topic, poor framing of the event, etc.

        I have personally found high ticket webinars as a great way to monetize the backend of my launches as have many other successful vendors.

        These buyers lists hold massive value outside of Warrior Forum marketplace IF the person who owns them builds a relationship with his/her subscribers and doesn’t simply turn around and beat the list up with nonstop promotions.

        I did listen to your entire podcast btw before I commented so I don’t want you to think I missed anything. You made mention of David and his $1 or $2 product and what a brilliant idea it was. I would like to ask…who do you think is interested in promoting a product that pays $2-$4 commission? I certainly don’t know anyone.

        Another fact you missed is not every WSO is $ fact most are not. A good majority do start at $7 and run on a dime sale to $9.90 but there are just as many products at a $17-$47 dime sale.

        In fact, the latest launch on our forum started at $17 and runs through to $47 and in the last three days as I mentioned in my first response it has sold over 3,000 copies at those prices.

        In regards to commissions and the misconception that all of these types of products or a vast majority of them are set at 100% let me share this bit with you. Commissions on the before mentioned launch were set to 60% on the front end and 60% on both OTO’s.

        This is a proven model that has worked very well for many vendors in the past.

        So, I’ll leave you with this bit of constructive criticism. If you’re going to do a 35 minute podcast find some content to give to your audience because I just can’t imagine many people enjoyed sitting and listening to a rant for that time period with no actionable content being given away.


        James Sides

        P.s. In response to the question about why we chose to clone a marketplace in a race to the bottom; Productpay is not intended to be a Warrior Forum or Forum Special Offers only platform. Those markets are currently viable and so building the forum has and will continue to have a very solid ROI for some time to come.

        When the forum model finally starts to slow down we’ll still be more than capable of thriving seeing as how ProductPay is intended to be used heavily outside of these forums and in many other niches than just the IM niche.

        As far as the part about building something other than a special offers section we opted not to do that because right now our research has led us to conclude that cold traffic from the Warrior Forum accounts for less than .5% of all sales.

        Sadly this traffic load causes Warrior Forum to go down quite a bit these days. ForumSpecialOffers solves that problem by making sure that the only traffic on the forum is buyer traffic.

        To put it simply we’re following the 80/20 rule.

      • I’m glad to hear that you are screening products for your forum. That’s definitely one of the issues with the WSO forum (along with what I can only describe as stringent censorship).

        The 10k buyer list example is just one of many.
        I’ve done dozens of JV webinars and there’s an absolute massive difference in attendance and lead quality between WSO marketers and marketers who run their businesses differently. There were perhaps two WSO guys with whom the webinar was really successful. Among then non-WSO crowd, the webinar is always a hit and we always got good attendance.

        The 200% commission thing is brilliant because it gets people’s attention. Just like the first person to do the 100% commission thing.
        There’s a novelty factor. There’s the “will I see this guy shoot himself in the leg?” factor. It worked, but it probably wouldn’t work again.

        Concerning the lack of content in the podcast: if you really want to know, you can listen to the first episode on the reasons behind the podcast and on content-for-podcast vs. content for blogs, videos etc.

  • I find it funny you’re making fun of other businesses and trying to position yourself as an expert when you have 2 facebook likes as of 12:50 PM

    Also has a much better Alexa ranking than your site does, so you could probably learn a few things about marketing

    Eventually if you keep pretending you’re the ‘AUTHORITY’ for sound IM business practices, maybe it will actually work for you guys

    But I think it’s a TERRIBLE IDEA to make fun of business models that are making 100x the money that you’re making now.


    • Hello Bobby,

      So, to summarize your comment: you make more money than me and I have no Facebook likes, therefore I should shut my mouth, right?

      Now, those are some interesting arguments, but they don’t have anything to do with what we talked about on the podcast. Both are what’s called a straw man.

      If I were to respond in kind, I could point out that your site has a Google page speed score of only 48%, so you clearly have no clue about websites and that your use of all-caps shows that you’re a moron, who feels the need to shout at people online.

      But those two things have absolutely nothing to do with either the original discussion on the podcast or your reply to it.
      And just to be clear: I don’t mind your use of all-caps and your site’s speed score says nothing about your ability as a marketer. I just used those as examples to illustrate straw men and why they’re pointless.

      What are your thoughts on the “race to the bottom” nature of what’s happening in these marketplaces? Where do you see this headed, in the long term? Those are the things we’re interested in talking about.

      Also, if you listened to the podcast, you heard us talking about “moving up the food chain”, which is exactly what you’ve done with ProductPay. Congratulations!

      Finally, I don’t understand your stance on income and authority (i.e. your golden rule): why am I not allowed to criticize a person or business unless I make more money than them/it? What’s the logical reason behind this?

      Also, and I hope you’ll excuse a bit of sarcasm here: shouldn’t your golden rule be about something more important than who you should or shouldn’t criticize?

    • Don’t worry Shane, +1 to the Facebook likes. Breaking records now!

      Bobby – to found an argument and make assumptions based on Alexa rankings and the number of likes a single piece of content receives is ridiculous.

      Your Alexa ranking says absolutely nothing about the quality of traffic hitting your website, nor how many of those visitors you’re converting.

      Whether or not you are making more money than Shane is irrelevant – I’d bet he gets far more satisfaction and repeat business than you ever would. Why? Because he follows/advises solid IM practices, not schemes to make a quick buck with.

      I email/tweet/phone contacts to tell them about content that Shane has put out (prime example: The New Rules of SEO webinar). I even refer my clients here.

      Would I ever refer anybody to your silly forum? Not a chance.

      That’s what makes the difference, mate.

  • flashcraft says:

    Quite an interesting exchange, you guys. It’s impressive to see both of you working this as professionals. No cheap shots and some good ideas coming out. Thanks for the look.

  • Hello Shane and Paul,
    This was a great podcast. It is about time that someone with a good reputation (who is actually very successful) in the IM niche talk about the crap that is going on with these high priced products and low priced WSO crap.

    This summer I bought s high priced $2,000 product. I made some extra income this year with my online business and had never purchased a big name product. I never spent more than $200 before on any product.

    High on the food chain was a product called App Empire. There was a huge launch where they threw tons of bucks into creating sales videos and even created a six DVD set of the online videos. Wow! a physical product in the IM market. It was amazing to watch the whole sales process. Huge bucks were spent and with a 50% affiliate commission their a huge feeding frenzy.

    So I purchased App Empire by Chad Mureta in early June for $1,995. I wanted to learn about Apps so since he had a hard-back book (no less) recently published by a legitimate publisher -Wiley I thought it would be a great course. Also I found an affiliate offering a $600 cash bonus. So I thought I would test this high price course. Wrong – nothing much covered in the $2,000 course that wasn’t covered in the book that was $14 on Amazon. I refunded and it took a couple of weeks but to their credit I got my money back. I won’t do that again. What a huge waste of time.

    I think the WSO Special Offer is a huge waste of time. Some of the products are more than laughable but the whole process is also more than a little sad.

    From time to time, I read some of the comments by obvious noobies who put forth all kinds of comments that show such hope and such dreams. I wish I could tell them that they are wasting their time and getting their hopes and dreams dashed. Free products and cheap products are the reason so many people fail in internet marketing. I have noticed that some of those poor noobs come back after a few months and make sad requests about why it didn’t work. The people selling that crap should be ashamed. I guess they have no soul. Has anyone ever really made any money from those crappy cheap products that they sell?

  • Shane,
    You hit a nerve with the used car salesmen on WSO’s. You are letting the suckers who buy this junk that it is junk! Keep up the good work, truly a good man in a sea of degenerates. Now let me get back to my “$5000 wonder sales funnel” i am creating. I expect to make a killing in my launch!

  • Hello Shane,
    Norm here. Looks like you hit a nerve.

    I am in AWE of the Warrior Forum owner. There’s no getting around the fact that he tapped into something big. The guy is a genius. No doubt more so than he ever imagined when he put the first text to screen.

    As for what you described in your audio chat. Yep, been there, done it and seen the whole arc. My second guru got to be a master of the big sell. One of the first. (That’s when I dropped him.) Wonder how his clients are doing these days post Panda? You’d blazes well know the initials were I to type them.

    Having said that, greed is the obvious reason WSO’s sell so well. I know all about greed. I just don’t know how to work it. Don’t care to either. And you don’t do a very good job at it yourself.

    My opinion on WSO’s? If you’re going to do one, promise big and price high. I’ll tell you why…

    I was reminded of a lesson I learned way back. Bear with me for a minute, please.

    I teach hunting safety as a volunteer here. Back when I started hunting, and a bit later climbing tree stands started, we built them ourselves and regularly fell out of them. So, the “lap belt” was invented. They took awhile to catch on, and then got to be a near religion thanks to the tireless preaching of the instructors. Strap on a belt around your waist, and around the tree and you’re safe.

    So one day I decided to test mine out. I eased myself into it. I found that the pain was unbearable. I also found out that a fall into one could seriously injure or kill you instantly.

    So the next class I asked how many students have actually tested their belts. No hands.

    So I tell them to *NOT* wear one. (Instant snarls and pisses and moans like I just cussed God.)

    After the boos and hisses die down some I say… Or…Just don’t get up in a tree. (That was my point.)

    I gave ’em a paradox they weren’t ready for.

    Nowadays, we wear full harnesses which will still kill you, only it takes about 20 minutes. Everybody is happy.

    My point, such as it is, is that you can’t help the helpless. A percentage of folks are always gonna go see the elephant and do like they are told. The successful WSO taps into that. After the tipping point is reached, it’s batten down the hatches, full sales ahead.

    I bought the tail end of your WSO course and used it to make my one and only… an offline WSO. It took me three weeks to put together, even though I know the subject backwards and forwards. The reason for the WSO was 50% greed and 50% wanting to give back to the community something that was real and helpful, especially in the terrible wake of Panda and Penguin.

    After all was said and done, (not counting my time) I have made about $180. I thought I would have done better, but I wasn’t surprised. Although it’s a no fail, proven thing that works every time its tried, I didn’t have the massive bogus sales stats, guru backup, or mailing list to reach that tipping point.

    Also, I promised faithfully that for it to work would take work. No push button stuff. Basically, I did everything wrong. I offered more than honest value for the price. But as I suspected, at least in my personal and observational experience, it takes more.

    So, I counsel, if you’re gonna do one, sell high and promise high. And offer an easy button while you’re at it. Then folks will gobble ’em like candy. (The latest gimmick is monster overpriced “personal” mentoring.)

    Or just don’t do one. (My choice.)


  • James is an over night marketer who’s landed in my spam box. Keep doing what you’re doing Shane. These guys offer no value to their lists. All I know is I click every email Shane sends because he doesnt need to trick me into subscribing for his list. He has people seeking him out and looking to subscribe. The bottom feeders in warrior forum makes you subscribe to get the product you purchased and as soon as your on the list they email you the next crappy wso. What a joke! I rather sell crack to my grandmother. At least I could sleep at night lol.

    • I just wanted to say thank you for your very professional reply.

      If someone who started online in 2005 (like me) can be considered an overnight marketer then you are absolutely correct.

      As a side note, landing in a spam box is hardly a sign of a good/bad marketer. You may want to take a look at how how in-boxing works if you are truly interested.

      In addition Eddie, I have not sold any information products since the latter part of 2011 so perhaps you too should do more research before tossing out unfounded accusations. I don’t force anyone to join my list as this is strictly against Paypal’s TOS. A person cannot be forced to take an additional action as a requirement of receiving their purchase.


      James Sides

  • Just wanted to say I enjoyed Shane’s straw man repartee so much I ‘m going to add it to my files under the category of constructive confrontation.

    As to WSOs, well I look at it this way. If I go to a reputable bookstore here in Tokyo a first class book on finance or medicine in hard back could easily run Yen 15,000 which is about USD 120.

    This being so I refuighhen I bought Charlie Page’s DOE For USD 200 lifetime.

    The way I see it some WSOs fill in the gaps and you can purchase them at attractive prices. I try to buy judiciously and sometimes I refund.

    What I would like to know is a better way to confirm info value. For example, if there was some way to get a tally on how many of x were sold and how many buyers were actually able to implement the product then we would have a value benchmark.

    Call it im> or something like that and make it an independent lab along the lines of consumer reports.
    imreportcard tries to do this with its letter ratings.

    Anyway, I very much hope that I won’t have to buy any more info products in this lifetime, except for Shane’s of course if he ever gets around to producing a product on how to actually do webinar’s the right way soup to nuts.

    • Thanks, mate!

      As I mentioned by email, an info-product about the how-to of running webinars may very well happen. Especially after the results of the quick polls I did during the last webinar.

  • James, its ok. As long as you’re making money, who cares how you do it right?

  • Yes Eddie,
    As long as u make money it doesnt matter how u get there. Thats the mindset thats made this industry the cesspool that it is. The hucksters will always try to defend their actions but the narrative i have read here is that the end justifies the means. Lie as much as necessary to get the $$. I wonder if they had a bricks n mortar store if they would still be selling crap???

  • Shane,

    I listened to the podcast and read the comments above and I wasn’t going to comment at all. In fact, I came back to the post on 3 separate occasions before I decided to leave my comment.

    Finally, someone is willing to expose the truth that has been a common thing going on in the IM world every since I’ve been involved with it with the exception of a few internet marketers. Of course, I feel like you’re one of them else I probably wouldn’t be on your list.

    Let me just say that there are a lot of layers to this post and its impossible to really dissect it from all of the angles that I would like to do so.

    First, before I start let me share why I remain on your list.
    1. You have integrity.
    2. I get way more in Use Value than I ever pay in Cash Value.
    3. You’re not hammering me with product after product from every other online marketer.
    4. You go deep with your information not shallow, meaning you’ve invested some time and energy in the information you share.
    5. I truly believe you want to see me successful.
    6. Even though I haven’t met you, I feel like I know you. I always read/listen to your Sunday updates.

    Products that I’ve bought from you.
    Viral Quiz Builder. Below is a screenshot of how many people I’ve already gotten to take my survey.

    Product Bootcamp (excellent product) – I dropped the ball on this one but its still available to me if I choose to pursue it.

    Backlink Battleplan (I’ve gotten tremendous value from it and still do)

    Hybrid Connect (Had some conflict getting this to work with some other plugins and still haven’t quite understood how to build a list. I don’t regret buying the product and I still feel its a tremendous value?

    I share the above information with you to say that I don’t always want free information from marketers. I do want to support them when they have a product or service that I can use and is of high quality.

    WSO Marketplace

    Below are 3 screenshots of just a few of the WSO products that I’ve purchased. I’m sure I’ve at least purchased 50 -100 of them. One WSO I purchased and implemented got my Youtube Channel shut down. These were video reviews of Amazon products and what I didn’t know at the time is that 100 other people uploaded the same videos to Amazon.

    I lost an account that had well more than 100 videos at the time. It was a painful lesson.

    Here’s the truth – most of the people in the Warrior Forum don’t care about your success, they only want you to buy more S%&!

    Also, whenever the barriers to entry (BTE) are low there will be a lot of people entering that market and virtually making it a cesspool. That’s why it will always be a race to the bottom. The model isn’t sustainable and everybody and their mama will try to enter just to make a fast buck.

    Whenever you are driven by money only your results will be short-lived because the market will eventually figure it out.

    The funny thing is there are some big name marketers teaching how to create products and market them in the WSO space. Two of them that I know that come to mind (you can omit their names if you want to) Kenster and Tristian Bull.

    Below is clip from Pay It Forward which really illustrates something that I never hear people talk about in the IM space. I’m not really good at math but I know the number gets really big fast. What do I mean?

    If I buy one WSO, then I’m on someone’s mailing list. If they have more products they will market those products to me because they want my money. (keep in mind I haven’t even had time to implement the product that I just bought from them but what the hell do they care).

    They not only want me to buy their other products assuming they have some but they also want me to buy other WSO’s that are coming out. So the next day or in a few days I get this short blurb in my inbox telling me about the next whizzbang product that I just have to have. (most of the time its not even related to the product I recently bought from them nor are they using or have tested the product out for themselves to see if its any good. Sometimes that have even been given a review copy so their opinions are biased)

    So let’s assume that I buy the product that they recommend. Then I buy the next product that they recommend and the next and the next and the next…you get the idea.

    Now I’m on all of the people’s list (who I know nothing about) and now they’re trying to sell me even more stuff. By this time, I’m now getting the same offers from 3-5 people almost every day or every other day in my inbox. People I don’t even know nor have we even had the chance to build a relationship with.

    Do you see just like in the video below how this number could and does get big really fast until I had to unsubscribe to almost every list.

    If that isn’t enough I find myself on the email list (I believe its the owner of the forum) that I don’t even remember opting into and I start receiving offers from him daily…sometimes twice daily and then he sends me a summary of all the offers for the week just in case I was bombarded by too emails and I missed something…duh..

    Oh, I forgot, to sweeten the deal and make them more attractive the WSO of the Day is a real big deal. This is the product that you’ve just got to have because all of those other people couldn’t be wrong.

    In my opinion most of the WSO are pure crap or totally incomplete and I didn’t mention the upsells (you don’t need these because the courses are complete without them but this just makes the crap I sold you easier to implement) It’s gotten so bad that people will start to ask are there any upsells because they want to know in advance.

    How could I ever been a part of the very thing that I frown upon? I couldn’t.

    The funniest thing is that you get so far away from the original product that you bought that you don’t even remember what it was. It just becomes some folder on your desk that you end up forgetting about. It’s the ultimate case of the chasing the shiny object.

    I agree at the the Frank Kern’s and the Mike Koenigs of the world have it right. If there’s going to extract some money from your wallet at least they are going to make it worth their time.

    Another layer that few people IM’ers discuss. Are these guys creating the market for this crap or are they ceasing an opportunity?

    Quite honestly, if people like me were not buying this stuff they wouldn’t be creating it. I bought it because it was cheap and I thought I could make some relatively quick money with very little effort. I also thought just like you said Shane, “What the hell, its only $7 anyway and if I don’t buy it now its going to continue to go up”.

    Too many people are out here trying to have overnight successes without putting in the time and effort. The Olympics just ended and I was tied to my TV because I marvel at those who take their craft to the next level. I marvel at people who are willing to risk it all just for a few minutes of fame but no guarantees.

    This microwave society that we live in wants instant success. We are interested in becoming better at anything we just expect others to part with their hard-earned money and pay us for being mediocre. We’re looking for the ATM machine and the couch potato lifestyle. There’s no 3-5 year approach to anything we do and this is why WSO’s thrive.

    Yes, the guys that are high up on the food chain (the one who was willing to take the risk when no one believed it would work) is the one that making the so called easy cash.

    If more people would be willing to pay their dues…many of the websites/forums/gurus would cease to exist overnight. However, because so few people are willing to pursue what they truly love out of fear of not being able to monetize it people and places like you described in the podcast will flourish. As long as people have the poverty mentality, acts of desperation, trying to get away from jobs/bosses they hate the $7 crappy product will always be appealing to them.

    There are many more layers too but I guess this response has become long enough.

    • Hi Bradley, that’s an awesome comment you’ve left there!

      I’ve noticed that you had some problems with Hybrid Connect – are these resolved now? If not, open up a ticket here and I’ll get that sorted for you:-

      • Thanks Paul,
        I’ll open up a ticket so we can get it sorted out. I appreciate you reaching out to me.

    • Brad,
      Second the motion. That was an excellent post, heartfelt, and it took a good amount of time to set it down.

      You said, “The funniest thing is that you get so far away from the original product that you bought that you don’t even remember what it was.”

      I have done the same exact thing. I’ll find an icon on the desktop, or a bookmark, click it and have NO idea of what I’m looking at. Obviously it’s an old WSO.

      Backlink Battleplan was the culmination of my search after MANY experiments and many WSO’s. I agree with ALL that you said.


      • Norm,

        Thanks for the kind words. I’m glad to know that I wasn’t alone with the whole WSO thing. It’s a sickness that I’m finally glad I got a handle on.

    • Thank you very much for this comment! You go really deep into this topic and I appreciate that a lot. It’s also very motivating that our little podcast inspired a reply like this. :)

  • Shane,

    I learned a lot from you. You go deep with your topics so its good to be able to return in kind every once in awhile.

  • Hi Shane,
    I have always admired your integrity and purpose within the IM field.
    Your products are always first class and the support is equally matched.

    The comments you made about WSO’s I would totally agree with. I interpreted WSO as being related to the Warrior Forum and thought it interesting that James Sides appeared to jump in on a knee jerk reaction in defense of his WSO and FSO forum marketing models which are basically poor clones of the Warrior Forum having been set up largely after skimming customer lists obtained through running numerous WSO’s on WF and having achieved WSO’s of the day with many which adds seriously to one’s viable IM list when aggregated over several products. Martin Crumlish (Icun on the forums) is one such person who has benefited from his association with WF and now appears to have jumped ship having acquired sufficient list numbers to do so. Recently he released a membership plugin called Member Rocket which looked great and was featured on FSO. Not being a member there I registered and left my inagural solo comment on the thread which was relevant and contributory but I had it immediately deleted by Mr Crumlish and received a forum PM to the effect that he had deleted it as I made reference to Wishlist and DAP and that he had no interest in promoting them (turns out that Crumlish is a moderator/admin on FSO). There was in fact a hidden reason which I believe related to the fact that his product was not all that it was cracked up to be and that my comments highlighted such a probability. I was invited to post again with a “here’s what to ask” style instruction to which I tool extreme offense and took no time in telling Mr Crumlish what I thought of him and his crummy hit and run marketing techniques. I also requested my profile to be deleted and will never go back there again. Interestingly and to note,.. there were several other posts on Icun’s Member Rockit thread which referred to DAP, Wishlist and Fast Member which did not get deleted whereas mine did as it addressed a key issue not yet mentioned on the thread. If his Member Rockit plugin was in fact superior to WL and DAP as the comparison charts showed then why not allow my comments drawing reference to those “inferior” products that were at that stage at least 2 to 3 times the price of Member Rocket?

    As for Product Pay,… what a shame it falls short in the IPN department and is not as simply configurable as is the IPN forwarding faculties of both WarriorPlus and JVZoo. I tried to get some sense out of Bobby Walker on the support desk but he kept coming back with the same old lame excuses as to why their IPN worked (actually did not work in my tests at all) in the the way it did and that I had to have my IPN php scripts rewritten.
    I did find it amusing that James Sides virtually cans the Forum marketing model as being on death row and yet they chose to set up a clone of that very model and then start bragging about EPC’s and then add that they’ll be expanding the broader forum sections later.

    IMHO, having an alternative forum to the Warrior Forum would be great but it seems very clear at this stage that WSO and FSO have not come close to that mark despite skimming sales off the very successful and longstanding Warrior Forum WSO,.. which when used responsibly and not then spamming the lists of buyers that come through it is a very nice platform to 1) introduce pre-releases 2) run evergreen products with upsells to off forum products 3)build rapport with some genuine IMers (many of which are tired of all the usual crap that typically goes with many WSO’s 4)keep an ear to the ground and even pick up some really good new products that may have missed one’s attention 5) tune into some of the other non WSO forum topics for new insights and to occasionally contribute.

    Keep it the great work Shane,… and keep telling it as it is!

    • James Sides says:

      Happy New Year Russell.

      It seems you are misinformed on many things.

      FSO does not siphon off the WSO marketplace, we brought our own vendors in which is why you see $100,000 & 200,000+ launches on FSO and $20,000/$30,000 launches on WSO (if they’re LUCKY).

      This is also why the average WSO is priced at under $15 whereas the average FSO is priced at more then double that.

      (Btw, I sold my interests in both FSO and ProductPay in the first week of December 2012 to pursue my passion for mobile games so what I’m saying is totally as an outside observer at this point.)

      Take care and Happy New Year!

      -James Sides

      P.s. I never heard any of the issues you talked about with the ProductPay IPN but my advice would be to stay tuned as I know Bobby has a major update planned that should be something worth talking about.

  • Greetings James,

    with respect I would assert that I am not misinformed at all. I have been actively involved in the IM sphere for 5 years and a regular contributor and member of the Warrior Forum.
    I think you are being somewhat delusional to say that WF/WSO focuses on under $15 offers as many I buy there are $27 to $67.
    Occasionally I will pick up $97 WSO’s when the value is exceptional.
    In my own case, I have actively been promoting my WP-LocalBiz and LocalBiz Vortex products on the WF in the range of $47 to $177 with an average price of greater than $100 for the past 2 years on and off.
    From what I have seen,.. both FSO and WSO (WF/WSO clones) are virtually identical in the type and price of products offered. I see little difference and hence my comment that both FSO & WSO have taken the WF/WSO concept as an offshoot and done little more than siphon off traffic and sales without significantly adding anything to the mix. Perhaps as time rolls on we might see some added features and benefits that distinguish these two new forums a little more.
    I find the claim to $100k to $200k launches a little hard to swallow,.. in fact I would dare to say that they go somewhat beyond an optimistic embellishment of facts!
    That said,.. I wish you well in the app market which you’re entering. It certainly is exciting but as you well know it goes beyond developing apps and requires a whole new marketing perspective and strategy.
    Best wishes for a prosperous 2013 to you :-)

    • James Sides says:


      Those are not guesses I made. Those are verifiable facts. Please feel free to check WarriorPlus, JvZoo, and Productpay to verify my average price claims.

      Also feel free to check the Productpay marketplace to verify the launch stats.

      ProductPay manually approves all launches and I can tell you first hand when I was involved we looked at both product quality and potential. If a product didn’t have a shot at doing a $100k launch we were not interested in associating our platform with it. Again, I’ve since sold my interest so I can’t state this is still the case but I wouldn’t imagine much has changed in only the last 45 days since I parted ways.

      I only work with facts and not guesses or assumptions; I would urge you to do the same.

      Best wishes,

      James Sides

      P.s. If you really want to push the issue feel free to look me up on Facebook and I’ll be happy to provide screenshots to back these launch figures up for you.

  • My ideas on WSOs:
    Most info products do not worth it. Most plugin owners are lost and do not provide updates after a while(there are a few exceptions such as Nick, the owner of FanBuzz and Simple Video Pro). I personally felt my investment to graphic packages and alikes were good deals which was cost effective and useful for me.

    My ideas on guru products:
    I agree, only with some exceptions. Honestly, I find Eben Pagan, Brendon Burchard, Greg Habstratt and Andy Jenkins’ work very helpful.

    Is there any “gurus” out there whom you talk highly about or you think “worths” it? Just curious.

    • My take is that it’s better to “say no to gurus”, even if some of them might be decent.

      To be clear, my definition of a “guru” is someone who sells information products for $2K+, usually by being part of a large affiliate circle including other gurus.

      There’s a real issue with selling information at this kind of price point, especially along with the promises usually made. Is it theoretically possible that you’d get $2K worth of value out of one of these products? Maybe. But it’s better to invest those $2K into your business and get some hands-on experience.

      • I know what you mean, Shane…and I didn’t mean I’ve invested in all the products those guys were releasing. I am far away from that trap. But, in general, when I learn something, I am always into big picture rather than small pieces.

        So, instead of buying 200 WSO each selling for $10, I’d rather invest in a high quality complete product which sells for $2000 and comes with live events,etc.

        I personally think, one on one mentoring would be more valuable, however I learned my lesson with it when I first started. I chose that path and lost one month of my salary(I had a job by then). I guess I chose the wrong coach and it was wrong timing for me as a newbie. Money lost, lesson learned!

        I agree it is better to invest into your business and get some hands-on experience…as long as you know what you are doing!

        Thanks for great insights and it’s good to know someone out there is being open with what expectations we should set when it comes to running an online business.For example, I still can’t guess how many people out there really making more than 6 figures:)

        Just as a final note; I made some good investments with WSO and FSO. For example Simple Video Pro and InstaBuilder are 2 plugins which I purchased with a huge discount and both of those plugins are being supported and updated so far. They are the 2 most used tools I use on my websites along with Hybrid Connect. So, I guess there are exceptions.

  • wow, this thread really took off for you Shane..

    i just wanted to do a quick update and say that as of today FSO is ranked 769 in Alexa US traffic and is a self sustaining site with it’s own traffic..

    this was achieved in just 13 months and we have some very big plans for the site this year..

    and hard feelings at all…without different point of views, things would get pretty boring!

    you guys take care and keep rockin :)

    • Hi Bobby,

      Well, I’m glad (if somewhat surprised) to hear that FSO is doing so well. Congratulations!

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