“Is it safe?” Dr. Szell (Laurence Olivier) menacingly enquires of Babe (Dustin Hoffman) over and over again, in the classic 1976 movie Marathon Man, whilst probing his teeth with a dental curette without the use of anaesthetic.
The quote ‘Is it safe?’ was ranked #70 on the ‘100 Years…100 Movie Quotes’ list.
The dental torture scene was named #66 on Bravo’s ‘100 Scariest Movie Moments’.
The torture scene has been described as one of the most frightening sequences in film (source: Wikipedia).
This mental movie clipping from the past was brought to mind recently, partly because of some recent dental work undertaken – and I do apologise if you have an upcoming dental appointment (dentistry has moved on a great deal since the 1970s…really ) – and partly because I was recently thinking of buying a rather high-priced Internet marketing course just last week.
It’s not the first time I have thought ‘Is it safe?’ just prior to hitting the ‘buy’ button…
‘Is it really safe for me to buy this course? After all, it’s a heck of a lot of money. What if the course does not live up to its hype? What if it doesn’t suit me, will I get a refund?’
My guess is that I am not alone with these nagging questions, which whisper in our ear just prior to a purchase.
If that’s the case, then with the benefit of many years experience of buying both good and bad courses, I would like to offer you some guidance.
Perhaps, rather than use the word guidance, I should simply let you know the rules of engagement which I have adopted over the years and then leave you to make your own decisions.
My intention is to simply instil a sense of caution before buying Internet marketing courses or products, especially expensive ones.
If I can save you the worry and stress of trying to recover your investment from a bad course, then I will be happy.
* If the course is priced at over $100 i.e. expensive, I become more wary and make more checks before buying.
* If the course is over $497 i.e. a big-ticket course I become super vigilant before committing.
* Analyse the offer itself. Do the promises/benefits sound plausible? Usually the benefits will offer a saving of time, or the ability to make additional income. So ask yourself, do the claims sound plausible in return for the asking price?
* Does the sales page supply full contact details including address, email and telephone number? A help-desk contact email is essential.
* Does the course/product have an unconditional money-back guarantee?
* Check for valid testimonials. Testimonials can come in the guise of written testimony, as well as proof of earnings; both of which can be faked so dig deeper.
* I ALWAYS Google the name of the course, asking for a review. Now the point of this is to not necessarily enter into a debate as to whether a particular course actually suits everyone, as not all courses do, but simply to try to spot the danger signals which will soon become apparent in the Google search results, such as:
1. People having problems with the functionality of the course.
2. Problems with the support, or lack of it.
3. Problems getting a refund originally promised in the sales offer.
One of the sites I ALWAYS check with before buying is Warrior Forum.
For those unfamiliar with Warrior Forum, it is a gathering of like-minded Internet marketers, many of whom are willing to give third-party feedback on products or courses – a bit like consulting Trip Advisor when you are checking out travel locations.
Basically users will warn you if they have encountered problems.
You do have to take some of the comments on the Warrior Forum with a pinch of salt, as individual cases may be one-off cases. However, you will soon spot a bad apple if you get a whole slew of negative comments, as was the case with the course I was tempted to buy last week.
Just by doing my due diligence, as well as checking with the Warrior Forum, I saved myself a whole heap of grief.
That all having been said, always check before you buy and make it safe, and as they say on Crimewatch: ‘don’t have nightmares, do sleep well!’