Saturday, September 17, 2005

Adding New Products, MLM, Site Evaluation

Ok- this is all opinion and business philosophy.

I enjoy grabbing the phone and talking to my Customers- they are smart, interesting people and full of suggestions for new products. There were several suggestions this week which I was quite enthusiastic to look into and see if they were a good match for Relentless Improvement to offer.

Unfortunately, they turned out to be a. Dead-Ends b. Snake-Oil c. Over-Priced (moot point due to a and b). The problem for the average consumer on the street is glossy sites and carefully constructed verbiage. The science and research for these product simply does not exist, and we refuse to carry what isn't proven effective.

Another huge, HUGE problem is MLM. Multi-Level Marketers. Much of the snake-oil is sold exclusively through MLM sites. MLM exists for one reason- part you from your hard earned money with no tangible benefit in return. Other than perhaps placebo effect.

Multi-Level Marketing is a legal pyramid scheme. There is no quality, cost or efficacy benefits that accrue to the end consumer. Even as a child I understood the concept of rip-off artist and scammers. I have despised these people and fought in my own small ways against them.

There are only so many proven substances, and only so many of them are legal to sell without a prescription. As new products become available, and the studies and research back them up, we want to be the first to offer them to you for purchase.

Our iron-clad promise to you is that we will never list a product on our site that does not have the research behind it documenting safety and efficacy. If we stock a product and either of those qualifying factors change- we pull the product from the site. We have done this with several products.

The current state of the nutritional supplement business is like the wild west, and I fear for the backlash this is likely to generate from government regulators.

Be a careful shopper, look for the research and do your own. Don't expect to get something for nothing, and be damn careful before you hand over your money!

Checklist for Sites You Do Not Want to Do Business With:
  • No address listed on the contact info.
  • No phone number.
  • The site purports to be a "Testing" site yet guides you to some products web site (they get paid commission for re-directing you!)
  • Product sold via MLM- Multi-Level Marketing.
  • No references to independent research.
  • Wild claims- nothing but customer testimonials (testimonials are fine but not by themselves!).
  • The site disabled your "Back" button on your browser.(Sleazy Roaches!)
  • The site carries Advertisement (like Google AdWords)

All for now.
Pete