• The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly of Getting Reviews

    I hadn't wanted to resort to what I perceived as being less honest means (eg buying reviews), but when it comes to reviews I guess it's going to be necessary if one wants to compete in this business. I'm just not sure how far one needs to hide such activities and risk being openly seen as being a "cheat". Is it cheating anyway? Business is business.
    I'm not sure how relevant my viewpoint is. Many people on this forum seem to equate selling something with something underhanded. But the fact of the matter is, if you're in business, then you're in business to make money. Making money in business means you have to sell. Period. End of story. Call it what you want, dress it up any way you want, put lipstick on it, and call it something else, but you're still in business to make money. You're only fooling yourself if you think otherwise. The view point of "I'm in business, but I don't want anyone to perceive me as trying to sell them something" baffles me. If you opened a shop on main street would you stand in the doorway and caution customers who wanted to come inside with "I don't want you to think I'm trying to sell you something." Everyone KNOWS you're trying to sell something already because you opened a shop on main street! The same is true of the internet. They already know you're trying to sell them something, to act otherwise is just going to make them distrust you more.

    While I understand the uncomfortable feeling of selling, and I struggled with it myself for many years, at the end of the day it all boils down to fear. If you have a business, you are in business to sell. If you aren't selling, then you aren't in business. In Europe, my guess is, selling is associated with something low class, tacky, or beneath an "honest" person or making an honest living. If this is the way you feel, you shouldn't be in business for yourself. You're doing a disservice to yourself and everyone around you.

    Yes, there are dishonest ways of selling, and there are dishonest sales people. They use unscrupulous tactics, they cheat people, they steal from people, they ruin lives. I can say the same about every single one of your politicians, bankers, and I'll even go so far as to say, you can find dishonest people in any occupation, anywhere. There are dishonest school teachers, priests, and babysitters. Dishonesty is not confined to the business class only. If that is the way you perceive yourself, then that is the way others will perceive you as well. Just because there are dishonest internet sellers doesn't make YOU one of them by default or association.

    If you have a good product, if you know it is high quality, if you know it is better than your competitors, if you know that you are doing everything honestly, you should be PROUD to sell it. Because if they don't buy from you, there is a good chance they will get cheated somewhere else. If you're not proud of your own product, then I would ask why are you selling it to begin with? If you are ashamed of your own product, isn't it time to go back to the drawing board and either retire or create a better product you're not ashamed of?

    If you already have a good product and if you aren't doing everything in your power to sell your product, you are cheating yourself, and your customers. If you have a good product, there is no reason to cheat, or use subterfuge, or try and trick people. Nor do you need to. Quality will sell itself. But that doesn't mean it isn't your responsibility to put it in front of as many people as possible and give anyone the opportunity to buy it. That doesn't mean you don't use every ethical means available to you. That's called marketing. If they don't buy, then they don't buy. It is no reflection on you. It is a reflection on them. Even so, not everyone will love your product and want to throw you a parade when you come to town. There are a lot of haters in this world, and even more on the internet. Not to mention your competitors will hate to see you succeed. Get used to it.

    My father used to say "If the ignorati isn't talking trash about you, then you're doing nothing worthwhile."

    Keep in mind, there is a difference between "Amazon laws" and what I call, "natural laws." A natural law is "Thou shalt not steal." An Amazon law is "You can only do X, but if you do you, before doing Z, and then immediately after, do A, followed by C, D, F, and G. File each report in triplicate and submit separately to department A, B, C, and D." One is realistic, the other is man-made, made to benefit only one person or organization, and is intentionally misleading and confusing. There is only one purpose for legalese and that is to screw you. Otherwise, they could write the same thing in plain English. Legalese simply invites you to find a way around it, because adhering to it only puts you at a disadvantage. Notice I said "a way around it." (Not disregard or ignore it) Is beating someone at their own game dishonest? It seems to me if they are trying to screw you, then the first dishonesty is on them.

    In US law, if someone is being dishonest with you, you're under no obligation to HELP them steal from you. The concept is even enshrined in tax law. "Tax avoidance is legal, tax evasion is not." (Bend the law all you want, but don't break it.)

    So what does that have to do with reviews? Everything. You already know you'll need between 300 to 500 downloads to get one review. That means, getting it in front of A LOT of people. THAT means marketing. Marketing means selling. Selling is business. Without selling you won't make any money, and you won't be in business. The line between "avoiding" the laws and "evading" them is a thin one, and up to your interpretation.

    My opinion only.
    This article was originally published in forum thread: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly of Getting Reviews started by dsieg58 View original post