(This is a very condensed report on my experience with this organization. It took place over many days.)
I've heard the stories about how some people are making a lot of money selling on Ebay, and since I'm retired and could sure use some extra money, I decided to investigate on the internet starting with a Google search.
I stumbled onto an internet downloadable publication called The Silent Sales Machine published by Jim Cockrum. After I paid the $49.95 the publication becomes downloadable.
It appears to be a pretty good guide on how to get started on Ebay but then digresses into methods of creating your own web site in order to drive your Ebay traffic away from Ebay and directly to your site.
Then you can sell them other stuff and not pay the Ebay fees. The other stuff they suggest is usually some kind of downloadable publication that you or someone else has created.
They stress that Ebay has very strict rules about this and if you violate the rules, Ebay will shut down your site. So they have come up with some devious ways to skirt Ebay's rules.
So far, I guess it's not a scam or ripoff and the information may have some validity. The problem is that the information is overwhelming and leaves you in a bit of a quandary, asking yourself now what and how the heck do I get started?
Aha! They have the answer to that question! Several days after I purchased the material, I received an unsolicited phone call from some guy named Marty who claimed to be calling on "behalf" of Jim Cockrum. It turns out Marty is employed by a differrent company! (I thought the info I provided was confidential)
Marty went on to say that he is offering have a "Tutoring Course" that may be available to me if I meet their rigid qualifications. There Titors were trained personally by Jim Cockram, the author of Silent Sales Machine.
Marty took great pains to prepare me to be turned down for this course, as their requirements are very strict and that they turn away many more applicants than they accept.
He kept repeating that he doesn't wnat me to be angry or upset if I am not accepted. (That sure raised a big red flag in my mind! If that's not a scam tactic, I don't know what is.)
Long story short, once I satisfied Marty's criteria, which was do I have a burning desire to be successful, I was called back by another "higher level" person who would have me jump through even more hoops before being accepted. (Really, this isn't a joke. This is actually what they do!)
Naturally, I passed his little redundant question test with flying colors. (A gnat could pass them) I was now one of the fortunate few that they could accept in their one-on-one tutoring program. (Lucky me!)
I qualified for one of two programs.
a) $6,900 (this course is the sun, moon & stars all rolled into one.)
b) $9,900 (same as above, but with video's that I could watch at my leisure for a limited time.)
Then I asked him a disrespectful and perplexing question: can I talk to any of their previous or current students about their "opinion" of the course and material being offered.
Good grief, you'd think I cursed at him or ate his breakfast. He promptly told me that it's against policy to do this and there are no exceptions!
We went round and round about this for a while and when I said that I'm not going to plunk down seven or ten thousand dollars without some sort of verification, he said he'd have to have his supervisor call me.
This resulted in another long conversation with the "supervisor" who was very adroit at changing the subject and diverting me away from my request to talk to someone who has experienced the course.
He talked so fast I had to tell him to stop talking so I could get a word in. Very annoying! Then he promised to put in writing that If I did everything they requested during the course, and I was not successful, I would get my money back. (Yeah. Right! I'm sure there would have been something I didn't do to their satisfaction.)
When I didn't go for that offer, he said he'd talk to Jim Cockram himself, to see if they could make an exception for me. But he kept talking so fast and furious, and eventually changed his mind.
Now he used a new tactic by asking me, in a sarcastic way, why I'm so special that they should break their rules for me?
I'm getting tired just recounting this and I'll bring it to a close here. I wouldn't budge and neither would he and he just would'nt stop talking! So I hung up while he was still talking. I'm normally not that rude but the guy just wouldn't shut up.
Since I did not purchase their program, I cannot determine if this is a scam or a ripoff. But it sure felt like I was being set up by a bunch of fast talking hucksters trying to extract money from me.
What's that old adage? If it waddles like a duck, quacks like a duck and has webbed feet, there's a pretty good chance it's a duck!
Based on this experience, I wouldn't give these guys the time of day, much less my money.