Protect Yourself from Being Ripped Off
Research and development are a part of my daily mail order business life. It is extremely beneficial to you and your business to be well informed of what is going on around you. If you are a mail order business and you don't have at least 7 or more mail order tabloids in your mail box each week - you need to get on more Big Mail lists. You could even have a 1-inch ad typeset that simply said: "Big Mails Wanted. All Offers Considered. Mail to: (your name and address)" Advertise this ad in mail order publications and be flooded with mail from other dealers. Read, study, read, study and study some more. Build your mail order education free.
As you begin reading and studying these publications, you will read about people that rip-off others. Rip-off schemes will be exposed through many of our fine, mail order writers. You will be shown just how these rip-offs make their money and how you can be on the lookout for others who come along offering the same rip-off service.
You also will learn valuable lessons and hear advice from other people who have been ripped-off. You will learn that something that sounds too good to be true, usually is. Now don't get me wrong. One time a well-known, honest mail order dealer ran an ad where he offered people FREE advertising to 1,000 if they simply returned the ad they were reading. If I didn't know this dealer personally, I would normally shy away from the ad. I would probably think this was "too good to be true" and there was likely a catch to it. Since I didn't want to waste my time, I might pass up this ad. However, the ad was TRUE to it's word and worth the effort to respond. However, this is only one isolated incident.
A good rule of thumb for protecting yourself, your business and your money is to write a personal letter of inquiry before ordering the product or service. If you get a chain letter that claims to bring you $50,000 in 30 days, write to some of the people on the chain letter. Ask them if they've made their $50,000 yet! See how many people respond!
How about that full-page ad in Small Business Opportunities that promises you the secret to making $100 with 2 sheets of paper? It has to be legitimate, right? I mean, it's in a national publication and it shows their picture and the actual bank deposits! Can it be true? NO! The person in the picture may not be that person at all. How will you ever know? Are you going to drive to their house to check them out? How do you know these are really true bank deposits? Anyone can alter forms to make figures appear to be more than they are. The only reason this person advertised in this national publication was because they had the money to place the ad. Somewhere in Small Business Opportunities it will state they are not responsible for any claims made by the advertisers. Just because the ad appears in this publication does not mean the publisher endorses this business!
Spend the time to analyze the mail order products and services you are considering purchasing. Want to locate a good mail order printer? Send them a small order OR write them a letter. Enclose a self-addressed-stamped-envelope (SASE) for their reply and simply ask them to send you one (1) page they have printed so you can determine their quality. If they don't respond when you have taken the time to enclose an SASE, they won't provide good customer service.
I've read horror stories of people who tell about their rip-off experiences. Some people even admit to having been ripped-off several times. One lady claimed to be ripped-off by the same company 5 different times! Sorry, but that was HER fault! While there are many legitimate reasons why someone gets ripped-off, the majority of them can be avoided by using common business sense.
During the last several months, a lot of dealers have complained about the new kind of rip-off artist. This person runs an advertisement in a publication offering a certain item. They ask the customer to send $1 or stamps for more information. When the customer responds, what they receive has absolutely nothing to do with the product depicted in the original ad. If you get angry and write a letter back to them of your complaint, normally the advertiser will not respond. This costs you time and postage! It's a lose-lose situation for both parties. Rather than the advertiser taking the time to build a business relationship with an interested customer, he or she turns them away. If the advertiser had taken the time to respond to the mail they would reap a lot more financially! It's insane, but some people actually operate this way.
The best way of combating these types of rip-off artists is to expose them through mail order. Write a letter to a publisher and tell them to warn others of this company. Keep a list of people who rip you off (in one form or another) with a detailed record of the date and reason for your complaint. After you have accumulated a few of them, type them up neatly on a sheet of paper and sell copies for $1 or include free in your mailings as a "free gift." It's always best to try and re-coup some of your money while still warning others of these rip-off artists.
It's up to you to combat these shady businesses. If everyone does their part, mail order will become better and better. Although mail order is still dominated by honest, sound and reliable dealers; there are still people getting ripped-off financially on a daily basis. Please join us in stomping out these bad eggs so we all can enjoy much better profits and increased sales.
When the mail is used to intentionally misrepresent a product or service it constitutes Mail Fraud. The U.S. Postal Inspection Service is charged with investigating violations of the law, usually in response to consumer complaints.
After spending the last few months investigating certain types of mail order businesses, it was obvious that some of them were borderline questionable, if not a verifiable scam.
It seems like every mail order publication has at least one ad in it promising hundreds of dollars a week, just for stuffing envelopes. Some even promise to pay $4 or $5 per envelope stuffed!
If you are active in mail order, you've no doubt seen tons of chain letters and pyramid programs. In case you're not familiar with them, here's an overview, so you know what to watch out for.
They arrive in your mail - a conspicuous looking mail piece from some "official looking" bank claiming that you have been Pre-Approved for a MasterCard or VISA credit card.
The 911 telephone system is standard nationwide to enable callers to reach emergency services by phone with a minimum of difficulty. If you have an emergency involving the safety of life or property, you are encouraged to make use of the system.
Would you send Sears $20 and expect them to know you were ordering without you specifying it in your order form? Would you send your electric company a check for $15 and expect them to know what account you were making a payment on?
No matter how hard anyone tries, mail order scams existed in the past, they exist now and they will continue to exist into the future.
What's a legitimate scam? It's a scam that delivers the product or service it claims to but the customer is still left with nothing!
But wherever honest firms search for new customers, so do swindlers. Phone fraud is a multi-billion dollar business that involves selling everything from bad or non-existent investments to the peddling of misrepresented products and services.