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March 20, 2009 / jasonpinto

This car has your name on it!

Ah, the internet marketing scam… For some reason, I thought that those had been done away with. Or at the least, so ridiculous in content that only a fool would not be able to spot them.

Okay, confession – I almost fell for one.  

My significant other is in need of a new car. While perusing the web, she stumbled across a great amazing too-good-to-be-true deal. It was an’05 Toyota Corolla…. in great condition, low mileage.. for only $2900! We thought it was a little unbelievable, but still… we were so happy, we almost busted out into a dance across the living room!

We contacted the poster… He replied with a story that helped us quickly fall back down to earth. He said that he was in the military (“helping to improve relations with the U.S. and Spain”), but that it was too expensive for him to ship his car overseas. Thus, he needed to unload the car quickly and cheaply.

Well, part of the reason that I love marketing is because you can find inspiration in all kinds of things… including, an internet marketing scam (this one, by the way, has been posted by the FBI).

I am not recommending these tactics! But, partly for my own sanity, I wanted to break down what they used as the lures.

  • Low Cost/Great Deal – We are all looking for price breaks… Here was a deal that was guaranteed to be the best deal we could get. 
  • Product Perfection – (This is the one that bothers me the most, because I fell for it). They claimed a 2005 car only had 19K miles. (I think I’ve lost a lot of credibility by admitting that 🙂 ) Also, it was pristine on the inside, shiny on the outside.
  • Limited Time/Buy Now – This one works so well.. You have to act now! It had to be our lucky day to stumble across this post before anyone else.
  • Guarantee/Price Protection – The seller insisted that the transaction only be handled through eBay’s Price Protection Guarantee program, so that we are ensured of not losing our money.

I almost feel slimy just typing in those previous 4 bullet points.  However, there are absolutely aspects of those strategies that can assist in legitimate marketing efforts.

But it was a good reminder to me .. before we send out the next marketing piece, make sure it’s slime free!

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