Honest Money Online

Hopefully most of us want not just to make money online, but to make honest money. We want to feel good about how we make it, and know that we’re doing nothing wrong. Fortunately, there are hundreds of ways to earn a living or develop a stream of extra income on the internet, and thousands of articles and web pages to tell you how. This article is more about how not to do it.

No More Page Traps

Imagine if you went to your mailbox to collect your mail, and in addition to the usual unsolicited junk there was a hand that grabbed you and held you there while a voice tried to sell you something. Or imagine a salesman that blocked the door when you were ready to leave the furniture store. Not many of us would consider either of these tactics ethical, nor would we tolerate them.

But this is essentially what internet marketers do when they set up a web page so that you cannot easily leave. You click the little “x” up in the right hand corner, and instead of the page closing, a box pops up. The box itself is set up to be difficult to decipher. Do you click the “x” in that, or click the “okay” button, not sure what you are agreeing to? The whole set up is meant to deceive.

I know that some marketer will say that this is not unethical. You didn’t have to go to his site, he might argue, and if you do you have to abide by his rules. Of course, the furniture store salesman could say the same thing as he locks the door with you inside. The truth is that this practice is plainly wrong, and if we had to agree to the “rules” of such sites before entering, we would not have entered. If you want to make honest money, drop this disgusting practice.

Advertise The True Price

Television advertising is the worst offender when it comes to deceiving people about the price of a product. “Only $9.99, and get the second one free,” an advertisement says, adding in a lower voice or small print, “Just pay separate shipping and handling.” Shipping and handling, the cost of which is mentioned nowhere, is likely to be $7.99 for each item, so your $9.99 widget and additional “free” one will cost about $26 total.

The internet version is the “free” CD. Of course you have to give your name and email address to get the “free” CD. Only once you have done that will you discover that there is a charge of $5.99 for shipping. The fact that a CD can be produced for about a dollar, and shipped for about a dollar, makes the claim dishonest on the face of it, and the fact the shipping charge is not mentioned until after an email address is gathered for spamming purposes makes this a doubly dishonest way to business.

If you use the word “free,” you should actually offer something that is free of any financial cost. If it is a free bonus only available with the purchase of something else, that should be clear up front. If there is a shipping charge for a supposedly free item, it should be acknowledged on the same page as, and near, the claim “free.”

Offer Real Value

Each of us has to decide for ourselves what had real value. On the other hand, it seems clear that some vendors sell garbage knowing it is garbage – and also knowing that many or most people will not bother to fight for a refund. That may work for short-term profits, but it’s not honest money.