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Thread: [Marketing] Vendor Pro / VendorPro.com

  1. #1
    Hack Writer realitychuck's Avatar
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    [Marketing] Vendor Pro / VendorPro.com

    I recently, out of the blue, got an e-mail from VendorPro offering to help me sell my books. I replied, asking what I feel are essential questions before hiring someone to provide any sort of author services:

    1. How long have your been in business?
    2. What are the titles of some of the books you are
    currently marketing?
    3. What are your fees?
    4. Provide reference information for at least three
    of your authors.
    5. Provide a list of bookstores that have purchased
    books from your site.
    Here is their reply, with my commentary:

    First of all, it appears that Vendorpro was originally set up to sell crafts and other manufactured items, not books. It seems clear that their "book" letter is merely doing a search-and-replace on their letter to crafters., with no recognition that there are two different markets.

    Thank you for taking the time to write. As per your email, while we
    have over 4000 suppliers on our site, it is against our policy to release,
    sell or disseminate the information of registered members to nonregistered
    users.
    Typical of any scam. They refuse to give out any information that would let you track down their customers to make an informed decision.
    We've been in business for over 4 1/2 years and have approximately 4000 sellers on our site showcasing thousands of products. Every month we
    have over 2 million hits so there's a lot of business being done.
    Fancy statistics, but note they don't claim their sellers actually sold anything. 4000 may have signed up, but how many have had any success? 2 million hits only means people are looking at the pages (and a page can have multiple "hits" with a single viewing). How many are buying?

    This total does not even include the over 100,000 stores in our database we email new products to.
    They e-mail new products? Since some of their products are craft items, that's a neat trick. I'm curious as to how someone were to download scented candles. Oh, they're e-mailing 100,000 stores an ad for their products. Glorious spam! I'm sure that's highly effective; stores read all their e-mail messages avidly.

    There's definitely a larger market for your book.
    Probably, but the fact that it's out of print kind of makes it difficult to provide copies even if the stores order it. Granted, it's in electronic form, but I don't know many stores that stock ebooks on their shelves. They've obviously researched my book quite diligently.

    In fact, with over 450 publishers/authors registered, the book category is one of our most popular sections.
    This explains their success, not the authors'. 450 people were convinced to pay for their services, but he makes no claim that any one of them sold a single book through them.

    Other than helping you reach the bookstores, we can help you
    target a market traditional book distributors don't go after. There
    are millions of large retailers, gift stores, specialty shops, mail-order
    catalogs, and Internet shopping sites looking for products like yours
    to sell in their stores. They buy up front, do not return, and will
    continue to order from you once your books sell.
    Gift stores looking for a science fiction book? I would think they'd be looking for gifts, not books. Non-bookstores are always looking for new product, but only if that product fits their specialty. Adding an obscure science fiction novel won't bring in customers. Even adding a best-selling author won't do it; people who want the author's books will first think of going to a bookstore to get it.

    Buyers are always on the lookout for products that will bring customers into their stores. That's how they stay in business. To supply their stores they'll buy products from you in massive quantities
    . First two statements are true. Third sentence would be true of they left out "from you." They'll buy from wholesalers, not me.

    Some stores routinely spend millions of dollars on each product. Landing just 1 account is guaranteed to boost your profits. Can you imagine what 10, 100, or even 1000 new accounts will do for your business? Imagine all the fun you'll have. Best of all, once your book sells in their stores like you know they can, sit back and watch the repeat orders roll in.
    Craft products boilerplate. First sentence is true. Second sentence: Sure, but what are the odds? Who has gotten these 100 new accounts due to you? Who has even gotten one?

    The key is getting your book seen by the right people . the people who are responsible for making the purchasing decisions for their stores. You
    need key contacts. That's where we come in. Thousands of key buyers have come to us and asked for our help in locating products for their stores.
    Why not name the key buyers, or at least the store they represent? Is it because you've can't find any?

    We search the globe for products we think are ideal for them. Once your book is posted on our site it's showcased to our network of stores and
    emailed to buyers requesting email alerts when products just like yours are
    posted.
    How many buyers have requested these? No answer, of course.

    Keep in mind, we're certainly not the answer to all of your prayers.
    Probably the most factual statement they're making. It's also their way out.
    Some products move the instant they are posted, some need a kick start (that's why we email your products to buyers), while other products don't move at all. That's just the nature of business. We're here to give you an opportunity .... a chance to reach more stores than you'll probably ever
    have the time to reach on your own.
    The disclaimer. They don't promise a thing. They just give you "a chance." And a pretty slim one.

    As per your question, to register your business it costs $340USD per
    year. This allows you to post as many products as you want, as often as you want, throughout the time you are signed on with us. Every one of your
    products will have its own page that we create for you based on the questions you answer. You can even upload images. It's a cinch to do and takes just a few minutes.
    The nitty gritty. $340 a year with no promises and no specifics. Hey, if you give me $340 a year, I'll post your product on my website, too. I'll even do it for $100, and promise the same success VendorPro claims.

    The only other optional charges are adding a link to your website
    ($45USD per year) and placing your products in special advertising sections
    like "Looks What's New" (normal cost $85USD per product). If you do
    register please send me an email and I'll enhance your account by adding the
    link for free (save $45USD), plus I'll place your book in the "Look What's New"
    section at no charge for three months (save $255USD).
    An attempt to make this look like a real bargain, but it obscures the main question: is this worth it?
    I think you'll be pleasantly surprised at the results you get once you
    decide to put yourself out there more.
    You may think so; I don't.

    EXPOSURE
    VendorPro has quickly become the world's premier online marketplace.
    Thousands of buyers from around the globe visit our site actively
    looking for products to sell in their stores, mail-order catalogs, and online
    shopping sites.
    "Looking for products." Not "buying products." Like most of the previous, this information is useless in evaluating the service.
    SIMPLE
    Getting started is simple. Once you register we'll showcase your
    products. Every one of your products will have its own page that we create for you. You can post as many products as you like, as often as you want,
    throughout the time you are registered with us. You can even upload images. We'll have you up and running in just minutes.
    You can do this on any web page and it doesn't cost you $340 a year.
    WE CONTACT BUYERS FOR YOU
    Once your products are posted they are instantly showcased to our
    enormous network of buyers. But we do much more to make sure your products get seen by the right people. Your products are instantly emailed to purchasing agents who are looking for products just like yours. We work hard to get your products sold by targeting the right buyers for you.
    Translation: you'll spam a bunch of companies. Do any of these purchasing agents ever buy from your e-mails? And I still want to know how you e-mail a scented candle.

    YOU WORK HAND-IN-HAND WITH BUYERS
    Buyers prefer to deal with you directly, especially if they are
    purchasing large quantities. As a result, no transactions are run through our
    website. Buyers will contact you directly to ask their questions and to place
    their orders. You work with them to establish the payment terms and shipping dates that work best for you. It's a snap.
    No transactions through their website: convenient -- you couldn't give any real numbers about the success even if you wanted to. All VendorPro knows is how many people have logged on to your website (you need a login to view anything), but there's no way to quantify results.
    SAVES TIME
    We realize that as a business owner you are the President, Vice
    President, secretary, and accountant all wrapped into one. That leaves very little time for marketing. But VendorPro knows that marketing directly affects the growth of your business. So we have done the research for you. And
    have tracked down thousands of the world's premier retail buyers, legwork
    that would take the average business owner years to accomplish. VendorPro
    saves you time and helps you reach your business goals quicker.
    Again, where are some names?
    GROW AT YOUR OWN PACE
    You may get more orders than you can handle . that's a good problem.
    Since you'll be able to pick and choose who you want to work with you can
    pace the growth of your business. Having 24-hour access to your site allows you to edit and/or remove the products once they've been sold. Whether you're a small one-person business or a large corporation, we'll make sure you grow right.
    Hardly an issue with books; once again, we're talking actual gift manufacturers.
    COST EFFECTIVE
    Registering your company with VendorPro may be the most cost-efficient
    marketing investment your company will ever make. There are many free
    advantages to membership, like a fully self-administered listing in
    VendorPro, giving you exposure to thousands of qualified buyers,
    unlimited product listings with no commission charges, access to valuable
    databases and more! All for only $340 per year.
    Aren't these the advantages they mentioned before? By saying it twice, it might catch people thinking they are offering more. But ultimately, it's only cost-effective if it brings in at least $340 a year. How many of your clients can claim that?
    PLUS IF YOU REGISTER BY APRIL 27
    The ACT NOW! scam.
    . You'll receive contact information and descriptions for over 20,000
    mail-order catalog companies. Every single on of them is looking for
    products to sell in their catalogs.
    Assuming the information is accurate, so what? They're looking for products, but are they looking for MY products?
    . We'll show you how to get your products featured in over 60,000
    newspapers and magazines
    Buy an ad or send a press release. Are there any other options? I don't think so, but you can pay for the privilege.

    CUTTING EDGE
    The world is quickly moving to the Internet as the new way to do
    business.
    The Internet is not really a new way to do business. It's merely a communication medium. There is no essential difference between Internet sales and the Sears Roebuck catalog of a century ago, other than you can place your order faster.
    We've revolutionized the way buyers and wholesalers interact and have quickly become the world's premier wholesale marketplace. Our ability
    to bring buyers and sellers together on a global scale have put us on top.
    Your opportunity awaits.
    It's only a revolution if it works. Does it? Nothing in this letter makes that claim. And if you're the premier wholesale marketplace, what are you sales figures.
    SUCCESS STORIES
    Your business success depends on its amount of exposure and how well
    you market your products. We're here to give you the opportunity ... a
    chance to grow your business beyond your wildest dreams. If you're serious
    about your company and want to take your business to the next level, this is
    where you begin.
    First sentence is true. And sure, they're giving you an opportunity -- just a bad one.
    Just read what some of our newest sellers are saying. http://www.VendorPro.com/testimonials.htm
    I will. And here's what I see: four testimonials. No one was willing to give their last name. (I don't know about you, but I've always noticed that's typical for scams: the anonymous testimonial from Joe R.)

    So you're revolutionizing the business and can only list four customers who are willing to praise you? And none are willing to go on the record? Note, too, that only the first two say anything about getting orders; the other two merely say VendorPro is good at answering the phones (not minor, given the PA situation, but still meaningless).

    If you have more questions please feel free to write back or call me at xxx-xxx-xxxx.

    Sincerely,
    Brian Miller
    Is the devil playing ice hockey?

  2. #2
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin Topsarge's Avatar
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    VendorPro

    I got the same e-mail letter. Smelled scam, but then, I'm really cynical since I had my first book published by you know who!!!
    In the Central Valley of California, where we are growing more houses than food.

  3. #3
    Banned zizban's Avatar
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    I got that email the other day. It was so blatant.

  4. #4
    Gone
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    We've been in business for over 4 1/2 years
    ROTFL. "Over four years," I could see. "Four and a half years," I could see. But "Over four and a half" sounds...desperate for legitimacy.

  5. #5
    Moderator In Name Only AW Moderator Roger J Carlson's Avatar
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    The only other optional charges are adding a link to your website
    ($45USD per year) and placing your products in special advertising sections
    like "Looks What's New" (normal cost $85USD per product). If you do
    register please send me an email and I'll enhance your account by adding the
    link for free (save $45USD), plus I'll place your book in the "Look What's New"
    section at no charge for three months (save $255USD).
    This is the one that gets me. Not only do they charge $340 to create a page on an already existing website, but they charge $45 to add a link!

    Oh, and then there's the "Look What's New" section -- $85 per product per month. If you look at my other website www.rogersaccesslibrary.com, you'll see a link on the front page that says Click here to see New or Updated Samples which takes you to the What's New page. This page is accomplished by programming! All I need to do is add a date to a date field in the database and --poof-- it's there.

    This is better than ST Literary (sorry, Stylus Literary).
    --Roger J. Carlson

  6. #6
    Your Genial Uncle Absolute Sage James D. Macdonald's Avatar
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    Can you imagine what 10, 100, or even 1000 new accounts will do for your business? Imagine all the fun you'll have.
    Luke Skywalker: There's reward.

    Han Solo: What kind of reward?

    Luke Skywalker: More wealth than you can imagine.

    Han Solo: "I don't know, kid. I can imagine quite a bit."

  7. #7
    Learning!
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    VenderPro

    I received, out of the blue, an email from VenderPro today. Here's a snippet:

    "We work hand in hand with the largest stores in the country, plus
    thousands of small to medium sized specialty businesses stretched across the
    U.S.. If you want the opportunity to sell your books through major retailers
    like Barnes and Noble, Borders, Waldens, Target, QVC, HSN, etc ...plus the
    other 51005 gift stores, 16826 book stores, and over 24000 mail-order
    catalogs...check us out at http://www.VendorPro.com"

    He also said that he liked my books and had seen my Web site, and specifically named two of them. The following are reasons why I'm a bit suspicious:

    *I self-published both of these books, and neither has sold very many copies.
    *I've never heard of VenderPro before.
    *Upon visiting this site, I took the "Sellers Tour" and saw that VenderPro caters mainly to retailers.
    Last edited by arainsb123; 06-02-2005 at 01:47 AM.
    I'm nobody! Who are you?
    Are you nobody, too?
    Then there's a pair of us don't tell!
    They'd banish us, you know.

    How dreary to be somebody!
    How public, like a frog
    To tell your name the livelong day
    To an admiring bog!

  8. #8
    Mostly Harmless SuperModerator CaoPaux's Avatar
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    Here's where they've come up before: <old link snipped>

    Good instincts.
    Last edited by CaoPaux; 06-09-2008 at 01:15 AM. Reason: threads merged
    ICAO
    ---------

    Censorship always defeats its own purpose, for it creates in the end the kind of society that is incapable of exercising real discretion. -- Henry Steele Commager
    Achievers strive for excellence. Perfectionists drive themselves to extinction. -- A Grapple A Day
    I've never known any trouble that an hour's reading didn't assuage. -- Charles DeSecondat

    II 2016: 2017:

  9. #9
    Learning!
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    Thanks for the link! I just sent an email declining the oh-so-generous offer.
    I'm nobody! Who are you?
    Are you nobody, too?
    Then there's a pair of us don't tell!
    They'd banish us, you know.

    How dreary to be somebody!
    How public, like a frog
    To tell your name the livelong day
    To an admiring bog!

  10. #10
    darkvalleyrecords
    Guest

    My letter to the guy who runs that site.

    The following is my letter to Ethan Nelson of VendorPro. I sent it to him over a year ago as well as posting it in forums. Even thought I have sent this to him, I have still been spammed a couple of times from his company. I have also become the target of mail-bombs.

    You'll note that many points made by "realitychuck" are also things I've noticed. I have actually now set up a webpage on this company. http://dark-valley-records.com/vendorpro/index.html vbmenu_register("postmenu_177883", true);

    -----------------------------------------------------------------------


    Mr. Ethan Nelson.

    After carefully reviewing what we have discussed I have concluded that my company will not be working with vendorpro.

    I'm going to level with you. I don't trust you. You give me no reason to.

    (Before I continue I want to express that I did not appreciate being given lines used by pyramid schemes and weight-loss commercials. I look upon that kind of copy paste crap as an insult to my intelligence. I'm not some sucker, don't talk to me like one. Your testimonials are faceless. Who is "Beth O. - Las Cruces, NM"? This person gave you a quote and you couldn't at least put a link to them for us to see that she is a real business and not just some B.S. you made up.)

    I asked for a list of clients in the music industry to research how well your company is working for them and to see what large name companies I may deal with through vendorpro. You sent me the answer:

    "While we have over 4000 suppliers it is against our policy to release, sell, or disseminate the information of registered members to non-registered users."

    First off you said "Suppliers" not "Buyers". Second, it is not in the best interest of ANY buyer OR seller for you to keep them a secret. Keeping products secret is NOT how to make them sell. And why are you letting members know this if it violates privicy? And doesn't this contradict your use of the work "Exposure" all over your website?

    This made me look at your company as if I was a buyer.

    What reason would I have to buy from you? I have no idea what you are selling. I cannot find any products being dealt with by your company through any search engines. What reason would I have to pay $340 a year just to look at your product list on your website when I can just as well find what I'm looking for, for FREE.

    When you first solicited your company to me you led me to believe that you were a distributor. This was backed by the name of your company (Vendor)Pro. After discussing things with you I have assessed that the sum of what your company does is supply a web page for me to advertise (not sell) up to three products, Plus a spot on a private spam sent out to members for a fee of $340 a year. (When I already have this on 40 other websites for free)

    Part of your pitch was that you were going to give me a link on that web page to my own website for free(normally $45). Truthfully I will say the fact you would charge someone $45 to add a link is despicable. Even if they didn't just pay you $340. My website gets thousands of hits a week from google alone from people looking for the products I sell. Give me one good reason why I would pay ANYONE to put a link on their site, And a private site that no one in the general public can view at that?

    You also said you would throw in a free posting on the "Look what's new" page (normally $85). Again, I just paid you $340 to give me exposure and you would charge me AGAIN to put me on a "What's new" list.

    As I mentioned, I have looked at your BBB record and well.....And of coarse there's no problem. what can anyone do when their merchandise doesn't sell? Unless they personally investigate your company to see if you are lifting a finger to help them your *** is covered by your (in between the lines) "while other products don't move at all. That's just the nature of business."

    Bottom line. I strongly feel that I would pay you $340 and be lucky to make it back because If I were to advertise my products on a national scale how would anyone even know they can buy it from you?

    I'm going to take that $340 and place adds in national magazines such as Metal Maniacs and Terrorizer that will give my artist true exposure and drive my sales without a middle man.

    Thank you for your time. -Roy Addams, www.dark-valley-records.com

  11. #11
    Untold stories inside Ralyks's Avatar
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    I got this e-mail a few days ago. I was impressed that they used the actual titles of two of my books, one I am not even really marketing (a printed book that is only available for sale from my website). But I glanced at the website for only about 2 minutes--long enough to guess what sort of scam it was. It's interesting to see your dissection here.

  12. #12
    Mostly Harmless SuperModerator CaoPaux's Avatar
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    Grr. Last posts are lost. IIRC, 'twere much of the same, followed by my mention of Writer Beware's new "writers' services" page: http://www.sfwa.org/beware/services.html
    ICAO
    ---------

    Censorship always defeats its own purpose, for it creates in the end the kind of society that is incapable of exercising real discretion. -- Henry Steele Commager
    Achievers strive for excellence. Perfectionists drive themselves to extinction. -- A Grapple A Day
    I've never known any trouble that an hour's reading didn't assuage. -- Charles DeSecondat

    II 2016: 2017:

  13. #13
    Mostly Harmless SuperModerator CaoPaux's Avatar
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    And after many complaints (example), they are gone.
    ICAO
    ---------

    Censorship always defeats its own purpose, for it creates in the end the kind of society that is incapable of exercising real discretion. -- Henry Steele Commager
    Achievers strive for excellence. Perfectionists drive themselves to extinction. -- A Grapple A Day
    I've never known any trouble that an hour's reading didn't assuage. -- Charles DeSecondat

    II 2016: 2017:

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