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What Would You Buy?

Posted by on Feb 4, 2009

What would you buy? A follow up question is “what would you buy from me”?

Let’s look at the first question for a minute. As y’all know, this is my internet marketing blog, and its main purpose, after just being an outlet where I can talk about whatever I feel like talking about, is to help me make money. Most marketing experts (I often wonder about the word “experts”, but that’s for another time) say that to understand buyers, you have to first understand what makes you buy.

So, let’s take a look at my buying patterns online. What makes me buy, or sign up, for things online? First, if I can get something online for a significantly lower price, I’ll buy online. Last week I purchased three HDMI cables from an online company for a total of $10 and change plus shipping (man, I wish they had an affiliate program). When I purchased a HDMI cable at the time I bought my blu-ray DVD player, the cable cost me $31, and that was their cheap cable. I’d say that was a significant savings.

I’ll buy something online that catches my mind’s eye and makes me say “man, I’ve got to have that”. As you know, at the end of each of these messages I either have some kind of banner ad or a product of some kind posted. I’ve actually bought a few of those products here and there, stuff I couldn’t find anywhere else without killing myself looking for it, and, well, that’s just not my style.

I’ll buy something online if I can only get it online. I wear Hush Puppies as my shoe of choice. I’ve been wearing Hush Puppies since 1967, the brush suede, and they’ve always treated my feet properly. I can’t find those shoes in any local stores anymore; they’re just not around. So I purchase my shoes online.

I’ll buy some ebooks online if they look like they’ll teach me something about internet marketing in some fashion. The two I’ve talked about most here are Adsense Secrets and Secret Google Tactics. I used to average $3 a month; now I’m averaging $50 a month. Those have worked well for me. And they didn’t cost much at the time; one cost $10, the other $27.

That’s another thing. I’ll buy something that’s not cost prohibitive. By that, I’m not buying an internet marketing course online for $900; just not happening. For me to spend that kind of money, I need to be able to touch it first, see it right in front of me, kick the tires, smell the upholstery,… wait, I changed genres there. Well, you know what I mean. I have spent as much as $200 for items online, but those were things I knew something about, that I’d seen elsewhere, and knew what I was getting.

So, I’ve identified what I’ll buy and why I’ll buy certain things online. Next, I’m supposed to put myself into the mind of potential buyers from me, based on my own triggers, and then determine what will compel people to buy from me. Frankly, that doesn’t translate well from my mind, which is probably why my internet marketing efforts aren’t all that successful; it probably explains the same thing for many of you also.

What’s the biggest problem in the United States today? The economy. People need jobs, or they need ways to figure out how to make money. I wrote about the book How To Make $100 A Day a few times, and I am an affiliate for this book. I bought this book a couple of years ago, and I did latch onto a couple of the items listed. I would have thought this book would have sold at least a couple of copies here and there; who couldn’t use some ideas on how to make $100 a day, right? And, the guy who put this book together, Willie Crawford, has made more than $400,000 off this book that sells for $27; heck, maybe everyone has it already. I mean, this book hits an emotional trigger if ever there was one.

Let me ask this question; what triggers you to buy something online. Heck, for that matter, if you never buy anything online, what repels you from doing so? If you were to want to buy something from me, or any other online marketer, what do you want to see from them? How would you like marketing to be presented to you so that you might at least consider clicking on it to see what it’s all about? Banner ads? Text ads? Personal products from the creator of the website or blog you’re visiting (by the way, you DID notice mine up there at the top left, right?)? More product reviews, non-paid (since I won’t do paid reviews), or testimonials? Hey, why not share; you might discover something about yourself that will help you to make money online, if you’re so inclined.

Or maybe you want more entertainment; how’s about some live Bruce Springsteen to close this out:

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Taris Janitens:

Great article – I love how you always go very indepth when you post!! I agree with pretty much everything you said here – Who knew that a simple e-book could make someone over $400k from the sales proceeds – that’s pretty incredible!!

Taris Janitens´s last blog post..The Importance of Posting on Other Blogs

February 4th, 2009 | 11:21 AM

It really is amazing, Taris, but it kind of proves the point that we never know what we do that might end up being a big thing in some fashion. We just have to give it a try.

February 4th, 2009 | 11:34 AM

hey Mitch,
Interesting question. I buy a lot of things online (especially computer cables) because it saves me money. But I realize that I get the desire to buy something when I’m “offline” and then go online to find it. Seldom do I see something when I’m online and then decide to buy it. So to get me to buy, it’s not so much making the ad more enticing, it’s figuring out what I would be looking for and then making sure I find out that your site has it, and has the best value (note I said value and not price). Not sure if any of this makes sense, but that’s my two cents.
~ Steve, aka the trade show guru

Trade Show Guru´s last blog post..Trade Show Zombies

February 4th, 2009 | 11:47 AM

It does make a lot of sense, Steve; I fully get it. I will say, though, that I’ve seen some things online, liked them a lot, and then decided to see if it was in a local store. I’m kind of an “I want it, and I want it now!” kind of guy sometimes. lol

February 4th, 2009 | 11:53 AM

Hey Mitch,
Great point. I too sometimes will pay a bit more (or a lot more) to just go get something locally.
Other times, I’ll go into a store to see something and check it out before I then buy it online. I feel a bit sorry for the ol’ brick-and-mortar store, but not sorry enough to pay a much higher price. If it’s close enough, then it becomes a better value (because of the convenience), and I’ll get it. ~ Steve, the trade show guru

Trade Show Guru´s last blog post..Trade Show Zombies

February 4th, 2009 | 12:01 PM

If ever I have to buy something the first place that I look is online, and so far I haven’t had a problem. The main reason for this is not just the ease of shopping but because of the savings. When going online I always search for reputable outlets that accept PayPal, basically because I feel it’s safer and so that I can spend some of the money I’ve earned via the Internet.

Sire´s last blog post..Doing Paid Posts And Not Getting Google Slapped.

February 5th, 2009 | 3:09 AM

That’s a very good point, Sire. Even though I don’t always use Paypal, I sometimes find myself hesitating on buying something because Paypal isn’t an option. There’s a comfort in seeing something you’re familiar with when you’re someplace you’re not familiar with.

February 5th, 2009 | 10:01 AM

hey Mitch, me again!
I buy quite a bit online really. The real stuff (the things you can touch) My top items are books, vitamins and dvd´s and I buy them online simply because it is more cost effective, especially with the dollar being so low in comparison to the euro, plus I prefer reading in English or Dutch and those items are harder to locate here in Spain, although some spanish book might slip in every now and then LOL.

I also like buying online because you can compare the items you are interesting in without losing a lot of time you would spend if doing it in offline shops.

When it comes to buying ebooks … I have bought a few, probably too many and most have just been sitting there gathering dust. I decided to never buy another ebook again, nor fall for any marketing hypes. most of it really is rehashed crap anyways, plus… no matter how good an item could be, the basics are the same, you have to put it to work.

However… I did buy a marketing ebook the other week and have since been hooked on working with it. (that is also the reason i didn´t comment here before when you mentioned me in one of your posts… too busy working LOL)

I bought it because I had been reading the blog of the person that wrote the book and she is living proof that her methods worked, since she has been writing about exactly what she does for over a year, documenting all her moves and growing success.

what triggered me to buying her book/plan/system or whatever you want to call is are two things:
1. she is honest and upfront about the amount of work that is required to be successful using her method
2. it offered an actual plan/blueprint/checklist sort of thing along with the book.

I really needed a plan. A good one. A step by step one. but even more than that, I needed to DO IT. Follow all the steps and just work on it without distraction.

like i said, i bought the stuff last week and she has actually been the first to entice me to follow all the steps and work without distraction.

pretty good trigger if you ask me 😉

Mirjam´s last blog post..Are You Ready for Change?

February 5th, 2009 | 6:01 AM

That is a pretty good trigger, and a great endorsement “when” things really start to pick up for you. I hope, at that time when you’re really successful, you come back and share it with all of us. Heck, maybe you’ll become an affiliate! 🙂

February 5th, 2009 | 10:03 AM
Matty Byloos:

The thing I buy online the most would have to be books. Rare books, art books, out of print books, anything. I’ve spent several hundred bucks on one buck, and on many books but in one sale. If it saves me a trip to an annoying store and I can go right to what I want online, I’ll get it.

Matty Byloos´s last blog post..Wordless Wednesday: 2.04.09

February 6th, 2009 | 12:37 PM

That’s pretty interesting, Matty, seeing that I have this great love for going to Barnes & Noble (thought a big part of it may be for the Reese’s peanut butter cookie). But I have found that I’ve purchased some movies online rather than buying them in the store, and I’ve never been able to explain to myself why, especially if they’re not out of stock movies. Another trigger I’ll have to think about.

February 6th, 2009 | 12:48 PM

Same here, Dennis, which is why I haven’t, and will probably wait a long time to, bought an Iphone. It really sounds cool, but I have way more needs first to take care of than adding another gadget to the list.

Now, are you telling us you buy all your groceries online? LOL Actually, my wife wishes I’d stay out of grocery stores also; I think y’all remember my saying I love my grocery store some time ago.

February 6th, 2009 | 12:47 PM

Dude, it’s me! 🙂

February 7th, 2009 | 1:02 AM

I know this is an old post of yours but it’s probably still relevant to you.

About the only things I buy online are books, DVDs, very occasionally an item of clothing and sometimes I buy cards by artists (mostly on Redbubble where I have my own work for sale and where I can read something about the artists, their techniques, and can leave them feedback.)

The things that are important to me when I buy online are these:
1. The site’s got to take Paypal and the fact that it does has to be displayed fairly prominently.

2. The returns/refunds and customer service policies must be easily accessible and reasonable.

3. For preference, I like to buy from my own country. This is for two reasons. Firstly shipping costs less and delivery is faster. Secondly, I feel I’m doing my bit for the planet. (However, that said, and apropos my artwork, Redbubble ships from Australia which is on the other side of the world! I’m forever hunting for an UK alternative for my own artwork but so far have only found sites that ask for huge amounts of money to use their rather dubious services!)

4. The TOS/Privacy policy must also be easily accessible and reasonable.

5. I like to buy from sites that have some contact with the people from whom one buys and have a feedback system (though that can also be a pain sometimes).

I find that there’s much too much advertising on your site that just doesn’t appeal to me. Mostly it’s because it’s USA-orientated (excuse me, we Brits put an extra ‘at’ in that word!) and the prices, shipping, etc, wouldn’t be right for me. Also a lot of the stuff just isn’t what I’d be after.

I started buying online when I was almost completely housebound some years ago. It was very freeing for me. So what triggers me to buy is not necessarily something I can only get online and not in the shops, but just that I’m in the habit of buying online now.

Hope some of this has helped.

August 4th, 2010 | 9:51 AM

Good stuff, Val. One would expect my advertising would be mainly for US audiences, especially with me being in NY. Then again, the digital products are for everywhere, especially the stuff I created myself. 😛

As for that extra “at”, it seems there’s a lot of Americans saying that now, and frankly it gets on my nerves. People just make up words that they think makes them sound smarter, and they’re destroying language. Oh well, nothing much I can do about that except fight the good fight when I can.

August 4th, 2010 | 10:53 AM

Mmm… see this is something that doesn’t automatically come to my mind when I think of a blog’s readership, that they will necessarily be from my own country or area. The Internet is so heavily biased to the USA (probably because it started there) but surely taking into consideration how much of the world uses it would be an idea? (Not saying you don’t, I don’t suppose there’s actually a choice with affiliate and other marketting as to where things might ship from, for instance).

By the way, I keep meaning to say, have you come across this bloggers website:

It’s not my cuppa tea but it looks like something you might find useful. It seems to be reciprocal social networking for bloggers, all of whom are into affiliate marketting, etc. Maybe check it out for yourself?

August 4th, 2010 | 6:04 PM

First, yes I know the website, but I have an ambiguous history with the owner so I’ve never signed up.

As for the other, 58% of my visitors come from the United States, and it’s overwhelmingly the largest visitor population I get, more than 1,500 visits a month from the closest other country, which happens to be Canada. Truthfully, I think if China wasn’t kind of isolated that it might be the bigger market on the internet, or at least compete with the U.S. on that front. The thing is that most of the affiliate programs I run are only in the U.S., and the few that aren’t, well, based on sales across the board, I don’t think they would be more apt to buy than any of the rest of the visitors.

August 4th, 2010 | 8:38 PM