PriceRitePhotos Supposed “Out of Stock” Camera
Image by Thomas Hawk
Yesterday I posted an image here for my article on the abusive sales practices taking place at PriceRitePhoto in New York. Interestingly enough, the camera that two days ago they told me was "out of stock" when I refused to buy their overpriced accesories is still showing even with today’s date on their website.
As an update to my photo from Tuesday, since then here is what has gone on with the attention that this story has received:
Update #1: Found this text on their eBay store ad: "We guarantee our customers to have the best quality products and the best customer service! Our customers love us for our friendly attitude, buy with confidence!"
This just makes me sick. If you want to Digg this story you can here.
Update #2: Well I just received a call back from Steve Phillips at PriceRitePhoto. He said that I should be expecting a call from the "FBI" shortly and that "my tactics" of flooding his store’s phone lines was "illegal." When I asked him to hold on as I wanted to turn on my recorder to record our conversation he hung up on me.
Of course I have not called his store at all but I’d imagine that the attention that his abuse has recieved from Digg and other places on the internet may have something to do with that.
My boss did have a conversation with me about the fact that this guy called him yesterday and was very understanding about the situation.
Update #3: Also since calling my boss, Steve Phillips has called my boss’ assistant several times this morning as well. Contrary to Steve Phillips claims, I still have had no police officers show up at my office to "arrest me." Nor have I been contacted by the "FBI."
Last night when I called AMEX it appeared that PriceRitePhoto had not charged my card yet. My guess is that when I refused to buy their high priced accessories that they never had any intention of sending me the camera at their advertised price. I blocked the card with AMEX and will be getting a new number to prevent them from further abusing my credit card.
I have also filed a complaint with the New York Attorney General’s office regarding their behavior and have left negative reviews on my experience with their company on most of the shopping comparison services that they are included in. Hopefully from the attention that this story has received they will reflect on the appropriateness of their sales tactics going forward.
If anyone has a contact at Yahoo! Shopping it would be nice to learn from them that they were being delisted or at least investigated over this.
Interestingly enough, it was just two weeks back that Yahoo! made an announcement about an overhaul to their shopping service. It would seem that they plan to include more social networking type reviews on products and vendors in the future. Hopefully whatever new system they put in place will help weed out the bad apples like PriceRitePhoto.
Of course even as late as today, they still have the camera that they told me as out of stock on their internet site for sale for ,899.
Update #4: Received this email back from the New York State Attorney General’s Office today: "Dear Consumer:
Thank you for your submission to the New York State Attorney General’s Internet Bureau. On behalf of Attorney General Eliot Spitzer, I want to thank you for taking the time to alert us to this matter. Your assistance is vital to our efforts to serve the people of the State of New York.
We have added your submission to our files. It is through complaints such as yours that we learn of patterns of fraud and illegality. If you have any questions about this matter, please call us at (212) 416-8433. For other consumer-related matters, please call our consumer hotline at (800) 771-7755.
Thank you for contacting us."
Update #6: This story has risen to the number one dugg story on Digg this year with 5439 diggs so far today. Thanks diggers!
I also received this email today from Joe Lazarus, Director of Marketing for Yahoo! Inc.: "Tom, I wanted to follow up on a comment I added to your post on PriceRitePhoto. I work at Yahoo! Shopping. I passed your issue along to our Customer Care team who will investigate and take the appropriate action per our merchant Guidelines and Terms of Service. I covered some more details in my comment. Please feel free to contact me directly if you have any questions. ~ Joe"
Update #7: This story just made the front page of Slashdot. It was also on Boing Boing and Metafilter today along with many, many other blogs. I truly hope that this attention shines a light on the abusive bait and switch tactics that so many of you have also unfortunately experienced and shared in your comments.
The support is overwhelming and very much appreciated. And, yes, yes, yes, I do know that I was stupid and should have known better and done my homework before buying from these guys — but that doesn’t negate the fact that their sales tactics are wrong and deserve to be stopped.
Update #8: Although I have not heard directly back from Yahoo! or their Marketing Director Joe Lazarus. It would appear at least that for the time being, today, PriceRitePhoto is not operating on Yahoo! Shopping. They are still listed as a mechant there and there is a link to their store but when you do a search by their store for products for sale through Yahoo! you get the following message: "We didn’t find any product results for mid:1016578." I’m not sure if Yahoo! pulled their listings or if PriceRitePhoto did or if that is just part of what happens when Yahoo! investigates a company. I hope that if after investigating Yahoo! concludes that this company is acting unethically that they will in fact delist them altogether. I will update as I hear more on this.
Also, fortunately, my server has held up remarkedbly well with all of the traffic being sent to this story from the above sources. I recently had to move from a shared server to a dedicated server with lots of excess capacity because I’ve had many highly ranked Google Images that had been eating through my bandwidth in the past. Also it helps keep my bandwidth usage down as the photos that are included as part of this story are actually hosted by Flickr my favorite site on the internet and as I oft like to repeat, "almost certainly the best online photo management and sharing application in the world." Ironically, of course in all of this, Flickr is owned by Yahoo!
Below is an image of the company’s website this morning. As you can see, the camera that was supposedly "out of stock" when I refused to purchase their high priced accessories is still being shown for sale at the ,899 price even still today. I suspect that they do actually have the camera in stock but that they only sell it to those who load up on expensive accessories and warranty plans from them.
by Alan Stanton
There are numerous ways to make money free online, some are fairly easy and others a little more difficult.When people first come to the Internet to search for information on how they can create an income stream they find, all too soon, a ton of sites all promising the silver bullet solution to making an online income.
Most of these offerings, once explored, generally all require further spending on additional, higher priced products.
Another related issue that new starters encounter is that they are also offered many different newsletters all promoting a different way, whether Web 2.0, Pay Per Click or Adsense for example, as the best current way to make money online.
It is not surprising then that the aspiring Internet Marketer (AIM) will quickly become confused and overwhelmed with all the opportunities and possibilities available to them. When this happens the most common response is to either dive in and buy and subscribe to multiple products and then become overwhelmed and confused and do nothing, having then wasted a considerable amount of money, or walk way confused and disappointed.
However, and this should be good news to our AIM – making money free online can be straightforward. You do not need your own products, nor your own website, nor do you need to subscribe to any affiliate programs (although there are some really good ones out there which are ideal for new starters).
One of the quickest and perhaps the simplest ways to start generating some income online is to use a combination of articles with affiliate marketing.
Check out the following straightforward steps to get going:
1) Find a product through one of the online marketplaces where people offer their products for affiliates to sell for commission,one of the most well known ones is Clickbank but there are others if you do a search. The idea here is to find a product that you want to promote. An important consideration here is to choose a product that is performing well – you don’t want to select a product that is not selling.
You also want to consider the product itself – is it something you want to sell and, looking on their sales page, do you think it would sell to someone that would be looking for this type of information. In other words, would you buy this product if you were looking?
Take note of the features and benefits of the product as well as any other important information about it from the sales page. You will need this for the next step.
2. Write one article.
Simple enough right? Write an article that includes the information you gathered in the step above. We looking for features and benefits of the product you have chosen to promote. Ensure you make it simple and don’t try to make it a sales page – if you do it is not likely to be distributed. What you looking for, for example, is taking a product on How to Avoid a Divorce and you would then look to write an article based on this but along the lines of ‘Top 10 Things to Prevent A Divorce’ then list these ten things that you got from the sales page.
Make these your bullet points and add some additional information to each point. It doesn’t need to be fancy, keep it short and sweet.
3. The Resource Box
Most popular article directories allow you to provide some additional information about the author or the product. You can’t do this in the main article but here you are allowed to provide information for readers to continue reading or follow up on if they have found you article of interest and worth pursuing. You do this in what is called the resource box or about the author box – usually located at the bottom of the form you populate with your article.
You can typically provide a website link, 2-3 lines of text about yourself or the product, you can suggest a helpful solution (your product that you promoting) to assist the reader. You will only have a few lines so think carefully about your message, write a few versions until you are happy with it. You goal is to have the reader click on the link to take them to the product you are promoting. An example might be: ‘For additional support and information on advanced techniques to save your marriage visit your-affiliate-link’
4. The final step
Search online for the term Article Directory and you should find many different websites that you can use to submit your article to. This is the fastest and most effective way to distribute articles as it will get picked up by people searching for information, webmasters looking for content for their sites and the search engines. Post to as many as you can – target about 30 as a minimum. The reality is that this has the potential to get your article in front of hundreds if not thousands – it is free advertising without needing all the extras like a website or a marketing list.
And that is it! Now you can sit back and wait to see the results by tracking the sales that you have made and more importantly the commission you have earned. Note the results will be different – on some products you might make a few hundred dollars (not bad for a few hours work), whereas with others you may make into the thousands. The great thing about this method is that you now repeat the process for as many different products as you like and make money free online!
Arthur Magoulianiti runs www.breakfreefromtheratrace.com a website dedicated to reviewing the best best income generating products on the market as well as European Affiliate Marketing Programs and make money free online opportunities.
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