How to learn internet marketing – Avoid the evil up-sell

The Evil Upsell – How Internet Marketers Are Killing The Term; Avoid it by starting your online journey here!

Upsells have been around for years and they are completely ethical in most circumstances. You buy a burger at McDonalds and

they ask if you would like fries with that. All good. That is a suggestion prior to you making a purchase and they are up selling you on something, albeit unhealthy, that is optional and that you can choose whether it will add value to your service.

Believe it or not. The “fries” and the “drink” are where McDonalds makes all of their profit. This is an up sell.

You go to a car lot. Your base model includes the base features. If you want leather, heated seats, a roof rack, bigger wheels, etc…you are offered that as part of a more expensive package. You are UPSOLD on a more expensive product, more expensive that you might have anticipated. I am fine with that, although you and I both know how annoying car salesmen can be at times (some are wonderful as well, don’t get me wrong). The car lot is also full of very much qualified up sells.

But the Internet Marketing industry operates in a completely different and what I believe to be, unethical manner. They have taken the idea of up sells and turned it into game trying to get the most MONEY out of the consumer as possible. This dehumanization of a customer experience in place of monetization is where I have a host of issues. These are what I want to create an open discussion about here.

The Cheap Front End Followed by Secret Backend.

It’s highly elusive…and borderline unethical. When money becomes the only focus of your business, you lose sight of something that is very important. The customer. This is what happens a lot of the time when companies become desperate, or in some cases, they learn their business strategies from others “gurus” that are clear-as-daylight ripping people off.

If a company is not upfront about their costs on their “sales page” or their website, then you have to tread your water very carefully. I have investigated MANY products over the years that claim “riches” and extraordinary amounts of success on the front end with a low ticket price, only to offer you instant up sells after you join. Often times these up sells are in the $1,000’s.

$7. Sure pal.

If you go into a car lot, you can get a brochure indicating the up sells that may be involved in purchasing a brand new vehicle. It is clear as daylight, not misleading and any sensible person is able to understand the costs. Same with an order at McDonalds, you go up to the counter, you can see the menu board that clearly outlines the various price points.

McDonalds Upsell

This is a common attribute that you need to be very careful about. The ideology and the strategy behind this sort of promotion is that the MONEY is not on the front end, it is built by turning you into a customer and forcing you into much more expensive, overpriced up sells.

Get You On Your Knees, Get You To Pay For More

It is no different from being in the casino and when you put $20 on a hand of blackjack. Most money is not lost in that initial $20 hand, it is lost in trying to chase after that money and recoup the costs.

The same thing happens online. You buy a product. You chase the next one. And the next one. And the next one. This happens in a sequential, wallet sucking process by many companies and it won’t stop until you have a credit card that is maxed out and you don’t have any money left for groceries.

This can happen within a single product purchase. You invest in ONE thing at a low ticket price, say under $100 and the next thing you know you are getting hit with up sells that you “need to have” that cost $100’s more, if not $1,000’s. This is the conventional approach that is being implemented by the many gurus out there and the minute you see this taking place when YOU purchase a product online, you should consider getting a refund.


Because you likely have only gotten half of the product. The internet marketer has reserved the good stuff for the up sells and this model is not unique to just an up sell cycle within your purchases, it is also implemented through other techniques like free book offers, or other assortments of free shipping offers.

Get the Full Internet Marketing Pie, Not Just the Shell

Adding to Cart, Expect More

Would you be mad if you went into a bakery, bought a pie, only to realize that when you got home there was no filling in the pie. I bet you would.

So then why, when you purchase something in the Internet marketing space is it OK to purchase something, with the expectation of the company that you will purchase additional and more expensive items from them to complete the process. Must haves so-to-speak.

I don’t think it is.

Here are some common up sells that you will see within the internet marketing world.

(1) More training. It is common that a product will be priced low, at a price point of less than $50 (usually at $7-9). Upon purchasing the given product or service, you will instantly be up sold on additional training. This often times leaves the consumer feeling as though they have the “incomplete” training package and in order to get what they need, they need to invest into the up sells.

(2) Private Mentoring & Coaching. One of the most common up sells within the Internet marketing industry is private mentoring or coaching. In many cases your personal contact details are handed off to 3rd party companies (for purchase) where they will call/email you can solicit expensive coaching programs, often times valued at $5,000-$10,000. As a rule of thumb, if you are solicited to over the phone and it is related to your Internet business, don’t trust it!

(3) High Ticket Info Products. Also known as high ticket affiliate marketing, a common up sells you will see these days are high ticket information products. You will typically be required to spend $100’s to $1,000’s on these programs, often times with an entry point purchase either being a free ebo0k or very inexpensive initial purchase. During the sales process, you are typically left with the feeling as a customer that you are not “getting everything you need”, thus forced into making these very expensive purchases.

(4) Masterminds / Seminars. These are expensive retreats. If you have heard the idea of “get to the events” this is the common approach that is taken in the internet marketing industry. Ranging from $1,000’s to $10,000’s, these masterminds are often very exclusive because of their high price point. People that go have the tendency of feeling they are getting “value” because of the price point. If you attend one of these, you can pretty much assume that you are very deep into the marketers funnel. That got you by the tail at that point!

(5) Webinars. Sometimes you pay for a webinar, only to be up sold on another webinar or a series of webinars. These are often times prerecorded, but they present themselves as “live” training that you sign-up to attend. Be Always weary of a product or service that is trying to get you to sign up to a FREE webinar, it is almost certainly going to be followed by a significant pitch for more purchases.

(6) Conferences. There is a lot of money in the specialized conference industry. If you had a budget for it, you could quite easily spend $100,000’s per year if you were to attend all the high ticket conferences in the affiliate marketing and Internet marketing industries. It is quite common for companies to use a lower ticket purchase, a free e book, or a low ticket info product to get you in the door for much more expensive conferences up sells.

Don’t Be a Fool for the Upsell Game.

Now you know. I have personally warned you. I have communicated with 10,000’s of people over the years that have been involved in purchasing products like this. I have even had lengthy conversations with those that have implemented these types of up sell sales practices in their businesses.

If you join a low ticket program that doesn’t acknowledge other price points within their website, and then you are immediately hit with up sells, down sells and all sorts of after purchase, purchases, remember this very article.

Thank you for visiting our online service review website, if you do have any questions about how to start an online business or anything to do with building a niche business online to sell other people’s products on Amazon and any other platforms like EBay or Walmart, please leave a note below and I will be more than happy to answer you.

Your Product reviewer



John J J




6 thoughts on “How to learn internet marketing – Avoid the evil up-sell

  1. HI John, it is true when online you always trap at the lowest amount of price. We do not know that there is a follow up cost when you buy another product offered for you to complete the whole package. Wealthy Affiliate  is a good business to start with in an online business. The whole package is there no hidden cost just straight up and it’s up to members how he or she will handle how much earnings they want. 

    Your detailed description of how people should be wise in dealing with online business offers. It helps people to understand things to consider for upsell in Internet marketing.

    1. It is so true Lyn, I just hate this game of up-sells so much; I thank God for leading me to Wealthy Affiliate. Since I join early this year, I haven’t been up-sold anything. It is just a peace of mind and a real learning environment. Thank you for your input into this subject.

  2. Hi there!

    I have to say that I was caught uo on your article as soon as I read the title! In my opinion, up-sells are not bad when it comes to marketers making some extra money. HOWEVER, I do think that there are people who abuse and sell items that need other gadgets that are sold in up-sells. Just like your donut example. I agree with you that this is scamming people and marketers should not go in this direction!

    Thanks for the info, a real eye-opener

    1. Hello Juan, up sells should have been great when used to solve people’s problems. The issue is that, most marketers use it with an evil intention; that is to say, for personal gain with out considering the needs of the other people. Thank you for weighing on this subject.

  3. While I agree with the intent of this article and, I also agree that many marketers have used this tactic in immoral ways. I don’t believe it’s fair to tar just internet marketers with this brush.
    Most tech products sell this way, insurance sells this way, as well as many other industries. McDonalds asking “do you want fries with that?” is an upsell. You don’t get the full experience of the meal without the fries.
    More importantly, I believe the pricing should be transparent on marketing products so that customers can see the full product offering and decide for themselves what they are interested in purchasing…without coercion.

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