Do This Before You Buy Online Ebooks

If you continually buy online ebooks, you should read this post before buying your next one. You may be spending money unnecessarily.

Ask Yourself Do You Really Need It

You may have heard about Shiny Object Syndrome. The term is actually borrowed from fishing, where fish will stop what they are doing whenever they see a shiny objects. Unfortunately for them, the shine comes from a lure.

It's the same with the latest and greatest ebook. These marketers know how to turn words into a lure to get you to bite. The good news is, unlike the fish, the marketing shiny objects won't kill you. But, they won't do much good for your bank account.

Before you whip out your credit card with these, ask yourself if you acted on the last product you bought. What about the one before that? If you go through this exercise and find the answer is "yes" to many of them, you could be suffering from Shiny Object Syndrome.

First, don't beat yourself up. We've all been there. The way to combat it is to come up with a solid business plan and when someone presents you with a new product, measure whether it fits in your plan. If it doesn't, move on.

There Are Solid Products Out There

Sometimes, you will come across an eBook, a software package, or instruction product in one or more formats, that are truly worthwhile. Perhaps you even do some research and find one that gets great reviews all around.

Be aware that many reviews are from affiliates selling the products. There isn't anything necessarily wrong with this, but the review may be biased.

Now, that you have found a decent product, should you hit that buy button?

No - Not Yet!

There are some places to check to see if you can get the product for free, or at least, at a reduced cost. Here are some thoughts:

  • Amazon - many product creates publish their products as a book on Amazon (Kindle). Or if not the exact product, they create something very similar.
  • - these same product creators often include the same product on Udemy. If you are unfamiliar with Udemy, it is a website that has thousands of video training available. They run deals throughout the year via coupon codes and often offer products for free.
  • Other video training website. Coursera,, and all have training modules, many for free. See if the product creator included the product on these.
  • - It's stinks when you purchase a product and later find the exact product exists on YouTube. In case you are unaware, YouTube is a free website and contains many training modules.
  • PLR Websites - many product creators hit up Private Label Rights (PLR) websites for their products. Some go so far as to use the products as is. Other more refined marketers, will take the PLR and enhance it.

Gray Hat / Black Hat Method

Black Hat and Gray Hat

Okay, so this one may not be on a completely ethical level, but then again, product creators should be more careful if they don't want this to happen.

You can do a Google search and find many products that are being sold for free. To illustrate, suppose the product in question is "insane profits defined" (fictitious) and the website is (again, fictitious). Use the following search (explained later): "insane profits defined" filetype:pdf

Google has advanced operators that allow searchers to refine their searches. Here is how this query works:

  • The site: operator searches only the site specified, in this case
  • The name of the product in quotes. The will have Google hone in on the product name.
  • The filetype: operator lets you specify what kind of product types you want returned. In this case, we are looking for PDF files as this is a very common eBook format. You could use others, such as .XSL (Excel files), .DOC (Document files), etc.

If the file is on the web and is not being protected somehow by the product creator, you may be able to find it using this technique.

Be aware that many product creators actually want you to find their products in this manner. The PDF files will often contain links to other offers or affiliate links.

Is This Method Unethical?

Again, it's not entirely on the level but remember product creators are experienced and may want you to believe you are getting something for free, when in fact, they wanted you to find it all along.

Warning: Just because you find something for free using this method, does not give you the right to distribute this file in any way. If you do so, you will be brought up on charges for copyright infringement. You've been warned!

Product creators are aware that anyone can stumble upon their products. If they truly don't want this to happen, they will set up a password protected website for its paid members to access.

Ask For a Review Copy

Document and magnifying glass

If you want to receive products from vendors, why not ask them for a review copy? Many product creators want people to review their products in advance. It can't hurt to ask and they will say yes more than you would expect. Even if they say no, ask if you can be put on a review list for their future products.

If you don't know how to write a review, analyze reviews currently out there on the web. Pay attention to the format of these reviews and the wording. They are not difficult, once you get the hang of them.

One Time Offers (or Two Times, Three Time, Ten Times...)

Many product creators found out that they can sell a base product for a relatively small amount, only to bombard the buyer with offer upon offer after the purchase. This drives many buyers crazy. But, sellers continue to do this because it works.

Some buyers are getting to the point where they don't want to deal with sellers who do this. But, how can you know until after you buy, whether the seller will do this?

Here are some tips to find out:

  • Contact the seller and ask. If they say there are upsells or other offers, you have the right to let them know that you buy because of that. I think if more buyers do this, the less it will happen.
  • Product creators will often tell you on the sales page there are no upsells or one time offers. If you don't see a message of its kind, expect an upsell or ten.
  • Use the site: operator (described earlier) and put in the website of the sales page. Just the base URL ( is a base URL, whereas is not.) There may be results for JV or Joint Venture or Partners, or Affiliates.
  • Find outside reviewers of the product. Often, they will specify there are upsells and one time offers.

Once you find there are upsells, you may still choose to buy the products. But, at least you know to be prepared to get bombarded with offers.

Another Option...

Something else you could do is to find products that are an alternative to the one you are considering. Before, I mentioned about PLR sites, you could check there. You can once again check Amazon or the training sites I mentioned, all for products that may teach the same methods.

How do you know what the product will teach? Find out from reviews of the product. Read through several of them and try to determine what the product is all about. Even the sales page for the product should give you a high level of what they are going to teach. Do a search on those terms, etc. It's not foolproof, but you can find out good information on occasion.

Send Crap Back

Most digital products will offer a money-back guarantee. Most buyers don't take advantage of them. If you find a product that is crap, you owe it to yourself and other future buyers to get your money back. If you don't, you are encouraging crap sellers.

Sellers don't like refunds, not just because of the money, but because it makes their products look bad. But, if more people took advantage of asking for their money back, product creators would have to

What to Takeaway From All of This

Buying eBooks or other digital products can help you learn new techniques, but only if they don't distract you from what you are already doing. Evaluate whether you need a product in the first place. If you find that it could be something useful.

If you find something that seems to fit within your niche or business, try to find alternative places to buy the products. Ask the product creator for a review copy and read reviews from others.

Try to see if there are upsells and determine if you want to deal with that. You are allowed to say no. Also, don't be afraid to send bad products back. It's our duty as buyers to make sure the quality stays high, and sending the message to sellers that they better shape up is the best way to do this!


Hi, my name is Jim. I am here to help you learn how to create your own online business. Never before has it been as easy as it is to do so. I will give you access to the necessary training to make it all happen. Just follow the training and perform the tasks as the come up and at the end of the training you will have a fully working framework with which to start earning money from your online business.

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