Are you ready to claim YOUR share of the Billions in Revenue on the internet ?

That’s what invitation from C. R. Sanderson said. Its also the invitation I had been waiting on for a long time.

Why ? Because it came from StoresOnline. StoresOnline is a public company
that i have been short in the past, but currently don’t have a position in. I was short the stock of this company because I always believed that it was a company that specialized in ripping off people who didn’t know any better with claims of grabbing their “Share of the Billions in Revenue on the Internet”

I wasn’t the only one to question their business model. There are a long list of people who are questioning Storesonline and how they treat consumers.

The biggest hurdle that StoresOnline faces, IMHO however, is the battle they have with the state of Utah over whether or not they are a “business opportunity”.

Storesonline claims they only sell software. Now personally, i have never received an email from a legit ecommerce software company making the above claim. I haven’t read anywhere else but in my StoresOnline invitation how I can ” learn how half a million people generate income using the Internet !”. Nowhere else do software vendors claim that “Your opportunities to make money are virtually limitless !”

Does that sound like a business opportunity pitch to you ?

Why is that a big deal ? Because from what I’ve been told, and I dint know all the details, so do your own homework, it looks like Business Opportunities have to register their success and turnover rates with the states. As I understand it, its something to the effect of “what percent of people at least made their money back”

If you have to publish how many customers actually “claimed their share of Internet Billions”, that’s tough on business if it doesn’t work.

Now some may be saying that since I’m in Texas, that its a whole different ballgame. Except that StoresOnline already has had a run in with the State of Texas. They settled with the State, but maybe they couldn’t help themselves and had to go after the consumers in this state again.

I guess the best news is, if i call 1-800-373-3090 and give my Reservation ID of U8H-(X6-P, i can get a seat at this “fun, relaxed and informative 90 minute conference” and get a free Lunch or Dinner, a Free Business Organizer, Free Admission and MUCH MORE !”

What a great business opportunity for me, right ?

54 thoughts on “Are you ready to claim YOUR share of the Billions in Revenue on the internet ?

  1. I have been a customer with StoresOnline since 2004 and have 2 websites up and running: http://www.AllNaturalElements.com and http://www.HealthyHeartHelp.com.

    I can say, with certainty, that SOL dos not sell a businss opportunity. What they offer for sale is a tool for use in business. So why hold the seminars, you ask? For the same reason why we have infomercials. When you are selling a drill, you don’t say ” Ooo look at the nice drill!” you say “Ooo look at how nice th holes are that the drill makes!” This very same concep is why SOL reels pople in with internt marketing. tell people how simple the techniques are to get to the top of the search engines and why the tool can help them. While the techniques are simple, getting to the top is not. It takes time and much work. My two cents.

    Comment by Tamikia Alford -

  2. Mark, How about buying the Florida Marlins Baseball team and making us a real team?

    Comment by Mahlon L. Sargeant -

  3. Awesome link spam you\’re collecting in your comments section here. Mark, you might want to be a little more proactive in deleting the spam crap that collects on your blog.

    Oh yeah, buy v1agr8!

    Comment by [insert valuable keyword here] -

  4. Just came from the second \”seminar\” that I paid the vast sum of $20 for! A number of the 200 people in attendance signed up for \”something\”, but I\’m not sure what it was! After turning down their sales pitch, one of their representatives had the audacity to get up in front of those at the seminar and berate attendees by proclaiming that some of their representatives had been treated rudely by people in the audience! These representatives had implied to \”resisters\” that we were stupid for not signing up and gifting our money to them! What dopes!!

    Comment by John A. Bennett -

  5. Yes! but do you have any guesses?

    Comment by Melissa -

  6. Mark,

    I know this is a little older of a post, but I couldn\’t but not comment on it.

    I left my last name as \”sandy\” .. because it is in fact \”Sanderson\” in reality, with no relation to this C.S. guy…

    On top of that, I actually work in Orem UT, in the same building development that StoresOnline is in(ole Word Perfect/Novell bldgs). I work for an Search Engine Marketing company, Orange Soda.

    My room-mates little sister works in customer service for StoresOnline and she is quitting because of how much she hates the company, they are quite the laughing punching bag for me and my group.

    You nailed it, they really do just scam people for money. Many of their own employees hate them, and I would be scared and embarrassed to own a website they produced.

    Comment by Jon Sandy -

  7. Maybe something to recommend to the scam busters at IveTriedThat.com…

    Comment by Sabrina\\\\\\\'s Money Matters -

  8. I own the website http://www.parleysdieselperformance.com which is built with the Storesonline software and is hosted on the Storesonline servers and I have actually had a pleasant experience with it. I have been working on it for a little over a year and it is now my main source of income and has more than paid for itself. Storesonline isn\’t a perfect company but they do offer a worthwhile product that works.

    Comment by Nathan Young -

  9. Are these opportunities legit? I have seen them pitched many times…..but can anyone substantiate them? Help…..

    Thanks.

    Comment by Platinum -

  10. \”Your opportunities to make money are virtually limitless !\” let\’s just keep it virtually for this time.

    Comment by Shufuni -

  11. How are businesses like this different from the hundreds of Paid Programming commercials on late night TV?

    Selling seminars and books and tapes about how to sell seminars, books and tapes..

    Comment by Patrick Crofoot -

  12. There are many ways to make money! But thanks MArk for explaining to people how it can happen! Your a good man!
    http://myeclinic.com/

    Comment by Optimized -

  13. We have some great beach front property in Arizona, if anyone is interested.

    Comment by Gilbert Auto Insurance, Car, Home Owner Insurance -

  14. Hi Mark, i just read your story in the SELLING POWER MAGAZINE which i bought at re issue store here in petaling jaya MALAYSIA.
    (store that selling back dated magazine at cheaper price).
    I admire that your hard work and you unique principle like (IT NOT WHETHER THE GLASS IS HALF FULL OR HALF EMPTY , WHAT MATTER MOST WHO\’S POURING THE WATER) in my own interpretation, that is right…coz who\’s pouring the water is very important as like when customer of you gave you the key to their offices and giving you jobs which generate money. Why did they give you the keys as there were other they could give the keys too…hmm simply they trust you for what you are.

    I\’m salesman and i see a lot of opportunity back here in Malaysia that i would love to share with you. I mean if you can go on for 7 year without taking a break…hmm i think I can invite you to Malaysia and talk about what business both of us can do.

    every time i close sales , i think that the beginning of new relationships.

    I\’m maybe a complete stranger to you , but we have something in common…we never stop trying… well here i am trying to selling the idea of you to venture in Malaysia as a business man…i dont have the capital but i have tons of idea….

    Have a great day Maverick.

    p/s BY THE WAY, I THINK YOU SHOULD GET SOMEBODY LIKE JORDAN and PIPPEN TO BE IN YOUR TEAM…player who can lead the team and lead himself…

    cheers
    eddie

    Comment by rusaidi ramli -

  15. Mr Cuban,
    I\’m a huge sport fan and have been for over 25 years. I live in Denver Colorado, we have the Beloved Broncos, The Amazing Avalache, the Real Deal Denver Nuggets, and unforunately the Rediculous Rockies. We love our sports here in Colorado and support our teams with undying fury! As a sports fan I\’m sure you have followed the Rockies Pathetic existence over the last 15 years. Over those 15 years we\’ve had great players and goods team. But as you know ownership has to be dedicated to a team in order to win. The Colorado Rockies have some great young talent and are close to being a championship caliber team. However, as contracts come due the weak management of the Colorado Rockies will trade away the talent and we will be left will a Triple A ball club once again. So we plead to you to please come buy the ROCKIES so they can bring a World Series Pennant to the MILE HIGH CITY. PLEASE, MARK, PLEASE! Then we can drink a beer together and talk about how we HATE teams that play in Oakland. Between the Raiders and the Warriors we\’ll have a lot to talk about! Thanks for reading this Mr Cuban, please come save us!

    #1 Colorado Sports Fan Phillip \”Big Bear\” Stevens

    Comment by Phillip stevens -

  16. I am sick of missing Columbus Crew games when they are exclusively broadcast on your channel but I\’m ready to give in. What\’s the cheapest HDTV on the market that is of good enough quality to last 10 years?

    Comment by Jon Shecket -

  17. The Biz Op market, like anything else in life, has it\’s good and bad apples. Hey, not all NBA refs are bad, right?πŸ˜‰

    Here\’s the problem:

    (1)The bad apples get all the press, making the legit ones look bad as well.

    (2) The majority of people who buy into biz ops are looking for easy money, which makes them a target for scammers.

    A former boss of mine bought a real estate investment \”biz op,\” and he ended up owning over 100 rental properties, became a millionaire and began training others on how to do what he did.

    Again, there is good and bad in everything.

    Fred

    Comment by FT -

  18. Don\’t believe everything you read…EVEN HERE! Although Mr. Cuban may not be selling IIG short at the time of this writing, he may short IIG on monday morning. Also, there are hundreds of millions dollars BETTING that Imergent will fail. All with a stake in BASHING a Yahoo wannabe.

    THINK ABOUT IT!

    Comment by Lo -

  19. The state of the internet is disgusting. You have the primary business model of selling \”get rich\” information to people who then in turn try to make money selling the same information. There\’s a fine line between affiliate marketing and pyramid schemes, and unless the business is selling actual products that they created or are licensed to resell then it\’s usually a scam. The waterfall effect and flood of scams and splogs (more ads than content) on the internet is insane, and completely ruining the experience.

    Rather than being the best business you can be and people talking about your brand because it is that good, you have people that will pay money to place higher in the search engines, link to a network of crappy sites to boost page ranking, and destroy social networking sites by trying to \”market\” on those as well by blasting people with ads until you get banned.

    An authoritative source needs to do an extensive study on the real successes and failures of those seeking to get rich online, and publish the statistics for all to see. People need to realize the easy buck on the internet is much more a myth than a reality. The only people truly getting rich are those select few who have developed popular web apps (YouTube, MySpace, Facebook, Google, Flikr), or those who had solid business plans that translated to a legitimate e-commerce sites/solution.

    With the web becoming user-driven through search engines like Google, everyone needs to take the initiative and not even visit or click on links to get-rich sites, delete the \”dream\” emails and unsubscribe from the lists that your name somehow got on, and encourage others to do the same.

    Comment by Jared Bieberich -

  20. Does anyone else remember when either Google or Yahoo was giving away free shares before they went public?? I distinctly remember aquiring a share of one of them for free, as a promotion, months before they went public.

    Comment by Bill -

  21. I have a friend who works for an outsource company (PMI; Professional Marketing International; Lindon, UT) that fields phone calls for StoresOnline. This friend has fallen for the StoresOnline sales pitch himself. He has seen the success that I have had in creating my own online business, and wants to do the same. Trouble is, he decided to start his own business over a year ago with StoresOnline and is yet to even launch his website. I feel that companies that offer \’coaching\’ for this and other business opportunities are useless. If someone has the drive and smarts to succeed in one of these programs, then they could just as easily use the vast free resources out there to teach themselves how to start and run a business. I did. As Mark said, these programs prey on people who want to succeed the easy way. When they realize it still takes effort to succeed in a program like this, its too late. They are already out thousands.

    Comment by Spencer Ferguson -

  22. How funny this company is. One poster on here said they only charge 45.00 for most people in regards to services so is that how there revenues are rising. My question is how do they caluclate the revenue, do they give people a 5,000 program and have them put it on credit and at the same time does imergent count that as full revenue in the current quarter.. Bottom line you would be better registering a name for 8.95 at goddady going to msn for website and hiring a outsourcing firm to do your advertising for adwords and msn/yahoo. I can sell that for 1,000 bucks and it would be acutally worth something. Though i give it all away for free right here.

    Comment by don -

  23. I lost $22,000. with Storesonline. Ill and stuck now in the Midwest with my entire family on the West Coast, that money was my only hope to raise the $25,000.00 needed to relocate to be near my Mother and my son. I\’ve literally lost hope. I was willing to try anything to raise that money, including investing everything I had. Lesson learned.

    Comment by lori -

  24. why 1000\’s of dollars?
    I mean if you want an online biz. Everyone does that..
    I guess i just dont get it. If these guys dont do any research before spending that kind of money.. they would find the raw services out there for less than a nice dinner. Seems to me the market woulda already shut these guys down on pricing alone?

    Comment by Mike Verinder -

  25. Happy Belated Birthday Mark. God Bless You.

    Comment by Erica -

  26. …as long as there are people that are looking to make an easy buck, there will be others that will take advantage.

    Comment by John Taras -

  27. @Jim Dorey:

    If you are still available. I know a organization looking for a volunteer to sit on the platform while they preach about people who drink, smoke take drugs and surf the internet. You will be requied to sit and make obscene gestures, pass gas and share your spam recepies…..JK

    @Joey: I guess asw, wiyo and dcy were a complete mystery to you?

    Comment by Mary Clemente -

  28. LOL! I went to one of these scams (and I knew it was a scam – but I love free lunches) and of course that is what it is. I was disappointed with the sheer number of gullibles that signed up for their step two in a three step hard sell. Many older folks who really don\’t know anything about the Internet. Sad really.

    My only regret is that I didn\’t flash my hand up quickly when the speaker asked for a volunteer. DO IT! He gives you $20 bucks! lol – then he does it one more time for the other side of the room. Very old sales trick and it pisses me off. These guys are snake oil salesman and it really was hard for me not to stand up and tear apart their little party with a reality check.

    Oh and the lunch was SPAM…πŸ˜‰

    Comment by Jim Dorey -

  29. Hum, well if we were in an intranet like your last blog entry, than may be we could completely control and stop this kind of activity for people whom log into our intranet? Just an idea!

    Comment by Mitchell -

  30. Mark, thank you for a breath of fresh honest air. The statistic is 97% of people do and will continue to fail by succumbing to so called \’online marketing opportunities\’. The pschology amazingly traps countless of folks. And most use credit cards(go further into debt) to get \’started\’. They always use the line \’you just do not have faith or do not believe in yourself enough\’ when the opportunity fails for them. I do not believe 97% of the population are that unaware. They are just looking for a better way out of a lack of money and personal debt. The top guys of 1 \’opportunity\’I know, after the principal owner put a 25M recording studio into his luxurious home, moved company headquarters off US soil to place distance between the company and US law. I believe in freedom and massive wealth, but not on the backs of the average guy or gal who put faith into the lie and fall prey to unethical business practices that will never materialize any real wealth for them. Thank you for your voice Mark!

    Comment by Grant Gibson -

  31. Earnings disclaimers go a long way for Business Opportunities:

    Taken from the bottom of StoresOnline website:

    \”*Testimonial results are not typical and your individual results will vary. Your success depends on having the right price, product, and marketing efforts.\”

    Comment by FortunePal -

  32. I bought the whole $6k package from stores on line. Perhaps it was expensive, and perhaps the software is not as slick as Dreamweaver or GoLive, but I needed to get up and running without a 2 yr. degree in computer graphics.
    I didn\’t see it as a get rich quick scheme but rather an opportunity to build a business with my pain relief inventions. I have needed massive amounts of help in learning to effectively communicate and market on the internet and with a few exceptions, the support and guidance I have received from the telephone support staff has been nothing short of exceptional.
    Selling a paradigm shift in any field is a monumental task, and especially in medicine. I chose SOL because they have software that I could learn how to use and they have lots of support people with experience attracting and holding customer\’s interest long enough to click the buy button. Some of those support people are outstanding.
    The tech and marketing support is not only online and by phone but also through Webinars that effectively teach web marketing principles with presentations from successful entrepreneurs.
    Soon I expect to finish my many web pages (one for each type of treatable pain) and will start promoting my products in a manner taught by SOL. If anyone is interested, I will be glad to report back on progress.
    In my case, store building hasn\’t been simple or fast, but I am not selling toys and trinkets. I signed up knowing that a lot of effort on my part would be required. The sales seminars (which some of you call high pressure)honestly taught me and my wife that success wasn\’t guaranteed and that it would come at a price – cash plus a major conscientious effort on our part.
    Clint … info@innovationsinpainrelief.com

    Comment by Clint Fruitman -

  33. Happy birthday Mark! Thanks for keeping us entertained all year round!

    Comment by Brad Hutchings -

  34. Mark, as an IT professional and Owner of my own Website Design company, I received 2 of these invitations in the mail, oddly enough, one at my mother\’s residence! I knew it had to be a scam, and that \”business organizer\” is lower \”tech\” than a Mickey Mouse watch!

    Comment by Joe Kuzma -

  35. hey mark,
    there is a bridge here in Brooklyn, we can also sell it online and make a lot of money:)
    bobby

    Comment by bobby -

  36. Looks like B.S. to me too. It is amazing how much crap goes on online, even in the webmaster forums, the most successful members are just gouging the other members and rookies with some get rich quick method. Sometimes they will be selling a product guaranteed to make your site the most popular online, but their site doesn\’t even rank…hopefully this crap gets weeded out shortly…

    Comment by Webmaster Resources -

  37. I\’d like to see the list of how many people made their money back. Anyone have a clue where it\’s at? That would be very interesting to look at.

    Comment by hpv -

  38. Customers who want their money back may be able to do so, see http://www.StoresOnlineExposed.com to stay up to date with various lawsuits against iMergent/StoresOnline and procedures for getting refunds from them.

    Comment by Michael / StoresOnlineExposed -

  39. My personal experience with these cybercrooks was based in Europe where its an abyss. I now only respond to people I know via email and strangers must have a referral from someone I know. I have report so many scams to US Attorney, FBI even the infamous NSA, No such agency. Many of these scams are greared towards young people and seniors. Who spend zone time on the internet. (zone time; lonly hours)….Mark, check your in-box.

    A great example of something amazing gone totally wrong, is Facebook, yes, its very valuable for founders, but its out of control and filled with (Monday NYTimes)

    Comment by Mary Clemente -

  40. Affiliate marketers are really the lowest form of business people. Neither producing, nor fulfilling nor supporting. They\’re hybrid middlemen parasites.

    Comment by Anand -

  41. Interesting peice of (promotion?). With the internet, it is now easier than ever to scam people.

    Comment by Mitchell Blatt, Juiced Sports Blog.com -

  42. If it\’s too good to be true, it probably is. For anyone who knows anything about business, get rich schemes just schemes for the person running the business to get rich off of hopeless people.

    What a crock. Thanks for calling these jerks out.

    Comment by Allan -

  43. These are the types of companies that continually lure my friends in, who in turn, pitch all these \”opportunities\” to me. It really does get annoying. I wish they would just quit.

    Its ok, I tell them. I\’ll let them make the millions selling Beef Jerky/Vacations/Software/Vitamins/Etc and I\’ll continue chugging.

    Comment by Kip Nickell -

  44. Who is ensuring that business opportunities register with anyone? It\’s not very effective, and I\’m not sure how it can be. Perhaps if it\’s a high profile organization, then they\’ll need to follow the rules because they\’re in the spotlight. But I see ads for business opportunities all the time from small web sites, and they aren\’t registering with anyone or telling anyone how much money is coming and going. In fact, they won\’t tell you if you ask them. And there\’s no agency that\’s even aware of them.

    It\’s probably a good idea to demand this kind of information, but it\’s not realistic to think that most of the business opportunity providers will comply. And unfortunately there\’s no end of people who want to get rich quick and will give money to anyone who makes an exciting offer.

    Comment by Dave -

  45. @ Mary

    I don\’t think that private social networks is a solution for everybody.

    Comment by Joey -

  46. It\’s businesses like this that are the gravest threat to evolution. How in the gall-dang world can some one fall for this after all the years this crap has been around? The only answer that I can come up with is that we are not evolving…

    As for NBA news…go head and trade KG to the Celtics. They too can win the east and get swept by the Spurs.

    Peace…

    Comment by Jon -

  47. We\’ve worked with a few biz opp clients, and all of them were based out of Utah like StoresOnline. When we understood, that most of them are selling a dream of working at home, and the products/services that the consumer is selling is a dud..we dropped them. We got paid almost all the time, until one company filed for banruptcy and I was out $20k.

    Back in 2002 the sites we a little banged up, but now you can see they make it nice and attractive. Makes you feel like you are dealing with a legite company!

    Comment by PPC Management -

  48. I\’ve checked their share price and found out that back in 1999 and 2000 they were trading at one point over $100 a share, reaching a high of $117 a share on March 10th, 2000. Or at least that\’s what I thought from a superficial review of their share price on google finance.

    Then I noticed that they did a reverse stock split of 10:1 on June 28th, 2002, meaning that they weren\’t trading at $117 but rather at $17.

    Why would a company have a reverse 10-1 stock split? At the time they would have been trading at $0.15 and the split made them trade at $1.50, still a penny stock but more \”respectable.\”

    The only stocks that trade at $0.15 are scams to target the unsuspecting or bankrupt companies. The sort of thing that my dad gets in the mail every so often from junk \”investment hot tips newsletters.\” That\’s all this company is and I hope somehow they are forced to close.

    Comment by Tom Sullivan -

  49. You know it is funny but the fancy get-rich-quick emails I can mostly ignore; although they are getting better and better to becoming harder to spot!

    But recently I got a few voice mails on my cell phone. A kind and trusting ladies voice told me that she was going to share this remarkable business oppurtunity with me. Yada Yada Yada. I took the toll free number and googled it. Yep a Utah number that was just another gimmick.

    They are coming at us from all angles now. The problem is that there are those who believe every word. Something has to be done to regulate these predators. Maybe someday the state-by-state method will go national. Will that make it better or worse? hmmm…

    Comment by Chris MacDougall -

  50. I\’ve pretty much gotten to the point if it says \’make money online\’, I read it as \’scam\’. Maybe I\’m just being too cynical by seeing as a sort of Ponzi scheme for the 21st century… paying money for something you\’re never going to get.

    Comment by Rebeccalee Coventry -

  51. Jerry: Spot on! Unfortuantely the only way to get these wankers is state by state regulators who as everyone knows are underfunded.

    The net is out of control and the scams are run by sophisticated con artist. I have been seriously looking into the private social networks, by invitation only. Exclusivity sells. Needless to say, Jerry, finding qualified or interested vc does not come easy, because of these grifters! Ok, I had my say!

    Comment by Mary Clemente -

  52. I think the moreover aspect of this is, \”…maybe they couldn\’t help themselves and had to go after the consumers…\” As a member of the LDS Church, the Salt Lake Valley is known as \”The Bubble\”. The safety of hiding from the big bad world has created a very intelligent community about community issues. \”Opportunities\” like this are shinny new toys because they there is a lack of understanding what running a business really involves.

    I had a young friend when I was going to BYU a year ago tell me, \”…Its only $500, they have been in business for 14 years and are a Fortune 500 company…\” Don Luprie is a great example, however he actually had a genius concept that much of the internet uses today. His concept revolved around selling information, not a service. Bad business practice killed him because the reality is; companies like this are in business ONLY to sign people up. The feed off the impulse buy, I signed one time for pure curiosity and lost my $45. But the whole thinking is \”Who is going to sue for $45?\”

    Utah provides the people of inexperience, Texas, Florida and Southern States where any \”opportunity\” to pray on the poor and Hispanic populations is easy money.

    Bottom line, there are people like me who have original business started from scratch, amazing ideas, complete business plans and seek $25k start up money but cannot get it. These opportunities kill real Opportunities that I am looking for. So I watch my dreams fade away as I do everything in my power to stop it. Only time will tell when/if a real opportunity will come my way.

    Jerry R. Reynolds
    Alimoe The General

    Comment by Jerry R. Reynolds -

  53. Well now you\’re just being glibπŸ˜‰

    Comment by Tim Elliott -

  54. Mark, here a couple of points about biz ops and franchises.

    Generally, a biz op has to register their disclosure document with the appropriate state authorities, 26 states at last count regulated biz ops.

    The disclosure agreement, if an earnings claim is made, generally has to disclose the empircal b basis for it. Many biz ops make earnings claims orally and then disclaim them in the contract.

    A biz op may also be regulated by the FTC, if it fits the biz op definition of franchise. Generally, biz ops which don\’t have federal trademarks but provide either location assistance or a marketing plan, for goods to sell, will be an FTC Biz Op Franchise. The disclosure requirments are much greater in this case.

    Again, no earnings claim need be made, but if there is one it must be backed up and reasonable.

    The new FTC Business Opportunity Rule, which is not law yet, would require disclosure of how many people made their money back, because it has a very wide definition of a \”earnings claim.\”

    Hope that this a little bit more clear.

    Comment by michael webster -

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