Have you ever came across an offer for an internet marketing product that offered a huge discount off the total price if you paid upfront? I’m talking about those courses that will offer you a 50% or more discount off what you would pay monthly over a given period of time just by giving them one lump sum upfront.
I used to think that it was a no-brainer, all I had to do was pay upfront for something that I was absolutely sure about and I would save oodles of money for this product I was just so sure I was going to use.
What’s The Catch?
There are a couple of catches to where you can end up on the short end of the deal. First, you may not want to be a member for the year when you are actually able to see the goods. Second, there’s no guarantee that the company or product is going to be around for the entire duration of your subscription/membership period.
Average Length of Membership
Most successful marketers/product owners really know the numbers when it comes to their business. This makes it a no brainer in their eyes to offer what appears to you to be an insane discount to pay upfront when in reality they make more money off of you paying upfront than if you paid monthly on a month to month basis.
This is primarily due to the fact that people don’t stick with memberships very long in the internet marketing space. If you join any affiliate program and you’ll find out that it’s not uncommon for them to tell you that the average membership length is 3-4 months.
Let’s say that the cost of membership is $100/month. By giving you a 50% discount and getting you to pay upfront they’re getting $600 which is more than the $3-400 they make off of one person on average. This is especially true if the product is on the lower quality side. By getting you to pay up front they’re not only locking you in as a member, they’re locking in their profits.
How Likely Is It That The Company Will Be Around?
Not all companies or products last forever and this is especially true in the internet marketing space. If you pay for a subscription membership up front in order to get a great discount, you are unknowingly taking the risk that you may be out money should the company or product shut down unexpectedly.
If that happens then you are out your money and the service/product you are paying for especially if it was a Software as a Service (SaaS) offering. Recently I went back through all of the subscriptions I have purchased over the years and I noticed quite a few of them were no longer around.
One of them was called Google Cash Detective and while I was researching to see why it shutdown I came across a post where this exact scenario happened to someone. They paid up front and the service was shutdown soon after.
Please don’t read this and think that I’m advising you to never take advantage of discounts by paying yearly instead of monthly. You should absolutely do this if you know that you will be using the product for the entire year and that you have a fair amount of confidence that the company/product is going to be around for the duration of your membership I just wanted you to be aware of the potential pitfalls.
If you do find yourself in the unenviable position of paying upfront and the service going belly up I would talk to your bank or credit card company about the possibility of a charge back or claw back. While it may not be able to do it, I would certainly exhaust all of your options for getting your money back. At the very least I would write a review about the company, preferably founder of the company, so other people will know about the history and be able to make more informed decisions on any future products that person offers.