Sunday, March 23, 2014

Power Sellers Center

When you are considering making a potentially big decision like a large purchase, or making some other business commitment, it is wise to do your homework on the company in question. 

Our first example is called Power Seller's Center (formerly known as Power Seller College). Here's a look at their web page, as of March 2014:

The website's description is, "the Internet's learning community and a pioneer in e-commerce web-based training for business and the public since 1999."

What do you see on the website? Ok, so there are links to their social media accounts on the left, a list of "Available Courses" in the middle, and a login box, clock and calendar on the right side (I've no idea what purpose the clock and calendar serve).

Also, at the top, above the main banner is a little strip which appears to contain various awards presumably earned by the site or the business. As to what these awards are, I have no clue, and they do not link to anything, which is a bit odd.

Now, let's take a look at Power Seller's Center's social media sites.

The Facebook link takes us to their BBB (Better Business Bureau) review. Quite strange.

How about the Twitter account (@powersellerscenter link, right)? Nope. Again, it's a link to their BBB review.

YouTube? Same BBB review.

Blogger blog? Oh, strange. It's a Tumblr blog! Oh, but they also have a Wordpress blog. But.. it's also linked to that BBB review. 

Qapacity? Yeah, same BBB review.

What I see here is simply not common. Normally if there's a link to a Facebook account, it's a Facebook account! And so on with the other social media links.

Also, you might notice that there is very little in the way of company information or company contact information. You have to suspect something is fishy when a company seems not to want to be contacted.

Something else I've spotted that's unusual.

Take a look at those brand names. I don't know the purpose, aside from implying that the site is somehow associated with these brands, or perhaps the implication that you will be selling these brands when you complete the courses offered.

Hover over these to see what sites are linked (or just click on them) and you will find that many of them take you to forum posts, presumably from people that have had success with the program. However, the forums to which they've been posted are completely unrelated to Power Seller's Center.

The first line of brands, from Toshiba to Panasonic, link you to their "Website User Agreement", as does the last line, from Apple to HP.

The second line, from Pioneer to Panasonic (again?) links to the forum of "Prog Archives .com,  Your Ultimate Prog Rock Resource" and specifically a new thread by a forum newbie named "Power Seller Center" who says:

Power Sellers Center Newbie to this forum 
Hello everyone, I'm a Power Sellers Center student and I just joined this forum. It was recommended that I do so by another student. I have seen a lot of interesting stuff here. I hope to be able to participate in discussions and offer my input as well! 
Cheers!

The third line links to a forum at DigitalCameraReview.com, but the post has been deleted.

The fourth line links to a forum at AllDeaf.com and mentions, "I'm a deaf Power Sellers Center student and I just joined this forum. It was recommended that I do so by another student who is also deaf..."

The fifth line links you to the same BBB review as mentioned above.

And quite interestingly, the sixth line links you to bluelight.ru which is a forum for discussing drugs, and includes a similar post as the others.

The fact is, legitimate businesses generally will not advertise using forum spam.

Now, let's take a look at that BBB review that the Power Seller's Center links to so many times on their home page.

According to the BBB review, there were 0 complaints closed with the BBB in last 3 years and 0 closed in last 12 months. Good, right? Their BBB file was opened on 08/11/2011 and their business was started: 09/21/2001. I'm not entirely sure what that means for the 10 years in between.

Note that "BBB Business Reviews may not be reproduced for sales or promotional purposes." But it doesn't say you can't link to it five times from your home page! Right?

The BBB review also mentions PSC's alternate business names: Power Seller Collegetech, Example Technologies, LLC, as well as alternate web addresses: www.powersellercollege.com.

PSC's address appears on the BBB review. Look at it, and use the map (or Google maps) and you'll find that the company address is a mailbox at a UPS store!

It is always a good idea to Google any company with which you are considering doing business. If you Google Power Seller's Center or Power Seller College, you will see some interesting things, including more forum spam posts similar to the ones outlined above, as well as some very negative reviews, and a handful of dubious good reviews (often from new forum users who only post once or twice, as you will often see in spam advertising).

And finally, if you search for the owners of the domains powersellerscenter.com or powersellercollege.com, by doing a WHOIS search, you will find that the owners have used a proxy service so that they cannot be contacted.

So let's hear your comments. Have you had any experience with Power Seller's Center fka Power Seller College?

What do you think? Is Power Seller's Center a legitimate business, merely a business of questionable business practices, or a downright ripoff?

16 comments:

  1. I joined power seller college year ago A ripoff , scam ! Expensive all e-bay courses. Never fulfilled promises web? Help find nitch? No only selling on e-bay that & lots, lots of courses!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Total rip-off and scam. Everything they offer can be found for free elsewhere. They expect you to pay more down the road. Whenever you have questions you get a scripted response. Coach spends five minutes a week with you. Make promises they don't keep. Completely dishonest company. Avoid at all costs!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Happened to me also,Big Scam!!!! I lost more than 13000$ and now I can't do nothing about it.
    If any of you manage to find a way to recover the money please share whit us.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I was scammed by them few years ago. It's hard to Get your money back because many times the telemarketer/ salesman is not part of powersellers college. If you have any texts, e-mails to prove otherwise might help then file complaint w/ your state, state of college , and BBB that's your best option also sometimes letting school know your complaints see if they try to resolve problem then go to abovevplaces w/ complaint, & send app contracts, documents to above agencies mentioned best bet but no guarentee's

    ReplyDelete
  5. Powersellers is a scam; they ripped me off for $12,860.00. I discovered the group behind the proxy from the whois search results for the: power-seller URL search; they are a group named the, Online Education Group based out of some creeps mobile home in Jordan, Utah. They specialize in deceptive online marketing e-commerce courses scams. They are dispersed, they have many shell names and they are constantly changing locations. I called and confronted the guy in the mobile home in Jordan Utah. I complained about why he was so hard to reach; he stated that a dump truck ran over and broke their cable line. Since that conversation they went dark and dropped off the internet and morphed into another scam company called Simple Webstores located near Salt Lake City, Utah. I am going to go pay them a visit soon.

    ReplyDelete
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