Wednesday, July 16, 2008

The Cost of "Free"

Everyone loves free stuff. After all, why pay money for something you can get without forfeiting any of your hard earned cash? I am not the first to say this, and certainly will not be the last, but FREE always has a cost - maybe not a direct monetary cost, but a true cost nonetheless.

For example, do you use a "free" internet service to promote your listings? If so, you may be surprised at all the little extras that "free" comes with. Like competing advertisements on your listings, limited features and usability, and unnecessary time consumption. It makes no sense for a business to give away their services without getting anything in return... there is always a return.

How many leads, what amount of sales, and how much money might you be losing from visitors who click away from your listings to visit a competitor's advertisement? It makes no sense for you to let competitors advertise in your area, yet this is what you may be doing by using a "free" site or service.

Oftentimes, businesses or services will provide free features with some sort of purchase or membership. While this isn't purely free either, they are tools that are available to you at no extra cost, whether you use them or not. The monetary cost to you is disclosed up front, so you know exactly what you are paying for - this type of "free" is great and should be taken advantage of!

Be sure to research where you put your time, effort, content, and listings, and evaluate the cost of free. If it is an acceptable cost, you may have found your spot! If not, if you are losing leads, sales, traffic and credibility, then get out of there fast. Run away and place your assets where they will pay you back.

is much better than FREE.

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