Online ads and in-person workshops for Sellers Playbook claim to offer “secrets” to making big money on Amazon. But like a lot of namedroppers, the truth doesn’t live up to the hype. That’s what the FTC and the Minnesota Attorney General allege in a lawsuit they filed.
According to the complaint, Sellers Playbook lures consumers in with promises like “Potential Net Profit: $1,287,463.38” and “Starting with $1000…1 year later over $210,000,” but the FTC and AG say few people – if anybody – make that kind of money, despite shelling out thousands to learn the company’s so-called secrets. What’s more, Sellers Playbook has no affiliation with Amazon other than dropping the online giant’s name in its ads.
If the tactics sound familiar, that’s because some of the defendants behind Sellers Playbook were affiliated with Amazing Wealth Systems, a venture whose bogus big-money claims were the subject of an FTC lawsuit earlier this year.
The FTC and the Minnesota AG have charged Sellers Playbook with making misleading earnings claims. The FTC also says the defendants have violated the Business Opportunity Rule, a consumer protection provision that requires sellers of money-making ventures to disclose certain facts up front to people thinking about signing up. In addition, the lawsuit alleges the defendants violated the Consumer Review Fairness Act – a new law that bans contract provisions that try to silence consumers from posting their honest opinions about a company’s products or customer service.
Thinking about sinking your savings into a business opportunity? Don’t make a move without consulting a person you trust in your community and considering these suggestions from the FTC. And here’s a tip from in-the-know entrepreneurs: If the promoter of a business opportunity doesn’t give you the disclosure document required by the FTC’s Business Opportunity Rule, that alone should sound an alarm. If they’re not honoring those basic legal requirements, can you trust their money-making promises? Probably not.