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Entrepreneur’s Source Reviews Ripoff Report & How to Research a Business Opportunity Online

The Internet is a valuable resource when it comes to researching a major life decision, like investing in a business, but it is vital for aspiring business owners to know the difference between a reliable and unreliable source online and to be informed and aware of the motives behind online resources.

The Entrepreneur’s Source works with hundreds of businesses and knows that compromising the reputation of a business is a serious matter—each review, complaint and Ripoff Report posted online can have a direct effect on the livelihood of individuals and their businesses.

Entrepreneur’s Source Reviews – What is Ripoff Report?

Fox News’ The O’Reilly Factor’s recent segment “Worst Web Sites in America” featured on-air tech expert and reporter Cassie Slane, who currently blogs for The Huffington Post Tech Section and writes for BestTechie.com. So what was her number one choice for worst website in America? Ripoff Report.

Ripoff Report is a privately owned and operated for-profit website founded by Ed Magedson and operated by Xcentric Ventures, LLC that allows users to post anonymous complaints or ‘reports’ about any business or individual.

See what she had to say in this clip from the segment below:

Additional Points to Consider about Ripoff Report as an Information Source:

  • According to Forbes, Ripoff Report generates several million dollars of revenue a year. Ripoff refuses to remove complaints, however, offers companies the option of paying a flat fee based on the volume of complaints received—ranging from $5,500 to more than $100,000, to have inspectors verify that complaints have been resolved before the site will inject a new headline and text above the original complaint. According to the site’s founder, about 40 firms or more signup for the “Corporate Advocacy Program” each month.
  • According to Phoenix New Times article The Real Rip-Off Report, the site is “a clearinghouse for customer complaints, it boasts 8 billion hits, more than 225,000 user-written ‘reports’ on various companies, and enough unsubstantiated allegations to make a CEO contemplate suicide.”
  • According to the Forbes article Love It Or Hate It, Ripoff Report Is In Expansion Mode, “His [Ed Magedson, Ripoff Report founder] uncompromising stance as the head of his company called Xcentric Ventures has provoked a stream of angry letters and lawsuits. ‘Usually a day or week doesn’t go by that I don’t get a threat of a lawsuit,’ he says with pride. He has paid more than $5 million in legal bills over the years, adding that Ripoff Report has been sued more than 70 times but never lost a U.S. case or ‘paid one dime to anyone ever.’”

How to Find Credible Information Online about a Business Opportunity

  • Remember that everyone has an agenda. There is always a motive behind the messages people make—the key is being aware of the possibility of hidden agendas. Disgruntled employees or clients are often the authors behind online complaints or negative reviews. Consult several different outlets and resources to get more than one side of the story before making a decision on where the truth lies.
  • Consult the credible. The job of credible news sources is to report the facts—news media can be held legally responsible for libel, defamation or false information. Review sites can be useful tools—when they operate on high standards for accuracy and fairness. Below are two examples of solid resources for business opportunity research.
    • The Better Business Bureau (BBB) is a nonprofit resource for the public to gather information about a business through free business reviews.  The BBB evaluates businesses against an established set of best practices, and reviews both accredited and non-accredited businesses.
    • The International Franchise Association (IFA) provides information on over 1,300 franchise concepts. IFA members adhere to the IFA’s high standards for business, and their website provides a library of franchising information available ranging from basic how to’s to advanced regulatory and legal information.
    • Pay attention to the details. There are six small factors that can wave a big red flag when evaluating the credibility of an online source. A website’s author, date, sources, domain, site design and writing style each lend hints to the credibility of an online source. If an author if willing to stand behind the content, it is a good indication the information in reliable. Publish dates of content should be considered to gauge how up-to-date the content is. Keep in mind domains labeled .gov or .edu are reserved for government and university entities, whereas any individual can purchase a .com, .org or .net. Finally, poor grammar, spelling and even web design may also be indications of compromised credibility.
    • Find an Additional Resource Offline. A business coach can help you to evaluate your Income, Lifestyle, Wealth and Equity (I.L.W.E.) Goals, and in turn find a business opportunity that meets your specific goals, needs and expectations for business ownership.

About The Entrepreneur’s Source

The Entrepreneur’s Source is North America’s leading career and franchise Business Coaching Company dedicated to the entrepreneur, with more than 200 coaches in the United States and Canada. E-Source helps individuals seeking alternate career options to find franchise business opportunities that match their Income, Lifestyle, Wealth and Equity Goals.

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