I was recently approached by an acquaintance who told me he was learning “The Magic Bullet System,” and wanted me to join him in his ventures. His description of The Magic Bullet System (MBS) was full of buzzwords, and lacking in any substance. Hrmm! Enough to make me very skeptical. So… I called up my trusty friend, Google, and after about 3 hours of research, here’s what I learned:
- MBS is an alleged marketing “system”, for CPA (Charge-per-action) advertising, developed by “CPV Marketing Gurus” Amish Shah and Jay Styles
- There are a series of videos available online, featuring Shah explaining how to use some aspects of MBS.
- Shah and Styles apparently do online seminars and classes; for a fee to teach anyone how to use MBS to make significant amounts of money using online advertising. The fee is “a little over $3100” according to my acquaintance, the web site currently just says they are “sold out” and offers to let you sign up to a notification list.
So that’s the nutshell version, that they seem to want you to know about. And even that is pretty sketchy. It seems the truth behind MBS, is that it’s a get-rich quick scheme, just like every other.
Before I get into the nitty-gritty of demonstrating that MBS is nothing more than a get-rich quick scheme, let me explain the basic business model that they advocate:
We are all familiar with online ads.Â Google and other companies make it easy for anybody to buy ads online, on a PPC (or Pay-Per-Click) basis.Â This is great if you have a web site to promote, and many people make money doing this.
There are also companies that offer referral fees to anyone who sends a new customer to their web site.
MBS pairs both of these, along with “landing pages” and (fake) blogs to make money, without actually selling a product.Â To run a successful “campaign” using MBS, you must first have a product referral account, then you will set up a web site, posing as a legitimate blog or other site, which promotes the product you want to get referral credits to.Â Then you buy ads on Google, or elsewhere, that will direct people to your (fake) web site.Â The whole goal is to get people to click on ads on your fake web site.
Author and real-estate investor John T. Reed is well known for debunking Real-Estate get-rich quick gurus on his guru rating page, and has a B.S. Artist Detection Checklist, which I would like to use as an aide in examining MBS.Â Although his list is specifically for real-estate investment “gurus,” I believe much of his criteria will apply when considering any get-rich-quick scheme. MBS matches Reed’s checklist on the following points: 3, 7, 16, 18, 19, 20, 25, 30, 33, 45
3. No pitfalls or corrections No mention is ever made of the chance that a “campaign” can lose money.Â The only examples ever mentioned make money.Â Nor has any of their material that I’ve found for free online mentioned the costs associated with web hosting or domain name registration.
7. Claim to do lots of deals Shah mentions that “last year” he did “$5 million” in business.Â He says “$2 million” of that was net.Â He doesn’t tell us how many campaigns he has done, or how many of them failed–he only offers a few small examples of campaigns that were allegedly successful.
16. High prices I have found no documentation online of the price MBS is charging for their online training, but my acquantance told me he’s paying “over $3100” (in four monthly installments). That seems incredibly high to me for an online course!
18. Too-good-to-be-true testimonials Every example I’ve seen in their material fits into this category.Â In one demonstration, Shah claims to make nearly $500/day off of a single campaign, with less than 20 minutes of effort.
19. White-on-white words at the beginning of their web site I don’t think MBS actually uses this exact tactic, however they use many far worse tactics.Â As of this writing, doing a google search for “the magic bullet system” returns ten results.Â The first and last results is for the Magic Bullet blender; a completely unrelated product.Â Of the other eight results, two go to the official MBS web site, and the other 6 are fake blogs or reviews promoting MBS!! Not only that, but if you watch Google’s auto-complete as you type “the magic bullet system” into the search field, you’ll notice a popular related search is “the magic bullet system scam”–so I searched for that.Â Only one of the first ten results is legitimate, and it is a short forum posting on scam.com.Â All of the other results are promotional materials for MBS; most pretending to pose the question “Is MBS a scam?” but answering only with MBS propaganda.
20. Use of the following words The words on John’s list that I’ve seen used in MBS material:Â secret, course, program, automatic, quick.Â Other prhases or words they’ve used, that fit the spirit of John’s word list:Â “its a job replacer”, “more than a lot of doctors make”, “double our income”, “secret weapon”
25. No profit formula MBS material talks about the revenue generated from referral fees, less the cost of ads bought, and pretends the result is “net income.”Â As cheap as it is these days to do business on the Internet, it’s not free.Â And MBS fails to mention these other fundamental fees:
- Domain registrations (Typically $8+ per year per domain name, and MBS uses many domain names, a minimum of one per “campaign”).
- Web hosting fees. This is not expensive, either, but to start, it’s probably at least $5-10 per month per web site (for a web host capable of running WordPress, which MBS uses for its fake blogs)
- An Internet connection. This is a no-brainer. And just because you already have an Internet connection for personal use does not mean it’s not a business expense
- A computer. Same as the Internet connection
- Your time. MBS oversells how quick-and-easy the task of setting up a campaign is. The mundane task of setting up a new fake blog for each campaign you run is time consuming, and takes much longer than their demonstration (which was roughly 20 minutes). I know this, because I’ve recently set up a blog (the one you’re reading!), although mine is legit, or at least I like to think so. To do the bare minimum to set up this blog the second time would still probably take an hour of my time. When you consider I have to write fake reviews or content, even longer.
30. Focus on the beginner market I’m not sure if there’s anything other than a “beginner market” for this market… There are obviously large, legit companies using online advertising, but not in the way advocated by MBS.Â I’m sure there are “pros” in this market, but that’s like being a pro-spammer.Â Nobody’s going to openly market their material to a pro-level spammer.
33. Use of screen names or handles on the Internet Now I don’t know if Amish Shah is using his real name or not.Â What I do know, however, is that MBS has registered dozens, probably hundreds of domain names–most of them posing as blogs or “industry” web sites, to promote MBS, and they advocate doing the same to promote your own revenue-generating activities.
45. Saying you have been “selected” to be allowed to take the training Near the end of one video Shah says “the interest list has grown to over 90,000 subscribers … [and]… we’re keeping the class size extremely limited.” Also, as of this writing, if you visit the official MBS web site, you are told they are “Sold Out”, and offered the opportunity to sign up for a waiting list. This is an online course, folks. Attendance is literally unlimited!
And finally, I’d like to add a few of my own criteria, that Reed doesn’t mention on his site:
Openly advocates plagiarism During the video mentioned above, Shah repeatedly suggests using ads written by others, and changing just a couple of words.Â He also demonstrates including images on his web sites that he found online.Â It is unclear whether the images he was using were free, or if he was violating copyright by doing so.
Openly promotes and participates in astroturfing This is covered in greater detail in point #19 above.
Refers to the unnamed “other guys” and “them” Shah frequently talks about “them” as in “them telling you you can make $1 billion per day.” I’ve never heard anybody make that claim. Surely if they did, they would be crazy, too, but making up fake claims for fake “other guys” doesn’t actually add credibility to your own claims. I’ve also heard some of the real estate gurus that Reed criticizes use this tactic, especially when trying to debunk the theory that they’re advocating get-rich-quick tactics. They claim that “the other guys” promise outlandish results, which are unrealistic get-rich quick schemes, but because they (the supposedly “good” guru) is not making such outlandish claims, they can’t possibly be offering get-rich-quick! Yeah, right!
So, in summary, it is my researched opinion that The Magic Bullet System is plain and simple, a get-rich-quick scheme, designed to make money for the people providing the seminars and training, at the cost of the people who didn’t spend 3 hours researching the company like I just did. I’m sure if I wanted to thoroughly prove that MBS is a scam, it wouldn’t be hard.
And even if I’m wrong, the absolute best-case scenario is that MBS might actually make money for people who are willing to be scum bags who make a living off of polluting the Internet with dishonest web sites, and spam.