Why We Buy What We Can Get For Free

Today I’m super excited to introduce the latest edition of Social Triggers Insider. You’ll learn:

  • Why people buy what they can get for free
  • Why you should design your website for the “Homer Simpsons” of the world
  • Why people overvalue their work (better known as the Ikea Effect)
  • And much, much, more

In addition to the short video below, you’ll love the special guest on the audio portion of this master class.

Why Selling From Your Blog Is Okay—and What To Do With Those Who Complain About It

Look at that freeze frame… Whoops. Quick. Press Play!

“I happily sell products and services from my blog.” – Click to Tweet

Introducing Dan Ariely, A NYT Best-Selling Author, And A Leading Behavior Economics Researcher

Look. If you’re an entrepreneur who sells software, consulting, information products, or coaching…

…the secret to thriving in today’s overcrowded marketplace requires you to MASTER the fields of psychology and human behavior.

And that’s why I’m pumped to have Dan Ariely on this episode of Social Triggers Insider.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Dan Ariely is a professor of Psychology and Behavioral Economics at Duke, and his research has been published in leading economics, psychology, and business journals. In addition to that, he’s the best-selling author of “Predictably Irrational” and “The Upside of Irrationality.”

Ever since I started Social Triggers, people have asked me what books do I read, and what blogs do I read. While I’ll likely never publish my complete reading list (you’ll be scared by it, trust me), I can tell you that I happily read Dan Ariely’s blog, and every book he gets published.

Did you know Social Triggers Insider is now on iTunes? If you enjoy this series, please take a few seconds and leave an honest review. It would be a huge help.

Here’s a list of his books:

1. Predictably Irrational (This book is one of the reasons why I became obsessed with understanding psychology as it relates to marketing. The study where he talks about decoy pricing is priceless.

2. The Upside of Irrationality (In this podcast, we cover a ton of what he covers in this book, but it’s still a worthwhile read).

3. The Honest Truth About Dishonesty (This is his new, yet to be released book, which I haven’t read yet, but I hope to get my hands on it soon…)

Note: When you buy those books through my link, I earn a commission. It’s paltry, but I’m including the link for one main reason: I’m curious to see how many people listen to my book recommendations.

Right click this link to save the audio as a MP3 file to your computer.

Right click this link to save the transcript as a PDF file to your computer.

Now I Pass It To You…

Have you ever dealt with the “I can get it for free guy?”

How did you handle it?

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127 comments Leave a comment

Great audio. As a huge cat fan, I was very proud to hear my feline friends are such smarty pants.
We always do try in our business to convey the amount of work that goes into our services and business, but this makes me want to figure out more ways to really integrate that concept into our marketing strategies. Thanks!

Hoang Lo

You’re totally right. Some people never buy anything.

Tim O'Keefe

I detected some Mark Wahlberg as the get it for free guy. Great video and point though.

Diane Hochman

Sing it baby!!!

Tell em!

Can you be my big brother that I sig on the haters when
they come yell at me? (and they do!)

And I loves me some Dan Ariely.

He is my Kindle Buddy for sure!


We attending a seminar with such a know it all parasite, the presenter blocked her by the last day. She disgusted me when she told us the strategies that she’d employ to get all the products and services for free. When she was finally cut off from dumping her negativity in the class’s presence, she was literally releasing her crap in the powder room which I quickly ran out of! Just because you have intellect, doesn’t mean you have character. lol…


Funny story about the cats, wondering why they’re the only animal who choose the free food… coz they’re lazy?

Raaj Trambadia

Derek, I’ve been on SocialTriggers a few times, but this would be the first time you would see me in the Comments Section.

Let me tell you what happened to me when I finished watching the video, the first thing I did was to write a tweet (@raajtram).

Really amazing one Derek! See my name on you list! :)

Shaqir Hussyin

Great blog post dude,

i dislike that “i can get it free” guy to – these are the people who usually
never take any responsibility of their own success and results, play the victim ‘little bi*ch’ and alway’s come from a place of scarcity.

that interview was very insightful – thanks for this valuable post!


Al Yarbrough

My first experience with the “I can get it for free” was on my wife’s first book on Kindle.

We were getting a lot of sales and were up to 4 sales per day on the average and were watching it grow. Then it happened… We discovered the Kindle “Review Bomb.” The safe foods lists in my wife’s “How to Eat Gluten-Free… The Official Guide – 2012” kindle book was too short for her taste but all she said that all you had to do is to Google “gluten intolerance” and there is plenty of information out there about gluten intolerance for free.

Basically, we were shocked and didn’t really know what to do about it. Kindle wouldn’t remove the review so we were psychologically paralyzed for several months until we got enough positive reviews and began marketing the book again. I tried to respond professionally to the complaint, changed the book to make the list longer and crawled into my hole and licked my wounds.

Any suggestions about the best way to do damage control with this type of thing?


Rowena List

Love your energy man.
I have been happily selling stuff for yrs.
Thanks for the reminder to let the world know about myself and my company.
Rowena………….The only LIST you need


hi derek, my I love your posts, I always read them …
One question, how it is called the plugin you use to bring up the right side of the screen:


Great insights proving once again that what logic dictates is not what happens. I used to be a get it for free guy then i realized hey, this person had to work hard on this and the free version of some things
really sucks. Like playing Pong when you could plangy something more engaging

Tim Chimoy

Great content.. already ordered one mentioned of the books. I will try to use the new learned things for my German blog right away.. thnx 😀


Here’s a question – what to do when the “I can get it for free” guy is in my own head?

I’m about to release a product and technically, people could scour the internet like I did while doing my background research and find similar content for free (though in English, and my product’s in Portuguese. Target audience is Brazilian). Still, I’m imagining that people will take a look at my product and then immediately just google it to see what they can get without paying.

Should I bang my head against the wall a couple of times to get the “imaginary freebie guy” to shut up?


    Hey, with the Internet any kind of information is actually somewhat free.
    A product is more for the packaging of the information.

    Hope that helps.


      It helped me because I have the same problem as Shayna.

      Thanks for sharing!

Casey Camilleri

Thanks so much for putting together such a great video/audio/book recommendations. Such a great discussion on the audio file. It’s a breath of fresh air to hear such an intellectual conversation.


    Camilleri… Maltese lineage?

Sean Malarkey

DEREK – This interview is money! Good work!


Hi Derek,

Found out about you via Pat Flynn. Great post here.

Yeah I’ve dealt with that. I’m a freelance web designer and I like to think I’m really offering my clients an amazing deal. But I often get the guy who’s wife is “REALLY REALLY GOOD with this internet thing, and she can do it for me for free”, or the woman who’s son is studying web design in college, so he can do it for free.

What is frustrating is that in most cases, I know this reaction is my own fault. The only reason these people are comparing these free options to my paid option is that I have failed in establishing myself as an authority. I need to find a way that will show them once and for all that nothing even comes close to the quality and value I am giving.

On an unrelated note:

I’ve got a blog (still in its infant steps) about fatherhood and I think it would be great to have Dan Ariely’s perspective on the topic you’ve discussed here but with relation to children. How do you recommend I get in touch with him?

Thanks again for the great quality and value Derek.



Jon James

Good stuff Derek. I often associate the “I can get it for free” guy as someone who’s jealous over the quality of your work. They are only announcing that they can get it for free because they are envious over the fact that you are selling such products/services and they are not in a position to do the same.

If they got their act together and had enough motivation within to go and get the information for free on their own, they would do, but because they haven’t, they search for the most miniscule little typing error in your content so they have an excuse to try and pull it to bits out of envy.

    Derek Halpern

    What you’re saying there makes sense to me.

Nitin Aggarwal

Great stuff Derek. I am loving your blog and learning with every post.

Rhonda Vitale

Great Video Derek,

I look forward to buying the books you recommended. I also tweeted your video!

    Derek Halpern

    Thank you Rhonda.


Really enjoyed the podcast Derek. I just recently purchased his two (released) books and look forward to reading them.

L. Raquel Peterson

“You misspelled acci-dent-all-y. Maybe it was on accident.”


Freaking epic.

In addition to the “I Can Get it for Free” simp, one of the things that has held me back was the fear that I wasn’t providing enough value to my clients at first. I think I’ve seen enough really poor quality products and services that I know I provide value, however, I need a little push in “getting over the fear” and realize that while not everyone will be happy, if I wasn’t providing value it wouldn’t be in my nature to be in this line of work to begin with.

    Derek Halpern

    A lot of people feel like they’re not qualified enough to do what they do. I think having that feeling is good though, because it drives you to create better products and services.

Chris Johnson

Do you think people like paying for things so that they are not in debt and don’t owe a favor?

That always plays a role with me, but I’m always an edge case. ;-).

I don’t get the freeloader guy. The easiest way to reduce business expenses is to have tiny business that can’t pay its hosting bill….


D – Dude you must have been watching a lot o’ UFC lately. You are rowdy my man! haha!

    Derek Halpern

    Nah.. that’s just how I am naturally, heh.

Whitney Z


Just so you know, that egg/cake example is just a myth. It seems like it’s true because we like to think that housewives back-in-the-day cared more about perception/work than convenience. But, then, why would companies in 2012 still require people to add a real egg despite the fact that convenience is #1 today? Answer: because powdered eggs make SIGNIFICANTLY worse cakes than real eggs do.

I think Snopes.com busted this myth.

Alan | Life's Too Good

Hi Derek,

I have to admit that I’m new to giving away high quality info in the first place for free. I come from a corporate background where I was paid a lot of money for what I now do give away for free – because after nearly a year learning this stuff from people such as yourself, I’m relatively ‘sold’ on the freemium model (if done in what I consider is the right way).

Bottom line – we shouldn’t be afraid to give away our best content, because first of all, when you then package that up and charge for it, it’s justified – because it’s your best content and secondly, if you’re worth your salt there’s plenty more where that came from and all you’re doing with the free offer is convincing people that you can help them with their specific problems.

Mr I can get it for free is right – he probably can, but that’s his choice. There will always be others who make a different choice,

take care & best wishes,

    Derek Halpern

    Welcome to this new world then!

Ramy Khuffash

I look forward to watching this! You look sooooo angry in the photo at the top hahahahah!

    Derek Halpern

    Heh… not angry…

Natalie Alaimo

Hi Derek
Thanks so much for this blog post and the podcast. It’s amazing to think the decision which we (as humans) are making and not really aware of. I love the cake mix story and can’t believe that by having to add an egg provides ownership and hence more sales. Some excellent examples which can be applied to our own products.
Thanks again and I’d be interested to read Dans books – and will use your links – just to let you know.

    Derek Halpern

    You’re welcome Natalie. Glad you enjoyed it.

April Greer

Hey Derek,

I really love the part in the interview with Dan about the locksmith. It’s the same with design. People often believe that if I can do it quickly then it must be easy, and changing their perception so that they understand that it took years of education, study, mistakes, and experience to quickly produce some creative ideas.

I’ve heard said (paraphrased poorly), “You’re not paying for the hour it took for me to design. You’re paying for the years I’ve worked so that I could design in an hour.”

As always, great information! Not only is it useful, it takes me back to college when I sat and listened to a professor speak about the topic that he’s devoted his life to and enjoyed getting smarter.

    Derek Halpern

    It’s completely true.

    When people look at hourly rates, they compare what they make vs what you make.

    If that person is in a position where they had to go to school forever, think doctors or lawyers, in my experience, they’re the first ones to get offended.

    A designer friend of mine had one doctor tell him “I save lives. You make websites.”


      April Greer

      On that same vein, my dad was a financial consultant/accountant in the L.A. area. He refused to take doctors, politicians, or lawyers as clients because they were the first to get offended and respond with, “don’t you know who I AM?! You can’t tell me what to do.”

      Thanks for the insight. I find the secrecy and taboo surrounding money/income (in the US anyway) a very interesting social study.


Brilliant interview Derek.
The concept of people preferring to buy something is really interesting.
I watched a TED talks video last week about a guy who set up a scheme in Africa to help remote villages build lanterns so that they could be productive after dark. He found that if the villagers were given the lanterns then they didn’t take full ownership of them and didn’t make good use of them. However, when they paid for the lanterns they took ownership of them and the scheme was highly successful. These were people only earning 25c per day – perhaps the poorest people on the planet, insisting that they had to pay for something. Says a lot about the importance of pride.
Maybe with blog/training/information type content we see people like the “I can get it for free guy” because they believe that they were active in seeking out the content so they have done the minimum amount of work to feel that it is acceptable to claim ownership?

    Derek Halpern

    It’s possible.

    But it’s also likely due to the fact that they feel entitled. I hate dealing with entitled people.

Danielle Ford

Love the energy and humor in the video and I just ordered “Predictably Irrational” through your link. :)


Dude you and I are on the same page in so many ways. Love this post. Hilarious and hard hitting ninja shit all together in one post. Very nice :-)

    Derek Halpern

    You’re welcome!

    Nice to see you around these parts. Been a while!


Very good Derek. The first step is always to qualify, so I wouldn’t waste any of my time on those guys who “can get it for free”.

    Derek Halpern

    Sometimes they come out of no where though. And that’s the issue.

Jason Ayers

Life is too short to spend any more of it than you have to with people that drag you down. Kick ’em to the cans and enjoy your fans.

Thanks for the interview with Ariely – his books are amazing.

    Derek Halpern

    Nice little rhyme Jason.

Alex Navas | Amplified Business Coach

Derek, this is killer. I love the video and especially appreciated the interview with Dan whom I’ve been following myself for some time. I love his “decoy” strategy for pricing.

Alex Navas

    Derek Halpern

    Hey Alex,

    Dan Ariely is one of the people I always keep an eye on. His research work is great, as are his books.

Alan Green

Thanks Derek for all your doing. Lately you have been pumping out some really good content (and I only say lately because I just came across your blog a month or two ago).

Thanks and keep it up – I will check out the book recommendations too

    Derek Halpern

    Thanks Alan.

    Glad you’re enjoying everything over here!


Coolio video Derek! Love the enthusiasm and being yourself! You had me watch it right through because of your compelling delivery. Great stuff. Been following you for awhile now. Human behavior, yup. And I hate the get stuff for free guy to. That mentality drives me nuts. I just say next!

    Derek Halpern

    That’s the way to deal with him, for sure. Ignore him and move on.

Sean Davis

I took some time out to listen today and I’m glad I did. Psychology is so interesting and useful… especially in this game. I’ve got to learn to stop caring so much about the silly stuff and pay more attention to human behavior. It’s like a gold mine when you understand it all.

    Derek Halpern

    You should always take time out to read, listen, and watch what I do 😛

Steven Davis

Similar absurdity… I get contacted by someone with an IT security problem, recommend a solution and give them a price quote for the right suite of products.

They buy it somewhere else (OK, that’s the breaks)…

BUT, they then call me when they have problems with what they bought!

Madness! (and why I don’t resell anymore).

    Philip Nowak


    That’s exactly what I feared when I decided to launch the consulting arm of my business. To combat that, we don’t offer anything for free, including the consultation. Also, we offer a service for maintenance at a monthly rate, for those who need questions answered, troubleshooting and support calls with app/service providers.


      Philip Nowak

      I stand corrected, we do offer a TON for free… content on both Firmology and Firmology Reviews. With Firmology Consulting, we put our knowledge to use for others who can’t or aren’t willing to do it themselves.

    Derek Halpern

    That’s RIDICULOUS. It’s kind of rude too.


Very true. When is the last time anyone received something for free and was happy with it? In our business, I often sell to people who have looked at cheaper products and want to know why mine is not as cheap. Simple… Because theirs isn’t as good as mine. As soon as I hear that, I give them a list of other cheaper products they should be looking at too. If/when they are ready for something that is ‘good’ they have my number. Cheap isn’t better. It’s just cheap.

    Derek Halpern

    I think it’s Ramit who always says, when you have someone who asks “how much does it cost” as their first question, chances are they aren’t going to buy.

Dean Soto


Noooo clue how you come up with this stuff man. This is totally what I needed. Love the passion, man and the permission to sell my stuff haha.

Seriously, I’ve had people do exactly what you mentioned about correcting misspelled words or comparing my products to other “similar” products and it sucks. But you are totally right., forget about them. In fact, maybe publicly letting your audience know that you unsubscribe people like that would lead to better and more subscribers.

Love it!

    Derek Halpern

    Hey Dean,

    One of the reasons I publicly announce all this stuff is so I scare those people off… for sure. Heh.

Jamie Alexander


Great stuff. A great bit of motivation for bloggers trying to start a business.

I’m glad you posted today. I’ve been missing learning some great tricks. I missed you webinar as my internet connection has been poorly. Some kind of acident with the company I think. I can’t wait to take your flagship course once I start selling a few stuff from my blog.

Cheers for the post.

    Derek Halpern

    You’re welcome Jamie! That’s the thing about Social Triggers. I don’t release that many articles… that way… when I do… they’re awesome :-)


I just had someone ASK me to create a product out of my free stuff. They sent me an e-mail saying essentially, “I love your blog… when are you going to turn all the posts into an e-book that I can buy and read anywhere?”

    Derek Halpern

    Yep, that’s the BEST type of person to attract.

James Kirk

Killer stuff, brother! The audio was also very worth while, and NOT something I could get for free (cause I got it for free right here 😉 ).

One of my favorite activities is firing clients–not because I don’t want the paying ones, but because they are rarely worth what little (if any) they spend.

    Derek Halpern

    Heh. Firing clients is never fun, but sometimes it’s 100% necessary.

Melanie Thomassian

You got Dan Ariely to do an interview with you?

No joke, that’s impressive.

His book Predictably Irrational is a must read for those interested in the nuances which influence people to choose one thing over another (or not choose at all).

Loved the interview Derek. Top stuff!

    Derek Halpern

    Glad you liked it Melanie!

    I’m glad Dan came on too. He’s great. I’m a huge fan of his and his work.

Arthur E Ray

Predictably Irrational is a must read.

    Derek Halpern


Mike Williams

Very Dope, Get off my list LOL, the audio was very interesting. I am one of those people who actually buy what I can get for free. There is just something that makes you feel good about using your hard earned money on a product you think will be better than the free product.

    April Greer

    Agreed, Mike.

    Sometimes I’ll take the free product, and when I find it’s been insanely useful, I’ll go back and donate to help them keep it going.

    It’s my way of saying thanks and giving back to a community that has helped me.

    Derek Halpern

    Yep. I’m with you there, too. I like paying for things also.

Justin Brooke

Thank you… thank you… THANK YOU for this post. I have never had a good argument for those people that ask me “Why would people buy an ebook when it’s on Google for free.”

I always just told them to shut up and trust me. Now I have something to link them too and finally make them see the light!

    Derek Halpern

    I knew you’d appreciate that my man. I was tired of answering the same questions, so I made this video for myself too ha ha.

Chrissy Scivicque

I love your ‘tude dude. Happy to have stumbled upon this video :)

    Derek Halpern

    Tude dude. Ha ha.

FinAsk Ottawa

Derek, absolutely loved this insight from social triggers. Especially towards the end about organizing data/services for people in a meaningful way. Would love to hear more about that!

    Ryan Hart

    The last part of the interview about explaining services in a meaningful way caught my attention too. And it also raised a few questions for me.

    Would people be willing to pay more for insurance (or other services) that are described using technical language because they are perceived as more complex? Or would the average sale price increase if the services were presented in an easy to understand and meaningful way?

    Derek, are there any studies or examples that might shine some light on this question?

    Derek Halpern

    You’re welcome!

Dave Landis

After selling hosting to someone at a MeetUp, a customer wanted all sorts of help with her website and had all sorts of questions. At the MU I mentioned clearly that I was available on a consultational basis to teach WordPress. It didn’t register with her and she hurled all sorts of complaints.

After trading several e-mails with her, I was tempted to offer her a refund, but she was so cantankerous that I opted not to and let her struggle on her own. I figured she had used what little money I earned on the hosting for my time.

Haven’t seen the nag since.

    Derek Halpern

    Heh. Everyone has a story like that for sure. interesting how you dealt with it too.

Chris Aitken

Great post, as per normal. Your post is very timely because we sell into a strange market: helping people who are applying for MBAs. This market is littered with “free” stuff all over the web, most of it garbage.

We are about to start experimenting with a freemium version of our product …. access to some of our videos. But all the tools, templates, live coaching calls, etc. require you to be a monthly subscriber. Will be interesting to see how this goes. Any specific tips from Derek (or others) most welcome! Launching this new version at the end of this week …

    Derek Halpern

    The problem with the free information, is that it’s often horrible. To really differentiate, all you gotta do is point out all the free information and why it’s bad. And then point out why your information is better.

    With regards to freemium, I almost hate all freemium models, unless you’re running a service where people WANT to upgrade. As an example, Mailchimp has a freemium model, but every single person who gets Mailchimp has vested interest in becoming a paid subscriber because the more emails they get the better.

Kimberly Bordonaro


You spelled “Homer” wrong. Lol.

I just watch the video and I’m looking forward to listening to the interview on iTunes. I absolutely adore your personality – it shines through in everything you do and it’s backed up with smart, resourceful advice – every time.

I agree. Get the hecklers off your blog!

Depending on context, I’ve reached out privately to a few of the hecklers on the minor spelling or off-topic rants, and coming from a place of transparency, I thanked them for their input and taking valuable time from their busy day to help make my blog better. I’ve found in those few instances, they’ve become loyal fans who spread my content and in a few cases became clients. Again, context. It’s not right for every situation.

For the real a-holes, I put them on the d-list -as in DELETE! They are not worth the time or aggravation.

    Derek Halpern

    I fixed it, ha ha. How ironic… :-D.

    By the way. I almost ALWAYS reach out to hecklers and talk to them. They’re always good for a laugh.

      Kimberly Bordonaro

      Exactly. I loved how you called out that one guy during your live webinar the other week. What an idiot!

        Derek Halpern

        I’m notorious for that. I’ll call people out ALL day.

Raúl Colón

When I first started offering a few of the services you mentioned in the video I was scared to charge. From building a website to helping them with their overall online presence I would give them free assessments to prove that it would give results.

9 out of 10 customers took the free assessments and still had the same attitude of why should I pay you even when I gave them results.

I try to filter out those people a lot better know and stay away from them. I am very clear in what I am offering and even to make an assessment I have move into the role of creating detailed assessments where I can gauge if the person contacting me sees value in what I do.

Still working on grabbing the right balance of educating a possible customer and giving away the farm for free!

    Derek Halpern

    It’s a tough balance, too. The balance between what’s free and what’s paid. But the only way to figure it out is by testing, refining, and more testing.

      Raúl Colón

      I have to agree. testing,refining, and more testing.

      But most importantly using your gut feeling!


Before I thought Derek was hilarious in his videos … now I think he’s awesome 😀

High-voltage stuff.

    Derek Halpern

    Ha ha, thanks Dejan. Appreciate that.


You’re one of the only people whose outrage makes me giggle. I love this video – and I love that you give us permission to be p***ed off at the hecklers, instead of afraid of them. Thank-you!

    Derek Halpern

    I’m glad my outrage makes you laugh, ha ha.


      It’s very clear how much you care!


As a web designer, I get it a lot. Many versions, actually because there are so many ads out there saying that they do exactly that. My response varies depending on who is saying it and what they’re really saying, but it’s usually some variation of, “look into what you saw and if that seems right for you, go with it.” Sometimes I’ll briefly explain the differences, but as you said, if they are so convinced they don’r need my expertise, then they don’t really want it.


    Derek Halpern

    Yep, that’s the difference between someone who is your customer, and someone who isn’t your customer.

    Stephanie, Fairground Media

    Right on!

    I had a meeting with a woman once who, after laying out the very intricate website she wanted, said, “You know, I could just do this myself with Yahoo site builder, but I thought I could get someone for their time. My apartment burned down last year and I don’t have any money to put towards this….”


    The ads for all the site builders, super-cheap and crowdsourced web design really can do damage. They “prime” people inaccurately.

      Stephanie, Fairground Media

      God, I could have worded that better! lol Note: It’s a tragic thing when an apartment burns down! Was just frustrated by the false priming and awkward conversation it caused.

        Derek Halpern

        Assuming the conversation was really true…

        Sometimes I hear stories of misfortune, and I think to myself that it can’t possibly be true.

        But this might have been…

          April Greer

          I had a situation near Christmas similar where someone approached me to buy our 2nd car. I offered a great deal (as it needs about $500 put into it before I could sell it) just to get it off my hands and sold that week, but he kept pushing, giving me an increasingly longer sob story (maybe true? I dunno).

          In the end it fell through and I still have the car, but it’s interesting how far some people will try to push to get $10 off here, $20 off there and wind up ruining the deal altogether.

Brian Bennis

Another great post. Thanks Derek.

You’re dead right. The best way of dealing with the ‘I can get it for free’ guy is to unsubscribe him from your list 😉

    Derek Halpern

    I’ve done it a few times myself. I always like to tell them that I did that, too.

Jason "J-Ryze" Fonceca

Fortunately, I’ve never had to deal with the “I can get it for free guy”. I focus on connecting with eager, engaged people who want to interact and do something quality in the world.

I’m aware they exist and your description of him is perfect though, lol.

And I recently redesigned my home page to make this clear: “I happily sell products and services from my blog.” 😉

P.S. Dan’s got a cool vibe, “people wanna work for their food, lol” 😀

    Derek Halpern

    No matter how much you focus on connecting with eager and engaged people, you’ll always stumble into the I can get it for free guy. It’s unfortunate, but true.

      Jason "J-Ryze" Fonceca

      Good point, Derek.

      Actually, now that you mention it, I have met a couple, they were just disguised.

      It was more like “I’m a ‘friend’ and I’ll take all you have for free, until you even hint at taking a stand — then I’m gone. And I’ll trash-talk you too :P”

      So, that didn’t really match your description, but it’s something to keep an eye out for.

      Reminds me of this: http://www.logallot.com/bloggers-sh-tty-friends/

Sean Mysel


I could go on longer than you about people who try to free load at my golf facility for lessons. I’ve grown my customer base (which rocks I might add!) from a hell hole of a facility to having 20 loyal customers in one month!

My experience is when people try to eavesdrop on my lessons, my customers love it when I run them off. The whole premise is they paid for a private service and that’s what I intend to give them. Funny part is the more people try to eavesdrop the worse they get because the lesson isn’t tailored for them anyway.

Keep on preaching the word brother! I hear you and I know many others hear you as well!

Sean Mysel

    Derek Halpern

    It’s funny how that works. People always undervalue other peoples work, and overvalue their own work. Both Dan and I talk about that in the discussion (the latter part is called the Ikea effect).


well said.

“I can get it for free” is just an excuse as to why someone is not taking action.

    Derek Halpern

    You’re absolutely right.

Michael Alexis

Hey Derek,

I remember the first time I interviewed Ramit, he said the biggest fear moment for him in blogging was releasing his first product (a $5 ebook). Some readers said he “jumped the shark” or was “selling out”. So yeah, he focusses on delivering incredible value to the students who appreciate and take action on it.



    Wow, that is an interesting perspective to learn about. $5 for an ebook and he got complaints? Thank you for sharing this story.

    Derek Halpern

    Yep. There are always people who are going to call you a sell out when you sell products. It’s kind of sad, actually.

    even if you give away 99% of the things on your blog, when you sell once, some people will get turned off.

    It’s like they think bloggers write blogs for charity or something.

Sean Mal | eCommerce Tricks

No I haven’t bump into the “”I can get it for free” guy but your advice is to be kept for future use. :)

    Derek Halpern

    Oh, you will.

Gregory Ciotti

Hey! Gotcha! You misspelled “Homer Simpson”! …

Seriously though Derek, digging this post, the energy in the video always gets me to watch all the way through.

Dan Ariely is the man by the way, first encountered him from that Economist pricing experiment, and I’ve been a fan ever since.

    Derek Halpern

    Thanks man. Glad you like it. I’m sure you read both of his books, too right?

Ryan Hartman

Good stuff… and yeah man. I happily sell shit my blog. [go ahead click the link and see :) ]

    Derek Halpern

    Ha ha, yea I know you do!

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