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You know you’re a real estate agent if… top 40 ways

Industry humor is always fun, and this classic satirical look at the stereotypical real estate agent is a knee slapper.

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sales guy

sales guy

You know you are a Real Estate Agent if …

cheesy-bar-guy-main_Full

  1. Your car (or mode of transportation) has as many filing cabinets (or places that files can be stuffed) as your office
  2. Your monthly cell phone minutes are almost in the 6 figure mark.
  3. You can effectively answer the phone, reply to an email, send a fax, eat your lunch, review title work, send a text message, (throw a sheep), and set a showing at one time.
  4. The only time that you can be social (outside of work) is at 2am – online with the other real estate agents.
  5. You politely sit at the closing table across from the other agent who was so useless and incompetent through the entire process that you had to do BOTH sides of the transaction, yet he still gets his x% commission PLUS his $300 transaction fee, and you want desperately to throw those complimentary title company cookies at him, but his lawyer is sitting next to him, and you can’t afford a trip to jail … again.
  6. You are on your way to one of 50 appointments in a day when your buyer client calls and says, “I HAVE to see THIS house RIGHT AWAY! This is the one! This is the one!” about a house that you are quite certain they won’t like, but after politely telling them why it won’t meet their criteria, you make the illegal U-turn anyway and meet them at the property, where they hate the home, hate the neighborhood, the bedrooms are too small, there aren’t enough bedrooms and then are disappointed that you showed them something like that.
  7. You are an alcoholic.
  8. You have seven favorite restaurants where they all know your name, your profession, your client base, your title company, your lenders and that you’re an alcoholic.
  9. Starbucks is three of your seven favorite restaurants.
  10. Your Realtor® Radar goes off when anyone in a 3 mile radius starts talking about real estate.
  11. You’ve read the Code of Ethics, you follow the Code of Ethics, but cannot understand why 90% of the agents that you do a deal with act as if the Code was written in Vulcan.
  12. You have created different files for your investor “clients”: File A: Investors who know what they are looking for and know what they are doing. File B: Investors who kind of know what they are looking for and kind of know what they are doing. File T (for trash): “Investors” who tell you to call them when you find a good deal, from their apartment/Mom’s basement.
  13. You wish you were as popular and important as those lead-selling emailers/spammers/telemarketers would like you to believe.
  14. You are also a psychiatrist, divorce counselor, marriage counselor, babysitter, mind-reader, job consultant, teacher, mentor, creative genius … and an alcoholic.
  15. You sell a home to a couple, only to get a call 2 months later that they are getting a divorce; they thought the stress-free process of buying a house together would heal their broken marriage, but now they need to sell because one person can’t live with “that A$$h01e” anymore. (See #14)
  16. No matter how hard you work, one client will think you are overpaid.
  17. That one client who thinks you were overpaid goes out and gets their license because it is soooo easy to do real estate, and after one miserably failed year they go back to their previous job and you can’t help but smirk as you put them back on your newsletter list.
  18. You tell your seller from day one that the asking price needs to be lower and you keep telling them this throughout the listing period. After a few months of it not selling, they get mad at you, hire another agent, lower their price to what you told them in the first place and it sells in 2 days.
  19. You plan for a small vacation and all the business that you could ever want comes out of the woodwork 3 days before you leave.
  20. You come back from your small vacation to find 2,381 messages in your inbox and a “full” voicemail box.
  21. Your competitions hair is larger than your overnight bag.
  22. You’re still and alcoholic.
  23. You hold open houses just for the opportunity to check all of your emails and post blogs about how ineffective open houses are.
  24. You yell at your computer when the internet is down.
  25. You yell at your computer when there are no pictures in an MLS listing.
  26. You yell at your computer when your 8th cup of coffee spills on the keyboard.
  27. You actively show a couple of buyers over 200 homes over a course of a year in a price range that they demand to stay at. You find out that they have a champagne taste on a beer budget and suggest that they bump up their purchase price to closer to their actual qualification mark, as that will afford them more of the luxuries that they are looking for, but they refuse time and time again. Then you wake up one morning to a phone call from their lender congratulating you for finally finding a home for them (WTF?!?), and that is when you realize that they called on a sign in a yard on a home that was right at their qualification mark and went under contract with that agent. (Sorry. Personal Rant … but you get the drift …)
  28. You are a master at figuring out how to make almost everything in your life a “business expense” .
  29. You always get that slight knot in your stomach when you drive by a FSBO.
  30. Your own sister decides to sell FSBO.
  31. Pre-packaged and microwavable foods are your best friends – even better when they can be eaten while driving.
  32. You reconfigure your whole day to show a home and your “potential buyer” stands you up .
  33. You go to show a home to a buyer client and …
    1. There’s no key in the lockbox
    2. The key in the lockbox does not open the door
    3. There’s no lockbox
    4. You unknowingly set off the house alarm and don’t know how to turn it off
    5. There is a dead/drunk/sleeping person in one of the rooms
    6. The seller is there and manages to lengthen your showing time to 1 ½ hours with all of the stories that they have to share (see #14)
    7. The neighbor manages to lengthen your showing time to 1 ½ hours with all of the stories that they have to share about how much they love/hate the Sellers (see #14)
    8. You lock your car keys, the house key and your cell phone in the vacant house
  34. You attend any “Broker Open” that offers food.
  35. You attend every “Broker Open” that offers alcohol (see #7 and #22).
  36. You hesitate to have anything printed on the back of your business card, because they make such great note pads.
  37. You have been on the way to a closing when you get a call that the buyer went out and financed $15k in new furniture for a home that they can no longer qualify for because of their new furniture loan.
  38. After one year in real estate your spouse either leaves you (out of frustration) or joins you (out of
    masochism???)
  39. Your children want to become long haul truck drivers while working part time as full time doctors when they grow up because they don’t want to work as much as you do.
  40. You are still an alcoholic.

(Of course, if you are a Renegade Realtor® then there are about 35 more things to add to this list.)

Mariana is a real estate agent and co-owner of the Wagner iTeam with her husband, Derek. She maintains the Colorado Springs Real Estate Connection Blog and is also a real estate technology trainer and coach. Mariana really enjoys helping real estate agents boost their businesses and increase their productivity through effective use of technology. Outside of real estate, blogging and training, she loves spending time with her husband and 2 sons, reading, re-watching Sci-Fi movies and ... long walks on the beach?

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111 Comments

111 Comments

  1. ines

    November 28, 2007 at 9:40 pm

    have to go change my underwear….be right back!

  2. Greg Swann

    November 28, 2007 at 9:55 pm

    Bravo! Excellent! Utterly priceless! My hat is off to you.

  3. Wade Young

    November 28, 2007 at 10:06 pm

    Funny, but also important. Your post highlights the reasons that real estate agents are worthy of standard (or even premium) commissions. Real estate agents should include something humorous like this in the information they give to their clients so that their clients can appreciate the value that a real estate agent brings to the table. I have been guilty of bemoaning real estate commissions when listing my own home in the past. Sellers need to be more aware of what agents do on their behalf.

  4. Benn Rosales

    November 28, 2007 at 10:24 pm

    Outstanding, I felt my hand rising as if to say, “hi, my name is Benn, and I’m an agent…”

  5. Lani Anglin

    November 28, 2007 at 10:31 pm

    OMG this has to be the best article of the year!!! Sheer brilliance- when does your national “Realtard Comedienne” tour kick off?

  6. Mariana

    November 28, 2007 at 10:33 pm

    Ines – Have fun with that …
    Greg – Thank you!

  7. Mariana

    November 28, 2007 at 10:37 pm

    Wade – That would be an interesting facet to the listing presentation, now wouldn’t it? LOL!

    Hi Benn. We accept you.

    Lani – RealTard Comedienne Tour ?!?!? … Oh Em Gee! I’m dying here …

  8. Todd Carpenter

    November 28, 2007 at 10:47 pm

    I was a child of a real estate agent. Maybe that’s what’s wrong with me.

  9. Mariana

    November 28, 2007 at 10:52 pm

    There are support groups for you, Todd.

  10. Benn Rosales

    November 28, 2007 at 10:52 pm

    Todd, PHDs will study you for generations…

  11. Ron Ares

    November 28, 2007 at 10:57 pm

    That about sums it up. Is being an alcoholic a good or bad thing these days? Just wondering…

  12. ines

    November 28, 2007 at 11:24 pm

    I think my literal translation does not quite sound right (thanks to Lani for making me think in Spanish). Now I’m embarrased (yes that’s possible Mariana)

  13. Mariana

    November 28, 2007 at 11:29 pm

    … no. I don’t believe it!

  14. Mariana

    November 28, 2007 at 11:44 pm

    Ron – Yeah, I have no idea anymore.

  15. April Groves

    November 29, 2007 at 3:49 am

    OMG! This is getting printed out and posted at the office!

  16. Maggie Dokic

    November 29, 2007 at 5:30 am

    Mariana, this has got to be my favorite piece of yours and you have some excellent ones! Bravo.

  17. Missy Caulk

    November 29, 2007 at 6:35 am

    How about you have a hissy fit when AR is down for maintenance EST.

  18. Jeremy Hart

    November 29, 2007 at 6:58 am

    Absolutely brilliant! Kept nodding my head … “yep, yep” … as the caffeine IV went “drip, drip”.

  19. Mariana

    November 29, 2007 at 8:44 am

    April – Nice! I can imagine that it will be funny to some people and some will just “not get it…”

    Maggie – Thank you!

    Missy – #24A: You yell at your computer when AR is down for 45 minutes, forcing you to keep hitting the refresh button until your index finger goes numb…

    Jeremy – Thanks! Coffee … Mmmm …

  20. joe peffer

    November 29, 2007 at 10:40 am

    Uncanny, have you been following me around with a video camera all year? Nice Post Mariana

  21. Jennifer Klaussen

    November 29, 2007 at 12:55 pm

    Mariana – you crack me up!!! Thanks for the chuckle! Jennifer

  22. Mariana

    November 29, 2007 at 5:47 pm

    Joe – Yes. Yes I was.
    Jennifer – Thanks!

  23. Paula

    November 29, 2007 at 8:50 pm

    then you wake up and want to do it all over again…..is that a sickness or a career?

  24. Dena Stevens

    November 29, 2007 at 9:53 pm

    I don’t care what you say #36 is just functional!

  25. Robert D. Ashby

    November 30, 2007 at 6:34 am

    Great job. I think we need to do a mortgage version.

    (#36)I like napkins as business cards sometimes (more space to write on). Besides, I did it a few times, everyone asked why I did it that way (conversation starter), and I got several calls months later from people who never threw them away because I got there attention and wrote something pertinent to their business on them. I must admit that I loved seeing the looks on peoples faces when I did it too.

  26. Mariana

    November 30, 2007 at 9:23 am

    Paula – Um. Uh. Yeah. Both.

    Dena – Hello! Exactly …

    Robert – Well, I guess the challenge is on! Although I am sure that we share many of the same facets … other than the whole If-I-lie-on-my-loan-app-no-one-will-ever-know bit …

    (We worked with a guy who had his dog reposessed …TWICE! Bad borrower. No loan for you!)

  27. Joeann Fossland

    December 2, 2007 at 2:13 pm

    Love it! This would be a good primer for an agent thinking about whether they want real estate as a career!

  28. Mariana

    December 2, 2007 at 3:06 pm

    Thanks Joeann. After reading this I bet we would see a large influx of “Ah, never mind”‘s in RE School…

  29. Brian Wilson

    December 3, 2007 at 12:36 pm

    This is great, Mariana! Good luck on the Odysseus!

    Brian Wilson, Zolve.com

  30. Mariana

    December 3, 2007 at 3:21 pm

    Hi Brian – Thanks. April just wrote about your Zolve Project. Once I figure out how many communities I already belong to, I may look into it … 😉 Until then, Good Luck!

  31. walidm

    December 10, 2007 at 1:00 pm

    Funny, 24 & 25 had me laughing out loud….and the picture of the pile of paper – Classic.
    Good stuff 🙂

    walidm
    http://www.walidmRealtor.com

  32. Mariana

    December 10, 2007 at 5:17 pm

    Thanks!

  33. Ginger Wilcox

    January 29, 2008 at 6:18 pm

    LMAO. Check, check, check! I am a 3rd gen agent. Definitely been there. Absolutely classic. Give this to anyone thinking of getting into the biz!

  34. Mariana

    January 29, 2008 at 7:55 pm

    Hi Ginger! I work with a lot of new agents and this is now one of my standard hand outs … LOL!

  35. Molly Hadley

    February 6, 2008 at 1:36 pm

    I’m home-unemployed having given up my license to be a full time nanny for my grandchildren-your list reminds me why I so miss real estate -#36 full gloss, turquoise, and techy rainbow stripes on front with a pure white matte finish on back for the builder in his truck/buyer/postman/phone number/gate code/street address/listing agent phone number/lockbox code/parcel id #/brother in laws out of town address/mother’s maiden name/blackberry techsupport number.

  36. Mariana

    February 14, 2008 at 7:04 pm

    LOL @ Molly! So true!

  37. Jennifer Hart

    March 20, 2008 at 3:05 pm

    You just made my day! I hope you don’t mind that I am going to print this and have it handy for those much needed moments of laughter. This is a crazy career and no one understands unless they are in the biz.

    Love your sense of humor!

  38. Jeannette

    April 1, 2008 at 6:18 pm

    I am LMAO right now. How true so many if not all that is!!

  39. Mariana

    April 2, 2008 at 7:17 pm

    Jennifer – Thanks! Laughter is so important – especially in our business.

    Jeannette – Thank you! 🙂

  40. Marc Rasmussen

    April 25, 2008 at 1:45 pm

    LMAO….I love this post!! So true.

  41. Sue

    April 25, 2008 at 3:12 pm

    I am printing this out as well!! This is so funny and so true. I actually just had business cards printed with something on the back and I DO miss being able to jot down on note on them.

  42. Judy

    May 11, 2008 at 7:20 am

    One of my agents just sent this to me – I haven’t laughed so hard in so long!!!! Thank you!!

  43. Mariana

    May 14, 2008 at 8:08 am

    Marc, Sue and Judy – Thanks!

  44. Robin

    May 23, 2008 at 2:36 pm

    Mariana, someone emailed this to me and would not tell me about it. They just told me it was a must read. He was right. Where did you come up with this? Brilliant!

  45. Vickie Nagy

    May 23, 2008 at 4:33 pm

    Just too precious! Thanks for taking the time to let your creative genious flow!

  46. Rob Graham

    May 23, 2008 at 4:57 pm

    You had me at alcoholic, you had me at alcoholic. (sniff)

  47. Mott Kornicki

    May 23, 2008 at 5:04 pm

    I think I’ll have another Rum & Coke!

    It’s all true.

  48. Frank Bailey

    May 23, 2008 at 5:50 pm

    Very good, and very true!!

  49. Maria

    May 23, 2008 at 6:22 pm

    I am a new agent, and you are scaaaring me! But this is truly funny. I am up for the challenge? I dont know, but I do love Mojitos 🙂

  50. Mariana

    May 23, 2008 at 10:02 pm

    Robin – Thank you. This is my life … There HAS to be humor in it. I just put it in list form.

    Vickie – Thank you. I had fun putting it together, but I could very easily add to it every day…

    Rob – LOL! No tears, though …

    Matt – Make mine a diet!

    Frank – Oh yes … Very true.

    Maria – I didn’t mean to scare you! Mojitos … Mmmmm …

  51. Susan

    May 23, 2008 at 10:20 pm

    It is humorous actually when you put it on paper and very true. I had no idea at first as it takes a while to have the opportunity to enjoy all these experiences. And yes, a drink now and again and again provides a bit of relief. 🙂

  52. Holly White

    June 12, 2008 at 1:52 pm

    I almost pee’d my pants! My team and I were together when we read this. Big laughs! Every single line applied to us, and sometimes on multiple occasions. The line where the investor lived in an apartment was hysterical! Big T for Trash! 🙂

    And I’m like Norm from Cheers when it comes to Starbucks!

    Great writing Mariana! You should do stand up if the real estate thing falls through!!

  53. Mariana Wagner

    June 13, 2008 at 6:51 pm

    Susan – The longer I am in the business … the more I can add to this list!

    Holly – No stand up for me .. but thanks!!

  54. Susan

    June 13, 2008 at 7:35 pm

    Mariana, how about this one for your list…

    Your boyfriend of 7 years (Ivy League graduate) walks into a sales office for new construction without you, doesn’t even mention you and puts in an offer on a $1M townhome, then says he didn’t realize…..

  55. Mariana Wagner

    June 22, 2008 at 6:38 pm

    Susan – oh … no … ouch.

  56. Susan

    June 24, 2008 at 9:03 pm

    Yes, it was a big ouch for him!! I think I was in the state of shock at first. Classic example of how someone can be very smart in one way and…well…not as much in another. He cancelled the deal 😉 thank goodness, but it was close. It was in attorney review.

  57. Mariana Wagner

    July 13, 2008 at 4:05 pm

    Funny- I have recently had this post sent to me, telling me to read it, because it was so funny. LOL!!

  58. Sue

    July 14, 2008 at 11:30 am

    Thats funny, and quite a compliment. I bet whoever sent was surprised to hear that you WROTE IT!!! It is priceless, even when revisited a second an third time.

  59. Justin in Kauai

    July 22, 2008 at 3:18 pm

    Absolutely hilarious!

  60. Proxy

    July 26, 2008 at 11:24 pm

    Very funny, number 14 has to be my favorite! 🙂

  61. Nicole Boynton

    July 29, 2008 at 9:30 am

    My best one is when you sell a house in 2 days with multiple offers and a week before closing it burns down…True!

  62. Mariana Wagner

    July 29, 2008 at 9:44 am

    Justin – Thanks!

    Proxy – #14 is a definitely a winner.

  63. Mariana Wagner

    July 29, 2008 at 9:45 am

    Nicole – Oh no… I can’t even imagine how lovely THAT transaction was. Hope no one was hurt!

  64. Suzanne Gantner

    July 29, 2008 at 2:29 pm

    You have made my year, that is the truest depiction of my life I have ever seen. That is hilarious!! I showed a home today with a lady asleep in one of the bedrooms when we walked in, that was a first for me, especially since the home was supposed to be vacant… Loved it!!

  65. Sue

    July 30, 2008 at 9:52 pm

    I was showing a place and…lets just say, it needed “alot” of work. My client and I were discussing this very candidly while in the home. As we were standing in the living room, I went to put my hand on the end of the couch and found myself holding a foot! Turns out there was a person sleeping on the couch completely covered by a blanket. My eyes just got big as I looked at my client and quickly pulled my hand back. He got it right away. I didn’t even wake the sleeping seller…. 🙂

  66. Mariana Wagner

    July 31, 2008 at 1:28 pm

    Suzanne and Sue – The last time I was in a house that was supposed to be vacant or empty and I accidentally stumbled upon a sleeping person, I screamed. They woke up and yelled at us for being in their house … later to find out that it wasn’t even their house.

  67. Chrissy Moock

    August 3, 2008 at 1:54 pm

    This is hilarious! But yet, a few true points- that is the scarey part!

  68. Linsey Planeta

    August 3, 2008 at 2:08 pm

    Thanks for some needed comic relief. I loved it!!!

  69. Sheila Bragg

    August 3, 2008 at 3:18 pm

    I love it! I’m sharing with everybody I know. 🙂

  70. Sue

    August 5, 2008 at 10:45 pm

    This could go on for who knows how long, I mean with each week that passes by we have new and exciting stories to share…..maybe it’ll become a book.

  71. Mariana Wagner

    August 13, 2008 at 5:13 pm

    Chrissy – For me it is ALL too true…

    Linsey- Thanks!

    Sheila – Cool!

    Sue – a book? … hmmmm … interesting.

  72. Mariana Wagner

    August 22, 2008 at 9:24 pm

    I must amend #2… Thanks to @ines

    Your monthly cell phone bill arrives in a BOX, delivered by UPS… LOL!

  73. Ruthie V

    August 28, 2008 at 9:46 am

    Mariana,
    This is GREAT! Found it by mistake and LOVE it (so do the other agents in the class we are in right now!)
    Hope you’re having a great time at Mega Camp…

  74. Mariana

    August 31, 2008 at 8:45 pm

    Ruth! Nice to see you here … You should check back here more often. Agent Genius is PACKED full of great articles.

  75. Chrissy Moock

    September 23, 2008 at 1:06 pm

    I had to come back and visit this…. I think everything on the list applies to my day today 🙂

  76. Lesley

    September 26, 2008 at 12:40 pm

    Do you FOLLOW me? This was my life on parade, loved it!

  77. Gordon Baker

    September 27, 2008 at 6:03 pm

    The reason this is so funny is because it is so true!

  78. Mariana Wagner

    September 27, 2008 at 7:07 pm

    Chrissy – SO much applies to my life EVERY day.

  79. Mariana Wagner

    September 27, 2008 at 7:08 pm

    Lesley – LOL. no …

    Gordon – I swear! All of it is so true!

  80. Tina Merritt

    October 6, 2008 at 5:48 am

    I am lughing so hard rioght now I can barely type (see???). Thank you!!!

  81. Colorado Real Estate by Kathy Torline

    October 17, 2008 at 4:07 pm

    #86 — definitely made me chuckle. Maybe every new agent should read this before they get in the business.

  82. Mark Brian

    February 3, 2009 at 1:32 pm

    Really worried about #38 since she has already said she would never get into real estate!

  83. Matt Stigliano

    February 3, 2009 at 2:24 pm

    You know you’re a real estate agent if…

    …you rushed over here to read this because @LaniAR mentioned it on Twitter and you just had to know what it said (I actually remember reading this one).

  84. Lani Rosales

    February 3, 2009 at 2:41 pm

    @rerockstar lol, Matt! That’s awesome. I’m ready for Mariana to do a 2009 version!

  85. Dan O'Halloran

    February 3, 2009 at 2:54 pm

    freaking hilarious and so so true! @LaniAR thanks for tweeting this…will be sending it to my whole office

  86. Mariana Wagner

    February 3, 2009 at 7:08 pm

    LANI! My ears were ringing … Did you tweet this? LOL! 2009 version … Hmmm…

  87. MIssy Caulk

    October 26, 2009 at 10:15 pm

    You too? 🙂

  88. Calgary Real Estate by Chris

    October 29, 2009 at 3:28 am

    Hilarious, and unfortunately… true.

  89. Jim Lambert

    October 30, 2009 at 1:28 pm

    Why did you leave out the other 60 reasons? I would comment more but I have to go get a drink.

  90. Donna Clayton Lloyd

    November 15, 2009 at 10:31 am

    Here in Fayetteville/FT. Bragg NC— this is the life of a REALTOR in perfect detail — with more details to come. I am glad we can laugh and also very grateful for all the benefits this crazy life yields. Thanks for this one. It’s going in my FAVORITES box!

  91. Grant in Nashville

    February 11, 2010 at 10:10 am

    Your cell phone battery has to be replaced every 6 months!

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Tired of “link in bio”? Here is a solution for Instagram linking

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If you have a big team (or manage multiple pages), I would suggest going premium just for the sheer quantity of domains you can customize and link, though there are various other reasons I’d also suggest to do so. Take a look and see what works for you!

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Use the ‘Blemish Effect’ to skyrocket your sales

(MARKETING) The Blemish Effect dictates that small, adjacent flaws in a product can make it that much more interesting—is perfection out?

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blemish effect

Presenting a product or service in its most immaculate, polished state has been the strategy for virtually all organizations, and overselling items with known flaws is a practice as old as time. According to marketing researchers, however, this approach may not be the only way to achieve optimal results due to something known as the “Blemish Effect.”

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This concept also applies to expectation management. Absent an obvious blemish, it can be all to easy for consumers to envision your product or service on an unattainable level.

When they’re invariably disappointed that their unrealistic expectations weren’t fulfilled, your reputation might take a hit, or consumers might lose interest after the initial wave.

The takeaway is that consumers trust transparency, so in describing your offering, tossing in a negative boosts the perception that you’re being honest and transparent, so a graphic artist could note that while their skills are superior and their pricing reasonable, they take their time with intricate projects. The time expectation is a potentially negative aspect of their service, but expressing anything negative improves sales as it builds trust.

It should be noted that the Blemish Effect applies to minor impairments in cosmetic or adjacent qualities, not in the product or service itself. Delivering an item which is inherently flawed won’t make anyone happy.

In an age where less truly is more, the Blemish Effect stands to dictate a new wave of honesty in marketing.

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Business Marketing

Google Chrome will no longer allow premium extensions

(MARKETING) In banning extension payments through their own platform, Google addresses a compelling, if self-created, issue on Chrome.

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Google Chrome open on a laptop on a organized desk.

Google has cracked down on various practices over the past couple of years, but their most recent target—the Google Chrome extensions store—has a few folks scratching their heads.
Over the span of the next few months, Google will phase out paid extensions completely, thus ending a bizarre and relatively negligible corner of internet economy.

This decision comes on the heels of a “temporary” ban on the publication of new premium extensions back in March. According to Engadget, all aspects of paid extension use—including free trials and in-app purchases—will be gone come February 2021.

To be clear, Google’s decision won’t prohibit extension developers from charging customers to use their products; instead, extension developers will be required to find alternative methods of requesting payment. We’ve seen this model work on a donation basis with extensions like AdBlock. But shifting to something similar on a comprehensive scale will be something else entirely.

Interestingly, Google’s angle appears to be in increasing user safety. The Verge reports that their initial suspension of paid extensions was put into place as a response to products that included “fraudulent transactions”, and Google’s subsequent responses since then have comprised more user-facing actions such as removing extensions published by different parties that accomplish replica tasks.

Review manipulation, use of hefty notifications as a part of an extension’s operation, and generally spammy techniques were also eyeballed by Google as problem points in their ongoing suspension leading up to the ban.

In banning extension payments through their own platform, Google addresses a compelling, if self-created, issue. The extension store was a relatively free market in a sense—something that, given the number of parameters being enforced as of now, is less true for the time being.

Similarly, one can only wonder about which avenues vendors will choose when seeking payment for their services in the future. It’s entirely possible that, after Google Chrome shuts down payments in February, the paid section of the extension market will crumble into oblivion, the side effects of which we can’t necessarily picture.

For now, it’s probably best to hold off on buying any premium extensions; after all, there’s at least a fighting chance that they’ll all be free come February—if we make it that far.

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