Upselling – Shoemoney ?s Ep. 8

by Jeremy Schoemaker on November 17, 2010 · 137 comments

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About the author...

– who has written 2895 posts on

Jeremy "ShoeMoney" Schoemaker is the founder & CEO of the ShoeMoney Blog, Elite Retreat Internet Conference, & the PAR Program. In 2013 Jeremy released his #1 Amazon Best selling Autobiography titled "Nothing's Changed But My Change" - The ShoeMoney Story. Jeremy currently lives in Lincoln Nebraska with his wife and 2 daughters.

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1 tees

I read somewhere that the best time to go for the upsale is right at the shopping cart (or I guess at the counter in a brick and mortar) when they have their credit card out and are still under the buying trance so to speak. I haven’t read any studies on it, but it seems to make sense to me.

2 Nikki Stewart

From what I’ve experienced with upsells, I think they’re usually offered after the original purchase is done. I paid for an upholstery protection when I bought my car after the dealer offered it to me. But I only did so because I figured it was worth the investment.

3 BigMoneyBrooklyn

Selling a basic product, in your case, a stock car, and tell people that for a little more money they can receive the deluxe version instead. Throw in a comfier upholstery, charge a few more bucks and you’re definitely good to go as an upseller.

4 David R

The bottom line is you should upsell as long as it makes sense. Some so-called marketers abuse the term and end up making a fool of themselves.

5 Benito Salvatore

Sometimes the offers are just over the top. You just can’t deny the fact that there are marketers out there selling — dare I say it? — bullshit. (Pardon my French, Shoe. Just thinking aloud.)

6 Alan Alan

Now I understand why store cashiers never fail to suggest something else they think I should buy.

7 AnnieP78

I’m an impulse buyer so I usually end up buying stuff I see in stores’ cashier counters. I’m not sure if that’s upselling but it sure’s an effective way to get people like me to guy buy more.

8 Lola Dee

I remember buying my first car — a still lovable Mercury — at Nick’s Car Lot way back in ’86. Once I paid him $2000 for his troubles, he immediately went into a speech about “installing a safety device that will definitely make every ride more tolerable” for $150. The safety device he was talking about? A crappy Kenwood sound system. :(

9 Fiona Wong

Most people aren’t fans of upsales since it either involves old, defective merchandise or something so novel it’s useless. What’s your two cents’ worth on this, Shoe?

10 Yogesh Sarkar

No wonder Godaddy is sponsoring this video, they upsell like crazy!

11 BigMoneyBrooklyn

Haha! Where’s the LIKE button when you need one? :D

12 Chris Green

It’s called maximized hosting. Enough said. Time for a beer!

13 Manisha Sithembile

Honestly, this post just made me realize that I have been wasting enough cash on add-ons…

14 Feeding Frenzy

Me too. :( I really should learn how to say no.

15 Hans Anders

I’m confident to say that this is a definite candidate to the post of the year award. Oh, I’ve also learned about the subject that if you’re selling a range of related products you could offer your customers a package deal. Tell them the products are much cheaper when they are all purchased in a single package as opposed to purchasing each product separately.

16 3ddi3

supersize me = another way to upsell

17 California Dreamin

I’ve come across an article in the web that specifically describes upselling as the action when you help a customer decide to buy a little extra or “upgrade” the final purchase up a notch. A car dealer, for example, might inform customers at the time of ordering about upholstery protection and undercoating. A shoe salesperson might suggest that when you buy a pair of shoes that you also use some weather-endurance spray. You know what kind of upselling is needed here in Florida? Some awesome deal with the current ice cream situation!

18 Go Harry Go

What I hate about upsales is when the salesperson comes across as being pushy. How can you avoid this? Being assumptive is the key. You’ve got to assume that the customer will naturally want your product or service. Begin the upsell with a brief benefit, and then if possible, add something unique about what you’re selling. To avoid sounding pushy, particularly if the upsell requires some elaboration, ask for the customer’s permission to describe it.

19 GQmeansGeek

That’s a better approach. Makes me wonder why a lot of sales people I’ve had dealings with didn’t seem to know that.

20 James Is (Not Working)

The best part of upselling is that it’s practically effortless. Since it’s done after the customer has decided to go ahead with a major purchase, the hard part of the sales conversation has already been done. You’ve already established rapport, identified needs, summarized, presented benefits, asked for the order and handled objections. It basically is presenting the information in a “by-the-way” assumptive manner.

21 floresparati

Assumptive yet planned. First rule of thumb in web business: don’t ever presume your customers are open for more offers until you know they’re going to take the bait. Just like fishing for rainbow trout here in San Jose.

22 Jim Petersen

Would you like to upsize for an extra xx amount?

23 Black Seo Guy

I upsell on my niche sites…its always good to get those back end sales..

“Black Seo Guy “Signing Off”

24 Bizatch

Upselling is a lot like making love to a midget…

If you know what you’re doing..

25 ExclaimedIdeas

The overall idea here is to get more money out of the first sale of each and every customer — not pick on vertically-challenged people. Ain’t that right, Shoe?

26 Dandundun

Benefits, benefits, benefits. Keep them rolling for your customer and you’re definitely good to go in your upsales career. What do you think, Shoe?

27 Jason S.

If you had information or a product that could help people improve the quality of their life, wouldn’t you actually be doing a disservice to them to not offer it. You would actually be withholding valuable information from them. Is this the type of person you would want to associate with when you’re shopping?

28 Guy Cleveland

Unless that information can be considered very useless then you should be responsible as a marketer to withhold it from your patrons.

29 joonlee97

That’s what makes upselling a challenge. You should know what info to release and to hide. Make it feel more like a game to the customer. And you know when people are hooked to a game — they play more and more often!

30 Cristina Dy

I learned from a Jeff Mowatt e-book that if you and your employees aren’t trained on effective ways to upsell, chances are you either offend customers by being too pushy, or leave money on the table that customers would have willingly spent with you. Either option is costly, mind you, and can also affect future business deals.

31 Ara600_m1

It’s better to be on the defensive rather than on the offensive when you’re upselling. Once you discover your customer’s chink in the armor, don’t think twice about throwing in a suitable feature or benefit to seal the deal.

32 1970's Cartoon Trivia

Was just at J.C.penny ,at clerks request I opened a store credit card to save myself $175.
Upsell all the way

33 Hollaback Will

I’ve read once that smart web marketers use sales incentives. Once you’ve received the first sale, offer a discount on the second item. Give the customer a 10% discount off their first teleclass. Sometimes a very small price break is enough to get that extra sale. Just like you explained in the 2 minute mark, Jeremy.

34 TomYoon

In addition to offering incentives, pointing out the benefits can also help convince a customer to add more onto their original order. The more creative and innovative you can pull this off, the more extra sales you will be making.

35 WanderingMommy

Oddly, I remembered the time when my husband and I bought a box of Mike’s Hard Lemonade and eventually got soused on it since we did not want our kids to get their hands on it. Good times, good times.

36 Guy Cleveland

Identify buying patterns. I believe this is the first key to upsell success.

37 Zac Johnson

Sweet shirt in the video ;)

38 Andrew Says So

I couldn’t read the lower part of the print. The design looks similar to the one he got for Free Friday Shirt last week.


I think a lot of people that try to upsell things just come across like bums begging for change.

The insurance/warranty vultures are the worst, to me at least. One time I couldn’t even get out of the store with a laptop purchase until I told the flunkie, “If you say the word ‘warranty’ one more time, I’m not buying this–or anything else from this store again.” Since then, my first response has been “No thanks. I’m not an idiot,” to let them know the conversation will go downhill if they want to push it. ;)

And when it comes to shopping carts, the customer shouldn’t have to opt out of shit, or say “No Thanks” to anything he didn’t want to buy in the first place. Put it where it’s visible and easy to add… and leave it at that, without turning a 30 second process into 5 minutes of checking or unchecking boxes.

In other words, it should be like the candy/misc item displays at a cash register for the impulse buyers… not like an employee following you around the store and throwing crap in your cart while you’re not looking, hoping you won’t notice.

40 Norman Nevelle

Upselling’s okay as long as it’s not being too pushy.

41 Bowie

Some stores do it just to move unwanted inventory. It’s usually the customers who end up with useless or defective products.

42 TheSandMan5050

Customers aren’t stupid. Selling them defective products is one of the surest ways of losing them.

43 Raul Lago

Maybe there’s an existing stigma about people getting conned for an extra buck or two for useless crap? I’ve never been victimized by such a scheme but at least this post has provided me with a no-nonsense heads up. Thanks, buddy.

44 Ara600_m1

Is this video post a preview for this week’s Shirt Fridays? sure made a very special appearance. :)

45 Hollaback Will

What’s that beverage lying around in the corner? I have a funny feeling it’s going to appear in this week’s Marketplace post, too.

46 Husher50

It’s Verve. An “insanely healthy” energy drink. They’re probably one of the sponsors.

47 Farzad H.

Thanks. I’ve been wondering what that thing is ever since the beginning of the video. I thought it was a new variety of Four Loko though. LMAO

48 Vince

It’s sugar-free. I tried it a few times. Nice fruity taste.

49 Creative Marketer

My favorite upsell tactic? You could offer a free sample or trial of your product (your first sale would be free) and then tell people that if they order the full version right away, or within a specified time limit, they will get a discount.

50 Fridtjof Salomon

Somehow I remember the encyclopedia salesmen always knocking at our door when I was a child. Here’s a few more words to expound on the subject: There are many things you could charge extra for at the point of sale. It could be gift wrapping, imprinting, customized designs, product cleaners (if you are selling shoes or furniture for example) and so on.

51 sasha_482

I always fall for that one. It’s hard for me to resist the offer especially if the product’s good.

52 WhoisDoyle

I agree that there’s no reason to fear upselling products. It’s not as if you’re going to lose the sales you’ve already made. Besides, the customer might actually need whatever it is you’r offering.

53 Dmitrii Anastas

Touché. This is probably one of the best comments in the thread here. :)

54 Austin

One of the reasons why people don’t upsell is because of the assumption that the customers wouldn’t want it or couldn’t afford it.

55 Brian Siu

If you don’t ask, you don’t get.

56 enajyram00

Restaurant servers are among the best in upselling. Those who are really good at their job would make you think that the dish or beverage they’re offering is what you wanted in the first place.

57 spameater

Up-selling’s a skill not many people have. I’ve often seen some marketers push products or services without even bothering to understand customers’ mindset.

58 Yes2Freebies

The prospect of incentives make some sales staff more pushy. I’ve encountered a lot of those and they usually drive me crazy with their upselling techniques.

59 WhoSaysWhat01

Pushy sales people take the fun out of shopping.

60 AurorMine

Upselling’s good but it can drive customers away if not used properly.

61 New Bee

I don’t think I have the skills for soft selling.

62 AnnieLouJ12860

The best sales prospect is a prospect that’s already converted, i.e. your customers. Enticing them buy again is often an effective way to increase revenues.

63 E. Langdon

I completely agree. Nonetheless, it also raises the bar for customer service. Fail at keeping customers engaged and then you’re stint at upsales ends there…

64 Get That Ball

Good point. Customers’ receptiveness would depend on their experiences in dealing with your business. Give them good service and they’d probably buy again.

65 thoushallpass

That’s why we need a follow-up post from Shoe on this one to get things right when we apply basic upselling strategies. (By the way, got any updates on the Humongo Nation tour next year?)

66 RedBlack88

It’s a great way to build on existing relationships. Getting to know customers, especially the regular ones, make it easier for you or your sales staff to understand their needs.

67 The American Dream

Upselling is an important business concept as it requires sales people to not be order takers, but instead be active sellers and creative movers in the web marketing playing field. Thanks for the superb video post, Shoe :)

68 NicMoon

I like the term “productive order generators” better, Shoe. Besides giving an automatic call to action, it implies a cooler strategy, too. Lame names automatically repels customers. Isn’t that right, buddy?

69 casketsalesman

that was enlightening, but as a small timer, it’s hard to imagine it working out as planned

70 twitteraddict05

3 minutes of epic Shoemoney coolness. Definitely re-tweeting this!

71 F2Xsites

I noticed that the ShoeMoney ?s episodes are getting better each week. I’m already looking forward to the next one.

72 Gabby Dell from SC

You bet! This is one of the best (and shortest) I’ve ever stumbled upon in the Shoemoney Blog. From now on, I’ll be more conscious with the upselling tactics applied on me, Jeremy. Best wishes from Oregon!

73 georgeblanco

I just love when sales people ask me to upgrade this or supersize that. Makes me feel so much special. :D

74 MVZP_01

Nice video! By the way, what’s the latest on the Affiliate Summit freebies? I remember you mentioned giving away a free pass and hotel accommodation for the conference. Any update on that?

75 Sanjay

I enjoyed watching this video and reading some of the insightful comments the other readers posted here.

76 The American Dream

What makes this video post really enjoyable is its no-nonsense way of presenting what upselling really is. No fuss, no frills, just pure Shoemoney, baby!

77 Runs With Scissors

Is it just me or does anybody else think that this is the shortest Shoemoney video post ever? LOL

78 ILoveMemes

I’m a ShoeMoney ?s fun. Even more so now that they’ve started choosing more relevant questions.

79 Mark Mead

You meant “fan”, right?

80 Baseer Hannan

Maybe he or she was saying how fun it is to be a Shoemoney fan. :)

81 PokeYerFace

Nice one! LOL

82 smstudent

shorter and better than some of the previous eps.

83 internetFTW

It’s important to take into consideration the needs of the customers. Up-selling that fail are those that try to push products or services that don’t add value to the customers.

84 Nicole Burns

Anthony Ulwick’s What Customers Want is a good read if you’re a marketer trying to understand customers’ mindset better.

85 melg

Sounds interesting. I hope I could find a copy soon.

86 socialanim00

I find upselling as a great way to learn more about products or services. I’ve stumbled upon a few useful stuff because of it.

87 John Dillon

Well said. Bottom line, it’s still the customers’ decision if they’ll get whatever’s offered to them or not. Upselling’s merely an attempt to promote the other stuff you have and perhaps make a few more sales out of them.

88 Big Al

This is definitely a skill for web marketers who have a lot of notches on their belts. Although newbies can apply them in the online business initiatives, it is better to learn from the pros first. Right, Shoe? Kudos for the superb post!

89 Bryan Jake T

Many businesses hesitate to upsell because they’re worried that it would irritate customers. My experience with upselling is that customers usually appreciate suggestions especially if they realize the potential benefits of the related products or services being offered.

90 WhateverWorks

Upselling is simply offering a suggestion to an already receptive buyer to enhance the value of his or her purchase.

91 AL0101

It’s still up to the customer if he/she will buy add-ons or other related products.

92 Fields of Clover

It pays to provide training for your employees who’d be doing the upselling for you. They need to be more knowledgeable about your product offerings to be able to convince your customers to invest on add-ons.

93 moolahmachine

Buying ABC today? Get XYZ at a huge discount!

94 KrisM77

A Starbucks cashier’s words come to mind – “Would you like one of our homemade chocolate chip cookies to go with that?” :)

95 newmediaist12

One you don’t want to do is to treat customers like a wallet. Not a smart move if you wish to establish a good relationship with them.

96 Almira Keefe

Found this gem at Thinking about upselling? Offer a related company’s product as an option. This is a good strategy if you sell affiliate products alongside your own products. Offer a discount on the joint purchase as a way to introduce customers to your affiliate products. (Make sure your affiliate commission is bigger than the discount you offer, though!)

97 Willow

Is that what they call cross-selling? I often confuse it with up-selling. What’s the difference?

98 Susan Armand

That’s a good one. Thanks for the tip!

99 Ethan

I’m interested to learn more about upselling. Can you suggest some good resources on this topic?

100 B.Logan

Great to hear your take on this, Jeremy! I’m beginning to realize the value of upselling. Hopefully, I’d be able to leverage on it to increase our sales.

101 veronica_sm

This is a very interesting topic. Can you share a few more tips, Jeremy? Thanks!

102 Kevin

I’m definitely pro upselling. It’s a must to maximize profits.

103 PattyT12

Nonetheless, do it wrong and you’ll be saying goodbye to customers in a snap. Hope you have a follow-up post on the basics of upselling, Shoe.

104 Jack

Search Engines cant read Videos…

make your blog posts in text

105 Pete Carr

Offline businesses have been offering upsells forever. Every store you go to has products by the counter or on it, this is a basic upsell, you wouldn’t normally buy, but you think what the hell, i’ll have one of those.
Online should be no different, when they get to the counter offer them something related.
Money for you.


106 Tammyexperiments

Web business is the future. Upsale strategies will become more and more competitive and if you don’t keep up with the leaders of the scene then you’ll be left biting the dust. Hmmm…that sounds like a cool tagline for a new upselling initiative I’m whipping up.

107 Jona712

Up-selling’s good if the customers are better met.

108 SmallBiz Sue

Up-selling’s not about pushing customers to do anything. You merely ask or suggest if they’d like to add something to their purchases. The final decision is still theirs. You’re just there to point them to some products that they might find useful.

109 Rylan Howie

Offer products at discounted rates and chances are your customers would be more open to your recommendations.

110 WilmaP

Any advice on how to apply upselling techniques a freelance writing business?

111 Marnie Sho

I guess the best upselling gig I’ve ever come across is Taco Bell’s full shuffle. Mmmmm….tacos!

112 medomoc

I saw an ad a couple of weeks ago that got me placing an order online. They made a few attempts sell me something else before I could even hit the submit button. I bought one of the products they’re offering discount rates. I got a good deal and they made an additional sale. Win-win.

113 Putitoutthere

Good for you. I’d probably just ignore those pop-ups. I find those things annoying.

114 Rod S. Lee

I am so much enlightened after I viewed this post!

115 Richard Pascal

Salespeople shouldn’t recommend products just to make a sale. They should think about what’s best for their customers so they don’t inadvertently drive them away.

116 Roshaun Philips

I’ve never been a fan of upselling right from the start. I think it’s just a strategy to con me out of my hard-earned bucks.

117 FirenzeZ

One of your best episodes yet. I hope you can write a follow-up post. It’d be nice to learn a few more upselling techniques.

118 Laney Pitt

Got any upselling ideas when you’re selling pastries online? :)

119 Heinrich Sture

Got nothing smart to say. Just wanna remind Shoe to have a follow-up post on this sweet topic.

120 ExclaimedIdeas

From a customer’s perspective, upselling’s not always good. It translates to unnecessary expenses.

121 Screechy Rich

It depends how much you master the art of upselling. If your inept in the subject, better copy off the pros in the field first before venturing on your own.

122 Nicholas Oli

That’s why I am a staunch Shoemoney fan for three straight years.

123 nealcal

I agree. There are upsells everywhere. I can’t remember the last time I went to a restaurant or a sports store without anyone suggesting that I buy something else.

124 E. Langdon

Question of the day: why are people always complaining afterwards when they don’t get the additional benefits of a product (in this case, a restaurant entree) when they waved off the upsell opportunity in the first place?

125 Patrick R

It depends on how tempting the offer would be. Sometimes other upsell initiatives involve useless add-ons that completely makes the experience flat.

126 EllaineR

I offer free shipping if customers if total purchases meet or exceed a specified amount. Most times, they end up buying more to avail of the free shipment. I’m not sure if that qualifies as upselling.

127 Mark Dee

Here’s mine. Extended Upsell: If your product comes with a warranty, you could offer to extend the warranty one more year for only $30.

128 Robin Sterling

What makes upselling so interesting is the way new players are getting more and more creative in applying it. Care to expound more on this, Jeremy?

129 Gabby Dell from SC

The comment above somehow reminds me of my stint as a member of the UCLA running team way back in college. (Go Bruins!)

130 Kevin A

Here’s mine: Extended Upsell: If your product comes with a warranty, you could offer to extend the warranty one more year for only $30.

131 Melanie Johnson

Awesome strategy to increase sales.

132 Laney Pitt

In the hotel business, most establishments offer upgrades that are truly special. Whether it’s a free cocktail in the bar daily or a superb lunch in the hotel’s resto, you’re definitely going to garner a bigger customer population once you ace them all. Fix up something your customers will never forget and you’re a made man or woman.

133 H delacruz

If you know how to transform crap into flowery words, then you’ll be a great upseller. LOL

134 Tool

Looks like I’m perfect for the job. :D

135 Farzad H.

Gigantic Bonus Package Upsell: If you are selling software or information products via the Internet you can offer a huge bundle of extra products for a mouth-wateringly low price. Tell the customer that the special low price bundle will not be offered again if he declines the purchase today. My favorite variety…

136 Discount Pond Supplies

If you have something great to upsell, I would also recommend it. But don’t try and upsell something that is total crap to your customers…. you could potentially lose them all together.

137 mayline olidan

Thank you that interesting web-site, although i possibly could certainly not discover the rss feed

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