I would personally like to brand “BANS” or “Build a Niche Store” an Epic Failure, and here’s why…
First, I don’t want to scare anyone – to anyone reading this that doesn’t know what BANS is read Watch Me Build a BANS Niche Store from Scratch. Second, although I prefer to build sites with eBay auctions in Worpress, BANS is still a viable way to make money if you build up the site with content. You can still purchase BANS and build sites with it, the product itself isn’t dead or unavailable for purchase.
What is dead is BANS development. That’s right no more new features, no more new versions – NOTHING. Kind of kicks you in the ass when you purchased the product based on “lifetime free upgrades”. I mean, if eBay changes their API or a security hole is found, I’m sure they’ll fix that, but no new features for BANS at all.
The owners / founders of Build a Niche Store (Kelvin and Adam) IMHO are IDIOTS! Complete and utter MORONS to piss away an opportunity like this. They must be blind to not see the kind of marketing potential that is staring them directly in the face. In the first year Build a Niche Store was up I remember reading that more than 10,000 BANS stores had been published online. There were so many thin affiliate sites (with all auctions and no content) it actually came to the attention of google – who set it’s sites on BANS stores, making them a target for penalities and search engine removal – and basically the poster child for spam affiliate sites in general. DESPITE THIS, use of Build a Niche Store grew exponentially the second year.
Since it’s inception BANS has done little more than offer a way to create an instant online store featuring eBay auctions in any category, mixed with the ability to add pages of content. The problem is still if you add say 200 pages of golf club auctions, you start with no content – and it could take months to create as many content pages as auction pages. After a very long time of doing much of nothing Kelvin and Adam released an eBook: The #1 Way to Make Money Online, which is basically nothing more than an organized guide behind how to build and promote niche stores (by building lots of content pages and doing massive promotion). Kelvin and Adam were smart enough to realize that they could sell this eBook (which unlike a product requires no support) and market to their existing base of customers for an instant pile of cash. Why then, would they ignore their main cash cow that the had so much success with?
What they never did was expand on their own success by creating add-on modules to BANS, or at the very least creating an API for 3rd party developers to create products for it. They even could have created (or commissioned) a plugin to bring the BANS functionality into WordPress – one of the biggest markets for people trying to make money online (much bigger than BANS itself).
There are many other companies online selling products to add content to affiliate products in a script or in WordPress, like StoreStacker, DatafeedR, and WPRobot. They realize that you have to improve and add features to get more customers and remain a useful tool. Imagine what BANS could have been if it had support for YouTube, Flickr, Yahoo Answers, Article Directories, Amazon, Shopzilla, Chitika, Shopping.com, Commission Junction, ShareASale, LinkShare, Pepperjam (products), Neverblue, and other programs? That’s the kind of swiss army affiliate knife people want.
It’s as if Kelvin and Adam have no marketing skills whatsoever (despite their own success), and have no idea how to take their business to the next level at all. Let this be a lesson – don’t let this be you! Don’t piss away a huge glaring opportunity just staring you in the face. If you can’t take your business to the next level, at least be smart enough to partner with people who can.