P.T. Barnum famously said there’s a sucker born every minute. I often think that  ratio needs to be revised. Judging by the number of incredible offers that cross my desk every day, it’s got to be closer to every twenty seconds by now. Most of these deals are too good to be possible. So either there is a huge market of gullible buyers out there, or there are a whole lot of sellers that are losing tons of money.

Some of it boils down to basic arithmetic. If you claim in your ad that you invested $150,000 in your special software, but you are willing to sell it for $37 and are limiting it to only 1,000 lucky people, then I’m either an idiot believing a total stranger is willing to lose over $100,000 to help another total stranger, or you’re a terrible business person.

This is not how Warren Buffet structures business deals.

Whatever it is that you’re selling, and we are all selling something, the offer has to be believable. Just as importantly, the story has to be believable. Those Nigerian scams have worked, but most people are savvy enough to know that nobody in some strange country will give them a few million for helping them launder money.

Sometimes, your offer can be too good to be true. The story behind it better make up the difference.