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John Beck's Free & Clear Real Estate System

You may make money! Here is what money looks like!

What It Is: An entrepreneurship system based on buying and selling properties that municipalities repossess and auction at low prices.

Description: Books, videos, and Web resources that guide you to tax-defaulted properties up for auction; you buy the properties cheap and rent or sell at a profit.

Cost: $39.95

Quote: "This is literally the only way that you can buy real estate for pennies on the dollar."

beck.jpgShills: Hosts Derby Rosenthal and Jeff Mirasola get things started in a faux-news/talk-show format, looking sleep-deprived and a tad sleazy, then John Beck himself joins, looking older and wilier, but otherwise about on their genetic level.

Set and Costumes: A shoddy approximation of local news desk; unremarkable business attire.

Gimmick: Continual examples of properties, the prices they went for at auction, and the prices they were re-sold for. Auction prices dip into the $400 range. The photos of the properties are no more helpful than those in your local real-estate listings- is that paint flaking? Is it a shitbox or a cute little cottage?

Mark of Authenticity: The random-ass real-estate mini-tycoons are people that no self-respecting telehuckster would willingly cast as fake success stories. One has a horrifying mountain-goat beard, and many clumsily repeat themselves or make promises that seem risky even in an infomercial context.

Tone: John's and his host's explanations are strained and deliberate, as is their "banter." The apparent catchphrase? "I know it sounds too good to be true, but it is true." There's very little to break up the tedium of these people discussing real estate. It's like watching your over-excited pals read the Homes section while trying to explain it to a baby. One montage even shows a couple happily counting through a stack of bills, in case interested parties have forgotten what cash looks like.

Subtle Appeals to the Desperate: "This tax-sale home was purchased by a single woman." Also, one success story dude says he's an immigrant from Kenya.

Evaluation: This spot seems designed to hypnotize the mentally feeble by explaining things at a level that's remedial even for an infomercial. A new leap into entrepreneurship should fill the infomercial viewer with mindless optimism, yet Beck and friends don't really even bother to hide that the atmosphere and company in this racket are about as nifty as, say, a party at the rent-a-car office (I'll bring the Sierra Mist!). Also, how much can you really tempt people with the success stories of rubes who could very well be their nightmare landlords?

Rating: 0.5

- Scott Gordon


Posted on March 13, 2007

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