Hi crm212. I thought I should respond to your post because I have relevant information that will allow people to make a more informed decision about 123notary.com
I'm a notary from Connecticut, and I do as many loan signings as I can. I'm not affiliated with 123notary.com other than as an advertising customer.
Jeremy Belmont is the owner of the 123notary web site. He operates the web site as a for-profit business, so yes, he does make money by convincing notaries to advertise (purchase a "paid listing" as opposed to a "free listing") on his site. I feel he is up front about this.
He also offers notary education courses, and if you take one of his courses and pass the test at the end, you get a badge by your listing on his site. These courses are interesting and useful, but it is not required to take them to be listed on his site. I agree he can come across as arrogant on the phone.
I have had several conversations with Jeremy and his associate Carmen over the years. They call once or twice a year to request that I renew my paid listing and perhaps upgrade to a higher level listing. They like to engage notaries in conversation, quiz notaries about and dispense advice. I have found the quizzed challenging and the advice helpful.
The topic of other sites (notaryrotary and notarycafe) has come up during conversations with Jeremy and I have not heard him badmouth any other web sites. He even encourages his customers to reference the other sites in addition to his.
I have not heard of him every removing a notary from his web site - even those of us who just opt for the free listing.
All in all, I have found notary123.com to be a reputable business and I plan to continue to do business with them.
Malcolm Dickinson, d.b.a. Stamford Notary, www.stamfordnotary.com
P.S. The question about whether advertising on any particular web site is a good value ("Will paying $59 or $129 to this web site get me enough additional signing business that I will come out ahead over the next year?") is a good question that every notary must ask himself. Here is my experience, in case it is useful to others trying to decide how to advertise.
- For my first year, I chose the free listing on 123notary.com and a couple other sites, and got a few calls to do signings.
- For my second year, I splurged on the most expensive listing on 123notary.com and a couple other sites, and got a lot more calls.
- In my third and subsequent years, I scaled back to a medium ($50-80) level of listing on three sites, and got almost as many calls as when I was paying top dollar.