Do MLM’s and Multi Level Marketing Business Work
Many of you are familiar with Multi Level Marketing business schemes known as a MLM’s. Also known as the pyramid. Yes they take all on types of shapes, moving down, up, sideways, but all have the same principle in mind. The chief way of making incoming is through recruiting. They are recruitment based business models focused on acquiring as many people as possible, in turn which do the same. So on and so forth. Yes they have learned and gotten better at how to cleverly disguise their true nature by wrapping it up in over priced products, web portals, and new innovative ideas. As much as they have changed over the years and decades, much does remain the same, but skirt the laws ever so efficiently just enough to make it have the aura of legitimacy. Every few years a new model hits with new socially approved name, and thus we are back at square one all over again wondering how long this current incarnation we will have to endure. From the social media posts to the giant advertisements on SUV’s in the suburbs it seems like you just cannot go a day without someone trying to push their ‘brilliant business venture’ upon you. The story is always the same as they have been mentored and tutored for months by a retired millionaire couple and share the exact secrets that can be passed down to you. . . for a price.
We here at The Indie Mag decided to reveal our
SHOCKING CONSUMER REPORT ON THE TRUTH ON HOW PYRAMID AND MLM BUSINESS MODELS WORK
This might not be so shocking for some of you as how people are becoming wiser on how they ultimately are destined to fail. Other names for these business models include but are not limited to : network marketing, referral marketing, and pyramid selling. This type of business has been robbing people for sometime now, since 1920 in fact. You may be most familiar with the name PONZI. This comes direct from a Mr. Charles Ponzi who used coupons and postage stamps as his vehicle of delivery. Traces can be originated as far back as Charles Dickens‘ 1844 novel Martin Chuzzlewit and 1857 novel Little Dorrit which each described such a scheme. Still more and more people are taken in by these companies on a regular basis and are sucking their friends and families into it as well.
BUT WAIT I THOUGHT PYRAMID SCHEMES WERE ILLEGAL ?
Even though MLMs resemble illegal pyramid schemes, as long as there is a product or service attached to them they can work around the law. This does not make the practice ethical by any means. Yes all companies are in business to make a profit and sell goods. There is always going to be a position that is higher up than you that makes more money. Your general manager or district operator for example. How about your foreman, captain, executive, c.e.o., or however you title them are above you and do bring in a higher income often based on your results down the pipeline.
Unfortunately outrageous unfounded product claims backed by some ‘science’ is paired with aggressive team building and customer acquisition is where things end up.
I saw my parents sucked into a variety of these schemes at different points in time, and it seemed as every other year growing up another one came around, just a bit more promising than the last. If they could apply their mistakes with the previous ‘opportunity’ and ‘get in early’ it should work right ? They finally understood how all of this worked after much trial and error and their tens of thousands of dollars were not wasted in vain. These are blue collar workers living paycheck to paycheck without much opportunity for advancement. Yet somehow Jack comes home with the magical bean time and time again believing that this very one in his hand was the beanstalk. Even after forty years my mother as of last year almost get sucked into the Doterra MLM, which once I did my research and stepped in was quickly squashed.
Deep down we do want these things to work. It caresses and appeals to our basic principles in life for financial freedom. Work from home, be your own boss, retire early, and carve your own destiny. So many of us are stuck in dead end jobs or behind co-workers that we just can not stand. What better way to stick it to the man than have a more successful business than the one you are just dying to quit. So when Joe Slick comes along with his fancy cuff links, promises of piles of cash, and retirement by 35, why not hear him out? What is there to lose. . .
We are not going to go into a history of how these things have evolved from the early days of postage stamps, to Tupperware and make-up parties, then to Facebook recruiting. But they all have very similar ideology and terminology. State to state and year after year you hear the same pitch across the country. Someone in your life approaches you or casually brings up the fact that they are involved in a very new business opportunity and them and their spouse are working on their financial freedom. They have someone who is ‘mentoring’ them. This is the person who gets in and grooms them basically setting them up with the notions and promises that they can finally unlock their full potential. Usually this involves being shown how to properly get invested to pass this onto the people they will be recruiting below them. The people who will be in turn paying them. It is kind of like a pass it along mentor-ship, that costs a ton of money. Or as I look at it they need someone to unload all of the products they can not get rid of and took a loss on, and teach them how to do the same. You have to offset your losses somewhere after all.
On social media it seems to come in waves from Beach Body to Herbalife to the one I find most annoying It Works and the other ones just like it. They all have the same bottom line ; You make money by sucking in other helpless victims. You can sugar coat it and twist it around all that you want, but in the end if your revenue comes from downlines and recruiting, and the product is merely a facade to appear legitimate, you do not have a real business.
It is so well known that there are better products out there for you readily available at a much cheaper price point.
When you have to sell to your family, friends and co-workers you are not your own boss you are taking money from loved ones. Moral compasses aside, usually the only way to make money on a pyramid is if you are on top of the pyramid, such as the person who starts it and the few who get in on it at the very beginning are the only ones that will ever make money or the the people who have a large social media influence. By the time it gets to the rest of us, the base of people you are competing with is so large, there is virtually mathematically no way for it to ever work for you, unless you enjoying going to Vietnam and trying your luck there.
During this ‘mentoring’ process I have talked with all too many people who have been to ‘parties’ or ‘seminars’ walking away with no idea what the actual business model is. They are still ‘gathering’ that information, and can not explain to you exactly what it is that they are selling, or how they are selling it. These recruitment programs are hellbent on getting you to buy into the ideology and lifestyle. They welcome you with their open cult like arms to the family and you feel as if you actually belong to something. It is a warm and fuzzy feeling thinking you are in a room full of other like minded forward thinking entrepreneurs who are all forging ahead on this groundbreaking revolutionary new product that is just going to take the market by storm. While the rest of us dolts are clocking in and out unnecessarily.
Unfortunately if it sounds too good to be true it probably is. Let us start to break this down.
Unless you have the crazed charm of a cult leader coupled with the organizational skills to orchestrate an entire new MLM concept where thousands of people will attend city after city you will be left holding the bag and crying over the loss of your hard earned money.
Typically only 1% make any type of money on these business plans. And those are the ones that create it. We do not mean to piss on anyone’s Cheerios or rain on anyone’s parade these are facts that are clearly discerned by the publicly traded companies Income Disclosure Statements. Pay attention to that word as it is important here. The non publicly traded ones do not have to disclose this which is pretty scary I can only imagine their numbers.
I remember this one time we were at a TJ Maxx shopping and we meet this nice couple who were expecting twins. A warm and friendly exchange resulted in exchanging of numbers and we all got together one day. We even had them over to our own personal home. It started out normal until they started talking about opportunities with financial growth and their car, vacations, and how they were mentored by this couple who were millionaires and retried by 38. Along with this they said with this they will be able to retire themselves by 40 years of age millionaires themselves. At this point both my husband and I looked at each other and we exchanged knowing glances of oh boy not another one, not another MLM. Then they pull up their Amway website and tell us how they sell soap and all this other stuff and that we could to. By the way never say “Is that a pyramid business?” They get really defensive and angry for some reason, which I still can not figure since it is one in a sense of laymen’s terms. But regardless, it was the same exact pitch. We even saw photo’s of faraway places, and web portals that sold overpriced soaps and beauty products. I had to ask who pays for these items at these prices? That is when it became a little more clear that it was all about recruit, recruit, recruit.
They set you up with your own online shop and storefront. Who does not want their own online business as we all know how those have been booming these past few years. And as far as the products go, you have to buy things like toothpaste for the rest of your life from a store, so why not just cut out the middleman and buy it directly from yourself? It all unravels from there. If you own your own business and they do not teach you about a business license, EIN, tax ID, LLC, sole proprietorship, or any other entity you would probably need, there is something fundamentally wrong with their program. Which means you really in fact do not run your own business.
We thought it our public duty to compose a list of companies that are pyramid MLM ran businesses for your fun and enjoyment. It should be a human right to know who is trying to rob you so they can line their pockets with yet more money or to those who will just lose a ton by investing in such businesses from proven examples. Feel free to add any we missed in the comment section or even email us. It has been a pretty daunting task trying to gather all of them and we would like to continue updating on the big ones we could not include.
For reference Wikipedia has a great list of MLM businesses
More than 99% lose money in MLM’S
- The losses of 99% of the distributors are transferred to less than 1% of the people at the top of the sales chain as “commissions.”
- Recruitment into these companies creates billions of dollars of losses to consumers each year.
- extremely viral, predatory and harmful to many
- MLM’s are flawed, unfair, and deceptive
MLM Money Facts by Pink Truth has a great list of the financial pitfalls these pump and dump schemes suck you into.
Doterra With over 2 million ‘wellness advocates’ most people have heard of this essential oil company that gives you ‘the opportunity to achieve financial freedom’. A deal by having you buy a ton of there product at a discount to sell to other people. If you have to have a party in your home to sell your goods it is a red flag. Check out this article for some more information http://www.finance-guy.net/streetonomic/money-doterra-review
Doterra coins the term “certified pure therapeutic grade” which is pretty much made up there are not any oils that are certified essential oils. This company went as fair to even trade make that term certified pure theraputic grade. There is an essential oils disinformation campaign to combat this very misinformation that some companies like Doterra have boldly without any backing claimed. Then we get into the harmful and dangerous things.
Doterra reps tell people, internal use of essential oils is recommended, this completely contradicts the advice of by the Aromatherapy and Herbal Associations and other like organizations, some of which are alternative medicine and some mainstream medicine they all agree internal use of these oils is bad and potentially harmful. These oils are extremely potent and powerful, there has in fact been reported cases of poisoning and deaths related to the ingestion of these essential therapeutic oils. Ingesting essential oils is harmful
Some of these oils if taken internally can build up to a toxicity level over time in one’s body as well, warns the National Association of Holistic Aromatherapy. Many more go on to state the same thing and the harmful effects of ingesting such oils. You can destroy your intestinal tract, it is metabolized by your liver and can cause nausea and vomiting. These are extremely concentrated oils I had a Doterra rep tell me to just rub it on my skin I believe it was the Deep Blue it burned my skin set it on fire. These oils should be diluted with grape seed oil before they are ever put on someone’s skin. That was how I had done it when I made my on but I thought this person was more knowledgeable on oils than I was. Young Living and Doterra Warning
According to Doterra’s earning-disclosure-summary their reps do a lot better than the other mlm’s as 17% do actually make $350 – $1,370 annually. So they at least make $29.16 a month. Not too bad right? Go Doterra. Now their silver and members do make much more at around $26,000 for a full year of full time work. This encompasses 0.62% of all two million members. Let us then factor in costs, purchases, overhead, and that twenty six thousand probably dwindles down to below half of that bring home. Some might be happy live off of that but it is a far cry from the exacerbated claims in their initial pitches.
Where this gets even worse and applies to so many scam business models like this is that you must pay to play. A fee of $50 that is non-negotiable is required on products to become a ‘consultant’. This increases up to $100 and beyond if you want to gain the real benefits of your recruiters expenses. You are not purchasing products because you really want them, but you are buying them so you qualify for their incentive program. Talk about bait and switch ! The goal here is to get members to keep spending into the program, thus amassing a stockpile of unopened and unsaleable boxes of junk products along with hopes and dreams.
Do you really think if you bought in now that you could compete with these folks who have an established client base. As the pyramid filters down people make less and less money, it is not a sustainable business plan to keep recruiting new salespeople as they will not have any client base to sell to. These are setup to fail and the companies do not care they make their profit because somehow new people are always lured into the work from home your own boss dream taglines.
Young Living indeed another essential oil company, their numbers are much worse than that of Doterra as 94.0% of Young Living members average a annual income of drum roll please $12. Yes you read that correct twelve whole smack-a-roos. On a monthly basis the average is $1 and the highest $841. Remember this is not including start up costs and initial purchases. Don’t want to believe us just check out this link for yourself Young Living income disclosure statement
Young Living is not all that it is cracked up to be in 2014 they passed off synthetic oils as authentic for their birch & jasmine oils. Evidence Young Living Oils are Adulterated
The markup of these essential oils, even at the wholesaler price, is about 400% – 600% making the retail price a markup of around 600% – 1000%
That is some overpriced oil. Do yourself a favor and just go get some at Whole Foods or a family run health store joint. Read more here http://bestcheapessentialoils.com/mlm-essential-oils.php
Read about the lawsuit between Doterra and Young Living that was first filled in 2012 and now just reached verdict in 2017. Young Living employees became offended and outraged at Young Living’s pressure to lie about the output of the Young Living farms to prop up the emerging Seed to Seal marketing scheme. Apparently Doterra was started by Young Living disgruntled employees and Young Living was not to happy about that. The best way to make a ton of money at a MLM business is to start your own.
Younique Is a privately held LLC so they do not have to release their income disclosures. Younique makes money from selling its items and recruiting people to sell the mascara. They do not care if you sell it they have already made money from you buying their product and starter kit. Well you may say I am a Younique rep and I make money, but have you have considered or even looked into the people below you that you recruited to see how they are doing? This business model is set up for the company to succeed and the few at the top of the food chain so to speak but the buck stops there as it filters down it becomes less and less until the poor suckers at the bottom are left with nothing but a loss of money.
Jamberry Time to let us open the books a bit and just take a look at the numbers as they speak for themselves on this nail wrap company. 69.95% which is 83,627 Jamberry Consultants average $219 monthly. This is actually better than some of the other mlms but that is still not including costs and it is certainly not enough to live off or to even warrant the amount of time it took to get just that commission. The low is $1 which equates an enormous loss. They break down their income report into low, average, and high meaning one person could have made the high amount and one person could have made the low amount so the number to really look at is the average. The start up for the business basic is only $99 which might seem like a small risk until you factor in party costs, gas, time, and who are you going to sell to after you sell to your friends and family? Is it then time to a booth which is usually around $150 in a local event. Go online and try and beat out Jamberry itself and every other Tom, Dick, and Harry or should we say Kathee, Sally, and Jane since most of these mlm seem to target all the single stay at home moms. Once again we dug up a little research to help back our claims and you can verify the data here Jamberry earnings statement
Pruvit A new MLM pyramid with ketogenics as their vehicle of distribution. New to the scene barely two years old from what we understand, but we were bombed by a convention of 3,000 recently trying to pawn off their new KETO formula. At first I was a bit perplexed as everyone was dressed in their keto army clothing, looked fit, and were somewhat well off and educated compared to what we normally run across. For those that may not know, keto is short for ketogenics. In the fitness and bodybuilding world this is a proven way to burn fat, but they have a special formula that is put into shakes and drank.
After you receive the initial sales pitch, and find out that every single person has their own portal as to where you can buy this totally overpriced product, it gets a little bit fishy. These people came out like cult members, all wide eyed and full of Jesus juiced inspiration like fanaticism. They were all brand new small business owners and going to change the world and make a fortune. The problem is who is going to pay $140 for a few packets of this magical powder? That is where you get your recruiting agent and they set you up with a line of distribution, and you get your own business online and ‘join the army.’
One of the sales marketers even went so far as to ask me if I had kids, and how great this was. Even for a four and five year old. Yes because a four year old should be forcing his body to burn carbohydrates instead of fats to shred and cut down body fat percentage. The levels of deceit people will lie to you about just to get you to sign up was preposterous.
Why go through the pain of an MLM when you can do this naturally 7 Tips on achieving ketosis. With Pruvit it is $140 a month not to mention that they require you to buy a prototype pack $350 to join. They are currently recruiting VIPS and are still in a pre-launch state spreading the gospel, so no financial disclosures are readily available. There are many ketos supplements on the market and some can be very dangerous for you so you do need to do your research, the fact that Pruvit is a new company still in pre-launch and that fact that they are an MLM is a big red flag find a company that has tested and established research on their product Ketogenic product reviews
KANGEN WATER By Enagic Corporation the alkaline water purification company. We could not find the income disclosure statement for this company but this was a good article on them http://ethanvanderbuilt.com/2017/02/06/enagic-kangen-water-scam-yes-opinion
KLEENEZE This is a UK based company they have a product catalog of everyday things in all categories cleaning, kitchen, home, health, and beauty. You name it they sell it. It seems to be along similar lines of that of Amway. So why would I not just order direct through Target why would I order off this website and pay the markup of a consultant commision cost. It truly makes no sense to us.
KYANI A multi level marketing company that offers all natural health supplements. To join this mlm, it costs $300 – $1,000 just to start plus $40 for your required distributor pack. Income disclosure Statement : 9.48% of distributors average $74 a month gross earrings. The next highest percentage of disturbers category is 9.65% as they earn an average of $298 gross earrings monthly. Yikes!!
LE-VEL A health supplement mlm company. You have to be on a mandatory autoship to maintain your spot to be an active affiliate while you are getting your business established. The break down, every month, you will be paying monthly $100 into this unless you get 2 new suckers involved quickly after having joined. So that says it is a recruitment heavy based mlm which is never good and leads to a faster tier down drop with a ton of more people losing money. https://onemorecupof-coffee.com/le-vel-thrive-mlm-review-is-naturopathic-synergy-a-real-thing
LifeVantage Wellness and personal care company. Distributors in LifeVantage Corp. believe they were recruited with false statements promising unachievable income levels https://www.sommerspc.com/blog/2016/11/distributors-claim-lifevantage-running-illegal-pyramid-scheme. 32.71% of the distributors earned an average of $16 a month. 13.49% earned an average of $92 a month. When a website promotes the words ‘join us’ and loyalty points’ before an actual product or benefit, you just might be dealing with a wolf in sheep’s clothing.
Vitae Global LEAN JAVA BEAN COFFEE A coffee that helps you lose weight! This must be the real deal or is it? Go buy some Braggs Apple Cider Vinegar I guarantee it will work better than this and it is only about $5 for a huge bottle that lasts a month and you don’t have to scam you friends and family. Now that is what we call a win win. FYI I don’t work for Braggs just a health nut who uses it everyday and lost 5lbs of stubborn weight by taking a tablespoon with 8 oz of water before two meals every day. Vitae Global did a clinically study surrounding 20 people to help support their magical claims. Talk about one conclusive study. Read more https://botwatchblog.wordpress.com/2017/05/01/lean-java-bean-coffee
LEGGING ARMY We could not find the income disclosure statement for this company but before you consider it you would want to look at those numbers. We did however see LulaRoes numbers which is a bit further down I would think they would be in the same range.
LYONESS According to Swiss Court of Appeals this company is considered a pyramid scheme. This company is some type of cash back shopping program it is truly a little weird.
MAËLLE The cruelty-free, Peta-Certified cosmetics and skincare MLM. Over 7,000 Maelle Beauty believers went out of business due to a legal dispute with Younique products. The company had to close up shop for 5 months. That can’t be good.
NEAL’S YARD Organic Skincare, Natural Remedies online mlm company. Neal’s Yard Remedies has announced that it will remove the product Malaria Officinalis 30C homeopathic remedy from the shop. There is no evidence that homoeopathy can prevent malaria.
Jeunesse Love this one where 20,608 distributors of this company or 72.25% make nothing! They have a total of 28,522 distributors in the company. Truth In Advertising Jeunesse income disclosure
Mary K Here is a name we all are familiar with ! You may love their products but sorry to break it to you a ton of people have lost a lot of money and have a boxes of lipstick in their garages. Mary Kays numbers : 47.3% of the independent sales reps earned commissions in excess of $100 annually. Good read on Mary K Forbes article on Mary Kay preying on women
Avon They have shifted and focused on becoming more of a recruiting company, which unloads a lot of inventory onto their disturbers, thu making them more money but in turn becoming more of a MLM Pyramid base operation. http://www.pinktruth.com/2009/03/25/is-avon-just-another-pyramid-scheme A red flag is always any buisennes that pushes you to recruit to make money not just the selling of the goods.
Herbalife One of the worst especially considering they target the poorer communities. It just seems more legitimate since they have dumped millions upon millions into their image thus giving it a safer and friendlier approach. Their product is not special in any way and even though you may like their shakes but you can buy better and cheaper at GNC or Target and not have to sell to your friends and family. We recommend you watch this amazing documentary Betting on Zero. The stock was halted on the Wall Street’s markets while they were under federal investigation for their business practices. The only reason it is afloat today is because a billionaire hedge fund investor bought a huge stake in their shares at a historic low. It looked as if Herbalife was going to actually hit rock bottom until investors started pumping in millions to improve their image. They had to cave and change many of their business model practices, but that does not change a few facts. Let’s take a look at the percentage of income or lack there of. 89% of Herbalife distributors make 0% according to their Income Disclosure Statement. Not only did they make nothing, but they in fact lost tens of thousands of dollars. Meet the victims of Herbalife
Herbalife also known as Herbalies had to pay in 2016 $200 million to compensate distributors to settle F.T.C. charges that Herbalife deceived customers and distributors into thinking they could earn money selling these products and supplements. The FTC also charged that the unfair structure of the company’s compensation plan was unfair since it rewards distributors for recruiting other people to join and buy products in order to advance in the company. FTC investigates Herbalife forcing changes
Beachbody and Shakeology This one has been around a long time which is very unfortunate for a lot of people because they have a 95% fail rate. 55% of Beachbody coaches only earned less than $1000-$2000 a year. Read more at http://computerknacks.com/mlm/beachbody-complaints-scam
The focus is not on nutrition or fitness, but classes instead include: “How to never take no for an answer when trying to sign on new coaches” or “How to not take no for an answer when selling Shakeology.”
Amway Yes the one that you can sell soap on woohoo. Thank you to the lovely couple that tried to suck us into this vortex of a money vacuum. This bad boy has been around since 1959! That is along time and over 3 million people. They really push the Be Your Own Boss, Work From Home scam angle hard. Their IBO ( Independant business owner ) must be nice to be able to brag to your neighborhood friends about, but you can only keep the facade up as long as you keep draining your bank account. Great read on Amway http://www.cracked.com/personal-experiences-1620-amway-5-realities-multi-billion-dollar-scam.html
Advocare They claim to have world class products and business opportunities as well as financial wellness. Let us see how well their distributors are doing financially. Numbers are a business minded individuals best friend. The truth is 71.52% of Advocare distributors make $0. Hah need I say more, but let’s go on for some shits and giggles, 31.86% average between $0.01-$50.00. Nuff said on that one let us move on down the long line.
STELLA AND DOT In all fairness their reps seem to do a little better, 73.3 % of their stylist rep people make an average annually of $1,700 that is a whole wooping $141 a month. Keep in mind this does not include costs like product costs trunk show costs. You have to look at the whole picture. It is a lot of work to lose money, ruin friendships and relationships with family and friends not to mention if you try to pitch to your co-workers.
Tupperware They claim to that through both their products and business opportunity, they will help you make your life simpler and more delicious. What is this 1984 where tupperware parties were all the rage? No thank you I would rather set my hair on fire I do believe. So have they in fact made these people’s lives simpler let’s take a look at their I.D.S aka Income Disclosure Statement. So 94.01% of their consultants made $484.70 from August 2015 – May 2016. That translates to a 9 month period that gives us a $53.85 per month once again not including costs. You are actually working to lose money here. And the fact that people think others will just fall right in line is what is even more disturbing.
Mannatech The nutrition product company that heavily markets Ambrotose which is a pill made of sugar. So to the numbers 57.89% of their associates as they like to call them made on an annual income $956.31 on average giving them $79.69 per month. Their price point is $189 for:
- 1 Advanced Ambrotose® (120g)
- 1 box of Optimal Support Packets
Now even with the associate discount that is a high price point. That is a lot of product costs and a very hard sell, as in will the average person will spend $189 on a sugar pill that has not even been fully verified in its miracle health claims? Can we say modern day snake-oil salesman anyone.
Digital Altitude Aspire Claims to be a “done-for-you-business-in-a-box” that will get you earning a 6 figure income in 90 days. Dang where do I sign up, wait hold on this just sounds too good to be true! Scam Avenger article on Digital Altitude Oh wait it is.
Digital marketing at it’s worst. You get a ton of training materials and insight into their traffic funnels. When part of your package that you sign up for includes a 60% commission based on three different tiers of payouts and the photo on the box is a climber facing a mountain, it screams pyramid ! Even the box says it all, you are the climber facing the mountain. Do you have the courage and fortitude to scale that high peak and crush all of those peasants beneath you. Without proper schooling, training, coding, or experience, how is their tiered marketing system going to work and have you making six figures while real industry professionals can struggle to do the same.
Wealthy Affiliate This one is supposed to help you with a website and search traffic and teach you S.E.O. to drive traffic to your website, but what they sell on said website I have no clue. The fact is all that stuff is free on the internet already. Google gives you all the free tools and even helpful videos so why you would have to pay to learn this is beyond me. We can understand wanting to pay someone to do it for you it is a painstaking must have part of any online business. The fact is most business owners do not have the time for so they have companies like Top Las Vegas SEO company Dr. Webinstein do it for them. Where Wealthy Affiliate is smart they did this really good is that it is hard to dig up dirt on their practices because of their search engine knowledge. All of their reps have made WordPress blog pages and blogs telling us how awesome this company is. The articles on anything negative are thus pushed back in Google’s search results. Like I said I give it to them for being very crafty as it is a digital pyramid keeping them at the top. Read more here if you would like to here a more first hand account Ripoff Report’s review of Wealthy Affiliate and their internet cons
World Ventures Bought out by Numis, a silver and gold coin company with their own sordid past. World Ventures is a MLM travel club company. Average annual income the the majority of their Independent Representatives looks to be $285.42 World Ventures Fraud File PDF Other sources say 77.76 per cent of all representatives did not earn a commission during the year and 22.24% who did, the median was $196eu ($US150) World Ventures comes packages with a huge catch
NORWEX Helps you turn your home into a safe haven. This MLM company relies mainly on home parties for their reps making sales. Goodness gracious have we not learned anything from the tupperware parties! Their products are overpriced and cater to the bored stay at home mom housewife. I could not find their Income Disclosure Statement which I am sure would spill the beans on everything.
Tecademics Chris Record the founder of Tecademics was an affiliate for Empower Network the one that filed for bankruptcy last month. https://dirtyscam.com/reviews/chris-record-tecademics-scottsdale-arizona-reviews
Just take a look ( we encourage you not to give them the clicks and traffic ) but on their website they specifically promote their Ecom Accelerate program, and Ecom Monetize business mentorship programs. It is there in black and white !
TALK FUSION Bob Reina, owner and founder of Talk Fusion has now been a defendant a lawsuit alleging that the company is a pyramid scheme. Talk Fusion Class Action Lawsuit
ONECOIN Has been demand a ponzi scheme https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/OneCoin. Offshore company promotion, blockchain crypto currencies, and a system just primed to siphon all of your money. Everyone wants to get in on the Bitcoin craze, so it is no surprize that there are so many different new crypto coins out there where you think you are getting in on the ground floor. Of course nevermind the fact that nothing is regulated or backed by any real currency reserve. If someone tries to create digital money out of thin air and that does not raise a red warning flag, we do not know what else will.
PARTYLITE The candles, home decor, and fragrance MLM. Wait did we not cover this one already? Unfortunately with so many similar schemes like this existing it is just an endless supply of ways to part with your money. One shuts down, another pops up and no wonder why as these companies are making an outlandish profit feeding of off people’s hopes and dreams. You have to recruit and sell products every month and not make a dime. Sounds fun. Partylite MLM scam and requirements
SAFEGIRL The charity One Family Foundation droped Safe Girl from it’s awards handouts after a social media outcry. Most of these horrible business set-ups seem to target women and this one does so as majorly being a company that creates safety devices especially catered toward women. Do the world and your friends and family a favor and join the Anti-MLM force. I am by no means a female activist but if I was my first crusade would be to educate single or stay at home mothers and how to recognize this type of deceit that preys upon them.
SAIVIAN LLC, Discontinued operations in the United States of America July 31, 2017.
SendOutCards The name alone screams it is a note card MLM. There is the monthly and annual subscription plan, plus reward ‘points’ to earn. And of course spend a little more and get the tutorial portal, or like we mentioned before, another form of ‘mentoring’. That word really drives us crazy, but even more insane is all you have to do is just take a quick look at the numbers from their 2015 I.D.S., 81.12% of their distributors make an annual average of $59.64. With the use of technology now and e-cards how many people really are going to do this? If you are nostalgic for the good old pen and notecard the shopping for it is a part of that. I mean we still have card aisles in the grocery stores for a buck. Read more here Is SendOutCards a scam YES !
SKINNYBODYCARE The next generation of weight management so they say. There are an endless supply of these companies preying on the masses struggling with the battle of the bulge. And Skinnybodycare is no different, in fact, we would say even worse. They have a ‘F’ rating on the Better Business Bureau which right there should be enough. Would you like to know more? https://www.dietpillswatchdog.com/skinny-fiber
TOTAL LIFE CHANGES They just cover everything from essential oils, pills, coffee, tea, and skin care oh my. You can not get much info off the website like ingredients except maybe the rep of the week who once looked downtrodden but now is some success which could just be you ! You think an online company would readily give information to help buyers want to purchase their great amazing product. No instead they want sponsors or distributes, which only helps this company make more money buy constantly recruiting more people who have to buy monthly to stay in the program. Of course there is the story of the 19 year old paying his way not through college thanks to this business plan they have provided him. I smell bullshit. Like most MLM’S they have a high price point and without readily available info on ingredients you are better off going anywhere else. I could not find their Income Disclosure Statement for 2016 but I truly have no doubt it close to the same as the others.
TRAFFIC MONSOON Total scam, the website is permanently shut down and the founder owner Charles Scoville is currently under investigation. This does not mean that you can not learn from this total pump and dump scheme to spot other ones. You basically paid for packs which allowed you entry into their system. Then based on ad packs, clicks, and revenue, it trickled upward to you, and the people downward needed to keep recruiting. Sound familiar ?
USBOURNE Promotes the children’s books angle. When a children’s book company has links to consultants, memberships, and hosting parties, watch out. We could not get too much info on this one, it is a network marketing so I would stear clear from it. Just buy on Amazon you know their employees actually get paid for their time and effort. Go to a local Good Will or Savers as the shelves are lined with used kids books and their is no risk of someone being taken advantage of and you are being a good sustainable shopper.
First American Monetary Consultants You may have heard of this one in the news recently, Larry Bates told his Christian followers that they needed to purchase silver and gold coins for financial protection from the economic collapse termed “Mystery Babylon”. Well Mr. Bates was sentenced to more than 21 years in federal prison for leading this multimillion-dollar Ponzi scheme. http://time.com/4929786/larry-bates-end-of-world-coin-scheme
ZEEK REWARDS The founder Paul Burks has been sentenced to roughly 15 years in prison for his role in this $850 million online mlm scheme that affected around a million people in the U.S. and abroad.
Empower Network Filed for bankruptcy in August 2017. They were a viral blogging system product. Thank goodness this pyramid scam has come to an end if only all of them would see such a fitting demise.
Ambit Energy In 2014 a class action lawsuit against Ambit Energy was filed. The plaintiff alleged that they deceived customers by falsely promising low electricity prices and free energy in their marketing and then overcharging. The reps cover their investment and make extra cash by signing up new victims and having them refer their family, coworkers, and friends. Hah you get 1% commission of your new sign ups but only if you have 20 people already in. Hats off to Ambit Energy for that one the greedy bastards are tricky. Ambit Energy is a waste of your energy.
Primerica aka Prime America This company sells insurance and investments through their deceptive business base structure. A tiered company for finance. Many have found this life insurance overpriced and with a ton of fine print. Primerica reps earned a whopping total of $6,119 for the year, that means they would have to live on $509.90 a month. Not tOo bad if you live in your parents basement still I guess but that still does not include costs. Read more some more interesting facts http://www.businessinsider.com/citigroup-primerica-ipo-2010-4
Extremely aggressive sales tactics, recruiting, and the promise of making a fortune, expensive sign-up fee’s, and the ever so common ‘bring in referrals’ angle.
MonaVie The acai berry juice MLM company that claims that its over priced juice has some magical healing powers. Their 2011 I.D.S. 70% of their distributors averaged annually $1,681 which is $140 bucks a month. They even threaten legal action against those who speak out against their shoddy business practices. Do not believe us ? Check out MonaVie threatens legal action against critics
A grossly overpriced product that produces very little to no results or nutritional value, ridiculous ‘scientific’ claims, and a business model all too shaped like a pyramid.
Arbonne 59% of their independant consultants will earn on average $767 annually that means $63.91 per month not including what they spent in costs.
Costs included and are not limited to : Product purchase, hosting parties to paw off said product, pop up shops, and vendor fee’s.
It all adds up to be a big fat loss. Read more here at Arbonne is a scam
Pampered Chef Why should our favorite business model not touch base with the food community ? After all we have hit up every single type of home goods, children’s books, and healthcare. They scream red flags and run with their initial tag lines of the tried and true. Become a consultant. Make your own hours. You call the shots. Create your own income. Give us a break already. I can smell a pyramid a mile away before I even begin to understand what the business or product even is !
Already we have to set up hosting parties and an online store. Then it goes straight to engaging and coaching others ! Three pages worth of information and I have no idea what it is I am actually doing other than hosting parties and signing other people up.
Obvisouly selling whatever their products may be will not enough to make money at this MLM, you have to recruit more victims to make any profit. https://startmakestopwaste.com/what-is-pampered-chef-pyramid-scam-or-not
Isagenix According to their annual income earnings report they had a whopping 83.3% of reps, consultants, distributors whatever you want to call them make o% in sales. Good job Isagenix your one of the worst. Read more on The Finance guys review at Finance Guy reviews Isagenix
Wor(l)d Global Network aka WGN Theses guys mainly develop healthcare products. Seems like we have been down this road many times over how many decades now? Their earrings reports are on par with most MLM’s as in you make nothing mostly. 48.70% of their reps made $1-999 annually not including outgoing costs, 19.70% made 0%. http://www.nathaniellaurent.com/world-global-network-reviews
Nerium UHHH Overall, 99% of contractors lose money when you account for the costs. If you really must, read more at http://www.lazymanandmoney.com/nerium-scam
Forever Living 95% of its distributors are struggling to make ends meet. High product cost I am sure does not help. Privately held company, and magical aloe vera elixirs. No thank you.
Nu Skin They have managed to be around 30 or so years and have had to pay a ton in court fees trying to make allegations go away. More on this read Nu Skin is a MLM beware
Usana We really do not need to say anything about this one the numbers say it all. 58% of their associates or reps make 0% annually, 26% make $1-500 annually. More worthless dietary supplements. Next.
Rodan & Fields Goodness me the instagram messages you get from these sales people is epic, they are an angry lot when you say “no I do not have anything to do with MLM’s.” Yes a lot of people do love their products no doubt about that. Their markup is huge on these products, the chance that you would make any income on this is low next till nil. You will only accomplish annoying friends and family through social media with pestering and bombarding them with post about this great overpriced skin care cream.
Fact: From their own Income Disclosure Statement 2015 – 41.4% had an annual income on the low end of $240 and an average of $790, this does not include expenses such as product purchase cost and so on and so forth. So let us break it down they made on low side a monthly income of $20, does that even cover one bottle of there skin cream or even a plate of crab puffs from their hosting party? Check this article out that full breaks down R+F Rodan & Fields warning
It Works This one annoys the crap out of me, they seem to be the pushiest out of the litter. It took over our Instagram feeds and Facebook pages for a hot minute as all we were seeing were thigh shot after thigh shot of how amazing this miracle body wrap was. Priced on the high side the thing better have damn well worked, but did it? Did it work really work? Was there any truth to the claims of cellulite reduction and saggy skin correction. It sounds too good to be a true a savior from the dimples and completely non evasive, what, no way!! Oh wait where have all the It Works reps gone? I bet we can all guess, It Works did not work and they all probably have some garages full of inventory they could not sell.
I smell MLM in the air. Read more on how It Works does not work It Works Doesn’t Work It’s a Scam !
Lipsense Senegence We had to include this one because of all of the facebook spam we saw over it. It did literally fall into our laps as it can appear on the surface that they do have a very popular product, the Lipsense. Their drones all seem to love it. This is still a MLM business model which for most people leaves them out of money and with a lot of inventory sitting around. If you have to recruit your friends and family to being reps to make money at it you need to rethink this and take look at some statististics and ask yourself if this is what you want to do to your friends and family. Read more about the personal experience of Diana in her blog about being a SeneGence distributor Regrets of being a Lipsense distributor
LulaRoe Sorry ladies you may love the leggings but this company is no bueno. It is as plain as day on the LuLaRoe income disclosure statement, as a consultant for this company you can expect to get on average per year $85 in commissions. And in order to receive the sums you qualify for in a month, you have to buy 175 units in that month. So you spend $3,500 in a month on leggings to be able to receive that month’s $85 annual commissions. Read more in this awesome comprehensive article by Lularoe is a bad business for women.
Melaleuca The online wellness shopping club! You are forced to become a member to purchase any of their items. Member signup is $35 but in order to do that you have to work with a current member and sign up under him or her, thus creating that lovely pyramid shape. Melaleuca likes to refer to its business model as a “referral-based” business. Let’s look at their income disclosure statement shall we. Product advocates which make up 24% make a average annual income of $86 if they have 4 customers. If they have 10 customers they average $231 in annual earnings. Once again this does not include start up costs, or any other fee’s you may want to put forth. Melaleuca is sadly another MLM with no upside
Juice Plus Here we have a branded line of supplements and with concentrated fruits and veggies produced by NSA; National Safety Associates. NSA initially sold home fire-protection equipment through door-to-door salespeople like the good old vacuum salesman back in the day. In 1970s, they expanded into water filtration products. Then in 1986, they began using multi-level marketing, then expanding their product line to air filters and educational games for preschoolers eventual leading to Juice Plus in 1993. Also in 1993 they had some major legal issues and complaints against their potential mlm company. They were accused of deceptively requiring the new distributors to make large upfront buys of air and water filters. The 32,000 distributors all purchased $7,000 worth of water filters. Most of the distributors were unable to sell their new acquisitions. Garden Blend failed a consumer lab test as it contained only 76.4% of its claimed calcium, which previously noted was low to start. You can read more on this and the other issues the company has had on wikipedia and Juice Plus. Hmm smells a little pyramid scheme ish to us. Read some here at https://www.mlmwatch.org/04C/NSA/juiceplus.html
Active Distributor Earnings are as follows : 81.11% errand per month – $25.98 annually – $311.79. Not including any other costs spent. Avoid Nature’s Sunshine scam
Scentsy Smells like the burning of money instead of an autumn sunset or baked apple pie. We could dedicate an entire article the size of this comprehensive informative one you are already reading just on this company alone. I am sure you see the mini vans with their rear window stickers near your local parks but to we are going to keep it short and sweet so straight to the facts! Less than 5 percent of folks will accomplish earning enough money to keep them in business. As much as we did not want to bring any more attention to some of these so called brands, we could not ignore the obvious. Based on their annual income earrings report for 2016, 66,342 certified consultants averaged $463.29 annually which is $38.58 a month! Now this may not even include what they paid into buying product this is just what they made off of sales.
If home parties focused on recruiting your unsuspecting friends sounds great see if Does Scentsy make sense ?
Chloe + Isabel In all fairness this one by far has had some good things said about it, but it is still an MLM nonetheless. Someone always gets left holding the bag at the end of the day. I mean how many necklaces can you sell to your poor friends and family. Trust me I own my own fashion accessories brand and I make one of a kind handmade goods until my fingers bleed and it is a tough market to compete in. Merchandisers are competing with the company and all the other merchandisers. Your portal will do nothing for you to be frank unless you have a degree in computer engineering or spend far more than you will make in advertising. You will have to be at every pop up shop your city does and on top of that you will be up against the handcrafted jewelry artisans who are obviously not pushing a recruiting pyramid like business mindset.
Thirty One Gifts Work when you want, how you want – and have fun doing it! Of course you CAN have it all when you’re a Thirty-One Consultant. I know a stay at home mom created this wonderful business so other stay at home moms could work from home selling these customizable gifts. It is an MLM it still means you will most likely not make any money that you could remotely live on, or that is even worth the amount of time and energy you put into it.
Thirty One Gifts earrings income report for 2016 20% made less than a dollar in a whole year I mean that has to be some type of record!
What Are MLM Success and Drop Out Rates?
- In the first year of operation, a minimum of 50% of representatives drop-out.
- After five years of operation, a minimum of 90% of representatives have left the company.
- By year 10, only those at or near the top have not dropped out – making it safe to say at least 95% of representatives have dropped out. Reference article read more The Likelihood of MLM success by thebalance
We hope you made it down this far as that was quite a list, and took more time than we anticipated but want to conclude this article with a bit of heartfelt advice.
Let us not kid ourselves honest money is hard money. The grind of punching in every single day and wearing a name tag is not the ideal landing spot for most people in this short lived roller coaster we ride daily. Day in and day out you see people far less educated and talented than you make it while you are barely breaking it. The allure of being something more than what we are and living out our dreams and fantasies all the while giving the big middle finger to the establishment we so long to leave behind is the dream. The world is changing, and so are the methods of which we use to attain wealth, but these aforementioned businesses only leave heartbreak, bill, and even more stress.
It was while finishing up this article that we had to spend a few extra days on it. Just before publishing another recruiter approached us in the wild, and it just was begging to be chronicled. The approached started innocently enough, with a young lady noticing my wedding ring.
“Oh how long have you been married and do you have kids ? ” Harmless enough. But next ouf of the gate came the condescending and almost insulting remarks. “Oh that must be so hard being away from your family the poor wife and kid who do not get to see their father at nights.” This is verbatim, and the initial response is something to the effects of go stuff yourself who are you to speak about my home life and my family’s well being. They are all perfectly taken care of and happy. But to keep things friendly banter ensued and sure enough the next opportunity that arose was how this couple had their own entrepreneurial business.
One could not but drink out of the water you are led to. “And what type of business are you in?”
“It has many layers.” “We were tutored by this couple who retired at 29.” “We got out of the employee mindset.” “We acquire debt free assets.”
This all sounded so familiar. I had first heard this pitch probably back I kid you not in 1998 while I was waiting tables at a Bennigan’s restaurant ( remember those, they had that monte cristo sandwich with the powdered sugar and jelly you dipped it in. So good. ) They kept referring to how many ‘layers’ their business had, making it sound so mysterious and intriguing.
Over twenty years later and people are still repeating these same exact lines. I just cannot help myself at this point, and the itch must be scratched. Asking a little bit more about the business I was met with nothing but questions about my life and livelihood. I explained that I work online with computers and websites and know a bit of coding, so when they presented the option to me to own my very own business online and acquire these magical assets my curiosity peaked. I kept asking what I would be doing exactly and it never became clear. They were insistent that their tutors spent months with them preparing all of the necessary things to begin the process toward early retirement. The entire time I asked what it is that I would actually be doing. While feigning a convincingly genuine interest over the course of the next fifteen minutes I finally broke down and had to just be blunt and ask.
“What the hell is it you actually do ? I am more confused now than when we started. You either sell jeans and tshirts, or invest in stocks, or give advice. But these exact phrases you keep trying to brainwash me with is exactly the same script I have heard for years. Can you please explain to me in the dumbest terms that you can what exactly it is that you do and what are these ‘assets’ you keep referring to? I run a web design company, and I bartend. The guy next to you sells insurance. See that guy over there, he gives motivational seminars suckering people like you into his pyramid while you go out there trying to recruit.”
As you could imagine the tone turned quite a bit sour at this point, as I was immediately scolded with the empowerment that pyramids are illegal and that I will just always be stuck in the employee mindset once again. It was quite the snakecharmers effect as at first you do get drawn into the web and you do start to feel this ‘part of something bigger than yourself’. But once you are out of the circle it all goes away, and you are left to wonder if you did indeed make a mistake by not taking the advice of a friendly outstretched hand. Did these successful people really see something in you, and really try and convince you that you were worth more than your current position. For a second there even knowing the ruse I felt good that two people talked me up and told me that I really could do it if I just tried and did not quite. I liked that.
What I did not like was then being pushed out. Staring down at my smudged nametag, cuts on my fingers, and scars of decades of manual labor I realized that I just ran off the only two people who actually encouraged me to believe in myself and follow my dreams. I somehow thought that I was actually better than them. What did I offer them in life? Did I try and help them in any way at all?
I solemnly processed their debit cards to finalize their transaction only to have them decline.
How sweet could the irony be? The two who had the world by the reigns scrambled through their cheap mall bought handbags trying to find dollars, change, anything. I even offered to pay their check for them, and got to explain that going to a job everyday, being honest, and investing your money wisely allows your bank accounts not to bounce. As they left in their outdated black honda accord it had some type of white stencil writing on it with a phone number promoting whatever it is they were still trying to figure out. Which one was it just go ahead and take your pick.
How is someone going to teach you how to make hundreds of thousands of dollars when they cannot even keep twenty bucks in their own bank account. Sometimes the karma of the world just comes around and high fives you.
In retrospect things have not changed over the past century. I relayed these stories to my aunts and grandparents and they all just laughed. They had the same exact things happen to them back in the 70’s and 80’s ! I suppose as each new generation comes along, comes along a whole fresh pool of hopefuls unknown to this until it becomes far too late. Every year people will be experiencing all of this for the first time, and the lineage will continue. Let us hope that laws and changes do go into effect that either make these business schemes far more transparent, or they are done with outright.
Numbers do not lie! Check what the FTC and Jon M. Taylor, MBA, Ph.D., Consumer Awareness Institute had to say in his in depth analysis into MLM business. https://www.ftc.gov/sites/default/files/documents/public_comments/trade-regulation-rule-disclosure-requirements-and-prohibitions-concerning-business-opportunities-ftc.r511993-00008%C2%A0/00008-57281.pdf
Tip always look at the Income Disclosure Statement it will give you a glimpse into your future monetary place in the company. http://www.sequenceinc.com/fraudfiles/2017/04/mlm-income-disclosure-statements