Looking to earn some extra cash for the coming holidays? Feeling the pinch of the economic downturn? Just want to make a little more money for a rainy day?
When people feel this way, one of the opportunities that will evenutally knock on their doors is Multi Level Marketing (MLM). There are other names for it – network marketing, social marketing, direct distributing. Legally speaking, most of the legitimate companies that use this form of marketing are not pyramid schemes. At least not legally. However, they do strongly resemble pyramids in their structure.
Some people do make money with these opportunities. A few make really good money! However, often what you are told or shown isn’t the whole picture. The vast majority of people lose money in these businesses. If you’re meeting with someone about an opportunity like this, be forewarned with the information from these sites.
PSA purports itself to be a non-profit, donation driven organization dedicated to revealing the truth about multi-level marketing and pyramid schemes. Founder Robert FitzPatrick has written a book on the topic and has been consulted as a professional by different media outlets in the U.S. and Canada.
Here you can find information on legal proceedings against MLM companies, news about them, and alerts as well. PSA does have an e-mail list that you can sign up for, to get regular information.
I find the site fairly well organized and easy to use. It appears to have the most in-depth information of the sites listed here.
This is a bit of a different site, in that it is a site within a site. What the heck does that mean? Well, MLMSurvivor has had a site since 1999 that featured information about Quixtar/Amway, Equinox/Trek Alliance and other MLM’s.You can get to it by clicking on the Original MLMSurvivor Site link.
The original site has hundreds of pages of personal stories, research, and an MLMSurvivorsClub with over 8,000 members on Yahoo! Groups.That site is somewhat wrapped inside a new blog that functions a bit more like a news site.
It appears to have been only recently resurrected, with just a few posts starting late last October. Looks like Amway is in the courts again.
Just in case it seems like all these sites are about Amway, well, they aren’t. The Pink Lighthouse is a blog put together by a former Mary Kay Consultant. It sure seems that the pink isn’t all that you might think!
There are dozens of personal stories to be found here. Perhaps the most common thread between them all is that the products are great! However, the personalities that they had to work with (more like work for) was the biggest problem. Lots of inventory purchasing that seldom gets sold and tons of pressure to keep buying inventory just so the upline can make their monthly goals. Apparently Mary Kay isn’t an MLM, but rather a Dual Marketing system. I’m not sure what that means, but I do know you can put lipstick on a pig and it’s still a pig.
After you’ve read through these sites, I can see how you wouldn’t touch an MLM pyramid scheme with someone else’s ten foot pole. Yet still, the fact remains that there are people that make money with some of these business and there are even a few that have made millions. The question then remains, are you willing to do what it takes? Statistics only would say the odds are against you.
Have you had an MLM pyramid scheme experience, good or bad? Do you know of any other resources you’d recommend to people checking out MLM’s? You’d be doing us all a favour by sharing them in the comments.