Well, it was inevitable right? On a blog like this, the subject of pyramid schemes was bound to come up!
If you are anything like me, you’ve been hit up at least a dozen times or so by someone who has something they are “really excited to share”. All they want to do is sit down with you for 30 minutes to tell you about this exciting new product.
You know how it goes, the “30 minutes” turns into about 2 hours of uncomfortable begging. “It’s only $100 to join, then all you have to do is get 3 people to sign up under you. Then all you have to do is coach them to get 3 people to sign up under them. And from there if you can get 3 more under them….”
Well, they all sound great up front but they never work out. As a matter of fact the only people who profit are the first 1000 or so suckers who join.
But, to be fair, there are some “schemes” that may be legit. These are known as Multi-Level Marketing groups. What’s the difference, you ask? Well, you can tell the difference between a Pyramid or Matrix Scheme and a legit MLM because an MLM will have an actual product to sell in addition to the tiered system of payment.
Here are some things to consider before joining an MLM:
- Is there an actual product to sell? I know I already covered that, but does the group sell their product to the general public without the stipulation that they have to be a “consultant”? If they do, then this is probably legit.
- Study the product in depth before you commit. Do the research. Check them out on the BBB, etc.
- Ask questions. Lots and lots of questions. If the group can’t or won’t answer them, be cautious.
- Learn about all the fine print. What restrictions are there? Limitations?
- Ask friends who are involved to show you their results. Don’t get sucked in by someone you don’t know. Their results might be fabricated. They might be a “shill” – a plant or stooge.
- Take your time. If there is pressure to “join now or you will lose out on hundreds!” throw on the brakes. Being cautious is a good thing here.
- Think about if this is something you really want to do! Do you really want to talk to all your friends and try to convince strangers that they need this product? Are you even good at sales?
I’m not trying to say all MLM’s are awful, but just make sure you know what you’re getting into!