I can’t speak for a specific individual

but in general, my guess would be the following. I bet that lots of potential MLM recruits are going to google(Its the instant info age), finding this forum and reading up on all the information posted here. This causes lots of problems MLM recruiters in the form of questions/rejections.
Whats a better way to deal with these questions than to be on this forum and learn all the info as well ?

I’m new to the forum

I’ve had some experience in unsuccessful MLMs. My latest one was a thing called Kanosis, which was supposed to have been an online community as well as remote hard drive service that was to revolutionize the world. That fell apart about a month after they launch. Of course they managed to get my money BEFORE they launched.

Now I’ve found a company that works, which falls into the MLM category by your definition. The reason I joined this forum is 1) I’m surprised by the number of people in the forum who have had bad experiences with MLMs. 2)I have an interest understanding the experience of people who once thought MLM’s were a good idea, but have been turned around in their thinking. Armed with this info I think I’ll know what to do to mitigate or avoid those MLM pitfalls for myself and the people I introduce to the business, if it’s within my control to do so.

I’m still reading through past message posts, so no need to reply to this (unless you feel a need to). I just want to to share who I am and why I’m here.

On ITV Ventures (Not ITVVentures)- it’s based in Beverly, Massachusetts, USA

Before they became MLM, or MLM-like (?), they just did infomercials and employees took the calls. I was interested in being employed by them at that time. They even had a positive story in a local tow newspaper in this area. However, what they promoted on their infomercials wads crap. It’s a false treatment for cancer, etc.
They even had an infomercial with Kevin Treudeau (spelling?), the professional scam artist, who use to be in the now-defunct Nutrition For Life (I think he was one, or the, reason for its downfall). He’s written a few junk books on nutrition, natural ‘cures’, the ‘industry doesn’t want you to know’ angle, etc. ITV Ventures just compounded their level of scamhood by becoming what they are now. I saw its new ITV Ventures incarnation, or regurgitation, on an ITV infomercial about themselves, so I got their offered information, to see what they were up to now.
PS- Scamway/Amway Global is the new name Scamway will be in America. The QuixSand/QuixFart/Quixtar name will be phased out, I think by the end of this year.
Run, do not walk, to the nearest exit!
Take care.

I think you can tell my feelings

about most DS/NWM/MLM Biz Opps — don’t waste your time or money on them.
However, I have a friend who joined ITVVentures. On the surface, their tag line of not needing to “pester” friends and family is true — their “system” does not rely on cold calls but people watching their infomercials and making the call to order that you as an IBO can answer. That’s the “on the surface” side of things.
On a deeper level, which is generally not told to a recruit until AFTER they spend their money to join, is that IBOs have to PAY for each call they take. So I asked the question, “What is the REAL commission you make?” I asked the friend and even emailed the company (after three emails and no reply I bet you can guess what i think of this company and its “opportunity” and where they can put it).
Anyone out there been involved with this mess who would like to answer a few questions for me? My friend would like me to help her with some training for her downline — which I don’t have a problem with. I’ll “train” life attitudes rather than about the specifics of that business and hopefully find ways to help these people (that she claims are so smart) figure out the truth about their opportunity on their own.

Re Markuz-

> My latest one was a thing called Kanosis,

It isn’t hard to predict how much cash is needed to run a virtual business. It isn’t hard to budget for those expenses. Yet Kanosis appeared to be unable to either predict how much cash it needed, and budget for that amount of cash.

The most surprising thing about Kanosis is that it failed right at the point that most MLMs fail. As a concept, it should have lasted longer. That its non-MLM competitors have outlasted it by several years, is an indictment of the MLM business model.

> I’m surprised by the number of people in the group who have had bad experiences with MLMs.

What happened with Kanosis is par for MLMs. The first critical point is the three months after launch — if they get that far. The second big drop off period for MLMs is between twelve and eighteen months after launch.

95% of all MLMs that launch, are out of business within five years. By way of comparison, only 70% of startups are out of business within five years. Since MLMs are a subset of “new business startups”, there are some industries with a much lower mortality rate than MLMs.

>2) think I’ll know what to do to mitigate or avoid those MLM pitfalls

Look at why Kanosis failed:
* Bad financials;
* A product that was available gratis from vendors that were much better known;
* A product that offered no advantages when compared to its competitors;

>for myself and the people I introduce to the business, if it’s within my control to do so.

The first pitfall in an MLM business is not having a sphere of influence. The second pitfall in an MLM business is making your customer your competition.

Hi, I’m part of a network marketing company

that utilizes Home Parties or other special events for generating sales. Fine. I “can” make a profit at this biz IF I put a lot of time and effort into digging up hostesses, and the work to prepare for the event (unfortunately, not a product I can just take in a box, hold it up and have people go “OO! I WANT (or need) that!”.
My company, though, has products that are low priced and therefore the “pay” for all that work is really low. That’s fine. I joined more as a way to get my product, and for a few friends, at a discount rather than for the biz opp.

I can recruit, but don’t see the Opportunity as so great and won’t lie to potential recruits. Most who recruit use the standard lines and scripts and hype. That’s them but not me.

I believe that a Biz Opp is “good” only as far as a person can make real good income from the sales side of the business. And this sales side must not rely on “overcoming objections” or in some way convincing folks that they NEED your product rather than the similar, lower-priced product someone else sells.

I had spent far too much to join the DSWA and found that far too many of the so-called “experts” they have on twice-weekly phone calls just repeat the same crap over and over and don’t offer real new ideas that work. When I see a call titled “Overcoming Possible-Recruit’s Objections,” I know I’ve stumbled into a territory that is a place I don’t want to be.

Some DS opportunities are viable, but I doubt they are great. There seem to be more and more people looking for the “magic bullet” business venture that will solve all their financial problems as our economy falters worse and worse. I don’t blame them. DS/NWM/MLM opps can look good because it looks there is a company to back you up, a proven opportunity that seems to have worked for others (even the recruiter who is using a script that says how wonderfully he/she is doing in this business when they aren’t making squat at it), and the company is supposedly doing the marketing of their produt and all you have to do is reap the rewards. These shortcuts to owning your own business sound great. Sounds can be deceiving, as we’ve all learned from news “sound bytes.”

Hi Cheri:

When I read about your symptoms and frustration with medicine, it reminded me of what my neighbor, Marilyn, was going through. She was suffering enormously from fibromyalgia and nothing seemed to help including a variety of medical doctors prescribing medication. She met with someone who did guided imagery and it worked.
The condition disappeared and she was ecstatic. I know very little other than what she told me but you can mention my name, Troy Tate, if you want to e-mail her at notabby…. I know nothing more about the person who helped Marilyn eliminate her condition.

I also know someone who has helped me and my family alot and her name is Dr. Beth John. She not only helps with a nutritional analysis but also has a healing art known as Safa. You can check it out at thesafacenter.com. You can e-mail her at drbethjoh… She is based in NY but doesn’t require you visit her offices to provide the services. They can be done over the phone. I strongly recommend her because she approaches everything she does with the highest of integrity. Of course, neither of these people have any connection with any MLMs, or I wouldn’t recommend them to you.

I have two resources for my cards

(other than running to the store) I bought an organizer box full of all occasion cards. It cost about $25, but I got it free with my recent Staples order. Yay!

My other resource is the Hallmark software that I purchased. It may cost a little more, but I don’t have to deal with MLM brainwashing or pressuring my friends…

You’ve heard me say this before, but it obviously bears repeating

I let pro-MLMers in here from time to time IF:

1) They respect the members and the rules of the forum,

2) They are not here to promote their company,

3) They have legitimate questions, and

4) They seem willing to learn something.

My view is that as long as no one is harmed by the presence of someone who believes MLM may be viable, I see no reason to keep them out of the discussion. When the respect ends, the posting privilege ends.

And the rules of the forum are very clear: There IS a double standard in this forum. Pro-MLMers are on a short tether. But we’ve had pro-MLMer members in this forum before who could carry on a decent conversation and contribute to the discussion.

And lastly, how do you expect to show an MLMer the validity of the critic’s point of view if you exclude them from the conversation?
Again, as long as there’s a respectful interaction, the conversation can be useful.

I say all this because a pro-MLMer’s posts have to be reviewed and approved by me before they appear in the forum. MLMers usually make their intentions apparent in their first posts, and I’m the one who’s there to do something about it. Most times, you never see them or their messages.

Our member list consists of over 7500 people. Our banned list is over 2000. I think there could be more on that “banned” list if everyone who joined had to participate. I’m not shy in either direction. (I don’t want people to end up on the “banned” list. It’s just the result of their posts.)

From Jeff:

> I joined YTB 6 months ago. $1,000 poorer and no reps,

We’re not surprised.

> I’m planning to
> drop out.

Your smart choice.

> However, in a last ditch effort to find a legit MLM,

Not going to happen.

> I
> found out about one (by accident) and am giving consideration to it.

Save yourself. Run. Run far away from it.

> Is anyone in or has anyone heard of an MLM called sendoutcards.com?

To give you a little background, I have been a business owner twice in my life

My first business was a brokerage company where were essentially manufucturers representatives in our market area – usually the State of Minnesota. After buying that company from the owner, my main supplier decided that even though we had increased their business from 1000 units to over 400,000 units in our market in approximately 15 years, they just didn’t feel like paying my company our commission any more. They decided to just go around us, directly to our customers and sell them direct. Kind of like what Walmart has been doing for years.

I spent the decade of my twenties working in that business and trying to buy it. Ninety days later, it was al but gone. I sacrificed college, dating, marriage, family, everything for the sake of a better future, figuring that I would have a very good income in my late 20’s if I did so. Unfortunately, it didn’t turn out that way.

It was shortly after this that I was introduced to the Amway business. It was a case where they hit me with the right message at the right time. I was told that if I worked hard, practiced “delayed gratification”, and gave up the next 2-5 years of my life building “the business” that I would then be able to live “the diamond lifestyle”. It seemed like a second chance after having my dreams crushed in my previous venture.

Amway seemed like a the perfect business to me. I had been in sales all of my adult life, so contacting people and showing the plan was easy to me. The tapes said that if I would “show this plan to 100 people, I could have anything in the world I ever wanted.”

Over the course of the next 4-5 years, I went to EVERY meeting they had with the exception of the very first weekend seminar. I had gone to the rally in the afternoon and thought that the evening session was the same thing so I didn’t go. I also missed a Nutilite Vitamin seminar because I mixed up the date. Otherwise my attendance was perfect.

Upon entering the business, I bought every tape on the tape list because I was told that this would be setting a good example, and that the knowledge I would gain from the tapes would help me build the business that much faster. I also bought every book on the tools list. I can say with complete honesty that I have listened to every tape that was available at least once, and many of them I have listened to quite a few times. A couple of my favorites I’m sure I listened to at least 100 times. I have also read every book on their book list except one that was tarteged at wives, as I am a man.

Some people probably do claim to have done these things, but I can honestly say that I have.

I also showed the Amway plan to over 100 people over the course of approximately 4 years. This is one area where I didn’t follow their instructions to the “T”. They said that you should show 100 plans in one year and you would have a foundation for a Ruby level business.

I saw several Diamond speakers at seminars, rallys, etc. who claimed that they never showed the plan even 100 times (to sponsor someone personally, not including plans for their downlines) and they were Diamonds. They also said that they had no people skills before entering the business.

After hearing this one time, it dawned on me that I had, in fact, shown 100 personal plans, and I was NOT a nerd. I had proven in the past to be a successful business person, so I felt that something had to be wrong. I counseled with my upline Direct Distributor about this and he had no answers for me. All he could say was to keep showing the plan. I met with him every 6 months for the next 2 and a half years, and nothing changed. My business wasn’t growing.

If I was the only one experiencing this, I would have had no problem believing that it was I who needed to grow, learn, and do something differently. However, I had been in the business over 5 years, and World Wide Dream Builders had not broken a single diamond in that entire span of time. If everyone was at least TRYING to do the 2-5 year plan, you would think that SOMEONE would have had some success.
The only explanation I ever heard for this was that people weren’t working hard enough. I believe that this was probably true for the majority of distributors, but it couldn’t have been true for everyone.

Finally, it got to the point that I couldn’t justify showing the plan to other people if I didn’t really believe that I was offering them anything that would produce results. My direct distributor is a nice guy, but he has still never given me any reason to believe that the business can work for me other than to say that I just have to believe.

When all was said and done, I had spent another 5-6 years of my life “working for my future” on yet another empty promise. I quit the Amway business with the thought that it was not entirely bad. In fact, I really liked a lot of what they stood for: God, Country, free enterprise, owning your own business, bringing wives home to their children, having time, money, and living my dreams. The only problem was that there wasn’t any money in the business, here you can get payday loans in Florida (US). Needless to say, that’s a pretty important thing. All in all, I have mixed feelings about my time in Amway. The people involved seemed like quality people, and they stood for the right things. It was too bad it didn’t work.

After Amway, I got into the mortgage business, and have spent the last 10 years in that industry. Five years ago, I started my own mortgage company, and had a few very good six figure years. Then the real estate market fell out from under us.

This brings me to today. For the last 5 years, I have thought that it would be nice to find a business like Amway that actually works.

Recently, I was approached by an Herbalife distributor, and decided to got to one of their meetings. I don’t know much about the company, except that they are one of the bigger MLM’s out there, and that I assume their products are of decent quality.

The meeting I went to did not appear near as professional as the Amway meetings I was so used to attending. In fact, I felt that I could probably get up right then and do as good of a job as the speakers they chose. At the same time, they did have a lady and her Mother who worked as a team and who supposedly made approximately $30,000 per month in the business.

My question to all of you is this: Is Herbalife any different than Amway/Quixtar? They claim that they do not charge for training materials like Amway/Quixtar does, but then again, what I saw wasn’t nearly as convincing either.

If I got into this business and worked hard, is it something I could make a go of, or is it just another empty promise?

Please give me honest answers, not just a bunch of “positive hype” or “bitter rhetoric”. Thank you very much in advance for your help.

I joined YTB 6 months ago.

$1,000 poorer and no reps, I’m planning to drop out. However, in a last ditch effort to find a legit MLM, I found out about one (by accident) and am giving consideration to it. Is anyone in or has anyone heard of an MLM called sendoutcards com?

Success University is one of the more transparent types of pyramid schemes

The FIRST question you should be asking yourself when evaluating a “business opportunity” is what product or service you will be selling and to whom. A classic pyramid scheme only transfers money between participants – mostly from the lowest tiers to the higher ones. So if your “business opportunity” has no product or service that can be sold outside of the organization, you are clearly dealing with a pyramid scheme.

So if you look at the F.A.Q. on the Success University web site, you’ll see that the only people purchasing anything are the participants in the program. Nothing is sold to non-participants.
That is, everyone who would be approached about being involved would expect to derive an income from recruiting people into the opportunity. Other than that, there is nothing for sale. That makes it a scam.

So that’s my conclusion about what I think Success University is.

Now, to the question of whether or not it’s doable, that would depend on what you would actually be doing and whether or not you like to sleep peacefully at night. If you want to make money, don’t care about the legality or the ethics of it and have no concerns for conscience, then it’s doable.

I don’t think most people would be so greedy or devoid of conscience to follow you, though. That will make it very tough.

I lost $6,500 in Equinox right after college in the early 90’s in Wisconsin

similar experience to many people here — they got me to sign a high-interest loan after convincing me how easy it would be to pay it all off. I was stupid and did it, and very quickly after realized that you had to get others involved to really move the money. I felt so crappy and I got a 2nd job to pay back the loan. I was so embarrassed and very few people I know know about it. My family doesn’t know.

I kind of blocked it out all these years until doing an internet search today and learning for the first time that there was a settlement. I never got any notice of it, and therefore never got to file a claim. It sounds like I’m too late, right? Never hurts to ask, so hoping in case anyone knows whether there is any restitution for people who come in late.

Thank you

Well, we are comparing apples to oranges with your examples

But I would by a shirt that’s not too terrible. LOL. Heck, I am sitting here at a job that is not too terrible. I am bored out of my skull, but it pays the bills.

And I am looking for the bad and can’t find it. It seems to avoid many of the problems I had in the past. I can’t find anything scam related, I can’t find anything on the BBB site, I haven’t found any message boards with horror stories. And I have been looking. Only two other companies are on my not too terrible list, but it doesn’t mean I sell them. I also couldn’t find anything bad on Avon or Pampered Chef. Other than low pay, of course. LOL.

Thanks for the response

No, this company is actually called “Home & Garden Party”. I am familiar with Home Interiors. I hosted a successful party, so I tried selling it. I HATED it. I had to order more than the quantity that I wanted. It was delivered to my house and I had to sort it. Hostess gifts were paid by me. WHen I had a customer return a $20 item, I had to pay $15 to ship it which is more that I paid for it… so I still have it several years later. Home Interiors is definitely on my BAD list… for poor return policies, and especially for making their consultants order in quantities of two or more for some items… even though they may only need one.

being tempted by Home and Garden Party

I didn’t seek it out… and no one approached me to try to recruit me. I simply stumbled upon some information about Home & Garden Party that piqued my interest. I am having a hard time finding the bad in this one. The MLM style is a given. And I do understand what that means, but here is what I am finding appealing and different from most of the MLMs I tried in the past…

1. They ship to the client/hostess. No sorting, bagging, or
2. The order quota is like $10, so it’s not impossible to put in a
small order.
3. The company, not the consultant, pays the hostess bonuses.
4. Easy returns. THe customer does this through the company
directly and chooses cash back or replacement. Consultant doesn’t
have to touch it… but can if they want to.
5. Free website for consultants. Although I suspect that there is
more to this than meets the eye.
6. No shipping charges.
7. Appears to focus more on selling than recruiting.
8. No side business of sales tools.

The best I can figure is that it would cost money for the books…
and there is a $25 fee per year which seems good considering there are no shipping charges and the consultant doesn’t pay shipping.

Might I have found one of the not so terrible MLMs? I don’t want to say “good” because I think there is still room for abuse from uplines and whatnot… but it does seem low risk.

I tried to google Home & Garden party scam, but I think because the terms are also generic, it is harder to pull up anything specific. But I couldn’t find anything.

Does anyone have any insights as to things that are not apparent? I am tempted to put this one in the “not too terrible” category.