There are two type of people in this world: those who constantly hassle their family and friends to join or buy something from the “multilevel marketing” scheme they’ve been sucked in to, and those who don’t.
Good friends and family members don’t constantly try to suck their friends into an “amazing business opportunity” at every social function. The only time you hear from them shouldn’t be because they want to arrange to have a coffee with you and give you yet-another-fucking-sales-pitch. Those people are assholes. If you’re guilty of this, I don’t care if I’ve offended you. You’ve probably offended everyone you know with your desperate greed. I’m just telling it how it is.
What the fark is a multi-level marketing scheme?
Multi-level marketing, also known as network marketing or direct selling, is where you join a program as a sales representative, because they have promised you things like “financial freedom” and “being your own boss” and lots of other things that sound amazing. Whatever the product is – it might be essential oils, or diet supplements, or lingerie or makeup or stupid nail foils – the chances are the bulk of your income isn’t going to come from the sales you actually make.
You’ll be making money from a portion of the sales from the others you recruit into your “down line” and you, in turn, will be giving a portion of your sales from the person above you. The person at the top level is the one making the most fat cash. There are probably some legitimate business models out there where you actually can make money selling to everyone you know without relying on the income from the people you recruit… but by and large this stuff is just bullshit.
To be successful you just need to be happy to exploit your family and friends. No biggie.
“But it isn’t a pyramid scheme!!”
If you ask someone who is trying to recruit you to one of these schemes if it is a pyramid scheme, they’ll be very fucking quick to tell you exactly why it isn’t one, and will no doubt tie themselves in knots explaining some very complex and official sounding business structure to you. The old “baffle them with bullshit” sales technique, so you’ll think it sounds impressive AF.
For various reasons we aren’t supposed to call this a pyramid scheme because pyramid schemes are illegal and multilevel marketing (even though the business model is still a freaking pyramid) is not illegal. In my honest opinion many of these schemes are dodgy and very well should be classified as a pyramid, but they are able to sail close to the wind and remain legal.
According to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, this is how you tell the difference between a genuine multi-level marketing scheme and a pyramid:
Are the rewards for participants in the scheme purely based on product sales (by either themselves or others they introduce to the scheme)?
Are the products genuine products of real value, and of a type that normally will be used and purchased time and time again by a consumer, and not at a grossly inflated price?
If you answer yes to both questions, it is likely that the scheme is a legitimate multi-level marketing scheme.
This right here is where it gets confusing because of the “real value” of the products being flogged at “not a grossly inflated price”. How many times has someone you know tried to sell you this stuff that can often be described as snake oil at best and it costs a freaking fortune? I’m talking to you, woman who tries to flog me “herbal supplements” that cost a small fortune per bottle, several times a year.
Preying on SAHMs is not cool
Stay at home mums are often the target of these schemes (but not exclusively). Their desire to earn income to help the household budget out makes them a really good mark for people looking to recruit others into their downlines.
Let’s face it: finding a genuine work from home opportunity for a mother who is caught in the shitfull bind of needing to work for a living to help support the family, but unable to afford the crippling daycare costs (yes, after CCB and CCR it costs a fortune) is like finding hen’s teeth.
Often, once she does the sums, she’ll realise that working outside of the home just isn’t feasible. And so she will search for work from home job opportunities. After all, it’s the 21st century, and so many jobs really shouldn’t need to be done toiling away in a cubicle in an office complex. But even in the 21st century, the relics from the 20th century who are still at the helm of many companies just don’t want people working from home. There aren’t as many legitimate work from home opportunities as you’d think…