This blog is meant to help you determine which work at home job or program is for you. I am not making any determinations on whether or not a particular program is a scam. I am simply giving you the information to make that call for yourself.

Friday, March 03, 2006

What are MLM companies?

Before we get too far into this I want to say something about MLM companies in general.  MLM stands for multi-level marketing. 
MLM's are NOT scams.  They do have a bad name but not because they rip anyone off. 
There are a lot of MLM companies with great names.  Avon, Mary Kay, Discovery Toys, etc.
I think what happens is a lot of people join these companies and they see that they can make a percentage of all of their downlines sales.  Lets say 10% just for fun.  So they start recruiting like crazy.  Now since they are focused on recruiting and getting a downline to earn money from they probably also tell their recruits that they can make money when they build a downline.  So now the whole team is focused on building a downline and no one is selling.  If no one is selling, no one is making money.
If you want to get involved with a company that allows a downline, you must believe in your products and you must sell.   If you believe in the product and you are selling and making money other people WILL want to join your team and then they will also be selling and making money and recruiting..   This is how the programs were meant to work but we have gotten away from the concept.  Now everyone is building downlines, few are making money and then you get the naysayers who claim they gave it a try and it didn't work.  When what probably happened is that THEY didn't work.

What is the difference between a pyramid scheme and an MLM?  How can you tell if you are making a wise investment or if you are just throwing your hard earned money away? 


When you are looking to start your own business it can be very hard to tell the difference.  Once you start searching for a business, your email will be inundated with all kinds of great offers.  "Make $5000.00 a month.  GUARANTEED!"  "Your down line is growing; join now to reap the benefits."   You might find it hard to resist when they are showing you "proof" and "guaranteeing" you will not lose any money. 


The bottom line is, if they want you to put up money, recruit others and promise you riches with no product to sell and no hard work involved, it is probably not a good idea to join.


Pyramid schemes are set up as just that, a pyramid.  Someone at the top gets 10 people to put up money, he gets all that money.  His ten recruits each get 10 people to put up money, they get part of that money and the guy at the top gets part of that money and those 10 get 10 more people to put up money and so on and so forth.  You would have to have BILLIONS of people involved for everyone to make money and what about the last people who join?  Where do they make money?  Who did the guy at the top give his money to?  Often these schemes are set up as "clubs" or organizations and they make their programs look really inviting with nothing to lose. 


The key to keeping yourself and your money safe is to look at the program and analyze it.  Let’s say you find a company that looks good, and the investment is only $100.00.  What do you get in return for your money?  Does the company offer a product or a service?  Are you encouraged to sell the product or service or is their main focus on recruiting other prospects?

This is the big difference between a pyramid scheme and an MLM (multi-level marketing).  An MLM has a solid product and your focus is on selling it.  A pyramid scheme has no tangible product or service and your focus is on recruiting others to join.


 In a good MLM company you will be encouraged to focus mainly on selling their product to make money.  Most MLM's do require money for start up costs.  Start up costs can range from nothing to hundreds of dollars.  You typically do get something in return, a start up kit which generally includes manuals, brochures, order forms and possibly samples.  

When you join an MLM you are running your own business.  You have the name and reputation of the company behind you and you have an up line for support.  You will probably be encouraged to recruit others into your team but that should be secondary and with most good MLM's it is not a requirement.  How you build your business should be up to you.


To find out more about pyramid schemes visit  


This site also features some very well known companies who have had lawsuits filed against them.  In all fairness to these companies please read the entire article.  Some companies have had lawsuits filed against them but changed their marketing strategies in order to comply with laws currently in effect.  This makes the company legitimate and you should not be afraid to join if it is a product or service you feel passionately about. 


Do lots of research.  Check with the Better Business Bureau to find out if they have had complaints.


Another place I check frequently is the  This is a great site where people from all over can report their bad experiences with any company.


As always, the number one way to protect yourself from any scheme or scam:  If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is and don’t believe everything you read on the internet. 



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1 comment:

Marketing Buddy said...

Hi Connie,

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Hurry over and get your copy NOW before this unique time limited promotional offer is withdrawn.

Yours in Success