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Around the Internet => Antimustachian Wall of Shame and Comedy => Topic started by: Beard N Bones on June 14, 2016, 03:11:08 PM

Title: Multi-Level Marketing (MLM)/Network Marketing
Post by: Beard N Bones on June 14, 2016, 03:11:08 PM
After a lot of reading and thought, I have come to the conclusion that there needs to be conversation specific to the Multi-Level Marketing (MLM) business model on this forum.  The MLM Business Model is Anti-Mustachian at its core.  And unfortunately, we come across these companies all the time!   If a person located in a small remote Canadian town can have that much exposure to this business model (as I have), it has become an epidemic. 

There is a need for discussion on the MLM business model and the companies that use it.  Why? 
1. The facts surrounding the business model are shocking. 
2. Many otherwise logical, rational, and reasonable individuals become participants in MLMs. 
3. And, the business model is unforgiving (financially and otherwise) to those that take part in it - and to their friends and family.

I would like to see this thread be:
1.  Educational - for those that are or are not directly involved with these businesses.
2.  A Place Where Advice Can Be Asked For & Given.
3.  A Place Where MLM Rants Can Be Made.

"[Those involved with MLM companies have] high loss rates (close to 99.9%) – much higher than for no-product pyramid schemes (87.5% to 93.3%)."  Jon M. Taylor, President of Consumer Awareness Institute.


Title: Re: Multi-Level Marketing (MLM)/Network Marketing
Post by: solon on June 14, 2016, 04:56:07 PM
A friend of the family recently got into one of these. She left messages on all our phones asking to set up a "demo" for us. Sigh. Here we go again!
Title: Re: Multi-Level Marketing (MLM)/Network Marketing
Post by: woopwoop on June 14, 2016, 05:39:31 PM
Unfortunate to see people get sucked into this stuff. Trump's ACN is one of the ones I've had some contact with, and it's just downright awful:
http://pyramidschemealert.org/like-donald-trumps-hair-acn-may-not-be-what-it-appears-to-be/

"In Canada, ACN is required to disclose the “average” income of ACN sales reps. The ACN Canadian website reports the average of just the “active” reps to be only about $9 a week."

This for something that costs $500 as a "startup fee" that you can only recoup by roping in more people below you. Plus the costs of conferences and training meetings. Blech.
Title: Re: Multi-Level Marketing (MLM)/Network Marketing
Post by: MoneyCat on June 14, 2016, 09:24:32 PM
Beachbody sucked me in because they have great home workouts and health supplements that I have used to lose weight and get fit. I am officially a "Beachbody Coach", but only because I wanted the "coach discount" for a supplement I take that they sell called "Shakeology". It's basically a protein shake drink with a lot of herbs, vitamins, and minerals. It's expensive (about $115 for a 30 day supply), but I use it to replace one meal a day and partially pay for it by eliminating my alcohol purchasing.

I never had any intention of selling this stuff to anybody else, but they had me watch the coaching video conference when I officially joined and it is ridiculous. Their entire structure isn't based on selling videos and supplements. It's based on getting more Beachbody coaches. Everyone is a coach and nobody has any customers. The only sales they are getting are from other Beachbody coaches. Lots of desperate people are wasting hundreds of hours a month in the pointless pursuit of more coaches when they could be using that time to run a real side hustle and actually make money. For example, I make money teaching martial arts classes three days a week.
Title: Re: Multi-Level Marketing (MLM)/Network Marketing
Post by: Beard N Bones on June 14, 2016, 10:11:04 PM
...Trump's ACN is one of the ones I've had some contact with...
*SNIP*

Just as insane, is the highly revered Warren Buffett Berkshire Hathaway, getting intimately involved with Pampered Chef - a company my wife was introduced to by a pastor's wife.

Yep. Anyone have thoughts on why it seems there is a higher percentage of "religous" people involved with MLM companies?
Title: Re: Multi-Level Marketing (MLM)/Network Marketing
Post by: PhysicianOnFIRE on June 14, 2016, 10:21:21 PM
...Trump's ACN is one of the ones I've had some contact with...
*SNIP*

Just as insane, is the highly revered Warren Buffett Berkshire Hathaway, getting intimately involved with Pampered Chef - a company my wife was introduced to by a pastor's wife.

Yep. Anyone have thoughts on why it seems there is a higher percentage of "religous" people involved with MLM companies?

I would guess that it's because a level of trust and obligation is requisite in getting others to buy in. When you belong to the same faith, there are components of both.
Title: Re: Multi-Level Marketing (MLM)/Network Marketing
Post by: Beard N Bones on June 14, 2016, 10:35:30 PM
Beachbody sucked me in because they have great home workouts and health supplements that I have used to lose weight and get fit. I am officially a "Beachbody Coach", but only because I wanted the "coach discount" for a supplement I take that they sell called "Shakeology". It's basically a protein shake drink with a lot of herbs, vitamins, and minerals. It's expensive (about $115 for a 30 day supply), but I use it to replace one meal a day and partially pay for it by eliminating my alcohol purchasing.

I never had any intention of selling this stuff to anybody else, but they had me watch the coaching video conference when I officially joined and it is ridiculous. Their entire structure isn't based on selling videos and supplements. It's based on getting more Beachbody coaches. Everyone is a coach and nobody has any customers. The only sales they are getting are from other Beachbody coaches. Lots of desperate people are wasting hundreds of hours a month in the pointless pursuit of more coaches when they could be using that time to run a real side hustle and actually make money. For example, I make money teaching martial arts classes three days a week.

I think you highlight an important distinction that needs to be made moneycat. Often times the product that the MLMs "sell" are (almost always) very expensive but (sometimes) reasonably decent.  But just because the product may be decent, that doesn't mean the business model is good and a distributor/consultant/coach will make money. As a matter of fact, most involve do not make net profit - rather they lose financially because they have to "pay to play."

From what I understand, MLM profits come from the "distributors"/"sellers" as actually being the largest portion of buyers of the products being sold. Someone getting in to make a profit in these companies will lose money. 
Title: Re: Multi-Level Marketing (MLM)/Network Marketing
Post by: Frugal D on June 14, 2016, 11:24:58 PM
Everything you need to know: https://www.factsaboutherbalife.com/
Title: Re: Multi-Level Marketing (MLM)/Network Marketing
Post by: mousebandit on June 15, 2016, 09:03:14 AM
I think there are plenty of solid, legitimate mlm opportunities out there.  The point is to move product, and they move product very effectively and efficiently by incentivizing wholesale discounts and mandatory monthly automatic purchases.  The big problems that it's simply too easy for people to drop the ball and walk away.  What makes it so easy to get in, also makes it too easy to walk away, hence the huge numbers of failed distributors.  There's very little capital start up costs, no business plan, no legal structure.  It's very much an impulse purchase. 

That said, it works for moving product, and if you treat it like a business and put in the time and work, you can do great.  I have a dozen friends driving Lexus for free, getting the big cabo and cruise vacations, etc.  and dozens more that I've met through the company.  But they're working for it, make no mistake.  There's plenty of million dollar earners,but they take it seriously and work it like a business. 

Imo, mlm is great, it just attracts people who have no aptitude or drive for being entrepreneurs, so the vast majority of them fail.

I also think the passive income claims don't play out as well as they're marketed to.  Once you stop having active involvement with your team, it becomes a crapshoot as to whether or not they will stay active.  Because everyone underneath you is Independent as well, you have no guarantees if your managers, so to speak, will keep working or kick into retirement themselves.  Somebody has to work basically.  And once that down line as its called, starts to dry up, if you don't get in there and keep selling, your residual income dries up too. 

All that said, if you're an entrepreneur and willing to put in the time and work, it can be a good vehicle. There are good products and companies out there.  But the vast majority of distributors are not prepared and they will fail.
Title: Re: Multi-Level Marketing (MLM)/Network Marketing
Post by: NESailor on June 15, 2016, 09:23:09 AM
Beachbody sucked me in because they have great home workouts and health supplements that I have used to lose weight and get fit. I am officially a "Beachbody Coach", but only because I wanted the "coach discount" for a supplement I take that they sell called "Shakeology". It's basically a protein shake drink with a lot of herbs, vitamins, and minerals. It's expensive (about $115 for a 30 day supply), but I use it to replace one meal a day and partially pay for it by eliminating my alcohol purchasing.

I never had any intention of selling this stuff to anybody else, but they had me watch the coaching video conference when I officially joined and it is ridiculous. Their entire structure isn't based on selling videos and supplements. It's based on getting more Beachbody coaches. Everyone is a coach and nobody has any customers. The only sales they are getting are from other Beachbody coaches. Lots of desperate people are wasting hundreds of hours a month in the pointless pursuit of more coaches when they could be using that time to run a real side hustle and actually make money. For example, I make money teaching martial arts classes three days a week.

Seems like all of my wife's friends are coaches too.  Once of them even gave us an entire big bag of Shaekology for free to try to get her into it.  No chance.  We tried the stuff and decided our fresh smoothies were tastier and threw the whole thing out.

The "oldest" coach who got in early claims that she nets 8K / month from it.  That seems almost too good to be true but she does have all these other girls buying supplies and signing up people so I guess it's possible?
Title: Re: Multi-Level Marketing (MLM)/Network Marketing
Post by: MrsDinero on June 15, 2016, 09:31:57 AM
Beachbody sucked me in because they have great home workouts and health supplements that I have used to lose weight and get fit. I am officially a "Beachbody Coach", but only because I wanted the "coach discount" for a supplement I take that they sell called "Shakeology". It's basically a protein shake drink with a lot of herbs, vitamins, and minerals. It's expensive (about $115 for a 30 day supply), but I use it to replace one meal a day and partially pay for it by eliminating my alcohol purchasing.

I never had any intention of selling this stuff to anybody else, but they had me watch the coaching video conference when I officially joined and it is ridiculous. Their entire structure isn't based on selling videos and supplements. It's based on getting more Beachbody coaches. Everyone is a coach and nobody has any customers. The only sales they are getting are from other Beachbody coaches. Lots of desperate people are wasting hundreds of hours a month in the pointless pursuit of more coaches when they could be using that time to run a real side hustle and actually make money. For example, I make money teaching martial arts classes three days a week.

Seems like all of my wife's friends are coaches too.  Once of them even gave us an entire big bag of Shaekology for free to try to get her into it.  No chance.  We tried the stuff and decided our fresh smoothies were tastier and threw the whole thing out.

The "oldest" coach who got in early claims that she nets 8K / month from it.  That seems almost too good to be true but she does have all these other girls buying supplies and signing up people so I guess it's possible?

I have a problem with BB calling their people "coaches"  I know many who tried and failed at being a BB Coach.  At the same time I know 2 people (husband and wife team) who seem to be doing very well as BB Coaches.  They were already very fitness oriented before signing up.  They do a lot of other things than just BB videos, she runs ultra marathons and he has a personal trainer certification.

I do have to say I love the workout videos and own several (bought on either Ebay or Craigslist for less).  I used to buy Shakeology but didn't drink it enough and ended up throwing out 4 expired bags because my OB told me to not drink it while pregnant. 
Title: Re: Multi-Level Marketing (MLM)/Network Marketing
Post by: Frugal D on June 15, 2016, 09:47:09 AM
I think there are plenty of solid, legitimate mlm opportunities out there.  The point is to move product, and they move product very effectively and efficiently by incentivizing wholesale discounts and mandatory monthly automatic purchases.  The big problems that it's simply too easy for people to drop the ball and walk away.  What makes it so easy to get in, also makes it too easy to walk away, hence the huge numbers of failed distributors.  There's very little capital start up costs, no business plan, no legal structure.  It's very much an impulse purchase. 

That said, it works for moving product, and if you treat it like a business and put in the time and work, you can do great.  I have a dozen friends driving Lexus for free, getting the big cabo and cruise vacations, etc.  and dozens more that I've met through the company.  But they're working for it, make no mistake.  There's plenty of million dollar earners,but they take it seriously and work it like a business. 

Imo, mlm is great, it just attracts people who have no aptitude or drive for being entrepreneurs, so the vast majority of them fail.

I also think the passive income claims don't play out as well as they're marketed to.  Once you stop having active involvement with your team, it becomes a crapshoot as to whether or not they will stay active.  Because everyone underneath you is Independent as well, you have no guarantees if your managers, so to speak, will keep working or kick into retirement themselves.  Somebody has to work basically.  And once that down line as its called, starts to dry up, if you don't get in there and keep selling, your residual income dries up too. 

All that said, if you're an entrepreneur and willing to put in the time and work, it can be a good vehicle. There are good products and companies out there.  But the vast majority of distributors are not prepared and they will fail.

Not 1 thing in this entire post is even remotely close to accurate. The products sold at all MLMs are shit and marked up egregiously. Most MLMs are illegal pyramid schemes. When recruiting becomes more central to actually selling the product it's a pyramid scheme.

They are also just embarrassing - having to pressure your closest friends and family to support your horrible business efforts. And don't ever associate MLMs with entrepreneurship. Entrepreneurship doesn't mean getting scammed by a pyramid scheme and then "building your business" by recruiting other suckers.

I'm sorry you got involved in a scam. You should get out now. 
Title: Re: Multi-Level Marketing (MLM)/Network Marketing
Post by: Beard N Bones on June 15, 2016, 11:05:10 AM
Everything you need to know: https://www.factsaboutherbalife.com/

Looks like a good website dealing with Herbalife directly.  I have found that the following paper written by Jon M. Taylor, PhD. has been the best in explaining the pitfalls of MLMs in general (IMO, it is a must read):
Title: Re: Multi-Level Marketing (MLM)/Network Marketing
Post by: fattest_foot on June 15, 2016, 11:38:31 AM
Beachbody sucked me in because they have great home workouts and health supplements that I have used to lose weight and get fit. I am officially a "Beachbody Coach", but only because I wanted the "coach discount" for a supplement I take that they sell called "Shakeology". It's basically a protein shake drink with a lot of herbs, vitamins, and minerals. It's expensive (about $115 for a 30 day supply), but I use it to replace one meal a day and partially pay for it by eliminating my alcohol purchasing.

A few years ago a coworker started doing Advocare, and being someone quite knowledgeable about supplements, I decided to take a look at what it actually was (I should also note that this same person is now a Beachbody Coach).

The summary is that it's completely overpriced even with your Coach discount. You could buy a protein powder and greens product for about 1/8th the cost of Shakeology and get the same profile of ingredients.

The only thing it offers is convenience, but even that is dubious when you're really only talking about saving yourself about 15-30 seconds of mixing different products.
Title: Re: Multi-Level Marketing (MLM)/Network Marketing
Post by: mousebandit on June 15, 2016, 11:43:21 AM
Frugal D - sorry you feel that way, but no, not every single product marketed via MLM is worthless.  I'm not involved in any now, because at the end of the day, it's still about selling, and I don't like selling.  But, there's plenty of good products and decent companies.  There's plenty of crappy ones, too, granted.  Just like any product you'd buy on a retail store shelf.  Some you'll like, some you'll love, and some you'll throw in the trash. 

I agree that the "warm market" and "hot market" aspect of mlm are difficult for most people, me included.  It brings a level of personal responsibility and rejection to the whole business which I don't like.  If I were forced to be a salesperson, I'd only do cold market, and never start with people i know. 

THat said, yes, there is big money to be made, but again, it's a business, and you have to be suited to it, and treat it as such.  It's also so personal that you really need to be tuned-in to your industry niche.  If you're a couch potato who lives for junk food, beachbody is probably not your niche, LOL.  Contrarily, if you're a fitness buff already, and agree with their health and dietary recommendations, it could be a good fit.  But again, it's a business, and it's about moving product. 

The fact is, they don't make a ton of money off people signing up as distributors - it's the product that gets moved because of the distributor agreement - the monthly autoships.  Distributors are going to buy more product, refer more people, and keep doing both, because there's something in it for them.  Product is moving, that's the bottom line.  And if you're more likely to buy and keep buying product because you're now a "distributor" and you get "wholesale pricing", then right on.  THat's a good marketing strategy. 

The marketing that goes along with the "opportunity" side of the business is very fluffy, I agree.  They're pitching an affluent lifestyle, with very little work required.  Not totally accurate.  But, then again, show me any large retailer who has marketing that is completely accurate and not at all fluffy. 

What is truth is that there are companies who do give the cash and bonuses you hear about.  Tupperware is alive and strong.  My friend has been driving her TW rigs for decades, LOL.  Her daughter is also a leader and hasn't bought her own personal vehicle since she was like 19.  My girlfriend from high school quit her full time university job last year and went full time with her Mary Kay business.  Is she rich, no.  Is she paying her bills and putting her daughter through college?  Yep.  The last company I was involved with has like 3 of my high school girlfriends driving the free Lexus and making upwards of $3k-$5k cash per month on top of that.  THere's another 8-10 ladies in our hometown who are also driving the Lexus and making less per month.  (and they're all working their hiney's off for it - make no mistake).  For every success story are there 300 people who quit, and never made a dime?  Yep.  That's how it goes.  They made an impulse purchase of a "business franchise" and they didn't prepare for it, they probably didn't work it, and they probably weren't at all suited to being an entrepreneur, particularly a personal network salesman.  That's okay. 

It's easy to bash on, but it is a legitimate form of business and marketing.  It's just way too uncomfortable for most people, and way more work than most people realize.  And that's okay.  That's why I don't do it anymore, LOL.  I have acknowledged my limits and my niche.  But to think that it's a scam, or all the products suck, that's not realistic.  I've got my mlm face cream on this morning, and will every morning forever, LOL!   It will become more and more popular, too.  Personal recommendations and social networking is the basis for huge growth. 



Title: Re: Multi-Level Marketing (MLM)/Network Marketing
Post by: Frugal D on June 15, 2016, 12:01:02 PM
Everything you need to know: https://www.factsaboutherbalife.com/

Looks like a good website dealing with Herbalife directly.  I have found that the following paper written by Jon M. Taylor, PhD. has been the best in explaining the pitfalls of MLMs in general (IMO, it is a must read):

Really great paper! Thanks for sharing!
Title: Re: Multi-Level Marketing (MLM)/Network Marketing
Post by: mm1970 on June 15, 2016, 12:08:45 PM
Beachbody sucked me in because they have great home workouts and health supplements that I have used to lose weight and get fit. I am officially a "Beachbody Coach", but only because I wanted the "coach discount" for a supplement I take that they sell called "Shakeology". It's basically a protein shake drink with a lot of herbs, vitamins, and minerals. It's expensive (about $115 for a 30 day supply), but I use it to replace one meal a day and partially pay for it by eliminating my alcohol purchasing.

I never had any intention of selling this stuff to anybody else, but they had me watch the coaching video conference when I officially joined and it is ridiculous. Their entire structure isn't based on selling videos and supplements. It's based on getting more Beachbody coaches. Everyone is a coach and nobody has any customers. The only sales they are getting are from other Beachbody coaches. Lots of desperate people are wasting hundreds of hours a month in the pointless pursuit of more coaches when they could be using that time to run a real side hustle and actually make money. For example, I make money teaching martial arts classes three days a week.
Ha ha yes!  Another "discount coach" here.  I do love the workouts.  They are fantastic, especially times like now when spouse is traveling and I'm stuck working out at home with the kids.

I know some coaches (locally and on line) who make a living at it.  But it's very very hard.  I've also known some to do well but then quit due to the sheer amount of work.  It's pretty crazy.  Lots of people I know go on these free "cruises" and vacations they get for being top sellers.  So for fun, I looked up what was required to make the cruise.  I'm not positive I have it right, but I think it's essentially 2 new customers a month for a year.  (2 new customers on a major workout program/ shakeology).  That's a lot.  And of course the "free" cruise required them all to buy plane tickets for themselves and their families from CA to FL, plus hotels for a couple of nights before and after the cruise.

Those that I think do reasonably well at it are already in the fitness industry, and it's kind of a side job.  And of course, the real money is in getting more coaches, and then they are ruthless.  One family has a karate studio, so they give free workouts 2-3x a day in their studio, and get customers that way.  Another two rent space in gyms to give classes.  On the flip side, my best friend's uncle owns the karate studio.  She really wants to try a workout but doesn't want the crazy hard sell.  So...I loaned her my DVDs for the particular workout.  (I have also loaned/ given away DVDs as gifts.)

Love the workouts.  Hate the business model.
Title: Re: Multi-Level Marketing (MLM)/Network Marketing
Post by: mm1970 on June 15, 2016, 12:09:54 PM
Unfortunate to see people get sucked into this stuff. Trump's ACN is one of the ones I've had some contact with, and it's just downright awful:
http://pyramidschemealert.org/like-donald-trumps-hair-acn-may-not-be-what-it-appears-to-be/

"In Canada, ACN is required to disclose the “average” income of ACN sales reps. The ACN Canadian website reports the average of just the “active” reps to be only about $9 a week."

This for something that costs $500 as a "startup fee" that you can only recoup by roping in more people below you. Plus the costs of conferences and training meetings. Blech.
oh I got stuck in one of those sales pitches! from a friend who also sucked me into an essential oil sales pitch
Title: Re: Multi-Level Marketing (MLM)/Network Marketing
Post by: deadlymonkey on June 15, 2016, 12:29:52 PM
My neighbor was a BB coach and really into it and full devotee to the company.  She does pretty well at it and has lots of clients.  My wife joined one of her groups but our neighbor was honest with her and told her she should just be a coach for the discounts and military and their dependents can be a coach without any fees.  So my wife gets all the discounts by being a coach but doesn't pay the monthly coach fee.
Title: Re: Multi-Level Marketing (MLM)/Network Marketing
Post by: Frugal D on June 15, 2016, 12:30:11 PM
The fact is, they don't make a ton of money off people signing up as distributors - it's the product that gets moved because of the distributor agreement - the monthly autoships.  Distributors are going to buy more product, refer more people, and keep doing both, because there's something in it for them.  Product is moving, that's the bottom line.  And if you're more likely to buy and keep buying product because you're now a "distributor" and you get "wholesale pricing", then right on.  THat's a good marketing strategy.

Do you not understand that this statement makes it a pyramid scheme? Money is not being made from retail sales, but from recruiting distributors.
Title: Re: Multi-Level Marketing (MLM)/Network Marketing
Post by: mousebandit on June 15, 2016, 01:20:22 PM
I'm not saying that some, perhaps many, aren't pyramids.  You've got to do some due diligence to study the compensation plan to see if the funding is coming primarily from distributors or end consumers (and nobody ever does due diligence before signing up with their neighbors MLM, lol).  But again, you can't lump all the companies together.  THere are some, plenty, that make enough money from the end consumers that it's not a pyramid.  And, again, I still say that if the distributors are buying product, then it's product sales that are funding the company.  But, yes, I do get the distinction.  I mostly trying to make the point that the business model of MLM isn't illegal, unethical, or unprofitable.  It's uncomfortable for most people (as is entrepreneurship in general), and there are plenty of scammers and overpriced, crappy products in the industry.  But, not all of them.  Don't throw the baby out with the bathwater.  For 1-3% of the population, it's a well-suited business model.
Title: Re: Multi-Level Marketing (MLM)/Network Marketing
Post by: MoneyCat on June 15, 2016, 01:28:29 PM
Beachbody sucked me in because they have great home workouts and health supplements that I have used to lose weight and get fit. I am officially a "Beachbody Coach", but only because I wanted the "coach discount" for a supplement I take that they sell called "Shakeology". It's basically a protein shake drink with a lot of herbs, vitamins, and minerals. It's expensive (about $115 for a 30 day supply), but I use it to replace one meal a day and partially pay for it by eliminating my alcohol purchasing.

A few years ago a coworker started doing Advocare, and being someone quite knowledgeable about supplements, I decided to take a look at what it actually was (I should also note that this same person is now a Beachbody Coach).

The summary is that it's completely overpriced even with your Coach discount. You could buy a protein powder and greens product for about 1/8th the cost of Shakeology and get the same profile of ingredients.

The only thing it offers is convenience, but even that is dubious when you're really only talking about saving yourself about 15-30 seconds of mixing different products.

Intellectually, I know that I could probably concoct something similar for much less money as you say. Emotionally, however, I have lost 30 lbs since January because of the health benefits of Shakeology and the behavior changes it encouraged in me (such as nearly eliminating alcohol consumption to pay for the Shakeology and reducing the calorie count of one meal per day by replacement.) As a result, I keep buying and drinking the Shakeology. Human behavior is a funny thing and it doesn't always make logical sense. I'm not a robot, you know.
Title: Re: Multi-Level Marketing (MLM)/Network Marketing
Post by: infogoon on June 15, 2016, 01:41:06 PM
Not 1 thing in this entire post is even remotely close to accurate. The products sold at all MLMs are shit and marked up egregiously. Most MLMs are illegal pyramid schemes. When recruiting becomes more central to actually selling the product it's a pyramid scheme.

I don't know, some of the stoneware from Pampered Chef is pretty nice. I pick it up at suburban garage sales from failed reps unloading old product.
Title: Re: Multi-Level Marketing (MLM)/Network Marketing
Post by: Frugal D on June 15, 2016, 01:41:55 PM
I'm not saying that some, perhaps many, aren't pyramids.  You've got to do some due diligence to study the compensation plan to see if the funding is coming primarily from distributors or end consumers (and nobody ever does due diligence before signing up with their neighbors MLM, lol).  But again, you can't lump all the companies together.  THere are some, plenty, that make enough money from the end consumers that it's not a pyramid.  And, again, I still say that if the distributors are buying product, then it's product sales that are funding the company.  But, yes, I do get the distinction.  I mostly trying to make the point that the business model of MLM isn't illegal, unethical, or unprofitable.  It's uncomfortable for most people (as is entrepreneurship in general), and there are plenty of scammers and overpriced, crappy products in the industry.  But, not all of them.  Don't throw the baby out with the bathwater.  For 1-3% of the population, it's a well-suited business model.

I can't tell if your legitimately intellectually challenged on this or just trolling me, but no, you clearly don't get the distinction.

There are NOT "plenty" that make the majority of their revenue from retail sales. Name 5 for me, please.

Distributors are buying the product because if they don't have monthly auto-fills enabled they won't be eligible for the profit sharing.

Read the paper posted by Beard N Bones in its entirety. If you still don't understand what a pyramid scheme is then there's just no helping you.



   
Title: Re: Multi-Level Marketing (MLM)/Network Marketing
Post by: MrsDinero on June 15, 2016, 01:43:09 PM
Intellectually, I know that I could probably concoct something similar for much less money as you say. Emotionally, however, I have lost 30 lbs since January because of the health benefits of Shakeology and the behavior changes it encouraged in me (such as nearly eliminating alcohol consumption to pay for the Shakeology and reducing the calorie count of one meal per day by replacement.) As a result, I keep buying and drinking the Shakeology. Human behavior is a funny thing and it doesn't always make logical sense. I'm not a robot, you know.

Check out Vega One.  I did a comparison a few years ago and Vega One were very similar.  Some of Shakeology's ingredients are not listed so it is tough to compare everything.  From a meal replacement standpoint I didn't notice any hunger differences between Vega One and Shakeology.  Vega One also costs about $60 vs Shakeology $130.
Title: Re: Multi-Level Marketing (MLM)/Network Marketing
Post by: rockstache on June 15, 2016, 01:46:05 PM
Intellectually, I know that I could probably concoct something similar for much less money as you say. Emotionally, however, I have lost 30 lbs since January because of the health benefits of Shakeology and the behavior changes it encouraged in me (such as nearly eliminating alcohol consumption to pay for the Shakeology and reducing the calorie count of one meal per day by replacement.) As a result, I keep buying and drinking the Shakeology. Human behavior is a funny thing and it doesn't always make logical sense. I'm not a robot, you know.

Check out Vega One.  I did a comparison a few years ago and Vega One were very similar.  Some of Shakeology's ingredients are not listed so it is tough to compare everything.  From a meal replacement standpoint I didn't notice any hunger differences between Vega One and Shakeology.  Vega One also costs about $60 vs Shakeology $130.

How is the taste? Chocolate Shakeology was the first powder meal replacement thingy that I could ever choke down. I won't be buying it again because $$, but I wouldn't mind having a substitute if it was actually as delicious.
Title: Re: Multi-Level Marketing (MLM)/Network Marketing
Post by: MrsDinero on June 15, 2016, 01:52:24 PM
Intellectually, I know that I could probably concoct something similar for much less money as you say. Emotionally, however, I have lost 30 lbs since January because of the health benefits of Shakeology and the behavior changes it encouraged in me (such as nearly eliminating alcohol consumption to pay for the Shakeology and reducing the calorie count of one meal per day by replacement.) As a result, I keep buying and drinking the Shakeology. Human behavior is a funny thing and it doesn't always make logical sense. I'm not a robot, you know.

Check out Vega One.  I did a comparison a few years ago and Vega One were very similar.  Some of Shakeology's ingredients are not listed so it is tough to compare everything.  From a meal replacement standpoint I didn't notice any hunger differences between Vega One and Shakeology.  Vega One also costs about $60 vs Shakeology $130.

How is the taste? Chocolate Shakeology was the first powder meal replacement thingy that I could ever choke down. I won't be buying it again because $$, but I wouldn't mind having a substitute if it was actually as delicious.
To me it tastes good, but I hated Shakeology chocolate, loved their vanilla hated all their other flavors.  With Vega One it was the opposite I loved the chocolate but hated the vanilla.
Title: Re: Multi-Level Marketing (MLM)/Network Marketing
Post by: mm1970 on June 15, 2016, 03:46:49 PM
Intellectually, I know that I could probably concoct something similar for much less money as you say. Emotionally, however, I have lost 30 lbs since January because of the health benefits of Shakeology and the behavior changes it encouraged in me (such as nearly eliminating alcohol consumption to pay for the Shakeology and reducing the calorie count of one meal per day by replacement.) As a result, I keep buying and drinking the Shakeology. Human behavior is a funny thing and it doesn't always make logical sense. I'm not a robot, you know.

Check out Vega One.  I did a comparison a few years ago and Vega One were very similar.  Some of Shakeology's ingredients are not listed so it is tough to compare everything.  From a meal replacement standpoint I didn't notice any hunger differences between Vega One and Shakeology.  Vega One also costs about $60 vs Shakeology $130.
I here you MoneyCat!  When I first started drinking shakeology, I lost 30 pounds and didn't get sick for an entire year.  And I was sick constantly.  I do love the taste too.

I've tried Vega One though.  Maybe I should try different flavors, but it was so gross.  There was no way I could make it taste good.  I ended up giving almost all of it away (after attempting to down it a few different ways).

(Love Shakeo chocolate, couldn't choke down the vanilla in any way shape or form.  Tolerated the strawberry.)

Now that I just signed up for BOD (online service), I've thought about canceling my coach membership and Shakeo.  Because the advantage for me was the discount.  There are so many workouts available on BOD (the 3 I own, two older ones I own, and a bunch more), that...I don't know if I need the discount.
Title: Re: Multi-Level Marketing (MLM)/Network Marketing
Post by: notactiveanymore on June 15, 2016, 03:54:45 PM
My biggest problem with MLMs - specifically their social network attempts at bringing in new recruits - is how much they lie. And they don't just make up the lies on there own showing some salesmanship and creativity. No, they just copy and paste a fb status from their upline with no care about fact-checking.

Here are a couple viral claims I've seen posted by friends who are involved in MLM:

My next biggest problem is how they prey on working moms. Just a whole lot of shame about missing out on time with your kids and how this MLM is going to give you the freedom to stay home. They of course don't mention that only 1% of people make money on it.

Also horrible is the lie that how much you "earn" in a month is your profit. My coworker does Scentsy and she regularly buys extra stock just to bump up into a better sales tier. So then two months later when she sells some of her stock, she acts like the whole thing is profit when she actually only has a 25% markup and will have to pay income taxes on it still. Hapless recruit targets can really be swayed into joining when they are told about average monthly earnings then get blown away when they realize expenses are not taken out.

The network marketing part of it is of course horrible too. In the last three years I've been solicited for: Scentsy, Tastefully Simple, 31 Bags, Jamberry, It Works!, Norwex, Just Jewelry, YoungLife*, Usborne Books, Younique, Mary Kay, and Advocare. I'm a 26 year old woman who goes to church, so I guess I'm the prime target! But it really sucks to be in a position where you feel uncomfortable saying no. I'm not sure what my excuse will be once we're debt free, but I'm never going to another party again. It honestly feels like a thinly veiled gofundme rather than a "business" with the way people beg for you to buy crap so they can stay at home with kids. IDK, maybe plan ahead a little bit if you want to stay at home?

ETA: Young Living not Young Life. Also remembered I've been solicited for doTERRA and Stella & Dot
Title: Re: Multi-Level Marketing (MLM)/Network Marketing
Post by: iris lily on June 15, 2016, 04:10:59 PM
I'm not saying that some, perhaps many, aren't pyramids.  You've got to do some due diligence to study the compensation plan to see if the funding is coming primarily from distributors or end consumers (and nobody ever does due diligence before signing up with their neighbors MLM, lol).  But again, you can't lump all the companies together.  THere are some, plenty, that make enough money from the end consumers that it's not a pyramid.  And, again, I still say that if the distributors are buying product, then it's product sales that are funding the company.  But, yes, I do get the distinction.  I mostly trying to make the point that the business model of MLM isn't illegal, unethical, or unprofitable.  It's uncomfortable for most people (as is entrepreneurship in general), and there are plenty of scammers and overpriced, crappy products in the industry.  But, not all of them.  Don't throw the baby out with the bathwater.  For 1-3% of the population, it's a well-suited business model.

I can't tell if your legitimately intellectually challenged on this or just trolling me, but no, you clearly don't get the distinction.

There are NOT "plenty" that make the majority of their revenue from retail sales. Name 5 for me, please.

Distributors are buying the product because if they don't have monthly auto-fills enabled they won't be eligible for the profit sharing.

Read the paper posted by Beard N Bones in its entirety. If you still don't understand what a pyramid scheme is then there's just no helping you.


Would Avon be one of these? I am old, and Avon has been around forever, and I nly recently learned of its upline etc. Imthought it was straight up direct sales.

Note that I have never bought an Avon product in my life.
Title: Re: Multi-Level Marketing (MLM)/Network Marketing
Post by: TheGrimSqueaker on June 15, 2016, 04:29:19 PM

There are NOT "plenty" that make the majority of their revenue from retail sales. Name 5 for me, please.


You might not be old enough to remember mail order companies, many of whom had direct marketers and a MLM style recruitment initiative. Some of them are still in business because people want the product.

Companies that make most of their money from product sales, despite being direct marketing ventures with a partial multi-level structure include:

- Avon
- PartyLite
- Pampered Chef
- Tupperware
- Mary Kay
- UnderCoverWear
- Longaberger
- Watkins

... and pretty much anything sold using the "party" system or the mail-order catalogue system. Many of the companies I listed have been selling viable product for more than twenty years. Frequently the products are not actually overpriced based on the quality (Avon and Tupperware come to mind). However each one of these MLMs limits the down-line of every person who recruits others and none is allowed to blow up into a full pyramid scheme.

Regal (Canadian company, possibly out of business now) was primarily mail-order but maintained fully staffed retail stores that sold everything in their catalogues, plus they had Regal dealers who sold out of the catalogue. This was, until the 90's when the Internet made catalogue shopping obsolete, a very effective way to sell in rural or suburban areas.

Back in the 1950's through the 1970's, Amway had some outstanding concentrated cleaning products that simply weren't available in stores. They later became a pyramid scheme, once retail stores started selling concentrated cleaning products at a competitive price and once retail stores started moving into rural areas. It was a business model they embraced as a result of other more competitive products and sales models cutting into their market share. Later they realized they could make even more selling "motivational tools" to their extended downline, and so Amway/Quixtar stopped being an effective MLM and became a con job.

Does this help?
Title: Re: Multi-Level Marketing (MLM)/Network Marketing
Post by: gillstone on June 15, 2016, 04:31:13 PM
I'm not saying that some, perhaps many, aren't pyramids.  You've got to do some due diligence to study the compensation plan to see if the funding is coming primarily from distributors or end consumers (and nobody ever does due diligence before signing up with their neighbors MLM, lol).  But again, you can't lump all the companies together.  THere are some, plenty, that make enough money from the end consumers that it's not a pyramid.  And, again, I still say that if the distributors are buying product, then it's product sales that are funding the company.  But, yes, I do get the distinction.  I mostly trying to make the point that the business model of MLM isn't illegal, unethical, or unprofitable.  It's uncomfortable for most people (as is entrepreneurship in general), and there are plenty of scammers and overpriced, crappy products in the industry.  But, not all of them.  Don't throw the baby out with the bathwater.  For 1-3% of the population, it's a well-suited business model.

You're splitting hairs on this.  If most MLMs are unethical or encourage unethical behavior (exploitation of social networks, high pressure sales, absurd promises of wealth) then MLMs should be considered broadly unethical.  Defenses of "not all MLMs are bad" and  "its about having the right people" are not only weak tea, they shift the onus to behave away from the company.  If an MLM promises wealth for only a few hours a week (something which is a blatant lie) the consumer should be wary, but also the MLM shouldn't be lying. 

If I bought oceanfront property in Kansas, I'd be dumb; but the person who sold it to me would still be committing fraud.  That ethical breach isn't wiped away by my lack of due diligence.
Title: Re: Multi-Level Marketing (MLM)/Network Marketing
Post by: TheGrimSqueaker on June 15, 2016, 04:56:50 PM
I'm not saying that some, perhaps many, aren't pyramids.  You've got to do some due diligence to study the compensation plan to see if the funding is coming primarily from distributors or end consumers (and nobody ever does due diligence before signing up with their neighbors MLM, lol).  But again, you can't lump all the companies together.  THere are some, plenty, that make enough money from the end consumers that it's not a pyramid.  And, again, I still say that if the distributors are buying product, then it's product sales that are funding the company.  But, yes, I do get the distinction.  I mostly trying to make the point that the business model of MLM isn't illegal, unethical, or unprofitable.  It's uncomfortable for most people (as is entrepreneurship in general), and there are plenty of scammers and overpriced, crappy products in the industry.  But, not all of them.  Don't throw the baby out with the bathwater.  For 1-3% of the population, it's a well-suited business model.

You're splitting hairs on this.  If most MLMs are unethical or encourage unethical behavior (exploitation of social networks, high pressure sales, absurd promises of wealth) then MLMs should be considered broadly unethical.  Defenses of "not all MLMs are bad" and  "its about having the right people" are not only weak tea, they shift the onus to behave away from the company.  If an MLM promises wealth for only a few hours a week (something which is a blatant lie) the consumer should be wary, but also the MLM shouldn't be lying. 

If I bought oceanfront property in Kansas, I'd be dumb; but the person who sold it to me would still be committing fraud.  That ethical breach isn't wiped away by my lack of due diligence.

MLM is a business structure. There's nothing inherently bad or dishonest about a business structure. We've all seen dishonesty in other kinds of business including retail, restaurants, E-commerce, and medicine. The onus of staying honest is strictly on the people at the top, who create the catalogues, sales pitches, incentive structure, product selection, and pricing scheme. When any of those things are done badly, the only way to sell the product is to either exaggerate its merits or guilt-trip someone.

Part of the complaints against MLM should rightly be directed against direct or network marketing. Not all direct marketing or network marketing is MLM. Vector (Cutco) and Kirby aren't MLM, for example, but they're both shady as hell.
Title: Re: Multi-Level Marketing (MLM)/Network Marketing
Post by: kite on June 16, 2016, 06:01:58 AM
...Trump's ACN is one of the ones I've had some contact with...
*SNIP*

Just as insane, is the highly revered Warren Buffett Berkshire Hathaway, getting intimately involved with Pampered Chef - a company my wife was introduced to by a pastor's wife.

Yep. Anyone have thoughts on why it seems there is a higher percentage of "religous" people involved with MLM companies?

I would guess that it's because a level of trust and obligation is requisite in getting others to buy in. When you belong to the same faith, there are components of both.

People sell to and recruit those they know.  A faith community has deeper ties between members than most every other kind of group.  Ie.. you might belong to the PTA with people, but it will be for a more limited duration and with less regular interaction than church, synagogue or mosque attendance.  The closest thing in the secular world (Crossfit) has the same dynamic as a religion.  And it does seem like the more recent wave in MLM is fitness with personal trainers as pushers. 

I sold Pampered Chef.  No complaints.  Was profitable within a month, averaged $25/hour for the time I put in, and never was pressured to recruit. So I don't find WB'S interest in PC to be objectionable.  It's a successful and profitable business for him to own a piece of.  He's invested in McDonald's and Coca-Cola too.  I patronize neither of those businesses, but recognize that many people want to do so on a regular basis. 
Title: Re: Multi-Level Marketing (MLM)/Network Marketing
Post by: Making Cookies on June 16, 2016, 08:53:02 AM
Do any of these companies offer a product that people NEED vs want? To me it seems like a bunch of people who are buying stuff b/c they like shopping.

Everything can be purchased locally or over the 'net without going through sales reps and I'll bet the prices can be beaten too.
Title: Re: Multi-Level Marketing (MLM)/Network Marketing
Post by: horsepoor on June 16, 2016, 10:02:39 AM
http://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/antimustachian-wall-of-shame-and-comedy/mlm-oh-my/msg368282/#msg368282
Title: Re: Multi-Level Marketing (MLM)/Network Marketing
Post by: Beard N Bones on June 16, 2016, 10:10:08 AM
I'm not saying that some, perhaps many, aren't pyramids.  You've got to do some due diligence to study the compensation plan to see if the funding is coming primarily from distributors or end consumers (and nobody ever does due diligence before signing up with their neighbors MLM, lol).  But again, you can't lump all the companies together.  THere are some, plenty, that make enough money from the end consumers that it's not a pyramid.  And, again, I still say that if the distributors are buying product, then it's product sales that are funding the company.  But, yes, I do get the distinction.  I mostly trying to make the point that the business model of MLM isn't illegal, unethical, or unprofitable.  It's uncomfortable for most people (as is entrepreneurship in general), and there are plenty of scammers and overpriced, crappy products in the industry.  But, not all of them.  Don't throw the baby out with the bathwater.  For 1-3% of the population, it's a well-suited business model.

You're splitting hairs on this.  If most MLMs are unethical or encourage unethical behavior (exploitation of social networks, high pressure sales, absurd promises of wealth) then MLMs should be considered broadly unethical.  Defenses of "not all MLMs are bad" and  "its about having the right people" are not only weak tea, they shift the onus to behave away from the company.  If an MLM promises wealth for only a few hours a week (something which is a blatant lie) the consumer should be wary, but also the MLM shouldn't be lying. 

If I bought oceanfront property in Kansas, I'd be dumb; but the person who sold it to me would still be committing fraud.  That ethical breach isn't wiped away by my lack of due diligence.

MLM is a business structure. There's nothing inherently bad or dishonest about a business structure. We've all seen dishonesty in other kinds of business including retail, restaurants, E-commerce, and medicine. The onus of staying honest is strictly on the people at the top, who create the catalogues, sales pitches, incentive structure, product selection, and pricing scheme. When any of those things are done badly, the only way to sell the product is to either exaggerate its merits or guilt-trip someone.

Part of the complaints against MLM should rightly be directed against direct or network marketing. Not all direct marketing or network marketing is MLM. Vector (Cutco) and Kirby aren't MLM, for example, but they're both shady as hell.

TheGrimSqueaker, I disagree with your line of reasoning.  There are business structures that are inherently bad and dishonest - have you heard of pyramid schemes? Ponzi schemes?  Most (if not all) will agree that pyramid and ponzi schemes are inherently bad and dishonest.  Maybe you think that pyramid and ponzi schemes are not business structures? (because there is no product exchanged?)  I'm curious how you would differentiate pyramid or ponzi schemes from MLM schemes?

I've looked at a couple MLM company income disclosures and I found the following to be shocking - nobody except those at the top level (top 0.4-1.0%) make a living in MLM companies.
I've read that the losses incurred from people taking part in pyramid schemes are around 90% - and the losses incurred by those taking part in MLM companies are over 99%.  In other words, a person has a greater chance of making money in a pyramid or ponzi scheme than in a MLM company. 

I'd agree with gillstone, the MLM business model is bad and unethical.
Title: Re: Multi-Level Marketing (MLM)/Network Marketing
Post by: mm1970 on June 16, 2016, 10:44:55 AM
Quote
The network marketing part of it is of course horrible too. In the last three years I've been solicited for: Scentsy, Tastefully Simple, 31 Bags, Jamberry, It Works!, Norwex, Just Jewelry, YoungLife*, Usborne Books, Younique, Mary Kay, and Advocare. I'm a 26 year old woman who goes to church, so I guess I'm the prime target! But it really sucks to be in a position where you feel uncomfortable saying no. I'm not sure what my excuse will be once we're debt free, but I'm never going to another party again. It honestly feels like a thinly veiled gofundme rather than a "business" with the way people beg for you to buy crap so they can stay at home with kids. IDK, maybe plan ahead a little bit if you want to stay at home?

ETA: Young Living not Young Life. Also remembered I've been solicited for doTERRA and Stella & Dot
Well I'm (almost) 46 and I can relate.

Young Living, doTerra, Beachbody, 31 Bags, Jamberry, Pampered Chef (I do like their products), Norwex, Usborne book, Advocare, Stella & Dot, CAbI, another skin care line that is escaping me right now...
Title: Re: Multi-Level Marketing (MLM)/Network Marketing
Post by: mm1970 on June 16, 2016, 10:53:27 AM
Do any of these companies offer a product that people NEED vs want? To me it seems like a bunch of people who are buying stuff b/c they like shopping.

Everything can be purchased locally or over the 'net without going through sales reps and I'll bet the prices can be beaten too.

Hmm...I don't know.

I will speak personally for the few items I've bought from MLM companies -

1. Pampered Chef.  I do like their products.  I have a few of them that I use religiously (garlic press, microwave steamer, etc), and ... I'm sure they exist over the 'net, and maybe even at the same quality and price, but maybe not.  At least locally, I haven't found a convenient place to get cooking tools of this quality and price.  I've been using my (few) items for years.

2. Beachbody workouts.  Same price online as if you buy from a coach.  I like the workouts, had my spouse buy me P90X probably 6-7 years ago when he started traveling a lot and I couldn't get to the gym in the morning on his travel days.

3. CAbi clothing.  I'm not really into clothing and fashion. I have to say I did enjoy the house-party method (no shopping), trying things on, getting other women's opinions.  And honestly, the clothing has lasted me years, is of high quality, and flatters my figure.  I've gotten more wear out of these items (which are about 3x more expensive that I would normally pay) than any other item in my closet.

Much of the others are easy for me to completely ignore.  I don't wear makeup, have a skin routine, do my nails, believe in essential oils being a panacea, etc.
Title: Re: Multi-Level Marketing (MLM)/Network Marketing
Post by: Travis on June 16, 2016, 04:43:38 PM
I've had knee problems for years, and my supervisor recommended a supplement that might help that his wife sells.  I hadn't wised up quite yet because a) I was spending money on a supplement which as an industry is just as shady as what we're discussing here and b) it didn't set off alarms that his wife was a distributor.  I ordered a bottle of pills and some drink powder.  I can't recall their selling point (this was 4 years ago), but it was some crock about rebuilding you from the cells up and their products had to be taken as cocktails of multiple items together.  I received my six ounce bottle of pills and powder bags, and a medium pizza-sized box (I'm dead serious) worth of literature and CDs for how I could become a distributor of their products as well.  He never mentioned that being part of the package, and I never asked for it.  The company is called Univera if you're curious.
Title: Re: Multi-Level Marketing (MLM)/Network Marketing
Post by: aasdfadsf on June 16, 2016, 10:18:09 PM
I think there are plenty of solid, legitimate mlm opportunities out there.  The point is to move product, and they move product very effectively and efficiently by incentivizing wholesale discounts and mandatory monthly automatic purchases. 

The business model behind MLMs is totally flawed. By constantly recruiting new salespeople, they multiply the number of middlemen and increase competition among sellers. This requires the products to be marked way up, often to a much higher price than comparable products sold in stores. That makes them that much harder to sell. As a result, a new recruit has almost no chance of earning a living by selling product. That's why they focus on recruiting new marks. The new recruits are the ones who buy most of the product and keep the people on top making money.

If these companies really wanted to move product, they'd make their sales force no larger than it had to be and they'd flatten out management to reduce cost and lower prices. That they do the exact opposite should tell you something.

Title: Re: Multi-Level Marketing (MLM)/Network Marketing
Post by: TheGrimSqueaker on June 17, 2016, 12:25:01 PM
I'm not saying that some, perhaps many, aren't pyramids.  You've got to do some due diligence to study the compensation plan to see if the funding is coming primarily from distributors or end consumers (and nobody ever does due diligence before signing up with their neighbors MLM, lol).  But again, you can't lump all the companies together.  THere are some, plenty, that make enough money from the end consumers that it's not a pyramid.  And, again, I still say that if the distributors are buying product, then it's product sales that are funding the company.  But, yes, I do get the distinction.  I mostly trying to make the point that the business model of MLM isn't illegal, unethical, or unprofitable.  It's uncomfortable for most people (as is entrepreneurship in general), and there are plenty of scammers and overpriced, crappy products in the industry.  But, not all of them.  Don't throw the baby out with the bathwater.  For 1-3% of the population, it's a well-suited business model.

You're splitting hairs on this.  If most MLMs are unethical or encourage unethical behavior (exploitation of social networks, high pressure sales, absurd promises of wealth) then MLMs should be considered broadly unethical.  Defenses of "not all MLMs are bad" and  "its about having the right people" are not only weak tea, they shift the onus to behave away from the company.  If an MLM promises wealth for only a few hours a week (something which is a blatant lie) the consumer should be wary, but also the MLM shouldn't be lying. 

If I bought oceanfront property in Kansas, I'd be dumb; but the person who sold it to me would still be committing fraud.  That ethical breach isn't wiped away by my lack of due diligence.

MLM is a business structure. There's nothing inherently bad or dishonest about a business structure. We've all seen dishonesty in other kinds of business including retail, restaurants, E-commerce, and medicine. The onus of staying honest is strictly on the people at the top, who create the catalogues, sales pitches, incentive structure, product selection, and pricing scheme. When any of those things are done badly, the only way to sell the product is to either exaggerate its merits or guilt-trip someone.

Part of the complaints against MLM should rightly be directed against direct or network marketing. Not all direct marketing or network marketing is MLM. Vector (Cutco) and Kirby aren't MLM, for example, but they're both shady as hell.

TheGrimSqueaker, I disagree with your line of reasoning.  There are business structures that are inherently bad and dishonest - have you heard of pyramid schemes? Ponzi schemes?  Most (if not all) will agree that pyramid and ponzi schemes are inherently bad and dishonest.  Maybe you think that pyramid and ponzi schemes are not business structures? (because there is no product exchanged?)  I'm curious how you would differentiate pyramid or ponzi schemes from MLM schemes?

I've looked at a couple MLM company income disclosures and I found the following to be shocking - nobody except those at the top level (top 0.4-1.0%) make a living in MLM companies.
I've read that the losses incurred from people taking part in pyramid schemes are around 90% - and the losses incurred by those taking part in MLM companies are over 99%.  In other words, a person has a greater chance of making money in a pyramid or ponzi scheme than in a MLM company. 

I'd agree with gillstone, the MLM business model is bad and unethical.

I differentiate Ponzi and pyramid structures from MLM by pointing out that Ponzi and pyramid schemes require constant new investors in order to keep the business going and to pay the existing investors. It's mathematically impossible for everyone to the their money back out or to earn money. The math blows up. It's unsustainable, and if you enter the game late your odds of getting your money back are 0.

A MLM, by contrast can be set up to run sustainably, to not deliberately saturate the market, to not require new downline investors, to emphasize product sales as opposed to recruitment, to split off the downline instead of expanding forever and kicking money back up to the top, and to allow a new recruit with the appropriate sales skills, advertising skills, and social network to make money or occasionally even earn a full-time living without being involved at the top of the company. Few actually meet these criteria, but whilst looking for a side hustle 15 years ago I found a couple I actually considered.

High risk and unregulated does not equal bad and unethical (even though high risk, unregulated environments attract a lot of bad and unethical people: consider hedge funds, for example).

The fact you were given those disclosures indicates, to me, that those particular companies were *not* being fraudulent in their interactions with you. Of course, you had the skills to understand the disclosures and to rightly conclude that you were being offered a very high risk investment. Most people being offered those opportunities don't have the analytical skills to draw that conclusion. That's something I blame on the lack of regulation.

Other industries that have a lot of high risk investments require sellers to offer them only to investors who are qualified (typically with income, net worth, and investment experience). But because MLM is mostly unregulated, nobody checks to make sure people who lack a reasonable sales infrastructure aren't being recruited to sell.

You are 100% right in noting the widespread dishonesty in MLM, but I think that a lot of it is due to the fact there's no regulation in the industry and therefore no consequences for egregious lying or deliberate sales of high risk investments to the unsophisticated. Back when the medical and pharmaceutical industries were similarly unregulated, there was a lot of snake oil being sold.
Title: Re: Multi-Level Marketing (MLM)/Network Marketing
Post by: Goldielocks on June 18, 2016, 01:14:52 AM
Other poor business models include vacuum cleaner sales, knife sales, etc.,   where recruiting people just for their potential sales to grandma or other relatives is the main purpose.  hmmm  maybe financial advisors / sales are sometimes here too?
Title: Re: Multi-Level Marketing (MLM)/Network Marketing
Post by: carlo319 on June 18, 2016, 03:40:19 AM
MLM in itself is not unethical for me. 
But most "successful recruiters" are unethical.
They abuse social networks - civic and religious groups, etc.
They victimize people who cannot say no, or are too lazy to do due diligence.
Almost all are overpriced.
I was a "gullible victim" before. 
Never again!!!

I prefer "direct marketing", like avon.  not pyramid style.

But as a mustachian, who are on anti consumerist culture,
and in the age of internet where you can find other alternatives,
its hard for them to sell to me...
Title: Re: Multi-Level Marketing (MLM)/Network Marketing
Post by: LadyMuMu on June 18, 2016, 06:42:50 PM
I believe that the products of MLM vary widely. Some are good quality (Pampered Chef, Norwex) but pricier than you would pay in a specialty shop. Others are just meh (Mary Kay, Thirty-One), and some are fine products just with claims that defy sense or just flat out snake oil sales (Young Life, Rodan & Fields). If you want a good look at the interior life of a MLM-based company, check out pinktruth.com. It was founded by former Mary Kay directors but the concepts apply to many MLM.

While technically a MLM can be legit, it usually isn't--they are ponzi schemes disguised as business opportunties. If they were legit, there's no way they would allow (much less encourage) multiple sales reps in the same territory with little to no required training. Even worse, many actively encourage their reps to recruit other reps--why? So they can build their "start up" store with training and supplies. In exchange the recruiting rep gets a portion of their commissions for life. In no other sales field that I know of are reps encouraged to recruit other reps to compete in the same territory--but perhaps I'm wrong on that one.

I have SO many friends who try to supplement their income with these MLMs. Beyond the fact that they end up with an hourly wage for their efforts equal to pennies over time, I hate the way these have dominated social life among the mom set. No one just has a get-together anymore--there's always some sort of sales pitch/party. The worst are when you think you are going to a book club or girls night in that ends up being a bait and switch for one of these things. I no longer participate in any of this stuff simply because I hate to prolong the pain and perpetuate the fraud that this really is a legit business.

That being said, I have no problem with supporting home-based businesses of folks I know like a woman who bakes specialty cakes and cookies from home or a friend who hosts a wine tasting night. At least then all the profit goes to them.
Title: Re: Multi-Level Marketing (MLM)/Network Marketing
Post by: LeRainDrop on June 18, 2016, 07:48:04 PM
I believe that the products of MLM vary widely. Some are good quality (Pampered Chef, Norwex) but pricier than you would pay in a specialty shop. Others are just meh (Mary Kay, Thirty-One), and some are fine products just with claims that defy sense or just flat out snake oil sales (Young Life, Rodan & Fields). If you want a good look at the interior life of a MLM-based company, check out pinktruth.com. It was founded by former Mary Kay directors but the concepts apply to many MLM.

I was going to point out the pinktruth.com website, too.  Also, 20/20 did a great segment about Mary Kay late last year.  I'm putting the links to the two parts here, though the second part is really the expose portion.

http://abcnews.go.com/2020/video/business-mary-kay-34216449
http://abcnews.go.com/2020/video/women-left-mary-kay-disappointed-34216650
Title: Re: Multi-Level Marketing (MLM)/Network Marketing
Post by: gimp on June 19, 2016, 01:18:42 AM
Stealing this from reddit -

You ever have people on facebook titling themselves "CEO," writing posts about entrepreneurship and hustling and making money, because they do MLM?

Someone responded to this by saying: You can't just call yourself CEO, the MLM company has a real CEO.

Someone responded by saying: "It's CEOs all the way down!"

That's literally how it's sold. It's CEOs all the way down. You get to be a CEO of your own company. All you have to do in exchange is buy only our product, only from us, only for our rates - and also recruit some more CEOs.
Title: Re: Multi-Level Marketing (MLM)/Network Marketing
Post by: infogoon on June 20, 2016, 08:19:19 AM
I've posted this before, but I'd rather read a hundred misspelled and logically faulty political memes in my Facebook feed than one MLM pitch. It's terrible when someone goes completely off the rails and stops posting anything but crap from their "business" selling fingernail stickers or whatever.
Title: Re: Multi-Level Marketing (MLM)/Network Marketing
Post by: Cpa Cat on June 20, 2016, 08:43:37 AM
I have a friend who works successfully for a jewelry MLM, and the subject of MLMs came up. I said, "But you make a decent profit from your jewelry parties, right?" And she shrugged and said she makes some money from that, but most of her money comes from signing other people up. And this lady sells a ton of jewelry. Her goal is to do 5 parties a week. She said that the real money from the parties comes from the fact that the product is attractive, so usually at least one person expresses an interest in signing up to sell.

I have another friend, we'll call her Tina, who sells memberships (?) to Melaleuca. She's constantly posting on Facebook about all her free swag, hosting free dinners for her downline, going on cruises, etc. She told me that she started selling it basically full-time when she lost her job and has never had to look for another job. But I spoke to a member of her downline, and that person told me that it's hardly worth selling it, because Tina had basically locked down our town. She told me that if she walks into a room and someone mentions Tina's name, then she knows she's wasting her time. No one on Tina's team will ever make as much as Tina, because Tina got here first.

I do tax returns for a few of these. Some of them are staggering losses. I did a supplement Schedule C this past year and the person had spent $6000 on supplements for her family, another $5000 on conferences and training materials, and she had $500 in income. She told me that she was just waiting for this supplement to catch on and then she'd be financially secure. I'm thinking, "Lady, I know a way you can make $10,500 a year doing nothing."

On the other hand, I did a Cabi lady's return once, and she sold Cabi part time and had a real full time job. She pulled in about $20,000, only $5000 of which was downline commissions. She said she just thinks it's fun to host clothing parties. I don't know how many a week she did.
Title: Re: Multi-Level Marketing (MLM)/Network Marketing
Post by: Frugal D on June 20, 2016, 10:18:04 AM
And she shrugged and said she makes some money from that, but most of her money comes from signing other people up.

Haha! She may as well have said, "it's an illegal pyramid scheme so the real money comes from recruiting people who in turn recruit others, in perpetuity."

Did anyone see the Veep episode a couple of weeks ago where Andrew was pitching Mike a pyramid scheme in Brazil? Too funny.
Title: Re: Multi-Level Marketing (MLM)/Network Marketing
Post by: frugalnacho on June 20, 2016, 10:21:18 AM
And she shrugged and said she makes some money from that, but most of her money comes from signing other people up.

Haha! She may as well have said, "it's an illegal pyramid scheme so the real money comes from recruiting people who in turn recruit others, in perpetuity."

Did anyone see the Veep episode a couple of weeks ago where Andrew was pitching Mike a pyramid scheme in Brazil? Too funny.

It's not a pyramid scheme, it's a reverse funnel system.

(http://i.imgur.com/iK3wm8y.gif)
Title: Re: Multi-Level Marketing (MLM)/Network Marketing
Post by: Beard N Bones on June 20, 2016, 11:40:10 AM
I have a friend who works successfully for a jewelry MLM, and the subject of MLMs came up. I said, "But you make a decent profit from your jewelry parties, right?" And she shrugged and said she makes some money from that, but most of her money comes from signing other people up. And this lady sells a ton of jewelry. Her goal is to do 5 parties a week. She said that the real money from the parties comes from the fact that the product is attractive, so usually at least one person expresses an interest in signing up to sell.

I have another friend, we'll call her Tina, who sells memberships (?) to Melaleuca. She's constantly posting on Facebook about all her free swag, hosting free dinners for her downline, going on cruises, etc. She told me that she started selling it basically full-time when she lost her job and has never had to look for another job. But I spoke to a member of her downline, and that person told me that it's hardly worth selling it, because Tina had basically locked down our town. She told me that if she walks into a room and someone mentions Tina's name, then she knows she's wasting her time. No one on Tina's team will ever make as much as Tina, because Tina got here first.

I do tax returns for a few of these. Some of them are staggering losses. I did a supplement Schedule C this past year and the person had spent $6000 on supplements for her family, another $5000 on conferences and training materials, and she had $500 in income. She told me that she was just waiting for this supplement to catch on and then she'd be financially secure. I'm thinking, "Lady, I know a way you can make $10,500 a year doing nothing."

On the other hand, I did a Cabi lady's return once, and she sold Cabi part time and had a real full time job. She pulled in about $20,000, only $5000 of which was downline commissions. She said she just thinks it's fun to host clothing parties. I don't know how many a week she did.

Very very interesting!  "Staggering losses," is what I would expect to hear.  What surprises me the most in your post Cpa Cat, is that:  You have a friend who "works successfully for a jewelry MLM."  I assume "works successfully" means she is making money at doing it.  Can you verify that she truly is making money at it, or is that the story she is telling you?!  What I understand, is that even those in the highest levels of the MLM ladder (even top 3-5% of active "distributors/consultants/etc") are putting so much into their company (the "pay to play" aspect of these companies), that they are not making a net profit.  I'm so confident that those involved in MLM companies are making no net profit (other than the top 0.4-1.0%), that I will challenge anyone saying they make a profit in MLM companies:  "Show me the income tax returns."  Someone driving a Lexus or Mercedes Benz, or going on hot weather vacations or cruises aren't convincing me of the profitability of their MLM "business."

I'm going to poll Mustachian Accountants under the "Ask a Mustachian" page to give feedback via a poll on the profitability of MLMs.   I'm confident all will report "staggering losses."

EDIT:  The poll has been created at:  http://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/ask-a-mustachian/poll-for-mustachian-accountants-info-for-the-rest-of-us/
I hope there are a large number of Accountants that are able to contribute to the poll.
Title: Re: Multi-Level Marketing (MLM)/Network Marketing
Post by: infogoon on June 20, 2016, 12:47:45 PM
(https://scontent.cdninstagram.com/hphotos-xaf1/t51.2885-15/s320x320/e15/11355909_1676445032568570_1326748733_n.jpg)

"As the brochure describes it, it is not a pyramid, it is a triangle. And it is not a scheme, Hank, it is an opportunity."
Title: Re: Multi-Level Marketing (MLM)/Network Marketing
Post by: Smokystache on June 20, 2016, 01:01:08 PM
Stealing this from reddit -

You ever have people on facebook titling themselves "CEO," writing posts about entrepreneurship and hustling and making money, because they do MLM?

Someone responded to this by saying: You can't just call yourself CEO, the MLM company has a real CEO.

Someone responded by saying: "It's CEOs all the way down!"

That's literally how it's sold. It's CEOs all the way down. You get to be a CEO of your own company. All you have to do in exchange is buy only our product, only from us, only for our rates - and also recruit some more CEOs.

And am I the only one who thinks it is ridiculous that sole proprietors and owners of  1-10 person businesses (inside and out of MLMs) call themselves "CEO -Chief Operating Officer?"

You're a one-man/one-woman shop -- who exactly are you "chiefing" over? When did the terms "Founder" or "Owner" become so 'weak' that everyone has to call themselves "Chief ____ Officer"?? And don't even get me started on "Chief Dreamer" and "Chief Disrupter."

Rant over. Return to your regular MLM programming. -- before I become Vomiter-in-Chief (VIC)
Title: Re: Multi-Level Marketing (MLM)/Network Marketing
Post by: mm1970 on June 20, 2016, 02:16:17 PM
Quote
What I understand, is that even those in the highest levels of the MLM ladder (even top 3-5% of active "distributors/consultants/etc") are putting so much into their company (the "pay to play" aspect of these companies), that they are not making a net profit.

I think this is going to have to depend a lot on the company.  Not all companies require inventory or "pay to play".
Title: Re: Multi-Level Marketing (MLM)/Network Marketing
Post by: Cpa Cat on June 20, 2016, 04:13:49 PM
I have a friend who works successfully for a jewelry MLM, and the subject of MLMs came up. I said, "But you make a decent profit from your jewelry parties, right?" And she shrugged and said she makes some money from that, but most of her money comes from signing other people up. And this lady sells a ton of jewelry. Her goal is to do 5 parties a week. She said that the real money from the parties comes from the fact that the product is attractive, so usually at least one person expresses an interest in signing up to sell.

I have another friend, we'll call her Tina, who sells memberships (?) to Melaleuca. She's constantly posting on Facebook about all her free swag, hosting free dinners for her downline, going on cruises, etc. She told me that she started selling it basically full-time when she lost her job and has never had to look for another job. But I spoke to a member of her downline, and that person told me that it's hardly worth selling it, because Tina had basically locked down our town. She told me that if she walks into a room and someone mentions Tina's name, then she knows she's wasting her time. No one on Tina's team will ever make as much as Tina, because Tina got here first.

I do tax returns for a few of these. Some of them are staggering losses. I did a supplement Schedule C this past year and the person had spent $6000 on supplements for her family, another $5000 on conferences and training materials, and she had $500 in income. She told me that she was just waiting for this supplement to catch on and then she'd be financially secure. I'm thinking, "Lady, I know a way you can make $10,500 a year doing nothing."

On the other hand, I did a Cabi lady's return once, and she sold Cabi part time and had a real full time job. She pulled in about $20,000, only $5000 of which was downline commissions. She said she just thinks it's fun to host clothing parties. I don't know how many a week she did.

Very very interesting!  "Staggering losses," is what I would expect to hear.  What surprises me the most in your post Cpa Cat, is that:  You have a friend who "works successfully for a jewelry MLM."  I assume "works successfully" means she is making money at doing it.  Can you verify that she truly is making money at it, or is that the story she is telling you?!  What I understand, is that even those in the highest levels of the MLM ladder (even top 3-5% of active "distributors/consultants/etc") are putting so much into their company (the "pay to play" aspect of these companies), that they are not making a net profit.  I'm so confident that those involved in MLM companies are making no net profit (other than the top 0.4-1.0%), that I will challenge anyone saying they make a profit in MLM companies:  "Show me the income tax returns."  Someone driving a Lexus or Mercedes Benz, or going on hot weather vacations or cruises aren't convincing me of the profitability of their MLM "business."

I'm going to poll Mustachian Accountants under the "Ask a Mustachian" page to give feedback via a poll on the profitability of MLMs.   I'm confident all will report "staggering losses."

EDIT:  The poll has been created at:  http://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/ask-a-mustachian/poll-for-mustachian-accountants-info-for-the-rest-of-us/
I hope there are a large number of Accountants that are able to contribute to the poll.

Hard to say! I only did the Gabi lady and the Supplement lady's returns. And technically, I don't know if Gabi Lady spent $20,000 on clothing - she didn't provide me with that info. It just so happened that she broke out commissions from her downline and sales of merchandise (or Gabi did - I can't remember which).

The Supplement Lady thought she could deduct her supplements,  so she included personal use items. It appeared to me that the Supplement Company's primary goal was to sell training seminars and conferences to its "sellers."

The other two, who appear successful - I don't know. I'm not their accountant. The Melaleuca one told me that she makes enough not to return to work. But her previous job was not particularly high paying. She gets a lot of swag, but it does feel a bit like the top performers at school fundraising who sold so much giftwrap that they got some prize. How much did our schools really make off that?

It is also the Jewelry Lady's only job, and she sells a lot of jewelry. But recently she mentioned that she's a top performer, and if she booked two more parties, she would get the whole current line of jewelry for free. It sounded a little odd to me - like I expected that she had it already.
Title: Re: Multi-Level Marketing (MLM)/Network Marketing
Post by: TheGrimSqueaker on June 20, 2016, 05:03:32 PM
I have a friend who works successfully for a jewelry MLM, and the subject of MLMs came up. I said, "But you make a decent profit from your jewelry parties, right?" And she shrugged and said she makes some money from that, but most of her money comes from signing other people up. And this lady sells a ton of jewelry. Her goal is to do 5 parties a week. She said that the real money from the parties comes from the fact that the product is attractive, so usually at least one person expresses an interest in signing up to sell.

I have another friend, we'll call her Tina, who sells memberships (?) to Melaleuca. She's constantly posting on Facebook about all her free swag, hosting free dinners for her downline, going on cruises, etc. She told me that she started selling it basically full-time when she lost her job and has never had to look for another job. But I spoke to a member of her downline, and that person told me that it's hardly worth selling it, because Tina had basically locked down our town. She told me that if she walks into a room and someone mentions Tina's name, then she knows she's wasting her time. No one on Tina's team will ever make as much as Tina, because Tina got here first.

I do tax returns for a few of these. Some of them are staggering losses. I did a supplement Schedule C this past year and the person had spent $6000 on supplements for her family, another $5000 on conferences and training materials, and she had $500 in income. She told me that she was just waiting for this supplement to catch on and then she'd be financially secure. I'm thinking, "Lady, I know a way you can make $10,500 a year doing nothing."

On the other hand, I did a Cabi lady's return once, and she sold Cabi part time and had a real full time job. She pulled in about $20,000, only $5000 of which was downline commissions. She said she just thinks it's fun to host clothing parties. I don't know how many a week she did.

Very very interesting!  "Staggering losses," is what I would expect to hear.  What surprises me the most in your post Cpa Cat, is that:  You have a friend who "works successfully for a jewelry MLM."  I assume "works successfully" means she is making money at doing it.  Can you verify that she truly is making money at it, or is that the story she is telling you?!  What I understand, is that even those in the highest levels of the MLM ladder (even top 3-5% of active "distributors/consultants/etc") are putting so much into their company (the "pay to play" aspect of these companies), that they are not making a net profit.  I'm so confident that those involved in MLM companies are making no net profit (other than the top 0.4-1.0%), that I will challenge anyone saying they make a profit in MLM companies:  "Show me the income tax returns."  Someone driving a Lexus or Mercedes Benz, or going on hot weather vacations or cruises aren't convincing me of the profitability of their MLM "business."

I'm going to poll Mustachian Accountants under the "Ask a Mustachian" page to give feedback via a poll on the profitability of MLMs.   I'm confident all will report "staggering losses."

EDIT:  The poll has been created at:  http://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/ask-a-mustachian/poll-for-mustachian-accountants-info-for-the-rest-of-us/
I hope there are a large number of Accountants that are able to contribute to the poll.

Hard to say! I only did the Gabi lady and the Supplement lady's returns. And technically, I don't know if Gabi Lady spent $20,000 on clothing - she didn't provide me with that info. It just so happened that she broke out commissions from her downline and sales of merchandise (or Gabi did - I can't remember which).

The Supplement Lady thought she could deduct her supplements,  so she included personal use items. It appeared to me that the Supplement Company's primary goal was to sell training seminars and conferences to its "sellers."

The other two, who appear successful - I don't know. I'm not their accountant. The Melaleuca one told me that she makes enough not to return to work. But her previous job was not particularly high paying. She gets a lot of swag, but it does feel a bit like the top performers at school fundraising who sold so much giftwrap that they got some prize. How much did our schools really make off that?

It is also the Jewelry Lady's only job, and she sells a lot of jewelry. But recently she mentioned that she's a top performer, and if she booked two more parties, she would get the whole current line of jewelry for free. It sounded a little odd to me - like I expected that she had it already.

O' the jewelry: of course she did. She's most likely earned it several times over, and sold it at a profit. When a company like that gives out freebies to a sales rep, the smart ones use them as demos for customers who want to buy what they try. The more the salespeople have on hand, the more they can show, and the more they show, the more they sell on the spot. Even if they sell "their" personal units for slightly off the list price, they keep every cent except what's due to the tax man. Of course that trick only works for things that can be sold once handled. It's good for kitchen gadgets but bad for, say, essential oils.

O' the gift wrap: usually no more than 40% goes to the school when it's chocolate, candles, or similar crap, but higher volumes produce a bigger cut. A 50% split is rare. Long-time nonprofit fund raiser talking.
Title: Re: Multi-Level Marketing (MLM)/Network Marketing
Post by: chemistk on June 21, 2016, 05:59:32 PM
Just another experience with MLM:

A couple of years ago, my wife (we weren't actually married at the time) got introduced to one of many weight loss MLM's, Visalus. As with a lot of other MLM companies, the products they were selling were actually pretty good. Originally, she was just looking for a good tasting meal replacement program and really got into how Visalus tasted. She was recruited to sell after the woman who sold her the product starting telling how she herself had gone from losing her job to paying off debts by selling (she definitely made more money recruiting) the product - and that she was on her way to getting a paid-for BMW. So, my wife paid the $500 (!!!) fee to join, which included a big box full of product meant for sampling at parties. She ended up having one party before realizing (I helped talk her out of it) that it was just not worth it.

The worst parts of selling were that you had to participate in 3x weekly conference calls and group chats. You were required to buy a new sampler box every month (something like $150 per box), and you were encouraged to sign up as many people to sell as you could. In fact, it was more about recruiting than selling product. They made it sound good, but ultimately it was just a terrible situation to get into. At least we got to keep the product.

On the flip side, my wife's aunt has sold Cabi clothes for years and made good money doing so.
Title: Re: Multi-Level Marketing (MLM)/Network Marketing
Post by: Travis on June 22, 2016, 11:45:51 AM


O' the gift wrap: usually no more than 40% goes to the school when it's chocolate, candles, or similar crap, but higher volumes produce a bigger cut. A 50% split is rare. Long-time nonprofit fund raiser talking.

I've come to hate school fundraisers for this reason.  Lately I've just asked the school if I can write them a check after seeing how little the school can get.  I pity the army of students who take turns knocking on my door in the same two week period peddling magazines or giving me sob stories about international trips they can earn.  My wife spent her childhood selling Girl Scout Cookies so she'll take five minutes of their time and give them tips on public speaking and presentation before turning them down and sending them on their way.
Title: Re: Multi-Level Marketing (MLM)/Network Marketing
Post by: runningthroughFIRE on June 22, 2016, 11:53:35 AM
At the risk of someone taking a snap at my head, I'll chime in that I did the MLM bit for a while in college.  It was even one of the shadier ones (Vector/Cutco).  Started it because my main summer job kept me busy when all my friends were typically free, so I was getting bored and figured it'd be an interesting experience.  I enjoyed it overall.  I learned a lot about cutlery, some interesting marketing techniques, and applied psychology, plus my manager pretty much let me do my own thing and didn't pester me about quotas.  When I transferred to the campus office during school, the culture shifted to be more pushy, and they started requiring me to go to all these pointless meetings.  It got shady as hell, so I quit after I lined up a better job.  I broke even on sales (even after attending some of the fancy trips), and came out slightly ahead if you count the full set of fancy knives I won in contests.

As an accountant: I only helped a few of these people with their taxes, but the majority of people who tried selling couldn't hack it and probably had losses.  There were a good handful that made money though.  This is just going off of knowing the pay structure and exactly how much these people were selling.
Title: Re: Multi-Level Marketing (MLM)/Network Marketing
Post by: TheGrimSqueaker on June 22, 2016, 12:14:16 PM


O' the gift wrap: usually no more than 40% goes to the school when it's chocolate, candles, or similar crap, but higher volumes produce a bigger cut. A 50% split is rare. Long-time nonprofit fund raiser talking.

I've come to hate school fundraisers for this reason.  Lately I've just asked the school if I can write them a check after seeing how little the school can get.  I pity the army of students who take turns knocking on my door in the same two week period peddling magazines or giving me sob stories about international trips they can earn.  My wife spent her childhood selling Girl Scout Cookies so she'll take five minutes of their time and give them tips on public speaking and presentation before turning them down and sending them on their way.

Lately I've been getting door knocks from kids from a ritzy private school in a neighboring town who claim to be "working toward a scholarship" so that they can go on a trip.

What I've taken to saying is: "First, what you're working toward is not a scholarship because scholarships are given away to outstanding students and athletes to help them with college expenses, not to kids who want to go on a trip. If you think this is a scholarship then some part of your education isn't lining up. Second, if your parents can afford to send you to a private school, they can afford to send you on this trip. Finally, I support the schools in my neighborhood, but this isn't one of them."

It's just a kid, so no F-bombs.

But the last kid followed up by whipping out some kind of nonsense religious propaganda and saying: "Do you mind if I leave this here?"

I responded by saying "Yes actually, I do mind." Garbage collection isn't until Friday so I'm not a fan of taking other people's extra recycling.
Title: Re: Multi-Level Marketing (MLM)/Network Marketing
Post by: justajane on June 22, 2016, 12:25:41 PM
I've been pretty vocal on here about my hatred for MLMs. I've watched with fascination a particular acquaintance on Facebook and her Jamberry "career"

#ican'tbelievethisismyjob, #jamfamily, #makealife, #womeninbiz, #jamgirlboss,

And my all time personal favorite: #becauseofjamberry

I've noticed, however, that recently she's been posting some things for another MLM. Maybe the Jamberry well is running dry?

I think jumping from one MLM to another is probably common.
Title: Re: Multi-Level Marketing (MLM)/Network Marketing
Post by: chesebert on June 22, 2016, 04:54:05 PM
Everything you need to know: https://www.factsaboutherbalife.com/

Bill Ackman agrees with you :)

Granted, he has not done so well on his short position and loosing approximately $100 million a year justifying his rationale. Why do you think that is the case?
Title: Re: Multi-Level Marketing (MLM)/Network Marketing
Post by: Frugal D on June 22, 2016, 06:51:10 PM
Everything you need to know: https://www.factsaboutherbalife.com/

Bill Ackman agrees with you :)

Granted, he has not done so well on his short position and loosing approximately $100 million a year justifying his rationale. Why do you think that is the case?

I think it's very, very difficult for the FTC to prove a business is a pyramid scheme. I hope Ackman is one day proven right.
Title: Re: Multi-Level Marketing (MLM)/Network Marketing
Post by: Miss Piggy on June 23, 2016, 07:19:07 AM
I'm really happy to say I've never heard of some of the companies mentioned in this thread. Maybe because I'm not part of the "mom crowd"?

My SIL has been sucked into a few of these MLM/pyramid schemes lately. The most recent one she was quite excited about because it's going to be her ticket to weight loss. Uh-huh. At least she didn't outright ask me to buy anything. All I could say was "good luck."
Title: Re: Multi-Level Marketing (MLM)/Network Marketing
Post by: slappy on June 23, 2016, 09:31:29 AM
Beachbody sucked me in because they have great home workouts and health supplements that I have used to lose weight and get fit. I am officially a "Beachbody Coach", but only because I wanted the "coach discount" for a supplement I take that they sell called "Shakeology". It's basically a protein shake drink with a lot of herbs, vitamins, and minerals. It's expensive (about $115 for a 30 day supply), but I use it to replace one meal a day and partially pay for it by eliminating my alcohol purchasing.

I never had any intention of selling this stuff to anybody else, but they had me watch the coaching video conference when I officially joined and it is ridiculous. Their entire structure isn't based on selling videos and supplements. It's based on getting more Beachbody coaches. Everyone is a coach and nobody has any customers. The only sales they are getting are from other Beachbody coaches. Lots of desperate people are wasting hundreds of hours a month in the pointless pursuit of more coaches when they could be using that time to run a real side hustle and actually make money. For example, I make money teaching martial arts classes three days a week.

Seems like all of my wife's friends are coaches too.  Once of them even gave us an entire big bag of Shaekology for free to try to get her into it.  No chance.  We tried the stuff and decided our fresh smoothies were tastier and threw the whole thing out.

The "oldest" coach who got in early claims that she nets 8K / month from it.  That seems almost too good to be true but she does have all these other girls buying supplies and signing up people so I guess it's possible?

I have a problem with BB calling their people "coaches"  I know many who tried and failed at being a BB Coach.  At the same time I know 2 people (husband and wife team) who seem to be doing very well as BB Coaches.  They were already very fitness oriented before signing up.  They do a lot of other things than just BB videos, she runs ultra marathons and he has a personal trainer certification.

I do have to say I love the workout videos and own several (bought on either Ebay or Craigslist for less).  I used to buy Shakeology but didn't drink it enough and ended up throwing out 4 expired bags because my OB told me to not drink it while pregnant.

My chiropractor became a Beach Body coach while pregnant, and it really made me uncomfortable. First, I didn't feel it was appropriate for her to be marketing products to her patients. I am also unsure about the ingredients in Shakeology and pregnancy. My OB ok'd Vega One, which doesn't taste that great, but I've found a couple ways to deal with it. My chiropractor also sells Essential Oils and Arbonne. I haven't been to her in months, and I'm really considering switching chiros.

Does anyone know how much the discount is for Beach Body coaches? I've seen people selling the Shakeology on local yard sale sites lately, and it made me a little curious.
Title: Re: Multi-Level Marketing (MLM)/Network Marketing
Post by: Beard N Bones on June 23, 2016, 10:53:53 AM

My chiropractor became a Beach Body coach while pregnant, and it really made me uncomfortable. First, I didn't feel it was appropriate for her to be marketing products to her patients. I am also unsure about the ingredients in Shakeology and pregnancy. My OB ok'd Vega One, which doesn't taste that great, but I've found a couple ways to deal with it. My chiropractor also sells Essential Oils and Arbonne. I haven't been to her in months, and I'm really considering switching chiros.

Does anyone know how much the discount is for Beach Body coaches? I've seen people selling the Shakeology on local yard sale sites lately, and it made me a little curious.

No question, I would find another chiropractor
There is a doctor/patient relationship dynamic that needs to be withheld.  If the chiropractor's "power"/influence found in the doctor/patient relationship is used for dishonest gain (in this case, the position of being a chiro to push product on patients for their monetary gain), that is at minimum, unethical.

I looked up Team BeachBody's Compensation plan.  It looks like Coach's get a 25% discount on Beach Body product and up to $30 off on Shakeology product/month.  Note that it costs $15.95/month to hold onto the title of Coach.  Yep, once again a person needs to "pay-to-play."  Because the profit off of sales of product is 35% (or less) with Beach Body, the monetary incentive won't be with product sales, but recruiting a "downline."  Once again, looks like a pyramid scheme to me.
Title: Re: Multi-Level Marketing (MLM)/Network Marketing
Post by: frugalnacho on June 24, 2016, 08:30:14 AM

My chiropractor became a Beach Body coach while pregnant, and it really made me uncomfortable. First, I didn't feel it was appropriate for her to be marketing products to her patients. I am also unsure about the ingredients in Shakeology and pregnancy. My OB ok'd Vega One, which doesn't taste that great, but I've found a couple ways to deal with it. My chiropractor also sells Essential Oils and Arbonne. I haven't been to her in months, and I'm really considering switching chiros.

Does anyone know how much the discount is for Beach Body coaches? I've seen people selling the Shakeology on local yard sale sites lately, and it made me a little curious.

No question, I would find another chiropractor
There is a doctor/patient relationship dynamic that needs to be withheld.  If the chiropractor's "power"/influence found in the doctor/patient relationship is used for dishonest gain (in this case, the position of being a chiro to push product on patients for their monetary gain), that is at minimum, unethical.

I looked up Team BeachBody's Compensation plan.  It looks like Coach's get a 25% discount on Beach Body product and up to $30 off on Shakeology product/month.  Note that it costs $15.95/month to hold onto the title of Coach.  Yep, once again a person needs to "pay-to-play."  Because the profit off of sales of product is 35% (or less) with Beach Body, the monetary incentive won't be with product sales, but recruiting a "downline."  Once again, looks like a pyramid scheme to me.

I would go a step further and recommend you ditch chiropractic care altogether and see a real dr. 
Title: Re: Multi-Level Marketing (MLM)/Network Marketing
Post by: Making Cookies on June 24, 2016, 08:51:04 AM


O' the gift wrap: usually no more than 40% goes to the school when it's chocolate, candles, or similar crap, but higher volumes produce a bigger cut. A 50% split is rare. Long-time nonprofit fund raiser talking.

I've come to hate school fundraisers for this reason.  Lately I've just asked the school if I can write them a check after seeing how little the school can get.  I pity the army of students who take turns knocking on my door in the same two week period peddling magazines or giving me sob stories about international trips they can earn.  My wife spent her childhood selling Girl Scout Cookies so she'll take five minutes of their time and give them tips on public speaking and presentation before turning them down and sending them on their way.

THIS!!!

That was a tough subject to get past with our kids who were eager to get out there and earn those prizes. They wanted the prize and the classroom celebrity.

My neighbors don't need that kind of "pressure" to buy those widgets or subscriptions. And our kids don't need the trinkets.

Way back in 5th grade I was a magazine subscription selling machine. Lived in a semi-rural area and rode my bike for miles. Earned a 126-Instamatic camera for all my hard work. Damn thing never took a good picture even once. We had those cameras in the family and they did okay. Not mine. I was pretty cranky about that.

I write a check to the school and tell our kids that if they want to earn a particular trinket (prize) then we'll work out a couple chores they can do to earn it. Most of it is dollar store level merchandise anyhow.
Title: Re: Multi-Level Marketing (MLM)/Network Marketing
Post by: justajane on June 24, 2016, 09:01:02 AM
The chiropractor I went to appeared to also be a Juice Plus representative, or at least she advertised it in her office. I didn't really care for that.
Title: Re: Multi-Level Marketing (MLM)/Network Marketing
Post by: iris lily on June 24, 2016, 09:58:43 AM
Many chiros are snake oil salesmen and many are  hooked into some kind  of miracle cure/MLM sales.

Our very very successful cousin from Switzerland came to the U.S. to attend
Chiropractic school and then developed his sales busness until he got out  of patient care and now teaches the oil salesmen how to sell the snake:

http://www.practicewealth.com

And I love  his advice about plantar fasiatis. There is not one iota of medical info in his piece

http://www.footpainmarketing.com

Our friend had vertebrae and spine probelms and finally nded up gong ro a "different " chriromthan her regulae one. i was morwssend when he looked at her xray and rold her he wasnt going to,touch her, her spine was too screwed up and she needed an orthepod.
Title: Re: Multi-Level Marketing (MLM)/Network Marketing
Post by: Making Cookies on June 24, 2016, 10:11:16 AM
That foot pain website just LOOKS shady. When I land on a website like that I quickly move on.
Title: Re: Multi-Level Marketing (MLM)/Network Marketing
Post by: Travis on June 24, 2016, 10:22:01 AM
Many chiros are snake oil salesmen and many are  hooked into some kind  of miracle cure/MLM sales.

Our very very successful cousin from Switzerland came to the U.S. to attend
Chiropractic school and then developed his sales busness until he got out  of patient care and now teaches the oil salesmen how to sell the snake:

http://www.practicewealth.com

And I love  his advice about plantar fasiatis. There is not one iota of medical info in his piece:

http://www.footpainmarketing.com/

There are definitely some whackos out there who traded in their status as a medical official for supplement/homeopathy/other weird non-scientific endorsement deals.  I saw a chiropractor a couple years ago while I was doing physical therapy on my neck.  I was pleasantly shocked when he admitted "[the adjustment he gave me] will make you feel better for a couple days, but it won't cure you."
Title: Re: Multi-Level Marketing (MLM)/Network Marketing
Post by: frugalnacho on June 24, 2016, 11:03:29 AM
Many chiros are snake oil salesmen and many are  hooked into some kind  of miracle cure/MLM sales.

Our very very successful cousin from Switzerland came to the U.S. to attend
Chiropractic school and then developed his sales busness until he got out  of patient care and now teaches the oil salesmen how to sell the snake:

http://www.practicewealth.com

And I love  his advice about plantar fasiatis. There is not one iota of medical info in his piece:

http://www.footpainmarketing.com/

There are definitely some whackos out there who traded in their status as a medical official for supplement/homeopathy/other weird non-scientific endorsement deals.  I saw a chiropractor a couple years ago while I was doing physical therapy on my neck.  I was pleasantly shocked when he admitted "[the adjustment he gave me] will make you feel better for a couple days, but it won't cure you."

I thought that was their whole schtick? It won't cure you, so you have to keep coming back for regular appointments.
Title: Re: Multi-Level Marketing (MLM)/Network Marketing
Post by: Travis on June 24, 2016, 11:07:58 AM
Many chiros are snake oil salesmen and many are  hooked into some kind  of miracle cure/MLM sales.

Our very very successful cousin from Switzerland came to the U.S. to attend
Chiropractic school and then developed his sales busness until he got out  of patient care and now teaches the oil salesmen how to sell the snake:

http://www.practicewealth.com

And I love  his advice about plantar fasiatis. There is not one iota of medical info in his piece:

http://www.footpainmarketing.com/

There are definitely some whackos out there who traded in their status as a medical official for supplement/homeopathy/other weird non-scientific endorsement deals.  I saw a chiropractor a couple years ago while I was doing physical therapy on my neck.  I was pleasantly shocked when he admitted "[the adjustment he gave me] will make you feel better for a couple days, but it won't cure you."

I thought that was their whole schtick? It won't cure you, so you have to keep coming back for regular appointments.

I've run into quite a number of chiropractor advertisements where they claim to cure your pains (after multiple visits), cure your cancer, your dietary issues, etc.  The guy I visited basically said "this isn't really going to help, but we'll see if it takes the edge off."  I only visited him a few times, and my physical therapy did more good anyways.  I know some folks who think they need to go to a chiropractor every single month indefinitely and that is their treatment plan.
Title: Re: Multi-Level Marketing (MLM)/Network Marketing
Post by: AlwaysLearningToSave on June 24, 2016, 11:38:26 AM
The guy I visited basically said "this isn't really going to help, but we'll see if it takes the edge off."  I only visited him a few times, and my physical therapy did more good anyways. 

I think this is the way to use a chiropractor-- in conjunction with physical therapy.  If you've ever been "cracked" by one you know what a significant, immediate relief it can be.  But without more your body will just want to revert to its old alignment over time.  Physical therapy will help hold your body in proper alignment so the chiropractic adjustment is no longer needed.  The initial chiropractic adjustments help can help speed up the physical therapy process by putting your body into proper alignment. 
Title: Re: Multi-Level Marketing (MLM)/Network Marketing
Post by: runningthroughFIRE on June 24, 2016, 11:58:41 AM
The guy I visited basically said "this isn't really going to help, but we'll see if it takes the edge off."  I only visited him a few times, and my physical therapy did more good anyways. 

I think this is the way to use a chiropractor-- in conjunction with physical therapy.  If you've ever been "cracked" by one you know what a significant, immediate relief it can be.  But without more your body will just want to revert to its old alignment over time.  Physical therapy will help hold your body in proper alignment so the chiropractic adjustment is no longer needed.  The initial chiropractic adjustments help can help speed up the physical therapy process by putting your body into proper alignment.
I thought a good chiropractor was essentially a physical therapist who specializes in spines and backs?  The only chiropractor I've had experience with showed you exercises on strengthening your muscles and improving your posture long-term as well as short-term pain relief.
Title: Re: Multi-Level Marketing (MLM)/Network Marketing
Post by: TheGrimSqueaker on June 24, 2016, 12:07:32 PM
Many chiros are snake oil salesmen and many are  hooked into some kind  of miracle cure/MLM sales.

Our very very successful cousin from Switzerland came to the U.S. to attend
Chiropractic school and then developed his sales busness until he got out  of patient care and now teaches the oil salesmen how to sell the snake:

http://www.practicewealth.com

And I love  his advice about plantar fasiatis. There is not one iota of medical info in his piece:

http://www.footpainmarketing.com/

There are definitely some whackos out there who traded in their status as a medical official for supplement/homeopathy/other weird non-scientific endorsement deals.  I saw a chiropractor a couple years ago while I was doing physical therapy on my neck.  I was pleasantly shocked when he admitted "[the adjustment he gave me] will make you feel better for a couple days, but it won't cure you."

When I lived in Alberta 20 years ago, chiropractic was a kind of medicine considered to be on par with physiotherapy. Doctors would routinely refer patients for treatments, which were covered under the public health plan. However, there were some radical differences in how chiropractic was practiced and marketed.

First, the chiropractors freely admitted that the goal, and the only goal, of the treatment was to relieve pain temporarily by briefly manipulating joints slighty beyond their normal range of motion, so as to force fluid out of the joint (which creates the pop). This process would stop the negative feedback loop wherein muscle tension caused pain, which in turn caused more tension. If there was an underlying cause to the pain, they admitted that nothing they did would address the cause, and were very generous in their referrals to spinal specialists or physiotherapists. If the pain was caused by bad posture, for example, the treatment would do nothing to change the habit. Chiropractors were completely frank about this fact.

Second, the chiropractors did not attempt to diagnose injury or illness. If they saw symptoms consistent with, say, a ruptured disc or spinal stenosis, they were generous in their referrals to people qualified to treat such problems. There was no mention of this "subluxation" bunkum and no pretense that the bones of the spine had somehow become misaligned or dislocated. Nor were there extra-billed tests such as X-rays, because frankly the kind of subluxation they purport to treat cannot be diagnosed by X-ray (because it doesn't exist... for a normal person if your spinal bones were suddenly out of alignment you'd need a spinal surgeon and you'd most likely be paralyzed.)

Third, the benefits of chiropractic were not exaggerated the way I see them exaggerated in the States. People didn't claim to be able to cure diabetes, epilepsy, blindness, migraines, allergies, or immune disorders through chiropractic.

Fourth, there was no attempt to sell chiropractic as a maintenance therapy such that people were encouraged to come in for regular spinal manipulations for health. It was not marketed as appropriate for children or infants without a doctor's referral.

Fifth, there was no overt advertising of the chiropractic, nor was the practice used to advertise other products or services although it was permissible for different kinds of specialists to exchange business cards to go along with the referrals given.

How exactly did the industry achieve such a level of professionalism? Well, there was a list of authorized treatments eligible for reimbursement out of the provincial health plan funds. The only kind of treatments authorized for payment were joint manipulations for temporary relief of pain. "Subluxation" treatments and other happy nonsense weren't covered, and neither was snake oil.

Basically the province said: "we're only paying for medical treatments that have been proven and verified by the medical community. If you want to sell supplements, homeopathy, tin-foil hats or other kinds of unproven pseudoscience, go for it. But we're not paying for it out of the public purse, you may not combine the two practices if you expect to keep your license. So pick one. Oh, and by the way, if you have a medical credential and maintain a licensed medical practice on paper but use it to sell snake oil instead, and the snake oil harms someone, expect to be charged with a criminal offense because you're held to a higher standard due to your education and knowledge. Meanwhile, we support your malpractice insurance carrier's right to exclude snake oil related expenses from your coverage."
Title: Re: Multi-Level Marketing (MLM)/Network Marketing
Post by: Miss Piggy on June 24, 2016, 12:20:25 PM

I've run into quite a number of chiropractor advertisements where they claim to cure your pains (after multiple visits), cure your cancer, your dietary issues, etc.  The guy I visited basically said "this isn't really going to help, but we'll see if it takes the edge off."  I only visited him a few times, and my physical therapy did more good anyways.  I know some folks who think they need to go to a chiropractor every single month indefinitely and that is their treatment plan.

In my area, according to advertisements, the chiropractors can cure diabetes, repair your ailing thyroid gland, give you back your beach body you had in your 20s, and solve your depression and anxiety. I view them as predators who prey on people who are desperate to feel better because they've generally been failed by the medical establishment.
Title: Re: Multi-Level Marketing (MLM)/Network Marketing
Post by: slappy on June 24, 2016, 01:09:13 PM

I've run into quite a number of chiropractor advertisements where they claim to cure your pains (after multiple visits), cure your cancer, your dietary issues, etc.  The guy I visited basically said "this isn't really going to help, but we'll see if it takes the edge off."  I only visited him a few times, and my physical therapy did more good anyways.  I know some folks who think they need to go to a chiropractor every single month indefinitely and that is their treatment plan.

In my area, according to advertisements, the chiropractors can cure diabetes, repair your ailing thyroid gland, give you back your beach body you had in your 20s, and solve your depression and anxiety. I view them as predators who prey on people who are desperate to feel better because they've generally been failed by the medical establishment.

My brother in law quit going to the chiro and starting going for massage instead. He said it cost about the same and he got more relief from the massage.
Title: Multi-Level Marketing (MLM)/Network Marketing
Post by: rockstache on June 24, 2016, 01:24:37 PM
Sounds like there are some shady chiros out there. I have a great one. When I started seeing him I could barely walk/stand/sit for any length of time without pain. Doctors told me I could get on drugs or live with it. I now see him about 2-3 times a year and am otherwise pain free. At my first visit he said, "if I do my job right, you won't be a regular patient of mine for more than a year or so." The real reason I still see him at this point is because of a recent car accident that aggravated it again. I wouldnt write off the whole profession but my coworker definitely got a wacko who just tried to sell him a "lifestyle" of seeing him every week.
Title: Re: Multi-Level Marketing (MLM)/Network Marketing
Post by: justajane on June 24, 2016, 01:32:33 PM
I went to the chiropractor because I was desperate for my breech baby to turn. I had already met my deductible, so the visits were like $10 a piece. I figured, what's there to lose other than like $50? She did some things to supposedly make it easier for the baby to turn, as well as lit some random stuff on fire to burn between my toes.

The baby did turn, though I have no idea if it was the chiropractor. Probably not. I said something to my OB when he was doing the ultrasound to see if my son had turned: "The chiropractor is gonna try to take credit for this and add this to her positive statistics on how many babies she has successfully turned." And he was like "She can take credit if she likes. All I care is that the baby's in the right position now."

What I did notice after my first appointment is that my pain during walking was significantly less and for the first time in all three of my pregnancies, I could lean down and pick something up in front of me without significant pain. It was very noticeable, so whatever she did on that front really helped. I imagine it was an alignment issue.
Title: Re: Multi-Level Marketing (MLM)/Network Marketing
Post by: slappy on June 24, 2016, 01:33:22 PM
Sounds like there are some shady chiros out there. I have a great one. When I started seeing him I could barely walk/stand/sit for any length of time without pain. Doctors told me I could get on drugs or live with it. I now see him about 2-3 times a year and am otherwise pain free. At my first visit he said, "if I do my job right, you won't be a regular patient of mine for more than a year or so." The real reason I still see him at this point is because of a recent car accident that aggravated it again. I wouldnt write off the whole profession but my coworker definitely got a wacko who just tried to sell him a "lifestyle" of seeing him every week.

My chiro did that.  And charged me for the whole "treatment plan" up front.  One of the several reasons that I am switching.
Title: Re: Multi-Level Marketing (MLM)/Network Marketing
Post by: rockstache on June 24, 2016, 01:37:05 PM
Yikes no! I just pay the co pay when I go.
Title: Re: Multi-Level Marketing (MLM)/Network Marketing
Post by: Beard N Bones on June 24, 2016, 01:41:32 PM
I would go a step further and recommend you ditch chiropractic care altogether and see a real dr.

As someone who has a family physician (MD), 2 chiropractors, a pharmacist, a neonatal intensive care (NIC) registered nurse (currently doing further education to become a nurse practitioner) in my immediate family, I find this comment troll-ish and unnecessary.  Chiropractors are certainly real doctors (as much as MD's, specialists, dentists and optometrists are.)

Sounds like a new thread needs to be started called something like "Mustachian Health Care", where people can celebrate/vent about health care successes/failures.  This thread is getting hijacked!
Title: Re: Multi-Level Marketing (MLM)/Network Marketing
Post by: slappy on June 24, 2016, 01:55:22 PM
I would go a step further and recommend you ditch chiropractic care altogether and see a real dr.

As someone who has a family physician (MD), 2 chiropractors, a pharmacist, a neonatal intensive care (NIC) registered nurse (currently doing further education to become a nurse practitioner) in my immediate family, I find this comment troll-ish and unnecessary.  Chiropractors are certainly real doctors (as much as MD's, specialists, dentists and optometrists are.)

Sounds like a new thread needs to be started called something like "Mustachian Health Care", where people can celebrate/vent about health care successes/failures.  This thread is getting hijacked!

That's why I ignored that comment. ;) Although it appears that people find chiropractors to be one the same level as MLM, which I'm sure some are, but certainly not all or even most. I have a very good friend attending Chiropractic school right now in Atlanta and appears to be studying pretty hard. I can't wait for her to be my chiropractor!
Title: Re: Multi-Level Marketing (MLM)/Network Marketing
Post by: frugalnacho on June 24, 2016, 02:59:57 PM
I would go a step further and recommend you ditch chiropractic care altogether and see a real dr.

As someone who has a family physician (MD), 2 chiropractors, a pharmacist, a neonatal intensive care (NIC) registered nurse (currently doing further education to become a nurse practitioner) in my immediate family, I find this comment troll-ish and unnecessary.  Chiropractors are certainly real doctors (as much as MD's, specialists, dentists and optometrists are.)

Sounds like a new thread needs to be started called something like "Mustachian Health Care", where people can celebrate/vent about health care successes/failures.  This thread is getting hijacked!

That's why I ignored that comment. ;) Although it appears that people find chiropractors to be one the same level as MLM, which I'm sure some are, but certainly not all or even most. I have a very good friend attending Chiropractic school right now in Atlanta and appears to be studying pretty hard. I can't wait for her to be my chiropractor!

My experience has been that they are more jokes than real doctors and they promote homeopathy, magnets, and all kinds of other ineffective treatments.   I've never visited one, but I know plenty of people that have and swear by them.  When probed, without fail, they all turn out to be holistic quacks.  Perhaps there are legit medical reasons to use a chiropractor, and perhaps there are some honest non quack chiropractors, but I don't know of any.  I instantly dismiss advice and anecdotes about chiropractors from people in my real life just as I would if they said they visited a witch doctor.
Title: Re: Multi-Level Marketing (MLM)/Network Marketing
Post by: WGH on June 24, 2016, 03:25:19 PM
I never had any intention of selling this stuff to anybody else, but they had me watch the coaching video conference when I officially joined and it is ridiculous. Their entire structure isn't based on selling videos and supplements. It's based on getting more Beachbody coaches. Everyone is a coach and nobody has any customers. The only sales they are getting are from other Beachbody coaches. Lots of desperate people are wasting hundreds of hours a month in the pointless pursuit of more coaches when they could be using that time to run a real side hustle and actually make money. For example, I make money teaching martial arts classes three days a week.

This sums up MLMs right here. The business model is a true pyramid scheme when the point is to get more members to join and pay the annual fee, buy the introductory package of crap, etc.rather than find more customers to actually purchase the product or service.
Title: Re: Multi-Level Marketing (MLM)/Network Marketing
Post by: woopwoop on June 24, 2016, 04:56:05 PM
My experience has been that they are more jokes than real doctors and they promote homeopathy, magnets, and all kinds of other ineffective treatments.
My favorite chiro story was the chiropractor who started an Ask/Tell thread on another forum I visit and was upset at being questioned about the woo woo aspects like subluxation or whatever nonsense. Someone posted a thread of a spine and asked him what he thought the issue was. He replied seriously and in great detail about how chiro would help the person. Then the person who posted the pic revealed that it was an Xray of his cat's spine from a vet visit.

I'm sure there are excellent chiros out there (who would also make great physical therapists) but they are in no way qualified as real doctors by doing whatever certification process they do.  And they do tend to promote tons of MLM stuff in their offices. My mom made me go when I was a kid unfortunately.
Title: Re: Multi-Level Marketing (MLM)/Network Marketing
Post by: rockstache on June 24, 2016, 05:08:58 PM
My experience has been that they are more jokes than real doctors and they promote homeopathy, magnets, and all kinds of other ineffective treatments.
My favorite chiro story was the chiropractor who started an Ask/Tell thread on another forum I visit and was upset at being questioned about the woo woo aspects like subluxation or whatever nonsense. Someone posted a thread of a spine and asked him what he thought the issue was. He replied seriously and in great detail about how chiro would help the person. Then the person who posted the pic revealed that it was an Xray of his cat's spine from a vet visit.

I'm sure there are excellent chiros out there (who would also make great physical therapists) but they are in no way qualified as real doctors by doing whatever certification process they do.  And they do tend to promote tons of MLM stuff in their offices. My mom made me go when I was a kid unfortunately.

Wait...people go to chiropractors who are not medical doctors? Ok then yes, that is just crazy. Idk about chiropractic 'certifications.' My chiropractor has a medical degree, I believe it is in neurology (although I don't know all the letters). Sorry for your bad experience, I certainly don't blame you for being skittish.
Title: Re: Multi-Level Marketing (MLM)/Network Marketing
Post by: woopwoop on June 24, 2016, 06:06:33 PM
Wait...people go to chiropractors who are not medical doctors? Ok then yes, that is just crazy. Idk about chiropractic 'certifications.' My chiropractor has a medical degree, I believe it is in neurology (although I don't know all the letters).
I mean, the whole history of chiropractic is based on really antiscientific and pseudoscientific claims, and "Doctor of Chiropractic" isn't the same as an MD at all - you can get into a chiropractic school without a bachelor's degree, even, and they have much laxer requirements than most med schools. I'm glad that lots of chiros seem to provide benefits to their clients, but it's hard to buy into a supposed medical field that has a history of being anti-vaccine, anti-fluoridation of water, pro-homeopathy, etc. There are definitely some chiros trying to clean up the field, but there are also a ton of quacks out there. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chiropractic_controversy_and_criticism
Title: Re: Multi-Level Marketing (MLM)/Network Marketing
Post by: TheGrimSqueaker on June 24, 2016, 06:52:45 PM
I would go a step further and recommend you ditch chiropractic care altogether and see a real dr.

As someone who has a family physician (MD), 2 chiropractors, a pharmacist, a neonatal intensive care (NIC) registered nurse (currently doing further education to become a nurse practitioner) in my immediate family, I find this comment troll-ish and unnecessary.  Chiropractors are certainly real doctors (as much as MD's, specialists, dentists and optometrists are.)

Sounds like a new thread needs to be started called something like "Mustachian Health Care", where people can celebrate/vent about health care successes/failures.  This thread is getting hijacked!

That's why I ignored that comment. ;) Although it appears that people find chiropractors to be one the same level as MLM, which I'm sure some are, but certainly not all or even most. I have a very good friend attending Chiropractic school right now in Atlanta and appears to be studying pretty hard. I can't wait for her to be my chiropractor!

Much depends on where the person is practicing. If your friend wants to be respected as a well trusted medical professional, and to enjoy the credibility her hard work should earn her, she'll be best off practicing in a country and province that pays for actual medicine and not woo-woo stuff, and where the laws do not favor promotion of MLM or other pseudoscience by medical professionals.
Title: Re: Multi-Level Marketing (MLM)/Network Marketing
Post by: MoneyCat on June 24, 2016, 07:23:22 PM
Thanks for all the anti-chiropractic stuff in this thread. I can't convince my wife or my friends that chiro is quackery. No matter how many informative articles I share with them. People just enjoy being bamboozled, I guess.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
Title: Re: Multi-Level Marketing (MLM)/Network Marketing
Post by: iris lily on June 24, 2016, 08:10:00 PM
I would go a step further and recommend you ditch chiropractic care altogether and see a real dr.

As someone who has a family physician (MD), 2 chiropractors, a pharmacist, a neonatal intensive care (NIC) registered nurse (currently doing further education to become a nurse practitioner) in my immediate family, I find this comment troll-ish and unnecessary.  Chiropractors are certainly real doctors (as much as MD's, specialists, dentists and optometrists are.)

Sounds like a new thread needs to be started called something like "Mustachian Health Care", where people can celebrate/vent about health care successes/failures.  This thread is getting hijacked!
Do you think the PP above was helped by the random stuff that was burned between her toes? Is that "real" medicine?

Fortunately I dont have back problems. If
I had a persistant issue and my physician would only throw drugs at it, I might  (notice I said might) try a chiro. But more likely I would find a new physician who would send me to a Physical therapist to work with me on appropriate exercises to strengthen whatever to address the problem.
Title: Re: Multi-Level Marketing (MLM)/Network Marketing
Post by: Beard N Bones on June 24, 2016, 08:13:47 PM
Thanks for all the anti-chiropractic stuff in this thread. I can't convince my wife or my friends that chiro is quackery. No matter how many informative articles I share with them. People just enjoy being bamboozled, I guess.

Chiropractic is not quackery.
No question there are those that are unscrupulous in the profession. I would argue the North American Medical system/Big Pharma (ie. See Thalidomide) is more unscrupulous. Big Pharma's interest is for its shareholder's profits, not the health of the individual - an ultimate conflict of interest in my opinion.  And absolutely, in the distant history, Chiropractic has been less than evidence-based as we now currently know it.  That said...

 Moneycat, I could give you two high quality current up to date research papers for every one of your "informative" articles you have, that support the use of chiropractic care for many neuromusculoskeletal conditions.
Title: Re: Multi-Level Marketing (MLM)/Network Marketing
Post by: Beard N Bones on June 24, 2016, 09:12:25 PM
I would go a step further and recommend you ditch chiropractic care altogether and see a real dr.

As someone who has a family physician (MD), 2 chiropractors, a pharmacist, a neonatal intensive care (NIC) registered nurse (currently doing further education to become a nurse practitioner) in my immediate family, I find this comment troll-ish and unnecessary.  Chiropractors are certainly real doctors (as much as MD's, specialists, dentists and optometrists are.)

Sounds like a new thread needs to be started called something like "Mustachian Health Care", where people can celebrate/vent about health care successes/failures.  This thread is getting hijacked!
Do you think the PP above was helped by the random stuff that was burned between her toes? Is that "real" medicine?

Fortunately I dont have back problems. If
I had a persistant issue and my physician would only throw drugs at it, I might  (notice I said might) try a chiro. But more likely I would find a new physician who would send me to a Physical therapist to work with me on appropriate exercises to strengthen whatever to address the problem.

In Canada, chiropractic is a regulated profession (just as TheGrimSqueaker was talking about).  In the province we live, the scope of practice of the chiropractor is set out by its regulatory board.  The chiropractors scope of practice in our province, pretty much identical to the rest of the country is as follows:

SCOPE OF PRACTICE
The  role  of  chiropractic  in  primary  health  care  is  characterized  by  direct  access,  integrated, conservative  care  of  patients'  health  needs, emphasizing  neuromusculoskeletal  conditions, health  promotion,  and patient  centered diagnosis  and  management.  The  chiropractor  in  the primary health care system is a first-contact practitioner for neuromusculoskeletal conditions. The principles outlined below are intended to better serve the health needs of the public. They also  provide   policy  makers,  other  health  care   professionals  and  the  public  with  a  clear understanding  of  chiropractic.  These  principles  are  also  intended  to  provide  a  focal  point  to which  members  of  the  profession  can  gravitate  and  will  allow  the  profession  to  pursue  its legitimate aspirations for growth and development.

1.  Chiropractors are first
- contact practitioners who possess and exercise the diagnostic skills to differentiate conditions that are amenable to their management from those conditions that require referral or co-management.
2.  Chiropractors   provide   conservative   management   of   neuromusculoskeletal   disorders including, but not limited to back, neck, head and extremity pain.
3. Chiropractors are expert providers of spinal and other therapeutic manipulation/adjustments/ mobilization.  They  may  utilize  a  variety  of  supportive  and  complementary  therapeutic  modalities. Chiropractors   also   provide   patient   evaluation   and   instructions   regarding   disease prevention   and   health   promotion   through   proper   nutrition,   exercise   and   lifestyle modification.  The  range  of  diagnostic  and  therapeutic  services  offered  by  chiropractic  is dynamic  and  will  be  modified  by  education,  research,  technological  change  and  society's evolving health care needs.
4.   Chiropractic diagnostic and therapeutic goals should be achieved as safely, quickly and economically as possible to promote patient health and independence. Optimal patient care can be achieved when chiropractic is integrated within the health care system. Interdisciplinary collaboration is important for this purpose.
5.  The diagnostic and therapeutic guidelines adopted by the profession should be evidence-based, the absence or ambiguity of scientific evidence requires sound clinical judgment in place of hard data.
6.  Chiropractors offer accessible and appropriate care to all population groups.
7.  Chiropractors  recognize  the  multi-faceted  aspects  of  health,  disease,  etiology  and  related patient care.


iris lily, based on that Scope of Practice for chiropractors in my province, it should be very clear regarding my view on burning stuff between toes to help with a neuromusculoskeletal issue.  Because of my unique position with so many medical professionals in my family, I would make the recommendation to anyone that reads this, that if any medical professional (and yes, my fellow chiropractic haters, that does include chiropractors) is not practicing ethically or professionally, or in their scope of practice, they should be reported to the appropriate regulatory boards.  Regulatory boards are there to protect the public from the unethical, unscrupulous and dangerous individuals that are found in all professions. 

Now you asked if
Quote
the PP above was helped by the random stuff that was burned between her toes? Is that "real" medicine?
  I don't have the answer for you.  Was it: the random burning stuff between the toes?  ...was it the fact that "the Webser's Technique" was used to help in the relaxing of the uterus and sportive tissues? (the Websters Technique is worth researching)  ...the adjustments on the back?  ...the stress of seeing a chiropractor?  ...the stress of having to use unbudgeted monies to pay for chiropractors fees?  ..the fact that the barometric pressure spiked multiple times in the days prior to the baby turning?  ...the fact that the Super Bowl was won by the Patriots that year, the most hated team in the NFL?  That's right, it is impossible to know because of all the variables involved.  I, as a skeptical person, am right there with you.

What a person can't be skeptical about though, is the absolute undeniable fact, that the baby turned and was in the vertex position afterwards.  Furthermore, the back pain she had was significantly improved after seeing her chiropractor. 

(I am finding it increasingly ironic that, in a thread I've started regarding the unscrupulous business model known as MLM, it has deteriorated into a "chiropractors are all quakes and sleazy" type discussion, considering I am very much on the inside of the health care field itself.)
Title: Re: Multi-Level Marketing (MLM)/Network Marketing
Post by: rockstache on June 25, 2016, 06:25:09 AM
Wait...people go to chiropractors who are not medical doctors? Ok then yes, that is just crazy. Idk about chiropractic 'certifications.' My chiropractor has a medical degree, I believe it is in neurology (although I don't know all the letters).
I mean, the whole history of chiropractic is based on really antiscientific and pseudoscientific claims, and "Doctor of Chiropractic" isn't the same as an MD at all - you can get into a chiropractic school without a bachelor's degree, even, and they have much laxer requirements than most med schools. I'm glad that lots of chiros seem to provide benefits to their clients, but it's hard to buy into a supposed medical field that has a history of being anti-vaccine, anti-fluoridation of water, pro-homeopathy, etc. There are definitely some chiros trying to clean up the field, but there are also a ton of quacks out there. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chiropractic_controversy_and_criticism
Uh...no. I mean real MD. He went to med school, did residency, everything. I don't know what kind of quacks might be out there, I'm just talking about this one guy. I wouldn't go to one that wasn't an actual doctor.
Title: Re: Multi-Level Marketing (MLM)/Network Marketing
Post by: justajane on June 25, 2016, 07:20:53 AM
I didn't intend for the comment I made about "burning things between my toes" to be taken as a way to besmirch all chiropractors. In fact, my chiropractor was a trained acupuncturist as well, and what I described was Moxibustion, an ancient Chinese practice, used to turn breech babies and deal with menstrual cramps for centuries. Call it quackery if you want, but it had nothing to do with her chiropractic training.

And, yes, the main thing she did was the Webster Technique that balances your pelvis.

While I certainly understand some people's hesitancy in terms of chiropractic medicine, the reality is that traditional medicine hasn't always been able to provide non-invasive relief from lower back pain that doesn't include lots of narcotics, nerve blocks, etc. That's one area in which I would personally use a chiropractor again in the future. All the other claims are quackery IMO, but for back pain, I think they have some legitimate methods that do provide relief. 
Title: Re: Multi-Level Marketing (MLM)/Network Marketing
Post by: justajane on June 25, 2016, 07:33:06 AM
Fortunately I dont have back problems. If
I had a persistant issue and my physician would only throw drugs at it, I might  (notice I said might) try a chiro. But more likely I would find a new physician who would send me to a Physical therapist to work with me on appropriate exercises to strengthen whatever to address the problem.

Yes, physical therapy is where it's at. I have a PT that I trust more than I trust many doctors (in fact, since you live in STL, if you are ever unfortunate enough to need one, PM me, my PT is so wonderful, I can't sing her praises enough).

When I had a hip problem this past year, I didn't go to the chiropractor. I went the traditional route of an Orthopedist who gave me a 2K MRI which found nothing. Her proposed path forward if PT didn't work was to give me these invasive hormone injections in the hip. Thankfully it went away with the help of my awesome physical therapist who, I might add, doesn't have a medical degree.

Why this insistence on people who work on your joints and ligaments have a medical degree? If those of you who are all up in arms about chiropractors really feel that way, you shouldn't go to a physical therapist either. The only difference I would see is that they at least try to have PTs under the guidance of your doctor through the "referral" system. But in my mind that's just a health insurance leap you go through and not really collaboration. The reality is that most medical doctors in the US don't have the time in their schedule to spend the time that a chiropractor or a physical therapy does with the patient. My PT spent usually over 30 minutes with me, sometimes a whole hour.

Perhaps this whole thing would be helped if the system would do a better job embracing certain aspects of chiropractic care and creating a similar referral system with certain vetted offices. Yes, they would have to disavow themselves of much of the woo, but if the medical establishment would grant some of their efficacy, I imagine certain practitioners would link up with hospitals or medical practices.
Title: Re: Multi-Level Marketing (MLM)/Network Marketing
Post by: Cpa Cat on June 25, 2016, 11:06:29 AM
Here's my Chiropractor story -

My husband had chronic back pain. He went to a chiropractor who we shall call Dr Quack. Dr Quack had a lot of weird machines that promised to stretch your spine, or deliver electric shocks to your spine, plus he did the usual crack your spine stuff. My husband's chronic back pain was not cured though he kept going to Dr Quack for two-three years.

So, he did the whole MRI + cortisone shots thing, after consulting with MDs. It didn't work. The pain management doctor offered him pain killers and said the next step might be surgery. Of course, it was never really clear what was wrong or how surgery was going to fix it.

He resolved to give up on all of it - quit going to the chiropractor, didn't go back for any more shots or surgery or painkillers. He just lived with it.

Eventually someone recommended a chiropractor who treats the local university basketball team. He practices ART (Active Release Technique). This guy was all about core-strenghtening exercises and stretches, under the theory that a strong core protects your spine. And it worked. After about a month of daily stretches and exercises, my husband's back pain stopped. If he stops doing the exercises, it'll come back.

None of the three different MDs who consulted on his back pain ever recommended physical therapy. They didn't even hint that muscle weakness could be the root cause of his problems. Years and years of chronic, crippling back problems... cured by a few stretches.

So my conclusion, based on my limited experience and anecdotal evidence, is if your chiropractor has weird machines and essential oils, then it's probably a Dr Quack. If your chiropractor is more about teaching you how to move properly, sit properly, and stretch properly, then maybe they're a good one.
Title: Re: Multi-Level Marketing (MLM)/Network Marketing
Post by: frugalnacho on June 25, 2016, 11:30:38 AM
Wait...people go to chiropractors who are not medical doctors? Ok then yes, that is just crazy. Idk about chiropractic 'certifications.' My chiropractor has a medical degree, I believe it is in neurology (although I don't know all the letters).
I mean, the whole history of chiropractic is based on really antiscientific and pseudoscientific claims, and "Doctor of Chiropractic" isn't the same as an MD at all - you can get into a chiropractic school without a bachelor's degree, even, and they have much laxer requirements than most med schools. I'm glad that lots of chiros seem to provide benefits to their clients, but it's hard to buy into a supposed medical field that has a history of being anti-vaccine, anti-fluoridation of water, pro-homeopathy, etc. There are definitely some chiros trying to clean up the field, but there are also a ton of quacks out there. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chiropractic_controversy_and_criticism
Uh...no. I mean real MD. He went to med school, did residency, everything. I don't know what kind of quacks might be out there, I'm just talking about this one guy. I wouldn't go to one that wasn't an actual doctor.

Who the fuck goes to medical school and does a residency then works as a chiropractor?  I was under the impression the two fields are in no way related, the schooling is unrelated, and the certification is unrelated.  You don't need a medical degree of any kind to work as a chiropractor, so why would anyone choose to use their real medical degree for that purpose?
Title: Re: Multi-Level Marketing (MLM)/Network Marketing
Post by: Beard N Bones on June 25, 2016, 11:58:45 AM
Wait...people go to chiropractors who are not medical doctors? Ok then yes, that is just crazy. Idk about chiropractic 'certifications.' My chiropractor has a medical degree, I believe it is in neurology (although I don't know all the letters).
I mean, the whole history of chiropractic is based on really antiscientific and pseudoscientific claims, and "Doctor of Chiropractic" isn't the same as an MD at all - you can get into a chiropractic school without a bachelor's degree, even, and they have much laxer requirements than most med schools. I'm glad that lots of chiros seem to provide benefits to their clients, but it's hard to buy into a supposed medical field that has a history of being anti-vaccine, anti-fluoridation of water, pro-homeopathy, etc. There are definitely some chiros trying to clean up the field, but there are also a ton of quacks out there. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chiropractic_controversy_and_criticism
Uh...no. I mean real MD. He went to med school, did residency, everything. I don't know what kind of quacks might be out there, I'm just talking about this one guy. I wouldn't go to one that wasn't an actual doctor.

Who the fuck goes to medical school and does a residency then works as a chiropractor?  I was under the impression the two fields are in no way related, the schooling is unrelated, and the certification is unrelated.  You don't need a medical degree of any kind to work as a chiropractor, so why would anyone choose to use their real medical degree for that purpose?

Paper that highlights the Chiropractic profession in Switzerland: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20937430
It's more common than you are aware of. Maybe not so much if you live in the sticks of the USA apparently.

Taken from the conclusion of the linked article:
Quote
Chiropractic practice in Switzerland is a government-recognized medical profession with significant interprofessional referrals resulting in earlier chiropractic treatment for many patients. However, Swiss chiropractic practitioners still retain their professional identity and focus of practice.
Title: Re: Multi-Level Marketing (MLM)/Network Marketing
Post by: iris lily on June 25, 2016, 01:03:26 PM
 In a positive story about chiropractors, my friend had severe spine and vertebra problems.  She went to a chiropractor. He took an x-ray, looked at it, and said "lady I am not going to touch you. You need an orthopedic surgeon. "

 So, that was good!
Title: Re: Multi-Level Marketing (MLM)/Network Marketing
Post by: iris lily on June 25, 2016, 01:08:06 PM
I didn't intend for the comment I made about "burning things between my toes" to be taken as a way to besmirch all chiropractors. In fact, my chiropractor was a trained acupuncturist as well, and what I described was Moxibustion, an ancient Chinese practice, used to turn breech babies and deal with menstrual cramps for centuries. Call it quackery if you want, but it had nothing to do with her chiropractic training.

And, yes, the main thing she did was the Webster Technique that balances your pelvis.

While I certainly understand some people's hesitancy in terms of chiropractic medicine, the reality is that traditional medicine hasn't always been able to provide non-invasive relief from lower back pain that doesn't include lots of narcotics, nerve blocks, etc. That's one area in which I would personally use a chiropractor again in the future. All the other claims are quackery IMO, but for back pain, I think they have some legitimate methods that do provide relief.

Now funny maybe, but I have a generalized respect foe acupuncturists although I have not, and probably would not, visit one.

Regarding your other post: sure PT's rock! My dad was a PT and I was aware early in life what they could do.

I dont have a whole lot of respect toward the general world of MD's and their 3 minute office visits.
Title: Re: Multi-Level Marketing (MLM)/Network Marketing
Post by: iris lily on June 25, 2016, 01:19:49 PM
Wait...people go to chiropractors who are not medical doctors? Ok then yes, that is just crazy. Idk about chiropractic 'certifications.' My chiropractor has a medical degree, I believe it is in neurology (although I don't know all the letters).
I mean, the whole history of chiropractic is based on really antiscientific and pseudoscientific claims, and "Doctor of Chiropractic" isn't the same as an MD at all - you can get into a chiropractic school without a bachelor's degree, even, and they have much laxer requirements than most med schools. I'm glad that lots of chiros seem to provide benefits to their clients, but it's hard to buy into a supposed medical field that has a history of being anti-vaccine, anti-fluoridation of water, pro-homeopathy, etc. There are definitely some chiros trying to clean up the field, but there are also a ton of quacks out there. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chiropractic_controversy_and_criticism
Uh...no. I mean real MD. He went to med school, did residency, everything. I don't know what kind of quacks might be out there, I'm just talking about this one guy. I wouldn't go to one that wasn't an actual doctor.

Who the fuck goes to medical school and does a residency then works as a chiropractor?  I was under the impression the two fields are in no way related, the schooling is unrelated, and the certification is unrelated.  You don't need a medical degree of any kind to work as a chiropractor, so why would anyone choose to use their real medical degree for that purpose?

Paper that highlights the Chiropractic profession in Switzerland: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20937430
It's more common than you are aware of. Maybe not so much if you live in the sticks of the USA apparently.

Taken from the conclusion of the linked article:
Quote
Chiropractic practice in Switzerland is a government-recognized medical profession with significant interprofessional referrals resulting in earlier chiropractic treatment for many patients. However, Swiss chiropractic practitioners still retain their professional identity and focus of practice.
Living in the sticks as I do, I see hick chiros who serve their vulnerable hick-from-the-sticks clients by pushing MLM stuff, woo, and anything to make an easy buck on them. There are too many chiros, like attorneys, and they have to scrample to make a living.

Theses activities are not prohibited, so why would I report them? If they want to sell essential oils in their office, I dont care.

Our Swiss cousin was smart enough to capitalize on the big money/low regulation of U.S. chiropractic profession and make his big money. Then he took the big money and moved back to Switzerland to buy income  property. Yay for  him! i avsolutely admire and respect his entrepreneurial spirit and hard work, but I do not admire his dedication to patient care.

Finally, I know that health professionals are trained, licensed, and regulated differently in areas of the world. I  admit that in .Canada,  chiros may be entirely trustworthy and respected in their professionalism. Many here in the U.S. can be respected, too. i just wince like posters above when friends and family immediately talk anout going to a chirpractor for aches and pains. I dont think that is the best route, generally speaking.
Title: Re: Multi-Level Marketing (MLM)/Network Marketing
Post by: iris lily on June 25, 2016, 01:34:43 PM
Here's my Chiropractor story -
...

So my conclusion, based on my limited experience and anecdotal evidence, is if your chiropractor has weird machines and essential oils, then it's probably a Dr Quack. If your chiropractor is more about teaching you how to move properly, sit properly, and stretch properly, then maybe they're a good one.
In other words, if your chiro is more like a PT then they are a good one.  Or perhaps just go to PT to start with a side benefit being you wont have to step through MLM products to get treatment.
Title: Re: Multi-Level Marketing (MLM)/Network Marketing
Post by: Blonde Lawyer on June 25, 2016, 01:36:28 PM
ART chiropractic is amazing.  A regular PT wouldn't be enough for me.  I still need some cracking and aligning in there too.

My MLM "confession" is that I LOVE Avon eyeliner.  It is the only one I use and will use it as long as they are in business.  It's cheap too.  I'm in my 30's and still buying it from the same lady in my hometown that sold me my first lipstick at 13.  I just by it online through her now and it is shipped to me in my new state. 
Title: Re: Multi-Level Marketing (MLM)/Network Marketing
Post by: justajane on June 27, 2016, 01:27:19 PM
An MLM person on my FB feed just posted this article:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/regan-long/the-brutal-truth-about-those-pyramid-schemes_b_10602586.html

Basically it lays out some of the same ole MLM claims that those who use them are "small business owners" and that the next time you see someone asking for your business on their FB feed that you should think about how they're a mom or dad trying to support their family "in these difficult economic times." So, yeah, basically everything that I hate about MLMs.

I actually had someone pay the "I'm just a SAHM trying to support my family while my husband goes to seminary" line to try to get me to buy Mary Kay make-up. This was especially rich considering I'd already told her I don't wear make-up.
Title: Re: Multi-Level Marketing (MLM)/Network Marketing
Post by: Blonde Lawyer on June 27, 2016, 04:24:03 PM


I actually had someone pay the "I'm just a SAHM trying to support my family while my husband goes to seminary" line to try to get me to buy Mary Kay make-up. This was especially rich considering I'd already told her I don't wear make-up.

You were the perfect potential client.  If she could hook you on wearing make up you would have to buy a ton since you don't have any already.  You have no brand preference yet. :)
Title: Re: Multi-Level Marketing (MLM)/Network Marketing
Post by: justajane on June 27, 2016, 04:49:04 PM


I actually had someone pay the "I'm just a SAHM trying to support my family while my husband goes to seminary" line to try to get me to buy Mary Kay make-up. This was especially rich considering I'd already told her I don't wear make-up.

You were the perfect potential client.  If she could hook you on wearing make up you would have to buy a ton since you don't have any already.  You have no brand preference yet. :)

True, though 15 years later I still don't wear make-up. I'm pretty stubborn, the more she tried to convince that something was missing in my life for not wearing make-up, the less likely I probably was going to be to buy it.

My stubbornness, however, didn't keep the whole thing from being damned uncomfortable. Thankfully it was on the phone, though.
Title: Re: Multi-Level Marketing (MLM)/Network Marketing
Post by: JetBlast on June 27, 2016, 05:48:39 PM
An MLM person on my FB feed just posted this article:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/regan-long/the-brutal-truth-about-those-pyramid-schemes_b_10602586.html

Basically it lays out some of the same ole MLM claims that those who use them are "small business owners" and that the next time you see someone asking for your business on their FB feed that you should think about how they're a mom or dad trying to support their family "in these difficult economic times." So, yeah, basically everything that I hate about MLMs.


That link is just sad. All the same old, faulty arguments, with a liberal dose of cult-like thinking. I especially liked their reasoning that they aren't pyramid schemes because those are illegal. With that undeniable logic I can break into my next door neighbor's home, take their jewelry back to my home, then tell the police that it obviously wasn't burglary because, you know, burglary is illegal.
Title: Re: Multi-Level Marketing (MLM)/Network Marketing
Post by: Goldielocks on June 28, 2016, 12:02:46 AM
DS turned 14 today.  My lovely SIL, who is MLM for Scentsy, gave him a fist sized stuffed animal that attaches to your backpack, with "melon" scent.

I told him that it was the thought that counts, but I don't know if she really thought a 14 year old boy would prefer a cute stuffed animal, (that triggers his asthma with so much scent) or just gives a present with anything "kid" like in her kit that is not selling...   This is the seventh "sentsy" present from her (or MIL bought from her) in the past 2 years, for someone in our 4 person family.

Thank goodness she doesn't MLM for jamberry.  I don't think I could stand seeing DS open nail wraps as a gift for him.

Really people, cash for a 14 year old is fine.  So is just a card.
Title: Re: Multi-Level Marketing (MLM)/Network Marketing
Post by: JetBlast on June 29, 2016, 04:52:39 PM
My wife went to a free class at a nearby Aveda salon to learn how to make your own body scrub/wash.  Of course the salon decides to let a doTerra "consultant" pitch all people that attended on their overpriced essential oils and how you can get them so much cheaper if you buy wholesale as a rep. Now of course all the people in class are getting guilt tripped into supporting this nonsense GRRRRR!!!!

Gotta love a company that got smacked down by the FDA for claiming their oils could cure cancer and prevent you from getting Ebola.
Title: Re: Multi-Level Marketing (MLM)/Network Marketing
Post by: TheGrimSqueaker on June 30, 2016, 08:48:25 AM
My wife went to a free class at a nearby Aveda salon to learn how to make your own body scrub/wash.  Of course the salon decides to let a doTerra "consultant" pitch all people that attended on their overpriced essential oils and how you can get them so much cheaper if you buy wholesale as a rep. Now of course all the people in class are getting guilt tripped into supporting this nonsense GRRRRR!!!!

Gotta love a company that got smacked down by the FDA for claiming their oils could cure cancer and prevent you from getting Ebola.

Classes like those make me want to puke, and not just because of the grade of product being touted.

I taught essential oil classes off and on for years, since I have all kinds of weird hobbies and one of them is perfume making. A person with weird hobbies can gradually accumulate a lot of odd little potions and bits of knowledge. Since I had some friends who ran a retail store where they sold a variety of things including some decent quality essential oils I used for my hobby, I agreed to do classes for them in exchange for donations to one of the charities I was supporting at the time. The classes featured oils that were available in the store, but they were more likely to emphasize techniques for making things like candles, perfume, and such.

The classes I gave always had a section on safety, and any time I talked about medical applications I cited peer reviewed studies and clinical trials. I did my best to debunk some of the happy hippie crap. Finally there was a section devoted to something else, like the science of how to make essential oils or else specific skills like making candles or your own perfume. I'd definitely mention some of the cultural associations between ideas and fragrances, including a few "traditional" attributions that are generally made up within the last 30 years. But one of the skills I loved to pass on was the ability to tell which essential oils are real, and which have a synthetic carrier. I like to think I temporarily damaged the quackery business in my neck of the woods, but probably not. There's an amazing number of stupid people out there.

The weirdest thing was when one of the local "professional" aromatherapists and woo-woo artists would take my class and then turn around and try to sell their knowledge to the general public. I was mildly irked at first but then I realized actual science was being promulgated instead of happy hippie crap. So I decided I didn't mind. But it was a strange thing to see someone who introduced herself as a professional aromatherapist sit in my class while I explained why her entire profession was bullshit because it was based on junk science... and she'd be there nodding, smiling, and taking copious notes. I was thinking: "Wow, lady... I just slammed your entire profession... aren't you going to at least say something in your own defense, or are you so desperate for actual information that you're willing to let it ride? Or are you just so stupid that you don't realize you've just been utterly humiliated?"

It turns out that, yes, they really were that stupid. That's why there's a market for junk science like MLM essential oils.
Title: Re: Multi-Level Marketing (MLM)/Network Marketing
Post by: faithless on June 30, 2016, 09:04:31 AM
But one of the skills I loved to pass on was the ability to tell which essential oils are real, and which have a synthetic carrier.

What is the difference important for, and how do you tell?

I don't think we have this essential oil industry thing in the UK, you can buy scented oils, eg to put in a massage oil, or to burn in an oil burner as a house scent, but I've never heard of them being used for health apart from lavender supposed to be to be relaxing/encourage sleep, peppermint smell helps you feel less sick?
Title: Re: Multi-Level Marketing (MLM)/Network Marketing
Post by: TheGrimSqueaker on June 30, 2016, 09:22:09 AM
But one of the skills I loved to pass on was the ability to tell which essential oils are real, and which have a synthetic carrier.

What is the difference important for, and how do you tell?

I don't think we have this essential oil industry thing in the UK, you can buy scented oils, eg to put in a massage oil, or to burn in an oil burner as a house scent, but I've never heard of them being used for health apart from lavender supposed to be to be relaxing/encourage sleep, peppermint smell helps you feel less sick?

The ones with a synthetic carrier smell like soap compared to the ones with no carrier. To tell the difference, it's helpful to have a milder-smelling oil, like neroli, with one vial from a cheaper manufacturer using a synthetic carrier and the other a pure oil. That will make the synthetic, soapy smell pop right out in a way that would be masked with a stronger odor like cinnamon.

Synthetic oils are an excellent product. They are far better and safer for burning or diffusing, because they're less volatile and the flash point is higher so you're less likely to have a fire. They also integrate better into candles and soaps than the pure oils do (the pure oils tend to rise to the top surface and sometimes even pool there instead of mixing). For medical applications and for perfume making I prefer the pure oils.

Essential oil of lavender reduces scars from burning and has mild antiseptic properties. It is also a plant estrogen, which in large concentration can cause breast development in boys. That's one of the reasons I don't approve of its use by boys. Eugenol, the active ingredient in essential oil of cloves, is an effective topical dental painkiller for many (but not all).
Title: Re: Multi-Level Marketing (MLM)/Network Marketing
Post by: faithless on June 30, 2016, 09:41:27 AM
Thanks TGS, that's interesting.

(Also your name reminds me of Terry Pratchett and makes me smile.)
Title: Re: Multi-Level Marketing (MLM)/Network Marketing
Post by: JetBlast on June 30, 2016, 02:18:00 PM
But one of the skills I loved to pass on was the ability to tell which essential oils are real, and which have a synthetic carrier.

What is the difference important for, and how do you tell?

I don't think we have this essential oil industry thing in the UK, you can buy scented oils, eg to put in a massage oil, or to burn in an oil burner as a house scent, but I've never heard of them being used for health apart from lavender supposed to be to be relaxing/encourage sleep, peppermint smell helps you feel less sick?

The ones with a synthetic carrier smell like soap compared to the ones with no carrier. To tell the difference, it's helpful to have a milder-smelling oil, like neroli, with one vial from a cheaper manufacturer using a synthetic carrier and the other a pure oil. That will make the synthetic, soapy smell pop right out in a way that would be masked with a stronger odor like cinnamon.

Synthetic oils are an excellent product. They are far better and safer for burning or diffusing, because they're less volatile and the flash point is higher so you're less likely to have a fire. They also integrate better into candles and soaps than the pure oils do (the pure oils tend to rise to the top surface and sometimes even pool there instead of mixing). For medical applications and for perfume making I prefer the pure oils.

Essential oil of lavender reduces scars from burning and has mild antiseptic properties. It is also a plant estrogen, which in large concentration can cause breast development in boys. That's one of the reasons I don't approve of its use by boys. Eugenol, the active ingredient in essential oil of cloves, is an effective topical dental painkiller for many (but not all).

Learn something new every day.  Thanks for the informative post TGS!
Title: Re: Multi-Level Marketing (MLM)/Network Marketing
Post by: Kaydedid on July 05, 2016, 07:46:32 PM
Yet more Lularoe nonsense is popping up on facebook, so just popping in to say-

one day we'll look back at leggings with the same horror reserved for acid wash mom jeans.

Sent from my SCH-I545 using Tapatalk

Title: Re: Multi-Level Marketing (MLM)/Network Marketing
Post by: Goldielocks on July 05, 2016, 11:39:24 PM
Yet more Lularoe nonsense is popping up on facebook, so just popping in to say-

one day we'll look back at leggings with the same horror reserved for acid wash mom jeans.

Sent from my SCH-I545 using Tapatalk

Huh?  I did not know any mom's were wearing acid wash unless they were trying to look under 30.   It was reserved for the under 22 set when it first came out...

I do agree that some moms in leggings are indeed horrific to look at.  At least young people with out of shape bodies still have young bodies....
Title: Re: Multi-Level Marketing (MLM)/Network Marketing
Post by: Kaydedid on July 06, 2016, 08:21:26 AM
Yet more Lularoe nonsense is popping up on facebook, so just popping in to say-

one day we'll look back at leggings with the same horror reserved for acid wash mom jeans.

Sent from my SCH-I545 using Tapatalk

Huh?  I did not know any mom's were wearing acid wash unless they were trying to look under 30.   It was reserved for the under 22 set when it first came out...

I do agree that some moms in leggings are indeed horrific to look at.  At least young people with out of shape bodies still have young bodies....
Hm, my mom had a pair of these back in the day, from a garage sale.  Maybe she just scored a rare, extra - ugly find!

Sent from my SCH-I545 using Tapatalk

Title: Re: Multi-Level Marketing (MLM)/Network Marketing
Post by: deadlymonkey on July 06, 2016, 08:29:41 AM
Yet more Lularoe nonsense is popping up on facebook, so just popping in to say-

one day we'll look back at leggings with the same horror reserved for acid wash mom jeans.

Sent from my SCH-I545 using Tapatalk

My wife looks good in Lularoe, so I accept the cost.
Title: Re: Multi-Level Marketing (MLM)/Network Marketing
Post by: joleran on July 11, 2016, 05:38:53 AM
Eugenol, the active ingredient in essential oil of cloves, is an effective topical dental painkiller for many (but not all).

Yeah, I've actually had dentists use that before.
Title: Re: Multi-Level Marketing (MLM)/Network Marketing
Post by: AlwaysLearningToSave on July 11, 2016, 07:45:07 AM
Everything you need to know: https://www.factsaboutherbalife.com/

Looks like a good website dealing with Herbalife directly.  I have found that the following paper written by Jon M. Taylor, PhD. has been the best in explaining the pitfalls of MLMs in general (IMO, it is a must read):

I also ran across some of Jon Taylor's work and think it is some of the best literature available. 

I've found it hard to find an even-handed assessment of MLMs-- people tend to be either pro-MLM because they make money or hope to make money from MLMs or vehemently anti-MLM based on a knee-jerk reaction that it is a scam but with little critical examination of the business model. 

Here is a link to his book The Case (For and) Against Multi-Level Marketing:  http://www.mlmwatch.org/01General/taylor.pdf (http://www.mlmwatch.org/01General/taylor.pdf)

I find his personal experience to make him uniquely qualified to opine on the subject and I like his data-driven analyses.  He reaches a vehement anti-MLM conclusion but does a better job of explaining why than any other resource I have found. 

Title: Re: Multi-Level Marketing (MLM)/Network Marketing
Post by: mm1970 on July 11, 2016, 11:13:05 AM
Everything you need to know: https://www.factsaboutherbalife.com/

Looks like a good website dealing with Herbalife directly.  I have found that the following paper written by Jon M. Taylor, PhD. has been the best in explaining the pitfalls of MLMs in general (IMO, it is a must read):

I also ran across some of Jon Taylor's work and think it is some of the best literature available. 

I've found it hard to find an even-handed assessment of MLMs-- people tend to be either pro-MLM because they make money or hope to make money from MLMs or vehemently anti-MLM based on a knee-jerk reaction that it is a scam but with little critical examination of the business model. 

Here is a link to his book The Case (For and) Against Multi-Level Marketing:  http://www.mlmwatch.org/01General/taylor.pdf (http://www.mlmwatch.org/01General/taylor.pdf)

I find his personal experience to make him uniquely qualified to opine on the subject and I like his data-driven analyses.  He reaches a vehement anti-MLM conclusion but does a better job of explaining why than any other resource I have found.
I read through several pages of that.  It's very good.

As I've mentioned before, I know a lot of Beach Body coaches.  And a good friend just became one.  I personally like the products (the workouts are fantastic, and they are great for people like me with little time to workout, and need to workout at home a lot because of the kids).  I also like the shakeology, but could probably take it or leave it.

But I've always been skeptical of the system.  I *see* people who are successful.  And a few of my friends and acquaintances do well because it's an extension of their real world businesses.  Some of them have fitness businesses, so they are able to host regular workout classes.  Some are certified nutritionists.  Beachbody ends up being an extra income stream, but they all work very hard at it.

One acquaintance just quit after a few years.  She had a few good years, and was able to quit her job (well, sell her business which was very hands on and physical).  Even though she had some success, she found that she was having to work harder and harder every year to maintain the same level of income.  Partly due to saturation, and partly due to the system itself.  While I think there is some residual income that comes from building a downline (I've not really looked into it), it's small.  The real money comes in direct sales.  However, you only get points for *new* customers.  My goodness, I cannot imagine having to get 10 new customers a month (or however many) for eternity.  Obviously that will not work forever.  So you end up competing with more and more "coaches".

In any event, I'd like to say that she turned over a new leaf, but she's onto a different MLM (some supplement company) where she makes a "lot more money right off the bat".

While I think some of the things they promote are great - they recommend a lot of "personal development" books, teach people about marketing, etc., in addition to the workouts and eating plans, it's just not sustainable.  I'm happy to buy the workouts (about 1 per year).
Title: Re: Multi-Level Marketing (MLM)/Network Marketing
Post by: Frugal D on July 15, 2016, 09:43:12 AM
BREAKING: http://www.reuters.com/article/us-herbalife-probe-ftc-idUSKCN0ZV1F7

Herbalife shares are rallying on the settlement, but longer term, I don't see how they can continue to make money if they do truly change their business operations per the FTC.

I also can't believe the FTC didn't shut them down after they basically found them to be an illegal pyramid scheme. Instead of shutting them down they just fine them?

There's no justice.
Title: Re: Multi-Level Marketing (MLM)/Network Marketing
Post by: jzb11 on July 15, 2016, 09:45:48 AM
I have a friend who started with a financial MLM (selling life insurance, investments, and some other products). He's now making $1 million/yr. While his story is atypical, a few of the MLM opportunities are actually legitimate.
Title: Re: Multi-Level Marketing (MLM)/Network Marketing
Post by: Frugal D on July 15, 2016, 09:54:11 AM
I have a friend who started with a financial MLM (selling life insurance, investments, and some other products). He's now making $1 million/yr. While his story is atypical, a few of the MLM opportunities are actually legitimate.

Selling life insurance, investments, and "some other products" is obviously a scam. Recruiting other people to also do so makes it a bigger scam. Probably not a true pyramid scheme, but morally reprehensible nonetheless.
Title: Re: Multi-Level Marketing (MLM)/Network Marketing
Post by: notactiveanymore on July 15, 2016, 11:06:58 AM
I was in a Panera one morning a few years ago working on my laptop and at the table next to me a young woman (found out she was 19) was there with her baby. She was then met by a middle-aged woman who started to try and sell her on this "business opportunity". It was selling life insurance and "other products" and she started talking about how easy it is and how you can get all your friends and family to sign up and you make money on it and it's just the Best Thing Ever. The young mom shared that it would be great to get more income because she doesn't always get help from her child's father and she only made like $8/hr.

As I sat there, I googled the company name and found a litany of horror stories about how they make you pay for startup classes and study guides and certifications. Then you're left high and dry and trying to pretend you're an insurance salesman when you only know the memorized lines.

At the end of the meeting the girl got up with her baby to leave and I followed her outside and caught up with her. I just encouraged her to google the company and be careful because it seemed like a scam and I didn't want her to get caught up in it and lose money.

So many MLMs target these kinds of people. It's  gross. It's not about networks or using your social connections to inform people of a great product and greater opportunity. It's about chewing up and spitting out as many fools as you can.
Title: Re: Multi-Level Marketing (MLM)/Network Marketing
Post by: KodeBlue on July 18, 2016, 04:35:11 PM
I was in a Panera ... The young mom shared that it would be great to get more income because she doesn't always get help from her child's father and she only made like $8/hr.

And yet she's eating at Panera's...
Title: Re: Multi-Level Marketing (MLM)/Network Marketing
Post by: BlueHouse on July 19, 2016, 03:47:57 AM
I was in a Panera ... The young mom shared that it would be great to get more income because she doesn't always get help from her child's father and she only made like $8/hr.

And yet she's eating at Panera's...

MLM salespeople invite their targets to planetary, Starbucks, etc for coffee or a sandwich. The sales ass probably paid.
Title: Re: Multi-Level Marketing (MLM)/Network Marketing
Post by: notactiveanymore on July 19, 2016, 07:57:21 AM
I was in a Panera ... The young mom shared that it would be great to get more income because she doesn't always get help from her child's father and she only made like $8/hr.

And yet she's eating at Panera's...

MLM salespeople invite their targets to planetary, Starbucks, etc for coffee or a sandwich. The sales ass probably paid.

I don't remember either of them even having anything to eat or drink. I'm pretty sure you can get a cookie for $1 if you want though.
Title: Re: Multi-Level Marketing (MLM)/Network Marketing
Post by: jzb11 on July 19, 2016, 08:24:58 AM
I have a friend who started with a financial MLM (selling life insurance, investments, and some other products). He's now making $1 million/yr. While his story is atypical, a few of the MLM opportunities are actually legitimate.

Selling life insurance, investments, and "some other products" is obviously a scam. Recruiting other people to also do so makes it a bigger scam. Probably not a true pyramid scheme, but morally reprehensible nonetheless.

He sells term life, investments (mostly mutual funds), and other related products (identity theft insurance, auto insurance etc). He holds the appropriate licenses to do so. He's basically a salesman and recruits a team of salesmen.

He certainly doesn't offer or suggest low cost index funds for investment options, but it's no better or worse than your typical broker. The term life product is good/fair. Auto is hit or miss. Overall there's not much scammy about it. It's basically a sales job.
Title: Re: Multi-Level Marketing (MLM)/Network Marketing
Post by: AlwaysLearningToSave on July 19, 2016, 12:08:06 PM
So here is my problem with discussions about the legitimacy or illegitimacy of MLMs-- the conversations often devolve into arguments about whether or how likely it is that a participant can make money, which completely begs the question of whether it is a legitimate business model.

The Anti-MLM person argues that MLMs are scams because of a largely unsubstantiated claim that the vast majority of participants lose money (the claims are unsubstantiated only because of the difficulty in obtaining accurate information) or by citing some anecdotal evidence of a particular person's experience with a particular MLM business.  The Pro-MLM person responds by conceding that many participants are not "successful," but pointing out "atypical" or "unusual" anecdotal examples of people who are "successful."  Of course, it is unclear what they mean by "successful" but it is probably safe to assume they mean earning more than a nominal amount of profit from operating the business.  Round and round the conversation goes, with neither side convincing the other of anything. 

But both sides of this conversation miss the point.  The Anti-MLM person's argument misses the point because the vast majority of startup businesses fail in the first 18 months, even if they are widely recognized as legitimate business models.  So even if the statistics are true and most MLM participants end up losing money or not earning more than a nominal profit, this premise does not necessarily support the conclusion that MLM is an illegitimate business model.  Further complicating the argument is that the Anti-MLM person lumps together all MLM participants when making his claim.  Is it really fair to lump in the person who signs up with an MLM to gain access to products for personal consumption at a lower cost without any real intention of attempting to make a business?

Similarly, the Pro-MLM person's argument misses the point.  Clearly some participants make money-- the business model would not exist if no one but the product manufacturer ever made money.  But the fact a business earns a profit does not necessarily mean that the business is legitimate.  To take this argument to the extreme, you could argue that theft, extortion, copyright infringement, prostitution, and panhandling are legitimate businesses because [insert anecdotal example of someone who makes money in one of these activities]. 

I think the argument over the legitimacy of a MLM business model therefore has to focus on something other than profits (or potential profits) and the perceived value of products marketed under an MLM business model.  Instead, the debate needs to focus on analysis of the economic incentives a business model creates.  It needs to focus on disclosures made to potential participants.  It needs to focus on a company's accountability for its marketing message, especially for products consumers will use for perceived health benefits. 

When you focus on these non-monetary issues, then the problems with the MLM business model start to become apparent.  The endless chains created by the compensation structures create economic incentives that are unsustainable by design.  It is very difficult for potential participants to protect themselves because MLM businesses take pains to avoid being pigeonholed into any legal classification and then benefit from the lack of regulation associated with residing in legal limbo.  MLM businesses keep required purchases below $500 and avoid exercising control over participants in order to avoid application of franchise laws and their mandatory disclosure rules.  They keep up the ruse of being a direct sales business to avoid regulations associated with the sale of securities.  They take pains to avoid having participants classified as employees in attempts to avoid wage and hour laws.  They use the independent contractor to benefit from the difficulty of enforcing truth-in-advertising and deceptive trade practices laws by benefiting from participants' deceptive claims about products but denying responsibility for participants' actions when challenged (and of course it is economically impractical to pursue individual participants who made deceptive claims). 

All these factors mean that it is difficult for consumers and potential MLM participants to conduct a meaningful investigation into a given MLM and protect themselves.  The low cost of entry means many potential MLM participants are people who lack the business knowledge to critically evaluate a business opportunity.  And the unsustainable-by-design compensation structures mean that sooner or later new participants will enter a saturated market with little or no chance of realizing the profit potential that earlier participants used to persuade the new participants to join. 
Title: Re: Multi-Level Marketing (MLM)/Network Marketing
Post by: Trudie on July 19, 2016, 12:17:29 PM
Beachbody sucked me in because they have great home workouts and health supplements that I have used to lose weight and get fit. I am officially a "Beachbody Coach", but only because I wanted the "coach discount" for a supplement I take that they sell called "Shakeology". It's basically a protein shake drink with a lot of herbs, vitamins, and minerals. It's expensive (about $115 for a 30 day supply), but I use it to replace one meal a day and partially pay for it by eliminating my alcohol purchasing.

I never had any intention of selling this stuff to anybody else, but they had me watch the coaching video conference when I officially joined and it is ridiculous. Their entire structure isn't based on selling videos and supplements. It's based on getting more Beachbody coaches. Everyone is a coach and nobody has any customers. The only sales they are getting are from other Beachbody coaches. Lots of desperate people are wasting hundreds of hours a month in the pointless pursuit of more coaches when they could be using that time to run a real side hustle and actually make money. For example, I make money teaching martial arts classes three days a week.

Kind of sounds like the yoga studio I go to.  They push everyone to consider "yoga teacher training" -- many of whom will never work a day as a yoga instructor.  Says it "deepens" your practice.  Um, no.  And it's an obscene amount of hours.  Sounds to me like a way to subsidize expensive training for legit teachers already on staff.
Title: Re: Multi-Level Marketing (MLM)/Network Marketing
Post by: woopwoop on July 19, 2016, 03:23:35 PM
I think the argument over the legitimacy of a MLM business model therefore has to focus on something other than profits (or potential profits) and the perceived value of products marketed under an MLM business model. 

How's about this as a bonus criteria: if you're randomly messaging facebook friends about "an amazing opportunity", you're not operating a legitimate business.
Title: Re: Multi-Level Marketing (MLM)/Network Marketing
Post by: Beard N Bones on December 23, 2016, 08:47:46 AM
Don't join an MLM marketing without enough knowledge. To make the chance of success higher try enroll on a business training online (http://ariixproducts.com/) that would be a lot of help.

This isn't the place to peddle your scam.  Go deceive your own friends and family instead.

The irony is not lost on the fact that this was posted in the "Wall of Shame" section.
The only thing funny about this all is the screenshot taken from the Ariix website regarding one of their 7 "founders."
Title: Re: Multi-Level Marketing (MLM)/Network Marketing
Post by: Drifterrider on December 29, 2016, 10:32:46 AM
Isn't virtually everything really MLM?  Farmer sells to whole seller who sells to distributor who sells to stores who sells to you.

Title: Re: Multi-Level Marketing (MLM)/Network Marketing
Post by: joleran on December 29, 2016, 11:46:21 AM
Isn't virtually everything really MLM?  Farmer sells to whole seller who sells to distributor who sells to stores who sells to you.

MLMs are just slightly refined pyramid schemes where it's theoretically possible to make money selling things, but it benefits you considerably more to expand the pyramid.  While you can sometimes draw traditional supply chains in a pyramidal model, this isn't always the case and the core motivators tend more towards efficiently distributing products and wealth than adding new layers solely for personal enrichment.
Title: Re: Multi-Level Marketing (MLM)/Network Marketing
Post by: MrsDinero on December 29, 2016, 01:33:04 PM
All my Beachbody FB coach friends are gearing up for the new year!  There is a lot of "lose weight and earn money!" posts. 
Title: Re: Multi-Level Marketing (MLM)/Network Marketing
Post by: Fomerly known as something on December 29, 2016, 02:57:35 PM
Wait...people go to chiropractors who are not medical doctors? Ok then yes, that is just crazy. Idk about chiropractic 'certifications.' My chiropractor has a medical degree, I believe it is in neurology (although I don't know all the letters).
I mean, the whole history of chiropractic is based on really antiscientific and pseudoscientific claims, and "Doctor of Chiropractic" isn't the same as an MD at all - you can get into a chiropractic school without a bachelor's degree, even, and they have much laxer requirements than most med schools. I'm glad that lots of chiros seem to provide benefits to their clients, but it's hard to buy into a supposed medical field that has a history of being anti-vaccine, anti-fluoridation of water, pro-homeopathy, etc. There are definitely some chiros trying to clean up the field, but there are also a ton of quacks out there. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chiropractic_controversy_and_criticism
Uh...no. I mean real MD. He went to med school, did residency, everything. I don't know what kind of quacks might be out there, I'm just talking about this one guy. I wouldn't go to one that wasn't an actual doctor.

Sounds like your guy is a DO vs and MD.  They are both Medical Doctors.  DO's differ in that in addition to other medical stuff they also study Chiropractic stuff.  (I only know this because my area has a lot of DO's due to a large Medical school in this discipline nearby.)
Title: Re: Multi-Level Marketing (MLM)/Network Marketing
Post by: TheGrimSqueaker on December 29, 2016, 04:35:33 PM
Wait...people go to chiropractors who are not medical doctors? Ok then yes, that is just crazy. Idk about chiropractic 'certifications.' My chiropractor has a medical degree, I believe it is in neurology (although I don't know all the letters).
I mean, the whole history of chiropractic is based on really antiscientific and pseudoscientific claims, and "Doctor of Chiropractic" isn't the same as an MD at all - you can get into a chiropractic school without a bachelor's degree, even, and they have much laxer requirements than most med schools. I'm glad that lots of chiros seem to provide benefits to their clients, but it's hard to buy into a supposed medical field that has a history of being anti-vaccine, anti-fluoridation of water, pro-homeopathy, etc. There are definitely some chiros trying to clean up the field, but there are also a ton of quacks out there. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chiropractic_controversy_and_criticism
Uh...no. I mean real MD. He went to med school, did residency, everything. I don't know what kind of quacks might be out there, I'm just talking about this one guy. I wouldn't go to one that wasn't an actual doctor.

Sounds like your guy is a DO vs and MD.  They are both Medical Doctors.  DO's differ in that in addition to other medical stuff they also study Chiropractic stuff.  (I only know this because my area has a lot of DO's due to a large Medical school in this discipline nearby.)

Much depends on our location. I took chiropractic seriously until I moved to the USA where it's touted as the all-in-one relief for everything from HIV to butt pimples. In Alberta (albeit about 20 years ago), they were considered professionals on par with physiotherapists because the services they provide (and are reimbursed for) are limited to a set of treatments that meet the provincial standards for evidence based medicine. It might since have changed; I haven't kept track of it.
Title: Re: Multi-Level Marketing (MLM)/Network Marketing
Post by: robartsd on December 29, 2016, 04:44:01 PM
I'm reasonably happy with experiences with purchases from Pampered Chef, Stampin' Up, AVON, and doTERRA. I've had/observed bad experiences with Amway, ACN, Melaleuca, and Monavie. Common to all that had positive experiences - a focus on selling the product. Common to all that had negative experiences - a focus on building the business.

I would only consider participating in MLM if:
Title: Re: Multi-Level Marketing (MLM)/Network Marketing
Post by: gj83 on December 29, 2016, 05:11:08 PM


Yep. Anyone have thoughts on why it seems there is a higher percentage of "religous" people involved with MLM companies?
I figured that is because a lot of stay at home moms are very religious and they view it as a way to make extra money without working outside the house.

Sometimes I think I'm one of the few people not in a MLM.  I go to parties when invited, but I've unfollowed a lot of friends because their feed is just MLM after MLM.  One sells wraps, one sells oils, one sells jewelry, one sells Mary Kay. i haven't heard of most of the programs mentioned on this thread so maybe I'm lucky.

And if I had any medical professional hawk anything not medically necessary I would never go back.
Title: Re: Multi-Level Marketing (MLM)/Network Marketing
Post by: rachellynn99 on December 29, 2016, 05:35:35 PM
Not 1 thing in this entire post is even remotely close to accurate. The products sold at all MLMs are shit and marked up egregiously. Most MLMs are illegal pyramid schemes. When recruiting becomes more central to actually selling the product it's a pyramid scheme.

I don't know, some of the stoneware from Pampered Chef is pretty nice. I pick it up at suburban garage sales from failed reps unloading old product.

YES! I received the large round one 13 years ago as a wedding gift. Use it no fewer than 3 times a week. My favorite.
Title: Re: Multi-Level Marketing (MLM)/Network Marketing
Post by: NewPerspective on December 29, 2016, 06:33:59 PM
I have friend that recently starting selling Kyani (nutritional supplement - it claims to cure and fix all sorts of things).  My friend has bought into it hook, line and sinker.  She is even talking like them, I swear it is like a cult.  I feel a little worried for her but I'm hoping it will play out soon and she won't have lost too much money.
Title: Re: Multi-Level Marketing (MLM)/Network Marketing
Post by: cavewoman on December 29, 2016, 10:38:06 PM
On facebook, a friend of a friend (how does this stuff show up in my feed?) does these fb live pearl parties, where someone is hosting the party virtually and she opens these oysters one at a time, calling out who gets each one. I looked it up and after you buy the oyster, and see your pearl, you get it mounted in jewelry from their catalog.

For some reason the videos fascinate me and I always find myself watching it.
Title: Re: Multi-Level Marketing (MLM)/Network Marketing
Post by: Saskatchewstachian on January 09, 2017, 01:50:51 PM
Has anyone here ever had any experience with financial type MLM?

I'm not 100% sure if they would classify but the general notion is that you have a sit-down with an "adviser" they would take down a bunch of information then help you with savings goals and retirement planning, this portion was actually well executed and thorough. The kicker here though is that all of their funds are ridiculously high fees (2.5%-3%). After the meeting they offer an invitation to an investing course, free of charge and hosted by the company, then try to sell you on becoming an adviser for the company. If you get to a certain level then you can open your own office and have advisers working for you.

At least that's how it was phrased, the gimmicky portion is the returns that they are promising and the compensation structure for the advisers. I.e.
At the end of the meeting they also as for names and contact information of any friends that would be interested getting financial advice, if you give them the name of X number of friends you get an investing/wealth management book.

For point A it turns out that yes, the fund has returned 12%, once, in 2009.... SIGNIFICANTLY under-performing the market....

As for point B, it turns out that it is technically correct, you don't pay them directly but the funds are all such high fees you are paying the banks an outrage amount that the banks kick back a % to the adviser.

It's a tough situation as it's a colleague/friend of DW's got into it, he sat down with us and many friends and I know some invested with him. The crazy fees that they are paying are surely eating up their returns. However not being formally educated in investing, and being somewhat of a closet mustachian I can't really give advice to anyone nor would I want to overstep any boundaries with friends by bringing it up.

Just looking to see if anyone has ran into this before?
Title: Re: Multi-Level Marketing (MLM)/Network Marketing
Post by: Travis on January 09, 2017, 01:59:54 PM
Has anyone here ever had any experience with financial type MLM?

I'm not 100% sure if they would classify but the general notion is that you have a sit-down with an "adviser" they would take down a bunch of information then help you with savings goals and retirement planning, this portion was actually well executed and thorough. The kicker here though is that all of their funds are ridiculously high fees (2.5%-3%). After the meeting they offer an invitation to an investing course, free of charge and hosted by the company, then try to sell you on becoming an adviser for the company. If you get to a certain level then you can open your own office and have advisers working for you.

At least that's how it was phrased, the gimmicky portion is the returns that they are promising and the compensation structure for the advisers. I.e.
  • A)"We can get you returns of 12%"
  • B)"You don't pay us, we are compensated by the banks at zero cost to you".
At the end of the meeting they also as for names and contact information of any friends that would be interested getting financial advice, if you give them the name of X number of friends you get an investing/wealth management book.

For point A it turns out that yes, the fund has returned 12%, once, in 2009.... SIGNIFICANTLY under-performing the market....

As for point B, it turns out that it is technically correct, you don't pay them directly but the funds are all such high fees you are paying the banks an outrage amount that the banks kick back a % to the adviser.

It's a tough situation as it's a colleague/friend of DW's got into it, he sat down with us and many friends and I know some invested with him. The crazy fees that they are paying are surely eating up their returns. However not being formally educated in investing, and being somewhat of a closet mustachian I can't really give advice to anyone nor would I want to overstep any boundaries with friends by bringing it up.

Just looking to see if anyone has ran into this before?

Never heard of a financial MLM, but that sounds almost exactly like the Edward Jones business model. 
Title: Re: Multi-Level Marketing (MLM)/Network Marketing
Post by: Saskatchewstachian on January 09, 2017, 02:12:57 PM
Has anyone here ever had any experience with financial type MLM?

I'm not 100% sure if they would classify but the general notion is that you have a sit-down with an "adviser" they would take down a bunch of information then help you with savings goals and retirement planning, this portion was actually well executed and thorough. The kicker here though is that all of their funds are ridiculously high fees (2.5%-3%). After the meeting they offer an invitation to an investing course, free of charge and hosted by the company, then try to sell you on becoming an adviser for the company. If you get to a certain level then you can open your own office and have advisers working for you.

At least that's how it was phrased, the gimmicky portion is the returns that they are promising and the compensation structure for the advisers. I.e.
  • A)"We can get you returns of 12%"
  • B)"You don't pay us, we are compensated by the banks at zero cost to you".
At the end of the meeting they also as for names and contact information of any friends that would be interested getting financial advice, if you give them the name of X number of friends you get an investing/wealth management book.

For point A it turns out that yes, the fund has returned 12%, once, in 2009.... SIGNIFICANTLY under-performing the market....

As for point B, it turns out that it is technically correct, you don't pay them directly but the funds are all such high fees you are paying the banks an outrage amount that the banks kick back a % to the adviser.

It's a tough situation as it's a colleague/friend of DW's got into it, he sat down with us and many friends and I know some invested with him. The crazy fees that they are paying are surely eating up their returns. However not being formally educated in investing, and being somewhat of a closet mustachian I can't really give advice to anyone nor would I want to overstep any boundaries with friends by bringing it up.

Just looking to see if anyone has ran into this before?

Never heard of a financial MLM, but that sounds almost exactly like the Edward Jones business model.

Maybe it was just that the sales tactics were new to me but standard in the investment community. I've only ever done my own investments or automated workplace pensions so never have had any need of an adviser. Just seemed very MLM/Pyramid-like where they sign us up, then we get a course and accredited and sign others up.
Title: Re: Multi-Level Marketing (MLM)/Network Marketing
Post by: Goldielocks on January 09, 2017, 02:54:53 PM
Has anyone here ever had any experience with financial type MLM?

I'm not 100% sure if they would classify but the general notion is that you have a sit-down with an "adviser" they would take down a bunch of information then help you with savings goals and retirement planning, this portion was actually well executed and thorough. The kicker here though is that all of their funds are ridiculously high fees (2.5%-3%). After the meeting they offer an invitation to an investing course, free of charge and hosted by the company, then try to sell you on becoming an adviser for the company. If you get to a certain level then you can open your own office and have advisers working for you.

At least that's how it was phrased, the gimmicky portion is the returns that they are promising and the compensation structure for the advisers. I.e.
  • A)"We can get you returns of 12%"
  • B)"You don't pay us, we are compensated by the banks at zero cost to you".
At the end of the meeting they also as for names and contact information of any friends that would be interested getting financial advice, if you give them the name of X number of friends you get an investing/wealth management book.

For point A it turns out that yes, the fund has returned 12%, once, in 2009.... SIGNIFICANTLY under-performing the market....

As for point B, it turns out that it is technically correct, you don't pay them directly but the funds are all such high fees you are paying the banks an outrage amount that the banks kick back a % to the adviser.

It's a tough situation as it's a colleague/friend of DW's got into it, he sat down with us and many friends and I know some invested with him. The crazy fees that they are paying are surely eating up their returns. However not being formally educated in investing, and being somewhat of a closet mustachian I can't really give advice to anyone nor would I want to overstep any boundaries with friends by bringing it up.

Just looking to see if anyone has ran into this before?

Yes, last fall, a friend (who was unemployed) was sold into joining the system, and as a favour, I sat down for an intro session with her mentor, and then asked questions and did a lot of on-line research for her to suss it out.  I also looked to complaints with the securities commissions and licensing bodies...  (there had bee some against the predecessor company, but the 2 year old newer company had a somewhat clear record so far).

Bottom line -- many sales persons can make quite a  lot of money at this, with only modest education or in-Canada work experience, but you have to make a lot of calls and contacts.  They talk about 10 -10 -10 or something, like that.  It works out to something like 100 pitches a month, to get your 3 subordinate sales reps, and you have to keep at it, as your sales reps and your own clients may not stay and be impactful.

It is a LOT of work.... but people with good networking / people meeting skills and a large deck of contacts can do very well, all things considered.

The Mutual fund and other licensing training was offered by a third party company, and reputable.

SUMMARY

My advice to my friend was to take the training and get the licenses (the mentor was going to pay for her), and take the job, if she does not mind working sales contacts, but after 2 years of experience, look to switch out, because for that amount of effort and work, she could get on with a big 5 financial institution.   She did not have a lot of other employment prospects at that time.

Because the MLM levels were not capped, her income would likely cease around $60k per year, even with long long long hours sourcing and pitching prospects, and for that type of licensing, work and effort, she could make far more with a traditional financial institution (but needed the proven work experience).

BUT - I told her "Do not put any of her own money into the investments as the rates charged were way too high", and it was up to her ethics if she wanted to sell a product to her family and friends that was very expensive compared to otherwise identical products out there.   (this company used to sell group education plans  like Heritage, as a primary product, for example, which are horrendous products today)
Title: Re: Multi-Level Marketing (MLM)/Network Marketing
Post by: dycker1978 on January 09, 2017, 03:15:56 PM
Has anyone here ever had any experience with financial type MLM?

I'm not 100% sure if they would classify but the general notion is that you have a sit-down with an "adviser" they would take down a bunch of information then help you with savings goals and retirement planning, this portion was actually well executed and thorough. The kicker here though is that all of their funds are ridiculously high fees (2.5%-3%). After the meeting they offer an invitation to an investing course, free of charge and hosted by the company, then try to sell you on becoming an adviser for the company. If you get to a certain level then you can open your own office and have advisers working for you.

At least that's how it was phrased, the gimmicky portion is the returns that they are promising and the compensation structure for the advisers. I.e.
  • A)"We can get you returns of 12%"
  • B)"You don't pay us, we are compensated by the banks at zero cost to you".
At the end of the meeting they also as for names and contact information of any friends that would be interested getting financial advice, if you give them the name of X number of friends you get an investing/wealth management book.

For point A it turns out that yes, the fund has returned 12%, once, in 2009.... SIGNIFICANTLY under-performing the market....

As for point B, it turns out that it is technically correct, you don't pay them directly but the funds are all such high fees you are paying the banks an outrage amount that the banks kick back a % to the adviser.

It's a tough situation as it's a colleague/friend of DW's got into it, he sat down with us and many friends and I know some invested with him. The crazy fees that they are paying are surely eating up their returns. However not being formally educated in investing, and being somewhat of a closet mustachian I can't really give advice to anyone nor would I want to overstep any boundaries with friends by bringing it up.

Just looking to see if anyone has ran into this before?
I have, I was actually a "financial advisor" for Primerica Finical services.  The MER was something like 4.65%.  I sold mostly term life insurance for them, it was not a good gig, and I did not make any money at all.  If you sold something and the customer canceled it any time within 2 years, you got a charge back for the whole amount you had been paid, so really no money could be made.
Title: Re: Multi-Level Marketing (MLM)/Network Marketing
Post by: Saskatchewstachian on January 09, 2017, 03:48:42 PM
Has anyone here ever had any experience with financial type MLM?

I'm not 100% sure if they would classify but the general notion is that you have a sit-down with an "adviser" they would take down a bunch of information then help you with savings goals and retirement planning, this portion was actually well executed and thorough. The kicker here though is that all of their funds are ridiculously high fees (2.5%-3%). After the meeting they offer an invitation to an investing course, free of charge and hosted by the company, then try to sell you on becoming an adviser for the company. If you get to a certain level then you can open your own office and have advisers working for you.

At least that's how it was phrased, the gimmicky portion is the returns that they are promising and the compensation structure for the advisers. I.e.
  • A)"We can get you returns of 12%"
  • B)"You don't pay us, we are compensated by the banks at zero cost to you".
At the end of the meeting they also as for names and contact information of any friends that would be interested getting financial advice, if you give them the name of X number of friends you get an investing/wealth management book.

For point A it turns out that yes, the fund has returned 12%, once, in 2009.... SIGNIFICANTLY under-performing the market....

As for point B, it turns out that it is technically correct, you don't pay them directly but the funds are all such high fees you are paying the banks an outrage amount that the banks kick back a % to the adviser.

It's a tough situation as it's a colleague/friend of DW's got into it, he sat down with us and many friends and I know some invested with him. The crazy fees that they are paying are surely eating up their returns. However not being formally educated in investing, and being somewhat of a closet mustachian I can't really give advice to anyone nor would I want to overstep any boundaries with friends by bringing it up.

Just looking to see if anyone has ran into this before?
I have, I was actually a "financial advisor" for Primerica Finical services.  The MER was something like 4.65%.  I sold mostly term life insurance for them, it was not a good gig, and I did not make any money at all.  If you sold something and the customer canceled it any time within 2 years, you got a charge back for the whole amount you had been paid, so really no money could be made.

Primerica is actually the company I was speaking of. I stupidly allowed them to transfer an old RRSP from a previous employer over to their stuff (before my MMM days). Now it is in a LIRA and currently trying to figure out how to get it out and just pay the fees instead of waiting 7 years for the fees to end. Luckily it was a small amount, about 2% of NW.
Title: Re: Multi-Level Marketing (MLM)/Network Marketing
Post by: dycker1978 on January 09, 2017, 03:55:47 PM
Has anyone here ever had any experience with financial type MLM?

I'm not 100% sure if they would classify but the general notion is that you have a sit-down with an "adviser" they would take down a bunch of information then help you with savings goals and retirement planning, this portion was actually well executed and thorough. The kicker here though is that all of their funds are ridiculously high fees (2.5%-3%). After the meeting they offer an invitation to an investing course, free of charge and hosted by the company, then try to sell you on becoming an adviser for the company. If you get to a certain level then you can open your own office and have advisers working for you.

At least that's how it was phrased, the gimmicky portion is the returns that they are promising and the compensation structure for the advisers. I.e.
  • A)"We can get you returns of 12%"
  • B)"You don't pay us, we are compensated by the banks at zero cost to you".
At the end of the meeting they also as for names and contact information of any friends that would be interested getting financial advice, if you give them the name of X number of friends you get an investing/wealth management book.

For point A it turns out that yes, the fund has returned 12%, once, in 2009.... SIGNIFICANTLY under-performing the market....

As for point B, it turns out that it is technically correct, you don't pay them directly but the funds are all such high fees you are paying the banks an outrage amount that the banks kick back a % to the adviser.

It's a tough situation as it's a colleague/friend of DW's got into it, he sat down with us and many friends and I know some invested with him. The crazy fees that they are paying are surely eating up their returns. However not being formally educated in investing, and being somewhat of a closet mustachian I can't really give advice to anyone nor would I want to overstep any boundaries with friends by bringing it up.

Just looking to see if anyone has ran into this before?
I have, I was actually a "financial advisor" for Primerica Finical services.  The MER was something like 4.65%.  I sold mostly term life insurance for them, it was not a good gig, and I did not make any money at all.  If you sold something and the customer canceled it any time within 2 years, you got a charge back for the whole amount you had been paid, so really no money could be made.

Primerica is actually the company I was speaking of. I stupidly allowed them to transfer an old RRSP from a previous employer over to their stuff (before my MMM days). Now it is in a LIRA and currently trying to figure out how to get it out and just pay the fees instead of waiting 7 years for the fees to end. Luckily it was a small amount, about 2% of NW.
You have the option to transfer it to the same fund at a different institution.  I did the same thing when I was there.  I transferred it to the same fund at the Conexus I believe, then used their rules, which did not have the any fees, as far as I remember, to transfer it out to a better fund... 
Title: Re: Multi-Level Marketing (MLM)/Network Marketing
Post by: jinga nation on January 10, 2017, 09:46:42 AM
Has anyone here ever had any experience with financial type MLM?

I'm not 100% sure if they would classify but the general notion is that you have a sit-down with an "adviser" they would take down a bunch of information then help you with savings goals and retirement planning, this portion was actually well executed and thorough. The kicker here though is that all of their funds are ridiculously high fees (2.5%-3%). After the meeting they offer an invitation to an investing course, free of charge and hosted by the company, then try to sell you on becoming an adviser for the company. If you get to a certain level then you can open your own office and have advisers working for you.

At least that's how it was phrased, the gimmicky portion is the returns that they are promising and the compensation structure for the advisers. I.e.
  • A)"We can get you returns of 12%"
  • B)"You don't pay us, we are compensated by the banks at zero cost to you".
At the end of the meeting they also as for names and contact information of any friends that would be interested getting financial advice, if you give them the name of X number of friends you get an investing/wealth management book.

For point A it turns out that yes, the fund has returned 12%, once, in 2009.... SIGNIFICANTLY under-performing the market....

As for point B, it turns out that it is technically correct, you don't pay them directly but the funds are all such high fees you are paying the banks an outrage amount that the banks kick back a % to the adviser.

It's a tough situation as it's a colleague/friend of DW's got into it, he sat down with us and many friends and I know some invested with him. The crazy fees that they are paying are surely eating up their returns. However not being formally educated in investing, and being somewhat of a closet mustachian I can't really give advice to anyone nor would I want to overstep any boundaries with friends by bringing it up.

Just looking to see if anyone has ran into this before?
Ameriprise. Co-worker said his amazing financial adviser invites all clients once a quarter to a nice restaurant for an investment update and free wine and appetizers. And bring a friend or two, they're free. I went just for kicks. The wine is house cheap shite. Appetizers are more like nibbles. They keep very few out. And my technical questions were replied to this way: "That's a great question. I'll get back to you on that." I'm still waiting.... NOT!