Multi-level marketing

Discussion in 'Lounge' started by Papercut, Jan 17, 2010.

  1. Papercut

    Papercut Newbie

    Just wondering what opinion my fellow ARPers had of MLM schemes (network/referral marketing, whatever you choose to call it), particularly since we come from (or reside in) various countries all over the world with varying local perceptions of MLM. What do you think - are the products worthwhile? Are they legit ways of making big money or passive income? Or do you think they're like pyramid schemes and should be outlawed?
  2. The_YongGrand

    The_YongGrand Just Started

    It depends. Steer very very clear away from pyramid schemes - they are very dangerous. Some of these schemes are preying on students in college for them to make quick money.

    Just make sure you have done a research on the product offered by the schemes before purchasing them. Some of them are good, and some of them didn't just work too well.
  3. Adrian Wong

    Adrian Wong Da Boss Staff Member

    Well, tried a few myself and did research on them too. With very few exceptions, most of them are bordering on pyramid schemes.

    Even if they are not pyramid schemes, I seriously doubt the products they are selling, especially if we are talking about miraculous health supplements.

    My extended family has a habit of adopting the latest fad in health supplements and they have tried it all - from lingzhi to Sun Chlorella and now, cactus juice and cow colostrum. With an admittedly skeptical POV, I've seen them adopt and discard each after spending THOUSANDS of dollars with no obvious health benefits.

    So I tend to look at everything with skepticism. Before plunking even a dollar down for a supplement, I always ask myself this question - if this supplement truly works as well as advertised, why isn't it being adopted by any health agency?

    Any health supplement that can effectively cure cancer, cut weight, prevent stroke, combat H1N1, etc. would drastically cut down on the amount of money any government or health agency would have to spend every year. Would they not be the first to line up to buy such a miraculous cure?

    Sorry, I've seen way too many cases of such well-disguised fraud to believe MLMs anymore. I wasn't born a skeptic. They made me one. :)
  4. Papercut

    Papercut Newbie

    Fair points, Adrian.

    This is where I'm coming from...last week I read through an 86-page (!) discussion on a local MLM company, reason being a) it was a quiet week in the office but more importantly, b) one of my close friends was recruited by them recently. And he persuaded me to go down some time back, not so much to give me the spiel and get me to join as well, but because he wanted my support as he was getting a 'promotion'. Fair enough.

    This was my first real encounter with an MLM organisation as up until now, my friends are generally savvy enough to avoid these things. Or so I'd like to think. So it was very eye-opening to see what goes on inside, and my friend himself admitted it's almost cult-like in nature. Sheesh...the session kicked off with the company theme song (one of our national day theme songs from several years ago - it doesn't get much cheesier than this), followed by massive outpourings of enthusiasm for the company's leaders and those who were getting promoted that night.

    As far as their products go, my friend mainly promotes their water ionisation products, which aim to balance the body's pH levels. Now this is something that I myself believe in, as it was something my GP told me about last year and my health has improved quite a bit from balancing my diet. So I can't say that what he's selling is complete bull****, and since this company pays on a commission basis, there's no 'trap' from having to buy up inventory, unlike some other MLM schemes.

    However, my friend being the stubborn mule that he is, has been quite brainwashed and believes that he is building a business to achieve 'passive income'. The saddest part is that he's so academically gifted, but he just hasn't properly applied himself to anything worth doing in the time that I've known him (3-4 years now, I believe).

    And yes, from what I read in that thread and from what I saw with my own eyes, there are a lot of kids who are being sucked into this organisation, brought in by questionable recruitment practices and tempted with promises of fast riches, 5-figure paycheques and company-sponsored cars. Sure, there are definitely some who will achieve that. The top 5-10% in your MLM hierarchy. But how many of these recruits actually realise that? (my friend included)

    Sigh. I just hope he will give up and follow some other pursuit in 6 months' time. Apologies for the long post, just needed to rant and vent a little :oops:
  5. The_YongGrand

    The_YongGrand Just Started

    ^ That's why they are targeting the college kids too. My college's has issued notices about those kinda stuff.

    In the meantime, one should do a research before purchasing those stuff from those companies. Again, certain stuff may help, certain might not do anything.

    Meanwhile, I'm not sure about the water ionisation thing. Normal, clean, purified water should do anyway. Any opinions? :D
  6. Adrian Wong

    Adrian Wong Da Boss Staff Member

    First of all, water ionization filters are an oxymoron. Pure water is neutral in pH and cannot be ionized. For water ionization to occur, the water must have some "contaminants" like magnesium and calcium. Only then can they use electrolysis to produce slightly alkaline water and slightly acidic water. Filters that claim to produce pure water cannot claim to produce ionized water and vice versa.

    In any case, any ionization effect is only momentary. If you leave the water long enough, it will lose its acidity / alkalinity. More importantly, when you drink the water, the body absorbs the water and nothing changes. The magnesium and calcium ions which allow the ionizer to produce ionized water are absorbed and discarded by the body as required.

    The body is designed to keep our blood at a VERY narrow pH range so unless you down large amounts of acid or alkaline, our body will remain within the narrow range of 7.35 to 7.45. In other words, it doesn't matter whether you drink alkaline water or neutral water or even acidic water. The body will maintain its optimum pH.

    A balanced diet is something else entirely. Diets affect our health, so I wouldn't be surprised if a diet change improves your health.

    MLMs are called such because they depend on multiple levels for a "recruit" to make money or get promoted. That means he/she is indirectly required to recruit other members (and make sure they sell or recruit even more members) to get promoted or achieve a significant return on investment.

    Passive income is the carrot that is dangled in front of every potential recruit. Who doesn't want passive income? To lay back and just wait for money to come in? But wait... if everyone can do that, why are any of us working???

    No, it is really a pipe dream. The only people who benefit are those who develop these schemes. Ultimately, MLM members are UNPAID sales people and evangelisers who deliver passive income to the company. If your friend opens his eyes, he will see that he's working for free FOC.

    If your friend wants passive income, he should INVEST in property or stocks. Rental income or dividends from such investments are true passive income, not recruiting more members and working to ensure his/her downlines continue to recruit even more members and sell even more products. That's not passive income. That's economic servitude!

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