Has anyone ever heard of a company called Nikken? And if so what do you know about them?

Nikken is a multi-level marketing company that sells theraputic magnets (not the copper-bracelet type). Many people swear by them, usually those who are selling them. I’ve used another type – Magna-Bloc – and I’ve had good results with headache relief. From the tech that I know, Nikkens have a low depth of penetration, Magna-Blocs a little better. Don’t really know why.

They are a network marketing company and they produce pretty good products. However, I spend several years with an MLM company called Herbalife and believe that the whole MLM industry is one big pyramid scam.

Just a comment to the “pyramid scam” reference: There are indeed legit network marketing/MLM models out there. As to the pyramid structure, that’s how ANY people organization is structured. Look at any company – one CEO, a few vice-pres’s, several senior managers, many middle managers, a plethora of peons. How about a church (the ones I’m familiar with) – one senior pastor, a couple associate pastors, several deacons, more elders, many laypeople. How about the military… I could go on. Don’t confuse a pyramid shape with an illegal pyramid (or Ponzi scheme as it’s sometimes known). Some key questions to ask when looking at any MLM or network marketing model: (1) If the organization were frozen, and no other people could be brought in, what would happen to a person’s bonus money? (If it goes down, then the model depends on bringing people in rather than moving product.) (2) Are there bonuses for sponsoring only independent of the products that are bought? (This is one of the big-time flags of an illegal pyramid and is related to (1) above.) (3) Can a person make money without sponsoring people in? (4) Is there a quota system or a large up-front product loading?

There are a few things to look for in a model: (a) Is there a depth cut-off? (b) Is this a binary system? (This one would take a fairly long expolanation, which I will provide if interested.) (c) What incentives are there to help some one go independent?

Yes, there are a few legit ones. A lot of people have made a lot of money in them. Some people just weren’t willing to make the effort, and through some sort of justification, now disparage the systems rather than own up to their own lack of effort. Some people claim to have “lost their shirts” through some sort of MLM – absolutely impossible in the good systems. If any one is interested, I can go into more detail. Just post here.

I used to distribute magnets through Nikken … they are great products, but I stopped because they were too expensive. I wasnt doing it as a career; rather, I wanted to help people. I now suggest people go to vitamin shoppe and get magnets there. A lot cheaper and just as good. As for MLM stuff … you can make money, but you have to be fully aggressive. You can’t have a normal conversation with these people … it always comes up that they want you to go to a meeting. Forget that.

I disagree Brider and believe that the only way to make money with MLM is to get on the ground floor and screw a lot of people over. Besides a few exceptions, most of the people who make money with MLM are the one’s who got in on the the ground floor and recruited massively. That is the key in MLM recruiting. Selling the products yourself will not make you rich(it will help your sponsor though)it is all about recruitiung a shitload of people and getting them to purchase product each month so you build a bigger check. Hopefull they sell the product and make some money themselves. However, more than likely the products end up in their closet with all of the other junk.

Come on MLM is great for the owners and the people that get in on the ground floor.

brider - i think the word you are looking for is decentralization.

Mike – Read my post again. You can make money with the good MLM models, but not necessarily a lot. The gold standard of MLMs is Amway (investigated by the FTC in the '80s), and even in that model there are people who will screw over others. Their model says that you don’t have to charge your “recruited” people the same thing you are charged (i.e., you could charge more), but the good organizations keep the price the same for every one. I just have to laugh when I hear some one say “It’s just like Amway, only better.” Every time all I have to do is ask a couple questions and usually find it’s only a thinly disguised Ponzi scheme.

GrowtH -- Can't have a normal conversation? Take that as a compliment!! Usually what they are looking for is some one who's got drive and ambition. Only the complete morons are just looking to put in bodies.

Sped – Not sure what you’re getting at. Care to elaborate?

My post wasn’t meant to advocate any particular MLM model, just some observations of my many encounters with different ones. Some good, most bad. I was merely offering some help for Lawrence if he was considering looking at this as a business opportunity, to alleviate anything that Mike’s original (and obviously biased from a previous bad experience) posting might have clouded over.

Brider … just my personal experience with MLM’s such as Nikken, Amway, and Primerica. I have had friends who I told I wasn’t interested in MLM, yet every time I talk to them I get, “Dude, you have to come to a meeting!” Even strangers I just say “hi” to … “Oh, you work out? I think you’d be interested in a meeting I’m going to this Tuesday night.” I went to a Primerica meeting once where the guest speaker was saying things like, “Who cares if you have to miss your kid’s birthday party! He’ll have plenty more! It’s all about getting that sale!!” And then the sheep in the crowd got on their chairs and cheered. It was like a cult.

If you can make a go of it and are successful, then congratulations. It’s just something I’ll never do. Besides … when money and friendship and that kind of expectation/repsonsiblity collide, things can get really uncomfortable.

GrowthH, you took the words right out of my mouth!

Sounds like both of you have had encounters with morons. I must have been blessed with a bullshit shield, because I’ve NEVER had that sort of thing happen to me. Of course, there are asses in pretty much every field.