T Nation

pyramid schemes

I’m a college student and will graduate here at the end of May. I’ve been looking for a job and I’ve recently been asked to join one of those pyramid companies. It seems like a good plan and everyone that works there is really psyched up about it. They all claim to make alot of money. Have any of you ever been a part of one of these and how has it worked for you? The company is called international dynamics.

Do they have a website you can direct us to? I’ve seen a lot of them, some good, most designed to NOT pay you. Some things to look for – ask this question: If you froze your organization and couldn’t bring any one else in, what would happen to your income? If it goes down (i.e. you get kickbacks for getting people to join), then steer clear as it’s on it’s way to FTC investigation (illegal pyramid). Another thing to look at is the product line – is it a very narrow product line? Diversity is key. Also be on the look out for “binary” systems. Very difficult to get off the ground.

Every single one of these things that I’ve encountered attracts new members using the EXACT same tactics as religious cults. Perhaps not as sinister, but still nothing to take lightly. Those of you involved in Multi Level Marketing may flame me, but I’ve seen a few people disassociate themselves from their friends and families because “people just don’t understand what I’m doing”. A cursory web search turned this up:

http://www.csj.org/infoserv_links/ group_categories/grptype_mlm/lk_amway.htm

Dig around this link, and do some more searches. Do a few hours of independent (i.e. away from the influence of the MLM rep-don’t even TELL them you’re researching both sides) research and think long and hard about it. Good luck.

I think dealing heroin is more honorable than these.
it is very cult like.
I work at my gym, and there is one aerobics teacher that is very attractive. She is very sociable and was fun to talk to. Then she became involved in this “market america” pyramid scheme, which she denies.
she is totally weird now, and her job is to convince people to buy their shit.

Gotta comment on that link (and most of the links I’ve found) regarding Amway (which, BTW, no longer operates in North America). For the most part, the problems that people have with the word “Amway” are in reality problems they’ve had with Amway distributors, and not the company itself. They will always list the AMOs (“Amway Motivaiton Organizations”) all lumped together and cite some problems with one or two. You gotta remember, the company DOESN’T tell these people how to run their businesses. They are just a supplier (and a cash cow). Don’t like the way a particular organization tells you how to run your business? Go elsewhere. It’s that simple. The fact of the matter is that the FTC uses the Amway marketing and compensation plan as the gold standard to measure other MLM schemes, since they came out of the FTC investigation of the early '80s with flying colors. Are you aware that McDonalds was nearly shut down because it was initially viewed as a pyramid? It passed inthe Supreme Court by one vote. If it hadn’t passed, a full one-third of our domestic industry wouldn’t exist today (franchises). For any one looking at these sites while researching MLMs, remember that any one can post anything on the web, whether it’s true or not, and most of the cases cited on these sites have been thrown out of court. Yes, there are some bad apples out there, but that doesn’t make the INDUSTRY bad. Beyond investigating the marketing and compensation plans, you are much better served by investigating the PEOPLE that you are potentially getting involved with than the supply companies.


Brider, my recommendation is based on the fact that often MLM reps are masters at selling their business and “snaring” new prospects, as well as the fact that it can be very hard to investigate individuals. I was actually on my way out the door when I posted, and I am well aware that this is only one website. My point stands, with an amendment: investigate the organizations and, if possible, the individuals that seek to bring you on board.

My sister was a Senior Sales Director for Mary Kay for over 20 years until her death. Even though she made decent money, the real bucks went to the ones who got in at the beginning of the company and became Regional Managers and had many Senior Sales Directors working for them. My sister’s biggest problem was keeping a supply of competent sales associates. It became a game of motivation for her. If you are not a self-starter and don’t think you can truly motivate people and are not willing to work long hours, mostly on the weekend and week nights, these type of schemes are not for you. The success rate of people going on to making it a lucrative career is probably worse that 1 in 500.

If trying to sell stuff to your friends and family is your idea of a good way to make money, then go for it. i personally find these companies offensive. By the way, Amway is still aroud , they just changed ther name. Patricia was recently approached by a “really nice couple” who wanted to offer her a business opportunity, something to do with computers. Pat was workng i the computed industry andthought that they were interested in her computer knowledge, and or artwork and they also seemed interested in some training advice. I immediately thought Amway but we gave them a chance anyway. Sure enough they came over and pulled out a laptop and there it was Amway online. They totally had us fooled. Since we did not sign up we have never heard from those “nice people” ever again. Next person who pulls this shit on me and wastes my time with there sales pitch will get a swift kick in the ass.On second thought they won’teven get to make their pitch.

Actaully, what they showed you online is a company named Quixtar, not Amway. The entire company has re-organized, now overseen by a company named Alticor, with subsidiaries Quixtar (online distribution only, based out of Deleware), Pixis (R & D company), Access Business Group (manufacturing, bought the rights to manufacture the traditional Amway products), and the Amway company (which operates overseas only). Quixtar is not Amway online, it actulayy offers much more than Amway ever did (in the way of product lines). Granted, you were dealing with some devious people there. If any one is trying to do “covert” recruiting, they are doomed to failure.

Will, Im glad you asked that question instead of blindly being suckered in. I went to a meeting last night I thought would offer me job experience with computers. It turned out to be Quixstar, a classic pyramid scheme. I did some investigating and found a good site: pyramidschemealert.org. It is Amway, just a new name. It also sucks, unless youre one of the few at the top. Check it out, dont believe the hype.

Most pyramid schemes suck. The very name “pyramid scheme” is meant as a derogatory term. IE the ones who start the business tons of money off of you and saps like you, who are lured into the business by the promise of making other people saps. You make a commission off of saps under you but the people at the top make commissions on everyone.

Ask yourself this. Would you buy the products if there were no commission involved? IE if you just liked them for the money? Probably not. You buy them because you have to, to be part of the “organization”. Being part of the organization is where you get saps in under you to make a commission off of them. So it’s inherently dishonest. “These products suck but don’t worry, it’s just shit you have to buy to be allowed to make money off of saps you get into here.” Why would saps join under you? So they can lure saps in under them.

Not to mention many of these schemes have this things where “to show your psyche” they want you to shell out 5K up front for their shit products. Don’t worry, you’ll make it all back off of the losers you get in under you. How could anyone fall for this? The starters are cult leaders / motivational speakers. They make millions. Most of the dupes like you bust out after a few months.