To our Borg.
With the way the economy is in Grenada, many people are looking for more ways to make money.
How many of us know about Multi-level marketing (MLM)? Despite the growing popularity many might not know what that is.
MLM companies are those using marketing strategies where the sales force are paid by commission through sales of products/services and for recruiting more salespeople. Essentially, MLM salespeople sell the company products and encourage others to join their company as distributors or agents.
MLMs are commonly called ‘pyramid selling’, ‘referral marketing’ and ‘network marketing’, which leads us into the beginning to the controversy over most MLMs: it sounds similar to ‘pyramid schemes’.
A pyramid scheme is a business model where you recruit members by promising payments or services for enrolling others into the scheme rather than from sales of products or services. It isn’t sustainable and eventually collapses through its inability to supply new recruits to continue the process while most of the members on the bottom suffer.
Pyramid schemes are also illegal.
There is more to the controversial nature of MLMs:
- High initial cost for entry and sometimes subscription fees
- Persons need to pay a fee in order to be associated with the company and receive stock or offer services.
- Emphasis mainly on recruitment of other sales reps instead of selling products or services
- Disinterest in or not requiring members to purchase and use the company’s products and services
- Complex and exaggerated compensation schemes. Two rules of thumb in business to note here –
1) if it is too good to be true, it usually is
2) if it is too complicated and charming, chances are they are hiding something
Please note that not all MLM plans are illegitimate. If money earned is based on sales it might be legit but if it’s based on the number of people you recruit then you may have yourself a pyramid scheme. Which means more than just being illegal but can have YOU ending up the loser, worse off than you began.
What should you do then? Should you not take this chance to make money? You gotta eat right? You should probably take certain steps before entering what you believe to be an MLM program:
Learn about the company
- This is really the least you can do. Google is a powerful and simple tool. Try to find:
- How long has the company been in business
- Their reputation with customers that buy their products and services, (or even employees)
- What the internet says about their products, services and business practices, (another rule of thumb: if they are too technical and complicated to grasp then it may not be legit).
- If the company has been sued for deceptive business practices
Evaluate Their Plan
- Understand their payment plan/structure
- Weigh the potential expenses and risks
- Query someone at their company who can answer questions, (email, skype, whatsapp there are cost efficient options and if you can’t find someone available to contact then that should be a warning sign)
- Find about refund policies
- If there is no information about refund policies or none in effect then you can probably guess the intentions of the company
So your heart gone to your toe from reading this.
You’re in an MLM and you aren’t sure if that’s okay. If you are already involved keep calm and go through this list:
- Check your annual sales of the products/service
- How much of the product did you sell?
- What percentage of your earnings came from recruiting?
- What were your expenses in the previous year, including any monthly fee and money spent on buying products for resale?
- How much money was made the previous year: the income and bonuses minus expenses?
- How much time did you spend on your business last year?
- How long have you been doing it?
- How much of your money came from selling products and how much from recruitment? If it’s substantially more from recruiting, then you’re in a pyramid scheme.
Considering these points, we at Job Bot understand that not all MLMs are seen as frauds or illegitimate. Because it is so difficult to decipher a legitimate MLM company from a pyramid scheme we will side with caution to protect our users by banning all MLM company listings.
Reference The US Federal Trade Commission as a guideline, link below:
Thank you for your support so far. We will to continue to help more and more Grenadians to find the job they want!
Job Bot signing out…