I am so disappointed. At how morally unsound some people can be. But putting my emotions aside, I would like to share my story on how I was a potential victim of a scheme by X.
The story goes…
I was asked out by an acquaintance for coffee last week. It was quite queer that he wanted to meet for coffee, but he told me he was involved in a travel project and wanted to get my input on it’s viability.
So well.. I said yes. I had the time to spare after work today, and it was rather near my workplace. I thought it would be nice to see an old acquaintance as well.
But for him, his intentions were different.
For all the wrong reasons.
To cut the long story short, he did not meet me with the intention to share an idea with me.
In fact, he met with me because he wanted to sell me a package. A very nicely packaged but dubious package.
I don’t blame him, because I know very well how these Pyramid/Multi-Level Marketing companies work.
They paint you a beautiful picture of how much you can earn in cash, how easy it is for you to do it part-time, how effortless it will be with their guidance, and how it is NOT their intention for you to buy ANYTHING from them.
This will be their promise to you:
I am not talking to you with the intention of getting you to buy ANYTHING. All I want is to share the good news with you.
But all this. Is bullshit.
Because at the end of all the fluff, maybe even some “professional” videos, collateral, and news-related backing, they will ask you this question,
“Are you willing to buy in?”
What they want, is your money.
But when you ask or probe more into the issue, they will tell you how it’s just a one-off thing, a form of commitment, everything will be waived off, you are definitely going to get back your capital…
It’s bullshit. Pure. Utter. Bullshit.
MLM has created loads of controversy in the market over the years. They are usually used as a “sales” technique to cover a very obvious “scam”.
The company will recruit individuals, who act as their arms to reach more individuals, and give them a “premium” if they continue selling the package to their friends/families/etc.
It creates a domino effect where friends start cheating one another to save themselves and to recover their initial investment.
The pioneer batch will be great at convincing people and to create a very opportunistic perspective in the minds of their “targets”. They will be the ones making ALL the money*, while you at the bottom, are slogging your guts out.
*You CAN earn money with MLM. I’m not saying you can’t. All I’m saying is that you have to be on top in order to get all the cash.
At the bottom?? Where you will be when recruited under these people?? You are going to get NOTHING. Very little at the most. Peanuts.
I will not elaborate much about it, but you can read more about it here. Others have written extensively about these scams and the facts are clear. Their salesmen will win you over with charm, charisma and vague answers.
But this is not my aim today, to slam the company, or to defame that acquaintance of mine. Or that “friend” he brought along who did all the talking.
I am writing this to warn my friends, my readers, about this “scam”.
So if you are called up/contacted by someone who wants to discuss and “business idea” with you, take it with a grain of salt.
It doesn’t matter if the platform is through Facebook, LinkedIn, SMS, WhatsApp etc, the advance is always the same. To invite you out for a “discussion”.
I wasted an hour of my time just listening to them drone on about the “cost savings” and how the idea was just “perfect”.
Admittedly I stayed on, listened and showed interest, because I wanted to know what is it that they would do to convince me. What lengths they would go to do so. And what their structure and strategy was.
And boy, they did try. I’d give them that.
But they didn’t succeed. I am not a sucker.
This incident made it so salient to me, the fact that the people around me are engaging in such fraudulent activities. And in order to get themselves out of the situation they were roped in, they are willing to use their “friends”, and to victimise others.
I find that disgusting, repulsive and abhorrent.
Which is why I am writing this post, and to let the people around me know about this prevalent scam that is going about. So beware guys, know your facts, and keep your money.
I just wanted to share a few tips, on how NOT to fall into the trap, and to see through the rainbows and that pot of “gold” in their immoral sham:
1. Be wary of strangers you meet
Yes, your parents probably warned you about this when you were a kid. And they did so for good reasons.
If you meet a friend for a “discussion” and there is another person present before you arrive… Beware. They are likely working together to get YOU to buy in on the package.
If your friend isn’t the one speaking, and passes you on to his “friend”… Then you know you have a problem. Quite likely this dude is the “salesman” while your friend is just in-charge of bringing in his “connections and acquaintances”.
DO NOT LISTEN TO A WORD THEY SAY. THEY DO NOT HAVE YOUR INTERESTS AT HEART!!!
2. Ask, Clarify, GET YOUR FACTS CLEAR
If you are really interested in signing up with the MLM (something I strongly advise AGAINST)…
ASK FOR INFORMATION.
And no. I do not mean generic info like “How much can I earn? How much work does it take?” etc.
I mean asking about the CONTRACT you are legally binding yourself to right after you “buy in” and make payment.
Check their terms and conditions, do not just take their word for granted. Why? Because it is not stated in black and white.
If anything goes wrong, words are easy to twist (trust me they will), but whatever is stated on paper/contract HOLDS.
Never pay before looking at the actual terms and conditions and just TRUSTING their word for it.
But the best way would be to steer clear of this sham (IMO) because it is immoral and the only way for you to make it big would be to trample on the trust of many others.
3. Never trust people with money on the first meeting (or second, or third…)
This would not be a problem if you follow tip 2 above. Always take a HARD copy of the terms and conditions. Go home, read it through, and then decide if you really want to be a part of them.
My gut feeling is that you will not.
Because hidden under all the glitz and glamour are terms and conditions that are almost IMPOSSIBLE to fulfil. (Like signing 30 clients before you can get your first “cashback” etc)
4. Know your FACTS, do your homework, GO ONLINE.
Caveat Emptor. Let the buyer BEWARE.
Use. The. Freaking. Internet.
DO YOUR DUE DILLIGENCE.
Research the company. Know what others are saying about them. Check if they are featured by respected news sites (Huffington Post/The New York Times etc).
If nothing is being said about them, and if the negatives trump the positives… You should know what to do.
No matter how hard they try to convince you that the company is “small, starting up, “everyone has bad things said about them” etc…”
DO NOT TAKE IT AS IT IS.
More often than not, there is a REASON why bad word-of-mouth spreads. If there is nothing valid/valuable for their company to be targeted, why be so wary about you reading up and finding out more?
Trust me. They will be wary. Just say “I will check up more on the Internet”, and I ASSURE you, they will come up with a truckload of excuses to convince you otherwise.
5. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is
For me, this is the BEST way to determine whether a deal is good, or not.
Salesmen will sell you a fluffy idea of how you can do practically NOTHING and have MONEY fall in your pockets.
But honestly speaking… If that could really happen, don’t you think everyone would already be on the bandwagon and that one day the world will run out of cash?
Everything has it’s limitations.
The earth is running out of land, clean air, food and water. The same goes with MONEY. There is only so much money that can go around the world.
If you believe that you can really sit back, kick off your shoes, and get filthy rich overnight…
I’m sorry to burst your bubble.
But that’s not going to happen.
Even with MLM, you can only get rich if you are at the VERY TOP. And in order to get there, you are going to have to work hard.
Do you think it is that easy for salesmen to convince people to buy in on such a sham?
NO. It isn’t.
And their work, is hard work.
If you can’t bring yourself to find hours trying to get a client, or bear the thought of quantifying relationships and treating your friends/acquaintances like cash cows.
MLM is NOT for you.
Go out there, find something you love, something morally upright and something that doesn’t compromise on your integrity. Start from there and work on making money.
Do not be a fool and wait for money to fall in your lap when you do NOTHING about your dreams and aspirations.
Stop letting MLM companies leverage on the ideal of “getting rich without working for it”.
It sounds good, but is a whole load of bullshit for most of the part.
And now, I end my post, and my friendship/acquaintanceship with that dude who quantified our relationship.
I hope none of you reading this will fall prey to this scam.