In many areas, the Commission undertakes case-by-case law enforcement, which can offer significant benefits when compared with prescriptive rulemaking or legislative action. For example, a case-by-case approach allows the FTC to address bad actors engaged in a specific harm, without directly affecting an entire industry. This approach also limits the potential unintended consequences that can result from one-size-fits-all industry standards in statutes or regulations.
Technically speaking, pyramiding is an illegal practice of a company that solicits their members to recruit more members, more than selling the product. In turn, the primary source of income for its members is the number of members they have recruited instead of the products they have sold over time. Clearly, not all MLMs are pyramid schemes, but it all seems like a matter of degree.

I just started selling for one of the top 15 and I went in knowing that this was just supplemental cash and nothing that would support my family. I spend 15 minutes (mostly from my phone) a day on my business and am happy with what I’ve done thus far. If it covers groceries and some extras like clothes or shoes, I’m good. If I start to become even more successful, great. It’s my competitive nature to want to out rank others, so I find it to be more of a personal challenge than thinking I’m going to get rich and stay rich. I appreciate the article and the no BS attitude. 

So to make it possible, you structured a kind of “payplan” or ways how you are going to pay your neigbors and relatives based on the number of people they’ve brought in or the group sales they’ve made. And by applying some MLM principle, you were able to plot a system that traces all sales from person to person down the line. Therefore, giving credit and commission also to the first person who initiated the effort.
Instacart allows you to make money by doing someone else’s grocery shopping. Set your hours, receive orders on your smartphone, hit the grocery store, deliver, and get paid. Shoppers can make up to $25/hour. To get started, shoppers must complete an online application, pass a background check, and attend an interview/training session. Don’t have a car? Not a problem: shoppers on foot and bicycle are welcome.
Multi-level marketing (MLM), also called pyramid selling,[1][2] network marketing,[2][3] and referral marketing,[4] is a marketing strategy for the sale of products or services where the revenue of the MLM company is derived from a non-salaried workforce selling the company's products/services, while the earnings of the participants are derived from a pyramid-shaped or binary compensation commission system.
3. Instead of being pushy, be pull-y. This is a suggestion in sales too. Pull-y means you ask them the right questions to pull them vs try to cram what you want to talk about down their throat. Why did you join? What did you hope to gain? Are those things serious to you? Do you truly want those things? How will you attain freedom if you don’t build this? All of those questions illicit pull type responses from your people.
An MLM’s compliance program should ensure that the MLM accurately represents the business opportunity it offers, both through its own marketing materials and messaging and through the representations its participants make to current or prospective participants. In addition, an MLM’s compliance program should ensure that compensation paid by the MLM is based on actual sales to real customers, rather than based on wholesale purchases or other payments by its participants.
Because of the encouraging of recruits to further recruit their competitors, some people have even gone so far as to say at best modern MLMs are nothing more than legalized pyramid schemes[4][19][20] with one stating "Multi-level marketing companies have become an accepted and legally sanctioned form of pyramid scheme in the United States"[19] while another states "Multi-Level Marketing, a form of Pyramid Scheme, is not necessarily fraudulent."[20] In October 2010 it was reported that multilevel marketing companies were being investigated by a number of state attorneys general amid allegations that salespeople were primarily paid for recruiting and that more recent recruits cannot earn anything near what early entrants do.[60] Industry critic Robert L. FitzPatrick has called multi-level marketing "the Main Street bubble" that will eventually burst.[61]
80. The MLM presenter many times gets out the dump truck, backs it up to the prospect, and then unloads a TON of information on them. NOT! The prospect is NOT a landfill. Present the information one bite size piece at a time, and give them a chance to digest it. Too much info will turn the prospect off. And they will be thinking, "Do I have to learn ALL THIS?"
Obviously a customer will not earn any money in the MLM scheme, only the person who brought in that customer, and their upline will earn commission from the customer's purchase. The promoter will earn money, every time one of their customers makes a purchase, and also every time one of the promoters in their downline makes a purchase or sale. Thus the term "pyramid" though that may not really be accurate, depending on the way the compensation plan is set up.
I really appreciate the truths and the facts as well John..#2 and #8 is very very important in network marketing.The word “TIME IS MONEY” Is so bad when you working for someone as your boss, because you devote your time and you working for your boss to earn from you. After you spending a whole of your time working for him to earn big, all he can do for you for so many years is to give you something small just to keep you… John i love this..
Instacart allows you to make money by doing someone else’s grocery shopping. Set your hours, receive orders on your smartphone, hit the grocery store, deliver, and get paid. Shoppers can make up to $25/hour. To get started, shoppers must complete an online application, pass a background check, and attend an interview/training session. Don’t have a car? Not a problem: shoppers on foot and bicycle are welcome.
And these sales aren’t just to customers. You see, in order to join an MLM you usually need to buy products to sell (often referred to as a starter kit, or similar). And then in order to remain a seller, stylist, supervisor, or whatever term the company uses, you often need to make a minimum number of sales in a given time period (though not always).
Now that companies can easily sell directly to their customers online, people look to social media to get their recommendations for products, and the popularity of subscription beauty boxes, not to mention the fact that there are so many retail stores even in the most far out suburbs, I don’t see how the network marketing model is necessary anymore. The only people who defend them are the people who were trained to. This is because MLMs love to brainwash you into defending them against naysayers and demand you go on the offensive to anyone who might disagree. They may still have wide-eyed hope. It’s sad and terrible. The sooner these pyramid schemes are declared illegal and go out of the business, the better off the world will be.
“MLMs very rarely emphasize the extreme likelihood of failure, or the extreme likelihood of financial loss, from participation in MLM. MLMs are also seldom forthcoming about the fact that any significant success of the few individuals at the top of the MLM participant pyramid is in fact dependent on the continued financial loss and failure of all other participants below them in the MLM pyramid.” (Wikipedia)
I believe the ones that don’t make it in the industry (if they chose a good one) don’t give it enough time (like you said they quit before a year is up) and commitment to doing what it takes to grow. I don’t spam FB and only 2 family members order product but I have at least 100+ home school moms making >$2000/mth. Some team members make more, some less. It’s what they put into it (business wise not monetary)
Thumbtack matches freelance professionals with customers who need help with an array of tasks, from taking wedding reception photos to painting a mural to remodeling a kitchen. Once you create a profile, Thumbtack sends you customer requests, and you decide whether you want to respond. If you are interested in a project, you send a custom quote to the customer, who will decide between your and other freelance professionals’ quotes. If they approve your quote, then you are ready to work on the project!
I recently spoke with San Diego based, Vicki Martin, about her experience with Rodan + Fields. Here's her take on her home business and why the opportunity was so appealing for her and her family, "The decision to join Rodan + Fields Dermatologists came easily. Since 2008 the construction industry [which I was previously in] has been hit hard by our economic downturn and my income has been greatly affected. We were working harder for less like many of our friends. Being part of Rodan + Fields Dermatologists is allowing me to work with highly educated people who share a passion for business and for teamwork. Building a recurring, residual income that grows month over month is going to give my husband and I the peace of mind and financial freedom that is so vitally important to our future. My skin looks better than ever. And, I get to work my job around the rest of my life instead of the other way around."
Even though it may be tempting to go switch your employer information to your new Network Marketing company as soon as you hit submit on your application, please trust me when I say.. this is not going to help you in your business. Why? Because this eliminates curiosity. The goal is to always create curiosity and have people asking you “what do you do for a living?”…. you don’t want them Googling the name and building their own judgement.
Belonging to a self-regulatory organization, however, does not shield MLMs engaged in unfair and deceptive practices from FTC law enforcement action. Under appropriate circumstances, the FTC can and will bring law enforcement actions against companies that claim to follow self-regulatory guidelines but in practice do not. Similarly, the FTC can and will bring law enforcement actions against companies that, despite following such guidelines, nonetheless violate the FTC Act.
Don’t be just another clueless sponsor who’s always wondering how to be successful in MLM without taking responsibility for his team. It’s fine if you have some people in your network that are lazy or just won’t budge, but you have to take responsibility for the ones who have potential. You have to become inspirational by taking action yourself. It will take your success in MLM business to the next level and will also teach your team how to be successful in network marketing so they can crush it too!

Because of the encouraging of recruits to further recruit their competitors, some people have even gone so far as to say at best modern MLMs are nothing more than legalized pyramid schemes[4][19][20] with one stating "Multi-level marketing companies have become an accepted and legally sanctioned form of pyramid scheme in the United States"[19] while another states "Multi-Level Marketing, a form of Pyramid Scheme, is not necessarily fraudulent."[20] In October 2010 it was reported that multilevel marketing companies were being investigated by a number of state attorneys general amid allegations that salespeople were primarily paid for recruiting and that more recent recruits cannot earn anything near what early entrants do.[60] Industry critic Robert L. FitzPatrick has called multi-level marketing "the Main Street bubble" that will eventually burst.[61]


The worst thing you could ever do for your personal life and friendships would be to make your future meetings awkward. It is suggested to leave your friends and family approach tucked away, for just a little while, at least until you understand proper network marketing prospecting and recruiting better (if you have the support and backing of an experienced network marketer there with you, then go for it).


The question of how to be successful in network marketing haunts every beginner and even the moderately experienced ones. People have turned it into some kind of a myth and are going crazy figuring out just how to be successful in multilevel marketing or network marketing business. I have taken it upon myself to help everyone who is perplexed by this and debunk this myth.
Join Guy Kawasaki (author, The Art of Social Media), Mari Smith (co-author, Facebook Marketing: An Hour a Day), Chris Brogan (co-author, The Impact Equation), Jay Baer (author, Youtility), Ann Handley (author, Everybody Writes), Michael Stelzner (author, Launch), Michael Hyatt (author, Platform), Laura Fitton (co-author, Twitter for Dummies), Joe Pulizzi (author, Epic Content Marketing), Mark Schaefer (author, Social Media Explained), Cliff Ravenscraft, Nichole Kelly, Ted Rubin, Chalene Johnson, Darren Rowse, Joel Comm, Kim Garst, Martin Shervington, Marcus Sheridan, Gini Dietrich, Pat Flynn, John Jantsch, Andrea Vahl and Brian Clark—just to name a few.

What makes a riveting presentation? Get the prospect involved. Ask lot of questions. Let them answer. Let them hold the product if you are there. Let the audience raise their hands. Keep focused on engaging the prospect as you present. And tell a story about what the products have done, and make it emotional. Then ask them if they know anyone that they can relate to that story.


For the distribution of goods after manufacturing, the product has to go through the distributor, wholesaler and finally the retailer before reaching the hands of the consumer. A MLM company shorten the supply chain shorter by directly selling to consumers. A claim they say helps to save cost for consumers. Speaking about cost savings, find out the best rate using our  home loan comparison and  personal loan comparison  tool
MLMs have been made illegal in some jurisdictions as a mere variation of the traditional pyramid scheme, including in mainland China.[10][11] In jurisdictions where MLMs have not been made illegal, many illegal pyramid schemes attempt to present themselves as MLM businesses.[7] Given that the overwhelming majority of MLM participants cannot realistically make a net profit, let alone a significant net profit, but instead overwhelmingly operate at net losses, some sources have defined all MLMs as a type of pyramid scheme, even if they have not been made illegal like traditional pyramid schemes through legislative statutes.[4][19][20]
This eco-friendly MLM is seriously committed: their headquarters are operated with wind power. They’re pretty future-facing in general, having implemented an innovative social marketing strategy amongst their reps. No one likes to be harassed on Facebook, but Modere’s social media plan is still 10 times more effective than holding home parties (kill me).
First, Elliot, thank you for this article. Your sense of truly wanting to help comes through and it’s refreshing. Like MommyFinance, I too have suffered PTSD from previous runs at MLM but I have been looking for legitimate ways of making extra income and seems I’m being directed toward trying MLM again. Your article gave me hope that there are some good ones out there. What you said about finding the one that fits me and leaving a legacy for family really turned on a light for me and I greatly appreciate that. A wine business is not quite up my alley but I will certainly direct those who might be interested your way.

They’re sliding, though. Revenue is falling in North America and their sales force is shrinking. Revenue slid 19% in 2013 and 7% in Mexico. Skip ahead to July 2015 and revenue is still spiraling downward, with a 17% drop (5). Analysts blame Avon’s failure to maintain a strong identity for its products as well as the strong dollar. Lesson: Always re-create yourself.
The boberdoo system and it’s real-time lead distribution features are the standard in the industry. With the most advanced distribution options, custom deliveries to any CRM or LMS and a plethora of billing options, boberdoo provides a complete back end system for running not only your MLM lead vertical, but your entire lead business. If you are looking to upgrade your lead generation business or break into the MLM vertical, you can do no better than boberdoo.com. If you would like to discuss MLM leads or the boberdoo lead distribution system, please give us a call at 800-776-5646.
An example of a high-profile multi-level marketing company defending its practices is Herbalife Ltd., a manufacturer and distributor of weight-loss and nutritional products with more than 500,000 distributors. Although the FTC had been investigating Herbalife, it was activist investor William Ackman who shed a national spotlight on the company by shorting $1 billion of the company’s stock in 2013. Ackman accused the company of operating a pyramid scheme and backed his allegations with a bet the company’s stock price would fall under the weight of the scam.  
Because of the encouraging of recruits to further recruit their competitors, some people have even gone so far as to say at best modern MLMs are nothing more than legalized pyramid schemes[4][19][20] with one stating "Multi-level marketing companies have become an accepted and legally sanctioned form of pyramid scheme in the United States"[19] while another states "Multi-Level Marketing, a form of Pyramid Scheme, is not necessarily fraudulent."[20] In October 2010 it was reported that multilevel marketing companies were being investigated by a number of state attorneys general amid allegations that salespeople were primarily paid for recruiting and that more recent recruits cannot earn anything near what early entrants do.[60] Industry critic Robert L. FitzPatrick has called multi-level marketing "the Main Street bubble" that will eventually burst.[61]
The end result of the MLM business model is, therefore, one of a company (the MLM company) selling its products and services through a non-salaried workforce ("partners") working for the MLM company on a commission-only basis while the partners simultaneously constitute the overwhelming majority of the very consumers of the MLM company's products and services that they, as participants of the MLM, are selling to each other in the hope of one day themselves being at the top of the pyramid. This creates great profit for the MLM company's actual owners and shareholders.
“For example, most people want to earn more money, but why? They want to earn more money so they can spend time with their family, pay off debt, or move away from a pain they are experiencing; these are  benefits of the benefit. Effective rapport building and prospecting will help you uncover what are their decision-driving factors, so never go for the close until you uncover their decision drivers first, which are usually the benefits of the benefit. Seek to serve your prospect, always speak in terms of benefit to them, under-promise and over- deliver, and always do what is in their best interest regardless of your own selfish interest." - Ron Gelok III
Remember to create a plan at your very first opportunity. I know the saying gets old but people never create a plan to fail, but in most cases those who fail, do fail to plan! You would never travel all the way across the country without having some sort of plan, at least a map, on how to get there and how much it will cost. One of the very best MLM tips I can offer is the idea of developing a plan on the very first day you enter your new business. And remember one of the best ways to learn is to listen closely to those who have become successful doing the MLM business in the past.
As with all MLMs, the real money to be made isn’t in selling their products but in recruiting more people to join your team (basically, doing the work for you). So the real winners are the person who started the business and the very first people she recruited. This top of the pyramid is also where all of the success stories tend to come from. Among the most vulnerable to these pyramid schemes are people in smaller towns and rural areas. Market saturation prevents growth in a small town, because once everyone you know starts selling it, no one can make any money and you’ve essentially created your own competition.
On the other hand, if you are the owner of the company where those 100 persons have offered their skills, time and talents, and if you can gain $1.00 from each person on the field, you will earn $3000 after 30 days doing nothing. Obviously, the time spent for both the worker and the owner are the same (30 days), but the gain on the side of the owner is tremendously huge.
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