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Network Marketing

Discussion in 'off topic' started by Snufkin, Feb 25, 2020.

  1. Snufkin

    Snufkin pfm Member

    Back in the 80's I had never heard of Network Marketing but a friend of a friend introduced me to 'an opportunity' that was too good to miss. I somewhat reluctantly went along to a presentation and despite being reasonably open to the idea, the numbers made no sense. I politely declined after several hours of hospitality and pressure. I said I would think about it and I did.

    The more I thought about it, the more I didn't like what I perceived as a highly structured con which also had trappings of a cult with right wing religious overtones. It didn't help that the products were overpriced and mediocre at best. Over the years I heard more and more about the concept of Network Marketing and it was generally never very positive.

    Bringing this up to date, I came across this article about a more recent bunch of Network Marketers that I had never heard of and its worth reading.

    Are there any Fishies that have had any positive or negative experiences of Network Marketing?
  2. Joe P

    Joe P certified Buffologist / mod


    These types of businesses have struck me as little more than an elaborate pyramid scheme, unless two guys are at the top in which case it’s a trapezoid scheme.

    TheDecameron, wow&flutter and Snufkin like this.
  3. Joe P

    Joe P certified Buffologist / mod

    P.S. Many years ago, the local newspaper offered recent graduates an opportunity to place an ad, letting the world know that they had just graduated from college or university and were available for employment. It was free and I was looking for work so I placed an ad that I had recently graduated with a master’s in ecology and evolution and was looking for work in the field, ideally literally in a field.

    The next day my phone machine — one of those magnetic tape deelies — had 20 messages on it from potential employers! I hit play to hear the opportunities that were to unfold to me. All 20 were from various multi-level marketing peeps looking to expand their network. Apparently no particular experience was necessary and in fact maybe even frowned upon. All that was needed was a can-do attitude!

    Man, if there’s anything I don’t have it’s a can-do attitude.

    I went back to my old department and tended Professor Caveney’s dung beetle colonies until I got a job. It was shit, but better than Amway.

    richgilb and KrisW like this.
  4. KrisW

    KrisW pfm Member

    Multi-Level-Marketing is evil. The only way to make money from these is to be the founder. Get in later and you'll end up having to sell your friendships and the trust of your family members for a couple of hundred quid.

    A friend of mine was briefly involved with one of these, about twenty years ago - luckily, this was pre-Internet, so there wasn't the relentless always-on peer pressure that the newer outfits use. Still, they use the techniques of cults to keep people trapped inside: first, it's all fun an team-building that fills your available time so that you're isolated from your friends and family, then you're told that their "negativity" is what's holding you back, etc. and soon you're happy to screw those people over if it means getting one step up on the ladder.
  5. sq225917

    sq225917 situation engineer

    They're just idiot food
  6. KrisW

    KrisW pfm Member

    A lot of smart people get caught up in them. They rely on the same vector that conspiracy theories do: if you trust someone, you tend to believe something they tell you that you'd dismiss as nonsense from a stranger. This is why MLM participants are told to target their friends and family for sales.
  7. Joe P

    Joe P certified Buffologist / mod

    I’m not sensing much can-do attitude in this thread. But for those of you tired of working for the man, living hand to mouth, I have an opportunity that will lead to financial freedom.

    Think of what this means!

    You’ll no longer have to use the cheap interconnects that came in the box. You have any interconnect, even ridiculously expensive ones.

    If you have a can-do attitude, send me a PM. I’ll send you a link to an opportunity that will change your life — and the thickness of your interconnect cables!

    lordsummit and Snufkin like this.
  8. Cheese

    Cheese Bitter lover

    Some thirty years ago a friend of mine, a great guy but not too much of a playboy in a classical sense, had a short-term relationship with an absolute stunner we all dreamed of. We were rather surprised how he managed that, oh well good on him.

    Years later he confessed that the girl went with him only because she was desperate for finding new preys for the trap she's fallen in. That got me thinking.
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2020
    KrisW likes this.
  9. Gaycha

    Gaycha pfm Member

    Amway lol.

    Anyone who ever bought into it,. effectively just ended up buying too much expensive washing up liquid and p1ssibg off their friends.

    If something looks to good to be true, then it probably is, so the saying goes.
    Nero likes this.
  10. stevec67

    stevec67 pfm Member

    Like others say on here, it's just pyramid sales. A guy I knew spent a LONG drive telling me all about Amway, it was like talking to a creationist cult member. He refused to answer my questions as to how many people he needed to sell washing powder to in order to earn a living. My observation that if I spent a fiver a week on cleaning products then that was all I spent, so he needed hundreds of customers to make a living, and did he have that many, fell on deaf ears. It was all about the network, it didn't work like that. There was also an old schoolmate of mine who had been sucked in and lost all his friends as they got sick of him preaching the Amway cult every time he saw them.
  11. Woodface

    Woodface pfm Member

    Some are more credible than others, Avon for example or Temple Spa. Generally they are to be avoided, anyone listen to the BBC podcast The Missing Crypto Queen?
  12. sq225917

    sq225917 situation engineer

    Avon's different that's just party selling
    KrisW likes this.
  13. Rcook

    Rcook pfm Member

    All a massive con. In the 70s it was 'pyramid selling' which was made illegal in the UK, so it was changed very slightly in structure and became called 'network marketing' or 'direct selling'. The last decade or so it's been rebranded again to 'multi-level marketing'. All the same thing and all a con, people are promised untold riches, yet, as others have said, the only way to make money is be at the top of the tree. It's also the surest way to lose your friends as quickly as possible. I know so many people who evangelise about their particular cult, especially at the start, yet after barely earn anything and have annoyed people who were once friends. Most people give up within a year. The emphasis is on recruiting a team, and the actual products, some of which are actually ok, are pretty much incidental.

    Amway, Avon, Utility Warehouse, Neal's Yard, Arbonne Cosmetics, Juice Plus, Mary Kay, and Herbalife seem to be the main players. The Wikipedia article makes interesting reading too https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Multi-level_marketing
  14. Bob McC

    Bob McC Living the life of Riley

    You are confusing party selling and pyramid selling.
    sq225917 and Snufkin like this.
  15. KrisW

    KrisW pfm Member

    Avon is an entirely legitimate business - the cost of setting up as an agent is modest, you're not required to pre-buy stock that you then have to force on people, the products it sells are actually worth the price that they're sold for, and the commission that it pays to its reps is fair. Plus, Avon doesn't force you to recruit another Avon rep every month. For a company that relies on word of mouth, its longevity is a sign that it's playing fair.

    MLMs are very different: they charge exorbitant sign-on fees and force you to pre-buy a product that is normally grossly overpriced junk. The product being junk means you get no repeat custom, and so the only way you can cover your escalating costs is by recruiting another sucker to claim a slice of their sign-up fee. Eventually they collapse, with the founder laughing all the way to the Seychelles.
  16. Rcook

    Rcook pfm Member

    Who is? These organisations all work in the same way - basically you are part of a someone's team, and you have a team below you, which is also part . The actual method of getting the product to the customer can vary (e.g parties, door to door etc), but they are still fundamentally structured the same. I work at a lot of events where these organisations have representatives, and they all, with exception, talk about their 'team' and their 'upline' and 'downline'. Avon might be one of the better ones, but they are all direct selling organisations and they all work in the same way.
    Woodface likes this.
  17. TheDecameron

    TheDecameron Unicorns fart glitter.

    What about Tupperware and Anne Summers?
  18. vuk

    vuk \o/ choose anarchy


    i am so excited. have just ordered the starter kit, including 300 enterprise pizza slicers and 100 boxes of romulan ale powder. can't wait for the first party.
  19. cutting42

    cutting42 Heading to Fish Hacker Erg \o/

    My first boss's wife was a Tupperware party seller and did really well. My boss was a little confused at my hilarity when he proudly announced that she was going to get a Tupperware company car
  20. Barrymagrec

    Barrymagrec pfm Member

    Different things - Tupperware is all about Polyethylene whereas Anne Summers is more PVC.......or so I`ve been told.....
    Snufkin likes this.

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