Is MLM a Legitimate Business Method?

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Defenders of multi-level marketing (MLM) are often heard saying that it’s a legitimate business method! Even government regulators say MLM is legitimate. And it is true that state and federal governments in the United States generally allow multi-level marketing companies to operate with little oversight. This is despite the fact that structurally and operationally, MLMs…

Updates to MLM Income Disclosure Statements

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For years I’ve been collecting income disclosure statements issued by multi-level marketing (MLM) companies. These are the proof that you have almost no chance of making money in MLM, no matter what the company or product. Across the board, you see that the vast majority of the distributors make almost nothing in commissions. The “average…

How Does MLM Affect People?

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The late Jon Taylor, PhD wrote a thorough and excellent book about multi-level marketing (MLM): The Case (For and) Against Multi-Level Marketing: The Complete Guide to Understanding the Flaws – and Proving and Countering the Effects – of Endless Chain “Opportunity” Recruitment, or Product-Based Pyramid Schemes. He put the book together in 2011 and 2012,…

MLM Income Disclosure Statements

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A collection of annual income disclosure statements published by multi-level marketing companies, continuously updated. Last updates done 11/26/20 to add new statements for DoTerra, Herbalife, Isagenix, Mannatech, Melaleuca, NuSkin, Send Out Cards, Shaklee, and Stella and Dot. Some MLMs release income disclosures or earnings disclosures. These numbers are not required to be disclosed in the…

InteleTravel MLM “Opportunity”

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PlanNet Marketing Inc. offers the InteleTravel MLM opportunity. They avoid language that would give away the fact that it is MLM, but since people recruit a downline into multiple levels, it is indeed multi-level marketing. Participants are referred to as “independent representatives” (IR). They pay upfront and monthly fees to have an “online travel agency.”…

How to Avoid Business Opportunity Frauds and MLM Scams

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In a past appearance on CNBC’s On the Money, Tracy Coenen talked about how consumers could protect themselves from business opportunity scams and multi-level marketing (MLM) schemes. MLMs parade themselves around as business opportunities, but they are nothing more than elaborate pyramid schemes that swindle millions of consumers each year.

Almost Everyone Loses Money in MLM

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Don’t let your Facebook friends fool you: They’re not making money in the multi-level marketing company they keep pitching to you. And you won’t either. Multi-level marketing is not a business. More than 99% of participants in multi-level marketing (MLM) lose money. Companies like Mary Kay Cosmetics promote the “income opportunity,” but when the vast…

Good MLMs and Bad MLMs

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Defenders of multi-level marketing (MLM) will tell you that some companies “do it” right, while some companies “do it” wrong. The fact that a multi-level marketing company like Mary Kay Cosmetics has been around for more than 55 years does not define whether it is a fraud or scam. Remember Enron (in business more than…

Why MLMs are Pyramid Schemes

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Multi-level marketing companies (MLMs) are nothing but pyramid schemes. Oh sure, there are websites that go to great pains to discuss the difference between MLMs and pyramid schemes. But when you boil it down, MLMs are indeed pyramid schemes, and ta class action lawsuit filed against Arbonne International last year explains this well. First they…