There is a sucker born every minute – and I was one of those suckers.
I spent $650 dollars and joined a multi-level marketing company. I was talked into it by a fellow coworker who I considered a friend. She seemed so nice and earnest.
Looking back I was very naive. I never heard of pyramid schemes or downlines so I listened eagerly when my friend told me about a unique business opportunity that would enable me to retire as quickly as 3-5 years! Ahh…the follies of youth and inexperience.
My coworker/friend confided in me that she was already earning $300 a month after having only joined for 5 months. She claimed that we would be ahead of the game because we spoke perfect English, have a college degree, and corporate experience which would enable us to recruit and sell the products better.
Like a fool, I believed in her and forked over $650 dollars to buy into the business and joined her downline. In return I received a box of products, a thick stack of pamphlets urging me to sign up for various conferences and workshops which I need to fork out more money for, and a company manual.
It was not until I read over the company manual that I realized that I have been had. I was shocked to realize that very few people make money. Less than 5% of their members make approximately $40,000+ a year before taxes, but that does not include the monthly product that one has to buy in order to be eligible to receive a check. The more you earn, the more product you have to buy.
Luckily I realized my mistake early on and quit after the first month. Several other people I met with in the first month stayed on for quite a bit longer determined to make it work, with the longest quitting around the 5 year mark. But the expense of paying for monthly products, plus the cost of buying tickets to attend conferences, plus the cost of workshops, plus the time and effort of selling/recruiting was ultimately too draining. Even though some months she was able to earn as much as $4000, there were many months where she earned between $300-$700 because people in her “downline” kept quitting. She had to constantly recruit in order to keep the money flowing in. When she averaged out all the hours she put in versus the income she got, she said that she made less than minimum wage doing multi-level marketing.
I am writing this so that others would hopefully learn from my mistake and not waste their hard-earned money, time, effort on anything related to multi-level marketing. If you are ever approached to join (there are many out there), ask to see concrete proof of income such as tax returns, pay stubs, company manual and statistics and so forth. Empower yourself by understanding what you are signing up for before parting with your money.
If you are in doubt: