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New MLM Scam?
Old 04-02-2009, 09:12 PM   #1
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New MLM Scam?

....sigh....
I have a friend whose Mom bought him a $2k membership to Team National and he's getting the heavy pitch on it.

Anyone know of this one? They are a discount membership card--no products except the card itself. The money is from hustling your friends, of course. The membership fees are either $800 or $2,000 (amazingly steep, from what I remember of my MLM research in the past).

Thanks for any of you more thorough researchers finding stuff for me to give him. It is funny, a lot of the critique sites on MLM companies are actually pitches for *their* MLM company, which is of course completely legit, unlike that *other* one.

Edit to add: I did find their SEC filing from 2001.
http://www.secinfo.com/dVuzb.4f8g6.htm#TOC
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Old 04-02-2009, 10:16 PM   #2
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Looking at various sites, it seems to be an overpriced buying club at best, just this side of the law. One discussion here.
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Old 04-02-2009, 10:22 PM   #3
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You must hand it to the people who do and can sell those plans in today's economy. Direct Buy is another one - costs $5,000.
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Old 04-03-2009, 08:22 AM   #4
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This site may prove to be useful...
Is There a Team National Scam?

I have a friend who is all caught up in MarketAmerica. He is constantly trying to hook me in, but the answer is still no.
He is pushing the limits...
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Anyone involved in a "good" MLM?
Old 04-03-2009, 08:34 AM   #5
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Anyone involved in a "good" MLM?

I've always been a little interested in these things. I joined Amway 15 years ago, but I found that the products were too expensive to be worth it. Target/Walmart was much cheaper.

Has anyone joined one where the products were worth the money?
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Old 04-03-2009, 08:42 AM   #6
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Thanks, y'all. I did find this buried in an old SEC filing. They do the, you guessed it, monthly payment plan for the $2,195 membership fee.
Here is the good part:
The Company's time payment program for Benefit Package sales are payable over 20
months bearing interest of approximately 18 percent. The amount of contracts
entered into for the three months ending June 30, 2003 were $691,920 and for the
three months ended June 30, 2002 were $1,551,205, with the balance to be
collected at June 30, 2003 of $4,964,534 and at June 30, 2002 of $4,172,061. The
receivables, and corresponding commissions payable, are not recorded, in
compliance with the Securities and Exchange Commissions Staff Accounting
Bulletin No. 101, until received.


Gotta love a nearly 2 year contract at 18% interest! What a deal!
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Old 04-03-2009, 08:54 AM   #7
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Typical MLM...the ONLY folks making money are the "VPs" that "sponsor" you.......

I have been chased my Primerica, Market America, Amway, World Financial Group, etc, etc, for almost 20 years.....

DW has been pursued by folks assocaited with Pampered Chef, Silpada, Longaberg baskets, and some candle outfit...........
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Old 04-03-2009, 09:18 AM   #8
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Maybe some of you folks can explain it to me...
When I see something like these MLMs, my immediate, without a nanosecond of hesitation reaction is "Yeah, right, next you'll be selling me the Brooklyn Bridge too"
I know of at least 5 people in my immediate circle of friends and acquaintances who have gotten involved in Market America, Avon, Amway, Pampered Chef, some health thru magnets company, etc etc. Otherwise smart and likable people, but once they get drawn in and hooked, holy cannoli! They are like Stepford Wives on this stuff.
Am I overly cynical or is there some chemical imbalance in my friends' brains? I'm actually being serious with this question.
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Old 04-03-2009, 09:24 AM   #9
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Freebird, I was thinking the same thing--we are just wired for skepticism. The rah-rah doesn't work on us. It is the same self-selection that brings us to this forum, makes us savers, and causes us to wonder "is there more to life than work until 65?".

We don't believe in the get rich quick scheme, lotteries, power of positive thinking, what-have-you that suckers so many others.

It is us that are different. I can remember every single time I've been pitched something like MLM and not once did I think it was a good idea. Mercifully, I don't have any friends (til now) that have fallen into this sort of web.
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Old 04-03-2009, 09:34 AM   #10
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My wife will vouch that the Pampered Chef products are actually very good. Its more like Tuperware than these other pyramid scheme products.
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Old 04-03-2009, 09:39 AM   #11
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My wife will vouch that the Pampered Chef products are actually very good. Its more like Tuperware than these other pyramid scheme products.
I have a lot of Pampered Chef stuff, and it is marvelous for cooking. However, I can get the same stuff at Williams-Sonoma and avoid the sales pitch...........
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Old 04-03-2009, 09:45 AM   #12
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I have a lot of Pampered Chef stuff, and it is marvelous for cooking. However, I can get the same stuff at Williams-Sonoma and avoid the sales pitch...........
Yeah, but we Berkshire Hathaway shareholders don't benefit when you buy from Williams-Sonoma.
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Old 04-03-2009, 10:02 AM   #13
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Aha, Berkshire is a pyramid scheme, too! I knew it!

The home parties MLM is actually an interesting segment of this industry. I think I mentioned that the one and only positive experience I've ever had with this sort of invitation was a "passion party" thrown by a friend of a friend. I would never sign up to market such stuff, but I had a blast at the party (and bought stuff).
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Old 04-03-2009, 10:04 AM   #14
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Aha, Berkshire is a pyramid scheme, too! I knew it!
Well, if the pyramid is built with Acme bricks by people wearing Justin boots, you may be on to something.
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Old 04-03-2009, 10:13 AM   #15
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Well, if the pyramid is built with Acme bricks by people wearing Justin boots, you may be on to something.
Acme Bricks reminds me of the Coyote's tools of the trade from classic Roadrunner cartoons.
BEEP BEEP <zoom>
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Old 04-03-2009, 10:57 AM   #16
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. Otherwise smart and likable people, but once they get drawn in and hooked, holy cannoli! They are like Stepford Wives on this stuff.
Am I overly cynical or is there some chemical imbalance in my friends' brains? I'm actually being serious with this question.

I laughed when I read that . I have a friend who got involved in ACN and she eats ,sleeps and drinks ACN . Every time I see her I cringe because I know the sales pitch will come .It reminds me of the cults . I want to kidnap her and reprogram her back to normalcy.
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Old 04-03-2009, 11:23 AM   #17
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Freebird, I was thinking the same thing--we are just wired for skepticism. The rah-rah doesn't work on us. It is the same self-selection that brings us to this forum, makes us savers, and causes us to wonder "is there more to life than work until 65?".
Makes sense to me.

Plus, those I know who have been suckered by MLM schemes seem to have these in common:

(1) They all believe that you really can get something for nothing
(2) They all believe that they particularly deserve great wealth
(3) They all believe that it is logical to expect that someone would drop great wealth in their laps for no apparent reason, and that when all is right with the world this will surely happen because they deserve it.

Come to think of it, I do believe they all buy lottery tickets and park in front of the convenience store door while buying them, though I couldn't swear to it. But all of this just applies to those I know. Maybe others don't have these things in common.
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Old 04-03-2009, 01:15 PM   #18
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Yes, Pampered Chef makes some good stuff, but it is fairly expensive. Tupperware has a good product, but now that you can buy the disposable stuff at the grocery store so cheap, it doesn't make much sense to me anymore.

I've gotten some good stuff from Tastefully Simple, but it is expensive.

My grandmother was big into Shaklee for a long time. My grandparents had a whole room devoted to their vitamins and stuff, and did pretty well. They sold enough that the company gave them a car for a couple years. Now that you can buy a lot of similiar stuff at Target, I don't know that it makes much sense anymore.

There are a few of these organizations that are pretty good, but none of them provide a real compelling value to me.

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My wife will vouch that the Pampered Chef products are actually very good. Its more like Tuperware than these other pyramid scheme products.
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Old 04-03-2009, 02:06 PM   #19
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One thing is, a person who has nothing except an absolute lack of critical thinking and a heavy dose of perkiness for the women and boosterism for the men can occasionally make an OK living. Look at the Mary Kay ladies cruising around the 'burbs in their pink cars!

I am so not this way that usually one of these people hates me on sight, and I more or less return the feeling, minus the special rancor that believers reserve for the unbelieving

But there is a long history of dubious but sucessful American business based on a person's need to belong, her uncritical belief in miracles just for her, and personal attention and "mentoring". All exploitive to be sure, but attention nonetheless.

ha
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Old 04-03-2009, 02:50 PM   #20
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You also need a great degree of chutzpah to make it in these organizations .You know your friends are avoiding you like the black plague and your social invitations start disappearing fast . These bored house wives would make a lot more money running a phone s-- line than peddling housewares. No need to waste your time on MLM's just wear a blue tooth as you do the dishes and the money will be rolling in .
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