Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Network Marketing Is For Suckers And Schlubs

If you like scandal, be sure to check out forensic accountant Tracy Coenan's ascerbic blog posts about network marketing firm Usana.

FRAUDfiles blog: Usana’s definition of “misinformation”

Misinformation they say? Might I remind everyone that Usana’s own documents and/or own executives admit to the following:
72.2% of all distributor commissions are paid to the top 2.6% of commission receiving distributors, meaning everyone else gets next to nothing.
66% of Usana associates receive no commissions at all
87% of Usana distributors don’t even earn enough commissions to pay for their required minimum monthly purchases
The average commissions paid to Usana distributors decreased from 2005 to 2006

It's never pretty when the merry-go-round breaks down.

I have an especial contempt for network marketing. Regardless, when relentless fraud buster (and convicted felon, as he would insist that I remind you) Sam E Antar asked me if I wanted to be part of the blogosphere dogpile on Usana's sinking ship, I declined.

Why? Exactly because of my especial contempt for network marketing. With so many windmills to tilt at in this world, I have other priorities. Looking for sleaze and fraud at a network marketing company is like looking for hay in a haystack. Besides, as I told Mr Antar, my windmill of choice is corporate incompetance rather than corruption.

I will go on the record as saying that I have been propositioned, "recruited" and pigeonholed by network marketing schlubs on so many occassions that I eventually developed a system for getting rid of them. I call it "being rude and mocking them."

By and large my regular readers are well-educated, accomplished professionals, and have an effective bullshit filter, which is why they remain my regular readers. For any of the rabble who Googled their way here to get on an MLM soapbox, and who I know are going to try and spam my comments section with testimonials and passive-aggressive threats, let's get a few things straight:

You don't "own your own business" and you aren't "your own boss."

Your "business plan" creates no value for anyone except the people at the top.

Many MLM'ers bounce from one company to the next, chasing the rainbow, looking for the scheme that will make them rich. I've witnessed this firsthand amongst one or two desperately deluded family members. Wake up.

In the case of "financial freedom" schemes, here's a hint: real stockbrokers and real financial planners at real firms are too busy brokering stocks and managing portfolios to troll shopping malls and social functions in order to recruit new stockbrokers and financial planners. If you were recruited straight out of selling shoes at Footlocker to be a "financial planner" you might want to second guess your career arc.

If, after reading this, anybody still feels obligated to post a comment calling me a "dream stealer" or whatnot, fine. Just don't be surprised when I exercise my mandate to muzzle and ignore you. You know, like almost everybody in your personal life has done by now because of your unhealthy obsession with your "business."

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1 comment:

Flatland Pastor said...

The most disingenuous aspect of multi-level marketing schemes is the proposition that one can "do business" with ones' acquaintances and friends and that this will somehow benefit the relationship and the persons involved. But the sad truth is that no one wants to be in a relationship where they know they are perceived to be an essential part of another's meal ticket - even as the other professes friendship and loyalty. Such relationships use, abuse and demean people.

There are many who say our culture and societies are evolving. I say that is the greatest lie of our age. To make my point more forcefully I will employ the wit and wisdom of one from another, earlier and - I believe - more civilized age. At least the sentiment he expresses is more civilized.

"But you were always a good man of business, Jacob, " faltered Scrooge, who now began to apply this to himself.

"Business!" cried the Ghost, wringing its hands again. "Mankind was my business. The common welfare was my business; charity, mercy, forbearance, and benevolence, were, all, my business. The dealings of my trade were but a drop of water in the comprehensive ocean of my business!"

Excerpt from A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens.