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​MLM Red Flags
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What are some mlm red flags to watch out for? How can you tell if a so called network marketing company is an mlm scam? Are multi level marketing scams common?

Some people feel  that all mlm's are scams. This would be to say Avon, Mary Kay and Arbonne are all not legitimate businesses. There are varied reasons why these people feel this way, but rest assured, they are not; and that's not just my opinion. So how can you know in advance if some "opportunity" is an mlm scam or not?

Thanks to the legitimate business model of online network marketing; many people are earning a good living working from home. Unfortunately there exists a series of affiliate program scams masquerading as genuine mlm opportunities. These scams are usually designed to make their creators wealthy without providing value to their customers or associates.

Email scams and work at home scams don't have any chance of long term success, so any time spent promoting them is largely wasted. I've heard people say in some cases, I didn't pay anything, how can it be a scam? Because you were deceived, that's why. You wasted your time and you gave away your personal information.

So what are the characteristics that reveal an mlm scam attempting to disguise itself as an honest business opportunity? Since the nature and complexity of these scams change as quickly as technology, it's almost impossible to create a comprehensive list, but here are some strong indicators that a program should be avoided or at the very least examined very carefully.

No Member Support or Contact Number

When a website or network marketing company includes a toll-free or regular telephone number, it's a good sign that things are on the up and up. However, the lack of a phone number does not necessarily mean the program needs to be avoided. The Internet lends itself to email contact, and most websites structure their contact support system accordingly. If the website for an online income opportunity does not include an email or a contact form, though, you are probably looking at an mlm scam.

Once you locate the email or contact from, it's a good idea to send a message with a simple question to see how long it takes the company to respond. If you don't receive a response addressing your question (ask a "I want to join" question) within a few days, tread lightly. The company might not be intentionally trying to scam you, but if they can't quickly respond to emails about giving them money or joining, they are doing something wrong and probably won't be responsive for normal support problems. 

No Web Site.

Similarly a contact email without a website shouldn't instill much confidence. A legitimate online income opportunity will have a detailed web site, providing information and showing some time and energy has gone into planning. A simple website is not difficult to create, but leaves a slightly larger trail leading back to the creator than that left by a mass emailing. Again, while the presence of a web site or a website with a lot of content is not a guarantee that a program is trustworthy, the absence of a web site should definitely be viewed with a lot of caution.

No Product or Service.

What is the company selling? If the only product is a chance to make money, you've probably stumbled onto a pyramid scheme. In order for any referral marketing organization to make money, someone on the outside must pay money to the organization. If the only people paying are joining the organization, then no income is being generated.

The members are just passing money around between themselves with everyone hoping to be holding the bag of money when the scam comes to an end. Above and beyond this fundamental flaw in the business model, pyramid schemes are also illegal in the United States. Understand what constitutes a good and bad Multi Level Marketing Plan by doing reseach. I've provided links on the home page

Is It Free To Join?

If you do not have to pay a company for the privilege of trying to sell their product and increase
their profits, you are looking at an affiliate program not an mlm. If you've found an example of multi-level marketing (MLM) not all MLM opportunities are scams, and some people are extremely successful at MLM. Most mlm's are not free to join. Some have promotions when they are free.

Some MLM's say they are free to join when they are not. Some are free to join during a pre-launch and then charge when they launch. Most membership fees for mlm's are non-refundable, so be careful and know the policy. The best mlm's do not have an annual membership fee or it is very minimal.

No Positive Testimonials.

Regardless of the cost to join or buy products, the most important commodity you pay when you join an mlm is your time. Before making that sacrifice, it's always a good idea to spend some time scouring the Internet for people who have some experience with your program. Don't rely on the testimonials a company provides on their website to give you a complete and accurate picture.

Head to your favorite search engine and see what kind of dirt you can dig up. A search with the program name and the word "review", "scam", "negative" or "experience" is a good place to start. Even high caliber programs will likely have some negative reviews from frustrated people when the program wasn't a good fit for them, so don't immediately condemn an opportunity for a little bad press. Unless a program is brand new, though, you should be able to find a few positive experiences and success stories that will help you decide if it's right for you. 

No Track Record.

A good mlm program is going to continue to be a good network markting company for a long while. Resist the temptation to be swayed by marketing hype that urges you to "get in on the ground floor" of a brand new opportunity, especially if it comes from a "leader" who is always throwing something new at you every two or three months. Of course, there's something to be said for being the first to market with a new idea, so you shouldn't be afraid to immediately embrace an mlm company that you feel good about and doesn't set off any of the other red flags described here.

If you've had some trouble trying to decide if a program is legitimate, though, you're better off waiting. In six months dependable opportunities with quality, high-demand products will still be around, and they'll still be plenty of money to be made. You might consider joining if the out of pocket cost is extremely low. Meanwhile, most of the mlm program scams will have collapsed. Relying on someone you trust may be a good gauge in helping you decide. 

Five Major MLM Red Flags
It's best to avoid MLM Companies that use fear of loss (usually through powerlines), emotional appeals (for riches, wealth, freedom), greed (huge return on little time or money), laziness (does all or most of the work) and gullibility (get two people make $10K a month).

Many mlm's today offer some kind of "service" like education, delivery of someone else's products, software, marketing "systems", marketer "tools" and other "virtual" products. Some "service" type companies have lasted a long time. How much value does the service or product offer you? Are there several companies with the same service or product?

Wouldn't it be better to look at the mlm companies that have been successful for 5, 10 and 20 years, like Noni, Xango and MonaVie or others like Arbonne, Mary Kay and Melaleuca? The chances of you doing really well in any of these is not too likely. Whereas their products were initailly "new" now you can get similar products for less at the store.

And you certianly don't want to change from one mlm to another, or join 5 or 6 at the same time thinking "this is the one". Stick with one good one and make it work by doing the work. When you're making money from it and have a good downline, you might open up to another as a safety net (if the one you're in allows it). Don't be an mlm hopper.

Be sure to pick one that is very afforable but not so cheap it would take 5000 people under you to make $500.00 a  month. That probably won't happen. and if you decide to join some "established" mlm, keep it mind much of the big growth periods may be over, so it may be more difficult to build. Whatever you do, I wish you the best of success.

To read about Andrew Sinay of A. Andrews and Sons Marketing Team,
 mlm red flags
Watch this video if you wonder if mlms or network marketing companies are scams. Watch this video if you were told no one makes money in an mlm.
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