Amway, Fortune High-Tech, and Pyramid Schemes

So I’m pretty much out of a job now. I mean, I have one, it’s just that said job doesn’t provide many hours during the winter. My best friend is likewise out of a job and surviving on disability checks.

He talks to a friend, and she brings a friend of hers over and they talk about a business opportunity. My mind immediately jumped to multi-level marketing, and the first words out of my mouth were as follows:

“If it’s Amway, I’m not interested.”

The immediate reassurance was that this was not Amway. What it was was Fortune High-Tech Enterprises, based in Lexington, KY and apparently in the business of making people get paid for providing word-of-mouth advertising.

Then she brought out the laptop and powerpoint, and it began to feel like a sales pitch. We were told that people could be sold certain things or shop online through us and we could gain ‘customer points’, and even make money by buying things online. However, that apparently just was a bonus.

Remember how I said I wasn’t interested in Amway? Now how many of you have heard this before…

The real money is to be made by signing other people up and working with them to help sign even more people up. You sign up three people, help each of them sign up three, and all those can get three more…

Anyone see how this is going?

row 0 = 1, you

row 1 = 3, your top recruits

row 2 = 9, row 1’s top recruits

row 3 = 27 row 2’s ” ”

row 4 = 81

row 5 = 243

Kind of like a…what’s that word. Oh, yeah. A pyramid. A pyramid of exponential growth. From that point on, getting ‘customers’ wasn’t mentioned at all — it was all about getting new recruits. Talk to your friends, see if anyone’s hard up for cash. This is associated with Robert Kiyosaki. Donald Trump supports this. Major companies support this. It looks like a pyramid, but it’s not. It looks like multilevel marketing, but no — it’s ‘network marketing’, you focus on three people and help them, you can set people up not just under you but under your recruits, helping them and you.

You know what? It looks like a duck, it walks like a duck, and it damn well quacks like a duck. Or, I should say, it’s got a square base, four triangular faces, and a pointed top — it’s a pyramid scheme. Not as big as the red-white-and-blue one next door with Amway splashed all over it, but a pyramid scheme nonetheless.

Oh, yeah. The other kicker. “Most people in Amway probably go in looking for easy money, don’t try and then say it’s a scam.” And then “you need to put effort forward, you need to think positive and it will work”. I bet if it doesn’t, I’m just a ‘failure’. Just like my grandmother who went into Partylite, Noni and Watkins — all MLM, all failure. Just like all the people who go into Amway and lose money every year despite trying their damndest.

Yet…it’s a bit tempting to be able to get something. Apparently the initial payout is respectable enough, and I could effectively ride some coattails and bolster it slightly. It just feels so…dishonest. I’m not selling a product, I’m selling an opportunity that might pay off for me but likely won’t pay off nearly as much for those under me. If at all. And then, of course, the initial payout crap could itself be a scam and I could end up losing money anyway.

Yet…I want to get on my feet and get some sort of other job going. I want to be able to apply for a damn actual constant job on my own and get over my anxiety about looking like an idiot doing such. I at least want to be able to have some money.

I wish I knew more about the specific company. It would be so much easier to gauge my chances of personal gain and then weigh those against the moral implications.

PS: Amway is a pyramid scheme, if you haven’t gotten it yet.

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One Response to Amway, Fortune High-Tech, and Pyramid Schemes

  1. Art says:

    Every business is a pyramid. No really, use your brain a little, the guy at the top of the company, called the president, makes the most money, and the masses of low level workers make far, far less. The difference with Amway and most MLMs from the company you work for is that you will never reach the top of your company. You don’t have the education, the experience, the intelligence, the connections, or the attitude it takes to be successful. At least in Amway dummies like you can reach the top, that is if they check their attitude first.

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