The legal distinction between MLMs and traditional pyramid schemes has been characterized by many authorities as a legal fiction. Jurisdictions that retain a legal distinction between MLM pyramid businesses versus illegal pyramid schemes retain said distinction on two key distinguishing features: 1) that MLMs always encompass the sale of actual products/services, while traditional illegal pyramid schemes ordinarily do not (though sometimes they do), and 2) that climbing an MLM pyramid is overwhelmingly statistically improbable (especially to its highest participant levels) but not theoretically impossible, whereas climbing a traditional illegal pyramid scheme is both statistically and theoretically impossible.
Many companies will tell you to make a list of 100 people you know when you’re getting started. There’s nothing wrong with that, but most successful MLM marketers have very few clients that are from that original list. In most cases, the family and friends only come on when they see your success. You need to treat MLM just like any other business in the sense that you only focus on the people who are interested in what you’re offering. You need to have a target market.
There are people out in the world that have never really succeeded at much of anything. They have built a "Doubt Wall" around them, and it is tough to penetrate. But these two words can. "Yes you can" are three words that are music to people's ears. When they realize that someone is telling them they can do it, and will help them, it turns on a Fire that will burn a hole in that Wall of Doubt, and then, they can walk through to freedom.
The Federal Trade Commission issued a decision, In re Amway Corp., in 1979 in which it indicated that multi-level marketing was not illegal per se in the United States. However, Amway was found guilty of price fixing (by effectively requiring "independent" distributors to sell at the same fixed price) and making exaggerated income claims. The FTC advises that multi-level marketing organizations with greater incentives for recruitment than product sales are to be viewed skeptically. The FTC also warns that the practice of getting commissions from recruiting new members is outlawed in most states as "pyramiding".
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