Business or Pyramid Scheme - How To Tell the Difference

by Lissie

This is a pubic service announcement! There are far too many people falling for the popular "make money on the Internet" scams. Here's how to tell if something is legit or not

Recently I had some offer me an "exciting opportunity" to make money online, no experience required. Usually I would just smile and walk on by, but the person wanting me to sign up was genuinely convinced. So I spend some time and did some research - the result was Empower Network Scam
Along the way I figured out that Empower Network - was actually an illegal pyramid scheme - also sometimes know as a "money game"

Differences Between a Pyrmaid Scheme and a Genuine Multi-Level Marketing (MLM) Business

Here's the easy way to tell the difference between a legitimate direct sales business (even ones that compensate multiple levels of affiliates ... ie MLM), and a money game or pyramid scheme: 

Can the last person who ever joins the business still have a reasonable expectation of making a profit? 

In other words, is there a real product or service, that is priced at point where genuine customers (who have no interest in trying to make money) will actually make purchases. 

Pyramid Schemes - As Old As This One
Pyramid Schemes - As Old As This One
A pyramid scheme is a non-sustainable business model that involves promising participants payment or services, primarily for enrolling other people into the scheme, rather than supplying any real investment or sale of products or ...

Empower Network is A Scam and A Money Game.

I must admit I have generally filed MLM in the same basket as pyrmaid schemes. So when this one came around - I asked someone I know, who is involved in a genuine MLM business (which sells candles of all things!) 

This is what he said (published with permission) 

"The biggest problem with Empower Network is that the "product" is essentially the business opportunity. Not only that, but the marketing is based on continual "upsell" to those who have already joined. Get someone to sign up for $25 .. but then continually send them emails about all the money they're missing out in, if they don't get the $100 package, or the $300 package, or whatever new and exciting package they decide to add next week. 
I said, I know some people who are making quite a bit of money with this right now. But I can't imagine it will last long. 
And, the main reason I could never do it ... it violates the "mom rule" ... 
ie, would you invite your own mom to join your business (using her own money) ?"
In my case, my mom is a candle of the month club member (for several years now) ... but I wouldn't dream of showing her something like Empower Network. " 

If There is No Obvious Reason For the Business - Its A Scam

The reason I was suspicious of this "business opportunity" is the person selling it couldn't tell me what the business was about, what it was selling, or if she got all the commissions, how the founders were making any money. In fact she believes they aren't doing this to make money at all - they started the Empower Network - to help other people. In the words of a famous beer ad in my country - Yeah Right. 

Unfortunately there is no free money in the world, or on the Internet. Its certainly possible to make money online, I do it myself, but try to avoid the scams along the way people! Be careful out there! 

You Can Really Make Money Online

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Who The Hell Are You Lis ?

I'm Lis Sowerbutts, I've been making a living online since 2007 and have been full time since February 2009. I make money from advertising on my websites, my affiliate commimssions from products and services I promote.  

I am also a non-fiction author. 

Wizzley is just one of the places that I write online. If you want to check out more of what I write check out my Passive Income Online blog and sign up to my newsletter! 

Nice to meet you and hope you get what you want from your online endevours! 

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Updated: 05/09/2012, Lissie
 
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Fiona on 01/23/2013

Hi Lis great information on Empower I was with them for the grand total of three weeks that was enough for me, I was out of pocket, time and patience, never again, and I pride myself on knowing a scam when I see one. Thanks once again Lis

Nad on 12/10/2012

Hi Lis. Your review is very informative and much appreciated. I agree with your statement on scams. Going to check out your Blog. Take care. Thanks

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