Yes, there's a problem out there with MLM programs... not the good ones... the scams.
In fact, Budding NetPreneurs really need a good network marketing opportunity in their portfolio...
Network marketing opportunities can give a NetPreneur significantly more income than most any 2 or 3 tier affiliate program because of the potential for "viral" income growth as a distrbutor base grows.
If you can find a viable opportunity and build a team, you have a good shot at building true residual income.
But there are many pitfalls in finding one that viable opportunity.
First, MLM-like "opportunities" have exploded as the internet has matured. Some are, at best, "Digital Money Games" with products of questionable value where the main attraction is the income, not the product or service being sold.
So how do you identify the best MLM's, those Top Picks?
Here's the litmus test I use: Would a real person buy this product or service at the price being offered to the end user even if they couldn't earn a penney by being associated with it?
It can be a premium product at a premium price, but it needs to be unique and at a reasonable price even if it's a premium product.
Here's the second test I use: Could a distributor make a living just selling the product if they never recruited anyone? Not everyone can sell, but *could* a living be made by simply selling the product? Yes that still applies whether you're MLM sells shampoo, vitamins or financial products. And in the best companies, this is still completely "doable".
I'll give you some examples so you can recognize the bad ones...
I remember one prepaid phone card scam in the late 90's where the cards were being sold for $1 per MINUTE of long distance when the cost for regular long distance was only *10 cents per minute*.
The only people buying into the program were distributors wanting to get rich quick. It's long gone.
Another time, there was a program that offered people "Free Groceries". In reality, they offered $500 of grocery coupons certificates per month for a $50 monthly membership fee.
Then you had to REQUEST the coupons and then REDEEM them at the store.
There really weren't any FREE Groceries.
At best there were discount groceries.
But not discounts you couldn't have found on your own!
And by the way, the coupon books you received for $50 per month could be purchased in bulk for $1 a piece.
Can you say "RIP OFF"?
I guess another rule I've developed is this...
If I can figure out how to run this operation myself without any specialized knowledge or with a product that I could find for myself in 10 minutes using a search engine, it's probably NOT a long term viable opportunity!
For example, free vacation offers imprinted with your company's name, address, and phone number and offering "back end" redemption bonuses can run from 10 cents to several dollars a piece depending on where you order them.
Some so-called "MLM's" make a business of packaging inexpensive premiums like this (e.g the grocery coupon deal I mentioned already), charging a monthly fee (where all the money really comes from - not from legitimate product sales) and then getting you to think there's something "magical" about what they're doing.
Sadly, it's all smoke and mirrors.
In the digital world, the opportunity for scams like these is multiplied.
Anyone can have a slick looking website these days.
Hey, there are even digital chain letters now offering "speical reports".
It's just like the old days... except in HTML.
Having said this, there ARE viable MLM opportunities "out there".
Just make sure that if you purchased the product yourself but never earned a dime, you would not feel cheated!
What's the best way to promote these MLM products on the web?
Sometimes a pay per click advertising campaign works well.
Sometimes building traffic to a website that highlights your products is the way to go.
At other times though, there's simply too much competition from your fellow distributors. That's great for the pay per click search engines... some products wind up costing $5 per click for a bottle of vitamins that may only pay a $10 quick start bonus!
(Do the math, unless you have a huge conversion ratio, you're losing money unless your customer stays on autoship FOREVER!)
The solution? Merging your product sales with a targeted information product that sells in it's own right.
That's a topic for another story, but to see what I mean for now, visit:
(c) Chuck Huckaby
Chuck Huckaby publishes http://1stHowToWorkAtHome.com and the Work At Home Secrets Ezine. They're the Budding NetPreneur's "Escape The Rat Race Portal". With so much content, it's like getting a no cost ebook on every page!