Happy belated birthday!
This is one problem we all face a time or two online or offline. To me, if it isn't something I would buy AND pay the asking price, it makes it pretty hard to sell for me. Even if the compensation plan is very generous, really the only people who will buy it are others who are also interested in the compensation plan and not really the product. If it is something I couldn't sell to grandma without feeling guilty, I pass.
Beside the moral questions is also the legal issues. Is the product something that can really be sold all by itself (retail) or can it only be bought by being part of the compensation plan by becoming a "distributor"? One way is legal and the other is not. Most don't take the time to think about their market either. As the price goes up, your market size goes down. "Wow, a thousand dollar commission for one sale!" then they realize nobody they know (warm market) has the money to buy and have to seek other people (cold marketing and a different approach)...bummer!
A lot has to do with the time you take to understand the legalities of a business and what they can and can't do. People who would never consider breaking the law, robbing a bank, or liquor store for money will cheerfully join something that has an illegal business structure. Just because something has been done for years doesn't mean it is legal and the law isn't closing in on them.
It is a hard thing to find out later you are breaking the law and making a lot of money doing it. It is sometimes easier at that point to put away your moral compass and go with the flow. Thinking how can there be so many illegal business structures out there makes you realize people tend to do what they think is legal and not what the law says. The only way to stop them is for people to become educated and stop buying them. Since I have seen these since I was a child in the back of comic books before the internet was even thought of, that hasn't happened yet.
The Internet itself seems to change how peoples moral compass works too. Things they wouldn't do offline they willingly and thoughtfully do online. You need to understand your own "black and white" reality. People online tend to do things they wouldn't do in "real life" when right in front of a real person.
Trying to do any due diligence anymore is tough when there are literally hundreds of "fake" review affiliate sites trying to get you to join the program. It take quite a bit of digging to find out any real information. Most times you have to actually join the program to really see if it is a good fit for your mindset and morals. This is the only way some programs use to promote their products it seems. Even with other products it is way too easy to buy a fake review for a couple of bucks to put up on a site.
Even with good and honest products, they are sometimes shirking the law. If you read what the FTC requires every business promising something has to provide for anyone asking for it, you will be terribly disappointed with most products. Knowing that only one person made any money and the top end promised income has never been seen by anyone can put a lot of these programs out of business pretty quickly. Just saying, "You might not make any money and it all depends on you and your...blah...blah...blah" is not what the law requires.
Depending on your own list of things you will not do and how strict you are at following it, you may not find many products to promote. It all comes down to what you are truly willing to do to make money. What parts to take a blind eye to and ignore.
I have bought some products that truly promote you to lie, cheat, and steal and a lot of these people are big names in the IM industry. Using multiple accounts when you are not supposed to, "borrowing" stuff from other sites, how to steal free credits from traffic programs, how to use a service contrary to the intended purpose (loopholes), using content from another and not compensating them for it, and the list goes on. Some may see these as not a problem and have done them since there is no real harm done right? It is all digital and can be replaced. Tell that to Getty Images or if you are on the other end of it. It is all fun and games until someone loses an eye, gets a bill for a few hundred thousand, or a subpoena...
There is also a lot to be said about knowing the character of the business owner. Some of them are truly characters. Some are even convicted con men yet people still flock to them and give their money in doves. A lot of them are so good at removing money from your wallet your spidey sense doesn't even go off. They seem to have a cult following and people stay with them even if they don't make a dime and they get richer from the process.
I apologize for the tangent into more philosophical areas, but I do believe it pertains to the crux of the matter. Each person has to decide what "price" they are willing to pay to get the mountain of money they desire. What you are willing to give up, what you are willing to cut corners with, what you can live with, and what you are truly able to do and still get a good nights sleep. We all have to look in the mirror and like who we see...