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Dishonest, badly run or just scam?


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#1 affordwealth

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Posted 18 May 2017 - 08:23 PM

Lately I've started thinking a lot about honest programs and their operators, about badly run programs and companies, and deliberate scams. May be because in November of 2016 I've turned 80 and am tempted to look back on my life's pretty diverse activities from several angles.

One of the conclusions I came to - it's pretty easy to define scums (not that easy to recognize in time).

It's much more difficult task to define a thoroughly honest company.

If anybody is willing, I'd be glad to receive some input on this matter. I'm personally guilty of participating in some questionable enterprises, either with temporarily lowering my moral criteria intentionally or just not wanting to think about some holes in the company's integrity.

I'll start with one of the features that I consider important  and that most of the time are just swept under the carpet.

 

If we wouldn't  consider buying the product without expecting to make money from the attached compensation plan, should we accept the marketing as honest and/or fair?
 

Want to add anything?


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#2 aussiegold

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Posted 18 May 2017 - 09:57 PM

I am guessing we have travelled a very similar road my friend :-)

 

For more years than I care to admit, I chased the elusive "passive" income programs. Revshares, HYIPS, etc all amounted to nothing,  financially at least! It was a lesson in ethics and patience tho. I had forgotten the powerful words I heard during my first ever direct selling experience back in the '80s. It was this; "If you were the last person on earth to join this company, would you be happy with your purchase?"

Worth keeping in mind when considering a product-based business!

 

With the business I am now fully focused on, the answer to that question is an emphatic yes!!

 

Disregarding the business package that is so often the first thing presented by promoters, you MUST have a passion for the product, and be a regular consumer, in order to build a long-term successful business. I have tried far too many businesses where the focus was on the marketing plan, and the product was something I had little need for or interest in. I don't need to lose weight, or gain a bigger penis, so that eliminates about 50% of direct selling companies! Digital products are another I steer clear of, as they can be superseded by the next best thing before I have sponsored anybody :-(

 

Whether the presentation you are being pitched is honest or fair requires further investigation on an individual basis. Even my current business did have unscrupulous marketers who presented the business the wrong way, raising expectations of new members by focusing on the marketing rather than the product. That issue has now been eliminated as best it can be by company policy, however not everybody reads all the fine print!

 

So, my summary is, find a product you can be passionate about, then set about sharing the good news. Your business side will take care of itself :-)

 

Cheers from Downunder.


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#3 market101

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Posted 19 May 2017 - 10:09 AM

Yep.  There's lots of scams out there, but there are also lots of honest programs.  I think for those of us who do not want to put in the time , effort and money to start our own program (in other words stick with affiliate programs), we have to decide what we are comfortable with and how much time we want to spend in someone else's program.

 

We are going to win a few and lose a few and in time we will educate ourselves as to what constitutes a scam and how we can best use our time.

 

See my blog on this subject.    http://emotions-are-...ct.blogspot.com


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#4 mrclean0325

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Posted 19 May 2017 - 04:31 PM

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...


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#5 aditya

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Posted 21 May 2017 - 01:54 AM

Are we being Greedy when we join a potential scam?

I can see that even stalwarts are no exception.

Logically - There has to be a sustainable revenue in any business. There must be a worthwhile product or service.

We all know that even 1% daily profit is not possible even in trading however good trader you might be and yet we believe when a program advertises of paying 2% daily (8% to 15% daily earning advertisements are also in plenty on internet)

 

Razzleton, Richmond Berks, Bitluna, NewAgeBank, Hashocean,  were out right scams.

Banners Broker, Traffic Monsoon, Zeek Rewards were classic examples of people losing their money.

Now MPCA is facing problems.

 

Good businesses like GDI , AIOP, Traffic Wave etc are difficult to build.

 

Among easy business I like direct M2M paying matrix sites where admin does not handle any money.


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#6 affordwealth

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Posted 21 May 2017 - 01:02 PM

So, I see that there are people thinking about the matters of morality and legality in our business.

 

I'd like to continue and even post some of my thought right now, but my wife is expecting me to pay respects to the breakfast she made.

So, here is just a bait: have you ever noticed that the qualities and skills required to be a successful salesman and a con man are similar, if not downright identical?

Not mentioning the politicians or cult leaders.

The other day somebody posted a well known  Zig Ziglar's quote "You can get everything in life you want if you will just help enough other people get what they want."

Well, being a "bad nasty boy" I've paraphrased the last part of it this way: "...if you will just help enough other people to want what you want to sell them". 

 

Am I being cynical?


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#7 mrclean0325

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Posted 21 May 2017 - 03:39 PM

You have a great point there.

 

None of the following is meant to sound "negative" though some like to ignore them even though they are serious considerations.

 

If you do some Googling (is that even a word?) you can find that psychopaths make the best salespeople (there are also studies about entrepreneurs too). The crux of it is sales is sales, you can use the power for good or evil. Belief has a lot to do with being a good salesperson. You truly do have to believe in the product to be able to sell it well. You have to believe your product is the best fit for those you sell it to. It also has a lot to do with your "moral compass" as some people can sell things, and make a lot of money, even if the is crap and they know it.

 

I have been the top salesman for a number of different things over the years. Invariably there came a time when I found out something that caused my belief in the product to wane and so did my sales. I had to decide if I could continue knowing the product had a serious flaw though paid well to sell. It was then time for me to move on to something else if I couldn't. You do get a bit "smarter" each time this happens though and know to look a bit deeper. This is why it is better to "fail fast" to increase your knowledge of what doesn't work for you and to determine why you failed.

 

Though no product is "perfect" you still need to be able to sell it in good conscience, at least I do. There also seems to be a strange paradox where people seem to prefer a bad hype ridden product that they should know probably won't work like they are told over something that is more dependable and will probably work. It sometimes seems to be people are working harder to fail than to succeed. Maybe it is in their nature to go with something they know in their heart of hearts won't work just so they can say, "There, I knew it wouldn't work".

 

I mean when the ad says, "A million dollars in 90 days" or  "100% percent return (or anything more than the standard return you get in real life)" people should know this is crap as there is nothing in real offline life getting this kind of return. There is something to be said about the "greed factor" as mentioned also in theses cases.

 

Legality is also an issue people should care more about. Morality and ethics aside, doing something 'dumb" can cost you. I know way too many who have been ruined by some pretty stupid decisions. They didn't know it was illegal, didn't bother to check first, or didn't care at the moment. There have been instances where members of a scam were also charged as being accessories and accomplices. Most don't heed the ever growing number of consumer protection laws until they get that letter from the FTC, or other group, saying you screwed up and owe a huge fine - pay it or else...have a nice day.

 

In the end you have to choose what fits into not only your ethics and morality, but what is legal and fits with your mindset, abilities, and talents.

 

Anyway, that is my story and I am sticking to it... ;)


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#8 rpsmith

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Posted 22 May 2017 - 02:53 AM

I've been involved in a few things that turned out to be scams. These days, it seems harder to detect them. Their sales pitch is polished and designed to make you want to buy. But, I have learned to keep my eyes open and pay very close attention to details. Sometimes, their polished presentation have the key to exposing their scams. Some of the latest scams out there use your emotions to get you to "upgrade" and use the idea of "do it now or lose out forever." It's a false sense of urgency. There are a couple of them out there that use this type of business model. One changes brand names every few months, but uses the same sales pitch in each one. That, by itself is a major red flag as many of these scammers use the same sales pitch.


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#9 Glen Palo

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Posted 24 May 2017 - 04:15 PM

I have been doing this business for 20+ years. I think I am at the point of getting out this niche (make money online).

 

There are simply more scams than honest programs. Most programs do not pass basic Economics 101. They are nothing more than selling a MMO so you can in turn sell the MMO to someone else. It really comes down to most products/services have no value, just the promise of making money.

 

Sure, there are people who have made lots of money. But what they have done cannot not be duplicated by the average person coming off the street. Especially, over night.

 

My two cents. :) 


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#10 affordwealth

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Posted 24 May 2017 - 04:59 PM

I don't remember who said something to the effect that americans never will be for any social changes, because most of poor and lower income people feel like unlucky unsuccessful millionaires.

 

This mentality reflects online even more than other areas, because it looks like there this unfairness could be corrected and they finally could become what they always though they are destined to be - millionaires.

 

And online marketing makes good use of this mind set. You are told to follow your dreams, never quit, set your goals high, and practice "positive thinking" (which essentially means - don't even notice the signs of problems, always expect positive outcome, even where  there are obvious signs of coming troubles.)

Books and courses for salesmen and entrepreneurs are teaching pushing prospects' buttons, create the atmosphere of trust, make the prospects believe that they need and want whatever is sold, that it was the prospect's idea first that will lead to a purchase.  There are many additional tricks - "scarcity", "fear of loss", "desire of having" - and countless more.

Now think for a second, wouldn't all that I've listed work great for a con man too? Or a cult leader? Or a politician?


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#11 mrclean0325

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Posted 24 May 2017 - 06:10 PM

"Now think for a second, wouldn't all that I've listed work great for a con man too? Or a cult leader? Or a politician?"

 

All of these are used by these people and they are very good at it. The techniques are also used by people with "good" intentions too. Don't we all join the "cult of making money" when we start our entrepreneurial endeavors? Don't we all fall for the siren song of "NO work, NO talent, Get what you deserve out of life" when we get into this field?

 

Don't people have "itchy ears" and truly want to believe what is promised since they feel left out and abandoned by the world? Aren't we encouraged to create our own "reality" even if it has nothing to do with the truth of the situation? Aren't we all looking for that "magic" way of making a lot of money without doing anything to get it?

 

We are all guilty of falling for the marketers who know the "hot buttons" to push to get us to buy their products. We are all guilty of trying not to notice the "questionable things" until they bite us.

 

Obviously I tend to think and dig deeper into things. Many think this is "negative thinking". Though a lot of people use "positive thinking" to bypass all of their own shortcomings. "I don't want to learn how to do web stuff, I hate to write, I don't want to deal with people, BUT this says I don't have to do any of that - just copy and paste and I will make money" which if it were truly that easy wouldn't everyone be making money?

 

If you look at most successful ad campaigns, they have a lot in common. In a lot of cases you could use the same wording for just about anything since they never really say what is involved in most cases. They sell the "idea" of making easy money and not the product. They sell the sizzle and don't really have a steak.

 

As mentioned it does seem there is a lot more scams out their than honest programs. How do you know they are scams? From past experience and learning about what is actually legal. Truthfully, many are just very clever ways to change money around without a real product or service involved, which is illegal. As I mentioned in another post, a lot of them have a cult following and though a few are making money most people are losing much more.

 

You could also go into the conspiracy theories about people trying to take over the world through our consumerism, greed, and quest for power in our lives...but I am getting a headache since my cat stole my tin-foil hat... :P


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