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Is this a pyramid?
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# 1
katskorner
Old 06-06-2005, 7:51 PM
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Default Is this a pyramid?

Anyone heard of Forever Living Products that are part of The QLS Group at all? I think it may be a pyramid scheme and I have been invited to take part - they didn't tell me it was pyramid but I have done a bit of digging. If it is then there is no chance I want in.

Has anyone else come across this at all?
3 kids(DS1 6 Nov, DS2 8 Feb, DS3 24 Dec) a hubby and two cats - I love to save every penny I can!
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# 2
pricefighter
Old 06-06-2005, 8:16 PM
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Its not Pyramid Selling this is of course illegal. FLP are a Multli Level Marketing company like Kleeneze or T Plus,and they have lots of distributors working for them recommending there friends and family to start with.They are members of the Direct Selling Association.
PF.
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# 3
Ted_Hutchinson
Old 06-06-2005, 8:42 PM
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There is information about Pyramid Selling on the DTI SITE
FLP have their own website ForEver living Products and there are plenty of distributor sites also.
Forever Living Products
Business Opportunities
While I am sure there are many people who use these products who believe they are beneficial there is a lack of independently produced peer reviewed scientific research which actually substantiates those benefits.
I personally would be unhappy to persuade my friends and relatives to part with money to pay for overpriced and overhyped products which have no scientific validity substantiating the implied benefits. If equivalent cheaper products are readily available from other health type outlets and other distributors are supplying direct to customers at discounted prices online the prospect of maintaining high margin sales over the long term is somewhat dubious.
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# 4
katskorner
Old 06-06-2005, 8:50 PM
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Thanks Ted. This is what I though about the whole thing - dubious. I have my own business that I am trying very hard to establish and it is so easy to be convinced to do things on the side to get some income while I start my business off - but I don't think this one is for me. I will stick with what I know and keep on doing my easy to use web design.
3 kids(DS1 6 Nov, DS2 8 Feb, DS3 24 Dec) a hubby and two cats - I love to save every penny I can!
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# 5
pricefighter
Old 06-06-2005, 9:12 PM
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I am not a representative of this company but to suggest it is dubious is a tad unfair .It is a full member of the Direct Selling Association which is approved by the OFT.It holds Investor in People awards.Its been around a long time,and makes no secret of what its about.Its not into Pyramid selling. Not all MLM companies are dubious!!!
PF.
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# 6
Ted_Hutchinson
Old 06-06-2005, 9:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pricefighter
I am not a representative of this company but to suggest it is dubious is a tad unfair .It is a full member of the Direct Selling Association which is approved by the OFT.It holds Investor in People awards.Its been around a long time,and makes no secret of what its about.Its not into Pyramid selling. Not all MLM companies are dubious!!!
What I said was "the prospect of maintaining high margin sales over the long term is somewhat dubious which is different from saying the company or sales method is dubious. I've since spent a few more minutes looking at the FLP company website and am sure my initial opinion, that it was more hype than substance is correct. Take for instance the pages on nutritional supplements. A reputable company would be able to produce and publish a scientific specification for the amount of active ingredient the tablets contain. FLP supplements don't have any such indication, which is the reason the moneysaving expert type of consumer would soon get tired of paying over the odds for products which don't commit to a clear standardised scientific specification and rely only on hype to sustain the selling impetus.
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# 7
kazzerina
Old 28-06-2005, 10:43 AM
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Further, I was invited by a friend to an FLP "party" last night. She did not tell me that she was selling the products in this way - or that we would have to sit through a 30 minute DVD about how this was not a pyramid scheme. My friend's sponsor told us how she earns £400,00 pa for p/t work and then told us after the presentation that the company's UK turnover was £35million last year - so she reckons she is bringing in a huge share and for the amount of people she must have in her "team" to earn that sort of money, there must be many who are losing money. The products were overpriced and established, reputable retailers such as Holland and Barrett were denigrated. I left as soon as I could. I would refer you to http://www.mlm-thetruth.com/Forever%20Living.htm and also advise you that throughout the evening the focus was on recruitment and NOT selling - there wasn't even a price list available for the products!! Nuff said!
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# 8
BFG
Old 28-06-2005, 5:49 PM
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Most MLM's work on selling vastly over-priced worthless tat - either plastic widgets or vitamins or ebooks/self-improvement stuff'; they all have the common denominator of being cheap to make but can be claimed to be worth a lot more.

Eg: Tub of 50 multivits - mfg costs approx 5p, sold by the pyramids boys for £35 (insert own figure). How can anyone feel comfortable with these rip-off ways of selling; it's not so much the profit margins that are dodgy, but the fact that they claim that the products will 'enrich peoples lives/make them happy/make them rich' etc.

Of course the best (as in scummiest) ones work by making sure they 'provide one to one support' for anyone stupid enough to buy their unproven cr4p ie they lock into and exploit the vulnerable in a systematic and long term way. Eg they call the 'dieters' up and if it's good news from dieter it's "coz you're taking the tablets", if it's bad news it's "coz you're not taking enough tablets". Heads I win, tails you lose.

Of course there are some good MLMs out there, it's just that the names escape me at the moment. No good, can't think of a one. Anyone care to venture the name of a good'un?????????

Last edited by BFG; 28-06-2005 at 5:56 PM.
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# 9
katskorner
Old 28-06-2005, 9:13 PM
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Thanks all. I am steering well clear!
3 kids(DS1 6 Nov, DS2 8 Feb, DS3 24 Dec) a hubby and two cats - I love to save every penny I can!
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# 10
ponsonbysmyth
Old 28-06-2005, 10:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BFG

Of course there are some good MLMs out there, it's just that the names escape me at the moment. No good, can't think of a one. Anyone care to venture the name of a good'un?????????
TELECOM PLUS. Yeah of little faith
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# 11
roaming_rhino
Old 29-06-2005, 10:20 AM
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Kleeneze / forever living products / telecom plus

are all good ethical companies promoting an opportunity to create a substantial residual income

those who choose to work all thier lives on a 45-50 year plan to get to retirement with nothing much at the end of it result in why 95 % of UK working aged people struggle for money in th UK today (39.5 million people)

2 of the above named companies are Publicly listed companies
Pyramid selling/opportiunities/ games or whatever you choose to call them are illegal and are shut down by the DTI every year

Anyone who believes/ thinks the above named companies fall into that bracket will inevitably fall part of the above 95%

One bit of advice I was given 10 years ago

Never take financial advice from employed people. If they know how to be successful , they would not be employed
Help enough people get what they want and you will automatically get what you want
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# 12
Ted_Hutchinson
Old 29-06-2005, 10:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by roaming_rhino
Kleeneze / forever living products / telecom plus
are all good ethical companies promoting an opportunity to create a substantial residual income
Either you haven't read the link provided earlier http://www.mlm-thetruth.com/Forever%20Living.htm or you haven't understood it or you have a very individual understanding of the words "good" and "Ethical" with regards FLP.
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# 13
d.o.o.g
Old 12-09-2005, 1:47 PM
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Default

And where is the Provenance for that website link?

It looks like a cheap, tatty website knocked up in five minutes. And further, its only complaints about FLP are that it hits five flags:

1.Recruitment of participants is unlimited in an endless chain of empowered and motivated recruiters recruiting recruiters.

So they recruit people. How unusual that a company should attempt to grow its business.

2. Advancement in a hierarchy of multiple levels of participants is achieved by recruitment, rather than by appointment.

This is point 1 again worded differently. Bonuses are paid down through all levels of the business both for personal sales and those of your "team". There are NO payments for recruitment.

3. Significant requirements that participants "pay to play" the game via product purchases. Thus, new recruits are the primary customers.

Participants are encouraged to try the products yes. How else can you make personal recommendations?

4. MLM company pays commissions and/or bonuses to at least 5 levels of participants, creating great "leverage" at the top.

I don't even know what this means. Bonuses are paid on the basis of sales. Just like in any marketing environment.

5. Most of the payout goes to the upline, rather than to the person selling products, creating excessive incentive to recruit and inadequate incentive to sell products (except to new recruits) – and an extreme concentration of income at the top of a hierarchy (pyramid) of participants.

There are plenty of sales bonuses and none for recruitment. IF you recruit someone and they sell stuff, they get a bonus and so do you. There is NO bonus for recruitment directly. As for people at the top getting more money, show me a company where that isn't the case.
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# 14
bridiej
Old 12-09-2005, 2:44 PM
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Please could we keep on topic, the OP was asking if a specific company was a pyramid seller, not for an argument on the whys and wherefors of pyramid selling.

Thanks

I just pop in now and then....
transcribing
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# 15
Ted_Hutchinson
Old 12-09-2005, 2:58 PM
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The rewards to participants of the FLP plan are set out here

The arguement here isn't is just whether or not FLP a pyramid scheme but whether or not the rewards to those selling the product and those in the various levels of managing those sellers are disproportionate relative to the intrinsic value of the product (bearing in mind there is virtually no published scientific medical evidence supporting the health giving properties of aloe vera)

It appears that d.o.o.g isn't able to understand the meaning of the five warnings given at my link. I'm sorry that experience will probably his education.
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# 16
BFG
Old 12-09-2005, 5:05 PM
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Aloe vera
Vitamins
Self-improvement ebooks
Plastic tat
Slimming tablets
Cleaning products

What do they all have in common??

Pennies to make, sold for between 400% to 10,000% mark-up by MLM companies.

It's the big margins on these 'un-provable benefits' products (mostly) that let everyone share along the food chain.
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# 17
Ted_Hutchinson
Old 13-09-2005, 11:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by d.o.o.g
I understand perfectly the five points in your link.
But your replies don't give that impression hence my rather patronising reply.

If we take the first point
Quote:
1.Recruitment of participants is unlimited in an endless chain of empowered and motivated recruiters recruiting recruiters.

So they recruit people. How unusual that a company should attempt to grow its business.
The point is about the lack of any control system to limit the number of FLP sellers in any area. Everybody living in any particular area could fill in the form and become a FLP agent then who would be the customers. There are as many greedy fools as gullible fools but their internet website enables even the most stupid gullible fool to sign up as an FLP agent. FLP don't care how many people sign up as they will all be persuaded to buy starter packs and keep a stock of expensive overpriced product in the hope of offloading it their friends and neighbours. If new agents were given sole access to particular areas and there were measures to prevent other FLP agents selling in that particular area then things might be different but you appear not to have understood the significance of the words unlimited and endless chain.
Quote:
But they are just an opinion offered on a website with no pedigree to give it credence.
But as each of the points are straightforward common sense which should be comprenhended by most readers no further pedigree is necessary.

Quote:
2. Advancement in a hierarchy of multiple levels of participants is achieved by recruitment, rather than by appointment.

This is point 1 again worded differently. Bonuses are paid down through all levels of the business both for personal sales and those of your "team". There are NO payments for recruitment.
You appear here to think that the point is suggesting that reward payments are made to those who recruit more agents. That is your misunderstanding and is not stated or implied in the point.
The point is clearly saying that advancement from individual agent to the next level in the heirachy "assistant manager" is through recruitment of new agents and not by "appointment" The reward for obtaining new agents is increased seniority and a percentage of their sales rather than a specific one off payment.
Quote:
3. Significant requirements that participants "pay to play" the game via product purchases. Thus, new recruits are the primary customers.

Participants are encouraged to try the products yes. How else can you make personal recommendations?
If the products were any good they could issue samples to their agents to try rather than continually encourage and expect their agents to buy expensive special offers packs.

I haven't time at the moment to educate you to an understanding of "leverage" or the unfair distribution of profits.

There are clearly some people who don't see when they are being taken for a ride and who also don't mind taking others for a ride. The purpose of this website is moneysaving and being sensible with your money.

Buying crap and flogging crap isn't part of the ethos of the site and I don't think any sensible person should encourage it or attempt to justify it.

Last edited by Ted_Hutchinson; 13-09-2005 at 11:56 AM.
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# 18
phingers
Old 13-09-2005, 12:03 PM
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Forever Living Products. Not a pyramid scheme. End of that discussion.
Worth looking at as a second income? Yes.
Is it hard work? Yes - all MLM businesses take work and effort.
Am I involved in Forever Living? No.
Are the products value for money? Some of them are yes. Check out the concentration of the products versus 'comparable' products sold on the High Street.
Does MLM work? Yes.
For everyone? No.
BUT PLEASE PEOPLE, GET YOUR INFORMATION FROM CREDIBLE SOURCES (DTI), NOT FROM SOME DISILLUSIONED IDIOTS WHO SET UP WEBSITES TO AIR THEIR PERSONAL GRIEVANCES AND WHINE ABOUT MLM/ NETWORKING. SO IT DIDN'T WORK FOR THEM BIG DEAL! WE'VE ALL LEFT JOBS THAT WEREN'T RIGHT FOR US HAVEN'T WE? AT THE END OF THE DAY MLM IS A BUSINESS THAT WON'T SUIT EVERYONE BUT AT LEAST CHECK THESE THINGS OUT FOR YOURSELVES.
GET THE FACTS.

Now can I please have a stepladder so I can get down from this high horse?
"It is far better I say nothing and let people think I am an idiot than to open my mouth and confirm it beyond any doubt."
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# 19
Ted_Hutchinson
Old 13-09-2005, 2:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phingers
Forever Living Products. Not a pyramid scheme. End of that discussion.
That doesn't sound like a rational justification to me.

Have a look at the 5 points raised an provide some facts to support your statement and we might take you seriously.

But I have provided the FLP site details so folks can check for themselves. Please note I have no personal axe to grind as I have never used or bought or worked for FLP.

I am not an idiot either nor am I ethically challenged.

I have tried to find details of the quantity of active ingredient in their overpriced vitamins from the website but haven't been able to. Perhaps you could provide some facts so we can compare value for money with a reputable supplier.


Personal Bonus New Distributor Bonus Group Volume Bonus Leadership Bonus Earned Incentive Bonus Jonathan Bonus Profit Sharing Exotic Trips Special Promotio

Edit: I have now found the product specifications and UK price for FLP supplements. An idea of the rip off pricing FLP are expecting you to obtain from your friends and relatives can be deduced from this example.
FLP Omega 3 (each capsule contains 225 mg of EPA and 150 mg of DHA) 60 Caps - £21.76 with a recommended dose of 2 daily@36p= 72p a day.
This compares with Holland & Barret EPA 180 mg DHA 120 mg price 3 daily@6.8p= 20p
However as all the research I have read suggests a higher dose would be better for you so why not use Omega Juice which provides EPA 900mgDHA 600mg per 5ml dosage. 360ml £4.95=7p daily for twice as much active ingredient.

Last edited by Ted_Hutchinson; 14-09-2005 at 9:52 AM.
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# 20
d.o.o.g
Old 13-09-2005, 3:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ted_Hutchinson
If new agents were given sole access to particular areas and there were measures to prevent other FLP agents selling in that particular area then things might be different but you appear not to have understood the significance of the words unlimited and endless chain.
Okay, I take your point, but apply common sense and you see the market is far from saturated. All the products are sold by personal recommendation. Each new recruit is recruited by a friend or at the least someone they know. What possible reason would there be for someone to join if they had no customers of their own. The business grows on word of mouth. Everyone has their own friends and so forth.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ted_Hutchinson
But as each of the points are straightforward common sense which should be comprenhended by most readers no further pedigree is necessary.
Wrong. The points are onesided, unsubstantiated and written (probably) by someone who has tried and failed at MLM. They also smack of a witchhunt.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ted_Hutchinson
You appear here to think that the point is suggesting that reward payments are made to those who recruit more agents. That is your misunderstanding and is not stated or implied in the point.
The point is clearly saying that advancement from individual agent to the next level in the heirachy "assistant manager" is through recruitment of new agents and not by "appointment" The reward for obtaining new agents is increased seniority and a percentage of their sales rather than a specific one off payment.
Wrong again. Advancement is by selling product. If you choose to increase your quota by having people working for you then you can, but its all about selling. Not recruitment as the silly website suggests.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ted_Hutchinson
If the products were any good they could issue samples to their agents to try rather than continually encourage and expect their agents to buy expensive special offers packs.
The only expectation is that people who RECOMMEND the product USE the product. That seems fair to me.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ted_Hutchinson
I haven't time at the moment to educate you to an understanding of "leverage" or the unfair distribution of profits.

There are clearly some people who don't see when they are being taken for a ride and who also don't mind taking others for a ride. The purpose of this website is moneysaving and being sensible with your money. Buying crap and flogging crap isn't part of the ethos of the site and I don't think any sensible person should encourage it or attempt to justify it.
I'm glad you don't have the time to be honest.

This PART of the website is about SMALL BUSINESSES and CHARITIES. FLP is a way into a SMALL BUSINESS.

Something does not become crap or unethical just because you dislike/distrust it. As for justification, TBH I only hopped on board because of your superior tone. You seemed to be suggesting that because one website says it's so, we should all bow down and obey. Your suggestion that people are not being sensible if they disagree with you is just supercilious nonsense.

Granted the FLP website does seem to have a lack of info on the product contents, but I think that is more to do with the Personal Recommendation angle that they go for than an attempt to hide the truth. As far as I know the products are genuine if pricey.
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