Watchdog did an undercover report expose on the high pressure sales tactics used by the Personal Travel Group. I first came across this firm at the Business Startup expo earlier this year. They had the most amazing custom built stand with a leg of Parma ham, a wall of plasma televisions with plush images of crystal clear waters, and a bar serving beer.
The stand was staffed by a multitude of happy smiling people, including the chap pictured on the BBC webpage in the link above. They will set you up with a travel website portal, and tracks who you refer and you earn commission of this, and a bonus if you recruit someone else to do the same. The issue being that to join is not cheap, one person we spoke to that was considering it was an intelligent gentleman of a wide business experience, but liked the idea of cheaper holidays. Like many others he had been seduced the allure of the packaging of the product and the need for self indulgence.
Well to many it sounds too good to be true, and lets recap that article about pyramid schemes, for it not to be a pyramid scheme the following must be true:
- It must be possible to earn more than the personal who sponsored you
- There must be a real product of discernible value that you and others would be willing to purchase (given the background knowledge) that product whether part of the network marketing opportunity or not
- The product is what one would consider to be a reasonable price
- There is no disproportionate benefit for someone to sponsor you - that is to say it has to be reasonable within the costs that they have incurred
- The initial investment of getting started is reasonable and the ongoing cost of running your business low
- The product underpins the business opportunity, and the business opportunity is not simply about getting others to join
These were factors considered in the Amway ruling, details of which are here on Wikipedia. You'll be glad to know that MonaVie complies with the Amway Ruling and the spirit of it to. Indeed we are going through the probation period necessary to join the Direct Selling Association (DSA) here in the UK.