Network Marketing: Dream or Scheme? - - Jackson, MS

Network Marketing: Dream or Scheme?

Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) - Some Arbonne consultants are attending a routine presentation in Flowood. Traci McClendon arrives in the white Mercedes she received as a bonus for getting promoted three times. She is now a Regional Vice President with the company.
"At the Regional Vice President level you get a free white Mercedes. The top level is National VP, you get a little bit larger car bonus," she tells us.

Back in 2008 she had grown tired of corporate America. She had worked in the medical field for 20 years. Now she's earning a six-figure income from the network marketing business she launched six years ago, a business she was skeptical of at first. But a friend told her that hard work would result in time freedom.

"Within 18 months I was able to replace my full-time income with my Arbonne business. My mother earned her Mercedes last fall, a year ago. She's in her 60's, already retired," McClendon says.

Arbonne, a member of the Direct Selling Association, markets a line of healthy, chemical-free nutrition and cosmetic products. But if you would rather put your name behind vitamins, skin care, coffee, clothing, essentially anything else, chances are there's a direct selling company to fit your interest.

Dacia Thomas is glad she took the plunge. She has roughly 60 Arbonne customers and ten consultants she has personally enrolled on her team. She profits from the customers and the consultants.

"It's the new, happening career for people," she says. 
Sound too good to be true? Some say it is. Some people get into network marketing thinking they will make lots of money in a short amount of time. And while that's possible, some of those recruits end up dropping out having made no money at all.

In some cases, lawsuits have been filed.

Network marketing weight loss and nutrition company Visalus was sued earlier this year for racketeering and pyramid fraud. The suit claims 'Over 100,000 innocent people paid the scheme up to $999 for the business opportunity... the vast majority lost their money.' But according to a September article by Crain's Detroit Business, the company's co-founders have bought back a majority share, and they're working hard to improve its financials.

"There are legitimate multi-level marketing organizations out there. A lot of pyramid schemes use the same model though," says Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood. 
General Hood says his office doesn't get many complaints from people who have lost money through network marketing fraud. However, he says if you have to buy your way in, or you're pushed to recruit people rather than sell products, you should say no.

"The old saying goes, if it sounds too good to be true it probably is," he says.

Thomas says when people drop out of Arbonne it's not because they've been duped, it's because they haven't given it a chance to work.

"The only people that fail in network marketing are those that quit, and people usually quit sooner than they ought to," she says. "Is this a pyramid? When we look at a pyramid scheme, if we want to know the true definition, look at Corporate America."

Click here to find network marketing companies that are affiliated with the Direct Selling Association. 

Click here for tips on finding a legitimate network marketing company.

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