So, Should I Take This Job With A Pyramid Scam?

This place wants to offer me a job. They do marketing/advertising. In short, they sell coupon books. 17.5% goes to amputee and paraplegic youth basketball teams. Of course, this is part good-company mentality and part sales pitch. They want me to sell coupon books for a few months and make me management. According to the person I was talking to today, they don’t want/need more sales people. The guy wants to go run more offices, but in order to do that, he needs someone to run the office he’s currently running, which is where I’d fit in after their training. They need an older (in the office, 26, which I am, is older), more professional type (yes, that’s me again, peanut-gallery) to oversee operations.

Money is made off commissions and there’s no W2. You get a 1099 form for self-employed earnings. I get an area in which to work and drive out there (the area shifts, of course) and peddle my wares. The shifts are 6 days a week, from 11:30 to roughly 8. I’ve got a political commission to sit on at least one day a month, so I need to find out if they can do flexible schedules. Of course the rub is that if they need me to be a good foot soldier for a few months, jumping out for 5 meetings a month might be a dealbreaker.

As it stands, I’m about 80% to 20% towards NOT taking this job. Any more information I can glean would be grand.

Oh hell no.

Really doesn’t have a good smell to it. I’m too tired to think about exactly why, but just going by gut feeling (and your recognition that this amounts to a scam) I’d say no.


Okay, two more siding with my gut feeling. You know, if I didn’t need a consistent…oh…what’s that word…“pay”, I’d be more on the side of trying it out.

I say it’s a pyramid scheme because there’s an amount made from each sale that goes to the groundling and the person that manages them gets their own cut from every piece that gets sold through their office.

I think the entire “helping the handicapped” is holding too much currency for me.

I would say no, I think that this sounds like a bait and switch type of job offer. In actaulity, you would be out selling door to door taking money from the very groups that these things are supposed to be helping. Have you done sales of this type before? Self employed with no benefits, there is no downside to the guy hiring you unless you are a total loser that ruins his name or poisons the well for the prodfuct he is pushing. He can throw dozens of you out in the city and he has to do nothing except accept the profit. If in a couple of months you are gone bacasue you can’t support yourself he isn’t out anything. If you hang in there and don’t get “promoted” to helping hime run this scam, you are still making him a profit. If you are gung ho enough that he does put you in charge of an area, I would bet you have to kickback a portion to him out of your take.

run, run away quickly

They have insurance that they get from a sister corporation. They apparently get it at a rather low rate.

Least, I think I sat through their job pitch in '02 when I was first starting back to school (Oakland Community College, Orchard Ridge campus) and wanted a flexible job. I was unimpressed with the snide jokes made at the expense of the handicapped by the presenter lady.

Group interviews, I learned the hard way, are a huge red flag of NO GOOD CAN COME OF THIS!

No group interviews. Might be a different place, or they’ve learned.

The big read flag to me is the “we really need management, but you need to prove yourself at sales first” line. Thats a classic scam ploy used to lure people in. Next, you will find out that you need to make a small deposit on the sales materials you receive, but “you will more then pay for that with your first paycheck!”

Total scam, don’t do it.

Unless you can get a written offer for management position and pay, don’t bother.

Even if they want you to learn the business, there is no reason why they can’t do that with your position secured.

Besides, they cheat other people; why wouldn’t they cheat you?

LOUNE, advice is worth what you pay so ours is worth $14.95:

Hell, NO!

About a year ago I had an opportunity to interview for a job as a DBA for another MLM company here in Michigan. In my opinion, MLM companies are set up to screw people. Not the people who buy the products (as end users) necessarily, but the people they recruit to sell the products and sell “the system” to others are often deceived as to how much money they can really make.

I declined the interview. I don’t think I could stand the looks I would get from people if they knew I was working for the Amway of telephone and internet service.

As with all things in a pyramid scheme, things aren’t so bad if you can get up that chain of command. Of course, getting there is the ENTIRE struggle.

Meh. Damn you desperation for even putting the thought in my head!

Yup. I’ve been to these “management” interviews – even one-on-one interviews, but if there were any truth to their ads, they would say, “We need managers! Eventually. But first we need a group of slaves who can fight it out in the sales arena to see who gets to become one!” Sure, you could become a “manager” (really just what amounts to an upline) but you’d better be able to sell your grandmother her own house if you want to get there.

I’d run away, too.

If this coupon book is like the coupon books I’ve been pitched before, it’s a rip-off for the buyer, which is probably why they had to sweeten the deal by adding the whole helping the handicapped angle.

Not much good can come of working for a company selling something that nobody really wants.