Sunday, September 30, 2007

AvBro GuestPost: Multi-Level Marketing is a Grand Hu$tle

[AverageBro isn't the only blog I read, of course. Sometimes I'll come across a post elsewhere that says what I can't say, and far better. So, I now present to you our newest feature: The AverageBro GuestPost.]

Last week, I got a cc:d email from an old acquaintance asking me if I wanted to buy Redskins tickets. This was odd for two reasons. 1) Redskins tickets are expensive and very hard to come by. 2) The dude who sent me the email is not exactly the richest guy I know. Needless to say, I was skeptical, but at the same time, couldn't pass up the possibility of getting some Skins tickets for a crackhead price.

A bit later I get a reply from him, confirming my suspicions. Not only did he not technically have the tickets, he was asking me to go to his "travel agency bidness" website, where there was a link to purchase the tickets through a 3rd party (giving him a commission in the process). Of course, he capped the whole reply by asking me if I was interested in a "business opportunity".

Being the wise black man I am, my Negro Intuition™ told me something was fishy here. Inevitably, if I responded and told him I was interested in this "business opportunity", I'd be invited to a "presentation" at some suburban 3rd rate hotel conference room. There would be lots of talk about "financial freedom", "retiring early", and "giving back to the community". There would be precious little information about the nature of the business, how compensation was paid, or what product was being sold. I'd be asked to pay $499 to find out more information. I'd be told to tell every friend know with $499 about the opportunity as well. I would eventually kiss that $499 goodbye. I know this, because I've been there before.

Mary Kay Cosmetics (makers of those gaudy pink Caddies pictured above)
LCI Communications
Excel Communications
Pre-Paid Legal Services
...and my personal favorite...
Tahitian Noni Juice

That's right, your boy, AvBro, has fallen for the Multi-Level Marketing Grand Hu$tle.

It was long ago, and it's not a chapter of my life I'm happy about revisiting, but let's just say I'm $500 lighter in the wallet, and much wiser as a result. Sometimes these things are innocent: you lose a few hundred dollars, you curse your friend in the process, but your life isn't ruined. Sometimes, however, these things can have dire circumstances: people can be swindled out home equity, have their credit ruined beyond repair, and sometimes lose their homes entirely. It's not a game.

My cousin RichCam wrote a nice drop about this on his blog (Full Of Hot Air) the other day, with some good tips on how to avoid getting hu$tled. Click over there now and let him put you on the game.

Whatever you do, if somebody asks you about a "bidness opportunity", just say no. And run the other way. Quickly.

Why do they keep coming to ME??? [Full of Hot Air Blog]

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