A couple of times over the last few months readers have emailed me asking about “It Works.” At first, I couldn’t even find what they were talking about. That’s a fundamental problem when you name your company a generic phrase. Fortunately (or unfortunately), it seems like they are easy to find nowadays.
I’m not going to beat around the bush, let’s dig in…
The Products of “It Works”
It Works has a few products, but their flagship product is a body wrap called the Ultimate Body Applicator. They often call it “That Crazy Wrap Thing.”
Is it any good? Well consumer advocate website Truth in Advertising (TINA.org) does the heavy lifting on It Works Ultimate Body Applicators. Specifically they cite:
- Hedge around claims – TINA found that claims on distributors sites danced around what they can say.
- Not Helpful for Cellulite – TINA found a document from Dr. Joel Schlessinger that stated, “There’s absolutely no data to say [wraps] help with cellulite or saggy skin.”
- Not Helpful for Toxins or Purification – TINA found a document from dermatologist Elizabeth Tanzi that stated, “There’s never been any real scientific evidence that body wraps pull out toxins or purify your body in any way.”
- Numerous Complaints – Specifically 362 complaints on the Better Business Bureau, including continued billing after cancellation and undisclosed $50 cancellation fees. It also notes how the Florida Attorney General has received several complaints including the company not honoring refunds.
That’s quite a bit to chew.
I did a little research on my own and I found this Ripoff Report on the company. As with all MLM companies, brainwashed distributors jumped to defend the company because any MLM or pyramid scheme falls apart if new people can’t be recruited.
And while “It Works” may not claim that the wraps will help you lose weight, I noticed a lot of distributors misinformed about it. Let’s expose that lie before it spreads. The FTC has a document that covers body wraps here and they reiterate it here.
Body wraps will not help you lose weight!
I’d like to think that with the money you’d save from the wraps ($700-1200 a year) you’d be able to do a lot to help lose weight. You could join a gym, buy some fitness equipment, invest in healthier foods… all sorts of things.
I just can’t buy into the idea that a temporary cosmetic enhancement without health benefits (even if it did work, which seems be very disputed) is worth investing in, when you can make choices for permanent cosmetic enhancement with health benefits (i.e. losing weight).
If you are looking for cosmetic improvement why not invest in a product that you can use over and over again like some SPANX? Yes, it’s not the same, but at least there aren’t doctors saying it doesn’t work. You don’t have to worry about throwing your money away on snake oil.
Let’s say that for some ridiculous reason, I ignore all the above red flags and decide, “Hey I want to try to sell this Crazy Wrap Thing.” Let’s look at the business of “It Works.”
The Business of “It Works”
Let’s pretend that you want to make money by “It Works” distributor. If that’s the case, you can either try to sell the product to friends, family, strangers at a mark-up, or you can recruit people in your downline/pyramid/team.
For the purposes of this presentation, it will be helpful to to have the It Works Compensation plan open to refer to.
Trying to sell the product at retail
If you are looking to just sell product friends and family, you make a sale which the It Works refers to as a Retail Customer… as illustrated on page 1.
You might be able to surprise people by telling them that you are having an event for a secret product, but people generally want to know what they are getting into. MLMs have tried to use that for decades and the public is wise to it.
So let’s say you are trying to be open and honest and say that you want to introduce them to “It Works” body wraps. Even if they show-up and love the product, they probably aren’t likely to be long-term repeat customers.
If you look at It Works’ Product page, a set of four Ultimate Body Applicators has a retail price of $99, but that’s hidden by a “Loyal Customer” price of $59 in big letters. The Loyal Customer has a minimum 3 month autoship requirement. So you could buy 4 applicators for $99 or $106 with shipping or spend $177 for 12 applicators with free shipping. Very few people are going to want to pay $26.50 vs. $14.75 per applicator.
However, what really makes the $99 a ridiculous farce is Ebay. This image is a little small, so you want to open to click it to make it larger:
This person on Ebay has sold over 500 Body Wraps Ultimate Applicators which includes an extra applicator (5 instead of 4) for a price that is trending at ~$45 thanks to Ebay’s helpful explanation. That’s $9 per application with free shipping.
Here’s where things get a little confusing. It seems like that product image is different and while the products seem to have the same names, it may be different than the one I was comparing it to on the “It Works” website. So I did another search and found this eBay listing. This person has sold over 2600 products and you can pay $69 or make an offer of even less money. That’s still $17.25 an applicator with no commitment.
There are even a lot of completed sales for $54-55.
No intelligent person is going to pay $106 when they can pay $69 or $55.
All this means is that you aren’t going to be able to make much money on such sales. You’ll have to price at around $55 to be competitive. That leaves you with very little profit. If you paid $99 for the business kit, you’ll be out $44 unless you can sell the half ounce sample gel and half fab wrap. Good luck with making your $44 back on that.
Many people don’t know this retail customer trap and get sucked into trying to sell the product. I’m unfortunate enough to have spent the time researching dozens of MLMs and know to look for this common red flag. In fact, there’s a great video about how hard it is sell products. It covers a lot more, so I will share it later.
Trying to sell the product at the Loyal Customer price
The Loyal Customer is again a pretty tough sell, because the price is $59 per package and there’s a requirement to buy three. No one wants to pay more money and commit to something when they don’t have to.
It makes very little sense to be a Loyal Customer, even with the discounted price.
Trying to recruit people
It is no accident that the bulk of the It Works Compensation plan is about recruiting people.
There are 16 pages on how you make income from recruiting and only a couple of paragraphs on making money selling the product. That’s important later on.
Even worse 10 pages are devoted to how it works when you are at the Diamond level. Since 99.5% of MLM distributors lose money, this is like trying to sell a fry cook at McDonalds on the separate compensation levels of CEOs in Fortune 500 companies. It simply doesn’t make any sense. It may be possible for the fry cook to become a CEO someday, but it certainly isn’t useful information for him now.
If you review the “It Works” Income Disclosure Statement, there are only 2.4% of people who rank Diamond or above.
I do have to give “It Works” credit for the disclosure of, “Expenses for Distributors can be several hundred or thousands of dollars annually.” This is how the 75% of people in the distributor ranks making an income of $752 a year on average can lose money. Of course, I have to take that credit away, because the company hasn’t put up the 2014 numbers and it is past the midpoint of 2015. That’s simply irresponsible… I’m not even that Lazy.
In any case, It seems obvious to me that the focus of the compensation plan is on a very small percentage of people. I believe that is an attempt to get people thinking about how much money they can make if they get there. That’s deceptive in my opinion because, mathematically, the Diamond level is always going to be around the same 2.4%. For the next person to move up, they’ll have to have recruited more people below which keeps the proportions in check.
Is “It Works” a Pyramid Scheme?
Whenever anyone asks me if an MLM company is a pyramid scheme, I defer to the the FTC guidelines on MLMs/pyramid schemes. Here are a few quotes:
“Not all multilevel marketing plans are legitimate. If the money you make is based on your sales to the public, it may be a legitimate multilevel marketing plan. If the money you make is based on the number of people you recruit and your sales to them, it’s not. It’s a pyramid scheme. Pyramid schemes are illegal, and the vast majority of participants lose money… Avoid any plan where the reward for recruiting new distributors is more than it is for selling products to the public. That’s a time-tested and traditional tip-off to a pyramid scheme… One sign of a pyramid scheme is if distributors sell more product to other distributors than to the public — or if they make more money from recruiting than they do from selling.”
It seems very clear to me in many places that making a majority of your money from your downline/recruiting vs. selling to the public is a pyramid scheme. As I explained before, it appears to be very difficult to make money selling to the public.
That leads me to that video I mentioned above when I said it was hard to sell the products. The video is actually an informative video for spotting pyramid schemes. Here it is:
This is an important video because it covers many of the aspects of pyramid schemes. When I review the “It Works” compensation plan and other material that I see, it seems to match up very closely with the video.
Lastly there is this Steps to Success PDF that shows a recruiting plan along with a deceptive “GUARANTEE” that makes it seems like you’ll make the money. You only make the money if you recruit other people. It’s like being “guaranteed” income if you show up and work at McDonalds… there’s no real reason to write that guarantee in there unless they are trying to deceive you into thinking that the steps themselves are guaranteed. Even worse, if you look at the small print, you have to recruit people within a certain timeline. Notice that there’s no mention of retailing the product by selling it to the public.
Given this marketing, the video above and the FTC guidelines, it is my opinion that “It Works” is indeed a pyramid scheme that should be avoided by consumers and entrepreneur.
Miscellaneous Stuff about “It Works”
Sometimes some parts of MLM companies just don’t fit into nice categories. I like to use this section as a way to just throw my other thoughts out there.
The Name “It Works”
What’s up with the name? It doesn’t describe the product, like say, “SuperWraps” would. It certainly doesn’t describe anything relating to an MLM compensation plan which features 99.5% failure rates.
What’s worse about the name: The lady doth protest too much, methinks. You try too hard to sell it with the name choice, that it instantly leads people to the conclusion that it doesn’t work. You don’t see a car manufacturing claiming, “It works!”
Would you seriously buy a cell phone from a company that seems shocked that its product “works?”
Now if you can imagine my voice like this, I’ll say, “What’s your middle name? ‘Doesn’t?’ It is! You can’t even be grammatical.” (Yes, comedy isn’t exactly my thing.)
Secondly, what are you talking about with “That Crazy Wrap Thing?” It reminds of the show that ViSalus put on called The Pyramid Thing. It was little surprise that just a little investigative work on my part showed that Visalus was an illegal pyramid scheme by the FTC’s guidelines.
I think there are serious questions surrounding the products, customer support, and legality of the business model. A single red flag would be enough to scare me away. When you combine them all, I can’t see anything positive here.
“It Works” distributors may say that I’m being negative, but helping consumers should always be viewed as a positive thing. If they take the time to read my site, I’m very much in favor of entrepreneurism. I’m just not in favor of wolves’ in sheep’s clothing preying on people.
Finally, I’d like to make a special pleading for the FTC (SEC or other government agency) to look into “It Works” and all MLMs to ensure all its practices are legal. In my opinion, they should have a statement page stating how they comply with with this FTC guidance. In the past, I’ve found that the FTC simply works too slow in acting on enforcing their guidance. For example, it took a decade and millions of lost dollars for the FTC to catch Fortune High-Tech’s MLM/pyramid scheme. More recently it took nearly a decade for the FTC to halt Vemma for being a pyramid scheme which claimed to be a legal MLM. Finally, it took decades for the FTC to help Herbalife victims.
In each case, consumers found out years later that they were scammed out of hundreds millions of dollars (in aggregate). I agree with Former FTC Economist Peter Vander Nat, Ph.D. in calling for a federal pyramid scheme rule as the status quo is not effective in eliminating pyramid schemes. The damage is already done in my opinion.
The statements in this article and ensuing comments are my opinion and my opinion only. I ask anyone who finds any false statements to contact me or leave a comment below. As you can tell, I’m usually quite quick to respond.
Shannon said, “This is bullshit lol whatever I make a ton of money with it works haha I laugh at u stupid people!”
Can you elaborate on what is “bullshit”? Is the supposed ton of money you make at the peril of many others losing money? Are you okay with losing a part of your soul in the pursuit of financial gain?
If you are doing so well, why are you looking into reviews that call your product and company bad? Should you be wasting your time reading these reviews, when you could be out making money?
How come I’ve yet to see One IT WORKS sales person show a pay stub ???
Rachelle Laughlin says
Hard to take this post even remotely serious when it compares our product to China knock off product sold on Ebay.
Itworks Distributors are NOT allowed to sell on Amazon, Ebay, etc. So, if you are seeing product one there it is 1) Illegally posted per contract 2) Probably expired product as many have a shelf life 3) A knock off and who knows what you are putting into/on your body.
[Editor’s Response: I have no reason to think it is China knock off and I’m not sure you have proof of it. I think we should be able to agree that the feedback is good and a number of products were sold. If it was a knock-off, people wouldn’t be happy and the feedback would terrible. Ebay also does a tremendous job with preventing knock-offs.
It’s quite possible that it was a former distributor and thus it wouldn’t be against a contract. We can also conclude from the feedback that they weren’t selling expired product.]
Additionally, you claim you don’t see “any reason” for the loyalty program. Maybe you don’t but it works the same way as Costo.
You pay a membership fee to get the discounts, which is how they can afford to give the discounts in the first place. Same with the Loyalty program, and customers don’t HAVE to have an auto shipment. Unlike Costco and other discount members, only stores we have 3 purchase options and two ways to become a member whereas places like Costco have 1 – pay in advance.
See, you have the option of paying the $50 up front and lock yourself in for lifetime discounts without an auto shipment.
Chose any product (you can change them each month if you would like) for 3 months and have the $50 waived.
[Editor’s Response: My understanding from this website is very different from what you described. It seems to me $50 fee comes if you cancel your Loyal Customer without buying 3 products. At that point, I don’t think you’d get the lifetime discounts. If I’m reading that website wrong, let me know. I’m in a rush as I’m heading out to dinner.]
Why do people choose to become a member?-Gives you perk points for free product, free shipping, whole sale prices, product credits for even more free stuff, the ability to control shipping dates, product changes, cancellations at their fingertips with their own log in information.
As for people not making money, that is true. There are people who sign up and think that if they post a few things on their facebook or tell one or two people about it that their business will skyrocket and they will retire and this and that and it is BULLSHIT. Yes, bullshit. It is bullshit that people who are lazy, excuses driven, and unmotivated think that running a business is for them. Why? – You wouldn’t open a brick and mortar business and do the above and have any success so why on earth do people think that because THEY FAILED everyone else must have or will too? No. My team alone earned 4 MILLION in bonuses this MONTH. My company is recognized by Forbes, in several success magazines for our accomplishments and our record of growth speaks for itself.
[Editor’s Response: Your team probably would have saved themselves 20 million or more by avoiding it completely. Where does Forbes recognize “It Works?” Success Magazine makes money by promoting MLM companies. It is essentially an infomercial.]
Unsure why facebook has this old, uneducated post as a “suggestion” for me to read in the first place, such ignorance.
Megan Hayden says
I have to say, as an It Works Distributor, there are some very valid points in this article, particularly about certain Distributors being misinformed about what our products do, and perhaps most disappointing, being misinformed about certain programs and benefits for both Loyal Customers and Distributors. I see it all the time. However, if you’re going to write an article regarding a company, whether it’s an MLM or other business type, you should probably reach out to the company itself. There are PR people from It Works that could verify a lot of the information in here. You could also maybe reach out to actual It Works reps for their feedback on the company.
There are a ton of Distributors and Loyal Customers that have both good AND bad experiences with the company. Such is true with most businesses. That’s where the terms Disgruntled Employee and Unsatisfied Customer come from, after all. Personally, I’ve been really happy with my experience as an It Works Distributor. And no, I’m not making a ton of money doing this, and I’m OK with that, but I certainly know people that do and there is no reason to put a bad taste in the mouth of a businesses potential customers without fully understanding what it is a company offers.
I’d be happy to clarify anything you might have questions about, by the way =)
Lazy Man says
Limited Mobile-response… By the time I had been asked by a reader about It Works, I had spent many years researching MLM. My instincts had never proven been shown to be wrong and companies typically refuse to work with a blogger using the Lazy Man pseudonym. It isn’t? like I am with the Washington Post. However as a distributor with the company who has better contact information with those PR people than I do, please have them contact me. I make contacting me very, very easy. And of course they can leave comments here just like you did.
I have found that you can’t trust the opinion of distributors of an MLM company. They are biased due to the recruitment incentive. As I have written before, MLM is not a business – http://www.lazymanandmoney.com/why-mlm-is-not-a-business/. Since 99% of MLM victims lose money there are a lot more unsatisfied people with the model.
Correct Lazyman. There was a great article that Business Insider wrote. They met personally with the CEO. They tried countless times to get in contact with the company’s “Doctor” regarding the medical claims. When a company puts right in their policy that “distributors”, even those that opened their own LLC, can’t share their income statements, that makes me skeptical enough. I can understand the clause of it were a small to mid size consulting firm. But an MLM? Sounds too fishy to me. Again people, go open up a company providing a real service that doesn’t hurt innocent people. In today’s world, it’s entirely possible to run a legit business, producing a product or service that actually helps people, and doesn’t rely on skeptical claims or limited direct sales. This model is Tupperware on steroids. The only difference is, Tupperware has a pretty low risk of actually harming people.
Megan Hayden said: “I have to say, as an It Works Distributor, there are some very valid points in this article, particularly about certain Distributors being misinformed about what our products do…”
I agree strongly about the validity of the article and that the distributors are misinformed but disagree vehemently about the products doing anything. What exactly is it that you think they do? The answer seems to be nothing, aside from serving as costly bait for a pernicious pyramid scheme.
Megan Hayden said: “…if you’re going to write an article regarding a company, whether it’s an MLM or other business type, you should probably reach out to the company itself.”
Why? They are chronic BS artists. They surely know this site exists, and if they took issue with any of the details, they could have dropped by and provided their two cents. But that’s not how MLMs roll. Instead they send in trolls who spread disinformation and engage in ad hominem attacks, and when that inevitably fails, they dispatch the lawyers as a means of intimidation. What they never do is identify any significant factual errors in articles like these, or provide any sound reliable information to augment the details. What you are proposing would be an exercise in futility.
Megan Hayden said: “There are a ton of Distributors and Loyal Customers that have both good AND bad experiences with the company. Such is true with most businesses.”
First, not to be pedantic but “Distributors” and “Loyal Customers” are not proper names and should not be capitalized. You made the same mistake with “Disgruntled Employee” and “Unsatisfied Customer”. If you’re going to communicate publicly on the company’s behalf, the onus is on you to out your best foot forward.
Second, define “a ton”. The truth is, you have no reliable information about the rates of customer/distributor satisfaction. You really should avoid making such pronouncements when you are operating entirely in the dark.
Lastly, you seem to be drawing a false equivalency by implying that the level of dissatisfaction with MLMs like It Works is comparable to that with most U.S. non-MLM companies. That’s simply not the case. For example, MLMs lose roughly half of their distributors, if not more, every year – clear evidence that these companies are horribly sub-par when it comes to retention — and all but a tiny percentage earn nothing (or lose money). The same can’t be said of most non-MLM companies.
Megan Hayden said: “Personally, I’ve been really happy with my experience as an It Works Distributor. And no, I’m not making a ton of money doing this, and I’m OK with that…”
Well it’s virtually impossible to be dissatisfied when you set the bar so absurdly low. If someone has the goal of not earning any money, or are satisfied wasting money on products that do nothing, then of course they can’t be disappointed. If It Works based their sales pitches on real-world experiences like yours – i.e., “if you are satisfied making nothing than you’ll love It Works” it would be a lot more honest than the deceptive way they operate in practice (veiled promises of riches), with BS like this (tip of the iceberg BTW)…
Megan Hayden said: “…but I certainly know people that do and there is no reason to put a bad taste in the mouth of a businesses (sic) potential customers without fully understanding what it is a company offers.”
The company offers a pyramid scheme and stupidly overpriced subpar products that don’t do anything. What else is there to know? The company is the “bad taste”; warning people to avoid it is the remedy –and a moral obligation.
Megan Hayden said: “I’d be happy to clarify anything you might have questions about, by the way =).”
No offense, but what on earth could you possibly clarify? You’re a bottom-level distributor, not an insider, and as such you do not have access to any unique information that can’t be found by a simple Google search. For instance, a key unanswered question is what percentage of the company’s revenue is derived from sales to distributors versus sales to consumers outside the pyramid scheme — but you can’t answer that (and the company won’t because the answer would be damning). I’d also be curious to know how much of the company’s revenue/profit goes towards commission payouts to the pyramid scheme participants; but again, I’m quite certain that you wouldn’t have a clue. Similarly, I’d like to hear about the number of kingpin distributors that were given sweetheart deal upfront payments and break insertions, but once again, I’m certain that you wouldn’t have the foggiest notion.
I think it’s funny how it’s all these people who “joined the cult” I mean the company are mad about the truth!
I’ve now seen a few distributors in my personal network leave the company. Even so called “high earning distributors”. They went back to working as waitresses. Which is a very honorable profession in comparison to an MLM. At least they have a career path being a manager at some point in the future. With that said, it’s said that there are still so many in the cult. I got to thinking the other day, what’s the point of having the MLM structure if your product is just that good? The products they offer seem to only be a front for their main money maker: the distributor fees. I could understand the MLM if this were a B2B. But B2C and MLM just don’t mix these days. With so many different types of distribution channels to take advantage of, it would seem totally illogical to sell products directly to consumers. Why not try other indirect channels that trickle down via retailers? It would seem that the avoidance of these channel structures for ItWorks is indication of fraud. No different than going to a bar with no patrons yet hearing some loud rambling in the back room and the smell of scotch and cigars creeping through to the barroom. I just find it interesting how so many individuals get suckered into this. And if a company were sincere about a real MLM that isn’t a front to a more devious revenue stream, why wouldn’t they ensure their “distributors” go through intense training? No company in the world wants to have any employee working for them that isn’t required to at least go through some form of training first. And also, when did these individuals become expert salespeople? Even retailers train their worst salespeople, make them go to monthly meetings and seminars and if they fail to show up often get a commission cut or hours cut. None of these policies are present in ItWorks.
Lazy Man says
As Harpers magazine published, “They couldn’t have it all because Mary Kay’s business model (like that of any multilevel-marketing enterprise) is designed primarily to profit from, rather than enrich, its workforce.”
MLMs can get people to overpay for products because entrepreneurs can justify it as a business expense. Unfortunately the victims don’t realize that MLM is not a business.
Ashley A Brooks says
A diamond rank signed me up someone I’ve known for years. She lied to me and told me my customers account would cancel after 3 months and that was a lie. All so they can get sales. There’s not legit customer contact information to where you could get a refund. I signed up 20 in one month and none of them except maybe 3 where happy customers. Not to mention of of those 20 people I only made $140 a month sometimes less for the 3 months the customers signed up and they want you to buy $80 of product a month so what that gives me $40? Not to mention you have to sign up so many distributors if you want a certain rank and if you and your team don’t get 2000 group volume you don’t get that money.
Shannon said: “This is bullshit lol whatever I make a ton of money with it works haha I laugh at u stupid people!”
I love these reflexive word-salad comments from the distributors. It’s like someone swallowed a handful of scrabble tiles and then burped them out on the page. It’s ironic that these intellectual featherweights who don’t even know the basics of punctuation are the first to call other people idiots. I’d ask this semi-literate dolt to elaborate on what exactly they thought was BS, but they don’t deserve a second bite at the apple.
Hey Shannon – stupid is as stupid does and you are most likely doing stupid stuff – F. Gump
OK then Shannon.
Prove it. Please share your 1099 with your address and your last name and SSN and your P&L statement showing your profits and losses the last two years.
Also show us a list of how many associates you brought into the business in the two years, how many who are still in it, what levels they are at. Then (if you have been in it longer than 2 years) tell us how many associates you had before the two years.
Lazy Man says
I like the idea, but please use a business tax ID number. I don’t want people posting SSNs for security/fraud reasons.
Stay woke says
You know she’s not gonna do that. For me she doesn’t need to even go that far just show some of those emails with what it works deposits , I see girls share them on Facebook sometimes but they always block out the date and amount. Which is weird because they like to say what they are gonna make in exact amounts (I’m on my way to a 50k ruby bonus etc ) but then don’t show the exact amount of money why hide the amount if it’s works pays so great ….its because they don’t want to see that $20 deposit from it works even though they just paid $50 to keep their account with the company open
I’ve been asking the company and haven’t had a straight answer yet. Denials on most things I questioned but no answers
Shannon said, “This is bullshit lol whatever I make a ton of money with it works haha I laugh at u stupid people!”
As much as I hate feeding the troll….. it’s definitely one of those standard answers you get from IW sellers who have any sort of opposition about their company. And I’ve seen enough lies, to not believe a word they tell me. I also remind myself of the rule, believe nothing I hear and only half of what I see. Remarks like this don’t help their side at all. One of the latest things I’ve heard is, “haters gonna hate.” That was rich. Oh, not their bank accounts….that saying was rich……. Anyways! They are promised that if they work hard enough they will be millionaires like the founder(s), who btw has recently just bought himself an island… They imagine themselves as get-rich-quick-entrepreneurs selling products that weren’t their brainchild, they didn’t patent, nor did they work it from the ground up. They think they’re just going to step into this middle of the MLM and become millionaires. Very few actually understand what they are selling, direct questions regarding how, what and why about each product and they have very vague, half answers. But hey, they just have to work harder, believe harder, and pester the sh*t out of everyone they know. That’s it! Easy peasy!
I wish it were true, it would be amazing if my family member made great money from it. If I have to eat my words in a couple more years I will do it happily! But she will be the first I’ve ever seen in the number of people I’ve seen doing this. She’s already been doing it for over a year, so when is it that they’re supposed to be making amazing money?
Amazing money is all a matter of perspective. I usually give this homeless guy a couple $1s or sometimes a $5. Yesterday was hot and he came up to me and I reached in my pocket and all I had was a $10, so I gave it to him. His response was, “this is AMAZING, I can get lunch and dinner with this”. These ItWorks reps are so used to saying their products give AMAZING results in 45 minutes, that they use that word often. Question is whether “amazing money” is more than “a ton of money” and whether either is more than $10-$20.
A loyal customer commits to buying 1 of ANY product a month for 3 consecutive months to get Loyal Customer pricing for life. After the 3rd month they can cancel without any fee. If they commit to the loyal customer program and they cancel before the three months they have to be a $50 cancellation fee. This is no different than paying at Costco or Sam’s for their wholesale pricing. Except you have to pay every year there. You can make money selling to the public, however, It Works takes pride in the fact that they are distributors do not have to buy and stock product.
Lazy Man says
The problem with an MLM comparison to Costco or Sam’s is that those are discount warehouse prices. In MLM, the discount buyers can’t be distributors per this FTC guidance. Also, in MLM, the discount buyers aren’t really buying at a discount. For example, some MLM companies sell essential oils at a 10x mark-up. Discount buyers can save 25%, which may look like a deal, but they are still overpaying by 7.5X. So instead of paying $10 for an essential oil, they are paying $75.
There’s no pride to take in not having distributors buy and stock product. It means that the company should be putting the product at Amazon and giving sales people a simply 5-7% sales commission per Amazon’s Associates program.
Jessica said: “A loyal customer commits to buying 1 of ANY product a month for 3 consecutive months to get Loyal Customer pricing for life. After the 3rd month they can cancel without any fee. If they commit to the loyal customer program and they cancel before the three months they have to be a $50 cancellation fee. This is no different than paying at Costco or Sam’s for their wholesale pricing. Except you have to pay every year there. “
Based on what you described, Costco/Sam’s and your crapola pyramid scheme are nothing alike. Costco/Sam’s customers do not have to commit to buying anything and they don’t have to pay a cancellation fee ever. Not to mention that Costco/Sam’s customers gain access to a retail warehouse full of deeply discounted products that they would normally buy elsewhere at a higher price. They are not paying a membership fee to gain access to a laughably thin line of worthless horrifically overpriced MLM diet products for which there is no real demand.
Jessica said: “You can make money selling to the public, however, It Works takes pride in the fact that they are distributors do not have to buy and stock product.”
I don’t think that the shifty grifters at It Works take pride in anything other than their ability to enrich their own bank accounts at the expense of the dummies and desperados they exploit. You conspicuously left out the fact that in order to become a distributor, one must purchase a sales kit for between $99 and $199 (a sales kit which includes such worthlessly craptastic items as a copy of Success From Home magazine, order forms, application forms, etc.).
So in other words, they do have to buy product – and you lied about it.
Simple Math says
Their contract might not require any minimal inventory, however they do need to make purchases to maintain their “rank”.
Claim: “I make $10,000 per month with It Works!”
Truth: “I purchase $9,000 worth of products per month in order to receive $10,000 in commissions”
The difference between a successful and unsuccessful distributor is the successful one is able to find more suckers to join their downline to pawn off their products too.
I started looking into this after my wife was bombarded with requests to become a wrap sister. And I’m finding some really sad stories on here.
In any event, if anyone reading this has lost money after not getting what the company promised AND lives in Texas, shoot me an email. I would be interested to talk with you.
Full disclosure, I’m a Texas lawyer, and I want to talk to you because I want to sue this company.
Anyone interested in pursuing a legal option, email me [Editor’s note: As a policy we don’t publish email addresses here. Instead please contact me]
Yes, a lot is left out when you are being “recruited”. Once you’ve paid the fee… got to pay $20 a month to keep your account/website active. Besides a few other things that are left out.
My sister inlaw has been with this company for almost two years or something like that. She claims to be making all this money but then her husband says things like “someone has to work to pay insurance and car payments” if she’s supposedly making 5 figures a month why can’t she pay for those things? I’ve recently had to block her on all social media bc any little thing I posted she took as being negative towards her and “her business” buying things and reselling them at a higher price isn’t really a business in my eyes. It’s caused turmoil in our family and it’s mostly bc no one will stand up to her and tell her she’s insane. I am waiting for the day that it works fails and we can have my sister in law back the way she used to be. The best part is all her it girls that she claims she loves online, she talks shit about all the time offline. It just reminds me of “mean girls” and i guess bc I refuse to be a part of it I’m one of those 9-5 losers who is just jealous of her “success”
I also forgot to add how my sister inlaw tried to buy a gift card from herself, start my husband up as a loyal customer, and pay for it herself so she could check off another “customer” for her bonus…. When I told her absolutely not our family relationship turned sour bc she missed her deadline for her “bonus”. Isn’t the point of the business to build new customers not to buy stuff yourself and have it shipped to other locations so then those people have to bring it to you? If I ever receive any of it in the mail and I didn’t pay for it I’ll be chucking it in the garbage and reporting her
Those before and after “results” pictures drive me nuts too. The hair growth pictures could be done simply by someone tilting their head back slightly more in the “after” picture. The weight loss pictures rarely look significantly different and when they do look different it jjust looks like the person is sucking in their stomach or using a different angle, etc. It’s actually painful to witness people post this garbage.
I also have a friend who posts 20 times a day regarding her “amazing bonuses” and ability to ” work from home ” If that’s the case then why is she out once or twice a week having “parties ” to try and sell the stuff. And I’ve been in the location and the same people come all the time but they aren’t buying. The prices are outrageous for what you get and the there are carefully worded disclaimers to keep you confused. I asked why you had to pay to use the company website and was told that how you sell more product. I feel sorry for some who have dreams of getting rich but this is an elaborate pyramid scheme and the only ones making money are the ones who started it. Way to go, Coach (as he calls himself)
Lazy Man says
As the FTC says here: https://www.ftc.gov/system/files/documents/public_statements/993473/ramirez_-_dsa_speech_10-25-16.pdf
“We all know examples of the obvious types of lifestyle claims that can be misleading: representations that participants can be ‘set for life’ or ‘make more money than [they] ever thought possible’ and images of expensive houses, luxury cars, and exotic vacations. But there are also problematic claims that are a bit more subtle, like claims that you can quit your job, ‘fire your boss,’ become a stay-at-home parent, travel the world, or have the time and money to enjoy
the ‘finer things in life.’ These lifestyle claims – whether made through statements or images – are deceptive when made to a general audience because participants are unlikely to achieve them.”
I used 3 wraps over 21 days with the greens and lost over 12 inches without any exercise or change in diet. Like anything it affects different people differently.
Jessica said: “I used 3 wraps over 21 days with the greens and lost over 12 inches without any exercise or change in diet. Like anything it affects different people differently.
12 inches of what? Brain circumference? Anyhow, that’s clearly a BS claim.
BTW, “anything” doesn’t affect “different people differently”. That’s just the vague simple-minded BS you tell people to set them up for the inevitable failure of your product to do anything. The distributor can simply claim, oh well, it affects different people differently, as they pocket their victim’s money.
It’s still sad to see people buy into this. My girlfriend tried this for a little bit, despite my objections. Best lessons learned are of course from direct experience. She learned quick it was BS. We now own a social media marketing company. Cost us next to nothing and our first client earned her more money then ItWorks can ever hope to promise a newcomer. Client #1 paid for all of our upfront yearly expenses, in the first month. People want to look for the easy dollar without doing their research: the problem is. Products like these harm people. On the distributor front, you have to pay upfront to earn less than 0.5 on the dollar. On the consumer front, the products can actually harm their health without them knowing months in advance.
And now it is the week for their Green Carpet event in Tampa. Now they are all going, they pay to attend, pay to stay in hotels and the there are all kinds of events they PAY to attend. That founder is laughing all the way to his private island.
You forgot the funniest part! They refer to it as a “paycation”, LOL
I wonder if the owners wife went through and “blessed” each and every chair for the attendees like she did the last time. If it works isn’t a cult, I don’t know what is. I did notice something in their Facebook posts though. The leader of the group my sister inlaw is under will post something, then every person under her posts the same exact thing. Also, it’s like they have to post in a certain order. There’s usually a personal post (like something about their kids or family life) then a product post (I love hair skin and nails bc blah blah blah) then a join my team post, then a meme of some sort (either uplifting or a can you find this object in the photo) it’s constant and repetitive. My favorites are ones that ask personal questions bc they know women who have nothing better to do will comment on them so their page is seen more (like how old were you when you got married) there is no originality, they literally do whatever the queen bee does. My sister inlaw works under the top 14th income earner. Who, might I add just bought a “3/4 of a million dollar home” but has no idea how to upkeep it. Her husband apparently doesn’t even know how to change batteries in his tv remote. How do these people survive in the real world???? Oh that’s right, they don’t they “work from home” lol and this girls sister apparently makes over 140,000 a year but just moved into a house that she’s renting…… Seems to me like if I were making 140k a year is be buying a house, not renting and definitely not worrying about “how much it costs to run a jacuzzi” my eye roll is strong lately
@wrapsruinedmyfamily, Your comment “How do these people survive in the real world???? Oh that’s right, they don’t they “work from home” is not a very fair one. After years in the corporate world, I made the decision to work from home rather than go on disability due to my health problem and it has not been easy; long hours of research, frustrating telephone calls with suppliers and having to be constantly available to my clients makes it the hardest job I’ve ever had. For the record, I am not (not will I ever be) an “It Works” distributor….I work at my own business but my niece just signed up with It Works so I was doing some research to prove what I had suspected.
Glad I found this. Had a guy come through my checkout lane at my job and try to recruit me for this. When I told him that I have prior experience in actual marketing, merchandising, and sales, he became less enthusiastic. After finding this article, I can see why. I believe he assumed that I was just a dumb, overweight, underpaid cashier and therefore probably a target mark. I’ll never have anything to do with this “company” (and I am also glad I closed my Facebook back when Timeliness rolled out – I don’t seem to be missing much.)
You shouldn’t believe everything you read on the internet.
Jessica said: “You shouldn’t believe everything you read on the internet.”
You mean like when It Works distributors claim they lost 12 inches in 21 days using those fraudulent worthless wraps? Agreed.
I know of someone who is throwing away her 4 year degree as a nurse to sell it works and she thinks by doing this she will be very well off an get to stay home with her kids!!! What a waste!!!!! I would never throw away my 4 year college education for this. Oh and I suppose that It Works has a good pension plan too and social security???!!! Not!!!!!
This website is just a bunch of lies!! It Works is a Christian company, there is no type of brainwashing, just support when we ask for it!! For starters, people aren’t charged a $50 hidden fee, it’s in their contract as soon as they sign up. When they sign into their website, at the bottom it says loyal customer agreement, also, distributors are all supposed to tell the distributors that they are signing up for a 90 day period and that must be fulfilled! If not they will get charged the $50 fee. Also, customers get their own webpage to log into, they have to cancel their autoship, when they do they receive a confirmation number. If they got charged the next month, which is very unlikely, all they would need to do is call customer service and give them the confirmation code and customer service would take care of it! If they were charged again, that means it wasn’t cancelled.
We receive commissions, unlimited $100 weekly bonuses and there are always special bonuses going on! Right now you can get a special $500 bonus or a $5,000 bonus! Distributors can also buy boxes of wraps for $25 and sell them for $100! That’s a HUGE profit!! Also, I have seen MANY posts on eBay where people are posting that they have wraps and they say It Works but they are not authentic It Works body wraps! They are the water loss wraps where the weight comes right back! I have personally wrapped myself and many other women and men and I have seen huge differences, inches lost, their stretch marks lessened and it’s been amazing to me! You sit here and say these Dr’s say it hasn’t been proven! Well we don’t need those Dr’s to approve it! We have thousands and thousands of happy customers who have photographed their results! I’m done, I just couldn’t ignore this completely ignorant rant of yours! Don’t write back because whatever you say will be BS and more lies!!
The only reason you are bashing our company is because you don’t understand it. Grow up and leave successful people alone and worry about yourself and your family!! We are helping people get healthier and work from their phones so they can stay at home with their kids!! Mind your own business! We aren’t hurting anybody! We are helping them! You
Hahahahaha you forgot to mention that your “bonuses” are paid out over two years and if you don’t make your sales quota you lose your “bonuses” and that your “free trips” aren’t free. You have to pay for your airfare, hotel room, tickets to get into the events (which are usually 50-75 dollars each) and all your food expenses. I don’t know what kind of brain washing you’ve experienced but yes, some people make money selling this crap but not as much as they claim. If they were then why did Cristina post a video of herself bawling like a bafoon when her washing machine flooded her house (she’s one of the “top 15 earners” bc it was 30k in damage when she claims she takes in 40k a month. You’re all delusional, get a real job, send your kids off into the real world so they can actually learn to survive without you and actually lose weight from healthy eating and exercise. Wraps and pills aren’t going to make you thin (that’s the other thing I don’t get, the majority of women working for this company are extremely over weight. I’m never going to buy weightloss products from people who are worse off than myself)
Lazy Man says
I didn’t say that It Works is not Christian company. I’m not sure they’ve stated a formal religious belief for the company.
I would stay FAR FAR away from “distributors are all supposed to tell the distributors that they are signing up for a 90 day period and that must be fulfilled!”
I would think that the company itself would give this information and make it a “must be fulfilled!” situation.
And I don’t believe they should be a charged a $50 fee. What service is that fee for?
I’m not sure that people should be focused on canceling their autoship. Why not just make it something that people can opt-in if they want to, right?
Lisa, the rest of your comment is so bizarre that I don’t know what else to say other than 99% of people in MLM LOSE money. I believe if people are recruiting, they are indeed hurting people. If you don’t agree then simply ask the company to eliminate all MLM/recruiting and pay people for selling product directly. Fair?
They just announced a new 5,000 “bonus” for those reaching Diamond in August. What made me sad was the number of comments I read from distrubutors who are only an Executive or Ruby level who just need to work a little harder to help their families… I guess I don’t understand why they dont see the money and time they spend on this would be better spent on a real actual job…..
Especially because $5000 spread out over two years is only $200 a month these girls are the dumbest people I’ve ever met. I’m a career nanny I make more than them a month and I love my job LOL. It’s funny though to because a bunch of the girls I know that work for this company their husbands all have jobs paying 50 K or more a year they make it sound like they make tons of money when in real life $2000 a month is what normal people make at a job before taxes. They have money to spend because their husbands work to pay the bills. They Finally got off their asses and started making some of their own money to buy the shit they don’t need
Thank you and the second they don’t maintain the level, they lose the bonus. You insiders have given me such good insight, I wonder now if the woman I know who went Double Diamond is still there at that level.. She quit her job too and her husband is in school. She has made major money but then still hosts parties, still recruits, travels to help her sister with her business and hasn’t “earned” that cruise in the fall…I wonder how many of them are deceitful about maintaining their levels.
The picture you have stating its from eBay just says IT WORKS , it doesn’t says that’s the company name because it isn’t. That is what I said in my comment where you said it didn’t make sense! That’s why those wraps were so cheap, they ARE a scam! They’re not It Works wraps!
I see a comment about the $5,000 bonus working out to be $200/month. It’s only a bonus!! That’s in addition to monthly commissions and monthly bonuses also. Then comments about how friends and family are doing so good but people can’t figure out how to tell then it’s not worth it?!?! WHAT?!?! Seriously?!?? They are successful and so are your other friends and family members, that’s pretty ignorant to want to stick your nose in their financial issues to tell them how to run their business! Also, people make comments about how people should “get a real job”! That’s hilarious!! While you are making your bosses rich, ASKING for vacation, calling in when sick & hoping not to lose your job …. We can work from anywhere! We can go on vacations whenever WE want! Sleep in everyday and work from bed while cuddling with our little ones, staying home when we don’t feel well.. We are in control of our own time, not somebody else. That’s worth ALOT!! Many of us are very thankful to be able to make money and spend the day with our children and own our time instead of having our children grow up with a nanny, day care provider, etc.
There are no minimum purchases that have to be bought, no contracts, nothing. These women make money…. PERIOD!!
As far as the $50 fee. It’s very simple. People have 3 ways of purchasing products. They can be a retail customer and pay the retail price and never have to buy anything again. They can pay the $50 membership fee and make a purchase and then never have to make a purchase again but will receive wholesale pricing for life. The last way is to have the $50 fee waived by signing up for the 90 day program and if you don’t finish the 90 day program them you pay the membership fee. Well nobody wants to pay the retail price or pay the $50 fee so they all want the 90 day program. Everybody wants to complain about the program but that’s because they wanted the cheapest price!
People need to stop bashing things they don’t understand! There is not any brainwashing, no cults, no craziness like that! It’s a bunch of people who love the products and love helping people!
Careylee says she doesn’t know why we haven’t been sued for posting when our friends receive bonuses WHAT THE WHAT?!?! Why in the hell would we be sued for being happy for our friends and co-workers? Insanity! Some of these people on here make no sense at all!
Well I’m done because people who complain will continue to complain! I’ve been a distributor for over a year and a half and have been making $400-$500 a month by doing it part time and will be starting up full time in about a month. I love helping people and that’s what I do. The natural products have helped me lose weight, get off my blood pressure meds last year, boost my immune system and I didn’t even get a cold last winter for the first time in my life and so much more. I have SO many customers who have lost 40lbs, gotten healthier, etc. I’m very happy and healthy and love my job. I don’t push away family or friends who aren’t my distributors or customers. I wish people wouldn’t bash what they don’t u see stand or don’t agree with. I wish you all the best in your futures.
Lazy Man says
The Ebay listing says “IT WORKS” and shows a picture that I’ve seen associated with IT WORKS products and a description that states it is an “IT WORKS” product. They have sold more than 500 of them (at the time I took the image) and Ebay itself gives a trending price of the product. I have no reason to believe it is anything other than what it says… especially since they seem to have hundreds of customers.
Another Ebay listing that I presented had hundreds sold by a person with an amazing reputation with thousands of transactions.
If these Ebay listings are fake product, I think you need to prove that they are. Ebay takes counterfeit product very seriously and people are not typically able to sell hundreds of them.
Lisa said, “Careylee says she doesn’t know why we haven’t been sued for posting when our friends receive bonuses WHAT THE WHAT?!?! Why in the hell would we be sued for being happy for our friends and co-workers?”
Lisa, It WORKS distributors are considered to be selling the business opportunity when they share how much they’ve earned. There are limitations to the kinds of income claims a salesman of a business opportunity can make according to my understanding of the FTC’s communications. The FTC cited these kinds of claims as being a core reason why they sanctioned Herbalife last month for operating illegitimately. Maybe you shouldn’t be bashing something you don’t understand?
If u constantly have to be on the phone to make money then u can’t enjoy a vaca or cuddling with ur kids cause ur head is buried in the phone. Believe me I know. It is a ripoff and I’m scared my gf bought into this scam
Yep, I believe you. This is the Internet, what you say has to be 100% real, right? If you were so successful, you wouldn’t have to be here defending it. Instead, you seek out any naysayers. I would say you should focus on selling your wraps, but since you are having a hard time selling your BS here, you are probably not that successful with the wraps either. Hence why you are here.
its people preying on others vulnerablities…show where there are any scientific proof that there are any real health benefits to the products. Btw I can but the essential oils for $6-10 that “itworks” sells for $26-30
& I know what country the oils came from
Lazy Man says
Wait, It Works sells essential oils now? Have they addressed the points that I made in my DoTerra essential oil article here: http://www.lazymanandmoney.com/doterra-essential-oils-scam/ ?
Toni Marie Martin says
Hi you seem pretty angry that non-dts have something to say about It Works. Well, I’m a dt and let me tell you, I’ve sold my spare wraps on eBay, Amazon, Facebook Market Place, OfferUp, and 5mile. Let me tell you why. I normally run my autoship for the wraps, greens on the go and Fat fighters. One month, for some odd reason, the company decided to run my autoship TWICE and charged me TWICE. This was about six months ago. Just got an email the other day saying that my refund should hit my account in another 30 days. So I was stuck with a ton of product that I didn’t use outside of the wraps. I hopped my ass right on those sites I mentioned before and sold the product for a little over the loyal price and a smidge under the retail price. And guess what? I wasn’t the only one. I responded to your comment in particular because you said word for word what my upline said when I told her I saw it works product on Amazon. Theyre knock offs from China. Newsflash, China isn’t taking the time to knock off our bullshit products darling.
Lazy Man says
My take is that you want to stay away from any company that doesn’t want to do business on two of the world’s biggest direct selling markets, Amazon and Ebay.
This website isn’t a bunch of lies, it’s a bunch of people saying what you don’t want to hear.
It’s IW people that need to leave us alone, not the other way around. Constant badgering on our social media feeds with straight-up lies about money and their “stories” of how IW has made their lives better, “laughing” at people who actually have a job, and plagiarism of each other posts. Along with every in-person interaction they try to convince you to sign up or buy something, is definitely something I never asked for. And you know what? I have to use avoidance to not completely lose my relationship with this person. So who needs to leave whom alone?
Speaking of bonuses, at one point an IW person announced the bonus they’re trying to get for the month. When I did the math, it wouldn’t even pay for groceries for 1 person in a month. Better keep that WIC girl!! Then take pictures of it and thank IW for allowing you such bounty at the grocery store.
I agree with you & im soon going to unfriend a chick due to all the “it works sales posts”
The Answer says
Lmao stop it, you wrote that thesis to defend that BS because you want to convince yourself more than convince us. I know people that has done it or doing it and I know it’s a wack pyramid.
If people were making so much money off IT. The sellers wouldn’t have to spend so much time on social medial begging people to join.
People are tired of the posts
Take a look at the numbers IT folks post something normal about their family or a selfie or something 50 likes from friends and fam followers post some IT works shit 0 likes you may have one or two but those 2 are from other IT sellers. When in fact is we are tired of you folks flooding our timelines with that BS
And as far as the job thing no one is knowing being a entrepreneur no one here does. Plus most people with actual careers doing have to ASK for vacation or can’t call in sick etc. I go on vacation or take off work anytime I want hell I can wake up in the morning and decide to work from home instead of going to the office if I want.
Lmao obviously you don’t realize that you are actually making your bosses rich by pubbing their shit that don’t work. And you are not actually a business owner you work for someone you sell their products they are not your own I could go on and on but you should get it . If you really want to be a entrepreneur start your own business for real. a lot of us laughing at the shit y’all pushing are that as well
THE ANSER says
sorry for the typos i damn auto correct..
knowing = KNOCKING
doing have to ask = DONT HAVE TO ASK.
Lisa – one of your big claims is that you charge friends $100 for something that costs you $25. Please count me thankful that we are not friends. Btw, what to you charge people who are not your friends. If this opportunity is so great, why do more than 95% fail. And, if the products are so great, why are 95% of consultants still overweight. The answer to both questions is the products are bogus – just like you and your “business”. Yes, I would LMAO but it is not really funny that you are scamming people and have a very high probability (95+%) of failing and winding up in more debt and with less friends.
Hello. My name is John and I have a friend who sells It Works products. Sadly, this friend and I have slowly parted ways since I have zero interest in being part of her cool friend club and do not like her multiple social media post bragging about her at home job and ‘amazing’ products.
These social media post usually consist of regurgitated green memes, indirect backhanded insults about how I probably don’t spend enough time with my kids because I have a real job, and how amazing it is for her to sleep-in and work from Disneyland. Post related to IW are only liked by her “Tribe” or “Wrap Sisters” and not many of her other friends.
The company’s owner puts on an IW conference every year for his workers. You would think a multi-millionaire who owns his own private island could afford to let his own employees into the conference for free…but he doesn’t! Many IW employees pay $300 just to attend and that doesn’t include food, lodging, airfare, taxi service…but it includes lots of ‘fun’! haha…
I’m no math doctor, but I do not understand how anyone makes money from this company? Even if the above Lisa is making $400 a month, is it worth alienating friends and family as so many on here have reported? You could probably spend less time working a real job part-time, make $400, and not piss of your friends.
@lisa what is so disturbing to me about this is the “feel good” “good news” and “shinyness” that’s pushed to people that are eager to find a way to “feel good” and “be good” … and it’s all superficial, short-term gratification that preys on the single moms, stay at home moms, etc. I seriously dislike the business model and the way they ram this stuff down people’s throats via social media, and then insinuate it is ordained by God. When the real truth is so not there for people to see …. this is what I really “see” with the family member (double diamond executive) that’s barely getting by (yes, still … 18 months later) …. but by her social media posts, she is living the good life! Yes, there should be a law against it! Let the buyer beware! It’s a cult!
Taylor M says
I was just reading some IW posts on FB and a girl claimed God told her to join…. *vomit. No. Just no… Just like God didn’t tell my brother-in-law to buy that $2.5k TV. I laughed him out of the room. If there is a god, he surely doesn’t want you to be ignorant.
Careylee – exactly my observation. Anyone I know that is involved in MLMs is saying they are making serious money but they are usually worse off than before they started and more desperate than ever. They will lie to and steal from their friends and family. Shameful! The question for these Itworks @business owners” (hahaha) is where do the pounds and inches go in the 45 minutes the wrap is on. Wrap sisters indeed.
Tashia Mickie says
Ummm….What are the options? Work for corporate America -aka the ultimate Pyramid scheme? Lazy Man what do you suggest?
Lazy Man says
Ugh, brainwashed MLMers never seem to get it… Corporate America is Not a Pyramid Scheme. Years ago, I wrote that article with the exact words that you’ve used. SERIOUSLY!!!
You want to know what I suggest? It’s all here!
I don’t understand the ‘make your boss rich’ by working a real job vs. be in a pyramid scheme (as in you’re not making someone rich?).
With the creator of the IW cult owning his own island nowadays, pretty sure y’all made him rich. Not really a good platform to stand on.
One IW seller I know seems to finally have inkling that she can’t do this forever if she wants to be able to support herself one day. She is casting her gaze into another direction and calling it ‘fate’ and something she’s ‘always wanted’ but all these dictating people in her life *confused face as I was raised in the same family* led her astray (a lot of “victims” in IW yeah?). Training/school doesn’t come for free though, so she’s trying to sell wraps and sign people up like crazy.
“I’m looking for ONE person, to add to my team!…..”
“I’m so excited about this CRAZY WRAP THING…..”
“Now is the time! I want to add 3 people to my team! I will mentor and coach you….blah blah….”
“Are you one of those that see my posts but tell yourself you don’t have time?…….”
“OMG have you seen the wrap sale that’s happening now?….”
Stop cluttering my feed woman! I only follow her to see pictures and real posts about the kiddos…but it takes a lot of digging!
Adding onto what LM said about how Corporate America is not a pyramid scheme.
You said, “Work for corporate America -aka the ultimate Pyramid scheme?”
Let’s just say that it is true and that Corporate America is a pyramid scheme (which it’s not, but we’ll pretend that it is for this). Why would that make It Works any better of a solution? This argument isn’t justifying It Works as a viable business, but rather distracting and slamming a different group of businesses. This is like someone robbing a thief and getting caught…it doesn’t matter who the person is that you robbed, it is still wrong whether you knew they were a thief or not.
Also, why is everything so black and white? There are other ways to make a living other than working for It Works or Corporate America…This sort of damned if you do and damned if you don’t approach to life is never going to get you anywhere, and you should be focusing on finding a solution rather than wallowing in the problems.
The Answer says
@tashia “Corp America is a Pyramid Scheme”? How Sway? I work in corp America and I also own my own business outside of that. I don’t have to pay my corp America career to stay employed by them (Like pyramid schemes) so that’s 1 reason its not….
Also if I get paid or not is not dependent on me signing people up to “work under me”
reason #2 its not like a pyramid scheme. I could go on and go but why.
and LMMFAO @ Charlie
you are completely run funny thing is all these chicks that sell that crap copy and paste each others statuses because everything you said is VERBATIM what I see as well.
“looking for 2 people that’s ready to change their life today” ploys to make it sound exclusive.
But to answer your question TAshia you don’t have to do either if you really want to be a Business Owner and not claim to be one but really aren’t like It works folks do. Then really start your own business. Find something you enjoy doing and figure out how you and make money off of it.
All these women brag about being home with their kids but I swear, I have yet to see them actually doing anything with their kids. Kids are either sitting in front of the tv or an iPad or computer…. I might be crazy but isn’t being home with them mean you actually sit and play/teach them stuff??? At least when both parents are working out of the home the kids are in day care, playing with other kids, learning, being active, being social. I’d rather my child be in day care where they can learn to survive without me spoon feeding them or doing everything for them. Sure, you can work from your phone, but then your kids never get any attention bc you’re too busy talking on the phone or posting dumb shit to Facebook. I also don’t get the live videos…. Especially while driving with their kids in the car (off to target with Sally again bc mommy has no life and only knows how to spend money) your child’s life is irreplaceable. How could you live with yourself if you got into a car accident and heaven forbid your child died bc you were on face book live ranting about skin cream….. I just wish this company would just drop dead already.
All I wonder is why did the FIRST “Black Diamond” all of a sudden leave?! If IWG is so great why did she leave? Hummm….
“Leaders” tell distributors to tell customers “it’s some crazy California law don’t worry about it, our products have less than .25% of “that” in our products.” I wish there was a lawsuit against the company about “leaders” pushing lower distributors to get credit cards to make large orders or open PayPal accounts to send money to make large orders to make a promotion and boost sales for month end.
See this lawsuit
Miranda Charbonneaux (It Works distributor) says
I am a distributor for itworks global! I’ve been with the company for almost 8 months and I can assure you if you put the work into it you can make this kind of money! Our products do work and we don’t just have the wrap we have all kinds of products! And they are made from natural ingredients. I’ve had 0 customers complain about anything they’ve ever bought! I also make a 5 figure income per month and can almost retire my man from his overtime job! This is real and it does work! And also I am not obligated to spend anything per month! Other than $20 to keep my ordering site up! I choose to buy and use the products because I love them and so does everyone that tries them! This is why itworks! And why we are a debt free company!!
Miranda you are a liar! As a former IT Works! distributor, yes you are obligated to have a monthly autoship to maintain or be promoted to a certain status. If you do not maintain that status you will not qualify for any perks or rewards. AND if you do get a perk or reward…that perk or reward will be taken away from you if you do not maintain your status in the company.
I was with It Works! for less than 4 months when I realized this company is a big scam to help the people at the top. Yes, you can make decent money with this company IF you put in A LOT of time and have a huge following or large network of people you can sell the business to. Most It Works! distributors do not succeed in this business because they do not have the network that the leaders have. The leaders sell their success stories to their downlines to motivate them to go out there and work super hard only to really benefit the Leaders in the end.
Stop with the “retire my husband” crap. We are not buying it. Tell you husband to keep his day job because he will need it to fall back on once It Works! no longer exist.
If anyone has some extra time, watch this YouTube video of a former It Works! employee…not distributor…a customer service employee! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hBvCsTho-uI
Miranda Charbonneaux said, “I’ve been with the company for almost 8 months and I can assure you if you put the work into it you can make this kind of money!”
Assure, guarantee, promise, all words you should never use when talking about business and or money making opportunities. Anybody using these loaded words tends to be misleading at best, but are probably dishonest.
Miranda said, “Our products do work and we don’t just have the wrap we have all kinds of products! And they are made from natural ingredients.”
What is your definition of natural? My definition can be found on google and it is, existing in or caused by nature; not made or caused by humankind. As far as I can tell, there is nothing from “it works” that is remotely natural. It could be time to do some research, instead of listening to everything a biased person says.
Miranda said, “I’ve had 0 customers complain about anything they’ve ever bought! I also make a 5 figure income per month and can almost retire my man from his overtime job! This is real and it does work! And also I am not obligated to spend anything per month! Other than $20 to keep my ordering site up!”
Do you have actual retail customers, or are you talking about your downline? Either way, it is uncommon for people to complain about products, as people naturally don’t like confrontation. It is even more uncommon for a friend or family member to complain if something is bad or wrong. This is not a good sample size and an unreliable/biased witness.
You are making a 5 figure income in 8 months??? That sounds…unbelievable, like I actually can’t believe that. Also, isn’t it a little early to say you are consistently making 5 figures? We all know you didn’t start out that way, and BEST CASE SCENARIO it has been one month that you GROSSED 5 figures, but again this sounds unbelievable. Please provide quantitative numbers instead of saying random stuff. According to the It Works income disclosure it takes between 17 and 22 months (on average) to be hitting that 5 figures a month…https://www.myitworks.com/Legal/Income/ and that would put you in the 99.9% mark…again your statement sounds UNBELIEVABLE!
Everything she said was a cookie cutter response straight from her cult leaders I Florida. If your making five figures, why can’t your husband quit his job? Ridiculous.
It’s hilarious how so many of them claim to make $10-30,000 PER MONTH, and yet their husbands still work at their $50k per year 9-5. It’s like they are so dumb, that they have no idea how much money that actually would be and how ridiculous they sound!
Fruit Ninja says
This is the goofy sh*t I see on facebook and the crazies share this (ill leave out her name):
Can’t even believe I will be driving home in this today?????? God is so GOOD! I can’t contain my excitement. Since 2012 ..I owned a 2001 Ford Taurus that the Lord blessed me with when he placed it in someones heart to write me a check for a car that had no idea how bad my financial situation was..they didn’t even know I needed a car!!!….
I acted in faith going into car lots and test driving cars with and prayed about my transportation need on the many bus rides I had. Drove that car from STL packed with all I had to Texas for new beginnings.
Fast foward to now 2015
Invested $99 into It Works taking a leap of faith at this opportunity he placed on my heart and 1 year later it changed my life! Now the day has come where change is good and needed. Been a good steward with my blessing for years. I can adjust to a new norm of having and enjoying something nice. Thank you Lord!! Ahhh Thank you! I’m beyond excited!! #SeptembertoRemember #extraincome #Lexus. #jointheadventuretofinancialfreedom”
all the IW followers are all commenting and sharing saying “thank god for it works”
Can you say cult?! That’s all it is. Smh…
$9.99 is 5 figures on any computer or phone. $100.00 is 5 figures too if you don’t count special characters. About what most of these uneducated consultants make a month while they have customers who believe the bs. Once the customers realize the products don’t work, they stop ordering which can cause the consultants to have a few negative months. Then it is just a matter of time before the consultants fight through their uplines team badgering not to quit the team and leave and try to recapture their respect.
It’s amazing what sucks people in! The latest posts on my family member’s Facebook page is that she “took the ItWorks Cleanse to remove bloat, and lost 9 lbs in 1 1/2 days!” Yes, seriously! Then she said that one of their products to promote hair growth makes her hair grow 2 inches a month! Seriously? I can’t help but think that the customers will eventually realize it ain’t happening. But they seem to wordsmith everything to put the responsibility squarely on the individual, and not the company, founders, consultant, etc. Ick.
Ah, the 99.99% of those was were part of the failed MLM system didn’t have enough faith. Scary. You know of a well known-top producer in IW not named Kami, left for, well, various reason based on finances–business model etc..You know her I’m sure?
Your prayers remind me of the pro athletes who pray for victory on both teams -G-d must flip a coin cause he can’t be a respector of persons, right?
Shady way of saying people failed G-d in MLM.. not just the business but now they’v turned away from G-d.. yikes. Cult like scary.
I get what you’re saying. But this is not a get rich scheme.I did It Works 5 years ago, I did it for 2 years and never actually spoke to a person in my upline. I just sold the wraps because I loved them and it worked. I then did Arbonne, made no money and actually lost my money. Then I did Thermomix. It cost me $2000 to fail that. I’m not good at selling things or asking people to try my products. So I thought all these mlm business were a scam too. Only the top dog gets rich while the rest stay poor.
Well I joined it works again 13 months ago, just to use the product, I had no intention of making money because you know, it’s a scam. But I honestly love the products. Well I was welcomed by an amazing team. I kept trying the new products and loved them all.
I have a massive team, yes 80% quit in their first two months. Because they can’t work everyday. Network marketing is the easiest business I’ve done, I literally use Facebook to run my business. I work at least an hour every single day of the week.
Many of my distributors are just too lazy.
Or they spend their profit and can’t afford to buy more products to sell.
What kind of business does that? Not a smart one?
I joined and paid $380 for a big kit. I sold all the wraps for $420, and used the rest of the products for free. I then used that money bought more wraps, spent the profit. I do this every single time I need products to sell. So this business has hardly cost me anything.
Most of my team don’t do their monthly autoship as there’s other ways to make money.
If you’re smart, you can run this business without putting in any extra money.
But most people these days aren’t smart, and want to get rich quick and when they don’t get $1000 for joining one customer and doing hardly any work. They quit.
I’ve earned over $30,000 in bonuses and now earn $4000 a month doing It Works. I’m only diamond, but it only took me 6 months to get there and get the 28,000 diamond bonus.
So from someone who was a total skeptic and thought this was a pyramid scheme. I’ve change my mind was I was educated. It’s actually a great income, I holiday all the time. Yes I’m in the top 2% because I didn’t give up
Lazy Man says
I don’t think that anyone honestly ever says that MLM is get rich quick. It’s more “break even never” as over 99% of people lose money. It’s not because people are lazy, but because the people who are making big bonus money are doing it through pyramid recruiting which mathematically can’t be done by everyone.
Please note, MLM is NOT a business.
Remember that you are in the 2% of distributors who also, by definition, did not give up.
Your words don’t support your numbers. MLM is NOT a business. At best, it is a way of taking your friends and relatives money. So excited and so proud of you. You go girl. BTW it has been proven medically that the products do not work but sometimes the scam does
You guys have to realize that with every company/product/business, there will be people who love it and people who hate it. There will be people for whom it works for, people for whom it doesn’t.
I have never encountered a business that has had only positive or negative reviews… especially not one that has only positive reviews.
The fact is, It Works is not a pyramid scheme.
No one promises you money, they promise you opportunity.
Like in any other business, the more work you put in, the more you get out.
The people I know who have become successful in this have been the ones who were the most desperate. The ones who would do anything to make a living while staying at home. (mostly single parents).
I have seen this business work for some people, and I’ve seen it not for others.
Regardless, I commend them for taking a risk and deviating from the norm of society and social acceptability.
And even for the ones who have failed, nothing is ever lost. Every experience is a learning one and everything in life is a choice.
Judgement and criticism only leads me to believe that your egos are in need of check.
If you’re doing great where you are in life, then be content where you are.
Dont be so concerned with the choices of others. Let people make their own choices. Let them make mistakes. At some point you’ll have to realize that people don’t need your approval to make their own choices. People don’t care if you think their business is a scam or not. They will keep doing what they are doing.
I don’t see any comments of people who have been in the business say “Oh thank you, I’m so glad I saw this so I could get out.”
I saw a battle between the Distributors of It Works and their skeptics, the majority of which have never involved them self with the company, and have made judgements only from what they have observed.
The happiness of others is not your responsibility, it’s theirs.
Instead of letting your hurt and anger for this company talk.
Let go of the resentment and negative feelings.
Just let it go.
You’ll feel a lot better about it.
Lazy Man says
I think people said that Vemma wasn’t a pyramid scheme either. The FTC described Herbalife in the same terms they do for pyramid schemes. I’m not the judge of what a pyramid scheme is and what isn’t, but I certainly have read a lot about them and I have my opinions on the matter. It’s pretty telling to me that the FTC essentially said that they’d need to issue new guidelines on MLM companies after Herbalife.
In my opinion the best thing an MLM company is simply, “Cut it out.” If a company is legitimate, it doesn’t need to have pyramid recruiting, right?
You should review your comment in light of the other MLMs I’ve written about. Many people have indeed said something like, “Oh thank you, I thought this was a brainwashing cult and thank you for the information. They didn’t tell me that 99% of people in MLM lose money and that a minimum wage job, on average, pays MUCH better.”
Helping people is a good thing Mel. Don’t support MLM cults that cause people to lose money. That’s the negative feelings we want to avoid. Maybe try to protect consumers when you get a chance and you’ll feel better about yourself.
I spoke with Nathan” Dempsey via email – When I asked about the wrap he said, “It has many medical benefits that ca “not” be specified for legal reasons. He went on and on about the “medical benefits” – the detoxification etc.
If the leaders of the company are privately promoting the “medical benefits” of the wraps then why is it a surprise their “followers” are doing the same? It truly is a cult like mentality.
I am embarrassed to admit that I also bought into the IW “business”. I followed some top girls who are surpisingly all located within a 15 mile radius of me. Many are top income earners with the company and are even topping out at the highest level and starting all over again. Their lives just looked so appealing and perfect! How could I not be intrigued! For 9 months I looked into and reasearched the products and read reviews and posts on FB. When one my BFs joined up I delayed no more and signed up myself. I was so confident. I did everything the training tells you to do, posting on FB, hosting online and in person parties, messaging people and inviting them to talk, the one thing I could not get the courage to do was walk up to random strangers while out shopping and give them our business card, or Blitz them as they call it. You do have to set up an autoship of at least 150BV which is almost dollar for dollar equivalent plus pay 20 a month to run your website. I hit my first goal of signing up 4 loyal customers and received free product to then resell. Problem was, I couldn’t sell a single wrap! No one wanted them! Not for 25$ for no guarantee. There is NO guarnatee and NO money back policy on anything if it doesn’t work. We are just supposed to tell them to try again following the directions more closely. Or offer them to try other products that will aide with results. At most I made a $45 commission one month which paid for a portion of the money I had to spend in order to even get it. I was at this for 5 months and I also had a full time job. I spent multiple hours a day setting up my posts for FB and instagram and commenting to interact with new people and messaging to try and build new relationships. I felt like such a failure bc after all of this work, I still wasn’t getting to where I wanted when others around me were “sort of” succeeding. I was told it was because I wasnt blitzing. But let’s be honest… Even I don’t want to be bothered when I’m out shopping or hanging with family so why would I want to do it to other people? I just felt like it was a huge waste time. Plus all of the girls would copy each others posts and I thought that was super obnoxious so I made my own and what do you know… They would then be copied. I just couldn’t do it anymore. It was not for me. The only positives to come from my endeavor was a few cool girls I met who also sold, and I really did like some of their products (not the ones that were supposed to change your body, but the protein shakes, essential oils, greens, and meal bars). Whatever… That is my experience. Lesson learned. Others did better but I guess I can chalk it up to MLM just not being for me.
All I hear are reasons why you are embarrassed that you couldn’t be successful with it. Network marketing isn’t for everyone, you’re right
Lazy Man says
MLM (commonly confused as “Network Marketing”) isn’t for anyone. No one should be embarrassed when 99.99% of people fail at something.
It’s like saying someone is embarrassed that they couldn’t bench press 600 pounds.
Yes why should one have to pay $20 a month to manage you so called business this company is terrible I have wraps left that I can’t give away
So what do you think the status of It Works Global is as of Jan 1, 2017? I agree that it’s very annoying. I witnessed a girl actually on Facebook giving medical advice to promote sales? Isn’t that illegal? I went to nursing school and will be a RN after I take my state exam this month and I know that even I as a medical professional cannot give medical advice! Only medical doctors! She went on to say that she has been in the medical field for a while .. btw, she’s a front desk medical office personnel! She loves saying that she started her own business but I highly doubt that these individuals have tax ID numbers. I don’t understand how people think making a mixed drinks with this “magical” powder is equivalent to eating an actual piece of fruit. Lazy Man, what do you think the future holds for this company?
Lazy Man says
My opinion on all MLMs haven’t changed in 2017.
As for your mention about illegal activities taking place, I don’t know anything about the specific case. However, it seems to me that they happen all the time in MLM. This Newsweek article cited that MonaVie distributors were doing it and the CEO simply said it was almost impossible to herd the cats (distributors making illegal claims). Truth in Advertising found that 97% of DSA-member health MLMs had systemic problems (or whatever their exact words were).
It looked like MLMs were going to be destroyed by the FTC based on my opinion of this speech by their chairwoman. However, the new administration seems to be hell-bent on growing business and some of those people made tens of millions from MLM/pyramid schemes. I’d say that consumers are going to have to protect themselves over the next 4 years. Now the time to use your voice and leverage social media to spread the word.
No, lol I know your perception of the MLM scheme hasn’t changed. I should have been more clear. I meant what do think is going to happen as of now and moving forward? I read the FTC report but they have been dealing with this for years. Someone commented on. YouTube video saying that there was always going to be a naive individual willing to sell these items. I’ve voiced my concerns on social media but what can I do to start an investigation through the FTC?
Lazy Man says
Andrea asked, “what can I do to start an investigation through the FTC?”
Here is the official information from the FTC’s website on submitting a complaint.
I think I have submitted complaints on at least a dozen MLM companies and I’ve offered to even help them. The problem is that FTC doesn’t respond to individual complaints. As one of their former heads said they need to get “enough complaints” to do something.
So while it is fine to submit claims yourself, I think the most effective thing would be to organize people (via social media) who agree with you to agree to submit complaints on a certain day and make it public the claims that are being submitted. If you can demonstrate that your organization has submitted a hundred complaints it could force the FTC to act. They can’t say, “We haven’t received enough complaints to act.”
This is just an idea that I came up with now. Not sure if it works in practice.
I spoke with Nathan” Dempsey via email – When I asked about the wrap he said, “It has many medical benefits that ca “not” be specified for legal reasons. He went on and on about the “medical benefits” – the detoxification etc.
If the leaders of the company are privately promoting the “medical benefits” of the wraps then why is it a surprise their “followers” are doing the same? It truly is a cult like mentality.
Lazy Man says
I’ve seen that kind of thing at other MLMs. You often see the company’s paid “chief science officer” spreading information that is designed to be easily misinterpreted by salespeople who aren’t scientists.
For example, there is a common, “Kills cancer in a test tube” meaningless claim. Bleach also kills cancer in a test tube… we aren’t test tubes. Salespeople looking to make a sale may simply shorten a claim to “This product kills cancer.” The company usually has distributors sign a claim that they won’t make such claims, but it seems that a vast number of them forget about it, or don’t have the morals to adhere to it.
The best and easiest thing to do is to just avoid any MLM health product… and spread the word that others should do the same.
This is a cult as a distributor for 4 months I saw exactly how they brain wash people and when I left my so called friends well guess what I could careless I found a honest company and I actually feel good I never saw one result from a single IW product and for me I can’t sell lies the only people who brag about the products are the distributors
Mel -Your comment doesn’t make sense – “Judgement and criticism only leads me to believe that your egos are in need of check.”
Facts are not ego driven. Do the research on MLM – real research.
No no NO!! This program has broken my family up. These people are completely brainwashed. A family member joined it works. Immediately startd with the hundreds of posts, portraying life as being hard times, not enough time or money for her child,etc. (meanwhile she owns successful family businesses) after a few weeks I realize she Reached out to my friends friends, or my coworkers, extended friends and family, coworkers spouses etc… and emailed them privately. I was embarrassed and honestly shocked by her behavior ,as it was really out of character for her to put dishonest family business no imagery out there for a few bucks,and also to have such a Desperate sales pitch. Even exploited her dying friend by posting a photo of her in the hospital bed saying, “if it was for It Works, she wouldn’t have anyone by her side” They exploit anything if it will make them a dollar. When I asked why,She lost the ability to reason about ANYthing having to do with her it works promotions. I mean I’ve been hung up on, I’ve been blocked and deleted from all social media accounts because I questioned why she was portraying to the world that she’s Neglecting her child and is poor (couldn’t be further from th truth)Blocked like an enemy.so no ones been able to bring it up or really talk to her about it, hoping it would just pass. Now after coming home from their It Works pow wow in Florida,she’s very suddenly abruptly left her husband of 20 years and supported fully by this fake network of “sisters” some of whom she’s only known for a few days. So family is completely pushed out . It was kind of a joke a few months ago we thought it would pass….she’s gone full throttle crazy and leaving a happy loving life to make a (waaait for it) whopping $800 for the year!!!!! NOW in real life has neglected her life because she’s on the phone posting pics of fake hair growth potion pills and carbonated energy drinks that say natural greens. How can anyone be this blind??????? The brainwash is REAL and they somehow bring God into and really twist these Womens heads up. There is no way to make her see what she’s doing. How does she not know???really unfortunate to lose it all for promised pennies and your dignity
“It’s difficult to get a man to understand something if his salary depends upon his not understanding it.”
Roger p says
Hi I worked for it works first of all the only thing I ever got was $120 for signing up customers I had a credit card issue with a. Customer they charged me $50 per transaction even though the cc company paid them with 24 hours they always fiend away to keep my commission I worked at thisfor 4 months do what cost me 99 to start cost me hundreds of dollars in the end it’s a cult as far as I’m concerned
Angela D. (Helpless!) says
Please Help!!!! My dad is convinced that he can use IW products and sell them under his own company’s name. This name was purchased in the 1980’s and assigned a tax ID for selling Shaklee products. As a child, I witnessed my parents Inventory grow and people coming in and out, while mom did makeovers. It was “Amazing!” as someone stated earlier. Until it wasn’t anymore!!!!! I began to hate the steady flow of strangers and the smell of the vitamins and protein shakes and even the makeup that my mom wore. We lived in KC, KS which was way different than the small town that my mom grew up in. The futile mistake was when my dad sold his successful Insurance Company with Farmers because mom was so good at what she did. Then he used his earnings to settle us down in her hometown with some crazy notion that he could relax a while and take up a hobby. Of course, only because mom would surely have her old gal pals signed up as reoccurring customers in no time. Also disregarding the fact that they had “employees” involved in Shaklee who were supposed to take care of the KC customers after we moved but they all split almost immediately after. Seems to me he should have learned his lesson when they were stuck with cabinets and shelves full of expiring products that my mom had failed to push out the door. Especially after upping Inventory counts so they would have product to sell on hand that these “new customers” would be so desperate to buy. It sickens me to my core. Don’t know how to convince him that IW is a terrible business venture and I’m also positive that the people who maintain the website aren’t going to put his company name anywhere on the site!
Lazy Man says
Have you sat down with your father and watched Believe a movie about MLM from 2007? http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0447857/
If not, Kirsten Dunst is going star in a film parodying MLMs. http://www.slate.com/blogs/browbeat/2017/01/07/kirsten_dunst_to_star_in_amc_s_multilevel_marketing_comedy.html
Or you could also watch this Grand Zero short film:
Just some ideas.
Andrea Miller says
I watched a video posted by a former It Works Customer service holiness worker and she was saying that no one can sell the products by themselves. If they were a former distributor there’s a lot of red tape tied into getting rid of the products. The company may even take legal action if they find out someone is selling it without having them involved, if that makes sense.
This company and their representatives prey on unassuming women and men. It is a very sad way to get ahead in life when one profits off of the emotions of others … taking advantage of those (sometimes even “friends”) who have body image issues is low.
I’m enjoying the latest lie… “did you know network marketing is #2 behind the NFL for money earning.” Yeah I’m pretty sure that’s not true…
Andrea Miller says
That’s the most idiotic statement I’ve ever heard and if those dummies believe that, I can’t even image people’s faces when they will say it proudly with confidence!! Brainwashing at its finest lol .. idiots
The saddest comment I have seen came on a FB post of a woman I know who has made money with this….A “goal” of someone she knew was to make enough money to afford the website and the autoship….Does anyone know if they have to pay the autoship for their customers orders? I hate how these women don’t realize they are being suckered all the way to his private island in FL.
As a marketing professor and PhD. Candidate, I can say I’m getting pretty stick of seeing this thing. I personally know at least 3 people in my life that have actually signed up and done this. One was very close to me and, being an academic and thus having an open mind, I decided to read through all the disclosure forms and policy docs, something that many “distributors” (i really hate that they even have that as a title) don’t seem to read. I must say LazyMan, this was a very good breakdown. I would like to add and emphasize a few points to your argument:
(1) Not all companies actually want to “distribute in as many possible ways”. Don’t take this to be a defense of ItWorks!. It’s not at all. All I mean is to clarify your justification. There is a form of cannibalization that occurs with the introduction of an old product in “new markets”, even though old channels partially serve those markets. You have as a result some negative consequences that may occur, like a reduction in operations and sales teams on the local level if it’s brick and mortar since their sales shrink but quotas remain put. As a result, sales staffs are slashed and quality goes down, risking brand image. Also, if you sell through indirect channels it certainly is not worth the investment to also sell through direct channels (depending on the product of course). This is just a clarification in one of your arguments you made: “wouldn’t a company want to sell their product in as many ways as possible?”. The more appropriate answer is, it depends. I think a stronger argument would have been “wouldn’t a company that sells through indirect channels want to do so that offers maximum market exposure with a minimum cost?”.
(2) I told some of the people that are near and dear to me to read their insurance clause in their policy. It is not very clear nor does it explain in full what type of legal protections distributors have. Given they are selling products that are health related, I would personally want to steer clear unless someone in the medical industry had prepped me up first on a set of solid knowledge. And a good and clear insurance policy. What if someone dies or is physically harmed from these products? Sure, the company is certainly to blame and will be sued. But the distributor would most likely carry partial liability in such a case. Given that ItWorks! relies so heavily on a pyramid scheme structure, I find it hard to believe they would put out the resources to defend a distributor in a lawsuit. Plus, some of their products have questionable ingredients in them. People hear “all natural” and somehow equating this to “safe”. Well, caffeine is “all natural”, but if you down lord knows how many caffeine pills a day it could be toxic. I’m not saying ItWorks! has caffeine as an ingredient, only using it as an example. One ingredient that does scare me that I have found in their products is green tea extract. Sure, if you consume the proper quantity of natural green tea (I think it was a cup a day AT THE MOST), it could provide weight loss and health benefits. A few studies have backed this up. It’s a different story when you turn that green tea into an extract. Then you’re at risk for possible liver damage (a few studies, don’t have them on hand at the moment, have also backed this up as well). So not only are these “distributors” wasting thousands of dollars on inventory a year, they also are near a ticking time bomb for just a single person to be directly hurt from these products.
(3) Speaking of inventory, “distributors” claim that these things have an expiration date on them. I don’t recall seeing a clause in their policy that allows for salvage in the event that they can’t sell all of their inventory. In addition, what if corporate introduces a new model it is pushing? It’s great for ItWorks!, terrible for “distributors”, that just invested thousands in an inventory that is directly competing against the new model. And corporate won’t care, they’ve made their money already! I think this is the most damaging point of the company. If they have a very good and unambiguous salvage clause, then sure, maybe I can retract my point here. But thus far, I haven’t seen one.
(4) Brand management also seems to be entirely lacking from their facebook page. Or maybe I should clarify that. It’s in overdrive. Wouldn’t be surprised if they have someone watching on 24-hour cycles. And not traditional social media brand management that one would expect to see. I rarely see any complaints on their FB page. Heck, I see a higher percentage of complaints on competing product social media pages than I do on ItWorks! This tells me they are selectively deleting posts. Carefully allowing maybe one or two to pass by every now and then to show a sense of “real people” and uphold their brand image, if they even have one for that matter. I also haven’t done an analysis but I would be curious to see how many “distributors” “like” their pages and posts versus customers. I wouldn’t be surprised to find that a good share of the SM “likes” are by distributors, inflating their numbers.
(5) This really is a cult. Honestly I think you put it very lightly in your post. Being frank here, it is a flat out cult and shares many of the same traits that members of a cult possess. Hell ask any ItWorks! “distributor” the name of their CEO and they’ll spout of his name, with a dreamy-eyed look. The typical “see that street corner? I was living there last week until ItWorks! helped me buy this BMW”. Then why are you still working at McDonalds? Not to knock McDonalds. Hell, any employee there has a better shot at making more money they can ever imagine than most of the ItWorks! “distributors” do since inception.
(6) Its only a matter of time. The bad thing for ItWorks! is that there is now substantial evidence to repudiate their promotional product success claims. In addition, don’t be surprised if that number of complaints grows exponentially. I really won’t be surprised if the whole darn thing collapses in about 5 years.
(7) Their photos that they use are clearly deceptive. My doctor friend (who works at Colombia mind you) even took a look at a few and easily refuted it as either simple water loss (not as a result of a wrap) or someone holding their breath and tummy in.
(8) There is a common pattern I’ve noticed (after all, this is what I do for a living lol) of all the posts of ItWorks! “distributors” posts. It always is around some event in their life that is not even remotely attributable to selling ItWorks! “My kids can eat tonight, all thanks to ItWorks!”, “I can go on vacation now, all thanks to ItWorks!”, “ItWorks! makes it possible for me to be a stay at home mom!”. This integration of sales and every day occurrence is not even remotely close to a good sales tactic. It wreaks of fraud. First, no, your kid’s lunch is not attributable to ItWorks! It’s attributable to the paycheck you earned waiting on tables the night before. I lost count of how many ItWorks “distributors” that consistently posted for a year that they were so close to quitting their job and becoming a full time “distributor” (the mere thought of that makes me cringe). Well how close? I have yet to see a good majority of them post “today I quit my job and became a full time distributor!”. Most of the time their non-ItWorks! related posts (if thats even noticeable) is always depressing and a passerby statement about their crappy job.
(9) Last, the fact that anyone from ItWorks! complains about china knock-offs clearly shows how ignorant they are to their own company’s product and sales. First of all, for something like a wrap, you would need to show a consumer actual evidence that a cheap knock-off wrap from china is some how inferior to the real thing. Second, you would need considerable brand equity power to persuade someone not to buy from china. Third, if you show someone evidence that a cheap knockoff from is dangerous to their health, then the first question that would arise in a consumers mind is “well, is any wrap dangerous then?”. Moral of the story, if you need to defend your product that also happens to have a cheap china knockoff and you get pissed over it, you’re a novice at this game. At the end of the day, ItWorks! is nothing more than a fad that will soon pass. And no reasonable consumer, as you have so eloquently argued, is willing to dish out that much for a product they never used, for something they don’t see as dangerous to their health and will be much more willing to purchase the cheap china knockoff. This is a non-durable good, and as with most non-durable goods, price is often a better strategy to compete on than differentiation (maybe food is an exception to this rule).
In short, if an ItWorks! distributor sees a dollar after spending 5, they get a fuzzy feeling in their heart. It’s because they feel like they’ve earned something and “done it on their own”. Another gripe of mine with this company. Many “distributors” call this “their own business”. It’s not “your business” if your getting 1099s. You’re a consultant, for lack of a better word. It’s almost an insult to real business owners that risk everything including time with their family to design a product or service that will actually help and benefit people, rather than blind risk. ItWorks! is equivalent to putting $1000 in a slot machine and hoping for a big win. At least if you take that $1000, open a small social media management or marketing consulting company , you can make something actually worth your time instead of deceiving people.
Moral: A good product or service doesn’t need a back-story behind it in order to sell.
Great comment. I especially liked “It’s not ‘your business’ if you’re getting 1099s.” As someone with a degree in accounting and finance, it drives me nuts to see these distributors talk about business concepts when it’s evident they do not know the first thing about business. The worst is when they exclaim all the money that can be made without specifying “net income”. Sure, an extra $500 per month sounds great, but is that $500 gross or $500 net? Intentionally vague. $500 per month is pretty bad if it cost you $1000 per month (plus the value of your time and effort) to earn it. As you mentioned, “happy to see a dollar after spending five.”
I agree, great comment! So many things I’ve thought but couldn’t put into words, and other things I didn’t think of.
I have a degree in business and have been working in accounting/finance for 12 years and I have the same exact thoughts when they start talking about money. I want a P&L ;)
I asked one of my Facebook friends if I could see her Schedule C as evidence of her income claims and then I got severely verbally attacked in the comment thread by all of the distributors on her friends list. One comment said, “Why would she lie about her income?!” ….as if there isn’t great incentive to mislead people…. as if misleading people isn’t the entire premise of ItWorks…
Everyone’s reply is spot on. But what I have found, shockingly, is that many of these “distributors” don’t even report their gross or net on their returns. I asked a few of them if they reported it. Some haven’t even filed returns at all. The last thing anyone wants is the Fed comin knockin on your door. I even asked if they received a 1099 from ItWorks! and many had claimed they had not. So I have even more suspicion that their so called “compliance” department is not so well in tune with tax law. I’m in marketing and supply chain so my accounting is not that strong, but come one, you don’t need a degree to figure out these fundamental things. Go ask the bagel store about how they handle their taxes. Chances are the owner doesn’t have a business degree but certainly understand basic accounting. These “distributors” dont. They see the income while ignoring the cost. It’s scary really. But unfortunately so many of the people I have seen sign up for ItWorks! are waitresses, stay at home moms, fast food workers and bartenders. That’s not to knock on their respective professions, but my point is that they most likely don’t have a background in basic business fundamentals, never having to be forced to learn such principles because they run an actual real business. Again, it’s not “your business”. The CEO these people admire owns a freakin island, you don’t. That’s the difference. He owns said island because he learned fast how to con people into providing cheap distribution. Not giving a crap about the structure of his channels, because he’s selling the pyramid, not the product. He’s the don in a “legal” (not for long I suspect) mafia. And I seriously chuckled hard at some of these people comparing real corporate governance structure to a pyramid scheme. I almost fell off my chair at how absurd such a comparison was made. Also, what employee actually knows who their CEO is? This is what makes me suspicious. Sure, I’m sure a few dedicated employees know the upper chain of command by name. But overwhelmingly, I would say most employees don’t even know who runs everything at the top. Most people don’t even know who sits on the board of directors of their own company. Go to Walmart and ask 10 employees who the CEO is. I bet only 3 will be able to tell you by name. ItWorks! , I would suspect about 9 out of 10 employees know. Now one could argue this is a good thing. I would argue that the CEO possesses a certain charisma that he intentionally portrays to keep his pyramid scheme hidden behind the shadows of these “distributors” minds. I’m all for supporting my friends business ventures. But this is not a “business venture”. This is desperation. Taking advantage of people who are in severe financial hardship and selling them hope in exchange for their money. This is quite literally no different than selling snake oil, but I feel that’s an insult to snake oil.
Company doesn’t need to send a 1099 if they made under $600 …… so there’s that
Correct. But if they are making an extra $500/month that many “distributors” claim to make (net, not gross), then they would. So either (a) they’re not making what they claim to make, (b) are netting less than $600 throughout the entire year or (c) they send 1099 but through an online portal that not many distributors know about. I’m not fully aware of the law with regards to method of delivery for one’s 1099, so maybe ItWorks! is sending it to them and the “distributors” don’t know about it. Or, they see scary codes and the word “tax” next to it and ignore it. Or, as I mentioned, they really aren’t making what they claim to make, which would be quite deceitful promotional tactics.
I personally don’t know a lot about running a business and the tax part of it but I can tell you that my sister inlaw filed her “it works” business as an LLC so she could claim stuff as “business expenses” when it was tax time. She writes off her cell phone bill, gas mileage, groceries, electric bills and so on bc she claims she “needs them for her business”. One of her friends above her posted a mountain of receipts she had to go through. I’m sorry but to me that’s fraud on the IRS bc we all know damn well she just sits on Facebook all day making ridiculous live videos lol. The other part of this is that the higher ups say they’re sending out “prizes” to distributors but it’s really just product they had to buy to keep whatever level they’re at. I’ve also heard about how higher ups send the people under them cash to buy products so they don’t lose their downline. One claims she made a million dollars last year (my sister inlaw is under her) um that’s great and all but why don’t the people under her see that they aren’t making money like she is???? They say they love the income and they have all this money but one higher up rents her house, the other threw a temper tantrum live on Facebook bc her washer flooded her house and she didn’t want to spend the 3k on her insurance (but made a million dollars) to fix it. I can’t stand this god damn company or its brainwashed cult followers
Yet Another anecdote that falls in line with my own observations. They post all this crap attributing random things in their life to ItWorks but then posts crap about how they can’t afford large financial expenses that everyone in the real world faces. And some write offs could be considered legit, but if you go too crazy with it intermingling personal and business expenses the irs will hit you hard. I honestly don’t know how the FTC has not taken action on this company yet for deceptive sales practices. The worst is when “distributors” start offering “medical” advice for weight loss. I’m pretty sure that skirts with the boundary of the law. Here’s some solid medical advice: eat your fruits and veggies and go running. Speaking of which, I’ve noticed another pattern with these “distributors”. They claim to be loosing weight due to the wrap and their “greens”, but then follow up those posts with pictures of healthy food selections. So which is making you loose weight? The wrap or your recent lifestyle change to eat more veggies? I think the answe is very clear to that question.
After reading their policy once again, I noticed something very fishy yet interesting. Their policy that’s that no distributor shall real ease their income statements to anyone not affiliated with ItWorks. They give a pretty scetchy reason. Why would anyone running an MLM want to explicitly write in their policy a clause that forbids individuals from disclosing their income statements? Now that sounds odd to me
When you were talking about the distributors giving medical advice, that is extremely dangerous. This idiot that I know who is a front desk person at medical offices who claim that she’s been in the “medical field ” for a long time. Um scheduling patients appointments does not authorize you to give medical advice. Im a RN and I am careful as to how I advise people. The “GREENS” that they’re so crazy about is Spirulina.. you can buy that fresh at Whole Foods btw.. anyone with a brain wouldn’t fall for this BS… that’s why they prey on the individuals that they do.
Correct Andrea. I’m not a medical doctor, but I would hope that enough people have enough common sense to know that a little pill or powder labeled as “greens” is not “all natural”. In fact, it is processed (how did it become a pill or a powder in the first place?). While I often at times give people my opinion on health related issues, I always tell them to talk to their doc, bc I’m not in a position to give professional medical or health advice, nor would I even think for a second about selling any product that did unless I had a doc on staff 24 hours a day to justify with real science and studies the product or service. These A**holes are hurting people and not even realizing it. Some of them I truly feel sorry for because they really are economically burdened. But just like any pyramid scheme, the victim becomes the attacker. If this company wanted to ditch their income statement release policy, I may give this company a fair shake when it comes to analyzing them. But to intentionally write in your policy that a lower level distributor cannot share their income statements, that alone should raise a red flag in ANY prospective distributor. With you being an RN, i’m sure you also know the risk in giving people medical advice. You can do serious harm if people misinterpret your advice or you gave them faulty advice. Possibly even death. These people are wannabe medical doctors. My 6-yr old daughter plays doctor too, doesn’t mean I’m going to take her advice for loosing my chicken-wing belly.
Yes lol .. What I think is actually going on is a placebo effect. Powders will not be equivalent to the real deal stalk of celery and Brussel sprouts.
Yes. At least celery and Brussel sprouts taste delectable when cooked properly. I would never trade that in for a crappy disgusting pill or powder any day of the week lol
The other problem with powders and pills as well is that it is concentrated. There could be potential deadly natural substances in that crap. People hear “all natural” and think no chemicals are put into it. Okay, well there are natural chemicals that can cause harm to the body.
Ammonia is “all natural”, I’m not about to down an entire bottle of it before my morning run. Moderate coffee consumption is healthy for you. Refine the coffee bean into pure caffeine powder, you’ve just created a toxin. The coca leaf is healthy for you. Process that into a powder and you got cocaine. Take a fruit, juice it, evaporate the water, and you got pure sugar, as deadly (and more addicting) as cocaine. Green tea in moderation is amazing for you. Turn it into an extract and you got yourself a potential liver killer.
“All natural” should mean that vegetation and meat is unprocessed or minimally processed and occurs or is as close to occurring in its natural state of being. If it comes in a jar, can, bottle or small packet, I’m going to bet my whole life savings its going to hurt you at some point in time with consistent use. So drink your “morning greens” from a powder that some belligerent ItWorks! saleswomen sold you for a crap load of money, I’ll go down to my farmers market, pick up some real greens and juice em myself. I think I can spare 5 minutes of my day to juice up some good stuff than just dump a crap load of who knows what in a bottle of water and shake it up. Not to mention, powder crap ALWAYS tastes disgusting. Just eat, you know, real foods lol
Because the FTC does not allow distributors make income claims. I was a distributor. I did make 5 figures a month for 3 years without spamming, insulting others or bragging about my newest car, purse or latest vacation like so many do in poor taste. But it all fell apart practically overnight and I will never be involved in mlm again because of how people act now. It’s embarrassing, unprofessional and I want no parts of it regardless of the income. I’m grateful for the money I earned which allowed me to invest and get ahead financially after my divorce. But the craziness you all speak of is REAL and I will not be associated with it. I’m DONE.
Lazy Man says
Thanks FormerDT. I think it’s worth noting that the MLM industry (through the Direct Seller’s Association) got themselves excluded from the Business Opportunity Rule, which I think is why distributors can’t make claims. (For more see: http://www.cnbc.com/id/100360456)
That’s yet another reason why MLM companies have tacitly admitted (IMO) that they don’t present a “business opportunity.”
Direct sales in the B2C sense may have worked decades ago, but it’s illogical today. Makes no sense. With all the technology at our fingertips, buying directly from a sales representative” seems like a scam right from the onset. Anyone anywhere can design a similar product, although different enough to get around patent infringement, open an ecommerce shop up and make a decent living. There ibviously is still value in B2B direct sales. But B2C DS these days pretty much only works in very specific spaces, mostly services and rarely in durable/non durable goods. I just feel bad for all the people that are financially strapped right now and buy into this. I can of course understand that a certain level of due diligence is required on the part of those buying into this, but when you have massive credit card debt, kids to feed, and everything else, it’s hard to see the forest through the trees.
Wow these comments are too much!!! With any “self-business” there will always be a great expense — that is more times with any business you tend to spend more than you profit.
[Editor’s Note: You should understand that MLM is not a business.]
I was very skeptical about the product (the wrap) — but it does work!!! Is it permanent — no, it can be if you workout and eat properly. Yes it is a fast fix and yes you do lose some inches.
[Editor’s Note: I believe nutrition experts suggest you workout and eat properly. I haven’t seen them include these wraps as part of that mainstream advice. It’s like saying that carrying a lucky rabbit’s foot does work… if you do the other things that are known to work.]
I have sold beauty products and surely your start-up costs and fees tend to out way your profits but once you get enough clients you will see great profits– but it takes a lot of hard work to see profits. When I sold the beauty products that were all natural– my sales work good I didn’t make a whole lot of money but the other people on my team did make a lot of money but there dedication was greater than mine.
[Editor’s Note: The problem is that it is almost impossible to get enough clients since there’s cheaper product on Ebay.]
From what I am reading, I could be wrong, but too me, someone has had a bad experience with the product and was expecting great results.
[Editor’s Note: Did you even read the article? That was COMPLETELY wrong.]
One year when my daughter got married my outfit was a little snug my daughter told me about the wrap– we shared a wrap– she put it on me and wrapped me with saran wrap– plus I put on a control top tank top which made it work more — the sweat was there and I lost a few inches– I didn’t exercise nor change my diet– I blew up again. But I am doing them again with exercise and diet change and it is working.
[Editor’s Note: Well we are back to where we were before… diet and exercise work. That’s a separate conversation from the point of this article.]
As far as medical responses (doctors– they don’t have any stock in the product — so they don’t promote it). I say that because every day EVERY DAY– you see and listen to commercial advertising some type of medication that has side effects and most recently on the evening news they exposed doctors supporting pharmaceutical companies and they get a kick back from medicines that have created more harm to you than what you were initially taking it for.
[Editor’s Note: I believe that doctors can no longer get kickbacks from pharmaceutical companies. The advertising that mentions side effects is due to legal requirements. It would be similar to car company having to disclose that there are numerous injuries that can happen when driving. It’s just lawyers being lawyers in my opinion.]
I’m not a distributor and the product doesn’t work miracles but it does do what they say it does. If you don’t have time to commit in selling anything (even at a lemonade stand) you will not make a whole bunch of money.
[Editor’s Note: Well that is true about selling. However, I’ve found that in MLM, they try to recruit people. If MLMs drop the pyramid recruiting and focus on retail sales, then I would have no problem.]
So lets stop bashing them cause the product does work– I like the scent, I like the feeling and I like to see the sweat too. Granted you could do this in the sun working outside with a girdle on but the eucalyptus and other minerals seems well by me.
Why do overweight people always look for the easy way out? We put on weight over a period of time. We look for the quick fix to lose weight fast. The real answer is it takes time. You eat less and work out more and you lose the weight you put on by eating more & working out less. Pretty simple! Plus MLMs cause riffs in friendships and family friction.
People see shiny objects without first realizing theres a string attached to it. I can say that it’s not as simple as “eat less exercise more”. **** (See disclaimer below please). A substantial amount of research has been done on this and has consistently found that approach is deeply flawed. Notwithstanding genetics, a “calorie in” is not equivalent to a “calorie out”. Eat 300 calories of doughnuts every day and try to argue you are substantially healthier and “lost weight” than you were eating 5000 daily calories of veggies and non-packaged/cured meats. You may loose physical weight but increase fat/muscle mass, what researchers call “skinny fat”. Truth is, the body is just too complicated for any “simple solution”.
For most of us, we just need to eat higher than normal recommended amounts of fruits and veggies, and vary the types as well, eat non-processed meats and ensure you have enough good fat in you (yes, you NEED fat). Avoid anything in a freaking box or can and don’t avoid saturated fat, that’s a necessity, except only in moderate amounts and certainly no where near what we collectively consume now. And avoid fast food for like, a long amount of time. All sugar as well (all natural and artificial fruit juices, believe it or not, are the most unhealthy thing on God’s earth). And avoid organic and GMO foods. Sounds counter-intuitive but at least I know my vegetation was bred by a scientist with disease-free genetics in mind.
With non-gmo and organic, anything from the environment can be in that crap, do you really want to take a risk in that? No, there is no “Frog DNA” in GMOs. Even if this were the case, I rather have that than some parasite lurking in a head of organic broccoli that is not genetically able to fight it off
And yes, exercise. Measuring all this with calories is just misleading and leads people to make the same stupid nutritional decisions that all the ItWorks! users make. Calories in calories out can work with some people, but the truth of the matter is they are looking at the wrong indicator. If you eat 1000 calories of fruits and veggies every day, sure, you’ll loose weight, but inappropriately attribute that to the level of calories (1000) rather than the source of the calories (fruits and veggies). A calorie in a doughnut is not processed by the body the same way as a calorie in a broccoli stem, and the body may generate more fat as a direct result with how each calorie is unpackaged and subsequently burned. Beer has energy in it (calories), but I don’t think my car would burn those too well, creating a ton of issues. The body works in a similar manner (albeit not exact) with energy.
And the ItWorks! pushers don’t quite understand any of this. Business fundamentals are certainly lacking with these people (again, its not “your business”). They push out “green crap”, but when I ask them “why can’t i just eat a bunch of green veggies?”, they’ll try to push out some crap about quantity of greens. Okay, i’ll juice my greens, chug it down, and save the excess fiber for veggie burgers and cakes, all at a fraction of the cost. They then try to claim the cost of all natural veggies is more expensive (it’s not really), and then claim non-GMO is the way to go (again, its not, I hold TWO science degrees, you don’t, stop trying to justify to me without valid reasoning or evidence about genetics). I rather have a real “all natural” solution then one that comes in a little pill or packet that is “all natural-derived”.
Not to mention there is absolutely zero , let me say that again, ZERO, NO scientific evidence that suggests these wraps help one loose weight, “detox” or loose cellulite. None. Not one. I’m still waiting for these people to point to even a single non-ItWorks! legit academic peer-reviewed scientific publication, with proper controls in randomized comparative experiments, proper data analysis methodology employed, and assumption testing conducted, where there is even remotely a slight statistical significance for these claims. Not WebMD, not some article from some “mommy blog” or even a medical institution. I mean, a real academic journal, fairly credible, high impact higher with non-inner journal based references. When I see that, I’ll give the company a second look. Until then, these people need to stop pushing crap they don’t know anything about. At the end of the day, this company is hurting the gullible and ultra-vulnerable people that are facing tough economic hardship. Not to mention, it’s only a matter of time before these products result in adverse health effects. Too risky for my money.
****Disclaimer: Unlike these ItWorks! jerks, I am not a medical professional and nothing in my comment should be interpreted as “medical advice”. All information in this comment is OPINION and YOU SHOULD DO YOUR OWN DAMN RESEARCH and speak with a REAL medical doctor, not affiliated with ItWorks!, a spa, or any other pyramid scheme, to know what is best for loosing and maintaining a healthy weight and a healthy diet.
WOW. Aren’t you impressed with yourself? Is there a cure for you? You most definitely suffer from diarrhea of the mouth! For the rest of us normal people, eating less and working out more works very well. Peace
Too bad that myth has been debunked, time and time again. I would offer an intelligent response to your reply, but there’s really no intelligent response to offer to such ignorance, other than possibly for most “normal people”, that indeed does not work. It worked for you, fantastic, great to know you’re the statistical outlier. Read a few books and speak with a few medical professionals on the matter and maybe you’ll be a bit more open minded. Again, simplistic solutions, as you as seemed to initially argue, don’t work. “Eat less exercise more” is right up there with the ItWorks! people.
Lazy Man says
Diet and exercise has worked something like 99.999% of the time on The Biggest Loser. Yes they don’t always keep up with it, but it is consistent. It’s not like people gain weight there.
Now please stop the tangent or I will delete future comments for being off topic.
Diet theory’s are as bad as religious debates..
Extremism is like being in a cult. No sugar -period! Natural Fruit sugar is evil, white rice, potatoes are evil, eat a pound of bacon covered with cheese and eggs and you’re all good as long as you don’t have the forbidden carb-bread!
I personally lost 83 lb’s. Had a full physical at the beginning. All blood work was good – cholesterol, sugar levels etc. There were TWO options for a “diet” — polar opposite approaches.
I used my own. Cut out fast food – no late night meals labelled as “snacks” – ate smaller portions – my diet was i ate EVERYTHING IN A BALANCED WAY.
eggs, toast, pancakes, yogurt w nuts, cheerios w bananas, sammies on white or wheat bread, lots of oranges, bananas and grapes — hot meals; meat( steaks, chicken, fish); carbs( potato, rice, noodles), veggies(all kinds) and a dinner roll(no butter) — I use olive oil, use very little butter-ever. For desert I like bean vanilla and ice cream sandwhiches. I have it twice a week.
ALL MY PORTIONS ARE SMALL. I was hungry at the beginning cause I was a fat lard and wanted to gorge.
83 lbs within 11 month time frame is healthy. I had a second physical – all is good..
walk walk walk – push ups, sit ups, bicycles, burpees, handstands worked for me. I was VERY POOR at the beginning but did it every other day.
If i ate to much, skipped a workout or whatever — I made sure it was few and far between and I DID NOT USE THAT AS A REASON TO QUIT.
That’s my scientific weight loss routine.
The Biggest Loser people also exercise 13-16 hours a day while on the show and have such a negative caloric intake daily that they will definitely lose weight. If you look at them years after the show you will see most if not all put the weight back on because out in the real world, no one has the time to exercise that much in one day.
Lazy Man says
I don’t think they exercise 13-16 hours a day. But the rest of what you said is what I wrote. There is no doubt to diet and exercise working. Time, psychology, willpower, and a bunch of other things are huge factors, but it still boils down to diet and exercise.
For the record.. the biggest loser was for entertainment and ratings. Many story line were horrific in the end. One can not beat their body up for hours a day running, lifting etc while you’re 1-2 even 3 hundred lb’s over weight. Damaged tendons, ligaments etc.. Sad stories actually.
Looking ‘good’ is a racket — lots of snake oil out there..
Lazy Man says
Just to add to that article, Professor… I believe there are studies that show negative effects from zero-calorie sweeteners. I believe it was something like tricking the body to produce insulin to store fat. Again, I’ll leave that as an exercise to the reader.
However, it is important to keep in mind that this, like the article that you presented about a calorie not being a calorie, falls under “diet”, which is different than “eat less and exercise more.”
And a nutrition professor showed you can lose 27 pounds eating only Twinkies and other junk foods.
I think the idea is that there’s a lot of things you can do. Few people are making money selling generic “diet and exercise” advice and there’s ample evidence to show that it generally works. I don’t think you’ll find too many reputable doctors who are willing to say that they are snake oil and NOT factors in one’s weight.
That’s fair enough. I guess when I hear “diet” I generally think of not only caloric value but nutritional value. I know there are studies out there between the Big Mac and Twinkie, but there is such a concept of being “skinny fat”, which I would suspect such high diets produce. At the end of the day o think we’re all saying the same thing from a different perspective. That being quick fixes like ItWorks and similar fixes are always too good to be true, and are modern versions of snake oil, at least in my opinion. I guess it’s the age old philosophy of do everything in moderation that seems to win the day. Yet, as I’ve said, there are some that do suffer from genetic defects where no such “diet” works in effective weight loss. Where Gastro bypass is necessary. But, I’m not intending for this to turn into a debate of dieting, I guess my original comments were more along the tangential line of weight loss promises with simple fixes, and despite our disagreements, I think we can all agree that it’s really not an easy feat. Willpower alone is tough. Add the consistent bombardment of these ItWorks distributors ads and it makes willpower even more difficult. Honestly I’m hoping the FTC comes knocking on these guys doors real soon, because while I may not be able to speak from a position of medical advice, I can certainly say by near definition MLMs are not “real business”, the product itself is only the loophole that allows them to maintain legal status. And even that alone is skirting with the law of the land.
Even within the mefical industry there’s major differences of opinions based on “facts” – that’s why I liken diet marketers to religion–they all go to clinical studies as their proof likr religion goes to the same bible for their “truth”..
Itworks is a scam from the get.. videos out there of ‘leaders’ bragging about stuffing themselves with pizza and pastries while promoting the “fat fighter” — any sane person knows it’s bs.
They push the business before the product is secondary..no matter what they say.
Lazy Man says
I’m going to run with Professor’s comment about the FTC knocking on the door of MLMs (any MLM).
The FTC gave MLMs guidance after “recent law enforcement actions against Herbalife and Vemma”. At the same time, Bloomberg has written about why the FTC can’t put an end to pyramid schemes.
The FTC chairwoman on the watch resigned with the new administration that in my opinion promotes business over consumer protection. Trump and some of the people in power have direct ties to MLMs. So, in my opinion, it isn’t likely we’ll see much happen for a few years from a law enforcement perspective. I think it’s up to journalists and class action lawyers to take the baton on this one.
I actually head that on TV Lazyman from an actual contestant but according to this article is 5-8 hours.
I never said diet and exercise were not important, that was my point in fact. That they are contributing factors, but not the end all be all. My point is that to apply such a simple philosophy to a complex problem is as deceptive as throwing a wrap on your belly and shoving down some “greens”. I think Scott and Prtzl hit the nail on the head. Go to your doctor and determine what is the best for you. Typically this comes in the form of a lifestyle change, not “diet and exercise”. Quit smoking, reduce drinking, reduce packaged goods and eat a balenced diet. And maintain that for the rest of your life.
My point is that people misinterpret “eat less and exercise more” to mean limiting calories from any source and increasing exercise. Well sure, exercise works, and is necessary, but again, you can’t really loose weight by switching to an all day doughnut, pizza, burger, fries and soda diet without having to spend a majority of your day exercising, and you still will be left with an excess amount of energy to burn, not to mention you would be nutritionally void inside.
And I’m sorry for pushing this onto a tangent but it was related to the bigger point here, which is that snake oil comes in many forms, whether that’s in a package of wraps or in a simple philosophy being sold. And what of the people that cannot loose weight due to their genetics? How do you tell them to just eat less and run more? How can you tell them to shove a wrap on them and they’ll see the fat burn right off? Weight loss starts with a visit to your doctor and ends with willpower and adherence to your doctors advice. Not what some TV show or advertisement is selling you. And certainly not from wrapping plastic on your body. By the way, Lazy man, I don’t know if you saw this article but it was also a pretty good breakdown of ItWorks!:
Haha! That article was hilarious that you shared! I’ll wait for the perfect moment to pass that along.
Thanks Lazy. Yes, most intelligent people agree that Itworks and other snake oil diet products are a scam. Most intelligent people agree that there are simple solutions to losing weight. And, yes, most intelligent people would agree that some people have genetic or other medical related issues that make losing weight more difficult. Most people can lose weight by eating less and paying attention to WHAT they put in their bodies. Enough said!
Well, I know this article is old based on the comments, but I’m going to reply anyway.
I just started as a distributor. My kit was on sale for $10, and I did not pay for it myself. So, I have lost zero money on this endeavor so far. (While we’re on that, no one has ever forced anyone to start with any company. So, if a person ever shells out their money, they should be willing to part with it–that’s true for anything we buy).
Obviously, while I’m in the ‘honeymoon phase’, I’m doing my research on It Works. I’m seeing a lot of animosity between people and their ideal versions of a “job”. I thought that this would be a good way to pay a few bills simply because (unlike most folks) I’m too sick to work a full-time, in-person job. I’m in the hospital almost monthly, so I don’t have the option of working like that. Shouldn’t something like this be beneficial for someone like me? We’ll see. There’s nothing wrong with working in a building. There’s nothing wrong with working at home. I’ve done both. Sometimes, a company like this is a good fit for someone. That doesn’t mean it’s a good fit for everyone.
I teach part-time. I’m fully certified and love my students. Of course, I will continue to teach, but that isn’t enough income for me right now. So, I plan on doing some retail sales with interested people. If I were going to buy, I’d buy retail. I’m not a fan of the subscription model, so I wouldn’t push it on my friends. I would only ever suggest things I’d buy myself. So, I plan on being completely up-front with costs, and if they want it, they want it. If they don’t, who am I to shove it down their throats? I’m not that kind of person. And, that’s exactly the problem I’m seeing here. It’s not a business-model kind of problem. It’s a “people” problem.
As far as pyramid schemes go, I’m too smart for that. I’m not the person who is going to give you my money to buy product JUST to do the work/sales FOR you. If this ever even REMOTELY turns into something like that, I’m out. So far, it hasn’t been that way. People should always be money-conscious. If they’re ever parting with their money, they should be accountable for that.
I think It Works is perfectly fine if you’re looking to make a few dollars on the side by selling retail to people who may actually want the product. It seems to me like, instead of this being a pyramid scheme, people have come into contact with just genuine, sleazy salespeople. If people are trying to sell things or sign people up for stuff that may not be a good fit for them, then they’re just bad people.
It’s great to sale, for lack of a better example and a dash of humor, tampons to a woman who needs them, but trying to convince a man that he needs them makes the seller a bad person and the buyer an idiot. It doesn’t make the tampon or the company that makes them bad. Get it? Haha. There’s nothing wrong with It Works so far. What’s wrong is that people aren’t using their heads, doing their research, reading the Terms and Conditions, learning their products, or asking themselves if it’s something they really need (sellers and buyers alike).
So, while it’s profitable, c’mon. I’ll let you browse the store. If you see something you like, great. Hit me up. If you don’t, move on. I’m not making you buy anything that you don’t feel is good for you. I wouldn’t WANT to do anyone that way anyway! Folks, it’s not your product or company; it’s your sales rep.
Lazy Man says
Thanks for leaving a comment Crystal. It has been awhile since I looked at It Works. There are more than a thousand MLM companies and they are a small set of what I write about here, so there’s no possible way I could keep everything “new.” However, if you find a lot has changed, perhaps they changed it response to the constructive criticism like in my article.
It’s great that you didn’t have to pay anything to get started so far. I simply ask that people be careful about this. Do a Google search for “MLM cult” and you’ll learn a lot about the brain-washing techniques in MLM. In my opinion it is a little like a drug dealer giving the first hit away for free to get you hooked.
And of course no one is ever “forced” to start with an MLM company. They are simply coerced into opportunity with pictures of beaches, cars, making big money, escaping from your boss… all of which the FTC says are deceptive. If you spot any of these things with It Works, I would suggest listening to the FTC’s words there and getting away.
Furthermore, be aware that if you decide to leave an MLM, you likely may be coerced to stay through bullying tactics. Often they’ll call you a quiter or a failure. And if you listen to friends or family who warn you, they may label these people as “Dream Stealers” to get you not to listen to people who really care about you.
If you are selling products to pay a few bills, then it could be beneficial. There’s nothing wrong with selling products. The pyramid questions come into play when you recruit people into your downline.
I work from home… certainly nothing wrong with that. On day 1 of my dog sitting business, I made more profit that most people in MLM will ever make… 99% lose money.
Obviously dog sitting isn’t a good fit for everyone and can be a good fit for some people. Recruiting pyramid schemes are a bad fit for everyone, so once again I’d stick to just selling the MLM products.
It sounds like you are looking to just sell products, which is great. I really hope it works out for you.
I think you are wrong about it not being a business-model kind of problem. If you took out the recruiting and made it a simple commission sales job (salesman gets 20%), it’s not likely that anyone would have a problem with that. I’m fairly sure the FTC wouldn’t have the problems I highlighted above. Maybe the “people” problem is a symptom of the business model problem. Again, maybe the people are victims of the “MLM cult” that I mentioned above. Think about it, if you had a friend who works at Subway, would they be trying to shove it down your throat? I don’t think the people are very different, but the business model sure it, right?
Everyone thinks they are too smart to be part of a pyramid scheme. As the FTC said above in that link, “For this reason, any requirements or incentives that participants purchase product for
reasons other than satisfying genuine consumer demand – such as to join the business opportunity, maintain or advance their status, or qualify for compensation payments – are problematic.”
So if you find that you need to spend your own money to get the volume necessary to qualify for commissions, it sounds like you’ll be out, right? It might be worth asking around to see if other people are doing that. Usually in MLM this done through something called “auto-ship.”
Crystal wrote, “It seems to me like, instead of this being a pyramid scheme, people have come into contact with just genuine, sleazy salespeople.”
That could be. However, if you see people held out as success stories earning lots of money with a recruited downline of hundreds or more, then it isn’t just sleazy salespeople. I think it’s highly unlikely that they are personally selling huge amounts of product themselves like you intend to do.
Crystal wrote, “What’s wrong is that people aren’t using their heads, doing their research, reading the Terms and Conditions, learning their products, or asking themselves if it’s something they really need (sellers and buyers alike).”
Another problem I’ve found with MLMs is that sometimes people get involved for the compensation plan. You see people who jump from MLM to MLM and bring their recruited downline with them. And yes they may not need the product or even care about it. I think that’s simply one of the problems that the MLM business model creates. Again, I think you’ll find that your people problem is a result.
And you know what, Lazy Man? After posting this, I continued on to read absolutely every single line in the Policies and Procedures of the company (all 40+ pages of it). There were quite a few things that didn’t mesh well with me. There were too many places in the litigation where commission was dependent on down-lines or subscriptions, and there were sneaky little ways to charge distributors fees for this or that (annual renewal fees, $20/mo for a cloned website that is almost impossible to sell products without and actually against ToS to change…for which they could potentially withhold your commission or charge you for violating…, or fees for a customer who decides to do a chargeback or cancellation, etc). I mean, they even charge their customers $50 if they decide to cancel a subscription. Like…what? I went to their website pretending to be a customer, and when you go to check out, there are 2 buttons which sign you up for the automated subscription program. If you’re not well-versed in websites/computers, it looks as if those are your ONLY options. You have to look in the far right, bottom corner in TINY print to find the “no thanks, check out as a retail customer” option. Then, after that, if you’re not selling with their $20/mo site, the customer has to put in a 9 or so digit ID number or search for you to even make sure you get credit for the sale. Who is going to do that? If I’m a customer, I have to pay an already expensive price, bypass 2 subscription click-baits, and enter a huge number in addition to all of my payment and check-out information all so that I don’t have to pay a $50 membership and my distributor doesn’t have to pay $20/mo for a pre-generated website. I mean, props to their marketing team. They have a stomach of steel because I couldn’t do people that way just to get money. Sure, they’re getting tons of money, but it’s most likely coming from fees they’re charging their customers and the people actually selling for them. Then, they get the sellers to bring on more sellers so they can charge exponential amounts of fees! They might even get lucky and sale some products. They’re absolutely rolling in the dough, but how can you DO that and sleep at night?There’s no WAY I’d buy a sub with them, so I would NEVER sell them. Since the majority of their company revolves around these subs, I just can’t do it. I like their products. Gosh, I mean, I really think you’re right. The poor salesmanship is almost a symptom of this: how the incentives are, how the litigation is set forth…, all of it begs new distributors to PUSH stuff on people. A good product should sell itself. You shouldn’t have to bribe or even coerce people to push it on folks like this. I still plan on selling the wraps that come in the kit I’m getting. Selling 3 of them at $25 when the website retails them for $99 is fair to my friends and gives me $75 cash to put towards bills. But, I will be out after that. I even get to write up a formally signed letter to get out of this (the only way to cancel) while carefully stating that I don’t want my distributor account to be converted into a customer’s subscription loyalty account…so that I won’t get an unexpected fee next month. (They automatically downgrade you to a subscription if you don’t specify that you wish to cancel that too when you go to leave). I was a little smart on that, though. I never set up my account for them to have my bank or card information yet. So, they can’t dabble in what little money I DO have at the moment. To be fair, when I told my team all of this, they never guilt-tripped me and were very pleasant and respectful of my wishes. I was only wanting to sell product, so this definitely isn’t for me. I hope that anyone else who is still distributing at this point is only in it for the product knowing that it will be very small sells paired with a tedious “Policies and Procedures” list that they need to be well aware of in order to avoid OWING money instead of making it. I’m glad I did my homework! :) Told ya I’m pretty smart! I guess going to school and working in sales before paid off some. By the way, I think your job sounds awesome. Animals are so much more genuine than people sometimes. Best of luck to everyone out there! DO YOUR HOMEWORK.
Lazy Man says
Thanks for the follow-up Crystal.
If you still do like the products, you should be able to buy them on Ebay without getting entangled in all the other stuff. I think it’s worth noting that almost all MLMs prohibit selling product on Ebay. So for some reason they don’t seem to really want to people product.
That sounds strange, right? Why wouldn’t an MLM company want to sell its product on Ebay or Amazon?
It’s complicated, but Harper’s Magazine published this about Mary Kay:
Thank you for this! After a year of seeing at least 10 people I know get sucked into this black hole, I’m totally fed up with it. I’ve been unfriended, had my comments deleted, and completely mocked. All because I won’t buy into this crap. I have muscular dystrophy, and to see any Joe schmo claim that their products work for people dealing with neurological disorders or hormonal imbalances just enrages me. Any responses I’ve ever gotten to questions have been totally copied and pasted word for word. What a joke! The distributors have no idea what they’re doing or talking about. Can we please just see you home of a company disintegrate already?!? Literally despise this company.
Former Dist.. How did your MLM business “fall apart” over night? To me it’s disingenuous to claim how Network Marketing is shady as you’re reaping the benefits of the income you made with IWG.
So, how did it fall apart?.
I never claimed it was shady. I’m saying at some point in time (around the time it started taking over social media) it became like the Wild West. People making fools of themselves spamming Facebook and making bizarre posts and videos they’d never make if they weren’t in mlm. Poaching. Company hopping. Losing sales to eBay, amazon & flea market pages. Losing leads to top earners who have giant google/Facebook ad budgets. Misrepresentation of how leaders built their businesses. Many unwilling to admit that a lot of it was timing or they were built by their Upline or paid thousands of dollars for online leads through google or Facebook. Continuing to act like others can come in and easily have what they have. Even if you try to keep your team in line, they still see the chaos and are influenced by the crazies. And before you know it they start questioning what they got involved with, feel misled and quit. When that starts to happen it crumbles fast.
Lazy Man says
Fornerdt, I think a lot of that stuff happened with MonaVie back in 2008 when I was covering them. For example, most of the MonaVie people came from Amway.
I laugh when people talk about losing sales to Ebay/Amazon. If you don’t want to lose sales, price your product cheaper. If you can’t price your product cheaper, it’s simply a waste of time.
I don’t think there’s a time when MLM wasn’t the Wild West. You can go back to this Money Magazine article from 1987: “The Mess Called Multi-Level Marketing With celebrities setting the bait, hundreds of pyramid-style sales companies are raking in millions, often taking in the gullible.”
It’s more than 30 years later and people haven’t gotten less gullible.
Lazy Man says
Just read this about a ViSalus lawsuit: http://ethanvanderbuilt.com/2017/07/26/visalus-sued-for-operating-a-pyramid-scheme-and-an-amazon-storefront/
“For years with top management’s encouragement, Michael Gehart purchased large quantities of ViSalus product at below-wholesale price and re-sold it on Amazon at a wholesale price, a practice that effectively made ViSalus products available throughout the United States at distributor prices to everyone.”
It seems that ViSalus’ management had a separate set of guidelines for different distributors.
The lesson I take away here is that if an MLM company says that you can’t sell on Amazon/Ebay, they should legally certify that they aren’t allowing others to do the same.
Social Media is not the catalyst for collapse of IWG. High level cheaters were around before Social Media took the reign for marketing. You were involved while the same underhanded games were happening in IWG for a long time making the 5 figure monthly income. Great on you for earning, investing and moving on with the cash you made.
What you were over-looking in terms of ethical company behavior while building the 5 figure monthly income?
Lazy Man said: “Just read this about a ViSalus lawsuit…It seems that ViSalus’ management had a separate set of guidelines for different distributors. The lesson I take away here is that if an MLM company says that you can’t sell on Amazon/Ebay, they should legally certify that they aren’t allowing others to do the same.”
This confirms what I have long suspected; that MLM companies have been colluding with a select few of their kingpin distributors to sell product out the back door, at a discounted rate, via Amazon and E-Bay. I knew that this had to have been the case with Monavie because there were sellers on Amazon that were moving large volumes of product at wholesale price month after month, despite the threats the head office issued to the peons barring them from selling via such sites. The fact that the big sellers on Amazon continued to operate unimpeded without the company shutting them down was clear evidence of collusion, since large volumes of product couldn’t be moved consistently without the company knowing about and abetting it.
Based on my observations, there is only one surefire thing that a distributor can do to get terminated by an MLM — that’s concurrently recruiting/working for another MLM. The next “sin” that’s most likely to result in a distributor’s termination is being a seller on Amazon/E-Bay (i.e., one that’s not a big fish colluding with the company). Interestingly, I’ve never heard of even a single case of a distributor being terminated for lying and claiming that the products cure diseases, even though they do so chronically despite it being blatantly illegal, nor for misrepresenting the earnings potential, which is also a ubiquitous element of all MLM sales pitches. In other words, a distributor can be the worst, most wretched, dishonest seller imaginable, misleading/exploiting customers and breaking the law at every turn, as long as they don’t try to poach even one of their fellow distributors to join a rival MLM, for that is certain death in MLM land.
The only reason that I can think of as to why MLMs would try to punish lower-level distributors for selling via Amazon/E-Bay is to ensure that the company’s wholesale price to regular distributors doesn’t get matched or undercut, since that would impact the company’s recruiting efforts and lead to more hasty collapse of their ever-fragile pyramids. Perhaps they also do it to provide exclusivity for the kingpins who are covertly selling the product on Amazon with the company’s blessing; basically running defense and knocking out their competition with the threat of expulsion. Now that we know Visalus took over the Amazon sales business covertly, it’s clear that they were in direct competition with their regular distributors, which is a pretty gob smacking revelation even for MLM
Another interesting revelation from the Visalus lawsuit is that the company was logging the covert Amazon sales as retail sales when in fact, all the transactions were at discounted rates that would not qualify as actual retail sales. That might explain in part why MLMs will sometimes offer up a claim about the number of retail customers they have, but they never EVER disclose how much revenue is derived from those alleged “retail” sales. If they did, it would be transparent that the people they are calling retail customers aren’t actually paying retail prices (it would also show that they make most of their revenue through recruitment and don’t come anywhere close to meeting the 70% rule, but we’ll save that for another day).
I’m very curious to know more of the details behind the secret sweetheart deals that MLMs make to enable a few distributors to sell on Amazon/E-Bay at below wholesale prices. Are these deals typically made upfront or used as inducements to keep kingpins from quitting (and moving to a rival MLM along with their downline) once overall sales start declining? Seems like the latter in the case of Visalus, since the deal was made in 2011, which is several years after Vislaus started operating (the same year as Blyth’s takeover, initiated in 2008, was completed). I’d make a whopping bet that there’s also a tax fraud element involved as well when they, in effect, provide bonuses to certain distributors in the form of discounted product. Easy to write that off as breakage or use some other kind of dodge to evade taxes.
I bet they even trotted out those secret Amazon sellers to the convention stages to deliver the kind of BS maudlin speeches that we’ve all come to expect from MLMs about how the company made it possible for them to work their way to the top and how, if you follow “the plan” (i.e., pursue a fruitless quest that bears no resemblance whatsoever to the duplicitous BS that really led to their success) YOU can be a roaring success too!
Needless to say this entire scenario is completely reprehensible. The company is purposely profiting by undercutting their MLM “sales force” and lying to them about it every step of the way. The company is literally creating a second stream of sales by directly competing and with and ravaging sales from their MLM distributors. Pretty un-b-f-ing-lievable; at least as much as anything can be at this point when it comes to the atrocities of MLMs.
One other thing that bears mention is the fact that Michael Gehart was totally content to participate in this dubious scheme and profit from the deception without objection until the moment he got squeezed out by Visalus (after the company came to the realization that they didn’t need him to run the scam and that they could reap more profit if they did it themselves). Here’s a key excerpt:
Michael Gehart has become yet another VICTIM of the scheme that has been operated by ViSalus and others for years. At the time his Amazon account was removed, Gehart was earning a profit of $10,000-$15,000 per month on the sales of ViSalus product through his Amazon account. Gehart has earned approximately $365,000 in profit from his Amazon sales and an additional $1,579,942 through the ViSalus compensation system on commissions from his Amazon sales.
So this a-hole basically ran a scam that victimized hordes of people and netted him roughly $2M in ill-gotten gains and now that he got pushed out by Visalus, he has the unmitigated gall to call himself a victim!!! If victimization were the issue, the first responsibility would be looking out for the thousands of distributors that got defrauded. Gehart is a dick and got the fleas he deserved for lying down with dogs. Nonetheless, while I feel the opposite of sympathy for him, I do take great delight that he is exposing the company’s shenanigans and screwing Sarnicola in the eye socket, because that is what he deserves – and then some. These circular firing squads are what all of these dicks deserve. And it seems to happen inevitably with all MLMs at some point, thankfully.