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EVALUATING MLM AND AFFILIATE PROGRAMS
by: Cary Christian

When you are considering investing in one of the many MLM and affiliate programs available, you probably already know that most of them are doomed to failure from the very beginning.  Some of the founders know their programs are doomed as well, but they also know that they will personally make money even though very few of their affiliates will.

Many times you can smell them a mile away. Some are so blatant you will never be fooled by them. But others are so nicely packaged and well sold that you might miss the warning signs.  To help you protect yourself against these, here are some guidelines for evaluation that you might find useful.

First and foremost, do the math. Most pyramid-type programs require more downline members than there are people on earth to work. For example, Go4Millions seems to be very popular so we did the math to see what we would come up with.

In order for you to make your million dollars from this program you have to fill your matrix. It takes 111,110 people to fill your matrix. Of course, the people in your matrix want to make their million dollars, too. So for you and your matrix all to make your million dollars you need a total of 5,543,210 members taking into account the fact that the downlines overlap. And that is just for you and your matrix.

If there are 5,000 other members at the time you join, you will need 27,716,050,000,000,000 members in order for you all to get your million dollars. And this still leaves the people at the bottom of the matrices out in the cold. No matter how many members sign up, the ones at the bottom always lose.

Since there are only about 6,000,000,000 people on earth, this program fails the math test miserably. If the program paid well enough even if you only filled two or three levels of your matrix, it still might be worthwhile. Problem is, it doesn't.

While running the numbers can often show you the flaws in many of these programs, for others you will need to evaluate the legitimacy of the program on the basis of other factors. The following are some things you should look for:

1. Does the program sell a product or service that people will want? Is it really useful?

2. Is the product or service fairly priced or can it be acquired elsewhere for much less or possibly even for free?  Most pyramid schemes use a "sham" product, special reports, or some common ebook just to get around the law.

3. Do you find yourself reading page after page of marketing copy with no mention of a product or service? Are you having trouble figuring out the purpose of the program? Have you read the entire web site and still see no mention of a product or service? If this is the case, the promoters are trying to sell you on selling the program. This is an indication of a pyramid-type program.

4. Does the website attempt to get you to sign up before you learn what the program is all about? Can you only learn the details of the program after joining? If the promoters aren't confident enough to lay it out for you before joining, maybe you should reconsider.

5. What do you know about the promoters of the program? Have they been involved in other MLM opportunities? If so, how successful were they?

6. Does the program have a reputation for paying on time and for accurately accounting for money due to its members?

7. How does the pay plan work? How long do you have to wait to receive your money? How are payments made? Check? PayPal?  Debit card?

8. Does the program promise you extreme profits without having to work for it? You know the ones: work 30 minutes a day and be making $10,000 per month within 60 days.

You should also check to see if the programs you are interested in (or its promoters) are listed or discussed on any of the following websites:

1. CyberCriminals Most Wanted -
http://www.ccmostwanted.com/scams.htm

2. Pyramid Scheme Alert - http://www.pyramidschemealert.org  -
site also has a good 5-Step, Do-It-Yourself Evaluation that is rather good.

3. Scam Watch - http://www.scamwatch.com

4. Worldwide Scam - http://www.worldwidescam.com

You'll find links on these websites to other websites that also contain information that might be of use to you.

There is a lot of crap out there. Be careful and do your due diligence before investing your time and hard-earned money.


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