I have been reading this site for many months and never thought that I would respond, but I think I need to. I have two college degrees and own my own retail business. I had a baby one year ago and since then decided I wanted to own my own business and not be gone 40-50 hours a week. (I opened the store 6 months ago and am making no money from it yet)
I have spent 2 years researching home businesses, pyramids, mlm's, any scam you can think of and lost much money in the process. In researching, going to seminars, filling out forms, sending money, phone calls, internet searcing, Better Business Bureau's, etc... here is what I have found... and what I have found works for ME.. not necessarily you.. but for myself.
Quixtar(might have the spelling wrong) sounded so good to me at the meeting. It made sense to buy products from a company and have others shop there too and make money from that. After attending the meeting, I did a lot of research and decided because of it's affiliation with Amway it gave everyone a negative feel and I didn't want to deal with it. I have since learned that the people who make money with Quixtar make it from selling tapes, learning materials, etc. Not for me.
I have checked into herbalife twice. The products may be fine, never tried them. What was a problem for me was the way they represented themselves. I know now that when on the internet these companies don't like to say who they are because they want to get you into their informational meeting first. Fine. That's fair. What was upsetting for me was when I was in the middle of one of the phone information meetings, they still wouldn't tell me who they were. If you were proud of your company you should say so. The first time I lost 39.95 for their informational booklet and could never get a refund. That was about 3 years ago. This time, after getting angry and they finally told me they were herbalife about 3 months later, 4 e-mails and 3 messages via phone I was refunded. I still get e-mails from her all the time. I just don't respond, doesn't bother me that much, just annoying. So, for me I wasn't impressed with the individuals I came across with herbalife. So, not for me.
I have also lost money in the envelope mailing scams, taking pictures of property (can't remember what that was called), but he wouldn't give me my money back unless I sent several letters to companies trying to make this work) I didn't want to go thru it so I just let him have my 29.95, I figured he needed it more than I did.
I am still trying surveys and so far have only made money from survey savvy. All of the rest are entering you into drawings to win money. Big deal. Or, you will get money if you sign up for offers from "our trusted sponsers". What happens is the fine print says you are signing up for a monthly fee. So you don't make any money. I learned this the hard way. I do have a friend that says her husband does surveys and test drives cars etc and makes money. I have yet to get the names from him. I am still trying.
I have signed up for 29.95 to be a mystery shopper. Have yet to recieve a call. I will take blame for this though. I feel as though I didn't fill out everything I should have.
So, as you can see I have tried many things, and will keep trying. Now I will tell you my melaleuca experience if you are not bored to death yet!
2 years ago my girlfriend got me to go to a melaleuca presentation. I am so skeptical... I must have asked 30 questions, ripping on this and ripping on that. I felt bad if I didn't join.. so I joined the preferred customer for 29.95. I didn't get the value pack, 199.00 was just more than I wanted to spend. So, we bought a few cleaning products and started with that. I never ordered again. My attitude was, you can't con me, and yeah right this stuff does what you say it does. I didn't order again, said I couldn't afford it. My friend was fine with that, didn't want me doing anything I didn't want to. I cancelled immediately and never received a back up order or any problems.
About 5 months later, maybe less, I noticed that I was out of the tough and tender(I use it to clean bathroom, kitchen etc.) I realized I wanted more and got a bottle from her that she had extra at home. She never bothered me about it and I forgot about it. I had worked with another gal and another job in the meantime that spoke highly of it. I didn't engage in conversation about it, I thought, oh boy she is brainwashed too.
About 3 months ago, this same girlfriend told me that she is making about $4-500 a month from Melaleuca. I was shocked. This was just from getting friends and family introduced to it.
I decided I needed to check into it again. I didn't want to bug family and friends, so a friend of hers was going to help me online. I was still afraid that the products might be bad or it might be a bad company etc. Well, here is what I have found.
Melaleuca has been around for 20 years and they are debt free. I am not trying to offend anyone by this, but most of you aren't sure what the definition of a pyramid is. I wasn't either until I did alot of research. A pyramid is when there is no product involved and you only make money from others joining. For example, you send 500.00 to 10 people and they make money.. etc etc.. So, for all practical purposes this is not a pyramid. I can see why people think that, like I said I did too. They don't like to say they are an MLM and I had a problem with this too. Because they are set up like one. I did a lot of research on this, and honestly can't remember most of why it isn't a "true" mlm. But I will tell you what I remember. In an MLM only the top guys make money, fact is that is not true with Melaleuca. Also, you have inventory in a true MLM. You do not distribute the product or carry inventory with this. Again, I had a problem with this too. But here's what it boils down too. It is OK if it is an MLM. MLM's are not illegal. There are plenty that are ok, Mary Kay for example. Everyone, including myself has been so scared of the word MLM because some are fraudulent, but in and of itself, being an MLM is not illegal. Frank Vandersloot the founder of Melaleuca uses the term consumer direct marketing because that is what it is. I think they want to stress that becasue of all of the negativity with the MLM word.
I also found that Melaleuca is not chemical free. I originally thought they were. They do not have amonia, bleach, or formeldehyde in any of their products. I spent hours and hours making sure of this and looking at other name brand products to see if they did. Alot of them do. The two that were most shocking for me were johnsons baby shampoo and mouthwash. Anyway, I am not here to preach that. But I had to find it out for myself. So, they use chemicals, but not ones that are harmful.
I personally can't stand the smell of melaleuca oil, so I don't like one of the toothpastes, and the naturals handsoap. There are other options that smell better. But the oil has many uses and has been around for hundreds of years. There is no research because fda doesn't research herbs.
I had a hard time believing all of the health benefits that have happened for people as a result of the "pharmacy" products. What I have learned is that some things may help some, and not others. They don't claim that it will cure anything, so I am happy they don't. I have heard in person many people whom I trust tell me health benefits they have seen.
So, where am I at?? If anyone is still with me! I rejoined 3 months ago. My parents mr. and mrs. skeptical became customers and I didn't want them too. I didn't want anyone I knew blaming me later if they didn't like something. They were buying tons of vitamins etc every month from Skaklee and said why not get them from here so you can make a few dollars. How do you argue with that? So, from them buying the value pack, and I got a bonus becasue I restarted with a value pack too, my first check was $56.00. That worked for me. I haven't tried to talk to anyone else I know yet, because I didn't want to bug them. I have decided to invite a few people to a presentation at my house next month. If they don't want to join, that's cool. But if they are going to hear about it at some point, why not hear about it from me. I don't feel so bad asking them to see a presentation now, because I remember all of the candle, basket, pampered chef, mary kay etc parties I have went to for them.
I am going to give Melaleuca a try. The company is solid, can't find anything wrong with it's structure etc. The products are good, what it boils down to is switching stores. This is not for everyone, just as some people like Covergirl and some like maybeline. It's a different brand. But Covergirl doesn't give me a chance to refer others and make money. I will take it slow, because I am still cautious. But so far so good.
There are sales people within any company who will mislead, be pushy, etc. Don't blame this on the company. I can't tell you how many mary kay people or arbonne have relentlessly tried to sign me up. I don't blame this on mary kay, it's just not for me. I am finding that Melaleuca is a reputable company and I have seen people who are making a couple thousand or more a month. But, they have worked very hard for this. Nobody has told me I am going to get rich off of this, it is up to me what I put into it. So, if you want to switch stores and get some of the cancer causing chemicals out of your house and maybe make some money, this is for you. If not, don't sign up. It's really that simple.
Thanks for listening!