Thursday, December 11, 2008

The Ultimate Sham: Pyramid Marketing Schemes Trash the Supplements Industry for Personal Gains

I'm fed up - sick and tired of being approached by this company or that company through yet another robotic sales pitch coming from a multi-level marketing company. I was approached recently, and it reminded me how this marketing method has the potential to trash the supplements business.

Supplement companies sell you your vitamins, minerals, herbs and botanical extracts. And while this industry sector has admittedly harbored a broad range of players, some of whom earn a "C-" grade or worse for their ethics and marketing, it is only through "multi-level marketing" that the industry could potentially take a complete nosedive. When science (and formulas that work) go out the window, products become window dressing only for discussions on how the purchaser can become a millionaire through huge "residuals." 

A product that should sell for $15 in a store or through a doctor ends up being a $39.95 item, pushed by layers of salespeople who each have to earn some kind of commission. The company who approached me describes themselves as "the Adaptogen Company," offering herbs in a variety of little breath spray bottles. Their brochure claims they are the world leader in this field, and yet they've never contributed a bit of science to the field of adaptogenic herbs. In short, it is 100% marketing . . . with more space in their literature on becoming a millionaire than how their products could possibly work (with adaptogens delivered in homeopathic doses, it's not likely).

Exaggerations, claims, and bogus statements fill the literature of companies like these that have no reason for being other than the desire of someone to get rich. I'm sorry if my rant tarnishes some good companies, because quality products can be found sold via multi-level. But those are the few. In the business of making millionaires, the vast majority of products and claims are bogus. Buyer beware.


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