You hear it all the time from distributors. “Opportunity.” What opportunity? What are consultants referring to specifically?

Watch the video to see what expert MLM Attorney Jeff Babener has to say.

The word “opportunity” is a generic term for the chance to advance, better one’s economic state, health, social position.

However, in the context of direct selling, “opportunity”, in addition to the chance to make money, is a

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If a Sales Kit or Startup Fee Is Several Hundred Dollars, Then Is This Considered “Frontloading?”

Frontloading generally refers to a process in which a MLM company, or a sponsoring distributor, encourages a new distributor to purchase far more than is commercially reasonable under the circumstances. For a more detailed explanation, watch this video by expert MLM Attorney, Jeff Babener.

Front loading generally refers to a process in which a MLM company, or a sponsoring distributor, encourages a new distributor to purchase far more product than is commercially

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MLM Expert Attorney, Jeff Babener offers ten FTC vs. Vemma litigation bullet points.

MLM Expert Attorney, Jeff Babener offers ten FTC vs. Vemma litigation bullet points.

On August 17, 2015, the FTC filed a complaint in U.S. District Court in Arizona, seeking a permanent injunction against Tempe-based Vemma International Holdings, Inc., a long-time direct selling marketer of health-related products. The FTC was successful in obtaining a temporary restraining order, which shut the company and froze its assets. Further proceedings for a hearing on a preliminary and permanent injunction and other relief were set to the future.

Such a scenario has been a common approach for the FTC. The most recent actions resulted in permanent injunctions against BurnLounge and Fortune Hi-Tech Marketing. For a summary of the most significant federal actions during the past few decades, please see:

Herbalife: What Short Sellers Missed on the Way to the Press Conference…

Jeffrey Babener (2013)

The primary accusation against Vemma is that its program focused on recruitment rather than sale of product to the ultimate user, thus rendering the program a pyramid scheme and a deceptive practice under FTC legislation. In addition, the FTC has charged that Vemma is deceptive in its earnings representations.

FTC vs. Vemma Litigation Bullet Points:

  1. (a) This case affirms the BurnLounge standard requiring emphasis on sales to ultimate users, which includes nonparticipant retail customers and personal use in reasonable amounts. Primary motivation for distributor purchases should be destination to ultimate users and not to qualify in the plan for compensation.

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Front loading generally refers to a process in which a MLM company, or a sponsoring distributor, encourages a new distributor to purchase far more product than is commercially reasonable under the circumstances. Often the “push” is explained to the recruit as necessary to qualify in the plan. This is an unacceptable practice is often one indicia of a pyramid scheme.

On the other hand, virtually all regulatory agencies recognize that a purchase of an “at cost” sales kit is an acceptable practice in the mainstream of leading direct selling companies. Such mandated kits are typically in the $50-$100 range. They generally entail “hard copy” or online supply of sales and marketing materials as well as ongoing sales and marketing materials updates for a year. Typically the mandated sales kit does not include product and generally a company offers an optional deluxe kit that may include product. Such an optional kit, which is often referred to as a “fast start” kit, may contain several hundred dollars of product. This is not unusual. Although the same regulatory standards on

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Your cost of goods is calculated as your acquisition or manufacturing cost. The more frequent question we come across relates to pricing. Most MLM experts agree that you must have adequate margins to pay commissions and to make a profit. Different products and services carry different profit margins. In addition, smaller margins may be satisfactory with high-priced products because there is still room for profit. Most MLM companies are likely to pay total commissions equal to between 30 and 45 percent of the price sold to distributors for resale, or prices for which consumers buy directly from the company. A typical company will try to achieve a minimum 5-7 times markup to allow for commissions, overhead and profit. Typical markup for resale by distributors is 25% of their purchase price. A good place to visit this issue is at the MLM Startup Conference, offered by www.mlmlegal.com, where experts discuss margins, pricing, profit, proformas, and a whole lot more.

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MLM attrition is high. This is a fact of life. All of those distributors, who you have signed up, have competing demands on their time. So, if they go passive, it is not your fault. If that happens, you should give it a good shot to encourage them to reengage. However, after a few attempts, you should realize that you may be wasting your time. Hopefully, the value and quality and service proposition of your company’s products will allow you to convince the passive distributor to remain as a preferred customer.

At some point, however, you need to move on and focus on finding new recruits. One company executive succinctly captured the strategic decision in a metaphor when he said, “You can throw alarm clocks at the cemetery, but you won’t wake up the dead; it is easier to make babies.” Although a bit crass, this point is well taken. You should invest your time and effort where it will pay off.

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So far, 2015 has been a fantastic year!! For instance, three year old granddaughter of Jeff Babener, Ani, reluctantly learned how to paint. by www.mlmattorney.com.

So far, 2015 has been a fantastic year!! For instance, three year old granddaughter of Jeff Babener, Ani, reluctantly learned how to paint.

So far, 2015 has been a fantastic year!! For instance, three year old granddaughter of Jeff Babener, Ani, reluctantly learned how to paint.

And, our newest addition, Luka (son of Charity Dunning — Editor of MLMAttorney.com), has unenthusiastically learned to swim.

And, our newest addition, Luka (son of Charity Dunning -- Editor of MLMAttorney.com), has unenthusiastically learned to swim. What else is new? by www.mlmattorney.com

And, our newest addition, Luka (son of Charity Dunning — Editor of MLMAttorney.com), has unenthusiastically learned to swim.
What else is new?

What else is new? Well, hold your breath! MLMLegal.com is launching 63 new videos on MLM education to our already-expansive video library and Youtube Channel! Mr. Babener will address a wide range of commonly-asked questions as expert-host in our upcoming video additions. You can look forward to a great expansion of our video library very soon!

The following are just some of the topics that will discussed in our new videos:

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As a consultant, where did you first begin selling your products/services?

It is often said that direct selling/MLM/network marketing is about first sharing your product and services within your spheres of influence, that is to say, first harvest the low lying fruit. This means calling upon your friends, family, social acquaintances, co-workers, members of your church, religious group, fraternal organizations, etc. In other words, sell where you are the most comfortable. Generally, this includes territory close to home. Generally speaking if you sell products/services at a distance then it is because you have connections. As you mature, you may venture into other territories, but it likely will be through social networking or by having an online presence.

As a consultant, where did you first begin selling your products/services? How would you rate your success during your first year as a consultant?

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Herbalife: What Short Sellers Missed on the Way to the Press Conference…

The Personal Use Issue in Pyramid Analysis; Who is an Ultimate User?

An excerpt from the article and link to the full article at www.mlmlegal.com

Déjà vu, all over again … Yogi Berra

History repeats itself.

The 2012 billion dollar short seller attack on Herbalife, a 32 year old NYSE listed direct seller of nutritional products in 80 plus countries with annual sales in excess of $3 billion, is akin to a replay of seminal challenge to the MLM/Direct Selling model, won by Amway in 1979. In the Matter of Amway, 93 F.T.C. 618 (1979).

In the 1970’s FTC challenge, the criticism went to whether or not the core of the MLM referral selling model was a “deceptive” way to market. In the 2012 short seller attack, along with other criticisms, a principal complaint is that evidence of “substantial personal use and consumption” of company products by distributors themselves, renders an MLM/Direct Selling model inherently deceptive and an illegal pyramid scheme.

Memo to short sellers and algorithmic financial bloggers:

It may be time to reassess.

Some very salient facts and cases may well have been missed in the rush to challenge direct sellers.

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