Skeezy Scammers Part Two – Multi-Level Marketing

So you’re browsing through the job sites, innocently trying to figure out how you’re going to afford food for your 5 cats when you come across something that looks rather interesting. It appears to be some sort of marketing firm: “Marketing associate needed ASAP!! Contact today!!!” You fancy yourself a bit of  a creative person. And marketing seems like it could be a great way to make money, just figuring out what people want to buy and how to sell it.

The company offers to train you and claims that you need no prior experience. Great! Finally a place that understands you can’t get your foot in the door without a little initial help.

You start to get a little skeptical, though. You read my last post about scams and the job listing seems sort of vague. They say you make great money and you don’t have to call anyone. There’s something mentioned about selling directly to the consumer, but isn’t that what you always do to sell stuff?

You check out their website, just be sure. A smart cookie like yourself doesn’t want to get caught up in the midst of a money sucking scam.

Our mission at Bullshit Marketing is to create a greater awareness for our clients by using a cutting edge promotional marketing method to bring their products or services directly to the community.

Ok, ok. That sounds…good I think.

We strive to reach goals not only for our company, but our clients, customers and staff as well.

To create a stronger presence in our community for the clients we represent, to go above and beyond the norm and have a level of success that far exceeds our competition.

Well…that’s literally what every other company tries to do…

Bullshit Marketing is a marketing company and our goal is to provide Client Acquisition services for a wide range of satellite and communications clients. We create a synergy between our various clients and retailers that give both the opportunity to touch different people that they may not normally reach.

So you read that last bit about 6 times. And it starts to sound a lot like you’re selling television and satellite television packages to people. That doesn’t actually sound like marketing…that sounds like sales. The annoying type of sales. But they say you don’t have to call!

The rest of the website just repeats the above phrases over and over in different variations. You sort of know what they are trying to do, but things aren’t clear exactly.

This is because it is a multi-level marketing company. This type of company is really no better than regular old telemarketers. But instead of calling you and bothering you at home, they come up to you in major stores. The particular business that I am referring to is local and sells satellite television packages. Or tries to anyways. But there are several different types all selling different things.

What happens:

You contact them about the job opening and in the next 24 to 48 hours they will call you. And email you. And call about 3 more times. Their tactic here is a bit similar to the internet scams. They want you to think that this is a once in a life time opportunity. “Call us back NOW! We have very limited job openings and want YOU to be on our team. Please call HR to set up an interview.” These people use high-pressure tactics to sell, as well as to hire employees. The idea is that if you think that you have to act now or you’ll never get the chance to work in NYC at a multimillion dollar marketing firm and live in a penthouse, you’ll immediately contact them. Truth is, they probably have unlimited job openings. Any sucker they can get to work for them is good enough.

If you do go in for the first interview, you’ll inevitably be asked to about 2 or 3 more. They’ll ask your practically nothing while claiming that you can make well over minimum wage if you work hard enough. The high-pressure pitch comes in to play once again and they’ll practically beg you to sign up. It’s all laid out for you. First you’re a marketing associate. Then, in a few weeks, you will get promotion after promotion after promotion. After a few promotions you can hire your own people to sell for you, called a downline. Theoretically you all get commission for what you sell.

Once you have the job, which you’ll certainly get, they send you out to stores to sell to people. And that’s where this all starts to fall apart. How frequently do people go to Best Buy to get a television package? An actual television, sure. But if  they want the TV they probably already have a cable or satellite provider. Or they’ve decided that they just want to watch Netflix. It’s obnoxious to try to enjoy your day while some guy follows you around begging you to buy DirectTv. So sales…probably not so good. You’ll end up broke and fired for not making enough money.

And while these types of businesses are technically legitimate, most people consider they to be a type of pyramid scheme, which is a whole different mess.

What to look for:

  • Vague descriptions of pretty much everything
  • The promise of almost immediate promotion
  • Calls itself a marketing firm, but you can barely figure out what they are marketing.
  • Literally promises no cold-calls. Almost a guarantee that you have to do something equally as awful.
  • The interviews seems more like sales pitches than actual interviews.

So with this new information, I send you out into the job market to make something of your life and avoid the jerks trying to pull one over on you. If you really want help figuring out what type of company you’re about to apply to, try Glassdoor. A nifty little site that has reviews of the company, the application process, salaries, interviews, and interview questions. If the place you’re thinking about working is no good, it is almost sure to pop up on this site!

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3 thoughts on “Skeezy Scammers Part Two – Multi-Level Marketing

  1. I’ve gotten good at picking out these kinds of jobs. There are a lot of these that are looking for writers, too. One job I applied for sounded great, so I had to take a “writing test” that essentially assessed my grammar knowledge at about a middle school level. Believe it or not–I was qualified! I started getting suspicious and did some Googling only to find out this exciting opportunity was a scam. Oh well!

    • It’s pretty disappointing when a great looking opportunity turns out to be a scam. It’s like, “yes! Ah…nevermind…” But I would rather not have a job than get all wrapped up in some crazy scheme that will end up leaving me with less money than I had before.

  2. Pingback: The {Booker} Award – Sass & Balderdash

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