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Contributed by Emiliene Alemkeng and Nicholine Akou

The digital age has brought about different versions of marketing strategies in which, Multi-level marketing (MLM) has been trending. MLM refers to a business wherein, people get commissions for products and compensation for their sales. It requires no advertisement at the company’s level, sales are solely depended on its suppliers sharing the products and business opportunity with others through direct selling, other marketing and more. As simple as it sounds, it has drained more from Africa to the extent that there is a call for concern. It is rather unfortunate that lots of Africans are ignorantly diving into this business not knowing the dark side till they are caught in it. Below are some;

  • It encourages laziness than tangible development:

Multi-level marketing has brought about laziness upon Africans as they go to market Chinese finished products and neglect their own abundant natural resources at their disposal. If only they could invest such time, money and energy home, then tangible development will be achieved. Why choose to invest in Chinese products than yours. It’s very obvious that such a business strategy is at our detriment. According to a report published on Federal trade commissions, the business strategy incurs 99% loss.    

  • The pyramid payment style:

The pyramid style of payment that these MLMs have put in place is wholly to the detriment of its agents. This method operates in a way that you might never make a franc from the business but must have invested a lot in the company. In order for you to get a tiny commission, you must have to convince other people to register and become agents. This is very uncertain because you are not sure people will be interested in joining the business. Another way of getting a commission is for you to buy their products with your own money and sell them. In other words you doing all the marketing job and still get just a tiny commission.  

  • It is not your business:

Certainly, this business is not yours and you have nothing to do with the profit than your tiny commission after toiling and sweating. Why should you work so hard in a business that is not yours? This people create the business sit down and receive 99% of what you have sweated on. You do all the hard labor and they still receive the greatest share. You are actually working for free. So be wise.

  • Scamming:

As this business is going viral, lots of people are seizing the opportunity to scam. People go undercover to be agents of this multi-level marketing to convince others to give them registration fee. They are also so many fake products that people sell to agents and do away with their money.

  • No Salary:

A reward to labor is a salary or wages but the agents of multi-level marketing are not entitled to any salary. Like mentioned above, you earn tiny commissions according to new members you bring or get menial profit from what you sell. On the contrary, you pay a registration fee which is not refundable. You can’t also give back the products you buy and is unable to sell back to them, in all indications, your investment is not protected in any way.  

It is good to be aware of the risk you are embarking on in any business. Therefore, think twice before engaging into MLM businesses.  After being informed with the risks mentioned above, It is left for you to decide whether to engage in such businesses or not

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