We have an industry leading quality control system, as evidenced by the 99% rating we achieved in April of 2018 for a 3rd-party cGMP audit performed by Eurofins Scientific, a world renowned laboratory testing organization. For comparison, 70% is a passing score. cGMP refers to the FDA’s guidelines for current good manufacturing practices. Dietary supplement manufacturers are not required by law to perform 3rd party manufacturing audits, but only need to undergo this process internally once a year. Bluebird however strives to go above and beyond, especially when it comes to quality, safety, and the wellness of our loyal clients.
Today we're going to point our skeptical eye at network marketing plans, formerly known as multilevel marketing or MLM (name changed to escape the stigma). They say that when there's a gold rush, the way to make money is to sell shovels. Network marketing companies sell shovels, along with dreams of gold: All you have to do is go out there and dig, dig, dig, and buy more shovels, and get your friends to buy shovels too. Levi Strauss and other suppliers became millionaires, and hundreds of thousands of miners went broke.
Historically, hemp could legally be grown and cultivated for academic research purposes only. However, the legality of hemp growth has changed in the past year. In April 2018, Sen. Mitch McConnell of Kentucky introduced the Hemp Farming Act of 2018, a piece of legislation that proposed legalizing all hemp products at the federal level. The act was incorporated in the 2018 United States Farm Bill, which passed in both the House and Senate in December 2018. Per the farm bill, industrial hemp will be descheduled as a federally controlled substance.
Right now, MLMs are preying on lower-income, often undocumented immigrant communities and taking advantage of their lack of knowledge and finances. Their reps lure them in by telling that they are giving them the tools to start their own businesses and that they can create jobs for their friends and family members. In the 2016 documentary, Betting On Zero, director Ted Braun talks to several Latino families who have lost their entire life savings to Herbalife. They were told by MLM reps that it’s easy work and that it’s not dangerous, and so they sold their construction businesses to invest in Herbalife.
Not all MLM companies are created equal. Many see an initial burst of success followed by a gradual tapering off of profits, causing them to collapse and go out of business. MLM companies that succeed have sound business models, both for those who run the company and for those who sell product and recruit new sales agents. There are many sites devoted to MLM rankings, creating lists of companies likely to provide a return on investment to sales agents interested in the industry.
In recent months, sellers have claimed that LuLaRoe leggings have a tendency to tear like “wet toilet paper.” The $25 leggings—their most popular item—are manufactured in the US, Vietnam, Guatemala, Indonesia, and China, and are mostly made of a mix of polyester and spandex. Starting in fall 2016, customers started reporting that LuLaRoe’s “buttery soft” leggings were falling apart. Sometimes within just a few hours of wearing them, pinholes would splatter across the fabric, a “blow out” would reveal the wearer’s underwear, or they’d lose all their dye in the wash, leaving them a sad, mottled grey. LuLaRoe has denied that anything was wrong with its leggings, saying that only 1% of its clothing is returned with defects.
One such success story is Nicole Haas of Williamsburg, Virginia. A bubbly blonde and former personal trainer, she put $12,000 on a low-interest credit card to start her LuLaRoe business in January 2017. Through working 25 to 30 hours a week, she paid off her credit card in May and now puts $3,000 a month in her family’s account, less taxes. “It’s changed my life,” she says. “It’s changed who I am as a person.”
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MLMs are designed to make profit for the owners/shareholders of the company, and a few individual participants at the top levels of the MLM pyramid of participants. According to the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC), some MLM companies already constitute illegal pyramid schemes even by the narrower existing legislation, exploiting members of the organization. There have been calls in various countries to broaden existing anti-pyramid scheme legislation to include MLMs, or to enact specific anti-MLM legislation to make all MLMs illegal in parallel to pyramid schemes, as has already been done in some jurisdictions.
Icahn is helping vet Trump’s choices to head the regulatory agencies and one of his companies has already benefited on Wall Street from the selection of Trump’s Environmental Protection Agency pick Scott Pruitt, whom Icahn helped vet. If Icahn assists Trump in naming FTC commissioners, he will be helping to staff the body charged with enforcing the Herbalife settlement.
Since the brain inevitably intrudes itself into the delusion that an MLM could ever work, spirits drop and attitudes go sour. But this depressive state can itself be exploited. As doubts grow when the MLM does not do what recruits were first "con"fidenced to expect, then a further profit can be made keeping the confidence going against all common sense.
A 2018 poll of 1,049 MLM sellers across various companies found that most sellers make less than the equivalent of 70 cents an hour. Nearly 20 percent of those polled never made a sale, and nearly 60 percent earned less than $500 in sales over the past five years. Nearly 32 percent of those polled acquired credit card debt to finance their MLM involvement.
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The Direct Selling Association (DSA), a lobbying group for the MLM industry, reported that in 1990 only 25% of DSA members used the MLM business model. By 1999, this had grown to 77.3%. By 2009, 94.2% of DSA members were using MLM, accounting for 99.6% of sellers, and 97.1% of sales. Companies such as Avon, Electrolux, Tupperware, and Kirby were all originally single-level marketing companies, using that traditional and uncontroversial direct selling business model (distinct from MLM) to sell their goods. However, they later introduced multi-level compensation plans, becoming MLMs. The DSA has approximately 200 members while it is estimated there are over 1,000 firms using multi-level marketing in the United States alone.
I wanted to answer this because we’ve already experienced this first hand. My Mom has chronic arthritis pretty much all over her body along with a severe case of Psoraisis through out most of her body. We were desperate to get her relief for several years and finally tried edible Cannibis. Since my Mom is in her 80s this was not easy to convince her to do. But her arthritis and Psoraisis was getting worse we tried Cannibis and it soothed her pain of arthritis…this was our main focus was to find her some relief of arthritis pain…after 3-4 weeks of taking the edibles (we got chocolate forms of edibles) we also noticed her Psoraisis was slowly disappearing! It’s now been about 7 mos and she is about 90% improved of her CHRONIC PSORAISIS !!! We weren’t really concentrating on her Psoraisis as much as focused on helping her get some relief of her arthritis, but miraculously – we were able to relieve her with both diseases…
As a representative with 2 companies that have CBD on the market and as a person with intractable pain and multple painful problems wirth my spine I can say that cbd does not work for everyone. It does nothing for me or for my mil who has a cancer like growth impeding her ability to swallow and has undergone radiation to shrink it. Everyone has a chemistry that’s personal to them for some it helps but for many it does not. With that in mind it’s a 50/50 chance of it helping and until you come out your pocket you’ll never know. Buyer beware.
At the corporate level, MLM professionals develop an easily communicated mission and image, and create resources that facilitate that communication. The key to knowing how to communicate this message to customers is knowing and understanding them. Therefore, effective MLM begins with data, and builds upon that data throughout a campaign. With the sales and customer information generated at each presentation, companies can better discern what products to acquire and/or develop, how to best portray them to their audience, and how to tailor their message to different market segments.
Each company will have a different startup cost, which is a fee that new distributors must pay to begin distributing. Companies with high startup costs are more likely to be recruitment-centric MLMs. MLMs that focus on recruitment are generally called pyramid schemes, or schemes designed only to tie down new recruits instead of selling quality products to interested customers.
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