Be wary of get rich quick schemes

Illustration by Michael Lue

When something appears to be too good to be true, most of the time, it is. A rumor is spreading around Chapman that students are making a lot of money, doing a small amount of work. We want to extend a word of caution to students interested in getting involved with multi-level marketing.

Companies asking for investments and nearly free labor are making appearances on college campuses. While it is legal, the products being sold are worth a value, and while some of the students even become successful; we question the ethics behind it all.

Pyramid schemes are illegal for a reason, and the only thing keeping Vemma from becoming a pyramid scheme is the selling and buying of a tangible object with value. But when students are convinced to sign up, how many are actually interested in this product? Many are dreaming about getting paid for little effort.

After hearing of a few college students’ exaggerated stories of making thousands of dollars and driving nice cars, people are pulling out their check books to buy into a company they know little to nothing about.

The stories are true: some members will rise to the top and succeed. But companies like Vemma make their money off those who do not.

The members provide free advertising, and the promise of a job without an interview sells the products. When people sign up and don’t make their money back, it’s the same as purchasing a product for themselves—in bulk.

Just as quickly as students get caught up in the excitement of quick, easy money, they have the chance of ending up in debt with cases of energy drinks.

The ideas of fast cash, entry-level part-time jobs and open schedules appeal to college students for obvious reasons. It should be pointed out, however, to actually be successful and make money through network marketing, a lot of time must be spent recruiting others to the job. Students involved in Vemma at Chapman sometimes attend meetings once a day. School goes on the back burner. New acquaintances become business investments instead of friends.

No job is a fairytale. Multi-level marketing still requires work, but offers no financial or job security. Ask questions and do research before giving away hundreds of dollars—really consider the opportunity cost behind the risk and understand the commitment. Multi-level marketing might be legal, but take a look at the ethics before writing that check.

Read “Network marketing attracts students” in NEWS.