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Should I become an IBO?
December 21, 2005 6:02 PM   Subscribe

Tonight at 7:00pm I had representatives of Quixtar come into my home. Should I join or not? Apparently by being an Independent Business Owner (IBO), I can make tons of money just through referrals. As a poor college student, this sounds enticing.

If you are not familiar with Quixtar, they are doing what Amway used to do. I am skeptical of their claims, however, I am looking to see what everyone on askmefi thinks. It never hurts to get a second opinion and besides this hasn't been addressed on askmefi yet.

The pitch went something along the lines of "this is not a pyramid scheme" and "all you are doing is refering people to a virtual mall."

Website at: http://www.quixtar.com/
posted by j-urb to Work & Money (29 answers total)
 
Here, how about you Google yourself and decide. I've started you with a sample result. Do you have doubts as to the material you have already read for Quixtar, pro and con? Did you FIND any pro?
posted by kcm at 6:06 PM on December 21, 2005


Here's another sample result.

Also: Quixtar is Amway...and no one I have ever known personally to "draw the circles" earned any substantial money.
posted by nadawi at 6:09 PM on December 21, 2005


Tons of money just through referrals? Why isn't everyone doing this?

"Quixtar is a is a multi-level marketing company, founded September 1, 1999 by Alticor, Inc., which also owns Amway."

Quixtar Blog

An NBC article on Quixtar
posted by Laen at 6:11 PM on December 21, 2005


As a poor college student, I got a job waiting tables and served several quixtards (got my degree in Cleverology and Marine Research). Just like Herbalife, they tell you they make a lot of money. They have to. They leave business cards everywhere.

More to the question, I served one, after their tour of quixtar duty, and they didn't make much more than I did.
posted by Homeskillet Freshy Fresh at 6:13 PM on December 21, 2005


Like I said I am skeptical, but I just thought there needed to be an askmefi thread to help those who happen to be visited by the Quixtar drones.

Peace out!
posted by j-urb at 6:18 PM on December 21, 2005


BTW Homeskillet Freshy Fresh, I give you the best answer for the word "quixtards."
posted by j-urb at 6:21 PM on December 21, 2005


I think a good rule of thumb is if it appears you can make a whole ton of money with very little work and no skills, THAT SOUNDS AWESOME SIGN ME UP!!
posted by aubilenon at 6:33 PM on December 21, 2005


You can make far more money passing customer referrals on to Airbus or Boeeing. That is, if you happen to know people who are in need of a few dozen wide-body jets.
posted by b1tr0t at 6:42 PM on December 21, 2005


Signing up with these guys is a good way to lose friends. Most people *hate* being given a sales pitch by the people they're close to. You'd be putting them into an awkward position.
posted by storybored at 6:46 PM on December 21, 2005


I just thought there needed to be an askmefi thread to help those who happen to be visited by the Quixtar drones.


YOU OWE ME, FUTURE METAFILTER READERS
posted by Homeskillet Freshy Fresh at 6:57 PM on December 21, 2005 [1 favorite]


The only way MLM can work is if you'd actually make money selling the product even if it wasn't MLM. If you sign people up who want to make money by just signing people up who want to make money just by signing people up, etc., etc., then nobody's selling anything. For you to make money, someone somewhere has to actually start selling the product.

If you've got a product you believe in and can sell (and make money at), then you shouldn't be scared off if it's MLM. But signing up because it's MLM, regardless of the product, will get you nowhere.

In any case, MLM companies aren't rare, to say the least. Even if you were going to go for it, there's no reason to sign up with the first one to knock on your door.
posted by winston at 7:09 PM on December 21, 2005


Cockeyed has a bunch of great resources concerning Herbalife, which does not equal Quixtar but sounds like it's run on the same principles. Or just google MLM and check any of the watchdog links.
posted by jtron at 7:32 PM on December 21, 2005


Oh! And here's a couple Quixtar-specific links.
posted by jtron at 7:34 PM on December 21, 2005


Oops... that should be,

Here's a couple Quixtar-specific links:
Federal Trade Commission FOIA files on Quixtar
Quixtar Business Analysis pages
posted by jtron at 7:39 PM on December 21, 2005


Winston, you're wrong. MLM distributers make money by signing up people because those people PAY to become distributors. That's the whole reason it's called multi-level marketing. You rely on each tier below you.

Rob Cockerham puts it like this: "...if the diet-pill supplement side of the business doesn't really work, then the "home business" part of the herbalife plan can't work either. If a dedicated, hard working person can't really make an honest, legal living selling herbalife pills and supplements, then it is dishonest to promote Herbalife Independent Distributorships as a business opportunity. If it is impossible to sell the product of the business itself, then it is an illegal pyramid scheme."

And he has an incredible analysis of the Herbalife system (which imo is how most MLM systems work), relevant to here is the market saturation and the expense ($50 or $200 or more to start, depending, and $80 products REQUIRED every month). Of course, you can also buy your way to a supervisor status by blowing $2K initially on product.

Start by reading the unsuccess stories.

My parents bought Amway products when I was a kid. I thought they were great then and didn't have the conception of what an MLM was. As a system of selling stuff to people who really do want the products (and really I believe the "products" are an excuse to charge for other things), as it was between my parents and their friends, it was fine. But both Amway and Herbalife as a corporation do some seriously creepy things and so do on smaller levels the individuals who become obsessed with selling the products.
posted by artifarce at 7:49 PM on December 21, 2005


If Quixtar was as easy as the reps claim, then they wouldn't have to work so hard to recruit new members. Stay away. You'd be better served slinging burgers -- seriously.
posted by davidmsc at 8:27 PM on December 21, 2005


How many hundreds of MLM-related AskMe questions have to get posted before you idiots figure it out?

That's a stupid thing to say. I wouldn't touch MLM with a long pole, but that doesn't mean it's completely worthless. Some people do actually make money. Others learn to stay focused, set goals and maybe even derive some benefit from all that self-help product that gets moved. In any case, there's no harm in keeping an open mind. Networking is probably more sociologically beneficial than sitting at your computer at night posting snarky comments to MeFi.
posted by BorgLove at 9:46 PM on December 21, 2005


The pitch went something along the lines of "this is not a pyramid scheme" and "all you are doing is referring people to a virtual mall."

This sounds remarkably like the pitch Wal-Mart gave me as a new hire: "This is such a great place to work. You don't need any union to steal your money from you."
posted by Monday at 10:36 PM on December 21, 2005


Exactly what storybored said.

One of my best friends from college has been immersed in Quixtar for a solid year and a half now. Every time he runs into any of his friends (including me, and I see him once or twice a month), he pulls out the sales pitch. It's awful.

People who knew us both well always ask me what happened to him, and how he went so crazy. The answer is Quixtar. Those of us who know him well are convinced it is a business cult of some kind. He spends all his time with Quixtar people now, hangs out with them, goes to their conventions, and even started going to a church attended almost entirely by Quixtar members.

He makes a little bit of money on it, but he's really not the same person since he started on it.

Avoid, avoid, avoid.
posted by sellout at 10:40 PM on December 21, 2005


I have a co-worker who's into it, and he has given the pitch to just about everyone. Nobody can stand him.

If you do choose to explore it, here are a few things to keep in mind:

1. A job does not charge you money. If there are up-front costs (which there almost always are), get your recruiter to pay them for you, and promise to pay him/her back with interest out of your earnings. How can they say no?

2. Don't ask your friends. They will know you're into it, and they'll ask you if they are interested. And don't confuse politeness for interest - if they ask how it's going, that doesn't give you permission to give the pitch.

3. See if you're saving money when you buy from yourself. If not, ask why someone else would buy from you.

Good luck!
posted by Geektronica at 10:56 PM on December 21, 2005


Not quite this blatant of a scam. But definitely a familiar subject here as of late. Maybe it's the holidays or something.
posted by SuperNova at 11:33 PM on December 21, 2005


Surely the right thing to do is start your own pyramid scheme? The people at the top get all of the money...
posted by alasdair at 5:30 AM on December 22, 2005 [1 favorite]


When they say "this is not a pyramid scheme" they really mean "this is a pyramid scheme."
posted by electroboy at 6:01 AM on December 22, 2005


Quixtar would be a great name for a profane, curmudgeonly sockpuppet.

No, that would be quixtar (and he'd chew you out for capitalizing it).

I was approached by an Amway clone when I first moved to NYC; not knowing anything about it (and wanting to meet people), I went to a meeting with him. When I realized what it was all about, I fled and never looked back.
posted by languagehat at 6:13 AM on December 22, 2005


BorgLove: That's a stupid thing to say. I wouldn't touch MLM with a long pole, but that doesn't mean it's completely worthless.

Don't be an apologist, BorgLove. MLM is entirely useless, only suits to serve those that have no ethical issues victimizing their friends, neighbors, small puppies and fluffy kittens. In college, I was taken in by a MLM, and the only thing that I ever got out of it was a good long lesson in humiliation and 3 or 4 notches in my personal maturity.

Sure, there are people that make money at MLMs. There are also people that make money selling bloody infected needles filled with sugar-water and passing it off as prime heroin. Doesn't mean it's a worthwhile pursuit.
posted by thanotopsis at 6:49 AM on December 22, 2005


I know a girl that got fired from her "real" job because she spent the entire time working on her MLM "job." I was friendly with her and sad to see her go, and when she called up a little later, I was excited to reconnect. Until her voicemail explained that she had just gotten some new products that she couldn't wait to show me. I hit delete and never spoke to her again.

You may make some money, but everyone is right, you will never be the same again. She was completely obsessed and only interacted with her MLM people and her customers.

There are tons of other options for poor college students, including tutoring, working on campus (generally pays well and you can usually do your homework on the job in some cases), babysitting, or working at some store somewhere.

BTW, it is incredibly awkward to be propositioned by a friend to buy their stuff. Even though I liked the products, it just puts a wierd spin to the relationship and when I saw her with new things, I felt like she had taken my money to buy them, when I was struggling as well. But when a friend invites you over for a party or to talk about their products, it's really hard to say no. Don't be that guy/girl.
posted by ml98tu at 6:50 AM on December 22, 2005


MLM is entirely useless, only suits to serve those that have no ethical issues victimizing their friends, neighbors, small puppies and fluffy kittens.

Untrue. My father made loads of money out of Herbalife back in the day without making everyone hate him. I also knew two Amway diamonds who were nice enough people. Your stance seems typical of people who got taken by MLM at some point, but not everyone has the same story. I guess you can succeed if you can figure how to use the system rather than be used by it.

Drawing an analogy between MLM and infected needles is obscure to say the least.
posted by BorgLove at 8:20 AM on December 22, 2005


Drawing an analogy between MLM and infected needles is obscure to say the least.

It's only obscure because only I think that way. Otherwise, it's a comparison that works: MLMs are based on revenue models that create a predator-prey relationship between the participant and likely participants.

You said it yourself, people get "taken" by MLMs. Sure, people get lucky and make some money, but that's only because they find some more suckers like themselves. They're born every minute, you know. Eventually, the pool of suckers dries up, and you're left paying up the line and feeling like a sucker.

My stance may seem typical of someone who got "taken" by an MLM, but your stance sounds typical of someone who's about to PM me for a great "home-business opportunity".

Compared to actually getting a job and earning a wage (rather than victimizing people with your "products") MLM is useless, and is a drain on our society.

I try to point it out occasionally to people, but you may want to check out the Make Money Fast Hall of Humiliation. It's been around for 10 years, now, and has a lot of cobwebs, but it makes its point to this day.
posted by thanotopsis at 10:13 AM on December 22, 2005


Alright, I concede. Everyone's entitled to their opinion. To make MLM work I think you have to believe in it to the point of religious fervour, which is far beyond my capacity. It just seems to me that out of all the millions of people who've bought in, they can't ALL be idiots, so there must be at least the possibility of success. I mean, you believed it at one point, right? There are certain types of people with the capacity to pull it off I guess, which doesn't include us. I can't decide if we're better off or not.
posted by BorgLove at 11:59 AM on December 22, 2005


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