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multi level marketing

The Ultimate Multi Level Marketing Secrets

multi level marketing
Multi Level Marketing

Everything You Ever Need to Know About Multi Level Marketing

The Multilevel Marketing Conceptketing Concept

What is Multi-Level Marketing?
Multi-level Marketing, or MLM, is a marketing strategy that creates a down line of distributors and a hierarchy of multiple levels of compensation. The sales force is compensated not only for their own sales but also for the sales of the people they help recruit. Firms, having a large product base, often cannot employ equivalent sales force; and believe they would be better off without the traditional approach. Hence, they implement MLM to survive competition from multi-nationals.
MLM is also known as Network Marketing because it utilizes a network of individual customers to hit other potential customers. In other words, every individual customer serves as a sales representative.

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Multi-Level Marketing Vs. Pyramid Marketing

People often confuse MLM with pyramid marketing; however, there is a very clear distinction between the two approaches: pyramid marketing is about getting your money and then using you to recruit other distributors; MLM, on the other hand, is about moving the product through a larger network of distributors so that the business can increase sales volume.
Another difference between MLM and pyramid marketing is that Pyramid marketing requires each level to DOUBLE before a new level is created so it isn’t fair to people lower down in the levels and also unethical. MLM, however, awards a commission based upon the volume of product sold through own sales efforts as well as that of the down line organization.
Since MLM faces the risks of initiating a business that has not been tested by the customers is not recognized, people prefer to wait a couple of years before joining. Hence, they also witness the company’s track-record and reliability.

Structure of Multi-Level Marketing

Multi-level Marketing follows a significantly different structure than Pyramid marketing: the network is divided into parts comprising of a different number of people. Some parts of the network may comprise of lesser people because the initiator might not have been able to sign-up more people; however, other parts may have flourished due to a hard-working marketing genius have good resources. Hence, MLM turns out to be a fairer approach to income generation.

Growth within Multi-Level Marketing Firms

An MLM opportunity, having a wide-spread network, brings greater growth prospects as members become eager to introduce more people. Furthermore, those present higher up in the network are encouraged to share their experiences with those subordinating them. This is because improvements in the performance of new entrants and subordinates will result in higher profits for the seniors.
Hence, great income-earning opportunities can be availed out of Multi-level Marketing firms. The only key is to select one with a successful product or service; such that you would prefer for yourself.

Understanding the MLM Situation and Opportunities

Multi-level Marketing is in fact a Distribution Revolution. The evolution of multi-level marketing has fostered a business paradigm shift that has changed remarkably the traditional ways through which a product was marketed and distributed to the end-users. Multi-level marketing has eliminated the need of requiring additional warehouses, wholesalers, and retailers and advertising budgets making it one of the lowest cost marketing methods. Hence this new mode of marketing has freed up a lot of money that was previously being eaten up by huge advertising budgets and these funds can now be utilized by developing better and innovative products.

Scope of Multi-Level Marketing

The multi-level marketing technique incorporates multiple levels of marketing spreading to masses of potential customers and this is what actually all companies desire that is to reach a maximum number of prospects. Especially with the advent of internet marketing, the scope of MLM or Network Marketing has reached the apex. Companies in various industries like the health care products, beauty, and skincare lines, cosmetics, and various others cannot actually survive in the long run without actually implementing Multi-level marketing strategies especially amid the course of their business.
Highlighting the scope of Multi-Level Marketing, Michael L. Sheffield, the CEO of Sheffield Research Network, direct selling, and MLM consulting firm, in his Direct Sales Journal, issue of Feb / Mar 1999, wrote an article titled “Comp Plan Conversion: Direct Sales to MLM Compensation Plans” in which he maintained that MLM has introduced a paradigm shift in the traditional direct selling business and with the internet revolution the success of MLM companies has raised many folds. He further cited the statement produced by Neil Offen, president of the Direct Selling Association that MLM had gone from 25 percent of Direct Selling Association membership in 1990 to 77.3 percent in 1999.

Multi-level Marketing Opportunities

Multi-level Marketing is a career of uncountable opportunities and growth prospects in the economy. Today multi-level marketing is not only viewed as one of the most cost-effective and efficient sources of marketing and distributing your products and enhances your sales, profits, and business leads but also it is considered to be a source of employment generation in the economy. As more and more people are moving towards e-marketing and e-selling, MLM is creating a buddle of employment opportunities and is considered to be a source of residual income for a number of people around the world including students, unemployed, and the women especially the housewives. Not only has this, but MLM also offers a variety of benefits to the companies to achieve maximum profits.

Understanding the MLM Model

As we have discussed earlier that MLM marketing is also referred to as Network Marketing and as the name implies it has multiple numbers of people (and/ or networks) marketing a product to the consumers. In very simple words under multiple-level marketing a company employees a sales representative (sometimes referred to as a distributor, an affiliate, or an associate) who performs the following basic tasks,

 Firstly getting customers and generating sales.

 Secondly generating, recruiting and training other people as sales reps to get customers or generate sales.
Let’s discuss in detail how the Multi-Level marketing model works?

Multi-level Marketing Model

The following four-step model will demonstrate how a multi-level marketing model works:

 Step I: Sales Representatives gets the customers

Initially, the MLM Company appoints a sales representative and/or distributor whose primary motive is to sell the product or service to the prospective customers. The initial number of customers he has to get varies with the company’s plan and commission structure. But it is usually better to get as many customers as the person can retain effectively and can make repeat sales to them. Also if your company’s payment structure is more rewarding towards training people to get more customers than as an MLM marketer you should limit your efforts towards getting a few customers first at this stage and than focus on the next stage that is getting them trained to promote sales. This strategy is well appropriate for companies who pay you to “duplicate your self”.

 Step II: Train and recruit a person as a sales representative:

After generating a few customers and making sales to them as done by normal direct marketing or direct sales, a multi-level marketer’s next job is to train a person to act as a sales representative and to convince him to bring more prospects and generate more sales for the company. This person would be called you’re downline. Here your role is of a recruiter rather than a retailer or distributor.

 Step III: You teach the rep to train and recruit another person as a sales rep:

Once your sales rep gets enough number of customers at will and generates sufficient sales, it is time for you to train them to get a sales rep. Your job as a leader has now multiple dimensions such as generating further sales, training people to become a sales rep, and training the sales rep to train future people as a sales rep. The focus of your efforts will again depend on your commission plan, you as a marketer would off course concentrate your efforts where you can get higher commissions.

 Step IV: Repeat the above steps to generate a chain:

Once you recruit and train your sales rep to train further people and generate more customers, now you can recruit another sales rep and follow the same procedure making a network of distributors within your downline. This is the reason why it is called multi-level or network marketing and hence companies through MLM tactics cannot only generate reliable customers but also can get its products and/ or services to masses of people with minimal costs and in a relatively shorter period of time as compared to the traditional marketing methods.
The above procedure well explains the MLM model but is it always that easier to get as it appears? Or how is it possible for a company to promote MLM marketing? A well-designed compensation plan is the only answer to the above questions. In our next chapter, we will discuss guidelines to develop an effective compensation plan.


Tips to o Develop Develop Appropriate Compensation Appropriate Compensation Plan
As we have discussed earlier that Multi Level Marketing is simply a business model for moving products and services from production to the consumer using a network of independent distributors with a multi level commission payout plan. Since distributors can recruit other distributors and establish teams that work together, the pay out plan is a bit complex too. In any MLM company the basic key to drive the MLM marketing force in the required direction to produce the best results is the compensation plan. Commission plans or compensation plans are how MLM companies reward a distributor’s production that drives the distribution channel to maximize profits.

Basic Compensation Strategy

It is essential to highlight that every company is different and each has different commission plans, some of which appear complex or complicated too. However, the underlying compensation strategy has the following basic components.

 Retail Commission: As the name implies retail commission is the commission allocated to motivate the marketer to generate sales. It is the commission that a marketer will be paid on the number of sales he makes to his customers.

 Sponsor Commission: The next component of an MLM compensation plan is the commission that is paid to a marketer for the sales generated by its downline hence it requires the marketer to focus on persuading and generating other sales reps for sales promotion. Companies who want to expand their marketing and distribution efforts usually pay better commissions to motivate their marketer to bring more sales reps to the company.

 Training Commission: Few companies also pay their marketers to train the sales reps down the line. These marketers basically act as leaders and have adequate experience, knowledge, and skills to train the new staff.

In addition to the above components, it is also important to mention that MLM is all about leveraged income that is a sales representative not only earn commissions on his own sales but he also earns a commission on the sales generated by the people he has introduced, trained and recruited as a sales rep. Also, it is imperative for marketers to beware of the tactics some times unethically used by a few MLM companies by developing complex compensation plans. In the upcoming chapters we will discuss MLM scams and frauds and means to avoid them.

How to Find a Good MLM Business

Although Multi-Level Marketing business has very sound opportunities and prospects of growth and success, however, statics reveals that most of the people who enter this endeavor face a tough hurdle. A study reveals that almost eighty-five percent of the MLM companies fail within the first eighteen months. Hence for a person, it is essentially vital to start this business prudently. Listed below are some guidelines to follow:


It is critical for the success of a marketer to join a company that is sound and is viable to enter as a Multi-level marketer. Here are few points to consider:

 Start with a well-experienced company:

In order to enter into Multi-level marketing, it is usually wise to start with a well-experienced company that has been in the business at least for three years or more. The reason behind this is the company itself has surpassed the initial survival phase and now must be in the growth stage increasing your chances of success as a marketer.

 Opt for a Public Limited Company:

Well known and well established public limited companies are not only safer to enter but also have high and easy access to the information regarding the company’s background, its people, and its business and financial strength. It is also recommended to compare the salary or commission with the average sales of the company that will indicate to you whether it is a good place to start with.

 Select a member of a business bureau:

It is always ideal to join a company that is a member of a business bureau or registered with the Direct Selling Association. This will not only ensure the company’s reliability but also you can make your complains to these organizations regarding any misconduct by the company.

 Investigate the company’s track record:

Essentially important is to look at the company, see how it does business. Is it on ethical grounds? Check out its track record. Find out whether it has a stable track record and identify whether the company’s values match up with yours. It is essentially important for long term presence in the Multi-level marketing industry.


Along with identifying a sound company it is also highly important to know about the product you have to market. Remember your success as a Multi-level marketer ultimately depends on the sales of the product you are offering. Here are few questions to investigate:

 Is the product marketable?

As a marketer it is important to pick up a product that is highly marketable and has sound qualities and features through which you can promote sales. Also in order to sell products you need to know their features. Sometimes it is essentially important to research and have sufficient knowledge in order to market your self. For example if you are selling some computer software you should have sound knowledge of the technology. Hence before picking up a company a marketer must evaluate these issues.

 Do you your self like the product?

If you like the product your self, it will be easier for you to market it and hence you can also convince others to become sales representative. Remember multi-level marketing is more of word of mouth marketing, when you like it your self you feel more confident as you know the product is good and you are no making fake promises.

 Is it reasonably priced?

Naïve marketers often ignore the importance of price which is one of the reasons of their failure in the field. It is essentially important to ensure that your product is well priced and either it has got excessive qualities or is comparatively cheaper to other brands available in the market, otherwise it will be next to impossible for a marketer to generate enough sales. Also some companies do offer discounts on certain number of sales, you must identify the discounts associated to improve your profits.

 Is the product consumable?

In order to generate more commission, try to select consumable products, as it raises the chances of repeat sales. In addition to that if your customer likes the product than you can retain him for long term and hence finally can convince him to act as a sale rep, which will ultimately increase our future earnings.

 Is there a demand of the product?

Never select products that are obsolete, or are excessively available at retail outlets. If your products do not have enough demand you would be wasting your time and efforts for nothing.


The next crucial step is to well understand the compensation plan. As most of the time, a multilevel marketer is providing dual service; one as a seller and the other as a recruiter, hence his commission and compensation depend on both. This is why it is important to well understand the company’s compensation policies beforehand. Here are a few tips:

 Is your compensation based on sales or recruits?

Remember that it is an illegal practice to pay a commission on the number of recruits. So you must identify the compensation plan. This will help you focus your efforts.

 Identify the hidden costs:

Some companies do require paying some initial money or membership fee to get your self registered as a marketer or sales rep on companies’ behalf. Identify whether you will generate.

enough commissions to cover your initial money paid. Also if the investment is relatively high be careful as some fraudulent companies do ask for paying huge some initially. Always refrain from joining them.

 Do you have to achieve any targets?

You must find your targets for example how many members do you have to recruit. Some companies require that you sign up a certain amount of people in a given period of time before you will receive payment. Not only that few companies require you to cross the target level of sales first before paying you. This may cause problems for new and naïve marketers. In addition to the above there are also a few other important points that guarantee your success as a multi-level marketer. These are:

 Training the salesperson:

Some companies do provide training to their sales rep and MLM marketers about the product features and the company’s profile. Also, good companies do train their staff to improve their marketing skills. It is better to select such a company especially if you are new in the multi-level marketing industry.

 Active involvement:

Some companies also offer a discussion forum where you can interact with the other members. It is good for you as during the course of your work a few questions may arise that you need answers to and you want to get suggestions from other people in the same company who can help you resolve your queries and can give you the correct answers you need.

 Take recommendation from the current member:

Always get in touch with someone who is already a member of the MLM. Ask them their recommendations about the company and their views regarding the way the MLM system works in the company.

 Beware of Scams:

There is a number of fake companies and fake claims. Beware of them. In the upcoming chapters, we will discuss in detail about MLM scams, which will help you to protect your self from entering fake companies. In a nutshell, a good company comprises of people who are committed to products that actually help make people’s lives better, which see their distributors as their assets and have promising compensation plans that pay well in return of efforts, that train their people and are always there to help their people. Hence if you follow the above important steps, you will be able to select a good MLM company that will guarantee your success as a multi-level marketer.

Multilevel Marketing vs Traditional

Multilevel Marketing vs Traditional MarketingMarketing

The advocates of multilevel marketing describe MLM as the more efficient and effective means of marketing and generating leads and sales to your business. But the traditional marketing companies feel reluctant to adopt new network marketing strategies in order to run their business. Also, most people don’t even understand exactly the differences between both strategies. This is the reason why we have dedicated this chapter to explore the difference between the multi-level marketing and traditional marketing strategies.
Lets’ explore the major differences:

Difference between MLM and Traditional Marketing

 The most significant difference between MLM and traditional marketing is the role of the marketer. In multi-level marketing initially, an individual is hired as a sales representative who is required to market the company and its products and/or services and generate sales, which is fairly similar to any traditional marketing business. However on the other hand under multi-level marketing, he is also required to identify and recruit additional sales reps as his down line. The new sales rep in turn can appoint another person as the company’s sales rep or marketer.
 Under MLM a marketer has the authority to get customers and recruits and train another salesperson to get customers. However, in a traditional marketing company, a sales manager and /or sales reps are hired by the company itself.

 Under MLM an unlimited number of sales reps can be hired no matter whether they generate enough sales or not however under a non-MLM company sales reps are hired based on the financial resources of the company. Also, a new sales manager is only hired when the existing manager is overwhelmed.

 In an MLM company, the structure of the distributing network expands vertically, however, in a traditional marketing company there is generally horizontal expansion.

 The MLM marketers are usually paid commissions, i.e. their compensation is usually based on the number of sales made by them or by the people in their down line. This is the reason why MLM enjoys rapid expansion as the marketers can recruit as many sales reps as they like and the company doesn’t have to worry about fixed salaries. However, in traditional marketing, the sales managers or reps are usually paid fixed salaries.

 Also, MLM companies usually do not require high set up costs as opposed to the traditional ones that require huge investments to set up a whole marketing and distribution channel.

 One of the other major characteristics of multi level marketing is that the parent companies are making plenty of money. Salesforce under MLM is so vast that even if no single promoter is selling at high levels but the group as a whole is selling at a very high level, the company would still enjoy the profits. However under traditional set up if a manager is not performing well the sales of the company are adversely affected.

 Under MLM the high performers earn high and reach the top and the rest (the low performers) can not survive and leave the market themselves. The MLM Company like any other traditional company does not have to worry about going through the tedious procedures of appraisals, hiring and firing etc.

Hence the above differences clearly manifest the advantages associated with the multilevel marketing over the traditional marketing methods as MLM is not only the most flexible way of marketing but also due to its network feature it has the tendency of expanding rapidly in the market and if directed effectively it can earn huge profits to the company. Not only that people who can join the marketing team under MLM can work any time they like and reap the benefits on not only the sales they make but also the sales made by the reps they recruit. Hence MLM has the characteristics of enjoying leveraged income and greater market penetration.

How to Improve Your

How to Improve Your MultilevelMultilevel Marketing Marketing SkillsSkills
In this chapter, we will discuss a few guidelines that will help you improve your skills as a multi-level marketer. It is essential for a marketer to understand that, no matter how great the company he selects and how demanding the products are, what one must not forget is that multi-level marketing demands hard work and commitment. It is not possible to make huge sums of money just by signing up once and then sit back and wait for the cash to flow in. You need to constantly train and update your self and improve your efforts to ensure long term gains and maximize profits. Here are a few tips that will help you improve your skills as a multi-level marketer.

 Managing your downline:

Remember your down line is your asset and a source of your income. Hence it is important to manage your downline properly and keep motivating your downline to produce maximum results and generate maximum sales.

 Understanding different people:
It is important for a marketer to understand that he or she is dealing with a number of people at a time, all mostly from different backgrounds. It is essential for him to train each of them appropriately as each may require a different set of information and skill to improve their efficiency. Also in order to convince people to act as a sales rep you as a marketer should persuade them according to their needs and level.

 Learn to accept rejection:
Multiple-level marketing has a high rate of rejection, hence it is important to stay positive and accept to take ‘NO’.

 Keep Focus and be persistent:
Some people tend to lose interest quickly if they think their plans are not working up to the mark. A multi-level marketer should avoid this as it requires persistence and focused efforts in order to achieve success.

 Undertake constant research:
Again your success as a marketer highly depends on the company and product you select. Therefore it is imperative to research well before entering the venture.

 Constantly train and update yourself:
Try to pick up companies that provide constant training to their marketers, this will help you to keep your self updated. If you understand the latest trends, technologies, and product features well, you are in a better position to persuade customers, generate sales, and lead you’re downline.

 Improve your communication skills:
Effective communication and selling skills are keys to the success of every marketer; hence a multi level marketer should constantly improve on his communication skills.

 Walk the talk- reliability:
In order to achieve repeat sales, you need to provide reliable information. Hence you should responsibility market your product and avoid unethical ways of generating sales and prospects.

Essentials of MLM BBusinessusiness

Thousands of MLM companies are operating in the world today, but most of them vanish with time. New companies keep coming and exiting the market. Only the companies that are great can retain long term existence. It is essentially important to find out which companies are the successful MLM’s? What are their characteristics? How a company can ensure the success of its MLM strategies. Here are some highlights of a top-performing Multi-level marketing company.

 Unique Product:
No matter how effective your business or marketing strategy is and how good is your sales force, nothing works if you’re offering is of no worth. A unique and well-developed product that actually satisfies the needs of the customer is a must. Without a quality product that is unique to the market, you can not survive in the market, no matter how big you are.

 Stability:

The word stability often denotes longevity and endurance in the long run. A well-established company has chances to retain short term economic shocks in demands and prices. Also, companies that have consistent management plans and policies and defined long term goals demonstrate long term stability and persistence. If the key decisions and decision-makers has changed frequently throughout the company’s history than its stability is questionable.

 Financial Strength:

Financial stability and strength is another component that constitutes stability. Before entering into MLM a company must identify whether it has adequate resources and funds to meet the distributors’ compensation. Also, companies must identify whether it would be profitable to entail network marketing and does the expected benefits offset the costs associated.

 Member Training and Support

The most important feature of a well-performing multi level marketing company is the quality of its training and support for distributors or affiliates. Companies that view their distributors as assets always focus to educate and train their people not only to sharpen their skills but also to enable them to keep abreast of any changes or new trends in the multi level marketing industry. These companies provide constant training through webinars, chat rooms, and video conferences to their sales teams. Also, successful companies provide different channels to their distributors where they can resolve their queries and concerns such as live chat rooms, resource library, informative and interactive website and distributor support hotlines.

 Business Building Tools
It is important to remember that successful marketers are imperative for a company’s success. This is the reason why top-performing multi-level marketing companies often provide a variety of effective business-building tools to their distributors. Various helpful tools like e-cards, diaries, calendars, customer relationship management systems, freebies, testers, autoresponders and various other online resources are provided to their distributors.

 Compensation Plan
An effective compensation plan is again a must for multi-level marketing success. An effective MLM marketing company knows the significance of its distribution force and offers its distributors a generous and balanced compensation plan. It is also important that irrespective of what compensation model the company is using, the plan must be simple, straight-forward and easy-to-understand and should reward its distributors or affiliates with progressive bonus levels. So that it motivates them to increase their efforts to enhance sales volume, and recruit more qualified prospects.

Hence these are the basic characteristics that ensure the survival and success of a Multi-level marketing company, these few features should guide you on how to ensure multi-level marketing success.

The Legality of Multi level Marketingulti level Marketing

Multi-level marketing is a relatively new and complex marketing concept, although it has been practiced for years in one way or another by many companies, a vast majority of people get it confused with pyramid schemes and questions the legality of multi-level marketing. Now the question is, is MLM legal? Here is the answer: Yes, it is legal Until 1979, multi-level marketing was usually considered as a scam or illegal as it was never tested and adjudicated in court. In 1975 Anyway Corporation was accused and sued by the US Federal Trade Commission for operating as an illegal pyramid scheme and after four years of litigation Anyway won the case and the court ruled out that the company’s multi-level marketing program is a legitimate business and is not an illegal pyramid scheme. Hence now it is fairly clear that Multi-level marketing is legal and not a scam.
As by now, it is clear that multi-level marketing is legal and there is no second thought about this. Although companies who undertake multi-level marketing programs have to strictly develop strategies that fall under the definition of multi level marketing as there is a fine line between multi-level marketing and pyramid marketing which is illegal. Also due to the complexity of the commission structures, companies sometimes develop if not illegal but unethical strategies that are not beneficial for the communities and the general public.
However to legally fall under the Multi-level marketing category, apart from using common sense the following guidelines given by the US

Federal Trade Commission (FTC) must be adhered to:

 Never enter into any plan that promises commissions for recruiting additional distributors. It is constituted under an illegal pyramid scheme. Your compensation must be linked to the actual sales made by you or your downline not on the number of recruits.

 Plans that ask new distributors for making an upfront fee or purchasing expensive inventory are usually skeptical so it is essential to be cautious of them. These plans can collapse quickly and also may be thinly-disguised pyramid schemes.

 Also plans that claim that you will make more money by increasing your downline are unrealistic. You are paid commissions on sales made by the people you recruit not only by recruiting more and more reps. So beware of them.

 Beware of shills. False or over projected references used by companies to lure you are unrealistic so be cautious.

 Remember you do not sell miracles. So engaging with companies that claim to sell miracle products. Also remember that as per the FTC guide lines, a distributor or a marketer is ethically responsible for the promises he made. So don’t promise what you can’t fulfill.

 Never enter into a contract in a high-pressure situation demanding “Now or never”. These are all unethical tactics practice by companies to trap you. Always take your time and take advice from friends and other professional people like accountants, lawyers etc to evaluate the viability of the project.

 In addition to the above guidelines, FTC also requires that the multi level marketing company must derive at least 70% of its income from retail sales to non-distributors. If this criteria is not met than in several cases the courts have concluded the MLM company is in the business of endlessly recruiting distributors who recruit distributors, which may turn these companies into pyramid schemes, not sales and distribution companies.

Hence the above guidelines are important to identify whether the MLM Company falls under the legal definition of doing business. But this is not all; apart from being legal, it is essentially important for the multi level marketing Company to use ethical standards and procedures to generate their business and profits. Further in this text, we will highlight the general scams and unethical practices that are usually practiced by few MLM companies to deceit their people and the ways to avoid them.

Multi level Marketing Scams and Tips to Scams and Tips to Avoid

As we have discussed earlier that the success of MLM depends largely on increasing the number of sales through sales representatives. Sometimes companies in order to attract people to use false claims. This is one of the major reasons why many individuals fear MLM is because they believe they are going to get scammed. If you search the net you will find a lot of examples of companies making fake claims and MLM scams. Here are a few examples of how companies use unethical practices to trick people:

 Offering money-back guarantee schemes

 Offering miracles instead of real products

 Asking new distributors to pay an upfront fee

 Promises to give people down lines once they signup with them

 Sometimes MLM companies do not even exist in reality, they just create false websites to trap individuals

 Demanding you to buy a certain percentage of their product initially, which you might not be able to sell and hence incur losses.

 Promising your unreasonably high commissions on your sales.

Apart from them many MLM companies tactically plan there commission scheme that actually takes money away from the marketers or the people working under the network. Naïve marketers usually do not understand that they are being scammed and even after putting a hundred percent efforts and generating enough customers they fail to achieve companies’ unrealistic targets and can get nothing out of their efforts. This is the reason why it is always essential for a marketer to think prudently and investigate properly before entering into the MLM venture and stay away from the companies which apply unethical tactics to generate profits. Listed below are few tips to avoid scam.
Tips to Avoid Multi level Marketing Scams:

 Research the company and its management. For example, if you have no access to the company, no phone numbers, addresses, or contact people, then these are the signs that you are being scammed.

 Read the policy and procedures before you join. Also, take some professionals advice before signing up for any agreement.

 Avoid lead generation systems that rely on friends and family.

 Well, understand the compensation plan. Also, make sure that you are being compensated for the sales you and your downline generates and not on the number of people you recruit as the later is an illegal pyramid scheme.

 Investigate whether up line support is available. Identify whether the company invests funds and resources in training its distributors. Only good and reliable companies will invest in training their staff.

 If the Multi-level marketing company is asking for several hundred or thousands to join upfront, there may be chances of being scammed.

 Always remember that MLM success takes time and demands hard work, never join companies that promise overnight profits.

By following the above tips a naïve marketer can reduce the chances of being scammed and hence focus his efforts on reliable and realistic MLM business.

Online Multi Level Marketing Opportunities

So far our discussion was based on understanding the basics of Multi-level marketing and one thing that is obvious throughout our discussion is that every multi level marketing company aims at reaching more and more prospects and generating more and more sales. Now just think for a moment in the current era which is the best possible medium for reaching the maximum number of prospects investing minimum time and effort. The answer is quite simple, ‘the internet’. MLM companies by going online can transform their business into a success and can reach billions of customers by incorporating online multi-level marketing strategies. Top-rated multilevel marketing companies execute several online marketing strategies in order to generate more and more business leads and then concentrate their marketing efforts on the leads to generate sales.

Guidelines for Efficient Online Multi-level Marketing

Let’s explore a few guidelines to make your online MLM business a success;

 Create your Website:

The first and foremost step to ensure your online presence is to create your website. Every online multi level marketing system starts with a website.

 Attract Visitors:
No matter how good is your company, your product, or your website, it’s worthless if no one knows about it? Hence the next step is to attract traffic towards your website. Now the question is how to do that? The answer is advertising your-self. This can be done by incorporating various online marketing strategies such as through article marketing, viral marketing, blogging, video marketing, social

marketing, sponsored ads like pay-per-click, etc. In order to generate maximum traffic to your website, it is essentially important to use effective keywords and develop content and tactics that maximize your search engine ranking. All these procedures if employed efficiently can bring billions of visitors to your website.

 Generate Leads:

Once you get traffic to your website it is now the stage where you obtain contact information to build lists of interested prospects. Lead generation and list building is the most important step. Further in this text, we will explore in detail about ways through which leads can be generated. You can do this through squeeze pages, opt-in email pages, pop-ups, etc. Hence in this way you can get information about the person who is interested in your company and in your product and may buy your product in the future.

 Building Relationship:
Once you generate a lead, its time now to build a relationship with the prospect and develop trust and persuade him to buy the product. Staying in touch with your prospect is crucial. This can be done through an autoresponder, where you send a predefined set of emails to the prospect to build credibility and trust.

 Generate sales:
Once you do that you can now convince your lead to purchase your product and turn the lead into a customer. Remember to keep in touch with your customer so that he can not only make repeat sales but you can also convince him to join your team and finally recruit him as a sales rep.
By following the above guidelines you as a marketer can reap maximum profits and lead to success. However, it is essentially important for a multi-level marketer to develop long term relationships with its customers as it is the key for his long term survival in the MLM industry. In the next chapter, we will explore the importance of relationship building.

Relationships Building Building through rough Multilevel h Multilevel MarketingMarketing
For every business, the key to success is building relationships with your customers. This is also true for any multi level marketing business, in fact the importance of building relation increases twofold in multi level marketing as you as a marketer has not only to retain your customers to generate repeat sales but also building trust with them so that you can convince them to join your team as a marketer and a future sales rep. So how do you build relationships online? Here are the basic tips that you need to follow to build relationships online.

 Bring value to your customers:
One of the best ways to retain your customers is to provide them value consistently. In multilevel marketing one of the finest ways to bring value to your prospect is to provide them the best product. When your product satisfies the customers, it means that you have met the promises made to them and hence it develops your credibility and people trust you and will come back to you repeatedly.
Is this it? No, remember we are talking about MLM marketing, where your earnings are based on the sales made by your downline. Hence for a multilevel marketer, it is equally important to build healthy and lasting relationships with people in their down lines. Your down lines are your assets. Always try to constantly train, help, and satisfy your down lines and always be there to resolve their issues and problems. In this way, you can not only raise your own earnings but can increase your company’s profits.

 Brand your self:
As a lot of people are doing online multi level marketing business and in order to stand out of your competitors and prove yourself, it is essential to brand your self. The best way to do this is to create your website or a blog that tells people about you. When you do that you increase your credibility and beat your competitors.

 Stay in touch:
A very common mistake which most of the MLM marketers do is to leave customers once they make sales. Never do that. It is very important to keep in touch with the customer, asking him how he found the product, what else he wants in the product. These tactics will help you retain your customers for long run and ensure repeat sales.

 Be positive:
Few marketers quickly get upset due to demand fluctuations in the market. It is important as a leader to stay positive and be persistent even you might not produce enough sales. The reason behind if your loose hopes you cannot motivate the people in your downline hence always stay positive and focused.

Generating Leadsrating Leads
Throughout our discussion within this text, we have highlighted that a multilevel marketer has to attain two basic goals. One is to sell the products or services of the parent company and the other is to encourage the customer to also become an independent distributor. Both these objectives call for such actions that demand the creation of maximum business prospects also known as the business leads.
There are several ways of generating leads. Usually, a marketer generates his or her own leads through referrals from friends, family members, and acquaintances. But are that enough? Certainly no. hence the marketer has to use various tools like holding events or trade shows, distributing pamphlets, others may include conducting research or even the marketer can simply buy a list from list building companies or other relevant sources.

Online multi level marketers also use several tactics to generate leads. This can be done through squeeze pages, opt-in email pages, pop-ups etc. These are basically common ways of collecting information from a visitor for example through squeeze page you provide a piece of information in the form of an article or a video clip to the customer and then asking the customer to leave his contact details (usually email, mailing address, and other contact info) if he requires further details. In this way, you can get information about the person who may buy your product in the future. Hence, if you have an online existence, you are in the position of generating masses of business leads, which are basically your potential customers. Once you get them it will help you maintain a long term relationship with them and you can reach out to them to offer yourself, your offerings, and your services.

Hence a multi level marketer should generate as many leads as he can that is crucial not only for his existence but also for the company’s survival.

Measuring Multilevel Marketing PerformancePerformance
An integral part of analyzing the success of the Multi level marketing campaign is to measure the performance of the multi level marketing team. You need to identify the key performance indicators that have a remarkable impact on your firm’s profitability. These key indicators are basically controlled points that help you to monitor the progress of your multi level marketing team and its effects on your business. Due to the very complex nature of the network marketing scenario and usually complicated compensation plans, few companies sometimes ignore evaluating the performance of its team and its overall impact on the business. But is it right or a big blunder? Only an insane would say its right.
Multi level team performance has a vital impact on your business and it is crucial to assess the performance as it will assist you in formulating your future business strategies and multi level marketing business plan. Investing more in the areas which are promising and reducing efforts where there is not much potential. But the question is how do you measure team performance? How can it provide you with helpful data for planning future business strategies? What are the key indicators of performance?
In order to evaluate performance, it is essential to identify the key performance indicators. For example, identify whether your team achieved the targets given to them, the number of sales made by your team, number of key recruits you get, conducting a cost and benefit analysis, number of repeat sales or repeat customers, increase in sales, satisfaction level of your team, satisfaction level of your customers, etc. Once you do that you can utilize these results to develop future business policies. Hence measuring key performance indicators is a well-recognized process practiced by almost all large companies to use it as a basis to formulate future strategies.

One of the other important points to consider is to evaluate your business targets. Some companies set unrealistic targets that are highly difficult to achieve. In order to evaluate the actual performance, it is also essential to evaluate your compensation plan. For example, if there is very low distributor retention than instead of penalizing your team you need to reevaluate your commission plan and identify why your team is unable to produce effective results. Also account for forces that are not in control of your marketers for example an economic downturn, demand shortfall, etc. Hence in order to ensure longevity MLM companies must constantly evaluate their team performance and took measures to correct any loopholes.

Advantages of Multi–level Marketinglevel Marketing
Multi level marketing offers a variety of benefits. Listed below are a few advantages associated with MLM business:

 Minimum Entry Barriers:
Multi level marketing like any other online marketing is an egalitarian industry to get into and it doesn’t have any pain staking entry requirements. Also to start your career as a multi-level marketer and to start a MLM business professionally you don’t need to be highly qualified, i.e. you can enter into this business without the need of a degree or any particular experience.

 Financial Flexibility:
Compared to other businesses MLM business relatively has low set-up costs. Although the actual costs vary substantially with the type of compensation plan you offer for example few companies require a substantial monthly investment in the products or services or few requires some additional charges like registration etc to join them as their sales rep or marketer.

 Demands focused efforts:
The focus of an MLM marketer is just to market the product that is he has to concentrate his efforts in generating sales and sales rep. All the rest is done by the company itself that is you are only marketing an already manufactured product and ones you make a sale you don’t have to worry about anything else such as shipping the product to the customer etc.

 Flexible Hours:
You can run your business at any time you like to have the flexibility of choosing your work hours. You can work part-time, full time, in the evenings, from your home or anywhere. Also, you do not require a proper office or corporate area to work from.

 MLM offers Leveraged Income:
One of the major advantages of an MLM business is you basically put initial efforts by training and generating effective sales reps and develop an efficient downline. Once you do that you can reap the profits for the rest of your life. Because generally, you are earning compensation or commission on the sales generated by you as well as your downline and the more efficient and hard working your downline the more money you can earn. This is the reason why MLM is usually viewed as a source of leveraged income that is you receive a continuing income from a single initial effort.

 Pre-Existing Systems
As an MLM marketer, you don’t need to develop systems to recruit, develop, and train your staff. These are taken care of by the company you are representing. All you have to do is to reach people to market your product and generate sales and to convince people to act as future sales reps.

 Personal Growth and Development:
MLM marketing is also viewed as an extensive source of personal growth and development of the marketer. Over time you don’t only achieve professional selling qualities but MLM helps you to increase your PR and enhance your marketing and leadership qualities.
In the next chapter, we will discuss a few disadvantages of multi level marketing.

Disadvantages oof Multif Multi–level Marketinglevel Marketing
Having discussed the advantages now let’s explores the darker part that is the disadvantages of multilevel marketing. Here is the list:

 Complex Compensation Plans:
It is important to note that the compensation or commission plans are usually not a simple as they sound. Most of the time companies to keep the MLM financially viable set a number of targets either sales-based, performance-based or standard-based and you are only paid once you achieve these targets. For example, few companies pay only if you recruit a specific number of reps to generate future sales, if you fail to achieve this you will not get anything from your sales.

 Financial commitment:
Few companies trap marketers by asking a number of hidden charges in the form of registration fees, training fees, or even some times they charge for the material or marketing tools they provide (for example CD’s, broachers, manuals, etc) to the marketers for training them about the product and it features and about the company. Most of the time, you will have to commit to purchasing a certain volume of product each month in order to remain eligible to participate in the program. This makes is difficult for you to remain profitable and hinders your long term existence in the industry.

 Demands Extensive Motivation:
Remember that MLM is all about leveraged income. You can only survive when you earn money from your own sales plus the sales generated through your downline. Hence it is crucially important to keep your downline motivated and focused. Also, you need to train and recruit more and more people in order to generate more income. Hence MLM requires continuous efforts and hard work for future survival.

 Severe Competition:
As MLM business does not require any professional degrees or skills, plus it relatively has no start-up or entry barriers, it fosters severe competition. Anyone can enter the market and take away your prospects. This is the reason why to assure longevity; a serious MLM marketer has to really work hard as there are a lot of others out there ready to work with your sponsors.

Why MLM Goes Wrong– the Company’s he Company’s PerspectivePerspective
There is so much hype everywhere about the success of MLM and the financial and other rewards associated by employing a successful MLM campaign. But what are the statistics? What are the real facts? If you do your research you will find out that although several companies associate their success stories to MLM. Big giants like Avon, Amway, Mary Kay and several others have huge MLM teams which are assets for them. But it is also a truth that almost seventy to eighty percent of the companies that are new entrants in the field encounter failures and losses. Why is it so? Where things go wrong? Here are a few areas that require proper consideration:

Reasons for MLM Failures
Lets’ find out a few reasons for MLM failures from a company’s perspective:

 Selecting Wrong People:
One of the major pitfalls is the selection of the wrong people. In order to maximize their commissions, MLM promoters frequently select anyone when recruiting individuals to be part of their down line. People who are actually nonserious and if they cannot make enough commissions they portray a bad image of the company everywhere. This is hazardous for a company’s future growth. Other people might feel reluctant to join the company and / or to buy the product.

 Compromising on Research and Development:
It is also essential for companies to remember that MLM is a part and parcel of your overall business strategy. Few companies focus all their efforts on MLM and forget the rest. This is where things go wrong. With excellent marketing efforts, it is also crucial to invest in research

and development and producing a unique product with sound features. No matter how good is your marketing and distribution network, without a promising product, all the rest is useless.

 Inflated Commission Plans:
Some companies, in order to attract more and more people and to stay ahead of competitors, offer unrealistic or over-inflated commission plans and product prices, and promises overnight wealth. Avoid doing that first because you may soon collapse financially, secondly you may be viewed as a scam and people feel reluctant to join you.

 Inability to Comprehend Market Demand and Supply:
In the greed of expanding market penetration and reaching millions of people, the one major mistake that a few companies do is to forget the basic economics. It is essential to evaluate market demand and supply of the product. Companies may spend huge sums of money in MLM but what they don’t realize is the economic scenario. Also, the price you fix is a determinant of demand and supply, especially if the product you offer is not too different from what is already available everywhere in the market. Hence it is essential to evaluate all these factors before investing blindly in MLM.

 Using Unethical Practices:
The most hazardous move that may damage a company’s image is the implementation of unethical practices to generate short term profits. Practices such as making fake promises about product attributes, charging a high upfront fee or demanding a huge initial investment from new people to join you, distribution team, forcing them to buy a huge amount of products that are realistically impossible for them to sell, may earn you short term profits but damage your long term image and existence. It is true that MLM promises huge sums of money but it is essential to realize that there is no miracle and you need to be prudent and vigilant while developing MLM strategies and should use legitimate and ethical tactics, otherwise you will collapse.

Secrets of Multi level Marketing level Marketing
In the last chapter, we discussed the reasons behind MLM failures and hence we highlighted a few factors that are essential to consider. Apart from that what MLM companies can do to get maximum benefits out of their multilevel marketing campaign. Are there any MLM secrets to success? How can we stand out of a thousand of competitors already in the market? How can we offer something extra? Here are a few MLM secrets to success:

 Support, support, and more support:
You need to stay at the back of your team. Never leave your MLM team to survive on its own. Keep them updated and educate them about the product, the company, and the current market trends and technologies. Remember the survival and success of your team assure the survival of your company.

 Offer something extra
Good companies always offer a little bit extra to win the trust and loyalty of their employees. Always try to develop relationships with your team. Identify their problems and help them sort them out. Also, a few extra bonuses offered to them for example at the time of Christmas or maybe sending them on training to improve their marketing skills on company’s expenses are the strategies that can foster willingness and loyalty in your team.

 Provide free promotional tools:
Offering free promotional tools will help you generate more sales. The perks you offer can bring you prospects, for example, offering freebies which may include free products or services is a remarkable tactic especially if you are offering health products or cosmetic products. You get freebies, which include free products and services.

 Foster teamwork:
Multilevel marketing is all about teamwork and relationship building. It is also beneficial if a company uses techniques that foster and teamwork among the network of its distributors. You can do this by arranging seminars at regular intervals, engaging team members through online chat rooms, and other social networks where people can meet up and learn from each other.

 Develop a Proper Attitude
All the MLM marketers should learn the secret of developing a proper attitude while they conduct their business especially when you are in online MLM business. As you are not in a face to face direct contact with your customer, your attitude should be such to attract your prospect. Respect your prospects and be honest, sincere, and polite at all times. Communicate with your prospective buyers in a respectful manner. A good thing to know is, people, follow you, once they like you and they will buy from you.

 Never Quit:
MLM is not a miracle. Most online marketers quit after a few weeks or months. Remember that persistence is a key to success. This is the real secret behind the success of peoples who have made huge sums of money through MLM.
Hence by incorporating these secrets you can offer something extra to your people and your customers and hence reap the profits in the long run.

Multi-level Marketing — an Overview Overview
Multi-level marketing is an asset for any company that wants to penetrate the market and generate profits. Every business dreams of getting higher sales so that profits can be earned. By incorporating MLM techniques companies can easily achieve their goals but again it is important to remember that there are no short cuts. Consistency, hard work, and efforts are the demands of success.
Although MLM is usually viewed as a scam or illegal, it’s not illegal. It is completely legal. However one should beware of the fraudulent practices the less legitimate companies usually employ during the course of their business. Also genuine MLM companies should strictly follow the legal guidelines and employee ethical means of practices that do not only guarantee success but also the long term persistence of the firm.
The other dimension of MLM is its extreme flexibility making it possible for many people around to involve in the business and generate money at their own pace. One thing that every Multi-level marketer should understand that it is not a miracle and it requires time and effort to attain success ultimately, so never get upset from initial failures and never give up quickly. Keep going and keep working hard and you are not far from success and reaping huge incomes. learn more about attraction marketing tips

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What Happens if Your Pet Dies in Daycare or a Kennel

What Happens if Your Pet Dies in Daycare or a Kennel

Illustration for article titled What To Do if Your Pet Dies in Daycare or a Kennel

Photo: Jareerat (Shutterstock)

For people who travel frequently (or at least used to) and have a pet, part of planning a trip involves finding someone to look after their canine or feline family members while they’re away. Deciding a place to board their pets can be stressful, weighing things like who will be caring for the animals, how much it costs, and whether there’ll be some sort of nanny cam where you can check in on your furry friend.

If you’re someone who deals with the kind of anxiety where you always think about the worst-case-scenario in any given situation, you’ve probably already considered (and worried about) what might happen if your pet dies while in someone else’s care. What are your legal rights in that situation? What kinds of laws apply? What happens when a case like this goes to court? We spoke with several attorneys and an animal behaviorist to find out.

How are pets viewed under the law?

There’s no easy way to say this, but in most cases, pets are considered property. “Under common law applied in most of the United States, pets are considered property, just like a car or a watch or an item of clothing,” Morghan Richardson, family law partner at Davidoff Hutcher & Citron LLP, tells Lifehacker.

And according to Ryan Reiffert, a business, corporate, and transactional attorney in San Antonio, Texas with the Law Offices of Ryan Reiffert, PLLC, because of pets’ status as property, their humans would have the same legal remedies as they would in situations where any other piece of property was damaged. Typically, he says this means that in court, a pet won’t be worth much more than what you paid for it, or the money you spent on training.

If a pet is injured while in someone else’s care, its owner can recover the cost of “repairs,” which in this case would be veterinary and other expenses needed for the pet to recover, according to Thomas J. Simeone, a personal injury attorney at Simeone & Miller, LLP who has extensive experience with cases involving injured pets. In situations where the pet cannot be saved, he explains, their owner is entitled to the “cost” of the pet on the date of the negligence—determined by researching the value of similar breeds of dogs of the same age and sex.

What about emotional damage?

But surely, it’s widely understood that pets are frequently considered part of a human family—that has to make a difference, right? Nope. “Generally you cannot get emotional distress damages,” Reiffert tells Lifehacker. “I wish it were otherwise—my rescue dog is incredibly dear to me, basically like a child—but that’s generally the law.” Along the same lines, Simeone says that people with pets are not legally entitled to recover damages for pain and suffering—either their own or the pet’s—because the pet is considered “personal property” and not a living thing.

There is a chance, however, that this approach could change. According to Richardson, in recent years, some courts in the United States have indicated a willingness to acknowledge that pets—though not human—are fundamentally different from other forms of property. “The close relationship that many owners have with their pets simply isn’t the same as the feelings people have about their clothes or their cars,” she explains. “But this new approach, which could allow pet owners whose animals were killed at a kennel or daycare to pursue claims for emotional distress, for example, has not yet been adopted.”

How could situations like this even happen?

Russell Hartstein, an animal behaviorist and trainer and the founder of Fun Paw Care, LLC, has served as an expert witness in cases where dogs have been injured or killed in a daycare or boarding facility. As someone with experience in both animal behavior and running a dog training and daycare business, Hartstein says he’s all too familiar with the types of facilities where pets’ safety is compromised. “I am keenly aware of the inherent flaws within these volume-based business models, most of the time run by ‘professionals’ with no certifications or credentials in the field of animal behavior,” he tells Lifehacker.

Dogs are dyadic in nature, Hartstein explains—meaning they thrive in one-on-one playgroups that are structured specifically for their breed, size, energy level, age, sex and personality temperament. “Ninety-nine percent of the time, dog boarding facilities and daycares are dangerous for a dog,” he says. “And [pet] parents misunderstand, [thinking] that their pet is happy, when the pet is actually stressed. Most dog health, emotional, physical, medical and behavioral problems occur at kennels and dog daycares.”

What legal issues are involved?

People have a right to have someone supervise their pets while they’re away, David Reischer, an attorney and CEO of, explains. The daycare, kennels, or boarding locations then assume a duty of care for the pets in their custody, which includes responsibilities like providing food and water, taking pets to vet appointments, administering medicine if necessary, taking dogs out for a walk, and providing companionship, Reischer says.

If a pet is injured or killed while in the care of a boarding facility of daycare, the pet sitter may be responsible for compensating the pet’s person as the result of a civil lawsuit. “The law treats all pets like property, and the damages that result from an injured or killed pet would be monetary damages,” Reischer explains. “Legal theories for damage to property include conversion, trespass to chattel, or the intentional infliction of emotional distress. Unless the injury or death to the pet was intentional, then criminal charges likely cannot be brought. However, some states do have ‘animal cruelty’ laws for when a person intentionally, maliciously, and purposefully hurts an animal.”

What has to be proven in court?

If a pet is injured or killed while in someone else’s care, that duty of care has been breached as a result of negligence or reckless behavior. When cases like this are brought to court, first there should be an evaluation and analysis of the specific facts surrounding why the pet was injured or killed, according to Reischer. “If a pet were killed while at a kennel or daycare, its owner must prove first that the kennel or daycare failed to exercise a reasonable standard of care, and second, that their failure resulted in injury or the death of the pet,” Richardson explains. “The same legal standard would apply to a dry cleaner who lost or badly damaged your clothes, or an auto repair shop that ruined your car.”

Ultimately, Reischer says that the law does not afford much protection to pets that are killed while in the care of another person. “There is a higher duty of care owed by veterinarians to a pet than most other sitters, but even a pet that is killed while in the care of a veterinarian is a very difficult lawsuit to bring,” he explains. “A person that brings a pet to another person for care unfortunately takes on significant risk that the law does not compensate if the pet is killed.”

Should you hire a lawyer?

Over the years, several people have contacted Simeone after their pet was injured or died while it was being boarded. “Each time, I explain that they can only recover the cost of any treatment, or the ‘value’ of the pet on the date of [their] death, they are upset,” he says, noting that this can also be the case in situations where pets have been attacked by other pets.

Typically, though, Simeone says that he isn’t brought on for cases like this, because the damages a person is entitled to doesn’t justify retaining an attorney. Instead, they attempt to resolve the case themselves, through small claims court or out-of-court negotiations. In other words, look into the cost of an attorney before hiring one for this particular type of case.

What to do before boarding your pet

Obviously, you never want to leave for a trip preparing for something truly awful to happen to your pet while you’re away, but there are a few things you can do before your departure that might help. First, Reischer recommends taking/having some photographic record of your pet’s health before dropping it off for daycare or boarding (which is also handy to have anyway, in case your pet gets lost). If it’s a case where you’re looking to be reimbursed for damages, having “before” pictures could be useful.

Also, in light of the limited damages available to people whose pet has been injured or died in someone else’s care, Simeone says that legally, the best thing to do is to pick a kennel or pet-sitter carefully. “With limited legal recourse, prevention is the best policy,” he says.

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10 of Our Favorite Prime Day Deals for PC Enthusiasts

10 of Our Favorite Prime Day Deals for PC Enthusiasts

Samsung 860 Pro SSD

If you haven’t moved on from SATA-based SSDs yet, Samsung’s 860-series offer great performance for a reasonable price. It’s an older drive (launched in January of 2018), but it’ll be fast enough for everything you do on your non-enthusiast desktop. You’ll save money buying a similarly sized NVMe SSD—especially if you’re looking for 1TB+ capacities—but if you have no idea what that means, and simply want something speedy to replace slower HDDs in your PCs or gaming consoles, Samsung’s 860 Pro line is a good compromise of price and performance.

If you only care about price and need that upgrade for an older system, look elsewhere; Amazon’s deals for the Samsung, roughly 33-percent off, are pretty good, but you can still do a lot better if you care more about getting “any ol’ SSD” than “one of the faster SSDs.”

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How Can I Find Out if My Partner is Interacting With Cam Girls?

How Can I Find Out if My Partner is Interacting With Cam Girls?
Tech 911How Can I Find Out if My Partner is Interacting With Cam Girls?Tech 911Do you have a tech question keeping you up at night? We’d love to answer it! Email with “Tech 911” in the subject line.

I normally don’t like to wade into other peoples’ business, especially when it relates to their consumption of adult material on the web. As long as your hobbies aren’t illegal, super-creepy, or otherwise hurting other people, you’re free to do as you like.

Now that I’ve said that, Lifehacker reader Cass wrote to me with the following question for Tech 911:

My husband says he has never been on chaturbate however it’s always on his history and he blames it on the ads on pornhub. Well today I clicked on his open tabs on chrome and on was chaturbate and there was a girl up on the screen masturbating. Did he have to log on with a profile to see that or do ads show that? Is there any way I can find out what sites he has profiles on even if he uses fake names and emails?

You probably don’t need to do much snooping

It’s certainly possible that Chaturbate “popped up” as a separate tab, but unlikely. I browse all kinds of weird shit around the web, and I don’t really get new tabs full of porn—not unless I’ve clicked on a link that takes me to that site mistakenly. So, sure, that’s possible. And it’s possible you were viewing an ad for Chaturbate instead of the main Chaturbate site itself, or one of the live feeds it contains.

You don’t need a profile to view porn on the web, nor do you need a profile to watch people do all sorts of things on Chaturbate. So, that logic is out. You do need to sign up for the site to interact with cammers, however, which is where your concerns likely come from.

I suppose you could snoop through your husband’s email or credit card statements to see if he’s signed up for the site (or any others). You could also run through his browser history; it’ll be obvious when he’s spent more than 20 minutes across several days clicking through everything he can find on Chaturbate, though that won’t necessarily tell you if he has an account on the site or not.

You should easily be able to see if he’s logged into the site if, or when, you visit the site yourself on his primary browser. You can then root through its history (I assume) to see if he’s paying for the service—and, as part of that, likely tipping models or requesting more private interactions. If he’s smart about his habits and logs out each time, odds are good that his user name and password are saved in his browser

As for other sites he might frequent, it’s the same deal. The trifecta of browser history, email receipts, and credit cards statements should be enough to get you some answers. Otherwise, wherever he stores his user name and passwords can be a gold mine for capturing the footsteps of his digital life. If you only know one, or a few logins for some sites, you can also try using those on any other sites you find in his search history to see if he has active accounts. Most people, sadly, are lazy about using unique logins for different websites.

That all said, he could hide his activity using a clandestine email address that he only accesses via a particular service or browser—not his primary browser nor email service. Or, if he’s good, he could just memorize the details of an alternate account login for clandestine stuff and never save that anywhere.

People can go to all kinds of great lengths to conceal what they do on the internet, but I wager that most people aren’t very technologically savvy and probably just sign up for whatever using their normal email addresses. Searching through Gmail for “invoice,” “account,” “password,” the last four digits of his credit cards, or even something like label:^smartlabel_receipt is probably all you’ll need to do.

A browser history search should be able to clue you in to whether he’s using another email service entirely to conceal his tracks. You’ll just have to do some digging. (Searching for keywords like “Hotmail,” “Yahoo,” or “Gmail” doesn’t really work, since there are many, many email services out there.)

Other than that, it’s a question of time. If he’s very good about hiding what he does, you’ll just have to wait for him to slip up. That’ll require you to monitor his computer and/or phone quite a bit. The former is a lot easier to do than the latter, unless you know his PIN, but it will probably cause you a lot more anxiety than simply addressing the issue upfront.

Should you even snoop at all?

Look: Snooping through a partner’s accounts isn’t an ideal situation. While it might provide temporary answers for an immediate question or problem, it’s going to establish a pattern that will prove hard to break. You might find yourself later wondering if what you found is all there is to find, and you’ll be right back to digging deeper into your husband’s digital life. And with each answer you get, you’ll find yourself asking more and more questions, leading to more snooping, and just…well, a terrible, self-fulfilling circle of mistrust.

As famed sex-advice expert Dan Savage wrote it in a 2018 response to a self-proclaimed “serial snooper:”

…No longterm relationship is entirely snoop-free, blah blah blah, just as no long-term relationship is entirely lie-free, porn-free, or thinking-about-fucking-someone-else-while-fucking-you free. And while snooping can sometimes be justified after-the-fact, i.e. when the snooper discovered something they had an urgent need/right to know, snooping is always risky, it’s always a violation (of a partner’s privacy and their right to some autonomy), and it can erode the necessary trust (and zone of autonomy) that makes a relationship possible. My go-to example of after-the-fact justifiable snooping: The snooper learned that the snoopee was doing something that put the snooper’s health at risk, e.g. the straight-identified married man hooking up with men and taking anon loads behind his wife’s back.

I honestly don’t think this problem has a technical solution—at least, not one that will satisfy you. I’m assuming that you and your partner are fairly open about sexy internet things, given that he told you that this Chaturbate stuff popped up when he was already looking at Pornhub. I’m guessing, then, that the issue of looking at adults doing adult things online isn’t the problem; it’s the potential transition of the passive viewing of pornography to a more active role, one where a person is making requests of a live, online model or otherwise engaging with them in some way that’s much more personal than you’ll ever get from clicking a “play” button.

I can’t say; I’m not you. I’d be much more concerned about my partner’s porn habits if they were treading into dangerous, illegal, or “extreme” territory that pushed the boundaries of whatever understanding we already have. If your partner is looking at child porn, sending nudes to friends, or otherwise doing something that really shatters your comfort zone, that’s a lot different than what this situation feels like. And these scenarios certainly feel like justification for snooping, if not outright rage.

I think your situation is worth a conversation (or a series of conversations). And if that feels too difficult to initiate with your husband, perhaps you can find a professional to help you navigate these waters in an open and honest way. It’s more useful and practical to find out the source of your husband’s online behavior—which can stem from serious issues, like unhappiness, depression, or sexual frustration, or just simple internet boredom combined with the stereotypical male behavior of clicking on attractive bodies doing stimulating things. Maybe normal porn is boring, and cam models are the new normal; if so, that’s worth a discussion, an understanding, and reestablished boundaries (if needed).

I wouldn’t go digitally digging for more unless there’s an obvious and/or concerning reason to do so.

Do you have a tech question keeping you up at night? Tired of troubleshooting your Windows or Mac? Looking for advice on apps, browser extensions, or utilities to accomplish a particular task? Let us know! Tell us in the comments below or email

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Take This Haunted, Halloween-Themed Road Trip for Your October Pandemic Vacation

Take This Haunted, Halloween-Themed Road Trip for Your October Pandemic Vacation

Illustration for article titled Take This Haunted, Halloween-Themed Road Trip for Your October Pandemic Vacation

Illustration: Pare Mahakanok (Shutterstock)

In this pandemic era, true vacations are few and far between. Flying to a destination is not ideal unless absolutely necessary, and some places are re-imposing stricter quarantines and business closures in response to rising COVID-19 case numbers.

So is it even possible to plan a trip you can look forward to (and do safely)? Yes—especially if it’s a season-specific Halloween road trip that you can enjoy either from the comfort of your car or in the open air.

Travel booking site Kayak put together a 29-stop, 7,500-mile road trip itinerary that connects the spookiest sites across the country. As a bonus, (almost) all of them are outdoors. You’ll find cemeteries, lighthouses, state parks, haunted homes, and an abandoned amusement park. There are also a few ghost tours on the list. The itinerary begins in Stowe, VT, and ends in San Jose, CA.

Of course, this itinerary as a whole requires travel across state lines—if you’d rather stay close to home, you can simply take a day trip to the nearest haunted house. National Geographic also has a list of spooky places in seven states, and Country Living compiled a list of 25 haunted spots.

If you do go on a long-distance road trip, you’ll still need places to stay and food to eat even if all attractions are outdoors. Before you head out, do thorough research about local COVID-19 regulations, and bookmark tools that offer real-time updates on travel restrictions so you’re not surprised when you arrive.

You should also take every precaution to make travel safer: wear masks, stay physically distant from anyone not traveling with you, and minimize the opportunities to interact with other people, especially in closed, indoor spaces.

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What Does it Mean When Yelp Flags a Business as Racist?

What Does it Mean When Yelp Flags a Business as Racist?

When I’m looking for somewhere new to go to secure any given service, I turn to Yelp. In addition to giving me a read on a business’ overall quality, I can also find out if the business is terrible—as in, run by terrible people, not having crappy service. (Though the two tend to go hand-in-hand.) Yelp has plans for a new policy that will make this even easier: The company will begin alerting users if a business is accused of racist behavior.

I don’t always agree when Yelp jumps into a business’ listing to try and prevent or explain “astroturfing,” which is what happens when the story of a business doing something unpleasant is picked up by social media. For example, if the business’ owner is giving a lot of attitude on Twitter. This can prompt people who have never been its customers to jump onto Yelp and leave reviews that tell the world—in all kinds of creative ways—how horrible the business is.

However, I’m completely fine with the internet piling on when a business is acting deplorable at a level far above “someone made me a crappy burger.” That includes when a business or its employees act in a way that’s sexist, racist, bigoted, or anything that rises to that level. Though it’s more impactful when people who have actually had a terrible experience talk about it on Yelp, rather than random internet people, sometimes you need to give a little extra gusto to get results.

Everyone should do their part to jump into the fray when there’s demonstrated proof that a business or its employees have acted in a racist manner. That’s because if enough of these reviews catch Yelp’s attention, the company might now flag the business and provide an explanation of what has been happening:

“Yelp’s User Operations team already places alerts on business pages when we notice an unusual uptick in reviews that are based on what someone may have seen in the news or on social media, rather than on a first-hand experience with the business. Now, when a business gains public attention for reports of racist conduct, such as using racist language or symbols, Yelp will place a new Business Accused of Racist Behavior Alert on their Yelp page to inform users, along with a link to a news article where they can learn more about the incident.”

Yelp will visibly alert users when it notices an influx of accusations of racism concerning a business or anyone associated with it—or, for that matter, if the business becomes a target of racism. These alerts might look something like this:

This all sounds like a bit of a cop-out on Yelp’s part, since it’s also in the company’s interest to keep businesses from feeling like they’re getting dogpiled “unfairly.” Again, I have no moral issue with people jumping in to a Yelp page to talk about the shitty, racist actions of a business or its employees. And perhaps this is the kind of activism we need to see more of, because it gets Yelp’s attention. The company can then investigate the matter and provide more official links to inform users about the situation.

In other words, dogpiling reviews—even if they’re from people who have never experienced a business’ crappy actions themselves—can help the truth shine through. It’s a crude technique, but it’s certainly effective at getting an official response. And that’s something your average Yelp user is more likely to believe, I wager, than seeing a bunch of reviews that say “fuck racists” on a business’ page. It’s unfortunate the latter isn’t enough nowadays, but that’s 2020, folks.

Of course, the flip side is true, too. I also see a future where Yelp’s “anti-racism” tools are misused by incensed people to go after businesses that support movements they don’t like, such as Black Lives Matter.

And here’s where we get into a bit of a mess: Yelp remains the sole arbiter of how to handle these issues on its service, and I—and many others—aren’t always convinced it does the best job.

Still, don’t get discouraged. Yelp’s moderators are hardly perfect, but that shouldn’t stop you from calling out terrible behavior when you experience it—or see it in another Yelp review. And when there’s obvious proof that a business was doing its best to put down others because of their ethnicity, jump in there. Force Yelp to sort it out, or else it might never notice.

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