Posted on Jul 3, 2014
SPC Brandon Bare
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Upon a general review of this site. RallyPoint, I realized that it was offering employment by third party companies to SM's and V's alike. This is a nice gesture however, a gesture becomes exploitation when you are promoting company that is not an employer but a Multi-Level Marketing Scam (Pyramid Scam). Where they ask you to buy into a business, sell your friends and family on a product that is 1000% marked up so the money can be paid up to the top. These top promoters move from company to company, product to product to steal money from hard working people and now it's being offered to Military Personnel as a "Job". This is not a job! This is a company that has several investigations pending with regulatory agencies in the US and other countries including the Securities and Exchange and FBI and a multitude of State Agencies. After reporting this to RallyPoint, twice, I get a thank you we will look into it but the link remains for people to get swindled. As a Paralegal I can only guess that this is opening RallyPoint up to a huge liability and doing our service members a great disservice. What are your opinions?
Posted in these groups: 1 1 Job SeekerJon JobsScams Scam
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Responses: 6
SSG Robert Burns
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Edited 8 y ago
Just 1000%? What a deal! Have you ever been to Starbucks? $6 for a cup of milk with a teaspoon of coffee in it and a gallon of ice. Are they scammers too or are we just dumb enough to pay that much money for a beverage and they are smart enough to let us pay it?
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SPC Brandon Bare
SPC Brandon Bare
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SSG Burns, you obviously have more first hand experience with that restaurant. I wasn't aware that those were measurements or prices. That does seem foolish for those customers to pay that much for just a teaspoon of coffee in a cup of milk and a gallon of ice. Perhaps you are right.

I think you may have missed my point, I apologize I did make several.

My main point was this:

Why does RallyPoint promote a company which is not offering a "Job" on a Job Board? Since the company hires very few people it sells franchise opportunities to sell instant coffee with mushrooms in it.

The most intelligent answer was made by CPT Lance Cutsforth and is that some independent representatives of Organo Gold have gotten together to "hire" some veterans to sell their coffee for them. I assume as 1099 contractors.

So at this point the issue is moot really. If the veterans are not being induced to pay money to get a job that targets sales of products to their close friends and families just to make far fewer dollars than implied.

My concerns regarding the company and their product although in my opinion not effectively disputed are irrelevant to my argument if they are not inducing veterans to purchase their own jobs.

Thank you for taking the time out to respond and I truly appreciate your service and commitment to our country.

God Bless
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CPT Lance Cutsforth
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For the record, we were invited to work with LA Mayor Eric Garcetti's office as one of their founding employers in their 10,000 Strong Veterans hiring initiative, we are an approved employer with the US Chamber of Commerce and the Hiring Our Heroes campaign, we are actively working with local Vet Centers, EDD Veteran Hiring reps, and other Veteran Service Organizations and Veteran Employment Organizations. We have been reviewed and vetted by each of these organizations and found worthy. My team are simply veterans helping veterans. As an Infantryman, you understand the concept of Lead From the Front. Iron Mike. That is what we do. We understand the challenges that veterans face when transitioning from the military to civilian employment and give them an additional opportunity. For some, it is an extra couple of hundred dollars a month. For some, it is a full-time opportunity. For some, it is not a fit at all. With over 1 million unemployed veterans, with hundreds of thousands more entering the job market during this drawdown, we have people drowning. Creative approaches are needed to solve old problems. We all need to be working together to create solutions instead of trying to poke holes in the rescue boats.
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CPT Lance Cutsforth
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In response to the concerns outlined on this post, I would respectfully submit the following:

I am a distributor with Organo Gold. I agree completely that many people and companies have abused the network marketing model, and many utilize high recruiting bonuses to bring people into their business, and by definition that leans toward a pyramid 'scheme'. Many have been investigated and closed down for these unlawful practices. In fact, one of the original founders of Organo Gold was involved with another company prior to Organo Gold where he got himself into trouble. He did not last long at Organo Gold because his practices were not tolerated by the founder and senior leaders of the company.

I also agree that most charge money for entry into business. Companies that are based on the sale of goods require purchase of the goods, as does any business. And many people quit or fail for many reasons, but primarily because they enter into the business with unrealistic expectations - whether set by themselves or others.

My team has developed an initiative called Operation Freedom Fighter. We are providing a commission-only opportunity to veterans to sell our product AT NO COST to the veteran, service member, or family member. As goods are sold and commissions are paid, our veteran sales force has the opportunity to apply part of their commissions to working their way up in the organization. So contrary to the assertion that there is only an opportunity being offered, we are also offering a commissioned sales position.

I, too, am a veteran and am very protective of those who serve. I see that you have researched the negative perspectives of the industry of network marketing, and have found some information. Have you also researched the positive perspectives of the industry? In the interest of full disclosure, I offer the following:

If you were going to learn to fly an airplane, would you learn to fly from someone with 10,000 hours and all of their ratings, or would you learn to fly from someone who watched a series of airplane crashes on YouTube? When you were considering joining the military, did you seek the advice of those who had succeeded in the military, or those who had washed out or had unsuccessful careers?

In every profitable business, the efforts of others are 'marked up' in order for business owners to make a profit. At an automobile garage, the shop rate is $95/hr, yet the owner only pays his mechanics $30/hr. A law firm will bill out the efforts of a paralegal at $60/hr, yet only pay that paralegal $20/hr. This is simple business 101. Business owners realize that profitability comes from leveraging the time and effort of others. However, in a conventional business model, the profits are rarely distributed to those who are working - those profits are collected and distributed to the owners, whether private or shareholders. Hence, people are limited in what they can earn when working a 'job'.

The difference between a network marketing model and a conventional business is that there is a distribution of profits to those involved based on performance. The more you perform, the more you earn. It is not a lottery ticket, it is not a passive investment, and it is not get rich quick. It is work. The problem is that people start with unrealistic expectations and become disillusioned because they do not, in many cases, view it as a business.

Perceptions abound, because there have been network marketing companies that have taken a valid, legal business model and abused it. But the same is true for any business. There are good attorneys and bad attorneys. Good mortgage companies and bad mortgage companies. Good car dealerships and bad car dealerships. Good financial advisors and bad financial advisors. Not every attorney is a shyster. Not every mortgage lender is out to screw the borrower. Not every care dealership is out to pillage the consumer. Not every financial advisor is a Bernie Madoff. In fact, in all of these cases, the numbers are few, but the perceptions are projected.

The difference in a GOOD network marketing company is that there is an exchange of goods and a product line that can be sold at retail to regular customers. Such is the case with Organo Gold.

Here are some responses to the 'allegations' against Organo Gold from NON-involved participants:

http://thenetworkmarketingadvocates.com/network-marketing-editorial-the-facts-of-the-purported-organo-gold-federal-investigations

http://www.annettapowellonline.com/organo-gold-investigation-ftc


Here is another good basic overview of the business model:

There are many companies in the global marketplace that sell their products through network marketing. Independent, non-salaried, distributors sell the products the company produces or the services it provides. These distributors are awarded commissions based on the volume of the product or services they themselves sell. In the terminology used by most, this is referred to as Direct Sales.

In some network marketing companies the distributors also receive commissions from the volume of products or services sold by those they have recruited into the business, or their 'Downlines'. This is what is generally known as Multi-Level Marketing, or MLM.

MLM is a Legitimate Business Model

Some ill-informed people and government agencies confuse legitimate MLM companies with illegal ponzi schemes. In the latter, the entry fees of new members are used to pay the commissions of older members, with no real customers and often no real products. These ponzi schemes are sometimes inappropriately referred to as pyramid selling schemes, when in fact most legitimate corporations in the world are set up like pyramids, with the CEO at the top and 'the masses' at the bottom. Ponzi schemes all eventually fail when the input of new entrants dries up and there are no funds to pay the older members. Legitimate Network Marketing or Multi-Level Marketing companies are NOT ponzi schemes! They are companies that choose to spend their marketing budgets paying commissions to independent distributors instead of to advertising companies.

Why Choose MLM?

The MLM business model is very often chosen by those who want to start their own home-based business. There are several reasons for this:

• Start-up time is very fast. Usually one can make a decision and be in business in a matter of minutes.

• Start-up costs are very low compared to a conventional, or 'bricks and mortar', business.

• There is usually no need to carry inventory or ship products. The parent company looks after these details.

• The parent company usually provides a marketing strategy and marketing tools, as well as training and support.

• There are an almost endless variety of products being sold through MLM, so most people coming into the business can find something that suits their needs and personality.

Which MLM Company Should you Choose?

If you choose the MLM business model, and then choose the right company to deal with, there is almost unlimited potential for income. But the key to success is in choosing the right company. Here are some things to look for in your research:

• Financial Stability - how long have they been around, are they successful, etc

• Are they in a growth stage? (more potential for high income for you)

• Are their products in high demand?

• Are their products consumable? (one sale turns into many commission checks as customers re-order)

• Compensation Plan - Will you make both short-term and residual income?

• Can you market the business online?

In an effort to answer concerns point by point, please allow me to address them in the text below:

First: "you are promoting company that is not an employer but a Multi-Level Marketing Scam (Pyramid Scam)"

RallyPoint is a venue where veterans and service members can reach other veterans and service members. They do not discriminate against legitimate businesses who post on the site. There are many complaints against banks, attorneys, grocery stores, cell phone service providers, etc on the internet, yet I do not believe they would not block them from advertising positions on the site because of those complaints. The attachment of the word "scam" is not based in fact, but in opinion. Painting this company with such a broad brush would be like saying all veterans are 'baby-killers' and everyone with PTSD is unable to cope with reality. In this case, we are offering an Employment to Entrepreneurism opportunity - we have team leaders who will sponsor veterans into our program with NO MONEY OUT OF POCKET FOR THE VETERAN. I am unaware of any other company that will allow an individual to earn their own independent distributorship without a capital investment. I am unaware of any business that can be started without an initial investment. Many jobs require an investment. Most spend time and money to go to school for training in the field in which they want to work. That equates to an investment to work in that field. Yet in most cases, people cannot work in their field and get to the point where they have the potential to own your own business and determine their level of income. That determination is made by your employer. Organo Gold allows its distributors to determine their own income level by their individual performance.

Second: "Where they ask you to buy into a business, sell your friends and family on a product that is 1000% marked up so the money can be paid up to the top"

Every business requires an investment. As stated previously, our team is offering an opportunity to veterans to start in the business with NO investment. This could not be done if the product was not able to be retailed. As far as selling to friends and family, this is common for anyone starting any kind of business. If a person opened a restaurant, they would tell all of their friends and family to come and be customers. This is no different. As far as markup, the product that Organo Gold sells is priced competitively or it could not survive in the retail space. A cup of black coffee from Organo Gold sells retail for $1, and average cup of black coffee with Starbucks is $1.65. In a good network marketing model, the compensation is shared with the whole distribution team. Organo Gold shares 50% of its gross revenues with its distributor base - far more than the revenue sharing of any conventional business of which I am aware.

Third: "These top promoters move from company to company, product to product to steal money from hard working people and now it's being offered to Military Personnel as a "Job"

Some people in this industry do move from company to company, just as any employee or manager may change employers or companies to position themselves better. As far as 'stealing money from hard-working people', this is a serious allegation of illegal activity and frankly inflammatory. These allegations are like saying, "all lawyers are crooks and are only out for themselves" or other such rhetoric. In Organo Gold, there is an exchange of goods for money. All of the money spent with our company is secured by inventory. We charge no franchise fees. If someone wishes to open a franchise, the franchisor charges franchise fees ranging from thousand to tens of thousands of dollars. That does not include any other start-up costs. Nothing is exchanged other than the 'right' to be considered to be a franchisee.

We are offering a commission job to veterans to start them on their journey. And the ability to earn their way into business ownership. With NO money out of pocket, due to the sponsorship of other veterans and military supporters in our organization who believe in our company and in providing opportunity for veterans. And we provide them with mentoring, coaching, and training. If they want to bypass the 'earn in' aspect of the business and get started immediately as business owners, they can purchase their position. What is the cost to get a conventional business started? The disparity in viewing this business model is unfortunate because people do not take the time to study and understand.

Those who understand business understand the power of this model. Network Marketing is taught at Harvard Business School, among others. Warren Buffett owns a position in 2 network marketing companies and did very well last year. Greg Norman, athlete and noted entrepreneur, did an extreme amount of due diligence on Organo Gold because his financial advisor, Warren Buffett, suggested he take a position in a good network marketing company. He did so and became a distributor in Organo Gold. Sir Richard Branson, owner of Virgin Records, is an advocate of network marketing. Robert Kiyosaki, author of Rich Dad Poor Dad, is an advocate. Donald Trump is an advocate of the industry. The list goes on and on.

Fourth: "This is a company that has several investigations pending with regulatory agencies in the US and other countries including the Securities and Exchange and FBI and a multitude of State Agencies."

These are sensationalized allegations that have long ago been addressed and resolved. Any business that grows quickly is going to have its supporters and its critics. You can go to the links I provided above and see the dissection of the allegations.

Do people fail in Organo Gold? Absolutely.
Do people quit? Yes.
Is it hard? At times, yes.
Is any business ownership hard? At times, yes.
Is any job hard? At times, yes.
Do people join the business with unrealistic expectations and get disappointed? Yes.
Do people join simply to buy the coffee and do nothing with the business? Yes.

Small businesses fail. People quit. That is just people. How many people join the gym on New Year's and have quit going by March? Is that any reflection on the gym?

Traditional small businesses have a slightly higher success rate than network marketing businesses because the investment in network marketing companies is typically much, much less than that in a 'brick and mortar' business. Many people will not work as hard at an opportunity if they don't have as much 'skin in the game'.

Hopefully, I have given you enough information to provide a more objective view of the industry, Organo Gold, and our utilization of Organo Gold as a vehicle to provide veterans with an income opportunity.

If you would like to review a basic presentation by Holton Buggs, our EVP of Sales and Marketing (and one of my personal mentors), here is the link:

http://www.ogcoffeeopp.com

Lastly, I welcome messages from anyone curious to learn more. I am not trying to 'sell' anyone. I am here to provide information so that people can make decisions for themselves and their futures. If I have to 'convince' someone to affiliate with us, then I have to keep convincing them to perform. There is not enough time in the day for that.

Thank you for allowing me the space to present this information.
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