After the most extensive research ever done on MLM as a business model, Dr. Taylor has identified four (and in most cases five) causative and defining characteristics, or “red flags,” in MLM compensation systems that lie at the root of the deceptions and horrendous loss rates suffered by MLM participants. Where data is available, approximately 99% of all participants are found to lose money, after subtracting incentivized purchases and minimum operating expenses.
But before we share our list of approximately 500 MLM programs we have evaluated, in addition to some shut down by law enforcement. it is important that you do your own “5-step Do-it-yourself Evaluation.” We will not be responsible for the consequences of a decision about participation that is ultimately yours to make. (See Disclaimer.) But we are confident that here you will receive the best advice available on how to make that decision.
To begin, obtain the compensation plan of the MLM program you are considering. Then answer the questions for each of the five steps and follow the links to its conclusion. You might also want to review some of the feedback we have received.
Listed below are MLMs we have found to use recruitment-driven and top-weighted pay plans, which is the case with virtually all MLMs. For a thorough discussion of problems associated with such programs, download and read the ebook Multi-level Marketing Unmasked (especially Chapter 2) – which can be downloaded in whole or in sections from this website. MLMs listed with an arrow () in front of them have released average earnings data, which Dr. Taylor has analyzed (See Chapter 7).
 (MLM’s come and go, so a few may now be defunct.)
MLMs Evaluated A – D
MLMs Evaluated H – M (below)
MLMs Evaluated N – R
MLMs Evaluated S – Z

See a sample evaluation
See a list of MLMs law enforcement has shut down or issued sanctions against

Hand of Heaven
Havvn Jus (formerly Jus Int’l)
HBW Insurance & Financial
Health 4 Wealth
Healthy Coffee USA
Healthy Habits Global
Heritage Health Products
Heritage Makers
Home Tec
Hsin Ten Enterprise USA (HTE)

ID Life
►Ignite/Stream Energy
Ingreso Cyber
Independence Energy Alliance
►iNet Global
Infinity Downline [That’s no joke – “infinity” ~] Ingreso Cyber (Columbia)
Inner Light

Inspired Living App
Integris Global
IDN (early Nu Skin division)
Int’l Galleries, Inc. (IGI)
It Works
ITV Ventures
IV-7 Direct
iZigg Mobile Marketing

Jasuru Int’l
Javita Coffee
JD Premium
Jeunesse Global
Jewelry by Park Lane
J Hilburn
Jillian Chase
JM Ocean Avenue
Juice Plus (NSA)

Kaching Kaching
Kangivity Global
Kilante Coffee
Kleeneze (UK)
Klob International
Kompound Strategies

Learning Global USA
Leaving Prints
Legacy for Life
Legacy Max
Legal Shield (was Prepaid Legal)
Level One Network
Level 9 Marketing
Lia Sophia
Liberty International
Liberty League Int’l (LLI)
Life Force Int’l (2-up)
Life Leadership

Life Plus
Life Vantage
Life without Debt
Lifestyle Intra Supplements
Lightyear Alliance
LiveSmart 360
Live the Source
Longevity Network
Loving Works
LR Health & Beauty Systems

Market America
Mary Kay Cosmetics
Matol Botanical
Mavericks (World Health Card)
Max International
Maxxis 2000
MB Social
MCA – Motor Club of America
►Medifast (Take Shape for Life)
Mega Holdings
Menage International
ML International
►Momentum Plus
►Mona Vie
Monarch Health Sciences
MPB Today
MWR Life
MyDay1 (like One24)
My Harvest America
My Leisure Business
My Travel & Cash
My Video Talk

NOTE: This list includes only those MLMs for which we have obtained and evaluated compensation plans. Most of the MLMs were listed following requests for information by website viewers.
An MLM, or product-based pyramid scheme, employs a compensation system that rewards recruitment more than actual sales of products to persons outside the network of participants. So significant income is unlikely without recruitment of a large downline, which requires deceiving recruits into believing it is a legitimate “business opportunity – and persuading them to invest in inventory (front-loading) and/or to subscribe to ongoing monthly product purchases or payments to “do the business,” to “be a product of the products,” etc. For purposes of analysis, an MLMs could also be considered a “product-based pyramid scheme;” i.e., a pyramid scheme that requires purchases of products to participate in commissions or advancement in the scheme, rather than a cash investment such as those required for no-product pyramid schemes. Product-based pyramid schemes do far more damage than classic, no-product  pyramid schemes, by any measure – loss rates, aggregate losses, and number of victims.


4 Comments on “MLMs with 4 red flags of a product-based pyramid scheme (H-M)”

    1. JonMTaylor

      The arrows are companies for which I was able to obtain average income data. An average of 99.7% of participants lose money in these companies. See Chapter 7 of my eBook “Multi-level Marketing Unmasked.”

  1. Emanuel

    I’m trying to analyze the company JM Ocean Avenue and I found very confusing information. I read that there was a supposed partnership between a Chinese company (JM) and another American company (Ocean Avenue), which have led to the emergence of JM Ocean Avenue, a company based in China. Some articles refer to the possibility of this company to be a scam.
    In 2015 DSN list, Joy Main that supposedly will be the JM Ocean Avenue, appears in 10th place. However, this company does not appear on the 2016 list of DSN.
    I would appreciate you could help me in the search for more concrete information on this company.

    1. JonMTaylor

      Thank you for writing. I believe you have come to the right place for information.
      Regarding JM Ocean Avenue –
      Their products or services may be good, but that is not the key issue. Get their compensation plan and run it through the 5-step do-it-yourself MLM evaluation on my web site at –
      I did the analysis, and the answer is quite obvious. You should soon find it listed at the end of the 5-step evaluation. At the bottom of the page for each step is background information that is well worth reading to better understand the reasons for each specific “red flag.” Also, be sure to read the other reports on my website, which will help you understand the inherent flaws in all endless chain recruitment systems. They report on thousands of pages of research and feedback from all over the world – and are well worth reading to protect yourself and your loved ones.
      I have analyzed over 500 MLM programs. The villain in such unfair and deceptive systems is the compensation plan, which encourages unlimited recruitment of a network of endless chains of distributors. The compensation plans for all of them assume an infinite market, which does not exist in the real world. They also assume a virgin market, which does not exist for long. They are all therefore inherently flawed, deceptive, and unprofitable except for those who got in at the start and sit atop the pyramid. To be more specific, with an upside-down commission structure, most of the commission rewards go to TOPPs (top-of-the-pyramid promoters), rather than to those who would sell the product – and who buy products in order to qualify for commissions and rank advancement. New recruits are being sold a ticket on a flight that has already left the ground. All my research confirms this.
      In short, almost all MLMs as entrepreneurial chains are money traps. Our research shows that an average of 99.7% of participants (and close to 99.99% of new recruits) are doomed to failure and loss in such a recruitment-driven MLM. In other words, coming in at the bottom, your odds of profiting are virtually ZERO.
      As a general rule, except for the founding distributors, the more a person invests in any MLM, the more he/she loses – which is true for any scam. The truly lucky ones are those who refuse to buy into it and walk away. You will be better off avoiding them, not only for your sake, but for the sake of others who would likely suffer losses from your having recruited them.
      If you want to be thoroughly informed, read my latest book “Multi-level Marketing Unmasked,” which can be downloaded free of charge from my web site. After reading it, you would likely feel comfortable agreeing with me that a “good MLM” may be an oxymoron. MLM should be per se illegal, like “pay to play” chain letters and no-product pyramid schemes.
      Please warn 5 people by sending them to our web site, then ask each of them to warn 5 others, and they each 5 more, etc. etc. Handy answer cards and other helpful tools for dealing with MLM recruiters can be obtained from the same web site. Feel free to post my web site on Facebook or Twitter pages to warn and educate those you care about.
      Good luck at staying solvent – and helping others do the same. If you need suggestions for legitimate income options, please read my article “1,357 ways to make more money than in MLM” – also available from my web site.
      – Jon M. Taylor, MBA, Ph.D., President, Consumer Awareness Institute
      Web site for MLM research and guides –

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