WIBU to point out that this is basically a pyramid scheme and possibly illegal?

(32 Posts)
Whowouldfardelsbear Thu 22-Aug-13 20:49:58

I am a member of a bit of a "natural" patenting site on Facebook.

Last night someone posted about a Children's Book Exchange - the idea behind it being you join a sscheme anf are given a list of six names, you post someone a brand new book to thr person top of the list, add your name to the bottom and then pass the list onto 6 more people who then send a book to the person top of the list, who then

nancerama Thu 22-Aug-13 20:53:54

Do you have to buy the books from the book exchange? If so, it sounds like a way of reeling in the unsuspecting.

If you buy the books from anywhere and send them onto random children on the list, it sounds like a lovely idea. Bit like a chain letter - there's a risk that someone will end up disappointed, but I can't see what would be illegal about it.

GoofyIsACow Thu 22-Aug-13 20:55:28

'And you eventually will receive 15 million and 64 books in return'

I used to get these for knickers a few years ago... YANBU

Whowouldfardelsbear Thu 22-Aug-13 20:58:37

Sorry posted to soon!

Those people then pass it on to 6 more people etc etc etc

The end result being by the time you are top of the list you get 36 brand new books for your child on the post. So your basic pyramid scheme.

I am in New Zealand where the small population means you only need 6 layers before you have got to half the population of the country! Also here pyramid schemes involving money are certainly illegal and this could also potentially be illegal.

I pointed out the flaws in this. I obviously trod on the ties of a popular long standing regular as the vitriol I received was incredible. People pointed out this was a lovely idea, speared a love of books, benefited children and what harm could it do. I felt quite bullied towards the end. Thankfully finally one poster stuck up for me, at which point the original poster flounced and said she was deleting her thread and would only engage with people by PM. (I had posted a link explaining in simple terms how this could not work - at least for those people not at the top of the pyramid, which is who I think she deleted it).

Anyway, overnight it had got me thinking WIBU to post that? I am prepared to be told I was. But would also like some vindication that I wasn't!

Whowouldfardelsbear Thu 22-Aug-13 20:59:52

Toes and spread! Not ties and speared! Sorry - posting in train on way to work!

celticclan Thu 22-Aug-13 21:02:48

It's a sort of pyramid but without a financial loss. The most you will have paid out is the cost of a book - unless I'm misunderstanding the scheme. I think it's quite a nice idea if I have understood it correctly.

Whowouldfardelsbear Thu 22-Aug-13 21:07:34

But there is a loss. At least one person said she could not afford to get a new book (they are very expensive in NZ). However others pointed out she would get 36 in return. hmm

LIZS Thu 22-Aug-13 21:09:01

More like a chain letter then .

ChippingInHopHopHop Thu 22-Aug-13 21:15:13

Unless you have to pay to join the scheme it's not illegal and as it's basically present swapping, not selling, I cannot see how it could be illegal in any way, shape or form.

It's a fun thing to do, if you don't want to do it, don't do it - but there really wasn't any reason to wade in like that.

TidyDancer Thu 22-Aug-13 21:17:11

Yeah that's not a pyramid scheme. It's a chain letter. People do it with underwear too.

SPBisResisting Thu 22-Aug-13 21:17:49

No i agree op. Surelt youd end uo getting multiple requests so chances are youd end up buying maybe 4 books and receiving maybe 4 books.
Ultimately if it can work for books it can work for cash - principle is the same

Turniptwirl Thu 22-Aug-13 21:30:20

Tbh I would rather give books to a local children's charity or as part of an Xmas shoe box thing. Then there's no expected return but still warm fuzzy feelings of helping children love books

Even more worthwhile would be joining a scheme where you go into a school and have children read to you. Or your dog even!

SPBisResisting Thu 22-Aug-13 21:32:07

Yoir dog can read? shock

lougle Thu 22-Aug-13 21:34:43

Companies like Kleeneeze, Avon and Usborne are far nearer to pyramid schemes. They rely on a representative recruiting other representatives to work under them, who are then encouraged to recruit yet more representatives to work under them.

See the structure:

AVON Commission Structure: Sales Leader Level

You must place a regular on-time order of £148+
You need at least 5 representatives placing qualifying orders in your team.
Total sales of £888 between them and your own order.
You may earn commissions of up to 5% of your teams paid sales.

AVON Commission Structure: Advanced Sales Leader

You must place a regular on-time order of £220+
You need at least 15 representatives placing qualifying orders in your direct team.
You need 2 direct team members qualifying at Sales Leader Level.
Total sales of £3,920 between all of you.
You may earn commissions of up to 7% of your teams paid sales.

AVON Commission Structure: Executive Sales Leader

You must place a regular on-time order of £220+
You need at least 25 representatives placing qualifying orders in your direct team.
You need 4 direct team members qualifying at Sales Leader Level.
You need 1 direct team member qualifying at Advanced Sales Leader Level
Total sales of £10,580 between all of you.
You may earn commissions of up to 10% of your teams paid sales.

AVON Commission Structure: Senior Executive Sales Leader

You must place a regular on-time order of £220+
You need at least 25 representatives placing qualifying orders in your direct team.
You need 6 direct team members qualifying at Sales Leader Level.
You need 1 direct team member qualifying at Advanced Sales Leader Level
You need 1 direct team member qualifying at Executive Sales Leader Level
Total sales of £19,460 between all of you.
You may earn commissions of up to 12% of your teams paid sales.

What you're describing is simply a 'pass this along and move up the list.'

Schemes such as AVON rely on you having your own team, then encouraging them to find their own teams, then them encouraging their teams to find their own teams....

This woman was successful. She's the lucky one. There are many, many more simply chasing the dream.

gallicgirl Thu 22-Aug-13 21:35:38

Why would anyone else want a stranger's knickers?

If you really want to engender a love of books, then campaign to bring down the price.

SPBisResisting Thu 22-Aug-13 21:36:25

I remember that one, think the knickers were meant to be new!

RobotLover68 Thu 22-Aug-13 21:38:23

If you really want to engender a love of books, then campaign to bring down the price

Or support your local library

lunar1 Thu 22-Aug-13 21:52:20

I quite like doing these! Did the knicker one a few years ago. Got one to send stickers from ds1's school too, he got quite a few stickers back in the post.

contortionist Thu 22-Aug-13 22:25:07

If everyone just receives the same number of books / pants / stickers as they send out, then that's a chain letter type scheme, and fair enough.

If some people (those in at the start) receive more than they send out, then it's a pyramid scheme and will collapse sooner or later - probably sooner. I have no idea if they are legal or not, but it's certainly exploitative to start one and unwise to join one. Well done OP for speaking up.

Whowouldfardelsbear Thu 22-Aug-13 22:28:43

Thanks for the replies - see it is split on me BU smile
Yes - the idea was you send one book and receive 36. Good for those at the top, but impossible for those at the bottom.

Cost of books in NZ is a problem organizations often try to address. These days people just use book depository etc and book shops are closing all over which is a great shame. Nothing beats actually browsing proper books in a proper shop.

notanyanymore Thu 22-Aug-13 23:21:22

Lol the only people who go in for these things are people that don't understand maths..

Schemes like this are only good for the first few entries, they quite quickly get out of hand and require more people than exist on the planet to continue.

Let me explain:

You send out a list of 6 names to 6 people - each of them is required to send it to 6 people, so on and so on.

so by the time this list has been passed on 14 times the number of people involved totals 34,465,720,268 (That's 34 billion btw).

The number of people involved steps up like this, which is why its called a pyramid scheme. So as soon as it hits the max (e.g level 13) all of the new people involved in the scheme (4,786,905,600) will lose out. Sounds fair? sounds like you cant do maths to me.

1 <-- pharaoh
6
36
475
2,850
17,100
102,600
615,600
3,693,600
22,161,600
132,969,600
797,817,600
4,786,905,600 <-- slaves
28,721,433,600 <-- don't exist

ShellyBoobs Thu 22-Aug-13 23:46:07

notany - your post will make heads expolode on MN.

This is the home of people who believe that the way to fund pensions, for people who haven't saved for their own retirement, is to have more children so that they can fund it.

It's the reasoning trotted out everytime anyone mentions perhaps not having children you can't afford.

Maths just doesn't count here; it's far too logical.

grin

EmNZ Fri 23-Aug-13 07:20:14

You won't believe this but I was the poster who stuck up for you! Haven't even been on mumsnet much lately (and usually lurk) but your thread title caught my eye as it reminded me of the thread last night. Small world! You handled it well - I can't stand those sorts of chain letter dodgy schemes.

Runningchick123 Fri 23-Aug-13 07:27:08

Surely it's better to just goin the library and get 10 books to read for free every 3 weeks - no recruiting required.

SPBisResisting Fri 23-Aug-13 07:27:23

Notanyany more likely the letters will start going to the people who've already had one who will either send more books or more likely ignore it. So either way someone loses out.
I'm not convinced the argument applies to having more children. From what I understand of economics a nations wealth relates to its population structure, and the higher the proportion of economically active people the better and therefore the better provision for the non economically active, ie older people and children. Could be wrong.

FourGates Fri 23-Aug-13 07:43:07

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

pianodoodle Fri 23-Aug-13 08:20:32

The people who stand to benefit from a scheme like this will be the ones who suggested it and presumably put themselves top of the list.

meddie Fri 23-Aug-13 09:06:04

Let me take a wild guess here. Her dc,s and her friends DC,S were top of the lists

Whowouldfardelsbear Fri 23-Aug-13 09:46:27

Ha ha EmNZ. Wasn't worried about outing myself as thought chances were minimal! I was so grateful you did post the sticking up for me post though. grin

EmNZ Fri 23-Aug-13 10:27:39

You're welcome grin

kali110 Fri 23-Aug-13 11:48:35

What would you think if an employer was doing this? I was offered a job selling products, but i had to get 2 people to join me, then they hAd to find to people etc

SneakyNuts Fri 23-Aug-13 14:35:46

kali110 yep, pyramid scheme

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