What is a Pyramid Scheme? Scam or other?

what is a pyramid scheme

Pyramid Schemes & Scams

Pyramid schemes, scams or however we want to address this is an issue.  What is a Pyramid Scheme? This appears to be serious and with so many people misunderstanding it, failure and poor choices are the results for some.  Especially when it comes to M.L.M.ers.  I thought perhaps it was time to get the facts on what is a Pyramid Scheme?  Let’s break it down separately and see how it comes out.

The Scheme

  1. A large-scale systematic plan or arrangement for attaining some particular object or putting a particular idea into effect.  ” a clever marketing scheme”
  2. To make plans, especially in a devious way or with intent to do something illegal or wrong.  He “hatched” a plot or “schemed to”

What is a Pyramid?

this is the structure of the pyramid



A monumental structure with a square or triangular base and sloping sides that meet in a point at the top, especially one built of stone as a royal tomb in ancient Egypt.  Also one of, if not the longest standing structure in the world.



In a negative connotation, it is seen as to heap or stack ( ex: debt) Put the two together, Pyramid Scheme, and this is what you get. 

Putting the two words together gives the meaning as a way of making money that cannot continue very long. It involves promising people payment, services or ideals, primarily for enrolling other people into the scheme or training them to take part. It does not supply any real investment or sale of products or services to the public.

What is a Pyramid Scheme? It is a scam


Please *note* the highlighted wording above.  That is what makes this a negative or a scheme or scam!  Not the structure, but the lack of products or real investment.  This is very very important when it comes to the question, what is a pyramid scheme. 

You May Have Been Mis-Led When it comes to What is a Pyramid Scheme

You may not like hearing this but it is true.  Re-read the definitions above. Not all Pyramids are a bad thing.  They are the strongest longest standing structure on the earth which is a good thing.   This is fact, not fiction.  

Now Think about ⇓this⇓ for a minute.

Governments, Schools, Corporations and small business with employees are all structured in the form of the pyramid.  When was the last time the janitor made the same wages as the principle of the school? When was the last time the secretary to the president of the company made the same as the office clerk?

My point exactly!  It doesn’t mean we have to like it, but it is the structure of almost everything.  And In some cases, it is a good thing.

Shall we ask that question again?  What is a Pyramid Scheme?  Not everyone wants you to believe that there are some really really good, solid structures available online.

Examples of Good VS  what is a Pyramid Scheme

A.  Wealthy Affiliate University! *****Gooder*****

getting something, learning so not a pyramid scheme

If there ever was a positive ‘scheme’ or Pyramid here it is!

  • You can learn and earn at the same time.
  • You can upgrade or you can do a FREE membership.
  • Everything is upfront, no hidden costs or leading you to believe anything other than what you see is what you get!
  • you can use this training for any niche, business or MLM you are doing.

Kyle & Carson are the innovators or schemers behind this genius and so necessary training platform. Please make note I am using this in a positive light so you can see how a pyramid and a scheme are not always bad.  Just like any business, there is a person or persons at the top and workers ( affiliate marketers in this case) below keeping the program alive.

Doesn’t it make sense to you if you are learning and growing and able to earn an income that the two words, scheme and pyramid do not belong here in a negative way?

Let’s Add M.L.M. Programs into the Pyramid Scheme

Yes, there is a lot of chatter about the M.L.M. pyramid schemes and how so many have been tricked and it is nothing but a sham or scam.  What I am about to say next may be upsetting to a few but it is the truth.  Multi-Level-Marketing is not a scheme nor a scam nor is it illegal.  Is it a pyramid structure?  YUP!

When there is a product or service that is being sold, and it is of the right quality for the price then it is legal.  What I mean by the right quality is that the price structure matches the product.  They are not trying to sell you something that is not as described.

Multi Level Marketing is actually very clever.  It offers the average person an opportunity to make a lot of money if they are good at it.  Did you get that IF?  Good.  I was not good at it.  Did I call it a scheme or a scam or scream ‘foul’?  NO.  I recognized why the structure was built the way it was and I recognized that recruiting my brains out and trying to sell things to my family and friends was just not me.  I am not an aggressive sales person and MLM is definitely an aggressive business.  You have to be prepared to run with it and shy doesn’t cut it.

Not everyone is cut out for this style of sales.  Once you recognize that the only thing that may have been misleading was YOU being told it was EASY and EVERYONE needs and wants what you have.  That is not illegal.  That is not a scam.  It is just telling you BIG white lies.  In order to really do well in this industry, you have to recruit/sponsor others and build a solid team.  Teaching others to do exactly as you have been taught.

I think everyone who is familiar with M.L.M. knows this saying.  ” If the wheel isn’t broke, don’t fix it” or something similar.  In other words, don’t change what has been working for years.  Oops.  They forgot one thing.  The Internet changes every day and that means you DO have to change and do things differently in order to stand out and survive.


Be Cautious of Those that try to Trick You

Here is a scenario you may be familiar with.  You have heard about an opportunity or product and you want to know more.  What do you do?  You do search for a review on either or both in Google.

Now here is where clever marketers will try and pull the wool over your eyes. If you are suspicious and think this may be the case look at the links!  Take mental notes of the person’s name and the links used.  Are they the same and if you click on the link does it take you to the site in the review?  Whose name is on the site you clicked over too?

So often this is nothing more than a marketing tactic.  The person writing the review is really the person promoting the said product.  They just draw you in with a negative headline.  That is perfectly okay.  Just maybe smart marketing?  I think it depends on how you see it.  We as human beings are trained to look for the ‘bad’ first or to find something wrong.

You are now aware that this happens and the choices you make are yours to accept and be responsible for.  People tend to call foul or scam or pyramid scheme when things are not the way they thought they were.  When things didn’t turn out in their favor.  Just be cautious and read between the lines.

What does Honest have to do with this?

see the crossed fingers? That is your first sign of untruths in starting an online business


Honest is being upfront with what you need to do to succeed.  Honest is NO hidden costs and 15 upsells as you sign up!  Too many have been taken advantage of, or blatantly scammed and it only takes one bad apple to spoil the bunch.

What is it that you hear from friends and family when you announce you are starting an online business?  Yup!  Most go for the negative that we have seen so much of.  Ooooh, you are being scammed!  That is a pyramid.  Are you crazy?  I don’t need to say more.  I think you have it.

While Honesty is the best policy when we see it, we often think that something must be wrong.  It is too simple.  Free to try?  Are you kidding me?  Negative advertising sells!  Look at the news headlines.

Honest is when there is a product or training that offers you more or equal value to what you are paying for.  I am suggesting you have a look at Wealthy Affiliate University if you want to start a home business the right way.

learning the truth about pyramid schemes

Yes, the highlighted words contain my link.  That is what affiliate marketing is and without my link being added, and you possibly clicking on it……….well, you now know the story, don’t you?  That is how anyone who markets anything online can make a commission.  And yes, that is a bit confusing as I did say it was Free.  I still get points for free, just like you will.

Thanks for being here and would love for you to show us some love or just be the awesome person you are, and share, like us or leave a comment below!

Okay, be a Doll and share some Love...

2 thoughts on “What is a Pyramid Scheme? Scam or other?

  1. Laurel says:

    Thanks for the advice! It can be so hard to figure out which pyramids are actually providing value and which are simply scams. Wealthy Affiliate looks like a great company helping a lot of people to learn real skills.

    • Merry Conner says:

      You are so welcome, Laurel. It is always a pleasure to be able to help even just one person from falling into the wrong hands. So many individuals think all pyramids are scams when in fact the opposite is true. Sometimes it is just those few that spoil the whole lot. Just as in anything in life, we have to always keep our eyes open and watch for what can be the real help. Honesty online is in short supply. Wealthy Affiliate is truly one of the rare ones.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *