Hey guys, I’m a little mad. What’s steaming my broccoli you may ask? Well recently (within the past 4 months) I’ve had the displeasure of encountering a company called Vemma or Vemmabuilder.
read as “bad business deal”
I was first approached by two of my friends who said they had a business opportunity to show me and were curious whether or not I would like to “make a lot of money.” Who wouldn’t want to make money? Besides I’ve known these guys from grade school and I know they wouldn’t burn me with a bad deal, so I went.
I was lead into a basement in an upscale neighborhood and introduced to a lot of guys I had never met before, but really made me feel like drinking natty ice and hitting the gym. Fitted caps and basketball shorts abounded as I was explained in brief about how things worked. Basically, I was told, Vemma was a business opportunity that recruits college kids to do their advertising for them! They said that every year companies spend huge portions of their budget on advertising, and all Vemma was doing is taking the money they would’ve been spending on advertising and taking a different approach. Vemma would be advertised through word of mouth and social media, and people JUST LIKE MEEEEEE!!!!111 could work for Vemma and make a profit! Well, this sounds pretty good so far, I love social networking and I hate my job, so why not?
Here’s where I started to have my doubts. They tell me there’s two ways I can go about joining, I can purchase the starter pack for $150 OR (if you wanna make a lot of money bro, and who doesn’t wanna make a lot of money BRO) I can purchase the $500 pack, which comes with a whole lot of product and even has BROchures….get it? BRO CHURES?
"Mac Miller defines me as a human being."
Now, I wasn’t about to tell these kids they were full of it (not to their faces at least). Partially because they all looked like they could easily bench double my weight and partially because my friends brought me here. They sincerely wanted me to get in on a business opportunity. And even though I nearly fell into the VECKTOR-CUTCO knife marketing trap about a year ago…
"WHATRE YOU BUYIN STRANGER?"
I decided I would stick around and humor these guys. So I asked a few questions.
How would I go about selling these energy drinks in the packs that I buy?
It was almost like they were waiting for me to ask that! You see, they said, that was the beauty of Vemma! I didn’t really have to sell anything at all. In fact, I could just recruit people into what they called my “downlink”. My downlink would consist of people who I would get to order starter packs, and I would be compensated for every person I got to join after that. Naturally, I would see a piece of the action every time my downlink recruited someone, and in turn, money would get kicked to my uplink. Links all around!
This started to sound really familiar to me. REALLY. REALLY. REALLY. FAMILIAR. Now, I’m probably not legally allowed to say what this sounded like to me, since I reiterate, Vemma is NOT A SCAM. (read with sarcasm) but to give you an illustrated picture…
So this all smells pretty fishy to me, but I figure I would just say I wasn’t interested and go home, which I did, no hard feelings. Except I still had a nagging feeling that maybe I was being too over reactive. Maybe I was actually missing out on a business deal. So I started poking around on the internet.
The first thing I noticed when Google searching for Vemma is that I get no negative reviews for the product or the company. I get a lot of results saying how great the company is and how it’s totally not a scam, bro. I even found a video by Vemma’s founder, BK Boreyko, talking about his company’s concept.
Well, there you have it! and you can even win a new car. Damn, I must have really missed out on an opportunity. I wonder if I can call those bros back?
Except wait, WHO is that guy? What does BK even stand for? What’s his history?
Turns out BK Boreyko stands for Benson K. Boreyko. I mean, with a name like Benson I guess I could understand why you would want to change your name to BK. Unless of course you had something to hide…like maybe a lawsuit filed by the Federal Trade Commission.
According to the Federal Trade Commission, in a press release on December 8th 1998, this wasn’t the first nutritional supplement company Boreyko has been involved in. In fact, he was involved in a company called New Vision International where he flaunted a dietary supplement called “Gods Recipe” which he unsubstantially claimed could cure a child’s ADD and ADHD.
"The ads exploited parents’ fears of prescription drugs like Ritalin by making claims that God’s Recipe was a natural, safer alternative for treating ADD and ADHD," said Jodie Bernstein, Director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection, "New Vision lacked the substantiation the Commission requires for that claim."
Numerous times throughout the seminar for Vemma the higher ups told me they would never put their name on the line with a company that would have a bad reputation, so you know it had to be a good deal. Honestly, I don’t appreciate being lied to. In the past, Benson K Boreyko lied about his dietary supplement in order to turn a profit. Not only did he lie in advertising, but his company took advantage of a time where people did not fully comprehend ADD and ADHD. Is this the real reason Boreyko uses the initials BK?
The final nail in the coffin for Vemma being a bad business deal comes from their own website in a little link called “Income Disclosure Policy”.
TRADE FEDERATION VICEROY…………..20,000,000,000 CREDITS
Lets break down this chart. Conceivably you want to be at the level where you can go to frat parties and kick back and let the money roll in. And you still wanna laugh at your friends who are working at their part time job, so how many people actually make it to that point?
Well, someone working 20 hours a week at minimum wage makes $7,200 a year.
Someone working 20 hours a week at minimum wage is making more money than 91.62% of Vemma’s brand partners. 72% of people don’t even get past the $1,000 a year mark.
BREAK RECORDS AT LOUIE, ATE BREAKFAST AT GUCCI
This is what Vemma feeds off of. Multiple times at the seminar I was asked “don’t you want to be your own boss? Aren’t you tired of working a part time job you can’t get ahead in?”
OF COURSE I am. I’m a college student in school for journalism, I’m always in between jobs that I don’t really enjoy so I can do something I love later. I’m always trying to earn an extra buck here and there, but honestly, it’s unfair that a company promises that I can do better if I just work harder. Maybe I could make a lot of money with Vemma, but I would probably have to drop out of school and alienate all of my friends by bringing them to cult like meetings. And I’m not about to do that.
Maybe these people not making money aren’t working hard enough? Maybe they just didn’t have enough drive to achieve what they wanted? I think this begs a deeper answer. Becoming a Vemma partner is not a good investment. Save your money, don’t try to sell things to your friends, and for God’s sake, don’t buy into into a drink that boasts it has mangosteen in it.
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