Attention, this article may change your horizon versus Referral Marketing. Referral Marketing offers unique and often lucrative opportunities to work from home and make some extra income, or to quit the corporate grind all together and go into business for yourself. There are some harsh criticisms of the practice however. Some companies use this form of marketing to make a lot of money for themselves and the people who work with them, but others take advantage of the popularity of this unique marketing form. Like any other type of business, therefore, it pays to do your homework and to investigate a Referral Marketing or (Empfehlungsmarketing as they call it in Germany) opportunity thoroughly before getting started. Here are some criticisms of Referral Marketing along with some tips on how to protect yourself: Sometimes the hype built up by some Referral Marketing (or Empfehlungsmarketing as they call it in Germany) companies creates over-zealous individuals who ignore other forms of marketing. Be sure to explore alternate forms of selling or marketing your product in addition to a network or residual marketing format. Some multi level marketing (MLM) companies claim to be environmentally or socially responsible but sell highly processed or mass produced products with questionable benefits (especially in the health food or weight loss arenas). Research a product to see if it really is -green- if it claims to be. -Green-washing- is a popular practice nowadays where companies claim that their product is organic or environmentally friendly but it really isn’t. Pyramid schemes disguised as legitimate Referral Marketing( or Empfehlungsmarketing as they call it in Germany) opportunities give MLM a bad name. Pyramid schemes, or what have also become known as -Ponzi schemes- after a famous proprietor of these illegal forms of business, are just that: Illegal and wrong. Referral Marketing ( Empfehlungsmarketing as they call it in Germany) involves selling a real and useful product or service while paying fair commissions to everyone in the network who sells that product or service. Pyramid schemes, on the other hand, are designed to draw people into networks and do not market good products. They are only aimed at inducing people to give others their money. Referral Marketing or Empfehlungsmarketing as they call it in Germany by its very nature causes you to create your own competition. Because you are essentially recruiting others to work for you doing the same thing, you are recruiting more people to sell the same product as you, which is essentially competition. This decreases the number of potential buyers of your product or service. That’s why it’s to your advantage to recruit people who are going to sell to others who you normally wouldn’t reach on your own. You buy more products than you sell. Another criticism is that you become part of someone’s network by purchasing their product. Say, for example, you want to sell a vitamin that makes skin look more youthful which you receive via mail on a monthly basis. If you don’t recruit anyone else to buy this vitamin regimen, you’re spending money every month but you aren’t bringing any money in for yourself. If you don’t have the personality or drive to work on your business, you won’t be able to make money with Referral Marketing. You cannot simply sit back and watch the money roll in with little or no effort, which is what some companies claim. If you want to get involved with a Referral Marketing or Empfehlungsmarketing as they call it in Germany business, look at each prospective product and judge it carefully based on the above criteria and criticisms before starting. As with any other business transaction, -let the buyer beware,- and use your best judgment before proceeding.