Lia Sophia = one of them that aren't?

"Buy 1 for yourself and get the chance to sell your friends and family 5 and get your downline started!" We examine the multi-level marketing industry, where only the people who come up with the ideas make any money, and everybody else is left unhappy, broke, and tired of reading scripts and selling overpriced vitamins and similarly worthless products. Includes Global Prosperity, Pinnacle Quest International, IRS Codebusters, Stratia, and other new Global Prosperity scams.

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Lia Sophia = one of them that aren't?

Postby jg » Fri Jun 18, 2010 11:15 pm

Since I have a friend that has done well with this particular company, I am curious if it might be one of them that aren't.
It is MLM; but the main focus does not appear to be on how much you can earn or on building a downline. It would be interesting to see how much company income is from product sales.
A description of the starter kit and some of the compensation package is in "The Details of Becoming a Lia Sophia Jewelry Advisor"
at http://www.articlesbase.com/home-busine ... 95129.html
(The accuracy of that information has not been verified with my friend as of this writing.)

My review of internet complaints revealed only product and not any company complaints.
Personally I do not consider this quality jewelry; but there is apparently a market for it and how it is delivered.

http://mlmfiles.com/mlm-companies/lia-sophia/ has basic information on the company that has been in business about 30 years.

Is Lia Sophia one of them that aren't a scam ?

Nikki

Re: Lia Sophia = one of them that aren't?

Postby Nikki » Sat Jun 19, 2010 5:19 am

A scam or not a scam? That is the question.

Any MLM, by definition, is bogus to the extent that it relies on building a 'downline' to enhance the income. Simple mathematics proves that this concept is doomed to failure.

Also, the price/value of the product when compared to other, commercially available equivalents is a major red flag.

The only thing that this business seems to have in its favor is that -- at first glimpse -- it does not SEEM to offer a significant amount of compensation for nothing more than signing up new recruits.

Emet

Re: Lia Sophia = one of them that aren't?

Postby Emet » Sat Jun 19, 2010 6:22 am

Since I have a friend that has done well with this particular company, I am curious if it might be one of them that aren't.

How do you know she's doing well? Does she have another job?
The reason I ask is that I read the threads at Pink Truth (anti-Mary Kay) for some time. Many of the women were so deceived and brainwashed that they thought they were "doing well". Even the ones who only were involved for pin money didn't realize their actual losses if they had another job, unless they gave their CPA all of their info and he/she pointed it out to them.

It is MLM; but the main focus does not appear to be on how much you can earn or on building a downline. It would be interesting to see how much company income is from product sales.

How do you know that? From your friend? How long has she been in? It's interesting that the compensation plan is not available on their web site-- a red flag, for me...

My review of internet complaints revealed only product and not any company complaints.

Hmm. A search of the BBB only brings up independent reps, not the company...

Is Lia Sophia one of them that aren't a scam ?

Unlikely, as I have yet to find one that isn't--they don't even list much on their web site--have to contact an advisor for info... what are they hiding???

eBay yielded 13,265 hits... didn't spend a lot of time seeing how many were selling tons of the stuff (i.e., getting out and liquidating their inventory) Didn't check craigslist.

http://www.livingtheliadream.com/
Ruh-Roh...

Emet

Re: Lia Sophia = one of them that aren't?

Postby Emet » Sat Jun 19, 2010 5:22 pm

Well, it took a lot of digging, and I can't verify this as being current or typical, but the current start up kit here is the same as on the official home page.

You earn 30% commission of your retail sales! Based on a $700 show, (the company’s average) you could earn commissions of over $200 per show! As an Advisor, you write your own paycheck! Through setting goals, you will experience increased income and consistent cash flow! All you need to provide is your own personal energy and a will to succeed.

Wonder what the median is?

As an Advisor, you are able to purchase products at 70% OFF! You need to be “active” to keep this discount by submitting one show of $250 or more per month to remain active.

Hmm. wonder if it has to be one show, or can the sales of multiple shows be added?

lia sophia’s dynamic compensation plan is incredible and when you recruit three Advisors, you will begin receiving fantastic overrides and bonuses. More importantly, you will also be changing lives, opening doors, and giving others the chance to realize their dreams!

There's that pesky word, recruiting...

***Cost per Show***
As an Advisor, you are responsible for contributing $6.00 per show for the Hostess Award Program. Your small contribution helps to provide the Hostess with some of the best hostess benefits in the industry! Here are a few other show related costs (based on 10 guests):

30 Invitations$1.20
5 Catalogs$3.25
12 Customer Order Forms $0.54
TOTAL $4.99


***Personal Website***
Creating a personal lia sophia website is optional. However for only $9.95 a month, you’ll soon discover that this will become one of the greatest business investments you can make!

Wonder what other ways they can think of to take your money? Rah Rah meetings, DVDs, etc...

http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/s ... ent=safari

I just thought of something. Don't MLMs have to have income disclosures readily available? Or is that another one of those FTC loopholes or DSA recommendations? Maybe one of the legal eagles (wserra, are you reading this?) can answer that one.

http://corporate.liasophia.com/share_the_love.html

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Re: Lia Sophia = one of them that aren't?

Postby wserra » Sat Jun 19, 2010 6:22 pm

Emet wrote:I just thought of something. Don't MLMs have to have income disclosures readily available?


Such a provision was in the FTC's proposed new biz-op rule discussed here. The short version is that the FTC backed off under industry pressure.
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Re: Lia Sophia = one of them that aren't?

Postby jg » Sat Jun 19, 2010 10:22 pm

How do you know she's doing well?
Besides seeing her (and her family) at least weekly; I have also prepared her tax return for the last several years (that includes her start about four years ago and to date). So, I have personal knowledge of her compensation and observation of some of her work with Lia Sophia in addition to her opinion of her business (and it is a business, without doubt).

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Re: Lia Sophia = one of them that aren't?

Postby Arthur Rubin » Sun Jun 20, 2010 12:39 am

jg wrote: Besides seeing her (and her family) at least weekly; I have also prepared her tax return for the last several years (that includes her start about four years ago and to date). So, I have personal knowledge of her compensation and observation of some of her work with Lia Sophia in addition to her opinion of her business (and it is a business, without doubt).
Forgetting to report costs of goods sold (and costs of goods given away (as advertising)), perhaps? No offense, but not all the costs of running an MLM are tracked by the person, and not all the real costs are deductible.
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Re: Lia Sophia = one of them that aren't?

Postby wserra » Sun Jun 20, 2010 1:44 pm

jg wrote:Is Lia Sophia one of them that aren't a scam ?


This is a company about which it is quite difficult to find specifics. As other posters have observed, they don't publish their comp plan - not that it would help, since they are all so full of gobbledegook as to be almost meaningless. As with most privately-held corps, there is no body of SEC filings to examine. They make no claims of average or mean income - not that the claims would be verifiable if they did, absent public filings. The only BBB report of the national company (as opposed to individual distributors) gives it a D+, but it appears to be old, and is even under the former name "Act II Jewelry". Price comparisons of the "Generic Wellness MLM vs. GNC" type are difficult, since they can claim with some justification that jewelry is a unique product.

After poking around for a while, I don't have much to add, other than the obvious problem with the business model. While their website provides little other than generalities and platitudes, it also doesn't make the outlandish income claims of most MLMs. My guess is that the mean distributor would make more at McDonald's, but that's only because I have yet to find an MLM in which that isn't the case.
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Re: Lia Sophia = one of them that aren't?

Postby Judge Roy Bean » Sun Jun 20, 2010 5:05 pm

As I pointed out some time ago, I have a relative who has been a Mary Kay agent for a long time and while her experience has not exactly made her wealthy, she really likes it and part of it is simply the social aspect. As long as there are people who see it as something they enjoy doing, the established MLM's will probably be around for a long time.
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Lisa

Re: Lia Sophia = one of them that aren't?

Postby Lisa » Wed Jun 23, 2010 8:22 am

Their average parties are so not $700. Several years ago I was invited to a Lia Sophia party and I attended since it was my now sister-in-law who was hosting it. The rep was adamant that everyone there host a party. I told her no twice then finally just caved and said sure. I had over 15 people attend my party and I sold 1 necklace that was $45. My sister-in-law sold $200 at her party, $180 was from her mom and then my brother purchased her something as well.

About a year later I actually had an aunt join Lia Sophia and even though she hates my guts (literally, she has said some of the nastiest things to me) anytime I see her she pulls out a catalog and tries to recruit me and get me to buy some jewelry. I own 2 necklaces and my wedding ring and that's all I need and that's all I wear. She knows this, I tell her this, but she still is super pushy about it. She's even recruited a couple of my cousins. All 3 of them bug my mom constantly about putting up a display in her salon (she has a salon in her basement that she runs full time). My mom likes the jewelry but it is expensive and the quality really isn't that much better than what you can get at Claire's for $10. They go on and on about the "lifetime guarantee" but honestly I'm not going to pay $60 for a necklace that, if it breaks 5 years down the road, you'll replace if you're still making that necklace. I know my aunt is making almost nothing with this, and she's pushing it hard. None of my cousins have hosted parties in months.

To add another person to the list, my husbands ex ALSO signed up as a rep. She has TONS of friends and was actually able to host 3 parties that had that "$700" average (one of 2 people I know who sold lia sophia who actually got that much in sales) but she ended up quitting a couple months later because she was completely tapped out.

The other person didn't actually sell it, but she hosted a party. She brought the catalog into work and she bugged the 3 of us that worked the front office non-stop to purchase something. I didn't want to and neither did our boss, however she would NOT leave us alone. So she and I struck a deal since they had a buy 1 get 1 free thing going on and we agreed to buy the 2 cheapest things we could find in the catalog and split the price. We both got earings (my ears aren't even pierced, I used them as a gift) and ended up paying under $10 for them. The only reason this girl had a party over $700 is because her mother-in-law who is ridiculously wealthy spent over $600 at the party. Oddly enough, I also think her family owns or started Gold Canyon Candles.

To be honest, while there are a lot of things I miss about living in Utah the constant invitations to parties and MLM opportunity meetings are one thing I do NOT miss. I don't what it is about that state but I swear half the people there are trying to sell you something.

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Re: Lia Sophia = one of them that aren't?

Postby JamesVincent » Fri Oct 29, 2010 2:32 am

You know, I have noticed that Utah is a serious MLM state. Is there some sort of tax law that grants them exemptions or something if they have their headquarters in Utah? I know Send Out Cards main office and printing facility is in Utah. I know at least 50 marketers that live in Utah and alot of MLMs have their company shindigs in Salt Lake or Vegas. I understand the Vegas ones. Is there something there that we dont see?
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Re: Lia Sophia = one of them that aren't?

Postby Cathulhu » Fri Oct 29, 2010 3:35 pm

Nobody who actually knows much about jewelery would touch that crap. It's probably full of cadmium. Admittedly, I like jewelery and my fondness for it is why there's a lot of gold in the safe now, but having put myself through a year of college and paid off my divorce attorney by making rings in jewelery class (this was long ago), I can tell you the markups are killer. That $60 necklace probably cost two bucks to make.
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Re: Lia Sophia = one of them that aren't?

Postby Judge Roy Bean » Fri Oct 29, 2010 3:54 pm

JamesVincent wrote:You know, I have noticed that Utah is a serious MLM state. Is there some sort of tax law that grants them exemptions or something if they have their headquarters in Utah? I know Send Out Cards main office and printing facility is in Utah. I know at least 50 marketers that live in Utah and alot of MLMs have their company shindigs in Salt Lake or Vegas. I understand the Vegas ones. Is there something there that we dont see?


Las Vegas is famous for very-low-price hotel rooms and cheap food. Nevada is also a very popular state to establish a corporation in.

Utah is a hot-bed of anything to do with "affinity marketing" and looney scams.
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Re: Lia Sophia = one of them that aren't?

Postby absdes96 » Fri Oct 29, 2010 10:34 pm

I bought Lia Sophia jewelry from a co-worker here in the office about 4 years ago. It was a gift for my wife for her birthday. My wife still wears them as she likes the design. She still gets many compliments when she wears the earrings and matching necklace. While I am no expert on jewelry, the quality does not seem to have diminished any.

Personally, I liked the fact that I did not have to get up off my rear end, drive to a conjested shopping complex, and hunt around. I opened the little catalog, made my order, cut a check, and received the jewelry two weeks later while sitting at my cubicle sipping my coffee.

I have since shopped that way several times through coworkers who were selling various items - jewelry, fragrances, little spa kits, etc.

I like to think I save some time, gasoline, and a little aggravation and that I helped a coworker make a few dollars.

Yet I have always been the strange type who was willing to pay 1-2 extra dollars at a Walgreens instead of going to a Walmart and walking out with only half my sanity intact.
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