I just made that up – Product Wrap Around Syndrome. But it’s very prevalent in Network Marketing companies. It’s where a Network Marketing company has products for sale, but just try to buy them without hearing about the opportunity! If you want the product, you’ll need to get with the opportunity or at least hear a load of spiel about it. This is because the opportunity is wrapped around the product!
An example of this would be Company X that deals in suspension supplements. (I am deliberately leaving the name out but this is a real company). I read up on their suspension technology and it seemed to make sense. Looked like a product I might like to try. But then I tried to buy the product to sample. I went to the Company X website. Nothing there but a showcase of products and of course the opportunity. There wasn’t even a “where to purchase” link.
So then I Googled “buy Company X ” and still did not find a site where I could purchase the product directly. The products were shown, often along with the prices (retail). To buy them, however, it appeared that I needed to contact a distributor. One site I found had a preferred customer program where you could get the product, but you had to contact the person listed at the site via phone. There was no way to purchase it online. So I concluded that Company X simply does not allow their products to be sold online. Ok but in this day and age, why not? Do they do this so that you can be sure to hear about their opportunity when you try to buy the product?
This wrap around is so… Network Marketing 1.0 and it’s part of what gives Network Marketing its bad reputation. Unfortunately, it’s still very prevalent and Company X is certainly not alone here. Relatively few are the Network Marketing companies that offer their products to stand on their own without the opportunity.
Product Wrap Around Syndrome is a real problem from the perspective of legality. One of the criteria the FTC uses to determine whether a Network Marketing company is legitimate or not is the product. The FTC looks for the product itself to have value independent of the opportunity. When a company like Company X only lets you see their products through the lens of the opportunity, it’s a dicey proposition. So if you are considering a network marketing business for your home business, beware of Product Wrap Around Syndrome!