If the money you earn is based on your sales to the public, the company may be a legitimate multilevel marketing plan. The way they work is that a recruiter is given a gift. "Even if you initially receive a high return on your investment, the money will eventually dry up and later investors can lose everything. Pyramid schemes are very similar to MLMs in the way that they are structured, but the main difference is that MLM companies also sell a product as well as paying people to recruit others into the business. You put your money in the pot, they get a commission for recruiting you and the chain continues. It means that the variant would involve selling products or services with little to no value. In a pyramid scheme, the money is not generally invested anywhere. A pyramid scheme is a scam that is founded on an unsustainable business model. They advise that they can help the victim recover their lost money – but request a fee first. However, a traditional pyramid scheme is often fraudulent or at best morally questionable and the vast majority of people (99% and over) don’t make money or lose sums. A popular example of this is the Avon beauty brand which sells via community representatives. "It is almost always the case that the people at the very top of the organisation will benefit financially, while those further down the organisation who have been recruited more recently will earn significantly less. A pyramid scheme will take an initial investment from each member and promise to pay them for enrolling others into the scheme. 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