I recently got asked the question: “Is affiliate marketing a pyramid scheme…?” In this blog post I am going to break down the honest answer as to whether or not affiliate marketing is a pyramid scheme. Ready? Let’s dive right in.
…No, Affiliate Marketing is NOT a pyramid scheme.
First of all, a pyramid scheme requires purchasing to access the program itself. Many affiliate programs like Amazon Associates, Clickbank, and JVZoo are free to join.
Secondly, pyramid schemes are considered to be engaging their members in promoting nonexistent or illegitimate products. With affiliate marketing you promote real products like the ones on Amazon.
I make this conclusion using what is written on the United States Investor.gov website.
That being said, there are obviously affiliate programs that are scams out there. My advice is to only join legitimate big name ones like the Amazon Associates program. Stay clear of affiliate programs that have barely anything out there on Google relating to them.
Back in 2017, a huge illegitimate affiliate program called MOBE (My Online Business Empire) was shut down by the FTC for swindling users out of millions of dollars.
MOBE promised its users they could make six figures at home and ended up just selling them useless and rehashed content for thousands of dollars, over and over. Some of the high ticket items were in excess of $30,000.