My Shopping Genie is in meltdown.

We should have finished and published this article back in September 2009 as a warning, but at the time we thought we might have been nit-picking and over-reacting. As it happens, the bad feelings we had about this company proved to be well-founded. Here’s the article, followed by the news of the meltdown twenty months later. We’ll also list the lessons to be learned and warnings to be heeded when choosing an MLM company.


September 2009:

We were recently contacted by someone (let’s call him Gene) to join an online shopping business. This was an intriguing proposition especially given that I had just been reading about ecommerce platforms at Salesforce. The article had really enticed me and proved to be very accurate in terms of the way it described the state of play in the ecommerce industry. We assured Gene that we were not prospects as we had already found a five pillar company, but we’d be glad to look at his sites. As ‘students of the industry’, we are always open to new information.

One of his sites included a very professional company video, showing Gene and his family enjoying a day at the zoo in the middle of the week thanks to the free time that a successful home based business can provide.

The video then went on to show Gene apparently working in his home office.

During a pan to mother and daughter, the narration included “Working at home, using the software and tools from [the company] not only allows financial stability for the family, but it also allows mother and daughter to spend some quality time together while growing their business.”

Then another shot of Gene working in his home office …

… and back to the zoo for some closing comments …

As Gene had downloaded the free ebook ‘Success in Ten Steps’, we called him back a few days later to explain the rest of our free training system. During the conversation, I complimented him on his beautiful family, dining room, library, and home office.

He replied, “Oh, that’s my family but it’s not my house. The company took all those shots at our church and at a hotel.”


After our call, we went back to see what else he and his company were up to. His sites were full of audio clips of people making income claims and even showing checks.

Several questions arise …

  • Has Gene’s company not heard of the laws against ‘enticement’?
  • If you are claiming success for your home based business, should you not show your distributors in their own homes, not in church board rooms and libraries or in hotels?
  • Does Gene attend the First Church of the Little White Lie?
  • If Gene believes in the Law of Attraction, what kind of people will he be attracting to his business with this deception?
  • If this is a Little MLM Lie, is the company also capable of a Big MLM Lie?
  • If you joined this company under Gene, and later found out that the video was not taken in his home, how would that affect your opinion and working relationship?
  • Do you want to know, like, or trust anyone involved in this company?
  • Would you stake your family’s future on the ethics and stability of this company?

Do not believe everything you see in company promos. In fact, don’t believe ANYTHING in company promos. Check it out yourself. Do some critical thinking. Start by reading Big MLM Lies. It’s free. It will save you from expensive embarrassing mistakes like this.


Fast Forward to June 2011:

Here are notices we received from Business From Home (Ted Nuytens):

My Shopping Genie Busted! Former Top Earner Kalpesh Patel and thousands of distributors not paid …

My Shopping Genie Number 2 Top Earner Andrew Burling NOT PAID – Terminated and speaks out …

And this from MLM Watchdog (Rod Cook):


13 June 2011 – Complaints are coming in about selective commissions paid to Distributors. To the WatchDog, this is usually an indicator of a Ponzi-Pyramid meltdown. There are not enough new funds coming in to pay first or large distributors. There has always been debate that the licensed icons My Shopping Genie sold did not return money on shoppers as the company promoted. If the signup fee is all that is carrying My Shopping Genie, the commission payment complaints certainly make sense.


There may be some fleeting satisfaction in “I Told You So!” but lessons learned will be longer lasting.

  • Go with your gut. If something doesn’t feel right, you’re probably right. Any presentation that stresses huge income opportunities in a short time is luring you into a pyramid scam.
  • Research the top earners and company owners (Pillar One). It doesn’t take long to discover reports that Bruce Bise was sentenced to 7 years in Arizona for fraud and forgery. It doesn’t take long to discover reports that John Van Deurzen was involved with the collapsed schemes Get Moving Today and the illegal SkyBiz. See the videos below from Troy Dooley and Ireland’s Prime Time investigation.
  • Heed the warning from Brian Hutchinson, Lecturer in Commercial Law, University College Dublin, “Those who get sucked into the scheme also face the danger of prosecution at the same level as those in the higher echelons.” Distributors can no longer claim ignorance. You are responsible for your actions.
  • Check your product carefully. Would it sell downtown, or is it just a coverup for a pyramid? (Pillar Three)
  • Do the math. Will your check be mainly from commissions on sales of goods and services or mainly from the sale of businesses aka licences? (Pillar Four) It’s obvious now why the MSG reps are not getting paid. Every pyramid is doomed to collapse unless it moves to another planet. No more newbies to pay the top guns.

You can learn how to avoid scams and make better decisions by getting informed. Start by reading Big MLM Lies. It’s free. It will save years of expensive and embarrassing failure and frustration for you and your family. It can save your reputation and even help you avoid a jail term!

Bob and Anna Bassett
Skype bobbassett