KachingKaching.com / Scam business
I have seen a lot of scams both on and off the net. Naming them here would take a while and a lot of space. The current times we live in are full of potential victims: those of us who lost jobs due to the downward spiral of the economy. Also, the new key word in marketing is "green." Add these two together and you have people ready to believe anything that will help them out financially and perhaps save the world.
I had a friend all excited about this venture and talked to me at length about the "new way people will make money." He used statements like, "we aren't looking for people who want to make sixty thousand a year. We want people who want to make over one hundred thousand a year." (Red flag #1, sales hype.) And he capped it off by saying, "Kachingkaching will soon take over Amazon.com and put them out of business." And it will be "green" because people will shop from home. Not a bad idea, since a lot of people do that anyway, and with positive results. But he insisted that Kaching-Kaching.com would be better, and I should join and have my own store to run, and make a lot of money.
I told him no several times, explaining the messes I got in by other "great money-making businesses, " but he insisted on telling me to join. He sent me an email with a link to watch a presentation. I entered my email address and phone number (both are what I call my "non-serious contact points, " in case of problems, then I can cancel them.) I watched the video. It kept repeating itself over and over and offered little information, other than it is a new online store and I could make money. (Red flag #2, insufficient information to keep you on the hook.) At the end of the video I was told that I now have my own free store. Oh, joy.
I surfed the "store" and searched for items, but instead of finding brand names, I found model numbers and prices. (Red flag #3, selling products by misrepresentation, as if to say "They don't like this brand, but they don't know the model number, so we'll fool them into buying it that way.)
Later, I was emailed a telephone number for a national conference call so that I could learn more about this thing. The number was a long distance number, not an 800 number. (Red Flag #4, I have to pay to listen to a business call? If they make so much money why don't they have an 800 number? I asked and was told, "We're new. They are working on getting 800 numbers!") I called the number (I can afford a half-hour call to Vegas), and heard one lady back-patting everyone in the company but said little, other than how excited she was about this business. Another person started talking about how excited he was, then another person, and finally Bob McNulty, CEO and such. He said the most about kaching-kaching while doing more tap-dancing than Bo Jangles. (Red Flag #5)
At the end of the call, nothing much was said, other than how happy everyone was.
My friend came over a week later for the next call. For two hours before the call, I put him on the spot about how I felt uncomfortable about joining. (I was playing Devil's Advocate with him). He deflected every point I had with scripted answers. (He was in sales mode.) Then I asked him how much he made last week. "Well, nothing. I just started." Later on in the conversation I asked him how long he was doing this. "I've been at this for six weeks." OK, six weeks of work, and nothing, not even a statement. (Red Flag #6, working for free?) He told me that his friend, and mentor (Red Flag #7, heard that term "mentor" from other business scams) had made seven hundred dollars the previous week. I asked how long he was doing this. "Twelve weeks." And the total amount he received? Seven hundred bucks, some $8.33 per day. (I made more than that on a slow night delivering pizzas.) (Red Flag #8, all work, and no pay makes Jack very broke soon in telephone bills, advertising, and recruiting.)
I asked him how do I make money then? "You have to call people and get them to sign up. Just having them shop at your store will make you money. But if you invest in the $99.99 store you can give away ten stores and generate more business. If you sign up for the $299.00 store you can go international, give away unlimited free stores, and share in the company stock." I told him that I would watch him for one year and see if he can make it work, then I would go for it. "But we're new. We just started, and in a year, everyone will already be doing it. You need to get in on the ground floor..." and so forth, implying the need for urgency to join. (Red Flag #9)
Then I lowered the boom. "Sorry, I'm not interested. People pay me to work for them. I don't pay people to work for them." He sighed and replied, "Well, I'm only trying to help. And we're only interested in signing people up who want to make money." (Red Flag #10, using the guilt trip.)
Later he called me up again and asked how I was doing with my free store. I told him that I wanted out. I'm not interested in cold calling a bunch of people in hopes to get two people to buy a license, and so forth. So, he got his friend and mentor on the phone. This guy was the typical smooth talker. He over pronounced words in his speech to make it sound more than what it is. "Robert McNulty has worked so-o-o-o-o-o-o ha-a-a-a-ard in bringing KachingKaching.com together so everyone will beneifts. And I'm su-u-u-u-ure that when you see the results, you will be so-o-o-o-o-o-o glad you joined up..." on and on. Then he started to name drop. "Ron Lovely, the man who invented Wal-Mart and Sam's Club and gave Sam Walton the idea for the name, has put in ten million dollars of his own money..." I stopped him telling him "No, that was David E. Glass, his Vice President who gave him the idea for the name, while they were flying over their first big store location, and that if Ron started Wal-mart, it would be called Ron-Mart, and that in the two years I've spent working for that company his name NEVER appeared anywhere." His reply was that Ron Lovely started working for Sam Walton when he was 15, then his voice trailed off. (Yeah, right.) I mentioned some things I've read online and he came up with Bob's legal history saying that his competitors tried to sideline him, and so forth. In short, anything you have mentioned above will get a weak argument from them, like an automatic gain-say over points made.
Again, I told him no, then he used the guilt trip. "Well we only have your best interests at heart. We know the economy is tough (preying on the financially strapped people who need money), and we have the right solution for you, and it's a green solution (playing on the Save the Earth movement), but we don't want people who want to make sixty thousand dollars. We want people who want to make six hundred thousand dollars... I'm just trying to help you out." Again, and again I said "NO!", but still my email is flooded with cashteambuilder.com and kachingkaching.com news letters telling me to call their conference number and listen to some speeches from people patting themselves on their backs, and if I have given any thought at investing $99.00 for a National Store, or $299.00 to be an "International Store Owner" and get stock options... (Yeah, tell me another one.)
I also mentioned this whole Kaching thing to family and friends. None of them has every heard of this company. Amazon and Overstock both advertise on TV. Not these guys. Secrecy is their way to stay under the radar, while they try to get others to sell for them.
So, there you have it, the new online scam takes hold of America. "Kaching-Kaching: The Sweet Sound of Money" (leaving your account and lining theirs.) This isn't too far from the truth, as I received an email from them telling me about a business conference in Las Vegas. All I have to do it get there, and pay $65.00 for the meeting. (THE BIG RED FLAG. My father was a sales rep, then district manager for a large company, and he never once had top pay to go to meeting, other than gas to get there, and then it was on his expense account.)
Matt, Store-Owner (and I don't want to be)