We live in a world connected by the Internet. That means it’s easier than ever to start your own business. That also makes it more important than ever to do your homework when it comes to “business opportunities” for making money from home. 5Linx is one of the newest companies offering newbie entrepreneurs the chance to be their own boss. But many want to know this about 5Linx: scam or legit business opportunity?
Before I dig deeper, please note that
- I’ve never pursued any home based business opportunity with 5Linx.
- I don’t intend to.
- My initial judgement when I first heard about 5Linx – SCAM!
But after a little more research, I learned that 5Linx isn’t a scam (although the people on this website have something else to say about that). It’s just a waste of time for most. And those who work hard enough to see some success are doing themselves a disservice.
“What is 5Linx?”
Most people have no clue what 5Linx is exactly. You just see a lot of people on your social media timelines and news feeds, who swear up and down that they’re “gettin’ money” with 5Linx.
What are they doing to make these alleged large sums of money?
Is it legitimate or is there some type of 5Linx scam you’ll have to trick others into following?
I understand having all of those questions. So did I. But here’s what I found.
5Linx is a telecommunications company at the basic level. They offer VoIP phone service, allowing customers to make voice calls via Internet. They also have a long list of other products and services for home and business telecommunications.
To build their consumer base quickly, 5Linx lets regular people promote the business and sell the products. The more representatives they have spreading the word about the business itself, the more sales they receive.
Pretty good strategy. They’ve been named by Inc. to be one of the 5000 fastest growing privately-held companies in the country.
So far, so good. No 5Linx scam here.
5Linx = MLM
Now that you have a basic idea of what the 5Linx business is all about, you can grasp the next part.
5Linx is also a multilevel marketing (MLM) company. The MLM side of the business is what you see when people claim they’re making attractive sums of money with 5Linx. And it’s the part I have a problem with.
You see, in multilevel marketing, you get a commission from the sales you make (on 5Linx products). And you make commission from sales that other people make – the people you recruit to your team (called “5Linx representatives”).
It sounds good on paper, but it’s not easy at all. Especially when most 5Linx representatives are eerily secretive about the details of what they’re doing to make their home-based business successful.
Why 5Linx May Appear to be a Scam
One of the biggest problems I have with the whole 5Linx trend is that very few representatives are specific about the purpose of their business. Yet they try to convince people to follow them down the path to riches.
Doesn’t that throw up a red flag to you?
It did for me.
And I’m sure 5Linx seems even more like a scam when representatives ask for an almost $300 investment without giving any details upfront.
But it isn’t a scam. Like I said, it’s just pretty much a waste of time for serious entrepreneurs.
There’s No 5Linx Scam… Only Misguided Entrepreneurs
I say that 5Linx is a waste of time because there’s a better way to build your own home-based business.
Even though the 5Linx introductory video here talks about how successful the business has been; that’s just it. 5Linx has been hugely successful. Not each individual representative.
There are no guarantees that you’ll make thousands of dollars a month. Even if representatives do tell you that “an investment of only $____ is all you need to start making $_____ a month.”
That’s how they get ya!
No 5Linx Scam – Just Unnecessary Costs
I’m a big fan of the bootstrapped startup.
In other words, I think it’s better to cut unnecessary costs when possible.
You have to pay for the opportunity to sell 5Linx products. That costs $99, and you’ll become a Customer Representative.
If you want to build a team of representatives so that you can make money from their sales, you’ll have to pay $249. You’ll be an Independent Marketing Representative.
Notice that in either position, you’re a representative. Not a business owner.
5Linx is a great way to build entrepreneurial experience, but at the end of the day, it’s just like you’re still working for someone else.
No 5Linx Scam – Just Double Paying Your Employer
In addition to the sign-up fees paid to become a 5Link representative, you’ll also have a monthly fee AND an annual membership fee.
The monthly fee is for Platinum or Standard services. Platinum services cost $49.95 a month and basically includes:
- your business website
- a magazine subscription
- unlimited access to business training media
- a support team
- annual membership fee waived
Standard services cost a little less than $20 a month and obviously include less than the Platinum services.
I don’t think either are worth paying for every month.
Running your own website doesn’t even cost $50 a month. I put up my first website for $25. That covered the purchase of my domain name and the first month of website hosting. And hosting was less than $10 a month after that.
So paying 5Linx for that is unnecessary.
Paying a monthly fee and an annual fee for business training is also unnecessary.
3 Ways to Eliminate the Need for 5Linx Business Training
- Google everything. If you have a question about anything involving your business, Google it. I guarantee you that Google will provide an answer or show you where to get the answer from.
- Subscribe to blogs related to your business idea and niche.
- Search YouTube for video tutorials to show you how to do things related to your business.
The best thing about each of these solutions is that they’re free, if you don’t count the cost of Internet access.
Why pay for business training from one company, in one industry, when you can get all the help you need online – from unlimited sources and for free?
Nothing I learned in college got me this far in my career.
Everything I learned was found online. Free information and training materials were enough to help me set up my business. From there, I was motivated to invest on my own in further business education.
Still, the sum total of all the business training I paid for is still less expensive than what people are paying for a CHANCE to make money selling 5Linx products online.
Someone is getting the short end of the stick. And I guarantee you it’s not the company on Inc.’s list of the 5000 fastest growing privately-held companies.
It’s the representatives.
Given that, 5Linx still isn’t a scam.
No 5Linx Scam – Just Jumping Through Hoops
It’s time I acknowledged the fact that there really are 5Linx success stories.
Some people actually do build large teams of representatives, who make lots of sales. Some make large commissions and enjoy living on residual income.
But not most. Not many. I bet, not even close to half.
Most are doing what I call “jumping through hoops.” Putting on a show. Doing a lot for little.
You’ve probably heard it said that over 90% of businesses fail. I’m sure that applies to 5Linx.
Simply put, many people just don’t have the initiative, persistence and self-motivation to build a successful business over time.
Maybe that’s why some think it’s easier to pay 5Linx to give them something to sell and to show them how to sell it. But when you factor in MLM, that makes things more complicated than many beginners can handle.
It’s hard enough to get people to pay attention to the fact that you’re even running a business.
Then you have to convince your audience that the products are valuable.
Then you have to give them a reason to buy from you and not the other guys selling the same thing.
Keep in mind that selling enough 5Linx products to make decent money isn’t an overnight thing. It’ll take time to build an audience for things like cell phones and phone service because AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, T-Mobile, Boost, Metro PCS and ‘nem pretty much have that on lock.
On top of all of that, 5Linx reps who want to make any real money have to convince others to do the same job they do. Recruiting your own team is really the only way to make the big bucks, like you see in the 5Linx promotional video.
You know… the video with about twenty different 5Linx reps, all in frames with the same silver Bentley.
I’m just here to tell you. There’s a better way.
Selling Products is Hard When You Don’t Care
The gist of your business as a 5Linx rep would include selling home and business telecommunications products, cell phones, VoIP service, etc. Then getting others to start selling also – under you.
That doesn’t sound very interesting, does it?
No, I mean, really. Think about it. Do you read up on the latest telecommunications product development and industry news? Can you tell me what VoIP stands for?
These are the things 5Linx reps sell and want others to sell along with them.
If you could start any business with no chance of failing, would it be a telecommunications company?
I don’t think so. I think the only thing most people care about is #TeamIphone and #TeamDroid.
That’s why I’m bringing this to your attention.
In case you didn’t know, it’s hard to sell something you’re not interested in.
Add in that many 5Linx representatives have no formal education or experience with marketing. That further decreases their chances at success.
“Results Not Typical”
To further prove my point, think about those success stories I mentioned earlier. If you visit the webpage to find out more about them, you’ll see that most of the Platinum representatives mentioned had previous careers in sales, marketing, entertainment or technology.
Of course, they’re success stories!
They’ve been around telecommunications and marketing since college – and maybe before that. They have a lot more experience with successful selling than the average 5Linx representative.
Yet 5Linx uses these success stories as inspiration for people who just decided yesterday that they want to start a business…
It’s up to aspiring entrepreneurs to do their due diligence. Those success story results are not typical. You have to keep things like that in mind when considering business opportunities online.
Or better yet…
Stop Looking for “Business Opportunities”
And just start a business!
If you’re willing to put time and money into selling 5Linx products, why not develop and sell your own products/services?
At least you’d be able to keep the profit all to yourself.
5Linx is able to be on Inc.’s list of the 5000 fastest growing privately-held companies because of the representatives who spread the word about their products and services.
I’d much rather direct my entrepreneurial efforts at spreading the word about my own products and services.
By truly becoming your own boss, I bet you’d be more successful because of your personal investment in the business. Ideas for networking, growth and new income streams come much quicker when you have a genuine interest in your business. And when you have to put in long hours to keep cash flowing, it won’t be as bad when you love your business as your brainchild.
Not as products you’re selling for someone else.
But to each his own.
If you’re a successful 5Linx rep, please prove me wrong.
How did you achieve success with 5Linx? (No promotion. Just strategy.)
If you were considering 5Linx as a home-based business opportunity, did this article change your mind?
Do you still believe that 5Linx is a scam?
I love to hear from my readers. Share with me in the comments below.
Nikki Robinson is passionate about helping young adults become successful in life after high school. Click here to receive blog updates, cool tools & freebies from Nikki.