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Caveat Emptor, When Rippln Comes Rippln [Videos]

Normally, MLM (multiple level marketing) pyramid schemes appeal to desperate folks who are down on their luck and/or are willing to buy into anything that promises them a quick return. It's built off a non-sustainable business model that promises payments or services, primarily for enrolling other people into the scheme, rather than supplying any real investment of sales of legitimate products and services.


Social media types are usually savvy to these types of scams and often alert others to the downside of such devious enterprises. "Caveat emptor" is Latin for "let the buyer beware." Goods or services promoted through 'distance selling,' for example online or by phone is a tactic that's normally used to create a frenzy where buyers are swayed by deals sounding too good to pass up.

Such is the alleged case with Rippln. Bordering on harassment, in the course of one day, I personally was approached by over two dozen folks via Facebook, Twitter, emails and text messages. As a member of Empire Avenue, the stock simulation social network, I was even blindsided into taking on a mission that I later found out made it "mandatory" that I register for the Rippln service. 


Rippln has taken "frenzy selling" to a another level. According to several reports "hundreds of thousands" have registered with the site described as a "mobile app gamification" platform, based on a claim to generate significant cash rewards to users.


According to Dan Holden at sv411, he suspects that the hyped promise is not backed up by any kind of guarantee. "Rippln  employs a sophisticated multilevel marketing scheme based on invites and access codes to tease fans into growing their following on the expectation . . . of kickbacks for bringing additional levels, or ripples of players and teams," notes Holden. "However, there’s no guarantee that fans will become players, or that such an ecosystem will get built," he adds.
Chris VossChris Voss
Chris Voss, a recognized social media leader recognized by Forbes, CNN and the Huffington Post also has his doubts as to the viability of Rippln. In this 16:15 minute video, he covers all aspects of the MLM scheme . Titled, "Rippln Investigation: Is It A MLM Pyramid Scheme Scam?" it's worth taking the time to listen to his entire presentation, so viewers can make an informed decision before getting involved.


According to a follow-up video that details the MLM scheme further, there are two ways to profit from the site. One is by bringing in new players, and the other is by collecting residuals for commerce that takes place on the site. To commence business transactions, one has to start recruiting new players to allow him or her to ascend to the status of “global player.” Once there, GPs are then capable of reaching out anywhere on the globe to build teams and ripples. Kickbacks for gaining new players range in value from $25 to $320 per additional “global player, according to the video.  Each player has a significant but defined potential universe (10 layers) of teams and players he or she can recruit under their umbrella.


For those who are still on the fence, ask yourself these questions: What other legitimate social media network has ever used this type of heavy-handed promotional push to grow their numbers? How does an enterprise claim the ability to "go viral" in advance of actually going viral? Why is an NDA (non-disclosure agreement) necessary - what real secrets will the early members be privy to, and why? Don't you think being "accepted behind the velvet rope" smacks just a little bit like being screened by a sleazy nightclub bouncer?

However, I, like Holden and Voss could be wrong, and I will stand corrected if proven as such. After all, a lot of what's presented here is based on hunch and point of view. So, for those that don't bail (after reading this), I certainly would like to hear from you, as to your successes (or lack thereof) when the ecosystem is deployed and fans become actual players. However with that date yet to be determined, I think it will be a while before any one reaps the benefit of that first ripple! In the meantime, might I suggest "caveat emptor!"


UPDATE: TechCrunch - April 22, 2013: "What Not To Do In Your Startup Promo Video" - Ryan Lawler makes a hilarious case for all the things one should not do in a start-up video; e.g. "Don't pretend you have trade secrets? Trade Secrets?"

 

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Ron Callari
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InventorSpot.com
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Comments
Apr 22, 2013
by Anonymous

Fastest way to join, email

Fastest way to join, email create.rippln@gmail.com

Apr 23, 2013
by Anonymous

Rippln is creating a lot f

Rippln is creating a lot f buzz and sharks like yourself with negative branding are capitalizing on the buzz to market your own advertising links...eyeballs are $$ today and your negative post is gaining traffic (eyeballs) for your "sales links" above. You even state "However, I, like Holden and Voss could be wrong, and I will stand corrected if proven as such. After all, a lot of what's presented here is based on hunch and point of view." Hopefully folks recall you and your post here (I certainly will) and dump on your efforts when your negative/reverse hype is exposed. The vast majority of people are biased/ignorant of business models that incorporate multiple levels of commission. You are not helping anyone....you are misleading in your self centered approach and trust thinking folks are sharing your name around as.....not providing relevant, reliable and thoroughly researched information.

Apr 23, 2013
by Ron Callari
Ron Callari's picture

Rippln is creating... WOW -

Rippln is creating...

WOW - hats off to you for criticizing my opinion piece based on my logic. Instead of giving my readers reasons as to why my critique was wrong or faulty, you criticize me of "capitalizing on the buzz," while seeking to  "hype" my blog. Apparently, you dislike those types of promotional tactics, but not when used by the founders of Rippln - a company that's predicted "going viral" in advance of its launch, as a means to draw "more eyeballs!" A company that's allowed its converts to harass people like myself with 10 "recruitment" text messages in the course of 5 minutes, or making it mandatory that I submit my email address under the guise of an Empire Avenue mission. But I guess my first-hand experience doesnt' qualify for "thoroughtly researched information."

My blog started and ended with a "buyers aware" alert for readers to be cautious and with the caveat that I may be wrong in my assumptions.Turning the tables on me doesn't help your cause. Promoting your services in a professional manner is what would have been appropriate to support the company you think I so wrongly critiqued! If that's all you got - you're not the best advocate to be carrying their flag! 

Apr 23, 2013
by Anonymous

I'd say that almost 200k

I'd say that almost 200k people accepting the application in less than 10 days might be classified as "viral" don't you?

"Their identity is taken from them..." Really? Way to make it sound so bad when it's not. FYI... The only thing you are giving to Rippln to sign up is a name and an email / phone number. They aren't "stealing" or "taking" anyone's identity.

"It's an MLM scam or pyramid scheme..." I'm sorry but just because someone has to be the "first signed up" and they start the network doesn't make it a "pyramid scheme" or anything illegal. It's so tiring to hear the same b.s. over and over... you're missing so much information that you don't have from the events they held and that's a shame. EVERYTHING is a "pyramid" if you look at the structure... including CORPS with a CEO at the top so give me a break on that one.

"You can't cancel or unsubscribe..." All you have to do to cancel is send an email to Rippln.

I also personally know the guy who did the video you mentioned here, Morgan and have personal knowledge that he's been in at least 3 or 4 different companies in the last few years... I'll just leave that one alone completely. LOL!

I've shared this post to Brian Underwood. Hopefully he will get in touch with you and put your allegations to rest. And, BTW, Brian is STILL the head of iZigg.

Our crappy economy will never change if people don't get out of their own way. People are already claiming "scam" and the company is 10 days live. Wow... so ludicrous to me and I'm a veteran investigative paralegal but I'm shocked at how people just follow along without doing any of their own due diligence. But hey, that's just my opinion and we can all agree to disagree, right?

Apr 23, 2013
by Anonymous

Wow you are battling

Wow you are battling comments already and the company has not officially came out yet. I noticed a strong point the Rippln claims to have a fan base for and that is us the people that draw those to Social Networks, Your blog is smothered with ads from Google or some other cool ad placement supporter but yet I heard that gaining more control of the ad placements and having more $ in your pocket for encouraging those that our in your social networks time has come. I am "Bigdoggpinc" online marketer 11 years and counting and most every link I publish was given a clean record. I am surprised at the buyers beware when the main usage is a great mobile application communicator. What is a buyer beware on a free app. Please be more clear on those becoming fans and those seeking to become compensated in fact I strongly encourage text 90210 and text the words Ripplemania and get in on the calls. I feel you may be creating good hype for your agenda and using Rippln to spring board off of. Not one of you all discussed the concept on getting rewarded for the traffic you bring to Social Media sites and finally that ad that is all over Facebook , Twitter, and the others I might get a chance to get a % of the revenue generated there. Wow it seems you have your opinions about buyer beware but on a free app this is kinda odd.

Apr 24, 2013
by Anonymous

Mr. Voss, They is NO

Mr. Voss, They is NO commitment, and the people are not locked in. I just gave i fake name and made up an email and PAID nothing. Every company start somewhere, and Jealous people like you just want to knock them. They are in their Launch stage and we paid nothing. You will never join Rippln? That is your decision! By the way, your presentation on this was chessey and unprofessional. Find something better to do with your lost confused time of life.

Apr 24, 2013
by Anonymous

NUFF SAID DUDE!! He's a JOKE!

NUFF SAID DUDE!! He's a JOKE!

Apr 24, 2013
by Ron Callari
Ron Callari's picture

Thanks for the feedback.

Thanks for the feedback. Apparently Rippln has achieved their goal in converting many of their new members into active and bonfide proselytizers (as evidenced by some of the feedback above).

One misunderstanding of note, however: Chris Voss, nor I indicated there was any cash outlay to join Rippln. Our objections and criticicsms were geared more to the type of MLM scheme Rippln built into their business model and the marketing tactics used to grow their numbers - and also what you sacrifice in privacy in giving up your email address (unaware if they'll be sold or used for other purposes separate from the app). For those who are unaware, Rippln has not listed any privacy rights on their site to date - which in and of itself should raise a red flag for many!

I appreciate the dialogue of those that took the time to highlight the merits of Rippln- but don't think that namecalling or character assassination furthers anyone's argument, nor has a place in a rebuttal, less you want to create additional doubt about the worthiness of the product/service you are trying to defend.

And for those that think my blog posting was to create my own viral buzz (feeding off of Rippln's popularity), I would ask you to go to Google News and type in the keyword "RIPPLN" and see just how many articles/blogs have been written about the supposed buzz-worthyness of Rippln.  Today, I counted 6!  Me-thinks "6" does not a viral social network make! Et tu?

Apr 24, 2013
by Anonymous

yea every time i ask a legit

yea every time i ask a legit question i get spammed by these "fans" telling me to shut up and such red flags are popping up for me. i had to dig to find an e mail address to delete my account....this stinks!

Apr 24, 2013
by Anonymous

Rippln is more then "Viral"

Rippln is more then "Viral" at this point. It is a "Movement"! 226,000 invites accepted in less then 2 weeks!!! Anyone wanting an invite to learn more? Email me if you do nap411@gmail.com

Apr 24, 2013
by Anonymous

Fresh

Fresh invites
FFQCPG3K
YYDJR4FK
73SKRFFA

Apr 27, 2013
by Anonymous

The mlm guys have tried

The mlm guys have tried something different. It has the chance to be real cool. Or it might just be a cheesy mlm. Right now people seem to be giving them the benefit if the doubt on a "just in case" basis, and that momentum has the placebo like potential of turning it into the real deal. They haven't asked me for nothing yet. But here is the thing: when the app launches it will either solve a problem, be an improvement, or it won't. If it doesn't, it will die like other mlm's. lots of people clapping, no real product. That still remains to be seen. But if they do blow it or cheese it up with any real money coming just from sign-ups, I think someone else might take the idea and do it better. So I am willing to help support the idea if incentivizing sharing and social influence because u think its a cool idea. Just be honest with people, or you become the Amway guy everyone avoids at the Xmas party. Jkotz

Apr 30, 2013
by Anonymous

It is a scam.. The video

It is a scam.. The video chooses words wisely as in any other pyramid scheme launch. Everyone who is joining now... are 'fans'. They are in turn gaining other fans.. Yes viral sort of. The video points out that upon official launch later this year then 'players' will gain money by gaining other 'players' beneath them. One presumes and I am not alone in this that the 'fan' no matter how many people they got to download the app will need to pay a fee of a few hundred dollars to be a 'player'. even then.... how many times will they have to share a product on SM to gain 1 cent for one person who clicked and bought it.. In the meantime all their 'social' friends will have left them for spammy dust.

May 16, 2013
by Anonymous

I just want to say thank you.

I just want to say thank you.

Jun 30, 2013
by Anonymous

wow, so far there is NO app,

wow, so far there is NO app, no product whatsoever. You'll be spending all your time trying to sign up people and then convince them to become "players" or whatever and who knows how much that costs. You'll be lucky to make back whatever the monthly fee will be. That's it, that's all Rippln is. MLM scheme.

Jun 30, 2013
by Anonymous

I think all of us have to be

I think all of us have to be very careful to assume the worst about a company, particularly if we don't have facts and a clue about 'network marketing' types. To do so without research and facts is premature at best and shameful at worst. Just because one doesn't understand a particular business model doesn't make it 'a scam' or an 'illegitimate business'.

I just recently joined a networking marketing type company in the wireless mobile cell phone space. Just think, if I didn't know any better and had seen an article like this before I enrolled, I wouldnt be making almost $1,700/mo. for doing something I was doing anyway...paying my cell bill every month, but now with a different company but same cell towers. I think we do a great disservice to readers in this case when we taint them with our narrow perspective, particularly as it relates to doing business. People own their own tend to figure things out without being prematurely tainted with someone's else uninformed perspective. So, I would say...READERS BEWARE...to articles like these.