Is Empire.Kred a MLM Pyramid Selling Scheme?
Why Did I Join Empire.Kred?
I work freelance and make a living from my writing skills. I spend time and energy creating thought-provoking articles and e-books. I do not have the interest or enthusiasm to follow Twitter or other social networks. So, when a fellow writer recommended Empire.Kred as a way to share online items without the hassle of creating umpteen accounts, it sounded perfect. Too perfect in fact and alarm bells should have started ringing for me right away. Let me explain my experience with Empire.Kred and you can draw your own conclusions.
Empire.Kred. is a Social Networking Site
Empire.Kred (formerly Empire Avenue) claims to work in a similar way to websites like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. You connect online with like-minded people across the world. The majority of your links are with strangers and you will never actually meet your virtual friends. Normally, sharing of online content takes place organically. Real life friends and family like something they read and pass it on so others can enjoy it.
The idea behind Empire.Kred is you agree to share other member's content in return for them doing the same for you. A virtual currency, called Eaves, is used to pay for these transactions. The owners of the site also sell Eaves for US dollars to help anyone who does not have the time to earn Eaves by doing tasks for others.
You pay other members to promote your material on their social networks. In return, you earn from them by giving their business a boost through your online connections.
What is MLM?
Is Empire.Kred a MLM (Multi-Level Marketing) scheme? It seems to have some similarities in the way it operates. The key feature of a MLM scheme (also known as pyramid selling or network marketing) is that profit is made from recruiting other people to join the scheme rather than from sales of the product itself.
The video below reveals how MLM and pyramid schemes operate. It shows some of the members and their almost missionary zeal as they promote the benefits of investing in their network.
What is Multi-Level Marketing and Pyramid Selling? Last Week Tonight Investigates
What Does It Cost? Is It Really Free?
The attraction of joining a site like Empire.Kred is it offers free membership. Its advertising implies all members are treated equally. However, I am cynical by nature and so after joining I kept a watchful eye on what really happens in practice. I believe in the old adage “If something seems too good to be true, it probably is!” I decided from the outset that no matter how tempting any “extras” offered, I would not upgrade my membership if it meant I had to pay using real money.
Before you become a member, the publicly visible FAQ section mentions the website’s shop, but no prices are given. It is only once you are on the inside, that the dollar price list is revealed. If you stick with the free membership, you quickly discover you are spending huge amounts of time to earn a tiny amount of the site’s currency (Eaves). You need to amass a lot of Eaves in order to pay other people to share your articles and photos on their social networks. It is a natural next step to browse the price lists to see what it costs to upgrade.
I was surprised at the amounts charged. The first upgrade step is to a Bronze account which costs US $17 per month. The rates increase to a Platinum account which currently costs an eye-watering US $199 per month. There are also other packages such as “leadership programs” and “starter packs for new members”. All of them offer Eaves in exchange for US dollars so you do not have to spend (waste?) time reading and sharing other member’s work on your own social networks. The site advises you to “buy and sell influencers (and) … other Influencers (will) work to increase your wealth for you.”
Why Join Empire Avenue?
Pyramid Selling and Network Marketing
The guy in the video above is enthusiastic about the benefits of joining Empire.Kred. He emphasizes he is having fun, he has not paid to join, and he is learning about holding investments. It is almost as an aside he mentions sharing across social networks. He also manages to get in a plug (in fact several plugs) about using his referral link if you decide to join.
I did not use anyone’s referral code when I created my account, so I was surprised to see my account settings showed someone had linked their account to mine. Further investigation on the forum boards onsite revealed any newbies that arrived unlinked are allocated to people holding paid-for accounts. The paid-for account holders not only receive a percentage of Eaves spent by the newbie, but also get a percentage of any US dollars spent by that person.
Is this what persuades people to spend nearly US $200 per month to subscribe to a Platinum membership? In reality, how many commissions are earned this way? I have no idea, but I suspect it is very few. In my opinion, the true beneficiaries of these monthly subscriptions are the site owners.
Is It Worth Joining Empire.Kred?
Does it do what it says in the tin? No. Does it increase your social networking shares? No, that has not been my experience.
A lot of the content promoted by members on Empire.Kred is either low quality, distasteful or is pushing get-rich-schemes. The few genuine writers and artists that join the website soon fall by the wayside.
In my opinion, it is better to spend time honing your craft than waste time on a site like Empire.Kred. If what you create is interesting, people will share it without having to be paid to do so.
Should You Open an Account With Empire.Kred or Not?
1. If you decide to join, only stay for as long as it is fun.
2. Keep your wits about you and do not be tempted to upgrade in exchange for real money.
3. It is unlikely your investment of US dollars will bring the return promised.
4. Do not expect to get extra social shares unless you are promoting a money-making scheme.
5. Do not allow yourself to be bullied into spending real money. Other site members have an interest in you doing so. There is a blocking button - use it.