The New Pyramid Scheme: Smart Circle Under Different Names

Updated on July 12, 2017

The Smart Circle MLM Scheme

There are a growing number of pyramid schemes out there. It Works, Vector Marketing, Avon, and Mary Kay are a few popular ones. However, they each require their members/partners to buy product in order to stay in good standing with the company. A company called Smart Circle is now on the rise and has a similar multi-level marketing plan. If you've ever been to Wal-Mart or Sam's Club and been asked to purchase Direct TV television services, skincare products, professional sports ticket packages, or even towels you have encountered a Smart Circle representative. They're always dressed in suits and they pester every single shopper that they possibly can. If they're lucky, they make a sale a day.


My Experience With Smart Circle

I was on the hunt for a job, and I still am. I have a decent job working as a repairman but I don't exactly get the hours I need. I looked on LinkedIn a couple of weeks ago and sure enough I found a couple of marketing jobs that I thought were right up my alley. One was a company called BIQ Marketing and the other was a company called Morph Management Group. Both companies were in Little Rock, Arkansas which is close to where I lived and both companies claimed to be looking for managers so I was very interested as I had just recently completed the coursework for my bachelor's degree. Naturally, I submitted my resume to both companies.

Less than 24 hours later I got a call from Morph Management Group by a lady claiming to be the CEO of the company. I thought that it was interesting that a CEO would take on the process of hiring someone, but I figured that it may just be a small startup so I went to the interview and all. I arrived at their small office in a large building off of Financial PKWY and filled out an application. We talked about normal stuff. She (the "CEO") asked me simple prefabricated questions and told me that new hires are typically moved up into an executive position within 6-9 months of hard work. So I agreed to a second interview with another employee of Morph the following day which was at a nearby Sam's Club.

Before driving home from my interview with Morph, I received a call from BIQ Marketing. BIQ also wanted to do an interview in an even nicer building than Morph so I was excited to visit the office before the second interview with Morph the following day. When I arrived on the 17th floor of the Regions Building, I waited in the lobby and filled out an application. When I was brought back to the office of BIQ Marketing, I noticed again that the office was very small. It was apparent that I would not be working in this office. This lady categorized herself as an owner in the company. Unlike Morph Management, she was more forward with the understanding of the market structure and she seemed like she really needed me to be apart of her company. She also invited me to a second interview at Sam's Club but this time on the same day.

Later that day I went to Sam's Club in North Little rock for my second round interview with Morph Management Group. I met a guy there who was very polite and energetic. He asked me a few questions but this time a little more intensive. One of the questions even had me sweating and I couldn't think of a good answer. However, he showed me the product that he was selling: a skin care product that quickly removed dead skin unlike anything I have ever seen. The thing I really didn't like was that he just went up to random people and asked for their wrist and then he proceeded to rub it on their skin. Seemed like a total violation of privacy but most people didn't seem to mind. Many were amazed at how well the product seemed to work. While he was showing me how he marketed the product line, he actually tried to recruit a customer to join his company. I was offended by this slightly but later I understood why.

After the second interview with Morph, I waited in the parking lot of Sam's Club for my second interview with BIQ Marketing. After the wait, I went in to find the same lady that I had interviewed with before at BIQ. She was very nice and asked me to simply approach a customer and ask him if he currently had a cable provider. I did as so and she told me that I did great, so she discussed a few things about the product (Direct TV) and invited me to come work for her company. I accepted. I was promised $9.00 an hour or up to $150 for each bundle I sold. Morph Management actually called me the next day to invite me to a third round interview but I declined as I had already accepted the job at BIQ.

The first fishy thing I noticed was that the background check at BIQ was the same exact background check used by Morph. This background check was conducted by Sterling Management Group. I quickly researched Sterling to find out that it was actually a part of Smart Circle. The two brands were operating under the same roof. I researched Smart Circle to find negative reviews online and a whole article dedicated to urging people not to go work for them. Most reviews online described Smart Circle as a pyramid scheme.

I ended up going to the two 3 hour training sessions. Yes a total of 6 hours of training and then you're out on the sales floor. After talking to my friends and family, I decided to end my employment with BIQ. BIQ wanted me to work around 45 hours a week with only Wednesday off and they refused to allow time off for my weekly church service. The hours were also crazy. Typically they ran 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. on the week days and 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. on the weekends. Their hours leave employees with no chance to spend time with friends and family or even participate in day time activities.

All in all, I was running back to my repair job. I honestly believe I made the best decision in doing this. I still haven't seen that paycheck from BIQ for training.


Don't Get Caught Up in this Scam

In essence, Smart Circle is a pyramid scheme. Owners/Marketing Managers earn what is known as "residuals" for the success of the ones below them that they have recruited. BIQ Marketing's owner told me herself that she would profit from me becoming a owner of my own company. She even told me that once I got to that point, I would run my own office with whatever company name I choose and I would be able to recruit others and earn residuals from their success.

Sadly, most people don't succeed in the Smart Circle program. The owner told me herself that they have a high turnover and most employees quit or get fired for lack of performance. Any sane person should think twice before leaving a decent job to participate in this scam. Smart Circle enslaves their employees through a false hope with low pay and horrible working hours.

Find a real job with a real company. Don't be suckered into some sales gig. Stick to the good companies that offer health insurance, 401k, and a regular M-F working schedule.

Here is a Video Review of Smart Circle

You Decide!

What is your take on Smart Circle?

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Questions & Answers


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      • profile image


        34 hours ago

        Yeah, I was recruited by a Smart Circle branch when translating from KS to CO. I was overjoyed just to have a job offer vs start with nothing in a new city. I have my BA in Com/Marketing and was just eager and thought this would help me in my budding career. Bad move. Shame, cultist methods, shifty information, gender favoritism, and dishonest practice pledged my 7 months of working there and by the time it was over, I was one of the vets of the branch (just to show how foolish I was to stick with it and how bad the turnover was). I've made it my mission to warn anyone of Smart Circles' dressed up branches and shifty ways. I'm very convinced it's a closed system for the goods/services (in which recruitment ends up being the primary revenue generator and not sales of the products you paid wholesale cost for) which makes since because the promotional element is never that great of a promotion (just amazon any of the offers these jokers push) but if enough pretty, motivated people smile and recommend you be part of the team it's easy to get lost. "be your own boss" "use an entrepreneur mindset" "a 9-5 job is for losers" "no where else can you make this sort of $" this sort of prosperity slanted rhetoric is laughable but permeates the DNA of these "businesses." I knew tons of young creatives who followed suit and this sort of "job" caused them to walk away from their creative careers because it burnt them. Thanks for writing. Good work. Know your enemy

      • profile image

        Austin Marshall 

        4 weeks ago

        Is it possible that a major American city is in bed with this company? Why are San Diego's elected officials featured on The Devil Corp website? If you go to the Executive Teams section and scroll down, you will find portraits of the mayor, the city council, the DA, the sheriff, and just about every judge in the county all with devil horns on their heads. Why are politicians from America's 8th largest city displayed on a website that apparently has nothing to do with them? Do they know they're on the site?

      • gmv profile imageAUTHOR

        Jeff Vickery 

        7 months ago from Somewhere, Arkansas

        Having no ownership interest in a company but running it from the outside. Smart. That must be why they call you smart circle. Is it true that Smart Circle also requires the companies they contract with to provide smart circle with power of attorney over their bank accounts or is that just something I read in an article? Notice that my article was a personal account of my experience, nothing more. Speculation or false information was not given.

      • profile image

        Dearest Jeff 

        7 months ago

        You seem like a super nice guy, I would reconsider the strong language you are using. Not everything you read online is true, and that is what you said scared you off from the job. A multi level marketing scheme is like Mary Kay, or company that has you market to your friends and family. Then has you recruit your friends and family. What you applied for was a sales job at Sams club, selling direct tv. You were going to be paid an hourly plus bonuses, and since your direct reports are running a business (which they are probably contracted to do by Sams Club or whoever) they only get paid of the performance of their sales team. This is not at all a scam or multi level marketing scheme. This is how sales works. I understand it was probably your one and only sales job ever, and why I know I cant stomach sales jobs - but the ones who prosper in these roles are good at selling. And they get good by failing and getting rejected alot. I appreciate you trying to warn us about a scam, all you are doing is spreading misinformation -- even though you are well intended.

        Lets face it, you probably were dealing with a couple of sellsy, shady personalities - no doubt, if you werent getting a good feeling about the job but to blast a whole company and misinform us -- i dont know that seems excessive considering how good your nature seems.

        Oh and your video is a British guy talking about a completely different company ?

      • profile image


        8 months ago

        The poster Made it! is - to put it nicely- huge idiot. 10 years to make 50k? you have no idea how the world works. Of course companies would partner with these companies as long as there are real time results. That is how the company runs, it is a legal scam!!

      • profile image

        Geoffry Vickery 

        10 months ago

        Lol you are blind! If you work for smart circle or are a marketing manager you are working for them

      • profile image

        Basic Entrepeneur 

        10 months ago

        "Stick to the good companies that offer health insurance, 401k, and a regular M-F working schedule"

        Sounds like the perspective of an employee that would rather work for someone else instead of themselves, and have another person dictate their schedule. Personally I'd rather be a business owner, control my time, and make money by helping other people make money first.

      • profile image


        13 months ago

        Currently work for a branch of Smart Circle. All of these claims are legit. I've had my eyes opened up to a whole new industry I never even heard or imagined.

      • profile image

        MADE IT! 

        13 months ago

        I see how it is easy to get caught up in the BS online, and when I first joined Morph, I thought the same thing, until I realized that these major companies would not put themselves at risk working with scams. It doesn't make ANY business sense. My dad is a lawyer, and checked it out. It's legit. I had some personal family issues in Texas, so I could not continue with the program, but the CEO knows her stuff. Also, every company on Earth has the same structure, except you don't have a chance of making over 50 or 60K, and you have to work in those places for almost 10 years before that. Anyone who has the time to seriously write a blog bashing companies is not someone I would want to get professional business advice from. But that is just my take. I can't speak to the other company because I didn't work there.

      • gmv profile imageAUTHOR

        Jeff Vickery 

        15 months ago from Somewhere, Arkansas

        Yes but Smart Circle operates under hundreds of different offices which are all under different company names, making it impossible to google the name of the company that is trying to hire you.

      • tsadjatko profile image

        15 months ago from now on

        When in doubt just google the co. name with the word scam after it!

        Appears your assessment is right on.


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