Has someone in your life recently begun begging you to invest with 7K Metals? Maybe they talk about how the company has changed their life, or how they're totally independent? Maybe they show you the precious metals products and talk about how high quality they are?
If you have a loved one that trusts a business, usually you'd trust their judgment. Businesses are recommended when people have good experiences with them. But 7K Metals is a little different because of its MLM setup. Your loved one is trying to make their investment back by profiting off of you.
About 7K Metals
7K Metals is a multi-level marketing company centered around precious metals. According to the company website, the goal is to help people start their own businesses and become empowered to sell precious metals. In practice, though, the system has a lot of other priorities.
The setup is simple: You buy a membership for several hundred dollars. This gives you access to a marketplace of precious metals items. You resell these and earn a commission for doing so.
Totally normal, right?
But there are a few catches.
You'll pay your membership fee annually. If you can't sell enough precious metals to cover the cost, you'll lose the investment. And unfortunately, based on the reviews from ex-members, those precious metals products are not priced cheaply. Anybody can Google the price of gold and find out that they don't want to pay what you're asking.
So there's another way to earn money instead: recruiting members. The more members you recruit, the higher you climb up the "ladder." You'll earn commissions for every sale they make, as well as commissions for every member they recruit. The money flows upward until it reaches the top rung, the founders of the company. People on the bottom rung are in the negatives because of the cost of the membership.
It's not easy to market for an MLM, and 7K Metals makes it even more difficult. The issue is that 7K Metals is selling products that already exist and can be easily accessed without a membership. Health and wellness MLMs typically sell exclusive products that you can't get elsewhere. But 7K Metals isn't selling anything that you can't find on the open market.
7K Metals is not a typical precious metals dealer. They are not simply selling gold to investors who want to hang onto it. Instead, they're selling an opportunity for you to sell precious metals. And their compensation plan is one of the flagship ways that they manage this.
There is a "binary" compensation plan in place for users of 7K Metals. You're not just making money when you sell the company's products, you're making money when you sign new members up. Because of the pricing and the easily-researched value of the products, signing new members up might be the only way that you can make money.
When you imagine a compensation plan, picture a triangle with yourself on top. Everyone that you convince to join you is one rung below you. Then everyone that they convince to join is one rung below them.
The plan uses a point-based system instead of straight dollar signs. Each action has an associated amount of points attached. There are also points attached to the actions that your recruits take.
Some of the things that you can earn points for include:
You will only receive a payout based around the lowest number of sales you've made. But there are two different commission plans, each centered on team sales. If you want to make money with 7K Metals, you need to recruit a team, and then you need to motivate them to hustle.
If your team members have 500 points in total, you'll earn $500 per week. If they have 1,000 points in total, you'll earn $1,000 per week. If the point total is between 500 and 1,000, it resets at the end of the week. So if you want to earn $1,000 in a week, your entire team has to rack up 1,000 points in that single week. Otherwise, all that progress gets wiped away!
As you can imagine, the vast majority of people at 7K Metals are not making this kind of money. But for the ones at the top, who have recruited a giant chain of commissions, it's a lucrative business.
If you want to get paid by 7K Metals, you also need to reach the milestones laid out in the compensation plan. To get a payout, you have to earn a minimum of 25 points per month -- achievable by buying coins, if you don't want to recruit.
You can get a payout by signing up 2 or more new members who also have 25 points within a month. They'll earn this either by paying their membership or by signing up for the automatic coin process.
You also get a matching 5% bonus commission from the sales made by anybody you sign up. Then if they sign someone up, you get a bonus commission from that person, too, and so on.
There are multiple precious metals products available for purchase, though they vary widely in quality and expense. The vast majority are priced much higher than a fair market deal, even at the "exclusive member price." Sometimes things aren't more exclusive or higher quality just because they're locked behind a paywall.
There are silver and gold coins, as well as silver, gold, and platinum bars. More interestingly, there's a great deal of precious metals jewelry that you can buy. Jewelry at least tends to have a value that's more speculative, making it easier to sell. But the 7K Metals jewelry isn't lucrative enough or exclusive enough to make the cost of the membership worth it.
According to the company website, 7K Metals has partnered with one of the top safe companies in the industry. This company will give you a safe place to store your precious metals until you find a buyer.
Is 7K Metals a Scam?
This is a complicated question. Ultimately, the answer is no, 7K Metals isn't a scam. But we need to break down the details of what exactly that means.
In order for a company to be a scam, they must sell you something without any intent on following through. Alternatively, they must fraudulently represent their products or lie to you about their services. 7K Metals has not done any of this. The company has an extreme level of transparency regarding its setup.
What you're promised is that if you buy a 7K Metals membership, you will have access to precious metals products, which you can then sell. That's all true. But there's a significant amount of misleading marketing going on. It's important to the company owners that the clients not learn anything about the actual gold industry, because then they'd realize that this company isn't actually offering a lucrative opportunity.
Several reviews seem to indicate this. A lot of the customer feedback insists that the company is excellent, since you need to buy in if the client wants to get their money back. But for people who have extracted themselves from the multi-level marketing curse, they say that the company leadership is hostile toward education. Clients are told to repeat the talking points they're given and not to research more.
That's because 7K Metals is devoid of meaningful offerings. As an MLM, it's working in one of the worst niches possible. As a precious metals company, it's operating with exorbitant and unnecessary fees, all for products that are ultimately subpar.
Here are some of the key issues with the 7K Metals membership setup:
Now, when you look at the multi-level marketing setup, you'll probably notice that the levels are fairly... triangular. Which brings us to the next question.
Is This a Pyramid Scheme?
Is 7K Metals a pyramid scheme? The answer is technically no. There are certain aspects of a pyramid scheme that 7K Metals does not emulate. That's why the company is able to operate legally in the US.
In a pyramid scheme, you cannot get paid until you recruit at least two other people. It doesn't matter if you sell the company's products. There is no way to profit or to earn rewards unless you pull more people in, as one of the basic policies.
This kind of setup is illegal because it isn't focused on the product. Ultimately, the company is just about generating more memberships, and the product takes a backseat. Eventually this kind of company would cover the entire population, and there would be nobody left to buy in. All of the people on the bottom would still suffer and lose their investments.
An MLM is designed similarly to a pyramid scheme, but it operates within legal boundaries. With an MLM, you don't technically have to recruit anyone. You can move up the rungs by selling products alone. But in the case of companies like 7K Metals, it's extremely difficult to do so. You can find the price of gold with a Google search, and the company's products are overpriced for what's being offered.
So in order to recoup your investment, most people with 7K Metals find that recruiting is much easier than selling gold. But they don't have to. And that's where the line is drawn. The company isn't technically a pyramid scheme, and they are technically operating transparently. They're just hoping that potential clients won't educate themselves enough to learn about the issues.
Pros & Cons of 7k Metals
It's a bad idea to do business with 7K Metals. There's simply not a single redeeming feature about the entire setup. When you invest with the company, you make those at the top richer. But you won't be able to succeed yourself unless you bring more people in. The products are too overpriced to sell to anyone except someone else who's ignorant about the industry.
You don't need to pay money to get involved in precious metals dealing. If you want to create your own precious metals company, there are plenty of wholesalers that sell gold at steep discounts. And they don't require a membership to do so.
Even if you do get successful with 7K Metals, it will take a lot more stress and work and hardship than if you'd opened a business outside of an MLM. Not only this, but you'll have to continue paying the membership fee each year. You'll be constantly racing against the clock to try to sell enough products or recruit enough members to make back your sunk investment.
There are better companies to work with, whether you want to buy gold for your retirement or open your own small business. Even though 7K Metals operates legally and is in good standing with the BBB, there's not a single advantage that they can meaningfully offer you.