How to lose your sense and friends – MLM

I have this friend of more than 10 years together with her twin sister. They were the famous “Boonlay twin towers” during the great old volleyball days.
Many years ago, Peiyun asked me out to catch up. She suddenly told me she had a talk to attend and requested me to accompany her. We reached the place near Hong Lim Park very soon (that was the reason for her to pick our original meeting place) and to my disgust, it was a MLM talk. She then told me her brother had joined and she was still considering. I was very traumatised by the speaker and the devoted (like a cult) audience that I left the room. Peiyun’s friends who were outside had a conversation with me and I was told that she had already joined the MLM company. Then, I realised it was a trick to lead me there, in the hope of persuading me to join. I pretended nothing had happened (she had conned me) after that.
Recently, Peiyun started contacting me again to offer to give me “free software” for my company because she wanted to “help a friend”. I knew it was not so simple and managed to dig out the fact that she was working in a company that was tapping into free government grants like PIC and ICV. I finally agreed to catch up with her to meet her and another entrepreneur whom Peiyun claimed might help me in my photography. I did not take up her offer for the “free software”. The meeting wasn’t bad.
Not long later, she contacted me to meet up urgently but refused to tell me what it was. I turned her down. Days later, she contacted me again and told me she had quit her job to start a new company with a friend. Then she told me she needed a photographer to cover an important event for her new company. She then tempted me with a second event and told me to meet up for discussion for future photography services. Eventually, she changed the appointments with me many times at the very last minute.
It was only until one busy day for me, she contacted me in the late afternoon and proposed to come over to my place instead. Late at night, she came over to Bugis to meet me after I parted with my friend. She led me to a table at the McDonald’s where a man was sitting at and I initially thought she was just sharing table with a man who was trying to be friendly. It took me minutes of her meaningless introduction for me to finally realise that guy was her partner and that was a little creepy. At that time, she was passing me over to him and that was how I could confirm his status. He started doing a presentation to me on his laptop and I thought he was just trying to explain about their business so that I could judge whether if I wanted to collaborate with them for my photography services, which she had claimed. That guy was weird and soon, I realised he was trying to sell me something instead of getting my photography services. When I took a glance at Peiyun, she was nodding like she was doped and that was very scary. On one of the Powerpoint slides, I could see “World Ventures” at the top right corner and then I confirmed it was totally a scam by Peiyun to trick me down for sales talk. It was the second time I was conned by her and this time was a more terrible one-on-one hard selling and not a “mass lecture” that I could escape immediately.
I didn’t expose her immediately until she suddenly asked me how did I feel (about the MLM scheme) and none of them would have expected me to say “I’m feeling very uncomfortable”. Of course, none of them was intelligent to know I was more uncomfortable about being conned to meet up with them. The guy (I didn’t know his name) closed his laptop immediately and said that was no point carrying on, and I thanked him (for stopping his bullshit) which he likely didn’t know why. We stood up and I was clapping inside my heart. However, I realised it was just his tactic and he didn’t plan to end his hard selling. He started to lecture me for giving up the opportunity. He talked about me being selfish for not wanting to bring my parents overseas for holidays and give them good life. He talked about me not able to start a family. In his harsh tone that he was trying to scare me into giving in, he claimed he wasn’t angry but was simply feeling sad for me. As he continued to lecture me, he also tapped my trolley, which made me even more comfortable. We probably stood there for around 10 minutes or longer for him to end his miserable night of failing to con another guy into joining them. It was a relief for me finally that I didn’t have to smell his bad breath (he was likely a smoker).
Peiyun has taught me well not to trust any friend too much, especially someone with a bad track record and only approaches me when she has a selfish agenda, which she twists the fact that it would benefit me. Well, I could have started a $10,000 photography course that would benefit all the participants and does it mean she has to sign up? Eventually, I’ve learned to lose such “friend”. Hopefully she would not ever try to contact me again even though I have already blocked her.
One scary thing that I have noticed is the evolution of MLM tactics. In the past, they would use freebies to trick people down to listen to their sales talk. Then, they learned to get friends to “accompany them” down for talks/seminars. Eventually, more people are being tricked and aware of their tactics and thus refusing to waste their time for “meet-up”. They start resorting to con businessmen to meet-up to discuss about the businessmen’s products/services but the meet-up is only about their MLM scheme.
Not all MLM schemes are scams but many MLM “players” are scammers. Of course, they would claim they aren’t MLM because of some internal structures. _|_

Bad Encounters with Online Sellers in Singapore

For certain thing such as photography, your skill is restricted to your equipments. I may not be an excellent photographer yet, but I’m already being annoyed by the restriction, such that my full potential cannot be shown. My current camera bodies cannot give me the clarity of photos that I need to impress (to get businesses); my flash is not powerful and has limitation in rotation, and I need at least two of them for portrait photoshoot. Such restrictions can be neglected by playing around, but, at the lost of creativity. Therefore, I have been looking at refurnished (second hand) gears that I can buy at a cheaper price to move further in this trade – photography.
I have so far done three meet-ups and two are disastrous.
Nickname: maxspeed
Name: Lum
Number: 93800867
I saw this advertisement for a Canon 580 EX-ii flash and the owner made it sound like it was a very good bargain. Indeed, for the price ($400) and extra goodies that came along with it, it was a good grab given that the owner was honest about the condition.
I arranged a meet-up with him at Vivocity last week at 6.30pm. I went earlier to look at stuffs and at the meeting time, he replied me that he was still in a meeting and could not turn up. I told him I would wait for him for some time since I had to do some shopping. About an hour later, I had to leave since I had to packet food home for my elder brother and sister-in-law, and thus I dropped him another text politely. He did not reply me since he told me he was held up in his meeting, showing no sense of guilt.
A few days later, I saw in his forum post that he had sold his flash unit away. I would describe him as irresponsible and proud.
Nickname: canonone
Name: Hua
Number: 9six5899one9 (96589919)
My next disappointment came after I saw a canon 24-70mm F2.8L mark i lens on the same forum. The seller insisted to meet at Ang Mo Kio and I made my trip all the way down, thinking it was a good bargain again since it’s written as “good condition and clean”.
The seller turned up earlier than the meeting time and I thought all was good. He started speaking in English and I thought he was an Indonesian Chinese who could not speak well in the language. At certain point of time, I could not figure out what he was talking about. When I noticed that there was problem with the lens and was discussing with Gilbert right in front of him, he suddenly started speaking in Chinese and I realised he was a PRC.
When I looked through it at the light, there were something like bubbles. The seller kept insisting his lens was in good condition though. It was obvious that there was a big issue with the glass of the lens at the part where it would fit into the camera, which was very unusual. I was not able to make out what those things were, but they were obviously not dust. I tried asking him to use a spectacle cloth to clean it but he insisted we could only use a blower, which I did not bring along. He was also quick to want to brush off the deal politely, which showed his guilt.
I realised he posted a new advertisement on the same forum a couple of hours later. There differences were:
1. The price was reduced from $1200 to $1100.
2. “good condition and clean” description was removed.
3. Rating of condition was reduced from 9/10 to 8/10.
If he was not guilty of the condition of his lens, he would not have done these. The problem on the lens was definitely not dust, which could easily be blown and wiped off. To put it in simple, the lens was not even 1/10 for the condition – it could not be used at all.
I’m not sure if he is out to cheat.