Cagey Consumer

Consumer Alert: Delfin System

For $625 plus a $45 application processing fee, Delfin International offers a set of educational tapes in conjunction with a business opportunity. By applying the information on the tapes, participants purpotedly have the opportunity to achieve personal happiness, while the business opportunity offers financial independence.

Direct Selling or MLM

Delfin claims that their business opportunity is not multi-level marketing, because qualifying distributors simply buy the product at one price and sell it at a higher price, without having to share the profits with people at intermediate levels. And presumably, Delfin would claim that it's not a pyramid scheme, because they purport to offer a bona fide product.

Whether or not you call the Delfin program multi-level marketing program, or a pyramid scheme, it's sufficient to call it a bad deal. But first, let's address the claims that it's neither a pyramid scheme nor an MLM.

The essential aspect of a multi-level marketing program is the combination of the opportunity to earn money by selling a product or service with the opportunity to earn money from sales made by people you recruit, who are offered the same opportunity. The first six sales made by participants in the Delfin program earn money for the people who recruited them. Participants keep the profits from subsequent sales.

The essential aspect of a pyramid scheme is that participants receive money for finding new participants rather than bona fide retail customers. Because Delfin allows participants to pay only the $45 application processing fee without having to buy the tape set for their personal use, Delfin's business opportunity is not per se a pyramid scheme. However, the presentation of the Delfin program is such that most people who buy the program will do so largely because of the potential to participate in the business opportunity. Furthermore, any participant who failed to purchase the tapes would certainly have a credibility problem in marketing the program.

For people interested in self-actualization training, ample alternatives to the Delfin course are likely to be available, including group instruction and one-on-one instruction, which would probably provide much better value for the money. Any claims that Delfin's course offers some unique training worth the extra money are certainly a matter of personal opinion, but the Delfin System was originally taught to 350,000 people during the 1800's, so a public domain version of the material in the Delfin program would presumably exist.

Compensation Program

You make six sales fo the Delfin course at $625 (which may include your own purchase), from which you keep nothing. Of this $3750 in sales, 80% is profit to your upline, the rest goes to Delfin International. You keep the 80% on any additional sales. You also keep 80% of the first 6 sales made by participants that you recruit.

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Updated March 28, 1999