Why can’t GiveOpp be marketed in South Dakota?
I was going over the GiveOpp ‘Earnings and Income Disclaimer’ and aside from the usual ‘you can’t take any of our member’s earning claims seriously as we haven’t verified them ourselves’ statements, there was one line that caught my eye.
Tucked away and saved right till the end is this mysterious statement:
This opportunity is not available to residents of South Dakota. Residents of South Dakota may not participate in or purchase this opportunity.
GiveOpp isn’t available to residents of South Dakota? That seemed a little bit too specific to be just random co-incidence.
There’s no further explanation given as to why residents of South Dakota can’t participate in the GiveOpp business opportunity so I took it upon myself to come up with some possible explanations.
Here’s some reasons why GiveOpp might not be able to operate in South Dakota.
1. Liberty League International also banned in South Dakota
A few years ago an undercover reporter got on a Liberty League International phone call and was told by an associate that a product purchase was required to participate in the Liberty League income opportunity.
With required product purchases being illegal when joining a business opportunity, the end result was that Liberty League International was banned from operating in South Dakota.
Anyone claiming that this is fictitious can read confirmation about the details of the South Dakota ban from Tony Rush published just a few days ago;
James, that story is 100% true. Liberty League couldn’t operate in South Dakota for most of the time they were in business.
Tony Rush is an ex-EMC member of Liberty League International and Polaris Media Group (Liberty League International’s later name).
Now I’m not for a second claiming that Liberty League International and GiveOpp are one and the same, or that GiveOpp is a re-incarnation – as obviously it’s not.
What is interesting to note though is that prominent members of GiveOpp, John and Shannon Lavenia and GiveOpp’s CEO Mark Cosby were all previously heavily involved in Liberty League.
I’m not aware of the specifics of the court findings regarding the South Dakota ban of Liberty League, but perhaps as part of the final judgement there were clause(s) preventing management at the time from operating any further business opportunities in South Dakota.
Either that or there’s some other yet to be exposed link between GiveOpp and the now defunct company Liberty League International.
Had the Lavenias and Cosby not been so heavily involved in Liberty League then it’d be a lot easier to brush off this connection as pure co-incidence.
2. Parent companies must be disclosed when marketing MLM in South Dakota
Back in 2005 MLM company Herbalife were apparently instructing their distributors that any advertising in South Dakota of the company must disclose that the company they are promoting is Herbalife.
as I started to write this, my former upline in Herbalife just sent me the latest info from the legalese department.
It was actually pretty funny to read, but the most amusing part was where it states that distributors contacting people who live in South Dakota MUST disclose that the opportunity is with Herbalife, although other areas may still do unbranded marketing.
The relevant bit of legislation from South Dakota’s ‘Pyramid Promotional Schemes’ legislation states;
Any such plan or operation shall clearly describe the program in its recruiting literature, sales manual, or contract with independent salespersons, including the disclosure of any inventory which is not eligible for repurchase under the program.
One of the favourite marketing methods of a lot of MLM distributors is to never mention the actual company name until they’ve got you on a call and are confident you’ll be their next sign up.
GiveOpp are seemingly going down this marketing path, as evidenced by their latest video marketing efforts.
Apart from John Lavenia mentioning GiveOpp in a barely audible introduction at the start and a whole bunch of making money claims (that we aren’t supposed to take seriously because none of them have been verified by GiveOpp), the company name GiveOpp isn’t mentioned in the video.
Part of the reason this type of non-disclosure marketing is employed is to stop prospects researching company names before distributors have had a chance to talk to them.
If GiveOpp are planning to pursue this style of marketing and South Dakota is still against (or grey about) not disclosing business opportunity companies upfront, this could explain why GiveOpp isn’t available in South Dakota.
3. South Dakota has a $250 cost cutoff for business opportunities
South Dakota has a $250 cost cutoff for fees for people joining a business opportunity. This cutoff extends upwards to $500 however if
the payment is made for the not-for-profit sale of sales demonstration equipment, material, or samples, or the payment is made for product inventory sold to the purchaser at a bona fide wholesale price.
Currently GiveOpp are in prelaunch and as such no information has been made publicly available about any costs involved in joining the company.
If these costs exceed $250, or $500 with the purchase of ‘sales demonstration equipment, material, samples or product inventory‘, then this could be the reason GiveOpp aren’t trading in South Dakota.
Whatever the reason, the inclusion of a ban on operating GiveOpp in South Dakota as part of the company’s Earnings and Income Disclosure is sure to raise a few eyebrows. Moreso the fact that absolutely no further explanation is given.
Whether the reason is one of the four plausible scenarios I’ve mentioned above or something else entirely, I think GiveOpp would be doing themselves a favour and coming clean about why their members can’t trade in South Dakota.