13 Confession Of A Former DS-MAX Manager

This is almost everything you need know about DS-MAX (now known as Innovage), the super-shady multi-level-marketing group whose business practices seems to have inspired the Midtown Promotions office we’re looking into. It’s culled from an excellent post over at DS-MAX: The Aftermath:

“In the US alone there are hundreds of such offices. Such independently run corporations remove ds-max from liability.”
The Marketing System
“If they are earning more than that the stroke should be adjusted so that they earn $100. If they earn less it should be similarly adjusted. They don’t want the guys too rich or too poor.”

Atmosphere and Psychology
“…insinuated in many offices in the business…[that] if you leave the business and do your own thing that you will languish in poverty because you will not have atmosphere to rejuvenate you…”
“9 to 5 schmuck = some one that has a 9 to 5 job. This person is lazy, has his life controlled by a boss, will be laid off, has no sense of goals or directions and is too secure in their poor existence to try and get a head in life.”
The Meeting
“It is time to get the people going but first they must be even more hyped up.”
The Opportunity
“Now the owner will start to mention growth and expansion. It will be mentioned that more locations are desperately needed to handle their clients, that more managers are needed to run them!”
New locations
“That is one benefit to retraining people off of your crew. You can bond with them and they might want to follow you to your place.”
How an office works
“It sold for $20. The rep keeps $9. The owner keeps 5. The rest goes to ds-max.”
Employment ads and first interviews
“This is a door to door sweatshop sales job. Turn over rate is high. You need a constant supply to survive.”
How to take out a day of Observation and build a crew
“You should ask a whole bunch of questions to the day of o. Find out what he likes and dislikes. What he is motivated for or running away from? If it is an older guy — talk about management. If it is a kid talk about learning and growth. If the guy hates being in a cubicle then promote the fresh air.”
The History
“Murray was living out of his car. He formed what became DS-max. “
Head office, Hubs and VP’s
“You walk out of one of those meetings at the end of the day and feel inspired. You are determined to be the next VP.”
The belief system and life
“They will always retrain someone — even though they may not know where they might be sleeping in a week.”


RELATED: Consumerist’s undercover investigation into IDT Energy

Note: No definitive ties have been established between Midtown Promotions and DS-MAX/Innovage.


Edit Your Comment

  1. Shadowman615 says:

    I like how he keeps talking not about getting ahead, but about “getting a head in life.” Sounds kind of dirty…

  2. mattbrown says:

    I have a 9 to 5 job and I have a head in life.

  3. msg007 says:

    I hate to admit this because it’s embarrassing for me but this sounds exactly like when I worked for this perfume place.

    They sold knock-off perfumes from Scentura Creations.

    This is almost word for word the same thing but with a different product.

    That was the worst time in my life. Thank God it only lasted 5 weeks.

  4. Wormfather says:

    It all rings so true of timeshare. Did it for 3 weeks, they thought I’d be awesome at it because people liked me, but little did they know that I’m not an ASSHAT!

  5. Echodork says:

    What I’ve told my friends and family about MLM —

    If you’re selling cheap knockoff products, or you’re selling no-name off-brand junk that costs the same or more than name-brand products, you’re trapped in a scam. My mom got caught in an online MLM pyramid once, and it wasn’t until I showed her that she was selling imitation lipstick for $15 a tube that she started to see what was going on.

  6. eldergias says:

    This brings back disturbing memories of my brief stint as a “Financial Planner” (Insurance salesman’s new and fashionable name). I went through all the training, and the “inspirational” speech at the very end made me afraid of the job. After my very first “cold call” I decided that there was no WAY I could do the job. So I left for the weekend. On Saturday I called my boss and told him I quit, that it just was not the job for me. I swear I will never do another job that requires me to “cold call” ever again. It is the worst job-task I have ever done.

  7. lucidlogic says:

    There is a fake Innovage company operating out of Dallas / Fort Worth called “Bradley Clarke & Associates”.

    They are located at 4639 Irving Blvd, Suite 312.

    They are plastered all over CareerBuilder.com

    The scammer who runs it is called Jonathan Clarke, who is supposedly some Irish guy with a law degree.

    They are a total scam. They advertise that they need “entry level” managers, etc. Then when you inevitably get the “second” interview, they really are just taking you out in the field with their sales staff, in the hot sun, to hawk piece of crap merchandise all day long. The way they avoid the police is by calling it Direct Marketing to businesses, as they need licenses to go to residential areas. However, what they do is walk into businesses and then try to sell to everyone, including the receptionist. They have no intention of doing any sort of business to business sales.

    The people they prey on are desperate, and the people who run it are absolute slime.

    Once again:

    Bradley Clarke & Associates
    Jonathan Clarke

  8. firefruze says:

    Wow I just read the employment ads and first interview , it was word for word what happened with my at another door to door sales company, the only thing changed in the text would be that it was listed as an Advertising position… being the sucker that I am I went to an interview with this company and was shouted at, and kicked out of the office because I eventually picked up on how much of a scam the company actually was.

    Just curious though, a friend of mine suggested making a report on the company with the Better Business Bureau, but would that actually make a difference for any future applicants?