I think people use the word "scam" way too often. I'm not saying that there aren't actually scams out there...(see Bernie Madoff, etc..) But to call EVERY MLM, or the like, a scam, is irresponsible. Normally, it is people who don't understand the business, or have tried and didn't succeed....so it's the business opportunity's fault.
Would I personally pay a lot of money to join an online business?... NO. But there are many companies that have a setup fee to join, that are long-standing, legitimate MLMs...i.e., Amway, Avon, Mary Kay, etc.
Again, I am not an associate of any of these companies. But my "brick & mortar" delivery business cost me over $10K to start...with the cost to lease trucks, hire workers, getting insurance, putting out advertising, etc.. and that's nothing compared to starting a major franchise.
So, if you can afford to spend the money it takes to start that business, and you're willing to work hard to succeed in it...you have to believe, if no one else does, that you can be a success.
Success is a choice...So choose Success... I hope this helps.