I’ve heard a story from a few different sources now, and wanted to see if anyone else was aware of it.
Apparently, in the 80s there was a group of students at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio who ran a cigarette smuggling ring, selling highly discounted cigarettes to anyone on campus (students, faculty, staff). As the story goes, the group consisted of a small core group of students who would sell cigs to another student, then put the “bite” on them to receive free product by becoming a distributor. A self-sustaining recruiting model that allows a group to grow organically, hence the term “vampire”.
When I think of this, naturally it brings to mind the classic Multi-Level Marketing structure that we’re all so familiar with, but with the added loyalty provided by addiction to smoking. I can certainly imagine worse business models.
I know two former Miami students who, independent of each other, swear that the organization existed, that they were frequent customers, and in one case could name her sales contact. Details on the leadership or founders is not forthcoming, however.
It sounds like something out of a movie. Can anyone who was there confirm or deny?
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