Thursday, May 27, 2010

Bestline Products Inc. (1973)

Since I devoted four days of posts to my mom's Japanese 45s, I figured I'd post a label or two from my Dad's record collection. This one is a true oddity from the brief period when he worked for Bestline Products, a pyramid scheme of a company that suckered scores of people into selling crappy cleaning products door-to-door and attending expensive conventions with motivational speakers and lavish award ceremonies. This LP is an artifact of one of those conventions, complete with gatefold and 10-page color booklet. This was probably the last of such conventions, as Bestline's pyramid came crashing down later that year.

I'll admit that I've never listened to the record (I'm pretty sure it's just recordings of a weekend's worth of motivational speeches), but I find its label to be surprisingly attractive. I love that the lowercase A is the biggest thing on the entire label.

13 comments:

  1. Illegal perhaps, but certainly not "crappy cleaning products". My wife and I worked for a janitorial service in Anchorage, Alaska in 1970 and they used Bestline's "Zif" by the barrels. It was an excellent product, in our opinion.

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  2. My parents were stuck with a garage full of products that they couldn't sell, although I my mom liked the products. I think it's all gone, now. As a teenager I got to go around door-to-door and keep the money I got from doing so. I didn't have much luck but I did get a repeat customer on the green hair shampoo. She really loved it!

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  3. Ha! So did my parents, early '70's, in New Hampshire. The Zif was great as was the car wash. Took us several years to use it all as my dad was stuck with boatloads of it. Funny to hear about it again decades later. Too bad it was a scheme as it holds many fond memories.

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  4. Hey does anybody have any info on this company or who started it etc.. personal research.
    mcschneider@comcast.net

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    1. My father, William E. Bailey, started the company. He died May 6 of this year.

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    3. Mr.William E Bailey was a great and gifted MAN

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  5. My parents sold Bestline products during the 1960s when we lived in Highland Park, IL. Their sales champion was Beverly Werner who's husband was president of Werner Ladder company at the time. If anyone is interested, I have the "sales persons" demo case and a few empty bottles of various Bestline products I found while cleaning out the garage. I have know idea how I ended up with this stuff. LOL.

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  6. Yep, my family was involved in this during the 70's as well. Loved the Ziff and the LC liquid soap. We too were stuck with a garage full of cleaning products, which we gradually used up (except for the laundry detergent which finally ended up as a large mass of damp cardboard and laundry granules, which we had to dump. But hey, it was all "biodegradable" right? This was sometime in the mid 80's.
    The one remaining souvenir is a 45 of Tom Lehrer's comedy song "Pollution" with the flip side as one of my favorites, "Who's Next" (a song about nuclear proliferation).

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  7. I was a Bestline General distributor in Hamilton back in the early 70s so I have some first hand knowledge. First they were excellent products that were all child safe and non polluting. Zif could be used as an industrial degreaser yet a child could drink a quart of the concentrate and not die.
    One of our distributors could have had a contract with General Motors to sell them Zif in large quantities but they wanted a two year guarantee of the price and he was not willing to chance a price increase.
    Far from being a scam I made money as did anyone who worked at it. The company payed a 2% override for any General distributors that I had recruited and those 2% checks were paying my mortgage and utilities every month. The only people who felt ripped off were the ones who bought in then failed to work at it.

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  8. These products were not crappy, they were amazing!! My parents and myself were in this this company for many years. Their principles and positivity helped me become who I am today. Great people and great memories!!

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