§ 1. (a) The term “advertisement” includes the attempt by publication, dissemination, solicitation or circulation to induce directly or indirectly any person to enter into any obligation or acquire any title or interest in any merchandise and includes every work device to disguise any form of business solicitation by using such terms as “renewal”, “invoice”, “bill”, “statement”, or “reminder”, to create an impression of existing obligation when there is none, or other language to mislead any person in relation to any sought after commercial transaction.
(b) The term “merchandise” includes any objects, wares, goods, commodities, intangibles, real estate situated outside the State of Illinois, or services.
(c) The term “person” includes any natural person or his legal representative, partnership, corporation (domestic and foreign), company, trust, business entity or association, and any agent, employee, salesman, partner, officer, director, member, stockholder, associate, trustee or cestui que trust thereof.
(d) The term “sale” includes any sale, offer for sale, or attempt to sell any merchandise for cash or on credit.
(e) The term “consumer” means any person who purchases or contracts for the purchase of merchandise not for resale in the ordinary course of his trade or business but for his use or that of a member of his household.
(f) The terms “trade” and “commerce” mean the advertising, offering for sale, sale, or distribution of any services and any property, tangible or intangible, real, personal or mixed, and any other article, commodity, or thing of value wherever situated, and shall include any trade or commerce directly or indirectly affecting the people of this State.
(g) The term “pyramid sales scheme” includes any plan or operation whereby a person in exchange for money or other thing of value acquires the opportunity to receive a benefit or thing of value, which is primarily based upon the inducement of additional persons, by himself or others, regardless of number, to participate in the same plan or operation and is not primarily contingent on the volume or quantity of goods, services, or other property sold or distributed or to be sold or distributed to persons for purposes of resale to consumers. For purposes of this subsection, “money or other thing of value” shall not include payments made for sales demonstration equipment and materials furnished on a nonprofit basis for use in making sales and not for resale.
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