Why I Loathe Multi Level Marketing Scams

A friend calls.  You are excited to hear their lovely voice. 

“Look doll, I would lurve to get caught up, but I have another reason for calling.  I am soooo excited.  Do you want to hear what I am so excited about???” (squeals with delight)

“Uh…(no) sure.  What’s up?”

“Well, I just discovered this amazing new company.  It’s called (insert annoying company name here), and it-is-soincrediblyawesome.  I have already made 600 dollars!!!”

“Wow, (I’m getting spammed) so what’s the deal?”

“It’s totally fool proof.  You just schedule parties/interviews/consults/sessions and the money rolls in.”

“Sounds to good to be true”

“I KNOW!  But it’s not.  My team leader is such an amazing person.  You HAVE to meet her.  She will change your life.  Not to mention, the product is something I stand behind 100%”

“Hey, uh, can I call you back?  The kids are on fire.” Click.

That’s how it all begins.  Weeks of blowing money on a startup kit. Damaging friendships.  Raping your list of family and friends for money and leads.  Then turning around and encouraging your new team members to do the same.  Your family and friends will buy initially to be supportive, then they hide from you.  Phone calls go to an answering service.  They no longer answer their door, email, facebook, or twitter.  You have become a pariah all for the sake of making a little extra cash. 

Even if you absolutely love the product, there is no guarantee that everyone in your community will too.  I tried to sell Mary Kay.  I actually liked the stuff.  I loved having all the little boxes of goodies arrive, and then sit. And sit. And sit.  I put on my best outfit and headed out the door.  I blanketed the neighborhood with flyers.  I went to the mall.  I was met with either complete rudeness, or warnings that MK was a scam.  I sold quite a bit, at first, to everyone I knew, then the sales dropped off the planet.  I ended up sending it all back.  I didn’t care if that barred me from ever selling it again.  Good riddance.

The part that really bothered me was not the meetings with team leaders, meeting new people, or even the parties.  It was the whole fake it til you make it thing. And the idea that if my husband was ticked off about me wasting our hard earned money, meant he was not supportive of my business.(Divorce implied) I felt dirty.  If a product is that good, it should be in a store.  I am all for being an inventor and shopping around your product.  Getting the public to try it out.  But the whole used car salesman vibe that comes with peddling creams, necklaces, candles, vitamins, purses, knives,sex toys, or life insurance is not for me.

It is for some.  That’s why there are team leaders that are raking in the dough.  I have a dear friend who has just about sold everathang, and is GOOD at it.  She actually managed to pull in a regular income when she put her mind to it. I could feel her excitement when she wanted to me get involved.  Sigh.  I was more than willing to support her, but after Mary Kay, I was gun shy.  I took the wait and see approach.  Usually what I did see, I didn’t want to do. 

I would rather type in stuff, answer phones, count pills, and have a steady wage.  Anything other than that is suspect.


2 responses

  1. I know. I have had friends come to me with that crazed look in their eyes. They give me the spiel. All I hear is “join our cult.” I try to tell them that what they are doing is annoying but they just don’t get it.

  2. I couldn’t agree more. Multi level marketing is a nightmare and most disguised as something that isn’t multi level marketing which is generally the first sign that it is in fact multi level marketing. Hate it. Tried Mary Kay. Hated it. People told me “Oh you can sell million dollar real estate you can sell LIPSTICK.” It’s actually easier to sell a mall. Swear.

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