Multi-level marketing companies are full of empty promises, manipulative behaviors and toxic attitudes.
You’ve probably heard of or even bought from companies that are MLM’s, such as Pure Romance, Younique, It Works!, LuLaRoe, Herbalife, Mary Kay and doTerra.
MLM’s work differently from normal companies and are bordering the lines of being pyramid schemes.
As an employee, you go through somebody else who sells the products.
These people are considered your upline, the people who recruited you.
The people whom you recruit are often referred to as a downline.
It all starts when a distributor of an MLM messages you. The messages usually begin with “Hey girl!” followed by an empty compliment, and them asking if you’d be interested in their product.
If you don’t answer, or even say no, they will cold message you every couple of weeks, which tends to become annoying. They’re trained to not take no for an answer.
If you answer, they will attempt to recruit you to their business. Recruitment is how they make money.
They earn a little less than 25 percent for every sale made. If they’re selling an $18 product, that’s only $4.50 that’s going back into their pockets.
To make up for this gap, distributors must recruit people to sell the products as well.
MLM’s make many empty promises to their employees: financial independence, more time at home with your children and more time to focus on school.
They prey on the vulnerable, the ones who are struggling with a schedule and need to be able to work from home.
Many MLM’s focus on military families, single parents, unemployed people, disabled people and college-aged students.
It’s a harmful and predatory business move.
If you say yes, it’s a strange process. Upon starting up with an MLM, you’re forced to pay a start-up fee to get your products, print business cards, etc.
The price of this startup fee can be from $99, like Younique, to $1,000-plus, like LuLaRoe.
Paying this fee to start seems like nothing to some because of what has been promised but is usually where the debt starts.
To pay back the debt, some people may take money from their savings or will even go as far as stealing money from their family and friends.
If you don’t sell your products, you’re stuck with them and out of the money. You can try to recruit your own downlines, but that is often hard to do.
The AARP reported that 44 percent of people who join an MLM drop out in less than a year, and about half of all people who join an MLM lose money.
In order to keep your business running, you have to make a certain amount of money each month.
For example, Pure Romance requires a consultant to make $200 a month.
I’ve known people who worked for Pure Romance who would buy their own products to give the company $200 a month just to keep their business going, in hopes that the next month will be
The mentality of an MLM is also cult-like. You’re taught that if your friends or family don’t support you, then they are being toxic, and your upline often encourages you to cut them off.
You’re taught that other people who sell within the same company as you are the best friends you will ever meet. You are told what to post, what to make your profile picture and even word-for-word what to say to your friends to recruit them.
People working for these companies may lie to those close to them or who need genuine help.
For example, an acquaintance said that she had a friend try to recruit her to It Works!, claiming that joining the company was the only way to give her son a good Christmas.
Another acquaintance of mine stated that an old friend who sold doTerra, an essential oil company, promised her that oils would cure her father’s cancer.
These practices are growing and promote extremely toxic behavior. They are dangerous to people who may join them and especially to those already in them.