Keep in mind that most of these MLM Teaching Systems

Train their people to look for the “hook” – that one thing that will appeal to any given person. I’m sure they told you how wonderful these opportunities would be for your kids – the great things you’d be able to do with and FOR them…..

Don’t beat yourself up too hard – a lot of skeptical people have been drawn in, too. You are in good company….LOL!!


Categories: company, money

I have been involved in several MLMs over the years

I was a single parent raising four sons! I was very gullible and did what I was told to do because I wanted a better life for my children. I went to the rallies. I bought the books and tapes. I spent money I did not have to meet the expectations of my upline. Guess what… It never worked. I never made the kind of money the big wigs were always talking about.
This went on for about 20 years! My advise to anyone thinking of getting invovled in MLM is this. DO! NOT! risk your home or your vehicle or your basic necessities for survival to go to a meeting or rally or convention! It is not worth it! You will regreat it! Think about the choices you make. Good business practices do not include guilt tactics and threats and allienation from the group if you do not do the business as fast as they say everyone else is. Thank You for letting me post.

Categories: MLM, money

Actually, Chip, I’d be interested in hearing your reasons

Here are some thoughts I have on your list:

Yes, if they *require* self-consumption in order to be a distributor, then I agree with you. However, in A/Q, for example, no one was required to buy anything. You were strongly encouraged to self-consume products and berated if you did not, but purchases were not required.

Similarly, no one was required to purchase the educational/motivational tools, either. But you were made to understand that virtually no one succeeded without the tools and trying to build the business without them was tantamount to “reinventing the wheel.”

So I’m not sure your first listed item is strict enough.

Lots of jobs require specific training. HOWEVER, most jobs do not require ongoing, continuous, virtually day-to-day training. Even my wife (a doctor) participates in ongoing medical education, some of it at her own expense. However, there is no one over her shoulder telling her she’ll fail if she doesn’t do it (other than a certain basic amount required for re-licensing), and much of her educational expenses are covered by her job. In fact, she’s in California right now attending a seminar, entirely paid for by her employer (airfare, instant approval payday loans online, lodging, seminar fees, etc.) Her company knows the value of this training, so they cover much of it. Contrast that with an MLM that coerces participants to purchase their own training, much of it saying nothing more than “Don’t Quit.” We were involved for 5 years, and very few of the audio tapes that were sold as the “basic” training for IBOs actually taught anything about building a successful business. Most of it was emotional, rags-to-riches stories, meant to inspire loyalty and belief.

So I would, again, qualify the listed item.

Here, I may have to disagree with you, but it may be a small matter of semantics.

I believe that anyone involved in an MLM should have a minimum sales requirement, consisting of non-participant customers, in order to recruit. I don’t think anyone should be allowed to bring in new people unless they have the business acumen necessary to teach new recruits how to become profitable. And the only way to become profitable is by selling products. If you can’t do that, you have no business recruiting.

So I do believe that an IBO should be able to profit from retail sales, and if those sales are sufficient to qualify for bonuses, I think those should apply, too. But I don’t think anyone participating in the business as a rep (salesperson, IBO, distributor, whatever) should be able to participate in the multi-level aspect of the business without the prerequisite sales skills.

Of course, all of this is assuming the MLM is legit and that there’s some sort of demand for whatever the product line is.

Am I pretty close to your take on this?

Categories: MLM is legit, moneymaker

I certainly appreciate your drive to gather information

I have posted before, my criteria for judging MLMs. In my book, they are bad if they satisfy any of the following: (I will explain why if you are interested)

1. Require you to buy product to be a distributor.
2. Require any “training” for the job.
3. Require you to “qualify” at some level(in recruitment OR sales) in order to get commissions.

I am not personally familiar(other than this forum and google) with Mary Kay or Avon, Tupperware or the jewellery thing – but I’d be interested to know if they meet any of the above.(My attempt to gather information).

Categories: MLM, money

Well, so many questions, let’s see if I can remember them all and respond

You aren’t sure my motive is really information gathering because I have friends and family involved in multiple different mlm companies? That’s not really something I can convince you of obviously, you’ll believe what you want apparently. I am an information seeker. If I am searching for Premiere Jewelry, find out it’s an MLM, then search for MLM scams and find this blog…it piques my interest, I join up to see what I can find out further.
The only post about them I have found here is seven years old and not very detailed.
I can only speak to what I have seen about the companies my close loved ones are into…they have never high pressured me to join, buy or have parties. So I guess not all mlm’s are teaching these negative, anti family practices that you keep saying they do. Of course, I am not telling them they are brain washed because they have ambitions to make themselves a business out of these companies.
I also am not their prime market because I personally don’t wear jewelry or use cosmetics.
Is a steak house the same as an MLM? No. But I doubt all MLM’s have the same EXACT structure either.
My uncle sells cars and guess what, his boss makes money off of his sales too. Managers make commissions off of employees. Exactly the same? Nope. But the same basic principle. Every higher level makes a bit more off of the ones below them. My uncle also wins incentive trips for having the most sales, etc.
My SIL who sells jewelry makes money, loves having the parties and enjoys the company of the women she meets. I am sure not everyone makes tons of money. Neither do car salesmen, waitresses, managers…there are successful and unsuccessful people in all businesses and professions.
I can grasp that some companies are only pushing recruiting and not product sales. If they don’t make sales, then I can see they might not be viable as an avenue for money making…but if you are selling product, to those who want it, not forcing your friends and family to buy it, then surely these folks are making some money. Is it going to make you rich quick? I don’t foresee anything doing that without work short of winning the lottery…
Alcoholics analogy wasn’t really hitting home for me…
If I know someone who is a diabetic, I won’t start telling EVERYONE not to eat sugar…or that fruit is sweet, so it must be bad too.
Ok, so if we are going to be open minded, can we not admit that not ALL mlm’s are created equal? Or that at least the possibility exists that one is not bad? Mary Kay, Tupperware, Avon, Premiere Jewelry…I know someone involved in them all and I don’t see that they are being brainwashed like I keep hearing here about some of these things like Arbonne and Quixtar, Amway. So how long does it take for the supposed brainwashing to happen? Are they all just doing it wrong because they haven’t pressured me to be a rep yet?

Categories: finance, money

There will undoubtedly be people here who can give you specifics about Mela products

I can tell you that so many Mela reps were involved in conversation here at one time that we had to make a rule SPECIFIC to Mela reps telling them that their “opportunity” IS an MLM and that any effort to argue the contrary would result in being kicked out of the forum.

They are trying REALLY hard to conceal what they do, and that, to me, is a HUGE red flag.

I am now a firm believer that there are enough products in the marketplace that anyone who has a better, higher-quality, more commercially desirable product is not going to resort to MLM (or infomercials, for that matter) to sell them. If the product is not being made available in traditional venues, there’s probably a reason for that – and the reason is, more than likely, not the marketplace.
If there’s money to be made on a quality product, MLM is not an effective way to sell it, and there’s more money to be made by traditional means, anyway – that is, if your product is truly your main moneymaker, and not some behind-the-scenes motivational tools scheme.

Categories: moneymaker

There are times when I just can’t be very kind.. This is one of them..

I would normally say you will learn your lessons in due course… but in this case, there are little ones involved. Is this the best you can do ? Do MLM and loose money for quote ” mental stimulation and adult interaction”? what are you doing as an investment for their future ? Do you have a college fund for them? I hope you are loaded, because not many can keep loosing money waiting for the big *ACE* – more likely you will end up with an *ASS*.
Also, denial is not a luxury you can knowingly indulge in when you have children.

Categories: money


Mark can be taught! (Congratulations! I’m glad you’re doing research and thinking about this instead of using the phrases MLMers toss out as platitudes!)

Here’s another point: MLMs like to talk about cutting out the middle man. Look at a simple product, like produce. The farmer raises it and takes it to a distro center. The center ships it out and it ends up in local warehouses. From there it goes to the local store. At each step along the way, value is added to the product because it’s moving closer to you. The farmer adds value because he’s created a tomato. At each point the transport adds value because it’s closer to you and eventually it’s at the corner store so you can drive down before supper and get the 2-3 tomatoes you need for a salad. That’s worth a few cents extra on the price instead of having to drive out to the farm or to a farmer’s market to get it.

But look at an MLM: the product is still shipped, often by UPS or USPS. That costs money but along with that, there’s anywhere from 1 or 2 or many more people that get a cut for doing NOTHING. I looked at my ex-gf’s system. If I bought something from her, then she gets a cut, her friend’s sister, that friend’s sister’s Father, then his sponsor, then one Diamond I know of, then another one I know of above him, then one guy I know is at the top, PLUS any levels between the first Diamond I know of and the next one. That’s at least 6-7 levels as it is and not one of them does a single thing to earn the money I’m spending on the product, yet they all make money FROM me.

Maybe or maybe not. Google has many servers and if you search for the same three terms in a different order, you can get different results (it’s happened to me before). Also, if you’re in a different area than someone else and your search request goes to a different server, you could get totally different results for the same search. A friend on the other side of town and I tried that and we got different results.

Categories: UPS

The mistake you make here is using the word “when” to talk about the money coming in

The more appropriate word is ‘IF”. Would you be ready to give up if you knew for a fact that less than 2% of those that get involved with MLM make ANY money (a large portion of that money is the low dollar amounts).

If you think about it, really think about it…..a business model that requires 98% of the people to fail (and it works best if those that fail place those qualifying orders each month and be good little distributors even without making a commission) in order to work for that 2%. Is this something that you feel comfortable telling people you solicit? Are you okay with just about everyone you solicit into the business losing a lot of money?

Just some questions to ask yourself. I had a friend years ago whose husband was in Quixtar for over TEN YEARS and he religiously went to the meetings, seminars. He bought all the marketing paraphanalia and still after all that time, didn’t make a dime.

When I was first involved with MLMs, I thought MLMs were just misunderstood and had a bad reputation due to bad companies. Truth is, “I” misunderstood. No one tells you the cold hard truth or shows you the REAL numbers that can’t lie.

AND if it is Mela, their products are NOT what the distributors claim they are. Don’t believe any hype, do research on the actual ingredients. Their personal care products wouldn’t be touched with a 10 foot pole by anyone in natural circles.

If you are ever looking for ideas for working at home, I’ve compiled a list of telecommuting companies and would be happy to share. You CAN use that drive you’ve learned and push yourself into your development zone without a MLM! 😉

Categories: Quixtar

That is a much needed to be made point

MLMs cost a lot. While they can build up self esteem, they also tear it down in other ways. People here who were in them have taken years, in some cases, to recover emotionally. There are many other ways to build up self esteem. One thing I did a while back was to take on one of the scariest challenges I figured I’d ever face. I’m a serious klutz so I started taking ballroom dancing lessons. I’m actually getting compliments that I’m learning how to lead quite well. It wasn’t a quick change, but it makes me feel quite good about myself.

There’s also other self help groups just tackling things you want to learn and aren’t sure you can, or groups like Toastmasters.

Categories: finance

I have to agree with this completely

When I saw this first post come through, I waited, not knowing just what to say because it’s not clear just what’s going on.

I will make a point I learned years ago: whatever the truth is, you’re going to have to face it sooner or later, so it might as well be sooner. It may be painful, but it’s less pain than what you’ll hit later. For example, my ex-girlfriend was sure she was going to be running her own business and be a millionaire in QS in a few years. I
haven’t heard a single bit of news about her success yet and that was back in 2004. Meanwhile, in the time since then, my business has done well and my net worth at this point is definitely more than she’s ever made in her life from any job, by an order of several factors. I’m saying this not to brag but because it plays a part in this and as a reminder that we can all “make it” on our own, no matter what the MLMs tell us.

Dawn (what we’ll call my ex-gf) loved to design dresses for things like SCA (Society for Creative Anachronisms) and to make jewelry. She majored in Interior Design because she figured she could make a living at it. She is, literally, a genius, but she was so unsure of herself that she didn’t think she could ever make a living doing what she loved. She had a low paying job (I’m guessing she was making $15,000 to $16,500 a year) doing the cable routing plans for a construction company and she hated it. She was scared to death of spending the next 40 years of her life working 9-5.

One time she said she believed it because it had to work since nothing else would. Parse that carefully. She basically believed it because if it wasn’t true, in her mind, she had to face 40 years of 9-5. Her belief had nothing to do with whether it was a good business model, but with her fear of having to live the life they painted as so terrible.

Sooner or later she’s going to have to face the truth: She can keep going and spinning her wheels, making the prospects for her life worse by spending more and more money. If so, at some point she’ll be deep in debt, no more credit cards, and not able to continue in QS. When that happens, she’ll have no choice but to drop out and she’ll not only have a job she hates, but a mountain of debt to pay off.

Or she could have, at any point, accepted that “if it is to be, it is up to me,” and developed a plan to decide what she wanted to do with her life and started working toward it. If she had started focusing on trying to turn the jewelry and dress work into a business, she might be making enough now to live off it.

Sooner or later you’ve got to face the truth. While sooner can be painful, it’s a LOT less painful than later.

Categories: finance

Thank you for those words

I have been reading this blog for a bit and whilst all your comments make me smile or even laugh, this is the first one that has prompted me to reply. Thanks for the wisdom, I shall try to print them and stick them to my refrigerator

As an “authority on family” (I’m 55 and have 7 adult kids and 7grandkids) – I want to assure all of you that family will NOT wait. Your “time” to influence your kids/set a parenting example/be involvedin their lives/teach them to love and show compassion for othershappens in the blink of an eye.Even in a “perfect” family where the father works 8-to-5, and themother may or may not work…there’s still scant time to spend withyour kids. For every night a parent is prospecting; for every weekendthe parents spend at a “function”….there’s one less opportunity foryour kids to learn something. If they haven’t learned important lifeskills by the time they’re 18 or so….they will be at a disadvantagewhen they leave the nest – and what loving parent wants to do that totheir child????

Categories: company, debt, finance, money

This is how many MLMs work

They abuse the trust we have in our friends and family and build up the new trust we create (or is created for us) in the new “friends” we make in our business. And if we manage to bring friends and family into the business, they use that existing trust to turn us against those who said “no.”

Some of our friends (my wife’s and mine) simply had to wait it out until we quit. Some of them had even said, “We’ll see you in five years or so.” They could not have been more right.

Sadly, some people stay involved far longer than five years.

But I think the only way to get someone to reconsider the wisdom of what they’re doing, critically, is to ask them the questions they should be asking themselves. Once they realize what has been happening, it’s truly like “seeing the light,” like “watching the fog lift.”

There are steps and stages involved in leaving an MLM, too, so the best thing you can do, even if you’re unable to get through to your sister, is to be there when she quits. *This* is how you can help!
Be loving and accepting. Don’t offer anything resembling “I told you so.” She is going to be going through feelings of guilt and inadequacy. We hear it here all the time: “How could I have been so stupid as to have fallen for this scam, even as my friends (or in this case, sister) were telling me to beware of it?”

You may not be able to help her get out sooner, but you can help her through the post-MLM process. As long as you can understand what she’s going through, she will value your support. We are here, primarily, to facilitate and support that.

Categories: finance, MLM

To be gentle and yet direct, that is a trick I have not mastered

It does sound as if you have a bit of a fantasy going here. You don’t know if you will make it, you understand the things we are saying, you agree with what we are saying, even up to a point, but you are still holding out hope that you will “Make it” in your mlm. I am not really sure what you are looking for. You ask what we think, you must know that we will not respond positively to the idea of any mlm. I like that you are questioning your own motives but I think you need to just break away. There are other environmentally sound ways to shop outside mlm, and there are same as if not better products for personal health. Personal growth can be done through other organisations and won’t cost you what mlm will. My mom used to justify here mlm fixes as a time to socialize with like minded people, etc. The only problem was that it cost her many thousands of dollars and a few real relationships. Please also remember this, if you do make it “BIG” in mlm, it will also come at a personal cost to you, as well as your family, as well as the thousands who have to lose money in order for you to make it. Good Luck and I hope you don’t sell your soul.

Categories: finance, lose money

Communism is nice, in theory

Some say that in theory a bumble bee can’t fly. The key words are “in theory.” I have a program in my text editor right now that is doing everything perfectly so, “in theory” it should communicate with the radio I have hooked up to my computer, but it doesn’t.

The reason we use the words “in theory” is because there is a difference between theory and reality. Reality includes millions of factors that humans can’t account for in theory and one of the most complex factors is humans themselves. MLMs look good on paper, but they also have a structure that is perfect for abuse. One person can build their own cult out of their downline and, in most cases, that’s exactly what happens.

Self promotion isn’t the issue, self promotion at a time when one should be thinking of others is an issue. There is a time and place for everything. (Just look up the lyrics to “Turn, Turn, Turn” or find it in the Bible for a refresher.)

This is a logical fallacy, or a flaw in your reasoning. You’re substituting “steak house” for Arbonne and you seem to think that draws a fair parallel. It does not. For example, you could replace “Arbonne” or “steak house” with brothel and it becomes a different situation — and before you say, “But those are illegal,” all we have to do to deal with that is say it’s in Nevada. A steak house is a completely different situation from Arbonne. Records and reports of abusive and brainwashing tactics are rife for Arbonne.

So, since you’re considering all this objectively, why don’t you listen to people who have dealt with MLMs, including Arbonne, personally? You said you were here to gather information and Roxy just gave you a ton of information about what’s going on with Arbonne, yet rather than absorb it, you want to tell her it’s wrong.

I love that. “Truly open minded.” Just gotta love it. In other words, since we disagree with your view point we’re not open minded.

Many of us were open minded and that’s how we learned that MLMs don’t work. You’ve got well over a hundred years of personal experience with QS (one of the biggest MLMs) alone. We were open minded until we learned what ripoffs they are.

Open minded does not mean ignoring the facts. You are essentially claiming you’re open minded and we aren’t. Since you’re open minded, then you won’t mind checking on the sites we use to post the down side of MLMs, would you? Since you’re open minded, it won’t bother you that over 99% of people that join an MLM lose money instead of making it, will it?

See, open minded does not mean staying open to something when the numbers, facts, and experience show it’s bad. If MLM were worth being open minded, then more than .5% of the people who go in to them would be able to make a living at it. Open minded does not mean ignoring facts once they’ve been established.

One last point: Roxy pointed out a lot of issues with her sister in her post. She pointed out how her sister’s behavior and personality changed, how her sister could now only talk about one subject and how her whole life is consumed with one subject. She gave us many points that showed that there were serious problems with what Arbonne was doing to her sister.

Why didn’t you address any of those? Why pick one point only and ignore the many that show that there is something seriously wrong with the situation?

If you respond, I expect an answer to that question. Avoiding it will only let us know that you’re not as open minded as you claim because you’re going to deal only with the points you want to deal with and ignore anything that disproves what you want to believe.

Categories: MLM

I found a site through a Google search

that had some indicators that a MLM is not going to be profitable or that money is not being made on sales of product to customers if certain criteria exist. Paying beyond I think four levels, they said they profits are coming from overpricing product and purchases made by those in the MLM. And it is an MLM if it has levels and layers of commissions and bonuses.. can’t really argue that.
Don’t remember the site but they showed up in the top page of results, so they would be easy to find if you searched for it.

Categories: MLM, money

Please read till the end it’s brief

Time to come clean. I am a customer in what you would consider an MLM company. Although they don’t consider themselves MLM, but there is commission on 7 generations…

I think you are all right in what you say but at the moment I am in denial… I say to myself things like: “Well, it was time to start buying better products, to look after ourselves. It was probably time to buy better vitamins. I have always claimed to care for the environment, time to put my money where my mouth is, etc”

After a second attempt at doing the Business side; I have come to the conclusion *all by myself* that you sell people the business in order just to gain customers. It’s very aspirational. Then after reading all of Roxy’s postings I saw Hal spell it out “they are not selling [beauty] PRODUCTS but they are selling OPORTUNITY”. So thank you for that, Hal.

The reason I am confused is because, I can see in me a lot of what you guys are saying, yet I am not ready to give it up.

Someone, (Watkins I think) wrote a while ago that his time in MLM had given him high self esteem. I am sort of in it because of the personal development side: personal sales, presenting, picking up the phone etc, definitely pushes me out of my comfort and into my development zone.

I am a SAHM with a 4 year old and a baby that is not 1 yet. Hence touched by Deb’s wisdom ref family not waiting. So my not-MLM MLM, gives me some mental stimulation and adult interaction but also plenty of disappointment which I bag under the name of “learnings”.

I am enjoying the products, I know that penny for penny I am spending more or at best I am static (I do get about 15% of my consumption bill back from my commission pay) but from that to making profit…requires some very serious effort and qualities that right now are probably not in me. I see it as a very long term thing and an investment of time, but can’t deny that it would be nice to be there when the exponential growth kicks in or to recruit an “Ace”.

What do you all think? Keen to read your replies and also, can you guess which company I mean? Please be kind, I am vulnerable.

Categories: MLM