A few years ago, I joined a direct sales company that I really liked. I loved the products and of course I enjoyed the small amount of money that I got selling those products. As time went on, I started to get more and more annoyed with the entire world of MLM (multi-level marketing) companies. I made a blog post about 99% of the reasons they were driving me crazy at that time. [ here’s a link to that post if you’re curious ] Well, 10 months later, I have completely quit selling and no longer shop with MLM companies.
- No matter what anyone says, I see them as a pyramid scheme. A legal version of a pyramid scheme. You aren’t going to make a living off of a MLM company unless you have tons of people that “sign up” under you and are making sales. If you notice, a lot of the people promoting their companies do promote the products themselves, but they also talk about how awesome of a job they have and all the great perks to being a consultant. That is called recruiting. If they get you to sign up under them, and you make sales, they receive a paycheck based on your sales.
- These companies can bring this false sense of “sisterhood.” I’ve been reading articles upon articles about these women who join companies because they felt like they needed to be accepted by a certain friend or did it to find friends who were doing the same thing. If you’re truly feeling like these people are your friends, go for it. I just can’t be apart of it. I feel like it’s more of a “hey, join my company friend!” because they want the extra paycheck or bonus, not because they want another friend.
- They’re simply overpriced. In order to pay an entire “downline” of people the products have to be more expensive for the original owner of the company to be making money. For example, I personally love Young Living’s oils. I think they’re fantastic. I just can’t pay $25 for a bottle of Lavender when I’m purchasing something that I feel is the same for $10. Of course, there will be a million reasons why this product isn’t the same as the counterpart, I just don’t believe it.
- Some sellers in MLM companies will tell you something that you want to hear just to make a sale; I’ve seen this first hand. A new catalog came out and unless you have hundreds upon hundreds of dollars laying around you can’t afford to buy all of the new products to test out and smell first hand. I’ve seen people coming to direct sales Facebook groups asking, “has anyone tried *******? I have a customer asking. I haven’t tried it yet but I told them I have it and love it because I know it’ll be great.” Uhhhhhhh, no.
- I see a lot of things on Facebook about how direct sales jobs are helping people pay for certain things in their lives (ex. children’s dance lessons) and they are urging people to shop local. Personally, shopping local to me is the small business owned grocery store or something of that nature. By shopping direct sales, you may be helping out that independent consultant get 20% of your sale, but the bottom line is you’re helping the rich get richer.
I know I’ll probably get a lot of backlash from this post; that’s fine. I am entitled to my opinion as is everyone else entitled to theirs. I could honestly probably go on all day long about the different things that I’ve seen and have had happen to me that have drawn me away from MLM companies but I think this post sums it up pretty good. I’m not trying to be mean nor is this post directed towards anyone particular; I just won’t be jumping on the bandwagon again.