Author Topic: Another MLM Christmas  (Read 10008 times)

Goldielocks

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Another MLM Christmas
« on: December 26, 2014, 04:28:20 PM »
Hi all,

I could not resist posting this any longer, although it is churlish of me in the extreme...  I had better write it here than have it pop out of my mouth.

My in-laws bought almost all of their gifts for others this year, from stocking stuffers to the BIG present from an MLM.
Second year in a row, and all from the same MLM.

Why?  Because the recipients would love these things? (Candles, scents, soaps, small kitchen entertainment items).
Nope, because my SIL is a rep, and they want to help her out.  She is definitely on economuc outpatient care for the past, um, forever.

So, this is my DH parents, and if he and my kids do not mind getting $200 worth of scented shower gel, candles  and fondue pots for Christmas, I should not mind either.  Having trouble storing it all, though, as we don't use it normally, and we need to use it or display it at least once, to show our pleasure with it.  I need to wait three years before tossing or donating, too....  But appreciating family makes the effort worthwhile to us.

Hmm, maybe it is the need to keep it in our closet, combined with the over priced expense with it, (markup is extreme) combined with the utter lack of thought about what the gift recipient would actually like that gets to me, more than the gift itself.  Oh, yeah and the thought that my DH's gift from his mom is actually another gift to his sister in disguise...

Ack.  I did say I was being churlish?

We are blessed with family, and had a great christmas this year, and had many loving things said all around.  I will count my blessings tonight.  Thanks for listening to my rant.

ltt

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Re: Another MLM Christmas
« Reply #1 on: December 26, 2014, 05:36:33 PM »
I would think you will get use out of the shower gels.  The others, regift to someone your other family members don't know or give to a charity organization.  You could almost buy some inexpensive small baskets, make up some new baskets with your gifted items, and give to some missions/shelters, if you have any nearby.

This_Is_My_Username

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« Reply #2 on: December 26, 2014, 06:19:01 PM »
long term, you should stry to persuade your SIL away from the pyramid scheme without annoying her too much.  Try to steer the conversation towards the things that she dislikes about the pyramid scheme. 

Also, almost all people lose money while having a "job" as a pyramid scheme participant.   That means that your SIL lives in a one-income household as a dependant, not as an income earner.   Maybe her spouse could help you persuade her away from the scam ?


BPA

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Re: Another MLM Christmas
« Reply #3 on: December 26, 2014, 07:51:35 PM »
Ugh.  You have my sympathies.

Spent part of this week watching the FB sales pitches of former students involved with Primerica.  A few months ago one tried to get me to recruit from school for him.  Um no. 

Of the four I know who joined in the last year, two are working other places now.  One gave up college because of their sales pitch.  They are nice people but I do worry about them.

On the upside, it gave me an excellent opportunity to explain to my son why MLMs are a bad idea for most people. 

imustachemystash

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Re: Another MLM Christmas
« Reply #4 on: December 26, 2014, 09:03:23 PM »
The purpose of a gift is to be received.  If you have no use for the item, feel no guilt into passing it along to someone who could use it. 

daverobev

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Re: Another MLM Christmas
« Reply #5 on: December 26, 2014, 09:08:55 PM »
Just return it. I'd say, oh, thanks so much but we won't use it. I don't want a cluttered house. But we appreciate the thought.

Goldielocks

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Re: Another MLM Christmas
« Reply #6 on: December 27, 2014, 01:46:02 PM »
Thanks all, with the family dynamics, we need to use the appliances at least once. Take and post a photo of the use, have kids say nice things about it, etc.

MIL lives too close and asks about these things too much. Much worse things to have happen, just wish she paid less


Edit to add: The family dynamics being that MIL lives very close by, and it is really my HUSBAND'S choice to say no, or "yes and thanks so much". 
About all I can or should do is gripe here (or put it out of my mind entirely) and teach my kids to be thankful for things others do for them.  So venting here and not at home is pretty important to this message. Thanks!
« Last Edit: December 28, 2014, 01:18:27 PM by goldielocks »

daverobev

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Re: Another MLM Christmas
« Reply #7 on: December 27, 2014, 02:11:47 PM »
I am a FIRM believer in being polite... but standing your ground/not giving in to whatever bullshit there is. YMMV I guess :)

I'm a red panda

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Re: Another MLM Christmas
« Reply #8 on: December 29, 2014, 09:23:31 AM »
Why do you need to wait 3 years?

Graciously receive the gift. Then it is yours to do with what you want. Regift or donate it.

(I'd say since your SIL is the sales rep, return or exchange is not an available option.)


MgoSam

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Re: Another MLM Christmas
« Reply #9 on: December 29, 2014, 11:41:51 AM »
I have no problems in re-gifting, and feel no shame in doing so. The way I look at it is, I might not get much utility out of it, but someone gave it to me and I am free to do what I like with it.


Frankies Girl

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Re: Another MLM Christmas
« Reply #10 on: December 29, 2014, 11:57:31 AM »
Good grief, no it isn't your husband's place or yours to act like you love the unwanted gift and post photos and comments about said gifts and then store them for years... where is your backbone? Etiquette Hell calls it a polite spine, but you need to locate yours ASAP.

You can thank the giver politely, then get rid of the unwanted gift if it isn't something you'll use. They are GIFTS - once given, they are yours to decide on what to do with. If there are strings attached that require you to use and pretend happiness at said use, then they are not gifts! Donate them or throw them away or re-gift to someone that will actually use them.

If the MIL asks where something is, then tell her thank you so much for thinking of us, but y'all really didn't need said item, and passed it along to someone that wanted it. How is this offensive? They gave you something you didn't have a use for, so you found said item a new home. You are not operating a junk shop or museum of in-law gifts are you?

If anything, one of two things should happen: MIL will realize that the gifts she gives aren't appropriate, and actually asks or buys things you might use, or she stops gifting you things at all (in a fit of prissiness) and you don't have to deal with acting all surprised and happy at getting any crappy gifts from her again... that would still be a win in my book.

I loathe the idea of being held hostage to in-law crap, so this really struck a cord with me. You can be nice but still control the crap that comes into your house.

Khaetra

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Re: Another MLM Christmas
« Reply #11 on: December 29, 2014, 12:27:51 PM »
I loathe the idea of being held hostage to in-law crap, so this really struck a cord with me. You can be nice but still control the crap that comes into your house.

1000% agree.  I have a rule that if I do not love something 100% it does not have a place in my home.  You do not have to keep anything anyone gives you, family or not.  And do not ever feel guilty for re-gifting!  If they have an issue with it, then that's their deal, not yours.

4alpacas

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Re: Another MLM Christmas
« Reply #12 on: December 29, 2014, 12:40:08 PM »
I loathe the idea of being held hostage to in-law crap, so this really struck a cord with me. You can be nice but still control the crap that comes into your house.

1000% agree.  I have a rule that if I do not love something 100% it does not have a place in my home.  You do not have to keep anything anyone gives you, family or not.  And do not ever feel guilty for re-gifting!  If they have an issue with it, then that's their deal, not yours.
+1

We've received a lot of "interesting" gifts over the years from family members.  We've returned a lot to the store (without a receipt), donated the gifts to the Salvation Army (thanks for the tax write-off!), or regifted. 

Rural

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Re: Another MLM Christmas
« Reply #13 on: December 29, 2014, 12:41:43 PM »
You're not churlish in the least. You went above and beyond what's reasonable if you actually transported it to your home. Now get rid of it - you're not responsible for storing their shit.

former player

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Re: Another MLM Christmas
« Reply #14 on: December 29, 2014, 02:19:03 PM »
Our local womens' refuge is always in need of toiletries.  They also take kitchen equipment, so that they can help the women to set up their new homes when they leave the refuge.    So perhaps you could say to your MIL "Thank you for the gifts: there are women at the refuge who are so much worse off than either of us so I'm passing the gifts on to women who are truly in need".

Goldielocks

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Re: Another MLM Christmas
« Reply #15 on: January 02, 2015, 03:28:45 PM »
Yep!  No spine here. :-)  All of your comments are spot on.

My DH is the type that really truly appreciates any gift.  Just getting something from his mom was a happy thing for him.  Heck, he would like anything.

I did lookup the cost, and I guess she spent $200 all in before discounts, on this thing alone.  It would be worth about $65 plus at dept store.

For the suggestion about the woman's shelter, that is a great one, but as she is buying this mainly to help her daughter get started with MLM, due to SIL limited income otherwise, a subtle reference of her economic outpatient care of SIL family (always ongoing and obvious) would certainly have a snarky tone to it.  Snarky is avoided at the holidays.

Maybe I can have DH chat with sis about MLM incomes...  So far 75% of her sales have been to her mom and relatives who would not buy otherwise, but she has sold a small amount directly and has 1-2 sub's working for her at any one time.  Not sure she could break $500 + personal sales without mom's help though.  At least she does not buy directly for inventory(much) or go into debt.

frugalnacho

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Re: Another MLM Christmas
« Reply #16 on: January 06, 2015, 09:15:36 AM »
Give it back and tell them what you really think.  It might hurt their feelings, but maybe then they will stop buying you shit you don't need which is going to be better long term.

Apples

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Re: Another MLM Christmas
« Reply #17 on: January 06, 2015, 12:25:32 PM »
I have inlaws who have various family members that do MLM things (and buy from each other to then give as gifts to us), and they support my SIL, even while telling us that if we didn't pay the small loan my husband had to them back early, they were going to be late on bills.  So, christmas presents are all-around fun.  The direct route probably will start more trouble than it's really worth, if your in-laws are as passive aggressive, and generally as passive, as mine can be at times.  I would always thank them for any gifts, and thank them a bit extra for non-MLM gifts.  After that, is where some spine kicks in.  My husband doesn't see a reason to tell his parents how these types of presents ruin the holiday a bit, but he used to keep them around for a while in his apartment.  He moved about once a year, and would purge them at that point "because he didn't have room to move them".  Now that we're settled, there is this underlying pressure to keep them around at somewhere that can be seen if they were to visit, and use it, and probably post a picture or a status on facebook about how great the item is.  After my second christmas with this family, this stopped.  We use it if we use it, we keep it for a few months before deciding to toss/donate it, and try to not let ourselves get guilt tripped about it.  We're standing up for ourselves, but not causing an earthquake in the family relations.  Just a few small thunderstorms.

Goldielocks

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Re: Another MLM Christmas
« Reply #18 on: December 27, 2016, 12:08:43 PM »
Hey!

Very old thread, but I am hugely PLEASED to report that I did not get MLM stuff purchased for me this Christmas.

If you recall, MIL would buy quite a bit from SIL's MLM "businesses" and give to us as a present.   Scentsy candles and expensive, use once per year raclette grills, seasonsing, fondue pots, etc. Maybe $600+ worth? To the point that I have asked in the past that she stop buying me presents (no effect).

Instead this year I received a modestly priced blanket shawl (which I will wear while working in my home office and keep the temps down) and CASH, and it was obvious that she was thinking of me when she bought the shawl. 

Anyway, it was a wonder that she broke from her usual present / Christmas patterns, which gives me hope that anyone can change, if you are patient enough.

Happy New Year, and New Beginnings

Metric Mouse

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Re: Another MLM Christmas
« Reply #19 on: December 27, 2016, 01:12:17 PM »
Awesome Goldilocks!

Hunny156

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Re: Another MLM Christmas
« Reply #20 on: December 27, 2016, 03:26:19 PM »
Posting to say I'm happy to hear you saw some good progress this year, that shawl sounds useful!  And I can relate with the in-law stuff, even if the overall holiday was good, some things just get under your skin, and venting just helps.  :)

You reminded me of something my Mom once did.  I had a childless aunt and uncle, who lived next door to a sibling and his family.  As a result, the childless aunt was very close to her two niece-neighbors, and they always were the beneficiary of very nice gifts.  Our family was a bit more isolated, and the gifts we received often reflected that relationship.

This really bothered my Mom, who always had this belief that everything should be doled out fairly.  I can only presume that as one of the youngest of 8 children, she saw preferential treatment in her family, and vowed to never do the same to others.  Or she was passive aggressive, both are viable explanations!  ;)

Anyhow, when I got engaged, this aunt mailed an engagement gift to me.  They lived near the Oneida factory, so they would score great deals all the time.  The gift was a small Oneida candy bowl, with a retail value of maybe $20.  I thought it was a nice bowl, sent a thank you card, and moved on.  Unbeknownst to me, Mom packed the bowl back up, and on a trip to my aunt's house, RETURNED it to her and informed her that perhaps she needed the money more than I needed the bowl!

This may be a perfect example of why we had a strained, isolated relationship with family...

FrugalZony

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Re: Another MLM Christmas
« Reply #21 on: December 27, 2016, 03:44:22 PM »
I LOATHE MLM schemes and the people pushing them and the people knowingly exploiting other people over them.
I don't know enough about your family situation to judge if your SIL knowingly takes advantage of MIL, but for sure
someone is taking advantage of your SILs situation knowingly.

I totally get not wanting to hurt your MILs feelings, but I'd also rethink your "acting as if" plans, just to keep this things going.
There must be a way to lovingly address this without being snarky. You know your family dynamics better than any of us.

Not sure how receptive they'd be, but consider sharing this John Oliver piece with either SIL or MIL or both or maybe at least DH?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s6MwGeOm8iI


Tjat

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Re: Another MLM Christmas
« Reply #22 on: December 27, 2016, 03:53:33 PM »
I for one have no issue immediately disposing (through donations, store returns, or garbage) of unwanted presents. If anyone asks, say i appreciated the thought but ultimately the gift was unneeded.

The concept of posting how wonderful individual crap gifts are on Facebook so the giver can "like" it is abhorrent and another example of why Facebook is a complete time suck and life waster. If that's the family expectation, delete your account and tell anyone who asks that you now have better things to do with your time.


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Goldielocks

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Re: Another MLM Christmas
« Reply #23 on: December 29, 2016, 12:39:18 AM »
Interesting ideas, folks.

As most of you know, (if married), your spouse gets to set the tone of converstation with their parents....  so although he agrees with me about MLM not being a business, does not want to ruffle feathers.   He is also rather unobservant, other than noticing that his family is quite happy at christmas time.

So, I have left off, with only the one suggestion that I do not need a separate gift from DH, that a couple gift is fine (aka no gift for me, get DH something he likes).

It also helps that I am rarely on FB.!


Villanelle

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Re: Another MLM Christmas
« Reply #24 on: December 29, 2016, 01:36:17 AM »
In my marriage, DH does get to set the tone with his parents, and vice versa.  However, that only goes as far as out front door, and only so far as it doesn't take up significant time and effort (having to post photos?).  yHe gets to decide what is said to MIL. We--with no undue pressure from outsiders--get to decide what stays in our house.  So if Husband wanted me to glowing gush over the gifts when she hands them to me, that's what I'd do.  But Monday morning, I get to donate stuff I don't need or want.  And Husband can then decide what we tell MIL if and when she asks about them. 

It does sounds like maybe your MIL is learning, or SIL's "business" failed, which is great news for you!

Just Joe

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Re: Another MLM Christmas
« Reply #25 on: January 10, 2017, 11:40:51 AM »
Give it back and tell them what you really think.  It might hurt their feelings, but maybe then they will stop buying you shit you don't need which is going to be better long term.

Go visit and sneak your gifts back into SIL's stock inventory while she is distracted... hehehehe

They are out of your house and she gets to sell stuff twice. See? You are helping...
« Last Edit: January 10, 2017, 11:45:00 AM by Tasty Pinecones »

Goldielocks

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Re: Another MLM Christmas
« Reply #26 on: January 11, 2017, 04:53:43 PM »
Give it back and tell them what you really think.  It might hurt their feelings, but maybe then they will stop buying you shit you don't need which is going to be better long term.

Go visit and sneak your gifts back into SIL's stock inventory while she is distracted... hehehehe

They are out of your house and she gets to sell stuff twice. See? You are helping...

LOL


I think I posted this, but DS (who is a 14 year old BOY) received a small stuffed animal from them, for birthday present, because it was one of the items from her MLM.   He asked if he could regift it to his cousin (her daughter) for christmas..  I suggested that he give it to a friend (a girl) who has had a hard time this past year instead.