Author Topic: MLM. oh my.  (Read 33312 times)

MayDay

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3947
MLM. oh my.
« on: August 11, 2014, 06:59:24 PM »
Something about being a mom, all these women sell loads of pyramid scheme junk. Does anyone else have horror stories?

I just got asked to host a party. "Will you ask all your friends to buy shit so I can make money?".

I may regret this tomorrow, but I emailed her back an article about MLM's and told her I wasn't into them. 

dandarc

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3406
  • Age: 36
Re: MLM. oh my.
« Reply #1 on: August 11, 2014, 08:52:55 PM »
I tried Quixtar (Amway) once.  Wasn't good at it, quit in fairly short order.  MLM's I don't think are inherently bad, but a lot of people get in with unrealistic expectations, and the reliance on your friends / family can be off-putting. 

To really make money at it, you've got to realize that selling products is a waste of your time - recruiting and training new people is the way to the riches, and not that many people are great at recruiting and training a sales staff that turns over several times per year.  I guess you could make a little actually selling the products - but most won't make enough doing that to justify the time spent.

frugalecon

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 532
Re: MLM. oh my.
« Reply #2 on: August 12, 2014, 06:48:02 AM »
My sister-in-law got involved in selling nutritional supplements called "Juice Plus," and my spouse (her brother) gave in and ordered what were astronomically expensive capsules. They piled up around the house until I put my foot down. It was ridiculous. Even if these supplements had any value (highly dubious; I am not interested in taking something when I have no idea of their origin), our diet is so rich with vegetables and fruits that there is no reason we needed it.

Not surprisingly, the Juice Plus scam did not solve her financial problems. We should have just given her the money directly.

Brad_H

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 51
Re: MLM. oh my.
« Reply #3 on: August 12, 2014, 07:52:54 AM »
It's not just the mom's, I get it from the husbands at work too.

Don't worry no one is ever any good at it, it's designed as an unsustainable business model from the start. It's sad, the premise of these scams are to get people to cash in their relationships until no one, friends or family, will talk to them anymore.

Zelda01

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 55
Re: MLM. oh my.
« Reply #4 on: August 12, 2014, 08:08:30 AM »
My sister-in-law got involved in selling nutritional supplements called "Juice Plus," and my spouse (her brother) gave in and ordered what were astronomically expensive capsules. They piled up around the house until I put my foot down. It was ridiculous. Even if these supplements had any value (highly dubious; I am not interested in taking something when I have no idea of their origin), our diet is so rich with vegetables and fruits that there is no reason we needed it.
I took Juice Plus for a while at the suggestion of my doctor.  I can't eat fruit due to hypoglycemia, so it helped to have what I call "fruit with the sugars taken out in capsule form." 

I don't know why other people would take this though, especially people who are able to eat fruit.  So I can see why your SIL did not make much money from it.  It seems like something meant for a very specific audience, that is trying to be sold to anyone and everyone.

On Edit:   When I took it years ago, it had one pill which was "fruit only" and it listed all the ingredients.  Now looking at their website, it throws everything together - fruits, vegetables, and grains - and does not list ingredients.  So I'm pretty sure I couldn't take it now.   Also, back then I bought it off the internet - not from people who throw in-person parties.
« Last Edit: August 12, 2014, 08:40:46 AM by Zelda01 »

swick

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 2884
Re: MLM. oh my.
« Reply #5 on: August 12, 2014, 08:26:50 AM »
My town has a very high percentage of one industry worker and one SAHM families. I think every MLM I have ever heard of has at least one rep in town. I figured this out shortly after moving here and have always taken the stance that "I don't do home parties" but usually add, "I'll let you know if I need anything!" Funny thing is, I haven't found I need anything.

I also actively try to educate people as to what they are selling, since most don't have a damn clue and it is a sore sport with me, especially the Essential Oil companies reps who spout their dangerous rhetoric without fully understanding what they are selling - and charge outrageous prices.

Just yesterday I got into a discussion with someone selling coffee with Reishi in it. Which is fine for most people - except they didn't know what Reshi is, there was no dosing info available on the website and absolutely no mention of side effects or drug interactions - little things like it can cause a dangerous drop in blood pressure - especially if you are already taking blood pressure lowering meds. But they want you to have several cups a day.

I think my biggest beef is how can you sell a product without having done the basic research to know what it is you are selling?

MrsPete

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3519
Re: MLM. oh my.
« Reply #6 on: August 12, 2014, 08:37:37 AM »
I went to a few of these things when I was younger, but I only did it because it felt like an obligation.  I never enjoyed them and always felt pressured to buy.

Now I use the "Thank you so much, but I just don't do home parties" thing.  I say it quickly and non-judgementally, and then I change the subject quickly.  However, fair's fair:  Because I don't do this, I also don't throw such parties myself (not a sacrifice -- I'm not inclined in that direction), nor do I ask people to buy fundraisers from my kids' school.  I never say, "Oh, not this time" or make excuses because that implies that I might be open to such invitations in the future -- and I'm not.

I would not have sent an article derailing the nature of such parties.  That's a bit over-the-top.


RFAAOATB

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 577
Re: MLM. oh my.
« Reply #7 on: August 12, 2014, 10:50:50 AM »
The adult industry product version is the best combination of awkward, entertaining, informative, and just useful enough to get you to buy something. Bring your significant other and get inspired.

Angie55

  • Guest
Re: MLM. oh my.
« Reply #8 on: August 12, 2014, 11:05:39 AM »
The adult industry product version is the best combination of awkward, entertaining, informative, and just useful enough to get you to buy something. Bring your significant other and get inspired.

I was invited to one of these once thrown by someone I work with. We were not friends nor did we even socialize at work. With the amount of new hires incoming at the time (~80 fresh college students in 2-3 years) it was more of a friends of friends formality. For some reason I felt compelled to go. Probably because she lived in the same apartment complex. It was not a fun party. 10 coworkers you barely talk to and $100+ adult toys... At the end you were supposed to go into the bedroom, try out anything additional, then anonymously write down your order. I went in the room, spied around for 5 minutes, then promptly left. Ugh. Most awkward time ever. And to even think that my coworkers were buying stuff so other coworkers can get free toys? Skeevy to say the least! Glad I got that mistake under my belt so I never have to do it again.

MgoSam

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3643
  • Location: Minnesota
Re: MLM. oh my.
« Reply #9 on: August 12, 2014, 03:12:36 PM »
I know a few people that have done it, and a few that have been sales reps for some of the sketchier companies. At least among the people I know it isn't just mom, there are also plenty of college-educated but traditionally unemployed that are going that route.

vern

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 573
Re: MLM. oh my.
« Reply #10 on: August 13, 2014, 12:34:36 AM »
I may regret this tomorrow, but I emailed her back an article about MLM's and told her I wasn't into them.

This is the proper response.  Avoid these scams like the plague!

MayDay

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3947
Re: MLM. oh my.
« Reply #11 on: August 13, 2014, 06:02:25 AM »
I went to a few of these things when I was younger, but I only did it because it felt like an obligation.  I never enjoyed them and always felt pressured to buy.

Now I use the "Thank you so much, but I just don't do home parties" thing.  I say it quickly and non-judgementally, and then I change the subject quickly.  However, fair's fair:  Because I don't do this, I also don't throw such parties myself (not a sacrifice -- I'm not inclined in that direction), nor do I ask people to buy fundraisers from my kids' school.  I never say, "Oh, not this time" or make excuses because that implies that I might be open to such invitations in the future -- and I'm not.

I would not have sent an article derailing the nature of such parties.  That's a bit over-the-top.

Usually I just say no thanks when invited, but asking me to host a party sent me of the edge.  That is just so rude!

She wasn't offended by my email, and is still happily promoting her little "business". 

justajane

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2147
  • Location: Midwest
Re: MLM. oh my.
« Reply #12 on: August 13, 2014, 07:54:57 AM »
Anyone else inundated with Jamberry nails on their Facebook feed? I have two friends who recently became consultants. I'm not sure if it is technically a MLM company, but I find some of their practices dubious. When I noticed that one friend had recently attended a training conference, out of curiosity I looked up the details. It turns out you have to pay hundreds of dollars for entrance into the conference, not to mention your flight, meals, and hotel. I don't know if this is standard with these companies, but I know if it is  a real job, you don't have to pay for your own training. If my husband, who works for a large financial institution, has training outside of town, they pay all his expenses. Jamberry probably makes a killing on this "training."

I guess my point in harping on this is because these women seem to genuinely think of Jamberry and other MLMs as a job. Instead they should think of it as a fun hobby with various perks - like getting a product you like for less money, although when you factor in the costs of a conference across the country, I'm not sure how you save money.

Also, I laughed out loud about the sex toy party. Most awkward MLM story I've ever heard.

suburbanmom

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 11
  • Location: Indiana
Re: MLM. oh my.
« Reply #13 on: August 13, 2014, 08:58:55 AM »
Yeah, I hate these "parties." I just got invited to a Jamberry nail thing, a couple months ago it was those crazy, overpriced canvas bags and storage totes. I've also gotten invites for Tupperware, jewelry, Mary Kay, candles, Scentsy, bra parties?!, etc.   A LOT of stay at home mom's in my area do this stuff. I don't feel guilty declining invites. I don't have a budget line item for over-priced crap that I don't want.... 

Gen Y Finance Journey

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 209
  • Location: CA
Re: MLM. oh my.
« Reply #14 on: August 13, 2014, 10:03:01 AM »
When I noticed that one friend had recently attended a training conference, out of curiosity I looked up the details. It turns out you have to pay hundreds of dollars for entrance into the conference, not to mention your flight, meals, and hotel. I don't know if this is standard with these companies, but I know if it is  a real job, you don't have to pay for your own training. If my husband, who works for a large financial institution, has training outside of town, they pay all his expenses. Jamberry probably makes a killing on this "training."

Several months ago I agreed to let my SIL give me her pitch for the MLM she works for, and I asked her how the company itself makes money. She had no idea. Just a couple weeks ago she posted pictures from a training event she went to. There must have been 3-4,000 people filling a huge Vegas theatre, each paying probably $50-$100 for their seat. She continued to post pictures of training seminars over the course of a few days. NOW I understand how the company makes their money!

Bright Lights

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 4
Re: MLM. oh my.
« Reply #15 on: September 28, 2014, 02:13:05 PM »
Scentsy has been taking over my Facebook newsfeed. One of my good friends started selling it recently, so I looked at the site hoping to find something either useful or cheap, but nope! I'd originally thought that it was a candle company, but instead you have to buy a warmer AND scented wax to put in it. Bleh. I feel guilty not supporting my friend, but not guilty enough to waste my money. 

I do enjoy Avon occasionally, though, since some of their stuff is cheaper than the drugstore equivalent when it's on sale.
« Last Edit: September 28, 2014, 06:34:15 PM by Tea Time »

justajane

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2147
  • Location: Midwest
Re: MLM. oh my.
« Reply #16 on: September 28, 2014, 06:26:08 PM »
I just remembered that a few years ago a woman at my church called me because she wanted to "treat me" and come over and give me a free makeover for Mary Kay. I wear no makeup ever and I told her as much. She still wanted to do it, but I said no again. At that point she started to try to guilt me into it - mentioning how this was how she as a stay at home mom was contributing to the family income while her husband was in seminary. I hated every minute of this exchange. It's just not fair to your acquaintances to basically use them for your own financial gain. And it's even worse to try to manipulate you into it. Based on this thread and others like it, it's obvious they all use the same tactics of manipulation. In my case, she wanted to treat me to makeup I didn't want, which appears to be what mapleseed's coworker was doing too.

I wonder if they get credit for staging sessions even if no one buys anything? I know that was the case with Kirby vacuum demonstrations.   

Daisy

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2033
Re: MLM. oh my.
« Reply #17 on: September 28, 2014, 06:33:44 PM »
My sister-in-law gave my name to a 17ish girl to come give me a presentation on knives. It was billed to me as a young girl that wanted to practice her presentation skills for this new thing. I hesitated a little since I had no interest in knives - or maybe I wasn't even sure it was knives she was selling - the pitch was all about helping her out with her skills. So I kindly said yes and met with the girl. She went through her whole presentation on the knives and why they were so much better than other knives, etc. I have a whole set of knives at home, so I really had no interest in the knives she was selling.

At the end of her presentation, she brought out the order sheet and I just felt terrible about it. I told her I wasn't interested in buying anything. I thought I was there to provide feedback on her presentation. I think there was some type of confusion about the purpose of the presentation because I could tell she was sad about my no purchase. I did give her the names of some people for her to call that I thought would buy stuff from her. I later called my sister-in-law and said WTF...

Gggirl

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 20
Re: MLM. oh my.
« Reply #18 on: September 28, 2014, 06:47:10 PM »
My sister-in-law gave my name to a 17ish girl to come give me a presentation on knives. It was billed to me as a young girl that wanted to practice her presentation skills for this new thing. I hesitated a little since I had no interest in knives - or maybe I wasn't even sure it was knives she was selling - the pitch was all about helping her out with her skills. So I kindly said yes and met with the girl. She went through her whole presentation on the knives and why they were so much better than other knives, etc. I have a whole set of knives at home, so I really had no interest in the knives she was selling.

At the end of her presentation, she brought out the order sheet and I just felt terrible about it. I told her I wasn't interested in buying anything. I thought I was there to provide feedback on her presentation. I think there was some type of confusion about the purpose of the presentation because I could tell she was sad about my no purchase. I did give her the names of some people for her to call that I thought would buy stuff from her. I later called my sister-in-law and said WTF...


OMG!  The heard the exact same story last year.  You don't need to buy but the person would love feedback on his presentation.  They also were pushing the he is a kid visiting from college and trying to earn $.  Somehow he earned a little $ just by presenting. 

Paul der Krake

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4548
  • Age: 11
  • Location: USA
Re: MLM. oh my.
« Reply #19 on: September 28, 2014, 06:57:53 PM »
Don't you guys have wide reaching non-solicitation clauses in your employment contracts? I have yet to hear of MLM schemes at my work, but I hope that HR would hear of it and crack down on that garbage before you can say "no obligation to buy"...

Dee

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 719
  • Location: Ottawa, Canada
Re: MLM. oh my.
« Reply #20 on: September 28, 2014, 07:15:40 PM »
I got roped into the "help me with my presentation skills" thing by a childhood friend about a year ago. It wasn't MLM. He had started his own business, teaching lifeskill workshops to teenagers and said he wanted to expend to program to professional adults and was looking for participants to do a test run of the workshop. I took him at face value and attended with a view to helping him by attending (since that's what he'd said he'd wanted). He'd wanted a dozen participants. He got 2. At the end, he basically implied that since he'd offered us the free workshop (i.e. helped us), we should now help him by talking up his business to people we knew, networking and promoting him. I felt there was a bit of bait and switch going on there. I also gave him a bit of feedback (not all glowing) but didn't feel like he was that open or receptive to it either. Left a bit of a bad taste in my mouth. Though, to be fair, the workshop itself was quite genuine, and not a pretext for selling something else.  I did get at least one really important insight from the workshop.

Zamboni

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2286
Re: MLM. oh my.
« Reply #21 on: September 28, 2014, 07:33:21 PM »
Meh, my aunt made a mint on tupperware back in the day, but she has the gift of gab and was able to use that to build an empire on the northeastern seaboard.  She has given me some awesomely useful tupperware, too, when she was moving.

My feelings about this kind of thing depend upon how much I am learning in the process.  For example, a Mary Kay party taught me the proper way to do several things related to make up (a neighbor's mom let me sit in one when I was about 12.)  A creative memories party taught me quite a bit about scrap booking which I have put to use helping children get organized for school projects.  Didn't learn much at the pampered chef parties, but I can thank Mom for giving me an advanced cooking education my entire life.  "Parties" for candles, baskets, jewelry, clothing etc?  I just avoid those all together.


eyePod

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 966
    • Flipping A Dollar
Re: MLM. oh my.
« Reply #22 on: September 29, 2014, 08:03:31 AM »
My wife filled out something for Mary Kay lady that was at a church's summer BBQ thing. Of course she won a free spa treatment! Just sit down in a high pressure sales situation! I told her of course she could go, but she's gonna have to spend her own fun money on it. It's not coming out of any other budget category!

golden1

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1544
  • Location: MA
Re: MLM. oh my.
« Reply #23 on: September 29, 2014, 08:12:53 AM »
Asan introvert, the idea of throwing one of these parties, or even going to them, is just exhausting.  I have been hit up by a few "friends" before, especially in my SAHM days, and at first I would just buy a few things, mostly out of obligation, but now I just steer clear.  I get that people need to make money, but this is one of the most awkward ways of doing it. 

Elderwood17

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 525
  • Location: Western North Carolina
Re: MLM. oh my.
« Reply #24 on: September 29, 2014, 11:34:09 AM »
My in laws sold Shacklee products.....it was like a religion to them.  Everything the comany ever made as far better then any alternative.  When I married their oldest they assumed we would be good disciples and start selling ourselves.  Fortunately they got over it quick enough and never pushed it on is.  Had a friend that sold Amway products.  Had no idea until after we had been friends for awhile and he started a hard sell routine.  Turned me off horribly and came close to ending the friendship.  Side hustles shouldn't harm friendships.

Kaspian

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1536
  • Location: Canada
    • My Necronomicon of Badassity
Re: MLM. oh my.
« Reply #25 on: September 29, 2014, 12:47:44 PM »
It's such a monumental wasted opportunity of time and effort!  If somebody invited me to a house party to show a group all the paintings they'd made, I'd probably walk away with one.  If a bored housewife/househusband had a little party because he'd recorded his/her own music, same thing.  ...Or sell me some plants they'd grown--sure, I'll buy a cilantro and basil off ya, buddy!  Or homemade shelf solutions.  Or frozen homemade meals.  Or knitted mitts and hats.  Or chocolate chip cookies even.  Or soap.  (My mom used to make really fancy candles at home and sell them to friends who asked for them.  She also did a mean almond brittle.) But this other corporate Ponzi crap?  Nope--shove off, Jack!   I think the problem is that many people don't know how to actually do/make anything anymore.

DeepEllumStache

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3275
  • Age: 36
  • Location: Hiding under my desk
  • I came, I saw, I made it awkward
Re: MLM. oh my.
« Reply #26 on: September 29, 2014, 08:17:49 PM »
Had a friend from college doing one for organic cleaning products. She was pushing it on FB and tried to get a then-pregnant mutual friend to purchase through scare tactics. Between that and the regular posts about how horrible cleaning products are, the mutual friend and I had some amusing conversations. I guess some people aren't fans of vinegar.

Back before college, I went to an interview was advertised as a sales job. Turned out to be the cutlery version.  Pass.

MandalayVA

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1575
  • Location: Orlando FL
Re: MLM. oh my.
« Reply #27 on: September 30, 2014, 06:45:00 AM »
I got suckered into buying a Thirty-One bag and wallet.  I've never seen more cheaply made products.  And when I was younger I got suckered into "job interviews" that turned out to be MLM recruitments. 

nyxst

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 267
    • AgainstAllOdds
Re: MLM. oh my.
« Reply #28 on: September 30, 2014, 08:39:31 AM »
It's such a monumental wasted opportunity of time and effort!  If somebody invited me to a house party to show a group all the paintings they'd made, I'd probably walk away with one.  If a bored housewife/househusband had a little party because he'd recorded his/her own music, same thing.  ...Or sell me some plants they'd grown--sure, I'll buy a cilantro and basil off ya, buddy!  Or homemade shelf solutions.  Or frozen homemade meals.  Or knitted mitts and hats.  Or chocolate chip cookies even.  Or soap.  (My mom used to make really fancy candles at home and sell them to friends who asked for them.  She also did a mean almond brittle.) But this other corporate Ponzi crap?  Nope--shove off, Jack!   I think the problem is that many people don't know how to actually do/make anything anymore.

YES!! I have some creative friends who make things and I love to buy them!  I also make things, and friends love to buy them!  I have some baby showers coming up, so I pulled out my sewing machine and started making gifts.  I hate the amount of scrap fabric I can't throw away and keeps accumulating, so I made some patchwork teddy bears (very simple... nothing extravagant!) mentioned it to a couple of people and sold 4 already... at $10 a piece!  People love hand made gifts, and a lot of people can't make anything, so buying it is just as good.  MLM is corporate crap that you can get from WalMart.... my neighbor tried to sell me some vitamins once and made me feel so guilty about saying no.  Then they lost their house in bankruptcy.. still feeling guilty, but I know they could have gotten real jobs...

Wasdramer

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 33
  • Age: 29
  • Location: Indiana, USA
  • Spiritual Saver
Re: MLM. oh my.
« Reply #29 on: September 30, 2014, 12:00:07 PM »
When I was in college (pre-MMM days, naturally), I met a guy in IT who represented Amway and Britt Worldwide. He really worked me over into getting me into selling Amway, and I started trying to, and admittedly some of the products weren't that bad to me, but...at the end of the day, it still cost me $60 a year just to be registered and have the "potential" to sell to others. I'm an introvert, so it wasn't really for me to begin with.

They even have meetings in hotels that they rent out one of the lobby rooms for presentations. Everyone has to wear formal clothes (suit and tie). It happens on every other week, and on the weeks opposing, they meet in one of the member's houses. High ranking, of course, and formal as well. Why I ever joined that crap just to shell out so much money, I really don't know anymore. Then again, he was a real smooth talker...I even helped one of his family members who wanted out of her relationship with what I assume was an abusive husband or something like that. I don't mind that, but the Amway stuff...just not for me.

It did teach me that buying in bulk definitely saves money, especially if there's a sale. I just wish I had all that money I spent back so I could put it in my savings account. I don't think I'll ever go back to any MLM scheme, especially to sell.

eil

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 246
Re: MLM. oh my.
« Reply #30 on: September 30, 2014, 02:05:39 PM »
A very good childhood friend of mine is a serial MLMer.

He first tried to get me to buy into this MLM thing a few years after we had graduated high school. I hadn't seen him in a long time and we were just hanging out and out of the blue, he goes, "Hey, let me tell about this business I'm starting." It was basically this website/catalog that you order stuff through (at a supposed steep discount) and for extra money you can get others to join. Most of the presentation was long the lines of, "I know this sounds like Amway, but it isn't Amway." I didn't know what Amway was at the time! But I didn't tell him that. When I got back home I looked it up and it was pretty much a textbook MLM.

A few years later, he was selling really expensive vitamins. They were these huge horse pills and you had to take like three of them a day.

As of a couple years ago he (and now his wife) sell this exotic acai berry juice. They even promoted it during the toast at their wedding. Apparently this particular berry is very rare and can grow only in this one sacred patch in the jungle and perishes quickly so it's not economical to mass produce. (Although Walmart has had it on their shelves for the past five years.) Oh, and it has nearly unlimited mystical healing powers. He actually said, "Now the FDA says I can't tell you that it cures cancer but people have been diagnosed with cancer, started a regimen of drinking this berry juice, and now they don't have cancer anymore." It comes in a champagne bottle and is $25 a pop. He made me try some and it's basically 75% olive oil to 25% berry juice. And fully disgusting. Then he asks me how many bottles he should put me down for. I'm like, "you've known me since the fifth grade, you should know better than to even ask that." He just smiled and said, "Yeah, but I had to try."

We are still good friends but I have to be diligent about changing the subject whenever he brings up that damn berry juice.
« Last Edit: September 30, 2014, 02:59:06 PM by eil »

justajane

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2147
  • Location: Midwest
Re: MLM. oh my.
« Reply #31 on: September 30, 2014, 02:15:08 PM »
I met the parents of one of my son's classmates at a meet and greet, and my husband says that the father managed to sneak into the conversation at least five times the mention of something called Juice Plus. Is that also a MLM? The insidious tactic sounds familiar.

It's a few months since I posted about a Facebook friend who regularly posts about Jamberry Nails. She has said at least five times, "I can't believe I get paid to do this!" But my question is - how much is she really making?  I guess some people must make money on these ventures, right? But I wonder if they are calculating their hourly wage and deducting the amount they spend on training, conferences, etc.

jordanread

  • Guest
Re: MLM. oh my.
« Reply #32 on: September 30, 2014, 03:04:01 PM »
The adult industry product version is the best combination of awkward, entertaining, informative, and just useful enough to get you to buy something. Bring your significant other and get inspired.

These are my favorite. One of my clients for my side gig does Slumber Parties, and men weren't allowed. Except that I was getting paid to be on-site tech support, plus I got all the left over food. mmmmm. I still remember helping her clean up afterwards one day, and walking over to the presenter with a literal arm-load of dildos, asking if they were hers. Even she blushed. It was so much fun.

Self-employed-swami

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1094
  • Location: Canada
Re: MLM. oh my.
« Reply #33 on: September 30, 2014, 03:15:30 PM »
I hate most of the MLM stuff, but I do love tupperware, and any of the pampered chef stuff I've bought, has been excellent, and exactly as advertised. 

I sold jewellery for a while myself, but mainly just so I could build up a decent selection myself.

Gen Y Finance Journey

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 209
  • Location: CA
Re: MLM. oh my.
« Reply #34 on: September 30, 2014, 03:53:44 PM »
It's a few months since I posted about a Facebook friend who regularly posts about Jamberry Nails. She has said at least five times, "I can't believe I get paid to do this!" But my question is - how much is she really making?  I guess some people must make money on these ventures, right? But I wonder if they are calculating their hourly wage and deducting the amount they spend on training, conferences, etc.

My SIL posts things like that all the time, and I've flat out asked her how much she's making with one of her MLMs. Her answer: a couple hundred dollars per year. And that's revenue, not profit. Her expenses are ridiculous because she attends paid seminars and buys stuff from the company that she wouldn't otherwise buy. She's probably even counting the commissions she earns on her own purchases as part of her revenue.

Those posts are just to lure other people in. It's really very meta: "I can't believe I get paid to do this!" where "this" is posting this status update to sucker my friends into joining my network. :)

trailrated

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1136
  • Age: 31
  • Location: Bay Area Ca
  • a smooth sea never made a skilled sailor
Re: MLM. oh my.
« Reply #35 on: September 30, 2014, 03:59:35 PM »
when I was younger I got suckered into "job interviews" that turned out to be MLM recruitments.

I made that mistake once, it was for Cutco and they told us we had to buy a knife set to use as our presentation piece when we sold. I started laughing and said "so you want us to pay you to sell your product?!" as I walked out half the room followed.

gimp

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2348
Re: MLM. oh my.
« Reply #36 on: September 30, 2014, 04:09:47 PM »
MLM is a scam in all forms. "Well, it's not all bad ..."  yes, yes it is. "I do it so I can get stuff on discount for myself!" I guarantee you the same things will be cheaper bought retail, from a real store, brick-and-mortar or online, than the "discounted price" is for you. "I heard x made money!" X always makes money, that's how it works; you're not X, you won't. "But I can drive a new BMW!" So can anyone, it's called credit. "I make a thousand dollars a week!" I make three, and I get to have friends. "But x product is such high quality!" Maybe compared to some other garbage you used before.

If you're getting your own leads, and you're paying commission to someone else for the privilege, you're getting fucked. No amount of mental gymnastics makes this not true. I'm looking at you, people on this forum who should be smarter than this. You're not half as smart as you think if you've fallen for a single one of these blatantly obvious scams.

zing12

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 86
Re: MLM. oh my.
« Reply #37 on: September 30, 2014, 04:58:10 PM »
My cousin and her husband were visiting out from out of town and we were talking about another cousin who's been in NYC for a long time and just making ends meet. I started rambling on typical mustachian topics, how I love NYC but if she moved back home she could save money and build wealth and so on and so fourth. :D

All of a sudden, they thought that me talking about wealth building meant that I was a perfect fit for "momentis" which is like, MLM for electricity and cable and cell phone bills and crap. They started talking about how "it's going to be a revolution" and how "everyone will be in it a few years" and "we're getting in early, and it's going BLOW UP, and we'll do SO well," bla bla blah. They go to meetings and they are sold the same dream as we all talk about.... lifestyle design, financial independence, early retirement, etc. But they are sold it using hyped up, cult-like, motivational-psychological-brainwashing, and it's quite sad. They even talked about how the CEO of the company is such this great family man that's so great and kind and has good values and bla bla bla, and it was clearly a contrived image crafted to elicit exactly that response.

It's really sad, because they told me why they want to do it... provide for their families, he's got a mentally challenged brother. It pisses me off that they are being taken advantage of but I knew that arguing about it with them wouldn't do any good so I bit my tongue. It's classic cult tactics.

They claim to be bringing in $150 a month with it.

It's not a scam in the sense that anything will be stolen from them, it was only a $300 investment so they claim to be in the black, but it is a scam in the sense that they will waste a lot of time on it, and the superawesome family-man-moral-superhero of a CEO will get most of the fruits of the labor, and move on to somebody else.

http://momentis.net/ . Their website is, of course, more about the "opportunity" than the products being marketed.

I want to just teach them to go thrifting and get an eBay account.
« Last Edit: September 30, 2014, 05:13:19 PM by zing12 »

justajane

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2147
  • Location: Midwest
Re: MLM. oh my.
« Reply #38 on: September 30, 2014, 06:13:19 PM »
It's a few months since I posted about a Facebook friend who regularly posts about Jamberry Nails. She has said at least five times, "I can't believe I get paid to do this!" But my question is - how much is she really making?  I guess some people must make money on these ventures, right? But I wonder if they are calculating their hourly wage and deducting the amount they spend on training, conferences, etc.

My SIL posts things like that all the time, and I've flat out asked her how much she's making with one of her MLMs. Her answer: a couple hundred dollars per year. And that's revenue, not profit. Her expenses are ridiculous because she attends paid seminars and buys stuff from the company that she wouldn't otherwise buy. She's probably even counting the commissions she earns on her own purchases as part of her revenue.

Those posts are just to lure other people in. It's really very meta: "I can't believe I get paid to do this!" where "this" is posting this status update to sucker my friends into joining my network. :)

Huh. That's interesting. I've always considered this particular woman to be smart and with high integrity. If she is indeed posting these types of updates with a lack of sincerity, then I'm truly surprised. My guess is that it is likely she is fully suckered into the MLM vortex and doesn't realize she is a pawn. I'm sure the companies foster this type of friendship and camaraderie intentionally. She's a SAHM looking for an identity, and this type of scheme capitalizes on that personal need in the most egregious of ways. One post in particular struck me. She was attending the Jamberry national conference and had a glowing report about how philanthropic the organization is and how privileged she is to be a part of such a selfless organization. That really stuck me as a sign of some serious hoodwinking.

Another neighbor constantly posts about Usborne books. Hers are much less #ilovemyjob and more #buyfrommenow! Neither tactic sways me but they are substantively different approaches.

I actually like Usborne books, but I'm much more likely to buy Scholastic books from my kids' school and give the PTO the kickback than some random person I am acquainted with on Facebook.

Wasdramer

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 33
  • Age: 29
  • Location: Indiana, USA
  • Spiritual Saver
Re: MLM. oh my.
« Reply #39 on: September 30, 2014, 07:29:26 PM »
...

You're not half as smart as you think if you've fallen for a single one of these blatantly obvious scams.

There's no need for such a harsh tone on a subject where people are easily able to make mistakes. I also feel as one targeted for this, because of my comment. Yes, I made a mistake, and even admitted to it, but that was years ago, and I only discovered MMM maybe two months ago. People who don't realize what they're getting into can easily fall into this type of scheme, including people who are otherwise very intellectual.

I thought the goal of this thread was more to warn people about this type of thing as well as give insight into it, not just grill people over it. At the end of the day, everyone makes a bad decision or two, some we're not proud of to this day, but all of us have one common goal in mind: Becoming financially independent so we can retire early...or, in other words, FIRE. What is life without a couple mistakes, anyway? Makes things exciting.


Back on subject, I have a cousin that's super heavy into Juice Plus...she also believes everything said on Fox News is absolute, irrefutable truth and unbiased. I knew better than to say a word to her once I heard those words from her mouth.

lysistrata

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 65
Re: MLM. oh my.
« Reply #40 on: September 30, 2014, 07:56:18 PM »
I have a friend who lost something like $20k doing MLM. His reasoning was that he didnít know enough people then to make a success of it. Heís since got back into it, and got his wife involved, and spent tens of thousands of dollars going to success seminars and trying to become a property investor. He left a $150k job to do the property thing and become a life coach. As far as I understand, they have pulled out ALL the equity in the house they own in order to fund the property investment / life coach courses, are $50k in debt on cars and things like that, and have nothing to show for it.

I just want to grab him and shake him. Heís an incredibly intelligent dude who hasnít caught on to the fact that if he wasnít so desperate to get rich quickly, he couldíve got rich slowly with the kind of money he was pulling in in his line of work.

tofuchampion

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 373
  • Age: 36
  • Location: Wilmington, NC
    • MadeByMarilynM
Re: MLM. oh my.
« Reply #41 on: October 01, 2014, 01:21:25 AM »
My BIL got suckered into working for one of these full-time.  It's a Christian organization called Mutual Believer's Association.  Basically, he was selling memberships to the association, which would get the member things like roadside assistance, a nurse advice line, and various discounts.  I don't remember how much the membership is.  Anyway, this wasn't just a side hustle, this was his full-time job.  He got paid 100% commission, no base salary, working 50 hours a week.  My sister is a SAHM with a 3-year-old and a newborn... and they had zero money coming in; he was literally working more than full-time for a couple hundred dollars a month.  My mom went to visit when the baby was born, and spent a bunch of money buying them groceries, toiletries, etc.  Their church paid their rent one month when they couldn't, and I don't know what happened after that, though they're not homeless yet that I know of.

He'd had a real job, but quit it because his boss at this "ministry" convinced him that he was a great salesman and would make tons of money.  I think he's back at his real job now, but from the looks of his FB, still peddling MBA shit on the side.  Fucking stupidest thing I've ever heard of.  And my sister doesn't have the sense to put her foot down about it, because she's got this idea of "Christian wifely submission" and such, basically meaning that she supports anything he does 100%, no matter how idiotic it is, even if it makes them homeless.  He can do no wrong in her eyes.

Here is the super-classy website.

Malaysia41

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3314
  • Age: 46
  • Location: Verona, Italy
    • My mmm journal
Re: MLM. oh my.
« Reply #42 on: October 01, 2014, 02:05:39 AM »
My BIL got suckered into working for one of these full-time.  It's a Christian organization called Mutual Believer's Association.  Basically, he was selling memberships to the association, which would get the member things like roadside assistance, a nurse advice line, and various discounts.  I don't remember how much the membership is.  Anyway, this wasn't just a side hustle, this was his full-time job.  He got paid 100% commission, no base salary, working 50 hours a week.  My sister is a SAHM with a 3-year-old and a newborn... and they had zero money coming in; he was literally working more than full-time for a couple hundred dollars a month.  My mom went to visit when the baby was born, and spent a bunch of money buying them groceries, toiletries, etc.  Their church paid their rent one month when they couldn't, and I don't know what happened after that, though they're not homeless yet that I know of.

He'd had a real job, but quit it because his boss at this "ministry" convinced him that he was a great salesman and would make tons of money.  I think he's back at his real job now, but from the looks of his FB, still peddling MBA shit on the side.  Fucking stupidest thing I've ever heard of.  And my sister doesn't have the sense to put her foot down about it, because she's got this idea of "Christian wifely submission" and such, basically meaning that she supports anything he does 100%, no matter how idiotic it is, even if it makes them homeless.  He can do no wrong in her eyes.

Here is the super-classy website.

OMG have you seen the info they ask for under the 'Join Us' tab?  http://www.mbaforthepeople.com/join-us/

Social Security Number?  WHAT?  I feel faint.

tofuchampion

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 373
  • Age: 36
  • Location: Wilmington, NC
    • MadeByMarilynM
Re: MLM. oh my.
« Reply #43 on: October 01, 2014, 02:30:56 AM »
I had seen that, but I forgot about it.  Yikes.

Oh hey!  It's $125.  There ya go.  I think he got a $25 commission for each membership sold.  How he was supposed to support a wife & 2 kids on that, I have no idea.

I'd be infuriated, but if someone is dumb enough to get themselves involved in something that is so obviously a scam, they deserve it.  Same for my sis - if my husband quit his job for something like this, I'd take the kids and leave till he got his head out of his ass.  I do feel bad for the kids, but they're young enough to not know the difference.  They're on Medicaid, food stamps, and WIC (though they're tea-party type Republicans against entitlement stuff; don't ask me how that works), so the kids' basic needs are taken care of.  For now.  My sister will stay with him no matter what.  When I got divorced bc my first husband was abusive and unfaithful, she was upset with me.  So, y'know... whatever.  Sucks for the kids, but the adults get what they deserve.

HoneyBadger

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 58
Re: MLM. oh my.
« Reply #44 on: October 01, 2014, 08:41:37 AM »
They're on Medicaid, food stamps, and WIC (though they're tea-party type Republicans against entitlement stuff; don't ask me how that works), so the kids' basic needs are taken care of.  For now.

They probably rationalize it as "bleeding the Beast."  I know I always feel beastly when I write those big, fat checks to pay my federal and state income taxes every year.

Gen Y Finance Journey

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 209
  • Location: CA
Re: MLM. oh my.
« Reply #45 on: October 01, 2014, 10:16:19 AM »
It's a few months since I posted about a Facebook friend who regularly posts about Jamberry Nails. She has said at least five times, "I can't believe I get paid to do this!" But my question is - how much is she really making?  I guess some people must make money on these ventures, right? But I wonder if they are calculating their hourly wage and deducting the amount they spend on training, conferences, etc.

My SIL posts things like that all the time, and I've flat out asked her how much she's making with one of her MLMs. Her answer: a couple hundred dollars per year. And that's revenue, not profit. Her expenses are ridiculous because she attends paid seminars and buys stuff from the company that she wouldn't otherwise buy. She's probably even counting the commissions she earns on her own purchases as part of her revenue.

Those posts are just to lure other people in. It's really very meta: "I can't believe I get paid to do this!" where "this" is posting this status update to sucker my friends into joining my network. :)

Huh. That's interesting. I've always considered this particular woman to be smart and with high integrity. If she is indeed posting these types of updates with a lack of sincerity, then I'm truly surprised. My guess is that it is likely she is fully suckered into the MLM vortex and doesn't realize she is a pawn. I'm sure the companies foster this type of friendship and camaraderie intentionally. She's a SAHM looking for an identity, and this type of scheme capitalizes on that personal need in the most egregious of ways. One post in particular struck me. She was attending the Jamberry national conference and had a glowing report about how philanthropic the organization is and how privileged she is to be a part of such a selfless organization. That really stuck me as a sign of some serious hoodwinking.

Another neighbor constantly posts about Usborne books. Hers are much less #ilovemyjob and more #buyfrommenow! Neither tactic sways me but they are substantively different approaches.

I actually like Usborne books, but I'm much more likely to buy Scholastic books from my kids' school and give the PTO the kickback than some random person I am acquainted with on Facebook.

I don't think my SIL or your friend are posting these things with any intentions of being disingenuous, they're pawns who have been convinced that they're participating in a legitimate business. Even if they're currently in the red or just barely breaking even, they see unlimited potential in how much they can earn because they've been told they can make as much money as they want with their "business". So they don't see it as insincere to say they're being paid to do this, but they'll always have some rationalization as to why they're not making as much money as they could be ("if I didn't have two kids and could do this full time, I'd be making $15k per month!").

Also, others have noted the ties to church; this is a trend I've seen as well. The three people I know who are involved in MLMs are all regular church-goers. I think MLMs may prey on this group of people.

tofuchampion

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 373
  • Age: 36
  • Location: Wilmington, NC
    • MadeByMarilynM
Re: MLM. oh my.
« Reply #46 on: October 01, 2014, 10:26:47 AM »
They're on Medicaid, food stamps, and WIC (though they're tea-party type Republicans against entitlement stuff; don't ask me how that works), so the kids' basic needs are taken care of.  For now.

They probably rationalize it as "bleeding the Beast."  I know I always feel beastly when I write those big, fat checks to pay my federal and state income taxes every year.

I honestly think they don't see their financial situation as their fault.  They see it as following God's will, which is supposed to be hard and bring persecution.  They deserve the assistance so that they can do this "ministry."  It's how God is providing, I guess.

HoneyBadger

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 58
Re: MLM. oh my.
« Reply #47 on: October 01, 2014, 11:35:29 AM »
I honestly think they don't see their financial situation as their fault.  They see it as following God's will, which is supposed to be hard and bring persecution.  They deserve the assistance so that they can do this "ministry."  It's how God is providing, I guess.

A bit off topic - my mother was raised in a strict fundamentalist church.  She's told me a story of a woman there who had all her teeth pulled and refused to get dentures because God was going to answer her prayers and give her new teeth!  I didn't realize you could order up whatever you wanted from God.  Should Jeff Bezos be worried? ;-)

infogoon

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 840
Re: MLM. oh my.
« Reply #48 on: October 01, 2014, 11:54:34 AM »
They're on Medicaid, food stamps, and WIC (though they're tea-party type Republicans against entitlement stuff; don't ask me how that works)

It's a simple rationalization. "Food stamps for other people are handouts to the lazy, but I know that I'm a hard worker so I deserve the help."

Tallgirl1204

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 103
Re: MLM. oh my.
« Reply #49 on: October 01, 2014, 12:06:43 PM »
I wonder if people who are doing MLM realize how much it damages their relationships.  I have a beautiful younger cousin with three young children who has a lively Facebook page which I enjoy very much.  Or rather, that I enjoyed until she started promoting her "Plexus Slim" program.  I don't want to block her, because I do enjoy hearing about her family, and initially Facebook brought us closer, but the Plexus Slim schtick is pushing me to decide she is someone I don't want in my life after all.