MLM Insanity


Anyone else have a friend or family member involved in a multi-level marketing scheme/scam? My wife is deep into one of these and it is seriously stressing our marriage. She goes to weekly meetings and “seminars” at least once a month. She has alienated just about everyone we used to socialize with by her constant proselytizing.
She is spending lots of money on these meetings as well as books, cd’s, etc. Not to mention buying products we would never otherwise consider. She talks in aphorisms and pseudo-economic gobbledygook.

I was shocked when she fell for this scam but I can see how it happened. She has experienced some very hurtful setbacks in her professional life recently and the MLM’s pitch appeals to her vulnerabilities. It is frighteningly cult-like. I would like to hear some encouraging stories about people who came to their senses and escaped from this madness.



We did one of these for a few months. It started with the beginning of the alphabet and ended with us asking “why?” :smiley: We went to one seminar and felt it was cultish. We ran away after that. It was scary! And expensive and ridiculous.


About 12 years ago my sister sat through one of those presentations that her friends put on regarding a very popular MLM. They all said that they would be millionaires in five years by working in the business part time. Like I said, that was about 12 years ago and no sign of wealth yet.


There is one way to make money in an MLM scheme. Be the first person in a 250 mile radius to join the company and be willing to work it like a 60 hour per week job, non stop, full throttle, alienate your family and friends kind of workaholic schedule. Do that, and you too can go diamond, drive a pink caddy… etc.


Depending on what you mean by MLM there are many reputable companies out there that do this. I am in independent sales rep. of one. This is a company that has been in business for well over 100 yrs. We sell quality products and I tell those who sign up under me that in order to make money at this they will have to put some major hours into it. We also don’t have any of those “make it rich” seminars, you don’t have to pay for anything more except for brochures or catalogs you give to your customers and we get them for a reasonable price - the company I work with is one of the least expensive and least demanding to get started in.

There are many good companies like the one I am in that are like this. There is an initial start-up fee that covers your supplies basically and then you only have to pay extra for supplies you have to purchase from the company (like order sheets).

Of course there are MLM companies out there that are just ridiculous, you really only make money if you bring someone else into the company :eek:. Those are the ones I would stay away from - if you are asked to pay money to go to a meeting or are required to purchase stuff to belong there is something wrong.

Brenda V.


Anything that promises that you (or others) don’t have to work is a scam. You make money by selling the products, and by getting other people to help you with the distribution of the products. If you’re getting people signed up but not selling any products, you’ll never make any money, and neither will the people under you.

Some people are able to make it work, but it’s definitely a combination of talent and hard work - and everyone in the “upline” has to be working hard; you can’t have anyone in the line who’s just along for the ride, because that brings everyone down.

We tried Amway, but we had someone in our upline who was doing it as a hobby, which meant that there were always delays in getting product delivered (she only went to do pick-ups when she felt like it, which meant that orders could sit on her desk for days before anything ever happened) - of course, we lost customers because of that; you can’t sell if you can’t deliver.

We got out of it, but it was actually a good learning experience. We’re applying the principles we learned in the seminars to our ordinary day-to-day business, and guess what - the principles work, anyway - we’re out of debt and doing just fine. :slight_smile:

I don’t know what ever happened to the rest of them, though. :shrug:


Brenda V.,

There may be some technically “reputable” companies using MLM, but when I went to sign up for Avon and found they had gone that way, my respect for them went down about 1000%.


IMO anything that you receive money for signing up friends and relatives (Network marketing) is scamish. Perhaps you could ask you’re wife to set a few goals and a few time lines, if she fails to reach these maybe she would consider looking at this a little a little more critically.


I have been doing tax retuns for 27 years. I have never seen anyone make money on these schemes.


Also, if she’s spending more than she’s making, she needs to take a critical look at her business model. She shouldn’t need to buy every CD, or go to every seminar - that’s what her up-line is for. People should be sharing information among themselves; nobody should be bearing the entire burden by themselves. She needs to focus on selling the product and bringing in the money so that she can start to build up wealth - which ultimately is the whole point of the exercise.

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