Don’t be a victim of MLM companies

Don't be a victim of MLM companies, warning sign

Even with local governments lifting restrictions, many people are still without work. People desperate for a paycheck are exactly what MLM’s look for. They will prey on people during these terrible circumstances. If you’re unfamiliar with MLM, it stands multi-level marketing, better known as a pyramid scheme. Pyramid schemes are illegal, but MLM’s get away with it because they have an actual product. The quality of the product is almost irrelevant because the distributors’ focus is on signing up as many people as possible. You’ll hear different titles for these types of business, including but not limited to small businesses, direct sales, brand ambassadors, network marketing, and many more. The title is always changing, but the idea remains the same. Sign up as many people as you can to make money.

MLM: the fastest way to ruin your reputation

You know the saying fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me? Well, shame on me! Because I willingly signed up with one of the WORST MLM companies, It Works, for the second time. I signed up to help out a “friend.” That is usually how it starts, too. A “friend” or family member or some girl you barely spoke to in high school tracks you down on social media to share a “great business opportunity” with you. Cue eye roll! After I signed up, they continued to make it appear like this was an actual job with training and teams and blah blah blah. After a few onboarding video calls, buying starter products, meeting the “tribe,” I was successfully set up to ruin my reputation! Hurray!

MLMs are predatory

Once a week, they hosted video calls with the entire “tribe,” which was made up of 500 to 1000 people. My numbers are fuzzy because I desperately tried to suppress these memories. In these meetings, they would try to pump up distributors by hosting sales competitions and freebies. They would train us on supposed sales statistics and strategies to make the most money.

To put it bluntly, they teach you how to be a persistent predator. Many distributors looked for their victim’s weak spot, and some of them have NO SHAME! We had a tornado tear up some neighborhoods a few months back. Unfortunately, a little boy was severely injured and was hospitalized. The little boy’s mom would post updates on his condition, but she announced that she was taking a break from social media. Apparently, after a brief “sorry about your son,” an MLM salesperson started harassing her to sign up … to pay for medical costs, ya know?

Even Facebook sees the red flags

If the fact that Facebook bans all websites associated with It Works isn’t enough to deter you, I don’t know what is. Facebook deemed this supplement company as spam and blocks people from sharing the website’s URL. Even the It Works official Facebook page has a different website URL that does not include the company name! It’s no surprise that they’re marked as spam, though. One of their strategies is that no doesn’t always mean no. The MLM elites said that it’s usually after the twelfth sales message that people finally cave and buy whatever you’re selling. Yikes.

MLM companies will use religion

These MLM companies will use religion as a means to boost sales and come off as more appealing. It was the final straw for me, and it’s one that I let fester far too long. One couple would really spout off about how God blessed them with this company, and now they’re debt-free. I don’t think the ability to harass people into sales is considered a blessing. It was even more concerning when I discovered this couple had been asked to step down from their position at their church. That’s not usually a good sign. Aside from them, the elites would push self-help books. One popular author among these MLM groups is Rachel Hollis. She talks a lot about religion for someone who empowers women to seek out their own desires. Distributors have followed her lead and will tie in religion to come off as more trustworthy and appealing.

It works but that doesn’t mean you need it!

While I painfully regret signing up for It Works, it did teach me a couple things. First, it taught me that not everyone is your friend. After quitting the pyramid scheme, I saw some people’s true colors. I quickly realized people will use your friendship in a heartbeat if it means making money. Secondly, this MLM opened my eyes to the world of supplement abuse. These supplement pushers would use the products themselves. Sadly, these products became a crutch for many people, but relying on pills and shakes is not sustainable. The counter-argument is that people use them to help reach their health goals faster.

Still, most of the distributors don’t know how to maintain clean eating and regular exercise to begin with. They would yo-yo diet while living off pills and mummifying themselves with their magic wraps. Just because the products work doesn’t mean you need them. Unless your doctor prescribes you or advises you to use supplements, you can do well enough on your own without relying on your supplement dealer.

Conclusion

If your inbox is hopping with messages about super awesome business opportunities, use extreme caution if you’re considering it. I’d highly suggest declining the offer. Maybe you have someone trying to peddle products or asking you to share their posts to get more traffic to their MLM business, use your best judgment. But again, I’d recommend you just say no. These aren’t small businesses like the mom and pop stores in town. These are people trying to make a quick buck on social media, and most of them will stoop to incredibly low levels to succeed. Avoid joining and promoting these types of businesses and people if you can. If you’re trying to make ends meet financially during this pandemic, avoid MLMs and their minions. It will cost you more than it’s worth. Click here for a complete list of MLM companies.

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