“But why aren’t you balanced? What about all the positive stories about incredibly rich (insert name here) MLMers?” In this post, we explain why ‘balance’ is bullshit when it comes to network marketing, and so is attempting to be unbiased.

We get it regularly.

However I do worry that it (Timeless Vie) doesn’t provide a balanced view; there are no positive stories.

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On the face of it, that seems a completely reasonable point.

That’s what proper journalists would do, right?

They’d have the sad story and then the happy story so you, the reader, got both sides of the issue.   And what would you think? You’d probably think there’s a 50% chance you could be wealthy in an MLM, and a 50% chance you’d fail.   Fair.  Balanced.

Except….acccording to this study, approximately 99% of people lose money.

If most people lose money, is it really fair and balanced to have 1 story for and 1 against?  Wouldn’t a really balanced piece of writing about MLMs have 99 stories of failure vs 1 story of success?  Wouldn’t that be more accurate?  And wouldn’t a really balanced piece point out that the 1 person who succeeded did so because of all the people that failed?

The idea of ‘false balance’ in journalism has been around for a while, but none of us connected the issue to the debate over MLM until one of us talked to a journalist in New Zealand.  He was interested in what we were doing, and the feminist stance we were taking, and he pointed out that ‘false balance’ could be a problem when it came to issues like MLM.   Read this, about the climate change science and false balance.

And this.

The idea is this: that by presenting both sides of a story and giving each equal weight, journalists inadvertently give people the impression that both sides are equally valid.   They aren’t.

On one side, we have an industry that is making lots and lots of money by selling women false hope, that allows reps to make false health claims, that says one thing in public and another in private (we have so much evidence of this at this point it’s not funny), that in some cases refuses to divulge how much money women will really make, and is largely ignored by government.     For ‘positive’ stories you only have to go to the websites of the Direct Sales Association, Arbonne, Younique etc.

On the other side, there’s us.  We are making exactly zero money from doing this.  We have jobs, families, we do this in what spare time we have.    We’ve researched.  We’ve talked to victims.  We really care about them.  We’ve tried to get answers from the DSA, MLM companies and government, and have discovered that there’s a huge information gap about what effects MLMs really have.

If we were to do positive stories, we’d be giving our readers the impression we think MLM is a valid business model, when all evidence we’ve found so far indicates it’s not.  Would that really be the right thing to do?

This is why we don’t do “balanced” stories about MLM.

Because what matters is the truth.

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New campaign & hashtag – #myMLMdream

#myMLMdream

We’re asking people who have left or are in the process of leaving their MLM to send us pics of their unsold product.  Maybe it’s still in boxes.  Maybe it’s hidden in your garage, your spare bathroom, under your bed, in a cupboard.  Wherever it is, it can help others now and we want to see it.

We’ll share your photos across our social media either anonymously or not, whatever you prefer.   We’d love a quote from you as to how this photo makes you feel.

Here’s our first photo, uploaded yesterday:

 

TextCandy_20171015_172632

 

How do we know that Pure Beauty Awards are fair?

We don’t.

If you’ve been paying attention you’ll know that we’ve been campaigning with Talented Ladies ClubThe Motherload  & BotWatch about the inclusion of multi-level marketing products in the Pure Beauty Awards.

There’s a couple of reasons we’re focussing on this.

  1.  Being part of the awards and possibly winning the awards gives these MLMs more legitimacy – which they’ll use for recruiting AND
  2. How do we know if their awards won because customers voted for them – rather than hundreds of MLM reps (which we know they will do).
  3. We believe MLM is an unethical business model that exploits women.

For this reason we are telling you to be wary of both the awards and the winners.     The sad thing is, we know legitimate cosmetic brands, some of them smaller brands, are working hard to get votes for the awards but we question how fair the awards are because of MLM brands’ inclusion.

The MLM brands included are: Arbonne Avon MaryKay Oriflame Foreverliving Templespa TropicSkincare & Nuskin.

The awards are sponsored by W7, Pure Beauty, Cosmetic Business and Univar.

You can contact Pure Beauty Mag and complain at: purebeauty@hpcimedia.com.  Please let the sponsors know about your concerns at the websites above.

Thanks hunstars!

Note:  TLC had already contacted Pure Beauty Mag about this issue but as of writing, still no response.

FB page update: still no word from Facebook.  However, we’re enjoying watching other campaigners and bloggers step up and continue the work we were doing, along with Botwatch.  We were the first blog to bring the secret FB groups, videos, and social media tactics of the MLM industry to light and now many others are doing the same thing, which is fantastic.   It ain’t over, huns.  We’ve got more plans up our sleeves.

If you support our campaign, please donate on Patreon.   Thankyou.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Timeless Vie Facebook page target of malicious reporting attacks

Sept 17, 2017 – Timeless Vie’s FB page was taken down by Facebook on Thursday without explanation.

The team behind Timeless Vie always knew there was a risk of retaliation by either pro-MLM industry participants or others who were unhappy with the campaign’s ability to change the conversation around women, Mormonism, feminism and multi-level marketing companies.  For examples of previous successes, please read this  or this.

Supporters are now working with Timeless Vie members to get the page back but as of writing there was still no response from Facebook.  Popular Facebook pages like Athiest Republic (1.7m likes) and Women Without Religion have been the target of coordinated attacks by opponents on the social media giant in the past. They have asked Facebook to take steps to prevent this kind of harrassment.

Timeless Vie used the Facebook page mainly for outreach and humour, as well as support to victims of the MLM industry.   Part of their mandate is to provide help to women starting their own businesses by providing free advertising and also encouraging businesses and community groups to become MLM-free.

 

Please sign our Petition and ask Facebook to bring the page back.

 

Thank you.

 

TV team

Major Charity Foundation drops MLM “Safe Girl” from awards after outcry

Friday, Sept 1:   Charity  OneFamily Foundation dropped multi-level marketing company “Safe Girl” from it’s Community Awards after a social media outcry today.   Safe Girl is a company that was launched in 2011 in the UK by founder Andrea Clark that claims to provide security devices and empowerment for women, however, critics say that the multi-level marketing model it uses is anything but empowering.

Safe Girl first came to the attention of Timeless Vie and others in the anti-MLM movement some months ago.  Like many MLMs, it advertises itself as a way to make a flexible income from home by selling products and recruiting others into a team.

Timeless Vie supporter and anti-MLM activist Michael Foley alerted us to Safe Girl’s inclusion in OneFamily’s community awards.  They were asking for 10,000 pounds and competing with genuine charitable organizations for the money.  We felt this was wrong but we also felt it was very likely that OneFamily didn’t realise Safe Girl was an MLM.  It’s not unusual for MLMs to try and distance themselves from the rest of the industry.

We collaborated with  Talented Ladies Club, Elle Beau Blog and other members of the anti-MLM movement on social media to raise the issue with OneFamily.  Many supporters also complained directly to the organization.   Result: OneFamily announced they were dropping Safe Girl from their awards late Friday afternoon.

Timeless Vie was started to create awareness of MLM as a feminist issue and to provide support for victims of the industry.  With the increasing public backlash against MLM, it is more important than ever that companies, charities and government orgs make sure their partnerships are with ethical businesses not MLMs.  Please contact us if you have any questions about a potential partnership.

 

 

 

 

 

SHEER NONSENSE – LIPSENSE

by Anne Onymous, across the pond

 

If you’ve been on Facebook or Instagram lately, and not living under  a rock, you’ve probably heard of LipSense — an amazing smudge-proof, long-lasting liquid lipstick. This stuff actually works.

LipSense

 

I first encountered LipSense last year, when a young friend added me to her new LipSense group on Facebook. I don’t normally like people adding me to groups unasked, so I was about to say ‘Thanks, but no thanks’, but then I looked a little closer, and went ‘Oooooh … weeeeeell, maybe I’ll give this stuff a try.’

 

I ordered some LipSense from her, and was sunk. It works. For me, it lasts well over 12 hours. Over 70 colors! Heaps of different glosses (which are part of the ‘system’). You apply the color in three layers (topped by gloss), so you can use a different LipSense color for each layer, and create your own custom colors. That bit is pretty cool.

 

I quickly became a bit obsessed with the stuff, and after a few months of buying more colors, and wearing it, I started to think about signing up. Unfortunately, at that time, there weren’t any blogs, articles or videos that were critical of SeneGence (it trades as SheerSense in the UK), but I did research it as best I could. I had never been in an MLM before (and was generally anti-MLM, with good cause), but despite this, and feeling that it was all a bit cult-ish, I decided to sign up. I’ll trust my gut next time.

 

Now, I’m writing this blog post for Timeless Vie, so you know things didn’t turn out well. I have been a distributor for nearly a year, have around 80 happy customers, but will be lucky to break even. I will not be renewing my membership once it runs out.

 

I don’t even know where to start describing the problems with this company. TLDR: My basic advice is, if you want to use LipSense, go for it, it’s good stuff — but be a customer. Don’t sign up as a distributor.

 

SeneGence was started in 1999 by an American women, Joni Rogers-Kante. She was a high-level consultant with Mary Kay (see the excellent blog Pink Truth for the low-down on MK). She basically duplicated the Mary Kay set-up into SeneGence. Even their annual ‘rah-rah-rah-go-team conferences’ are both called Seminar. Almost everything on the Pink Truth site also applies to SeneGence.

 

It’s currently in very early stages in the UK — in February 2017, one UK distributor said there were only around 200 distributors. The official SheerSense Facebook Page doesn’t seem to have a great deal of activity at the moment.

 

In North America they have roughly 160,000 distributors at the moment, and are approaching saturation level in some states (SeneGence claims there’s ‘no such thing as saturation’, which is laughable). In the States, many distributors are now unable to sell their product, as demand has waned, and are discounting heavily to try to recoup some of their outlay.

 

They say that you can join as a ‘personal shopper’, or decide to sell, but really, they’re expecting that you will always eventually end up selling. You will definitely lose money if you sign up as a personal shopper. The discount you receive will probably only be 20%, unless you order heaps — over £199 in a month (and this discount is reset at the start of each month). This minor discount will be wiped out by the steep postage and handling costs they whack onto every order.

 

For starters, the Distributor Application Fee (£85) isn’t a one-off cost — there’s an additional £39 annual fee. Not all uplines clearly state — or even realize — that there’s an annual membership fee.

To make money in this business (and most of us don’t, even with a downline) you really need to be prepared to ‘hustle’ constantly, be on social media almost constantly, push sales, work long hours, and build a significant downline. It’s hard work.

All the usual MLM stuff applies. Here’s a quick run down.

All hail Joni

There is near-religious adoration of the founder, Joni Rogers-Kante. She is very Christian and right-wing (her husband, Bennie Kante, was the biggest Oklahoman donor to Trump’s inauguration fund, and I assume she has similar loyalties). Distributors treat anything she says with utter reverence.

LipSense and Jesus

In America, the company has a very Christian vibe. It’s big in Texas and Utah and among Mormons . At least the religious aspect is not so obvious in the other countries where SeneGence operates (Canada, Australia, the UK, Indonesia, Brazil, Poland, and Switzerland, at the moment).

Never be negative!

All the ‘always think positive’ crap. Anything that doesn’t work well is your fault — you were thinking negatively, limiting yourself, not hustling hard enough, not keeping going against the odds, giving up, not ‘Wowing’ random people in the street with your stripes, not following the rules (oh, the rules — so many rules). Never say anything negative, ever! Right in line with cult behaviour.

Stripes

Old fashioned. In a bad way.

The cringe-worthy amateur design. Some of us ‘rebel’ distributors remove the labels, apart from the color name stickers. They look so much nicer that way! The appalling old-fashioned, clunky website (the ‘Back Office’ area for distributors is particularly bad). Their logo, packaging, corporate publications, and advertising material have this 1990s amateur feel. If you want to sell that 3-in-1 Cleaner for £30, it ought to look like it’s worth that much!

SeneGence-products

Filling the debt wagon

 

The push to front load is not good. SeneGence’s income is based on sales to distributors, not to customers, and so of course they push you to buy heaps. Mary Kay and SeneGence both say ‘You can’t sell from an empty wagon’, in exactly the same words. SeneGence covers its legal backside by stating:

‘… the SeneGence program is based on sales at retail and not on the stockpiling of products.’

(Distributor Policies and Procedures (P&P), Section 8:B)

 

But the distributor groups include regular exhortations to front load:

FrontLoading

 

Impossible income

 

I won’t go into the details of the math behind how you can’t make money at this game. There are high fees for postage and handling. You have to order a certain amount to stay in the game as an active distributor. Your customers will quite quickly have enough colors, and not be ordering all the time. Any downlines you have are in competition with you. You have to ‘pay to play’ to earn any commission income (ie you have to place an order that month at a certain level, amounting to hundreds of pounds, to earn any monthly commission from your downline) … trust me, like for any MLM, it ain’t gonna work.

 

Nothing doing

 

In the last few years, SeneGence has had massive growth, especially in North America, due in large part to LipSense hitting social media in a big way. If you search for ‘LipSense’ on YouTube, Facebook, or Instagram in particular, you will be swamped. They had a huge influx of distributors, and then sold out of all their products (in the USA, especially — other countries also suffered, but to a lesser degree). They had NOTHING. And they don’t just sell LipSense. There’s heaps of other cosmetics (also long-lasting and smudge-proof), and a whole overpriced skin care range. Everything was out of stock. Many products are still out of stock.

 

With NOTHING in the warehouse for distributors to purchase, they kept on taking sign-ups. Which, to my mind, defines a pyramid scheme. The company was making so much off sign-up fees that it didn’t matter to them that their new recruits had nothing to sell. Then they suddenly cut the color range from over 70 colors to 36 (when we lamented the loss of favourite colors, we were told to ‘Get a new favorite’). And instead of focussing on just making more LipSense, which is what our customers mostly want, they brought out new products. Perfumes, for heaven’s sake! Sun screen! Why didn’t they focus all their energies on just producing more of what we actually wanted and needed?

 

The stockpiling that American distributors in particular did during the ‘Out of Stock Crisis’ is horrifying … one color would come in, and it would be sold out within three minutes. Distributors would be buying vast amounts at once (like 20 tubes of one color) to be able to trade/swap for other colors with other distributors (swapping between distributors is allowed, while selling between distributors is against Compliance).

 

The company has never applied order limits (for example, limiting orders to only 5 tubes of one color at a time). Many distributors are now dumping their stock at massively reduced prices, in going out of business sales, to try to claw their way out of debt and just get rid of the stuff. Customers are starting to expect below-wholesale prices, which only makes things harder for us, as there’s no way we can sell at retail and recoup our costs of buying the stock in the first place.

 

Run not your own business

 

The reality is you do not own your own business at all. They pull the strings. They can forbid you from doing something that they don’t like. The Policies and Procedures (P&P) rules are quite restrictive and often unclear, and it’s all too easy to fall foul of them.

 

There are also hefty associated costs. We also have to print all marketing materials, business cards, flyers, posters, purchase tester products and disposable tester wands and so on ourselves. We have to bear the cost of providing hostess discounts and gifts at product parties. The starter kit doesn’t include any samples of actual product. You also have to handle all packaging, shipping, and returns, and ship out orders (many newer MLMs now handle all this for you, and you never have to handle stock or orders at all). It’s all part of ‘having your own business’ as they so noisily proclaim. You don’t.

 

SenePolice

 

Most of the management of LipSense downlines is done on Facebook, in large secret or closed groups. There are groups for graphics, groups about how to use social media (the company is clueless), and then the huge upline groups run by the Princesses and up (yes, princesses. I’ll get to them in a minute). These groups are great for the ‘Kool Aid drinkers’, but not for any distributor who has legitimate questions or criticisms of anything, finds that some products aren’t working as advertised, or, heaven forbid, doesn’t like one of the products. That sort of ‘disloyalty’ isn’t allowed.

 

The very large ‘SeneSisterhood’ groups quickly turn into mean girl clubs, with bullying, and people reporting each other to the SeneGence Compliance or Legal sections, when they see people doing anything against the standard P&P. Any distributor can be Compliance Police, and snitch on you. In fact, emails from Compliance are about the only quick response from SeneGence you’ll ever get. The company is infamous for not bothering to reply to most other emails or phone calls.

 

You’re not supposed to discount products by more than 15% — if you do, the secret Compliance Police will report you. Selling on any website with a checkout system, like eBay? You’ll be reported. Sell a tube of LipSense to another distributor? You’re in trouble. And there’s heaps of other ways you can overstep the mark.

 

The ‘sisterhood’ sort of language that’s used burns me up. Maybe it’s my age (I’m in my 40s), but all the ‘hun, bae, babe, girlboss’ sort of talk just feels demeaning and dismissive to me. I hate that when I have a serious problem, my Crown Princess will just say, in effect ‘Just be positive, hun’. Does. Not. Cut. It.

 

Who wants to be royal

 

One of the biggest turn-offs for me is the ranking system. It’s based on royalty, and prom queens. If you rise through the SeneGence ranks, you become a Maiden, and higher ranks include Lady, Duchess, Princess, Crown Princess, or even a Queen. What, are we all 14?

 

They wear ballgowns at special events, and wearing ‘SeneBlue’ (royal blue, their official color) is ‘strongly recommended’ at all SeneGence events, especially Seminar, their annual ‘re-indoctrination’ hypefest. They hand out tiaras and sashes, and it’s all damned beauty pageant demeaning. It takes feminism back to 1917. For a company that claims to be ‘empowering women’, they have a weird way of showing it.

 

They shower flowers, trips and gifts on their highest ranked distributors. The vast unwashed masses of distributors get pathetic 1¢ plastic ‘gems’, made in China, as recognition on reaching various milestones. Here’s a crazy idea — give those of us who advance and do well (despite the awful odds) something like increased commissions, or free shipping?

 

Spin a yarn

 

SeneGence HQ has taken to telling what seem to be out and out lies, and is losing the trust of many of its long-term distributors. They claim they had a ‘warehouse robbery’, with thieves stealing masses of LipSense. We can’t find any police or newspaper reports to this effect.

 

They cut heaps of red and orange colors from their range, claiming that there was a worldwide shortage of red pigments in the cosmetic industry. Any other cosmetic companies or industry bodies claiming this? Nope. The only thing I could discover was that cosmetic red pigments recently got more expensive.

 

They say they will buy back your products if you decide to leave — the reality is they’ll buy back 30% of your last order (as you have to tick a box vowing that you’ve sold 70% of your previous order), and they charge a restocking fee.

 

They claim that their expensive skin care is their biggest seller. Well, maybe it sells well to distributors who are trying to get their Points Values up each month, as the stuff is so expensive, but in a year as a distributor, I’ve sold one tub of moisturizer (and not for want of trying), and over $12,000 of LipSense and gloss to customers. The other distributors I know have similar stories to tell.

 

They change how they apply their own policies and procedures, seemingly at random. They ignore well-meaning advice on how to improve things. They treat some distributors very shabbily indeed. Many of us have ‘lost faith’. This company isn’t listening, and can’t be trusted.

 

Not so unique

 

The LipSense patent runs out in April 2018. There are other long-lasting lipsticks out there that are much cheaper and aren’t that bad. More are coming out. The patented formula will be public in less than a year, so expect to see even more LipSense-like lippies out there. I’m betting that SeneGence will suddenly bring out a ‘new improved alcohol-free formula’ around the time the patent expires. Bet you anything.

 

Many of us feel that if SeneGence continues as is it going now, it will crash and burn. The leadership has consistently ignored advice on how to improve their running, for years.

 

To read more stories from real distributors, visit the Crownless Princesses blog.

 

For the SeneGence apologists among you

 

I am an experienced small business owner, running my own business for over 13 years. I did work hard at this. I am not a bully or a crybaby. I didn’t expect it to be easy. I did read the P&P before I signed up. I did the ‘Wow-ing’ and attended trainings, approached strangers, held open houses and parties, got all the gear, the whole nine yards. I really tried to make this work.

 

My upline was good and supportive (although she quit even before I did). I had several downlines, and gave them all the support they could need, and they all quit before I did. I have around 80 customers, and regular sales, and am still thousands away from breaking even. I still like LipSense and many of the other cosmetics, and still use them. But I should have stayed a customer.

 

If you still want to sign up, after reading all this, please don’t front load, only place orders as you receive them from customers. Be cautious and conservative in what you order. Be sceptical and don’t buy stock on credit. Don’t drink the Kool Aid. Be careful out there.

 

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We researched Women’s business groups & events to see how many allow MLM reps to join. Here’s what we found.

Some time ago we promised we’d look into the many women’s business networking groups and events out there and figure out which ones are MLM-free (and which aren’t).  Many women had complained to us of going to networking events to make contact with other business women, only to discover they were full of MLM reps from Juice Plus or Arbonne etc trying to recruit.

 

In some cases, the speakers at these ‘women in business’ events would also be MLM reps.   For women trying to launch genuine & original businesses, and for professional women,  this is a frustrating state of affairs.  That’s why we decided to step in and at least try and clarify which groups do and which groups don’t allow MLM.

 

We do not claim this is an exhaustive list of all groups out there.  If there are groups or events we’ve missed, please let us know.  If we’ve incorrectly labeled your group as a group that allows MLM, please also let us know.

 

How did we determine which groups allow MLM and which don’t?

We checked each group’s member directory.  If there were network marketing reps in the directory, that was a sign the group was pro-MLM.   For those groups without a public directory, we emailed and asked directly.   For events, we checked to see which exhibitors were allowed and which weren’t.

Here it is!


Firstly, here are the groups we found that don’t allow MLM.  If you are looking for an MLM-free group or event, these are the ones to join.

MLM-FREE

 

Women at Work

Talented Ladies Club

Molopreneur Collective

365 Badass

Ebony Inspired UK

from 2018

Mums Enterprise Roadshow – From 2018 they will be MLM free

 


Allow MLM

 

Women in Business Network

Company of Women

Business Babble

Networking Women

Stroud Business Women

1230

Wire UK

Women in Business Hull

Women Mean Biz

Forward Ladies

Metis Women UK

Savor the Success  – named as one of FORBES 100 best sites for women, crawling with mlm

Handbags and Briefcases sent email – does accept MLM

Women in Business NI sent email – does accept MLM

Every Woman sent email – does accept MLM

W X Network– email sent, they said they were interested in talking more about my MLM experience

Ellevate Network   sent an email – yes they welcome MLM network marketers

CMI Women sent email – yes they accept MLM

Mums Enterprise Roadshow – 2017 only. From 2018 they will be MLM free

Parentpreneur networking

 


UNKNOWN

 

High Flying Divas sent email

Norwich Business Women’s Network no contact info

Rural Women UK sent email – email failed

Business Women in Surrey  sent email

Women in Business Sussex sent email

Women in Business  sent email

Women into the Network sent email – email address failed

Crave Company  sent email

Business Womens Link

Association of Scottish Business Women – EMAILED

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Younique: “Saving Lashes, Changing Lives”?

But whose lashes need saving?

Facebook is awash with posts such as the one below about Younique’s newest campaign “Saving Lashes Changing Lives”:

Y1

It faintly echoes their August 2016 Kudos, which we debunked.

Now everyone knows we love a bit of number crunching here at Timeless Vie HQ, so we were particularly interested in the specifics of this campaign, namely the criteria and the reward on offer to presenters.

All you have to do to earn an exclusive Uplift necklace is:

  1. Sponsor three new presenters
  2. Sell seven “Lash Trios”

Sounds fair, right? Right?

To show you just how amaaaazing this promotion is, we’ve worked out the maths behind it all…

When somebody becomes a Younique presenter, they pay £69 for their presenter kit, so sponsoring three new presenters = £207 straight to Younique.

The “Lash Trio” (featuring lash serum, the new Epic mascara and the classic 3D fibre lash kit) retails at £60. Selling seven of those = £420 straight to Younique.

Y2

That’s a total of £627 going to Younique’s coffers in order to obtain the Uplift necklace. Surely this must be a pretty high-quality necklace to warrant such a sum?

Possibly not.

A quick Google search throws up a variety of Chinese wholesale sites selling very similar necklaces with free engraving on offer for as little as $7.01 (£5.34 as of 3rd August) each if ordered in bulk (which Younique have been no strangers to).

So, in total, that’s £627 – £5.34 = £621.66 going straight to Younique.

#TotesUplifting #WorthIt

Social Selling company Stella & Dot loses partnership after outcry on social media

Multi-level marketing company Stella & Dot lost a big promotional opportunity last week after a public outcry led by us – Timeless Vie.

 

 

At Timeless Vie we regularly see MLMs hoodwink legitimate businesses and charities into giving them additional promotion and partnerships.  Earlier this year Great Run UK backed away from it’s partnership with Herbalife after a similar outcry lead by Stephen Morrison and with help from us.  Partnerships like this infuriate us because they give MLM companies an aura of respectability we don’t believe they deserve.  We take the stance that multi-level marketing (also called network marketing, social selling, relationship selling) – is an unethical business model that leads to participants, mostly women, losing money, time and resources.

 

 

Just last week Bloom & Wild, a hugely popular internet flower delivery service announced that they’d partnered with Stella & Dot to do a series of events in the UK.  Bloom & Wild has been featured on Facebook groups like Mrs Gloss & the Goss (100,000 members) and The Motherload (35,000+) so had access to a large audience of women.  They had built a great reputation within this market – a market we believe Stella & Dot would be keen to enter.

 

 

At these events, Stella & Dot would release details of their new jewellery line and, we were concerned, perhaps recruit more women into their MLM.   Did Bloom & Wild know that Stella & Dot was an MLM?  It seems unlikely.  S & D positions itself as a ‘social selling’ company even though there is no discernable difference between it’s business model & that of other MLMs.

 

 

One of our supporters tipped us off to the Bloom & Wild/S&D partnership.  We knew we had to warn our readers so we shared the info to our FB page.     We didn’t stop there, however – we then let our friends and MLM-Free Network members know – The Motherload, Mrs Gloss & the Goss & The Talented Ladies Club.  With their help, the news spread quickly via Facebook, Twitter & Mumsnet. Women were contacting Bloom & Wild to complain and threatening to cancel their subscriptions.

 

 

Bloom & Wild did a great job responding to our concerns. They initially said they’d look into it and not long after, pulled the event! Take that S&D.  We were thrilled at their quick response.

 

 

Timeless Vie works tirelessly to stop the exploitation of (mostly) women by MLM companies. Stopping S&D from getting free publicity and probably more recruits is a big win for us and by extension, for women.

 

 

If you’re interested in learning more about MLMs and the damage they do, please share this post and check out our site and sign our petition.

If you would like your business or organization added to our MLM-Free Network, please contact us at timelessvie@gmail.com.

Thanks again to all those who participated in this campaign.

 

 

 

 

 

1 Small Town with 11 Competing Online Younique Parties & 30 Younique reps

….And 10 other MLMs actively trying to recruit.

This a continuation of the series of posts started by Kate Dyson of the Motherload & Timeless Vie (Katiepeakoe).

Part one & Part two are below:

Network Marketing: A Cult for Mums

How Mormons, network marketing & social media combine to sell women a false dream

I first noticed Miramichi when I was on Younique’s “find a sponsor” map and saw it had a crazy number of Younique reps for the size.

Miramichi has just over 17,000 inhabitants.  A check of Google Earth reveals a small town that’s flat but very green – large lots with small houses from every decade.  Like many towns in this part of east-coast Canada, it has been exporting it’s young people out West to the oilfields of Alberta. But this town – like the province it’s in – has fallen on hard times.   It has an unemployment rate of 13% in June 2017

Miramichi’s job board on FB is mostly service jobs – waitress, food service, health workers, caregivers, typically low-paid.

So does it make sense that there are not 1, not 2, not 3 but 30 Younique reps and reps from Stella & Dot, Monat, Epicure, Usborne Books, Jamberry, Mary friggin Kay,  Party Lite, Norwex, Doterra & Plexus?

Of the 30 Younique reps, 10 of them were holding online Younique parties at the same time in Mirimichi.  One rep was holding 2 at the same time.

 

Presenter status comments  Starter Kit  active per 3 months
Presenter 1 white profile is private, no known group  $     119.00  $     125.00
Presenter 2 white unclear if active  $     119.00  $     125.00
Presenter 3 white has a younique party online. Has earned 6 party points and is the only contributor.  Party closes 24 june 2017 younique party  $     119.00  $     125.00
Presenter 4 yellow shares a lot of other MLM pages – pearl opening parties (Dxx’s Precious Reveals), usborne books, tupperware, etc. on her FB page.  $     119.00  $     125.00
Presenter 5 yellow 21 people liked her younique FB page.  No likes on her posts  $     119.00  $     125.00
Presenter 6 white very little on FB page, no party.  $     119.00  $     125.00
Presenter 7 pink has a younique party online.  Has earned 73 party points.  Only contributor is Dxxx.  Party open until 22 June 2017.  Works as a cashier. younique party  $     119.00  $     125.00
Presenter 8 white has no party.  $     119.00  $     125.00
Presenter 9 yellow very few likes on her Younique posts – average 1 or none per post  $     119.00  $     125.00
Presenter 10 white follows a lot of top shills in Younique & Dxxx’s precious reveals – pearl party  $     119.00  $     125.00
Presenter 11 blue has FB group with 182 members.  No likes on any of her recent posts.  Has an open Younique Kudos party that is currently open with no sales. younique party  $     119.00  $     125.00
Presenter 12 white Has a fb group called Presenter 12’s Online Younique party.  18 members.  Last post was January.  A friend posts for her – things like this: “Check out the new skin care line. It’s to die for. Message Presenter 12 if you are interested in them.”  “Let’s help Presenter 12 earn some Younique cash”  Group was created in Sep 2016. younique party  $     119.00  $     125.00
Presenter 13 orange Posts a lot on her regular FB page & insta.  Gets a fair bit of engagement.  Is running an online Younique party that is done on 20 June 2017.  The party has made 73 party points and the only contributor is Presenter 13. younique party  $     119.00  $     125.00
Presenter 14 yellow can’t find much info on FB page  $     119.00  $     125.00
Presenter 15 white Also does Scentsy too.  Has a closed Younique FB group with 339 members.  $     119.00  $     125.00
Presenter 16 white has closed Younique FB group with 12 members.  Shares peal party openings  $     119.00  $     125.00
Presenter 17 yellow could not find info  $     119.00  $     125.00
Presenter 18 white no info  $     119.00  $     125.00
Presenter 19 blue has Younique group with 429 members.  Last posted feb when she listed a bunch of products for sale.   Presenter 30 (white status Younique rep) a member of this group- possible downline?.  No interest in Younique kudos party from this year. younique party  $     119.00  $     125.00
Presenter 20 white has 2 younique online parties going.  One finishes on 19 june, one on 24 june 2017.  First party has had no sales.  Second party has no sales. younique party x 2  $     119.00  $     125.00
Presenter 21 white has younique online party that expires on 22 June 2017.  No sales so far. younique party  $     119.00  $     125.00
Presenter 22 white  $     119.00  $     125.00
Presenter 23 white had party for friend rxx bxxx, made 9190 points.  3 contributors.  Posted party in facebook group for people to sell in Miramichi. younique party is over  $     119.00  $     125.00
Presenter 24 yellow is doing a party for Mxxx and has a FB group for this.  No likes so far. younique party  $     119.00  $     125.00
Presenter 25 white has a Younique online party that ends on 20 June 2017.  has no sales. younique party  $     119.00  $     125.00
Presenter 26 pink no info  $     119.00  $     125.00
Presenter 27 white does not appear to be active  $     119.00  $     125.00
Presenter 28 green has an online Younique party ending 22 June 2017.  Has no sales. younique party  $     119.00  $     125.00
Presenter 29 blue seems to have genuine artistic talent.   Had a younique online party and made 180 party points.  Presenter 29 was the only contributor. younique party is over  $     119.00  $     125.00
Presenter 30 white no info/member of blue status Presenter facebook group, possible upline?  $  3,451.00  $  3,625.00

 

This was the result:

Of the 10 parties currently active in Miramichi, not one had made the minimum 200 pt requirement.

Younique party info

youniquepartyinfo

 

PARTY OUTCOME

Presenter status comments  Starter Kit  active per 3 months Party Outcome
Presenter 3 white has a younique party online. Has earned 6 party points and is the only contributor.  Party closes 24 june 2017  $     119.00  $     125.00 6 pts – Presenter 3 is only contributor
Presenter 7 pink has a younique party online.  Has earned 73 party points.  Only contributor is Dxxx.  Party open until 22 June 2017.  Works as a cashier.  $     119.00  $     125.00 73 pts, 1 contributor.
Presenter 11 blue has FB group with 182 members.  No likes on any of her recent posts.  Has an open Younique Kudos party that is currently open with no sales.  $     119.00  $     125.00  0 pts.
Presenter 13 orange Posts a lot on her regular FB page & insta.  Gets a fair bit of engagement.  Is running an online Younique party that is done on 20 June 2017.  The party has made 73 party points and the only contributor is Presenter 13.  $     119.00  $     125.00 73 pts, Presenter 13 is only contributor.
Presenter 20 white has 2 younique online parties going.  One finishes on 19 june, one on 24 june 2017.  First party has had no sales.  Second party has no sales.  $     119.00  $     125.00 2 parties, 0 pts.
Presenter 21 white has younique online party that expires on 22 June 2017.  No sales so far.  $     119.00  $     125.00 0 pts.
Presenter 24 yellow is doing a party for Mxxx and has a FB group for this.  No likes so far.  $     119.00  $     125.00 0 pts.
Presenter 25 white has a Younique online party that ends on 20 June 2017.  has no sales.  $     119.00  $     125.00 0 pts.
Presenter 28 green has an online Younique party ending 22 June 2017.  Has no sales.  $     119.00  $     125.00 0 pts.
Presenter 29 blue seems to have genuine artistic talent.   Had a younique online party and made 180 party points.  Presenter 29 was the only contributor.  $     119.00  $     125.00 180 pts.  Presenter 29 only contributor

 

Of the 10 parties, in 3 of them the only buyer was the presenter herself.  7 of the parties had made 0 sales.  If we include the parties where the presenter bought items herself, 10 of the parties had made 0 sales in the time period we checked them. 

In each case the women had purchased starter kits and then had to make sure to generate a certain amount of points every 3 months to stay ‘active’.  The estimated amounts are shown in the table.

All these little payments of money – micro-losses, micro-scams – when added together are thousands.  1000’s of dollars that could have gone to local business in Miramichi, education, or savings.

This time I also decided to look at other MLMs – I assembled what data I could by searching on FB for bots from different companies living in Miramichi.  In some cases I found them though other bots’ friends’ lists.   I’ve put what I found about each one below.

 

STELLA & DOT HUN

She paid $199 to join

Has to generate 500 PVQ every 3 months to stay active.  500 PVQ is approximately $633.60 in Cdn dollars (exhange rate between US & Canadian dollars taken from Bank of Canada website) cos 1 PVQ = 1 USD.

Her FB info:

facebook group for selling.  Not much interest.  Only likes appear to be from her upline in Toronto, Hailey Verity.    Group has 123 members but not much sign of engagement.

Stella and Dot hunfo

Most active S&D consultants in Canada, who didn’t have teams, earned $1481 per year.  The recruiting STARS earned a whopping $10,567 per year which is totally a retirement income in…..ah….er…????

 

MONAT HUNS

Another MLM selling naturally based products blah blah.

Monat Hun 1 not a lot of interest in her FB group
Monat Hun 2 has her own FB group

They each paid at least $125 dollars to join.  Must sell 200 PV per month to be active.  No explanation about what PV is, but most likely 1 PV = 1 USD which is typical of most US based MLMs.

Monat hunfo

 

EPICURE HUN

Epicure is a Canadian MLM.

Epicure hunfo

Her FB info:

Epicure Kitchen – 465 people like page.  Last posted Feb 2017/ had a house fire april.  Runs a lot of competitions to move stock/get interest.

She paid at least $99 to join.

 

USBORNE BOOKS HUN

$79.95 to join

Must sell $500 in the previous 6 months to be active.  If you fail the target they set, they charge you for the full cost of the books.

Usborne books hunfo

68 members of her Usborne Books FB group.

JAMBERRY HUN

To join – $99

To stay “active” the hun must generate $250 Cdn per month in sales.

Jamberry hunfo

Her FB info:

calls herself “Jamberry Independent Team Manager”.  305 likes of page.
last post was asking people to show their best jamberry mani of the month for june. You will win a prize!  No likes or comments.  Post on june 4th
does have some engagement on her other posts, as well as no interest on others.
has a “VIP” group
One woman, HXX HXX from Miramichi, seemed interested in knowing more
also posts trying to sell in Miramichi direct sales
MXXX’s June VIP Jam-bourri!  – party

A Typical Participant in the Jamberry plan in 2014 earned between C$81 and C$1,221 in commissions.

 

MARY KAY HUNS

Miramichi had the luck of having 2 Mary Kay reps trying to sell makeup along with 30 Younique ones.  They each had spent at least $75 to join.

To get commissions, they HAD to have at least 1 recruit.  Must sell $225 per 3 months to stay active as well.

MK admits most women earn “in excess of $100 per year!” !!!!

Mary Kay hunfo

How were the 2 MK huns doing?

has MK facebook page.  44 likes.
has MK facebook page, 14 likes.

For more info on MK, read this.

I couldn’t find much info on the Norwex, Plexus, or Partylite huns but did find this on Doterra:

 

DOTERRA HUN

Had to pay $180 minimum to join + a non-refundable application fee of $35.

Lower level huns can earn up to $1,600 USD annually.  (can totes buy a private island).

Doterra hunfo

Her FB info:

Doterra Hun  – Doterra Oils  1 like on post.   Had a stall at Lion’s club.  41 people like page.  15 views on her live.  Offering ‘sip and chats” and local bookstore.  Very little engagement.
i.e. Asks for RSVPs to a DoTerra event in Fredericton, and offers an exclusive giveaway to anyway who posts below about what they want to learn more about at the event.  No one posts.

Quick maths shows over $10k has flowed out of Miramichi due to MLMs.