Thank you so much for agreeing to talk to us. We at TV are all big fans of your Facebook community ‘Mrs Gloss & The Goss’, home to over 20k makeup, fashion and beauty-loving women (and men) and its friendly, supportive, informative and entertaining content.
Mrs Gloss has a very strict no MLM policy. Can you tell us how you became aware of MLMs and why you put the policy in place?
I first became aware of MLMs a couple of years ago. I could no longer shoehorn myself into my size 12s and I lamented this fact on FB. Next thing I know, I’m being inundated with kind offers of detoxes from Juice Plus and Forever Living reps. On a quick read through, I could see straightaway that the claims were a nonsense but I’m very aware that there are those who are less cynical by nature than me who’d be blown away by the talk of support and the promised results.
When I set up Gloss, one of the very first guidelines was ‘ No MLM promotion’ and this was something I wanted in place to protect our members from spurious claims.
The Mrs Gloss Facebook group has over 20k members who love hair, fashion, health and make up. That must make it a magnet for MLM recruiters. Do you find that they are employing devious tactics to get past your rules?
Gloss has approximately 25,000 members and I understand that this is a great temptation to MLM reps! There’s a huge audience there and they all have one thing in common – a love of beauty, so yes, it’s a bit of a Mecca for reps. We are all very switched in the admin team and our first ‘line of defence’ is to check potential new members profiles, and yes, we really DO check each one. This is despite receiving up to 200 requests to join Gloss a day. This is a relatively recent thing though, and some will and do slip through the net. The check itself is cursory, but we have a scan through and if we see any hint of MLM, we block the request. Some may argue that how do we know that this potential new member, who just so happens to sell Arbonne for example, will attempt to sell in the group? We don’t of course, but our experience shows us otherwise. The reps themselves can be very devious, we have some who will not mention their products but post a photo captioned ‘do you like my make up today?’ and of course, members will say they love it and ask what products were used. Some of the more wily reps won’t say but they’ll be storing away all of the members names who have complimented them and yes, they’ll then friend request them or send them an unsolicited message, both of which are against our guidelines. This is why we regularly ask members to drop the admin team a line if they receive anything unsolicited. It really does take us just a moment to check. We also ask our members to hit the report button if they see a MLM product being recommended in Gloss. If the person mentioning it is a seller, they are immediately removed and blocked. If they’re not, we politely point them in the direction of our guidelines and keep an eye out for future.
Whenever we have seen posts on Mrs Gloss complaining about MLMs, they always seem to have a lot of supportive comments! Do your members welcome the fact that your community is an MLM-free space online?
Yes, our members LOVE the fact that we are a MLM free zone. They know that they are free to ask for recommendations without fear of being hounded by people trying to sell them tat products with an agenda or recruit them.
One thing that always strikes us about Mrs Gloss is that the women (and men) are very respectful and supportive of one another. MLMs use the word ‘empowering’ a lot but our research has shown that they really do the opposite! How do you maintain a kind, constructive atmosphere in your online community?
Gloss proves that you can have an empowering, uplifting and supportive environment without having to actually ever mention those words. We also do not share ‘motivational’ memes or pointless quotes. We achieve this by ensuring our members stay on topic at all times. This goes a long way in keeping the environment and tone relevant, accessible to all and fun. You won’t find people sharing deeply personal stories or wildly off topic subjects. You really can dip into Gloss at any time and find chat, advice and recommendations centred around beauty, Skincare, haircare and make up. We achieve this by removing anything that falls foul of our guidelines. If it’s something upsetting or personal that a members has shared, we always drop them a line explaining why we’ve removed it. Gloss really does work better when we stay true to what we do best.
You personally must be a make-up and skin care lover. We think we can guess the answer to this, but would you ever consider buying/using Forever/Arbonne/Younique/Maelle etc etc etc… and if not, why not?
The reason I set up Gloss was to share my deep passion for all things beauty! I’m a HUGE fan of all things make up and skin care and this has been a life long passion of mine. I wouldn’t use a MLM product if I was paid to do so or given it for free – and this has happened many times! I obviously have some brave reps contacting me trying to change my mind. This hasn’t happened yet though ; )
As for why I wouldn’t use any of these products. I don’t care how good they may or may not be..when you have to rely on harassment, recruitment and exploiting women to sell your product, then I’m absolutely not interested
Finally, if you knew someone who loved cosmetics/beauty and was considering joining one of the beauty MLMs, what advice would you give them?
My advice to someone who was considering joining a MLM company would be the following .. Do your research. Make this research independent, not just listening to the ‘upline’ or those already flogging it, these people will have an agenda. Join Timeless Vie and ask questions. Ask yourself this… ‘do I REALLY believe that I can get rich by selling mascara/ face cream / capsules/ etc etc.’ Try and see through the faux positivity and hype..you really cannot make a living in your pyjamas, nursing a glass of wine and fondly gazing at your two year old*. Oh and join Gloss! That’s a given right?
Julia, thank you so much for your time and your support of Timeless Vie. We’ll see you over on Mrs Gloss on FB, Twitter & Instagram!
*Just a reminder that independent research has repeatedly demonstrated that more than 90% of participants in MLM schemes lose money. Do not believe reps claims about incomes and average earnings: these figures are exaggerated and do not include personal purchases, expenses, samples, catalogues and publicity materials or training (for which you will be charged).