“I put the whole lot on eBay. It must’ve been worth several hundreds of pounds, and I got about £30 back.” Today: Usborne & Forever Living ex-bots speak

 

In this post, we’re combining 2 stories from some of the women who have come to us.  The first story is from someone in Usborne books, and the second is from an ex-rep of Forever Living.  Read on…

Back in 2013, I had a little part-time business selling gift baskets & pamper hampers, which I used to sell at craft fairs, community events, etc. Whilst at one, I met an Usborne seller, who was keen to tell me about the benefits of working for them & that I could do it alongside my full-time job and part-time biz. I had no experience of MLMs, but have always loved books, and thinking this was a long established, reputable firm, I signed up.

 

I got a few orders from friends & family, but could not do school events, coffee mornings etc due to my f/t job. I tried numerous times to book into local weekend events, but most times, my manager or one of her friends had got there first. I started to struggle, but then got offered (and pretty much told to take) a summer fete at the nursery half a mile from my house. I was delighted and put everything into making it a great event. When it came around, it was a burning hot day & I was based outside. People kept coming to look at the books, but no-one was interested in buying, which was pretty depressing. I then got told by someone that worked there that the manager’s friend had been in that week and secured a several hundred pound order – hence no-one wanting to buy!

 

A few months later, the manager asked me to cover another event for her as she’d double booked, and yep, similar thing happened. Eventually, after months of battling to try & get orders from my locality, I decided to quit. I tried selling my stock at a discounted rate to other sellers, including my manager, but all said they didn’t need it. So, wanting rid, I put the whole lot on eBay. It must’ve been worth several hundreds of pounds, and I got about £30 back. And who bought it? Yep, the manager who didn’t need anything.

 

So yes I was naive, but even with a decent biz brain & lots of motivation, all I did was lose money. The obsession, as with all these companies was recruit, recruit, recruit, but there was no way I would rip friends off, so I lost out. Moral of the story is don’t assume that these long-running companies have any more integrity than the Youniques and Juice Plus Types, because in my experience, they don’t xx.

 

The End.

 

“She wanted me to register my husband as an FBO in order to get the 2cc’s she needed to obtain her promotion and she would pay me and transfer the £199 it would cost to do that.”

 

Hiiiiiiiii Huuuun!
So, just over a year ago I became a victim of the fucking shit “company” known as Forever Living so I thought I would share my (fairly long) story with you. Sorry!!!

 

Having sat on my ass enjoying the high life for approximately 8 months longer than my husband ideally wanted, my sister in law told me about this”ammmmaaaaazzzzzziiinnnngggggg” business opportunity. Fuckever Living as it’s known in my household.
At £199 to initially start up the alarm bells were already starting to ring but being family, I didn’t feel I could back out.

Endless bullshit you tube training video later I was even more dubious – I actually think I’m a fairly happy person 80% of the time and don’t need to watch “the secret” every morning at 6am, I mean Jesus, I have two kids and a husband that require dressing and feeding – who seriously has time for that shit?????
My area was new to FL so I found it pretty easy to sell the products and done pretty well within the first 4 weeks and got myself a “promotion” to supervisor.
I was always a little aware of the ‘higher archly’, being my manager and golden sodding eagle or whatever she was because frankly I thought she was a patronising twat, so I never ever posted anything on the “secret” groups. I was never congratulated for making them shit loads of money because it was made quite aware to me that my face and my Facebook profile didn’t fit and/or meet requirement. (Sometimes I just wanted to tell the world what a fucking shite day I was having!!!!!!!!!!)

I did however enter the every single incentive they did (who doesn’t like a freebie) and never got a single thing.
So I kept a suspiciously close eye on these “amaaaaazzzzing incentives” and found one that I knew I would qualify for:
If you earned 12 cc’s before the 15th of the month you would be taken on a log cabin retreat. I knew that I had managed to do that and low and behold after several messages to the “senior manager” the trip was “postponed due to illness”. I then started messaging other fbo’s who I didn’t know to find out whether they had received their “prize” and guess what NOPE!!!

A week later another bogus incentive for a spa weekend presented itself via FB and so I commented on it telling everyone not to waste there damn energy and for the love of god go and spend some time with their families.
Obviously, after that I had an email from a forever “official” and a few pushed off messages from my team manager (ignored).
After that I pretty much sacked it off until I had a phone call from my then assistant manager ask me for a HUGE favour….
She wanted me to register my husband as an FBO in order to get the 2cc’s she needed to obtain her promotion and she would pay me and transfer the £199 it would cost to do that.
HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA – NO!!!!!

The day after that I cancelled my registration with them and now continually spam the sites & pages until I get thrown off of them.
Dickheads, all them!

DO THEY KNOW? Do you think the top MLM reps know what they’re doing when they suck others into their team?

It’s the question we often ask ourselves at TVHQ and it’s been the source of some heated debates. 

Do the uplines, the top bots, the high-flyers in MLM, know what they’re doing when they pull people into their downline?  Do they know that most will fail?   Or are they brainwashed?  Trapped? Or sociopaths?

 

For those who are knew to MLM/this blog, some explanation.  MLM = multi-level marketing, like Younique, Forever Living, etc.

Upline = persons higher up in the pyramid, who generally appear to have lots of money, large teams, etc

Downline = the people below the upline.

 

As we’ve seen here, some MLM success-stories do work it out fairly quickly and leave because they can’t bear to see people they care about getting hurt.  Their moral compass, their emotional intelligence forces them to go before too much damage is done.  They realise that for most people MLM is a losing proposition.

And the others?  WATCH THIS:

 

Having watched the vido, do you think Emma, the top bot living in a castle, is lying?

Or is she convinced that she’s doing the right thing, using ‘attraction marketing’ to draw others into her MLM?  That she can help others get this dreamlife too?

And her brother – is he lying too, or does he truly believe that MLM is just another way of doing business?  To me, he looks sincere.

The question of Emma’s guilt or innocence, awareness or lack of, has been discussed  by those of us behind TV, along with other top bots.   Some of us believe she knows what she’s doing and is deliberately manipulating people.  Others think she is completely brainwashed and a victim.

The thing is, if Emma is doing everything she’s supposed to do: listening to ‘mindset’tapes all the time, constantly training and reaching out to others to bring them in, while balancing her family,  it’s possible that she DOES believe that what she is doing is right.  MLMs ban what they call ‘negative’ thinking.  Read this. And this.

This kind of thought-stopping tactic is also found in certain religions like Scientology.  An excellent blog to read about Scientology  is this one

Botwatch also wrote a well-researched post about MLM thinking here

Due to the high-turnover of recruits, all uplines have to spend a lot of time focussed on recruiting, which doesn’t give them a lot of time to reflect on what they are doing.   It’s an eternal sad hamster wheel of victims in, victims out.   As we discussed here, it can be very difficult to leave an MLM once a certain amount of time and money is invested.  That’s why we’ve always tried to reach out to the successes as well as those who have been used – in some cases, we think they are victims too.

Some, but not all.

There are also those who we have strong reason to believe know what they are doing and don’t care.  We will have more to come on this story, but for now, here’s an excellent blog about how to tell when people are lying.

How do you know whether you are good at spotting liars? Test yourself  here at the University of Berkeley’s EQ test website.  This test will tell you how clever you are at reading other people’s emotions, which is part of lie detection.

Many MLM uplines post videos on Facebook etc to persuade people to join, to mentor their ‘teams’, etc etc blah blah.  Next time you watch one, take note of whether their facial expressions match what they are saying, whether their smiles are truly sincere, and whether they show true emotional concern for their ‘teams’.   I’m not just talking words here – they should be showing genuine emotion/concern on their faces if they truly care.

People who lack emotion can sometimes appear very charming, smiling a lot, presenting a beautiful appearance, but will also show inappropriate facial expressions at times.   Take note of this.   It’s a red flag about how that person is truly feeling.

And finally, if you are high up in an MLM but want to get out, we ARE here for you.  No matter what you’ve done in MLM, you can make a difference right now, today, by leaving & helping others see through the deception.

“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.

comment

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.

Save

Save

“I realised that to get to a higher level in the company, it was necessary to recruit people that you knew were going to fail. ..” A new informer, and single mum, from Forever Living tells her story

This particular tale of woe began in February 2014. I was in year two of my university degree, working part time and had become a single parent a couple of months before. I had a random message on facebook from a good friend and former colleague of mine asking me to host a party for her, as she had just started selling a line of beauty/nutrition products. As a former beautician and sports enthusiast, this seemed like a great idea.

Well, out came the famous green table cloth, aloe vera shots and free facials, much to the distress of my younger brother and a male friend who were the only ones to attend! Out of embarrassment at the poor turn out, I listened to the sale pitches, plastered face masks on my brother and dear friend (Note: face masks and beards don’t get along…) and purchased a clean nine.

I completed the programme, and naively believed that it had done me a lot of good as not surprisingly, glugging down laxatives and water for nine days, and consuming meals and shakes that only add up to just over half of your daily calorie allowance per day makes you lose weight!

The friend I had purchased the clean nine from then got on to the classic recruitment pitches. I was an obvious target retrospectively, I had worked with her doing beauty and sports massage therapy some years ago. As I knew she was a fairly successful business woman prior to Forever living, I trusted her. There was of course the added bonus that I would be selling products alongside a good friend. I signed up, parted with my £200 and eagerly awaited the arrival of my box of aloe vera everything.

In my first month, with only two weeks after I joined to make the fabled “4cc” I did 7.5cc in personal sales (rather a lot, in pounds sterling, but I can’t remember how the forever monopoly money translates into actual currency!) I say this not as a boast, I’m not proud I made my friends drink aloe vera gloop to prove how much they truly loved me, but because I want to outline the fact that I am a capable seller and my dislike of this business isn’t down to being bitter because I couldn’t sell anything.

The business model sets you up for failure. (because it’s not a business – Timeless Vie)

I began my recruitment pitches, discovered I was actually pretty good at it and ended up with a team of over 20 people. I got to supervisor level, went to success day, and was stood up to be applauded for my efforts like a small child. I got a badge too. Cool.

Where did it go wrong, I hear you cry?! Well, I always questioned some of the business practices. The first being “PUPP boxes” in which you deliver free products for your friends/neighbours/second cousin’s dog to try and hope to God they don’t use them all or never give them back. Having had a small business before I felt this was a ridiculous idea and simply a way for the people up the line/*cough* PYRAMID to get more money out of you.

The second was the use of “case credit” value attached to products. I felt this was a very clever mechanism to encourage people to forget they are spending actual real money, and get them into buying products to score “points” to get them up the recruitment ladder. The fake it till you make it thing really bugged me too. Horrible deceptive practice. I tried to advise my team to keep records of their incomings and outgoings because I genuinely didn’t want them to lose money. I also discouraged buying products unless they were attached to a genuine customer order. Little did I know, this would be of no help whatsoever in this kind of marketing structure and social environment.

The big issues with the company, however, surfaced when I started to see my friends fail. I remember seeing one of them sat in a pub with all her products around her, with no interest at all. She left having wasted her time and money, feeling totally depressed and deflated because of me. That didn’t feel good.

I saw people I cared about trying to sell products in a saturated market place, getting nowhere. I realised that to get to a higher level in the company, it was necessary to recruit people that you knew were going to fail. Not cool. It was at this point I looked at my own books, despite meeting with sales targets every month since I began and not over spending on products I was at a £300 loss myself.

There were several factors at play, such as cost of postage which forever charges on all web orders, cost of travel to deliver them, marketing materials, websites such as ‘forever 360’ alongside ‘forever knowledge’ and ‘QLS’ training materials. It all built up and blew the feeble commission percentage out the water pretty fast. This had been a total obsession for eight months of my life but my eyes were open. I began watching back videos of the leaders of the business, with a more critical eye and realised how full of rubbish it all was.

I have seen more drawbacks from buying into this ‘business’ than I could count. I saw one lady outside at a success day who had just got off the phone from paying a credit card bill because she had bought her way to ‘supervisor’ level and was still paying off the costs. The social pressure to get sales is that intense she was prepared to put herself into debt just to get a pin badge and certificate. She wasn’t the only one. I’ve experienced immense pressure from uplines, who are no doubt desperate to pay off their own bills, to buy product and sell it on later to get ccs. I’ve seen women back biting and treading on each other like nothing I’ve ever experienced. I’ve seen worse when people leave. It creates a massive blame culture which isn’t unique to forever living, but to the marketing structure it uses and the psychological techniques it implements. It’s ugly.

All I can say is, if you are involved in any MLM, even if you are not prepared to leave. Please be critical and cautious. They tell you to remain positive because if you don’t, you’ll open your eyes and realise you’ve lost friends and money. Many people in MLM are talented, hardworking people and these skills are transferrable to valid business ventures in which you take home the profit and use your talent. There is no way I’d be prepared to face that kind of pressure, stay on my phone 24 hours a day and peddle a product I make nothing out of but lost friends and an empty pocket ever again.

3 spectacular updates on some of our fave social ”selling” companies: Younique, Forever Living, & Maelle

We’re folowing so many social selling companies at this point that we’ve decided to combine all the updates into one spectacular post.

 

1. Younique’s new charity – look! look over there! we help people

new charity

Their new charity is called “Defend Innocence”, and it’s ostensibly to help stop the sexual abuse of children.   Sigh.  Obviously anyone with a heart would be in support of that.

However, we have this question for Younique: if you want to do right by women and children, why don’t you provide those women (who often join to support their kids) the truth about a Younique presenter’s typical earnings?  So they don’t waste money they can’t afford and end up #lossbabes?

 

noparticipantplan

 

In the meantime, here’s a slideshow of some of the women trying to swap, sell, or get rid of their Younique stock.  #lossbabe

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

2.  Forever Living targets NCT groups

For non-UK readers, NCT is the National Childbirth Trust linky here.  It’s an organisation set up to help parents and new babies.

One of our supporters sent us this email from NCT – there’s a big-ass ad by a Forever Living bot in it.  Not that you can tell.  Strangely lacking in bottles of aloe, no?

AA-NCT

 

The ad is deceptive as it’s not until you click on it that you realise that it’s advertising for a multi-level marketing company.

Holy crap NCT.  DOn’t you have any ethical standards for who can advertise?   As we’ve blogged previously, new mums are particular targets of MLMs and are vulnerable.  Start here.

 

3. Maelle mentors are excited about being at the top of the triangle, and hoping it’ll be better than Younique i.e. they’ll actually make money this time.

Life is gooooood in the triangularity.

(‘cept hmmmm.  They don’t even have any products yet. )

14047318_10155067464909908_7094038376956461097_o

 

13924989_10155067717419908_9056503110509892418_n

 

13920235_10155067465899908_3175772787468812019_o.jpg

And on that note, I’m off to play with some lipstick and cheer myself up.

 

“I have started seeing more and more of my blind friends getting sucked in by MLMs”…Are MLMs targeting the disabled? New Ex-Bot Tell-All

Many thanks to this informer for stepping forward.

 

1story

 

I’m blind, so I am by default, along with many other disabled people, unemployable to the average employer.

 

2story

 

Like me, they’ve found the job market hostile and see MLMs as equal opportunity organizations.

 

3story

 

As a rep you’re being told by your upline that every minute of every day is an opportunity to sell and recruit.

 

4story

 

5story

 

I had to hire a friend who had to help me resign as an FLP rep

 

6story

 

MLMs are gaining momentum and if the situation don’t improve for disabled people, they may be lured in and lose money on a scheme…

 

7story

“If you do this before the end of the month, then I will pay you £500” – how top FL bots pay people to resign.

Many thanks to the informer who sent this in.

First, some background: the Bot who wrote the following post/messages is very high up in FLP UK, and presents herself as a hard-working single mother who wants to help others achieve the same business success.  It’s classic MLM targeting.  However, as we shall see, she along with others has achieved this ‘success’ in unethical ways.  Ways that your average Bot, slogging away on a housing estate, probably has no idea about (and then wonders why they can never get ahead).

Note: We have reliable information Forever Living is NOT the only MLM to do this.  Please do not assume your MLM is any better, cos it most likely isn’t.

Here’s how she sells herself: LIVIN’ THE DREAM, Y’ALL

 

13415684_245511802487214_100498352571410124_o

 

In the following messages this Bot offers to pay-off an “inactive Manager” so she can take over that Manager’s downline and the money she could earn from it.

Note: “Inactive Manager” = a Bot who has previously achieved Manager status but now is not spending money every month on FL products to stay “active”.  i.e. they are not a real Manager at all.  FL could call them a “Kite Flyer” and it would be about as meaningful.

1cc used to = £227 pounds.  So the “Manager” would have had to spend £908 per month to keep their status.

 

1unrecognizedmgr

 

2unrecognizedmgr

 

3unrecognizedmgr

 

4unrecognizedmgr

 

FLPUK 4cc incentive doc

How to retail 8CC huns!

Aloepocalypse Part Deux

In Part I we set out our reasons for believing that FLP is reaching market saturation here in the UK.  If you missed it, read it here.  In this post, we’re going to outline what the likely outcome of this is going to be for FBOs at different levels.

 

Top Bots:

 

As we’ve seen, the poster girls (and boys) of FLP UK are already being handed their next revenue stream.  Whether its an under-exploited region of the UK or a brand new European Market, these stars of the FLM world have achieved cult status and are being well looked-after by FLP.  If their businesses were to crash or if they were to defect, it would be a PR disaster and would precipitate the catastrophic crumbling of the entire pyramid.  So don’t waste your energy worrying about them. Yet.

 

Moderate Bots:

 

You know, the ones with a decent downline, the ones who get the slightly/very disappointing Chairman’s Bonus cheques, the ones who have worked stupid hours and sometimes been badly treated by the bots above…  You know who you are.

 

What happens when your revenue stream dries up? As recruitment rates fall, the bottom layer of the pyramid will disappear.  Your team will have to focus on selling product and we all know how hard this is and how low the returns are.  And remember – it’s now ok for your team to run a Life Tree World, Younique or Ariix business too, so they might not be 100% committed to Aloe any more.

 

…and then your commission cheques start to get smaller and smaller. And more team members drop out and you can’t replace them.  You apply as much pressure as you can, but you know how hard it is to sell in meaningful volumes outside of the scheme.  The product is too expensive, the company has a bad reputation because of negative articles in the media and awareness efforts by ‘keyboard warriors’ ,the only significant sales come from FBOs and their families.

 

…and what happens about meeting the lease payments on that big, white 4 x4? Or the rent on that impressive house?  The school fees? And how do you feel about pushing your few, loyal remaining team members to buy product so that you can meet your targets and get your cheques? Because they won’t have a hope in hell of recruiting a significant team of their own now, the market is past that point.

 

What on earth are you going to do?  That ‘residual income’ dream that you were sold, what has happened to that?  What about the ‘willable income’ that was going to secure your children’s future…?

 

Starter Bots:

 

Let’s be honest, drop out rates are already high and a peak market will only enhance that.  Most will pay their £200, realize that they will never make that money back and leave, having been told that they are uncoachable failures.  In some ways they are the lucky ones – hopefully they will drop out when their personal losses are in the low £ hundreds and whilst they still have their dignity & self-belief intact.

 

Advice to All FLP Bots:

 

Our intention isn’t to scaremonger.  We don’t want to gloat, we want to help you.  Please consider this a wake-up call: the business model is NOT sustainable and all signs point to the scheme accelerating towards its end.  We are telling you the facts that FLPUK will not, as it is not in their interests.  They are looking after a few selected Chosen Ones and the rest of you will have to pick up the pieces yourselves.

 

So take control.  We are constantly impressed by your work ethic and dedication towards a company that gives most of its scheme-members very little and takes so much.  You are resourceful, you are hard-working, you are determined.  Use the skills you have learned, harness that ability to work as a team or lead a team and start looking for another better, sustainable way to earn a living.  Don’t join another MLM. You are capable of so much more and you deserve so much better.

 

And we are here to listen and to support you.

EXCLUSIVE: Read the messages Candice, an ex-bot with Forever Living, received after the Daily Mail article.

Read the original article in the Daily Mail here.

We were aware some weeks before the DM article came out that Candice was going public with her story and we’ve been keeping tabs on her ever since – mainly because we weren’t sure what kind of reaction she was going to get, and we wanted her to know we supported her 100%.

We didn’t need to worry – the reaction has mostly been very positive for Candice and negative towards Forever Living and MLMs in general, YAY!!!

Now, we bring you some of the messages Candice has received since she opened up about her experience in Forever Living.  We think they are very enlightening and a powerful testament to how many people are silently suffering in MLMs and are looking for a way out.

 

13225212_10156858127100456_916355935_o13275402_10156858127375456_333651647_o13282400_10156858127245456_1590293505_o

 

13282556_10156858127180456_1651966080_o

13282567_10156858126820456_1788903770_o13282777_10156858126715456_1589101596_o13282840_10156858126005456_1953384209_o

 

“I was going to ask who your upline was and whether we have the same one”

 

 

And inevitably, there was hate mail from a couple of furious Bots who saw their possible downlines tricking away…….

First off, Passive-Aggressive Denial Bot:

13324080_10156858123635456_85816392_orename13288357_10156858124855456_1907296101_o13288481_10156858125010456_1747232198_o

 

And finally, Super Classy Rage Bot – cos nothing says ‘good PR for your MLM’ like calling someone a cunt.

 

13313551_10156858063105456_324205312_o

 

“shot with bags of your own shit”.   We’re not going forget that line for a while.

Finally, a word to anyone stuck in an MLM, in debt, afraid, and possibly isolated from friends and family: we are here for you and so are our supporters.  Please don’t feel you are trapped.  Even if you’ve lost a lot of money, better to quit now, get out of the toxic MLM of lies than continue on.  We are thinking of you.  We are here for you.

Bravo again to Candice.  You are a LEGEND.

An Open Letter to Netmums about all the MLM recruiting on their site

 

Dear Netmums,

Thank you for providing a space for mums and especially new mums to share and support each other.   We think what you are doing is great.

There’s just one thing we need to talk to you about, and we believe it’s very important.

MLMs.

Right now, your site is like a mahoosive hunting ground for MLMs.  It’s like the ideal MLM targets are just sitting there, caught up in a net, a net of mums.

 

netmumsforums

 

Some people we know contacted you and asked you why you allowed so much open MLM recruiting.    Thank you for replying,  we were glad to get an insight into your stance.

 

netmumslegal

 

Netmumsresponse

 

We understand MLMs are, ostensibly, legal (though some have been found to be illegal after investigation).

However, we have a point that we’d like to bring up:

It’s really hard to identify a pyramid scheme pretending it’s a multi-level marketer.

Even the US FTC (Federal Trade Commission) says so.

 

“Identifying a pyramid scheme masquerading as an multi-level marketer requires a fact-intensive inquiry,” the FTC said in one report. It “entails a complex economic analysis including an in-depth examination of the compensation structure and the actual manner in which compensation flows within an organization.”

 

Spotting a pyramid is hard

Also read below:

US government can’t put an end to pyramid schemes

and this:

What’s wrong with MLM companies (everything, we say)

and this PDF we nabbed from the FTC (Federal Trade Commission) site:

 

Of the 350 MLMs I have analyzed for which a complete compensation plan was available, 100% of them are recruitmentdriven and top-weighted. In other words, the vast majority of commissions paid by MLM companies go to a tiny percentage of TOPPs (top-of-the-pyramid promoters) at the expense of a revolving door of recruits, 99% of whom lose money. This is after subtracting purchases they must make to qualify for commissions and advancement in the scheme, to say nothing of minimal operating expenses for conducting an aggressive recruitment campaign – which (based on the compensation plans) is essential to get into the profit column.

 

00004-57285(1)

Original link here.

The upshot is this: MLMs were invented in the USA but even the US government can’t keep control over them.  Why? As per the articles above, there are just too  many, and investigations take too long and are too expensive.

Because of this, we would argue that you can’t afford to wait for the law to catch up to the exploitation that’s going on.   Because of this, Netmums, we’re asking you to do the ethical thing: ban MLM recruiting from your site.    We’ve noticed (and have much evidence of) the way MLMs deliberately target women at transitional periods in their lives: new motherhood, losing a job, etc etc and many of these women came to your site looking for support and companionship.   Yes, we know some of these women claim to have made incomes through MLMs,  but again, there is much evidence that shows most people lose money in an MLM.   Our whole blog is dedicated to penetrating the lies told by MLMs to keep the scams going.

Please, please, reconsider your stance about MLMs on your site.