“After nearly seventeen years in the hair and beauty industry I have been approached by ‘reps’ for pretty much every MLM company going…” Guest Post

This is a guest post written by one of our favourite #manhuns, Andrew Rowe-Henney.  You can check out his skincare business here

 

After nearly seventeen years in the hair and beauty industry I have been approached by ‘reps’ for pretty much every MLM company going. All offering me the same dream that they offer many people, which is apparent long term financial freedom and escaping the ‘rat race’. Here is where they fall down in establishing any major foothold in my profession. A survey carried out by City and Guilds in 2008 found beauty therapists and hairdressers were the two happiest professions in Britain. So creating an escape for people to run to does not really work.

 

The main issue that any kind of MLM business selling in or to my industry faces is lack of knowledge.

 

When you are trying to sell moisturiser to a beauty therapist or conditioner to a hairdresser, you better know your stuff. Some people do think they know their stuff and approach someone like myself, leading to an often harsh sounding rebuttal. Because they have been told their moisturiser is scientifically the best thing out there and people will be snatching it out of their hands and throwing money in their face, they truly believe this. I have the benefit of years of training, experience and sound knowledge of cosmetic chemistry and biology to challenge the claims made by these companies. Even companies I sometimes deal with that are not MLM’s, make me roll my eyes sometimes with cleverly worded advertising. It is not unique to that industry but, in my opinion, it is by far the overriding factor in making people believe they are entering a solid business ‘franchise’.

 

I recently had a message from someone trying to recruit me.

 

I recently had a message from someone trying to recruit me. She was a school friend and wanted to come and see me when I had some free time (actually not a friend as such, but in my year and dated my cousin kind of friend. One you would not pass in the street, but one you would not get a nice birthday card for either). This was not to catch up on old times, it was because she had discovered this wonderful bunch of products. I did not share her enthusiasm for these products. I normally just ignore messages from this kind of business, as I find engaging in conversation about the scientific merit of their products claims can be confusing for the representative as they have had ‘training’ in the product, but understand little of the science, which in itself can be presented by the company in a very biased format and without links to external studies which verify the claims. The company in question sold a multitude of cosmetic products and their star product was a ‘Galvanic Spa machine’ which this representative had been ‘trained to use’ (more on that later). Understanding a great deal about galvanic current used for cosmetic purposes, I decided to respond with why I thought her company’s machine was comparable to one which was £220 cheaper and offered not a sufficient level of controllable and ‘true’ galvanic current to make any real difference. I also stated I used the world’s largest salon skin care brand which is part owned by the world’s third largest company, meaning I was happy with the level of research that goes into the products I use and retail. This was enough to dissuade her from contacting me about joining her any further.

 

THE IMPORTANCE OF PROFESSIONAL INSURANCE

 

I would say the biggest disappointment for me was discovering she (at the time) did not have professional liability insurance. You see when you go into a salon or have someone visit your home to perform a treatment, they will be insured with a policy from a specialist insurer or insured through a trade body like the one I am a member of. Specifically my trade body BABTAC (British Association of Beauty Therapy And Cosmetology) will require submission of certificates from a recognised educator working under an approved framework (City & Guilds, VTCT etc.). There are many insurers who require this and who will not insure non-qualified practitioners.

 

 

If you go into a store like Superdrug, for example, they have insurance that covers them for what they do. You are the person picking something up off the shelf, therefore it is your responsibility to check ingredients for any allergens that are specific to you. These products will also have legal notices printed on them advising against use if you have specific conditions and notices if you require a sensitivity test (like with hair colour products). That is how standard high street retail of products work.

 

THE RULES FOR SALON-ONLY PRODUCTS

 

When we look at salon only products a different set of rules comes into play. I am responsible for checking allergens, I am responsible for contraindications to use (like salicylic acid during pregnancy), it is me who is responsible for checking professional only products are suitable for use. Unfortunately, my industry is largely unregulated and as such anyone can pop up in a shop and call themselves a beauty therapist or hairdresser. Some councils are now moving to combat this by making sure people have licences for treatments like massage, but it is still not getting to where it needs to be. The problem of MLM companies advocating those without qualifications both perform and recommend products only complicates the matter. Remember that the MLM representative is advising you from the point of a business now. In this circumstance they are not your friend offering their opinion on a moisturiser they like, they are advising your purchase from them in their capacity as a ‘trained’ individual.

 

 

Remember the second someone is recommending you something or performing a treatment on you, they are declaring that they are qualified to do so and as such should provide you with proof of qualifications and, importantly, proof of insurance. If they do not have either, please be sensible and refuse their advice.

 

To the people who think it is ok to inbox me with these offers;

 

I have years of practical experience, backed up by extensive education in my field, including qualifications in anatomy and physiology and many CPD hours each year. I am a member of a professional trade body and I am qualified and insured to provide each treatment I perform. Please do not compare three hours of ‘training’ to this and consider yourself a professional. I quite frankly find it insulting. If you truly wish to enter the field as a professional, please seek out your local careers office or college who will advise you on which path of training is best for you. It is not too late, or indeed too early to leave MLM behind.

Thanks very much for sharing this post with us, Andrew.  You make a compelling case for men and women to use professional, trained beauty therapists.

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Get your 2017 MLM-free summer shopping here!

Grab a glass of prosecco, put your feet up & enjoy our latest MLM-free shopping guide.  We have an eclectic bunch of vendors, selling everything from farm machinery, hand-cut jewellery, to offering HR services.  Check it out and know that none of them will try & recruit you to their team! 100% #lossbabe free.

 

starsandscarsbanner

Hand-cut and designed jewellery

 

 

 

sussexzest

Ethical, MLM-free personal trainer

 

 

 

rainbow

Gorgeous hand made glass objects

 

 

 

valentina

Original & adorable hand-made bears for babies

 

 

annata

Stylish and vintage stationery

 

 

halohairoxford

Exceptional hair salon in Oxford

 

 

 

littlebowbee

Bows!

 

 

 

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Just in time for summer! Intimate waxing services

 

 

 

croneandcrane

Rich and beautiful vintage clothes

 

 

 

carpediem

Need some pampering? check out Carpe Diem mobile spa

 

 

 

MKH

We’ve got your farming needs covered

 

 

 

spinsonic

Wanna hula? love hoops? check us out

 

 

 

icanplaysport

Teaching kids sports skills – from 4 to 7 years of age

 

 

 

hollyjewellery

Holly makes lovely jewellery in precious metals

 

 

 

sensaround

A social enterprise helping people lead healthier lives through using their senses

 

 

 

tread the boards

A theatre school in York

 

 

 

marthasbow

One of our original viestars, Martha sells bows for little girls and boys!

 

 

 

hrsolutions

Need HR help? click here.

 

 

 

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Hand made wear for dogs that’s MLM-free

 

 

 

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Chippenham dog walkers for walking your BFF

 

 

 

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Pole dancing keeps you fit and also, it’s really sexy

 

 

 

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revolingerie

We love lingerie. Pretty. PRETTY

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

 

I’ve been trying to write this post for months now, but every time I’d get close I felt like the subject matter – women, mothers, feminism, multi-level marketing was so huge and amorphous that I’d give up, defeated, not knowing where to start.  So,  I was pathetically grateful when Kate Dyson of The Motherload agreed to join me in tackling this subject and wrote her post, “Is Network Marketing a Cult for Mums”.   You can read it here.  Between the two of us, we’ve tried to split the issue up into the most important parts that we think need to be highlighted.

 

I remember when my daughter was first born.  Up until then, she’d been an abstract idea in my mind, not quite real.  Then she was born, and I fell in love with her.   For the first years of her life I decided I wanted to be with her as much as possible, helped by the fact I couldn’t earn enough money to pay for childcare and a heap of hormones.    I did other things: worked part time in a shop, wrote a screenplay, to make money where I could.

 

It became clear very quickly that if you’re a woman who wants to stay home with your kids that not many mainstream political or activist groups will support you.   That choice makes you a ‘traditional’ woman (even if you’re not) – I’m not, and I felt no similarities between why I wanted to stay home and why the conservative religious groups who appeared to support women like me thought I should.  You don’t speak for me, I’d think. I WANT to earn my own money.   But most feminist-oriented groups supported better childcare not the option to stay home.   Which left me and many women like me in a bind.  We needed to invent our own ways.

 

So, we did.  Many of my friends became “mumpreneurs’ and tried to start businesses that fit in around their kids, with varying levels of success. Others gave up and went back to their jobs, signing their children onto endless childcare waitlists and in some cases, having to accept sub-standard care.  For the rest of us, the only money-making ‘opportunities’ that seemed flexible & available to women like us were in pyramid form: Stella & Dot, Younique, LulaRoe, or many others.

 

I was invited to a Stella & Dot party and out of obligation bought a necklace.  I went through a huge Stella & Dot phase.  “It’s to help out (insert name of fellow SAHM here)” I told my husband, convincing myself I was doing a good deed, helping a fellow Mum make money while staying home with her kids.  Really, I just liked spending money and getting out of the house.  However, like a lot of MLM products, the expensive jewellery didn’t live up to the hype.  Within weeks something I’d paid 100 dollars for was chipping and flaking.  For the first time I wondered how legit this ‘business’ really was.   I’d been told the jewellery was of high quality, but it clearly wasn’t.

 

Before long my SAHM friends were bailing on Stella & Dot and moving onto another MLM, a pattern that turned out to be typical.  One of them hounded me for weeks to have a party for my friends – I thought about it but something about the way she talked put me off.  I now know, thanks to the stories and research we’ve done in Timeless Vie, that her approach was scripted – she claimed she only had a certain number of ‘spots available’ and I had to book now to ensure she was available.  This pressure tactic, I have learned, is typical of MLM bots.  They don’t want to give you too much time to think.  Not long after I backed out I learned she had dropped out.  I still hope she didn’t lose too much money.  She had 3 kids.

 

The more we’ve learned about MLM, the darker it is, and the harder it is not to come to the conclusion that the whole thing is deliberate: the targeting of mothers, the refusal to investigate the industry by government, the smoke & mirrors that make it so difficult to find out how much women ACTUALLY earn.

 

WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT THE MORMONS.

 

I really, really, REALLY don’t want to talk about the Mormons.

It’s not an anti-religious thing for me.  I really could not care less what or who people worship.

But when it’s obvious many MLMs are set up in Utah and run by people who appear to be devout Mormons well then WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT THIS.  It is time to talk about the massive, Mormon-shaped elephant in the room.

 

First, let’s start with this: that there are so many MLM companies in Utah that they have started their OWN “Direct Sales Association”.  Some of our fave MLMs like Younique, Maelle & Ariix have won awards there.

 

These MLMs talk the language of female empowerment, of spiritual enlightenment, but are they really interested in empowering women?  For a start, there’s the Mormon religion itself.   We discussed this previously here in a blog about the founders of Younique.  First, a note: I do not claim to know how all Mormons believe or feel, because like any religious community I’m sure there’s a wide range of belief and faith.

 

That said, there are very clear, very traditional gender roles encouraged in the Mormon church, and arguably that’s part of the reason why MLMs are so encouraged – because they allow women to ‘stay home’ in their traditional roles while appearing to be ‘making money’.    I say “appearing to be” deliberately because there is very little independent data to prove they actually ARE making money.

 

It’s not like the IMF (the International Monetary Fund) is screaming from the rooftops about how amazing MLM companies are for women.  They’re not.  They think we need better childcare, they think that women are suffering from economic inequality, and they think these issues are ECONOMIC issues that are holding everyone back.  If the founders of MLMs want to empower women economically, why don’t they join hands with labour groups, feminist groups, etc to fight for better childcare? More flexible jobs? You know why.

 

The other thing? One of the questions we have is where all the money is going and whether it’s going to fund the LDS churches’ political activities, many of which might be opposed to the economic empowerment of women outside of traditional gender roles.

 

THE EMPOWERED YOUNIQUE PRESENTERS OF STOKE-ON-TRENT

 

Let’s take Younique as an example.  Younique aims to validate, empower, and uplift women.  Maybe they do, but again, there’s no real data to prove this claim one way or the other.  So I decided to have a crack at it.

 

I don’t have a lot of time, I work and have a family,  so I decided to work with what is publically available.  The rest of the TV team suggested I  concentrate on a part of the UK that’s more economically deprived and appears to have a large number of MLM schemes in operation: Stoke-on-Trent.   Stoke-on-Trent has a pretty high number of people on benefits and a very high number of people who have been forced to declare bankruptcy, compared to the rest of the UK.

 

THE DATA

 

Using Younique’s presenter map, I worked out roughly how many Younique presenters there were in the area.  Note: since “Stoke-on-Trent” doesn’t have clear boundaries on the Younique map I just picked out women roughly in and around Stoke.

 

Total number of Younique bots: 52.   Of these, 2 were Green Status (elite), 4 were Pink, 13 were Yellow, and 33 were White, the lowest status.

 

To maintain White Status, a presenter has to generate $125 USD every 3 months in “personal retail sales” to stay active.   125 USD according to the Travelex Currency exchange website on 22 April 2017 is £88.88.  For Yellow Status a presenter must have generated $1000 USD, which = £711 pounds.   For pink, it’s all that plus £177.75 PLUS sponsoring 1 white status presenter.   For Green it’s £355.50 plus sponsoring 3 white status presenters.  Note: there’s much more to the plan than this, this is just the basics. Note: “sponsoring” = “recruiting” women into their team.   We made a video about that here:

 

https://www.facebook.com/plugins/video.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Ftimelessvie%2Fvideos%2F1725687821035572%2F&show_text=0&width=400“>Younique Recruiting Video

 

All the Younique Presenters are women.

All can recruit or sell from anywhere.

Most of them were White Status, which is the lowest status at the bottom of the triangle.

 

Here’s how Younique’s empowerment plan was working:

 

I figured out the total amount paid into Younique by the 52 presenters came to at least £17,186.04.  That includes £69 for the presenter kit.  Reminder: this is in a deprived area.  We can’t be sure where much of this money is going, or how much of it is from presenters themselves rather than actual sales,  but we are fairly sure much of the money flowing OUT of Stoke-on-Trent to people higher up the Younique compensation plan.

 

The total amount paid by White Status presenters for starter kits is: £2277.  To stay active for 3 months it’s £2933.04 for a total of £5210.04.  I decided to concentrate on White Status presenters as they are a. the most common and b. the ‘bottom’ of the MLM triangle so more representative of a typical rep.

 

Then, I searched up each presenter on Facebook to see what I could discover about their success or failure from social media.  Blank spaces mean I couldn’t find any info.

 

Presenter Name Starter Kit minium £ to stay active Comments Extra Comments
Presenter 1 69 88.88
Presenter 2 69 88.88
Presenter 3 69 88.88 downline to StokeonTrent Yellow Status presenter, does not appear to be active
Presenter 4 69 88.88
Presenter 5 69 88.88
Presenter 6 69 88.88
Presenter 7 69 88.88
Presenter 8 69 88.88 Has younique FB profile (Presenter 8 younique) with 184 friends. Very few likes or responses.  All the likes are from other younique presenters in other countries.
Presenter 9 69 88.88
Presenter 10 69 88.88
Presenter 11 69 88.88 friends with Stokeontrent Green Status Presenter.  Has a facebook group called Presenter11makeup by younique with 154 members.  Seems to be recruiting etc back in Poland.  Runs raffles to get rid of makeup.  She sells raffle tickets for 2 pounds each to people saying they can ‘win’ 100 pounds of younique makeup.   For one raffle she sold 8 tickets = 16 pounds which means a loss of 70 pounds on the makeup.
Presenter 12 69 88.88
Presenter 13 69 88.88 has FB group with 16 members.  Shows Younique Makeup as “free” then a link to her online shopping party.  No response, though 8 people have seen it.  No responses or likes to any of her posts.
Presenter 14 69 88.88 has fb page with 18 likes. Endless posts, no comments likes or shares.
Presenter 15 69 88.88
Presenter 16 69 88.88
Presenter 17 69 88.88 friends with elite green status younique member
Presenter 18 69 88.88 has FB page with 13 likes.  Also has a closed group with 65 members for younique selling
Presenter 19 69 88.88
Presenter 20 69 88.88
Presenter 21 69 88.88 Presenter 21 had an online party and made 151.00 pts.  The only contributor to the party was Presenter 21.  At this level Presenter 21 wouldn’t have made any money at all as party points don’t count until 200 pt. Has been trying to recruit since Jan 2017, no takers, no likes on her posts etc.  on FB.   Has a FB page with 21 likes.  Posting about 79 pound younique products with no likes or takers.  Lives and videos with only a few views.  Has been trying to get to yellow status since she re-joined in January, still hasn’t managed it, still posting up a storm in April. 2x 102 pounds to stay active = 204 pounds she’s spent to stay in at LEAST.
Presenter 22 69 88.88
Presenter 23 69 88.88
Presenter 24 69 88.88 has facebook page, 40 people have liked it.  Attempts to recruit etc. no response.
Presenter 25 69 88.88
Presenter 26 69 88.88
Presenter 27 69 88.88 14 likes of her page.  Last post asked people to comment if they wanted a free liquid foundation.  No one commented.  She had an online party and made 44.00 pts, which means she would have made nothing.  The only person who contributed was Presenter 27 – herself.  Has been active since at least feb.
Presenter 28 69 88.88
Presenter 29 69 88.88 had a younique kudos party, made 144.00 pts, which is not enough to have received rewards.  The only contributor (buyer)was the Presenter herself.  She had other parties with the following results: party 2: 177.00 pts contributor: Presenter 29.
Presenter 30 69 88.88 just made yellow status.  50 likes of FB page. Posts regularly, the only likes are from herself and another white status younique presenter.  Naturally beautiful Yellow status means has generated at least £711
Presenter 31 69 88.88
Presenter 32 69 88.88
Presenter 33 69 88.88 likes Sharlie Melly, a black status elite presenter living in Spain.   Trying to sell younique on her personal FB page. No comments or likes. Started in august 2014 and still only white presenter.
totals 2277 2933.04

 

I think this table speaks for itself.

Question: Does a struggling area like Stoke really need 52 Younique sellers?

 

Even if the women try to recruit and sell to other areas that aren’t doing as badly, they’re still competing against all the women already doing the same thing in those areas.  This seems like a pretty impossible, not very empowering task.  Even Younique admits this in teeny tiny letters on their website.

 

From Younique:

The recruitment and sales figures posted here are achieved only by approximately less than the top 0.02 % of Presenters.

There is no guarantee of success for any Younique Presenter. The final success or failure of any Younique Presenter will likely be a function of such Presenter’s individual talents and effort as well as factors outside of the Presenter’s control such as luck and macro-economic conditions. (like living in a poorer area called Stoke-On-Trent – Timeless Vie).  Younique makes no guarantee, promise or any representation that a Presenter will obtain success, profit or income. Becoming a Younique Presenter involves business and financial risk. It is possible that a Presenter will lose money in conjunction with participating as a Presenter.

 

And there you have it, in black and white, from Younique themselves.   But this is not the dream sold to women trying to stay home or make extra money around their families.  This fact is hidden under layer after layer of memes, tweets, and other social media guff about how amazing the Younique opportunity is.

 

I believe, like Kate Dyson, that network marketing has fuck all to do with empowering women and everything to do with selling them a load of bollocks so they part with their money.   Women spending their time, energy & talents on network marketing schemes don’t have the time, money or energy to push for better childcare, better work status, or their own businesses.  I would argue that MLMs funnel a lot of women’s talent away from economic empowerment towards endlessly striving for an impossible goal.  0.02%, people.  0.02% chance she’ll hit the top of that Younique leaderboard.  It’s a game.  It’s pay-to-play.  Like gambling.

 

Since I founded Timeless Vie, we’ve received PM after PM from women desperate to tell us their stories of exploitation in MLM.  Their side is often ignored.  It shouldn’t be.

Because of them, we’ve started our MLM-free logo campaign, which the Motherload, Mrs Gloss & the Goss & WorcestershireMums have joined so far (along with others).

 

We will continue to fight for more transparency from the MLM industry and more independent data about the true outcomes for women.

Crypto Currency Schemes – the gold rush of online scams

 

We’ve all seen the facebook posts alerting us to various crypto currency schemes which will make our fortune if we only get in early: e-dinar coin, onecoin, s-coin, leocoin, GCCCoin… etc etc. We’ve been reminded that if we had invested $0.01 in bitcoin 7 years ago we’d be multi-millionaires now and that this scheme and this ‘coin’ can do the same for us so JOIN MY TEAM HUN! SIGN HERE!

The trouble is, they’re scams.

The crypto currency market has a few things going for it that make it the perfect subject for a scam:

  1. It’s buzzy, exciting and there are proven examples of people having made a killing previously (bitcoin)
  2. It’s pretty complicated to understand unless you are an expert with lots of crypto-trading experience. The schemes play on this (like MLM comp-plans!) by using deliberately oblique and technical terms. They’re not targeting experts who would ask tricky questions & see right through them, rather they’re aiming to befuddle the average person
  3. Crypto currency markets are not regulated – it’s like the Wild West out there
  4. There’s no physical product, so no investment required by the scheme founders in stock, warehousing, shipping etc. No, it’s just imaginary unicorn ‘coins’
IMG_5763
Yay huns! Magic Unicorn Money!

Most of the schemes have all the hallmarks of a classic ponzi pyramid: the returns & bonuses of existing scheme members are funded entirely by new members paying into the scheme – in this case ‘buying’ ‘coins’. The returns being promised are RIDICULOUSLY high – 21% growth per month for e-dinar for example. This alone should set alarm bells ringing. The crypto-trading average is about 3-5%, if you are an experienced trader who is having a great run of luck.

And then in true MLM style, you are incentivized to recruit. Gotta keep that money coming in!

To our knowledge, the e-dinar coin scam has at least one convicted fraudster behind it, and has already left a first wave of investors with coins devalued and worth around 10% of the value originally invested. E-dinar also uses paid-for advertising & fakery to make it appear that they have been positively written about in the business press (they absolutely haven’t).

So where does this all leave our enthusiastic facebook recruiters?

Well firstly, if you are recruiting into one of these schemes you are stealing. Morally it’s a simple as that. The people underneath you are paying for any money that you make.

Secondly, these e-dinar coins that you’ve been buying for $1 are worth a fraction of that on the open market. And the value has been steadily collapsing since the currency launched. Outside of the scheme, there is no way you can recoup your investment. So you need to trade within the scheme… or convince your downline to buy them off you so they take the hit. Again: if you do that, you are stealing.

Thirdly, if you do try to withdraw your unicorn coins, don’t be surprised if it’s difficult to do so. There might be a ‘problem’ with your e-wallet. A ‘security breach’ maybe. Or a ‘software update’ might take the site down if large numbers are trying to withdraw. That’s because your money isn’t there. It doesn’t exist. It’s crypto smoke & mirrors and the scheme organisers will stall and lie and stall and lie to try to postpone suspicion.

There are hints already that the e-dinar fraudsters are getting ready to cut & run: terms & conditions are being changed so that it’s almost impossible to make the promised 21% return (leave your computer running 24/7?) and team leaders desperately trying to off-load currency & cut their losses whilst ostensibly trying to maintain the appearance that EVERYTHING IS JUST FINE HUN.

And finally, because the crypto currency market isn’t FSA regulated, you won’t be getting your money back. And neither will the people you recruited.

 

 

Guest Post: NU SKIN COMMISSION BREAKDOWN

This post is written by John Evans of Juice Plus Lies exposed.  Many thanks for contributing this post, John!

Nu Skin Commission Breakdown.


Nu Skin is a well established MLM selling a range of wellness and beauty products.  In 2015, Nu Skin released a complete breakdown of their commission payments to their “Leaders”.

I assume that this document hasn’t been independently verified but it’s the best we’ve got so let’s take a look at the statistics.

So in 2015, $125,025,130 is the total value of all commission payments to distributors.

Number of Distributors.

Total – 154,020
Active – 55,170
Inactive – 98,850

An active rep is defined in this document as a “Distributor who placed an order for products, promotional materials or services during the most recent three-month period”

Only 35% of the total number of distributors met this criteria.

————–

Out of these active distributors (55,1670), only 18.63% (10,278) actually earned a commission check.

The average commission paid to these 10,278 active distributors was only $188.85 per month or $2,216.16 per year.

This means that out of all 154,020 distributors.  The average earning per distributor was $67 per month.

————–

Let’s look at the breakdown of the different promotional levels.

There were 132 top level distributors.  These Blue Diamond leaders apparently earned an average of $42,231 per month or $506,772 per year.  The top level make up 66 million of the entire 125 million dollars.  This means that over 50 percent of the entire commissions were paid to the just the top level.

MLM distributors are constantly insulting this mischaracterised concept of a J.O.B, where you spend your hours slaving for some boss upstairs who doesn’t appreciate you and makes loads of money off your back.  Well from Nu Skin’s report it actually looks like they fit this description a lot better.

Out of 154,020 distributors, 53.5% of the total paid commissions went to just 132 people.

—————–

Below is the rest of the table of levels broken down into average earnings.

132 Blue Diamond – Average $42,231 per month / $506,772 per year = $66,893,904

83 Diamond – Average $8,310 per month / $99,720 per year = $8,276,760

104 Emerald – Average $4,894 per month / $58,728 per year = $6,107,712

237 Ruby – Average $2,520 per month / $30,240 per year = $7,166,880

485 Lapis – Average $1,471 per month / $17,652 per year = $8,561,220

684 Gold – Average $923 per month / $11,076 per year = $7,575,984

2,747 Executive – Average $492 per month / $5,904 per year = $16,218,288

132 Provisional Executive – Average $48 per month / $576 per year = $76,032

977 Qualifying Executive – $106 per month / $1,272 per year = $1,242,744

4,689 Non-Executive (earning a check) – $37 per month / $444 per year = $2,081,916

—————-

This data tells us that 9,714 out of the 10,278 active distributors earned $1,471 or less per month, so that’s a whopping 95% of all paid distributors.

But even more alarmingly, 45% of these active distributors, the 4,689 non-executives, earned an average of $37 a month! 

—————-

In summary.

2015 was a bad year to be a Nu Skin distributor, you had a 6.6% of earning anything at all.  If you did get lucky enough to be in this 6.6% then you were 95% likely to have earned less than $1,471 per month.  Or worse still you had a 45% chance of earning an average of 37 dollars per month.

Based on these statistics it is absolutely shocking how the average Nu Skin distributor portrays this job opportunity.  But this will be the subject of another article.

#Stealthbots: All the ways “social selling” bots try to invade Facebook groups, brought to you by The Motherload – and us.

This is the first post of a continuing series about the latest ways MLM bots try to inveigle their way into your Facebook groups, your baby groups, your business groups, or whatever.  We’ve also had some help from @WorcestershireMums as well.   We’re doing this for 2 reasons: 1. to give all of you the heads-up about the new, woman-targeting scams heading your way and 2. for any groups out there, to give YOU the heads-up about the new tactics being used to get into your group.

To join or read more from The Motherload, click here or join their Facebook group here

 

Stealth bots 1: Pearl “parties”

 

pearl

Currently showing live on an FB page near you, someone opens an oyster and pries out a pearl for someone else to much screaming and eeking. No, we don’t get it either.  Some Pearl businesses are MLM, some aren’t, it depends on the company.  The idea seems to be that you buy oysters, and then they get opened live, and then you make jewellery out of them which seems really time consuming and pointless to us but hey.  Anyway, the women who join these businesses are desperately trying to infiltrate groups as we write.  As with any MLM, we recommend avoiding them.

 

Stealth Bot 2: “Lockeys Little Boutique” tries to claim it’s not an MLM….except it is.

 

It’s an MLM.  Appears to be UK-based.  Sells cheap off-brand knockoffs – did a google image search on one of their frocks and you can buy it WITHOUT joining an MLM at other online retailers at a cheaper price.  Hard to see what the draw is.  Has the usual spiel about “joining us” & buying a ‘business starter pack’ which, no doubt, is probably how they make their money.  Women who do join should know they are competing directly with other retailers who are online and who may be cheaper.    Status: stealthbotting everywhere

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Stealthbot 3: “I’m just pretending all innocent like to ask for advice about my little home business that’s really an MLM & will be mortally offended if you point out that’s exactly what I’m doing” Bot

 

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kaykate2kaykate3kaykate3a

yeah yeah yeah.  We’ve heard it all before.

And finally:

 

Stealthbot 4: “Swap your doctor-prescribed evidence-based medicines for jelly from an MLM bee’s arse”

 

A mother’s group had a thread on depression.  Here’s the response by an MLM bot – we find the medical claims of MLM bots particularly infuriating because they are deliberately targeting vulnerable people.

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This guest post is by the owner of Sussex Zest.  You can find her on Facebook here.

 

This blog is possibly going to upset some people,  some people close to me even.  But you know what? I am upset!  I am upset because once I again I have received a Facebook message that begins:

 
I’ve just started my own business in the last few months working with a multi billion pound Health & Wellbeing Company promoting products for all the family.
I’m working on getting the products ‘out there’ and as your business is also in this sector….”

 

Yes almost two years ago (with daughters aged 3 and 5) I opened a business, a fitness and Personal Training studio.  I did it because I genuinely believe there is a need for such a product in my area.  I achieved it by writing a comprehensive business plan which I took to the bank and borrowed a large sum (secured against our house).  And that was just the beginning of working my butt off.  I’ve built, I’ve cleaned, and I’ve spent many an early hour staring at my bedrooms ceiling with my brain refusing to stop asking itself circular questions.  Do you see where I am going here?  To compare our ‘businesses’ is incorrect and borderline insulting.

 

Owning and managing a business means there might be times your husband finds you in tears on the kitchen floor when lease negotiations fall apart the week before signing.  It’s about the hours spent sweating trying to nail that one bit of choreography, it’s about some days starting at 06.00 finishing at 22.00, it is about a constant juggle of paperwork – planning, accounts, marketing but somehow walking onto that studio floor shining, and making your client feel like the most important person in the world – BECAUSE THEY ARE!

 

BUT BUT BUT owning and managing a business is also about the look on your client’s face when they realise that 4 weeks ago they couldn’t do what they are doing now.  It’s when you get a text on a Saturday afternoon saying ‘I’m wearing that dress at my friends wedding and I feel great,’ it’s when a toddler peers though the windows and sees people exercising but more importantly having fun doing it and it’s about those 5 minutes at the end of a busy day looking around at what you’ve created and thinking ‘yes, I made this’.

 

To me it’s never about approaching often vulnerable acquaintances (the mother who doesn’t feel ready to return to work, the friend who is unhappy with their weight) and presenting them with a non-descript ‘business opportunity’ or quick fix solution.  It is not about cryptic messages on social media (dm me), faux aspirational memes or ‘faking it till you make it’. 

 

It’s so very prevelant in fitness (and with parents of young children – yay I get double the fun) and I understand this – really I do – that fitness can be a tough industry to earn a living in.  There are many hidden costs – licenses, insurance, music, licesnes to play your music (yes) and of course the ‘on the floor’ hours are only the tip of the iceberg of your working day.  For each hour you train there are many more spent marketing, learning choreography, reading….which is why the idea of a residual income could be tempting.

 

But FITNESS colleagues I ask you this – do you hand on heart believe in the products you are selling, endorsing or recruiting others to sell?  You made the time and invested in yourself, often as an adult – as a career change, studying hard to gain qualifications in sports nutrition, to memorise the anatomy of the human body, and much more ongoing further education.  You are a professional. Never stop believing that and that you have so so much to offer.

 

We have a nationwide health crisis with increasing ever increasing rates of obesity and associated illnesses.  What individuals need right now is not quick fixes.  It is not diet shakes,  vegetables made into capsules, coffee with added mushrooms, 9 day detoxes and so on.

 

They need fitness professionals who are passionate about what they do, but are empathetic and meet them where they are now.  It is about the fitness industry using evidence based information and research to create individualised, appropriate and enoyajable fitness and nutrition strategies.  And they need their friends and colleagues support them through any lifestyle changes with no business agenda.

 


 

Many thanks to Samantha for writing this post and for being an ethical and honest fitness trainer.  If you’re looking for someone who will not spam you with overpriced multi-level marketing products, Samantha’s your go-to.

“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!