Why I Hate MLM's

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

For a long time,  I've thought about writing a post on this topic because it  irritates me so much. Up until this point I have chosen not to  because I knew it would make a lot of people angry. But you know what I've had enough, I'm sick of the harassment and lies. These are my opinions if you don't like them then you are free to move along.  If you have something constructive to say then by all means post a comment. I however, am not filtering my comments as this is my blog and on my blog I make the rules. I will now include a happy picture but the rest is real honest you've been warned.


Basically, it's where you sell a product to someone and you get a commission when they buy it. The multi-level part comes in when you recruit the person you sold something to and they sell the product to someone else and you get a commission off of everything they sell.

For those of you who don't know, I HATE MLM's.  Now let me first say I don't think all MLM'S are garbage. I'm sure there are some legitimate products and companies out there. Here's the problem though, when I make a statement like not all MLM'S are garbage.  I give any person selling in an MLM a loophole and all the people who participate in garbage MLM's step forward pat themselves on the back and say, "Ya, exactly we are totally legit."  And anything good about the industry get's lost in the commotion.

How do I know this, well I am probably contacted 2 times a week on my social media platforms about buying some product or another. I have openly stated my dislike for MLM's on social media by saying  things like...." I hate Lipsense, almost as much as I hate back squats....(just so you know that's a lot) Stop for the love, inviting me to your MLM sales groups. I am begging you!" And then I get like 20 supportive likes as if to say, "Ya, right there with you girl".  But you know what the laughable part is, half those people sell products for MLM's and that's when you realize that there can be no LOOPHOLES.

I've come up with my top 5 list. I figure it might be easier in the future to direct all unwanted sales pitches to this blog.  I've also been asked a lot, and I thought some of you might be interested to know that I do have reasons and I'm not just a grump who doesn't want to buy any of your crap.


I think one of the biggest reasons I hate MLM's is that you are building someone else's brand on the back of your family members, friends and one time acquaintances. You put your own money, time and effort in to line the pockets and grow the business for people higher up the chain than you.

Now maybe you could say, well any job where you work for someone else is like that. No, when you work for good companies they don't require you to buy in. Sure they might give you commissions if you sell well but they probably also give you health care and benefits, structure and support etc. To me, it's kind of like the analogy that my parents always used growing up. You could either rent a house and pay for something that will never be yours.  And as is the case with many a rental, fix things when they break because your landlord is a loser. Or you could buy the house put in all the same time and effort to keep it up but the money you pay towards it will go to something YOU own. I'm sure that analogy is flawed in one way or another but I think you get my point. Most direct sales companies require a small investment up front, but there are plenty of upsells along the way simply to have enough products to show potential customers. Unless you’re serious about putting in a 38 hour week, you can quickly end up with out of date products and no extra profits to cover them. As the saying goes "Build your own dreams or someone else will hire you to build theirs."


When you sign up friends or family as distributors, you’re creating your own competition and the more people who get involved, the less chance mutual friends will know who to buy from. Unfortunately, this is also how you yourself make more money. MLM's doesn’t obey the laws of supply and demand.
 McDonald's won’t let franchise owners open up multiple locations on the same street unless there is sufficient demand. Otherwise, they would compete for few customers and go out of business.There are only so many people interested in buying and with multiple distributors in small areas, the best (or best known) salesperson will get the sale. So what essential is seen as "support" from your business, like the kind I mention in my first point is really competition. I think you can see the problem here.


As a small business owner who's married to a small business owner, I find this insulting. MLM distributors do not have control.
You don't dictate product decisions, research and marketing, marketing restriction, rules, cost analysis or any other activity fundamental to owning a business. You don't do other common business owner type things like payroll, offer benefits, have a brick and mortar location, pay unemployment tax.
The U.S. Small Business Administration has this handy PDF of information. It states that “7 of 10 business survive the first two years” (30% failure rate over two years), “half at least 5 years”, “a third at least 10 years”, and “a quarter stay in business 15 years or more.” Do you wanna guess what percentage MLM's fail at every year? 90% are failing every year and I’m being very generous. If we start with a 100,000 people and 90% fail each year, you have 10,000 people after the first year and 1000 people after two years. That’s a 99% failure in MLM vs. 30% in traditional small businesses. After 5 years, you are left with a single person in MLM. In traditional small businesses, you’d have 50,000. If this were the Hunger Games the odds what not be in your favor.


This one drives me insane. I think there must be a script that MLM participants pass around to one another because all the sales pitches sound the same. Hey so and so, (insert something personal about the person that you found in a 10second search by Facebook stalking them) I really want to tell you about this product that I am loving. I have a free 3-day trial and there is a 60-day money back guarantee so there is no risk. (insert your own personal experience with product) And (insert social proof) here is a picture of my friend Mary, (they do not really know Mary) Look at her results!!!

If you're a good salesman then I won't know you're selling me something.

Here's another example, a couple weeks ago I got an Instagram message from a person I hadn't spoken to in 11 years. I sent Mr. Robinson the following text.

Tigan: "How much you wanna bet in about 10 minutes they are going to try and sell me something?"
Blake: "$100 dollars"

Yep, I guessed it, not 10 minutes later came the pitch. I even gave several foreshadowing hints (thank you 10th-grade English teacher) about how I wouldn't be keen on the product until finally I just bluntly told them that I hate MLM's and I wasn't interested.  After which they baited me with unrelated cordial conversation until they could put in the last word about how great their MLM was.

Why do I always cry at Korean commercials on Youtube or when Susan Boyle sang I Dreamed a Dream on Britain's got Talent because it tugs at my heart strings. I connect their experience with ones from my own life and that's exactly how MLM's use all your real feelings to connect you with their crap products. And when you feel connected to something it makes it seem more legitimate, you buy more, you sell more and the circle goes round and round.  The biggest offender of this is weight loss products. No one wants to be unhealthy, no one wants to feel bad about the way they look. But the truth is the only way to achieve a true lifestyle change with lasting result includes the words hard work and hard work is well HARD. Easy supplements and meal plans are quick fixes and when you add social proof they seem like the perfect answer.  They are designed to make you fail or at least require you to keep buying the products in order to maintain your results. Don't drink this punch people.

Just NO.  Distributors suck you into parties with free samples, food, girls nights, and prizes. Or you're guilted into them because your friend got roped in by their friend and they have to have 10 people or they won't get the free merchandise.
Parties are basically QVC live shows except instead of them saying they are almost sold out they harass/pressure you into buying something you don't need and or don't even like and they don't stop there. Because you came to the party now it's your turn to have one at your house to further the cause of the selling monster.
The worst offenders are makeup parties. When did the ability to purchase makeup product and read the coordinating product description provided by the company qualify you as a makeup artist or skin care professional? The answer, it doesn't.
Skin is complicated the reason it's doing the things it's doing could be caused by a multitude of offenders, age, genetics, hormones, diet. The same goes for make-up.  My skin is the color of the driven snow and I can't tell you how many "professionals"  have matched me with the wrong foundation.  Add in various organic options, fillers, minerals, sunscreens that they put in foundations and you can bet that a multitude of skin sins are headed your way. Think flashback, cake face, dry patches, skin problems, that disgusting line that happen when you don't match your foundation to your neck.  It's a big freaking deal people.


This leads me to my next and last point. Being a good seller in an MLM is not equal to knowledge or skills. It always kind of boggles my mind how many people take opinion as actual fact. The fact is that the people selling you these products are just like you and me. They probably didn't go to school in this field. They probably don't have any work experience in this field and they sure as heck don't have enough knowledge about the industry and it's rules or regulation to offer any type of actual advice or know how.
Sure MLM companies might hold annual conferences and small group training where they go and learn about their products and by learn I mean they feed them information that correlates and or proves that their products are amazing. But is that the same as having an educational background in something? If you're talking about MLM's that sell nutritional and dietary supplements you should know about the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act of 1994. It was not necessarily an end to the war between the FDA and the health food supplement industry, but it was a major victory for marketers of vitamins and dietary supplements.

At its bare bones, the legislation does the following:

1. Allows third party literature about dietary supplements to be disseminated,

2. Allows labels on dietary supplements to describe how supplements provide nutritional or dietary

3. Places the burden of proof that a dietary supplement is unsafe on the FDA,

4. Provides that the dietary supplements are not "food additives" and that the FDA may not arbitrarily remove supplements from the marketplace by labeling them as unapproved "food additives,"

The Act provided for a presidential commission of unbiased experts in dietary supplements during the next two years to provide recommendations and established procedures for evaluating health claim label statements. After that the FDA was to issue proposed rules and invite public comment.

What this means to you? Well, it's not exactly bad and it's not exactly good. There are plenty of supplements out there that do great things and there are plenty that do diddley squat. ( I'm looking at you deer antler velvet) It means as a consumer you have to be smarter. Companies aren't required to pay the hefty fees for FDA approval and they can get third party proof! (which means they can pay a third party to say whatever the hell they want.)

But here's what you should really ask yourself. Are you willing to trust your health to your neighbor Sarah down the street who has a bachelor's in fine art and recently took up yoga and has now become a distributor to the fastest growing health and wellness movement? Who's supplements sound like pure magic that will cure all your ailments and has "proven effective" 3rd party literature? No? not so sure now? Good Answer.

So the next time you wanna sell me something consider this before you send me that message. And just in case you missed the point of this post....


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  1. Okay, so I usually don't comment on random people's posts but I decided to help share some perspective with you that comes from somebody who is a very successful network marketer. I experienced a huge mix of emotions reading through your post. There are some things that I completely agree with and things that totally resonate with me and other things that I would have agreed with 8 years ago before starting my journey.

    Truthfully, you have some great points and some points that I think that we can all agree on. There are other things in here that reflect a lot of misunderstanding and lack of knowledge when it comes down to how things really work. My goal isn't to tear you down but rather provide some education for you <3

    I think it is fair to say that what you are truly annoyed with is the extreme overabundance tacky network marketers who can definitely give the rest of us a bad name. It is interesting that the bottom 99% of sells reps for a company give a bad reputation for the top 1% of the company who actually PRODUCES and generates all of the sales!

    I will say that I am absolutely a small business owner. Sure, I represent a company but I have my own employees, and pay both sides of payroll taxes and have the joys of paying a LOT in taxes because I am small business owner. Again, I think that annoys you is the people who are not upfront with the company they represent rather than being annoyed that they are calling themselves a small business owner. I am an independent contractor for the company I represent and I do business under my own LLC subchapter S. I have stresses and joys just like any small business owner. I also have a husband who owns his business, that by your definition is a "small business". He is not representing or making money selling a product for another company. Our challenges can be vastly different from one another and yet similar! The point is we are both small business owners.

    There is not a better way to make money than with an AMAZING network marketing company (yes there are a TON of horrible network marketing companies). Seriously, I work 10-15 hours a week, make a multiple 6 figure income and I have the freedom to do things that most people can't. I am SO GRATEFUL I moved past the stigma and horrible companies to find one that is amazing and offers incredible compensation to its representatives that work hard.

    Do you want to know what I find even more satisfaction in? It is helping OTHER People find success with network marketing. I have a team of 40,000, most of which are product consumers and don't build a business. Of that, I have a good 100 people who have literally created an income that allows them to live solely off there MLM income and enjoy an amazing life! It is inspiring to help a woman in an abusive marriage be able to leave her husband because she has created enough of an income to sustain herself. This same woman didn't have a college education and had no work experience. It is incredible to watch people succeed and reach goals!

    Not all companies are good, not all reps are good and YES there are SOOO many annoying people out there, but don't let that be your visions of MLM. What should be your vision of MLM is the success of the company and those who are doing well. The rest of the reps are annoying sales reps who don't know how to build.

    I could honestly refute more of your 5 points and help you better understand how things work, but again i think the true problem is you are annoyed at being marketed to in an obnoxious way and that is okay. Don't hate MLM, be annoyed at the people who are annoying! Ha ha ha ha! And, even better cheer those on who are working hard to support a family and meeting and reaching goals!

    1. Thanks, for posting a comment Jenn. It was interesting to read. I noticed that you didn't mention which company you work for with your team of 40,000. I always say you should never judge a book by it's cover so I dove a little deeper. Turns out your book is none other than the MLM giant known as doTERRA. I'm not anti essential oil. Love a good lavender for a sun burn but doTERRA has done some sketchy things.

      In 2012 doTERRA was claiming that their products were certified as therapeutic grade by the FDA with registered trademark CPTG (Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade) as proof. The CPTG trademark is one that doTERRA created and has nothing to do with the FDA at all. For those of you who don't know you can read about it here..


      Later doTERRA retracted and switched the “certification” from the FDA to the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). However, the USPTO isn’t in the business of doing certification of essential oil.

      This leads to doTERRA’s message. They explicitly say on their website, “This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent disease.” However I have often been pitched the idea that doTERRA products treat diseases. In fact the FDA sent warning letters to both DoTERRA Essential Oils and Young Living Essential Oils on the same day: September 22, 2014. Wether you yourself do this or not is irrelevant but I'm sure in your case it would be difficult to manage 40,000 salesmen’s comments and sales techniques to make sure that none of your team is telling tall tales like this.

      You also quite eloquently illustrated several of my points. I liked this section when you mentioned "Do you want to know what I find even more satisfaction in? It is helping OTHER People find success with network marketing." "I have a good 100 people who have literally created an income that allows them to live solely off there MLM income and enjoy an amazing life! It is inspiring to help a woman in an abusive marriage be able to leave her husband because she has created enough of an income to sustain herself. This same woman didn't have a college education and had no work experience. It is incredible to watch people succeed and reach goals! "

    2. This does sound incredible and exactly like an MLM. Remember my point about pulling those heart strings, cue the tiny violins. I'm not against people pulling themselves up by their boot straps. I am however against setting people up to fail. MLM's bigger clientage is in fact not the consuming public but rather hopeful investors, dreamers. Easy targets that grow significantly in times of economic transition, globalization and employee displacement. Promises of quick and easy financial freedom and the beguiling association of wealth with ultimate happiness are very incising and ultimately only for that top 1% as you mentioned.

      "What should be your vision of MLM is the success of the company and those who are doing well. The rest of the reps are annoying sales reps who don't know how to build." The fact is that those who are doing well are such a small percent of those who are not. You should know as a “small business” owner that all of the employee are a representation of the company wether you like it or not. That's why people get fired when they do dumb stuff and post it on Facebook. They are an extension of the company.
      The truth is it doesn't matter what I write or you write we’ll never change each others minds on this subject. As I’m reading back through my reply I think it is coming off rather harsh but as I mentioned it is a heated subject for me. I don’t know you personally you might be a great successful person who takes great care of her 40,000 sheep.

      I'm glad you pay taxes but as I mentioned it takes control to truly have a business which you have none of. In fact what you have is the short end of the business stick where you get a lot of extra work as an independent contractor. (boy do I hate 1099’s and their lame taxes) so the giant parent company doTerra doesn't have to take accountability for any of it's “employees" You also didn’t build the brand. You also didn’t build the brand. Did you create the marketing material? Do you have a say in which products are produced and where they are manufactured? I've never worked for doTERRA so maybe they do offer you benefits but this model where MLM's drop operational responsibly on it's sales force is pretty proven.

      I am a supporter of small business, a champion for the underdog. Your right I am annoyed by the tacky obnoxious way network marketers constantly try to sell me their products but simplifying any of my other points down to meager annoyance is like comparing MLM’s to a fly in my apple pie (which happened once to me at Marie Calendars).

      Sure, I could have scrapped that fly off and ate the pie any way but did you know that because flies can’t actually chew food they vomit up stomach enzymes to break it up and then slurp it up their proboscises. Ya annoyance really doesn’t cover that type of perpetual, unapologetic offense. So I’ll stick with what I've got. By the way I asked for a new piece of pie.

  2. I don't care to argue and mince words. I'm just sharing my heart and my experiences. I was just explaining why I love network marketing and I'm familiar with it because I live it. My point was it is always fun and fulfilling to create a difference in somebody's life no matter how it happens. Why mock something that I love and that many love that creates value and meaning to them? What is wrong with real and inspiring stories, especially ones that will help others achieve success or give purpose to their lives? Success isn't always measured by a giant income either. Many love the purpose they've found in just sharing a product they love.

    Your information on the FDA certification d doterra is not accurate. The Reference that you cited was a blog and not a valid source. You never know the credibility or motives behind a person writing a blog. Please remember I've been involved With dōTERRA for 8 years and have been made very aware of what's going on with dōTERRA by the owners and trust me, when unpleasant stuff happens we hear about it and it's addressed. As a company dōTERRA has been through some very tough stuff To no fault of their own. They always keep us privy on what's going on, even when it's not pleasant. There are many people who slander companies and bring up innacruate facts and that is why blogs are not reliable sources for anything. DōTERRA has always been very proud of their certification and the fact that it is their own standard. We have never claimed it was an FDA standard. In a dōTERRA meetings we focus on what CpTG means and that it's our own personal brand and certification. That's never been hidden. What's wrong with branding?

    As far as the FDA and letters about disease claims, you are correct. DōTERRA worked tirelessly with the FDA to help us all be compliant is what we posted online and what we taught. DōTERRA is in great standing with the FDA. dōTERRA works VERY hard on educating us to be compliant.

    I completely understand this is your blog and I'm in your territory and I'm invading it with a different opinion and perspective. I was just providing some insight on why I love what I do.

    I think being respectful and kind of what we do for a living is important.

  3. As far as my own business. I LOVE the gig I have set up with dōTERRA. I'm extremely well compensated by dōTERRA. I love that the overhead for creating the amazing dōTERRA brand is theirs. They assume the risk and I reap the income from it. There are many wellness advocate who out earn the owners. It's a sweet Deal. My husband actually did an awesome business presentation on the cost of start up between my biz and his and the earnings we have experienced from both. I definitely got the better end of the deal for sure and he's been very successful too. I didn't have to invest the money he did to start his business. I didn't have to invest millions of dollars that dōTERRA did either.

  4. Yeah I've been on both sides of the fence! I've been in network marketing about 4 years now and in my first business, was taught exactly how to emotionally sell. But all industries are the same way. I took a few non MLM sales courses and they also taught to pull at heart strings. Even in personal training and interior design, most of the time people buy on emotions. They are tired of being fat. Or exhausted trying to make a certain space in their house make sense. The only times I ever hired a trainer and designer were because I was emotionally spent and ready for someone to take over. What I love about networking sales is it forces you to do personal development and grow as a person. Finding success in an industry with a 99% failure rate is tough. And I agree that all these annoying networkers will be bankrupt or out of business extremely fast because they are just trying to make a quick buck. It's the networkers that actually network that stay in and ride the wave to the top. I'm in the industry and agree on most of your points! Except for the small business part. We are definitely business owners with our own LLC's. And the ones that don't treat it like a business, don't LLC, are the ones that fail and annoy the crap out of all of us that doing it right. The difference with my LLC's (I have 3 company's) is they can stand alone without the MLM product because I also offer other things and services. Holistic Life International exists and will exist whether or not doTERRA stays in business or not. Glowing Through Motherhood is 90% my own company with my own personal services and 10% Thrive products. And Moneta Nova is the same way with real estate. Maybe this makes me different than most networkers but in my own experience it's crucial to have multiple streams of passive income to survive. One from your MLM product line, one from your private services, one from your social media, one from your real estate, one from your ETC etc etc. I'd agree with that other commenter and say don't hate the 99% that are doing it wrong! It is true that 1% of all networkers being in 99% of company sales. So it is very frustrating and difficult both being successful and failing in this industry. But I will say if you can survive it--oh my god, you could survive anything.

  5. Thank you thank you thank you! I have so many thoughts but not as well spoken as you!! I invented a product and have spent the last year teaching myself small business. I think people don't realize that small business owners don't get a package of marketing materials, samples and "what to do next". I once spent 3 hours researching what had to go on a tag for my manufacturer. Don't get me started on finding the right font�� ��‍♀️ I'm fine with mlm 's as long as they stay in their corner and don't try and relate with someone who has created and is running a business. I actually had two friends try and tell me I should do their mlm last year...well knowing I was in the first year of my own business that I was runnng by myself with a husband who was actually not able to work because of brain surgery. To me, it was then I realized they force people to put sales above people which grosses me out.not to mention it's weird when friends don't have your best interest. I. have point-blank asked friends before if they could honestly feed clothe, house their children off of what they make in these, and that I don't need a pamper vacation or an iPad, but a steady income, and I'm always met with hallmark answers. (Can you tell I'm awkwardly bitter) ?! I love supporting my friends, and I actually do buy from any of them that invite or ask, if I have the money and like the product. As someone trying to sell a product, I'm ok with sales�� It's the dishonesty and the constant push to sign people is the part I have no respect for. I'm glad for the 1% that make it. Is that really a job you would recommend to someone that needs to support their family?!!!?! Anyways. I'm confident behind a comment on a post from someone I've never met, so thanks for letting me vent, and being a voice ��❤️


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