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If you are in an MLM, this post is going to be hard for you to read, and I’m sorry for that. You’re going to want to scroll past or kneejerk and say I’m wrong. But I truly hope that if you’re friends with me, you know that I love you and care about you. I hope that you trust me enough to give it to you straight and to trust that I want the best for you and I don’t want to see you fail.

Anyone who has messaged me to invite me to any kind of MLM sale or party will already know my stance on MLMs (“not even once”), but a post I saw on a group I’m in prompted me to write this and actually lay it all out.

MLMs (“social selling”, “network marketing” or whatever other flowery name you want to give it) are predatory. End of story. 

There’s a reason that people joke that MLM stands for “Moms Losing Money”. MLMs prey primarily on stay-at-home moms who are lonely and miss working, who want to feel productive and want to bring in an income without needing to leave the home. Some specifically prey on minorities (*cough Herbalife and Latinxs cough*). There are NO good MLMs. They are ALL predatory. The products are overpriced and of poor quality, not to mention the diet MLMs which promote disordered eating – I did Medifast before I knew it was an MLM and I am absolutely sure that it contributed to my Binge Eating Disorder and destroyed my metabolism. (If you want to know more about this aspect of MLMs in particular, I encourage you to check out Abby Langer Nutrition (facebook page), as she has done tons of reviews on MLM diets.)

MLMs don’t sell you reality – they are selling a delusion. They set you up to fail. As people who join MLMs find out sooner or later, 99% of people who join MLMs lose money on the deal. If you are one of the lucky few who actually makes money, good for you. But if I told you that I was going to light a match and randomly toss it and that there was a 99% chance your house and everything you own would go up in flames, and a 1% chance it would light your firepit… would you take those odds? If you don’t believe me about the 99% number, check this report from the FTC and also the FTC income disclosures required of MLMs (and usually buried on their websites). Watch the documentaries “Betting on Zero”, “LuLaRich”, “The Rise and Fall of LuLaRoe”, “The Cult I Almost Joined: Young Living Essential Oils“.
If you are in an MLM, I am sorry to tell you but you are being manipulated. You do not “own your own business” – *you pay someone for the privilege to work for them and then bring other people in to get scammed the same way*. You’re alienating your friends and family with the constant “business” talk, messages, and pushing for… nothing. Actually, less than nothing.
SO. What can you do?
Don’t patronize MLMs or buy MLM products. If you’re not sure if a company is an MLM, check out the MLM Truth Master List. If you get a cold message from someone inviting you to a sale or party or “opportunity”, see if it has the hallmarks of an MLM pitch.
Herbalife in particular is especially insidious, as you will find so many smoothie, shake, and tea shops with “nutrition” in their name. They don’t advertise that they are Herbalife (FYI there have been lawsuits brought against them and many reports of liver damage caused by their products). If you are at a smoothie shop and they use powders and there is no fresh fruit (you know, what’s *supposed* to be in smoothies) in sight, that’s a HUGE red flag. If they get around charging you for what you buy by having you “join”, an even bigger red flag (they’re not allowed to sell food).
If you are in an MLM, PLEASE get out. Don’t waste any more money on these scams. It can be difficult to leave because they use the same techniques that cults use to get people to join and stay.
If you feel like you’re in over your head and need help getting out, there are a lot of resources available. Here are a few:
A few other anti-MLM resources:

Last Week Tonight’s story on MLMs

Sounds like MLM but ok Facebook Group – No new posts, but really good resources

sounds like MLM but OK – active discussion

If you’ve made it this far, thanks for sticking with me and stay safe.

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