Since you choose to read this article, I assume that you already know what Multi-Level Marketing (MLM) is. However, I will put a simple definition of MLM here, just in case. someone somewhere needs it.
Multi-level marketing (MLM), also known as Network Marketing, is a business-distribution model that allows a parent company to market its products directly to consumers by means of relationship referrals and direct selling (wikipedia.com).
Here, I do not refer MLM to pyramid or ponzi schemes, which is already clear that they are crimes. I simply refer it to common MLM companies.
OK, let's start by imagining this: if you walk in a park, then you say, “Hi my name is X, and I’m from a MLM company.” to 100 people, researches suggest that the effects are mostly: one person will ask you how to join your company, 10 people will ask what’s your product, and the rest will leave you annoyed and with hostile mimic. If you don't believe it you can try it for yourself. So, what's wrong?
The answer is because MLM is scam-ful, fraud-y and swindling, is that true? Read all this articles to know more. However, I am not saying that all MLM companies are bad. I am saying that some of them are the worst, some are worse, and the rest are bad. Based on what points of view? Read on...
MLM is cloaked path of the damned
Plenty of people join MLM because they want money without working. They consider that the kick-start is a little bit hard work, but once their down lines networks are established, they can sit tight do nothing and they still earn money. Sounds like a good idea? Don't be so sure yet.
People who wants money without creating and delivering genuine value to others is considered to be pathetic ones, with shallow and dishonor principle of life. If all they want is taking without giving, they are the same with killer thieves, taking everything without giving anything.
Being up lines and getting money without working is said to be having no value at all, unless if they are the ones who create the scheme of the MLM. However, most up lines contribute nothing in creating the system, only the founder does. They just enjoy the passive income, which comes from their down lines hard work and sales. Their primary function is connecting their upper lines and down lines.
Actually, everybody can do that, since there is nothing specialty needed as requirements in doing it. They are considered not delivering genuine value to others, and it makes them highly REPLACEABLE. Let's say, if your direct up line is dead, you will have another one, which means you will go up a level. However, I’m not suggesting to kill your up lines though, do at your own risk :D
If you want a decent yet respected passive income, investment is said to be the answer. Investing funds delivers genuine value to others and proposes mutual benefit for both sides. Investors deserve shares of profit since they sacrifices their funds to be used in certain business wheels' oil.
MLM is selling "lemon" products
Once I joined a MLM company, selling herbal products for health. I sold a product at $32, as the price list told me. A week later, I found out that $16 was more than enough to buy it. The 100% amount of profit went to the network chains which can contains hundreds of referrals.
I did not think it was too impressive, and I feel bad about it. If my customer knew it, I'm afraid they would think that I had deceived them, like selling lemon car. I mean the herbal product was useful, it's just sold at excessively higher price. Like a lemon car, you can also use it like any other cars, it is just too expensive for its true value. It's just not worth its price.
In addition, they would probably hate and black list me for life. If they really hated me, some of them might stab me in dark alleys. Considering that it was a bad way of making a living, I stopped. Since taking unnecessary risks was not my hobby, and also, being stabbed is not too good for health :D
MLM is robbery
That abundance 100% amount of MLM profit might be interesting for some of you, but what if a MLM guy takes that amount of profit from your closest person (your old father, your retired mother, your weak son, your ugly daughter, your poor boyfriend or girlfriend, your ill bestfriend, etc), who buys the product, which is sold much more expensive than it should, using their only saving?
Imagine if your old, retired, lonely, and sick mother wants to buy a nice necklace for herself as a last gift of her life, using her last lifetime saving of $600. Then she buys a necklace from a MLM guy, which cost her $500, while it's actual value is only $250. How would you feel? Your old mom's last saving is robbed!
That amount of profit is usually not too acceptable for most people, it would be much better to sell the necklace on a shop with $260 - $300 price. The shops customers will certainly love them since the value (benefit per cost) is much better. If customers know that the shop makes a profit of $10-$40, they will consider it acceptable and human. In addition, they will keep coming, and loyal customers are highly supportive for every shop and company in this world.
MLM people sucks each other's blood
Some people think that in MLM, it is not a problem to share your profit of selling products to their up lines, since they will still get profit, and there is nothing wrong with that kind sharing of benefit. Such as when I sold a product $32, I got profit of $8 and my up line got $8 from my sale. May be some people will consider it wrong and others consider it not a big deal. Hmm interesting pro and contra. Let's look into it closer, shall we?
To find what your heart truly feels about that sharing, please consider answering this question: if you work really-really hard and successfully sold products with total sales of $32,000 a month, which the total profit is $16,000, would you be so kind to share the profit with me, each gets $8,000 and I do not work at all, just enjoying the fruit of your hard work? I will be glad if you say yes :D
I assume you will say "Never!" or "Go to hell!". If you would say so, then that is your true feeling, you disagree. Please, look carefully in the amount of money, the comparison between the profit and the share is the same, 50:50. It is understood as a common comparison of profit sharing between you and your direct up line in most MLMs. However, if you say yes, which I predict would be impossible, then why don't you prove it? Give me 50% of your salary / profit / earning :D
So in that case, normally you will feel objected about the sharing of that big amount of profit. For a moment, please forget on how many down lines who probably give some passive income, in the particular action, you are mostly do not want to share your earning with someone who do nothing. Your true feeling is you consider it to be wrong, it's unfair for you. You don't like your income to be sucked by others, no matter how you like to suck other's income. Passive income tributes from down lines should not be taken into justification to make the wrong right. Wrong is wrong, right is right. And that's it, the end.
MLM is modern slavery
If you work hard busting your ass everyday, and your up lines get passive income from your selling without doing anything, it seems to be a slavery is being conducted. Do you want to know why people are willing to do that? Mostly, because they are not to brilliant. Let us compare how many people are CEOs and how many people are employees, which one do you think has the more number? That is right my friend, the CEOs, because smart people are minority in this universe.
Realized or not, MLM is fit to be considered as a modern method of slavery. Once people buy some slaves, they can sit back do nothing and their slaves will earn them money.
In the past, rich land lords loved to buy slaves to do plenty of work for them. And the slaves loved to follow their masters for a small ransum of food. In the present time, it seems like the smart love to create a system of modern slavery, cloaked as MLM. And the dumb seem to love following it as slaves, earning their masters a lot, and a few for themselves.
The masters enjoy incomes gladly without working, as normal human should react. They also consider establishing networks of slaves are decent investments. Of course, those the dumb and dumber down lines do not realize that they are slaves. They are the dumb plus lame, remember? :D
Slavery and colonization is similar in many ways. Both of them possessed great power and the ability to generate incredible amount of money. Mother earth was the witness of their might in the past. However, it was not enough justification for their existence. That's why in this modern era, they are eliminated. Do you think MLM should join them? :D
MLM is evil mind manipulation
I believe you know well what is hypnosis, a method of controlling / manipulating one’s mind unrealized using smooth persuasive suggestions. May be this sounds unfamiliar to your ears, but hypnosis can be used for criminal activities. I've heard about it many around.
Mostly, the target is a vulnerable-minded person who is alone in public spaces, like someone who is tired, sad, or confused. The criminal will usually greet the target very kindly, just like some old friend. He / she will probably try to start a very comfortable conversation, and once obtained, the target’s mind is hypnotized slowly and unrealized, resulting the target's willingness to eagerly do anything told. Including giving up all his/her money and valuables to the hypno-criminal.
We should notice that this crime’s fundamental tool is a very-very kind and smooth persuasion / suggestion. This smooth method can render the target’s mind to be totally manipulated, in addition to totally unrealized.
So why do I bother you with hypnosis here? Because smooth and kind persuasion is also known to be the heart beat of MLMs. MLM people kindly offer people some products and network vacancies, and of course there is nothing wrong with that. In fact, it's good.
The problem is, when they face people who is not interested with their offer, they will likely to use their advanced skill in persuading. To smooth-force the prospect to buy or join the scheme, they use fluent talking and very kind persuasion.
However, extreme skill in persuading has a good chance of manipulating one’s mind, just like hypnosis for crime. It is considered wrong to make people buy or join something that they actually do not want, using mind manipulation.
Here is some fact, if you are joining a MLM company and you meet a man in front of your house and say “Hi. I am from a MLM company. Do you want to use our products, which have been passed through 300 referrals before me? Or do you want to join the company as my down line, giving me some passive income from your hard work even when I do nothing? You will get the same from your down line too, you know.”
Will you make any sales or recruitment? The possibility is nearly zero, and the man probably kicked your ass insulted. Please look carefully at the utterance, that is all the truth of MLM, right? With all its weakness and benefits. It is considered to be an unrealized fact that the only way people can survive in MLM is by hiding the truth / scar and manipulating ones’ mind. Those are the most likely skill they teach people in MLM.
MLM companies usually hold meetings regularly to maintain their members' skill and willingness in hiding truth and manipulating others. Also, companies probably will not let the members realize what they are actually doing, hiding truth and manipulating. If you’re currently in a MLM, you can try not to come to the meetings for a while, and your eyes will usually open to the real situation. You will see that your up lines will try to make you attending the meetings, since they do not want to let you go. They seems like wanting you to earn money for them continuously.
MLM company T!@NSH! is known to lie to their prospectus / targets right in the face. They are known to be inviting people to someone’s house / place, usually friends, saying that there is no certain purpose, just coming and visiting. However, the truth, they prospect people there. You can imagine how the invited people feel, totally being deceived straight in their faces. I guess it's probably a little bit painful :D One of my friend hated this company so much, as he felt like he was betrayed by his friend once, luring him to come to the meeting.
MLM company H#RB@L L!F# is known to use deceiving ads about job vacancies, usually in news paper. They usually design it to look like a real job vacancy ads, with its requirements on formal dressing etc. However, they never give any clue about the vacancy when people asks, they just invite people to come first and they will explain everything there. Of course, instead of getting a job like in the ads, they are prospected. I experience myself how it felt like, what a tasty pain :D I would never ever ever come if I knew it was a MLM trick. I should have known better that when people hide something, there must be something wrong. Oh my, stupid me :D
Therefore, if you are to offer a good product to society, the best way is likely to be putting it in a shop. In addition, people can buy it if they want to, or if not, they will know where to look for it in case they need it in future. You can promote it directly to someone of course, but once the expected interest does not arise, please do not try to over-promote or manipulate anyone’s mind, though you can. Doing so is considered evil. That is why you see many ads everywhere, because advertisement offers, not manipulates. That is also why you see more ads and shops, rather than MLMs. The better seems to be always dominating :D
However, mind manipulation is sometimes useful for positive activity, such as hypnotherapy. Principally, as long as the purpose of mind manipulation is to help others, it is good. However, when the purpose is only for one’s own benefit, it is obviously evil.
MLM screws your good relationships
Think about this: if you join a MLM company, and you honestly inform your families, relatives, and friends that you are now in a MLM company, I mean openly and honestly such as “Hi everyone. I recently joined a MLM company.”, will they like it and ask you eagerly about the products and schemes? Probably, only a few of them.
They will likely to say “Oh, good luck then.”, but then they will usually take some distance from you. They mostly want to protect their ear from your babbling over-prospecting and extreme promoting. They will eventually think you are a bloodsucker, a parasite who tries to gain money out from your good relationships. Do you know why do they do that? Negative thinking? Not really, mostly because they have good reason to do that: protecting their selves.
Your good relationships with your family, relatives, and friends are mostly more valuable than a few dollars of income in your pocket. Do you want to kill your best-best friend for $10,000? Most people will say no. However, will you ruin your good relationships with your friends for a small chance of getting $100? Perhaps people will answer no, ironically, even if when they are currently doing it in MLM, inconsciously. Most of them will eventually find out that it's not worth it. Once broken and sold, you have only small chance to fix friendships back. I know, since I had been in some MLMs.
If you are in MLM, and you think that people are just negative thinking toward you and your MLM, and from all those ruined relationships, new and better relationships will rise, that is considered to be irrational.
Here is why: let us say you have 100 “quite close but not too close” friends. You prospect them and promote your products. Guess, how many friends will use your products, become your down lines, and simply hate you?
Usually, 10 friends will use your product, one friend will become your down line and mostly he / she is stupid enough to tribute some of his income for you while he / she does all the hard work, and the rest will simply and directly hate you, since that is what usually happens when you try to trade friendships for money.
Let's compare between the unchanged and ruined relationships. from the total of 100 friends, 10 will be consumers, 1 will be downlines, and 89 will alienate you. The ruined ones are definitely more in number, right? The promotions are contra-productive toward your relationships, right? I wonder when do people plan to realize this? :D
MLM is the worse marketing ever
They say that MLM is a direct selling method, which sounds good but actually, it is a little bit contradictory. Please, check in your dictionary what the meaning of the word “direct” is. Let's consider this example: if A sells something to B, and then B sells it to C, and C sells it to D, and D to E, E to F, F to G, and so on, do you think that it means Z buys it directly from A? Most rational answers usually in negative form of sentence :D
If A makes something and sells it at $10 to B, and B sell it $11 to C, and C sell it $12 to D, and D $13, E $14, on and on. How much does Z have to pay for it? It seems the answer would be excessively expensive. Too many mouth to feed, right? That is definitely not the most decent way to deliver value. If they make too much profit from Z, they (B,C,D,..., and Y) are probably similar with lemon car agents, selling things much beyond their original value. And B, C, D, etc up to Y look exactly the same like a chain of MLM, doesn't it? In fact, they are the company.
Here is a better methods of trading: A, who creates something that cost him $8, sells it $10 to Z to gain profit of $2. That is believed to be the real meaning of direct selling, from producer directly to consumer. Alternatively, A sells it to a shop (B) for $10, and B sell it to Z for $12. (from producer - marketing - consumer). Both are acceptable and human.
Would you prefer the scheme "producer - marketing 0001 - marketing 0002 - marketing 0003 - ... - ... - . - . - . -. - . - . - ... - marketing 9999 - consumer" ? :D
MLM is job
When joining a MLM company, they will usually tell you that it is not a job and you will obtain financial independence. Your status will be an independent distributor / consultant / any term they use. Then you believe that you are connected directly to the company, you are a part of it. Unfortunately, their spoken utterance are not consisting of the best words, phrase, clause , and sentences to picture the truth.
I believe you know what the meaning of “independent” is. So, what is it? And how about your up lines, can you get products directly from the company’s manufacturer without their interference? Without their sucking of your profit from your hard work sales? That would be a little bit difficult.
Joining MLM means agreeing their terms and agreements, which is also their scheme. If you work for someone, you obey his or her system, which is pretty much the same like MLM. There, you do not have bosses, but up lines who do not command you like a boss, instead they will suggest you things.
The problem is, if you start not to follow their suggestions, they will start to dislike and alienate you. They will stop supplying your network, and you will "dry" and eventually "die". That is actually not too different with getting a job; your boss can fire you at any time when he / she feels like it.
Relating to job, the famous Steve Pavlina suggests that you should never get a job. He explains it widely in his famous article 10 Reasons Why You Should Never Get a Job. Go pay the handsome man a little visit, if you want to know why he suggests such contra-intuitive thoughts.
How to find the worst MLM
If you would like to know which MLM is the good, Ben Blackburn wrote a great article titled Top 5 "Red Flags" of Bad MLM Companies. However as you see, from the title, it seems that it is more useful to find out which one is the worst, not to find out which one is good. May be he knows that MLM system is bad, he just not express it. Who knows? :D
In summary, Ben said that there are five ways to know whether a MLM is just bad, worse, or the worst. The more you find these things inside, the worse the MLM:
- There is a large fee to "get your business started."
- You are promised that you can make a lot of money without doing a lot of work
- You are encouraged to make purchases to advance your status rather than making sales
- Income projections are particularly high
- You make more money from recruiting than you do from selling products
If you want to find the best MLM companies, I guess it's not possible. Since all of them are MLM, and all MLM are bad, based on earlier points of view. What you can do is only finding the bad out of the worse. Hey, what's the complaining, do you forget what the title of this article is? :D
Oh and let me tell you the ultimate truth about the people inside MLMs: there are two types of person in MLMs chains of referrals: the smart and the lame. The smart creates a MLM company with its schemes, and the lame follows / joins it. If you're in MLM, I guess you do not want to ask yourself about which type you are belong? Don't do it, don't! Ah it's too late now :D
Here is the end of this article, if you're badly insulted since you're a part of MLM chains, please find the part of the article which is not true about MLM, as if I've made things. You should know that my points of view is based on truth, which is always hidden. If you are insulted, I understand, people gets angry when they bad secrets are revealed. So let everyone decide for themselves, shall we?
If you choose to stick with your MLM or join a new one, it's absolutely up to you. However, have you seen any MLM ads in public spaces? I guess not. So, I believe you know that when people hide things, there must be something wrong. Have a nice day.
Note: Yes, I don't want you to success in MLM. I expect you to success in your own path whatever it is without needing to tribute any of your income for up lines who give no genuine value for you. This is not the colonization era anymore, all humans are free, none should pay any tribute to anyone :D