Do You Have A Couple Of Minutes?

I’m new to blogging, in fact I’m awful at even keeping a personal diary, but I hope to be able to offer some advice and hopefully feature some guest post experiences.

My main reason for creating this is to raise awareness of the fraud that is MLM. If you aren’t familiar with what I mean by MLM, then please allow me to attempt a very basic description.

Multi-Level Marketing (MLM) is also known as ‘network marketing’ and ‘direct sales’, but can be better surmised by ‘pyramid scheme’.

MLM companies will argue that they are very triangular in structure but that is where the similarity ends, I’ll let you decide for yourself. These companies advertise job vacancies whereby a new member will not need to interview, nor hold any qualifications (relevant to the company or otherwise) to apply and be accepted into the company. They will not need to prove any prior knowledge, nor provide a CV (resumé). However, what these participants will need is to buy a starter kit.

So, how is this any different from building a small business? When starting an independent small business the proprietor will have full rights over the design, costing, availability and accessibility of their product or service. They will have ideas that can alter or improve the outcome of the product or service and will have the final say over what is marketed. They will choose their supplier if an item is made remotely, or in order to receive the materials required for making their product. They will be solely responsible for the quality of the final product and it’s despatch. All in all, they make the business decisions and are consulted on any issues.

In MLMs, though, the members are given varying fancy sounding titles such as Consultant, Ambassador and Independent Business Owner, but ultimately have no say in the production, costing or policy making for these companies. To put it bluntly, they are glorified reps selling on a sub-standard product for an inflated price.

These reps buy a starter kit in order to enter someone’s ‘downline’, ie they have been recruited into the scheme by someone who will be responsible for spurring then into meeting targets and as such will take a percentage in commission, something that I’ll look to cover more on in a piece looking at the ‘Compensation Plans’ and why the products are so costly.

Additionally, I will look at the financial aspects of being in an MLM and how statistically it is extremely unlikely – verging on impossible – to make any profit, let alone a living wage.

Another area I would like to write a little about is the MLM hard-sell tactic, and the manipulations involved at every level by those in a scheme towards those lower down the pyramid and those expected to be loyal customers to the ‘hunbots’.

I’m sure there will be other pieces to add but, honestly, I’m too sleep-deprived (11 week old baby) to remember words anymore.

Thanks for stopping by and please remember: these words are my opinions. I have based my opinions on the limited facts available publicly from multiple businesses and their official literature.

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A Plea to Martin Lewis and His Team

Tonight I’ve been lying in bed desperately trying to sleep, but the baby has other ideas. As is typical my mind wandered to this blog and others which I adore catching up with over the night feeds such as The Anti-MLM Coalition (and all associated blogs), the MLM discussion on Mumsnet (look in the ‘Money’ topic for most recent thread) and Sounds Like MLM But OK on Facebook, plus many others like the r/anti-mlm subreddit. I think it’s fair to say that I’m passionate about my stance.

Anyway, we were in the middle of a night feed when it struck me; I don’t think I’ve ever read, or heard , anything by Martin Lewis of MoneySavingExpert condemning MLMs. If you’re in the UK it’s highly likely that you’ll be familiar with this chap and his fantastic work financially assisting the general public frequently going above and beyond to provide us with information that otherwise would be well buried, it’s truly spectacular (and no, I’m not just trying to creep!). His reputation for being respectable, factual and honest as such means he has a huge following from the very people targeted by MLMs, maybe they just might sit up and take notice if it comes from the right icon with factual research to prove the findings.

So, I’ve written a request (to his campaign team) that he and his team look into MLMs as a matter of financial education, now we wait…