Wednesday, 17 March 2021

'Hi Hun... want to join my business?"- No, I don't want to join your MLM.// Anti-MLM

 Hey guys!

I’m doing a collab with one of my best friends, Lorna about MLM’s and they effect on mental health and Eating Disorders. Check out Lorna’s post HERE!

I have recently been watching a lot of Anti-MLM content (Multi-Level Marketing) as a lot of the tactics they use are very shady, and can have a detrimental effect on a person’s mental health. We also have to discuss the types of people they target and the stats involved in MLM’s.

If you don’t know what a Multi-Level Marketing company is, its basically a “sell at home business” in which people sign up and sell products. Pretty innocent, right? Wrong. The catch is, you have to recruit people to have any chance of making money. The reps of these companies (basically the employees who sell the products) will tell you that you make money though selling, and although that can be the case, it is usually not because people who don’t recruit don’t make any money. In the USA, the stats are for people who make money (from the FTC) is less than 1%. 99% of people either don’t make money or lose money. It is a shady business to be involved in. They will sell it that it is a “work from your phone with any free time you have” and make a “side hustle business.” That also is not true.

If you’re anything like me, you probably grew up with some of these businesses in your life. Although my mum never signed up or sold for any of these companies, we did frequent “selling parties” for these companies. I remember Avon parties, Virgin Vie (who are no longer in business), The Body Shop and The Pampered Chef. I never realised at the time that these are considered MLM’s but since doing research and knowing about these companies, it’s obvious and I no longer support MLM’s. The only one I continue to buy for is The Body Shop. For some reason, I consider this one different as their sole business is not selling at home, they have stand alone stores, where you don’t have to support or buy from an individual purchase and there’s no pressure to sign up.

I know that is a lot of info in one go so let’s break it down into individual points:

1.      As highlighted above, very few people make money in these companies. You are more than likely required to buy more than you sell and you have to ty and sell what you have. It is an endless cycle of spending more money than making money.

2.      People won’t tell you this, but the only way to at least try to make some money is by recruiting people (which then makes it a pyramid scheme). You get money from the people you have signed up when they sell something.

3.      These “businesses” aren’t something you can fit into your day and not put too much effort into. The people who make money are on their phones for a large portion of the day and for some, that is their job (they’re obviously making a lot of money off the people down then who aren’t making any money). This takes a lot of work for very little pay-out.

4.      These reps will target people who are in a vulnerable position. People who are content with their life and have a great job in which they are happy with don’t sign up for these businesses. They tend to message people who are unhappy with their jobs, have a low self-esteem, bad mental health, single mums, army wives, lonely people, and people who are “missing” things in their lives. I know this sounds harsh but the proof speaks for itself I think.

5.      People who are talking about MLM’s in a critiquing manner are not “haters” as they are so often referred to. Anti-MLMer’s are not haters, they are giving facts and information to save people time and money.

6.      These businesses will not be a god-send and they have not been “sent to you for a reason.” That is, in my opinion, a tactic to sign people up, to then make themselves money.

7.      Cold messages are a thing, just like cold calls, to try and get people to sign up. Also, in the MLM world, a no does not mean a no, it means a “not right now” and they will frequently teach this to their new recruits. A lot of people who get a cold message will make up an excuse not to sign up but these people can be very insistent until they get a yes.

So, from some of the points made above, there are some red flags that can effect a person’s mental health. I’m going to stary with the targeting of vulnerable people. I personally, when I have having a bad time with my mental health asked for recommendations  of skin care because I wanted to pamper myself, and a girl messaged me trying to sell me something from an MLM. Although she was nice about it and did not message me anymore, it is shady enough to message someone when you know they’re having a bad time mentally. If I wasn’t aware of these companies, I probably would have fallen for it, and a lot of people would have already fallen for it. Targeting people with poor mental (or physical) health is super shady and I hate that these companies and reps think this is acceptable.

Speaking of physical health, there have been stories of reps targeting people with physical health issues such as cancer, giving people hope that some of these products will help these (such as essential oils as an example) or that they can make extra money for treatment or health insurance, which is really not the case.

Let’s now talk about the effects this can have on people with Eating Disorders. There are numerous MLM’s which focus on weight loss and all around a person’s weight. Having a stranger (or not a stranger) telling them that their “weight loss or health and fitness business is just the right fit for them” can be detrimental to someone with an ED. It can go one of two ways, a person who feels the need to loose weight always can feel that it is another way to do this and feed into the ED (if that is what they struggle with), or it can insinuate that a person needs to loose weight, which can be so problematic. Whether a person is a size 6 or a size 26, that can make a person feel crap and send someone into a bad mindset and can create a bad relationship with food.

I am a plus size girl and if I received a message that a person’s weight loss “business” is for me would make me feel so bad about myself and would feed into bad self-esteem, especially after years of trying to develop some. But a person doesn’t have to be plus size for feel this, this can effect anyone of any size, male or female. Please, for the love of god, DO NOT MESSAGE PEOPLE TELLING THEM THAT THEIR WEIGHT LOSS PROGRAMME OR BUISNESS IS FOR THEM!

I could go on and on about MLM business and how shady they are but I really wanted to talk about the effects the have on people with bad or rocky mental and/or physical health. If you take anything from this post, please don’t join a MLM. If that stats don’t do it for you, know the effects they have on people. It is not a good business practice and can effect people in any number of ways. Also consider people who have been in MLM’s, which can cause a person to go into debt (because of the pressure to always buy stuff) and that effect on a person is never good. Please, do your research and think long and hard about whether it is for you. Don’t rush into it like a lot of reps will want you to do.

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