Friends Don’t Ask Friends To Do MLM

mlm_robbersI’ve always thought that people, in general, were too smart to get involved in MLM schemes, especially given how much information is available about the deceptive nature of the practice.  If you’ve heard of MLM, you’ve heard that it’s a scam, and you should be too smart to fall for it.  It’s not that hard to spot an MLM scheme.  Most of them involve buy-ins.  What kind of job requires you to pay your employer?  I mean, seriously?  How do you get pulled into something like that?  Maybe it’s the fault of the economy, that people are getting desperate and trying to find any way they can to make money, but ever since I got back to the US, I’ve been constantly bothered by people I know here about joining MLM schemes.

Guys, I’m not doing it.  MLM is a waste of money.  I have better things to do with my time, like use my full ride scholarship and living allowance from the VA to get my master’s degree, without having to work at the same time, and then getting a real job to make real money; honest money that wasn’t made by screwing over my friends and past or present colleagues.

The situation is doubly disappointing to me because, for these people to assume that I’d join their MLM scheme, well, it means they think I’m gullible, or stupid, or both.  One person even tried to hang something over my head to make me feel emotionally obligated to participate in their MLM.  That’s disrespectful to start with, and is a good way to make me want to completely break off contact with a person.  These people fell for the sucker punch, and they either want to drag me, and other people down with them, perhaps to make up their losses, or they never really gave a damn about me anyway and want to screw me over to get rich.

Well, I’m not stupid.  Perhaps there is money to be made in MLM, but I’m not the kind of guy to go around ruining all of my relationships with people by tricking them, or trying to trick them, into jumping into some MLM scheme.  I find it very annoying that anyone would even approach me with this nonsense in the first place, and absolutely rude that, once told that I’m not interested, they would persist in spamming me with messages about it, sometimes attempting to lead into a conversation about it under other pretenses, like needing help, or wanting to meet to celebrate Veteran’s Day.

In a way, I feel bad for these people, because they’re caught, but I’m not going to let myself get pulled in with them.  If they can’t take a hint, then the next step will be to completely cut them off, blocking phone numbers, e-mail addresses, and yes, even unfriending them on Facebook.

MLM and me.  It’s not happening.

14 comments

  1. Jodi · September 21, 2017

    My brother’s best friend’s gf contacted my wife who met at a wedding a few years ago. Before knowing it she tried to pitch a Stella and dot discount to her if she could only help host a party. She would make my wife a stylist and guaranteed her free stuff if the friends she envited spent more than $500 at the party. My wife agreed, more so out of obligation because she wanted to help a friend of a friend.

    When the party came her whole pitch was to get everyone to host the next parties and get free stuff and discounts off items my wife helped them pick out. My wife ended up getting nothing since her old “friend” talked them out of it so she could get more down line opportunities. In other words she completely used my wife and wasted her time to earn money.

    It left a really bad taste and my wife asked her not to bother her again.

    It just created tension among family and friends, all in the name of making a buck.

    • Bradley · September 21, 2017

      Jeez. I’m sorry to hear that. MLM just feels bad all around. I don’t understand how people get into it, knowing that they’re taking advantage of the people around them.

      Well, she’s your brother’s best friend’s girlfriend, not his wife, so who knows? Maybe she won’t become a permanent part of your social landscape and the problem will resolve itself!

  2. nellie · September 14, 2016

    Actually mainstream corporations are the biggest pyramid scheme. CEO gets paid 1000 times more than the average employee and what do u think ur chances are at working your way up to becoming CEO? Zero chances. You all work for someone at the top who is profiting off of you and probably using child labor in a 3rd worl country… Sheeps write articles like this!

    • Andrew Utecht · November 7, 2016

      I got my TINY PAY JOB, however I paid NOTHING to ‘join’ and they pay me the TINY PAY every week

      and ‘mainstream’ corporations are not pyramid schemes, just pyramids as are churches, governments, charities, and schools. Is it ‘sheeps’, or ‘sheepses’? ‘sheepseses’

    • Choyak yakatak · June 11, 2017

      And I have to pay for product every month from my job? Does everyone at my job do the same thing? Do I have to recruit competitors? I don’t think so, so a normal job is not a pyramid Scheme, just a hierarchical organization, as is the church, school, and government.

    • Anti MLM Zealot · August 11, 2017

      Use either ‘ur’ or ‘your’ not both, you are being inconsistent

  3. Tabby · February 11, 2015

    Nothign wrong with trying to make a living, but I’ve had former friends tell me outrageous lies about their MLM’s to try and entice me to join, lies that were easy to see through with a little bit of research. Then the backpeddling begins. I’m sorry but you lose my respect the minute you see me with dollar signs in your eyes…and after the first lie that attempts to manipulate me.

  4. Anonymous · April 30, 2012

    Dear Watchdog,
    Thank you for your site. Many of us DO appreciate it. It appears that MLM's look for these types of sites and post comments to debunk. I remember working for a company that wanted me to go to all major retail chain websites and post positive comments about our products and select 4 star ratings. This was not ethical to me. Recently, I have met a woman (since being laid off) who is selling for ACN. She has welcomed me into her life but I feel like a walking $ sign. I know she is a good person but our friendship will not last. She has been doing this for 10 years and I can tell she has no significant income from this. She also spends every moment, that I see “selling” I did less work when I had a home office working for Kodak making 75K. In addition EVERYTHING is about money and “financial freedom”. It is not fun to be around and all conversation comes back to ACN. It is indeed like a cult….but like truth seekers you are bashed and condemened if you don't buy into the Trump supported scheme. You are the crazy one. There is no depth to friendships with those with this mindset. Like that wonderful bush said “your either with us or against us”. One old “friend” came out the woodwork on a text at 6:30 am (she knows I'm not an am person) after no contact for almost a year….my dog was dying, and I was having a few life challenges as we all do…she txt me at this hour because she had an opportunity for my financial well being. If she inquired, my financial well being was fine….however my dog was dying. She didn't inquire about that. Due to my lack of interest, I've never heard back from her. My dog died though and a mutual friend as well…no txt for that sadly.
    MLM feels evil to me and like a predatory institution. It is very sad and reminds me of the cults people had to be rescued from…..pls don't drink the kool-aide.

  5. Duane Spears · April 22, 2012

    Hello Bradley,

    Thank you for being a US Army Vet. I spent three years in the Army, the last 6 months on KP duty. I learned right away the Army and I were not a match. Sort of like you and MLM.

    I did spend 18.5 years with Los Angeles Police Dept as a motor cop. But I quit 18 months short of a lifetime pension because I realized I was not cut out for the job of a policeman. Go figure.

    I agree with you about MLM schemers, I hate them, too. Actually I hate all schemers, especially the ones on Wall Street. They call Credit Default Swaps a good investment, I call it criminal.

    Now back to MLM, I actually love the concept and know when a person takes full responsibility for their own success they will be successful as an employee, employer or as an independent sales rep. That's all MLMers are, sales reps and when a person joins an MLM company and does not think they are there to sell products they are kidding themselves.

    If a person wants to be an independent agent of any kind there is a good chance they will have to invest their own money in the project. But if they are going to be an employee chances are the employer is going to front the money for their training. But, of course, the employer is going to keep some of the value that the employee created for themselves. ie. as in lower wages. An employee never receives 100% of their value to the company in wages. If that was the case why would the employer risk his capital.

    Reminds of the Mexican Cafe down the street. Someone spent a great deal of money over the past six months turning the drug store into a Mexican Cafe without receiving any money for their efforts. Now that the Cafe is open I give them money in exchange for a delicious meal.

    That's a little how MLM works, a company spends their money on developing products, you know like a Mexican dinner and then I sell the products for them and earn a small commission. Pretty cool, huh. Especially if you like Mexican food. Now if a person who joins a MLM company is not ready to study hard, train hard and develop the skills to be a good salesperson they are the real schemers, don't you think? I believe they could be wanting something without having to working for it.

    Now this is only my point of view. I never would say the US Army is not something of value simply because I saw no value in it for me.

    Respectfully,

    Duane

    PS I'm not going to ask you to join me in business. lol

  6. Bradley Farless · April 22, 2012

    This would make sense if it weren't a pyramid scheme, where the real goal isn't to sell a product, but to trick other people into selling for you and thereby gaining shares of whatever commissions they get (also by getting other people to sell for them). The only real thing getting sold in MLM is agreements to sell. The people at the bottom get shafted until they find people who agree to work 'for them'. It's not an honest business model.

  7. Anonymous · March 14, 2012

    Relationships are important to me. I strongly dislike when people try to force me to do anything, especially at the cost of or as an obligation to, a relationship. I am tired of the whole gimmicky approach to MLM. I am tried of the whole “pressuring people” to do crap for them on the basis that you are a “friend.” I don't need friends that manipulate me. If you like that kind of crap, where you are destroying your relationships, then please do not speak to me, get near me, or try to manipulate or corner me in anyway. I am not interested in any more compulsive consumerism in my life. I already feel bombarded by every Joe Schmoe selling a “perceived” need to me. Please, please, MLM brainwashed-zombies, Depart from me, and get thee behind me Satan!

  8. Brad Farless · July 29, 2011

    Anonymous: If you read the article, you'd have sees that it was gracefully declined. Not that it made a difference.

    I really can't believe you're trying to defend people who do MLM, claiming they work hard at it. What are they working hard at? Tricking people into giving up their money to join a pyramid scheme. That's not good money. It's legal theft. If a friend came over to visit and you caught him trying to take 800 bucks out of your wallet when you weren't looking, would you be pleasant about it? Would you smile and say it's ok for that person to steal from you because you know them?

    There's no defense for MLM schemers that sacrifice relationships for cash.

  9. Anonymous · July 29, 2011

    How about just gracefully declining and saying it's not for you instead of slamming the people that believe in what they do and work hard at it???

    • choyak yakatak · April 23, 2017

      I believe that robbing banks is the most profitable thing that you can do, just avoid getting nailed. If I believe in it, and you do not support it then you are a DREAM STEALER

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