Multi-level marketing/pyramid schemes and the people who fall for them -

Locomotive Derangement

Hardcore Velocity
kiwifarms.net
Maybe I missed it somewhere but we can toss Cutco and their insipid spawn Vector Marketing into the list. This one is a bit weird because their product is actually effective (they make mildly decent cultery) but you can just buy the same quality cutlery from Wal-Mart or even most grocery stores in my area. CutCo may be a more legit company but Vector Marketing is a plague that relentlessly creates false job applications using dummy companies and fake temp agencies to sucker new job seekers into being lackeys for them. I cannot name the number of times I've applied for a job in my area and been spammed with hundreds of automated calls from various "agencies" pretending to be temp companies (hint: there are only a few big ones) and gone through the steps of the recruitment process only to find a skeevy interviewer waiting for me with CutCo and Vector Marketing in the fine print. Appropriate for a company with a name that makes me think of Malaria or West Nile Virus.
 

IBrokeBob

kiwifarms.net
Avon is actually not a traditional MLM, as in ppl do make money selling the stuff, not just recruiting. Mary Kay otoh is a straight up psycho MLM Jesus cult. If you see someone driving a pink Mary Kay Caddy run the other way because that is a crazy bitch on wheels.

Amway was truly the first MLM. Their name became so tainted for about 15 years they changed the name to Quixar. One of the only actual ways to make big money in Amway is to sell inspiration tapes and “how to” guides to the suckers. Reading about ppl who got hooked into Amway they all talk about how many hours a day they listened to tapes by Amway gurus to stay motivated. Amway is also very religious and make recruiting for Amway seem the same as doing the lords work.

One of the newer phenomenon with MLMs has been the way they use FB. Since all these scams required sales quotas the Huns started these weird “secret raffle” groups. Basically if you “won” ppl had to buy your crap, if you lost you had to buy others MLM crap. I only became aware of this thanks to insane posts on a local community group where these bitches called each other out for not following through on buys. This group had nothing to do with these raffles but the crazy bitches would get so mad at non-payers they’d hunt down every group the person belonged to trying to publicly shame them into buying the junk after losing a raffle. They were totally bonkers.
Thanks for that info about avon. I would have been sooo disappointed in avon if they went full mlm. I have a friend who is handicapped who sells it and i dont mind buying stuff from her. I live in the deep south so you cannot even mention mosquitoes without someone swearing by avons ' skin so soft' bath oil ' as their surefire cure. Imagine a big burly outdoorsy type man declaring this, lol.

I grew up ( decades ago, lol) where avon was common in our house. Gram loved the bath products, mom liked the small decorative perfumes ( looked like little lipstick or lipgloss roller thingees) , my great gram had the lil collector bottles, etc. They even sold some toy items and such at fairly reasonable prices. They had items that you would actually want or really use.

We kids enjoyed their lil booklets that showed the items. ( remember this was back before computers when the sears catalogue wish book was a thing as well. I am THAT old, lol.)

Avon ladies were never pushy and were often a friend or family member just doing it to earn a bit of money during a rough time. they never stayed at it as a huge career or went to conventions with cars. They were just normal women looking to make a bit of extra money during a hard time and then stopped selling when they were back on their feet. Which we understood and supported.
 

Heinrich Himmler

Reichsführer-ᛋᛋ und Chef der Kiwi Polizei
True & Honest Fan
kiwifarms.net
Do power companies employ MLM tactics to get you to switch companies? We've had people come to our apartment a few times trying to get us to switch to such and such power company a few times. The weirdest thing is they always showed up after dark.
Yes.
In my country, as well as when I lived in Italy, power and phone companies do employ MLM tactics to make you switch contract/provider.
They mainly do it with elderly people which makes them just as scummy as MLMs.
 

MirnaMinkoff

Mama, nobody sends you a turd and expects to live.
True & Honest Fan
kiwifarms.net
Do power companies employ MLM tactics to get you to switch companies? We've had people come to our apartment a few times trying to get us to switch to such and such power company a few times. The weirdest thing is they always showed up after dark.
Yes. A bunch, one named Stream but there are others. Some deregulation in Texas allowed these shady MLMs to sneak into the business and not only do they rip off their consultants but anyone who signs up to have them overcharge you for ultities.
 

Nekromantik2

Do you have a moment to talk about our lord
kiwifarms.net
Yes. A bunch, one named Stream but there are others. Some deregulation in Texas allowed these shady MLMs to sneak into the business and not only do they rip off their consultants but anyone who signs up to have them overcharge you for ultities.
I thought as much. Haven't had them come back in a few years. The last time they showed up Mr. Nekro was out of town. Like I said, they always showed up after dark for some reason. I asked the guy why he was bothering us at night when we're getting ready for bed. He just went off on a canned response about saving money or something. I closed the door on him and called up the company asking why they thought it was a good idea to sell me a worse deal then what I already had this late on a school night, and got a half assed apology. Like I said I haven't seen them in a while, I think they tried everyone in the apartment complex, and stopped coming by when they didn't make sales.

Pretty shitty tactic, showing up late at night like that. It reminds me of telemarketers that called right at supper.
 

saralovesjuicyfruit

kiwifarms.net
I feel like I've known someone who has done pretty much every MLM mentioned in this thread plus more, and actually when I think about it, most of them have been done by the same handful of people from junior high/high school. I've seen Monat, Jamberry, Younique, Thrive, It Works, Herbalife, Young Living, doTERRA, The Pampered Chef, Paparazzi Jewelry, Tupperware, Lularoe, Cutco, Origami Owl, and yeah, a couple of them were slacker guys but most of them have been the dumber girls from the small lower-Midwestern towns I lived in during my adolescence. Most of them have young kids and struggle financially to some degree. One is an elementary school teacher who does Lularoe on the side because teaching pays like less than $30k/yr in that state, but, you know, a bachelors in education cost the same as a bachelors in something that would have actually paid a living wage, so, too bad so sad. Virtually all of them would have been better off taking the money they spent to buy in to these scams and getting an associate's degree in something practical from the local community college. On the bright side, none of them really tried to push on me specifically. I was invited to a 'passion party' once, which was apparently some sex toy MLM. I declined.

Regarding the false 'entrepreneur' label, I know someone like this. I happen to actually like this person but the way they've gone about trying to 'build a business' is just so impractical, and it's kind of sad because this person is in their early 50s and they've been at this for about 10 years. They spent most of their adult life working jobs like waitressing. They do own a small condo and a vehicle, so they're better off than many people who have done low-wage jobs for years, but they've sunk so much money into MLMs and other scams that they could have just used to get actual job training to have a decent career that isn't too physically taxing and allows them to live comfortably. I don't know why so many of these people have such an aversion to the idea of working a normal job. Their view of it as being 'financially dependent' is warped. You're earning your pay, you're not having to beg your manager for spending money or something.

I'm not sure if Landmark necessarily fits in the MLM thread or maybe it'd be better off in the cult thread, but at one point, the company my husband works for had people in upper management who were trying hard to shill Landmark. They didn't come right out and say it, but it was heavily implied that not participating would make you less eligible for career advancement. He went to one session because the company paid for it, and of course he found it useless and ridiculous. The company tried to push him to do another one, but this time he was going to have to pay $800 up front and only be reimbursed for half, and I told him hell no, no way in hell are we spending actual money we will never see again on that trash, and if they try to hold the security of your job over your head, get them to put in writing that they expect you to pay out of pocket for some ponzi scheme in order to secure your job or advance, and we'll see what a lawyer has to say about it. Fuck that. Thankfully, it hasn't been brought up in about 3 or 4 years so I guess whoever was trying to push it is no longer with the company or something happened that made them knock it off.

I agree with earlier statements that Avon is actually pretty great. I've purchased their cosmetics and even some jewelry from their online store. My favorite Christmas ornaments are a vintage set of carousel animals from Avon, I have some really cute vintage cat salt & pepper shakers from Avon that I use all the time, and I even have a super sweet baby necklace from Avon that I wore in Easter photos when I was a baby. It's got little lamb and tulip charms on it. It still looks great and I'll probably use it when I have a baby of my own.
 

IBrokeBob

kiwifarms.net
I havent seen this video posted before. I hope it is ok to post. Its john oliver doing his expose of the mlm world. It is 100% spot on, very informative and has a laugh at the ridiculous products and claims. It should be mandatory that every person watch this video before signing up for an mim.
 

The Un-Clit

Can you find it? come on in, look closer!
kiwifarms.net
Do power companies employ MLM tactics to get you to switch companies? We've had people come to our apartment a few times trying to get us to switch to such and such power company a few times. The weirdest thing is they always showed up after dark.
In areas where there is deregulation of gas/power/telecom there are often skeevy companies that employ MLM style tactics to get customers to switch, and sign up friends and family to switch.

There was a small spate of it about 15 years ago here in the Vancouver area when gas was 'freed up' from the former crown corporation monopoly. Funniest thing was a psychotic (we find out later that he did a dime for armed robbery) salesman we had been hoping to get rid of suddenly up and quit, having been offered the moon by one of these companies. 3 months later when he asked to come back we were "oh so sorry, his position had been re-filled, we'd (not) call him if anything came up." ;) Roach called back twice more before clueing in that Hell would freeze over before we took him back.
 

IBrokeBob

kiwifarms.net
I admit complete ignorance of utility companies being in any mlm , in fact where i live you ( southern USA) only have one option for electricity. You are stuck with them. ( However ours is some sort of co-op, as in common in rural areas, and employees and customers are shareholders in the company to a small degree) so they keep the fees low.

I also think mlms that have use religion to prey upon people are equally dispicible. Religion should never be a part of it. Even with out mlms , preachers and their churches have spawned their own pyramid scheme to shear money from the godfearing struggling flock. Often sold as a financial plan with no tangible product other than a vague phantom investment or idea and a promise of high , low risk interest. These are orchestrated by the lowest of the low.
 

Kiwi Lime Pie

The tasteful summer treat. 🥝🥧
kiwifarms.net
As a Catholic this really pisses me off. Joining a shitty MLM cult and hawking weight loss products is miles away from the tenants of Christianity.
It's jarring that if you analize them, MLMs practices make sure you hit up all the Seven Deadly Sins - Greed and Env first and foremost.
Pride has to be right up there in the list, too. These MLM companies always want their victims independent consultants to feel proud about what they do, even if it's shamelessly and relentlessly hustling everyone they know for their products/services.

There's a certain irony that MLMs would cite some sort of scriptural foundation even though these MLMs encourage and rely on their subordinates behaving in unchristian ways towards friends, family, and complete strangers.

Do power companies employ MLM tactics to get you to switch companies? We've had people come to our apartment a few times trying to get us to switch to such and such power company a few times. The weirdest thing is they always showed up after dark.
To try to keep things brief, especially since someone else answered this as I composed this, I'll just say that alternative electric and gas suppliers literally popped up overnight here once my state deregulated those utilities. Their door to door peddlers are notorious for their relentless, high-pressure tactics. If that's not bad enough, people now get calls from both live operators and automated voices encouraging them to switch providers with shady messages such as "You might be eligible for a rebate, give us the information off your last bill and we can tell you how much you're overpaying!"

My worst experiences have been at my current workplace and involve door to door/business to business (d2d/b2b) telephone service peddlers.

Shortly after I started working there, a pair of smooth-talking peddlers managed to convince the boss they were from our phone company (they weren't) and switched our service to whatever overpriced package they were shilling for some "alternative" phone company. Because of the mess involved with switching back, I've become more proactive in dealing with d2d/b2b folks in putting up a couple of No Soliciting signs and keeping our alcove door locked at all times. I also tell the d2d/b2b phone peddlers that because we were conned once before, we will no longer interact with any of them, no matter how legitimate they may claim to be.

Late last year, a solitary phone peddler managed to barge into the office when my boss arrived and opened the door to let herself in. Long story short, he used all the usual high-pressure tactics. This time, the boss was savvy enough to say she needed time to review his offer/quote. Naturally, he replied that as soon as he left our office, his so called "bargain" would expire. I was impressed that she didn't cave in, especially since that last line is generally a red flag that the peddler citing it is shady AF.

Just yesterday, a pair of phone service peddlers came to the office and first behaved as if they were there to discuss something religious before revealing their true reason for contacting us. Here's the post.

Regarding those making posts about peddlers contacting people at or after dark: Check to see if your locality (especially in the US) has municipal or city laws that restrict when door to door peddlers can contact people. In my city, for example, door to door peddlers can only contact people between 10 AM and 7 PM.

Additionally, my (US) city also has a residential Do Not Knock registry on which property occupants can register for 5 years at a time. Unless peddlers represent a non-profit, religious organization, or politician, they're required to have a copy of the list and must not contact anyone on it. That alone has substantially cut down on the number of people going door to door here.
 

Pina Colada

My stars are up here!
True & Honest Fan
kiwifarms.net
Thanks for that info about avon. I would have been sooo disappointed in avon if they went full mlm. I have a friend who is handicapped who sells it and i dont mind buying stuff from her. I live in the deep south so you cannot even mention mosquitoes without someone swearing by avons ' skin so soft' bath oil ' as their surefire cure. Imagine a big burly outdoorsy type man declaring this, lol.
My mom loves Skin So Soft and always bought it before summer began (we still use it daily after moving down south). It was also popular with soldiers during WW2.
 

saralovesjuicyfruit

kiwifarms.net
I admit complete ignorance of utility companies being in any mlm , in fact where i live you ( southern USA) only have one option for electricity. You are stuck with them. ( However ours is some sort of co-op, as in common in rural areas, and employees and customers are shareholders in the company to a small degree) so they keep the fees low.

I also think mlms that have use religion to prey upon people are equally dispicible. Religion should never be a part of it. Even with out mlms , preachers and their churches have spawned their own pyramid scheme to shear money from the godfearing struggling flock. Often sold as a financial plan with no tangible product other than a vague phantom investment or idea and a promise of high , low risk interest. These are orchestrated by the lowest of the low.
They're not actual utility companies, they are energy suppliers. They're like a middleman between you and your utility company, and they claim they can lower your bill. Direct Energy is one such example. When I lived in Dallas during uni, a guy from that company showed up to my apartment one afternoon. It was hellish Texas summer heat and he was a big ol guy and nice enough so I felt bad for him and let him in and gave him some ice water. I didn't understand what he was trying to get me to do, the way they phrase it is intentional to make you think you have to do it and that they were sent by your electric company. I went along with it, I moved halfway across the country less than a year after that anyway, but I didn't notice really any change to my electric bill after signing up.
 

snuffleupagus

kiwifarms.net
As anti MLM as I am, I have to admit that I’m a convert when it comes to old Avon glass.

My mother in law collected a set of Avon glass dishes for each kid starting at their birth. She’s recently started paring down her belongings in an attempt to start the pre-death clearing process and offered up Mr Snuffleupagus’s collection. I agreed to take it and we loaded half my truck with an assortment of surprisingly pretty red glass plates, cups, bowls, and various accessories. She never completed it, generally buying a piece here and there when a random Avon lady family member needed to get a sale or two to make a sales goal for the month, but I figured I could round it out no problem. It’s fucking Avon glass, how expensive could it be?

Very expensive.

I’ve now invested about $400 in my attempt to complete this set of glassware and I’m nowhere close. Apparently this stuff is super popular and not cheap at all. A single tumbler can run anywhere between $17-$24 depending on the seller/store and people with Avon glass know what it’s worth and won’t haggle on the price. I was pretty damn shocked at how much value this stuff has and it’s now what we use for holidays and fancy dinners because it really is pretty and quite elegant if you like dark red glass.
 

IBrokeBob

kiwifarms.net
As anti MLM as I am, I have to admit that I’m a convert when it comes to old Avon glass.

My mother in law collected a set of Avon glass dishes for each kid starting at their birth. She’s recently started paring down her belongings in an attempt to start the pre-death clearing process and offered up Mr Snuffleupagus’s collection. I agreed to take it and we loaded half my truck with an assortment of surprisingly pretty red glass plates, cups, bowls, and various accessories. She never completed it, generally buying a piece here and there when a random Avon lady family member needed to get a sale or two to make a sales goal for the month, but I figured I could round it out no problem. It’s fucking Avon glass, how expensive could it be?

Very expensive.

I’ve now invested about $400 in my attempt to complete this set of glassware and I’m nowhere close. Apparently this stuff is super popular and not cheap at all. A single tumbler can run anywhere between $17-$24 depending on the seller/store and people with Avon glass know what it’s worth and won’t haggle on the price. I was pretty damn shocked at how much value this stuff has and it’s now what we use for holidays and fancy dinners because it really is pretty and quite elegant if you like dark red glass.
I

Here is my spergy reply, lol

Oh, i remember those glass dishes and love them. I love colored glass items and would be happy to own, use or display things like that. Now i realize that avon glass had a lot to do with it as i used to admiire it at my stepmoms. They would fit perfectly in our little camp home because it was built in the 1940 and still has all of the 1940 s elements of it ( metal cabinets, clawfoot tub). Your collection would look beautiful here!

I guess thats another reason why avon is different. They sell many tangible items, some quite collectable, that stand the test of time and retain some value ( or increase in values) or at least evoke good memories. Their stuff was meant to last. I have a long handled bath brush that my great gram owned. It is in perfect condition despite being about 50 years old.. I just have it for decorative sentimental purposes now but it is amazing such an item would last so long.

But avon just goes to show that a company can be legitimate, with decent products and allow a person to make money simply by selling the products without the mlm bs.

I dont see how people cant see that mlms that have a very limited offering ( like the "it works' tummy wraps and thrive/)level vitamin snake oil patches) are doomed. Few people will want wraps or patches. Whereas avon has a good enough selection of items that almost everyone for age 1 to 100, male or female can find something that they like or would buy for a loved one.

Mlms with perishable items are the worst ( like shakes and supplements). I am sure much of that is never sold except for distrutors buying it, storing in a garage, unable to sell it and then and then it becomes worthless. It doesnt even have any donation value like a luleroe pants ( for instance) would.
 

MerriedxReldnahc

World's Okay-est Proctologist
True & Honest Fan
kiwifarms.net
I don't recall any MLM companies trying to rope us in during high school (Though in earlier grades I remember the BS fundraisers with magazine subsriptions and whatnot. Someone mentioned on an earlier page the "weepuls" that you had to collect, which is what we did in middle school.) but Vector came out a lot at my college. I went to a community college so it was less of the parents-money-trust-fund-babies and more of the working-two-jobs-for-school demographic, so it seemed a lot more predatory in that way. Like they knew how desperate some kids were to make extra money. And a few people I know in college did get in on a few of those. I mentioned already a friend was a "Plexus Ambassador", but two other ladies got in on some kind of nail wrap stuff on Facebook.
I only knew about Vector becasue of Cutco and Chris-Chan so I knew to stay away already, but there were a few other companies that would show up too. I think Mary Kay or another makeup MLM. I'd see Younique ads up everywhere and it seemed pretty fishy. ("Get paid to play with makeup!" sounds too good to be true)
 
Do power companies employ MLM tactics to get you to switch companies? We've had people come to our apartment a few times trying to get us to switch to such and such power company a few times. The weirdest thing is they always showed up after dark.
Nah, that's just a straightforward scam, at least the version I see in my neck of the woods. They will act as a middleman between you and the power company. They claim you'll get a lower rate if you go through them, and they always want to look at your electricity bill so they can dazzle you with their lower numbers.

The scam is that you have to sign up for like a year or two and they jack up the rate down the line. Of course basic critical thinking shows why the whole thing makes no sense. How can you add a middleman to a process and make it cheaper?
 

Tryphaena

Not like the other people here in the trailer park
kiwifarms.net
I had never heard of Scentsy before today. I was trying to find info/pictures of food for a local restaurant on FB and this woman posted like 6 pictures of herself with her fucking candles (lit, looked like) on the table IN THE FUCKING RESTAURANT talking about hot deals she was offering if you buy 2 or more from her. God damn middle aged white ladies need to stop buying into this crap.
 

A Humble Ewok

I'm much more humble than you would understand.
kiwifarms.net
Keith Rainerie had long history of running pyramid schemes. He even ran the secret sex cult as a pyramid scheme, where girls could only move up in rank if they brought in more girls for him. Talk about upping the pimp game.
 
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