Why do people hate MLM, Network Marketing, and Pyramid Schemes?

A friend or family member invites you over to try out a new life changing product — Flibbits. They call this event a “Flibbit Party”. Don’t you just love getting invited to parties? You ignore the little voice in your head telling you not to go and decide to attend the Flibbit Party. You promise yourself that you are only going to find out what all the hype is about and possibly help your friend see the error of her ways and nothing else. Fresh baked cookies (along with various Flibbit samples) are provided as you listen to a sales pitch which ultimately boils down to this:

  1. Flibbits are amazing and were discovered via some miraculous accident by a doctor and/or someone wearing a lab coat.
  2. Once you try Flibbits you’ll never know how you got along without them.
  3. You are qualified to sell Flibbits if you give me $100.
  4. Flibbits can not be purchased at Costco.

Flibbits, of course, is just the generic name for your particular brand of multi-level marketing (MLM). I refuse to legitimize any MLM company by typing their names here. The reason I hate them all is that they are built on a lie—(insert your reason why MLM makes sense here). There is no longer a need to peddle anything in this manner anymore. If you truly have something that people can’t live without then put it on kickstarter. If a product legitimately works then people will demand it and if enough people demand it then I should be able to buy it at Costco without paying a chain of friends, aunts, and cousins commission in a “down line”.

My ultimate litmus test for products that are worth trying out is this — Can I buy it at Costco? If not then keep trying and talk to me later once I can purchase it from an actual store. Costco has limited retail space and must carefully determine if a product is worth it before putting it on the shelf. I will happily defer this vetting process to them as Costco has a lot more time and money than I have. Here’s the bottom line — if something can only be purchased through an MLM then it is not worth trying even once!

There are simply too many MLM schemes out there to try and tackle them all. Some MLMs are more hideous than others but they all have one thing in common — Nobody likes them and everyone hates them! There. It had to be said.

I admit that this position is impossible to prove and a few people (like 3 or 4) make a good living selling MLM junk. Even these few people must realize that many of their relationships are superficial to some degree. They must be aware that family and friends who would otherwise connect with them on Facebook have blocked them from their newsfeed. They know deep down that putting a drop of $50 salt water under their tongue each morning and then eating a 500 calorie diet may be effective at dropping pounds but there are cheaper ways of being anorexic.

It is not the goal of this article to identify the problems with MLM and suggest solutions because I don’t believe the MLM model can ever be legit in the public eye. I came to this realization one morning when I suggested to my wife that we try a nutrition shake which could only be purchased through a reseller family member and she said,

“Even if they work, I would rather be fat than buy MLM shakes!”

I had to read between the lines here but what I think she was saying is,

“I want to eat Thanksgiving dinner with family members and hang out with friends NOT business associates.”

With the popularity of social media these home based “businesses” seem to rise and fall each day with the sun. My only plea for anyone currently involved in an MLM is to be a good mom, dad, brother, sister, aunt, uncle, cousin, friend and to stop peddling your junk on social media because that is not what a good mom, dad, brother, sister, aunt, uncle, cousin, friend does. If you really want to help people then get your amazing new life changing product onto a shelf at Costco.

One of the good things about misinformation on the internet is that it keeps everyone on their toes. People no longer trust you by default and there is one sure way to decrease the level of trust a person has for you (including yourself) — invite everyone you know to a Flibbit party!