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Public Service Announcement: MLMs and Pyramid Schemes

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If you’ve been in the job market for any amount of time, or on social media for at least a hot minute, you’ll probably have come across your fair share of multi level marketing companies. Better known as MLMs or pyramid schemes, these companies rely on recruitment to get money, which is a predatory way of doing business. According to Wikipedia, MLMs utilize unpaid labor in order to sell the product so those higher up in the ranks can make money. In this post, we’ll talk about how to avoid MLMs and pyramid schemes, so you don’t end up getting hurt.

I won’t mention the company names involved in this instance, nor will I name the ones involved who sparked the idea for this post in the first place.

First things first, I used to sell Avon. I’d let others bring it up, and I’d leave brochures on bus seats. I never recruited anyone, and I had no plans to do so. In other words, I basically let the stuff sell itself, haha. Never went to any of the meetings, either. In the end, when I hung up my hat and moved on, I broke even.

I need to make it clear that while I didn’t see a profit, I still ended up being lucky in the sense that I broke even. I wasn’t gonna go into debt over this. While a few do see a profit, and while a few more manage to break even, many others lose money and end up in debt for ages.

This isn’t just true for one specific MLM, this is true across the board. The reason being is that the MLM business model is designed to set us up to fail.

Up until my job search, I was neither for or against MLMs. I took the approach of ‘live and let live.’ In my job search, I came very close to getting caught up in an MLM. This was my first and last time on one of the job boards I keep hearing about on the radio.

It was like 2 weeks after my mom died. I applied for a sales job as a fallback, and I had to go turn in the title to my mom’s car the next day to get it signed over to me so I could sell it. I got a call while I was waiting my turn, and it was a number out of state. We’ll say it was a state that wasn’t Wyoming.

The caller then said they were associated w/ a business that was different than the business name of the sales job I applied at.

I had plans to stop at the store and ogle over the stuff I’d buy if I was a worthy job haver, and pretend to myself that I was one of them.

That wasn’t gonna happen. They arranged a phone call from their “manager,” that same night. I cut my trip short and walked home. I’d made it just in time, since the phone rang at 5:30 on the dot.

This was the manager, and I’d had the chance to review the videos they sent me the night I applied. I’d already had my hackles up, and saw references to this being a pyramid scheme.

Why not give them the shovels they need to bury themselves. I pretended to be interested, and when they started bragging to me that they spent like 2 grand on lead lists, bragging lyrical about how they help ppl whose loved ones died be able to stay in their homes, appropriating legit business terms, and that they were in this for a year, I knew it was gonna be a nope.

As soon as I mentioned that I’m looking for something w/ a salary, they couldn’t end the call fast enough.

Jesus Roosevelt Christ, how tf many have y’all done this to, and succeeded?!

It hit me like a ton of bricks, knowing they prey on ppl like me. I found the job posting, still live on the job board I found these jack-offs at.

I reported them to the site admins, and the next day, every single one of their dozens of job postings were pulled.

It wasn’t long before I found this same shell company spamming the dickens outta other job boards, w/ one being located in a country other than Cambodia. I reported them to the site admins there also, and while I haven’t heard back, I’m hoping they cared enough to either pull the listings, or ban them from the site altogether.

My guess is they’ve likely been banned from the job board I found them at, and I hope so.

So, how do we know if someone’s trying to sell us on an MLM? What do we need to look for, so we don’t get caught up in this?

First and foremost, MLM hunbots are starting to wise up. If they’re on social media, they may intentionally leave any reference to the MLM they’re involved in off their profile. Or they could bury it toward the bottom, and use an alias for the MLM.

They may also send a message, buttering you up and telling you how great you are, blah blah blah, and pitch their MLM. Or they may have wised up and started saving their pitch slaps roughly two messages in. A few of the more polished ones may even play the long game, and hold off on the pitch slap until well into knowing them and the situation’s right.

I’m personally of the opinion that those who play the long game are either in the MLM only as a hobby, or they’re more interested in selling the product instead of recruiting for their downlines.

They may also try to appropriate legit business terms, like “franchise,” “discovery call,” etc. Whether they appropriate those or other business terms, they’re intentionally vague about the so-called “opportunity” they claim to offer.

Some will take no as an answer, and move on to their next targets. Others will try to push back, accusing you of saying no when you “don’t know what it is.”

Over time, you’ll begin to see a pattern to their shameless pitch slaps and their slimy sales tactics. You may even be inundated w/ MLM hunbots looking to recruit you in to their stupid pyramids, and wonder if it means anything about you.

I’m here to tell you, it doesn’t mean anything about you. These MLM hunbots will pull their pitch slaps on anyone w/ a pulse, and you’re just one of many they tried to snarf up. They will prey on those who are basically between a rock and a hard place, which further speaks to the predatory nature of these companies. They may honestly think they’re helping, but the truth is, they aren’t helping anyone but their uplines who put them up to this.

This is how I went from MLM neutral, to anti MLM. After someone I met on social media got caught up in the same MLM company as someone I once knew did, that was the straw that broke the camel’s back for me.

Honestly, if it were up to me, I’d shut those jerks down in a New York minute.

Over to you, readers. Have you dealt w/ any MLMs in your job search? If so, I’m so sorry to hear this. If not, you’ve been lucky, and I hope you never deal w/ these crappy agencies. Either way, I’d love to hear your thoughts and takeaways, so drop it all like it’s hot and let’s talk.

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