Are MLMs the biggest scam?

Are MLMs the biggest scam?

Let’s say that you’re between jobs and looking for work. You come across an ad for an amazing position that promises flexible hours and an amazing salary, however, it’s a sales position. Sales isn’t the worst thing that you could do and you need a paycheck soon. You may then be asked to join a group of people in a meeting room where you realize that this isn’t just any sales position, it’s an ‘opportunity’ to join the exciting world of multi-level marketing.

If you’re not familiar with multi-level marketing, or MLMs as they’re commonly known, are those ‘businesses’ that one of your Facebook friends may be trying to recruit you to join. The reason they’re trying to recruit you is that they only really make any kind of money if they get more people to join. The MLMs impress this upon their members to try to recruit their friends and family. Outside of just being annoying when someone tries to recruit you to one of these schemes, there’s a darker side to MLMs. Often, you have to buy stock from the person who recruited you before you can sell your own stock. Many MLMs are accused of having many cult-like tendencies such as pressure to stay and isolation from those critical of MLMs. Sometimes friend or family relationships are severed due to someone’s devotion to an MLM.

The truth is that MLM salespeople tend to not make very much money and in numerous cases wind up in crippling debt. The math just isn’t in their favor. MLMs generally tell their salespeople that they need to recruit a certain number of other people to join the MLM. Then those people also need to recruit the same number of people. What they don’t tell you is that this cycle can only be repeated a handful of times before the number of people needed becomes astronomical and unobtainable. But that’s not the MLM’s problem since they already sold you, and anyone else who’s joined, their product. If this sounds a lot like a pyramid scheme that’s because it essentially is. The only reason there hasn’t been mass prosecution of these MLMs is that the fact that they’re ‘selling’ a product makes their businesses legal.

In most MLMs, the only people making any real money are the ones at the top of the pyramid and unfortunately, that’s probably not you.