Four Reasons Why I Don’t Like MLM or “Network Marketing”

4 Reasons I Turn Off MLM Pitches

(No worries…I don’t try to bait and switch to sign you up!)

Sugar-coat Multi Level Marketing (MLM) and label this sales system Network Marketing to create the aura of a new attitude towards MLM all you want, but upline and downline direct marketing ruins friendships, consumes lives, and oversells expensive products. Let me explain the four main reasons why I won’t listen to your “once in a lifetime opportunity” sales pitch.

1. You lose friends.
As soon as you say yes to your friend touting the new product, they become your upline and demand access to all your friends. Your friend becomes a sales maniac encouraging you to have parties where she keeps pushing, pushing your friends to spend money they don’t have on expensive products they never knew about and don’t want, especially in massive quantities automatically billed monthly. Furthermore, at the end of the month, you get massive amounts of phone calls, emails, and texts demanding you get just a few more sales so your former friend can meet sales bonuses.

2. You lose your life.
If you buy into the dream like I did (I once had a downline of 33,000 people.) you become obsessed. Every moment of your life becomes about how to get more people signed up. Every party, dinner, visit, phone call, and chance encounter becomes about Your Wonderful Opportunity. You find your life consumed by MLM–missing out on normal social functions, relaxation, family, friends, and fun.

Stop and Smell the Roses

Stop and Smell the Roses

3. The products are overpriced.
Even though the company says they save advertising dollars, your upline makes an inordinate amount of commission and bonuses. The last product I bought into had beautiful packaging. Once dropped, it broke open to disclose an inner, less than half-size inner bottle. Besides being deceitful, as an environmentally conscious person, the extra wasted plastic aggravated me.

4. Autoship
Be wary of autoship. I was told I would get billed at the end of the month. The date went from the 30th to the 26th to the 20th. Also, I suddenly started getting a third charge for $29 for which I still have no explanation.

Do you think I’m being too harsh? I realize people need to make money today more than ever. What do you think?

Joy to YOU,

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14 Comments on “Four Reasons Why I Don’t Like MLM or “Network Marketing”

  1. Your honest article about your experience with MLM’s only serves to affirm my decision to never become involved. It’s a firm policy for me which has made it easy to “just say no” to any MLM request … no matter how skilled/close the seller/friend/relative.

    I no longer order any product that has Auto Ship … except one … from a company that I totally trust. Their’s is a Health Product that I’ve been buying for 22 years. Auto ship assures me of a discount and has never caused any issues. During times when I might lag on regular consumption, they easily delay the next shipment. No problem.

    This is an important piece of writing Jeanette. I’m glad that you’ve posted it. It needs to be shared!

  2. Yes! I’ve been on this same treadmill – the thing that bothers me the most is that it suppresses genuine relationship. Because of the “company” and the “product” you are part of a “family” or “tribe” – perhaps you find true friendship, but individual performance colors that.

  3. I think you are spot on. While I have never done this sort of marketing. I can see how it would ruin friendships, way too much time and in the end, marketing is about building a core value system and person to person relationships.

    People may forget the product you are selling but they will never forget how you made them feel.
    Every client is special.
    As for myself I dislike heavy handed sales, most people do.
    As well as “once in a lifetime offer” etc. it is BS in my book.
    Good write up.
    Mary Kay

  4. HI Jeanette,

    I’ve been making a Full time Income from MLM for years. I don’t chase my friends and family and I don’t try to convince anybody. I only talk to people that see what I see

    Also my products are actually less than what you can get them for in a store

    But MLM is not for everybody and it’s obviously not for you 🙂

    Jack Bastide

    • BTW,

      I see you Are Into Real Estate

      I used to be a Real Estate Investor and all I can say is thank god I don’t do
      that anymore.

      So I guess MLM isn’t for you and Real Estate isn’t for me 🙂

      Everybody has to find what works for THEM


  5. Thank you Jeanette for helping me to feel more normal than my unusual self. I have long chastised myself for not having the personality for MLM or the “marketing” scene. Your article said it all and said it in a great way. Thanks again Madi

  6. What a good insightful read. It’s really true.. I got sucked in to it.. I left 2 months later because I didn’t like chasing my friends and family.. I’m not use to it as people chase me at work.. Besides, i’m not poor, far from it. They just made me feel poor

  7. BRILLIANT blog Jeanette! Also very well thought out. Well, actually I know you lived it! LOL I too have been involved in many MLM’s and one in particularly quite successfully. But ALL and each of your points ring true with me. Honestly… where do I start?!?!?

    The products are overpriced – OMG beyond overpriced! It’s always about the downline the upline OMG it’s get out of control plus constantly having these fast talking guys in these flashy Armani Suits, rolexs and flashy gold. It’s hilarious. It’s a dog and pony show.

    The funny thing is MLM’ers don’t see this or aka recognize this until they are “off” the treadmill and destroyed most if not all of their friendships. I have seen this soooooooooooooo many times.

    It’s also amazing how some friends and one you “know” in particular doesn’t want to be friends with me anymore because they can’t possibly imagine why I would not want to join the greatest thing in the world aka “their” MLM.

    Most importantly, super thanks for writing this blog. Why? You have made my life a lot easier and given me the perfect “out” because I get asked about MLM’s all the time. Now I am just going to direct people to your blog!!!!

    Thanks Jeanette ~ You ROCK!


  8. Thank you Sebastian for making me grimace, grin, and laugh. You nailed the Armani suits and the former friends who can’t understand why you don’t drop your life to follow their dream.

    What made me laugh is me giving you the perfect “out.” I appreciate you!

  9. Hello Jeanette,
    Thank you for posting this. Yes i agree, MLM can be an unwanted intruder in our relationships and i don’t know why i never learned my lesson, i fell for another one because of their products. The most annoying thing is, my upline wants to me to sell the way she does. Not so flexible. I can’t sell my way, and i can’t say no to auto-ship. Red flag right there. Or perhaps it really isn’t for me.

    33,000 in your downline. Wow. And you nomlonger like it. Thank you for telling me to move on.

    Jeannie 🙂

  10. I’ve used Shaklee products for years and love them but I never got into being a distributor. Sales is just not my thing, especially not product sales even though I do appreciate the quality of Shaklee and often tell people about how much my family has enjoyed their products over 30 something years. I know a couple that have been very successful with Shaklee since the 70’s. They traveled, had new cars all the time, met friends, held fun parties and enjoyed their active lifestyle and lucrative earnings. They really worked hard but they reaped the benefits. They are retired now but I can’t imagine their lives without Shaklee. I think every MLM company is different and each person’s experience is also unique.

  11. Reading this was just very affirming for me. I’ve been beating myself over the head for about three months now, ever since I enrolled with a network marketing company. I was following a Youtuber who I trusted and she started talking about these products she was using and how amazing they were… She also spoke about the financial freedom she was garnering, etc. Having been looking for a means of making a little extra money it sounded like a golden opportunity. I rushed to get involved (fell for the Fear of Missing Out tactic REAL GOOD) and borrowed the money to enroll… It was only afterwards that I realized what kind of business it was and became very overwhelmed, mainly with the issues you outlined. I’m a sensitive type of girl, I’ve never found it easy to make friends and I battle social anxiety… The thought of approaching my few friends and family just to “pitch” them felt terribly underhanded to me. I live a very quiet life and only see my family’s friends every few months if that. Reaching out to them felt icky (to put it lightly) but I did it anyway with a kick start offer… Most of them – whose friendships I’ve carefully navigated for years – ignored me and I felt awful; what if they thought I was only approaching them because I wanted their money? (Which wouldnt have been a lie!) I hated that feeling. Not to mention but the products are TERRIBLY expensive (I can’t even afford them) but in order to make any kind of commission, I have to ALREADY be paying a $100 a month in pv… Which I can’t do anyway. Since I found the business online I thought I could do it all online… But I hadnt taken into account that the Youtuber I follow has an established following of more than 8 years and could afford to share it as she did… The way it was pitched made it seem like it was the easiest thing in the world: the whole glittering lifestyle concept was huge and they were careful not to refer to it as “selling” (as that has a bad rap) but simply as “sharing”… If anyone is going to do MLM, I think it should be their way – they had a really great approach. But in the end, you ARE selling, it IS recruiting and pitching, and I don’t feel like that should be downplayed. You should know upfront what you’re getting involved with and what its going to require. And people who decide its not for them shouldn’t feel like they are “less than” or like they’ve failed somehow.

    The whole concept has become such a source of anxiety and stress for me and I’ve been beating myself up for “not having the right personality” for “being too shy” and “giving into my fears” and its true, there is fear involved for me (the thought of doing presentations just make me feel sick) but more than that, it just feels wrong.

    With this being said, I’m not bashing MLM. I think its great for some people (ironically, my father who is a born salesman!) and while expensive, I can understand why the products are priced as they are… It just isn’t right for me. I wish I could have realized this before enrolling and borrowing the money but it was a learning experience.
    I agree with all these points.

    Thanks for sharing.

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