MLMs are everywhere – you probably have had a contact with one, even though you may not even be aware of it. MLM stands for Multi-level Marketing, also called Network Marketing or legal pyramid schemes. They usually pray on people in their vulnerable state – people who don’t make enough money in their day jobs and are looking for opportunities to get extra income, stay at home parents, military wifes, etc.
There’s plenty of videos and articles on how predatory MLMs really are, so I won’t get into this now. If you want to know more, check out Reddit and search for more information on this topic.
Today I will focus on my story about Amway presentation I was lured into by my coworker. So couple weeks ago she approached me and asked if I could help her out because she needed “a face” for her cosmetology exam. There was a lot of red flags but I decided to go along with it, as I was curious where it was leading. I was not available on the date she had “the exam”, because I had my Dutch course on that day. She asked if I would be able to come next week 🚩 I said that the problem was the hour, because I would miss my class if I went there. She asked what hour suits me the best and agreed to it immediately 🚩 By this point I knew something was up because no school would do any exams whenever participants want to have them and you don’t make an appointment with your “face” for it without consulting the school 🚩
The day of “the exam” finally comes. I get a text message with the address. I checked it and there’s an actual cosmetology business couple meters away, so I started doubting my doubt a little bit.
But when I get there, I end up in a regular living appartment. Well, nowadays a lot of beauty businesses actually do it this way (at least in Europe, they just need separate area designed for the business, so your hairdresser doesn’t wash your hair in kitchen sink or your nail tech doesn’t do your nails in laundry room or something) but it’s an exam, right? 🚩🚩🚩
There’s of course no examiner, only me and my coworker 🚩 Then she proceeded to say she already got her diploma but she’d love to give me pampering session, as I “looked so tired” and she “knew I work really hard”. I agreed to stay to see what’s going on there, because clearly this girl has no cosmetology degree and there’s something else to our meeting.
The “pampering session” was a show on its own and it’s ridiculous to the point it’s hard to imagine if you weren’t there. Cotton pads and bowl of water which was not changed after each dip of dirty cotton pad doesn’t sound hygienic to me. Or dipping into creams and masks with my own fingers. Then I took a glance at the packaging of the cosmetics. Name “Artistry” didn’t sound familiar to me but Amway sure did.
She kept praising the cosmetics she was using on me, telling me how it’s important to use them daily and how they’re better than any other brand on the market. She also saw ” immediate results” on my skin. It was funny.
After she was done with unsanitary application of Artistry skincare by Amway, she proceeded to tell me how I had to get all of those cosmetics to keep up with awesome results and that she could help me get a 30% discount, because those cosmetics are not cheap. “I only had to pay 30 euros for a full year of discount and I would also get my own website.”
She hadn’t used the “side hustle” pitch, probably because it was hard to get me to come over anyway and I think she knew I wouldn’t be interested in being my own boss babe. Or this pitch didn’t work too well, so she modified it to be what it actually is – boss babes being costumers of an MLM, not independent consultants who market their products to actual customers.
She also used the cleaning supplies from Amway and their dietary supplements and was recommending them to me. I don’t know how you can think that taking all those pills – unless you really have a deficiency – is good for yourself. And if you do have deficiency, ask your doctor for a chart with foods that will help you fight it and go to your local pharmacy. Don’t support MLMs 🤦🏻♀️ But she was only being “product of the product”, as they tell them to be.
Sadly, we’re not close enough for me to try to open her eyes and maybe stop her from losing her hard earned money on overpriced MLM crap. She’s already alienated from the rest of our team, so I can feel in my bones that she would read my attempts as being rude, trying to stop her following her dreams.
In the way it all unfolded from cosmetology exam to be an Amway presentation, I think she’s having a hard time trying to lure people to sign up under her. I hope she’ll get out sooner than later.
At some point I even considered pity signing up, but it would only keep her going for longer and encouraging her to keep luring people in this way, even though it’s sneaky but clearly “works”. It would also benefit people at the top of that legal pyramid.
My advice to you, if you are ever approached by any of the MLM people – Amway or any other – do your own deep dive into the company. And do not sing up. Unfortunately according to income disclosure statements (if they are even available to the public – as they should be according to the law), almost 99% of people in such Network Marketing businesses are losing money.
As I said, MLMs are everywhere. I have more stories about my experiences with MLMs from the past and I think it’s worth sharing, even if the plot wouldn’t win an Oscar award. It may help stop people from being scammed. So stay tuned for more of MLM stories 😁