Looking at MLM Companies

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A friend just recently contacted me, wondering about some of the reasoning behind my distance from Multi-Level-Marketing Companies and their products.

Definition: “Multilevel marketing (also called network marketing), describes systems in which companies contract with individuals to sell a set of products door to door or office to office. It is called multilevel because a contractor can also invite others to work and earn money on their performance.”- Paul Kotler

Those who know me well, know by now that I’m not a huge fan of MLM companies.  I’ve been told all the good behind companies like this.  The big positives are that it is a great way to make good money, especially for stay-at-home mothers, and that MLM companies carry life-changing products.

Years ago, a close relative had actually been involved in starting a MLM company; so he kind of got the “inside” view of it all.  So, I’m going to share some of the negative findings from that.

Basically, because of the chain of people and different levels taking a piece of the pie, products have to be sold at much higher-than-value rates. There are good MLM products out there (and occasionally I buy something at a friend’s party), but most likely, you can find a similar item at your local stores or Amazon for a MUCH cheaper price.  Even magic pills and vitamins have comparable products; just check your labels.

MLM companies only can survive through people’s (don’t hate me for using this word) greed. The company is always trying to motivate their reps to get more and more sales so they can climb to higher and higher “levels”.  Some of those motivations are trips, vehicles, and all kinds of other goodies.  Prices are way above normal retail value when a company can give very expensive gifts to their representatives, agents, etc…

Those involved in selling products are also often stealing time from their family. They are constantly found at meetings and doing extra things that take up personal time which could have been spent with their children.  Stay-at-home moms can make money, but gradually phone calls, company conventions, and client meetings take more and more time away from the most important people in their lives. 

It also starts to distort how we view others. Suddenly people are viewed as potential clients, instead of friends and family. It’s interesting how people that I haven’t been in contact with for years will send me a message wanting to catch up and tell me about a product that has changed their lives and can change mine as well. What happened to just good ole’ friendships where nothing needs to be gained or sold?

If you want more on the actual “business side” problems, you can head over to http://www.vandruff.com/mlm.html.

I’m not condemning those who are selling or using MLM products.  I know that you can point out positives and benefits; and I’m definitely not arguing or debating that at all.  I just wanted to share the potential dangers involved with companies like this so we can guard against the ruin that can quickly occur in our relationships with family and friends.

Blessings on your day,

MarJanita

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4 thoughts on “Looking at MLM Companies

  1. Joel says:

    I’m also leery of MLM as a business model. But I’m more concerned with the way it becomes entangled with and/or a replacement for sincere faith. I’ve seen where the company and products can seem to become idols. I was very uncomfortable with the too church-like MLM meeting I went to with a friend.

    • You’re exactly right! For some Christians, a MLM company consumes their time, devotion, and faith, and takes the place of God in their lives because it is all done in the name of Jesus….. so that supposedly makes everything all right.

  2. randl1985 says:

    Many MLM companies say they are “helping” many people, but at the same time they are “awarding” their reps with extravagant trips and other awards. If they REALLY want to HELP, why not sell the products at a price more people can afford?!!

    • Excellent Point! That would make a lot more sense, but they need to keep “rewarding” their reps so that they have people devoted to selling their product since the product most likely wouldn’t be able to stand on its own in the market.

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