LuLaRich is an eye-opening journey into a multi level marketing cult

DeAnne Stidham in her deposition
For those of you who are not familiar with LuLaRoe, it’s a multi-level marketing company with one size fits all leggings and size-inclusive dresses and shawls in so many colorful patterns. (This is not to be confused with the snooty expensive athletic brand, Lululemon.) I own at least a dozen pieces from them, but I got them from Goodwill and eBay, where they’re cheap because the market is flooded. The leggings and dresses are so comfortable and flattering. However some of the stuff seems poorly made. I’ve had to throw away things that ripped easily, pilled quickly or were made of scratchy material. There’s a definite reason for that. The quality dipped as the company experienced exponential growth. As more consultants signed on, fueled by word of mouth on Facebook, LuLaRoe was unable to keep up with demand. They put out shoddy product and then blamed their independent salespeople for being unable to offload it.

There’s a new four part documentary series on Amazon called LuLaRich, about the company behind the clothing and its insane cult-like culture. Filmmakers were able to score interviews with the company founders, scam artists DeAnne and Mark Stidham. LuLaRoe was only founded in 2012 and yet had $1.3 billion in sales by 2016. The company was poorly run by the Stidham and their family members, with growth favored over quality. The cracks soon started showing, with shoddy products, a lack of accountability and groupthink that punished anyone who questioned the company. Consultants were left in debt and holding thousands in clothing they couldn’t sell. Many sued LulaRoe for not honoring their buyback promise.

LuLaRoe valued loyalty to the company above all else. Salespeople, usually stay at home wives, were encouraged to bring on more consultants underneath them, to go into debt to buy products, and to convince their husbands to quit their jobs to help them. Women who got in early made tens of thousands a month while people under them struggled. When a consultant left they were shunned and other consultants were warned not to talk to them.

The pyramid scheme came crashing down a couple of years ago as the company faced multiple lawsuits. LuLaRoe, like other MLMs, remains in business however. The Stidhams insisted on camera that they were not an MLM company, that consultants who couldn’t move product were to blame for not working hard enough, and that quality control issues were due to social media elevating minor incidents. Their arrogance and lies, contrasted with video footage from their depositions, went a long way toward explaining how they ran the company.

Some of my favorite interviews were with the former employees at the corporate office. A graphic designer said she was pressured to create 100 patterns a day. An accountant was hoping to sit and watch while the feds raided his former employer. A corporate employee-turned-consultant, one of the only people of color at an overwhelmingly white company, said she turned down the company cruise because she didn’t want to be on a boat with a bunch of white people. There was a douchebag nephew who was put in charge of company parties. As LulaRoe grew, he threw enormous corporate events with performances by Katy Perry and Kelly Clarkson. After he was fired, he asked former consultants for money to fund his fictional weed business.

I can’t do justice to this documentary in a writeup but I recommend it highly. If you’re strapped for time and know the background, skip to episodes three and four because that’s where it gets good. Here’s a link to a CNN article with more background. I was going to quote it but I had enough to say about this on my own! Also I hope this leads to more documentaries about MLM companies. Essential oil companies Young Living and doTerra are overdue for a take down. Roberta Blevins, who was featured in the documentary (she was the woman in a plaid shirt), pointed out on her social media that MLM jewelry company, Paparazzi, had a huge maskless convention recently that resulted in multiple consultants dying of covid.

 DeAnne and Mark Stidham during their interview

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162 Responses to “LuLaRich is an eye-opening journey into a multi level marketing cult”

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  1. jbyrdku says:

    A friend tried to get me to join her in LuLaRoe around 2016. Said ‘no thanks’ and that was pretty much the end of that friendship.

    • Haylie says:

      Friendships absolutely fall apart when people start shilling for MLMs. You are no longer a friend, just a revenue stream for someone in a cult. My sister had a friend who wanted to set up a Mary Kay booth at her wedding to sell and recruit.

      • Kelly says:

        I had a friend who kept inviting me to parties for children’s books. We lived in two different states and I am happily child free. I ended up blocking her when she said I could donate all of the books I bought from her. It wasn’t even about if it was a product I wanted or needed, she just wanted to make sales. MLMs are disgusting.

      • Marie says:

        Totally agree. I had (keyword had) a friend who would only have get togethers if she was selling something. She joined everything .. cookware, stationery, jewelry, etc. She never reached out unless it was to hawk new wares. I started to resent her because I felt she only valued me as a source of income and not a friendship.

    • Deanne says:

      One of my closest friends for two decades no longer speaks to me because I didn’t want to sell Norwex cleaning products. Over the years she’s been involved with so many MLM’s. Pampered Chef, Epicure, expensive tea that I can’t remember the name of and weight loss shakes to name a few. . Arbonne pushed our friendship to the brink, but she quit and I thought that she’d learned her lesson. I’ve bought so many products from her over the years, but its all been overpriced crap that I don’t want or need. I’m not the only friend she’s cut off as we’re all sick of every social event turning into a sales pitch from her. The NY Times had a really great article about how MLM’s are ruining female friendships. It was very incisive.

      • iconoclast59 says:

        I tried Mary Kay for a while; I liked the cosmetics, but I quit buying because the consultant was absolutely relentless in trying to recruit me, even though I had told her straight up at the beginning that I didn’t want to sell, I only wanted to buy.

        I have a co-worker that used to sell Silpada jewelry. She was great; never pressured me to become a rep or throw a party. She was in it more to get the employee discount than to make money; her full-time job at our company pays well. She quit selling Silpada when the original owners sold to Avon and the quality dropped noticeably. I understand that the owners bought it back, but I don’t think they’re an MLM anymore; you can just go online and buy.

      • Meg says:

        Yes! a coworker would walk around to cubicles selling a package of jewelry. It was annoying and couldn’t avoid her as she was a coworker. Youd see her in the breakroom or pass her in the hall asking if youd thought about buying. Saying ‘No, not at this time’ the stank eye shed give was epic. She unfriended me on Facebook afterwards. It seemed beyond petty to me
        After having her baby she left the company. I hope she just went elsewhere and didn’t rey to just do that full time

      • Veronica S. says:

        A lot of them are basically cults. Same mindset and recruiting methods. My one coworker used to sell Mary Kay, and she was the only one I ever willingly messed with because she was very chill about it. Just would bring it in occasionally, let us all see if we wanted anything, just deliver it. Otherwise, she never mentioned it. She’s the exception, not the rule, though.

      • Agreatreckoning says:

        @Deanne, I lost one friend due to not wanting to get involved with some kind of gold coin MLM. It’s hard when you realize some friendships were based on money. The jewelry, Pampered Chef, candles, one clothing one (not Lulu), Mary Kay friendships are still intact. There was a toothpaste one-that was a friend of a friend. So no personal loss. Funny you mention Mary Kay. A really good friend that sells MK is cool with me buying sporadically and they’ve never tried to recruit me. MK has really good mascara.imo

    • Cee says:

      Same thing happened to me with a friends involved in the NuSkin scam. Our friendship cooled off when I told her she was involved in a MLM scam and afte warning off our friends (who she tried to recruit into her team) I hope for her children’s sake she doesn’t go into too much debt.

      • H says:

        My sister got into NuSkin over 30 years ago. I was in college and I bought some as did the rest of our family. Crap product. My sister continues to get involved in MLMs but I’m not interested.

    • Paige says:

      This is MLM takedown has been the elephant in my social room. When twins were born I was a stay at home mom for 3yrs. A “friend” invited me to a get together and I made an huge deal of it- babysitter, outfit, anticipation to get out of the house!
      It was an MLM mall in a private home. My “friend” hosting all the MLM “friends” she had, each schilling a mini “store” of their cheap crap.
      I think I bought something out of shock & pressure. I felt humiliated. So much for a for real social life in the days of MLM predators

      • Haylie says:

        Luckily, I haven’t had anyone trick me into a get together that turned out to be an mlm shakedown, but house parties are risky when economies go soft and mlms thrive. Beware.

    • Paige says:

      Yoga studios are MLMs now.
      They earn a TON of money- 3-5K- to “train yoga teachers”—but how many yoga teachers can one studio pay?
      Then many “teachers” work for free “to get experience”. When that studio has too many teachers on the schedule, they go to another studio who requests they “pay for THAT studios -teacher training.

      Spiritual scam right under your noses.

  2. Diana says:

    Oh!!!!! Watching this!!!! A few years ago it felt as if I got an invitation from a different Facebook friend every week to go to a house party to buy leggings. There needs to be a full on documentary about all the mlm’s out there: arbonne, Rodan & Fields, Herbalife, young living— I really believe all of these businesses are cults. I do hate that I love the arbonne fizzy sticks so much. But I won’t be buying them anytime soon!

    • LoonyTunes says:

      Árbonne actually has good products, though. My beef with them is that they’re overpriced.

      • Diana says:

        Yes! They are super pricey!!!

      • sunny says:

        Good products but overpriced and their sellers are aggressive. MLM scams are so weird and reveal how society fails women, in particular mothers.

      • Cate says:

        I think a lot of these products are decent/good (a friend used to sell Mary Kay, and it’s nice makeup, my mom used to buy some Avon products and yes, they were nice) but…I have to scratch my head and wonder what’s going on when the person producing the product opts to go hard on the MLM route rather than trying to break into traditional retail. Like…if the product were really that awesome, couldn’t you get it on the shelves somewhere and not have this incredibly sketchy mode of sales that relies on a LOT of women spending more than they earn?

      • DeeSea says:

        The product quality is (or should be) irrelevant if you’re against supporting unethical business practices. And the MLM business model is the most unethical, destructive, predatory, exploitative, greed-driven business model around. If you don’t support MLM ethics, don’t buy their products or otherwise participate in any way. Full stop.

      • ANON says:

        Absolutely this, @DEESEA. MLMs prey on some of the most vulnerable—people who need a living wage, parents and caregivers. Where capitalism has eroded our social safety nets, MLMs come in peddling false hope. Will never support them.

    • KL says:

      You should check out season 1 of the podcast “The Dream”. It’s a deep dive into MLMs and it is excellent.

      • sunny says:

        Seconding the rec of The Dream podcast. It is excellent and goes pretty in-depth on MLMs.

      • Lorelei says:

        @KL thank you! I wanted to comment here that there had been a great podcast about them, but was blanking on the name. The Dream was really well done, & definitely worth a listen.

    • Mac says:

      Highly recommend The Dream. I was shocked to learn Madeline Albright was once a brand ambassador for Herbalife. It’s mind blowing.

    • Haylie says:

      I managed to avoid most of those in person parties, but when Facebook Live became a thing, random people I knew in high school or college (but wasn’t close with) started adding me to those secret Facebook groups for their LulaRoe, Pampered Chef and Jamberry “businesses.” The live videos would show up on my timeline and in my notifications. Clearly hepped up on pixie sticks or or something stronger because the way they’d get excited about “super rare” leggings…

      I clamped down on my friend list. Hard.

  3. hindulovegod says:

    Deanne said her goal was to be rich. She wasn’t hiding it. The whole thing was designed to make her and all her kids rich. The only one they fired was the cousin spending money on parties for sellers instead of luxury items for the family. I do hope she and her husband face graver consequences for the harm they caused. (Also I love the kid who kept calling it a pyramid scheme on zoom. Did they forget to tell him those are illegal?)

    • Haylie says:

      It didn’t go unnoticed by me that as they were shilling ugly, overpriced, low quality leggings and financially ruining their “consultants” (or whatever they called them to evade paying taxes and ssn contributions), Deanne was wearing $1100 Valentino Garavani Rockstud heels in her interviews.

      • sunny says:

        It is wild because the products are so ugly

      • Becks says:

        Yes! The clothes are so ugly and tacky! Who was actually buying this crap?

      • Paige says:

        I impulsively bought two never worn Lulu cardigans in the thrift. When I got them home & had a closer look- the fabric was just BLEECH. I tried to wear one-colour & style great- but the fabric was worse than Walmart items.
        Why wear super cheap when you can find cashmere in the goodwill? Guess the quality was ok at one point for Lulu, but now are just landfill items- heinous

  4. MsIam says:

    I’ve seen parts one and two, so I can’t wait to finish it up. You definitely can tell the mom and dad, DeAnne and Mark, have the con artist gene. Just like our former Con Artist in Chief, when it all goes to sh!t, its always someone else’s fault. And sorry but those leggings and skirts looked horrible, imo.

    • Eating Popcorn says:

      I finished episode two last night. The fact that they both were part of Amway growing up and in their younger years says it all!

      • Alarmjaguar says:

        My brother and sister-in-law are involved in Amway and it is terrifying. I’m so worried for them and part of me always wants to send them these kinds of articles and documentaries that reveal it is all a scam, but I also worry about ruining my relationship with them (I’ve refused to buy anything from them and so far we are good, but it is so clearly a huge scam).

      • lanne says:

        Don’t be surprised if your brother and sister in law start separating themselves from you. Amway is a cult, and they are supposed to cut out anyoone who isn’t “supportive” of their enterprise. They are probably hanging out at target looking for people to pull into the cult, claiming that they retired before age 30 and are looking for people to “introduce to their mentors.” Amway is the absolute worst.

      • Jack says:

        Amway – ugghhhh. Made the family of Betsy DeVos’s husband wildly wealthy.

  5. Hope Rutten says:

    Derryl, the accountant, was my favorite one in the whole thing. It’s worth it just to see his interviews.

    • Beenie says:

      Just started watching and the son who was VP of Sales (or leadership or whatever)….. yikes. Double triple yikes. I think his name is Kevin?

    • LaraK says:

      He has the best quiet moments onscreen! My favorite by far.

      Roberta was great too.

      But I couldn’t quite place some of the women that really made money. Like the one that was like the 3rd person to sign up. You could tell she made a LOT of money. She tried to avoid numbers, but it was obvious. What happened to her? Does she regret anything? Hard to tell.

      Excellent documentary though – I highly recommend it.

  6. Becks1 says:

    I haven’t seen this yet but its on my list for this weekend hopefully.

    My first child was born in 2012 and I was very active on a national message board at the time (that was predominantly moms but not entirely). So…yeah, I was the target audience for LLR and I knew SO Many people who became reps. I knew people who quit their jobs to be FT LLR Sales reps, and for some of them it worked out because they had gotten in so early, but for a lot they ended up selling their inventory at a huge loss.

    I had some LLR pieces, not a ton – the black leggings were nice quality and I think I just got rid of them two or three years ago bc they were finally worn completely thin (but my Lauren Conrad ones from Kohl’s were nicer.) And they had one style of tshirt that I liked bc it was a little bit longer. And that was basically it. Nothing was so good that I went out of my way for it after the initial flurry of buying and the quality definitely went downhill very very quickly. Also, how many leggings does one person need? There’s obviously going to be a point where your customer base starts to dry up because they don’t kneed anymore ugly clothes.

    To me what I cant get over with LLR is that they convinced thousands of women that those hideous ugly patterns were super cool and trendy and we all needed to have them.

    • Erin says:

      Right? My sister introduced them to me when they first started, she just bought not a consultant. I also bought a few pairs of leggings all in solid colors except for maybe one patterned pair and one holiday pair that I still have and like, I also got a few of the classic t shirts in solid colors because they are long in the back. I haven’t purchased anything in years though and all of my stuff I’ve either sold second hand and the one pair of leggings and three t shirts I have left have held up, probably because I got them early on. I wear them to do my daily walks. I never understood the obsession with it or those hideous patterns though. Like yeah, the leggings I got were comfy but I’m not putting myself in debt for them. I know on some of the groups I was in women would brag about having 50-100 pairs and they would still be buying. They weren’t consultants either, just obsessed. The constants I knew did not make it big and have stopped by now.

    • H says:

      I bought one pair about 8 years ago? They shrank in the wash and I use them for walking my dog now. Funny, I wore them yesterday to run an errand. But yeah, the pattern did not age well. Way too expensive.

    • swirlmamad says:

      Yes! I went through the LLR phase around that same time as well and bought one too many pairs of leggings (to my husband’s chagrin)…..you are right that there were some U-gly patterns out there and women would be clamoring to buy them just because they were “butter-soft Lularoe!” I had a FB party I was roped into doing but never wanted to get into selling them. I still have a pair or two left but I only wear them around the house now. Definitely will check out this series over the weekend — it sounds pretty interesting!

    • Lorelei says:

      @Becks this is a total tangent, but I LOVE Lauren Conrad’s stuff and I was embarrassed to admit it for so long because nobody else I know wears it. But I have so many of her shirts now, and they’re all really pretty, so I don’t even try to hide my love for them anymore, lol.

      Re: Lularoe, I’ve been seeing a lot of it on eBay recently, and was surprised because I thought the consultants had to sell them personally to people they know or something…but I’m glad it’s allowed if it helps people in debt unload some of that crap on eBay.

      • Southern Fried says:

        I do too and I’ve bought for my daughters also.

      • Paige says:

        I had a super predator friend who MLM’d all day all ways- Lulu leggings, sex toys and skin care. Plus she did massage and private chef work.
        I now see was “on the hustle” as a single mom, but I could barely have a conversation w her without a sale’s pitch.
        Unsolicited, She actually cooked a meal for us & gave us the receipt fo reimbusement, that was after we didn’t want lotion, sex toys or crappy leggings.

  7. Mindy_Dopple says:

    I just finished watching this and I’m so happy this website covered it because I’m dying to talk to someone about it. MLM’s are horrible and should be banned across the US. I loved the part in the documentary that asked about bonuses for sales and the founders stated that they don’t track a consultants sales. THAT was enough for me. They don’t make any money on the crappy product. They do however track and give bonuses for onboarding new people. Businesses track what’s important to them.

    • Becks1 says:

      I think one of the reasons they don’t track the sales is because they don’t care, like you said, its not important to them – because they make the consultants buy the clothes upfront, so LLR already has its money.

      Compare that to another MLM like Tupperware, where a consultant will have “some” products and obviously needs to invest significantly to have products to demonstrate, but you can buy things that the consultant does not have and order them and have them shipped. I can even just go on the tupperware website right now and buy whatever I want. LLR operates in such a way that the consumer is dependent on the LLR rep, which is actually kind of brilliant bc it means you are going to connect with different reps, stalk the “unboxing” parties, etc. And it puts the pressure on the rep to buy as much product as possible.

      The issue of course being that at the end of the day, a rep may have 100 pairs of neon blue leggings that they have already paid for and no one is buying, and LLR wont let them return them, or they can return them but at a huge loss.

      • lanne says:

        In MLMs, the consultants are the “customers.” They care f–all about what the consultants actually do with the products. A real business would care about saturating the market with too many sales reps, but as the sales reps ARE the customers, it doesn’t really matter. And what kind of “business” doesn’t let you decide on your own inventory? They just get whatever the company sends to them.

      • Meg says:

        Sherry shepherd when on the view talked about trying to sell makeup door to door and they make sales reps buy all the makeup they carried up front and shes like of course i didnt sell all the products so i was actually out money
        I thought right then theyre calling you a sales rep but you’re a customer to them
        Ive worked at places that will let you know of employee discounts to try to move product or ‘you’re missing out on all your coupons you havent claimed!!!’ Turning their employees into giving a chunk of their paychecks right back to the company. If they dont badger you ok i guess?
        i was a bank teller and theyd harp on us about opening up more and more accounts per quarter to being in a certain dollar amount to the bank and required we open up ones ourselves when we first got hired. after i explained situations like these to my brother who regularly gives unsolicited financial advice where his math doesn’t add up, he would mention how many reputable businesses act like this and its fine. Mmmm ok

      • Becks1 says:

        @Meg – yeah, I was a manager at Loft for a while after college and the employee discount (WITH required credit card with a ridiculous interest rate) is good on its face, especially if you are a PT employee working there mainly for the discount (we had a few people who signed on to work bc they were shopping there so much anyway, they figured they might as well get the discount), but for a 22 year old new graduate who wasn’t making that much even as a manager, the discount and CC felt like a way to just suck me into spending more and more of my paycheck there.

        it’s a common practice unfortunately and I wish there was something that could be done about it – at least we weren’t required to wear Loft clothes? – but its also a different thing than what LLR requires of its consultants.

    • Mac says:

      MLMs have an army of lobbyists, which is why the FTC lets the industry self-regulate.

  8. SarahCS says:

    I’ve never heard of this company before but I really hope they show this in the uk, it sounds fascinating!

  9. Kathryn says:

    This is a fascinating documentary, highly recommend it as well. I really hope the word gets out about MLM companies, the statistics are really frightening about how most people break even or lose money. When I was just out of college, a colleague’s sister tried to recruit me for Mary Kaye. She was beautiful and compelling and hard to resist, but thank god I did

  10. Daphne says:

    Does anyone know about Monat? I have a friend who literally is a PhD chemist and has started shilling their stuff on Instagram. Is it similar to Rodan and Fields? Just another MLM?

    • Skittlebrau says:

      Not only just another MLM cult but it has been sued multiple times by women who lost their hair due to their products.

      • Haylie says:

        Basically, If you can’t buy it in a retail store or online, the person pushing a product on you is claiming to be a small business owner (for a larger corporation), and especially if there is a push to get you to sell for them, it’s an MLM.

        There’s a little more nuance, but not much.

      • Daphne says:

        Thank you for the valuable info!

    • Stephanie Taylor says:

      Yes unfortunately Monat is an MLM and just as scummy as the rest of them.

    • greenmonster says:

      It’s another MLM. There a videos on YT about it. I think they even got a lot of backlash because the products were harmful to some costumers, who ended up suing the company.

    • Eenie Googles says:

      Isn’t that the one where a lot of people experienced hair loss?

      • lanne says:

        they tried to pass off the hair loss as “natural shedding.”

      • Andrea says:

        I have a friend selling Monat and honestly her hair looks worse now almost flatter and slightly greasy. They discuss how you have to detox your hair. I have naturally full curly and colortreated hair and since the reviews all say hair loss, I was like uh no. Lawsuits are a no go for me too. This friend sadly seems consumed.

    • jules says:

      I don’t usually give in to any of this but a friend of mine had been using it and recommended it to me. It destroyed my already fragile hair. I didn’t even go to the rep to get out, I called the company directly. I even got some money back shockingly. Never again from an MLM. I have another friend doing “social retail” now and says it’s nothing like an MLM….but she’s been shilling so many products, trying to recruit (under the premise that there’s no pressure to recruit others) and amazingly she’s promoted 3 times in a week! I just can’t wrap my head around this stuff. Like how do intelligent people buy into it?

      • Erin says:

        Did it make your hair fall out or was it just major breakage? I have been using monat for a few months because a close friend sells it, I’m not selling and I’m not a member just retail buying which I know is stupid but of course I felt like I should help her out. She’s not pushy but ya know. Anyway, I haven’t noticed a difference at all, bad or good. My hair is basically the same so I’m just going to stop buying it now.

  11. Trillion says:

    If you’re into podcasts and want to get a full history on how MLM’s developed and continue to function, get on over to wherever you DL your pods and check out season one of The Dream. Fascinating.

    • Diana says:

      Thanks for the tip!!!!

    • PunkyMomma says:

      Yes! I highly recommend listening to The Dream podcast. It is so eye-opening about the misogynistic origins of these pyramid scams targeted at women—seemingly offering an opportunity for home-bound mothers who are often needing a way to earn some money. These MLM charlatans prey on emotions—they build up their mark to bring them into the fold, and when the (inevitable) crash comes, the scammers blame the victim (“you didn’t try hard enough” “you just don’t have it”, etc.)

      A number of years back, I received a call from a family member (our family’s most successful professional, in fact), asking me to call into a conference call. This family member said it was a terrific investment opportunity—a chance to make some serious money. (Okay, first of all, let it be a tip off when you call into a conference call that promises serious cash opportunities, because serious cash opportunities are hoarded amongst the wealthy.) But this was a respected and successful member of my family with whom I had a very close relationship, so I dialed in and listened to the call. It was about a line of skin care products that “sold themselves”. Those on the call were asked to give a roll call and I remained silent. I knew this was a pitch for a pyramid scam, but waited through the entire call for something that I could point out to my relative as a red flag (I really did not want to insult my relative). The red flag came, and it was this “all YOU need are five GOOD people …”. That’s when I hung up.

      A few days later, I received an invite to a home “party” regarding this product—a meet and greet sort of thing—at a residence I knew to be a close friend of my relative. I called the number with my regrets. Shortly thereafter, I received a call from the family member and I told him point blank “this is a pyramid scam, and, tbh, you KNOW I’m introverted and would have trouble with the FIVE GOOD PEOPLE.” He was infuriated with me.

      Fast forward to a few years ago when wife of relative quietly mentions to me at a family gathering that they still have inventory from this scam gathering dust in their basement.

      Fellow Celebitches, the rich are not going to share their money-making secrets with you. If you are in MLM sales, beware if you’re told you have to purchase your demonstration sales kit. Sure, you will hear success stories, but ask to see the company’s financials—ask for the total number of marketing reps the company has and then ask for the percentage of successful reps, and then RUN.

    • Lorelei says:

      There’s another podcast called “Sounds Like MLM, But OK” and I only listened to a few of the episodes— which were good, but it’s definitely not quite as well done as The Dream, so I’d start with that one first for sure.

      https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/sounds-like-mlm-but-ok/id1358481534?i=1000487935577

  12. Lunasf17 says:

    I loathe MLMs and can’t wait to watch this. They target so many of my small town classmates who are stuck in my hometown of a few thousand people and go from one MLM to the next. The Jesusy/boss babe/stay at home mom women easy targets. On one hand I feel bad for them but a quick google search tells you these companies are garbage. People make the decisions to go into debt joining these companies and after the fifth MLM in a year I lose sympathy for them.

    • SusieQ says:

      @Lunasf17, same. MLMs have had great success targeting my high school classmates who are now teachers. My hometown pays teachers about $28k a year, so they all fall down the MLM rabbit hole. I’ve had to unfollow and/or block so many of them.

    • Chaine says:

      Yesss! This! Why don’t they just do the calculations up front, oh, I live in a county of 5000 people total, how likely is it that I will find enough people to agree to also begin selling this product in competition with each other and recruiting additional people in competition with each other, and us all still somehow make money? I mean your limited regional population is only going to buy so many overpriced scented candles or pink tasers or floor cleaning sprays.

  13. Skittlebrau says:

    MLMs are SO dangerous and I’m so glad they are getting the (negative) attention they deserve. A friend-in-law of mine got sucked into a MLM oils cult and went from a well-paid professional with a house and a car to literally homeless. And she’s still posting daily about how amazing her oils cult is. It’s so sad–like watching a slow-motion train wreck.

  14. amilou says:

    I’ve been watching iilluminaughtii’s videos on YouTube. She covers all these sketchy companies and has MLM Mondays.

    https://youtube.com/c/iilluminaughtii

  15. HelloThere! says:

    What my Father always told me still stands today: If it seems too good to be true, it’s too good to be true! LOL

    Okay the parts that pissed me off to no end: when they started preaching. When they started saying women need to take a back seat to their husbands. All the submissive wife BS made my blood boil. Their target audience, Moms, made me want to call LLR and chew them out. Being a Mom is hard AF. A lot of people are desperate for money and friends. As a stay at home mom for a total of 7 years now, F$@k You LLR!!!!!!!!!

    Story time: I am 35 years old. MLM’s have infiltrated my age group hard. I have lost so, so many friends because I wouldn’t ‘join their team and be a girl boss’!!! BARF. I always politely said no thanks, I have zero free time and can’t sell stuff. I don’t even have Facebook and that’s how all these MLM’s find sales and people to join under them(and that’s where the money is)! I had one friend that use to beg me at the end of every month for almost a year…..let’s just say it ended badly. She took it so personal that I kept nicely saying no. The last time I wasn’t so nice but more direct and to the point. Haven’t heard from her since! Several of these Moms quit their jobs they had with bachelors degrees!!! It was insane.

  16. pottymouth pup says:

    I binged the whole thing last night, it was fascinating and sad. I wish they do more deep dives into the cult mindset of some MLMs like Young Living (which is adamantly anti-vaxx).

    • Betsy says:

      I found a local farmer/beekeeper family online that put WAY too much of their personal information on their business’s blog. They haven’t updated since 2019, but I thought, boy if I see you at the farmer’s market, I’m not giving you a dime! She was a Young Living (Young Life? I don’t care) rep because the company “really agrees with” their feelings about “wellness.” Such a racket, and with so many bad health consequences.

    • Laura says:

      I am going to quietly speak up and say that ‘adamantly anti vaxx’ is just wrong. Everyone I know in the YL community is vaxxed- including myself. This is problematic rhetoric.

      • SomeChick says:

        I’m glad to hear that you’re vaxxed! I’ve encountered a few whiffs of conspirituality thinking among essential oils peeps (both doterra and yl) and it just makes me so sad for them, and anyone else who buys into it (both meanings of buy, sigh).

      • Emma says:

        How many people do you personally really know the vaccine record of in Young Living though? Probably a tiny fraction of the whole. And that’s just anecdotal.

        I recommend everyone take a look at the extensive Business Insider review of false or harmful medical claims by the Young Living community. Including about COVID.

        Problematic rhetoric is racism or sexism. It is not “problematic” to call out capitalist exploitation in an MLM pyramid scheme. That’s not living in reality when you say the facts are “problematic rhetoric” and claim your anecdotal anonymous experience trumps the facts.

        My childhood was overshadowed by my parents losing money in Amway and Mary Kay. Now my sister, a stay-at-home mom without a college degree, is selling Norwax and Rodan and Fields; her husband has a good job, but it’s so frustrating to me how stressful and unrewarding that work is for her. These companies are so predatory.

  17. Mel says:

    Sgh…once again for the people in the back: If someone tells you that you can making money by bringing other people in to sell their “product” it’s a pyramid scheme. I don’t care what other fancy language they use, it is a PYRAMID SCHEME. Run.

  18. Erica says:

    What I would really love to see is Herbalife go down. Loved John Oliver’s take down of them.

  19. PK says:

    Anyone have any tea on Isagenix?

  20. Lululu says:

    I was raised by an MLM junkie…I’d personally LOVE to see a takedown of Amway, Herbalife, and Isagenix. The cult-like environments in these organizations absolutely blow my mind. I wonder what my mom’s been putting in her body all these years. She used to give my kids vitamins for their birthdays when they were little. Geez, thanks grandma! We stopped sending them to her house when we found out she was giving them vitamins when they were there without our knowledge.

  21. Ann says:

    Man does my SIL love a pyramid scheme. She has done Mary Kay, Jamboree (nail wraps that suck), eyelash extensions… but she dropped the most money on Lularoe. Her entire wardrobe for a few years was only LLR, and most of it was ugly af. She is a RN in med school right now. She is truly one of the smartest people I know so I simply don’t get why she loves these “businesses” so much.

    • Nancy says:

      I worked in a hospital for a couple years and was amazed how many nurses and residents had the MLM side hustle. I also sold Pampered Chef for a year, but only to get all the kitchen equipment I wanted either free or for a deep discount. I refused to recruit and ended up quitting when my day job got too busy. I still buy Pampered Chef because you can now order directly from the website. It’s actually good quality equipment for the home cook.

      • micky says:

        I can’t think of one place of employment that I’ve been at in the last 30 years that didn’t have a couple of people constantly shilling MLM products: Scentsy, Younique, Herbalife, Arbonne, Pampered Chef, Jamboree nails (yes, they do suck), Mary Kay, you name it . . . I always felt pressured to buy something because everyone else was buying it. When you refuse, you are often branded as antisocial and some of your co-workers never speak to you again. I’d like to see all MLMs go down.

      • sassafras says:

        My SIL sold Pampered Chef and I bought some things. It was decent stuff but a terrible product for an MLM because households can only use so many baking sheets and such.
        She’s gone onto Young Living, Scout & Cellar and possibly a new one with some weird vitamins and shakes and cleanses (?). I like essential oils so I’ll order from her sometimes and I’m not even sure Scout & Cellar is a real MLM… The wine is a little expensive but hey… she brings the wine to family parties!

  22. TaraBest says:

    I’ll have to put this documentary on my watch list. One of my cousins bought in to this very hard for a few years. She tried to get her sisters and other involved, and her mom did start selling too. After LuLaRoe wasn’t viable anymore she started selling Young Living. Her financial situation is really bad now. I feel for these women who got taken but there seems to be something in their personalities that just draws them to these types of schemes.

    • Lululu says:

      Absolutely. It runs in my family, whatever it is. My mom comes from a long line of people who love jumping on whatever bandwagon is rolling through town, including her dad who was a religion junkie (he was Mormon for a time, JW, etc, he bounced around). My sister has been in the grips of the Body and Brain yoga cult for almost a decade. I’m not sure how I escaped it, but I make it a point to belong to nothing.

    • iconoclast59 says:

      @TaraBest, It’s because there are few part-time job opportunities for SAHMs with little or no college education that offer the flexibility that MLMs do. Retail is one of the few things they’re qualified for, and standard retail is notoriously horrible at accommodating employees’ need for flexible hours. I remember a job where I told my manager I wanted Tuesday mornings off to take music lessons. When the new schedule came out, guess who was on the schedule every Tuesday morning?! Retail managers pull petty little power trips like that all the time. I can see how the MLM sales pitch would look very attractive to a SAHM.

  23. Case says:

    I’ve come across MLM influencers on Insta and it’s frightening how they truly believe they “run their own business.” They’re brainwashed. Many of them seem very nice and perfectly smart, so it’s just sad and strange.

    • Valerie says:

      In all my time on Instagram, I’ve only gotten ONE “Hey girl!” message from an influencer. I must not be running in the right circles, lol. I laughed when it popped up. I knew people who would get them constantly, and finally, it was my turn.

      I landed on some influencer’s page a few weeks ago when I followed a short trail of anti-vaxx posts… Every single post was about how great her life was, how empowered she felt, and even how much of a better mom running her own business made her. She really believed that she was like a high-level CEO. There were a few posts from before she started selling, and you could actually tell when she got hired because the change in content was so abrupt. It was sad and fascinating at the same time.

    • purdueswim says:

      Yes, it’s is so strange and sad. I have a friend who I’ve know since high school, and she’s totally wrapped up in the cult of MLM. First it was Beachbody and now it’s Zyia. Zyia sells itself as having quality workout gear like Lululemon but at a cheaper price. There are new releases of workout gear once a week! She calls herself a girl boss, talks about the “Zysterhood,” and is always claiming to be a business owner. It drives me nuts when she says she is a business owner. Recently Zyia has expanded to Australia, and she contacted me asking if I knew people in Australia I could sell the product to. I live in New Zealand, completely different country. I politely turned her down. All her FB posts are about Zyia now. I don’t know how you can own so much workout gear and for the life of me, I can’t see wearing leggings to work.

  24. Miss Jupitero says:

    I was recruited once for doTERRA, but knew better. Also beware of Ambit Energy, which is active in a few states. I would love to see someone take these guys down.

  25. Mabs A'Mabbin says:

    I finished this last weekend. I’d never heard of the company, but throughout my years, friends and even some family members tried to get me to sell various products for different companies. Everything from water purification systems to pizza stones to sex toys lol. Yes yes, Avon has some decent products, and I grew up seeing their little collectables around the house haha. It was harder to say no some decades ago when door-to-door actually produced. But beginning in the 90s, door-to-door started going downhill. A friend of mine made a ton selling MK and drove a pink car she won. But by then, (my oldest was a young toddler) home parties and pushing agendas made my skin crawl.

    These people running LLM, have been get-rich thieves their entire lives. They even mention Amway. I thought it was pretty disgusting telling women to sell their breast milk to raise the initial 10k buy-in. Or properly service their husbands to get them to agree to something. It’s all so mid-century level misogyny and abuse. The 1950s submissive wife vibe thing is perplexing to me…how could this be? I hope these two get some jail time for ruining lives.

    • fluffy_bunny says:

      One of the moms at my son’s school sold Mary Kay and she had a pink Escalade and her husband had a black BMW SUV that had Mary Kay trim so they also reward people with cars for their husbands.

  26. Stef says:

    I’ve worked with dozens of MLMs in Utah for their distribution and they are all based on the same pyramid scheme principals. I was surprised to learn most of these companies are based out of Utah and are run my Mormons and the LDS Church.

    It’s an easy business model, especially for women with children at home who want to supplement their income. Very few actually make real money at it.

    So glad they are being exposed! The whole business model is a cult scam and today, virtually every product you can think of is sold via MLM.

    • sassafras says:

      We went to Utah this summer for some national park visits and driving south from SLC, I was amazed at all the buildings that had MLM names on them. I mean, I knew there was a Mormon connection with a lot of them, but seeing them all right there on that stretch of highway was eye opening.

      • Stef says:

        Yes, it was eye opening for me too. Most MLM are based out of Utah and the business model was born there. Some companies have moved to Idaho and surrounding states, but all were once Utah based MLMs.

        They are my least favourite companies to work with, but damn, they ship A LOT of products!

    • Size Does Matter says:

      I read many years ago that Utah is the fraud capitol of the world. Makes sense.

      I just watched LuLaRich. The company was born, blew up, and died off without me ever hearing about it, and I’m a work from home mom who wears workout clothes basically every day. I must have missed it because I loathe Facebook, and this puts yet another nail in the Facebook coffin. It’s insane the hype they were able to build for a bunch of really ugly leggings.

    • Curious2 says:

      Mormons, yes, but not affiliated by/ with their church. It’s about the side hussle and there are always going to be wolves who are predators on the vulnerable sahm.

  27. Lady Keller says:

    As a middle class mom with young kids this MLM BS is so pervasive in my peer group. I don’t understand how seemingly smart, educated women fall for this again and again. I have definitely lost a few friendships over not wanting to buy or sell someone else’s products. I also resent how insincere the interactions are. I’m so sorry your grandma died, want to buy some essential oils? Hey, we haven’t talked in 7 years, need some over priced cleaning supplies?

    Reading the comments here makes me feel better, since i sometimes feel like there is something wrong with me that i don’t see these companies as the be all and end all of female empowerment. I am just not interested in girl boss/mompreneur culture and apparently other women find me lacking for this reason. It’s good to know I’m not alone in finding these companies predatory and gross.

    • Betsy says:

      It is such a gross culture. I refuse to play nice and participate in it, and I’ve paid the social consequences.

    • Meg says:

      ‘ sometimes feel like there is something wrong with me that i don’t see these companies as the be all and end all of female empowerment. I am just not interested in girl boss/mompreneur culture and apparently other women find me lacking for this reason’
      I feel exactly the same and i fear this is part of what these MLMs have in common with cults, gaslighting you that this is on the up and up when it’s not and isolating you from your friends so you feel pressure to buy in to not lose your support system. Isolating

  28. aPathologist says:

    I also find MLMs very fascinating. I enjoyed the John Oliver episode on Herbalife. I will try to watch this series in the coming days but will also download the podcast mentioned above.

    If you want to see a fictionalized take on MLMs with Kirsten Dunst absolutely chewing scenery, you should watch On Becoming a God in Central Florida. Long story short, she gets sucked into an MLM scheme by her husband and has to find her way out. It was approved for a second season, but it got nixed bc of covid. It is an amazing but under appreciated show.

    https://m.imdb.com/title/tt6398232/

  29. Lauren says:

    Back when I still had Facebook, my second-grade teacher added me and then started sending persistent messages about joining her MLM team. (I am 35 and have not been in touch with this woman since I was her student.) I politely declined several times, to no avail. In the end, I told her the requests were inappropriate and uncomfortable — and then I blocked her. SO AWKWARD.

  30. hc60 says:

    I will have to watch this documentary this weekend!

    I confess, I have a fair amount of LLR in my wardrobe. I find the skirts comfortable and the milder patterned leggings I like are cozy to wear around the house at night and on weekends. I’m a former classroom teacher who now owns a tutoring practice so I work with kids and being comfortable is key.

    But I never had any desire to sell it or go down the rabbit hole. I just periodically bought a few things if I liked them.

    • Andrea says:

      Same! Teacher and tutor who is a short curvy girl who finds the clothes amazingly comfy. I haven’t bought leggings in years, but definitely love some of their dresses, jeans, shorts, and tops. I would never sell it though.

  31. Yonati says:

    My daughter and her friend partnered to do Lularoe. They made money until the pieces started arriving ripped and moldy with each order. There was so much backstock in Lularoe’s warehouses that they were sending all the worst stuff.

  32. Brandy says:

    I’m surprised a documentary hasn’t been done on Rodan&Fields yet. I think the doctors keep themselves away from being considered an MLM, but that’s what it is, of course. I “sold” it for the better part of one year before I just couldn’t take it anymore. I love the skincare, but it’s unreasonably priced for many, and the pressure within the organization to “support” your upline is insane. I was asked to buy products under my account to get my immediate upline woman more commission so she could get a Mercedes. HER upline said she would send me the money for the sale but that she wanted this woman to get the car. I said no, not interested in that, and shortly thereafter stopped doing anything with the company. The skincare products are really good — but the whole experience was sort of gross. I just couldn’t bring myself to haurangue (SP) my friends and relatives — let alone the strangers they want you to endlessly bother on Facebook — to buy it. Just not for me.

    • Valerie says:

      A few years ago, I worked with a woman who left R+D and Monat pamphlets in the breakroom. She was one of the team leads, and the only thing she was good at was putting on a friendly face for customers. She didn’t seem to have a single transferable skill or brain cell in her head. She never actively hawked any of her wares at work, but I could see why someone like her would get into something like that. She was a great bullshitter.

      • Brandy says:

        I don’t begrudge anyone for trying it out (as a consultant). I agree, though. There are all kinds of consultants and some come across way more plasticky than others. It becomes a weird cult about what to post on Facebook and how to present yourself in order to attract potential consultants. Lots of guidance about how to present your family, your life, etc. It just felt insincere after a while.

    • sassafras says:

      Oh no. The women I know who do Rodan & Fields seem to stay busy just with their network of people who really like skin care but one of them has had a nice Lexus (or BMW?) for many years now…

      • Brandy says:

        I do think women can be successful at it. A few women in my team were working their way up and adding consultants under them who also remained with the program. There’s a lot of churn, and a lot of women don’t graduate to the next level. The buy-in is similar to the Lularoe buy-in (just started Episode 1 – LOL), so it’s tough to get $5,000 in commission to pay that off — you do have to be working the process for hours every day. I do love the skincare. The MLM thing was just not for me. I’m glad others can be successful at it, for sure.

  33. TeeBee says:

    I remember a MLM experience, a very long time ago, Weekenders clothing, or something like that. I had been at Partylite candle parties, and I knew Tupperware and Amway from the 70s, but in early 2000s a young mom invited me to her Weekenders party. It didn’t smack of pyramid scheme, so I went. I dropped over 200$ on clothes, and I knew full well I was only buying it to help her on her way, she had a couple of young kids, her hubby wasn’t making great money, so I felt this would help her out… and then the pitches started. And it became embarrassing. And then in a year, she was out, and we never spoke again about it. This made me angry and suddenly very wise. These MLMs target women specifically because of this generalized idea that we as a gender will support other women in our communities as a given. We are hardwired to say yes, or to help, or empathize… And is it correct? Because for every single party I was invited to, I dropped 100s$ out of a sense of obligation. Even if I knew I was overpaying, even though I knew what this sales pitch was about, and that it wasn’t going to work out for my friend, and that it was all a scam. I would buy out of a sense of duty.

    Not anymore. I do not accept invitations. I don’t give my opinion on the venture, I think it would be humiliating to question my friend’s reasons for becoming involved in such an obvious scheme, so I keep quiet. But I do not patronize. I pity from a distance. For what mindset do you have to settle in when you willingly sign up for something WE ALL HAVE COME TO KNOW ARE SCAMS…

  34. Nicole says:

    I dunno. My mom had a pretty good side hustle with Princess House doing MLM. It really augmented our family income in the 80′s. The quality did go down over time after Colgate bought them. As for DoTerra I’m good with buying. I have no interest in being a consultant. I genuinely love Arbonne products. I tried to be a consultant, but I really don’t have interest in the hustle. I like being an employee versus a 1099.

  35. K says:

    True story..I had a manager whose name was Karen and she LOVED that shit. She kept telling us at work we should all buy it and “coordinate outfits “. I said no because it was like Garanimals for adults. She fired me.

    • Valerie says:

      Garanimals! lmao. Sorry you got fired, but it’s probably for the best. You don’t want to work for someone like that.

  36. Kimmy says:

    I don’t (won’t ever!) sell it, but I like Norwex cleaning products. 🤭

    • JanetDR says:

      Every once in awhile you can become a consultant for free (instead of paying something like 20 bucks). I do that, but just but myself everything I want plus a few things for gifts. It works out great!

  37. canichangemyname? says:

    omg these things are so annoying. I did once sign up to sell Pampered Chef, just to get a box full of stuff at a discounted rate. Never sold a single thing, and they never bothered me about it, so I just assumed they built that into their business model. But yeah, MLMs are the worst and of course I’ll watch this LOL

  38. Penny Lane says:

    Two of the Brown family Sister Wifes (Meri & Christine) LuLaRoe businesses.

  39. JJ says:

    I do not understand the draw of The MLM. They are like the adult version of the fundraiser catalogs the kids bring home from school. You don’t want any of it but you feel forced to buy something to be nice.

    • Jennifer says:

      That’s exactly it, it’s pressuring your friends to buy all that shit. I felt forced to buy my roommate’s friend’s crap one time because if you don’t buy enough, they don’t get their “free gift” and the hostess makes no money. Blech.

      There was some girl online calling herself “Elle Beau” that wrote a big ol’ blog awhile back about whatever makeup company she got herself involved into–Y-Life? I forget the name of it, I think it might have been English or something. Very good read on how she only got a few sales, the few people who did buy lipstick or whatever hated it, the one product anyone wanted was ungettable, etc.

      Another fun trend now is when these people start selling at craft fairs. I just came back from one where I suspect 80% of the crafts were some MLM or other and I was all “nope, not encouraging this.”

  40. Delphine says:

    I’ve been invited to join so many MLM’s. It’s always been a firm no from me. No way am I gonna make a living bugging my friends and exploiting other people.

  41. Dena Landon says:

    Like many of you on this thread, I’ve lost friends over MLM scams. I had one friend who was in LLR, Younique, Scentsy, and others I forget. I always turned down her “party” invites. Finally I got so fed up I sent her a polite FB message asking her to not invite me to these anymore and suggesting we grab coffee or do something friends actually do (this was pre-Covid). She went *off* at me about how I hurt her feelings by not supporting a “female entrepreneur” how I was a fake feminist for not supporting her business…long streams of rants. I had to block her :(

    I’ve lost track of the friends I’ve lost over this crap but I hate it and I wish they’d all be held accountable. It’s particularly awkward for me because I do make a lot of money compared to many of my friends, I already often pick up the tab or the concert tickets or whatever, and I feel this weird pressure since I’m so much better off than them to buy their crap :( friends aren’t there to Support your lifestyle or buy your crap, people.

  42. TeeMajor says:

    I saw the documentary and it was very telling. I would see folks selling it in Periscope and I just moved pass it. The documentary was VERY good and especially to see the owners of that crap lying and still trying to keep a smile on their faces, when asked hard questions, LOL.

    The husband and wife team is horrible, she is the cute lil poodle, who can be mean when she does not get her way. He is the rottweiler, with the bad tude and I am very sure he has anger issues.

  43. Daphne says:

    Thanks to many of you for the insights on Monat. I’m horrified. I think she is also is pushing beach body fitness too

  44. Pandora says:

    A lady in my FB group unrelated to LulaRoe decided to close shop and give away products. I went over to her place and she had 3 bedrooms full of leggings, dresses, etc. I took 2 full bags of stuff. She said she had $60k of product she can’t offload so she’s just giving it away. A homemaker who wanted to do something on the side. I felt really bad for her but it at least looked like her family could take the hit.

  45. Jules says:

    So fascinating, I’ve never heard of this company but MLM pyramid schemes are horrible, specifically targeting women. DoTerra and Young Living essential oils and Beauty Counter are all MLM. There is also a women’s group scam called the loom, marketed as a weekly women’s support group (for nothing in particular). You put money down and are promised to get it back times 8, or something ridiculous. A total Ponzi scheme.

  46. lena horne says:

    I have known three people who are successful or were at these.

    My best friend sold PC for 3 years while she stayed home with her kids and was very succesful.

    She then went back to school when her kids got older and is now a teacher.

    Another friend sold Premier Jewelry which had nice stuff and she was very successful. They went out of business last year. Not sure what she is doing now.

    Third friend sold Party Lite. She had an insurance business she owned and sold that way. She was selling it to make up for what her divorce cost her $$$$.

    None of them ever recruited hard

    So you can be successful at them..

  47. Karen for Klobuchar says:

    Amazon streaming shows about unethical companies. PUH-LEASE 🙄

  48. Kim says:

    All of these comments are great! A friend of mine once said that MLMs are good for everyone except the consumer (mainly because of the pricing!!). That said, I must confess that I am a consumer of a lot of MLM products. I have never sold them and I never will, but I am always a curious buyer. What I don’t like at all is the pressure placed on the sales people. A side hustle should be fun and feel like a passion. No one should ever feel like they are in an abusive relationship with their side hustle management!

    As a consumer, though, I have been happy with the products that I have researched and bought from Mary Kay, 31, Pampered Chef, Silpada, and Sabika. I don’t own any LLR though, which is funny given how popular it was!!

    Love this thread!! Great commentary from everyone.

  49. Willow says:

    The only home sales business that seemed worthwhile and positive was the scrapbooking one. Can’t remember the name of the company. I scrapbooked for quite a few years when my kids were little. Instead of sales parties, they had craft workshops, you would bring your own photos and supplies. The consultant would have new cutting tools for you to try out and have raffles. Everyone worked on their photo scrapbook, socialized, and of course, bought products. There was never any push to sign up to be a sales rep. It was just fun and didn’t feel like your friend was using you to get free products.

    • Southern Fried says:

      A neighbor and her friends scrapbooked, had stay up all night parties every few months at one of their houses with food, drinks. No selling just sharing their things and ideas, socializing. I went several times for a few hours just to hang out, (I liked making or baking food to contribute), it was fun, a great diverse group of women.I moved away but they still do it, most have lost interest in the scrapbooking part and instead will go and knit or paint or quilt whatever crafting they’re into at the moment. The quilts I recently saw pix of are so modern in design, really stunning. At the beginning of the Rona they made and donated face masks.

  50. Big Bertha says:

    I thought that was Gwyneth Paltrow in that first photo.

  51. Jack says:

    I am always surprised that India Hicks did not get more grief for the MLM that she ran until it imploded two years ago. It always seemed like a cult, with India trading on her connections to the British royal family.

  52. buenavissta says:

    I’m late to the party so I don’t expect anyone to read my comment but I’ll do it regardless.

    Usana. I’m now carrying a crushing debt because my ex drank the Kool Aid.

  53. FilmTurtle says:

    I’m glad the site is talking about this crap. I had a friend who evangelized for years about Nerium (they changed their name a couple years ago). She was so starry-eyed about how it could change your life that I was almost sucked in. Then 3-4 other people I knew were suddenly selling the same skincare products. I was iced out for a long time because I dared to ask a few questions. It was really creepy, like “Children of the Corn” levels of conformity. It died out after a couple years in my social circle, but the company is still around.

  54. Lisa says:

    So I have multiple friends and family who over the years have been involved in pampered chef, Tupperware, and longeberger.

    The year I had my son (25years ago) my husband went to a meeting at a local hotel, it was Amway, although they were very much non transparent about it. He said he wasn’t interested, but introduced me to the couple who ran the local team.

    The next year was seriously one of the worst years of my life. It was over when I told them I had no interest to recruit, but would buy product. They wanted me to attend a big convention, but I was newly pregnant and sick AF. The house and laundry products were good, but the business and cult was too much for me. I was so happy when I told them I was done.

  55. Bettyrose says:

    I got invited to a doTerra sales pitch by someone I trusted. I was even open to buying some of the product, but ultimately it was a high pressure pitch to join their team and I left. I still have bad feelings about it because it was so brazen and I was stunned that these people could be so naive as to get sucked in. To this day I wish I’d said something more than than a sheepish excuse to leave.

  56. Rose says:

    You can throw shade at Lululemon all you want, but I’ve never lost my house, cars, marriage etc because of Lululemon!

  57. Andrea says:

    I feel like MLM’s feed into the American dream that is unattainable to most now but that people hold onto that dream. It is quite sad.

    I had a friend sell Quixstar(Amway) for awhile like in 2005. She really believed she was going to get rich. She didn’t. A friend of a friend sold arbonne for awhile and their BB cream is honestly the best out there, but most was overpriced crap. She was convinced she’d get a BMW. Last I heard, she was doing onlyfans type stuff to earn most of her money.

  58. qtpi says:

    I know a lady that lost her child in a tragic way. Due to the circumstances around the death they received a lot of money from a lawsuit. I just found out she is in not one, not two, but THREE MLMs. Breaks my heart how these people are preyed upon. Disgusting. Pretty sure she was recruited in at church by people that know the circumstances of the tragedy.