Multi-Level Marketing Victims Speak

Almost everyone loses money in multi-level marketing. Sure, you hear people say “I know several people who have made a lot of money in MLM.” This is nonsense for three reasons: 1. People rarely see proof for this “making a lot of money.” 2. These claims are almost always false based on the figures that MLM companies themselves release about their distributors. 3. Even if someone you know is “making a lot of money,” that money comes from an unethical business model that victimizes hundreds or thousands of consumers in order for that one person to profit.

Check out this new video featuring victims of the Herbalife “business opportunity.” They put lots of money, time, and effort into their “businesses” and ended up losing money.

Imagine what this video would look like if Mary Kay victims were interviewed. There are millions of women who lost a few hundred dollars each. There are tens or hundreds of thousands of women who lost thousands of dollars each. And then there is the time lost to the scheme and the damaged relationships with family and friends.  No matter the name of the MLM, this video could be replicated in the same way for each of them.

Companies like Mary Kay Cosmetics promote the “income opportunity,” but when the vast majority of MLM distributors say they lost money, the story changes to “they didn’t really want to make money,” or “they just did it for fun,” or “they didn’t try hard enough.”

Multi-level marketing is not a business. Almost everyone who participates is guaranteed to lose money. You can follow all the instructions, talk to everyone you know, invest money in the scam, and you will still lose money. Why? Because MLM is nothing but a pyramid scheme in which all the people at the bottom of the pyramid will lose money.


  1. Ashley

    A few years ago, a family member mentioned that her daughter, who had a good education (Masters degree in the health field) mentioned that she was doing so well at her MLM (I believe it was Quixtar/Amway) that she was making more than her husband (a lawyer) and that she would be supporting the family entirely on her own within the year. (I believed it, this woman could sell anything to anyone). Well, fast forward a couple of years and the marriage (long marriage, 20+ years) is over, they are bankrupt and lost their home and she is working back in her original field because they lost so much money. If anyone could make decent money in an MLM, she could. But she didn’t. If I ever needed more proof on this point, she would be it.

    1. kalefa84

      And there’s so many of these fake success stories. I just don’t get why so many people feel they need to keep up the lie and at such a high cost. Imagine the impact if these people were honest.

  2. Iescaped

    It is very hard to type with tears in your eyes. These MLMs scam people no different than Maddoff did.

    I was very fortunate that my Sales Director in Mary Kay was also a National Sales Director. I saw the evil and manipulation much sooner. At the NSD level you know exactly how the game is played and there is no hiding behind the curtain of “I was just as fooled as you”.

    My former SD/NSD was the master fooler. The ring leader of the scam in my former Area. When I entered DIQ, little by little, the glimpses of evil came out.

    I lost money in Mary Kay, I was scammed. But it would have been worse had I not been running with a devil.

    1. morningstar

      If it were lucrative we would hear about all the people who are millionaires.
      Also these people would protect the image of the items.

      Look at MK, it is a buying club for those who like the product. If you want to try to sell recruit or what not, it takes a huge amount of your energy to make MK corporate/upline money and not yourself (commissions are a pittance).
      This week I looked at MK on amazon and it is amazing, who needs a consultant? Now the cookies follow me to other websites clamoring me to buy MK product – GRRRR. MK corporate likes this, it is free advertising, I digress.
      My past SD/NSD can top all of yours as the the most conniving, uncaring, fake smiling,a tail wagging husband,learned it from MK herself. Start your own business from your talents, go to school educate yourself, work a job that treats you like a human not a cash cow.

    2. Honeybeige

      I, too, thought about the parallels between MK and Madoff while I was watching the mini-series last week.

      1) The “investors” who got in first made their money back and more (and may be required to give some back) at the expense of those who came later.

      2) Madoff was constantly trolling for new victims.

    3. The only reason Bernie Madoff got caught and punished was because he scammed the very wealthy. If it’s ordinary people who are adversely affected by a scammy business, the authorities move at a snail’s pace at disciplining the offenders because ordinary people can’t buy/bribe judges and bureaucrats

  3. enorth

    “This week I looked at MK on amazon…who needs a consultant?”

    I was reading a complaint website where the poster said she had joined Premier Design Jewelry to make extra money. But she couldn’t sell it.

    The problem? Everyone told her they were already buying it from eBay…dirt-cheap.

  4. ran4fun

    This video brought tears to my eyes. The heartbreak in their voices…in their eyes…in their body language…
    How detestable that they were taken advantage of like this.

    Heads up, people (lurkers)! If the opportunity was as good as they say it is, you wouldn’t have to recruit. People would be lined up around the corner to “get in on it”. Instead, people are going around corners to avoid your recruiting schpeel.

  5. Nicole V.

    This is a direct quote from a Sales Director that is making “more now that she EVER did at her previous job…” (they shouldn’t be allowed to say this kind of stuff!!)
    “I had heard there were more women earning over $100k/year in Mary Kay that in any other company in America and I met several who claimed to make $10k a month, $20k a month, $60k a month and that gave me hope. I also knew that if 3 million people sold Mary Kay, it couldn’t possibly be the scam people could think it was. 3 million people don’t get involved in something that’s a scam.”

    1. Honeybeige

      First of all, it’s not the same 3 million now that it was last year (or last week). Secondly, MK claims wholesale production of 4.5 billion worldwide, which is $1333 per consultant. Even if sold at full retail, that is only $2666 per year which is not “executive income for part time work” on any planet. So it is a scam.

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