Other MLMs

It’s easy for us to forget that other MLMs suck just as bad as Mary Kay. I haven’t yet found one that isn’t a basic recruiting scheme, with the “real” money given out for recruiting (since the companies can’t stay alive without a constant stream of new blood), yet with something on the order of 99% never turning a profit.

Here’s part of a story about a woman quitting Tupperware who has many of the same complaints former Mary Kay consultants do. (At least MK women don’t have to pay additional money for a customer who wants to exchange products, though.)

It’s a business model on which many companies have made billions including Mary Kay Cosmetics, Avon and Pampered Chef kitchen products. But Tupperware came first and the brand name is still synonymous with home-based parties and independent salespeople.

But all is not peaceful in the Tupperware kingdom. A local saleswoman is speaking out. You might call Bethany McMahon of Clifton Park a disgruntled Tupperware lady. If I were her, I would be annoyed too.

She said that her two-year history with Tupperware was filled with frustration and has cost her hundreds of dollars. Now, she can’t even quit the company without a huge hassle.

It started two years ago when she thought she would attempt to supplement her income. She had sold several other home-sale products over the years without much drama. But Tupperware, she said, was the most difficult to deal with, and requires many hidden, out-of-pocket costs.

A typical party, McMahon said, might bring her $400 in sales and a $100 commission. But out of her commission, she must pay for additional shipping requested by the customer. On top of that, she must also pay for warranty items. That means if someone returns a product for a free replacement, it’s McMahon who must pay for a new item (at a 75% employee discount) and then give it to the customer.

“It’s a discount but it’s still coming out of our pockets,” McMahon said.

Furthermore, McMahon said, sales consultants are encouraged to purchase items to use as samples for Tupperware parties (at 75% off) and to offer discounts and coupons at parties, as well.

McMahon said once it started costing her money to be a Tupperware lady, she decided she had had enough.

But quitting the company isn’t that simple. According to the fine print of her sales agreement, McMahon must be available for eight months after her supposed last day with the company to handle inquiries and warranty issues with customers with whom she has already dealt.

McMahon, frankly, isn’t interested. She just wants out.

Same story, different company. Isn’t it amazing that during the recruit’s “interview,” she’s told little to nothing about all the costs that will go into running her “business”? Nothing mentioned about inventory or samples or supplies or plain old costs of doing business. Nope. In Mary Kay it’s “Wouldn’t you love to make 50% profit on everything you sell?” (Which is a total lie, by the way, for those who may be new to the MK scam.)



  1. Surprised that Tupperware is still marketing plastics for food cooking and storage! Anyone with any chemistry coursework knows that all plastics outgas and all plastics manufacturers have proprietary and patented formulas/none are required to list all of the chemicals in each plastic item they make. A quick search online using simple phrases such as plastics and health yields too much in the way of facts besides BPA (one among many estrogen mimics and endocrine disruptors as reason enough especially to reconsider plastics for cooking and hot food storage.
    Glass is non reactive with food, will never leach unknown chemicals into your foods and while it is heavier and more easily breakable is safer than any plastic or melamine (a type of plastic that is also back in stores which originated in the 1940’s).

    • FYI: melamine emits formaldehyde. something we all should have in our diets! I have a lovely star consultant prize packed away in a closet, a melamine picnic ware set! Oooh! Ahhh!

  2. The comments about Tupperware warranty replacements are wrong. It NEVER costs a consultant
    To properl do a warranty replacement for a customer. And these warranty replacements often lead to wonderful new customers. Also the comments about shipping are incorrect. I’ve been in Tupperware for over 23 years. I left working for major retailers as a buyer, and dept. manager and have NO regrets. The hours, and way I choose to run my business are my choosing. I have never had any pressure to purchase items. I have never heard of anyone in Tupperware having difficulty wanting to leave the company. In fact many choose to come back at various stages in their lives..we lovingly call them retreads:)

    • the consultant has to pay shipping cost of the replacement part or item. so money does come out of the consultant pocket

      • I have sold Tupperware for 18 years. When someone wants a warranty item replaced, I tell them that they have to pay for shipping or wait until I have an order going in. If you add it to an order it is 0 cost for shipping. I am very part-time now but used to manage a team of 42. No on ever had trouble quitting or going part-time like I have.


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