I’ve written before about my experience with an MLM scheme, but it’s something that still keeps cropping up all over the place. Many of us are always on the lookout for ways to make more money, so when adverts pop up on Facebook or other social media platforms offering us the chance to work for ourselves, be our own boss, earn mega bucks etc, then it’s only natural that our inquisitive minds want to find out more. So what is MLM and why is it something you should avoid at all costs?
What is MLM?
MLM stands for multi-level-marketing. It’s also known as network marketing or you might have heard it referred to as a pyramid scheme.
Generally, with MLM, there will be one person sitting at the very top of the pyramid (usually the founder of the company). That person will have recruited people to work underneath them and that person sitting at the top will then make commission on all of the sales made by people below them. And so the pyramid begins. As the business grows, so do the multiple levels of recruits, generally with each level earning less than the one above.
Usually, with an MLM scheme, the people at the very top of the pyramid are the only ones who do well. They recruit others to do the work for them and they sit their reaping in the rewards.
MLM adverts are full of false promises, and if I’m honest, they really annoy me!
They tend to all have the same feel to them. They will promise you an amazing, work from home opportunity with big bonuses for very little effort!
Why should you avoid MLM?
I personally know a few people who work for MLM companies, so this is pretty controversial, but the fact is that the vast majority of people will not create a successful business for themselves by signing up to an MLM.
The fees usually far outweigh any commission you will ever make.
You may start off doing well by selling to family and friends, and even make a few sales through Facebook, but the reality is that 9 times out of 10, those sales will dry up, and then you will be left with having to pay for catalogues or a subscription fee that you’re just not covering with your earnings.
False promises – many of the MLM companies will promise big bonuses such as holidays, cars and cash prizes. Don’t be fooled by these. Think of that pyramid, it’s always going to be the select few sitting at the top that will make any money or achieve these bonuses.
You will end up exhausted. The amount of hours you have to put in to make the minimum sales is ridiculous. As stated above, initially you may find it easy to hit your targets and earn commission, but you can’t rely on your Mum to buy £50 worth of products every month.
Who are the main MLM companies?
There are always new network marketing companies cropping up, but these are the main culprits.
- The Body Shop
- Arbonne International
- Forever Living
- Juice Plus
I could go on, but these are the main MLM companies in the UK. You can find a more thorough list for the rest of the world here.
Things you can do instead
I know how important it can be for us to bring in more money. I’ve been made redundant twice alongside my husband when my eldest was a baby – I’ve been through really tough times financially. Believe me, I know how tempting these schemes are when you’re desperate for more money.
But, there are lots of other things you can do INSTEAD of signing yourself up to an MLM company, so please don’t do it!
As well as my job, I now bring in a full-time income from side hustles, and these are the main ways I do that:
- Matched Betting – a risk-free, tax-free way to make money online.
- Blogging – a fantastic way to bring in extra money, and there are so many ways to make money from a blog!
- Online user testing – test websites from home, usually pays between £5 and £10 per test.
- Mystery Shopping – you can get paid to eat pub meals, shop on the high street, or even make phone calls.
These are just a few of the ways that you can genuinely make money from home without working yourself into the ground for somebody else’s benefit. The beauty of all of these is that you can do them in your own time.
You should NEVER pay to get involved in anything that promises to help you make money. If you’re unsure, then please leave me a comment and I’ll get back to you.
I also have a HUGE list of 101 side hustle ideas, so check that out too.
If you want to find out more about the types of side hustles that really will bring in some extra cash for you, then I’d love to see you in our 30 day money-making challenge. Just fill in your details below and you’ll receive an email with full details as well as access to our fabulous Facebook group. Our members are making fantastic amounts through their side hustles and it’s a really supportive community.
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