It is great to see more and more publications taking on the damage that MLMs do to people.  In a recent Illegal Tender podcast they take on the topic of How ‘MLM’ schemes turn regular lives upside down.

Here is a little of the introduction and transcript from the Podcast. I will include a link to the Podcast as well.

MLMs operate with a unique business structure and instead of retailing in brick-and-mortar stores or e-commerce, the products are sold by a network of independent distributors who don’t receive a salary or benefits. Distributors instead collect a commission from their sales and the sales of those they’ve recruited.

The sales and recruitment practices used by distributors have become the ire of everyone outside of MLMs. And for those inside MLMs, it’s a world of intimidation, manipulation, and lies that leave women broke and friendless.


Stephanie: Hey hun,

Hope all is well! It’s been a long time since we were on the softball team together. I love seeing pictures of your daughter and husband.

I wanted to reach out because I have this amazing opportunity I want to share with you. It’s a nutrition, skin care, and cosmetics company that I started. It’s seriously the best! I’m so passionate about it!

I know it’s been 15 years since we’ve seen each other, but I’m having a party at my house this Sunday. You can try all of the products. I love the shakes, they’re so delicious. They can also help you drop some of that baby weight I noticed you’ve been carrying around. I mean, wouldn’t it be so great to not go to the gym and be able to stay home with your daughter instead? But seriously, my life’s never been better. I’d just love to share it with you because my team of boss babes is recruiting for the ground floor and you’d be so perfect. There’s seriously never been a better time to join. I am making bank and you can too.

Will I see you Sunday? Let me know!

Sound familiar? It should. Nearly 1 in 3 people have been pressured by a family member or friend to buy from their multilevel marketing company or MLMs.

Don’t worry. This isn’t a sales pitch. I’m Stephanie Asymkos and I’m a reporter at Yahoo Finance. I’ve closely followed retail and personal finance news for the last few years. Even though MLM sales represent less than 1% of all retail sales in the United States, this world has caught my attention.

The MLM industry is such an insignificant blip in the U.S. economy that if disappeared tomorrow, nothing would really happen. But there’s a lot lurking beneath the surface of your sister in law’s or high school friend’s saccharine social media post. You know the kind I’m talking about, the emoji-heavy posts to describe how her world went from black and white to technicolor thanks to her Shakeology or ItWorks wraps.

The truth is, MLMs often become vicious traps that cost women their finances and friendships.

From Yahoo Finance, this is Illegal Tender season 4.

Click Here for the Podcast.