How I avoided becoming a victim of MLM

165 thoughts on “How I avoided becoming a victim of MLM”

    1. 1. What is Multi-Level Marketing (MLM) and Pyramid Selling?

      A Multi-Level Marketing or Pyramid Selling scheme will typically require participants to pay an upfront charge. In return, the participants are promised financial rewards for each additional participant recruited, as well as all new participants who are in turn brought in by their recruits – hence the pyramid-like structure.

      As more salespersons are recruited, participants hope to recover their upfront charges and earn sizeable profits. However, such a pyramid schemes will eventually collapse when they run out of new recruits, resulting in those salespersons at the bottom of the pyramid losing all their upfront charges.

    2. Emma your English also very powerful hor. Keep the magazines, books and, for that matter, the truth on whatever “business” you have, to yourself. Thanks. The sad truth is not that the writer is not utilising her school-given knowledge, but the fact that schemes like MLM exist in the first place.

  1. I guess it is all come down to how professional the person is in each market place. The way professional prospecting is different from newbie. Just like blogging , the professional blogger just like yourself write about on a product with personal opinion together with informed choice decision for your audience so that the audience benefit by reading the blog post. That is audience benefit in mind at the first place. Win- Win situation for you to have more traffic as well since people who will share your blog post and comments. While newbie look for a way to make quick money by blogging how good the product is without finding out what audience might be interested in. Example: Newbie catch the fish by grasp by the neck of the fish and tell the fish you need to eat this bait. Professional find out what the fish like to eat, then they put the bait on the hook and wait for the fish to bite. Humans are creature of emotion, not logic. I guess you had met with a newbie who is after me, me , me …

  2. I’ll never understand why people get so defensive over other people’s point of view, this whole “release-shell-and-counter-attack” mentality is exactly what deterred me from joining a MLM which was portrayed to be reputable and.. yadah yadah yadah.

    People are entitled to their own point of views and how they perceive things are entirely up to them, we don’t have to be slamming people just because they don’t align with whatever your upline says, right? Now to make it clear, I’m not saying that MLM isn’t good. Like what the author says, it’s probably fruitful if you spend ALOT OF TIME doing it, plus you probably need to reach out to your friends, families, colleagues, son’s teacher, childcare teacher, friend of friends to try and sell them this idea.

    That’s the problem, really. Meeting up with an old friend whom you’ve never spoken to or met in years, but the purpose isn’t to catch up, but rather to sell them a product. What type of a friend does that? To each his own on this topic.

    My views are really simple, if you start in the MLM, how often do they tell you to purchase this product, that product, try this, try that, to be a living example and walking ambassador of the product? If we really didn’t need to work to earn money, why are we investing so much time, and money when WE NEED that money?

    How long does it take for you to recover your investments? I doubt it’s anywhere between 2-3years because, every time something new comes along, who’s going to be the first few guinea pigs to be walking ambassadors? You. So, how does that play into a lifetime of financial freedom and earning compounding passive income doing nothing? I see “leaders” working 7 days a week “sharing” about the benefits of their products and so on…….. When does the work stop?

    P.S Be nice to the author, she’s brave enough to voice out her views on something that does not align with her principals. Ask yourselves how many of you are willing to voice out opinions even, or suffer in silence and hammer people who do voice their opinions behind a fabricated internet persona.

  3. I think there are some holes on what you had posted,, please be careful on the facts or opinion you released,,,not all MLM requires for not doing anythi ng other would require you strive hard…yes..90 percent fails for these business and ten percent do not earn much,,,but you cant stop people to day not to grab such crap,,,its because money matters…..its up to you,,,if you brag….just select which way to go/…thank you!!!

  4. Dear wanna be famous and trying so hard Shanice LIM

    NICE posting you got so many people noticing you now. Whatever you are blogging here sounds like an insurance company or property agent are doing for recruiting.

    I know you are busy being wanting to be famous and letting people notice you, I appreciate your time to finish reading this posting.

    I hate MLM too as they are spoiling the networking industry by making people like you feel that networking is just a for them to earn your commission thru you buying stuff from them.

    Anyway think about it MLM agents earn big bucks thru sales commission and team sales and the directors and team leader earn the most. Doesn’t this sounds like a normal retail shop where the shop manager must meet a quota for extra bucks and the normal worker got extra commission on the amount of things they sell?? And the founder or the director of the certain brands earn the most??

    This is how businesses are run out there now, either you be an business owner or an slave working for them.


    1. Obviously you don’t read much… If not you’d know that insurance companies are actually excluded in the law passed on MLMs.

      Thanks for your snark comments and I am so sorry to know that you are either a slave driver or a slave in this “practical” world.

      You have my deepest condolences. Take care my IG follower.

      1. Dear “ATTENTION SEEKER” Shanice

        Thanks for taking your time that is just worth less then 10 bucks per hour or perhaps maybe lesser than that to write the reply.

        No worries I can’t probably be changing your mindset thru a posting and it is not my duty to change it because you are not some one important to me.

        Anyway as long as I know I am doing better than YOU or even living a better life at the similar age as you and laughing at people like you secretly in my heart I am happy enough.

        The world need people like you in order for a run the country or the society to run. If not there wouldn’t be any toilet cleaner or maids or what so ever in this world. Neverless stay with this old thinking but at the same time go do whatever you want.

        Why am I even here the first place to do all this posting. I own a business and lots of properties while you just own this blog.

        Wish you good luck and stay as the 80% or the human race. Lastly and once again appreciate to have people like you.

        Ur IG FOLLOWER…


        I never needed your “help” in changing my mindset so do not act so magnanimous and appear as though it is your duty to do so.

        I’m glad you are very happy and proud with the way you live but I do not give a shit. So please stop showing off your “prowess” when you haven’t even showed a glimpse of your face online. Such a “keyboard warrior” and empty vessel making a hell lot of noise on the Internet.

        Maids and toilet cleaners… Wow. You are quite a dick and being pretty rude to them don’t you think? Please keep your manners in check. Of course, that’s if you have any at all.

        Congratulations on owning many businesses. Must be easy to show off in a virtual world where you have to prove and answer to nothing.

        Your snide remarks are poorly written and an absolute pain to read. Also, they are completely irrelevant to the topic. So if you continue making personal attacks like this, please don’t expect to see your comments being approved again.

        If you have the guts, take it to me personally and we can talk on a public/virtual space to your liking. Otherwise, be silent and fuck off from my life.


  5. MLM is just marketing . I’m a happy networker as I did not promote product and my friends is asking for it. I did not recruit and people say want to join me. Family n relative say I bring values to people life – true story as it happen on me :)

  6. Funny…. I have helped many of my friends save and earn good additional income working from home and they all thank me constantly for sharing the opportunity with them!!!

    I guess it depends on the Company and the intention of the person sharing huh?

  7. Shanice, you’re as smart as you are cute! This post is exactly correct. Tommy, Shandra, John, IG, it is incorrect to say that with hard work you can make a lot of money in MLM. There is a mathematical paradigm at work here. It is built into the model and ensures that the money flows upward. But the real question is, “where does the money come from?” Well universally it comes from the new participants (rather than non participants) that are buying product, paying fees, and buying leads, “tools for success.” (Does this sound familiar: “if you want to have what I have, you need to do what I do”?) MLM is about dreams, relationships, and networking. Real business is about markets, supply and demand, expenses and revenues.

    But the real value to what you’re saying, Shanice, is two solid business principles. The first is that Business is about making money. A business relationship can be described as “profitable”, a personal friendship never should. And the second is due dilligence. Due diligence in this area financial disclosures from the distributors. Of course the company is making money, you want to know if the distributors are making money. The person who recruited you says she is a small business owner? Have her show you her company’s financial statements. I’ll bet that she doesn’t have any, and if she does, they either show a loss or don’t track expenses properly.

    But at the end of the day, I share your feeling because these people find out what you value, then promise you that, then take your money. And think about it, if you do make money, it will be taken directly from the people to whom you promise the moon. So even if you get rich (you won’t!) you will still have not created any value. And in my view, that is not a good use of time which is the most precious resource of all.

  8. I have to agree with you.. previously my friend was asking me to join a network selling aromatheraphy products. I kept asking her, how do I sell this product? She says, just ask your friends and family to join -_- heng ah I didn’t join. Keep up the good work. I should have created a blog entry just like yours. There’s very few articles on this.

  9. I joined Worldventures and left. Leaving was the best decision I ever made.

    There are many people inside stuck for years and not making money. But because of face they refuse to leave. How to leave when you told all your friends this is the best thing since sliced bread? Very lao kui you know.

    People who announced retirement crawled back to teaching tuition quietly. Rank promoted to director and marketing director but 1 year later left with no more downlines. Lots of politics and quarrels because of location rental. Monthly fees for renting a ulu place in Kreta Ayer. These are the stories they don’t tell people.

    1. Yes me too! I felt that they were portraying nonsense saying we are a FAMILY and ‘you should be here crap’. Also felt shitty asking my relatives when deep down It felt sooo wrong.

      1. OMG, this results can teach tuition?!
        O level – English C6 Chinese B3 E Math C5 History B3 Bible C6
        A level- GP C6 Chinese A2 Management AO

        Results so poor no wonder must join Worldventures mlm, :P
        This person is on my facebook, she was laughed at because of her spider web theory. Today she did a write up again to defend her spider web theory again lmao!!!

  10. A lot of faithless MLMs here, eh?

    Work hard, network well, build relationships, sleep easy: the constitution of perhaps every cornerstone of every persons’s sincere desire when working.

    God put everyone here for a purpose. Don’t be stepping on toilet cleaners and maids, IG Follower. You have every collateral right to vye to be in the 20% top income bracket. Money does not equate to manners and self-righteousness above others, though. Shanice said her peace of MLM being an moral/ethics issue; if you’re typing with a trigger finger, IG Follower, you just shot yourself in the foot.

  11. It is very obvious that the respondents to this blog can be split into 2 distinct groups. 1 who never work in a MLM or have worked in a MLM but did not like it and the other group is those who have worked or currently working in a MLM. It is very clear. I just wanna sound out that it is human nature to protect their ‘packs’ or interest group. It is nature.

    To the writer of this blog, I agree with you on this matter. I have met too many friends who have worked or not have worked with the same conclusion that MLM really sucks. One common trend of those who joined these companies or a common trait they have is that they have no other choice. Meaning,they are unable to alleviate their earning power for some reason and therefore experimenting with such business.

    My comments content is solely based on observation and my own feelings. For those going against my comments are pretty much dumb because this are my opinions and my beliefs,not yours.

    I believe if you are earning a well-leveled income,sufficient for your needs and certain wants, i believe you would not care a SHIT about MLM. To those supporting MLM, i know you have your reasons but you have to accept that the stigma will stick on you. Instead of Bullcrapping here about the benefits and bla3,Go out there and change people minds instead. But most likely,you cant because thats what MLM is(thats what i think and thus not factual)

    To those supporting MLM, good luck :)

  12. Pingback: How To Avoid Becoming a Victim of MLM – Rilek1Corner ::What matters to Singapore Malays & Singapore Muslims::
  13. Hi Shanice, this is a rather interesting post. I perfectly understand your frustration cause I’ve been in that situation before but I still feel there are merits to the network marketing business model.

    Firstly, I think it is only fair to not confuse pyramid schemes and multi-level or network marketing. Pyramid schemes do not involve an exchange of products and are illegal. Network marketing, on the other hand, involves an exchange of products and is actually a growing business model because word of mouth is more effective than spamming advertisements in your face. You would buy a product because a trusted friend used it and

    Now, I agree with the general idea that if you get in early into the business as a network marketer, there is a huge upside to your earnings. But it is also possible to earn more than the person who recruited you. That is dependent on many factors – obviously if the product is as good as they claim to be, it is easier to convince people when you believe in it. Then there is also the compensation plan. There are so many products out there sold under the network marketing model: Herbalife, Usana, Coslab used to have a network marketing arm, etc. But they all differ in generosity in terms of the compensation plan and as with all compensation plans that are not designed properly, they encourage undesirable behaviour.

    And because there are even more people who think this is a get rich quick scheme, they pressure their friends and family into buying the products because they simply have no other audience to sell them to. Just like any business start ups, you sell to people around you and rely on word of mouth to promote your business. Even insurance agents do that when they’re new too, and risk having friends avoid them like the plague. If a product or service is really good, people can see for themselves with time and the same goes for network marketing companies. Not all of them are bad. If you can’t make your sales with network marketing, what makes you think it will be any easier when you start up your own business with heaps of overheads to pay?

    We are also in pyramid schemes everyday – every company is a pyramid scheme, the one at the top earns the most and earns on the backs of the ones working below them. The newbies work their bums off and get paid peanuts, but continue on anyway because they are sold the idea that if you work hard and long enough, you will reach the top and earn the big bucks!

    I think what you don’t like is people not being honest with their intention and cheating you into listening something they know might not be interested in. If your friend had been honest right from the start and you had been given the freedom to choose whether to give that a chance, you wouldn’t be feeling sore about it. Professional network marketers wouldn’t be selling you something they know you don’t see a benefit in. They don’t need someone who feels negative about their products to be spreading negative word-of-mouth for them. Like what a few commenters have said before, your friend was probably a newbie who didn’t even believe in his own decision and was desperate to get old friends in to salvage his investment.

    1. Sorry, my last sentence in the second para was cut off for some reason.

      *You would buy a product because a trusted friend used it and could tell you how and why it works for him/her and you’d be able to relate to it better than some Hollywood celebrity telling you how good it is. And you’d never know if it’s true until you buy it because they are paid to say good things about it.

      Hope you’re having a good day Shanice

  14. Sophia, you know the MLM defense well; you articulated it as well as I’ve ever heard it said. Reapectfully, i think youre wrong on a few pointa. The fact that businesses are hierarchical does not mean they are pyramidal. The distinction is where the money comes from. In real businesses the majority of revenue comes from people outside the company. In an MLM the majority of the revenue comes from the company’s own distributors.

    You can start your own real business by identifying demand in the market and supplying it, keeping track of costs and revenues. These market basics are all ignored by MLM because (and understanding this is the key to building a large downline) you’re not selling a product, you’re selling “the dream”. The dream of more time, more money, etc. The dream is easy to sell. Once someone has mentally bought the dream, they spend a little money for a startup kit. And then they start buying the products. Then they realize that selling products is hard, but if they can sell the dream then another person will buy the products to get the dream. That’s how the endless chain grows, that is how the corporate parent company makes money, and that is why this model adds no value to the marketplace. The product is simply the vehicle for the money transfer.

    1. Hey Travis,
      Exactly to your point. The Traditional business model is all about profit and loss right? Create a product, identify the market, create demands, Distribute, Sell, and repeat. The business owners multiply the revenues by leveraging on investors and shares and they become a dominating force. So who is at the end of the chain? consumers?
      Most successful business out there, rarely works on B2C model, It is the B2B that create volume, because that is just what the now economy of the world demands.
      This era of fast information and huge globalization have put all the rules of market demand and supply that stems from the industrial era strangely out of place. So why stick to it? why making the relative an absolute?
      The way i see it, direct selling is going to be the next solution to an already saturated economy. We just need a revolution and turn the wheel to stop those who are on top leveraging on us without ever sharing their profits :)

    2. Deh. Hierarchy and pyramid same laaaa. As i mentioned before, the product is good and value for money,go buy. No good, walk away. If this person is excited about the products and want to sell, go ahead. Did you know for some compensation plans the downline gets the most and the higher tier gets less and less. No doubt there are many of distributors: little becomes much. People on top dont need to eat? Look at conventional businesses. Those using Iphone. Ever heard of Foxconn? The business ideas are all beautiful, its the greed of some people that spoils the beauty of it.

  15. Fk MLM… Here is the number 1 argument for you chimps… What kind of company/business would “hire” (recruit) or, as I shall put it, PREY ON and attempt to convince a LARGE amount of the following to part with a significant amount of money AND time:
    -Uneducated/ Unrelated Qualifications
    -The youth (Below 21) and the older (Over 40)
    -Generally people that are easily misled and hold the belief that the possibility of “getting rich quick” is real and will happen to them.

    Ha Ha… Lots of people said it again and again… MLM types are just sad and angry cunts that argue in circles… I love going to their meetings and embarrassing the cunts… They are SO EMBARRASSED when I say…””MLM? You’re doing MLM now? PYRAMID SCHEME?”” Lmao… They’ll be like… “”Shhh!!! Shhhhh!!!!”” Hahahaha…

    Even better is spilling your water on all their retarded diagrams that they love to draw “on-the-spot” for your viewing pleasure… Crap diagrams… Waste of paper… Anyway… What kind of salesman/investment broker doesn’t have all the necessary need-knows ready on hand to quash your fears…? Compared with “”It’s the next big thing!”” kind of promises… What a laugh…

    I love the finale… Where I tell them to whip out their phones… And delete my number… Grab their shit… And get back to their “Office”… Unless they wanna get hurt… :)

    Lol… Alright keyboard kings… Smash away at your keyboards… Get a real fking job… In a real fking industry… And stop dressing like used-car salesmen…

  16. Previously, I was also thinking of joining MLM but I had deep thought of it before I will commit to it.

    We talk about business perspective. MLM is multi level marketing which is another method of marketing. So a MLM is using levels to do their sales. The top level always gets the most while the lower level will struggle. Different MLM companies use different strategies but still same concept of multi level. There are some which allows lower level to go up and earns more than the up line or level.

    I would see a sales representive of MLM is equivalent to a salesman of a company or retail shop. I use a salesman perspective first then a retail shop. In normal business model, a company will employ salesmen to market their products. How many salesmen can a company employ depends on the financial strength. A big company can have more salesmen than small company. We talk about big company, how many salesmen will they employ in Singapore market? Will 100 salesmen enough for the big company to market or sell their products? How about 1000 salesmen? As a businessmen, they talk about productivity. Will 100 salesmen less productive in producing enough sales in Singapore for the company than having 1000 salesmen? Will having more salesmen more benefit to company? The businessman will want to know the ratio of cost for employing salesmen and sales they generate for the company. 1000 salesmen might generate more sales but the ratio to cost might not be better than lesser salesmen.

    You could argue that MLM companies do not need cost to employ more salesman. Yes, MLM companies do not need to pay salary for the salesmen. That is the advantage of using MLM to do business. Therefore, MLM company do not mind having more salesmen as they do not pay salary. So the point is having more sales representitives in MLM, will the sales representives have enough sales to survive? Why would I ask?

    Imagine you in top 1st level and you have 12 members under you at 2nd level and each members in 2nd level also have 12 members under them at 3rd level. Let say if you got to 3 levels members. If each members under you earn $100 each month for you then you will get 1884 members multiply by $100, and you will get $188400 per month. Wow! That is good money! It is good money if you can be in top level or you can gather enough members under you as the example. What if you are in not in top level or cannot get enough members?

    In reality, the network is more complicated and you are in lower level. The market is saturated or flooded with your own marketing members from same company. If someone from the same company has 5th levels under him. Do you know how many people under him? 22620 members under him. And if there are a few members who are successful as him, wouldn’t the market is flooded with your own members. How to survive if the market has more sales representitives than required? Where are you going to find sales in such a small market like Singapore. Therefore, they have to expand to other countries to get more customers. Now, we are talking about one company. There are other MLM companies so would not it be very competitives to do sales in MLM?

    From this example, what I would like to stress is that it is not logical to have more sales staffs. This is what happen to MLM but not traditional company model where they have enough sales representitives to cover the market. Another example using retail line. Imagine, you get a franchise like Macdonald and let you operate in a shopping mall, how many Macdonald store will you open in a shopping mall? 10 stores? 100 stores? Why most shopping mall has only 1 stores instead of more than 1? It is because of the market. There is a limit of people in the mall which is the market for the Macdonald. By opening more stores, you still cannot get all the customers and you also create your own competition and the revenue will also decrease due to higher operating cost too. There are also other stores like Burger King or etc, which are competitors.

    Therefore, the system for MLM will fail as there are so many sales representitives been recruited but there are only such a small market like Singapore. I will not say all will failed to earn but only a small handsome of people will success. Therefore, the failure rate is high. I am not afraid of failure but it is the system which will fail as more sales people than require. This is logical thinking. I am not against MLM but just use business point to think.

  17. Hi Shanice, thank you so much for willing to do such a courageous act. i myself had joined 2 MLM companies before and I shall not mention the name. One is rather big and another is just a brand new company. In both companies, I do not find myself happy because Im in the same situation as you – IT IS contradicting with my own ethics and values. I kept forcing myself to tell my friends how good is the company and product, which most of the time I am not willing to do so but I forced to because of the typical kiasu and lose face issue after seeing how many those TOP people succeed. Do let the Malaysians know as well because over here these MLM companies is growing really big and yes, i do admit some of the big ones are legal (Amway is already in the industry too long anyway, so i don’t think people will join because the down lines are too distributed to earn any profit, mostly people only buy their products now) but there are alot more new ones like the Worldventure which one of the commenters mentioned before. Again, thank you for voicing out the issue because many of us experienced this kind of situation but didnt dare to voice out. =)

  18. Haha of course the top earner makes more cuz they worked for it. Just like your manager at walmart makes more then you. You have to work your butt off just like any business you start lol. If anyone tells you it’s an easy thing or a get rich quick that’s a red flag. You can make good money doing mlm but you have to WORK. And it’s too bad that people give a sour taste to so many that trick others going to lunch. Those people don’t know what they are doing. Sorry that happened to you. Network marketing can be a beautiful thing if you find something you are passionate about.

  19. I agree that in any job or work, we got to work hard.

    Insurance industry is also a MLM system but they are different because they focus on products.

    The issue with other MLM companies is they focus on people than products. They entice people to get in by greed rather than the products.

    They will introduce the easy to get rich concept. Once get into the system, the system will let they promote quite fast to let the new comers to show others how easy to do the business and get rich. But once they are promoted to a certain level, they will have difficulty to promote to further level. They will get stuck to that level because they have hard time for their lower level to get more people to join in and they could not tell others that the system is not good as they had been telling people how good the system is! And they will insist that the system work and they will show people that they are enjoying the fruits from the system or else how they can attract people to get in the system! That’s why people say MLM con people to get in. This is an ethic issue.

    How I know? I have relatives showing me how much they earn and the free trips they get for doing the MLM in the initial stage but after they get to a certain level, they cannot further anymore and they didn’t get the free trips anymore as it is more difficult to go higher level. But they still insist that the system works.

    They also keep buying the products for their own as they need to keep a certain quota of sales to maintain the level that they are in! In other words, they are buying their level. They will drop to lower level if they cannot maintain the sales quota. So is this a good system? It is for you to justify. Does insurance industry do that? No!

    If a business just focus in getting people to get in to sell, the system will fail. As mention before, too many sales people than require to get enough sales to survive. But why INSURANCE can, because they focus on products.

    My intention is to share with people to be cautious on the system only just like Shanice intention. There is no quick and easy way to get rich which include MLM system. Just be cautious.

    Shanice, thank you for your good intentions to cautious people!

  20. I agree to a certain extent. There are many MLM companies that are reputable, it solely depends on the person building the business and the type of determination and focus they have to do it.

  21. Hey Shaniece,

    I was part of company X and everything you’re saying is correct. Hopefully you’re blog can help people from joining this scam. Thank you.

  22. Thanks for all your advice Shanice! After reading up about World Ventures, there is no way in hell I’m joining them. So much for ‘sharing the good news’… lol. Going to turn down those those pesky acquaintances of mine after reading your article and a few more I found. Useful read for everyone:

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