The Secrets Of Making Money On Social Media Through Multi-Level Marketing: Ellie Undercover

What It Is Like To Sell Beauty Products To Your Peers About Social Networking? A New BBC Documentary Investigates

Years ago, it used to be the Avon lady. Now, it’s might be that person from your school seeking to sell you cosmetics on social networking. Multi-level marketing (MLM) –or lead marketing –has existed for decades. Personally, I am starting to notice it more and more. As a freelancer who belongs to numerous Facebook classes for remote workers, it’s surprising to observe the number of people hoping to recruit women to the industry. A new BBC Three documentary on MLM beauty firms assesses this career path and everything that comes with it.

Multilevel marketing sells a fantasy. Don’t get it!

MLMs’ promise to women is they can remain at home and make all of the money that they dreamed of. Even though some people today find success, for most the fact is a lot bleaker.

In the last several decades, I’ve noticed a strange trend on my FB feed. Family members, old friends, along with girls I have not seen for at least a decade are suddenly getting back in touch, asking me to combine”VIP classes,” or private messaging me to purchase”exciting” new products. Are up for grabs for what look like inflated prices.

These girls — and it is mostly women — have been caught up in the mysterious world of multilevel marketing. Also called MLM, network marketing or direct sales, the industry has annual sales of $250-billion. These companies, whose reach has extended thanks to social media, are crossing the globe — making a select few million while others tens of thousands. And, in some instances, the businesses have made their know-how from an unexpected source: organized religion.

In heartfelt testimonies, women declare that they have more time for their families, more optimism — and lots more cash, as a result of an “amazing opportunity” that helped them turn their backs on the nine-to-five grind and become self-made entrepreneurs. What’s more, they insist that you can do it, also.

Combine their staff, follow in their footsteps — and all you’ve ever wanted is just around the corner.

Except, in most cases, it is not.

MLMs are businesses that sell products through different vendors, supplying anything from cosmetics and essential oils to life coaching and utilities.

But delve a bit deeper, and you’ll frequently find a murky underworld of predatory tactics which have resulted in allegations of pyramid-scheme industry structures and psychological manipulations that mirror those used in cults.

While MLMs are legally operating businesses, in my opinion, a few capitalize on a gray area of law that allows them to take advantage of vulnerable individuals.

In my home country, Britain, there are more than 400,000 people signed up to MLMs. In Canada, this number rises to 1.3 million, while in the USA, there are over 18 million distributors. Worldwide, there are an astounding 116 million people involved.


“I recently spent eight months investigating this controversial industry to get a BBC documentary that took me around Britain, across the Atlantic and into the heart of the Mormon church. I signed up with just two firms and attended a range of training events undercover for a nerve-wracking exposé that led me to many young girls that had succumbed to the joys of among the greatest MLMs, Nu Skin Care and Younique.

Both Nu Skin and Younique are U.S.-based cosmetic firms, using a largely female market. Nu Skin was set in 1984 at Provo, Utah, and now has 825,000 sellers — known as”vendors” — in 52 countries. Younique was also based in Utah, in 2012, and today has over one million vendors — or”presenters” — worldwide.”

Before registering, I was struck by how pitiful the two companies appeared — and also how vague the work specification was. I had been invited to “start my own business,” yet I was signing up as part of a team and under an “upline” — the title given to the person who recruited you and anybody who sits over them in the recruitment structure. I was given the impression I could earn thousands of dollars a week, however, the confusing compensation programs meant I was not able to figure out how much money I’d really be earning. I was promised “time freedom,” but maybe not given an idea of the number of hours a week I’d need to spend so as to make my business a success. I was told I could “put in as much or as little as I like,” to “make as much or as little as I like.” If I wished to become a six-figure earner, that has been possible. If I wanted to”play with makeup,” which was fine, too — but I still felt I had no true comprehension of the way to achieve my dream target of 12 holidays per year and a giant mansion.”

It was not long until the message became a little clearer at both businesses: If I want to become a real six-figure earner, I need to recruit affiliates.

By Younique, I learned about “RITA,” which stands for “recruiting is the solution.” In other words, I needed to build a team, not just sell.

This isn’t a new concept. MLMs have officially existed since 1945 — if new vitamin goods, Nutrilite, were sold using the model. Nutrilite was finally taken over by Amway, which utilized the multilevel marketing model to sell their products along with other household things. But the notion of direct advertising from agents, with no necessity for a shop, dates way back into the early 1900s, with the first-ever Avon lady. Over time, we have observed everything from Tupperware parties to Ann Summers parties employing this model of earnings, while also encouraging recruitment — they constantly mostly target women (in 2018, 74.8 percent of vendors in the United States were women), with the promise of gaining financial independence.

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as of October 29, 2020 2020-10-29T20:30:48-07:000000004831202010

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  1. I lost $300+ on an mlm “selling” coffee. I drank it all myself 😩😩 the worst is that my family was the ones who recruited me. I never talked to them again.

  2. “Nu Skin” sounds like the mask that Patrick Bateman peels off his face in American Psycho.

  3. *IM WORKING MY BUSINESS* = I’m scamming my friends, family and neighbors

  4. Is that what they’re calling pyramid schemes now?

  5. This should be a 1.5 hour documentary at least.

  6. What’s sad is I just knew that Younique had to be in Utah. I recognize the region so easily. My girlfriend is an ex-mormon and MLMs are pushed heavily in the mormon church. Cults are disgusting and they ruin so many people’s lives.

  7. In my community herbalife completely took over but quickly disappeared thereafter. The people that fall for this are mostly middle aged women who are desperate for a buck.

  8. I’ve been saying for years that Younique is a CULT

  9. This should have been a longer documentary

  10. it’s a crime that they took bbc3 off air. the only bbc channel that spoke to the youth.

  11. I have a hypothesis that 100% of women in North America and Europe have been exposed to some type of MLM company at one point in their lives through direct advertising or have been approached by a representative.

  12. My partner and I joined juice plus about 4 years ago for maybe a year or so. The money we earned for the time and effort we put in was a pittance. And unfortunately that culture turns you into an annoying pest who wants to offer this “great opportunity” to every person you encounter and you’ll probably lose friends too. Video says it all, most that join these schemes have no real chance of success.

  13. Multi level marketing is just a nicer way of saying a pyramid/Ponzi scheme

  14. Every time I see a friend on my Instagram has stated talking about “needing to recruit some boss babes” “for amazing opportunity’s” “Living your best life”

    Me: Aw shiiiiit. Here we go again

  15. I joined an MLM company when I was 17 I’ve always been into entrepreneurship and I’ve always wanted more for myself. I was your standard naive idiot. Fell for one and it was all my life was about for about a year and a half. Can’t believe I got so consumed by something. It really is brainwashing

  16. The weird thing is that MLMs have always been a thing, but I thought the prevalence of the internet would quash MLMs, because the truth about how they *don’t* make money for anyone (other than the people at the top) would be so widely disseminated that it would render MLMs extinct.

    Instead, it’s gotten even *worse.* Pretty much every other person I went to middle school with is trying to sell LuLaRoe or some other crap or recruit someone on Facebook.

    I guess I overestimated the survival instincts and general intuition of others.

  17. Pyramid scheme it’s just online and not meeting in a room like you they did in the 80s

  18. Wow.. It’s a cult. Not knowing what your getting into and then being abused because you want to leave.. Great vid opened my eyes..

    • Baftagirl London These women may be victims, but they’re also victimizers. I would never exploit my personal relationships to sell some tube of crappy lipstick. It’s disgusting.

    • @mya mikka It works exactly like a cult. Steve Hassan, a world renowned cult expert goes into detail about how MLMs are run as cults. But, if you’re in a MLM/cult you’ll be told not to look at this information. The whole product is to sell the dream of money to friends and familly and recruit them, there is no demand for the overpriced crap MLMs pump out, except to those caught up in the pyramid.

    • @Diego Rodrigues You do know that the Direct Selling Association is actually run by MLMs? The massive profits MLM owners are scamming out of gullible rubes is used to lobby politicians in the US to keep MLM legal. 97% of people who get into MLM lose money- you can’t blame all the people for that, the whole business model is built on false promises and is pyramid scheme with products as mere window dressing.

    • @mya mikka what MLM product do you sell cupcake

    • It’s not a cult. To compare it to that is an insult to people who have made it out of cults. Look, not everybody is cut out to sell. You can’t blame an entire company because you failed and don’t have the strength and backbone to move forward.

  19. isn’t this just a pyramid scheme?

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