What is your "bamboozled by an MLM" story?

  1. I got got by a Younique rep once. A former coworker told me his wife was trying to become a makeup artist. I’m the type of person who will always support my friends’ businesses - whether sharing them on social media, purchasing products, etc. but I adamantly don’t support MLMs or any of my friends’ MLM businesses. This coworker was the sole provider for his wife and kids and I knew they had a restricted income and relied on their church quite a bit. Help his wife achieve her dreams so they could have a better life? Absolutely!

  2. Good lord, that's awful. I especially hate how they use the guise of supporting survivors of sexual assault to push sales. Also, I shudder to think how many people had used that mascara. Sorry that you went through that, and thanks for sharing

  3. I was also targeted by a younique rep to be a “makeup tester”. I was literally around 16 years old and still in high school and she DMed me about it, once she mentioned adding me to the Facebook group I knew there was something weird going on. I started seeing that the only options were to join as a seller, not get free products to test, which is what her initial offer was. The fact that everything was in Euros was the last straw for me since I wasn’t sure of currency conversion worked. I left and told her I wasn’t interested anymore but she kept messaging me every few days for the next month or so. Even around 8 months after all that she would still sporadically message me.

  4. Just something you should know. Never ever ever share makeup. Ever. Don't use testers at sephora, your friends no one. There was a lawsuit where a woman got herpes from testers at Sephora, and who knows what else could be potentially transmittable. I'm sorry you were pressured to do that. She crossed so many boundaries it's unbelievable.

  5. I got got by Younique once too. I didn’t know what it was at the time and was trying to help out a friend—to be nice I said I’d buy an eyeshadow palette even though I rarely wear eyeshadow. I expected it to be like $20 but it was 80 freaking dollars!

  6. Oh no, I would have used anything BUT the eyes…but actually have super sensitive skin so I would probably not have tried USED makeup. What’s worse, she hardly knows you, and now all your germs are on her makeup tools. Yuck.

  7. Got invited to a party that turned out to be one of those sex toy MLMs. The seller singled me out for ridicule because I didn't understand the euphemisms they used for body parts.

  8. i will never forget the pure trauma of one of my aunts inviting me to a Pure Romance party that one of her friends had set up for her. she didn’t know what MLMs were, she thought they were just going to have a silly, fun girl party. a couple of days later, the event on Facebook disappeared and she didn’t start selling Pure Romance, so i think she got the idea that it was a scam. thank god.

  9. I got invited to one of those for my friends bachelorette party, she suggested the spicy lubrication, and everybody was like well. Let’s try it, and I was just like there is no SafeWord in chemical play… And she would not make eye contact with me the rest of the night because she knew I was not buying into any of her shit.

  10. That's called a shame sale. If you fall for it, they know you're apt to be codependent and subservient... the perfect combination for a downliner.

  11. I bought a vibrator at a friend's pure romance party. I needed a new one, it was during covid so I was desperate for human interaction, and it wasn't miserable or super uncomfortable. The seller didn't try and recruit anyone. She just sold her stuff and made her money. I'd never heard of sex toy MLMs so I didn't know it was one.

  12. My husband begged me to go to a Pure Romance party his coworkers wife was hosting. It was legitimately two hours of hell. I have no problem walking into an adult shop to buy whatever I need but I was ready to claw my eyeballs out after two hours of giggling and the freaking pet names. It's a vibrator, not a big daddy or whatever ridiculous name they came up with for a $200 rabbit that sells for $40 at a shop. Anyway we each get called back into the room to order and I get like the cheapest bottle of lube or pheromone crap so I can GTFU because I work hard for my money and I'm not blowing it on crap. The rep then made it her personal mission to recruit me for years so I could "get over my shyness." I was working as a stripper at the time and that's obviously not a job for people who are "shy."

  13. I used to have a friend who kept hosting MLM parties for her friends. This was before I knew what an MLM was. I think I went to two MLM wine tastings at her house and bought a bottle. She was mad that not all of her friends she invited bought stuff, or more stuff, because she'd have gotten more rewards. She wasn't in the MLM, just getting host rewards.

  14. I think it was my junior year of high school, my class had to do a fundraiser. The fundraiser for pampered chef. It was a friend of Mt English teacher/class sponser and it was to pay for our senior trip the following year and prom. Yep. I just gave it to my mom and she shared it with some family and made some copies for the guys at work, for their wives. We had to raise a certain amount, individually, too.

  15. All of us gals in my high school choir had to use the same makeup for performances. It was all Mary Kay. No joke, during one of our rehearsals, the choir director had us all go into the classroom and this lady did a “tutorial” on how we should all do our makeup. I didn’t think anything of it because it was part of our “uniform” (same dress, shoes, hairstyle, etc.), and it was cheap because it was a bull order. Looking back I realize it was a HUGE sales pitch for MK and this lady convinced my choir teacher to make us buy it. I hadn’t started wearing makeup yet (it was 1996/97 and I was 14) so I had to buy every piece, including tools. That lady must’ve made bank.

  16. My cousin got me with Melaleuca pitch. The water in my city drains into the Chesapeake Bay so I like to use more natural products. She found out when I visited once and I almost fell for it because I try to be as green as possible with my cleaning supplies.

  17. I got suckered in to optavia, my friend posted pictures and genuinely looked good and had lost a some weight… I had never heard of it as an MLM, I even asked my friend flat out if it was MLM, she said she didn’t know what that was (this was years ago, so I do believe she didn’t know that term). Once I bought the food and realized you literally starve yourself I gave up quickly… but I feel dumb about it now.

  18. I didn’t sign up, but… a few years ago a friend tried getting me into Optavia. I was still pretty unfamiliar with MLM, hadn’t heard of this company before, and honestly just thought it was like a Jenny Craig-type meal service… plan… thing. She convinced me to have a phone call (she’d moved to another state, long story) to talk about everything and I agreed. We had a great convo catching up and she’s a super sweet lady, didn’t seem sketchy or scammy at all… and yet… I still had that gut feeling that I shouldn’t go for it. Anyone with any common sense or conscience should realize they’re all generally sketchy. Anyway, long story short, I told her I’d talk with the hubs about it to see if we could fit it into our budget (cuz it was expensive - shocker, I know) and said I’d get back to her. I never did, and she never followed up either. 🤷🏼‍♀️

  19. My cousin in law posted about veggie gummies that she gave her kids and how it contained something like 15 servings of vegetables per gummy. I was interested, because my kids had just begun to have food aversions and I was panicking over how little veggies they were consuming.

  20. I’m really thankful for this comment. I won’t be supporting a mlm that makes veggie gummies, but I might experiment with making them myself. My son is extremely fussy. He has autism and texture is everything. He will eat gummies, this might be how I have to serve his vegetables from now on. Mountains of gummies.

  21. Ages ago, I somehow ended up at a candle party. Not Scentsy, I think it was PartyLite. I slowly realized this "party" was nothing but a sales pitch.

  22. I used to love party lite candles so I got suckered in to selling it. Well I had a full time job and had to miss work to host parties. I also had to keep my kit (which I used at parties) in my little tiny apartment. The worst was not realizing there were no taxes taken out of my payment checks, and I owed a hell of a ton of money to the IRS.

  23. Illuminaughtii did a video about PartyLite, it was really good and addressed the mlm part and also how dangerous they are!

  24. I got invited to some mlm party. I think it was for some kind of hand creams or something. I felt confident I wouldn’t get suckered into buying anything because I had an excuse…I had just gotten laid off. Wrong answer! She wanted me to sign up to sell. I didn’t fall for it.

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  26. Same thing happened to me. A friend did a mlm jewelry party and I went as a way to get out of the house with the new baby- I was on a month of unpaid "maternity" leave so we had no income, and this was meant to be a break away from the stress for me.

  27. When I got my first job with any prospect for advancement it was in the state government. This woman would go around to every woman in the office and pedal Mary Kay. I sat next to the temps and man it was brutal. I was low on the totem pole and didn’t have much money the temps made even less. I felt bad this woman really targeted one of the less conventionally attractive temps who bought some stuff from her. In the end the temp left the job because they literally couldn’t afford to work for such low pay. This was particularly disgusting to me before I even knew what mlms were because she was a team leader and the temp was in her department so there was some amount of hey I get to decide if you stay or not.

  28. When I used to perform, there was one year where our director wanted all of us to have the same lipstick and gloss. In the past, they’d tell us a shade they wanted and a few suggestions for a few lipsticks in that range. That particular year, they brought in their friend who was a make up consultant and they sold us this $55 lipstick and gloss set which was supposed to be long lasting. It ended up burning our lips and the three layers of lipstick would get stripped off by the gloss. Anyways, fuck them for taking advantage of high schoolers

  29. I got sucked into one of these parties. The consultant told me the burn was all of the gunk left over from my regular lipstick and it was cleaning my lips off. I didn’t wear ANY lipstick at the time….

  30. Back when I was pregnant with my daughter my husband had been laid off. It was terrible timing since he was the carrier of the insurance we would use for the birth. A few of my friends at work knew what was going on so they would invite us out to help keep our minds off the situation we were in.

  31. I had a friend who bought a new house and invited a bunch of us over for a craft day. This wasn't unusual for my group of friends: we're into medieval reenactment and cosplay, so we often gather to make costumes, armor, jewelry, etc.

  32. I was invited to a dinner party by some friends, it turned into an introduction to Landmark Forum and a heavy handed attempt to get all of us to sign up for one or more Landmark seminars.

  33. I know it's not technically an MLM, but I also almost got sucked into Landmark Forum via a college roommate. He took several of us to their introduction thing, and I kept saying that I didn't have any money. They wanted us to sign up right there and then, and this was before I even had a credit card. I literally had no cash on me, and I was a poor college student with a tiny amount of savings. I was uncomfortable with the hard sell and the pressure to sign up immediately, but this was before I developed a backbone and was still trying to be polite. My roommate "fronted" my deposit.

  34. Last year I booked an appointment with a highly recommended hairstylist who had her own shop. I was excited as I needed a good stylist after moving to the area a few years before and I had just been going to a chain (nothing wrong with them though!) This stylist had even been cutting my boyfriend’s hair for a few years as well. Anyway, as soon as I sat down and she started in on my hair she started pitching her “detox tea” side business and how she had lost twenty pounds with her tea business and now all her friends were believers and drank and sold the tea as well. I was so frustrated because I couldn’t believe I was stuck in the chair and getting a sales pitch. I can’t remember the name of the tea but I will tell you that was an awkward two hours of haircut and highlights. I had declined her offer and I haven’t brought myself to go back even though my hair turned out great.

  35. Mine is somewhat old. I had just left high school (2001-2002) and was in university and this guy wanted to interview me about an exciting new opportunity.

  36. Still not sure if this was an MLM because they never told us the name of the company. My ex and I had met this other couple and they seemed nice enough. Invited us out for coffee and the husband spent hours telling us about their business and how his wife would be set to retire in the next few years while the wife looked uncomfortably on. Even when asked the name directly they didn't tell us. I think the husband invited us to some presentation or whatever but never followed up again. The most they said about the actual business was that they'd do gift baskets and there was lots of different product. But nothing about the actual product. Very vague outside of the "retire in our 20's" bit.

  37. This sounds very familiar. A friend of mine wanted to go on a double date to catch up and we had tentative plans. She casually mentioned a business they were working on that she wanted to tell me about but she couldn’t tell me the name which was an immediate red flag to me. It was really awful because when we were catching up via text before all this I mentioned wanting to have a baby but being worried about working too much/leaving them at daycare all the time and she brought this up as a way to help me quit my job so I could start a family. Like that was her excuse for bringing it up. Somehow this double date turned into them wanting us to meet up on a weeknight at a hotel conference room. Finally I declined saying we were too busy to do that on a work night and she got super defensive. I never did find out what company it was and it always weirded me out that they couldn’t tell us and I still wonder what kind was going to happen in that hotel conference room!

  38. I’m so sorry you went through that. I lost my mother 4 years ago and I felt like I’d been decked. Her estate gave me no breathing room for 6 months. You went through all that and kept moving? The admin didn’t give a flip at the time and then tried to leverage that for her own benefit?? I’m flabbergasted. MLM makes my skin crawl.

  39. I was once invited to celebrate a friend's new job as a financial planner. She said her company was hosting an information event, and asked me to come along to support her.

  40. I’ve been trapped twice, both from “friends” in church. They were “come to our house for dinner and hang out”, spouse and I get excited to hang out but ended up with a sales pitch. We noped out of both, but we’re really disappointed to be used and deceived like that. It’s the Amway way.

  41. Those are the worst. It’s one thing when a stranger cold messages you, but it’s genuinely heartbreaking when you think you’ve made a friend and then they use you to try to sell you something. So toxic.

  42. One of the middle school youth leaders at our church set up a girl's "hang out" night where they would paint and decorate their nails. It ended up being a Jamberry party. I have never been one to paint my nails (I'm a perfectionist, so I'll find something I don't like about them when I finish and take it all of anyway), so my sister and I ended up running around, petting the cat, and pushing each other on the basket swing they had. I was impressed with myself as I was able to get my sister pretty high into the air, until I failed to move out of the way in time and got knocked to the ground. I was sore for a couple of weeks after that.

  43. I've been subjected to several MLM sales pitches and party invites from people I barely know. But in the end, the price tag on these products always turns me off. When I was a teenager I showed little to no interest in makeup, so my mom tried to encourage femininity by pushing a Mary Kay consultant at me. The nice thing was she did know more about makeup than I did and taught me the basics, but when it came time to order something it was so expensive that I decided makeup was just too rich of a habit for me. Imagine my surprise when I discovered the same style products at 1/4 the price at the grocery store!

  44. Omg the story I’m about to post involved my college friend and her hubby, who both played WOW with us. So funny!

  45. My ex's old boss was a part of one of those life coach ones. They basically came around because people realized high level Amway reps made more on selling books and tapes than they did selling Amway, So they basically got rid of the Amway part and they sell books and tapes and self-help seminars.

  46. I was in high school, and my friends mom was a Mary Kay director. She had the car and everything. My friend and her mom invited me to a Mary Kay meeting, and I was thinking it would be like the “pampering sessions” where I got to play with makeup. The meeting started and all of these middle aged women started chanting and singing and clapping and acting like they were at a rock concert. I was extremely creeped out. It felt like a cult. At the end of the meeting, my friend and her mom cornered me and asked me about joining and selling MK myself. I was very uncomfortable and said no. Our friendship fizzled out after that.

  47. A family member (who was a new mum) started selling Scentsy and set it all up at a family gathering. We had no idea it was a mlm and we like smelly stuff so my siblings and I purchased quite a few items each. After it arrived, we all realised the scents were overpowering and gave us severe headaches. You could literally taste the scent in the back of your throat when you had one in the burner. No great loss, they weren't super expensive and we'd supported our cousin's new business venture. Or so we thought..the messages to purchase more started after a few weeks and she got increasingly desperate. It cumulated in a family wide email about how awful we were for not buying more Scentsy items from her and it was the way she was able to stay home with her baby and it was our duty to help her to do this. She'd literally emailed a group of women who were mothers that either made sacrifices to stay home by living on one wage, or went back to work and had to put their own kids into childcare. It didn't go down well. She doesn't speak to us any more.

  48. I hate when MLM huns try to shame you into not supporting them as “stay at home moms”. My husband worked two jobs working virtually every single day for close to 4 years so that we could avoid daycare and I could stay at home caring for our kids. We have made so many of our own sacrifices, it isn’t our job to support your lifestyle, too.

  49. My first college roommate got a “job” as a partial owner of an Herbalife “cafe” and invited me to come try their stuff. I didn’t know what Herbalife was, nor did I even know what an MLM was at the time, so I agreed to go. I was pretty impressed that she was a “partial owner” right out of high school. Again, I didn’t know.

  50. I applied for a job right out of college in “marketing” and it turned out to be Amway at the end of the interview. That was a waste of a hour or so I’ll never get back. The worst part was they advertised it as a legitimate job and right out of college in 2008 I was applying for pretty much everything.

  51. Now there’s a HUGE influx in MLM posts on LinkedIn that look like real job opportunities. It’s scary when you think about how many ppl are going to get sucked into that.

  52. Was attending a 6 week college program (at a different college). One of the girls who lived in the town knew a Pure Romance rep and decided that would be a great Girls bonding activity! Didn't really know what MLMs were until after that. I did end up buying a shaving lotion thing (though conditions does the same thing).

  53. Wowwww yeah you definitely dodged a bullet. On drugs and then finding out your dad is dying/dead… just horrible. 💔

  54. A family friend who knows I’m trying to get in shape & be healthier Facebook messaged me asking if I would be interested in joining her “virtual gym”. I’m interested, since I figured it was like a zoom meeting that she ran or something where we would do guided workouts (I know nothing about working out so I was grateful for any help).

  55. My best friend at the time took me to some party and refused to tell me what it was. I was 18 at the time so I didn't really know any better, I didn't even know what it was once we were there. I was like do you know these people? And she said only a few. It didn't really seem like a party as everyone was dressed business casually and were all just mingling like an awkward birthday.

  56. Growing up we had no choice but to participate, even if we weren't buying, because my aunt and uncle suckered my mom and grandma into the "amazing" health benefits of Noni. My sisters and I hated the awful tasting shit, they would try to mask the taste with grape juice but it never worked. They were pretty successful with it (well I think they were, as a child I didn't really pay attention). But they moved on to other MLMs after Noni apparently changed their payout scheme. I've been brought in a few times to other "businesses" in my early 20s when I thought I was supporting them, but quickly left each time. As an adult now I can't believe they still can't see that the companies are pyramid schemes! It really makes me upset because my aunt is actually a really talented nurse and has wasted so much money. She should be retired now but can't. My uncle lost his house and went bankrupt and is living with my parents, working for my dad because he has no marketable skills. And they still are out there, looking for the next "get rich quick business".

  57. After moving to a new state and super lonely staying home with a new baby, a new acquaintance invited me to a “party” to meet some people. I was so excited. I was 23 at the time and had no experience with MLMs so never thought to be on guard. Imagine my surprise when it was actually a get together about bags?? Ugly “Christian” bags??? There were maybe four of us in total there and it was sooo awkward when she did the pitch. I felt so guilty and weird that I pity bought a $15 bag that I couldn’t afford..looking back, I feel like I was a young lonely mom who was new to the area…like they probably saw me as the perfect prey.

  58. I “interviewed” with both Cutco and Primerica in college (late 90’s) but just smelled something fishy so I never returned their calls. My mom had a Mary Kay party around the same time (I did buy some of the overpriced makeup with money I didn’t really have), and afterward the consultants invited me to be their “model” for an upcoming training meeting, where they I guess were training new consultants. I grew up in a very traditional, almost fundamentalist baptist church where it seemed like every woman was affiliated with an MLM (Tupperware, Avon, and Mary Kay, mostly), so at first the Mary Kay thing wasn’t weird, but by the end of the training meeting they were trying to get me to sign up to be a consultant too. Over the years I have being invited to so many parties by coworkers… Silpada, Miche, Lia Sophia, Pampered Chef, Creative Memories, Stampin’ Up, Beach Body, Scentsy, Amway, Tastefully Simple, Partylite, ThirtyOne, Arbonne, Usborne Books… I count my blessings that I was never swindled to actually join one.

  59. I met this girl back in my hometown dance studio's annual recital. We were both helping out. She's cute and had an interest in me. But I live on the west coast and she lives in the Midwest. We started doing video calls and became really close. I would fly to the Midwest to see her.

  60. My friend and i were chatting about health. I had just joined a gym, was trying hard to be healthy. She invited me to a free boxing/fitness class. I was excited! I was keen to see her to because we hadn't hung out in so long. Plus, i LOVE free stuff. That's how they reel me in.

  61. It was the evening of my 21st birthday and my husband, BIL and SIL were supposed to hang out, party, and smoke weed (which was my favorite thing ever at the time). I had been looking forward to this event for a few weeks.

  62. 15 years ago one of my coworkers, a really smart fun woman, got suckered into Amway. Her husband was former AF and he got lured in by a colleague. She kept talking about their new business together and invited me to a dinner party where their mentors were to be prominent guests. I didn’t know it was going to be a sales pitch. My coworker and her husband were nice people. Their mentors were obnoxious. The male half was a giant know-it all jerk who made fun of my little job. (We did the design and routing for factories, ffs, it wasn’t a knitting circle.) His wife tried to entice me with skin products that absolutely would have wrecked my very sensitive skin. She admitted she didn’t use any of the products, she preferred designer. I sat thru and made polite noises. I bought nothing and left as soon as I could. Thankfully, my coworker never tried that again.

  63. I got suckered into a Primerica spiel. I’m a state licensed insurance agent and was putting resumes out into the wild. My friend’s husband hit me up one day and an “open house” his “agency” was doing to expand. Alright, sure, whatever. Doesn’t hurt to see what they do and what the benefits and pay are, right?

  64. Years back, my MIL informed me that she had entered my husband and I in a drawing for a free dinner for two with a personal chef. I had no idea what she was talking about, but low and behold, a week or so later, I get a call saying we were “winners.” I know, I’m an idiot.

  65. A friend I hadn't seen in a long time invited me to a "girl's night", I was so excited I almost cried! It's been years since I have had the social energy to do anything like that and I was really excited to see my old friend. But I got added to some group and then tagged in the welcome post for some sex toy MLM. My "friend" didn't even bother to tell me that's what was going on and just invited me to this thing. I was kind of crushed but at least I didn't go to the thing

  66. My brothers friend from high school reached out to me when he visited San Antonio while I was in college. I thought it was a bit weird he wanted to hang out but since he was friends with my brother, I thought.. "why not".

  67. In maybe 2007, I had a psychiatric hospitalization following a horrible trauma. I met a woman there and she was a mental health counselor (not at the hospital, she was a patient) which I was studying to be at the time, and she was so kind to fragile, practically-broken me. So when she invited me out to a coffee shop to catch up after we were discharged, I made myself go even though leaving the house was practically impossible. It was a coffee date with me, and maybe 12 other women, most of which I recognized from the hospital or outpatient group therapy. She rented a room at a coffee shop to pitch Melaleuca to a group of women having mental health crises. She was obviously ill herself, but this is just normal, every day behavior for these people.

  68. My friend had a penchant for dreaming up fun things to do like sewing or crocheting together with a book for beginners. It was no surprise at all when she said she was inviting us over to make soap. Turned out it was a fucking Young Living rep peddling essential oils by way of soap making. The soap was already made, by the way, just melted and we would add drops of oil to it to make it smell. This was years ago and that damned rep STILL tags me on Facebook with 1000 other people even though I’ve never bought anything from her. I work with her husband, which is a complete coincidence, so it would be super weird if I blocked her. The worst part was that she had made peppermint brownies that I ate without knowing she had put that fucking oil in them.

  69. I got stuck working for American Income Life under the table as an appointment setter. But after 151 job applications I officially "caught them all" rejections that is. I finally quit last week but I'm probably gonna ve evicted by Christmas because not even retail will call me back.

  70. Desperate for a job after college, found a job post on craigslist about some kind of personal training gig. They mentioned nothing about their company. Went and there were about 20 ppl there, some presentation about their company and supplements, the "owner" supposedly had a phd and some other worker used to be a electrician. Made up some excuse and left, so mad after that herbalife conveniently didnt put their name in the posting

  71. the cafes aren’t allowed to put herbalife on their buildings, according to the franchising deal they set up. but they’re still easy to recognize, clear cups with vibrant colored drinks on instagram

  72. I was job searching after graduating from college and got a “job interview”. I dressed up, printed copies of my resume, and drove in a rainstorm. It was Primerica.

  73. Not a traditional mlm, but got suckered into BNI. I was reading a book about NXIVM last summer called “Don’t Call It a Cult” when I realized I was in one. BNI uses many of the same tactics and focuses heavily on recruiting new members, a warning sign for pyramid schemes. Each member represents about $600 in member dues to BNI each year. Quit the next week! Never looked back.

  74. Yes! OMG I hated BNI but I really had been made to believe you needed to do these things when starting out in a new business so I persevered. Getting up for those 7 AM meetings just wrecked me for the next two days. And then there were not only the member dues, but you had to pay each time for a crappy breakfast, and if you didn't have referrals for someone, in desperation you'd refer yourself and end up buying a service you didn't want. And when it was your turn to give a presentation, you had to provide a draw prize for someone. OMG, all so expensive for someone who obviously is struggling to get their business going (otherwise why would I be there if I were already busy enough to draw income?) Once I quit going, wow, such a sense of relief.

  75. I was trying to do business networking to get my REAL non-mlm business going, so I joined BNI (Business Networking International). Part of their formula is you're supposed to meet privately with each member of the group to talk to each other about what you do, and what kinds of referrals you're looking for. It's not an MLM group, though later I did decide it's not for me. Anyhow...

  76. Thanks for the post! All of these MLM stories are very informative and make me even more aware that I need to do research on every brand before buying since so many MLMs disguise themselves as legitimate operations

  77. I remember once going to a friend's house as a teenager under the impression it was gonna be a chill day of watching films etc.

  78. Once I was living at a ski resort, working hospo, and these girls told me to come get a free face mask in their room. It was arbonne. I was like half drunk, told them I was gonna go get a drink and never came back, this was during the introduction to her speech lmao. You expect drunk 19y/o's with no money to sit down and buy Ur products, sweetie no.

  79. I have a few: my first "job interview" at a Vector/Cutco meeting when I was 20. I didn't give them a dime and just used it as interview experience but it's still 2 hours of my time I would have loved to have back.

  80. in ‘90s staten island i was asked out by a guy who was cute enough, if a bit too much “how you doin’ “ noo yawk for my taste. but i was in my twenties and bored so i said okay.

  81. A friend from work who I had a bit of a crush on (and she knew it) invited me to a “party” with her and her friends. Went and got fed tons and tons of lumpia (absolutely no regrets there) and when I was totally stuffed they had all the guests sit on a couch and watch a video. Turns out it was for Primerica. After the presentation the uplines gathered all the guests to try and get us to agree to join. Thankfully I was already privy to MLMs and said thanks for the food and left. My friend reached out for a couple days afterwards but stopped after I ignored all texts.

  82. I had recently moved to a new state and was working a new job and kind of lonely so when a woman from my yoga class overheard I was getting married in a few months, she asked if she could show me some of her Mary Kay crap to give me wedding ideas. She made it sound kind of fun so she came over and did the wash your face facial spiel and gave me a god awful look. I’m no make up expert but knew it was so bad! Of course she pressured me into products and me, being the naive fresh outta the heartland polite Midwesterner bought some garbage foundation and a few other things. Of course she was pretty shady about the price and when she gave me the total it was astronomical but I was too shy to back out and thought at least I can try and use the products and never buy them again.

  83. My ex and I dabbled in Amway for about six weeks in the late 90s. We had just moved back to our hometown after living a few hours away for a couple of years and a teacher/former coach approached us at a high-school football game, handed us a business card, and asked to meet with us about a "business opportunity."

  84. A ‘friend’ I hadn’t seen in a couple of years hit me up out of the blue. Said she wanted to ‘catch up’. We met, ordered coffee but she pushed hers away and started in on how I should drink the noni juice she was selling. I was so disappointed, I just got up and left. Never heard from her again.

  85. Some guy came for a school assembly last year to tell us about some scam “positivity” thing he was starting and my principal bought into the thing there’s ads for it all over the school it’s actually scary.

  86. My very right wing evangelical sister was a MLM PEST up until a few years ago. She now sells real estate (of course she’s the BEST most smartest/experienced realtor in her area). It’s almost like she went from one MLM to another, honestly. One year I spent like $500 on her girls for Xmas (my nieces ) and she handed me this small ass funky old looking stocking that had a few Hershey kisses and bunch of Yonique and Mary Kay samples. Not even deluxe sized samples either. The really small ones. Needless to say I stopped spending so much money on my nieces (I make the gifts looks big by going to Five Below, Dollar General, etc) because I realized that Xmas that I meant shit to her. I remembered I walked out to my car at the end of the evening feeling like the lowest person in the world with that ridiculous stocking in my hand. Never again. Every f’ing Xmas for years I got left over MLM samples and I was SICK of it but that Xmas legit made me feel low and I was over it. Oh and a few days later she had the balls to text me saying “thank you for the girls gifts they really loved them - oh and I hope you come to my Pampering Chef party next week” Yeah no.

  87. Many years ago my friends sister-in-law was selling make up (I’m pretty sure Mary Kay). Well, my friend had a party because she felt obliged and I went to the party because I felt obliged. I don’t do the typical girl thing of nails, lotions, makeup and such, it’s not my thing.

  88. Was at Target one day, specifically in the toiletry aisle picking up some deodorant or something. Dude pops into the aisle and says, “do I recognize you from church?” Probably not. Pushes a conversation, him and wife are starting a business, what do you do, work in tech, etc. Asks if I’d be interested in talking to them about their business, which whatever, always looking for a better gig. Exchange numbers, text about a date/time to meet at nearby Whole Foods.

  89. I have a few friends who tried getting me into Amway. I always declined the invite to drink "coffee" and catch up because I knew what he was a part of amway. I started my current job in June of 2020 and one of the vendors for another company started talking to me about amway he claimed that I knew how to talk to people and it would come naturally. I told him om just a bullshitter. Growing up I was always a big kid, the niece of a lady who sold Herbalife would always say your fat you should drink Herbalife my respond was always fat or not I still wouldn't date you. The parking lot of Vallarta supermarket I would always be a target for the hebalife reps. Don't you want to lose weight? Was their go to sales pitch.

  90. I only have one ridiculous MLM story, and it was when I was buying my house. The guy I hired to do the house & septic inspection came, did the work, then as we were sitting down discussing the results, he pulls out this card with 1 gram of gold on it and starts talking it up and how this is the best way to save for retirement and he can get me set up to start investing in it.

  91. Not really bamboozled but I learned my lesson. I was a college freshman, looking for job during the recession, and got a letter in the mail from vector (aka cutco). At this time it was $11 or $12 per “appt”. I didn’t know exactly what that entailed but it sounded great. I got an interview with them, which was in the basement of a strip mall. I showed up and there are about 10 other people there for the interview. No one on one interview at all. I sit through and listen to this guy’s bs for an hour or so. I still get mad when I think about it lol.

  92. Many years ago, we were young, fresh out of the military, and looking for affordable insurance so if anything happened to us we could leave something for our kids, and something to the person who would be caring for them to help offset the expense of taking them on. Someone overheard my husband discussing this and told us about a new insurance company, Primerica, that had reasonably priced plans and invited us to a presentation. The presentation turned out to be all about *working* to sell their insurance. Never did get any information on actual plans or costs, just a lot of talk about how as agents, we would earn a commission, and that we could potentially increase that commission by recruiting new agents that would be below us, because we would bet a cut on anything they sold. I was so beyond peeved.

  93. Back in the early 80s I was 18yo and got a call from a girl at the ice cream shop that I worked at that I really liked asking me to come over her house to show me something. I was exstatic and rocketed over there and was met with her and two older guys in suits who proceeded to pitch the Amway Sales and Marketing plan. I fell for it, gave them $80 of my hard earned money for the starter kit and I was well on my way to walk the beaches of the world. One of the suit guys became my direct distributor in our leg of the pyramid. His real job was as a fireman and told me every week for the 6 months that I was involved in that scam how he was on his way to becoming a millionaire and he was going to quit the fire dept and retire in his late 30s. After 3 months I finally made my 1st sale and went to this bonehead fireman’s house to pick up my order. Turns out that this budding millionaire was living in his parents basement and all of his furniture was gone replaced by hundreds of boxes of laundry detergent and other Amway products that he had to buy to maintain his PV/BV status. I immediately knew that I had been had so I took the products and delivered them to my only customer. I refused to charge them and ghosted everyone connected to this bullshit.

  94. I lived with my aunt and uncle after college when I was first starting out as a zookeeper (i.e. poor). My aunt was deep into Mary Kay and almost a sales director. I think she was probably to a point where she was actually making a profit. Or at least it seemed like it. Being a poor, part time zookeeper, I definitely needed extra income and joined. I had one party where I invited my other poor zookeeper friends and felt so awful asking them to spend money. They each bought like one thing and I never did a party again. Only sold to my mom and MIL. Once I kept having to spend $250 a quarter just to keep my discount and wasn’t selling any of it, I finally quit for real.

  95. My bffs mom got roped into buying a $30 bag of amway popcorn from our other friend who’s also their next door neighbor.

  96. Several years back, an old friend (who I ended up cutting ties with) invited me to a “spa day” being hosted by a lady in her “small group” (Bible study type thing.)

  97. I was a senior in college without a job after graduation and was approached by a guy at the grocery store who started small talk. He said he was in finance and his company was recruiting for entry level hires so we exchanged numbers. This guy wasn’t the stereotypical hun lol he was an Indian dude with an accent. He invited me over to his house for coffee (I’m an idiot for going but I was desperate). I get there and he and his wife start showing me videos about financial independence and all that and I knew what was going on so I politely sat through the presentation and just got out of there as soon as I could. I don’t even remember what company it was lol.

  98. I was fresh out of college looking for a job around 2008. I applied for a job to get into some sort of "management" program. My "interview" - where I wore a pantsuit- involved standing outside a gas station in the middle of summer selling junk branded with "just say no" on it. I had left my car and rode with this person to the gas station so I couldn't leave. I realized it was a scam when she showed me the income table with the breakdown of how much money each level of "manager" would get with each sale of this junk.

  99. I always mention when I interviewed with Primerica and had no idea it was an MLM. They'd found my resume on LinkedIn and contacted me. I had three interviews in one day, Primerica's was last. Had a one on one interview with the "president" of the location (?) then was in a conference room with about five or six other people and shown the infamous slideshows.

  100. I had a lady I didn't even know talk me into hosting a Mary Kay "makeover" for my bridal party. I had no idea it was an MLM, didn't know they were bad even, and didn't realize she'd be pressuring my family and friends to buy all the things. I felt so guilty because I had a couple family members who def bought some stuff out of guilt.

  101. This was probably 15 years ago. But I was invited to a pajama party by the barista at the coffee shop I went to every morning. I was so so excited to be invited somewhere. Until recently, I haven’t had many friends in my life so I was really looking forward to it. I showed up with snacks and wine, wearing my pajamas of course. Only to find out it was an Intimates Party, selling lingerie and adult novelties. I was so embarrassed. Not just because I was in pjs but because I had thought I finally made a friend. That was really awful 😞

  102. My boyfriend went to Wegmans (a grocery store) one day and when he returned he told me this guy asked him about his shoes and they started having a nice combo and he ended up giving him his number. I was like, omg! You just got hit by an MLM guy, but he did not believe me. I told him for some pointers to look out for since they are not upfront about their tactics, so he kept texting him out of curiosity until the “financial independence” and “mentors” texts came in. He immediately blocked him after that, but the worse thing is that we have seen the guy at Wegmans multiple times kind of just standing there, so I guess it’s like his hunting ground or something. Super creepy

  103. Ugh. Our neighbor (Susan) who we weren't close with, but friendly with, went through a bad divorce and had two young kids. We always told her, look I know you're going through a bad time, bring the kids over anytime and we'll watch them while you get stuff done.

  104. This is one I don't see often so I'll share and see what you think. My friend sold Touchstone by swarski (sp?) Crystals. She straight up told me what was up and she just needed a friend there because her upline was going to be there and she didn't want to look like she was doing a terrible job. My friend said, "You don't have to buy anything, just come so I have a party. " I think she got free jewelry if she did it. I like jewelry and I like Scwarski crystals I think so I did it. Brought my daughter too. I bought a damn bracelet because it was cute. Nothing else happened, end of story. I wore the bracelet to a party and another lady had on the same bracelet (different color.) She points at my bracelet and said, "You got suckered into too huh?" I never wear that damn bracelet anymore.

  105. Went to a younique party before I knew what an mlm was, and the chapstick I bought didn’t even sooth my lips. My mom bought some eyeshadow she loved though. Boring af and not worth my time anymore.

  106. If a product is good it is good just like any store bought item. Tupperware is a mlm and i still use the stuff my mom bought 29 years ago. The thing i hate most about mlm is how they trick people into working for them. Pay us to work for us and get sucked into an endless void.

  107. I remember back in like 2014 a friend of my roommate invited/insisted I come to their house for a brunch get together where we were trying all these eco-friendly, parabem free, organic, cruelty free etc products and she had this little speech about how she used to be addicted to the grind (she was like 24 and had worked for Groupon for maybe 2 years) and then this opportunity presented itself and how she’s so much happier being her own boss, making her own hours and working from home and the women she’s connected with have been so supportive etc etc and then we all tried this face mask and I had a mild allergic reaction to it! lol and then she tried to get us to buy her products and I had just graduated from college and didn’t have themoney to spend $70 on a shitty face wash 😅

  108. I started a small website building business a while back. (It failed because owning a business is still 90% sales, and I am abysmal at selling.)

  109. 20 years ago I was new in the country as a grad student. Didn’t know anyone and everything was unfamiliar. Met another guy from my country who even spoke the same language and I was thrilled. Literally the 2nd day after we met, he told me that he was going to meet with some people for a celebration and a business opportunity and that he would like me to come along. He was a good looking dude and I was all flustered. ‘Make sure to wear something nice’ he said and that became my chief concern. Where could I go to buy a nice dress that evening and how would I get there?

  110. Two of my daughters were approached by friends, well Facebook acquaintances really, close to their 18th birthdays. They gave them the ‘you’re probably going to be SAHMs so you should think about what you’re going to do on the side’ - so predatory.

  111. I never really knew what mlms were in 2010. All I know is my sister and I were invited to some "sleepover" aka sex toy selling party by some Mormon ladies.

  112. I worked with this guy who was constantly jumping from MLM scheme to the next. That month it was Modere. He tried relentlessly to get me to sign up. Which required $500 down. I kept telling him I was a broke single mom, which was VERY much the case. I was 22 and making 40K a year raising a baby. He didn't care. At all. He tried and tried and finally I gave in when he and his wife took me to dinner to further lie to me. I paid the $500, was sent some products and I literally hated all of them. I never sold a damn thing and almost 10 years later I still think this guy is the scum of the earth for manipulating a 22 year old financially unstable single mother.

  113. I almost bought one of those smoothies from HerbaLife; I thought it was a cool new smoothie shop. I remembered I saw a post on here about them and usually if they have ‘nutrition’ in the name it’s HerbaLife + their sketchy menu on the website I put the puzzle together. As a kid, I also went to those Pampered Chef and Mary Kay parties. I never understood what exactly those companies were until now. It blows my mind that they’re all still prevalent today.

  114. This has been bothering me for like a month. Someone I’m Facebook friends with is really high up in Herbalife. When their granddaughter turned 14 a few weeks ago they did a whole signing party for her to officially join the company. This kid is 14!!!! She doesn’t really want to sell that shit to her friends. I’m so embarrassed for this kid.

  115. So many times. And I used to host parties too thinking I was helping my friends out with their businesses and being supportive. We did have fun at some of the parties but I always spent way more than I should have and now that I know better about how predatory they are I just ignore that stuff. The really bummer times were thinking an old friend truly wanted to catch up and it turns into a sales pitch. It really sucks when you’re lonely.

  116. I went to a job fair when I was 19 or so. Most were legit businesses, and I handed out some resumes. One was a makeup company offering a contest for a free makeover, so I dropped my info in, and of course, I "won!"

  117. I was working at PetSmart and I was insecure because I was 18 at the time and had acne. An Arbonne (spelling?) lady came through my line and asked about my skin. It was actually embarrassing but at the time I was a people pleaser and told her. She told me to give a few minutes after I took care of the remaining customers and she would talk to me. Once they left, my dumb ass talked her and bought their acne treatment (which never worked) and took my number. I bought a few things even after the fact but eventually I stopped. She tried to call and email but I never responded. Didn’t know was an MLM was until years later and realized just how fucked up she was to talk about my acne in front of other customers. Also, I was basically a teenager so I had no idea she was preying on me. But I’ve gone to a lot MLM parties now and I knew someone who was working for the sex toy one (can’t remember the name) and she recruited a lot of her friends. I always thought I was helping support a friend but it’s really just emotional manipulation.

  118. A former coworker who knew that I was financially hard up (because she'd run into me on my way to a job interview) offered to take me to a hiring/recruitment event, and I just... assumed it was a real one, silly me.

  119. I was 14, 2 months into highschool and had severe panic attacks that were new to me. An 18 year old at my school I was friends with was selling Avon, called herself a customer service representative and tried to get me to buy a $200 kit off of her.

  120. Growing up in the 80’s and early 90’s my mom was a stay at home mom. She would get talked into hosting or joining just about every MLM out there. Avon, Mary Kay, Amway, Tupperware, Christmas around the world, etc. She would task me with going door to door leaving sample bags with invites in the neighborhood ( clearly a very different time). So I guess you could say my first marketing job at 9 years old.

  121. BNI when I started my first legitimate business and didn’t know how to network. Got pissed about the other MLMs in the group. Only found out BNI was also a sleazy MLM shortly before I wised up and left. Haaaaa. Sad. I did a year and a half in that group. Ugh.

  122. This was just a few years ago. I was working on the event field as an event manager. One of the ladies that ran a venue was super nice and super fun! She was also well connected in the community, as were her friends! I was so so excited when she invited me to a happy hour at her beautiful venue (old Victorian house that was also her home). Man, I was more excited then Sally Field winning an Oscar! “ they like me! They really really like me”. ….

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  124. I was a bridesmaid and the bride asked me to host a small party where we could get to know each other and start some planning. I got some wine and put out some nice cheeses and cured meats (I went to the expensive grocery store and everything)

  125. I had a longtime friend sucker me into a life insurance MLM. He said he needed help with an interview and I agreed so we set up a call. Basically some lady sold me life insurance for $65 a month while we were on the call (for TWO HOURS.) I am admittedly too nice, so I went along with it. Later in the week I cancelled the insurance and I had a woman call me from Georgia asking why I did so. I told her the situation, and she was surprised because he was only supposed to contact his very close friends and family only. I got a refund. But I have so many more of these stories. 🫣😂

  126. Freshman year of college I got sucked into a used textbook buying MLM, I think it was called tower or something? Did it for a few weeks but realized I was barely making any profit. I can’t remember if we had to pay to sign up or anything, but looking back it was definitely an MLM.

  127. Got invited to a Pure Romance party, knew exactlywhat it was but just went to have fun with my friends. We had fun and drank a lot, my friends and I are very open about our sex lives so we had a good time overall but had a better time when she left. My boyfriend at the time didn't get it was an MLM and when I said I wasn't going to buy anything or buy just the cheapest thing to "support" her he gave me his card and told me to buy stuff for us. Bet. Bought myself the best vibrator in the catalog with his money. It's decent, nothing magical but it does its job. Definitely not the best I've used. But hey, in the end it wasn't my money and it was better than he was. Kept the vibrator, dumped the boyfriend.

  128. I am the youngest and only girl in my family. It was easier for my dad to just treat me as another little boy so I was a hardcore tomboy my whole life. No one taught me about makeup or grooming (eyebrows and stuff). When I wanted to wear makeup for a function at 17, my mom bought me mismatched foundation and instructed me to apply it to my face with fingertips. No eyeshadow or lipstick, just foundation.

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