Anti-MLM Mondays: Craft Fairs

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Happy Monday, folks. This week’s anti-MLM topic is craft fairs. Yes, if MLM huns aren’t infiltrating Facebook pages and Instagram DMs, they are also taking spots from actual craft makers via small-town craft fairs.

Being active on the anti-MLM subreddit, another theme I have noticed besides profiting off of tragedies and making baseless health and income claims is MLM huns portraying as small business owners (I mean, they do that when it’s convenient) in order to secure a spot at their hometown’s annual craft fairs.

For this week’s edition, I will be giving my reaction to 10 posts from Reddit that highlights this problem.

First, though, I want to turn the attention to a guest post on the MLM Truth blog about MLM and craft fairs. The post started off with the guest poster, who owns a small business and participates in these craft fairs, boldly stating that MLM reps don’t make their own products, they don’t own trademarks, and they don’t have any type of business license. Considering that most people pay for a starter pack to join one of these companies, this tracks.

The post also dived into the reasons why MLM huns show up at craft fairs despite the lack of craftiness required. One reason could be that the organizer has been involved in it themselves or has friends who are involved. Another could be ignorance. Maybe it’s not the right term, but sometimes organizers have no clue what MLM companies are and think they’re small businesses. Others know about the risks that come with hosting MLM reps and try to find a middle ground.

Reading further, some actual small business owners are coming together to promote their handmade products and to talk about their experience while people who are expecting all-handmade craft fairs just stop coming. Savy Writes Book, a YouTuber who runs a small business and does anti-MLM content, and someone I follow on there, did a video 3 years ago on this and I think I’ll leave it here below.

Okay, now let’s get to the posts

1. Targeting a 7-year-old girl for lipstick

A Reddit post from November 11, 2018, titled “MLM’s are ruining “craft” fairs”. A mom took her then-7-year-old daughter to a craft fair that she herself has never been to before. Her experience was so bad that she ended up contacting the organizers to ban MLM huns from participating after some tried to entice the young girl by trying to have her touch and feel the products.

2. More leggings aren’t always better

A Reddit post from July 10, 2018, titled “Local Craft Fair! AKA MLM Hell”. A mom took her then-3-year-old son and a few friends to a local craft fair that her city was advertising. Out of the 30 booths there, 5 were of actual small business owners. The rest were in MLMs, including about 8 or 9 of them from LulaRoe alone. That sounds like saturation to me. Just like the last post, the huns used a child to get the mom to buy from them.

3. When odds are stacked against you

A Reddit post from November 10, 2019, titled, “MLMs at craft fairs”. This post is from someone who has a small business selling handmade vegan products like candles and soaps. They felt like they have to prove themselves more than the other vendor because, surprise, surprise, the other vendors are MLM companies. Combined with a chronic health problem, the odds were stacked against them. Still, they will persist, as I got from the post

4. Wow, this seems legit /s

A Reddit post from November 6, 2021, titled “Local “homemade crafts” sales event is full of MLMs”. It’s a short post, but it’s a goodie. This person runs a bakery and had signed up to participate in a local craft fair that the local school is running. They counted about 20 or so booths, with MLM companies like Color Street, doTERRA, and Scentsy among them. Yep, definitely not local

5. The question speaks for itself on this one

A Reddit post from September 17, 2022, titled “Where are the crafts??” I think that’s a great question. Where are the crafts? I saw from this post that this craft fair is intending to host almost all MLM-related companies. Usborne, Thirty-One, Color Street, Avon, and Arbonne among them all. Do you see any actual, legit small businesses on here? I certainly don’t. Even being online doesn’t seem genuine.

6. Dude stands up for wife vs MLMs at craft fairs

A Reddit post from December 30, 2018, titled “MLMs at Craft Shows”. This person made this one short and sweet and to the point. It’s a short rant in that his wife has to compete with MLM vendors at craft fairs

7. “Un”popular Opinion

A Reddit post from August 3, 2020, titled “MLM’s shouldn’t be allowed to craft fairs”. This was posted on the Unpopular Opinions subreddit, but really, should it be there? Anyway, this post hits a point there. The CEO of Color Street (and other MLM companies for that matter) really don’t care about their reps. It may look like they do, but given the conditions, I also doubt it. It’s also lining the pockets of these same CEOs who already gots millions and billions to their name to begin with

8. No direct sales businesses allowed

A Reddit post from September 27, 2022, titled “I love knowing which fairs are safe to go to. This was definitely refreshing after seeing one last weekend with almost a dozen MLM sellers”. This is a change of pace from other posts. It shows a flyer promoting a craft fair that will be held next month. The part about direct sales businesses not being accepted is refreshing, so I’ll be awaiting an update sometime after November 20

9. I have to share booth space with a hun?

A Reddit post from October 13, 2019, titled “MLM mania at a craft show I’m doing”. An artist got accepted into a local art fair and was excited to go… until they got assigned a booth directly across from an MLM rep. Apparently, the “not accepting any more direct sales/MLMs” warning didn’t do much to deter them from joining. And yes, Norwex is an MLM.

10

A Reddit post from December 26, 2019, titled “”Craft fair” reads like our list of known MLMs…”. It’s a comment left on a Facebook post from someone who is concerned about the MLMs being at this craft fair. Red doesn’t like the inference of pyramid schemes, which pretty much sets the tone for this post.

There are probably other examples, but I want to showcase 10 of them so as to not clog this post too much, but they do show it’s a problem and organizers should find a way to differentiate actual small business owners from MLMs, or else people won’t do it. If you have been to a craft fair and came across an MLM product there, drop me a comment below

Author: dezbee2008

33-year-old math enthusiast, Pokemon fan, Eurovision fan, Bingo player, anti-MLM watcher, meme consumer, YTP watcher, stans news reporters when no one else wants to, inconsistent in real life, a complete human mess, and professional social media lurker

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