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

Anti-MLM Mondays: Tragedy and Death

Welcome back to another anti-MLM post. This week, we’ll be reacting to MLM posts about using tragedy and death to shill for products. Yes, that’s right. If using brainwashing tactics, emotional manipulation, and dangling the lifestyle over the heads isn’t enough, they will also use the tragedy of tragedies and the saddest of deaths to promote the product. Sometimes, they’ll promote the company as a whole.

When you think about the point where there should be a bottom… there isn’t one. I don’t think my trying to explain it would do justice, so I’m putting together 10 Reddit posts that encompass this “activity”. My reactions are in each caption.

1. The way this fits is just no

A Reddit post from March 22, 2022, titled “Latest Herbalife cringe marketing *ukraine energy bomb*”. We have an Herbalife “shop owner”, I guess, that is capitalizing on the war between Russia and Ukraine by selling this drink that is supposedly in support of Ukraine. The “donate a portion” trope is just so that they feel good about donating in the first place, almost like a performative activism type of thing

2. September 11th nails????

A Reddit post from September 12, 2019, called “9/11 sale”. A Color Street Hun used the (at the time) 18th anniversary of the September 11th attacks by selling a nail set special to “honor” the lives lost that day. Basically using the anniversary of one of the darkest days in American history to make a quick buck

3. No, we are not doing the military like this

A Reddit post from July 3, 2019, titled “Posh is offering a special for 4th of July, a discount to military families. Military wives would be excellent mlm victims due to the cultish camaraderie.”. Perfectly Posh is a skincare MLM company, out of many skincare MLM companies. This post promotes their discounted starter kits as thanks to the military for serving the country.

4. Essential oils as an answer to breathing? Really?

A Reddit post from June 8, 2020, titled “Doterra huns are using George Floyd’s death to sell their crappy oils and it’s disgusting”. This really made me angry. Imagine using the death of a black man at the hands (or knees) of a white cop to sell essential oils that don’t make two cents. They don’t just use tragic anniversaries to make a quick buck. They also use the biggest news stories to promote their products, especially if that story ends in someone’s death

5. Got hit by Hurricane Ian? Monat can help /s

A Reddit post from October 2, 2022, titled “My mom’s house was affected by Hurricane Ian. A perfect time to plug Monat!”. My state got hit by Hurricane Ian late last month, and while people lost everything in that storm, a top earner’s mom is more concerned about getting her hair done with very little hot water than basically surviving. The top earner in question is part of the 10 Million Dollar Commission club (per the comments) and still has to sell like crazy because of how the system is set up.

6. Dad died. Here’s my business

A Reddit post from April 30, 2022, titled “[TW: Death of a parent] Monat Rep’s father is buried on the same day as an event. Not only does she go to the event, she uses his death to advertise her business.” Staying with Monat, a rep had to bury her father and her upline praised her because she still showed up for the business. I mean, if that is not cult-like behavior. The OP confirmed that the hun did in fact put a celebratory post at the bottom of the first photo. All of this is just awful. She can’t even say goodbye to her dad without wOrKiNg ThE bIz

7. Imagine having a sale on the anniversary of your friend’s death (or heavenly birthday)

A Reddit post from January 8, 2022, titled “Having a sale for the anniversary of your friends death 😬”. Using someone’s death to sell products doesn’t have to happen on the day of the event or even a few days after. Sometimes, huns use the anniversaries of personal tragedies to make a quick buck, like this hun here. I was confused about this post at first, as the title suggests the friend in question died and it’s the anniversary of that event, but the original FB post mentions “heavenly birthday”, which suggests that it’s the friend’s birthday, but they are not here to celebrate it. Either way, this is just shallow and predatory.

8. I’m sure she needs those after a fire

A Reddit post from February 8, 2022, titled “Influencer uses her friend’s devastating house-fire to pitch sales for MLM (in the name of “donating”).” In this two-pic post (you’ll have to click on it since WordPress won’t show images embedded from Reddit if it’s 2 or more pictures), a Beauty Counter uses her friend’s house fire to field “donations” aka discounting her sales and taking a self-imposed pay cut to send proceeds to her friend’s family. And I will ask this… why not just donate directly? If you truly cared about her and the situation, you wouldn’t stoop so low to take advantage of this, but we’re talking to an MLM hun, so this message is moot to her

9. This makes Travis Scott look like a saint, and that’s a practically low bar to not cross

A Reddit post from November 7, 2021, titled “MLM Hun tries to cash in on the Travis Scott concert disaster.” 10 people died during the tragedy at Astroworld and this hun is coping with her ruined experience by asking people to buy her DoTerra essential oils (although she said it’s for the victims). A classic “woe is me” situation. 10 families have to bury their loved ones because of this, and all this lady cares about is herself, so this promotion she put out tracks. Also, she’s defending Travis Scott, another walking red flag

10. No length of time is too soon for a sale

A Reddit post from April 17, 2020, titled “For the lady who wants to coordinate her stick on nail polish with her favorite nautical disaster.” The Titanic, despite being built to last especially back then, sank in 1912 after hitting an iceberg. Even though it happened over a century ago and people have drowned as a result, this Color Street hun used this tragedy to make a sale for her nail sticker collection. Tragedy aside, some people in the comments have clowned the hun for not having any blue nails on sale. I mean, dull colors and a nautical tragedy, this MLM sale checks out

These are the 10 posts I wanted to react to that fit the theme. I think each post showcased here has different scenarios going on, but they all come to the same conclusion — taking advantage of tragedy, personal or not, to promote their business, or to have some special that “honors” but completely misses the mark

Anti-MLM Mondays: Free in Name Only

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NEW: You can listen to this blog post here

Happy Monday. This is another anti-MLM post, so if you’re looking for previous posts pertaining to the aspects of the Multi Level Marketing business model, I have an entire category dedicated to my main passion for this blog.

This week I’m looking forward to writing about it because this one, I believe, is one of the main components of the so-called MLM lifestyle aesthetic, and that is the free stuff they always promote to get people to join their companies. They always talk about having time freedom and financial freedom and the freedom to work from anywhere, but in this post, we’re gonna explore those free trips and free cars that were always promoted as perks on joining an MLM

If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Getting free trips and free company cars from your job sounds amazing on paper. You work hard enough to plan your vacations accordingly and if you have a company car, they either reimburse or pay entirely for gas and other maintenance. At least, that’s how MLM companies promote it. The truth is, though, there are a lot of catches. I wish I was exaggerating. We’ll be diving into the free car programs that some MLM companies promote as well as the free trips, and both come with some pricey catches

Free Cars

I want to start with the free cars because it’s basically a more tangible component of the so-called MLM lifestyle that is portrayed on social media. I want to give three examples of these “free car” offers that are anything but. First, though, I found an article from Talented Ladies Club that did an article on those free cars and used Arbonne and FM World as case studies, if you will. Travelling Jezebel also went through the Arbonne Mercedes-Benz program and also went into Monat’s Cadillac program. Time Magazine even did one on Mary Kay’s Pink Cadillac program.

The general consensus on these free cars is that some of them require their cars to be of certain luxury quality, meaning they rather take Mercedes-Benz or Cadillac. Arbonne (white), Monat (also white), and Mary Kay (bluish-pink) require their cars to be a certain color and the decals to be in certain places (Arbonne requires their decals to be on the driver and passenger sides as well as the back). Monat requires their new Cadillacs to be less than 5 years of age at the time of signing.

All of them require that after you hit a certain rank (ex. Regional and National Vice President ranks in Arbonne, Market Mentor rank in Monat) you lease the car in your name and you must maintain the sales that got you there each month if you want to keep getting the bonuses. If you fail to make those ranks, they will usually rescind the rest of the bonuses which puts you on the hook for the whole payment, although Monat may give you two grace months. Even then, you shouldn’t count on them. The sales quotas are usually in the 10,000s mark for group volume, which is impossible to maintain monthly in these companies

MLM companies never put the bonuses on the entire monthly payments and it was done on purpose. It’s to keep you in and pressure you to make those sales so you can receive those bonuses. For example, Monat gives their Market Mentors a $500 bonus towards their Cadillacs, which usually covers half to a third of the monthly payment.

Besides Arbonne, Monat, and Mary Kay, other companies that have some sort of a free car program include Thrive/Le-Vel, FM World, Pruvit, and Nerium

A Reddit post from November 26, 2019, titled “What is the true cost of the “free” MLM car? Genuinely asking, as I suspect there is more to it than what these ladies lead others to believe on social media.” This hun claims that the car she had “earned” wasn’t the ultimate goal, but upon reading the lines, I feel like getting the car was her goal. She’s just hiding it behind her team
A Reddit post from January 24, 2021, titled “So it’s not a free car after all”. This is a huge yikes, because while she admits that Monat covers her car payment, it’s still not enough for the whole thing, but she claims that is a good thing. Poor thing has to know that she has to maintain her sales in order for Monat to keep sending her a bonus
A Reddit post from September 30, 2019, titled “It’s not a free car when you have to maintain 12k in volume every month.” This could also be a r/thathappened post, but this Mary Kay hun thinks her free pink Cadillac is a flex on a Chick-Fil-A worker. Even if this story was true, I would bet the Chick-Fil-A doesn’t have a car that is tied to some company ‘bonus’ and it’s probably not a luxury brand like Cadillac
A Reddit post from March 30, 2022, titled “Arbonne’s little army of “entrepreneurs” and their “free” white Benz”. This is another part of the free car perk, the car celebration days where a hun or a group of huns pose with their free cars after hitting certain ranks. Some will hold a celebration before they reach the rank without a guarantee of whether or not they even reach the rank. This is a way to promote as part of the lifestyle but also a way to keep you in and make the necessary sales
A Reddit post from November 22, 2021, titled “Ketones hun Tiktoks about not getting her luxury vehicle.” This is a 7-picture gallery that you will have to click on since it wouldn’t show up here, but I can give you a preview. It’s about a Pruvit hun who thought she was leasing her free car but couldn’t get it because her bank turned her down… for any luxury car, she claims. She claims she doesn’t really need it as her family couldn’t get a house either. The last three pictures are people leaving comments that I don’t think she would like, but they contain some truth

Free Trips

Free trips work the same way as free cars. Although there are a lot of catches to it, the way it works is like those school fundraisers where students have to give away cookies in order to possibly win some prizes. In MLMs, huns usually have to sell a certain amount of products in hope of earning these trips that are supposedly paid for by the companies.

Just like the free cars, though, the huns are on the short end of the stick on these trips. Though I wasn’t able to find an article on MLM trips, these next few Reddit posts will paint a picture of what they actually are

A Reddit post from June 21, 2021, titled “So what’s the catch with the free trips”. This post was asking for the catches (aka hotel and airfare) that come with the free trips. That is a legit question and I think it’ll be answered in the next few examples
A Reddit post from December 30, 2021, titled “How do “free trips” paid for by MLMs work? I don’t understand how it’s financially viable for the company so what am I missing?”. The perfect answer that came out of it was the first comment I saw while scrolling through. It said in part, “The Mary Kay hun I know recently bragged incessantly about her “free” trip to Cabo or Cancun or something at some generic hotel, but later it came out that she had to pay international airfare, pay for her (inland) hotel where she shared a room with 5 other women (two of them shared a sleeper sofa), paid for all her food and drinks, paid for new clothes for the trip, was required to make a certain number of a certain type of posts to social media each day, spent all day in workshops and meetings getting more brainwashed and purchasing more product, and had to pay taxes on the trip, on a price that MK claimed it cost (which I’m sure was inflated). The part that was free? Admission to the workshop/convention itself. Everything else, she paid.”
A Reddit post from June 5, 2021, titled “Cousin keeps posting about these “free” trips”. The OP posted a screenshot of her cousin’s FB post in which she bragged about her company Thrive paying for everything
A Reddit post from September 19, 2022, titled “MLM “Free Trip” Cancelled Because of Hurricane – Huns Are More “Woe Is Me” Than Anything Else”. This is another part of the free trips MLM love to promote. Sure, they will promote the most luxurious locations, but they also specifically plan these trips at the possible worst time. This post in question is about Arbonne’s September trip to Punta Cana, Dominican Republic, in the middle of hurricane season. Hurricane Fiona severely damaged the country and Puerto Rico and Arbonne didn’t cancel the trip until their huns got to the airport.
A Reddit post from September 13, 2022, titled “You didn’t earn it otherwise you’d go. Who’d miss out on a “free” trip?” I think this highlights the downside of these free trips. This Melaleuca hun missed out on a trip that she had qualified for because she couldn’t afford the extra costs (read: airfare, itinerary, hotel, etc). However, she sees it as no big deal

In all, the cars and the trips are not free. Their MLM companies might chip in, but they will not give the entire bonus by design. The free stuff all comes with too many rules and none of them are in favor of the huns. However, they don’t see it, which is great for MLM companies. As long as more reps join in without heeding warnings, the free cars and the free trips would continue as long as the MLM companies are active

Anti-MLM Mondays: High School Mean Girls to Hunbots Pipeline

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NEW: You can listen to this blog post here

Happy Monday. Still recovering from Hurricane Ian, but at this point, I am in a good position to get things back on track. Enough about that, though. I have an interesting topic about multi-level marketing that I saw constantly when I was watching anti-MLM content during the pandemic.

We already know that MLM reps are called ‘huns’ because that’s usually how they greet their potential recruits. We have heard about cold messaging, which is what huns resort themselves to after tapping out their warm market. A warm market is their inner circle, like friends, family, and acquaintances. Once they tap out of it, they enter their cold market, which is full of complete strangers. We heard about huns not checking a profile beforehand when they send those “hey hun” messages to complete strangers — telling them they would be killing it in what they do. Even if they do check profiles, they will find something if they can solve it for a profit.

But one thing that is constant in this part of the topic is huns contacting their former classmates years after graduation. It didn’t even matter how long ago they went to school together… 1 year, 2 years, 5 years, even 10, 20, 25 years after graduation. If you’re from a small town, you might or might not have a message from a former classmate that claims to want to catch up with you in an effort to really pitch you an MLM opportunity.

I know you’re wondering where I’m heading with this, but before I get there, I will tell you that even though I haven’t gotten a “hey hun” message since graduating from high school 15 years ago, I have gotten invitations to join some friends’ pages on Facebook which turned out to be fronts for their MLM businesses. However, this isn’t what we’re focusing on.

I have noticed while scrolling in the anti-MLM subreddit, fellow Redditors have posted messages after messages of former school bullies who have contacted them about joining an MLM. We are talking about those who essentially peaked in high school (read: popular kids) who are still chasing that spotlight well into their 20s and 30s contacting their classmates whom they once hated to “link arms” with them in a business.

This will be a Reddit reaction post

A Reddit post from July 19, 2018, titled “The “Girl you went to high school with that joined an MLM” Starter Pack”

The order in which I embedded these posts is not the same order in which I found them, but I wanted to start off with a hilarious starter pack post that sees some correlation between girls who peaked in high school and their MLM businesses. It features quotes such as “I run my own business” and “no chemicals” but it also includes a picture of a baby named “Westley”, a Facebook post that conveys a hun’s love for her “job” and a picture of a Younique credit card. Yeah, that’s a thing. Anyway, the following posts fit the bill almost to a T.

A Reddit post from January 4, 2019, titled “Girl from high school in MLM posted this. Doesn’t this prove that it’s a pyramid scheme?”

A Redditor made this post after watching an Instagram story from one of her former classmates that tried to explain the difference between a pyramid scheme and an MLM. While they do have the same characteristics, most MLM huns don’t make the most money unless they have a team. Basically, they combine the recruiting tactics of a pyramid scheme with a commission-based sales tactic with a few extra steps

A Reddit post from January 4, 2021, titled “Guess that MLM! 🥴 girl is an ex-friend from high school who is a serial MLMer.”

Sometimes the former high school classmate is a victim of circumstance. In this instance, we have Molly, a Redditor who goes by “No-Veterinarian6652” who was being contacted by her former classmate who was in several MLMs. Scrolling to the comments section, I find a comment from Molly who answered another Redditor’s question about her ex-classmate joining Beachbody, in which she responded in part “She has two babies and is a SAHM and I know she is a target for MLMs. She was previously in YL and she never sent me a single message. I’m thinking she was doing the whole “causal” thing with YL and then some Beachbody coach reached out and now she’s getting whipped into shape. She went from posting about 5 stories/day on Instagram with YL to probably 30+ stories, makes reels, etc. with Beachbody.” Molly would go on to say that she’s been trying to get the hun out of MLMs to no avail

A Reddit post from December 21, 2020, titled “Why is everyone i knew in highschool in an MLM?! Were in our 20s. Its a little too early for a midlife crisis”

This next post is from a Redditor that had graduated from high school in 2017… 5 years ago. She had three classmates that were in different MLMs — the first is a Tupperware magazine, the second is all about It Works and their keto products, and the third is an Instagram profile of one of the Redditor’s former classmates who is with Younique. So why is she in this post? I scrolled down to the comments where the OP mentioned that one of the huns lied about getting pregnant their freshman year plus subsequent lies about being miscarried and getting an abortion to keep her boyfriend and also lied about her age to get a boy in trouble. The other two were just vulnerable and the OP even tried to get one out before the pandemic started. To that I say yikes

A satirical Reddit post from December 27, 2017, titled “Study: 90% of girls who were mean to you in high school now trapped in beauty product pyramid schemes”

This last one is a satirical one, but I also think this drives it home. Someone posted a satirical article from a Canadian online news satire company called The Beaverton and going through the website, it’s basically a Canadian version of The Onion. In October 2016, they published this article about mean girls and pyramid schemes and they came up with the 90% line, which does seem like it. Although it’s probably not close to the real stats, whatever they may be, I just thought this was funny

In short, and don’t quote me on this one, but coming from a small town with not a lot of opportunities, it’s little wonder people move out of their hometowns to start their own journeys (and some do come back). For those that do stay in their hometowns, they could be suckered into an MLM just to provide for their families.

Anti-MLM Mondays: The Elomir Project

Taken from Elomir’s Facebook Page
NEW: You can listen to this blog post here

Happy Monday, everyone. This week’s anti-MLM post is about a company that went into pre-launch a couple months ago and has since opened up to actual customers after spending nearly 6 weeks signing up distributors. The company is called Elomir and as of right now, the fanfare has subsided. I remember watching a lot of Elomir content from anti-MLM YouTubers and unless I’m living under the rock, it was the first time we saw a new multi-level marketing company operate first as a Ponzi scheme and then as a full-blown MLM company with a product. In this week’s edition of Anti-MLM Mondays, we’re dissecting the company and where it went wrong

As always, if you want to read more anti-MLM content on this blog, you can check it out here

Brief history

Back in July, the first news of Elomir emerged in the MLM world and under the anti-MLM radar. It was a company that was claimed to be founded in 2021 by Toan and Van Nguyen, but it was actually founded by Terry LaCore. His company, LaCore Enterprises, is also the parent company of other MLMs such as Pruvit and Perfectly Posh. Elomir and LaCore Enterprises are based in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, but the Nguyens are in California

Back to the Nguyens, I found an article from the website Behind MLM which did a deep dive on Elomir and the husband and wife team behind it. They are listed as co-founders and Van is listed as the CEO. The article stated that Toan Nguyen is a crypto bro who had been involved in another Ponzi Scheme called DeFinity Fi Academy, which has since been locked behind some sort of a crypto paywall. The couple has also been in several more companies like that for over a decade. For those who have read my crypto bro post, you know that I am not a fan of cryptocurrency, bitcoin, NFTs, and other decentralized blockchain stuff. Already, this was a red flag. And although Toan stays shilling for crypto behind the scenes, his wife Van has been front and center in terms of promoting Elomir and their signature product Axis Klarity. She has also gone live to explain the reason, or lack thereof, why the product hasn’t been keeping up with the supposed demand from distributors and even the customers… if they had any.

Axis Klarity

Let’s turn the focus to Elomir’s signature product Axis Klarity. It’s billed as a “yellow strip” that is supposed to calm you as soon as you put it on your tongue to dissolve. It’s also supposed to “bypass the digestive tract”, but there’s one problem with that statement… saliva is part of the digestive tract.

From Elomir’s website

Going to the Elomir website and clicking on shop, Axis Klarity (as of this writing) is still the only product listed on the site and it costs US$89 for 3 packs. Back when it first came out, it was available as a 3-pack product with 30 strips each. Production delays meant that everyone who signed up only got 1 out of the 3 packs, with the other 2 to come at a later date. I’m not sure if Elomir held up to that promise, but considering it’s an MLM, I will take it with a grain of salt.

According to the site, each strip contains 3 simple and effective ingredients that blend and are made by Diffusive Technology, which is exclusive to Elomir. Scrolling a little further and there it is, the three ingredients in each strip. They are:

  • Curcumin: a substance of Tumeric
  • NAC: Usually found in onions. This ingredient became a focus of the product
  • Thiamine: usually found in meats, whole grains, and fish. It’s B1 Vitamin

NAC stands for N-acetyl-cysteine, and it became a focus because the FDA said that dietary supplements can’t contain NAC unless it’s prescribed. It is also the least known ingredient out of the three. As it is technically a drug, huns that have taken the strips on Facebook Live have, and this is with my own eyes, hallucinated. That’s pretty much it. It calms you down, but you also do a million other things, somehow. Some commentators have said it’s akin to taking acid.

#changetheconversation and #hitthestrip

Like many MLM companies, Elomir would have stayed under wraps if it wasn’t for the two hashtags on Instagram… Change the Conversation and Hit the Strip. As of this writing, there are not as many posts as they were at the height of it all. This past summer, especially around the 4th of July and beyond, pictures upon pictures were uploaded by the day of huns taking these yellow strips and placing them on their tongues. That’s not all, though. Since some huns didn’t get their products when Elomir started their pre-launch phase on July 5, they would turn to other items that fit the “yellow strip” bill, like a piece of Kraft’s Cheese, Listerine strips, Fruit Rollup, Post-It Notes (yes, they did that) and so on. And in true MLM fashion, it also includes health claims. I’ll leave you with links to the Elomir flair of the antiMLM subreddit and the Elomir Exposed subreddit that showcased this “phenomenon” and an Instagram post highlighting these claims

Elomir Zoom Calls

If you’ve been consuming anti-MLM content, you would know every MLM company has done at least 1000 Zoom calls over the course of their lifetime and Elomir is no exception. Going back to Behind MLM, the blogger followed up with a post reacting to a Zoom call from Van Nguyen where she tried to address regulatory concerns surrounding the production of Axis Klarity. Instead, she danced around it, put blame on production breakdown, defended her husband’s crypto investments, and even attacked critics and the anti-MLM movement for exposing the company.

Browsing the Website

Going back to the website, I clicked on Compensation Plan on the bottom of the page and I was taken to a PDF file. MLM companies publicize their compensation plans on their websites and they would have a least 4 different ways to earn (Elomir had 5) and usually, 1 or 2 are by sales only. That was the case with Elomir in which the first one was through retail. The other 4 are from sign-up bonuses, team bonuses, rank bonuses, and 3x bonuses… in other words, you have to have a team to earn more money.

The rank names are just lazy, to be honest… Icon, then Icons 1-12, and finally, Legend. You can earn a 15% commission on retail sales, but you can also earn a 5% commission off of your downline on multiple levels, earn a monthly team bonus, and get a rank bonus starting at Icon3 (you have to maintain it for at least 2 months), and they can triple your bonuses if you reach Icons 3-5 from the day you join until the end of that month.

Yeah, so very sketchy in my opinion. Also, it’s on par with other MLM compensation plans. I will post about it in the coming weeks.

The signup cost is US$49, but it can be waived if you sign up with a US$250 Enrollment Pak, which contains 3 boxes of Axis Klarity. At the beginning, it was the only way to enroll in Elomir.

Conclusion

Between the social media posts, crypto, the ties to LaCore, their product containing NAC, and the multiple zooms explaining the production problems away, Elomir had the hallmarks of an MLM/pyramid scheme. Imagine creating a company, promising to have the products ready at launch time, and when things go wrong, blame everything but from within. Several critics have pointed out that it was poorly planned. I believe that, and I also believe that the Nguyens created this company to mask Toan’s crypto scam. That part is just speculation, but it is something to think about.

Anti-MLM Mondays: MLMs and Marriage

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com
NEW: You can listen to this blog post here

We know that MLM companies love to target all kinds of women — mothers, students, military, etc. But what if they also target their spouses? What if an upline not only want her potential recruits to join but also her husband? In this week’s anti-MLM Monday series, we will talk about how MLM companies and their huns use marriage to deceive their spouses

Most of the embeds will be from Reddit

Hiding purchases behind “gifts”

First, I want to start off with a meme I found on Reddit

This is a Reddit post from March 10, 2021, titled “Stop hiding your MLM from your partner”.

Yes, the meme is hilarious, but there have been stories about MLM reps who hide the purchases they made from their spouses from them. Some of the companies would ask if they want to mark their purchases as ‘gifts’ if they share bank accounts with their spouses.

Another Reddit post that shows a Lularoe hun plotting to hide her purchase from her husband. This post was made on March 23, 2020. It’s titled “Reposted to show MLM reply — Haha, hiding purchases from your S.O. is so funny, hun”

In a relationship, one of the reasons why couples file for divorce is finances. Couples who have joint accounts will need to set boundaries on how the money is spent, how they are earned, and how they are saving their money for other things. This just tells me that the hun’s spending habits go far beyond this tactic. It tells me that she is bad at managing money. If you want to know about Lularoe’s gift/purchase tactic, I found a blog post that explains why this is bad

Retiring their spouses

One big reason why women join MLMs is to “retire” their spouses. To them, it means they earn so much money from their MLM side gigs that their husbands will no longer go to their 9-5 jobs or a first responder job that pays well and be stay-at-home dads in some cases. In reality, they want their husbands to quit their high-paying jobs so that they can join their wives’ downlines in hopes of hitting big.

A Reddit post from May 26, 2021, titled “Yeah, you’re not retiring your husband, sis”. An It Works hun had her husband become a Diamond with the company, which nets her an extra $2,000 a month with eligibility for a $10,000 bonus. Attached is 2019 It Works disclosure statement.

My problem with this is that the huns think they are absolutely sure that they will make enough money to pull their husbands out of the working world regardless of whether or not they actually love their jobs. This tactic is part of the financial freedom and time freedom categories because it involves a potential to make six- and seven-figures and therefore they pull out after working the 30 minutes a day that was promised. Most will not make enough to “retire” their spouses long term

Amway is supreme in recruiting couples

The company that is notorious for recruiting couples is Amway. Founded in 1959 by Richard DeVos and Jay Van Andel, their companies include Nutrilite and Artistry Skin Care and also run other sub-companies like World Wide Dream Builders and World Financial Group.

Being an MLM, they do have products, but you wouldn’t hear about them often. Amway is supreme when it comes to recruiting couples. The typical first interaction consists of an Amway rep at a store walking up to a couple to ask them about their financial situation. From there, they can give them a book from a fellow network marketer, and/or get their phone number to send them a Zoom link.

Amway reps might succeed in either recruiting both parties or only one of them, but even then, they will leverage the other party’s objections against their spouse and may tell them to dump them for being negative

A Reddit post from August 9, 2019, titled “A couple tried to recruit me to Amway while I was on the clock at the job I got to escape from Smart Circle”. A young guy started a new job and was approached by a young couple asking for his personal information followed by a pitch to join Amway

These are the general ways MLMs ruin marriages, but I want to add one more section on this. I probably won’t dive into it further, but if you remember what happened to Shanann Watts, there’s an MLM tie to this true crime case. More on Shannan Watts here

The Recovering Hunbot did multiple videos about the tragic death of Shanann Watts, but here’s her video about what we didn’t know about Shanann’s involvement with her company Thrive

In conclusion, addiction to working in multi-level marketing companies can break a relationship. This was all about marriage, but the same can be applied to any relationship

For more on how else they ruin marriages, check out this video from Erin on the Side of Caution

Anti-MLM Mondays: Hunbro Edition

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NEW: You can listen to this blog post here

Let me start out by saying this… I hate that I knew who Andrew Tate and Dominick Izzo are.

They are two guys in the MLM world that have gone viral in the past month for the worst reasons. One of them is a former reality show contestant, runs a course on how to be a network marketer, and is having issues with Romanian law, while the other is a former cop and calls himself “The Bull of MLM”. Now, I’m not sure how these two got really popular, but since I have to know about them thanks to YouTube recommendations, you have to know about them too.

Before I get started here, I have to do a trigger warning… there will be instances where I will briefly mention racism, sexism, and homophobia, so if you’re not up for it, I invite you to leave the page. It’s for your mental health.

I’ll start with Andrew Tate because he was the first one I saw go viral

  • Real name: Emory Andrew Tate III
  • Has a brother named Tristan
  • Competed in UK Big Brother Season 17
  • Was a kickboxer at one point
  • Owns Hustler’s University where he offers courses on how to be successful
  • Moved to Romania because it was easier for law purposes (aka easier to evade sexual charges)

Next is Dominick Izzo who just hates everyone but won’t say that out loud (he’ll say other things out loud tho)

  • Self-proclaimed Top Network Marketing Recruiter (Jessie Lee Ward also claims this)
  • Former Cop
  • Podcast Host
  • Martial Arts Expert
  • Is sexist, misogynistic, and likes to fat shame women (and the best part that he thinks all of that is a flex)

As you can see, they are upstanding citizens /s. Judging by what I have both heard and read about them, I think that both men (and those like them, both men and women) do that because they lack something. Have you felt like there is a piece that is missing and you just find a way to compensate for that? Both men are loud, boastful, and are really missing something in their lives that they think they can’t control, so they have to lash out. I’m sure a licensed psychologist will look deeper into that, but I think that’s one aspect of it.

Another reason why both men are problematic are that, again, they don’t really hide their disdain for women in general. Andrew thinks that women should make money, but also think the men in their lives should get a cut for the woman’s hard work, while Dominick thinks that women are terrible network marketers because they use emotions to lead (again, a general attack on women).

And this is the part where I have to say that I have to defend hunbots because while we know they lie and scam people out of their money via an unstable business practice, we have to understand that they themselves are not the problem. Every Anti-MLM creator has said over and over again that their issue with MLM companies is the business model and their insistence to recruit vulerable people and not the reps themselves that are already in it. That’s why whenever they react to an Instagram post, or a TikTok video, or even a Zoom call, they blur names, faces, and handles (unless they present themselves as public figures, then it’s fair game). Since both Andrew and Dominick are public figures, it’s pretty much fair game

Lastly, the way they respond to the content people made about them. I have noticed that Andrew likes to send his underlings to post praising comments on his behalf to various posts calling him out for being misogynistic (see Chelsea Suarez’s video and go to the comments section) and sometimes will respond by jumping on a podcast, while Dominick does that himself. Just the other night, I watched a video from Jessica Hickson and she talked about her and her husband teaching their 5-year-old son about the value of hard work. While it’s an innocent lesson, what followed is anything but. Here’s the video if you’re up for it, because holy hell.

In short, just like hunbots are terrible, so are the hunbros, especially if they are popular enough to where they will be shoved in all of our faces for a while. Let me know if you have heard about them before (I apologize in advance for introducing you to them), but I think I’m gonna leave these hunbros alone and won’t give them any more attention than they deserve.

Yes, I Have a YouTube Obsession: Watching ‘Boss Babes’ Boss Themselves and Those Around Them

via Getty Images / MarketWatch
NEW: You can listen to this blog post here

Originally posted on my Blogspot, but reposting it here for better viewing

For the past 2 1/2 years, I picked up a viewing habit during the pandemic. Now, I can only speak for myself, but I am just fascinated by the folks promoting multi-level marketing companies. Sure, it sounds like a great idea — your ‘bosses’ (uplines) and your ’employees’ (downlines) all sell the same things you sell and everyone gets paid out of that. Well, that’s what I thought at first, but it’s not as cut and dry as you think. It’s a business model where multiple levels of salespeople sell the same products directly to customers, and oftentimes, it involves recruiting people onboard to do the same thing.

I know you’re probably thinking “is it like a pyramid scheme”? Well, kinda. It has similarities to it, but the only difference is that MLM companies create a loophole to avoid the pyramid/Ponzi scheme label by having products. It’s how they also get away with the “pYrAmId ScHeMeS aRe IlLeGal” line every time you tell them you’re not interested in joining. And if you do end up joining, you won’t get far. In fact, according to the FTC, 99.x% of people either break even or lose money in these companies. The less than 1% who do will think the other 99.x% are lazy and it’s their fault that they quit.

The Case (for and) Against Multi-Level Marketing. Sorry it’s in PDF form

So why am I fascinated by boss babes bossing themselves and their peers around them? For starters, I needed entertainment, but in reality, they say the most outrageous things and think they did something, and somehow, again, speaking for myself, I get drawn into that. But as much as I am against these companies, I have to hand it to their reps. They have the confidence, the drive, and the stamina to get what they want. My crippling social anxiety ass could never. But they’re using that to scam people out of their hard-earned money. Sometimes, it could be the potential recruit’s last $100 the reps are after. It’s just funny and sad at the same time that these huns (what we actually call them) are entitled to other people’s money, and not only that, they love to tell people how to spend money AND to shame them for spending on things that is of value.

r/antimlm is a treasure trove. Literally my favorite subreddit

As mentioned earlier, my crippling social anxiety ass could never fare well. The top-rated huns in every MLM company (and sometimes their CEOs — a topic for another day) host zoom call after zoom call telling people to essentially spam their timelines and slide into other people’s DMs to the point of suspension just to promote your business —  which means you have to literally post multiple times daily and send hundreds of private messages to those who interacted AND then follow up to get maybe 1 or 2 to join your MLM company — and I simply cannot do any of that shit. In fact, none of us should be doing that because spamming is against TOS, and because people are aware of these things, the no’s will be flying off the shelves. You will get rejected faster than you can say CEO. How you’re expected to handle rejection is a topic for another day

In short, I can’t tell you what to do if you’re faced with a chance to join an MLM company because I know it can be enticing, but if I were you… I would look it up. I know they will tell you “no, don’t do it”, but please do it. Look it up on Google. Watch videos by Anti-MLM creators (I will link some of them below). Read blog posts by those who are raising awareness about these companies

Favorite anti-MLM commentators to check out:

Amber Ny (anti-MLM commentator and former Beachbody rep now doing live streams

Blanca’s Life (a military wife raising awareness especially to help other military wives steer clear of MLMs)

Briannah Jewel (a certified personal trainer, biology nerd, and a registered dietitian-to-be who does reactions to things like Beachbody workouts and shows us how to actually perform them)

Chelsea “CC” Suarez (the spicy queen who always tells us to stay spicy)

Deanna Mims (another military wife and a former Beachbody rep who is now exposing the company she was with for 2 years)

DeeCee aka sayhellotodeecee (an MLM dropout who does hours-long live streams ranging from Beachbody to Jessie Lee)

Echo Echo (an Australian teacher and an anti-MLM commentator)

Erin Bies (a wife, a mom, and military hun, and a 13-year former MLM rep from 6 different companies. Now exposes MLM companies like Elomir)

Eva Mateja (a Croatian-Irish anti-MLM commentator who mostly focuses on activewear MLMs)

Gracious Expectations (a teacher exposing MLM companies due to MLM reps targeting teachers)

Hannah Alonzo (anti-MLM commentator who also reacts to scams in general)

Heather Cee (a relatively new anti-MLM commentator who’s already making big waves in commentary)

iiluminaughtii (focuses on corporate wrongdoings but does weekly anti-MLM commentary)

Isabella Lanter (anti-MLM commentator who has branched out to other scams)

Jessica Hickson (a retired hunbot — a top 2%er if you will — who is rescuing other hunbots from MLMs)

Julie Jo (former Arbonne rep now doing anti-MLM commentary and focusing on other scams)

Kareenah Hurtado (an anti-MLM commentator who also does commentary in Spanish to educate the latin community on MLMs)

Kiki Chanel (known as the anti-MLM queen who has since gone on to general commentary, but has recently returned to anti-MLM commentary)

Lara Bee (former MLM rep who hates long intros, so I’ll just leave this here)

Mack Attack (an anti-MLM and self-help guru commentator that focuses on self-help gurus and their ties to MLMs)

Monica Hayworth (former MLM rep turned anti-MLM commentator who focuses on unethical businesses)

Noble Xenon (gives commentary on various subreddits including neckbeards, choosing beggars, that happened, nice guys and girls, and, yes, anti-MLM and has recently branched out to include crypto bros)

Respectfully Sarcastic (a former Amberlynn Reid reaction channel that has now branched out to anti-MLM commentary)

Savannah Marie (a former Limelife by Alcone rep who now does general anti-MLM commentary as well as deep dives and product testing)

Savy Writes Books (a book author with a small business and a morning podcast who also does anti-MLM and self-help guru commentary)

The Antibot (general anti-MLM commentary channel)

The Recovering Hunbot (a former Beachbody rep who now does general anti-MLM commentary, focusing on companies that don’t get a lot of attention)

Thanks for reading this post. Have you been in an MLM? Do you know someone who has? I would like to hear about it in the comments below. And check out my other posts as I’m getting the hang of blogging.

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