When I closed off Chapter 1, I was about to message Scarlett, having been impressed by the “My Business Journey” video I’d just watched. I was curious.
Maybe it was the mention of the iPad (even though I detest Apple products), or maybe it was the confident and self-assured air she delivered her speech with. Or, if I’m really honest, maybe it was the prospect of earning a nice bit of extra income. I don’t know, but like I said, I was curious.
This takes us to…
Chapter 2 – Hook, Line and Stinker
Before reading Chapter 2 of my experience with MLMs (namely Younique), please remind yourself of my mission statement here. In a nutshell, all views presented in this blog are mine, and mine only. Your own personal experiences with MLM companies may differ, negatively or positively. All names have been changed to protect the individuals concerned.
I am of course paraphrasing the conversation below for the benefit of writing a cohesive blog, but it went a little something like this.
“Hey, Scarlett,” I typed.
“Hello babe ❤ 😊 ” came the response.
[Elle’s note: I despise being called babe, hun, sweetie…and little did I know, I was going to have to deal with a whole barrage of that talk in the coming months!]
“Your video was cool. What is it you’re doing for a living then, is it selling makeup?”
“Yes I am, babe. 😊 I am a presenter for a fresh, new company called Younique. ❤ ”
“Presenter? Oh, you mean like Avon?”
“Better than Avon, babe. Proper high-end products. This stuff rivals MAC – its already taken America by storm, its going to be HUUUUUUUUUUUUGE over here!!!!!!”
“Sounds cool. So, what’s this Butterfly Babes I see you’re the CEO of?”
“That’s what I do, babe. I present and sell Younique products, and I get the commission from the sales. ❤ ”
“So, you don’t work for Younique then?”
“Nooooooooo, I work for myself. My business is Butterfly Babes, babe. I’m CEO of my life 😊”
I paused for thought, somewhat confused by this exchange. As previously mentioned, I was still relatively naïve when it came to MLMs. However, it somewhat made sense – I presumed she was like a shopkeeper; buying in her stock at cost and selling it on for the RRP [hah!].
Believe it or not, I am the type of person who has to research everything before I commit. Scarlett had always been a no-bullshit type of person in our school days, despite she said she lacked confidence in her “My Business Journey” video. So, if she was now running her own business, it had to be a good thing, surely?
“Do you think I could do what you’re doing?” I asked. “I mean, I’m not exactly a Barbie doll, am I?”
“Of course you could, babe. ❤ 😊 With you as my teamie, I think you’d be amaaazing!”
“Oh, teammate? Would we work together then?”
“I’d be your upline, babe. I’d be responsible for training you, providing you support and anything else you need. Your business would be yours, though.”
I was still somewhat confused. After a little more chitchat, I told Scarlett I’d talk to her later, and signed off. I had college work to do, after all.
As my week dragged on, I was still reminded of Scarlett’s Butterfly Babes business every time I logged onto Facebook. Eventually, after the forty-seventh reminder, I decided to have a look around on Google and do some research on this “Younique” company. I tried various different search terms;
What is Younique?
Is Younique a scam?
Is Younique a pyramid scheme?
Is Younique a good thing?
Is Younique worth it?
If you typed those search terms into Google now, I’d bet that you’d receive a whole wealth of information (namely, information that would be a huge red flag to anyone considering getting embroiled in this).
However, as this was late 2015, my search results really didn’t yield much. Younique still hadn’t quite reached the dizzying proportions it has now, believe it or not.
The company website itself seemed to deliver a warm, friendly message (albeit, missing a few commas!). From first glance, I couldn’t see anything sinister or untoward.
“…Younique’s mission is to uplift, empower, validate, and ultimately build self-esteem in women around the world through high-quality products that encourage both inner and outer beauty and spiritual enlightenment while also providing opportunities for personal growth and financial reward…”
In regards to other websites, information was few and far between. There were a few discussion threads on Mumsnet, a couple of articles about “working from home” companies…one briefly speculating about pyramid-schemes-in-disguise, but nothing to cause me any concern. No tell-all blogs (like this one 😉) to ward unsuspecting souls like me away from Younique’s treacherous shores.
At what point was the hook, line and s(t)inker, you ask?
Well, Scarlett posted this:
“I have THREE spaces opening up on my team!!!!!!! ❤❤❤❤ ” proclaimed her caption. “Want to change your life for the better with an amazing business opportunity? WATCH ME, MOCK ME, BLOCK ME OR JOIN ME!”
One girl named Bethany had already commented saying that she was interested!
Goodness me – I don’t know what came over myself, but it was like a call to attention. I wanted a space on Scarlett’s team, I wanted to be a part of this exciting business opportunity! I didn’t want anyone to take that space before I could!
With fingers moving faster than my brain, I scrabbled to message Scarlett.
“Hey, I’ve thought about it, and I’d like to take one of the available spaces to be on your team.”
“Ohhhhh, that’s AMAZING babe!!!!!” came the response. “You’ll ROCK this! ❤”
“Cool, tell me what I need to do.”
“Before I go ahead, you do know there’s a joining fee, right babe? 😊”
My research hadn’t mentioned that. I suppose I should have expected it really, silly me.
“Yes, its £69 plus P&P, babe. But you’ll DEFINITELY make your money back in your first month, easy peasy. 😊”
“Its totally worth it, babe – you get like £150 worth of makeup for that money. You can’t expect them to give away expensive makeup for free, can you? Imagine how many people would sign up then, LOL! 😊 This is for dedicated people only.”
“I suppose that makes sense,” I replied.
“You’ll also get your own business website, and 24/7 access to training tools. AND you’ll be a White Status Presenter, which means you’ll start off getting 20% commission on every sale – that’s EVEN BETTER than what Avon give their reps. In fact, I’ll go as far to say its even better than ANY other company, babe! 😊”
Well, the starter kit fee left me wavering, but admittedly, the rest of her spiel did sound pretty good. I trusted Scarlett – I’d known her for a fair few years, I’d seen her through the ups and downs of high school, relationship breakups and pregnancies. Why wouldn’t I trust her?
“This is sooooo exciting,” she continued. “I’m gonna be SO glad to have you on my team, babe. 😊 This company is like an AMAZING sisterhood, and it’s going places!!”
“I’m not sure,” I replied. “It all sounds good, but £69 is a lot of money to risk.”
“I hear you, babe. But look at me, I took a risk and I made that money back in my first week. Now, my business is booming and I’m not worrying about my bills or treats for the kids. I’ve worked my butt off and I’ve been promoted to a Pink Status Presenter!! 😊 Really, what do you have to lose? Even if you don’t make a go of it, you’ve still got £150 worth of high-end makeup for £69, right???????”
She then sends me this:
“Look at all the routes you can go down with your £69 investment – because that’s what it is, babe, an investment towards taking control of your life! Plus, you’ll have me as your mentor! 😊 So, whatever you decide to do, I’ll help you rock this business. What do you have to lose, babe?”
Well, I did have some spare money put aside- money I’d actually intended to go towards my college books, or a rainy day. I figured it would be okay, as I hadn’t treated myself in a while. Besides, Scarlett assured me I’d make that joining fee back with my first few orders. I was sure I could rustle up some interest, and maybe be as successful as Scarlett. Who knew where this could take me?
[Note: I am actually cringing as I write this, knowing that I reasoned with myself in that very way!]
“Okay, I’ll go for it,” I said, with a slight twinge of hesitation. “Where do I need to sign up?”
Scarlett typed a long “EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEKKKKKKKK!!!” and pasted a copy of her sign-up link.
“This is so exciting!!!! You won’t regret this, babe ”
Well, another day, another chapter down – I must say, it’s quite cathartic getting all this put to word.
Continue on to Chapter 3.
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Please, also check out the good work of the people at Timeless Vie. They work tirelessly to expose the truth and lies of the MLM industry, so anyone considering this line of work can make a fair, informed decision .