Firstly, I apologise for the delay in my writing schedule – the joys of having an invisible illness (fibromyalgia, if you must know). However, I am here and ready to share the next instalment of my MLM saga.
When I left you in Chapter 2, I was about to purchase my Younique Presenter Kit, using the referral link from the absolutely ecstatic Scarlett.
Chapter 3 – Enter the Charlat-huns
Before reading Chapter 3 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.
So, I went through the motions – typing in my details, electronically signing my life away…then came the purchasing of this kit. You know, the thing that Scarlett assured me would change my life?
So, the princely sum of £69 was committed via my bank card – not to mention £6.95 for the privilege of posting it to me. Scarlett assured me that this £75.95 was a worthy investment, and once again reminded me of how I’d “soon make that money back”.
“Okay, Scarlett – all confirmed and paid for.”
“Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeek!!! ❤ ❤ ” came the reply.
In the next moment, my Facebook went dotty with notifications.
Scarlett had created a little picture collage with a photo of Bethany and I (remember, Bethany was one of the other ladies who responded to Scarlett’s call to arms). A shedload of sparkles, glittery bling and hearts adorned the photo’s borders. Her excitement was clear to see in the accompanying caption.
EEEEEK!!! I’D LIKE TO WELCOME THESE TWO AMAZING WOMEN TO MY BUTTERFLY BABES TEAM – TRUST ME, THEY’RE GOING TO ROCK THEIR BUSINESS AND THEN SOME!!! ♥♥♥
In the next breath, I found myself being added into various group chats on Messenger.
First, I was added into “Scarlett’s Butterfly Babes Team Chat”, where the members consisted of Scarlett, Kerri, Bethany and a small group of other women I didn’t know.
“This is the group chat for our team, ladies,” announced Scarlett. “Girls, please welcome Bethany and Elle to the team! I am pleased to say WE ARE NOW A PINK TEAM!!!!!!!!!!”
I was subsequently greeted by a plethora of “hi huns”, “welcome to the team, huns” and “congrats on changing your life, babes.” Judging by their glossy, pouting profile pictures, the only thing we all appeared to have in common was the fact that we had Scarlett as a mutual friend, and that we were now apparently a “Pink Team”. However, being the polite person I am, I of course said a friendly “hi” back.
Before I’d even had a chance to take in this bunch of Butterfly Babes, I found myself added to yet another chat. This one was called “Camilla’s Flutterbye Diamond Ladies”.
Who on earth was Camilla?
Apparently, Camilla was Scarlett’s very own upline. The chat members were Camilla’s downlines and their downlines. I was duly informed that Camilla was a “Exemplary Blue Status Presenter” and had a whole tonne of knowledge and experience to share with “her girls”.
As I was digesting this new information, I was rapidly added to a third chat – “Tania’s Butterfly Boutique Boss Babes”. As it goes, Tania was Camilla’s upline and a “Green Status Elite Presenter” which, from Scarlett’s point of view, roughly translated to “Imperial Y-Sister Overlord”. This chat was full of Tania’s downlines, their downlines…and their downlines’ downlines.
All this meant absolutely nothing to me – so, it likely means nothing to you either, dear reader. Therefore, I have created a handy organisational chart which should hopefully clear any confusion up:
In this maelstrom, I made a mental note to myself to later find out what all these colours and titles meant.
Before I knew it, my phone began to ping and beep with multiple notifications from these assorted group chats. At this point, I was very much in gratitude for Messenger’s “Mute Chat” option, because that is exactly what I had to do for all three of them.
“Whoah, this is a bit of information overload!” I said to Scarlett in a private message.
“I know babe, but there’s soooooo much knowledge and information here to prepare you before your kit arrives. You are so lucky to be connected with all these women, they really know their stuff!!!!!!!!! ♥♥♥♥”
“Well, I’ve had to mute the notifications for now, Scarlett. My phone literally won’t shut up.”
“Get used to it, babe – your phone is going to be off the hook, so exciting!!!!!! I’ll add you to the training groups, there’s plenty of files to have a read of. We also do daily and weekly tasks, its so much fun!!!!!! 😊”
As I contemplated what these tasks could possibly entail, I had a new wave of Facebook notifications hit my phone – the friend requests. Practically every single Y-sister in these three chats were adding me, all with “CEO of my life” (or something like it) in their bio, declaring their status as a Independent Younique Presenter. I was even graced with a request from our blue lady Camilla and Tania the Imperial Overlord herself. What an honour it was indeed.
As I went through the list accepting all these requests, Scarlett was true to her word.
She added me to “Scarlett’s Butterfly Babes Training Group”.
Camilla then added me to “Camilla’s Flutterbye Diamonds Training Group”.
Tania polished it off by added me to “Tania’s Elite Butterfly Boutique Training & Support Group”.
I dearly hoped there wouldn’t be any more groups.
Seriously, I thought. Why are there so many damn groups, and where did all these people come from?
As with the chats, I turned off group notifications…otherwise, I think my phone would have likely spontaneously combusted at this point.
Scarlett assured me that we were like one huge family of Y-sisters. The groups were there to share knowledge, take part in challenges and tasks…and be a virtual reality sisterhood, of course.
“These ladies truly uplift, empower and validate each other,” she gushed. “We all support each other, because we want each other to succeed. That’s why I love, love, LOVE this company. Women are usually so bitchy to each other, but there’s none of that here. Absolutely none at all!!! ♥♥♥ ”
Well, this all sounded very optimistic. I couldn’t wait for this life-changing parcel to arrive.
Thus, the wait began for the arrival. Scarlett tagged me daily in various posts in Tania’s Training & Support Group, calling it “bedtime reading” whilst I waited for my parcel. This reading consisted of assorted PDFs on getting started with your business, the Younique compensation plan and setting up a “PayQuicker account” in order to receive your wages.
From what I could surmise at this very early stage;
- I would start off as an Entry White Status Presenter, receiving 20% commission on orders.
- I wasn’t part of Scarlett’s “team” as such, and nor were the other girls – the money I made went to me, and me only [Elle’s note: or so I thought at the time, until I saw the bigger picture!]
- PayQuicker was of a very similar concept to PayPal.
- A lot of the girls did online parties, home parties, event stalls or had special “VIP groups” to get sales.
Obviously, I surmised a LOT more as time progressed – but these are of course the first observations. There will of course be more as my tale progresses.
In the meantime though, it didn’t rain but it poured.
As mentioned at the start of this blog, I suffer from fibromyalgia and experienced a crushing flare-up. James was working long hours as a chef, and we had barely seen each other in the past fortnight alone. College had become manic and I was falling behind on my coursework. In a nutshell, I felt like a stressed little kettle going over the boil.
Scarlett’s assigned “bedtime reading” was put to one side in favour of text books and project planning.
So, when the glorious life-changing parcel eventually arrived, I didn’t do anything with it for at least a month. I didn’t even open it. I especially didn’t announce to my new clan of Y-sisters that it had arrived.
Why, I hear you ask? Well, because although I was suckered in Hook, Line and S(t)inker, I wasn’t completely naïve. I knew my health came first, and my education was also extremely important to me. So, during that month I sought extensions on my assignments, took stock and allowed my aching body to rest.
Of course…once I felt rested, it was finally time to respond to Scarlett’s “has it arrived yet” pestering, open that magical box and receive my life-changing investment, rainbows and a talking unicorn.
And that is where I will draw Chapter 3 to a close.
Continue to Chapter 4.
If you have enjoyed my story and anti-MLM mission thus far, please consider becoming my Patron. Any and all support is very much appreciated.
I would also like to add that I am now on Twitter – please give @ElleBeauBlog a follow.
Please, also check out the good work of the people at Timeless Vie and Bot Watch. 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.