Hello again – my tale is drawing into the final chapters, so its time for me to press on and push through my illness flare-ups. In Chapter 12.5, we discovered what it meant when a hun’s “back office is on fire”, how I was turning into Naggy McNaggerton, and how Scarlett’s foundation was all but crumbling.
This takes us to…
Chapter 13 – I’m Just a Poor Hun, Nobody Loves Me…
Before reading Chapter 13 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 and identifying features have been changed to protect the individuals concerned.
With Scarlett on a bad attitude trip, the huns were feeling somewhat lost in the wilderness. Harriet’s determination had taken a nosedive, but Kerri and I were not to be deterred – we still wanted to rock our businesses! (ugh)
I continued my daily pester of poor Salima – after all, Tania had told us to leap upon any sniff of interest. To this day, I am still surprised that Salima didn’t block me!
Believe it or not, my persistence paid off.
“Sorry for not getting back to you, I have been busy at work,” said Salima.
“No problem! 🙂 ” I replied. “I just don’t want you to miss out on the amaaaazing Cloud Nine Collection before it goes! ❤ “
“Very well,” she said. “Well, my colleague said she is going to chip in with buying the Cloud Nine Collection with me, but she also wants to buy a pressed and cream powder for herself.”
In honesty, I was very taken aback – I thought this was going to be a difficult sale. A wave of relief washed over me.
“So, how do I place the order, Elle?”
Now usually, you would direct a customer to your website and get them to place the order themselves. However, in one of Tania’s many training posts, she advised us to make “bulk orders” through a party link (explained in Chapter 7) and get everything sent to our home addresses. This would then alleviate Younique’s ridiculous £6.95 postage cost, and also be helpful when you want a little something for yourself. You would then package up their orders and post to customers using either good old Royal Mail or an alternative courier such as myHermes.
I explained this bulk order business loosely to Salima, which she was fine with. In respect of getting her order money to me, many of us used PayPal transactions. Fortunately, Salima had PayPal and was happy to do so. It felt safer, as opposed to bank transfers. I have seen many people get shafted that way!
Now I had a big order to put through, it meant spamming my friends-list with little gems such as these:
My luck must have been in, as I managed to actually pick up an additional order for famous mascara and the Moodstruck Precision Pencil Eyeliner from Brenda, a member of my Facebook VIP Group. Brenda assured me she would send over the PayPal money later that day. I felt ecstatic – could it be, that business was beginning to boom?
Naturally, I had to inform the Butterflies.
“EEEEKKKK, you’re on fire, hun! ❤ ” exclaimed Kerri.
“I wish I could get an order in, I think I’ll be going inactive soon 😥 ” said Harriet.
Scarlett did not respond.
“Have you placed the order yet?” asked Kerri.
“Not yet,” I said. “I want to make sure everyone has paid me first, so I am not out of pocket.”
“How much are you waiting for?”
“£35, for a mascara and eye pencil.”
“Is that all?? Can’t you just cover that yourself, I’m sure the customer will pay you. “
Kerri may have been happy blindly throwing money everywhere, but I wasn’t. Let’s be honest; I wasn’t making the fabulous amounts of money my profile alluded to. I ignored the question, and instead changed the subject to see how things were going with her.
“Going good so far, Elle, 🙂 ” she said . “I’m pushing hard on Tania’s Younique France challenge!”
Kerri wasn’t joking. She had written a promotional post about the business opportunity, and had it translated into French by a professional translator (all charged for, of course). Then, she had set up a paid Facebook advert, to ensure the post was promoted to be seen by women living in France who loved makeup(!)
She had also joined French Buy and Sell groups on Facebook, using her translated post to promote Younique and encourage people to join her team.
“I’ve had one person message me so far, but we’re having a hard time understanding each other – I’m determined to get them to sign up, though! 😀 “
That just seemed far too much hassle to me, hence why I hadn’t made the effort for Tania’s latest challenge.
Brenda still hadn’t paid me for her eyeliner, may I hasten to add.
I decided to give Imogen and Una another chase (my potential recruit prospects from previous chapters!). No surprises, Imogen was still “waiting to get paid” and Una was still a “maybe, but not right now.”
That familiar feeling of resentment and irritation was back. Their lack of an answer really peed me off, and I felt angry that their indecision was holding me back from progression in my business. Yes, MLMs have the ability to make you view your friends as cash cows.
In the meantime, I was intrigued to see that Scarlett had posted a vlog on her profile. I pressed play, and watched her video unfold.
Looking immaculate at always, Scarlett smiled into the camera. With a flick of her hair, she announced that she would be doing regular vlogs about makeup. She’d even got fancy animations and text across the screen to boot!
Her first video would be an informative one, where she was investigating the amount of oil present in foundations. Holding up four bottles, she declared that she had conducted oil tests on popular foundations by Estée Lauder, MAC, Maybelline and of course, Younique.
Well, its obvious that Younique will come out on top, I thought to myself. Maybe this was why Scarlett had been so quiet – she was working on a new way to promote her business!
“I’m sure you will agree, the results speak for themselves,” declared Scarlett.
She held up a pieces of oil-blotting sheets. Each had a dot of foundation in the middle, with the name of the brand written in pen underneath. For an idea of what this paper test looks like, take a look at the below example.
I was waiting for Scarlett to crow about how oily the others were in comparison to Younique, the same way she had talked about how how amaaaaazing Younique was in Chapter 1.
“Take a look at this – no wonder it feels so greasy on application!”
She held up the offending sample, with a sneer on her perfectly lacquered lips.
Well knock me down with a feather – the offending sample was none other than Younique.
Scarlett went on to sing the praises of MAC’s foundation, saying how she “swears by it” and “would never use anything else“.
Well, that left me exceedingly confused. In our team talks, Scarlett always urged us to love the products and talk about how they were the best thing ever…yet, here she was slating one of Younique’s top-selling products. What was going on?
“OMG, have you seen it? 😮 ” Kerri’s private message popped up, right on schedule.
“Scarlett’s vlog? Yeah, I have, ” I replied. “I have absolutely no idea what’s going on with her.”
“Me neither! I mean, has she given up on her business? She’s meant to be our mentor! 😮 “
“Let’s ask her in the group chat.”
Scarlett was indifferent to our queries.
“I’m just telling the truth, girls,” she said. “I told you that I hate 90% of the products, so I’m not going to lie.”
Last time she said that, it was 80%.
“But, you told us to love the products! ” said Kerri.
“I was trying to help you build your businesses, babes. You need to think for yourselves now. ❤ “
“But, don’t you care about your business anymore? 😦 ” Kerri continued.
“Look, girls, I need a bit of a break. Just give me some space. 😡 “
And with that, Scarlett left the Butterfly Babes chat.
All in front of Savannah and Mia (our newest recruits) too.
“What do we do now?” piped up Harriet. “I’ll definitely go inactive at this rate! 😥 “
“We carry on!” said Kerri. “We still have businesses to rock, and that’s what we’ll do. Camilla is still out of action, so we’ll get our support from Tania for now.”
I went to directly message Scarlett, but she had either blocked us or deactivated her Facebook. Strange.
Oh, and I had just realised something – Brenda still hadn’t paid me for her eyeliner.
Well, that was another cause of annoyance. I had two potential recruits who couldn’t make their minds up, a customer that hadn’t arranged payment for her order, and now my upline declared she hated 90% of the products and had gone AWOL. What a mess.
News travels fast in the MLM world. Tania had obviously seen Scarlett’s vlog, and messaged both Kerri and I separately to see if we knew anything about what had happened.
“I had absolutely no idea she was going to do this, ” I said. “We don’t exactly talk about personal stuff with each other.”
“Hmm, I had an inkling this might happen, ” said Tania. “She had been even more argumentative and negative lately. I tried to refer her for some mindset coaching with top UK Law of Attraction coach Lola Affirmation, but she wasn’t having it. I didn’t realise she’d turn on the business or her teammates like this. 😦 “
“Maybe she’s just having a tough time? ” I ventured.
“I don’t think so,” said Tania. “Between you and I – I think Scarlett is a nasty little piece of work. She was only ever out for herself, she never cared about uplifting and empowering the rest of the girls. Pink Status or not, I don’t think she’ll last in a company like this with such a negative mindset. ❤ ❤ “
“That reminds me, Elle – you are very close to getting Yellow Status and hitting your first promotion! 😮 How are the orders looking?”
I told her about Salima’s order, and Brenda with her mascara and eye pencil. I also mentioned how I was going to buy the Powder Puff Brush for myself, and see if I had anything else to use with my Y-cash.
“Well, you better get that order put in, Elle – the month is nearly over! Chase, chase, chase!”
Off I went, to hunt down Brenda and her £35.00. She was very apologetic.
“Sorry I haven’t sorted it yet, hun. Think my PayPal is broke!”
“What do you mean, broke?”
“Hard to explain, hun. Just can’t get it working, lol. “
“Okay…do you still actually want the order, then?”
“Yes, hun, I do!”
“Okay, well I can’t place the order until I have everyone’s money, you see. 😦 “
Again, I found frustration and an overwhelming sense of impatience at poor Brenda. Inwardly cursing her, I asked whether bank transfer would be easier. Yes, I wasn’t keen on that method, but I was determined to get this order.
“Won’t be able to get to the bank until later, hun,” came the response.
“Don’t you have online banking?”
“I do hun, but I think its broke.”
Of course it is.
“I’ll PM you later when I’ve gone to bank, hun.”
I was extremely peed off, but I obviously could not let a potential customer know that. However, the temptation to reach through my screen and throttle Brenda was very real.
A huge part of me thought that Brenda was going to avoid paying for her order, but in fairness to her (albeit 5 hours later) she got herself to the bank and transferred me her cash. I was now ready to place my order!
So, off I went to my website (ensuring I used a bloody party link), placing the order for Salima, Brenda and a couple of things for myself using the Y-cash and half-price items I had stored up. I got myself the Touch Glorious Face Primer and Powder Puff Brush.
That was my cue to post a gleeful status, thanking my customers for their orders and hoping that they “enjoy their gorgeous new makeup“.
Tania must have been watching her back office 24/7 – as soon as the ‘thank you’ image was posted, my Imperial Elite Green Overlord was proclaiming her joy to my inbox.
“EEEEKKKKKK! Congratulations, hun, you’re now Yellow Status!! 😮 😮 ❤ ❤ “
Yes, I had sold enough to officially move up in the rankings. Finally!
Tania even decided to declare this wonderful news on her own profile. She had quickly conjured up a collage featuring my face, lots of yellow items and plenty of emojis. It was a little something like this:
As I remember, the picture’s caption also went a little something like this:
“EEEEEKKKK, OHHHH MYYYYY GAAAAHHHHD!!! 😮 ❤ ❤ 😮 Exciting news! She’s only gone and done it!!! 😮 Our Elle has worked her socks off, rocked her business and smashed all of her targets!!! ❤ ❤ That’s right, one of my Butterfly Boutique Boss Babes has hit her promotion to Yellow Status!! Enjoy your payrise, babe – you’ve earned it!!! 😮 😮 ❤ ❤ “
That’s right – I was now Yellow Status. I would earn 25% commission on all orders now, just like Kerri. Oh, if you’re interested, ‘what it means to be Yellow’ is summed up very well in a hun PowerPoint training file:
Note the hun’s emphasis on WHY RECRUITING IS SO IMPORTANT. Need I say more?
With the news of my promotion fresh in the newsfeed, Harriet popped up with more self-effacing words of misery.
“I can’t believe this, 😥 ” she typed. “Elle started doing this after me, yet she’s hit her Yellow promotion already and I’m still White Status. I’m so shit at this, I might as well give up. 😦 “
“Don’t say that,” I said. “I was just lucky today, I wasn’t expecting two people to want to place orders.”
“No, I’m just not good at this, 😦 ” she lamented. “No one is interested in my makeup photos, no one wants to interact on my posts, I’ve made no sales at all except stuff I’ve bought for myself. I’m so crap. 😥 “
“That’s not true! 🙂 ” offered Kerri. “Everyone is rocking their businesses at their own pace – you just haven’t got there yet. 🙂 “
There wasn’t much reasoning with Harriet. She was adamant that it was all her fault, and was gutted that she couldn’t afford to book some mindset coaching with top Law of Attraction coach, Lola Affirmation.
In fairness, there wasn’t much else we could say to that.
There was some exciting news though – Camilla was back on the scene after her time out. She added all of us Butterfly Babes into her own group chat, promising us she would “offer support and help us reach our goals” now that Scarlett had gone rogue.
A few days later, my customer orders arrived, so naturally I posted a photo of the new arrivals. May I add, that it was bolstered up with empty product boxes (remember the advice I received in Chapter 8?) to make it look like one massive order. Fake it til you make it, remember?
I then had to sort out Salima and Brenda’s orders so I could arrange posting it to them. There’s a thought – I hadn’t accounted on who would pay for the postage to their homes. Drat – according to my spreadsheet, that would be annoying additional business costs when taking into account the paltry commission received.
I messaged Brenda first, apologising and saying that I was very sorry but I forgot to add postage costs to her order. Brenda was not impressed.
“Come off it, Elle – I just spent £35 with you, I’ll be damned if I’m paying bloody postage on top of that! 😡 “
Considering Salima and her friend had spent well over £113, I didn’t dare broach the issue with them.
I quickly flitted to the new Butterfly chat to seek their advice.
“Ohhh babe, you don’t want to piss off your customer, ❤ ” said one of Camilla’s girls.
“You’ll have to take the postage out of your commission and remember it for next time, babe, ” offered Camilla. “Or, get the customer to order directly from your website in future.”
“It was a bulk order, though,” I said. “I was trying to save on that bloody £6.95 and order some bits for myself.”
“I see, hun,” Camilla replied. “Well, just remember it for next time. Just use Hermes, they are quite cheap I think. If your customer is upset, offer them 10% off their next order. ❤ “
So I found myself apologising profusely to Brenda, offering my 10% goodwill gesture in an attempt to appease her for my gross error. She seemed quite accepting, but I was not overly thrilled about having to take the cost of postage out of my earnings. Silly Elle, yet another “business” expense on the spreadsheet.
Of course, Salima was none-the-wiser about this postage issue, and would be receiving her items once I had arranged posting them.
As you will remember, I ordered the Powder Puff Brush and primer for myself (and in Chapter 7, I ordered the liquid concealer). That meant I could now team these products up with the Touch Liquid Foundation that I bought from Scarlett. I could finally see how amazing the foundation was, after all this time! [Elle’s note: I think the huns refer to them as The Flawless Four!]
I took some “before” photos and applied the primer to my cleansed skin. It felt somewhat heavy, and not “glorious” as the label made out. Then, armed with the Powder Puff Brush, I applied 4-5 drops of the Touch Liquid Foundation (as the huns do in the videos) and applied it to my face.
I just have to say, the Powder Puff Brush is one of the worst makeup brushes I have ever used. Yes it felt all soft and silky when it came out of the package, but once I started applying the foundation I ended up getting peppered in nasty little black hairs. I am not sure whether I just had a duff brush or not, but its definitely not worth the price tag.
What about the foundation itself? Well, it was alright, but nothing to shriek about. I was expecting to be amazed at the results, but I found that the only way to get half-decent coverage was to team it with the Concealer. Otherwise, it just looks like any old regular, average foundation. I was significantly underwhelmed, and confused as to why all these other women were going so crazy about it and claiming it covered tattoos! Well, it can cover tattoos, but only if you slap enough layers on with a trowel.
I took some “after” photos, attempting to look enthusiastic and amazed. It looked somewhat painful. I seriously couldn’t share those, could I?
My musings were interuppted by Kerri popping up in my inbox.
“Elle, have you seen this!!! 😮 “
Turns out that Scarlett was back online, and she had posted a new vlog. Kerri had kindly posted the link in her message, so naturally I clicked on it.
There our rogue upline was, looking as perfectly groomed as ever, glowering into the camera. She held up a piece of paper, the words “YOUNIQUE IS SHIT” daubed in black marker. She seemed to have forgotten her fancy animation skills for this one.
“I think its time I set the record straight about this crappy company, and my idiotic excuses for uplines,” she began.
I’ll indulge you with Scarlett’s vlog rant over in Chapter 14.
Stay tuned, and don’t forget to join the MLM fight on social media – if you’re on Twitter, please give @ElleBeauBlog a follow (and help me get the #Poonique hashtag trending again!). Alternatively, join in the discussion with Elle Beau, the Anti-Blogger on Facebook. I am also on Instagram now – look for @ellebeaublog!
Please, also check out the good work of the people of Bot Watch, Juice Plus/MLM Lies Exposed and 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 . In fact, I now have a Recommended Reading page for Anti-MLM writers and interesting lifestyle bloggers I think you will enjoy, such as Chammy in Real Life.
For something a little different to pyramid schemes, I would also recommend a look at what Bad Psychics are up to. Award-winning and seen-on-TV, they have worked to expose false claims made by psychics, mediums and the paranormal since 2003.