If you have a Facebook profile, chances are you’ll be a member of a Facebook group. With the rise of MLM’s presence over social media over the past few years, it makes (unfortunate) sense for presenters/reps to utilise these groups for their own agenda.
This article will discuss subtle (and not-so-subtle) MLM selling in Facebook groups, Timeless Vie‘s MLM-Free Network campaign, and how group admins and their fed-up members are starting to push back.
For this first parter, I will look at vague “job” posts, parent-shaming and disgruntled responses to these posts. In the second part (coming soon) I will hear from the admins and their stance on MLM selling in their groups.
Before I discuss MLM-peddling in Facebook groups, it is essential for me to mention the campaign Timeless Vie has put into place. They have partnered with various businesses and community groups (such as the Talented Ladies Club and Women at Work UK to name a few) to become MLM-free zones. This means:
- They do not allow MLM reps to stealth-recruit or sell on their premises/groups.
- They do not sell MLM products.
- They do not use their social media influence to promote MLM in any way.
Therefore, if you see the Timeless Vie seal of approval, you know you’re in a MLM-free zone! Read more about their partners and how to join their network here.
With this in mind, I will now discuss one of the many reasons Timeless Vie put this campaign into place.
The possibilities for Facebook groups are endless. They can contain thousands of members, or just a small handful. From public to secret privacy, anything goes. You may be a member of a fandom who likes to discuss plots and character castings. Or, you may be living with a disability or illness and be part of a support network, like this example:
Or, you may have found yourself a place for discussions on current topics 😉 :
Notably though, many groups exist for business networking or buying and selling items, bypassing the tedium of auction sites:
Chances are, there is a Buy & Sell group in your local area. Most of the time, people are posting their adverts in an attempt to sell their second-hand sofa or iPad, but occasionally you’ll see posts for job opportunities.
Its not unusual, after all – when hunting for jobs, we instinctively tend to look online (before resorting to printing out CVs and marching around the local shopping centre). We can also unwittingly spend a lot of time on Facebook, so it makes sense for some employers to utilise social media when a position is open.
Therefore, I am certain that you have seen posts like these pop up on your newsfeed more than once or twice:
Or, we delve into the vaguebooking territory of a post that is made to look to a genuine job advert, but probably isn’t…
Note how the position, company, hours and pay isn’t mentioned. These are times of economic uncertainty, so despite this lack of information, these posts get swarmed with desperate “PM me pls” or “I’m interested” responses.
What could this “staff wanted” be for? Let’s check for clues…
Still no straight answer. Why is there such an aura of mystery, hun?
However, there is hope:
Ah yes, some savvy member of this Buy & Sell group has checked the original poster’s profile, to find that she is an Oriflame rep. It surprises me the amount of people that don’t do this – usually, all will be revealed by checking their profiles first!
And there you have it – that’s all the info you need to know when deciding if a “staff wanted” posting is legit. Check their profile – if you see any sniff of MLM or #bossbabe nonsense on said profile, then it wouldn’t take Sherlock Holmes to tell you that they’re “recruiting” for
schmucks hard-working people to join their downline.
You see, “recruitment” posts in Buy & Sell groups have become a key part of MLM “training” from unscrupulous uplines.
Don’t believe me? Take a look at this information from various upline training packs dug up by the Juice Plus / MLM Lies Exposed members (click to enlarge):
Note the screenshot that says…
“…You cannot sell directly via selling sites but you can promote the recruitment side…”
I’ll assume these people didn’t get the memo.
Those adverts aren’t even remotely tempting, by the way.
Can you imagine a selling group swarming with MLM reps trying to peddle their wares? 😮 Unfortunately for us, they try to “recruit” as a workaround instead.
Now, in the example further above, the Oriflame rep was extremely secretive in her minimalist “Staff Wanted” nonsense. However, what about the ones that offer a bit more detail?
Do any of these look familiar to you? Be prepared – there’s a lot.
There’s the silly photos with constant buzzwords, such as “Staff Needed“, “All You Need is WiFi…”, “Full and Part Time“, “Work From Home“, “Immediate Start” and “Full Training Provided!” That’s enough to make any desperate job-seeker leap to attention, isn’t it?
Then, you have the cleverly-worded ones. They sometimes try to catch your eye with certain images (such as an iPhone), and again use those irksome buzzwords – “part time Christmas positions going“, “earn some extra cash for Christmas!” and so on.
Oh yes – now winter is fast approaching, all you’ll hear about is “Christmas work” which is basically a MLM recruitment tactic in disguise (click to enlarge).
People will unfortunately fall for it. Christmas can be an expensive time of the year, especially for those who are worried about spoiling their families. I can only imagine the guilt one can feel when faced with a kid who is pestering for the latest Christmas fad. Remember Furbies? I still feel guilty about pestering my parents for one back in the late 90s – it was rubbish! 😦
Here’s another couple of recruitment posts in sheep’s clothing.
staff mugs“, “be your own boss“, “take holidays when you want” – all pretty crap statements, if you ask me – especially so, when you know the reality is a completely different kettle of fish.
Let’s not forget, it isn’t just the stay-at-home-mothers they want to target – college and university students don’t get off so lightly!
Oh, and of course, there’s the subtle dissing of anyone who works a 9-5 (as usual). A MLM recruitment post isn’t complete without it!
Some MLMers aren’t so subtle with their “recruitment” drive, though. I suppose, I have to give this hun props for saying she is recruiting
schmucks for Arbonne. For just £200 you could have unlimited potential – sign me up! This LipSense hun even went as far as to post a sponsored advert – its CHANGED her life!
Some reps go into even more detail. Like this hun – she clearly states that she is recruiting for Younique, that it will cost £69 of your hard-earned cash to join this “credible” company, but don’t worry – you’ll make the rules!
Oh, but not if you’re precisely 18. Or 71 or over. Or male.
Ageism and sexism all in one advert! That’s not cool to discriminate people, hun – you’re supposed to be uplifting, empowering and validating them.
Here’s a couple more examples of “girls only” recruitment drivel.
“Looking for two girls” and “space for 3 determined ladies” – sigh. Where to even begin.
Besides the gender discrimination, some reps think that you’d be enthralled with hearing their life story…oh, and be totally inspired by how MLM has changed their life for the better.
So what do they do? They put their hearts on their sleeves, use how they’ve “cleared their debts” or “have more time with the little ones” to try and lure more like-minded recruits in. I’ve found you some prime examples.
This lady below is a nurse by night, and a Younique hun (or “network marketer“) by day. She tells us that this business “magically gives confidence” as well as a plethora of other marvellous things. Oh, and “making a dent” in the credit and debit cards gets a mention too. What a miracle.
Wow, so very tempting.
This next lady goes for a different angle, declaring that she has a “OPPORTUNITY TO WORK FROM HOME” (and apparently its FREE too!)
In this heartwarming account, she tells us that Younique has “changed everything” – using the fine art of emojis, she explains how she has “earned enough money to book 3 holidays this year for my family” and will “not miss a single milestone” of her little boy’s life.
This sounds like subtle mummy-shaming to me, but okay. The vibe I am getting is almost like she is trying to guilt other mothers into joining her team: I get to stay at home with my kids and still make money, why on earth don’t you want this too??
For a reaction to parent-shaming and MLMs, take a look at this article:
“…Stop bugging me with MLM (Juice Plus, Forever Living, Younique etc.), but most of all, stop mom-shaming with them…” written by a blogger called Chloe, The Opinionated Mommy on WordPress.
In her article, she discusses the MLM recruitment posts that say ‘I bet some moms on here are dreading going back to work, there’s another way!’ or, ‘I love staying home with my children and not having to leave them, you can too! Message me to find out more!’, and the effect this can have on the mothers that read these posts:
“…She wishes to god she could stay home with her children. She knows she can’t. She knows your claims are bullshit. She knows she has bills to pay. But it still hurts her. It hurts her to leave her babies to work. And your comments are like little slaps in the face for her…”
So, for a classic case of a smug-Youniquer and ultra-mum-shamer, read on.
She is living proof that this list of emoji-illustrated achievements can happen – she even includes a picture holding her little lad to further prove her point.
However, this next lady has some real dogged determination. Here, she tells us how she spends “an hour or two a day” on social media to promote her Younique “business”. Her job is to make “women feel better about themselves” apparently, but here she is adopting the same mummy-shaming tactics we see above.
Yes, she’s all about emphasising how “from my commission I’ve been able to treat my daughter and step-children” and how she gets to stay at home.
In fact, she’s so dedicated that she returns in less than a month with another recruitment post. This time, she even includes a photo of her daughter for added impact. Ah, and the good old “saving for Christmas” gets a mention too.
Believe it or not, all of the above posts came from the same Facebook Buy & Sell group.
I also have to share this advert, selling “A New Life” for £69. The woman who posted it not only had “Younique” in her actual profile name, but lives about 400 miles away from where this Facebook group is based.
Oh, and here is your bonus dose of mommy-shaming from the USA.
“…If you’re a mom who enjoys going to work & doesn’t mind leaving your kids, this doesn’t apply to you…”
Fear not though – one mum had enough of these posts, and challenged the thought process behind a MLM post that popped up in her local Buy & Sell group. Of course, its predominant aim was to shame anyone who wasn’t staying at home with their children. The enraged mother is in aqua, and the hun is pink.
I love this mother for saying:
“…Spending hours and hours posting your adverts in any group you can find. That’s no opportunity, its a burden…”
What does the hun do? Shamelessly brag that it couldn’t possibly be a burden, when she is “sat here on a free leaders retreat in Spain with my team” – that’s just vulgar, to be honest.
My follower gets a high-five for counteracting this holiday-brag:
“…[If I was at a retreat in] Spain, my children [would be] missing their mummy because I am being selfish and not thinking of their needs first. Start living in the real world…“
She also reminds the hun that “your [Facebook] friends secretly hate you as you constantly pester them to buy your products” and this statement which is very relevant to my article:
“…Every admin of every group hates you each time they delete another one of your ‘secretive’ adverts…”
The hun does not like this, so she calls in for backup. Enter the yellow hun.
It wasn’t great seeing that my follower was constantly called “uneducated“, as she is anything but. She is speaking her truth, but alas, the huns are putting their fingers in their ears and going “la, la, la, not listening!” Needless to say, she got blocked.
It is quite sad, isn’t it. All these women are victims, blindly following the daily tasks set by their uplines in the hopes of “rocking their business” and “smashing targets”. They told my follower that women should uplift each other, not beat them down – can’t they see what this industry is making them do to each other?
The average person tends to ignore these posts and scroll on by, almost instinctively. However, many are fed up to the back teeth of seeing them, and are going to fight back.
Take this page follower, for example, who sent me screenshots of her calling out one of the vague “staff wanted” adverts.
My page follower is marked as orange, and the MLMer is purple.
This is revealed as a recruitment post for Kleeneze distributors. Yes, that is a MLM.
My page follower is not happy with the Kleeneze hun’s approach, and enters into a short dialogue with her, before getting blocked.
I think this lady needs a bit of help to understand the definition of what “paid employment” and “just working for yourself and not someone else” actually means.
Another one of my followers, in green, sent me the below exchange when she challenged this MLM-esque advert posted by a hun (in red). Yet another vague “staff wanted” advert had been posted, so Green decided to challenge the barrage of “PM me” comments.
It makes me chuckle, how the hun explains that she doesn’t mention her “business” in order to “keep my account safe and within Facebook community guidelines“. By this, I can only presume she is referring to the fact “It’s against Facebook Terms of Policy to create a personal account for a business. [see here]”
Laughable, when huns are constantly allowed to peddle their wares, yet folks like Timeless Vie lose their Facebook page due to malicious reporting…but that’s a story for another time. Thankfully, you can still find them on their backup page, Timeless Vie Emergency Shelter.
Coming back to my follower’s hun-challenge above, it is sad to see that her intelligence is insulted with “if you understood how Facebook works, you would know.” Very presumptuous, and very rude. Of course, this dialogue resulted in Green getting blocked, as standard.
As my aqua follower noted in her mum-shaming argument – as part of their training, presenters are encouraged to add themselves into as many Facebook Buy & Sell groups as possible, regardless of whether they are locals or not (check the Juice Plus / MLM Lies Exposed group for examples of the training methods they have unearthed).
People are becoming wise to that also – especially helpful when Facebook adds a location tag to your posts. 😉
This follower of mine has evidently had enough, calling out this not-so-local post (I’m talking a blatant regional divide here).
[WARNING:] The below post replaces some words with emojis. You may find it painful to read.
The Younique rep gives a standard, pet-name, “killing with kindness” response – very similar to the one I received when I called out the hun that lied about Younique being cruelty-free.
My follower gets called “hunny” and an attempt is made to reverse the situation around to make her look like the arsehole. How could she be so horrible towards someone who has “personally had the best 4 months of my life with Younique“? She’s not talking about financial gain at all – she’s talking about how its built her confidence, honest!
If you’re “sharing tit [sic] with the world” I’d be careful though.
So you see, many Buy & Sell group members simply have no time for this nonsense. They’re bored of seeing the same old “my MLM has changed my life, join me!” posts, the vague “staff wanted” and “stay home with your kids” drivel…all of us are getting sick and tired of it.
I’m sick and tired of it because the women posting these adverts are worth so much more than MLMs. I just wish they would realise this.
All Facebook groups are run by admins and moderators, and most are very diligent when it comes to knocking MLM posts on the head. Some of them have very kindly agreed to share their thoughts, and we’ll be hearing from them in my follow-up to this post.
Before I draw this part of my discussion to a close, I will leave you with a final selection of Christmas-rush and family-shaming MLM adverts. What does your dream life look like? Click to enlarge.
Stay tuned for how the admins are fighting back against the MLM scourge, and the outrage they have received as a consequence of it.
Remember, if you see the Timeless Vie seal of approval, you know you’re in a MLM-free zone! Read more about their partners and how to join their network here – share the word!
Its important for more people to speak out – you could help someone else from losing money, friends and dignity (and eventually bring about the demise of MLM – here’s to hoping!). Your anonymity is always guaranteed.
Are you concerned for a loved one who is totally and utterly wrapped up in MLM? My friends at Bot Watch have advice for you on what to do and how to remain supportive – read it here.
Or, are you stuck in a MLM and are looking for a way to leave? Bot Watch have produced a fantastic guide on how to get out – read it here.
For now, keep sharing your funny screenshots and stories with me – you never know, they could end up being relevant to one of my upcoming articles. Names and photos of individuals will always be hidden, whether their screenshots came from a public domain or nay. 🙂
What’s next for Elle Beau?
On reflection, I do feel that I would like to rewrite my Poonique story into a proper novella – whether its an ebook, or if I find someone who would put me in print. The main reason being, I missed out “the smaller stuff” for the purpose of keeping the reader interested and driving the tale forward. When I wrote this blog, I wanted to mainly focus on the dodgy tactics I experienced, but on reflection I would like to talk more in-depth about everything I can remember.
I would like to rewrite my tale with the spreadsheet as more of a prominent reference point – it will also help me recall things in chronological order (i.e. when certain monthly kudos were released, little paltry orders etc). Mia is still lurking in some of the training groups, and is finding me screenshots to illustrate certain chapters. So, as well as writing anti-MLM articles, I will be working on producing a full, comprehensive story in the interim. I hope to set up a Kickstarter for this once I have an idea of costings.
If you like the anti-MLM aims I am working towards, please consider supporting me via Patreon. Anything is gratefully received.
Stay subscribed for upcoming anti-MLM news and articles, and of course the ever-popular #ShitHunsSay screenshots.
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 and my first Patreon, @yourolly.
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.
This is excellent, but the best part on the whole page is the hun explaining how to “define the cupidity* bow” on the ‘plumper lips’ advert. About sums it up.
* Cupidity (noun) – greed for money or possessions
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I came to the comment section to post exactly that! Too on the nose.
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[…] parties, and I didn’t humiliate myself hard enough by posting fake recruitment posts in Facebook For Sale groups. Yes, that must be what they […]