Nutritional Multi-Level-Marketing: Keep Your Money Close, and Your Vulnerability Closer

Scroll through your social media feeds and I bet you’ll find a few posts like this:

“I lost 10 pounds in 3 days on (insert diet product here)!”*

“Lose weight with NO diet and NO exercise!”**

“I can ‘be bad’ all weekend, eat whatever I want, and just drink this (mystery) product on Monday to detox and reset my metabolism!”***

“Message me for details on how YOU can do this too!”

*OK, maybe 10 pounds in 2 weeks of WATER weight, not fat. Same unrealistic idea.

**Red flag.

***A few things here: First, that product looks like baby spit-up and smells like chalk. Second, ‘detox’ and ‘metabolism reset’ are MADE. UP. WORDS. from the diet industry. In all seriousness, your liver and kidneys do all the detoxing you need. If those organs aren’t working properly, call 911. This is not a drill.

You’re wondering, what’s this mystery product all about? I see the ‘before’ and ‘after’ pictures, and my friend looks fantastic! Maybe I’ll just message and get learn the secret and maybe I’ll finally lose those last 5 pounds and finally be happy with my hot body and all will be right with the world and…and…

WAIT. BREATHE. There’s something VERY fishy going on here:

  1. These friends love you, but they also love money. (Your friends IRL love you. That’s “In real life” for the non-millennials here. The ‘friends’ on Social media whom you’ve never met yet live vicariously through? They love your adoration and money, not YOU, silly).
  2. Money can make people do crazy things.
  3. Your friends know this: In general, people love the allure of ‘quick-fixes’ and ‘miracle cures.’ Who cares it took years to achieve an unhealthy body and mindset? Clearly we can reverse years of poor habits a matter of days! *This is not possible, but now you see it: the allure of sparkly nutrition magic makes rational thought go straight out the window.
  4. Your friends want to make money. More specifically, your friends want to make commission by selling a bogus (and unregulated) nutritional supplement TO YOU!

Think of this process as the ‘Avon’ of the supplement world. You sell a company’s product to others and make commission off of your sales. Bonus points (read: MORE MONEY) if you can create minions product-sellers out of your customers. In fact, what I’m describing to you here has a name. It’s called:

MULTI LEVEL MARKETING. Some common MLM companies include Keto-OS, Isagenix, Arbonne, Cosway, and Herbalife. Ahh, yes, so you’ve heard of these!

For sake of conversation, let’s say you decided to message your friend to learn what product got him/her that rockin’ body. You would have learned which product your friend was selling (likely something from the list above) and you would have received a formulated pitch about how you, too, could reap the benefits of not only using the product, but selling it!

Rest assured that your friend isn’t intentionally trying to hurt you (He/she really loves your money, but no, he/she isn’t being malicious on purpose. I’m not here to ruin your day). Instead, your friend was tricked on a multitude of levels by

1. The diet industry that does NOT care about you. That’s a Girl-Scout promise

2. The allure of a nutritional ‘quick-fix’ (see #3 above)

3. The promise of some extra cash

Now you see it: Those miraculous weight-loss claims and ‘before/after’ pictures are part of a complex pyramid scheme called multi-level-marketing. Keep your money close and your vulnerability closer, you informed consumer, you.






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