Proof that MLM reps lie in an attempt to sell

In the seven years we have been investigating MLMs we’ve uncovered so many lies. And yet still, we’re surprised at the lengths reps will go to sometimes in order to recruit and sell.

We’ve uncovered people who have reached the top of their company’s (often) pyramid-shaped earnings plan hiding huge debts and company liquidation, and telling some pretty blatant lies about their downline.

MLM reps are even happy to tell what appear to us to be blatant lies to the media, including The Times and The Sun, both of whom apparently published these lies with zero fact checking. And we’ve compiled a catalogue of the many lies and outrageous claims made by MLM reps here.

The biggest and most dangerous lies though, happen when MLM reps are attempting to recruit a victim… usually knowing (in our opinion) that the poor person they have in their sights is very likely to lose money. You can read some of the lies MLM reps use to recruit here.

Proof that MLM reps lie in an attempt to sell

And here’s more proof that MLM reps will lie in order to try to sell. As you can see below, numerous reps from the same company posted the SAME photo, and used the same cut and paste explanation (with tweaks). They all claimed that they or a friend (with a different name each time) had accidentally over-ordered a self-tanner, so were offering it at an amazing deal to get rid of it.

The sheer number of virtually identical posts (there were dozens more) proves that the claim the MLM reps are making is a lie.

What’s the product these reps claim to have over-ordered?

We believe the product these reps claim to have over-ordered is Nu Skin’s Sunlight Insta Glow:

Although every product in the social media photos above has been painstakingly turned around so you cannot see the labelling on the front, the Nu Skin branding is clear, and the description and packaging look the same.

Why are Nu Skin reps trying to deceive people?

So why the deceit? Here are a few reasons we think could be possible:

  • Firstly the company may be struggling to sell this product, so has suggested the plan.
  • The second is that an upline is going for a promotion and has come up with this scheme for her downline to help her boost her team sales.
  • Or thirdly the company has decided to push this product for summer and challenged teams to get ‘creative’ in selling it.

Whatever the reason, it is clear that Nu Skin reps are happy to lie and deceive in order to make sales.

If you want to learn more about MLM Nu Skin, we have investigated them a few times over the years:

Why MLM reps need to resort to lies

So why do MLM reps need to resort to lies? The simple answer is that the business just does not work. Research published on the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) website shows that, on average, 99.6% of people who join an MLM will lose money once expenses are deducted.

We know from speaking to people who have joined an MLM that it is incredibly difficult to sell products. They are often overpriced and friends and family can only make so many sympathy purchases. MLMs also usually have an ‘active requirement’ – a sales target that reps need to reach in order to earn commission or even remain in the business.

Combine this with pressure from uplines who need to reach their own team sales targets, as well as achieve bonuses and promotions, and it’s easy to see how MLM reps reach the point where they are desperate to make money or stem some of their losses.

Sadly, this can lead to people telling lies – something that we know can be encouraged by uplines who have achieved their own position on deception and manipulation.

The good news though, is that it looks like the MLM industry is dying out. This is reflected in the DSA UK’s own data, as well as an analysis of 20 years of company accounts for Forever Living UK. Soon we hope people won’t need to lie, because there are no MLMs to join.

Hannah Martin is a media expert on multi-level marketing (MLM). She’s been investigating MLMs since 2016 and has appeared on the BBC’s Woman’s Hour speaking about MLMs. 

She was on the steering committee for the world’s first global MLM conference and has helped journalists and TV producers create investigative content into the MLM industry, including the BBC documentary Secrets of the Multi-Level Millionaires: Ellie Undercover

Photo by Curology