I think that most of us have been to at least one party, show, event, whatever it may be called that a friend or family member has had that was some type of multi-level marketing business. (MLM) I myself have some favorite stone baking rounds that came from Pampered Chef and my favorite face foundation comes from Mary Kay. I usually have a Scentsy warmer plugged in with some fabulous scent and I am a fan of doTERRA essential oils.
In the past, when I was younger, I sold Mary Kay products, Avon products (which I loved,) was a part of Amway and hosted tons of “parties” at my house. For me, it was a fun way to socialize and get some free or deeply discounted items I wanted, like jewelry or makeup. And since I like to cook and entertain, I was always up to host a Pampered Chef or Tupperware show and cook up some fabulous appetizers. It was kind of an “excuse” for us young moms to leave the kids with dad, hang with friends, and most likely drink some wine.
But that was before “the internet.”
Recently I was with a group of younger friends, mostly moms with toddlers (the same ages as our grandsons I might add,) and the topic of multi-level marketing came up. And it got a bit heated. What I found interesting is that the “heat” didn’t come from the products themselves because a lot of them use those products and love them and do like getting together. But rather, it was the social media side of how some were invited or even “shamed” into going to a party that they found disagreeable.
Since social media wasn’t even an issue when I was younger, I wanted to know what they were talking about. I mean “back in my day,” we sent out paper invitations through the mail or made phone calls. Gosh I’m making myself sound old. Next thing I’ll be doing is standing in our front yard yelling at kids to get off our lawn…ha!
Anyway, long story short, here are two examples of what they were talking about…
SCENARIO 1 –
You go to a party or get-together and meet new people who you hit it off with. Later they friend request you and you think, “Oh, she was fun.” and accept the friend request. The very next thing that happens is she sends you information on some MLM business she’s involved in, along with a request that you host a party. Then you get invitations to any and all future parties, even if you don’t personally know the person hosting at their house. Or she adds you to her “group” without asking and you get even more info you didn’t want in the first place. She’s a friend of your friends which means you most likely will see her again in a social situation.
Do you unfriend her, knowing she didn’t really want to be your “friend” in the first place, but rather saw you as a sales opportunity or do you just scroll on by and ignore the posts?
SCENARIO 2 –
A “shared” message from a friend that is involved in a MLM business that goes out to all 500 of her friends stating…
“If you are truly friends with someone, you will support whatever business they are in, both financially and in physical form. You should promote them on your own Facebook page. If you have 10 friends who do MLM, even if some of them are the same, you should buy something from each one, at least once a month or in cases where one of them is close to reaching a “goal,” buy extra to help her reach that goal. This is what friends do for one another. If you are my friend, if you want to stay my friend, you should be buying from me too because that’s just what friends do for one another.”
Ok, I personally didn’t even know what to say about this except for “WHAT?”
I have lots of friends, people who I have actually met in person, who either own their own business or are part of a multi-level marketing business and they certainly don’t EXPECT me to shop with them exclusively nor do they expect me to buy something from them every month. But typically when I do need/want to buy something, I do shop with them. And they appreciate my business versus expecting it.
Rather than go on about how I feel, I’m more curious as to what you think. I also know that group of women would like some input. Would you stay friends or unfriend someone like this? Have you ever had someone want to be your friend for an ulterior reason? Do you think the person in Scenario #2 has a valid point or went overboard?
What do you think?