8 Controversial MLM Schemes to Avoid

Have you ever been approached by someone, maybe a family member or a friend, about a golden opportunity that promises to make you rich fast? If that is a yes, this opportunity will often entail being a “brand” distributor or “contractor” and selling make-up, health supplements and any essential item needed in the current environment.

While the offer may sound tempting, you should be on alert. Most of these offers are multi-level marketing (MLM) or pyramid schemes. These schemes have made a comeback due to the onset of unemployment, and while it may work at first, most end up losing their money, and the profits go only to a select few. Experts claim it is harder to earn from these schemes than winning the lottery.

Last week, I talked about what to watch out for when a business is MLM. If you are not familiar with these MLM schemes, here are 8 of the most controversial ones that you should avoid at all costs:


Primerica is a legitimate insurance MLM company that recruits people with no insurance background to sell complicated insurance programs that they claim are better than others.

However, those who get into the program are pressured to recruit as they try to sell these products to get profit. Because of its practices, the company faced several lawsuits over the years, leading to the creation of the Anti-MLM Coalition.


Many sued women’s apparel brand LuLaRoe for its MLM business model that asked “investors” to invest thousands of dollars, believing that launching a clothing business startup with them would bring in millions once the business kicks in.

However, this promise didn’t come true as many declared bankruptcy after the company failed to deliver the clothes the investors were selling to their customers. A supplier sued the brand for failing to pay for the requested clothes.


Herbalife is a known supplement company placed on top as a MLM industry. It was sued several times for operating under a pyramid scheme where none of its distributors gained any profit. Its top distributors were also sued after appearing in the company’s recruitment videos.

Although the company has restructured its business practices as part of the lawsuit settlement, it had to pay millions to settle their cases for misleading investors and bribery.


Younique is a beauty industry MLM that uses struggling women as “presenters” to promote their products. Many of these “presenters” are lured in with the promise of financial independence but would later find out that they must keep buying merchandise to maintain their status. Younique has eight status tiers; the higher the tier, the higher the commission you get. But, as you climb this ladder, presenters will discover that they will slowly be buried in inventory, pay huge expenses and face pressure from the company.


Advocare is another supplement MLM company that operates under a pyramid model. For the company’s model, recruiting is the top priority instead of sales, and they would even inflate their profits to entice unsuspecting investors. They will also use the same tactic in showing an inflated “potential earnings” chart and “low” upfront costs” to attract recruits.


Like its fellow MLM schemes, Neora is sued by recruits for utilizing an illegal pyramid scheme and promising financial independence to anyone who joins. When there are fresh recruits, a higher premium is given compared to those who get high sales.

Others also complained that the wellness MLM company pushes for the success mantra of “Recruit, Recruit, Recruit” instead of promoting their products.


Amway denies all claims that they are a pyramid scheme and an MLM firm in a recent post they did to answer the critics. However, the “independent business owners” whom they worked with disagree and claim that they are using deceptive business practices to mislead people into investing in them by promising high returns and fewer expenses.


The Beachbody program was a product of a woman who used it to lose weight and get a fit body. Thanks to the ‘success’, it convinced the woman to become a Beachbody fitness coach. Unfortunately, she spent hundreds of dollars on fees to sell the program and its related merchandise to others and lost time being with her children.

Other Beachbody coaches who were sucked into the program also experienced the same problems and left the company after 2 years because of it.


There is no “golden opportunity” that will help you immediately become big like the schemes in this list. If you wish to earn big bucks, you have to earn from it, and you don’t have to rely on a business model that requires you to recruit and sell items constantly. If someone approaches you with a similar scheme or to any of these schemes, stay away immediately!

If it is too good to be true, it probably is!

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13 Comments Add yours

  1. I’ve actually done really well in MLM Kally.. but you have to love the product and principles. If not it will never work. You just have to research a lot. Mine were always just adjuncts to support clients but I didn’t do it to make money. 💖

    Liked by 1 person

  2. ... says:

    Most of them I haven’t heard of except Amway. This used to be big in New Zealand but we don’t hear of it much these days. They certainly used to have a pyramid scheme. I will say this though – some of their products were very good.


  3. Gregoryno6 says:

    “Lose weight now! Ask me how!”
    I didn’t know Herbalife still existed. I haven’t seen one of those bumper stickers for twenty years.


  4. You are discussing another great topic, Kally! They only way to becoming rich very fast is winning the jackpot in a lottery. Lol But for sure, MLM has it advantages and also disadvantages. Thanks and best wishes! xx Michael

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Ah, yes. We’ve been sucked into madness of a couple of these “businesses”. Undoubted those who are successful in them got in on the front end and worked themselves to death to make any money. Thanks for posting.


  6. C.A. Post says:

    The key thought here is ” a golden opportunity that promises to make you rich fast!”
    There is a warning in Proverbs 23:4, “Do not toil to acquire wealth; be discerning enough to desist.”
    And in Deuteronomy 8:17-19, the warning is to realize God can give or take away wealth:
    “Beware lest you say in your heart, ‘My power and the might of my hand have gotten me this wealth.’ You shall remember YHWH your God, for it is he who gives you power to get wealth, that he may confirm his covenant that he swore to your fathers, as it is this day. And if you forget YHWH your God and go after other gods and serve them and worship them, I solemnly warn you today that you shall surely perish.”
    It is not a mistake that Paul called greed (or coveting) “idolatry.” (Colossians 3:5)
    ❤️& 🙏, c.a.


  7. newwhitebear says:

    Sometimes profitable offers have been proposed to make money effortlessly but as you wrote I have never fallen into the trap. Easy money does not grow like fruit on trees but it must be earned.


  8. Thanks for these quick informative notes on MLM. I actually recognize more than a few of these names. Now I need to warn my friends about it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Kally says:

      Yes, please warn your friends. Knowledge is power.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. I’m not an MLM person at all, and I actually don’t mind some of them. But it irks me when some companies make miraculous claims, like giving you the power to lose weight just by wearing a special pair of pants. Even worse are how gullible people can be when their minds are in shortcut mode: either to earn money through these pants, or to lose fat without putting in any effort.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Kally says:

      Oh yes, those miracle pants! I hate it when they (sellers) target at mummies who just gave birth. So many of them have DM on my Facebook! It is one thing to want to go on a healthy diet, another just to think they can wear those magical pants and still eat those carbs.


  10. My father bought a 1960 Rambler station wagon through such a scheme. The car was OK. Our family made two trips from Virginia to Florida in that car with three kids and a large dog. I don’t think my father ever sold any cars, though! Interesting post, Kally! ❤


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