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MLMs continue to prove their wild misinformation and predatory tactics

(EDITORIAL) MLMs never change. They revolve around preying on the vulnerable and mesh personal with business, so what happens when a bad review is given?

Man drinking Herbalife shake and wearing MLM shirt.
Image of Cristiano Ronaldo drinking an Herbalife Nutrition Shake

Ahh, MLMs…the lifeblood of the American economy. Well, that’s what MLM-ers think.

It’s a hot topic and has been for years thanks to the likes of Mary Kay and Rodan + Fields. They’ve changed over the years and have found their way into the digital marketplace with social media being the ideal platform for marketing and sales.

Social media also makes for the ideal platform for naysayers who feel MLMs prey on the wallets of customers. It also gives these naysayers a place to leave public reviews and comments that may deter others from future spending.

Such an example was recently shared on Reddit as a smoothie shop exclusively selling Herbalife products had its image of “health and wellness” challenged by a negative review.

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The review claimed that products are not FDA-approved and the parent company has numerous lawsuits filed. This was based on the reviewer’s independent research.

The shop owner personally responded back in an incredibly condescending manner, spitting rhetoric brainwashed into them by whomever got them into Herbalife. Rather than just offering retorts to specific points made in the review, they made it personal and come off as condescending, negative, and unprofessional.

This is a common occurrence with MLM operators, as they tend to spew whatever they’ve been taught and continue backing themselves into a corner of wrongness.

Maybe it’s because they truly believe in the product and they have fully bought into what their “mentor” has sold them. Or maybe they’re stuck with hundreds of dollars worth of product and have to save face by defending the product in an effort to sell it.

What comes of this is a culture of self-righteousness about the products and the company that either A) people see right through; or B) people buy right into and the cycle continues to perpetuate itself.

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MLMs have existed for decades and are unlikely to ever leave completely. But this situation teaches two valuable lessons.

First, it’s incredibly important to research where your money may be going. Decide for yourself if your value aligns with the company at hand.

Second, don’t make business personal. Don’t respond to reviews with the same negativity that the “customer” is giving. Sure, it might encourage some readers to take your side and will get you their business. But, for the most part, it will be a major turnoff to those researching your business.

But, you already know that last part, because you’re an American Genius.

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Staff Writer, Taylor Leddin is a publicist and freelance writer for a number of national outlets. She was featured on Thrive Global as a successful woman in journalism, and is the editor-in-chief of The Tidbit. Taylor resides in Chicago and has a Bachelor in Communication Studies from Illinois State University.

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