Multi-level marketing companies promise big money to anyone willing to buy-in to their business. A Redditor shared a fake MLM company that pokes fun at the ridiculous rules companies enforce and require for individuals to earn money and become successful.
On an anti-MLM Reddit subthread, user Amstpierre shared a photo of a rule sheet for their company Devin Diet. The sheet outlined the requirements, fees, and rules for using the product. The company “Devin Diet,” which they named after a friend’s brother, offers a unique diet, exercise, and membership program for those interested in weight loss.
Members that join are required to eat Subway, McDonald’s, and Krave’s cereal each day. While the diet sounds horrible, the details provided notch the level of ridiculous up. According to the rules sheet, members are required to,
“-3 bowls of Kraves Cereal a day
-3 subway sandwhiches a day (no chips!! only on your cheat days, explained later). you may have a cookie or soup, but only one for that whole day.
-8 trips to mcdonalds a day, you dont need to buy anything just flash the card to the certified devin diet worker, they’ll wink at you, you wink back, and that will count as one trip.”
As if the food isn’t reason enough to sign up for this plan, the cheat days provide even more incentive. Cheat days on the diet are awarded in the following way,
“-cheat days are obtained by taking your weight and dividing it by 50. the number you get from that is how many hceat days you get a year, but a devin diet rep will let you know when your cheat days are. you are not authorized to decide yourself until you are team rose gold.
-example, if you weight 150 pound divide it by the number 50.
For dieters reluctant to start an exercise program, Devin Diet might be the perfect plan. According to the plan, one minute of walking is equivalent to one mile. For every minute walked, miles are moved by dieters. The only catch is the walking must be done in moon boots.
Now if that isn’t enough to convince anyone to join, the buy-in for the diet is one of the most reasonable out there for MLMs. New members are required to purchase shoes, carry fliers, and pay a membership fee.
-you need to buy our certified devin diet moon shoes for $700/shoe. you must carry 4 pairs of moon shoes on you at all times, they are sold for $800/pair.
-this flyer! these flyers are bought by you for $200/paper, and you must carry 100 papers on you at all times to spread the word. just give them to people!!
-your official devin diet membership which is $5,000/month.
Member interested in buying into the deluxe program earns incredible rewards.
“*Devin Diet Deluxe
-no price change on any materials
-but listen to this! with the devin diet deluxe exercise program we believe that 30 seconds of walking = 30 MILES!!! of running!!! in moon shoes.
-chance to win a devin diet cruise (valued at $100,000)
*Devin Diet Financial Aid
-now we know all of this is a little much to take in mentally and financially, but we offer loans to help you pay for all of this great goodies!! with our loans you get 1 day interest free, but after that the interest goes to a small total of 50%”
As ridiculous as this diet sounds, the plan isn’t that far removed from the truth. Many MLM companies require large initial purchases for members and consultants.
For consultants to earn commission, they are required to make monthly purchases. Additionally, most of these companies require consultants to purchase marketing materials at enormously marked up prices.
For example, Herbalife says that new distributors can start for as little as $94.10 a month. Sounds reasonable for a new business startup. However, distributors are required to purchase wholesale products at a discount and then sell those to customers at a higher price.The more cans of shakes you sell the more Herbalife discounts their wholesale fee. Therefore, distributors are encouraged to make large wholesale purchases to earn deeper cuts and potentially higher profits. However, buying more cans doesn’t guarantee the distributor will sell all of their inventory.
Most of Herbalife distributors aren’t making money. Herbalife’s income disclosure states that 90% of all distributors make less than $3450 per year. Most distressing is that 50% of all distributors make less than $305 a year.
Another MLM with suspect start-up fees is LuLaRoe. The clothing company suggests new consultants purchase an onboarding package of $5,000.00. Additionally, reps will need to buy hangers, racks, business cards, and a website domain for around $500.00.
After their initial onboarding package, reps are encouraged to reinvest their profits into new inventory. To make more money, LLR offers a commission for ‘sponsoring’ new reps. Distributors earn a commission on the inventory sold by anyone in their downline.
Sadly, the majority of new distributors that start selling LLR make less money than they spend to begin.
So while the Redditor may have been posting a tongue in cheek response to the requirements, fees, and packages offered by MLMs, the exaggeration isn’t that far off from the truth. Perhaps the only difference is most MLMs use challenging to understand contracts, legal speak, and commission flow charts to promote their products.
MLM companies sell the dream of big profits for very little work. They exploit stay at home mothers, individuals with disabilities, and minority populations by promising extra income or an easy way to support their families.
However, a survey completed in the fall of 2018 found that 73% of people that sign up for MLMs make no money or lose money.
Not only are the costs attributed with joining an MLM immense, but the products are also typically worthless. Herbalife promises weight loss to members by drinking dietary shakes not approved for use by the FDA for weight-loss. ItWorks sells wraps that promise to shave inches off member’s waists without diet or exercise.
Devin Diet of McDonald’s and Subway promises weight loss with a clearly unhealthy and unproven diet. The claims may seem over the top, but will a plastic wrap around your waist really work? No.
Members are lured in to buy with promises of amazing results with little to no effort. Individuals desperate to lose weight can easily fall into the trap and purchase useless products.
Clearly, Devin Diet is an over the top exaggeration of MLM products and requirements, but the joke is closer to reality than it seems.
*Katie Joy is a columnist and hosts Without A Crystal Ball on Patheos Non-Religious Channel. She writes articles on parenting, disability advocacy, debunking pseudoscience, atheism, and crimes against women and children.
She co-hosts the YouTube show, “The Smoking Nun,” with Kyle Curtis. The show airs weekly and tackles pseudoscience, current events, and crime stories.
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