Monday, March 28, 2016

Is Market Saturation the End of Amway and it's Clones?

Recently Robert Fitzpatrick researched and wrote an article entitled Herbalife's And Other MLMs' 2015 Data Show Their Growth Era Has Ended.  As an observer  and a critic of the MLM phenomena, this is certainly good news.  I would like to hope that such statistics might signal the death knell of an industry founded upon a fraudulent business model, I remain skeptical of the market saturation argument being the panacea of MLM critics.

If the MLM market contracts somewhat, does that signal that the corrupt industry is doomed?  I seriously doubt it. All industry, questionable or legitimate is subject to contraction and expansion all the time.  Just one look at the automotive industry shows how a companies on the edge of extinction can rebound and expand. There will always be a market for cars, and there will most assuredly be a market for people willing to believe in the ideals of economic alchemists like Amway or Herbalife.

Faith in irrational belief systems is alive and well.  Prospects for schemes will never dry up completely.  There is always cheese to be found in the traps of MLM recruiters.  

The first people to go during contraction in any industry are people in the form of layoffs.  In MLM, layoffs occur when people do not realize their "pie in the sky" dreams, and discover recruiting their friends and family into the scheme is much more difficult than they first thought. Even when some success in recruitment is achieved, many discover that the building of a downline chain is fraught with the curse of broken links, making the dream an ever elusive and expensive nightmare. Some people persist, even when they see their recruiter quit.  It is just in the DNA of the MLM chain of misery.

MLM sponsors an irrational belief system. Rational arguments do not work very well against those who choose to believe in the irrational chemistry of an industry that requires recruits to disregard any rational argument against the "tried and true" MLM system. Disregarding "nay-sayers" is touted as the secret to success in MLM.  It is the MLM equivalent of fundamentalist religions teaching adherents to believe that man earth and the universe were created in six days.  As long as irrational belief systems are extent in the World, then there will be any number of the gullible willing to sign up to buy and recruit for Herbalife and Amway.

Does contraction in MLM occur? Yes.  Does that signal the death knell of MLM?  Probably not. Is MLM an inherently corrupt industry? Yes.  Do corrupt industry necessarily fail?  I would like to think so, but under the ideals of Capitalism, such industry seems alive, and many are very well.  I point to the arms industry that likewise thrives on the propagation of fear worldwide.  MLM survives on fear and economic uncertainty that promotes drowning people to grasp for straws that are held out to them as viable alternatives to traditional enterprise that MLM con men discount.

I do not totally discount MLM market saturation.  It does present a significant problem to people hoping to recruit others, but there will always be a pool of irrational people who can be persuaded to join pyramid schemes and eventually join the other people who have tried and failed at the revolving game of MLM greed.    


Anonymous said...

You've hit the nail on the head when you point out the essentially religious nature of commitment to an MLM scheme (Amway or any other one). I find that other MLM-critical websites and blogs are largely disinclined to discuss this religious aspect, other than sometimes agreeing that an MLM is "a cult." They seem to be uncomfortable with mentioning the Holy-Roller-Revivalist nature of many MLM businesses, and prefer to focus on flaws in the business plan's structure or reward system or motivational tool sideline.

But the business flaws in MLMs are quite clear at this point. There's no need to reiterate them again and again. What really needs to be discussed is exactly why so many otherwise intelligent people have allowed themselves to be swept up into what can only be called a mass religious psychosis.

quixtarisacult said...

Irrational belief is possibly the bane of humanity. People tend to jump over ten truths to latch onto one lie. Amway and MLM is tailor made for people who have been conditioned to turn away from rational thought and believe the most insane of scenarios--all with no evidence. There are a small number of people who deny the Holocaust, but there are millions of sheep who believe in the likes of Muhammad, Buddha and Jesus, all willing to believe that the facts of evolution are lies made up by Satan. They go through life believing in imaginary deities, and are encouraged that so many other people profess the same delusion. MLM is indeed presented like the gospel, and many are lead astray. It lines the pockets of Joel Osteen, and it works for the initiators of MLM Fraud. The Amway cult of free enterprise eats its own children.