[Elle:] The Anti-MLM Coalition have been contacted by a USA-based reader by the name of Reina (not her real name), who wishes to share her own personal experience of a “job interview” that became an attempt to recruit her into Quixtar (more commonly known as Amway).
Before reading Reina’s story, please remind yourself that all views presented in this blog are as told to us by the authors, and simply reflect their own opinions. Your own personal experiences with multi-level marketing companies may differ, negatively or positively. All names and identifying details have been changed at the author’s request.
Over to you, Reina.
[Reina:] Hello all. Here’s my story of a close encounter with a predatory MLM company, Quixtar/Amway.
Growing up, my Dad had always been really critical of multi-level marketing schemes, so I thought I was well-prepared to not fall for them. He hated on Tupperware, Avon, Mary Kay, and shut down my Mom whenever she was ever interested in repping for them.
He would vacate the house and fall silent when she would host a Pampered Chef party. I thought these parties were just a normal part of life when I was younger, but as I got older he made sure to educate me on how these companies are “scams in disguise.“
When I was an Underemployed, Aimless College Grad
When I graduated college a few years ago, I found myself living in a new city, working at a big bank, deep into a quarter-life crisis and hating life. A customer came into the bank one day and we got into a great conversation about how I had just graduated and wasn’t sure exactly what I wanted to do with my life.
He must have seen my dead eyes and known I was the perfect target.
After a few days of him coming in regularly (which frightens me now that I think about it, like he was casing me as a target), he said he thought I “should work with him” and he “had a place for me at his company“. He said I was “better than my current job“, and that I should interview with him the following day.
I was so excited! So I met him the next day at a Starbucks (which was right next to my job, so it didn’t strike me as odd; I thought it was considerate), résumé in hand, and prepared to be asked a series of questions about my job experience and career potential. This is when it got weird.
It Starts to Get Sketchy…
When I handed him my résumé, he handed it back and started talking about “his business“. He said he had found a way to “revolutionize the buying process for customers who bought household staples like cleaning supplies and paper towels.” He stressed that a group has a stronger buying power than an individual, and “everyone should get on a subscription-based model for buying these items“.
He was acting really shady and steered away from mentioning the name of the company, but it was Quixtar (in my head that day, I heard ‘Quick-Star’). At one point, it felt more like a date than a job interview, and I got really uncomfortable.
The Pyramid Emerges
He asked me what I thought of the idea. I was really just confused about the ‘interview’, so cautiously, I agreed that it was a good idea. He was overjoyed, and said that I “definitely should be part of it“. He then started drawing designs and figures (and I’m pretty sure one of them was an actual pyramid) and then told me that he wanted me to come to a big event at his house that weekend, and “it would be amazing.”
He (very briefly) mentioned that there would be “a nominal fee“, so I pumped the brakes. He said it was “no big deal compared to our amazing earning potential” and that “it would all be explained at the big event,” which he said was a black-tie affair. He said he wanted my husband to be there at the party too, “to support me.” He gave me his address and Google-mapped his ‘house’ which was a huge mansion.
As if that would convince me.
I told him I wasn’t comfortable with paying to get a job, and he said that was OK, but he really wanted to speak to me again. He said he wanted me to do some reading of “a book that changed his life” before we spoke again, and promptly handed me some copy of a get-rich-quick type of book (not quite Rich Dad Poor Dad, but similar), and told me to read specific chapters. I left the meeting feeling very strange.
Thanks, But No Thanks
I opened the book that night and was horrified at how stupid and condescending it was. It didn’t focus on any real business principles and instead focusing on the “create your own life” kind of woo-woo, à la The Secret (my mom is a fan of that stuff, but I am not, especially in a business sense).
The guy called me that night to “follow up” and I told him I wasn’t interested, and that he should come get his book at the bank the next day. He didn’t show up for a week, but kept calling me every few days! When he finally came back to the bank, I gave the book to my co-worker to give to him and hid in the back. Best decision I ever made!
Thinking back on this, I feel dirty, targeted and used. He recognized that I was at a low point in my life and tried to take advantage of me. I never saw him again after the recruitment attempt, so I know he wasn’t a regular banking customer. I am just grateful I didn’t fall for it.
[Elle:] Thank you, Reina, for kindly sharing your MLM recruitment attempt experience. If you have any questions for her, please add them below and we will ensure they reach her.
Further Reading & Support
- Our Amway/Quixtar category.
- If you find yourself in Reina’s position with an MLM recruitment pitch, take a look at this selection from our General Advice category:
Would you like to share your MLM story or opinion with the Anti-MLM movement? Be our guest, check our submission guidelines and get in touch.