Thursday, August 18, 2016

Eric Worre is wrong about Dave Ramsey: or, why MLM advocates only knows truthiness, not truth

If you are in the US, you probably heard of Dave Ramsey, who had been giving financial advice for decades as a radio call-in show (i.e. he goes live on air and lets normal people call him and he gives answers immediately) since 1992. He does not fully endorse multilevel marketing, but instead, advocates caution and realistic outlook, something that is inherently anti-faith, but based on evidence and reality. 

On August 10th, 2016, at about the 7:48 point, a "Sarah from Cincinnati Ohio" called in and asked about joining "It Works!" MLM.  Ramsey urged caution and be absolutely aware what she wants to do going in. His message was "... You will be in the recruiting business. There is nothing really inherently bad or evil about it, Your real job is training salespeople, in a high turnover environment, because most of them don't make it... I have friends that makes 7 figures in that business... But for every one of those, I know a thousand (chuckles) that didn't last 90 days, with six boxes of makeup in the garage they are still paying off on credit card... Is this really your calling if you had lost everything and starting from scratch? ... You ought to really thinking about what you're getting into. But if you want to give it a run, I will support you on it... " 

The MLM sphere went nuts as they reacted with venom. So-called MLM 'leaders' started posting videos 'Dave Ramsey is Wrong'. Here's a typical reaction from Eric Worre of
Dave (Ramsey) went on to pour cold water all over the hopes and dreams of this young woman, and pigeon holed the Network Marketing profession into his very limited understanding of what it is all about.
So what exactly is Eric Worre mad about? He claims that Ramsey made multiple mistakes. 
  • Risk is minimal in MLM, w/ the buyback policies in place
  • It's not recruiting, it''s expanding your network
  • Failure? So what? 90% of traditional businesses fail
  • Bothering friends? They''re doing it wrong
Mr. Worre's final message is: basically "why don''t you just be honest and admit you hate network marketing? Innuendo doesn't suit you". 

Go look in a mirror, Mr. Worre. Innuendo does not suit you either. 

Let's examine the factors at play... who''s really wrong or right? But with a skeptical attitude and fact-checking. 

Just how risky is MLM?

Eric Worre claims that Dave Ramsey exaggerated the risk involved in MLM, and most people don''t have "6 boxes of makeup sitting in the garage getting paid off on credit card".  He claims that with the 90% buyback policy in place in most major MLMs (esp. DSA members), financial exposure is minimal.

The problem with Mr. Worre's statement is there are NO stats available from the MLMs that such policies have been utilized. Yes, DSA members do have at least a 90% buyback policy for at least six months, i.e. if you want to return all the stuff you haven''t sold within 6 months, you get 90% back. Some even go as far as a year. However, there are various caveats not discussed. 

Is there any stats available on how often such policies had been invoked? How many hoops do people have to jump through to get such returns processed? 

Nope. Nada. Zero. Zilch. Nothing. 

In fact, it's been documented in Mary Kay that any attempts to quit an return inventory would trigger an "intervention" from your upline and other people in your group (because she would be notified as any returns means her commission from your purchases will be clawed back) who will want to meet with you then shame and guilt you into staying in past the refund deadline, or to delay you in order to ensure you will get as minimal refund as possible. 
Mary Kay sales directors and recruiters are notorious for using misinformation or unethical tactics to stop consultants from returning inventory. This includes lying about the program or otherwise delaying the consultant’s return so that less product can be returned under the “last 12 months” rule. --
It's hard to imagine the same does not happen in other MLMs as well. 

There are other tricks that can be done as well, like refresh products at less than 12 month cycles. That way when you try to return product it had already been phased out and thus cannot be returned. 

Sure there's a policy on the books, but a policy that's never used / enforced is no policy at all. 

Mr. Worre's hypothetical "white elephant" MLM only exists in his imagination.