Each year, more than 20 million Americans get recruited into multi-level marketing (MLM) to be “direct sellers” of soaps and supplements, leggings and lotions, cosmetics and crypto, among other things.
Few ask the first question: “Is MLM really direct selling?” If not, it’s a con, using a false identity as bait into a pyramid scheme trap. Robert FitzPatrick’s new book, Direct Selling, a Non-Fiction Fable, is about what actual direct selling is. If consumers don’t know what direct selling is, they are likely to fall victim to a fraud in direct selling disguise, even if they know about pyramid schemes.
“DIRECT SELLING, a Non-Fiction Fable” will be available this February on Amazon in paperback and e-book. If you’d like to be notified when it’s available, EMAIL HERE.
Robert FitzPatrick is an expert on direct selling, multi-level marketing (MLM), and pyramid schemes. He’s the author of PONZINOMICS and False Profits. He consults in court cases and is regularly interviewed for news, podcasts and documentaries. He also knows about direct selling – real direct selling – from experience.
“If people understood the realities of direct selling, they’d never be fooled by an MLM pitch,” he has written.
So why don’t more people ask questions about MLM’s “direct selling” claims? Some don’t ask because they don’t know what real direct selling is. They’ve never done it or even seen it. They’ve never sold on a face-to-face, commission-only basis, never had to compete with other direct sellers, and never had to “prospect.” Others won’t ask because they think they already know – that direct selling is the purest form of free enterprise, the legacy of the revered Yankee Peddler, a pathway to the American Dream and “unlimited” opportunity. Anyone can do it!
Few people will admit it but, believing the mythic story that direct selling is the cornerstone of American business, they fear it is somehow not right to ask questions when solicited. They don’t want to be accused of questioning business and the entrepreneurial spirit, of being called “negative.” It’s almost… un-American.
“Direct Selling” is told as a fable — but it’s not fiction. It’s a small book but with a very large and important message. The story dramatically illuminates – and illustrates – the real world of “direct selling”, not the phony history or the entrapping myth spread by MLMs. In the real world, direct selling is brutally hard on the soul, sometimes ruthless and deceptive in methods, and no one who did it ever believed it was a path to wealth. Few people could do it, and of those who did, few wanted to. It was never glamorous. True direct selling mostly went extinct by 1980 as big box stores and then online selling, among other social factors, made it unneeded, unwanted and unfeasible. “Direct Selling” contrasts the real world of direct selling with people’s hopes for sustainable work, with integrity, meaning and purpose.