The Dark Side of Direct Seller Groups On Social Media


Social Media has given the direct seller a whole new customer base. It has allowed us to reach customers that would not normally know our companies exist! It is an exciting time to be a direct seller with places like Facebook and Twitter!

It has also given us a place for direct sellers to get together and grow our businesses together. We cross train, we build friendships and we share our products with each other. In today’s direct selling market, you may never know your upline on a personal basis. For instance, I signed up with Stampin’ Up to be a consultant because I’m a scrapbooker and I wanted the discount. I signed up online and don’t have a clue who my sponsor is. She is someone in my home town, but I don’t know her. And honestly, I don’t really care to meet her. I’m not in this business to make money, but rather to feed my addiction and get a discount while doing it!

My Thirty One Gifts Director, she’s my online friend. We have been friends forever.. but only online, we’ve never met face to face. She lives far away…

My Younique upline.. same thing, friend from online.

So, these groups are a blessing for those of us that want to connect, learn and share together.. but there is a dark side also.. the ‘game board’. I’ll admit, I’m a game board addict, I love them. It is the gambler in me. It’s like playing the lottery and knowing you will always get a prize!

Here is how it works:

You have a closed group of direct sellers. You play games that are of a certain value. They usually start at $150 and go up to $600. For each game, there are usually 3 winners: Consultant, Hostess and Free Pass.

Consultant is the direct seller who represents the company that wins.

Hostess is the person that is ‘hosting’ the virtual party and get the hostess rewards (if you are not familiar with direct selling companies, most give incentives to hostesses based on the sale amount of the party).

Free pass.. you lucked out, you don’t have to pay!

Then, based on the cash total of the party, you, being the gambler, buys a spot. These spots can cost from $10 up to $50.. depending on number of participants and number the total party goal. Let’s say that I’m joining a $200 game. There would be 23 spots that cost $10 each: 1 hostess, 1 consultant, 1 free spot, and 20 buyers. Everyone picks a number and makes a commitment to purchase $10 in products from the winning consultant.

You pick your numbers, you hold your breath, you wait for the drawing.. and this is the important part. You want to make sure that you are in a reputable group that has an independent ‘drawer’, the person that enters the names and numbers into a one of the online randomizer sites. It the Drawer needs to know that the site needs a time stamp on it. They need to be impartial. There needs to be trust.

The results are posted and the celebrating and partying begins! Those that won, they reap the rewards of our addictive personalities. We all have our own little hiding place at home where we hide our purchases. Little boxes of the most unique and awesome little gifts that our family members will get this Christmas.

At at that point, while 99% of us are celebrating, there is that 1%.. that negative nellie, debbie downer, party pooper 1%. They are the ones that will be very upset that they didn’t win the party. They will be shocked that they actually have committed to make a purchase at a company that they don’t like. They loved the odds until the odds didn’t fall in their favor.

They will complain, they will trash the company that won. They will send messages to everyone that the party was rigged, that the winner is a favorite of the admin. The worst ones, they will slip out of the group without making their purchases. They will leave the consultant and hostess hanging.. without that purchase, the hostess might not get the hostess credits!

More often than not, those debbie downers will go off and make their own group. They will pull in their unsuspecting direct selling friends and talk up what a great way to have fun and make money that this game stuff is! And inevitably, they will win the first game on their site.. the second game, they will win the hostess. They can’t seem to figure out how to load the time stamped screen shots of the drawing… a little glitch in their computer, or they forgot to capture the image or they didn’t know they were supposed to do that!

They rig, they win, they rig, they win.. but in the end, they lose because slowly, but surely, their names are passed around the social media groups. They become known as the non payers, the cheaters. Their business suffers for it, and they are left wondering, “Why didn’t I just buy the $10 tupperware bowl?”


18 responses »

  1. I hadn’t heard of these types of events before. It’s a shame that there are people who don’t play fair, but I guess you find that everywhere. I agree–karma or word-of-mouth eventually catch up with them.

    • It is fun.. but like all games and gambles, you have to watch out for the scammers! I love trying new products, so if I don’t win.. I’ve not really lost anything. I would have spent that $10 or $15 at walmart. But this way, I’m supporting another home business. If I do win, then it is even better because I make a little bit of commission!

  2. Interesting bits of info here. I hadn’t heard of anything like this before, although I do know that my aunt was involved in something that worked like this. Thanks for sharing, it’s always amusing to learn about strategies like these.

  3. Very informative post. Direct selling become know today because of the social media. The social media allows small business to drive traffic and possible client. i think you also get to gain a little with this sort of direct selling

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