Official Position on Quixtar
In the event there is any controversy, I wanted to write a post on my official position on Multi-level Marketing (MLM) in general and Quixtar in particular.
Problems with MLM.
First, we need to keep in mind that we are stewards of the resources that God has handed us. We have the obligation to handle our money well and use it in a way that honors God, and even multiplies wealth (Matthew 25:14-30). How you handle money will be a reflection of how you handle other kingdom matters. In order to keep the talk about money Biblical, there are also many warnings about hording money and having a single consuming desire for money, even if that money is pledged to God (1 Timothy 6:6-10; 17-19). In short, we should seek to do the best we can in our respective industries, not seeking to be wealthy, nor seeking to be in poverty. Now, we need to ask if MLM is good stewardship: No, it is not. In general, MLM is not a good stewardship because:
1. Cost of MLM products are generally much more expensive than that of competing products. There are some exceptions to this, but not many. The reason for this is that companies selling products tend to want to sell them, as such, they are sold for as little as they can, but in an MLM, a whole line of people need to pull profit out of the sale of that product. This will drive up the cost. In this respect, some companies manufacture and sell their own products; they seem to not be any less expensive. It is not good stewardship to pay more money than you need to for common household items.
2. Since the product sales to customers outside of the organization are generally lower, worthwhile amounts of money are not often made by marketing these overly-expensive products. Because of this trend, money is in growth of the network, so more emphasis is generally placed on recruitment over customer sales. This adds another point: While one person (the one with downline) may be making a large income, virtually all the other participants will not make worthwhile amounts of money. It is not good stewardship to spend time trying to build your own little way up at the expense of others who only have equal opportunity by repeating what you did, thus having a whole group of downline without profit.
3. Since the price of MLM products tends to be higher, there is a first barrier in selling product at all; the second barrier is the price: the markup on products for sale to customers is generally too small to make a significant profit.
4. Since most people do not make money in MLM, you will have a large amount of people who quit. This means that the time required to build and maintain a network far exceeds the reward for doing so. Reliv boasts to have one of the highest retention rates, but SEC 10K documentation reports the retention is a little over 50%. It is not good stewardship to use your time to rebuild a network with a small potential of monetary reward.
5. The stigma about MLM tends to drive people away from you thus risking your reputation. Remember that in the words of Jesus, if anything interferes with your reputation, it had better be the truth, not something else. MLM is often the social unacceptable joke to pop. Since I have been a critic of MLM, I have heard MLM references in Moody Presents [Unknown sermon], Adventures in Odyssey [All the Difference in the World], Renewing Your Mind [Wealth and Poverty], many movies, cartoons, etc. Some might call this discrimination, and it may be, but it is a fact that MLMers will tend to use social events of all kinds to recruit people, thus causing an annoyance to people.
6. Often times an MLM will be associated with an ‘educational system’ of some sort. In extreme cases, these are cults, in less extreme cases, they are simply bad for the Christian to be involved in. They are based on secular business motivation and self-help industry which is well rooted in Though Reform Psychology, a branch of ‘science’ that is antithetical to Christianity due to the core beliefs it teaches.
This being said, I do not consider MLM to be illegal, but it may be sinful. It is well known that the drive to build your group often leads to a growth in covetousness and a zeal that consumes the passion that we are supposed to reserve for Christ alone.
Problem with Quixtar
Now, outside of the listed opinions above, the only other reservation I have about Quixtar is that they have know about the abuse in the tools system since the 80’s, but have not taken action steps against the high level distributors that are responsible for that abuse. It is clear from the many testimonies that there are many people violating the Quixtar rules, many people are getting hurt, many people are going broke, yet the corporation appears to look the other way.