MLMs are back on our radar thanks to Bachelor Thomas Malucelli. Are they a red flag?

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Most people have deal-breakers when it comes to dating.

Smoking, referring to an ex as “crazy”, and being rude to service staff might be some that resonate with you.

But what if your potential date is involved in multi-level marketing?

Also known as direct selling, multi-level marketing (MLM) is a form of direct sales where products or services — mainly in the wellness and beauty space — are sold through salespeople who work on commission only (not as employees of the company).

They’re back on our radar because Bachelor Australia contestant Thomas Malucelli has been connected to an MLM brand that offers weight-loss programs and products.

MLMs are divisive because its recruiters often target vulnerable people and lure them in with promises including flexible working hours and the opportunity to “get rich quick”.

Laura de Zwaan, a lecturer and researcher in Finance and Financial Planning at Griffith University, has done a deep dive into MLMs, and says there are more than 576,000 consultants involved in direct selling in Australia.

So, is someone being involved in an MLM something to be concerned about when a romance is blossoming, or should we be more chill about these modern-day Tupperware schemes?

The answer probably lies in how invested they are, explains Dr de Zwaan.

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