Monat Global is not without its controversies.
From lawsuits alleging that Monat’s hair products cause hair loss to accusations that Monat is an illegal pyramid scheme and many hairdressers begging people to stay away from Monat’s hair care products, the company has certainly attracted a lot of attention, and not necessarily the kind of attention it wants to attract.
However, on the flip side, Monat Market partners themselves seem to have nothing but positive things to say about Monat, claiming that Monat has worked wonders for their hair, and that SELLING Monat has made their lives infinitely better, with bonus checks every other day, epic free trips and conferences, and even free Cadillacs to those who work their business hard enough!
I wanted to know the truth about what it is really like working as a Market Partner for Monat.
In my previous posts, I have dived into the similarities between Monat and illegal pyramid schemes, and I’ve also analysed Monat’s income disclosure statements and found that most people in the company aren’t actually making any money, but I wanted to know what Monat is like from an INSIDER’S perspective, and more importantly, why so many Market Partners have stopped selling Monat.
So, naturally, I took to Reddit.
I posted in a few different subreddits and asked former Monat MPs to share their stories with me and explain what it was like working in the company and why they eventually stopped selling Monat.
Their answers were very illuminating.
So, if you’re ready to learn from former Monat MPs why they quit Monat, I suggest you get comfortable, because it’s going to be a long one!
Why I stopped Selling Monat – 4 Former Monat Market Partners Tell All
What is Monat?
First, let’s get into exactly what Monat is, just in case you’re not super familiar with Monat as a company and how they operate.
Monat is a multi-level marketing company that sells haircare and skincare products. It was founded in 2014 by Luis Urdaneta. Rayner Urdaneta is the CEO and Stuart A. MacMillan is President of Monat.
Monat products are not sold in stores, but online, through their distributors, known as ‘Market Partners.’
Monat Market Partners promote the products on social media, using the products themselves and making videos talking about how the products have benefited them.
Monat Market Partners do not receive a salary, but they do receive a commission if they sell Monat products to people that they know, and they also receive extra bonuses and commissions if they sign up other Monat reps and help those people sell Monat products and recruit people.
‘Why I stopped Selling Monat’
I spoke with several former Monat Market Partners and asked them to tell me about their experiences with Monat, as well as their reasons for leaving. Some of them wished to remain anonymous, but others will have their social media linked.
Here’s what they had to say.
‘A build up of pressure.’
Submitted on Reddit from @GUWaMPod (Twitter and Instagram).
‘I was introduced to Monat through a new friend that I’d met through my husband. We are still friends, though neither of us still sell Monat.
The culture when I first joined was a lot of FaceTime with the top earners on the team. There are so many teams and most of the top earners do cross-trainings, so I felt like I was learning so much and I was submerged in this world of glamour and amazing hair, wealth, and even charity work.
We were told we could (and should) work the business anywhere, in our spare time because ‘balance is important.’
But about 9 months after I joined, things changed.
The top earner on our team stopped recording her trainings. She said that if you wanted to learn the business bad enough and become a top earner, you would find a way to make every training, and that you should duplicate that training to your downline.
Everyone was poised to be an influencer. They even had trainings on how to make a pretty Instagram feed. Suddenly there was no work-life balance – we were gaslit because we didn’t sacrifice sleep or down time to promote the products or the business.
I was never told to employ sleazy marketing like ‘those other MLMs’ but I did it anyway because for some insane reason, I felt like I had to.
They always told us that our products were THE BEST and that our prices were UNBEATABLE and that our friends and family should want to support us.
We were taught to make fun of anti-MLM culture and to completely ignore questions about the lawsuits.
Because the products worked on me and truly improved my hair, I felt superior to the people complaining about Monat.
I felt like every post I made on social media had to have some sort of blurb about a product or a business or had to lean into influencer culture.
The end of the month was always the worst because we had so many ‘motivation’ calls to close deals and do reach outs to try to get sales and meet goals. I remember feeling frantic at the end of my Smart Start period that I just left so many voice messages for people, in a non-spammy way (like they told us), but looking back it was all spammy, and I feel so much guilt and disgust over it.
The reason I stopped selling Monat was definitely a build up of all the pressure. It started out as something fun, and it definitely was not fun after all that BS just dog-piled on me.’
Not Your Boss Babe thoughts…
Where to begin? Unfortunately, this experience is fairly common within Monat.
Before they sign up, Market Partners are told that they can work their business whenever they like, in ‘pockets of time,’ and that the best thing about Monat is the ‘time freedom’ that it offers.
However, when they are actually in the company, they are expected to attend endless Zoom trainings and ‘motivation calls,’ and if they can’t make one, they are made to feel guilty, and as though they are the ones to blame for not having reached the top of the pyramid yet.
They will be told that they clearly don’t want it badly enough, and that every successful business person has to hustle and grind to achieve success.
Something else that we can see is the cult-like manipulation involved. MP’s are told to ‘ignore questions about the lawsuits,’ make fun of people who criticise the business model and gaslight other MPs who don’t want to sacrifice sleep to make their Monat business work.
‘I find them like a cult.’
This was submitted via Reddit by somebody who wishes to remain anonymous, because her upline is her cousin.
‘I recently stopped using and selling Monat after two years.
I was super active in the company for the first six months, but then I stopped once I graduated and started my career because I didn’t have time.
I constantly felt harassed by my upline telling me that I ‘do have time’ and that ‘a 9 – 5 will get old.’
Mind you, I’m making $34 an hour right now and more in one pay check then I did in three months of Monat, and that was working my ass off until I just slowly started to slack and stop.
My hair was AMAZING for about 9 months and then all of a sudden, my scalp was thinning like crazy. My upline said that it was just ‘Covid hair loss’ and the stress of school.
I do believe that Covid hair loss is real but I also think that these products are way too scalp clarifying to use daily for that long and not remove hair follicles after a while.
So, long story short, I find them like a cult and unfortunately my upline is my cousin (who is like the sister I never had) and now she’s all butt hurt that I quit and am not using the products anymore.
She is also my hair dresser and doesn’t want to do my hair if I’m not using Monat because she may damage it by using other products…’
Not Your Boss Babe thoughts…
Again, we see the pressure to constantly be working on Monat, even when school and work should be taking priority, and the manipulative guilt-tripping behaviour.
The reason why so many people have this experience in MLMs is because if you aren’t making money, your upline isn’t making money. A percentage of everything you earn goes directly to them, and so it is in their own best interests to pressure you to sell Monat 24/7, no matter what the cost is to other areas of your life.
Another unfortunate side effect of MLMs is that often, people recruit their best friends or family members into the business (as we see here), and then if the person ever decides to leave Monat, they risk damaging those relationships.
Finally, another thing to be aware of with Monat’s hair products is that they are known to be extremely scalp-clarifying, and over time, if you use other products or dye your hair, your hair could have a terrible reaction and potentially fall out. It is well documented that there are many harmful ingredients in Monat’s hair products, but because most people selling them are not professional stylists, they just aren’t aware.
‘I lost hundreds.’
This comment was left on another article that I wrote about Monat, by someone named Saina.
‘Monat is a complete scam and I lost hundreds when I signed up for it.
I have a large social media following and got NO ONE to sign up once they heard about the hundreds of dollars that they had to spend upfront.
Now everyone and their mother is trying to sell Monat. Good luck. Only a few really make it and all I see is them on Zoom every day trying to recruit people.
Not Your Boss Babe thoughts…
The upfront costs of becoming a Monat Market Partner are just one of the reasons why so many people lose money with Monat. The Starter Kits, or Product Packs, can cost as much as $800, and if you don’t manage to make many sales, you’ve just lost a tonne of money.
Of course, this doesn’t take into account all of the other products that Monat MPs are encouraged to buy to show the products to their followers.
The truth is that even if you have a large following, it is still difficult to convince people to spend hundreds of dollars to become a sales rep.
‘I spent $1000 and made $400.’
This last account is another blog comment that I received on an article about Monat. The person who left it wishes to remain anonymous.
‘I used to be a Monat MP. I made $400 in 6 months – no one wanted to buy it because it was so expensive, and the Zoom calls were all about how people were losing their jobs so it’s the perfect time to pitch them this ‘opportunity.’
I thought to myself, ‘What a joke – these people can’t afford food and you want them to buy Monat?!’
One time they also told me to tell people to sell their own clothes or belongings to be a part of this opportunity. WHAT?!
If you don’t agree with what they’re doing they go against you or just write you off.
If this isn’t about money, why do you become so bitter if someone is questioning it because they’re sceptical?
Oh, because it is a scam.
I did everything right. I did videos, Zoom calls, made content and talked about the products. I spent over $1000 and made $400 back.
Also, most of the girls on my team who had hit a major rank had been stuck at that rank for almost a year or lost that rank.
Honestly, if you don’t have followers or aren’t an influencer already, you will not make much money. The girls who are making money either have many supporters already or are close to women who are influencers (the people who sign up with them do it because they want to be a part of the influencers team that their friend is connected closely to).
I got kicked out of the group chat when I didn’t hit my 200 PV goal one month.
You tell me – if I’m still selling, why did I get kicked out? Because I wasn’t making my uplines money fast enough.
They do get you with the sales (editor’s note: Monat is famous for having regular flash sales of the products), but I never spent just $70 or $80 with the sales; I spent about $120 after shipping and taxes. It’s a rip off.
If I bought 1 or 2 products just to restock, it would cost about $90, and the sales are worse! Sure, I might get 2 extra products for $80, but with the shipping costs and taxes, I basically bought those products anyway.
Let’s talk about the ‘free car’ – I know someone who works for Cadillac who has sold the cars to the girls or guys. They have to either lease or buy the car, and also make sure they stay at their rank to keep receiving your car payments from Monat. If not, you will be paying for your car out of pocket! You sign a contract at Cadillac basically saying that if Monat doesn’t pay for it, you will and if not, they will repossess your car.
The free trips aren’t so ‘free’ either. The girls get their flights paid for but they have to pay for their hotel rooms if they aren’t at a certain rank. You also have to pay for everything when you get there.
I know that I’m going to get attacked because that’s what all anti-Monat girls get when we don’t agree, but I’m stating the facts. I did not make a lot of money off this company.
Not Your Boss Babe thoughts…
So the first thing that I would like to highlight is that many people high up in Monat used the pandemic to recruit people. They exploited vulnerable people who had lost their jobs and were in dire need of money to promote the Monat ‘opportunity.’
This wasn’t out of the kindness of their hearts. It is because Monat MPs financially benefit off everyone they recruit.
The facts are that in 2018, 47% of Monat MPs earned nothing at all, and of those that did earn money, 94% of them earned an average of $183 in the entire year, which is less than the start-up costs.
If somebody has lost their job and is struggling to make ends meet, persuading them to join a company where the vast majority of people lose money is just disgusting.
Moving on, the commenter discusses how she spent $1000 and only made $400 back, despite working hard and doing everything that she was told to do. She also tells of being removed from her group chat after failing to hit her target 1 month (by people who are supposed to be on her team and supporting her).
She then goes on to point out that the ‘free Cadillac’ and ‘free trips’ are not really free at all, which is completely accurate, and this is something that a lot of new recruits have no idea of.
‘Why I stopped selling Monat’ | Final Thoughts
From the collective experiences of the people who stopped selling Monat, we can see the same patterns over and over again.
The pressure to be working 24/7 and sacrificing your sleep, career and down time. Being shunned and made to feel bad if you don’t hit your targets or if you decide to leave the company. Being told to ignore or make fun or anybody that disagrees with you and not listen to any criticism. Spending hundreds of dollars to make a tiny amount back in return. Becoming disillusioned and eventually wanting out.
This seems to be the general experience based on these accounts by former Monat Market Partners.
All of them worked hard and genuinely wanted to succeed in the business, but it just wasn’t possible.
This is because the MLM business model makes it impossible for most people to earn money. Nothing that these people did was wrong. Their only mistake was joining a company like Monat.
Here at Not Your Boss Babe, we don’t believe that joining any MLM is a good idea, and hopefully reading about these Monat experiences has shown you that not everything you see on social media is true.
Thank you to the 4 women who were kind enough to share their experiences with me, and as always, if you have any thoughts or questions, don’t hesitate to leave them in the comments below.
Until next time,