Multi Level Marketing, should I?

My friend just mentioned a chance to start my own business selling skin care products in a direct selling market. She is doing pretty well with her own business. I understand the risks but there’s also potential for gain.

Anyone with a personal experience in direct selling? Should I take my chances??

My friend just mentioned a chance to start my own business selling skin care products in a direct selling market. She is doing pretty well with her own business. I understand the risks but there’s also potential for gain.

Anyone with a personal experience in direct selling? Should I take my chances??




It depends on your personality and your expectations. The best Multi level marketers aren’t people good at selling products. The best ones make their money from recruiting and motivating other sales people. If you like that and are good at it then you can make a killing in MLM. If you go in with the mindset that its about selling product you may do OK for a while but you won’t be extremely successful.

Many recruits simply stay in long enough to pressure their friends and family into buying crap. I’ve heard this referred to as “relationship rape” and its a huge reason why MLM’s have a bad reputation.

Hell no!

My experience with this type of thing is that you will end up spending more on the products for yourself than you will make in profit. It’s not really a bargain regardless of the discount, if you wouldn’t have purchased it otherwise. Friends, family, and neighbors will be nice once or twice, but then when they have what they need, and feel they’ve fulfilled their obligation to you, you become a pest to them, and you’re stuck with your samples and no orders. The company doesn’t care that you were just a short term seller, because in reality they just got you to buy more than you would have just being a customer. The only people who make serious money have a long list of regular customers who order the same high end brands and products repeatedly for years. You have to know a lot of people with money to spend. Sometimes you can get lucky and inherit someone else’s list, but that’s rare. Or you pyramid and skim money off other sellers’ profits. If it was so great you would know far more people who are doing it. Your time and money are better spent in another activity IMO. But if you decide to do it, good luck!

Every MLM consists of two groups: a small group of people who are ripping the other people off and a large group of people who are being ripped off by the small group. So if you don’t have a plan for ripping off everyone else in this organization, you should stay out of it.

One percent make money and 99% are subsidizing the company. Which will you be?

I have a friend from grade school that I watched ‘get sucked into a pyramid scheme’. I wanted to tell her a few times, but I haven’t seen her in nearly 20 years so I stayed out of it. Based on the stuff she was saying on FB it was so clear that it was pyramid/MLM stuff. But she’s one of the few people that seems to know what she’s doing, she rose to the top. In fact, she just bought a Lexus with the money she’s made from them. I’ve watched her go from selling products to just posting articles about the products. So I assume she’s moved up a few levels and is no longer pounding the pavement, so to speak. I’m guessing at this point she’s just collecting the money and it’s more a matter of keeping the people under her motivated.

I hesitate to use the word ‘rip off’ it’s more that the people at the bottom, for whatever reason, just don’t understand what they’re getting into. They don’t read everything, they just see easy money. These are also the people that thing business are easy to run and believe that a store owner empties the cash register into his pocket every night and goes home with all that money.

My ex-wife got sucked into an MLM company for a few years. Luckily, by the time she was done she was only out a few hundred dollars. It was just like PurpleClogs said. She sold a couple things to friends, but then they didn’t want anymore, she didn’t have the moxy to go door to door with it and she wasn’t interested in recruiting people, so that was the end of the line for her. What bugged her the most is when people would tell her that she was getting into trouble. Other (smarter) people could see it but she couldn’t. We’d asked her questions (MLM type questions) and she say things like “We’re not supposed to answer that.” :confused: or “They tell us to just bring people to the meetings if they have questions” or, my favorite, “The have off duty cops at the meetings just to prove everything is legal” to which I responded “Umm, bringing your own lawyer might prove everything is legal, the cops are there to make sure no one starts a fight trying to get their money back”.

I have a client who became extremely, ridiculously successful with an MLM [del]scam[/del] company. However, he makes his money by holding seminars and getting other people to pay to opt in as sellers, not by selling the product (an acai-based energy drink, and he neither sells nor uses it himself.) Your “friend” is going to make money by getting you to sign up as a marketer.

How much will it cost you to become a level-one seller?

You should ask her how much of her product is sold to family and friends, and how many new customers she has to bring in to break even. Also ask her what percentage of her profits come from recruiting others.

I don’t see any reason why not. Everyone aspires to trying hard and failing. And you don’t need your friends and family, which is a good thing because they won’t talk to you anymore.

I would definitely give it a go. You won’t make any money but your upline may. You will learn something about the law of probability and variance.

But keep in mind when you’re talking with her that she’s recruiting you to be part of her “downstream”. The more money you earn, the more money SHE’LL make off of you. And the more people you recruit to be part of your downstream, the more money your “upstream” will make off of you and your downstream.

When you go to a company meeting are they selling a product or are they selling a lifestyle? Mary Kay cosmetics is an MLM that has a decent reputation, sells to anybody, and based on my understanding of people who have sold MK are upfront that you have to work hard to get rewards. I have friends who happily go to Mary Kay parties to buy cosmetics.

Amway on the other hand will host a “dream meeting” the first time you go in promoting a rich and extremely extravagant lifestyle. You can’t buy their products directly, you have to sign up and buy directly from another representative. You can’t make any money from them until you sign up people below you to buy from you - but good luck doing that since the vast vast vast majority of people who hear the name Amway will run away. I guarantee with Amway you will lose friends.

Joining an MLM like Amway will be the worst experience of your life. The main product they sell is a demented self help program amongst its members to keep dreaming, stay in, and feed money into the food chain at the top.

Depending on the company (Arbonne?) it’s not a guarantee you’ll be ripped off. You can do very well selling at home shows and vendor fairs.

But here’s the rub - its not a job selling skin care products, it’s a job selling home parties. And those are very hard to sell. Your worries should not be which products to have as samples, and you’re not going to spend the bulk of your time getting “paid to party”. It’s a small business in every sense of the word, and in order to be successful, you have to treat it like a business - which means spending 5+ hours a day on marketing and lead generation.

They always talk about how one show a week can get you $500 ( or whatever) but in order to get that one show a week, you’re going to ask 100 people to have a show. If an average show has about 8 people there, and all of them say no, how do you fill up the rest of your calendar? By cold calling, networking, doing mailers and just basically spending all day marketing yourself (not your product). To make part time money, you’re going to have to work part time hours, four of which will be a show, and 16 of which will be marketing. To make full time money, you have to work 40+ hours a week, which is again 80% marketing as opposed to sales.

It can be done, but it’s like any other sales job - real estate agent, insurance sales, etc. Make sure you want to be a salesman, and remember that you’re not selling skin care products, but yourself.

If you try to make money out of recruiting others(other than your own family), know that she has already hit up everybody you mutually know.

Might want to combine this with the other thread.