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pinkmint

Multi Level Marketing. What is the deal?

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I tend to err on the side of skepticism so I'll say that right off the bat. But I just want to know what you all think. MLM's are nothing new right? There's been Tupperware, Avon and Mary Kay in the 80's. But now it's fitness coaching, essential oils, magical mascara, jambery nails etc etc etc.

 

I wonder how these people, overwhelmingly women, make actual money. When I see their efforts to sell products all I can think is why would I buy ____ when I can go to a store or buy it on Amazon? I have never once wondered or thought that their products are special and superior. 

 

And speaking of women, I wonder how good these ventures are for women. They are time consuming, a little cult like and always seem to require an upfront purchase. 

 

Also, I've felt a little manipulated at times when a lady will make an effort to reach out to me in friendship, only to find she's actually trying to hock her wares. 

 

Am I missing something? Is there anything good about MLMs? 

Edited by pinkmint
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I do know of one lady who has been selling Tastefully Simple locally for years, she makes a good living at it. BUT - she has had the time to build up a large clientele. My former neighbor used to host parties and get a lot of loot for doing so - I was one of the friends who would go for an evening out to chat and eat (sampling the Tastefully Simple goods) and drink my neighbor's wine ;-) but of course I always felt obliged to order a couple items... none of which I ever wanted or used (I usually got flavored bread mixes to gift to my mom).

 

The key, I think, is to be a gregarious person with a large pool of friends to sell to for a start, and then sign on a couple of those friends to in turn sell.

In high school I got invited to a "party" once by a neighbor girl, it turned out to be a sales pitch to sell Amway - she had bought into becoming an Amway seller, and her mentor was there to coach her through the party. However, the gist was not to sell any of us stuff, but to get us to sign on to sell Amway ourselves (so she'd get points or whatever the term is out of any sales we made). I remember looking at my neighbor and wondering "If you are do desperate to invite me, someone you barely know, to join Amway, then who is left for me to try to sign up?"

Edited by JFSinIL
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I see a difference between Direct Sales and MLM.  To me, Pampered Chef, Tupperware, Creative Memories etc are more direct sales with MLM elements but many buy without being coerced into signing up to sell. Amway, on the other hand, primarily is MLM with much pressure to sign people up. That is the purpose, not direct sales. And I did do Amway for awhile, so I do know what I'm talking about. It is very pressure intense from those above you. I also have done direct sales for one of the mentioned direct sales companies. We were encouraged to get new sales people under us but that was very low key and no pressure if you didn't. The main thing was repeated direct sales.

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I used to be very skeptical of Direct Sales companies.  I thought much of the same things you mentioned.  I'm very frugal :001_smile: and can't imagine spending so much money or bags or nails or even kitchen stuff.

 

However, now I'm sort of selling Plexus which is a health and wellness company.  A lot my friends are selling it and making good money.  I actually haven't heard of another company that pays so well.  There are no up-front costs except around $30 dollars a year for a website.  There are no commitments, no monthly purchase obligations, no inventory.

 

Where I see the difference between them and other companies is that I believe their products are worth the money you pay for them.  For some people they might not be, but for us they are. My husband had some health issues, and tried them out of desperation and there is no way he would quit taking them.

 

So like QueenCat said above, it all depends on whether you think the value of the product is worth the cost.  I think Plexus products are, and that's why so many are able to make a good living of them.  I actually think they're comparable to other good quality supplements and cheaper than some.  The money the company saves on advertising is paid to the people who promote their product.

Edited by wonderfilled

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It's a job that requires no interview and anyone is hired, so, it is very very popular..... but I think the vast majority don't make anything.

I tried it.  It was not a terrible experience, but, I didn't make any money.  Spun  my wheels a bit and gave up.  Like most people, I think.
 

People who are trying to make a living off it will always give the rosiest view, and that's fine.

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My 17yo son is interested in both business and nice cars. He strikes up conversations with people with nice cars out of the blue. The other night he came home excited; he was talking to a guy about the guy's BMW and turns out the guy has an "online marketing business" and wanted to meet for coffee to discuss it further.

 

My first thought was my son was getting hit on (he's a good-looking kid), the second was it was MLM. I'm so cynical! Turns out it was the latter-Amway. I suggested he do some research about it, and after that he decided not to pursue it further. Kind of sad to teach your kid to be suspicious of friendly people who want to talk to you about their business, but there it is!

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In high school I got invited to a "party" once by a neighbor girl, it turned out to be a sales pitch to sell Amway - she had bought into becoming an Amway seller, and her mentor was there to coach her through the party. However, the gist was not to sell any of us stuff, but to get us to sign on to sell Amway ourselves (so she'd get points or whatever the term is out of any sales we made). I remember looking at my neighbor and wondering "If you are do desperate to invite me, someone you barely know, to join Amway, then who is left for me to try to sign up?"

 

  

we used to have a local comedy show that was similar to the saturday night live format - called "almost live".  there was one skit about terrifying bosses. the angry yelling guy, the shards of glass, the box of snakes . . . each one progressively worse.  then the new guy comes in with a big smile, and seems really nice . . . "have you heard the good news about amway?''  scream and run away - he was the worst of them all . . .

 

My brother got invited to something similar when he was fresh out of high school - I was dragged along.  it's a scam . . . constant push to sign people up to be "under you".  I had a friend who invited me to a meeting to learn about relive (supplement shake.  overpriced lack of quality. made me sick.).  or at least that's what I thought - it was to get me to sign up to sell underneath her.

 

as far as tupperware goes - I remember when they had NO competitors for the quality of their merchandise.  they were "it".

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I just want to add - I know of two health/wellness supplement companies that do direct sales/mlm.  reliv and advocare.  It was VERY hard to get the ingredient list in the advocare - but they are cr*p quality.  same with reliv.  neither are certified to contain what they say they contain.  

but I've reached the point I know what to look for, and it had BETTER be very bioavailable.  but what it usually is, it cheap molecular forms of vitamins (that your body can barely absorb - if at all) in their "formula" at a premium price marketed as a one-size fits all solution.

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I work in an direct sales company and love it. It pays for my son's very expensive private therapies - ot, pt, etc. that run us about $1k a month. Eek. I like my company because I don't have to go lug a bunch of stuff around and do in home parties. I work from my cell when I'm waiting for my kids to finish sports practice or whatever. I don't have to promise that this expensive drink, shake, supplement, what have you will make you lose weight, have energy, cure cancer, etc. and oh by the way you have to use it for months before you see results. My company has a great return policy so my customers try it and if they don't like it or think it's worth the money, I return it for them. They get their money back and I still keep my commission. I also don't like companies that want to dig into my pocket or my friends and customers. Autoship is a rotten deal. My company doesn't have autoship or any fees so if I don't sell anything one month Im not out any money. It takes all the pressure off.

I love that I get to work with ladies who cheer me on, help me brainstorm, and really want me to succeed. And I do the same for them. It's a great source of positive energy for me.

That said, all of the critiques that have been mentioned are real and frustrating. Im sure I could be making even more if I were willing to exploit my friends, but I'm not. I dont pester or even bring it up. My friends bring it up to me if they want a product or want to join or something. It drives me nuts when all I see on my friends Fb or in emails are ads. I just unfollow or ignore emails. I want to support people and will but not if all you are doing is using me to make money.

Edited by MSNative

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I see a difference between Direct Sales and MLM.  To me, Pampered Chef, Tupperware, Creative Memories etc are more direct sales with MLM elements but many buy without being coerced into signing up to sell. Amway, on the other hand, primarily is MLM with much pressure to sign people up. That is the purpose, not direct sales. And I did do Amway for awhile, so I do know what I'm talking about. It is very pressure intense from those above you. I also have done direct sales for one of the mentioned direct sales companies. We were encouraged to get new sales people under us but that was very low key and no pressure if you didn't. The main thing was repeated direct sales.

 

There is no difference between direct sales and multi-level marketing. All of the direct sales companies have some sort of multi-level involved with sponsoring/recruiting along with sales of a product or service, because otherwise how would the company continue to grow?. I say this as an Amway distributor for almost 40 years. Perhaps your upline was pushy, but that only means you got into the wrong line. The company itself doesn't push; there are great financial rewards for having a large organization, but it is very clear in the literature that it's your choice. You pay your annual fee and then do what you want. Sell products or don't; sponsor or don't. I had wonderful sponsors, in a wonderful larger organization. I'm just a slacker, lol, and my sponsor loved me anyway.

 

Tupperware (and I did Tupperware for awhile because I love Tupperware) and some of the others also encourage sponsoring/recruiting; in fact, there's more necessity in some to keep recruiting/sponsoring because the people you recruited don't continue to be part of your business for very long so you have to always bring more people in if you want to make any decent money.

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I've never gotten into them and don't plan on it.

 

I know a few people who really like the product they sell and stay with it mainly to keep purchasing at the reduced cost.

 

Otherwise...no way...I also know a few people who have a hoard of stuff they were going to sell.

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I like some of the product lines a lot, and generally I don't like to shop so it's nice to be able to see things in someone's home instead of online or at the mall.

 

The ones I like are Amway for some cleaning products, Pampered Chef (I really should distribute for them; I love their stuff so much), Silpada (when it's on sale.  Otherwise it's a little overpriced), and formerly CAbI, before I migrated up to a 2X which they don't carry. 

I like a lot of the Tupperware stuff, but would never redo my whole kitchen with it.  Same with 31.

 

Those are all somewhat unique, of good quality, and things I want anyway.

 

I don't mind being asked to buy something, because I don't mind saying no, so it doesn't make me anxious to know I might need to do so, LOL.  But I hate high pressure, and I say that I'm not interested, too, kindly but clearly.  And once I've said that, I don't want someone to keep bringing it up.  I would never do that.

And I hate it when someone says, donate for this, and it turns out not to be tax deductible, so it's really 'give me money so I can donate for this'.  I don't mind a party that says what it's for, but dislike it when that's not disclosed upfront. 

 

I don't care for Arbonne or Party Lite or the sensual MLMs or melalueca.

 

Edited by Carol in Cal.

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The cold hard truth is that many MLM companies make their money primarily by convincing the sales reps to buy inventory. The reps are their customers more than the final customer. A handful of reps make a small but significant to them amount of income- say enough to supplement their main job or a spouse's job. A tiny number of reps actually make a decent living from it. The number of reps who make big money from it is a number approaching but not equal to zero. The vast majority of reps make very little or even nothing.

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I don't dislike most MLMs.  I did sell Avon for a bit over a decade ago, and it was fun.  I made a little bit of money, but spent it all on Avon, lol.

 

What I hate is what MLMs have done to my social media.  Instead of the occasional invite, I'm now bombarded by multiple pitches every. single. day.

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Those in MLMs who do make money (and it's not many) do so by signing up and training a lot of people to work hard and sell under them, and they get a cut of each.  This requires a big contact list that you are willing to tap, and a lot of hard work to get people signed up and working hard.  Most people aren't successful at this.

 

Most people who sign up for MLMs end up LOSING money, because they are required to purchase so much product as samples (and the products are ever-changing, so you can't ever get to the end of buying) and because they have never figured out how to run it like a business and to account for costs. 

 

Frankly, the type of person who would be successful at an MLM is usually going to go run a more profitable business for themselves. 

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I find this business model to be very distasteful.

 

Partly for the reasons Katie mentioned, and partly because I find marketing to friends to be ... Distasteful.

 

I spent years self-employed. I made a good income. Very good. Enough to support a family comfortably, travel, invest, and pay for insurance. I made and sold a product. I did not market to friends, but had a large client base. If a friend wanted to buy from me, s/he got a hefty discount or I sold to her/him at cost. I did, once in a while, pay a friend to come help me at a show, too. But friends were never approached with an eye to selling.

 

I don't see the appeal of MLMs or direct marketing.

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Some reps even get into hefty debt trying make their numbers.

I dont know if you can lay that all at the mlms feet though. I teach fitness classes and have coworkers who spend much more than they make on cute logoed clothing, shoes, accessories,etc. Some people are just not that good with money regardless of what business they are in.

I do think agree that some mlms exacerbate that with autoships. Having to spend hundreds each month whether you sell or not is a recipe for financial challenges.

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I have several aquantainces from years ago whom I'm friends with on FB. One makes close to $300k/year, another around $80k/year and another $1k/month selling those little bottles of oil, so yeah, people do make money with MLMs. What I find do amusing if that my mom's generation had Amway and some herbal health food MLMs, my generation is EOs and fingernail stickers. And I think the internet had helped some of these businesses immensely.

Edited by momacacia

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I dont know if you can lay that all at the mlms feet though. I teach fitness classes and have coworkers who spend much more than they make on cute logoed clothing, shoes, accessories,etc. Some people are just not that good with money regardless of what business they are in.

I do think agree that some mlms exacerbate that with autoships. Having to spend hundreds each month whether you sell or not is a recipe for financial challenges.

My post isn't realy laying it at the feet of the companies. It's just a fact. And it's one that potential reps should fully know about and grasp before signing up.

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I have several aquantainces from years ago whom I'm friends with on FB. One makes close to $300k/year, another around $80k/year and another $1k/month selling those little bottles of oil, so yeah, people do make money with MLMs. What I find do amusing if that my mom's generation had Amway and some herbal health food MLMs, my generation is EOs and fingernail stickers. And I think the internet had helped some of these businesses immensely.

 

You know their income because..... how? Because they say that? I would take that info with an enormous grain of salt, coming from sales professionals:    "Lots of people buy this product! It's very popular! If you buy it, you will be one of many very smart consumers!  This is a movement, not just a product! " and of course they are recruiting as well.  Because, MLM.

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You know their income because..... how? Because they say that? I would take that info with an enormous grain of salt, coming from sales professionals:    "Lots of people buy this product! It's very popular! If you buy it, you will be one of many very smart consumers!  This is a movement, not just a product! " and of course they are recruiting as well.  Because, MLM.

 

:iagree:  I'm constantly seeing people on FB- not too many of my friends, but tons of people in local sell it groups- saying things like, "I make ten thousand dollars a month, and you can too with only a few hours of work a week!" Grandiose lies about income seem to be a theme with MLM.

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Not only are income claims distasteful but in some companies, mine included, they are against the agreement that you sign. That said, I do know two people in my company who already make over a million a year. They are rare and they work a whole lot of hours. They also each had previous sales and sales management positions in other b&m companies. I also have a few friends in the company who make 10-20k a month. I've seen their back office numbers and know those numbers are true. They are in the top .5% of the company.

If you go in thinking you will magically make millions right away by barely doing any work you will be sadly disappointed. And a lot of people to recruit by promising that. Which seems like a good way to set your team members up for disillusionment and failure imo so I don't understand why anyone would do it.

I will never make a million in my business. I don't work the hours it requires. Most people won't. But when I talk to people about the business I ask them how much they are looking to make each month. The vast majority want to make between $200-$500 a month. That is extremely doable in a lot of companies if people are given the proper tools and training and are willing to/have the time to work. Of course that goes back to not trying to hook people in with false claims of riches without lifting a finger.

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The other weirdness is in how they define 'work'.  I remember Amway people used to say that you could make it to a high level in 4-5 years by working two nights per week, and in 2-3 years by working 5 nights per week.  But their idea of working was actually showing people the Amway business on those nights, in little groups.  It didn't include all the work to get the groups together or order, sell, and deliver the products.  

 

I knew one guy who made it to an intermediate level in Amway, and he worked on it pretty much all the time if you included everything he did to recruit people.  His wife did all the work on the products also--he didn't do any of that.  He was focussed on building a big organization, and that was the main goal he had.  I lost track of them and don't know whether they ever made it to financial independence but they sure were working hard for something that was supposed to be part time.  What they thought was that once they got up to a high enough level they would be able to sort of coast on residuals and not work much if at all.

Edited by Carol in Cal.

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I've been involved in a couple of MLMs.

They all recruit, and yes, a ton of money is made by the company by selling to the "consultants" or whatever you are titled.

 

The idea in recruiting is to make it look simple, make the person think, "I could do this, and I could do it better."

That's a direct line from the person who recruited me, and it was a very honest admission. We were taught how to sell, how to present "the opportunity," and were convinced we were offering life-changing products and a life-changing income opportunity.

 

And it was toys. We were selling toys.

 

First they marketed to us, the consultants--every fall and every spring, we had the chance to purchase sample toys--so cute, so educational, so much...plastic CRAP. Overpriced. Glaringly awful colors. Some good quality, some very poor.

 

I met really nice people. I met moms struggling to supplement their husband's income. I met women wanting to be business people but needing help and needing a vision, which were supplied, but supplied by an upline that was ultimately concerned with others' success because it meant they got a cut of that success.

 

You can dabble in a MLM. You can also get sucked in. You must develop or start with good boundaries. In an MLM, there is never a cut-off. You are never done. There is always another opportunity to present the opportunity. You are, after all, someone who is taught, "Sharing is Caring!" You never have a vacation unless you TAKE it.

 

Ugh.

 

Off my soapbox now.

 

 

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One thing that I think is nice about those firms is that they give people an easy way to learn to have their own businesses.

 

Two generations back small businesses were fairly common, and everyone knew people who had them.  Now it's not all that common anymore, and the barriers to entry seem more formidable than they actually are, I think.  So having a little Pampered Chef business can give people a taste of what it takes, and maybe give them a chance to go into something more unique to them if they are so inclined, or into a franchise.

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You know their income because..... how? Because they say that? I would take that info with an enormous grain of salt, coming from sales professionals: "Lots of people buy this product! It's very popular! If you buy it, you will be one of many very smart consumers! This is a movement, not just a product! " and of course they are recruiting as well. Because, MLM.

I know their general income because I know what "level" that are at by what they advertise is as on FB, then the company published online the monthly income of distributors at that level. It could certainly be give or take, but it's in those ranges per company literature, not the mouths of the distributors/salespeople themselves.

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Can someone explain Shakeology to me?  There are a number of women I know who do this.  I am sure they want to sell me their shakes, but the whole thing seems to be a health and exercise program.  Do you pay people to be your fitness coach or something?  I don't know what is going on with it, and I don't really want to ask because I don't want to buy whatever it is.  But I am really curious.

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I find this business model to be very distasteful.

 

Partly for the reasons Katie mentioned, and partly because I find marketing to friends to be ... Distasteful.

 

I spent years self-employed. I made a good income. Very good. Enough to support a family comfortably, travel, invest, and pay for insurance. I made and sold a product. I did not market to friends, but had a large client base. If a friend wanted to buy from me, s/he got a hefty discount or I sold to her/him at cost. I did, once in a while, pay a friend to come help me at a show, too. But friends were never approached with an eye to selling.

 

I don't see the appeal of MLMs or direct marketing.

\

I don't know. I have friends who sell on Etsy, and I find their posts promoting their businesses interesting. Maybe I wouldn't if we didn't share a mutual interest in crafting, but even though I almost never buy it, I find what they made interesting. 

 

MLM posts, though? It's not just that I don't have an interest in the product. It's not even that they typically tend to post at a much higher volume - several times a week at least - about their business. It's that a lot of these posts are formulaic, that they don't even sound like my friends. I've unfollowed many people - sometimes even pretty good friends - because I couldn't stand getting multiple MLM business posts a day, and it makes me sad that then I miss hearing about their families and their lives. 

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Can someone explain Shakeology to me? There are a number of women I know who do this. I am sure they want to sell me their shakes, but the whole thing seems to be a health and exercise program. Do you pay people to be your fitness coach or something? I don't know what is going on with it, and I don't really want to ask because I don't want to buy whatever it is. But I am really curious.

Everyone I know who sells shakeology is also a beachbody coach. I *think* shakeology is just shakes.

Edited by MSNative
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Can someone explain Shakeology to me?  There are a number of women I know who do this.  I am sure they want to sell me their shakes, but the whole thing seems to be a health and exercise program.  Do you pay people to be your fitness coach or something?  I don't know what is going on with it, and I don't really want to ask because I don't want to buy whatever it is.  But I am really curious.

 

You order it through a Beachbody coach and can buy it one time with nothing else or have it auto-shipped.  I only buy it when I can afford it, but I really do like it.  It's SO expensive, though.  :(  I feel really good when I use it.  I tend to have it for my breakfast 3-4x per week and use less than a full scoop to make it last.  I dunno, there are other shakes out there and I've tried many but like this one the best.  Of course, the most expensive.  LOL  it's used in conjunction with several programs, BUT you do not have to buy an exercise program with it!  (I'm not a coach, just a customer, btw.)

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I tend to err on the side of skepticism so I'll say that right off the bat. But I just want to know what you all think. MLM's are nothing new right? There's been Tupperware, Avon and Mary Kay in the 80's. But now it's fitness coaching, essential oils, magical mascara, jambery nails etc etc etc.

 

I wonder how these people, overwhelmingly women, make actual money. When I see their efforts to sell products all I can think is why would I buy ____ when I can go to a store or buy it on Amazon? I have never once wondered or thought that their products are special and superior.

 

And speaking of women, I wonder how good these ventures are for women. They are time consuming, a little cult like and always seem to require an upfront purchase.

 

Also, I've felt a little manipulated at times when a lady will make an effort to reach out to me in friendship, only to find she's actually trying to hock her wares.

 

Am I missing something? Is there anything good about MLMs?

I am NOT a fan of MLM or Direct Sales for multiple reasons. I was employed in Direct Sales once; I sold Tupperware when I was early twenties. Here's the breakdown:

1) It is possible to make money, but it is highly dependant on these things:

a. How many people you can line up under you, in your "downline;

b. How un-bothered you are by exploiting your friendships and relationships;

c. How smartly you run your business - if you are a sucker for buying the product, you are just as suckered as your clients.

d. How little it bothers you to constantly shake the money tree, i.e., call clients, call consultants under you, eat-sleep-and-pee the product, etc.

 

The sales pitch given to potential new distributors is very deceptive and is frequently riddled with lies. It is overwhelmingly women, in part because women are *constantly* targeted with the total lie that this is a way for them to be "home with their kids." If you are working your Direct Sales heavily enough to make real money at it, you are NOT "at home." You might be able to get a second-shift arrangement where you do parties and sales stuff in the evening, while home during the day, at which point your partner cares for the kids. But this is NOT the same thing as being a SAHM. The money doesn't make itself.

 

And YES, I think Direct Sales is emphatically exploitative of women. It is a type of work with a very high turnover and not many people stay in it for even half a year unless they get into the upper range of levels. Most people are not terribly interested in ANY of these products that are being hawked and few people want to host a party. When I did Tupperware, the most labor-intensive thing was trying to motivate people who had agreed to have a party to actually make an effort to have a successful party. It was absolutely depressing.

 

I DO think that most products marketed though DS have some aspect of them that is superior to other similar products. Personally, I love Usborne books that I have bought through a party and I very much like Pampered Chef. However, I would be perfectly happy to never go to another DS party in all my life. Recently, I was very close to buying something from a lady who was just starting a DS business - I liked the product and I was sympathetic to her hopes. But then I got turned off when she saturated me with emails about the product. It "reminded" me why I don't buy anything Ds anymore. I had to tell her I changed my mind, and really needed to watch my pennies (which is true).

 

It seems to me to let word get around that Quill doesn't buy through DS. I have not been invited to many in several years because I stopped going. In a way, I want people to think it is hard to get people excited about DS because the more people think this, hopefully the less I will have to turn down my friends.

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I have mixed feelings.  Back in the late 70's, Avon was the thing and I loved their products!  An acquaintance at work (where I supported myself while in college) sold Avon products on the side.  She only made a little bit of extra money.  It mostly was just a fun distraction in the break room!

 

In my hometown now, it's mostly just friends I've known for years who decided to get into businesses like Pampered Chef and 31 as a little side business and something to do socially during our long winters.  It's always the same people who go (we're a small town), and it really is mostly just a social thing.  My friend who sells 31 sold enough one year to go to Florida I think.  No one expects to make a million and it's very low key.  I don't mind that.

 

Once, my husband and I met a couple for the first time (they were new in town) who seemed real eager to meet us.  They invited us to their home and treated like their new best friends, and then they all of a sudden had a big MLM spiel.  It was really strange and it made us feel like they really were not interested in a friendship at all.  Later that year, one day, they were just gone.  They had two children in school in town and everything.  No one knew what happened to them.

Edited by J-rap

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Once, my husband and I met a couple for the first time (they were new in town) who seemed real eager to meet us.  They invited us to their home and treated like their new best friends, and then they all of a sudden had a big MLM spiel.  It was really strange and it made us feel like they really were not interested in a friendship at all. 

 

Common ploy for major MLM's. It was actually a ploy we were taught during our Amway stint. We were encouraged to meet people wherever we could and invite them over, etc, and then "bam" introduce them to Amway. This was not just our direct upline but a major part of the official training. We were introduced to it when a couple started talking to us at the playground, acted like they were into whatever we said we were in, asked us to meet for dinner, and then after that, asked if they could drop off some interesting info and then bam! Can't believe we got sucked in for a bit.

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Common ploy for major MLM's. It was actually a ploy we were taught during our Amway stint. We were encouraged to meet people wherever we could and invite them over, etc, and then "bam" introduce them to Amway. This was not just our direct upline but a major part of the official training. We were introduced to it when a couple started talking to us at the playground, acted like they were into whatever we said we were in, asked us to meet for dinner, and then after that, asked if they could drop off some interesting info and then bam! Can't believe we got sucked in for a bit.

 

Yuck.  That's so insincere.  Just - yuck.  

 

I'm glad you're out of it now.  

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Yuck.  That's so insincere.  Just - yuck.  

 

I'm glad you're out of it now.  

 

It was a long time ago, when we were young & naive. Actually, dh never liked it but went along with it for a while to appease me. I had to admit he was right.........

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Oi! And a new huge one is the It Works! stuff... & FB is free advertising.

 

If one more chick from high school friend requests and messages me about trying her freaking wraps.... :glare:

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Common ploy for major MLM's. It was actually a ploy we were taught during our Amway stint. We were encouraged to meet people wherever we could and invite them over, etc, and then "bam" introduce them to Amway. This was not just our direct upline but a major part of the official training. We were introduced to it when a couple started talking to us at the playground, acted like they were into whatever we said we were in, asked us to meet for dinner, and then after that, asked if they could drop off some interesting info and then bam! Can't believe we got sucked in for a bit.

 

Happily, that is not official Amway advice, and most Amway groups don't do it. Thank goodness mine did not, or I would not have stayed in.

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Happily, that is not official Amway advice, and most Amway groups don't do it. Thank goodness mine did not, or I would not have stayed in.

 

It was highly encouraged at every level of training I went to, be it small groups or filled auditoriums. Most people I know that tried Amway (not just in my "group") had similar experiences to me so I know it was not just my group. You're fortunate to not have experienced the push to talk to all of your family, friends, etc and then try to "meet" people wherever to lure them in.

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Oi! And a new huge one is the It Works! stuff... & FB is free advertising.

 

If one more chick from high school friend requests and messages me about trying her freaking wraps.... :glare:

 

Ugh. One of my friends does It Works! and she's constantly on Facebook saying that she needs five people to be product testers for her products and give her feedback. Of course you have to buy the products in order to be her testers....it just rubs me wrong the way they way they post misleading photos and such things. She posted a pic of a friend a week after she had a baby and then several months later she posted a pic of the lady 'after using one wrap'. Well yeah, but it was months between those pictures. Just....ugh. 

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That sort of dishonest advertising reminds me of some house write ups we read when we were looking to buy. My favorite- "Waterfront" was really a drainage ditch in the front yard. But we saw numerous extremely misleading write ups. I don't get it. Do people really get scammed that way? Did the realtor really think I'd look at the drainage ditch and think, yes! That is the waterfront I was talking about. Oh and the "infinity-type pool" that was actually the pool sliding down the hill. Smh.

If you don't believe enough in your product to show real results - and provide free samples for testers- then you probably shouldn't be selling it imo.

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I sold jewelry througn a direct sales / MLM company for a few years when my ex-husband couldn't keep a job.  I worked a full-time+ job, and then did jewelry parties on the side.  I never pressured anyone, much less my friends, to buy anything.  The product, price, and customer service were all something that people liked, so yeah...I made some money.  I never signed anyone up, and still did well, relatively speaking, and helped make up for the lost money every time the ex lost yet another job.

 

I also like going to some of the home parties that friends have, although I haven't been to one in years.  Most are Facebook parties at this point.  

 

If people don't like the products, then they don't buy them.  Seems pretty simple to me.  I don't understand the strong feelings about it one way or another.  

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I find myself questioning the motives of every person I know who sells for an MLM. The ones I know are health-related... so every "how are you" or "how is ds doing with that sore throat" or whatever makes me think they are trying to sell me their product. I very quickly lose faith in the authenticity of their friendship. I might be wrong to feel this way, but that is how my experience has played out... there is a lot of interest/care when you're a potential, but once you say "no," goodbye. I HATE MLMs.

 

I do have to say the Beachbody coach I know is the one authentic MLM person I know. I bought cheap videos through her once and joined a FB private group for accountability. It was great. She never hard-sells me. I know she's there if I want to do more, but I never feel pushed. I also believe in the science of exercise, whereas I find the "science" of Wraps... sketchy.

 

I also don't like the before/after pix from ItWorks and Plexus. They don't tell the whole story. Pounds come off due to exercise, baby weight dropping naturally, diet changes, etc.

Edited by Janie Grace
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It was highly encouraged at every level of training I went to, be it small groups or filled auditoriums. Most people I know that tried Amway (not just in my "group") had similar experiences to me so I know it was not just my group. You're fortunate to not have experienced the push to talk to all of your family, friends, etc and then try to "meet" people wherever to lure them in.

 

Well, of course I would talk to friends and family about the products and the business. Who else would I talk to? Proctor and Gamble doesn't have any qualms about talking to everyone in the entire known world. If I have a product or service that I think is valuable and worthwhile, of course I will talk to people I know. That's just common sense.

 

I would not refer to it as "luring them in," unless I did a bait-and-switch kind of meeting, which Amway does not recommend, nor did the group I belonged to (and it was a large crown direct distributorship). We were very active for several years (and then homeschool happened...o_0), attending center meetings and meetings at our sponsor's home and training sessions and even weekend retreats. I already loved the products; and the encouragement and instruction and interactions with all my up-line and "cross-line" and the people they invited to speak made me love the business, too.

 

Mr. Ellie and I are not independently wealthy because of selling soap, because we are slackers. :-) However, it would be the thing I would turn to if I needed to make an income, and I will always recommend it to anyone who asks.

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That sort of dishonest advertising reminds me of some house write ups we read when we were looking to buy. My favorite- "Waterfront" was really a drainage ditch in the front yard. But we saw numerous extremely misleading write ups. I don't get it. Do people really get scammed that way? Did the realtor really think I'd look at the drainage ditch and think, yes! That is the waterfront I was talking about. Oh and the "infinity-type pool" that was actually the pool sliding down the hill. Smh.

If you don't believe enough in your product to show real results - and provide free samples for testers- then you probably shouldn't be selling it imo.

 

I've seen those RE listings too.  when we were looking for condo's for my mom - we looked at one that advertised as having a city view.  yeah, if you went and stood in the corner of the living room so you could see out one particular corner window and crained your neck just so ...  you could see the top of a high rise.

 

though my favorite ad was "five minutes to nordstrom". . . . if you're that shallow . . .

 

 

dh belongs to a business networking group.  I went in his place, and was engaging in small talk with one woman and asking what types of things she liked to do.  "Oh, we're very social and like to throw parties.  I do parties that support and encourage women". (which prompted a big eye roll from me). 

 

she sells advocare.  (I've read what is *actually* in them.  I have nothing polite to say about it.  oh, and their energy drink is basically a shot of caffeine.)  so, she's being social to get people to spend money on stuff she sells that doesnt' work, so she can make money off of them. I think the acurate word for that is: mercenary.

 

eta: for clarity

Edited by gardenmom5
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Well, of course I would talk to friends and family about the products and the business. Who else would I talk to? Proctor and Gamble doesn't have any qualms about talking to everyone in the entire known world. If I have a product or service that I think is valuable and worthwhile, of course I will talk to people I know. That's just common sense.

 

I would not refer to it as "luring them in," unless I did a bait-and-switch kind of meeting, which Amway does not recommend, nor did the group I belonged to (and it was a large crown direct distributorship). We were very active for several years (and then homeschool happened...o_0), attending center meetings and meetings at our sponsor's home and training sessions and even weekend retreats. I already loved the products; and the encouragement and instruction and interactions with all my up-line and "cross-line" and the people they invited to speak made me love the business, too.

 

Mr. Ellie and I are not independently wealthy because of selling soap, because we are slackers. :-) However, it would be the thing I would turn to if I needed to make an income, and I will always recommend it to anyone who asks.

Ellie, this isnt directed at you, but I'm quoting you because it seems like MLMs push the idea that you alluded to--that their salespeople aren't salespeople but rather are just friends sharing products they love.

 

I worked a retail job through my college years. When I was at work, I sold to customers. Occasionally, those customers happened to be family or friends, but if so they were at the store of their own volition, not because I put the idea in their head. I certainly never pressured them to buy anything because my paycheck was the same regardless. I could also view my store's products objectively and would at times recommend buying at a different store if it had a better product or price. Show me a DS/MLM salesperson that would do that for friends and family!

 

People who do DS/MLM leverage relationships to sell a product and make money, which I personally find irritating. I've never had a P&G (to use your example) salesperson come to my door or email me or blow up my FB/IG accounts in order to invite me to buy a product by using personal knowledge of me or my family that had been gained through a familiar relationship. Corporations advertise that a product is available that can fill a need. There's no pressure to buy because I have no relationship with a corporate entity. It's not offensive to me when it's winter and I see an ad for cold/flu medicine on TV or online. It is highly offensive to me when I mention that my child is sick and a "friend" has the best cure ever to sell me that just so happens to be what she is selling.

 

There's nothing wrong with giving advice and sharing info. But if you're doing it to make money, then I'm going to scrutinize your judgment and motives which isn't exactly a position I want to be in with friends or family.

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Everyone I know who sells shakeology is also a beachbody coach. I *think* shakeology is just shakes.

 

Shakeology is shakes sold by Beachbody. The company, Beachbody, inc. produces and sells that material. It's a vitamin shake, nothing new, some love it.

 

Beachbody coaches are not all Shakeology sellers, but the vast, vast majority of Shakeology sellers are beach body coaches.

 

It is hard to "sell" hard work, so Shakeology and new programs are how they make their money. Or they do Beachbody on the side and work as personal trainers, and use Beachbody and that success to sell their personal training programs.

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Common ploy for major MLM's. It was actually a ploy we were taught during our Amway stint. We were encouraged to meet people wherever we could and invite them over, etc, and then "bam" introduce them to Amway. This was not just our direct upline but a major part of the official training. We were introduced to it when a couple started talking to us at the playground, acted like they were into whatever we said we were in, asked us to meet for dinner, and then after that, asked if they could drop off some interesting info and then bam! Can't believe we got sucked in for a bit.

I must admit Amway got on my forever sh!t list when my aunt and grandmother flew to visit us when my mother was in the hospital and coming out of several weeks of a coma. My oh so dear aunt, my mom's sister, sprung a fairly lengthy Amway presentation on us so she could deduct the expense of the trip as a business cost!

 

While this says a lot more about my aunt as a person then it does about Amway, stuff like that makes a lasting impression. I was 15 at the time and told her off. Had I been an adult, I would have shown them both the door (unfortunately had this been the worst of their sins they would have been outstanding people compared to their actual selves.)

 

I've heard about enough surprise Amway pitches at dinner parties and the like that I definitely believe you when you say it was something Amway specifically taught.

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I sold jewelry througn a direct sales / MLM company for a few years when my ex-husband couldn't keep a job. I worked a full-time+ job, and then did jewelry parties on the side. I never pressured anyone, much less my friends, to buy anything. The product, price, and customer service were all something that people liked, so yeah...I made some money. I never signed anyone up, and still did well, relatively speaking, and helped make up for the lost money every time the ex lost yet another job.

 

I also like going to some of the home parties that friends have, although I haven't been to one in years. Most are Facebook parties at this point.

 

If people don't like the products, then they don't buy them. Seems pretty simple to me. I don't understand the strong feelings about it one way or another.

I think it is all in how people do it. I have some friends who sell stuff- one sells jewelry, another pampered chef and another those Usborne books. Oh, and a man who sells Avon.

 

With each of those people, my friendship was never in question if I bought/attended or not. I actually bought from the jewelry one regularly for a while because they made fantastic volunteer gifts for my work and gifts for my MIL and such. I have no doubt that you were this sort of seller- asking, no pressure, working your contacts well.

 

With many "friends" though, they get all nice and then ask you to come to a party and then when you say no thanks, suddenly you either never here from them again or only hear from them again with more invites. That is what makes people feel so cruddy about them. I don't have a problem saying no to friends but if it seems like we are friends or we were reconnecting or we are starting to make friends and the person is never especially friendly or interested in you again, it feels duplicitous and rude. If I only hear from someone when they want to sell me something, they aren't really friends.

 

It's like the friend who we never heard from unless his gallery was having an opening. Are we friends or are we just his customers? It's not a great feeling, as a friend or as a customer. I get other invites from artists and gallery owners and I don't mind that at all but it's clear I am a potential repeat customer and they don't pretend to be my friend right before every sales event.

Edited by LucyStoner
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Ugh. One of my friends does It Works! and she's constantly on Facebook saying that she needs five people to be product testers for her products and give her feedback. Of course you have to buy the products in order to be her testers....it just rubs me wrong the way they way they post misleading photos and such things. She posted a pic of a friend a week after she had a baby and then several months later she posted a pic of the lady 'after using one wrap'. Well yeah, but it was months between those pictures. Just....ugh. 

 

It aggravates me because they advertise these awesome results from taking some kind of supplements and slapping a wrap on. I've lost 100 pounds (as of today actually, happy dance!) but it's just a slap in the face. No, that won't work long term.. and I don't have respect for people looking for an easy way out.

 

I have looked at the wraps, cellulite & stretch mark stuff to help my mommy belly... but I tell myself it's a pipe dream and I can't afford it. lol

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