Multi Level Marketing: Too Good To Be True?

You’ve probably seen the advertisements: “Start your own business!” “Be your own boss!” “Become a part of something great!” Or the bumper stickers and even vehicle wraps advertising Mary Kay or Herbalife. Maybe you’ve gone to a friend’s house for a dinner that turned into a sales pitch, or noticed the catalogue in the office break room. But chances are, even if you didn’t know exactly how it works, you’ve seen multilevel marketing in action.

Multilevel marketing (MLM) is a system where, instead of participating in direct sales, companies set up a pyramid of affiliates to sell for them. In theory, this should create a self sustaining sales force, with the minimum possible effort from the top so the headquarters can focus on product quality and innovation.

As a “business owner” in an MLM, one would have two main responsibilities delegated to them: selling the product directly and, more importantly, recruiting others to sell for them in exchange for a slice of the commissions. Again, theoretically this makes sense — it isn’t too different from a typical dealership model — however, the problem starts to arise from the product itself. Learn more…

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