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Wait, what? you’re actually telling us to BUY from one of those MLM’s? those, Pyramid Schemes?! why would you do that???
First off, let’s review what a Pyramid Scheme actually is for a moment.
A quick google search shows this: “A pyramid scheme is a business model that recruits members via a promise of payments or services for enrolling others into the scheme, rather than supplying investments or sale of products or services.” (via Wikipedia)
But let’s not stop there, Investopia says: “A pyramid scheme is an illegal investment scam based on a hierarchical setup. New recruits make up the base of the pyramid and provide the funding, or so-called returns, the earlier investors/recruits above them receive. A pyramid scheme does not involve the selling of products. Rather, it relies on the constant inflow of money from additional investors that works its way to the top of the pyramid.”
So, basically a Pyramid Scheme is 1) Illegal and 2) has no actual product
So, what is an MLM?
An MLM or Multilevel Marketing Business (Direct Sales, Network Marketing…) is defined by the Better Business Bureau as “a system of retailing in which consumer products are sold by independent salespeople (distributors). Earnings in MLM are based on effort and ability to sell consumer products supplied to the distributor by the company. A MLM company will also encourage distributors to build their own sales force by recruiting, motivating, supplying and training others to sell products, earning a percentage of the sales from the sales force.”
So, basically, a company will come up with a product and instead of selling it to a retailer (like Walmart or any other big store) to turn around and sell to customers they use individual sales reps (usually each company has their own title, like Independent Distributor, or Consultant etc..). Using this strategy the company not only saves money by not having to rent space in a store, but they also provide work-at-home jobs for people everywhere. We sign up, use the products, advertise the company and the opportunity and we get paid a percentage of sales. If we recruit people and build a team we get paid a percentage of their sales (a much smaller percentage than personal sales, but depending on team size it can become a significant residual income) and there are usually team bonuses and other incentives to build a team.
At this point usually people start thinking “Wait, if you make money off of other people signing up, then it’s a pyramid scheme!”
Nope. I do NOT make commission off of anyone purchasing a starter kit and starting their Maëlle business. When my downline makes a SALE, I get a tiny percentage of that sale. Here is the compensation plan from my Maëlle business so you can see what I’m talking about:
Each companies compensation plan looks s bit different, but generally they are pretty similar to this. You should always be sure to look at the compensation plan before joining a company. Here are a few things to be sure to look at when contemplating signing up with a MLM’s company:
(Source: The Better Business Bureau)
- Promises of high earnings, especially with little effort, time or serious commitment.
Requirement to purchase a large amount of inventory to start, with no written guarantee that unsold products will be bought back for a certain percentage of the original price.
- Request for payment in cash, via wire transfer, or money order for initial investment.
Okay, so this isn’t me just shamelessly trying to get sales or recruits. Honest. I just have noticed that a lot of people pass up the opportunity to support their friend’s businesses because they don’t really understand the difference between a legitimate MLM/DS business and an illegal pyramid scheme.
Think about this, if you go to Walmart, you find what you need and you may have a nice cashier and chat for a few minutes and then leave. Your money goes to the company who in turn pays the cashier but you are mostly supporting this huge corporation, not an individual that you know.
When you shop from your friend who is a stay at home mom trying to earn some extra money selling candles, supplements, Tupperware, makeup or whatever-else-there-is-out-there. You are supporting not only a friend, someone you know personally, but you are also helping a family pay for groceries, rent or their car payment. You make a direct impact to someones life. Just like if you go into a locally owned boutique and purchase a handmade sweater, you can make contact (normally) with the artist who put hours of work crafting that sweater and you can appreciate it more.
This is how I view everyone trying to earn money by working for a MLM/DS business. I wish I could afford to buy something from all my friends who have their own businesses, but I can’t at the moment. Someday I will be able to do that though and I look forward to being able to help my friends more than I am financially able to at this moment in time.
MLM’s are NOT a ‘get rich quick’ scheme. If you speak to anyone who has ‘made it’ in MLM’s you’ll learn that it takes hard work, positivity, dedication, and motivation to keep it going and get anywhere with it. If you put the hard work in, you’ll start to see the benefits.
I have a couple businesses, but I have been with Maëlle since pre-launch (August 2016). I made it to Silver the first month after we launched (October 2016), I didn’t rank in November because I didn’t make any sales or put in any orders personally, but I hit Silver again December, January and February, because I worked my butt off posting and interacting. I also signed up four new team mates just in January.
I may not be making a huge paycheck, but I’m see a return on my investment. I now have a team of 15 wonderful ladies all working their businesses and trying to create a laptop lifestyle.
Also, I am viewing MLM’s/DS businesses as a stepping stone towards financial freedom. This is my first step to making enough income to not only support myself and my son but also to create a residual income that I can then turn around and invest into something else. This is only the beginning.
If you dedicate time every day to work on whatever business you have, you will start to see results, and trust me, it’s exciting. Extremely exciting!
So anyway, this is just a friendly reminder that we’re all in this together. If you need some Tupperware consider your friend who is trying to get her business started, if you want a candle consider your friend, etc. Chances are you know at least one person who offers a product or service that you would be interested in trying. There is nothing wrong with being supportive of your friends business, even if you have no intention of signing up to sell for that business. You have still shown support instead of ridiculing them for their choice of profession and trying something out of the box.