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February 17, 2009


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I would do this if the product is beer. At least I can drink it if I can't sell it.

I read the potential negatives in the link you provided and it basically adds credence to what I discovered many years ago when I tried it. It is really a complete waste of time and money for those that have more and better talents to offer the world.

I'm considered an extrovert by most standards, but I couldn't sell. I'm not a salesman. You have to be a hard core salesman that "can't take no for an answer." You have to be relentless and that causes problems in and of itself.

I am a pretty passive person, but I do Shaklee and have for about 5 years. The products are awesome and have basically sold themselves in many instances. I could never sell anything I didn't love. I am making over 800 bucks a month and spend about an hour on it a week. I don't think all the MLM companies out there make for good businesses and I don't think MLM is for everyone but I am glad I found it!

My wife and I do Juice Plus. We primarily sell Juice Plus because we want to pay for us taking Juice Plus as we've noticed significant health improvements since taking it (and noticed negative health effects from my wife not taking it for about a year).

I can tell you one thing as my wife has tried several different Network Marketing companies. You have to be a salesperson. Every company tells you that the product "sells itself" but it doesn't. You sell it. You can do one of these without being a salesperson but you won't make much money. We don't push Juice Plus too much but we make enough to cover our Juice Plus with a little extra on the side. Don't expect much more than that.

Unless you are a pushy salesperson, don't pay high upfront costs. Most cosmetics require you to have stock so you can show your customers. This is expensive. We chose Juice Plus because they only have a few products so our display is small (it consists entirely of our own products we use). Also their primary product is a capsule (weird with "Juice" in the title) so you can't really "try" a capsule so there is no need in keeping stock for that. We just give them a few days worth of product in a bag until their order comes in.

Lastly, find out how many people sell a product in your area. Try to find a product where there is only a few distributors. This way you are at the top level and are setup for the most profit. This is why Mary Kay is virtually impossible to get into. We have 2 different Mary Kay distributors in our church alone plus I have 1 at my work. There's no room to grow. We tried Arbonne as well and that saturation in this area was a bit too high.

I'm not trying to convince you to sell Juice Plus in particular, just make sure you find something that works for YOU, not something that some company pushed on you.

I HATE, HATE, HATE everything about MLM. I hate it when people invite me to parties because most of the time a feel obligated to go. Then they say "you don't have to buy anything just come to be social". But of course once I'm there I end up buying some overpriced stuff I don't need. The real kicker is when the consultant tries to get you to have your own party or become a consultant and then tells you about the free items you can get or the money you can make. That makes me feel even worse about my purchase because it just rubs it in that most of the money I've spent is going for all the layers of people. Parties I've been to: jewelry, Tuperware, Pampered Chef, baskets, candles. I was recently invited to a purse party and Arbonne but I was able to find excuses not to go!


Don't hold back. Tell us how you really feel.... ;-)

I could go on and on about how much I hate MLM. Did one for several months a few years ago. Had to lug huge heavy suitcases full of products to and from each party, and I'm a small person -- this was no small feat. People frequently didn't want to buy the products if I didn't have them in stock, so I always had to keep tons of products in stock - and they had SO many products! And quite a few people would always order obscure things from the catalog that I didn't have in stock, so I'd have to use some of my profit to order those. And they minimum shipping fee for consultants was $25, even if you were only buying one $10 thing for a customer, so it only made sense to place an order when you needed to buy a ton of stuff.

I also hate the concept that you only get a better profit margin by recruiting people. I tried and tried but never managed to recruit one person -- that's just not my personality (unlike the girl who recruited me, who is pretty pushy). It was just so not for me on SO many levels. I would leave a party with $500 in my hand and feel great, but would then remember that I spent $250 on inventory to have in stock at the party, had $100 of things to order aftewards that I didn't have in stock, then the credit card merchant fees, and so on, and I hardly really made any profit. I felt like I was treading water, never able to keep the profit since I always had to buy more products in order to sell any. Also, sometimes I'd go to a party with 11 people, but only 2 or 3 would buy something -- the rest were just there "for fun." Yuck. Never going back to an MLM.

OK, phew, I feel better :)


You don't need to make excuses not to go. Just don't go. My neighbor invited us twice to Longeberger Basket parties. She even put an RSVP on the invite. We didn't respond, didn't go and the invitations stopped. This is perfectly appropriate. You are not being invited to a social gathering, it's a business meeting. You don't have to go, or even RSVP. Treat it the same way you treat junk email when you hit the delete key.

My mom does some sort of cooking/food mlm program. Pampered chef? She absolutely loves it and actually makes a bit of money. Win-win.

You can also make money robbing a bank, but like MLM, most people won't be able to pull it off.

I worked in a call center for a company with a MLM business plan (I interacted with the reps).

The biggest issue I observed is that SOME PEOPLE SHOULD NOT BE IN BUSINESS FOR THEMSELVES!!!

Those who do well in MLM would do well in any business they ran, it just happens that this is the vehicle they chose.

MLM is as much a business as purchasing a McDonald's franchise or putting your shingle out in front of your office.

Much of the MLM is (at least initially) based on recruiting reps. It generally takes a large number of reps, several levels deep to make money off residuals.

Finally, the only reason to get involved in MLM is to earn money.

It is not:
The gateway to your dreams
Get tax deductions
Be your own boss
Help the common man fight back
The vanguard of something that will change the world

I think Greg hit the nail on the head but many of these MLM businesses are sold on dreams so what can you expect?

I recall being solicited for this a few years ago. I asked the person for a variety of standard things (business plan, ROI estimates, break even point, risk assessment, etc) that one might consider before investing into a venture. He had absolutely nothing to share so he went back to his "sell me on a dream" talk.

I pointedly explained to him that I have finite time and resources and I decide to invest time and money rationally. My guess is that most people who fall into MLM aren't inclined to analyze the deal.

I think the key is #4 - Don't be too pushy, especially at work. I had a colleague try to get me involved in his scheme by scheduling a meeting during working hours. Pretty soon, everyone was avoiding him and his sales pitch. Not a good thing for your career.

I think the key is to be patient and respect your family and friends.
Plus, let's face it - some people just aren't meant to run a business.

I've made about $22k part time in network marketing over about a 12 year period. The money has paid for my products, my advertising and my bills. My best success was by using paid search on the internet consistently. I taught some people I brought into the business in 2003 to use the internet like this and they continue to make money that way to this day. The most remarkable thing to me is that I have customers not just distributors that have been with me nearly the entire time! I agree MLM isn't for everyone and no one should try being a network marketer unless they are a PASSIONATE consumer/marketer of the product(s) they have chosen. As for the naysayers, it just isn't for them. As for constructive use of your time, I wouldn't be involved with my MLM company if I didn't believe from the bottom of my heart that the products/business change people's lives for the better. This country needs a grassroots economic revolution. I believe MLM is a grassroots entrepreneurial opportunity that can help an under privileged person keep a roof over their head and prevent them from starving. To some people THAT is a dream come true.

there is no free eide in life. to make money you have to sell product or services

It's nice to someone actually promoting the industry who is outside of the industry. I'm guessing you live in Grand Rapids?

Matt --


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