Thanks for this post. Very helpful. I do like direct sales; one reason for this is that it helps keep alive that age-old tradition of people interacting face-to-face (rather than mainly through texting and social media). For that reason, I think MLMs should target the lonely Millennials. Anyway, I was a member/distributor of Advocare for over 10 years and still miss the products and the activities in the company, now that I am temporarily out. I still plan to sign up again when I can afford it (long story–I’ll spare you). I am now involved in Melaleuca, and I must say in their defense that Melaleuca’s products are actually not overpriced. Because Preferred Customers are not only not expected, but also NOT ALLOWED to turn around and sell the products at the retail price, everyone pays the same low prices. (Granted, one can indeed go to the website and buy directly from the company if they do not want to become a Preferred Customer. Why would someone do that when the annual membership is only $19? Only if they do not want to commit to the minimum monthly requirement for Preferred Customers.) Public, keep this in mind! Don’t be fooled by the rebels who are selling old Melaleuca products on Amazon for way above the retail price!! You’re much better off buying fresh products directly from the factory, even if you pay retail price. Just sayin. My big question: What about Tupperware? I have been a Tupperware consultant for about 6 months, and I have found it to be extremely difficult to keep business going. The directors training me have said that Tupperware is the second most widely recognized brand name in the world, second only to Coca-Cola. If that is the case, why is it so hard to find people willing to host Tupperware parties? Why does it seem so hard to sell? Also, is it just me…Or, does Tupperware’s compensation plan stink?
Another thought - this has nothing to do with direct sales but as an RN there are actually some pretty lucrative work from home opportunities that you might want to look into if you're interested in using your education, just not having to deal with the commute. Two of these are working from home as a nurse auditor or a care advisor. Basically, you can use your knowledge to give advice remotely and get paid well to do it. One site I use to look for work-from-home jobs is FlexJobs, but there are SO many out there (and many that don't cost anything- FlexJobs requires a membership). Indeed is another place to look. 

Origami Owl doesn't seem to be a real time-taker-upper and should suit busy or new moms just fine. Honestly, the lockets seem pretty youthful to me and many of them I can't actually see buying and wearing, even at twenty-five (but maybe that's also because my kids would yank that sparkly charm right off my neck) but they'd make a great gift for my middle-school-aged niece and the post earrings would work with my lifestyle. Origami Owl also offers charm bracelets and lanyards (say, for key-cards) and with a product that's so customizable, this would be a great opportunity for fun, bubbly sellers and their friends.
Hello everyone! I’m an affiliate with a fairly new company called Sparckily Apparel. We sell leggings, Canadian made clothing, tops and other accessories! This company is based out of St. John’s, Nl! They have very low startup cost which is what attracted me to join them! Leggings are becoming very popular everywhere! My website is http://www.sparckily.ca/#cozylegsboutique
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Backstory: Leah discovered Celebrating Home at a school PTO event, while living on Grand Forks Air Force base in North Dakota. Having just finished chemo for cervical cancer (she's in remission now), she hosted a party for fun. While it was winding down, her husband, David, 32, came in from his second job and said, "You could sell that stuff." Leah laughed it off, but David encouraged her to try. "He felt I needed something positive after being so sick," she says. When offered a start-up kit for half price as part of a special promotion, Leah bought in and lined up events with friends on the base, showing how to cook quick meals and set beautiful tables with the stoneware. 

Hmmm, what should I say about this company, well it still seems like they are far from “the finest and most-respectable retail energy provider in America,” I feel this way because it was just a few years ago that they were dealing with a class action lawsuit.  But when you have $1.5 billion in revenue in the bank from your global business, a lawsuit doesn’t really seem to break your stride.

You are right in that most MLM have monthly dues and have high entry fees to be distributors or consultants. You are also right in that most MLM companies focus on recruitment and not product sales. I’ve been working with Arbonne now for quite a while and none of those comments apply to this company, which is why I believe they have survived and are only growing at this point, despite some people’s opinion that they will soon be relics like Mary Kay. To become a consultant is a mere $75 dollars, the kit is involved with all free samples and material. Product loading is prohibited. Each event we host regularly ends with most if not all attendees becoming a preferred client for $20 joining fee for the first year and a $15 renewal every year with no monthly expectation and a guaranteed minimum of 20% off of all stock at all times and 40% off of all packages at all times. Not only that consultants can will their business down 6 generations, and the Mercedes incentive is for a purchase, not a lease. We do look to grow our network, but we emphasize this takes hard work and is not a get rich quick scheme. While you hit the nail on the head with most MLM businesses, there are MLM businesses like Arbonne who are a cut above the rest and who are in the habit of not putting pressure on anyone attending to either purchase or join as a consultant. We only want the best in our network and we have thousands of examples of very successful men and woman to show for it. Great article!!!
I am a Founding Consultant for a wonderful new ground floor direct selling company that is currently wide open in the US. The company has been in prelaunch for over a year and during that time has had great success testing their products in several locations in the US. The company was able to create a wonderful new training program and website that makes it so simple to provide training to you and your downline and serve your customers. If the idea of being in business, being the first in your area, and selling upscale products that are guaranteed to be the best in quality and workmanship sounds like something you might like to do. Then, we should talk. I always ask my customers one simple question, “Where can you find the perfect gift for every occasion, have it personalized at no extra charge, gift wrapped and delivered for you and you never have to leave your home to do it?”

I just wanted to give a shout out to my awesome direct sales company, Premier Designs!! We are a Christian based jewelry company selling high fashion jewelry at an affordable price. We make 50% commission off of every sale, and get paid immediately. We make 10% commission off of our 1st, 2nd and 3rd level downlines. Premier is an amazing company with the best customer service ever. The start up cost is a little higher than some of the other companies listed here, but you make it back within the first few shows. And we offer some of the most generous hostess benefits as well.
As far as the retirement saving crisis is concerned, more and more people are coming to terms with the fact that they probably aren’t going to be able to save enough money to just sit around and slowly deplete their nest egg from age 62 to 100.  With the average 50 year-old estimated to have less than $50,000 in retirement savings, there is an obvious need to find alternative ways to either save more or generate supplemental income starting now, and continuing throughout retirement.  Moving beyond just the dollars and cents, boomers are growing tired of feeling guilty or bad about their past savings habits and are interested in moving towards possible solutions.
I partnered with a Health and Wellness company that has been on the BBB with an A+ rating for the last 28 years. Their products are free of harsh chemicals and believe it or not are products that absolutely every person uses in their homes, just healthier and safer versions of cleaners, beauty products and now their weight loss line. Our entire business can be done online, from hosting presentations to enrollments and even our trainings are online. Even our customers earn money, not just our employees! What could be better? Healthier, safer, make money using, make money sharing, completely safe around children, and the company is soooooo supportive. I had an issue with one of business partners and her enrollemnt she was trying to get signed up, I literally hopped on the computer and sat in a chat with a customer servie representative from the company and they figured it all out in a matter of minutes. This is a truly residual income business, I am still making money for my first product introduction in June of last year, that is almost a year of getting paid for the same thing every month!!!! This company could not be any more mommy friendly with hours that work around when you need them,easy access to support and a system so easy your kids could make the money for you! Check out my webpage http://www.changingyourfuture4ever.com or contact me directly for more information collista.lewingdon@changingyourfuture4ever.com and lets change your future for ever!
Hi! If you love vintage inspired jewelry and are passionate about promoting products that are made here in the USA, come see the handcrafted artistry of Jewel Kade at my website http://maryfriedman.jewelkade.com and also read up on Janet Kinkade, the amazing woman behind the company. I am an Executive Stylist for JK and we are expanding steadily throughout the US and Canada. We are also on Pinterest and Janet has her own blog. Our newest line includes custom wall canvas art as well! Contact me through my website and I will be happy to help you get more information and/or help you get started!

Talk about heavyweights in the industry! Tecademics is what we call a digital company, and quite befitting because they have one the most extensive digital marketing training programs around to offer.  The founder, Chris Record, who used to be at Empower Network and was highly acclaimed there, launched Tecademics after he left that company.  This digital training arrives with a bigger price mark, but it’s not even close to what you’d have to pay for a university degree.
The interviews and psychological connections lead me to conclude that MLM and NM companies, along with other small businesses opportunities, are important considerations for anyone entering retirement.  In fact, I believe the concept of starting a business for retirement income will become one of the most significant trends impacting retirement in the 21st century.  But it has to start with redefining entrepreneurship and framing it into a retirement lifestyle.  That means helping people find ways to turn a passion, hobby, or personal desire into extra money in their pocket… not to mention helping people see the importance of  planning for the non-financial aspects of retirement such as replacing a work identity, staying relevant and connected, as well as keeping mentally and physically fit.
Backstory: In 1999 Ginny left her full-time job in hospice management when the family moved from Arizona to Kansas so that Doug could take a new job. Bored one afternoon, she browsed through a Silpada catalog that belonged to her sister-in-law. "Halfway through, I already had a $350 wish list," she says. So Ginny decided to become a rep to earn some free bling and hopefully make friends. She took $1,000 from savings to purchase display jewelry, conservatively calculating that she'd need 12 parties to replenish the account. Her first party yielded $1,500 in sales, $450 each in commission and free jewelry, and six more bookings. Doug said, "Something tells me we've got a good thing going here."
In order to find success with any of the top MLM opportunity, it comes down to finding a company that is the right fit for you. There is a lot to consider in the decision-making process. How long has the company been around? What is the compensation plan like? Is it an opportunity that you can feel passionate about? The answers to your questions will ultimately determine your future.
Some 20.5 million people were involved in direct selling in the U.S. in 2016, according to the Direct Selling Association, the national trade association for companies that market products and services directly to consumers through an independent sales force. (While many direct selling companies use an MLM model, not all do, according to the DSA.) Recruits pound the pavement hawking everything from candles to essential oils and weight-loss drinks. Some popular, newer companies include Rodan + Fields (skincare products), LuLaRoe (apparel) and Scentsy (scented products).
I thought That your article was very good. My wife recently joined this company called World Ventures and me being me I figured it would be like some of the other companies that she has joined. You know a bunch of women companies scentsy, 31, etc but the reason I took notice is when she made 500. I know it’s not much but i know if she can make that faster than she has with some of the others she has joined without my help then maybe this thing is the real deal. What do you know about it? I have met some of the people and they seem genuine unlike some of these others like Amway and I don’t feel like it’s all about freaking selling like most of the others. Just shoot it to me straight.

Here we’ve got a throwback to network marketing’s roots (Remember Tupperware parties? No? There’s a reason for that). Kitchen products, cooking demos, and mommy bloggers galore. Stay-at-home-moms looking for some flexibility are still a HUGE target demographic for MLM, so it’s no surprise that Pampered Chef has done so well that Warren Buffett decided he needed a piece of the action.
This company also offers, among the majority on this list, one of the greatest opportunities for big money. Glassdoor reviewers give it high marks and those I know who sell the product really seem to enjoy doing so. But success with Rodan and Fields absolutely hinges on your ability to invest time, enthusiasm, and of course, money into the product. Social networking is a must. As I've said with a few of the other companies on this list, I also personally see a locale aspect to success in selling this product. I live in a place where most people earn a low-medium income and I know this stuff would be a hard sell--not because it doesn't work, but because most people around here wouldn't be able or willing to spend that much money on skin care. If you're in a predominantly wealthy area and network with people who really care about appearance and skin care (say, in a big city) though, this is a company worth looking into.
Writing – Whether it is blog content, articles, or business letters, this way of monetizing your skills has become quite common. Micro-job sites like Fiverr allow you to post your skills as “gigs” that you sell for a price, usually a few dollars. Sites like Freelancer and Upwork are “business to consumer” sites where sellers are linked with buyers. Most of the time jobs are awarded based on skills, qualification, buyer needs, and bids made by the seller (you, the freelancer) to get the buyer’s work done. Other sites screen you by requiring you to provide a sample before you are graded and placed in the appropriate writer level based on your writing skill.
I looked around and couldn't find any solid information on how much it costs to start up with J.R. Watkins or what you must sell to remain active. However, I did find some information that suggests it's $40 just to become a "member" and the price goes up from there for start-up kits. My advice is to visit the site and request information on the appropriate form.
With so many of the fastest growing MLM companies pushing to have you join, it can get confusing when you’re looking at MLM products, compensation plans, where to get leads, marketing tips, and most of all – can I really make money with this? What you need to remember, is that the best MLM to join in your situation is going to come down to one thing – finding a product and a business you are excited about sharing!
It’s so mom friendly, almost every consultant is a mom because they fell in love with these books for their kids!  Moms bring nursing babies to our annual convention, they bring babies to parties, etc.  But the best part is, it is what you make of it- if your kid is sick and you can’t focus on the business for a few days, okay, you’ll do it when you can.
I appreciate this comment. I’m a doTERRA gal. When I signed up I said I’d never sell. I just wanted to buy and use the oils. Then because of my love for them, people started coming to me for education and asking where they could get oils. So now I sell them. I’m not a sales person. I can’t bug my friends about stuff. But I’m growing this business because I truly believe in the products and use them every single day. I may not ever become rich from this and that’s OK with me. I won’t consider it a failure. Every person I help is a success in my book!
Hi. Great post and very informative as I did not know some of these existed. I would like to also add Arbonne to this list. My sister-in-law introduced it to me 3 years ago and it is still relatively unknown (especially since she was the only one I knew of that was talking about it and selling it). After two years of getting samples from here and hosting my own free facial party/girls night, I was hooked. The products are very impressive and all natural/vegan. I recommend everyone at least get a facial to try. We sell skincare, haircare, makeup, and even nutrition, all of which I have tried and highly recommend.
Tastefully Simple is a food product business for easy cooking. Every food product in here requires 3 or less ingredients! And most of the time it’s things you already have in your cabinets/ ice boxes. What I like most about tastefully simple is its SIMPLE. I don’t cook and I promise you that! Tastefully Simple is the easiest and yummiest way to get dinner on the table. We have Drink buckets for the summertime parties – Just add Vodka or Tequila. You can also just make them into kid’s drinks, the alcohol is not added ‘til you add it! We also have our famous Beer Bread that you don’t have to necessarily use “beer” you can use soda pop also! We have soups, spices, and delicious desserts for you, your family, or guests at a party! http://www.tastefullysimple.com/web/tlapoint for more info!!!
First, Elliot, thank you for this article. Your sense of truly wanting to help comes through and it’s refreshing. Like MommyFinance, I too have suffered PTSD from previous runs at MLM but I have been looking for legitimate ways of making extra income and seems I’m being directed toward trying MLM again. Your article gave me hope that there are some good ones out there. What you said about finding the one that fits me and leaving a legacy for family really turned on a light for me and I greatly appreciate that. A wine business is not quite up my alley but I will certainly direct those who might be interested your way.
Because anyone can do it! I started the business after I had my 4th baby and was able to do so much of the business from my smart phone. But it was also easy to meet up with other moms for a play date and share the oils. Many moms are looking for natural options to help their families and essential oils are perfect. They can help babies sleep, give moms a natural option when they feel overwhelmed, help with the immune system, and so much more! Plus, it’s the type of product that people will continue to purchase without having to keep bugging them. doTERRA is one of the fastest growing companies right now and this really is the best time to start. In just 2.5 years, my husband was able to leave his engineering job thanks to doTERRA. And I did all that while staying home with my four kiddos. The opportunity is amazing!
Hi there Jesse. I am Michael. Just wanted to ask you about DSD and Digital altitude. First off I have attempted Amway before and nothing wrong with them other than it relys heavily on meeting new people constantly and at the moment I do not want to do that. I am a current full time student and I work as a contractor when ever I want or can. I would like to replace my current job with either DSD or DA and see where it takes me. But would you even recommend this for me with my kind of time constraints or do I need to make more time for it?
Im not sure where you get your information but you are wrong on It Works. I have been with thr company 3 years now and have paid off all my credit cards and paid off my car in full. The start up cost is only $99 which you would know had you actually reasearched and looked at the site. Your comment about being sure to fail is way off. I haven't failed, my team hasn't failed and neither have those that I know personally making $100,000 per month. It Works is a Billion Dollar DEBT FREE company. Our CEO is awesome. Had you done full research, you would see the truth about how great of a company this is. Like ALLLLL DS companies, you get out of it what you put into it. If anyone says you're sure to fail, they failed themsleves, the company didnt fail them. Im very disappointed that this type of blogging isnt fact related but simply opinion bases. 

Scentsy you join $125.77 tax/shipping and all for u kit u have to make $200 in sales to stay active (u buy all ur stuff on the store books sales promotions and testers and more DOES not count as ur $200 goal.) u have to pay $10 for ur website each month and u can join warmer of the month or scent of the month ranging prices between $65-$85 plus tax shipping...(cause its under $200 to gain free shipping) u get no deals for being a scentsy sales person if u personally buy...u pay same as others would 20 pec commission
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I chose this company after 2 months of intense research. With a family of 5 I couldn't take an uncalculated risk:) The opportunity here was literally endless and undiniable and I wasn't afraid of the challenge to learn something new. I met in person people of all ages from across the world who were earning a great monthy income. I realized that the products are universal and I was also able to grow my art company online (Double bonus) from what I'd learned. I started eaning residual money in just two weeks from starting.
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