Here's the thing about Avon though--there are a lot of hidden seller costs, from the catalogs to the packaging you'll use-- while the start up fee at the moment appears to be only $15 (!!) I can't find anything on monthly fees or quotas. I do think there's opportunity for a small passive income with Avon, but anyone considering selling Avon would do best to research personal experiences and decide from there.
My wife has been a Mary Kay consultant for a little over a year and loves it. It does cost $99 for a starter kit, which is a one time purchase, and an order of $225 in inventory once every quarter to stay active. Staying active means keeping a 50% discount on any inventory you order. This means a 50% commission on anything you sell. Compared to a 25% commission selling Rodan & Fields. I am not bashing Rodan & Fields I was just using them as a comparison. I see a lot of negative opinions about direct sales companies and even sites devoted to bashing Mary Kay and I just don't get it. If you decide Mary Kay is not for you for any reason they will buy back all unused inventory you have a home for 90% of what you paid for up to a year. In what other business in the world can you risk so little for a possibility in a new career or part-time income. I have sifted through online comments from new Mary Kay consultants giving up completely after one party gets cancelled or doesn't go well. When you join Mary Kay you become a small business owner. People need to do their research and not be so bitter when they themselves fail or give up.

Actually, it really doesnt matter when you join a company. It all depends on the person deciding to jump in and work it as a real business. That means sharing your love of the products and showing up daily. You are compensated for your efforts if you should decide to build a team. You inspire, motivate, and lead others while working on your own business. In my experience, it’s extremely rewarding to know you have a opportunity or as i see it as a gift that is going to help someone.
I was browsing the web to see what other at home businesses are out there and ran across your post which I enjoyed. I wanted to share with you another opportunity out there called Perfectly Posh which specializes in naturally based, USA-made pampering products. It’s a one time starter kit which is $99 but you get over $150 worth full sized products, plus samples and printed papers to get you started. They have an online academy, tools to help you thrive, rewards and amazing perks. Commission starts out at %20 and goes up as you advance.
Our starter kit is $99 and we offer you the option of hosting a party in order to  put the hostess rewards towards the purchase of the kit. The average home party is a $500 party which would earn you $90 in free product that you could decide to cash in for a $90 kit coupon so the up-front investment is incredibly reasonable, and potentially free (minus tax & shipping).
You want to go back in a time machine and relive the old days of your younger, fitter and slimmer self?? Well if you just said yes, you are a part of the targeted market: everyone!  With their insane sale profit numbers, this company always makes the list for the top 20 MLM companies in the world, bringing in about $1.4 billion dollars in yearly revenue.  Not only are you selling a product people already have so much trust in, but the new associate cost to sign up is only $30, really one of the lowest.
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!!!
They also offer a $100, $500, $1000, $3500 products which they offer 100% commissions on.  The great thing about Empower Network is their products are training products.  You can buy their products to build ANY network marketing company out there.  Without Empower Network, I wouldn’t be making the money I am today with the knowledge and skill set to succeed online as well.
Steeped Tea is a fairly new (2012) company specializing in loose-leaf teas. Of many of the companies I'm writing about here, this is admittedly one of the few I've actually heard of prior to my research. I was invited to a Steeped Tea party last month but thanks to debilitating morning sickness (yay) had to decline the invitation. It sounded fun though, a bunch of friends getting together to try flavors like Birthday Cake and Almond Chocolate Torte. The start-up kit is only about $150 but you are required to pay a monthly fee of near $13 to maintain your active consultant status.
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. 

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?
My name is Lesley Mcquade and I am a skin care consultant with Rodan+Fields and I have been with the company for a year. We just launched in Canada in Feb but have been in the US for 6 years. We only do online sales and I help women chose the right regimen for them. We have 4 regimens for acne, anti-aging, red sensitive skin and sun damage. We have an amazing community of women, some earning enough money to retire due to our residual income model. We even have million dollar earners. We get designer jewelry, clothes, and purses and have a Lexus car program. Luxury trips to Maui, Greece, and more! Friend me on facebook, let's network!
You want to go back in a time machine and relive the old days of your younger, fitter and slimmer self?? Well if you just said yes, you are a part of the targeted market: everyone!  With their insane sale profit numbers, this company always makes the list for the top 20 MLM companies in the world, bringing in about $1.4 billion dollars in yearly revenue.  Not only are you selling a product people already have so much trust in, but the new associate cost to sign up is only $30, really one of the lowest.
Perfect reply That’s exactly what gives network marketing a bad name. Sheesh. If you find something you’re passionate about then go for it. But first ask, how many people can you personally find who have replaced their income at such n such a company? I’m grateful to say I have hundreds of dōTERRA advocates who have, and who go about it with integrity. Thanks for all the research, it was fun to read. I’d recommend looking at retention as well sometime.

I believe the ones that don’t make it in the industry (if they chose a good one) don’t give it enough time (like you said they quit before a year is up) and commitment to doing what it takes to grow. I don’t spam FB and only 2 family members order product but I have at least 100+ home school moms making >$2000/mth. Some team members make more, some less. It’s what they put into it (business wise not monetary)

Initials Inc is a fabulous party planning company with a great selection of innovative, high quality products (totes, back saks, coolers, luggage, overnight bags, cosmetic bags, organizers for laundry, toys, office, and more) that can be personalized for FREE. The commission is 25% and their starter kit is ONLY $99 beginning January 12, 2016. They have a great amount incentives and they offer so many FREE tools and training to all creative partners. Joining was the best decision I ever made. It is so easy to build a team, if You choose to be a business builder or you can be a social seller. The new spring & Summer catalog will be available January 19, 2016. http://www.myinitials-inc.com/U-R-Style
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).
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?
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.
These brothers from Israel changed the minds of the entrepreneurs behind the company, Seacret Direct, when they managed to take the typical start up business from the kiosk (you know those booths in the mall) to the beyond and turned it into a global direct selling company worth millions of dollars.  These skincare product companies are pretty boring these days, but the company’s dead sea products originate with a 5,000-year-old history and a huge fan following.
As I write this I'm just a couple of weeks away from beginning our first year of homeschooling and I'm so excited. Why? Because learning toys and activities are even more fun when you're almost 30, apparently. Fundanoodle is a company that gives busy moms like homeschool moms the chance to earn some extra income selling products they themselves use every day, including interactive books and activities that give kids a chance to practice their reading, spelling and writing skills along with other important developmental goals.
Having studied the psychology and behavior of boomers, this example represents a major shift in my thinking about the industry.  I no longer perceive these types of opportunities as money-making pyramid schemes.  Instead, I now see it as a way to enhance many of the personal aspects of retirement that are rarely discussed let alone planned for, with the added benefit of supplementing other popular retirement income sources such as pension and social security.

I’m from the uk. I am a Matron in a GP practice and have been approached by Arbonne. Ur video confirms most of my thoughts although doing aesthetics as a side line I though I might be able to run along side that and so not have to approach family n friends as that is horrendous!!! – i am really interested in ur local league marketing though – how would I find out more about this


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
Hi Jesse, That does help some…thanks for answering my questions. My other questions are: I am not connected with nearly as many people as it sounds like you are. How can I be successful in this business? Also, morally I struggle with charging someone more money for something that they can get somewhere else? I know…not much of a business acumen. Lol thanks,
Backstory: Nakia drafted a proposal for her Essential Soul Purpose Youth (ESPY) mentoring program, for ages 14 to 17, and pitched it to company CEO Nadine Thompson, who loved the idea. Nakia found 15 interested teens through her kids and sales force. They kicked off with a fashion show fundraiser in February 2011, with aspiring entrepreneurs modeling Soul Purpose makeup and clothes from local boutiques, to build buzz and recruit community mentors.
Odds are, somebody in your life works or has worked for a multi-level marking company, called MLM companies for short. If you’ve ever had a friend on social media invite you to join their sales team or attend an online shopping party, it probably had connections to an MLM company. Some people think of MLM companies as some opportunistic scam, but that actually couldn’t be further from the truth. Learning a little bit about how these companies can help you understand why they provide a wealth of opportunity for income and professional growth. In fact, you’re probably very familiar with many of the best MLM companies in the business without even knowing it.
Your goals. It's possible to become rich in MLM if you choose a good company and do the work. However, most MLM owners are looking to make a little extra to pay off debt or stay home with the kids, a goal a good many reach. A part-time direct sales business can help you reach modest goals. And once you start building your business, and learn the ropes, you can build it bigger if you want.

You also need to make sure the program you are interested in was evaluated by someone who actually tested it. If you find affiliate links in the review of an MLM program, the website that published the review is probably earning revenues by referring new sellers and you should understand that it might not be in the interest of the site to present the program in a neutral manner.
If you’re headed towards the future, WGN will be there waiting.  This company is ready to take on the world and they just may be ready to do so.  They sell every futuristic gadget you could think of, some items include their space phones, wearable tech, and VR (virtual reality gear).  They’ve only been in business for a limited amount of years, but they are on a constant rise in the MLM list of top 100 businesses globally.
I have been on 6 x trips to USA & visited Disneyland, also holiday at huge resort in Cancun in Mexico & climbed the ancient Myan pyramids and went to Beijing to climb The Great Wall of China with my family & daughter. These trips were never a possibility without this company that is changing so many lives. I live in Australia. I am looking for 5 motivated, purpose driven people this month who I can train to build an International business like I have from home.
Thoroughly enjoyed reading your mlm breakdowns and the comments, thank you Jeremy. Had a successful mlm business but had to make a decision to give it up or have a breakdown due to ongoing upline bullying so at a big crossroads at the minute. being an ‘older’ lady here in the north of England doesn’t bode well for conventional job hunting in the current economic climate so some serious thinking needed on my part and QUICKLY lol. Thanks again Jeremy x
Founded in 1998 by Carl Daikeler and Jon Congdon, Beachbody is the creator of the nation’s most popular fitness and weight loss solutions including P90X, INSANITY, Brazil Butt Lift, Slim in 6, Turbo Jam and Hip Hop Abs. Beachbody programs combine challenging DVD-based workouts with easy-to-follow diet guidelines, nutritional supplements and the 21-day cleanse known as the Ultimate Reset as well as an unparalleled customer service and peer-support system.
They have the stay-at-home-mother meets women entrepreneur mixture working for them. What does that even mean? Means they have the practicality side of the company that is off the product and they have the sales, entrepreneur people them promoting it, too. Anyone who follows MLM knows its usually too “product practical” (see: Tupperware, Cutco) or too “opportunity-centric” (see: Herbalife).
Perfect reply That’s exactly what gives network marketing a bad name. Sheesh. If you find something you’re passionate about then go for it. But first ask, how many people can you personally find who have replaced their income at such n such a company? I’m grateful to say I have hundreds of dōTERRA advocates who have, and who go about it with integrity. Thanks for all the research, it was fun to read. I’d recommend looking at retention as well sometime.
You also need to make sure the program you are interested in was evaluated by someone who actually tested it. If you find affiliate links in the review of an MLM program, the website that published the review is probably earning revenues by referring new sellers and you should understand that it might not be in the interest of the site to present the program in a neutral manner.
Great post! I have started with a new company called Sexydivalingerieparties.com. I love it so far. The people are very helpful and they have great incentives. Not only is a ground floor opportunity but we have so many great products from Lingerie, Plus sized lingerie, Adult games and toys. Please feel free to check it out or if you want more info can contact me! Thanks!
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!!!
I have been running a home based business for 2 yrs now and want encourage any woman or man out there thinking about it to stop thinking and take action now. Because truly deserve the financial freedom. I agree that finding right product to get into key to your sucess, am currently selling unrefined shea butter, african black soap and coconut oil online and within my community. And I must say the begining was hard but with determination I’ve been able to make it and I know that you will also. If any one is interested in some of my amazing products please visit, http://www.rgnaturalz.com. thanks and happy to help anyone with tips help you suceed. Thank you.
And did you see that? Team members? I'm about to promote to Director in the next month - just six months after starting. And again, not because I've been badgering people to join, just because I'm connecting with people who love the products and, for whatever reasons, want to become a consultant. I have one team member who has a $150/month deficit in her current budget, but she is a single mom and need something she can do on her own timing. Another wants to learn to cook better and loves the products. Another lady just retired and needs some extra income and wants to get out and meet people still. I'm super grateful for the team I signed up with as well. They've been great to work with, super helpful, and don't pressure me to do anything other than reach my own goals.
"Motherhood is hard, and it's really hard to find time for friendship honestly, so when someone you think is a friend is actually trying to sell you something — that hurts," said Fortin. "Our MLM friends legit love the products they sell and need to make money. We get that, but let's please be genuine about our intentions with one another up front." 

If you're a weirdo like me who gets excited about a great deal on microfiber cloths, or feels the warm fuzzies while filling up a rustic galvanized bucket with chemical free suds, then you're going to love Norwex. From dryer balls and mattress sprays to chenille mop pads and cutting boards made from rice husks, Norwex's home and personal products offer something earth-friendly for everyone in your green-centric circle.
You definitely forgot Thrive by Le-Vel. Premium nutritional supplement line. Weekly commission, no promoter fees, free cloud office, training at your fingertips, free customer accounts, great demand for health right now more than ever. I have never felt better in all my years as a mom. I decided to promote because of the product and how it made me feel. Though all teams within the company may not be as great as my team, it is a wonderful company! My team...we are like family. Always there for each other. I love promoting Thrive!
(May 2017 update: did this go under?) The sign up cost will make you do a triple take (almost four figures), but you get to set your own retail price on every product you sell. If you’ve got the skills to make people cough up the cash for their products (which, btw, are pretty legit), you could definitely make that money back. They’ve also been winning plenty of awards (even a growth award from the Direct Selling Association themselves).
The company. Too many people get lured by the hype, without stopping to consider the company or its product/service. What does the company sell and can you get excited about it? What are the compensation plan, marketing system, and policies, and can you work with it? Is it a member of the DSA, and through your research, been found to be a legitimate company?
They’re sliding, though. Revenue is falling in North America and their sales force is shrinking. Revenue slid 19% in 2013 and 7% in Mexico. Skip ahead to July 2015 and revenue is still spiraling downward, with a 17% drop (5). Analysts blame Avon’s failure to maintain a strong identity for its products as well as the strong dollar. Lesson: Always re-create yourself.
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