By now, you’ve probably heard of multi-level marketing (MLM). The prospect sounds good at first. You might even know a few friends or coworkers who swear by it. They’ll tell you it’s fun, invigorating and they make money buying products they love. They’ll also tell you it’s an opportunity you can’t pass up.
It’s Basically A Trap
While the products and offerings may change (sports drinks, beauty products, kitchen supplies), the basic premise is the same: You buy the ability to sell, and you sell the ability to sell. If that sounds confusing, let’s put it another way.
By paying into the MLM, you gain the ability to sell goods on behalf of the company. This might earn you a little walking around cash, but the real money (they say) is in getting new people to sign up to become sellers as well. These folks get put into your “downstream.” Which means they pay you for the products they sell. And once they put new people in their downstream, the more money you gain in return.
For this reason, MLM marketing is often referred to as a funnel, or more accurately, a pyramid scheme.
Nothing Good Comes Easily
So why is this a bad idea? If you fall into the MLM trap, you’ll quickly find you’ve exhausted your leads. You can pester friends, family and coworkers for a while. They might even buy a few products from you in the beginning. But the sales pressure will eventually turn them off. Then what do you do? Are you going to go door to door? Are you going to start bothering strangers?
What’s worse, the company will then pressure you into buying more goods. These will become increasingly more difficult to sell, leaving you stuck with the bill.
The truth of the matter is you don’t need to join a MLM group to make money. There are dozens of avenues available to fledgling entrepreneurs. One of the best ways to make money (either as a side hustle or fulltime job) is ecommerce.
Ecommerce Can Take You Where MILM Can’t
Below, are a few tips on starting your own ecommerce business, and why this is preferable to joining an MLM:
- Ecommerce is a fast-growing industry, which is quickly outpacing traditional brick-and-mortar retail. MLMs, on the other hand, are regularly dinged for unscrupulous practices.
- Ecommerce allows you to sell whatever you want (so long as it sells). Whereas MLMs pressure you to sell products, which is just a smokescreen for selling the ability to sell.
- Ecommerce operates on the age-old business model of selling goods to consumers. MLM funnels money from quasi-employees into the pockets of the folks at the top of the pyramid.
Starting is Easy and Costs Little.
Ecommerce is a better way to earn money. Now you might be wondering: How do I build an ecommerce website? How do I find products to sell? How do I market my business?
These are all good questions. And luckily, it’s easier to tackle these issues than ever before. Ecommerce platform providers offer ready-to-use, plug-and-play templates with vital features like payment processing. Finding products to sell is also fairly easy. You can choose to handcraft items, if that’s your passion. You can also take advantage of drop shippers. These companies accept orders through your website, craft the product and send it to the buyer; all without you having to worry about storage, shipping or manufacturing.
Marketing Is Simpler Too
Spreading the good word about your company is easy with Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts established for promoting your products. Involve people in conversations online and keep things light. Over time, you’ll see your number of followers grow along with your sales.
Why consider pestering people to buy into a MLM scheme, when you can be making better money on your own terms? You’ll never make more money than the people you work for, so why not work for yourself?
Don’t listen. If you want to work for yourself, skip MLM, just start your own business.