WARNING: I am going to rank a little so this might go on for a bit. I am going to be brutally honest
Please re-read the title before you get you panties in a knot and want to burn me at the stake. I said that "MLMs DON'T Work Well" for most people, not that they don't work. You can make some money as an MLM rep. Some....
Let me give you an example of a theoretical MLM "opportunity". "Magic Juice", proven by some PhD to cure cancer and birth defects, (Not verified by the FDA, sold as a vitamin, not a drug). As a distributor you can buy "Magic Juice" for only $32 dollars a bottle and sell it for an amazing $49 dollars a bottle and keep that $17 for YOURSELF! You have to order a minimum amount each month to be eligible to get a check from the company.... Real way of doing business... I own a health club in Ocoee, Florida. I buy a similar product with a recognized name brand from a wholesaler. I get "Name Brand Magic Juice" as a business from a wholesaler... for.... $7 a bottle and sell it for $29. So I make $22 profit on each bottle that I sell compared to your $17 and people buy from me because I am a REAL business. I don't have to hassle my friends and families and pitch them the "opportunity" of owning a business to get the freakin juice... The above example in not an unusual. At the health club we sell Protein and Energy Drinks for $3 a bottle... we pay 79 cents per bottle. Tanning lotions are an even better deal. We sell tanning lotion for the tanning bed users at $16 a bottle. We pay $2 to $5 a bottle depending on the brand.
Example #2: Travel business. I open a part time travel agency out of my home and sell cruises... why cruises??? Because travel agents no longer get a commission on flights. How many people travel by ship these days??? I know, your travel business gives you a website... but when people go to that website can they enter travel dates and book travel? NO, they have to read a freakin sales page about the opportunity of being in the travel business. Do you think that the "Google God" is going to rank your little website higher than travelocity.com or expedia.com???
Have I seen any MLMs that work??? Danged few. But... my girlfriends love to go to parties. At these parties they are buying make up, jewelry, "romantic stuff", candles and lotions. Why do they buy these things at parties? Two reasons: First, it is a fun social atmosphere. Second, the prices are about the same as at the mall so they don't feel taken advantage of.
I had friends try to sell me MLM nutritional products because I own a health club. They said it would be a great way to enhance my income from the club... but when I looked at the prices, I knew that I could buy a name brand product that was similar for 70% less than what my "Discounted" distributors price would be with the MLM company.
My advice if you are going to have an MLM business is... choose one that uses highly consumable products like make up, candles, lotions and such. Water purification systems are also great examples of MLM that can do well. Who doesn't want better water and for pennies compared to the price of bottle water per gallon?
The nutritional supplement industry is too competitive and nobody is going to beat travel deals at expedia.com. If you are already selling nutritional supplements from an MLM, I recommend that you offer the opportunity to local personal trainers. They have clients who would be willing to pay premium prices for supplements. If you are already in the travel business through an MLM, I recommend that you offer group packages to local fraternal organizations like the Moose Club, the Lions Club, Seniors organizations and such. You will find that seniors have time on their hands and disposable income so a cruise is something they would really enjoy and could afford.
I hope that I did not offend anyone. If you have a different experience that what I described above, you are lucky. In three years of doing my business radio show I have had hundreds of people tell me that they lost their shirt with an MLM.
To your success,