Alan Pariser

Alan Pariser

Founder of

MLM or Network Marketing… Does it work?

Part of the series Network Marketing Vs Multilevel Marketing (MLM)

For almost 30 years I have been answering that question. There is so much that is written about multilevel marketing, also known as MLM. And there is so much that is not really understood about this type of business. However, the MLM business can be boiled down to very simple terms and facts.

The MLM scheme is based on distributors that buy inventory from the MLM company and then supposedly turn around and then sell it to the end consumer. Now, usually MLM products are difficult to sell because they are either more expensive or lower in quality (or both) than what can be found elsewhere.Or they are luxury items that the average person does not need ($40 bottles of juice tonics, expensive diet drinks cleanses, shark cartilage pills etc). More times than not the distributor ends up with inventory because they cannot sell the products to a legitimate customer. Or worse, the MLM scheme encourages the distributor to purchase inventory which they then pay rebates and the distributor then purports that they made money to their friends. The “commission” they receive is a small amount compared to the inventory they purchased. In any case, the distributor loses money.

Sadly, many distributors end up “garage qualified” which means that they have a garage full of products that they cannot get rid of (and the MLM company does not want the products back, so a refund from the company might be hard to get if not impossible).

So, if there are no real customers how do people make money in MLM companies? They keep recruiting people who buy inventory and they make the commission on those purchases. This is why some people compare MLM companies to pyramid schemes – where the person “on top” makes money from those “on the bottom” who have purchased unsellable inventory. As you may imagine, this is not a sustainable business model.

We all know that bad news travels more rapidly than good news. When many people get hurt with an MLM company the word gets out fast! Soon enough it seems that everyone has heard about the company and the people that got ‘scammed’, the market seems ‘saturated’ and the MLM company’s days are numbered.

The majority of MLM’s go out of business within the first 5 to 7 years (not unlike most businesses). Even if the MLM Company survives past the seventh year there is no guarantee it will succeed. If there are any individuals that "succeed" they are usually the owners of the company and a hand full of people the probably joined the company in the beginning and received special deals. This even further augments the idea that only the first few people who get in make any money.

Having said that there are successful MLM, Network Marketing, and Direct Sales companies. Some have been in business for over 30 years, and YES they are legal and YES there are those that have earned an income with them.

There is a company that operates a completely different business model – Consumer Direct Marketing. This model offers everyday people the opportunity to earn an income and manufactures products that are exceptional in quality, environmentally responsible and competitively priced. Consumers purchase their products direct from the manufacturer (there are no distributors). The products are drop-shipped to the consumer’s front door. There is a refundable one-time membership fee of $19 which also allows the consumer to get $100 of free products and the ability to shop at over 650 partner stores and receive a cash back discount from all of those stores. Obviously everyone would want a membership to this company! It’s a simple model that is built on sound principles: the manufacturer produces exceptional products at reasonable prices. The customer gets better value, safer products that are environmentally friendly. The Marketing Executives are paid commissions and bonuses on real products that have been purchased by real customers, which really want them and really consume them.

As a member, customers do not purchase inventory; they shop for what they will consume. When the manufacturer by-passes the middle-men and distributors and has a direct relationship with the end consumer. As previously mentioned, just by eliminating intermediaries the consumer obtains a better price but more importantly, the products are vastly superior in quality because they are developed by world-class scientists that are able to use superior quality ingredients and manufacturing processes. In 2016 this company had more than 500 consumer products in their portfolio, most of them being proprietary and or patented, and all competitively priced with neighborhood and online retailers. This company has an impressive 30 year track record and sales are projected to top $1.8 billion. And, they have the highest re-order rate of any company I know of which is a testimonial to the products demand and value and the ability to earn a real residual income. That is impressive to say the least. Learn more by visiting about and how you can change your future and the well-being of all around you. Visit us at or

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