Lately, I’ve been getting inundated with offers for joining network marketing schemes. Offers to sell candles, seasoning mixes (hey, I’m your competitor, why should I sell your stuff instead of mine?), and diet supplements have been made in the last 2 months.
What these companies don’t seem to understand is that I don’t have much of a personal network to sell to. Besides, do I really want to be that guy who is constantly making offers and trying to take your money?
On the other hand, network marketing companies are kind of like franchises. You don’t have to worry about designing products or marketing (aside from inviting friends over). Even better, you don’t have to worry about inventory or bookkeeping! You just invite some people over for some food and show them a catalogue. Some companies will even send an actual sales person (a “party consultant”) to do the sales pitch for you.
Here are some of the pros and cons of selling network marketing products:
Network Marketing Pros
No Non-Making-Money Tasks
As I mentioned before, you don’t have to worry about inventory or bookkeeping or any business tasks. While you are an independent contractor, you are basically an employee and only have to worry about your job and not all the stuff that doesn’t actually make you money.
All network marketing businesses I’ve seen sell consumable items, whether food, candles, or makeup. This has the advantage of encouraging repeat business. Once you’ve convinced people to buy once, repeat business is much easier.
You do get to make your own hours, hosting events as often or little as you like (and can get people to attend). Plus, selling is done to multiple people at once. You can also sell electronically. Once you have a recurring customer base, they don’t even have to show up to one of your sales parties. They can just log on and buy and you’ll get credit for the sale.
Network Marketing Cons
Compensation schemes tend to be low margin. There are a lot of middle-men involved. The person who recruited you usually gets a cut, and the person who recruited them gets a cut, and so on. Then of course, there are the people who actually produce the product, the senior management, and the cost of production.
Maybe this doesn’t qualify as a con for everybody, but the biggest problem I have with network marketing is the fact that you have to sell. I hate selling, and I hate being sold to. I’m just a “just the facts, ma’am” type of person when it comes to that.
If you undertake a network marketing business, you will become the object of ridicule and scorn. If you’re lucky, it won’t be to your face. But a lot of people will react negatively to the thought of being sold to by their friend. Think about it this way, how would you feel about somebody trying to monetize your friendship?
To learn more about scams and to protect yourself against becoming a victim, read these posts:
What do you think? Is network marketing a scam or pyramid scheme, or is it a legitimate money-making enterprise?