We’re coming upon my four year anniversary as a network marketer. As I reflect on my business, I marvel at how I, a major skeptic of the network marketing industry, became one of its biggest advocates. One of my biggest misconceptions was that all the products being sold in this industry were total crap. If you read my pyramid scheme post, it’s a residual belief left over from that. But it turns out, there are a lot of really great products out there being sold through a network marketing model. So let’s talk about why you as a consumer would want to purchase products this way.
Network Marketing Vs. Retail
Okay, let’s say you shop at Target. Who doesn’t? You go to the beauty section, and you get your favorite mascara from the top shelf and head to the register (after adding five extra things to your cart, of course…). Have you thought about how that mascara got to Target? First, a company designed and formulated a mascara. Next, a manufacturing company had to make it. Then, it had to be shipped to a wholesaler. That wholesaler then sells that mascara to Target stores. Then, Target sells it to you. Every step of that costs the mascara company money. On top of that, they’re probably paying for special placement in the store, and a ton of money on advertising where a celebrity gets paid a kajillion dollars to pretend they use a drugstore mascara when… they definitely don’t… All of those expenses are then reflected in the price of the product so that mascara company still turns a profit. This means a major markup on that $7 mascara you just bought… So why would you shop through a network marketing company?
More Bang for your Buck
The idea behind Network Marketing is word of mouth advertising. By cutting out the middle man and shopping purely through consultants, the company saves a lot of overhead and advertising costs. That creates a significant drop in markup for the consumer, and invariably you’re getting way more bang for your buck: better quality product at a significantly lower price.
It’s More Environmentally Conscious
All of those steps and middle men in a traditional retail model require a lot of shipping, one of the biggest carbon footprints in our modern world. By shopping through an online network marketing company, the product goes from the manufacturer to your door. That’s it! Not only will you save money, but you’ll also be helping the planet, one purchase at a time.
Typically there are Less Preservatives
In order for products to be sold in a brick and mortar store, they need to have a long shelf life. Some products are in the warehouse for years before even making it into the store. This means the products require way more preservatives than what you’d buy through a network marketing company. The products are usually cleaner and fresher, and may even be a reason why certain companies won’t opt to sell in traditional retail.
More Personal Customer Service
Some people love to walk into a store, be completely ignored, and buy what they need. Don’t worry, that’s still possible through the company’s website and online shopping. But, if you are having a particular skin issue and don’t know where to start, you have someone who can help personally recommend products to you. They’ll also make sure you’re loving the product before the return window. They’ll probably even send you samples of things you’re curious about, and hook you up with a sweet birthday gift. There’s a relationship of trust that’s built with someone who truly just wants to serve you.
You’re Helping a Small Business
Okay, let’s go back to Target. You get your mascara, and you go to the checkout line. Does this person get a commission for that mascara? Nope. They get paid a solid hourly. It makes no difference to them whether you purchased that mascara or not. If you order even one tiny item from a network marketer, I promise you, they’re doing a tiny dance of celebration and gratitude. You’re helping a small business. The commission goes to the person who helped you, and helps their dreams come true—not the dreams of Target’s shareholders. Maybe the dreams are small, like paying for their kids’ ballet classes, or maybe they’re big, like retiring themselves from their job. Either way, your purchase is met with excitement and gratitude.
The Products are Actually Good!
While I can’t say this for every network marketing company out there, I can say this for a few. A lot of these companies have amazing products. Products that are recognized by professionals in their own industry. Products that are tested against the competition in double blind clinical trials and win. Poo-poo starting your own business all you want, but if you think that the eye cream your friend is selling is just some big scam, you and your eyes are missing out. Don’t believe me? Try them! You already know you’re going to get great customer service and a return will be a breeze, so try it out. If you hate it, go back to whatever you’re using. But I’m telling you, there’s some good stuff out there being sold in this model. Happy Shopping!