Saturday, September 25, 2004

Hiatus and Multi-Level Marketing (MLM)

Well, the blog was on hiatus for a bit. I'm fine, a bit disappointed over a lost alternative (more details later), but doing okay.

So why this post? Well, it's a kick-start for myself. If I do this post tonight, I'm more likely do write another tomorrow. So I write.

And today's link? It's to a NetFlix alternative you may want to check out. This is a multi-level marketing business in the same space as NetFlix (and BlockBuster and soon Wal*Mart), which is renting you a limited number of DVD's for an unlimited amount of time.

The business itself can make money if it has enough volume, and the research I did into the business did not turn up any shady characters behind it. (This cannot be said of every business I have reviewed. *sigh*) I am not involved in MovieBiz, but Glenn's wife is. And since Glenn was the person willing to ask what was going on with the blog, he deserves this little plug.

As for the concept of multi-level marketing, I've never yet gotten involved one. I've heard a number of pitches, and been pursued by other MLMers a couple of times. I do believe them when they tell me I would be good for in the business. I like people, I like to entertain and make connections. I understand marketing and business and all kinds of related stuff. But here's the problem for me... I don't like to close on these kinds of deals. Too often the push is to get other people to buy in on the strength of the relationship, not the strength of the product. Yah, officially they all love the stuff, but neither you nor I believe it and I doubt the pushers believe it deep down either. Too often, MLM businesses are run by a few amoral characters at the top, some lucky ones in the middle, and the dupes at the bottom. Sure, I generalize, but the basic truth of my statement is pretty solid. And who wants to be in a business that churns through so many entry level people? It seems seedy to me even if I am wrong in my generalization.

Hmm, let's wrap this up... MaryKay can be okay, but be careful. Same for Avon, Tupperware, and Pampered Chef. Avoid things herbal, medicinal, or health related. If they sell everything, don't bother with them. And finally, if you want to try this as a business and don't like the previously mentioned, look for players that have a defined nitch, some good financial backing, and some good press. So well add Southern Living @ Home as a candidate, and possibly, NetFlix.

Oh, last statement... If you know a female college student and she isn't afraid of sales, get her started in MaryKay. It's the one time I have a blanket recommendation for MLM.

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