Nothing makes your industry look more legit than having academics study it. It’s easy enough to do if your industry is willing to support them.
A couple of things.
The sample is very small, and doesn’t have enough women in it
You might be thinking: so what? So what if there’s nearly the same number of men as women? Well, we think it matters because most “direct sellers” are women and arguably so are most buyers.
Interestingly, the World DSA does not do a gender breakdown of sellers. However, NZ, Australia, UK, and USA show similar breakdowns of women vs men – women are the majority of “direct sellers’, which means they are the majority in MLMs. Feminist issue, y’all.
The internet has changed everything.
Take a look at the link and the screenshot below. It’s from a report from the Direct Sales Association of NZ.
We think the 2 complaints are very interesting and telling. Telling, because they show how the internet has completely changed the game where MLM is concerned. Read about Bots fighting over territory, then click this, scroll down, and read about women trying to flog their unsold MLM shite online
We are not convinced there is an actual market for MLM products. Don’t get us wrong, it’s pretty clear that MLMs rely less on actual sales to real customers than they do to forcing their recruits to buy to stay “active”…etc…but the ‘net makes it even harder for the odd ethical Bot to make a sale. Why? Other bots offloading stock at discount prices, and the sheer amount of competition from companies selling online. Why buy an overpriced MLM lippy when you can buy it cheap on Amazon Prime? And it’ll be delivered tomorrow?
Whatever sales model the MLM industry had, our guess is the internet has fucked it up big time.
The flipside of that is – the internet makes it really easy to reach potential victims and sell them on the dream of owning their own ‘business’ and ‘working around the kids’ and ‘yeah woman power etc’. Ironic, no? Which is why we keep demanding that government require MLM companies to tell the truth about how much $$ women can earn.
Where is the real data about MLMs?
We need real data about MLMs. Not industry-sponsored, biased studies. Where is it?
A note on the definition of “direct sales”. Technically, direct sales includes door-to-door selling, Multi-level marketing schemes, and “party plans”. In most cases in 2016, MLM companies make up the vast majority of ‘direct sales’ companies. Maybe they should call it ‘direct recruiting’ instead?