MLMs and Moms: What To Know Before You Jump In

MLMs and Moms: what you need to know
MLMs and Moms: what you need to know

Tips for moms considering MLM or Network Marketing

There is probably a 99% chance you have been approached, joined, used, or know someone who has used a product from an MLM company. You may not have even realized some of your favorite products like Mary Kay, Doterra, Tupperware, and more are MLM’s . What are multi-level marketing companies? Why are stay at home mom’s drawn to them? What are the chances of becoming successful as a mom starting out in an MLM?

A study done in 2018 by AARP called Study of Multi-level Marketing, was conducted to answer some questions about multi-level marketing, also known as direct sales or network marketing.

Some of these questions include what type of American adults join MLM’s, their experience with the company, and how well they do financially.

While success is possible, the conclusion of the study states that nearly 74% of participants, broke even or lost money.

What does MLM stand for?

MLM is the acronym that stands for multi-level marketing. A business strategy that direct sales use to recruit distributors.

What is the difference between Multi-Level Marketing and Pyramid Schemes?

The goal of multi-level marketing is to recruit individuals to sell products by network marketing or word of mouth. This is a legal business model unlike its evil twin brother, the pyramid scheme.

A pyramid scheme is an illegal practice that focuses on making money off recruiting and often has no product to offer. There is usually high buy in’s to join.

Make sure to do your research before paying, signing, or joining any company.

Recap of the difference between MLM’s and Pyramid Schemes

Why are mom's drawn to MLM's?

The products sold are often health and wellness products that may include make-up, cleaning supplies, Tupperware, diet foods, clothing, and more. Distributors usually use the products being sold and are able to give their personal experience as a first-hand testimony.

With network marketing, a testimonial is the greatest seller to get others on board. 

Another reason moms can easily be drawn to these products is that they are often talking to other mom’s any way when taking kids to a park or other social setting. 


Personal Experience: Whether it has been McDonald’s play place, a park, or a children’s museum, I have been approached several times by other moms whom I thought wanted to be my friend. (mom friends are so hard to find) 

These sweet ladies were kind and fun to talk to and asked me all kinds of questions about my life. I thought I hit the gold mine. 

And then… they dropped the bomb. “Hey you should bring your husband and come meet some friends of mine that will tell you about this company”

What company? “Oh I can’t explain it all here, so let’s just meet again and see if YOU are a good fit.”

It bothered me at first. (mostly because of the let down) I thought I was making a genuine friend. However, I was much more prepared for my second and even third encounter with these business moms. 

There is nothing wrong with these network marketing strategies. There are many wonderful MLM products that can be helpful to others. However, it is important to be aware of how you approach family, friends, and other mom’s when selling your product.

The last thing you want to do is strain relationships with those close to you.

Who are the Multi-Level Marketing Companies?

While there are hundreds of MLM companies, there are probably a dozen or so you have heard of, and a hand full you have used or still use today.

Some of the top companies today include Nu Skin, Amway, Herbalife, Avon, Tupperware, Young Living, Rodan + Fields, Plexus, Juice Plus, Beach Body, Lipsense, and more.  See if your favorite company made it to the top 50 MLM’s by revenue in the US.

Multi-Level Marketing Companies

Can you REALLY make money with MLM's?

Yes, you can make money with multi-level marketing. You can find good products that many people love. However, the question you want to ask is how much can I make with MLM’s? Will I be able to break even from the money and time I invest?

Unfortunately, the odds are not in your favor. As mentioned at the beginning of the AARP study, 75% of consultants broke even or lost money. 

I know what your thinking, wow that gives you a whopping 25% of people who did make money, let’s jump in!  Dr. Jon M. Taylor, Ph.D. decided to give an MLM a try. He writes from his experience of being in the top 1% of Nu Skin and still losing money. He wrote an e-book “The Case (for and) Against Multi-Level Marketing” that states 


Loss rates are extraordinary- over 99% for all of the MLMs for which I have been able to obtain relevant data. This in itself would not be so bad, except that MLM is promoted as an "income opportunity" - or even as a "business opportunity" - a misrepresentation in itself.

Dr Jon M. Taylor

Another great resource to find out how much money you can really make with network marketing is the Direct Sales Association. The DSA gives statistics on MLM’s in the US, helps give you a better look at the opportunity out there. 

In the DSA’s 2019 industry overview “By dividing 35.2 billion in sales, by the 6.8 million direct sellers, direct sellers averaged $5,176 in retail sales last year.”

That equals out to $431.33 a month but doesn’t include expenses and time put into the company. 

Job Income vs MLM Income Pyramid Visual


Some multi-level marketing companies have great products that many people love. There is also a sense of community and connection in a mom group where you may feel supported in a like cause. However, don’t let the emotional side or pressure outweigh the logical numbers each company should provide.

 Before you join a network marketing company:

  • Research the company, in particular, their income disclosure statements.
  • Ask someone who has been involved for only a year what their experience with the company has been including, time, outbound expenses, and income.
  • Get realistic expectation of the risks involved
While I believe the best in people and companies, I also don’t want you to be the victim of a person or company that is not 100% transparent.
Dawn R. Harrison Signature

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MLM's and Moms
Hey! It's Dawn

Hey! It's Dawn

I want to change the way you view money. Taking control of your finances can be FUN when you feel in control.

Mommas Making Money will give you the most practical stay at home mom jobs, budgeting tips, powerful money mindset shifts and mommy tips.

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