Understand direct selling and multi-level marketing
Although many people heard or even engaged in direct selling business, very few understand the difference between direct selling and multi-level marketing businesses.
Direct selling is a blanket term that encompasses a variety of business forms premised on person-to-person selling in locations other than a retail establishment, such as social media platforms or the home of the salesperson or prospective customer.
Multi-level marketing is one form of direct selling. Generally, a multi-level marketer (MLM) distributes products or services through a network of salespeople who are not employees of the company and do not receive a salary or wage. Instead, members of the company’s salesforce usually are treated as independent contractors, who may earn income depending on their own revenues and expenses. Typically, the company does not directly recruit its salesforce, but relies upon its existing salespeople to recruit additional salespeople, which creates multiple levels of “distributors” or “participants” organized in “downlines.” A participant’s “downline” is the network of his or her recruits, and recruits of those recruits, and so on.