MLM: Legitimacy through Statistics, Global Business Position, and Pyramid Schemes

This blog post is the companion post to the video Not all Direct Selling Companies are Pyramid Schemes.

There is clearly a middle ground between myth number one, which claims that there are no legitimate MLM companies, and myth number two, that claims that any pyramid scheme is free to do whatever it wants. The fact is that today the MLM industry is thriving. There are 16 million* people in the United States alone who are involved in network marketing. One in ten households has someone who is involved in a MLM opportunity.

We are a law firm that represents companies throughout the world. The companies that we represent are freely doing business throughout the United States – in every state – and around the world, while also respecting the particular rules in every place around the globe. For instance, China is currently and gradually allowing the phase-in of the direct selling business model. This will be magnificent to the direct selling industry and it will be a magnificent opportunity for millions of people around the planet.

Globally, today there are roughly 50 million people involved in direct selling part time. Some people work full time in network marketing. There are nearly 16 million people in the United States selling consumer products and services in the range of $30 billion and more than 90 billion people around the world are involved with MLM with sales exceeding $150 billion.

There is no question that the MLM industry is a thriving one. It is what the experts refer to as an “Ultraniche” industry. This is why network marketers and experts in the industry, such as myself, encourage people to be realistic about the MLM industry. We may impact the lives of millions of people. We may sell billions of dollars in products and services. However, many people don’t realize that direct selling represents less than 1% of retail sales in the marketplace. People that aren’t in the direct selling industry should keep that in mind. Network marketers play a vital role in the economy, but those who are involved in the industry should be realistic about the role that we play in broader world.

Jeff Babener

*Note that the statistics in this post date from 2010-2012

For additional relevant information to this blog post, visit the following links:

Short Course on Network Marketing: Q&A with Jeffrey Babener on Pyramid Schemes Video

From a Legal Perspective: The Difference Between a Pyramid Scheme and Legitimate MLM Video

Factors that Make a MLM Company Successful Video

Why Choose the MLM Model for Your Business? – A CEO Interview Video

How to Tell if a Company is a Pyramid or a Legitimate MLM Video

The Legal Issues of Starting and Running a MLM Company Video

Not all Direct Selling Companies are Pyramid Schemes Video

Debunking Direct Selling Industry Myths Video

Has Corporate America Discovered the MLM? Video

Should a MLM Company go International immediately? Video

Is the MLM Industry “for real” in the Business World? Video

Is This A Pyramid or a Legitimate MLM? Article

Identifying Illegal Pyramid Schemes Article

Your Time Is Now Article

Starting Your MLM Company: why They Work- Why They Fail Article

MLM Consulting: International – MLM International Market Entry: Practical Issues Article

The Right Place, The Right Time: The Emergence of Direct Selling [PDF] Article

Free MLM Startup Manual Article

SEC: We Hate Pyramids Article

MLM Law in 50 States Article

How To Build A Successful Direct Selling Company Article

Pyramid: Yes or No? Article

What Differentiates a Legitimate Direct Selling/Network Marketing Company from an Illegal Pyramid Scheme? Article

The Hallmarks of Legitimate Direct Selling/Network Marketing Companies Article

And the Leaves that are Green Turn to Brown – MLM Penny Auctions Article

MLM/Direct Selling/Network Marketing: Billions of Participants Make for a Veritable Industry Article

Make sure to visit our blogs for the latest information on the direct selling industry: MLMLegal Blog Home and MLM Attorney Blog Home. HINT: Chose a category to narrow your search for discussion topics!

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And, as always, visit, the best MLM resource on the web.The next Starting and Running the Successful MLM Company Conference is quickly approaching! On February 21st and 22nd, 2013 we are hosting the MLM Conference for the 25th year! This is now our 63nd annual conference (held almost consistently three times per year over the last 24 years). All executives/owners of MLM, direct selling, network marking, and party plan companies are welcome to attend. This is the original MLM Startup Conference, hosted and perfected by direct selling industry expert, MLM Attorney Jeff Babener. Call 503-226-6600 or 800-231-2162 to register. (Can’t make this event? Keep an eye out for our May and October conferences as well.)

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One Response to MLM: Legitimacy through Statistics, Global Business Position, and Pyramid Schemes

  1. Pingback: Creating Clear Agreements Between MLM Company Owners | Welcome to Jeffrey Babener's Blog

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