What have I gotten myself into?

In the early 1980's, I purchased a set -- two large suitcases, to be exact -- of Princess House Crystal products. It was the demo kit for a multi-level marketing business. I was 18 years old, with no work experience, no car, and hardly the muscles to lug those things around. I probably made one presentation on a party with my mom's friends. And that was it. Well, I still have those two suitcases of crystalware somewhere in my pile of boxes in my living room.

Two days ago, on June 30th, I did it again. I signed up for what's now called "network marketing". Actually, it started earlier in the month when I was browsing sites for employment and, out of curiosity, found this ad about working at home. I went to the website and filled out the form. I was just curious.

The company that the Marketing Executive (that's what they're called) represented seemed like a good company. Before our online conference call, I did bare-minimum research on the company, like searching for complaints on Google (didn't find any on the first page) and going to the Better Business Bureau site (they're accredited), so I figured they're legit.

Well, you had to be a Preferred Customer to be a Marketing Executive and I found it hard to commit to purchasing a certain amount every month. Well, the quota is actually in product points and the $/point ratios are different with each product. Since I live alone, it is more difficult for me to justify making those purchases per month because I don't use as much products as a family of four would. So I told the Marketing Executive that I'd do some comparisons with store brands that I use and I'd contact her again later.

I procrastinated, of course. I had too many other things going on that were more time-sensitive. Then, she sent an email to her contacts that the enrollment fees were only $1 (instead of $29) only until the end of June. I still set it aside.

Meanwhile, the thought of working for someone else again gave me the chills, but I figured I had to keep going with the job search. Then, while searching for jobs in another site, I found another ad. Again, I responded. The marketer for this one sent me a link to a video that talks about the company and the business opportunity. Halfway through the video, I did research on the company and, sure enough, I found a lot of complaints on Google about them. Of course, there were also people defending the company, but their responses didn't seem convincing enough. So I replied back to her, thanked her, and told her I wasn't interested. However, along with that video of the company, she also sent me a link to a 3rd party site with a video about network marketing.

I've never heard network marketing explained that way before.

Now, it all made sense. In a legitimate network marketing business, everybody actually wins, including the end customer.

So, I did a couple of quick product comparisons and called up the Marketing Executive from the first company to sign up. To be honest, the comparisons were not that conclusive. I buy the cheapest brands, which may not be of equal quality as the products of this company, so it's kinda like comparing apples with oranges. Well, I guess I'll have to find out when I get the products in the mail.

Anyway, long story short, I signed up, put in my first order (which was required on the same day to get the $1 enrollment fee), and started reading up about the company and the products (because now I have access to the restricted area of the website). I went to bed at 5am.

Today (technically, yesterday), I went back to that 3rd party site (www.mlm-thewholetruth.com) to see what else I could learn about network marketing in general. I found other useful sites, including a charming story and a writeup on what attraction marketing is. I had to give up my email address, but it was worth it; I learned some things from those.

Of course, I also found a get-rich-quick scheme in one of the places I found and wasted a couple of hours on their videos and webpages that were mostly fluff and had little information.

You know, I have an MBA. If they would have allowed me to stay longer than the two years of the MBA program, I would have taken the time to take more Marketing classes. But, as it were, marketing was not one of my emphases. I'm learning marketing the hard way.

This post was reposted from another blog that I was going to start just for this business, but I decided to pull it back here, since I'll be using SL as a platform for this venture.

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