Multi Level Marketing, or MLM, is a system for selling goods or services through a network of distributors.
The typical Multi Level Marketing program works through recruitment. You are invited to become a distributor, sometimes through another distributor of the Multi Level Marketing company's products and sometimes through a generally advertised meeting.
If you choose to become a distributor with the Multi Level Marketing company, you'll earn money both through the sales of the MLM's products and through recruiting other distributors, by receiving a portion of the income these distributors generate.
The distributors that you sign up with your Multi Level Marketing plan are called your downline. The distributor that originally recruited you is called your upline. Often he or she will give you some help getting started, including training.
Successful well-known MLM businesses include Mary Kay Cosmetics, Avon, and Tupperware.
Why is Multi Level Marketing so popular? The main reason, I think, is that most Multi Level Marketing programs operate on a "the sky's the limit" promise with a nice bit of "easy money" thrown in. If you work hard, the Multi Level Marketing sales pitch says, there's no limit to how much money you could make. And through your downline, you will actually make money doing nothing.
Multi Level Marketing plans are legal in Canada, as long as they do not contravene the Competition Act. However, if you are considering becoming part of an MLM company, you need to investigate the opportunity thoroughly, just as you would with any other proposed business venture. Not all Multi Level Marketing plans are created equal, and some may not be MLM at all, but pyramid schemes, which are illegal.