Multi-Level Marketing Realities – Part 2
So when last we left off, Richard Smith was teaching me how to create web pages. I was also starting to learn about web search and looking up various things on the internet. Remember, it is 1997 so we are barely at the time when high-speed internet is available at a corporate level. I must have carried a laptop with me to do administrative functions for J.D. Edwards, but my communications with the office would be through a dial-up connection to the internet, usually from home or the hotel room. When I would be working at Lexmark, I would be working at the computers that Lexmark had. I think they had PC’s with AS/400 terminal emulation software, and my software work was on their IBM AS/400 Midrange. Their PC’s also did have internet access. So like many people did, I did internet searches at various times.
At around the same time as all of this, my wife Chris was talking about this product being advertised on U.S. 99 in Chicago. It was a dietary supplement that was “causing” people to lose weight. A couple of radio personalities were using it with great success. One day while during a bored search, I looked up the product on the internet and found out that it was sold by a multi-level marketing company. Not only that, you could buy 12 bottles at a time for about $270, where retail price was about $45 per bottle ($540 per case of 12). So I made a request for information from a company with a web site out of San Diego and never received the information. Hmm. So, I looked up a local distributor out of West Dundee, Illinois and asked them to send us some information. We got samples and information and signed up as a distributor pretty much right away. I can’t remember too many of the other details… it was fairly inexpensive to sign up I remember.
So we sent in our distributor application and purchased a case. At the time the marketing plan was a simple 6 level plan where we made $20 per case sold by one of our distributors. We didn’t earn any additional commission from our own sales.
We now have the business and I am writing web pages. I wrote web pages mostly for practice, but I was starting to build a site devoted to the dietary supplement.