Mary & Martha is best considered a Christian network marketing company or perhaps a family-focused one. The company focuses on a range of products for the family and the home. These are similar to the items that you might see at a local Christian bookstore.
The appeal is easy to see. Consultants can, theoretically, use the company as a way to support their family and share their faith.
Mary & Martha doesn't have the same negative associations that follow many other MLMs. It generally isn't viewed as a scam or as a manipulative scheme.
Many of the products would be popular as well. Some make good gifts, while others offer a way to display affirmations and scripture around the home. The designs are even elegant enough that the faith aspect doesn't feel too overwhelming.
There are advantages to promoting Christian products like this. For one thing, you're working with a passionate audience. There are also easy opportunities for networking, such as through church and community groups.
You may even find that Christian friends are more receptive to the products than they are to other MLMs. If nothing else, it's nice to be promoting products that aren't the typical health and wellness items.
Mary & Martha follows very familiar approaches. Consultants have the chance to earn by selling the products directly or by building a team. With team building, the income isn't directly linked to recruitment, but to the sales that are made in your downline.
In this post, we're taking a close look at both of those areas. We're also considering whether Mary & Martha is a realistic way to earn money overall.
Mary & Martha is considered a faith-based home business, which should offer an indication of the products they sell as well. Basically, they offer a range of items for the home and for living that are connected to Christian life and beliefs in some way.
For example, most of the items have verses or declarations of faith on them, such as the ones below.
This theme is common across the various different types of products, such as tableware, stationary, home accessories, bags and kids items. Additionally, some of the options can be customized to include personalized messages, such as the name of your family, or something similar.
The general theme of the products is likely to appeal to some people and not to others. But, for people who are passionate about Christian home products, it’s easy to see how these might sell well. If nothing else, they do look professional and seem to be of decent quality. In contrast, non-Christians probably wouldn’t find the items even remotely appealing.
There aren’t many reviews online about the products themselves but the ones that I have found tend to be positive (such as the one below). And, to be honest, that’s not surprising. The company seems to be sourcing attractive products and then customizing them with Christian verses and themes. It’s hard to go wrong with that idea.
For the most part then, the products are what they seem to be. So, they’re not particularly amazing or extravagant but they are functional and appealing items that can be used around the home.
There aren’t many faith-based MLMs out there but that doesn’t make the products themselves unusual. Instead, you can find countless similar items in Christian stores around the country and online. For example, the images below are all from Etsy and they have a similar overall theme and approach.
One other area to consider is the pricing. Compared to regular items for the home – the options from Mary & Martha are on the expensive side. This may limit your potential sales, especially if your customers are struggling financially.
Still, the prices here are in line with what you would find in most Christian stores promoting similar products. This does mean that many potential customers will expect the prices and may be prepared to pay them. If nothing else, the products would work well for gifts and for treats, rather than as everyday purchases.
For the right person, Mary & Martha could be fun to get involved with. It is a Christian business opportunity and does offer the potential to connect with Christian friends and family members. Some people may also use it as a way to share their faith and many may simply love the products.
The Party Component
Like many similar companies, Mary & Martha is party-based. This means that you have to host gatherings at the houses of friends and family members. The idea is that these provide an avenue to sell to a group of people at once, using all of your salesperson tactics.
The party component does work well, especially for product selections like this. The approach lets consultants show off the products and also creates a little peer pressure, which can promote sales.
However, parties aren’t always as easy or fun as they sound. One issue is that they get old fast, especially as consultants tend to promote to the same people time and time again. Often this means that you get great sales at the first few parties, with interest declining over time.
To make matters worse, anybody you recruit will end up targeting some of the same people, simply because social groups always overlap. I’ve seen this in practice, where parties tend to attract fewer people over time and friends quickly get sick of constantly being invited.
In theory, the system can work, even in the long-term. To do so, you would need to continue to expand the people that you sell to and always work to promote the products and the business. The faith-based aspect is actually an advantage here, making it possible to use social connections through church and other faith-related groups. Still, you do have to work at it to be successful and developing a decent team may not be achievable for everyone.
Finally, the party aspect means that you are highlighting whatever physical products you have. This creates strong pressure to buy more items yourself, so you have them to show off. Doing so may even promote sales. The problem is that this adds to your expenses and you can easily end up spending more than you’re earning.
Making Money With Sales
Mary & Martha is a way to make money and potentially an enjoyable one. But, how good is it really? After all, there are many different direct sales companies out there and they all have their own quirks.
First off, to sign up for Mary & Martha, you have to buy a starter kit and there are two available. These can be seen below. The contents appear to change seasonally but the underlying concept remains the same.
This initial cost is significant but it is fairly typical for direct sales business. The products provided can give you a helping hand with promoting the business – although you still need to buy more as you go along.
If you stay at the most basic level of the company, there aren’t even any sales quotas or ongoing costs to worry about. This means that you don’t have to buy products each month, which is unusual and you earn 25% commission on sales.
The commission rate can be increased to 30% for each month that you make $1,200 or more in sales. Even with the significant product prices, this income target could be challenging to hit. After all, the products in question aren't consumable.
As a result, Mary & Martha works well for people who want a little casual income, allowing you to make a handful of sales each month and still turn a profit. But, if you want to make significant income, the process becomes much more complicated.
Mary & Martha is an MLM, which means your income potential is strongly tied into team building. The idea is that you recruit people into the company, who then recruit others and so on. Each person also attempts to sell products, which has the side effect of creating competition.
The larger and more successful your team is, the more money you make. This happens because you earn commissions from your own sales and those of your team members. If you have a large team, this can add up quickly.
A related component is the ranks. Mary & Martha has 8 different ranks, going from Consultant up to National Senior Director. Each rank has its own income bonuses and requirements. Your income potential increases with each rank but the ranks have more requirements as you go along.
For Mary & Martha, the commission and bonus structure looks like this (I've excluded the two non-team ranks to make the image easier to follow):
For an MLM, the team side of things is surprisingly good. Consultants can earn 40% commission on their personal sales for any of the team ranks. There's also the potential for 3% to 8% as a team bonus.
Mary & Martha uses a simpler team plan than normal. There are only three generations to earn from. However, the percentages from each generation are higher than many other companies.
The overall pattern does mean that you need to move up the ranks and develop a decent team to be successful. This is where things get a little more challenging. Each rank has its own requirements.
For example, at the Executive Consultant level, you have to sell (or buy) $300 of product personally every month. At all the higher levels, that requirement goes up to $800 and you need $3,000 in volume across your entire team. There are also other requirements, like having a specific structure to your team and having team members at higher ranks.
The volume requirements are especially frustrating. Even if you build a profitable team, you still need to make $800 in sales every single month. Monthly requirements like this don't account for the unpredictability of life.
$800 in sales is a high goal too, especially for Mary & Martha. While the products may be appealing, they're not consumable. You're likely to find that customers quickly run out of items that they want and can afford.
Like most MLMs, Mary & Martha has some potential as an income opportunity. The compensation plan is even more powerful and fairer than many other examples.
With that in mind, one key question is what you want out of the business. Many people just look for the chance to earn a little money and to make social connections. In some cases, consultants simply want to offset some of the cost of their own purchases.
If you’re focused on this type of goal, then a company like Mary & Martha could work. After all, the products themselves are appealing and you don’t have to mislead anybody to sell them.
But, if you’re trying to make a serious home-based income, there is considerably more work involved. To do this, you need to focus on growing your team and expanding your network of customers. Doing so involves a considerable time investment and you would have to be okay with trying to convince your friends to join as a consultant.
It’s also important to step back and look at your social connections and your own personality. Realistically, is this type of business practical for who you are and the connections that you have? If the answer’s yes, great. But, if most of your friends wouldn’t be likely to buy and certainly wouldn’t want to sell the products – you may be better off avoiding Mary & Martha.
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