Company Name: Damsel in Defense
Costs: $149 starter kit
What Is It?
Damsel in Defense is an MLM that focuses on selling self-defense products for women, including products for women to carry and those for the home.
The product line of Damsel in Defense isn’t what you typically find at an MLM, but that’s where the uniqueness of the company ends. I do actually like the (idea of the) products! Essentially, the company is yet another MLM that is targeted at women and focuses on the idea of empowering. In this case, the products themselves are promoted as ways to empower women as is the opportunity. Realistically though, the chances of making money from this company are the same as most other MLMs, slim, at best.
So, the product line at Damsel in Defense is a little bit unusual. As the name suggests, the company sells self-defense items that are targeted at women.
The products include personal items for self-defense, as well as other types of safety and security products, such as a door alarm:
In general, I noticed that the prices of the products were fairly reasonable and were certainly in the range that a lot of people could afford. The company does also have a decent selection but at the same time, there aren’t that many different types of products a company like this could offer.
The idea here is admirable. The company and the products aim at empowering women and giving them the ability to protect themselves and their families. In fact, the company even calls its parties Empower Hours.
In some ways, this approach even ties right into the MLM model because a lot of MLMs claim that they empower women by providing them with a way to make money for themselves.
Personally, I’m in two minds about the products that the company sells. Yes, they do have the potential to keep women safe – and they might even be essential if you live in a rough neighborhood. But at the same time, Damsel in Defense is playing on the fears of women, making them feel like they should spend a lot of money to keep themselves and their families safe.
The company plays on this idea in their marketing and there’s a good chance that distributors do too. By all means, protection is important. But, if you end up being paranoid about your safety, you probably end up in a worse spot than when you started.
The overall approach just feels manipulative to me. Now, that’s a major problem because many people selling MLM products end up trying to sell them to friends and to family. Do you really want to be manipulating your friends and family into spending money?
It is also worth noting that the company does have another slightly different product, which is a digital protection plan, ranging from $29.95 per month (for an individual) to $59.95 per month (for a family). In terms of profits, this product would be nice for distributors. However, I doubt they would make many sales as most people wanting digital security would turn to a company that actually has a reputation in the field.
In regards to the products, I also want to point out that they’re not really that unique. Realistically, there are a lot of products out there for personal protection as-is. I suspect there is also a wide range of personal protection products that are designed specifically for women.
Now, I’m all for women protecting themselves and their families. However, the company is more about manipulating and getting sales than it actually is about protecting. After all, there’s only so much that products can do anyway and you probably don’t protect yourself much more if you buy one product from the company versus ten. You could actually make the argument that arming women with products that don't actually protect them gives them a false sense of security and is more dangerous (read the comment section regarding issues with product quality)
There’s also one more thing with the products. For the most part, these are purchases that people would make once. After all, most of the products that the company sells are for worst-case situations. So, the products largely act to provide piece of mind. Likewise, most of them are reusable anyway.
That pattern isn’t encouraging for distributors. If you want to make money with the company, one of the key aspects is selling the products. Now, people may want to stock up on many of the items that the company sells, but even then, the products do kind of make it hard to make multiple sales.
More Updates 2017: . A lot of gals ripped into me in the comments for saying that women are targeted by MLMs. Here's an interesting article (from a woman) called How Multi-Level Marketing Targets and Destroys Female Entrepreneurs
The first thing about this opportunity is that it is party-based. This approach seems especially common for any MLM that is specifically targeted at women. The strategy means that distributors host parties (called Empower Hours), where they promote the products.
So, the idea is that you get people together and then pitch them the products. The company probably provides distributors with information about the strategies to use to get the most sales. At the same time, distributors will show some of the products that the company offers.
Some of these will come from the starter kit that the company provides – although distributors often end up purchasing additional products themselves.
The party model is interesting. It can work well for getting sales because there is a degree of social pressure. So, if one person buys a product, others will probably buy one too. However, the reverse is true too. If most people at a party don’t buy anything, others may choose not to as well, even if they were originally going to make purchases.
At the same time, the party model makes it difficult to sell to anyone who randomly decides that they want to buy products.
The party model also offers various bonuses based on how many products were sold. This includes credit towards products, as well as some products that are actually free. Of course, the more sales you get, the better the bonuses.
But, this is only part of the story.
At baseline, distributors for the company earn 25% commission from sales they make. In theory, you could just stick to this level of the company if you wanted to earn a little bit of money. 25% is actually pretty good if you can sell enough product on a daily basis.
However, Damsel in Defense is an MLM and this means that it has a focus on recruitment and building a team. So, most of the bonuses come from the people you recruit and how successful they are. For example, the figure below is the early ranks in the company.
As you go down the ranks, you can see that the bonuses people earn increases, but so does the complexity of actually qualifying for the rank. In practice, this means that getting to (and maintaining) a given rank takes a lot of work and it’s much more difficult than it first appears.
That’s one reason why most people in MLMs end up stuck on the first rank or two.
After all, you have to recruit people into the company and those people need to be successful themselves. Now, I don’t know about you, but I don’t know very many people who would be good at running a business, recruiting others and making sales. Realistically, direct selling is a hard approach anyway and with Damsel in Defense, you’re trying to promote products that most people haven’t even thought of buying.
There is one other slightly complicated thing about Damsel in Defense. This is the fact that you have to remain active to make money from the MLM portion. This practice is fairly common among MLMs, but it’s also pretty frustrating. The company explains it like this:
So basically, you have to spend $150 with the company every three months (excluding the month that you enroll). If you don’t meet this requirement, you can still earn money from commissions, but you can’t earn money from your rank or your downline.
As most of the bonuses come from your rank and your downline, this means that you have to purchase sufficient personal volume to make a decent income from the company. That requirement adds up over time, especially if you weren’t earning that much anyway.
There are probably thousands of different MLM companies out there but after a while, they all start to look the same. Sure, some of them do sell unusual products, like Damsel in Defense but at the end of the day they follow the same basic model.
Realistically, you can earn money with any MLM – in theory. But, most distributors don’t have the skills or social connections needed to effectively drive sales and recruit others.
That shouldn’t be too surprising. Those skills are tough and they’re not something you can just pick up with a little bit of support and some basic training. The simple answer is that if you don’t have those skills going into an MLM, you’re never going to get very far within one.
This is a very real issue and unfortunately, it is something that the company and other distributors simply don’t teach. Without a strong mentor, and a stronger sense of self motivation to get out, recruit, and push product, it's easy to end up like most distributors, with “non active” status and a few gadgets laying around the house.
A cool line of products, but recurring fees to remain active and a manipulative advertising strategy makes me not want to recommend this company as a great business opportunity.
MLM VS Affiliate Marketing
Honestly, I think self defense for women is an awesome idea for a business. There's a need for real solutions for women to defend themselves against harm. And if you are woman reading this, I can easily understand how this could be a personal passion of yours. A passion for helping people is a perfect start for any business, online or offline.
The problem is that people originally want to join MLMs as a way of making part-time or full-time income. Realistically though, most people that join MLMs don't make money because the “big money” is always in recruiting a downline. Plus, people often start with very little business experience meaning they rely on selling to friends and family, ruining relationships along the way.
The good news is that you CAN start a business promoting products that empower women with regards to self defense or any other topic for that matter. What's even better is that you can promote any products you want – not just a set sold exclusively from one company.
All you need is a simple website you can build online for cheap. Write some articles, put up some links to products, put some ads on it, and you can make money.
Ok, so I'm oversimplifying to make a point…it does take a good amount of work to get your website to rank, and to convert visitors into sales. Staring a business is not a cakewalk! But making money online is possible for anyone these days because staring a website is so damn easy.
If you sell products though your site that also means you don't even have to sell anything to friends and family. There are plenty of people online that want to buy things!
You could really make a difference in people's lives with a website! Do you think you'd like to start website on women's self defense or another topic?
Whatever type of product you decide to promote, it's important to own your own website to grow your business.
Parties only work if you have a network of friends with money in their pockets. Network marketing only works if your friends are interested in joining business opportunities.
With a website you can reach the entire world, and only promote great products to people interested in what you have to say. Plus, you open up doors to multiple streams of revenue like affiliate sales, ad click revenue, paid advertising, and even selling your own digital products.
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