Company Name: Do You Bake?
What Is It?
Do You Bake is an MLM company that focuses on selling packets, sauces and similar products for baking and for cooking at home.
The biggest advantage of Do You Bake is that the company is free to join, which is unusual for an MLM. Nevertheless, consultants do only earn 20% commission from selling products, which is about middle-of-the-road for commission numbers.
The company doesn’t provide a whole lot of information about its commission scheme or multi-level aspect of the company.
Cooking and baking have always been pretty popular hobbies but if anything that popularity is just increasing. Perhaps that shouldn’t be too surprising. After all, social media (particularly Pinterest) does seem to encourage people to make food that is visually appealing and also tastes good.
Do You Bake seems to have cashed in on this idea, focusing on just that concept.
So, it probably isn’t any surprise that the company’s product range is strongly focused on food.
However, as a side note, it isn’t really clear why the company is called Do You Bake. Based on the name, I assumed that the company was actually selling products connected to baking. However, their products actually seem to focus on cooking in general.
Now, the images and the marketing for the company might focus on the finished dishes but that isn’t what they are actually selling. That practice does make sense. After all, the company couldn’t really sell food like this through a mail-order catalog. Instead, they sell a range of powders, sauces and mixes, which people can then use to create the food in the images.
Nevertheless, the focus on food images is a bit manipulative, especially as this approach can make people crave the food. In fact, the company often doesn’t even have images of the actual products that they are selling, just a potential finished dish.
At the same time, the site offers very little information about what you need at hand to make the meal.
It’s very hard to know whether the company’s products are any good, especially as people vary considerably in what they think of food. The site for the company does provide the ability for people to leave reviews but that feature doesn’t seem to be used. I spent a while browsing various products on the site, including some that are likely to be popular, and didn’t find a single product that had actually been reviewed.
Now, this doesn’t necessarily mean that the products are bad. It may simply mean that most people purchase through distributors and parties, rather than online.
I did find one online review of a few of the products. In general, the reviewer didn’t seem particularly happy with them and commented that the flavors weren’t great and the instructions were a little hard to follow. Nevertheless, it’s very possible that peoples’ experiences will vary depending on what they like and specifically what they buy.
In terms of the prices, I will note that the products are more expensive than what you would find in the stores – but the prices aren’t excessive. For example, a garlic seasoning blend was $8.25, a packet for a blueberry blast cheese ball was $5 and a packet of brownie mix was $8.75.
Those prices are low enough that people are likely to purchase. However, it is likely that people would choose these products as treats rather than frequent additions to the kitchen.
There isn’t a whole lot of information about the opportunity online. I suspect this is because it is mostly conducted offline, with distributors selling products at parties and directly to individuals.
In fact, the website basically just offers the link to sign up, without providing any information about what the opportunity actually provides. However, information on the plan is available online and with a little digging, I found a PDF of their 2014 plan.
As with every MLM, members receive a basic commission on sales that they personally make. Do You Bake promotes their rate as 37%, which is pretty high for an MLM.
In reality, that rate is accurate, but it only applies to distributors at the highest ranks in the company. When distributors start out they just earn 20% commission on sales, which is much lower than advertised.
To earn more with the company, distributors have to get into the recruitment and team-building side of the business.
That aspect of the business is where the MLM title comes from. MLM stands for multi-level marketing and it is a business model where distributors attempt to gain a team of people below them. Essentially, the model functions much like a pyramid scheme in that a distributor recruits people into the company, who are then responsible for recruiting others, and so forth.
The biggest difference between an MLM and a pyramid scheme is that an MLM will involve products. Additionally, the company will tend to focus on the sales of products more than recruitment (in theory anyway).
However, in any MLM, most of the income potential comes from recruitment.
As distributors recruit others, they start to earn money from the sales that those people make and they increase through the ranks of the company. As a distributor’s rank increases, so does the commission they earn and the amount of bonuses they are eligible for. Additionally, a higher rank increases how much people earn from the members of their team and how many levels of their team they earn from.
In this case, the second rank of the company requires a distributor to have recruited three other distributors (who all need to be active). When a distributor is on this rank, they earn 25% on their personal sales along with 1% of the sales of the people they directly recruited.
At the fourth rank of the company, a distributor earns 30% commission, along with 2% commission from the people they directly recruited and 1% from the people those individuals recruited. The breakdown of commissions from teams for the ranks looks like this:
This structure means that distributors really need an active and decent-sized team to make significant money from the company. But, each rank has its own set of criteria and these get significantly more complex as you go along. The end result is that members need to be able to recruit others who are active and effective in the company.
Actually doing that, well, it’s pretty difficult.
The structure also means that your income is dependent on the performance of your team. So, if a person does badly one month or even drops out of the business altogether it could be enough to drop your rank (and income) significantly. All-in-all, this model makes the process of earning money much more challenging than it first seems.
Distributors with Websites
One interesting thing is that the company does provide members with the ability to sell products online. It is likely that this website is simply a duplicate of the company’s one, where distributors get credit for any sales they make.
Having a website is important with how often people buy things online but it doesn’t really offer distributors that much of an advantage. Because the site would be a duplicate, it wouldn’t rank in Google. So, distributors would have to use other methods to get people to visit.
In most cases, distributors would only end up making website sales to people that they already knew. This could still be beneficial but it certainly isn’t as powerful as having a website that you create. Additionally, distributors have to pay $30 per year ($10 every 4 months) to keep the website.
That’s not especially expensive but it is one additional cost for distributors.
People often view MLMs as scams but I don’t think that’s really true. To a degree, some MLMs are a legitimate way to earn money (it really depends on the company). I mean, I even know some people who earn little bits of money here and there selling MLM products.
The problem is that the MLM model makes it exceptionally hard to earn long-term and significant income through the company. Realistically, most people don’t have the experience or skills to successfully directly sell products or to build an effective team under them.
That issue is what bothers me the most about MLMs. Because they sound easier than they are, people often get involved thinking that they can easily turn a large profit. Some members may earn money but most will find themselves stuck at the lowest rank in the company, making relatively little for the time that they put in.
MLM VS Affiliate Marketing
Unless you make it to the highest ranks of a company, the effort you put into an MLM always ends up being disproportionate to the amount you earn. So, unless you are completely confident that you can get to that level, it is more effective to spend your time and energy somewhere else.
Throughout this site, I promote an approach called affiliate marketing. One of the key reasons that I do this is that affiliate marketing is realistic. Yes, it takes time to develop a business and to make money from it but once you do, you have something that you can continue to grow and develop.
At the same time, affiliate marketing lets you take advantage of the online environment and lets you promote products that people are actually interested in buying. Would you rather invest your time in learning how to recruit people into a company, or spend your time building an online business that can reach the entire world?!
Without a real business plan, finding people to regularly purchase baking products, and then finding people to regularly sell baking products seems a bit far fetched to me.
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.