Product Name: Reliv
Product Owner: Reliv International Inc.
Price: Distributor Kit (around $50)
Upsells: Product purchases
What is it?
A MLM company where individuals act as distributors and (theoretically) earn money by selling products and recruiting others.
This company has a common structure and approach, but unfortunately, it isn’t a very effective approach. Instead distributors spend time cold selling products that aren’t too appealing and facing stiff competition. It simply isn’t an effective model and earning any money involves a substantial investment of time.
Before You Buy
Be aware of the time investment involved with this type of business as well as the costs involved in buying product. These factors make the model much more challenging than it first appears.
What I Liked
As a general rule, I don’t like MLMs and that’s what Reliv is. However, I do like that the approach isn’t a complete scam. It is theoretically possible to earn money through Reliv, it just isn’t as easy as the company implies and many people aren’t successful.
What I Didn’t Like
Reliv As An ‘Opportunity’
I don’t like the way that this approach is marketed.
Realistically, calling something like this a ‘home-based business opportunity’ is just misleading. The pitch makes it sound like you are starting your own business and that makes it pretty exciting.
After all – many people associate financial freedom with starting their own business.
Certainly, starting your own business can offer a lot of freedom, but that’s not really what you do as a Reliv distributor. Instead, you are little more than an employee for the company. In fact, as a distributor you are worse off than an employee.
For example, distributors only earn money if they are successful in making sales and/or in recruiting others, while employees at a company would normally earn some money just for working. Additionally, as a distributor, there is considerable risk involved and you are spending money out of your own pocket to get the whole process up and running.
To make matters worse, being a distributor doesn’t give you the same amount of freedom that you would get from being your own boss. Instead, you still have to follow the rules and restrictions of Reliv and you are subject to the complexities of the company’s compensation plan.
With all of that in mind, what is the advantage of being a Reliv distributor?
There are things like the ability to choose your own hours and to choose how much you work. Additionally, you don’t have a boss standing over your shoulder telling you what to do and when.
Granted, these are pretty important benefits, but they’re not limited to being a Reliv distributor. In fact, you get all of those advantages, without the negative aspects by working completely for yourself.
One example of this is being a freelancer. There are many freelancers out there who earn money through their own skills and services without ever working for a company. Likewise, there are many other people who earn money online by having their own website and promoting their own products or products of other people.
All of these approaches are more reliable and more effective than what Reliv offers, yet Reliv wants you to think that what they have to offer is this amazing opportunity.
Making Money With Reliv
There are two main ways of making money with Reliv. The first is to sell the products of the company and the second is to recruit others. So, let’s start with the first.
Reliv has a strong emphasis on its products being unique and amazing, which suggests that they should be pretty easy to sell. However, the claims are overblown.
Most of Reliv’s products fall within the health and nutrition field and are fairly similar to other products already on the market. In fact, Reliv offers very little evidence to prove that their products are any different at all.
By using distributors, Reliv also has one more step in its supply chain than companies that sell directly to the public. This is important, because it means that Reliv’s products will tend to be more expensive than many of their competitors.
Regardless of how good Reliv claims to be, the reality is that the company isn’t all that well known and isn’t really recognized as being a company with unique and high quality products.
All of this means that if you want to try and sell the products from Reliv, you will have your work cut out for you. In fact, being a distributor for any company, even one like Avon or Amway (which are relatively well known), is very difficult and it is challenging to make any sales at all.
This is where the other arm of the business comes into play.
Reliv doesn’t just want people selling its products, it also wants people promoting the company as a whole. As such, any potential of earning significant income from Reliv comes from getting other people to join.
By doing this, distributors earn money from their own sales, as well as the sales of the people they recruit, and so on down the line. Often, this will go down several tiers deep and gets more complex as it goes along.
There are also other components of the compensation plan, such as getting a certain level of sales each month, having a certain number of levels and having a certain number of people under you.
So really, this means that you have to recruit people into the company who are going to be successful and recruit a number of them. In practice this is even more difficult than simply selling the products of the company in the first place.
Is It Realistic?
Advocates of this approach will tell you that you can earn money this way and I’m not really disputing that. My issue is that there are a whole lot of hoops to jump through to earn anything at all.
Making a significant amount of money out of Reliv is challenging and honestly it’s too much work and not enough reward. For many people the entire process would end up costing both money and time, with little to show for it.
Earning money working for yourself is a fantastic idea, but you actually have to be working for yourself for that to be effective.
In the long-term, the best way of achieving this is to develop your own website and make money from that. For most people, the most effective place to begin is affiliate marketing, as this means that you don’t need to own a product and there is very little investment involved.
With affiliate marketing, you don’t end up relying on any complex terms and conditions or compensation plans. Instead, you have control over the money you make and on the direction you take your business.
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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