Multi Level Marketing
Multi level marketing (also often referred to as MLM, affiliate marketing or network marketing) is a method of marketing that many companies use nowadays. This kind of marketing initiative involves using a network of individuals (often known as distributors) who sell the company's products down to their own customers and/or networks.
Distributors in a multi level marketing scheme will either sell the company's products or services direct to their own customers (either from the parent company or after buying them at a wholesale price). Or, as is often the case, they will build up their own network of other distributors who will sell on their behalf as well. In most cases distributors will be paid on a commission basis for each product or service they sell or if they buy products wholesale then they can make a profit on the retail sale value.
In some cases a multi level marketing campaign will be run as a pyramid model where the first distributor recruits new distributors beneath him/her. These new distributors then recruit their own distributors. The people further down the chain will have some of their commission paid to the people in the chain above them and these kinds of pyramid schemes are not legal in some countries. In many cases multi level marketing however will operate in a perfectly reputable and legal manner.