The bargain hunters

Following up on yesterday’s post Are we really failing? here’s another group of network marketers who are not failures, despite being seen as part of the failure problem by industry observers.

Bargain hunters.

They buy products for the reason that USANA’s VP gave the Wall St. Journal last month. VP Fred Cooper said:

Most associates are interested in purchasing the vitamins without commissions…and most distributors view what they can earn as a vitamin discount, not as a path to profits.”

Hundreds of Shaklee reps told me the same thing over the last 10 years. Many of them had been Shaklee customers for 30 years and did just enough sales to get their products free. That’s why they signed up as reps.

Many did no sales at all. They were happy just getting the products at wholesale prices.

These are the bargain hunters. They’re in network marketing to get bargain prices on products they want, or to get them “free.”

Aren’t they just like most Costco or Sam’s Club buyers? Or the P&G women who talk up the P&G products to their friends to get their own for free? These wholesale buyers and P&G women are not failures. On the contrary, they’re considered smart consumers.

Likewise, aren’t the bargain hunters in NM just smart buyers rather than failed reps?

What percent of network marketers are bargain hunters?

Part III: The income seekers.

About the author

Kim Klaver


  • Even though I’ve been a business builder for most of my 15 years in the industry, I have also been a bargain hunter. If I can buy a product from a NWM company at a discount, I much prefer that to going to any store. I’ve done that for years on my supplements. I’ve always bought products from other networkers and other networkers have brought products from me.

    I also have had people who were on auto-ship with me for their favorite products for years and years and never brought more than 2 or 3 people in the business and some brought none. They just loved their products.

    I’m learning that it’s true in the travel industry too. While many of our members are actively building a business and helping people book travel on their sites, for some, the most important thing is getting “fam” discounts for themselves or getting upgrades on cruises or hotels because of their agent ID.

    It’s great to have connection with the same people for years and to share things that you love with them.


  • Most of my customers are bargain hunters by far. They all want a discount of some sort.

    The people who come in with the mindset of building a business seem to consider the discount they receive as a benefit, but they aren’t entering the buisness building side just to get a discount.

    They are planning to make a certain profit per month in thier business.

    My experience with upline was them encouraging me to go to every meeting no matter the cost because if I didn’t “You will be behind about one year if you miss one of the big conventions and about three months for missing the weekly meetings.” The implication was I wasn’t coachable.

    As far as buying products and the marketing materials, my former upline did encourage buying whatever the company had available. Once again, I wasn’t coachable if I didn’t want to do everything that had worked for them personally.

    The nice thing is that in my new company, I am left on my own to make product and marketing material needs. I am kept informed as to what is available, but my decisions are very much respected.

    I think the upline needs to have a duplicatable system if they are going to ask someone to be coachable. It is hard to be coachable if the system is not duplicatable.

    Brenda Bunney

  • Kim,

    You are doing a fantastic job of pointing out why our “failure” rates are so high.

    My company has a wholesale program to allow interested customers to get their products at the same price as the distributors. However, I still have people sign up as distributors “just in case” they find soomeone (almost have to stumble upon them) that might be interested in signing up.

    I’d be interested in seeing a survey that allows those that have or are currently participating in a NM company to determine if they believe they have failed. Would they say they did?

    Nicole Bandes,
    I love to send cards again

  • I’m a bargain hunter who is making money as well in net workmarketing. I hunt bargains everywhere. I am sure most people do the same.

    I agree with Nicole about surveying net work marketers about their feelings. I vote that Kim puts that on her blog soon.

    Nancy Carlson

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