They're on your newsfeed, posting status updates that consist of the green heart emoji and a selfie. They use hashtags such as #homeoffice or #workfromhome. They ask questions on social media: Are you happy with your drugstore mascara? Do you need to look bronze for the summer? Do you want to make extra income?
Some people are buying, some are persuaded to join their sales teams, and others are hiding these folks from their newsfeeds.
The folks are multi-level marketing consultants, and they're the door-to-door salespeople of 2016. More complex than selling magazines or encyclopedias, these people are selling products, hosting product parties and recruiting consultants to start making extra cash for bills, groceries or extra savings.
The trend appears especially popular in South Mississippi with young mothers who can make extra income for their family by working at home to avoid child-care expenses and punching a time clock at an office. Some of the consultants even hashtag themselves on Facebook as #momtrepeneurs.
And the more people they recruit and the more product they sell, the larger their reward.
So, how much are these MLM consultants getting paid? The Sun Herald analyzed the compensation plans for three companies that bring in profit from MLM consultants: ItWorks! Global, Rodan + Fields and Younique. Here's what we found:
n Younique's pay scale is the easiest to follow.
The cosmetics company, which gained notoriety for its lash-enhancing mascara, pays its consultants 20 percent commission on every product they sell. The more the consultant sells, the higher their status becomes, and it's noted by different colors. For example, someone who earns $1,000 in personal retail sales is yellow status, and they begin earning 25 percent commission. Younique pays its consultants, called presenters, on debit cards. As presenters recruit other presenters to work with them, that forms a circle. The team leader also earns circle commissions. And the more money that comes in, the higher the color status, and the higher the commission.
n Rodan + Fields consultants can make more cash rather quickly.
The skin-care company pays its consultants 15 percent on retail orders and 15 percent on preferred customers -- clients who buy products through their consultant's website and get a 10 percent discount. Consultants who make $600 in sales are promoted to an executive consultant and make an extra 10 percent on retail orders and 16 percent on preferred customer orders. Consultants who recruit others make more in commissions, which are explained in graphs on Rodan + Fields' website.
n ItWorks! Global's pay scale for is complicated and hard to understand.
If you're a fan of the ItWorks! wraps or other health-lifestyle products, good luck trying to analyze how much your consultant is making. The compensation plan, found on the ItWorks! website, is 33 pages long and has a table of contents and a glossary. The chances to get promoted are based on sales and recruiting, as with most MLM companies, but there are significantly more levels with ItWorks! Global. Distributors must buy their first distributor kit before they start making 10 percent commission. Commission increases based on sales and other factors -- such as growing legs (recruited independent consultants). To see the promotions, the ranks and the complicated payment system, visit the website.