While many people think that multi level marketing is a business method that is quite new, I must say they are wrong. While the compensation structures and methods may have changed drastically, multi level marketing has been in use for well over 100 years.
I am writing today’s post after performing several hours of deep research, and I believe my findings are going to surprise you as it has me. I am going to tell you the top 10 oldest and still in business MLM companies. If you debate my findings, please post your view in the comment section at the end of this post, and it would also be great if you can show a solid reference to back it up. I will also list my references at the bottom of this post.
We all know Amway is still going strong, and you may have thought it would be one of the oldest MLM companies, but no, Amway comes in at #10. This company that was a variation of American Way was founded in 1959 by Richard DeVos and Jay Van Andel. The majority of Amway products are in health and beauty, but they also have many in home care. Amway’s revenue in 2014 was around $11.5 Billion. Amway’s headquarters are in Ada, Michigan. You can visit the Amway website here.
GNLD stands for Golden Neo-Life Diamite. In 1958, Jerry Brassfield founded GNLD with the primary focus being nutritional supplements. The last figures show that GNLD’s revenue was in the vicinity of $200 Million. GNLD is a member of the Direct Selling Association, and their headquarters is in Fremont, California. You can visit the GNLD website here.
8: Shaklee Corporation
Way back in 1915, Forrest Shaklee created Shaklee Vitalized Minerals, but that was not the beginning of the Shaklee company. It wasn’t until 1956 that Forrest and his 2 sons began manufacturing and selling nutritional supplements. They used the MLM business method and it has been a steady rise from there. Shaklee also has weight control, beauty and household products along with the supplements. Revenue for Shaklee stands at around $180 Million and their headquarters is in Pleasanton, California. You can visit the Shaklee website here.
7: Jewels By Park Lane Inc.
The year was 1955 and Arthur and Shirley LeVin founded this MLM jewelry company in Chicago. Using a MLM structure, distributors give home parties to sell this exquisite jewelry and gain team members. Company revenue sits at around $150 Million, and the company is still based in the Windy City. You can visit the Jewels By Park Lane website here.
6: Vector Marketing/ Cutco Cutlery
In 1947, Alcoa and Case Cutlery jointly formed a company that was known as Alcas. They made a factory in Olean, New York and began the manufacturing of kitchen cutlery. In 1949, the company was formally founded and began using the multi level marketing business approach. Vector came into the picture in the 1980’s after the company had gone through several major changes. Vector in itself, was an independent distributor, but has now taken over the complete distribution process. The revenue of Vector Marketing is approximately $200 Million. You can visit their website here.
In 1946, Earl Tupper founded The Tupperware Company in South Grafton, Massachusetts. Selling their line of handy kitchenware that would seal foods tightly made Tupperware an immediate success. Many people do not realize that Tupperware is an MLM company, but it is. The majority of distributors make their profits from sales of products and not as much from getting team members. Tupperware is now headquartered in Orlando, Florida, and revenue is around $2,500 Million. Visit their website here.
4: Wachters Organic Sea Products
It isn’t a name I had heard of; had you? Wachters has been doing business since 1932. The story behind the start of Wachters is amazing. It seems Joseph Wachter found he had only a short time to live when he contracted tuberculosis. Through his travels to find a cure, he soon discovered the ocean’s water held it. As he was cured, he set out to share the nutritional miracles he found. That is why Wachters is still strong even today. Wachters headquarters are in Daly City, California. Just visit the Wachters website here and see for yourself.
Betterware is a well known MLM in the United Kingdom where it was founded in 1928. Originally, the name was Betterwear, and was a door-to-door brush sales company. The company added a wide range of products and adopted the multi-level business method. Now based in Birmingham, England, Betterware provides their distributors with the opportunity to sell household products, mobility products and personal care products. As a member of the United Kingdom Direct Selling Association, Betterware does business in Europe and Central America. See their website here.
Kleeneze is another England based MLM. In the 1920’s, Harry Crook had come to the United States and worked as a salesman for Fuller Brush. When he returned to England, he decided to start his own brush company. In 1923, Kleeneze was a reality. Over the years, Kleeneze has added much more than just brushes. They have become a household name in England and other areas of Europe. Using a MLM form of business, many have made a decent living with their Kleeneze home based business. You can visit the Kleeneze website here.
This was no surprise to me. David McConnell founded Avon in 1886 in New York City where the company is still based. Avon is the 2nd largest direct selling company in the world, and the oldest. Annual sales revenue is approximately $10 Billion. When you really consider the impact Avon has, just look around…I would bet you have an Avon representative within 5 homes of you. Avon will probably still be going strong in 200 more years. Visit the Avon website here.
So were you surprised by this list? I was. Many would think that companies like Mary Kay and Primerica would have been on this list, but sorry, they aren’t as aged as you thought. Mary Kay began in 1963 and Primerica began in 1977. I must also mention Pola Incorporated which began in 1929 in Japan. Not a true multi level company, it works just on single level and that is why they are not on this list.
So what are your thoughts? Do you feel there should be a different company on this list? Please post your comments or questions below.
Disclaimer: Neither I nor Online MLM Community is affiliated with these companies. The information is posted for your benefit. This is not a PAID endorsement.
About the Author: Greg Boudonck is a full time freelance writer and a part time network marketer. With over 50 books published, and a variety of articles all over the world wide web, you can see more about Greg by visiting his website at Lancer Life.com.
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