Top 10 Oldest MLM Companies That Are Still in Business

In today’s post, I will share a list of the top 10 Oldest MLM Companies that are still in business today. To be transparent, I do not know when these companies transitioned to MLM. Some started out as traditional businesses first and others started out as MLM Companies. I am basing my ranking based upon when the company opened for business.

While some people believe network marketing is a fairly new concept, it’s not. Although the compensation structures and methods have changed drastically through the years, 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. I believe my findings are going to surprise you like it has me.

Top 10 Oldest MLM Companies Still in Business

The Top 10 Oldest MLM Companies Still in Business

I’ll start with # 10 and work my way to # 1.

# 10: Mary Kay

Founded in September 1963, Mary Kay is one of the oldest MLM Companies still in business. If you’ve spent any time in our industry, I know you’ve heard of Mary Kay. You might even know a few Mary Kay reps or have seen some of those “Pink Cadillacs” driving through town. This company specializes in high quality skin care and cosmetics products. Mary Kay is still going strong in the United States and abroad.

Mary Kay Inc. is an American privately owned multi-level marketing company. According to Direct Selling News, Mary Kay was the sixth largest network marketing company in the world in 2018, with a wholesale volume of US$3.25 billion. Mary Kay is based in Addison, Texas, outside Dallas.

Source: Wikipedia

# 9: Amway

Amway is the “big dog” in the MLM Industry, easily the largest MLM Company. 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 #9. Amway 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 personal care and home care products. Amway’s revenue in 2014 was around $11.5 billion, making it the largest MLM Company in the world. Amway’s headquarters are in Ada, Michigan. Amway does business in nearly 100 countries worldwide.

I love the natural ingredients that they use in their products. They make everything seem fresher and they help keep my family healthy. I would definitely recommend their products to anyone. I like Amway and I have confidence that their customer service team would have no problem addressing my concerns and making things right quickly. It was easy to order, their customer service is top notch and their selection of products is very extensive. They have products for everyone and anyone, no matter what you are looking for.

Zach of Roanoke, IN

# 8: GNLD

GNLD stands for Golden Neo-Life Diamite. In 1958, Jerry Brassfield founded GNLD with the primary focus being nutritional supplements. It does business in more than 50 different countries. GNLD has its own Scientific Advisory Board. 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 are in Fremont, California.

Everything from my nails to my hair started looking better. I wake up feeling leaner and less bloated. Once I started feeling better I instantly was more aware of what I was putting in my body. The weight came off easily and I never feel like I’m depriving myself of anything. It also provides me with the energy I need to achieve my goals. It empowers me to change my lifestyle by giving me the tools I needed to succeed. Plus, NeoLifeShake gives me the best quality protein to promote fat burning.

Gabi Martinez

# 7: 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 two 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.

Shaklee has a great reputation in the MLM Industry. Great products at fair prices combined with a sound leadership team and awesome compensation plan make this a wonderful company to be affiliated with.

Our mission at Shaklee is to provide a healthier life for everyone and a better life for anyone.

Source: Shaklee

# 6: 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 have 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. They are the largest direct sales jewelry company using the party plan.

To offer women and men entrepreneurship that adorns their life with style and success.

Source: Park Lane Jewelry

# 5: 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.

I have had Cutco for 44 years, my first set of knives when I got married. This is only the second time that I have ever had to return an item for sharpening or repair. Excellent service and response time. Kept me informed by email every step of the way. Awesome company.

~ Beverly from Connecticut

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# 4: Tupperware

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 recruiting team members. Tupperware is now headquartered in Orlando, Florida, and revenue is around $2.5 billion. I personally love the Tupperware products!

We are passionate about changing lives, especially for women by …

  • enlightening
  • educating
  • empowering

Source: Tupperware website

# 3: Avon

David McConnell founded Avon in 1886 in New York City where the company is still based. Avon is the second largest direct selling company in the world, and the is also the third oldest (based on what I found online). 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 on your street. Avon will probably still be going strong in 200 more years. I love that Avon empowers women and offers great products at affordable prices! Plus, they have a HUGE selection of products.

Our mission is to improve the lives of women globally.

Source: Avon

# 2: Vorwerk

Vorwerk beat Avon by just three years to claim the top spot. Founded in 1883 by Carl and Adolf Vorwerk, it comes in as the oldest MLM Company that is still in business. It is based out of Germany but also has an office in the USA. Vorwerk manufactures high-quality cooking and cleaning products, household appliances, vacuum cleaners, kitchen appliances, cosmetics, and more.

There are approximately 575,000 reps worldwide, in about 70 countries, and the company does just over $2.8 billion in sales.

We create passionate, loyal customers by simplifying homes with high-quality, long-lasting solutions. Our superior products and services come with the human touch, from the way we develop them and sell them, to the way they are used. Our unique direct selling capabilities empower people across the globe, elevating lives for the better. As a trusted family business, we are committed to act in a socially and environmentally responsible way. We strive to achieve economic success as a means to ensure family ownership of Vorwerk for many generations to come. ~ Vorwerk website

# 1: J.R. Watkins

Tracing its roots back to 1868, Watkins is the oldest MLM Company still in business. Initially, items were sold door to door, and I’m not 100% sure when they adopted the MLM Business Model. I’ve been told it was during the 1980s.

Watkins offers high quality food and personal care products. They have a great reputation, fair prices, and amazing products. You can also find their products in many popular retailers such as Target.

At J.R. Watkins, we believe in creating high-quality products, crafted with ingredients from natural sources. This means we avoid making our products with harmful ingredients like parabens, dyes, phthalates, and formaldehyde.

Source: Watkins website

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Final Thoughts

In conclusion, these are the top 10 oldest MLM Companies that are still in business. Were you surprised by this list? I was. What are your thoughts? Do you feel there should be a different company on this list? Please post your comments or questions below. I look forward to hearing from you.

Suggested Reading:
  1. Watkins Review
  2. Best MLM Affiliate Products
  3. Amway Review
  4. How to Evaluate a MLM Company
  5. The Best MLM Companies to Consider
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Chuck Holmes
Network Marketing Professional (21+ years)
Top Recruiter & Top Rep

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24 thoughts on “Top 10 Oldest MLM Companies That Are Still in Business”

  1. Hi, Dave Varley here, New Zealand. Great profiling of companies. Avon got an awesome plug in Johnny Depps movie Edward Sizzerhand. Don’t forget Herbalife too – big in the 90’s. For 10 years I was a Rawleighs agent – until the company crashed in 2004, from memory. Great product and company, pity it was so mis-handled by accountants. The MLM seemed OK. Have thought about getting back into it, but the payment system is very poorly structured from what I can gauge.

    1. Hi Dave,

      Thanks for sharing your experiences. Avon and Herbalife are both great companies. I’ve never known much about Rawleigh’s, but hearing you were with them for 10 years is really neat. If you’re thinking about joining a MLM in today’s world, make sure you evaluate the company reputation, the owner’s, the compensation plan, and the products. Do your due diligence, just like you would if you were starting a traditional business. Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment.

  2. Im going to play devils advocate here.. MLMs get a bad wrap because alot of salesman/recruiting tactics are sketchy at best if not a straight lie. “You’ll be driving a BMW within a year! If you really accel to your full potential I see in you”! Even EXP realtors do it all too often. That’s when most walk away. As long as it’s sales heavy and recruiting light, I’m okay with it. Nothing worse than someone that sells nothing and recruit recruit recruit! While everyone else does all the work and they sit back on a beach getting checks in the mail. Our country wouldn’t work if everyone was a MLM salesperson! It’s a bit socialist per se. Avon is crap and expensive. Tupperware is crazy expensive with plenty of as good or better and cheaper options. Amway yuck. Uber and Lyft do it too! But who’s really making the money? Hmmm.

  3. Hi, I am very excited at your post. There are several controversies on the view that MLM is a sustainable business model. By making reference to the growth in size of pyramid, may have argued that it is practically impossible for the MLM model to stand the test of time. However, your post have shown that most of these companies, and the industry itself have lasted over 60 years. With just this information, I am able to develop an equation to estimate the life span of an MLM company. Thanks.

  4. You forgot Discovery Toys! We have been around since February of 1978 and are still providing the best educational learning tools to children, families, teachers, etc

  5. I have watched the history of Watkin’s and Mr. Fuller ( of Fuller Brush) is on a picture with J.R. Watkins, Mr. Fuller worked for J.R. before becoming his competation. I am not sure if Watkin’s was MLM back when the Watkin’s family had it. I joined in about 1987 and have been with them on and off since then. The early yrs I couldn’t afford the shipping so I didn’t order a lot or promote it much. Now they offer free shipping at a certain point and that helps. The products are great.

  6. It seems like there was a company in Florida called Raleigh that started in the 1800’s similar to Watkins but I am not sure they are still in business. The last time I heard anything about them was around the year 2000.

    1. Hey there, I am in Watkins, it is 150 yrs old. I have been in it forever. Rawleigh/ Golden Pride is still around and so is Fuller Brush but Fuller now is wholesale only no downlines. Watkin;s has had some issues but they are working on making their products natural and the company is split, we still get food and non food but they non food has been sold off, it is sad. Rawleigh/ Golden Pride was bought out and not paying as well. Fuller Brush was bought out and that is when it changed. That is the info I have. Hope you have a great day!

  7. Great list, but you forgot to mention a company which is older than even Avon and still going strong. J.R. Watkins! Watkins has been in business since 1868, vs Avon’s 1886. Next year we will be celebrating our 150th anniversary and can’t wait to see what the company has planned for the celebration! 🙂

    1. The Madam CJ Walker Company was incorporated in 1910 in Indianapolis, Indiana. The company ceased operations in 1981. That is why it is not on this list, because it is no longer in business.

  8. So interesting! It’s hard to believe sometimes that MLM still gets a bad rap. When companies have been around for 150 years, that’s really saying something! I have never heard of 4 of these but the other ones I’ve heard only good things about. Thanks for the post!

  9. Wow, I wonder how I missed Watkins? Yes, you are correct, many companies did not start with the multi level business model. Thanks for the correction and hopefully some other people can pipe in here with their information and views.

    There is so much information roaming that it can be difficult putting it all together into a top 10 list, but that is what makes it fun and exciting. Plus a person can learn a lot by doing so. I am glad you liked it.

  10. Great write up, Greg. After doing some research of my own I found that J.R. Watkins was founded in 1868. That makes them almost 150 years old. They started out as direct sales and didn’t become a MLM company per se, until the 1980s or 1990s.

    The same is true with Avon. Avon was strictly a direct sales company for many years and it was until the 1990s that they actually became a MLM Company.

    When it comes to MLM itself, I believe Amway is the oldest active company. Many of these other companies started out as traditional businesses and later switched to MLM Companies.

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