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Micky Gramlin
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Micky Gramlin   My Press Releases

Multi-Level Marketing, The History part 1

Published on 11/20/2017
For additional information  Click Here


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Multi-Level Marketing, The History Part 1


This was my very first series here at IBO in October of 2014. I was tired of hearing so much negativity about Multi-Level Marketing. Yes, it is a business that is not perfect but only because most of us, when we come on board with one, we have no idea what we are doing. We don’t even know where to begin. Most of us fail because we fail to understand that success is based on a simple duplication process.

My intention with this series was to show that without MLM’s, a lot of companies would never have came into existence. Less jobs would not have been created. And the common man would not have a chance of having their own business.

Most think MLM’s were not created until the 1960’s with the birth of Amway. But MLM’s actually got their start around 1860 as more products were being developed and appearing on the market. Peddlers began to realize that if they could organize and train groups of men to work the same way that a profit could be made. As they created associations of men and trained them, the peddlers developed a new term, traveling salesman. And even though it was not used for many years later, the term duplication eventually became associated with MLM’s.

Some of us may remember the term, traveling salesman still being used in the 1960’s as Fuller Brush, JR Watkins and Stanley Products still went door to door selling their products. There was Avon that also went door to door at that time.

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But if not for the foresight of the early peddlers and their influence, some corporations would probably not exist today. A former peddler, Henry J Heinz, had an army of 400 salesman makes sales of vegetables, ketchup and pickles to those that did not grow their own. Heinz, along with Clarence Noble, then went on to launch a corporation that created lines of food for grocery retailers and wholesale distribution for restaurants. Noble was eventually dropped. In February, 2013, Warren Buffet paid 23 billion for Heinz.

In 1886, Asa Candler, another peddler, bought the formula for Coca Cola from pharmacist, John Pemberton for $2300.  He then created a sales force to sell the syrup to restaurants. Today the Coca-Cola brand is worth an estimated $74 billion: more than Budweiser, Pepsi, Starbucks and Red Bull combined.

One of the first to offer associates the concept of owning their own business and then direct market door to door was J.R. Watkins founder of the J.R. Watkins Medical Company in 1868. He was also one of America’s first MLM to offer all-natural remedies.

After Watkins introduction of the concept of ownership for associates and door to door marketing, other companies began to come into existence using the same concept.

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Founded in 1890 and based in New York, originally known as the California Perfume Company, in 1937 became Avon. In 1906, its founder, David McConnel, had 10,000 sales representatives selling 117 different products.

Former peddler Alfred C. Fuller, in 1905, was a major player in the direct marketing business. Fuller started the Fuller Brush Company and hired 270 dealers throughout the U.S. to follow his business plan on commission only. An influence still felt today. That act alone would create the wealth of many that would establish future MLM’s and for their distributors.  

By 1903 there were an estimated 300,000 distributors in MLM’s compared to 100,000 in 1885 and 1000 in 1861. In 2012 there were an estimated 15.6 million direct selling distributors in the USA alone.


In part 2, we will take a look at MLM’s during the depression years.


Thank you for stopping by!


Micky Gramlin



Putting America back To Work The History part 2


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