Hybrid Her Says No to Multi-Level Marketing

This is a sponsored post, paid for by Hybrid Her.

Written by Beth Smith, Co-Founder of Hybrid Her

We know you aren’t looking to make money by recruiting other women and having someone else profit from your hard work!  You don’t want confusing pay plans that give more money to those above you in the pyramid when you’re doing the work. You should get to keep the money you earn and not have to worry about people above or below you in the pyramid.

That’s how Hybrid Her is so different.

Business With a Cause

Every sale of Hybrid Her clothing and accessories helps emerging female designers from all over the world to grow their businesses. By connecting designers who give back to various environmental and social causes with women who are interested in supporting them, the Hybrid Her marketplace is a network of women helping women – while also helping each other’s businesses grow.  Every piece in their marketplace is unique and it truly is Style with a Story! 

Multi-level marketing companies sell the sizzle of trips, prizes, cars and money made from a team. We sell simplicity at Hybrid Her. You sell a product, you make a commission. Sell more products, and you make more commissions. We believe in transparency, so we’ve created a company with no confusing compensation plans, bonuses for the higher ups, or hidden requirements to maintain levels. Hybrid Her wants to level the playing field and offer an opportunity for you to make money for your family with a simple plan.

Hybrid Her Trunk Shows

Hybrid Her is not multi-level marketing. I know, I know. You’ve heard this before. Multi-level marketing companies routinely claim they are not multi-level, and come up with fancy new names like “dual marketing” or “network marketing” to cover up the reality. We are truly not multi-level.

The Hybrid Her concept includes trunk shows, either virtually or in person, where the seller knows exactly where the money goes.  There’s no recruiting with Hybrid Her!  You heard right, no recruiting!  You are not expected to build a team underneath you, nor will you ever have to give your hard earned money to someone above you. You are never dependent on the activity of others on your team to earn money.

You have a direct relationship with Hybrid Her, and there are no recruiters in the way. You sell what you want, and you know exactly how much you will make. There’s nothing multi-level about Hybrid Her, so there is no recruiter making money from your efforts.

There are no seller requirements at Hybrid Her. That means there are no “minimums” to move up or qualify for a commission, and there’s no placing orders just to “stay active.”

YOUR Business

This truly is YOUR business.  Of course Hybrid Her has a marketplace where women talk to each other and share ideas. We have tools to help you find and keep customers.  But the difference is we all start and end at the same place. And everyone who works hard can make money simply by selling a great product.

We’ve come up with the plan, and it’s up to you to execute it, with guidance from us. We really dig home party gatherings.  At least we love the fashion, shopping and sharing a good bottle of wine (or two) with their girlfriends. What we do not dig is the “pitch”.  You know what I mean ladies! In most direct sales companies, you’re not going to get to the top of the structure unless you build a network, and that means getting as many women as possible to buy into “The Dream”.

That’s not the way they roll.

Getting Started

If you are interested in becoming a Hybrid Her Maven, you sign up directly with the company. There are no sponsors and no uplines or downlines involved. It is FREE to join Hybrid Her and to host a Virtual Trunk Show. You even get your very own store URL from which to sell. And yes, at no cost!

You can purchase samples if you choose to host an in-person show, but virtual trunk shows are a great low-cost way to show the products you choose. You will never be asked to purchase inventory, and you will only have to order products from the company after you have sold something to a customer.

If you’re a passionate, creative and stylish woman that cares about helping others while looking to change the landscape of direct sales, the Hybrid Her door is wide open.

50 Comments

  1. raisinberry

    I appreciate the “new way” to market at home shows or virtual gatherings. I won’t comment about that here.

    What I am aware of, is just how toxic and skeptical my own thoughts have become, regarding anybody “trying to convince” me of anything.

    I guess, if you get drawn in to an organization like Mary Kay, and you let your guard down in the first place to trust their “opportunity”…and THEN find out, you were taken hook line and sinker, how in the world do you ever recover from that? Especially when you consider that years of doubts and questions got met with “stop your stinkin’ thinkin'” as if noticing that nobody was making money and everybody has mega debt was MY problem!…I had hundreds of times where I had to talk myself out of a warning bell – only to find out that my bells were working!

    Yea I’m probably ruined for life on the trust thing. Thank you Mary Kay.

    1. TRACY

      I don’t see this post as an attempt to convince. I see it simply as an informational introduction to the company, with links if anyone is interested. I think most of us at PT are jaded about any “opportunity,” but I felt that since the worst aspect of MK – – multi-level – – was left out of this concept, it was worth a look. 🙂

  2. T.

    Good:
    -didn’t find nasty arbitration clause; probably didn’t look hard enough. They’re almost always in there.
    -it’s not, at least at first glance, based in Utah
    -if it takes off, it might be an OK idea, although I doubt anyone would make real money from being a Maven. Real money being a salary of, at a minimum, $40k/yearly based on a 40-hour work week, including benefits like PTO and health insurance.

    Bad:
    -Eventually, those of you in NY are going to get warm chattered about this, I bet, as Mavens blow through their warm markets.
    -Unnecessary service given the advent of etsy + craft fairs + amazon + the internet.
    -Probably just another “invest in your ‘business’ on your dollar, oops, new season, buy again!” plan.
    -Prices are inflated for what they are. (You say “Swarovski” I say “glass.” You say “leather and mixed metals” I say “$52.00? Are you out of your mind?)
    -Had a hard time finding a maven
    -website is awkward and inconvenient. Had a hard time finding what I was looking for–actual products and prices (maybe that should be a link at the top, in the nav bar, instead of having to go to the home page and scroll down). Also, I think the website is trying to reinvent the wheel. Things are grouped by a maven’s “board” preference–sort of like Kaboodle, if you guys used that–rather than just being ablet o search by “leather cuff,” for instance. This is because it’s trying to be a maven-based business, so you have to get to a Maven before you can get to the products. Very, very awkward.

    1. Thanks T. for taking the time to look at hybridher.com. We are a work in progress and I really appreciated the comment about the website functionality. I need to think about how to fix that.
      Couple of things. We are based in NYC and have a lot of Mavens that are featured in the link on the homepage of the trunk show marketplace. We haven’t been at it long enough to give you an idea of yearly salaries, but since you can have a virtual show for free there is not much of a risk. And you don’t have to buy new stuff for new seasons. It’s totally up to you. Oh, and the prices are the designer’s suggested retail but you can sell items for less –it just changes your wholesale to retail profit margins. Thanks again for your feedback!

    2. TRACY

      I, too, wonder how much women are going to be able to make with Hybrid Her. However, the straightforward compensation plan, with no multi-level and no confusing/hidden bonuses or gimmicks, was appealing. At least women know exactly what they can make, and don’t have to worry about an upline profiting off them.

  3. Tigger

    The thought of having to load all that crap up in my car and do a ‘show,’ then drag it all home and unload it, and store it, keep it organized and clean, do the paperwork, deal with the unhappy customers over defective merchandise, look for customers, attend training, be ‘on’ at all times – it’s just overwhelming.

    Who the hell would want to start that all over again?

    Crap, I can just go to the nearest Ross and get a great sweater for $9 and be done with it.

  4. gotheart

    OMG just get a a web site.
    Advertise on You Tube. Free.
    If your stuff is any good it will sell.
    Take orders.
    Make a profit.
    Help who the hell ya want. Just fillin someones gas tank will bring the tv crew. Boom. There ya go!
    There are plenty of folks just next door.
    Give to this site! Without doin all that rigamarole.

    Check out the guys video below.
    He is making buck doin just the above mentioned..

    http://blackmilkclothing.com/

    Sincerely.
    gotheart

  5. Lazy Gardens

    Here’s why your idea is loaded with fail: It’s the ultimate way for mavens to indulge their friends while making money from their good taste (grammar comment, you have a bad referential pronoun. I can’t tell if money is being made from the maven’s good taste or the friends’ good taste)

    Making money from my friends is what my friends are for? Please tell me why it’s a good idea to look to friends as a source of income?

    This “sell to your friends” idea is a malignant business model. It wrecks friendships and can ruin a workplace with the associated “support me and my cause by buying ___ from me” drama when someone says “no”.

    If someone admires a bracelet I am wearing I’ll either aim them at the source or say “thanks, but I have no clue where to get one like it”. I’m not going to whip out my ‘Droid and show them my “virtual trunk show” so they can buy it from me.

    I’m not going to wreck a nice wine and bread party by pimping my wares to the neighbors.

    1. Lynn

      These are my thoughts as well. And it would be impossible to be any sort of ongoing income unless you had a huge circle of friends who are all bursting with disposable income and who shop constantly– AND who want to continually buy from you. Even the wealthy women I know who shop frequently are not going to the same place all the time.

      I also don’t see much advantage to the designer when there is amazon and etsy and so many other avenues to get your wares out there to the world.

      I do give Hybrid Her props for no recruiting, no uplines, no pyramid, no upfront fees for the mavens. But “we’re not a scam” doesn’t mean it’s a good business opportunity.

    2. MLM Radar Detector

      “We have tools to help you find and keep customers.”

      I’d REALLY like to know what those tools are.

      Do you have access to Secrets for Success inside information on how to work a cold market that no one in Direct Sales has been able to uncover? Once you exhaust your list of family and friends (who are skeptical to begin with because they’re already burnt out by MLM promoters) who are you going to call? Quite frankly, selling to strangers out of a car trunk is more likely to attract the police than potential customers.

      I only know two ways to attract strangers and make such a business profitable in the long run. One is to get your merchandise out of the car trunk and rent a storefront or kiosk somewhere. The other is to sell on a popular high-volume website like etsy or eBay, where you limit your products offered and significantly expand your product descriptions.

    3. Lazy Gardens

      On further consideration … you want to inexpensively reach and exploit my network of friends and family for your own profit by creating this not-quite-an-MLM business model and inserting yourself as the middleman.

  6. Lazy Gardens

    Looking at this like a designer … Make sure to build the 20% commission directly into your WHOLESALE pricing so that the Mavens will pay the commission to Hybrid Her instead of you. When loading your items, simply increase your desired wholesale price by 25%. (Example, if you want to recover $50 wholesale price for an item, list its wholesale at $62.50. When the 20% commission is deducted, you will still receive your $50 plus shipping costs.

    All I see Hybrid Her doing to designers is adding leeches to divert my cash flow … the maven’s profit and your commission are lowering my potential profits. It would take more math than I remember to do the optimal price calculations to see whether the sales are high enough to compensate for having to sell at a low price so the mavens can compete.

    I still have to make the store front, set the pricing, keep the store front updated, take the pictures, track the orders and ship the product … so I’m not saving any work on your site

    I can open a shop on Etsy, spend 20 cents to list it, and pay a 3% commission to Etsy, which means I can sell it for $51.70 and make just as much money as I would on Hybrid Her for the same amount of work. If I sell them at a slightly higher price, it’s all mine.

    What the Internet does for small craftsmen and producers is called “disintermediation”, or “cutting out the middleman”.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Disintermediation

    1. MLM Radar Detector

      On the Designer’s webpage I see this: “Make sure to build the 20% commission directly into your WHOLESALE pricing so that the Mavens will pay the commission to Hybrid Her instead of you. When loading your items, simply increase your desired wholesale price by 25%.”

      On the Maven’s webpage I see an illustration which says this: “Total cost of tunic sold $40; Wholesale back to designer $12; 20% to HH $8; Rest to Maven $20.”

      If I’m reading this correctly, both the Designer and the Maven pay 20% to Hybrid Her. The Designer’s $12 wholesale price includes a $2.40 commission to HH. The Maven’s retail price includes an $8 commission to HH. So the total amount paid to Hybrid Her on the $40 sale illustrated is $10.40 (26% of the retail price).

      Being a start-up company with a limited buyer/seller network, I can understand you needing to set your fees that high to cover your costs. In New York that 26% fee may be competitive. But it puts you at a disadvantage compared to eBay and etsy when moving into less pricey markets. To secure a foothold in middle-income areas elsewhere you may need to reduce those fees.

  7. Kinzie

    I see the marketing concept as being potentially different, but not the pricing. One of the reasons I don’t go to MLM parties is because the merchandise is so overpriced due to the company having to pay all of the hostess benefits, upline commissions, etc. I can find comparable products though other sources so much cheaper. Having said that, I was shocked at the prices of some of the items on your website. For example, I was admiring a necklace until I saw that it cost $150. It was very pretty but not worth $150.

  8. Bridgett

    I’ve been to several trunk shows like this (a similar, non-MLM program dedicated to unknown designers). They are extremely popular and fun where I live (the non-MLMs).

    You get to try on the clothes in your own home. You drink wine and have a nice time with your friends. I’ve been to several and it was always strictly and clearly defined as a trunk show. You went intending to try to find something to buy, not out of guilt or obligation. You knew you would find something no one else had (and sometimes the shows bombed because the designer sucked and you didn’t want a thing).

    The difference between this and say, a tupperware party, is that the designers always change and you get some pretty unique items that no one else is going to own. Some of your items are going to be hand-sewn and one-of-a-kind. Some of the designers will fit you for a small fee (meaning take in your individual measurements and adjust the garment).

    You can also meet the designer on occasion, and even commission personal pieces.

    I don’t know about Hybrid Her, but I do know that in-home trunk shows are not the same as an MLM party. It’s more like bringing a local boutique into your home. And, unfortunately, markup is extremely common. Ask any artist who shows at a gallery how much they get ripped off to sell a painting and how much they have to mark up their work to make a profit after gallery commission. Same with boutique stores, etc.

  9. MLM Radar Detector

    Mine is just one woman’s opinion, of course. Take what you will from it.

    The things I wear I like to handle before I buy. My attitude means that to get my attention the person displaying the merchandise needs to have invested in enough inventory to answer my questions. It’s a big drawback for your potential Mavens, unless they can get items on consignment from the designers.

    Another drawback to ordering from a website photo is the lack of information provided, and I’m seeing some big red flags on your website.

    I’ve bought jewelry through a catalog and learned to be cautious with that. It always looks cute in the picture. Sometimes it looks just right on me, sometimes it turns out to be little kid sized, and sometimes it makes me look like one of those primitive tribal women who wear all their family wealth at once. Consequently, I’m much more likely to buy if I can hold it up to myself first.

    Purses, bags, and totes I want to touch before I buy also. I am looking at a Cluster Bag on one of your Maven sites and I don’t have enough information to give it a serious look. The description is too vague. “NZ Designer Andrea Moore’s popular pattern in a bright spring teal, complimented by a chocolate brown. Perfect as an everyday bag or a travel tote! Price: $16 plus $6 shipping.” How big is it? Can it hold a beach towel or just a wallet and a lipstick? What kind of fabric is it made from? Is it water resistant? Does it have a pocket on the inside? How much weight will it support? Is the insert in the bottom sturdy enough to hold groceries or will it collapse if I put more than 3 pounds inside?

    Sorry, based on the information provided I’m going to pass on this tote, unless I can inspect it before I buy. I can get one for less at Barnes and Noble or Target and know when I pay for it that it is exactly what I need.

    I never buy clothing through a catalog because, well, I’m not a fashion model and there is absolutely no consistency in sizing women’s clothing. Large from one source won’t fit over my head, but Large from another source has enough fabric to slipcover the couch.

    On another Maven’s site I found this: “Bridget Blazer. Short and sassy blazer, goes perfectly with every outfit this spring and summer! Made from the most lux light weight silk fabric you won’t want to take it off! Sizes: Large, Medium, Small, Colors: Pink, Tangerine, Turqoise (should be spelled Turquoise); Price $190 plus $10 shipping.” No definition is provided for Large, Medium, or Small. The only color pictured is Pink, and I’m glad of that much because I can see that this pink is so bright it won’t go with anything I have. There’s no way I’ll buy the other colors sight-unseen.

    Once again, with the scanty information given and for that price, I’ll go to Belk or Penny’s instead.

  10. Mi Ki

    Actually, it blows me away that this Hybrid Her post is even on this blog.

    Let’s assume that you’re not an MLM, Hybrid Her Lady. You’re nonetheless addressing an audience which has largely gone through the experience of being resurrected from the death that is the life of constantly humping merchandise to friends–and constantly humping people to become friends you hump merch to. It’s shameful and degrading, even without the never-ending labor of trunk shows.

    If I want to lift up Third World craftswomen the last thing I will do is insert myself and some company as fresh layers of middlemen.

    So you paid for the post. How much? If it’s enough to compensate, let’s say, sixty families for the pain and loss they experienced over a decade or more of putting the squeeze on friends and neighbors at let’s say $40K per family per year–fine, post away and we can scroll by it. But if it’s any less than that–paid directly to burnt members of your audience–please GO AWAY.

    Bear in mind this audience contains THOUSANDS of burnt members–so compensating the sixty families would be as nothing compared to the number your post has offended. Oh–and lest you think I’m one of the burnt, no. I just know how to respect those who have suffered. I’ll give you a hint–it’s NOT by inviting them to go down a “new and improved!” shit path.

    1. jlein

      Hybrid Her is not an MLM. Tracy posted about it recently. While I don’t think this would be a great way to make money I would not be against being a hostess because I think that stuff is fun. May be a good way for us to enjoy that party atmosphere without MLM

      1. Mi Ki

        I specifically said let’s assume Hybrid Her is NOT an MLM.

        Everything I posted stands.

        A pitch does not have to be from an MLM to be ill-advised and insensitive. And you might want to check with the hundreds of former IBC’s about the “fun party atmosphere” of any hawk-to-friends gig, MLM or not.

        One could just throw a regular party, you know–food, beverages, conversation, NO MERCHANDISE, SELLING or MARKETING OF ANYTHING. They’re really quite lovely and you get to end the evening with real friends…

    2. TRACY

      Mi Ki – It is none of your business how much Hybrid Her paid to sponsor the post, and they do not have to GO AWAY as you instructed. The company approached me about advertising, and since they were not MLM, I decided to let them advertise. I told them our members would be skeptical, and that I would not “endorse” their company, but that they could have the floor for a day.

      Throughout the years, we have done various forms of advertising. That has included Google ads (which we have little control over, and therefore results in some MLM ads being shown), affiliate links for retailers, and private ads.

      It costs a lot of money to keep this site up and running, and I pay for it out of my own pocket with no complaints. However, advertising revenue helps defray the cost. I know of no other option to help pay for the site. I’m not going to ask the members to pay, but when we have a polite advertiser who is willing to pay, it is something I am going to consider.

      Now. This company is not MLM, which is the main reason I agreed to let them advertise. I have mentioned some of my concerns about the opportunity here, and I am sure our members are going to be skeptical about it. However, Hybrid Her and its founders are welcome on Pink Truth.

      1. MLM Radar Detector

        Tracy, I’m on your side for all the reason you mentioned.

        From what I can see, Hybrid Her is using the Direct Selling model the way it SHOULD be used. if Mary Kay worked the way Hybrid Her worked, there would be no reason for Pink Truth to exist.

        It would be helpful if the Maven contract was available for reading before signing up. I have three questions about selling Hybrid Her that I haven’t seen answered: 1. Can Mavens sell through eBay, etsy, Amazon or similar websites? 2. Can Mavens sell at trade shows, craft fairs, and bridal shows? 3. Can Mavens sell through retail outlets?

        I see legitimate Direct Sales opportunities from time to time which are run like Hybrid Her. Insurance sales comes to mind. Another is direct-to-home sales of specialty foods and beverages. A third are specialty businesses which set up kiosks at craft fairs and shows. In each case, the survival of the business owner is dependent, not on recruiting, but on his or her ability to grow and maintain a network of customers outside of personal friends and family. It is not easy, not one bit, but it can be done.

        Whenever a friend asks me for my opinion on a potential business opportunity, my questions are these: Is most of your potential compensation from your own sales efforts, or do you make the most money by recruiting? If it is from your own sales, are your commissions reduced by percentages of your sales paid to an upline?

        Years ago, a guy I knew claimed that the business he was considering would pay him primarily based on sales and not recruiting. So I stopped objecting and even helped him with assembling and distributing his marketing materials. Sadly, my friend hadn’t paid attention to the fine print; it turned out to be just another predatory MLM. He lost everything he built as soon as he failed to meet his ongoing sales quota.

        Burned once, twice shy. I am now much more skeptical of so-called business opportunities.

        1. Hi, I just want to let you know that there truly is no fine print. We have had women sell through many different channels and they have been successful. You can check out the video on our facebook page. That maven is selling products in her salon! My partner and I have been working to create an alternative for over 6 (long!) years, and I hope you can understand we truly want to create a flexible way to make money while helping other women do so too. Thanks for taking the time to check us out!

    3. T.

      If you google Hybrid Her, this post now comes up as a result. HH is now on a well-known anti-MLM site as “not an MLM.” The merits–or not–of the business are left in the comments and while I, too, am disappointed that it showed up like this (and that the Hybrid Her thread was deleted in the forums) I can see both sides. I’m pretty sure Tracy has been cited on television as an “expert on MLMs.”

      HH wants it to pop up on PinkTruth as “not an MLM.” Not “a great business idea!” but, “not an MLM.”
      Tracy wants to defray the costs of a time-consuming and expensive public service she provides here. Note: We don’t provide the service. We provide the community. Ultimately, this website is very much her property to do with as she will.

      Regrettably I do feel the public will be misled by the “not an MLM” message into thinking this is a fantastic idea. After all, consider the purpose of advertising here. Is it really just to have “not an MLM” show up? Who would search for HH? Potential mavens/designers. And once they see, “oh, no inventory. Oh, not an MLM according to MLM-experts,” they’ll probably make a decision that will lose them money.
      See LG/MLMRD’s comments throughout this comment-thread.

      I hope that people read the comments to understand that there are other options to get their products out there–consignment shops, which don’t rely on your friend-network to sell to; etsy; etc. I hope that potential mavens understand that they’re likely to lose money, especially after they blow through their warm market.

      And, more specifically to Tracy, this is a bit like a libertarian candidate getting a sponsored post on a liberal blog. It does feel weird. “I don’t agree with you completely, but you don’t offend me enough for me to fight against you,” is the message I get from this post. It’s an odd place to be as a marketer, in part, of this website. I would caution against losing your credibility with your existing audience. However I suspect that there’s enough churn that you don’t have to worry too hard about offended members moving on. (Not that you lost anybody. Just cautioning that you might if you had loads of these posts. This is the first one, but there may be many would-be advertisers.)

      Generally, again, to the public at large:
      It also feels weird because…what if this is the first post someone reads from this site? What will they think the Pink Truth is?

      1. TRACY

        Sorry, but I’m going to push back on your comparison using libertarians and liberals. This is not the same at all.

        Hybrid Her is indeed NOT MLM, and that is why I looked closer at them and agreed to work with them. This site is anti-MLM. It’s also anti-fraud because of what I happen to do for a living. Any other “anti” that you may think exists here is based on individual opinions of the members, and is not part of PT’s mission.

        I doubt that we are going to have many sponsored posts. It would be limited in any case. I think it would be silly for readers to not look at PT because we have advertising, so I’m willing to take that risk.

        And hopefully a new reader would see PT as exactly what it is: An anti-MLM site.

  11. PInk Sedition

    I’m not a number cruncher but Etsy seems like you can make a little more. However, I can see if you are a designer this is one niche in getting your name out there. Overall, no thanks but good luck with that.

  12. Bridgett

    What are the advertising restrictions? Can someone take out an ad in the phone book or advertise on Craigslist? Can the seller take the clothes they have in stock to a flea market or to a farmer’s market/craft fair?

    1. TRACY

      It might be weird because it is the first time we have had a sponsored post on the site. Other blogs do sponsored posts regularly, but we have never ventured into it before now.

      1. LilBunny

        True. Most of my fave sites have sponsored posts sometimes. But I suppose I expected posts from various beauty brands or those monthly cosmetic boxes or something similar. I think, even if it is not an MLM, the post has a lot of MK-like language that turned people off.

        1. TRACY

          And that’s okay to be turned off or not interested. I told Beth that PT might have some tough critics. I do expect, however, that people be decent to her. The site is expensive to maintain, and advertising pays for a portion of the costs. I would hope that our members understand that.

    2. Mi Ki

      No, you’re not the only one. And my question to the Hybrid Her lady was rhetorical. I do not expect her to answer how much she paid. The point is, it wouldn’t be enough.

      I think the post is ill-advised and insensitive. A “reprimand” for feeling this way will not change that.

      A site owner is free to take money from anyone. A site viewer is free to decide that having taken money for a particular post damages the site’s power and desirability as a refuge.

      1. TRACY

        There is nothing “insensitive” about an advertisement from a company that is not MLM. We fight against MLMs at Pink Truth. This is one alternative. I don’t know how good it might turn out for those that try it, but it’s still an option but I would recommend people evaluate it carefully before getting involved.

        1. Bridgett

          This was a topic in the message boards. I think it says a lot about the business owner that she was willing to pay to explain her business after reading that it was viewed as an MLM–and knowing that people would be hostile to her. She was obviously concerned about people’s perception of her company. I haven’t seen Mary Kay or Tupperware paying to explain their business and receive rebuttal.

          Is this a good business model? I can’t say. However, it is legitimate. Markup is a part of business. If you think your $75 Nikes cost more than pennies in material and labor, then you are sorely mistaken.

          Would I do this as a business? No. Definitely not. But I hate sales. I hate traveling sales even more. I’d rather open my own shop and take consignments from local designers–marking them up, of course. 😉

  13. SuzyQ

    Goodness ladies, calm down… Tracy vetted this post before she allowed it to go up, it is not MLM, it is an opportunity for women who may be interested in working with clothing and accessories. It is NOT MLM. Someone is trying something different, it may work, it may not, if it’s not for you, let it go, if you are interested visit the site. I may have missed it, but I did not read that this woman wanted feedback on her site or her ideas, or the names she chooses for those who represent the business.

    Let’s all breathe, shall we? PT is a huge site with many visitors and regulars, and all this advertiser wanted was exposure on a site catering to mostly women. She paid for her space, let’s respect her decision to do this, and let’s respect Tracy for allowing her this space and generating some revenue.

    * Suzy steps off soap box*

  14. Flaming Go

    My overall reaction is, ‘meh.’
    As in, the ad itself is no big deal.

    I like the fact that it’s not an MLM- no uplines to benefit. However, the in-home sales model in general is toast and I don’t think this will be around long.

    Here’s why I feel it won’t work: For some time now, our society has been subjected to constant in-your-face marketing and unwanted solicitation through a barrage of media outlets. We are growing cynical and visibly wary of all commercial intentions as result. When we spend quality time with our friends and family, our actual social network, we de-escalation from constant commercialism and experience genuine companionship. Therefore, many people are now more skeptical than ever towards using the time we spend with those genuine connections as a means for sales/marketing.

    In short: Since we’re constantly hit up to buy stuff everywhere, people nowadays feel like schmucks when they use their friends through home sales.

  15. Lazy Gardens

    Oh my … http://www.hybridher.com/2012/09/06/11-ways-to-kickstart-your-maven-business/

    Your image problem is that MLMs have been poisoning the direct sales well for the past 50+ years.

    These ideas would have been fresh and interesting in 1960. Unfortunately, only one (#5) out of the eleven hasn’t already been over-used as a way to push MLM product.

    Jaded and disillusioned, I see the list as suggestions for exploiting friends, family, schoolchildren, underfunded schools and battered women for profit.

    1. MLM Radar Detector

      Of the 11 suggestions, #3,4,5, 8, 10, and 11 are all variations on “hold a charity fundraiser sale.” Charity fundraisers will return some revenue to the Maven, of course, but splitting the proceeds with the charity means she has to make her prices that much higher to merely cover her expenses and make a small profit.

      I’m not sure what to make of suggestion #6, “work with your local schools’ world cultures classes and departments to raise awareness about efforts to market products from impoverished communities.” I’m sure there are plenty of Designers who work from homes located in poorer neighborhoods. What I can’t see is how this connection will profit the Maven. Schools generally don’t allow their classes to be commerical marketplaces unless all the sale proceeds go to the school’s charity fundraiser.

      Looking at #6 that way, we have 7 of the 11 suggestions being charity fundraiser ideas which will return only a small profit to the Maven, if any.

      Suggestions #1 and 2 are both, “hold a home show for your warm market.” We’ve already discussed how fast one’s warm market dries up.

      Suggestion #7 is “connect a trunk show to your blog.” This assumes you have a blog, and you have sufficient following to generate profitable sales. That will work for a few people, but not most. This suggestion also assumes that your blog’s purpose is harmonious with virtual trunk shows, and that commercially exploiting your blog will not drive your readership away.

      Suggestions #5 (besides being a charity fundraiser idea) and #9 are “sell your wares through a community fair or a hair salon.” These are potentially the best ideas in the lot for making a profitable connection with people outside of your warm market. Community fairs are, unfortunately, only occasional events, so you need to participate in a lot of them if you’re going to make consistent money. Selling through a salon is something I’ve seen done, and may generate some sales if, 1-you can find a cooperative salon, and 2-someone else who works at the salon isn’t already established there. They’re worth investigating, and some people will be able to make them work.

      The problem with those last two ideas is that they get wiped out pretty fast when you have more than two or three Mavens working a single area. I’m not saying they are bad ideas, but unless HH puts some kind of limit on Mavens in a territory the market hits an unprofitable saturation point pretty fast.

  16. Lazy Gardens

    And do I see a rights grab? As a photographer and author, this makes me nervous.

    http://www.hybridher.com/trunk/terms seems to have HH claiming not only the right to have my ad copy and product photos show up on their site, which is reasonable and necessary, but the right for them (and other designers and/or mavens) to use and sell the rights to use those words and photos all over the place, forever and ever, and to resell the right to do so to anyone they choose. And I the producer of those words and photos, would get zero compensation.

    … grant HybridHer, its subsidiaries, entities owned, related to or controlled by HybridHer, officers, directors, employees, staff, consultants, agents, and representatives a nonexclusive, worldwide, perpetual, irrevocable, royalty-free, fully-paid, sublicenseable and freely transferable right and license to reproduce, publish, distribute, prepare derivative works from, display, perform, modify, adapt, broadcast, license, sell, translate, and otherwise use User Content … Perpetual means that even if I quit designing or selling, they can keep using my words or photos.

    You agree that HybridHer may so exploit your User Content without compensation or credit to you, including by sublicensing any third party to do any of the foregoing. Not even a byline?

    So if I, as a maven, write some killer ad copy for my trunk show products, someone else can use my words for the same products? And I can’t do anything about it? And the same if I buy a sample and take a really good picture? It’s up for grabs? Forever?

  17. Tigger

    Wow. After reading all these comments, I feel terribly uneducated.

    Tracy, I’m so sorry I jumped on this as an mlm right off the bat. Guess I’ve got a case of the mlm ‘jitters.’

    I go to mlm parties when invited b/c I know how much work it is and I love the atmosphere and the gals. Guess it’s just my generation. I go and I behave myself just like mommy taught me!

    After having been involved in mlms for 30+ years (everything immaginable), I’m simply exhausted at the mere thought of doing another one.

    Those who posted after me are obviously educated on and off the computer. I can check this site, check my e-mail, and zoom though QuickBooks. But that’s it. I don’t even know how to cut-and-paste, and quite frankly, I don’t loose any sleep over it. Guess it’s the grandma in me.

    Kudos to those of you who have mastered the computer world. I hope my ’38 will be sufficient when machines take over, cuz’ that’s all I got.

    1. TRACY

      Tigger – It’s understandable that you thought Hybrid Her was MLM, and I certainly don’t mind questions or skepticism. In fact, I expected both. One of the reasons why HH wanted to advertise here is to fight that MLM image, because they simply are NOT one! I’m not a fan of home parties (either attending or throwing), but I think that if someone IS attracted to that type of thing, HH might be a good company to be involved with.

  18. I would like to thank Pink Truth for the opportunity to let everyone know what Hybrid Her is all about. I understand where your concerns and skepticism is coming from, but I just want to assure you that we have been working tirelessly for many years to create a flexible way for women to make money through supporting female designers and businesses. It may not be for everyone, but I do wish you all the best of luck!

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