Have you ever had an invitation to a social media page to a friend of a friend selling ‘knock-off’ fragrances? I’ve currently got at least five invitations to FM pages pending just on Facebook.
It seems many people are selling perfume and other cosmetics for FM World, a money and commission-based Multi-Level Marketing (MLM) company, meaning that their business model is to get their sellers to encourage recruits and join, it also bypasses the shop aspects, seller and buyer have direct contact reducing cost for the company.
This new phenomenon is taking the world by storm with one million FM World business partners worldwide, according to FM World’s UK website.
[pullquote align=”right”]“I paid for a holiday with my monthly commission”[/pullquote]FM World was founded in Poland. It started out as a company that sold fragrances inspired by designer brand fragrances and has since expanded to sell all sorts from fragrances, body care, makeup, home scents, and home cleaning products. It has expanded to many countries across the world, including the UK and most recently, Australia, according to the site.
MLM companies typically get a bad name as they can involve buying lots of stock and not selling anything, which results in a massive loss.
On the positive side however, the most notable MLM is health and beauty company Avon; however, FM World operates differently. So-called ‘business partners’ sell on social media, allowing you to potentially sell to a larger target market instead of knocking on doors.
“You design your career and manage your time. FM World offers not only freedom of development, but also the time for yourself and your family,” says the company’s website.
According to the US Federal Trade Commission, 99% of FM World’s US ‘business partners’ lost money.
However, here in the UK, FM World partners love their business opportunities, ex-FM seller Crystal-Nicole says that the company is different: “I personally joined FM as they were the only MLM company that offered an opportunity without any joining fees or chances of losing money from the get-go.” This is unlike so many, so maybe this is a genuine money-making opportunity.
FM World works solely on commission, the partner buys a product for cost price and then sells for the retail price and keeps the difference “without claiming it to FM,” Crystal added.
“I believe if you put the hard work and effort in it defiantly could, I paid for a holiday with my monthly commission and know people who have left their full-time job as they now earn a full-time wage”
Leaving a full-time job for social media is a massive and risky move; however, Crystal and her colleagues have proven that it is possible to earn good money for a family when you’re totally committed.
“I think FM is becoming more and more popular because the potential to earn big money is huge!” Becca, a partner whose Instagram page (@slimplyscents.bybecs) has 585 followers, told us.
Becca launched her FM adventure in July 2020: “I am currently taking a break from selling for FM due to other commitments at work however that is one of the reasons I enjoy it, it is flexible around the time you have. It gives you opportunities to meet and talk to a huge range of different people, and you are part of a very supportive group of people.
“It increases confidence through doing talking videos/stories and other types of media to promote your business, and it gives you an opportunity to gain leadership skills to lead/train a team of people.”
“With FM, you get access to FM’s full catalogue for a business partner (BP) price. All products you sell to the public have an ‘instant profit’ on them, so for example, a Pure perfume is £12.90 for BP price and £16.90 for consumer price, so the instant profit you gain from that product is £4.00,” Becca told us.
FM also works on ‘points’, which is based on how much you sell: “Each product is worth a certain number of points and these add up to commission at the end of each month. There are also bonuses you can work towards for hitting certain levels; for example, if a partner makes it to the ‘Pearl Orchid Leader’ level, they get a £500 bonus,” Becca said.
[pullquote align=”right”]“My team leader is currently earning between £8,000-£13,000 per month from doing FM”[/pullquote]There is an element of mistrust of social media selling, people being roped into something or a scam, and the same could be said about MLM given the not so promising alumni. You don’t know how accurate the scents are.
Lucy, a 20-year-old shopper feels the same, “I probably wouldn’t buy them as I like to smell the perfume before I buy and you can’t do that online.” On the contrary, 21-year-old Katie Cook was gifted ‘Pheromone’ and ‘Pure’ for Christmas and said “I would defiantly get more; they smell like the original and so much cheaper.”
FM world seems to be more partner and consumer-based than many MLM firms. The partners are welcoming and helpful, keen to help.
”I personally know six people in my team who do FM as a full-time job, that being their only income. Once you have worked towards leader levels in the company, FM is a very secure income and will often be a lot higher than your average 9-5 job salary. My team leader is currently earning between £8,000-£13,000 per month from doing FM,” Becca told us.
However, if you aren’t prepared and dedicated to building a following and customer base, it can prove difficult, meaning no sales, Another partner Jen said: “I’ve found it very hard to get anyone to buy anything!” She has 114 followers on her Instagram page, and without the followers or dedication that Becca and Crystal have it can affect sales.
During the pandemic, many people who were furloughed moved onto FM World which has allowed people to earn an income and learn new skills such as leadership, being self-employed, and communication with customers which are all transferable into other careers.
However, it remains to be seen whether the supporters of the UK version will be more successful than their loss-making counterparts in the States.
Featured image by ‘@simplyscents.bybecs‘ on Instagram.