I've actually got three businesses plus I occasionally sell stuff on eBay.
Biz #1: a candle company that manufactures natural wax gourmet candles. I'm kind of picky about candle scents and was pleasantly surprised to find these actually smell like their scent names imply. (This is the first time I've gotten hold of a pastry-scented candle that didn't smell like burnt a$$.) I haven't gotten very far with them yet because I'm fairly limited income and aside from the monthly autoship, have to sort of scrounge for business supplies. I'd like to, however, make gift baskets with the candles and also get into fundraising.
Biz #2: A second candle company, Marlo Quinn, that has vegan-friendly candles. Plus they don't require an autoship, although they'll start requiring minimums in January (twenty bucks a month--doable). I also really like that they have a mineral makeup line, as I've been wanting to try that. Haven't done much with them either, yet.
Biz #3: Avon. Just started again; this is the third time I've been a rep. I like that they extend credit to reps instead of expecting supplies and inventory paid for up front; this makes it hella easier to order product for customers. Also, it's the holiday season and lots of people like to use Avon products for stocking stuffers. Hopefully I will do well in this and can then divert some of my earnings over to the candles and do something profitable with them.
I just got done doing a training module through Avon, actually, that got me thinking about everyone's seeming allergy to MLM companies. I had never had MLM explained to me in a way that I could explain to others to allay people's fears. I had also heard the terms "multi-level marketing" and "network marketing" used interchangably. This training module changed that for me.
Basically, any direct selling opportunity is going to be network marketing because your primary method of marketing (letting people know you have something to sell) is via your relationships with other people. This doesn't necessarily mean bugging family and friends to buy your product, but it does mean you have to learn to see other people as human beings in their own right rather than walking sources of money, if you don't see them that way already in the context of your business.
MLM is not necessarily interchangable with network marketing. It simply means you can recruit others into your business and make commissions off their sales. Avon does this and so does Tupperware, and Mary Kay, and The Body Shop At Home. Some direct sales companies let you do this and others don't. Avon didn't used to, but changed their strategy in the past twenty years or so.
I've done a lot of fishing around looking at home biz opportunities and while there are some obvious scams, I've started measuring the feasibility of these things by the following criteria:
1. Start-up cost. Obviously this is going to be the biggest barrier to getting into a business if I'm needing the business in the first place to generate an income.
2. Monthly cost. Some businesses require an autoship of products every month and some don't. If you don't want an autoship, obviously you avoid those businesses. If you do want an autoship or are OK with it, it's all about your budget tolerance. I would go for the lowest autoship possible OR one I could customize myself.
3. Sales vs. recruiting. If I HAVE to recruit people to make decent money, I'm less interested in the company. SCAM ALERT: If I HAVE to recruit people to be in the organization at all, I won't touch it with a ten-foot pole. If on the other hand I could just sell and never touch recruiting, that is OK with me. Ideally I would achieve a balance of sales and recruiting in the long run because sometimes you just don't feel like being told No one more time in a given week. Or you get sick. Or you go on vacation. Et cetera.
Not that I'm gonna go around collecting businesses, you understand, just that I'm learning from my experiences so far.
Oh, and if I can't tell by looking at the website what I am supposed to be doing or selling, I'm not touching it with a ten-foot pole either. This means I will probably never sign on with Melaleuca, even though I know they're legit; if they can't be bothered to tell me what they're about on their advertising websites, they're wasting my time. The more transparent a company is, in my opinion, the better.
Hope this helps somebody.