When comparing the difference between affiliate marketing and multi-level marketing we might as will use the similarities and differences as our structure for discussion.


People interested in affiliate marketing enjoy the fact they do not have to wait to develop their own product.

The same can be said for people interested in mlm.

People like affiliate marketing because of the “pre-packaging” of the product or service.

The same attraction for mlm lovers, the sense in which not only do you have a product at the ready, but even the introduction of the product and much of the marketable appeal has been sorted out for the sale.

Dissimilarities and Differences

Affiliate marketing most often, but not always, does not include an inventory of supplies.

If you make the right selection among mlm opportunities, you may be able to avoid inventory, but  not usually.

MLM is notorious for drop shipments to their affiliates, many times requiring an upfront layout of money even before the first sale.

With affiliate marketing, it’s more like make the sale, and get the payout. Not much inventory to speak of.

Recruiting is a must in mlm, or you don’t get much multi-level going on.

In affiliate marketing, if you are recruiting, it’s for additional independent affiliates to sell through your affiliate link, more like a partnership than a multi-level anything.

One of the quickest examples for me of the mlm industry is found in the mlm travel sector.

There’s no inventory, just the sale of membership or travel packages, all arranged online through a replicated portal through which affiliates make their sales of travel opportunities.

ScoobyPhotos.com is one of these mlm travel review sites that can quickly give you a comparison of over 30 different mlm travel business opportunities. The guy has been at it for a few years and really knows how to compare mlm offers.

Even in the midst of the fifty or so reviews the guy has to offer, he promotes an affiliate product.

He’s always droning on and on about how the travel mlm is made up of the same basic sources. There’s third party travel supplier that is in league with several travel companies that provide discounted travel in volume or in off-periods.

Basically, all travel conveyances over book and then have a few seats that could go for a lot less; all accommodations do the same thing, allowing reservations they know want be used, only to offer those same high priced accommodations at a lower price because getting a little something instead of nothing is always better.

He adds the fact that all these mlm travel places basically out source the concierge responsibility and simply build on their corporate mlm structure. They will sell a membership, then require recruitment in order to rank at a certain level, each level requiring a requalifying each month, and a sales volume for the individual, or the group that has been commonly enlisted, or both.

So in his eyes, mlm requires recruitment and affiliate marketing doesn’t. Bottom line, choose how you care to loose.