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What is network marketing?

I need some clarification, because from what I've read here, it's kind of the same idea as importing and exporting.
Ivan Misner answered August 8, 2007
URL: http://www.entrepreneur.com/answer/220939
While it's sometimes confused with pyramid schemes (in which people make money through totally illegal scams) any great boss can be considered a "network marketer" if his/her people help the company thrive under his/her leadership (assuming they get compensated for a department that outperforms!). Simply put for your purposes, network marketing is someone making money off the efforts of others who are selling tangible goods or services to a mostly consumer-based audience. Each person working for these firms has the opportunity to grow their
respective incomes by training (and making a portion of the profits
from) new company reps they bring onboard. There are several terrific companies set up under the network marketing model that are a famous including a mid-western basket company, a well-known scrapbooking firm and a natural skin care company.
Ivan Misner is founder and chairman of BNI, a professional business networking organization headquartered in Upland, Calif. He is co-author, with Hazel Walker and Frank De Raffele, of Business Networking and Sex: Not What You Think (Entrepreneur Press, 2012).