Going into direct sales is not a decision to take lightly. It isn’t the same thing as deciding to apply for a work at home job because you’re essentially starting your own business, and starting a business almost always means spending money upfront.
So yeah, you have to really think about that. If you go ahead and buy your start up kits for Avon, Mary Kay, Thirty-One, etc., and it doesn’t work out, you’re usually out the money you spent (although you do at least get to keep the items in your starter kit!).
So before taking the leap, you have a lot to think about. Some questions to ask yourself:
What could you sell?
The sky is really the limit here. There is a direct sales company for pretty much anything you can think of. You can sell books, makeup, jewelry, cooking/household items, candy, handbags, scrapbooking supplies, diet supplements, toys, and more. There are even direct sales companies for men now.
Do you have the right personality for sales?
Not everyone is cut out for sales. It helps a lot if you’re a people person, and better yet, fairly influential. If you find that people in your immediate social circle tend to look up to you and take your advice to heart, you might do well here. But if you are very introverted and don’t enjoy being around people or trying to communicate with others you aren’t closely acquainted with, then this might not be the industry for you.
It’s worth mentioning though that I know a few people who never in their wildest dreams figured they would be successful at sales and tried it on a whim. These same people found in themselves a natural “talent” for it that they never knew existed. So you just never know.
How much can you afford to spend?
You definitely don’t want to get in over your head if you can’t afford to. Fortunately, most direct sales companies that are reputable have starter kits that are in a good price range for the average person. There are some you can get in on with as little as $50 or even less, but then others might run you up over $200. There are also many companies where you can get started for free or for a super low price.
How big is your social circle?
You might need to have parties to sell your product, and that means asking people in your social circle to have them for you and invite people they know. Then of course you can try to recruit some of their friends to have parties for you, and so on, and so on. Getting the ball rolling with this is easier if you have a lot of connections.
But if there is something in it for the party hostess (and there usually is in the form of free products), then you might not have that much trouble getting them to do it.
Do you believe in the product?
How do you feel about the product you’re thinking of selling? You’ll have an easier time selling things if you’ve used the items yourself and are genuinely impressed with the quality. People will be able to see through you if you don’t believe in the product, so be sure to try to sell something that you feel you can honestly recommend.
Not quite the same as a work @ home job
These are home business opportunities, and the amount you make will be up to you and how much effort you put into it. There is potential for it to become a career, but you are not guaranteed any sort of income for working a set amount of hours like you are when you have an actual salaried or paid by the hour job.
Before getting started …
Finally, I would recommend speaking to someone you know who is involved in direct sales. Get their advice. Find out what they did to make it work, or why it didn’t work. This will help you make your decision.
Are you a direct sales consultant?
There are opportunities available for you to get your link posted on my site. Read about it here.
If you’re curious about reputable companies, you can look through the list of direct sales companies I’ve reviewed, as well as the direct sales listings in my directory (currently 163 opportunities listed):
- Thirty-One Gifts
- It Works!
- Lia Sophia Jewelry
- Discovery Toys
- Jordan Essentials
- Stella and Dot
- Mary Kay
- Willow House
- Premier Jewelry
- Princess House
- Pampered Chef
OK, your turn! I’m sure that some of you have at some point, or possibly are now, gotten involved with direct sales. Please share your experience below and mention specific companies! If you tried it, did it work? Is it still working? What are your reasons for not diving into it? What tips would you offer?