Chances are you have been invited to some type of at-home purchasing party in the last year – if not in the past several months. From kitchenware to houseware to jewelry, these parties are all the rage these days. And if you have been invited and you’ve decided to attend, chances are the thought of selling said items has crossed your mind.
If so, you are definitely not alone. In 2007 the Direct Selling Association reported there were nearly $15 million U.S. salespeople with an estimated $30 billion dollars in sales. The majority of these sales, 32%, fell into the clothing and accessories category, with 25% of sales concentrated around household products such as cleaners and kitchenware.
So how does direct selling work? In most cases, 77% according again to the DSA, salespeople are selling products face to face, whether they are hosting home parties, setting up shop at work, or even taking their items for sale into other locations.
Those living in the South tend to post more sales than those living in any other area of the country; this makes sense to me, since I definitely notice more of a direct sales trend now that I’m living in the south than I did when out in Los Angeles.
For many mothers, direct sales offers quite a few benefits. These include:
- the ability to work from home
- making extra money
- geting out and being social while earning a paycheck
Nearly 77% of the salespeople are married and a whopping 88% are females, making this an obvious choice of careers for moms.
When I began writing this blog post on direct sales as a career option for moms, I received a whopping interest in participating. The post grew from one potential blog to two or three, and so this post will be cut down into several parts. Today I will offer some advice on finding a company with whom to work if you are considering a direct sales career. In future posts I will discuss the advantages and disadvantages of direct sales opportunities and give first hand details about the life of a mom working for a direct sales company.
First, you have to find your company. With so many out there, how do you know whom to choose?
Tory Johnson, CEO of Women for Hire and a workplace contributor for Good Morning America, says to choose one that is a member of the Direct Selling Association. “That ensures that it is bound by a code of ethics,” she writes, and it even handles refunds of unwanted products. DSA has approximately 200 companies as members, and their mission is to protect both the companies and the members that they represent.
Johnson also suggest speaking with those selling for the company and asking them not only about the pros, which everyone will agree to talk about, but the cons as well. Ask specific questions,such as how you become trained with the company, how you are paid, what the investment costs for start up, and how much support the company offers once you are on your way. These are important topics to discuss before signing up, not after.
Several respondents said to test out the products first. Don’t just go to a party, go to several, buy products, and then take them home and see how they hold up. If you are going to be involved with selling products, you want to make sure what you are selling is top quality. Remember, you become a representative of this company – make sure it is something that you want to have your name attached to before you spend the initial investment for start up.
The DSA lists a variety of additional tips for finding out if a company is legitimate or not; you can read these here.
In the next post I will speak to several direct sales mothers about the ups and downs of working for a direct sales company.