Many mothers who are looking to work from home look to direct sales businesses to provide an income without having to stick to a standard 9 to 5 schedule. There are many different direct sales companies who utilize multi-level marketing (MLM) to build a large team of sales representatives. While many of them are legitimate and do provide a source of income for their representatives, there are not many representatives who are fortunate enough to make the big bucks we see advertised.
What are Direct Sales Companies?
There are direct sales companies available in nearly every niche. For those who enjoy cosmetics, there's Avon and Mary Kay. For people who enjoy cooking, kitchen gadgets and food, there is Pampered Chef. For those who enjoy scrap booking and crafts, there is Stampin' Up. There are even romance companies, such as Pure Romance, for those who are interested in the adult party market.
How does Direct Sales Work?
Each of these companies rely on "parties" or "shows." The consultant talks to a person who "hosts." They set up a time a date and invite others to come to the show. During the show, the consultant displays the products and discusses their uses and benefits in order to convince the guests to purchase products. Throughout the shows, the guests will be allowed to see, touch, and use the products. During the show, the consultant will also discuss the benefits of hosting a show, along with the benefits of becoming a consultant and starting their own business. The consultant earns a commission based on the total amount of sales at the show. The host earns free products and/or discounts based on how much the show sells. The consultant follows up with the guests in hopes of convincing them to host a show or become a consultant.When a consultant recruits another consultant, he or she builds a team and makes money off of the other consultants sales and efforts. It's the only way a direct sales business can offer promotions.
No matter what direct sales company you decide to get involved in, it is important to do research. Though they all operate in basically the same manner, they all have different requirements in terms of initial investments, sales quotas, commission, consultant discount and pay frequency. Some companies allow for their consultant's personal orders to count for toward sales, while others allow the consultant to take a discount. Some companies require a certain sales amount to be considered active, while others do not. Usually, consultants can get discounts and free products to enhance their kit of products they use to demonstrate during the shows.There are usually special promotiions to encourage both consultants and customers to boost sales.
How to Tell if a Direct Sales Job is Legit
- Talk to people about the company. Do they know of it? What have their experiences been?
- Attend a show before you decide to become a consultant, no matter what company you're interested in. This will help you see and learn more about the company. If your contact isn't willing to let you see a demonstration, there's a red flag.
- Google the company. Google it with the word "scam."
- Ask to see sales reports for the company. If any of this information is denied or proves fishy, run. A legit sales company will provide any information you ask for. Turn to the Better Business Bureau for help, too.
- If there are large promises of thousands of dollars for little or no work, count it out.
The direct sales company you choose to become involved with should be based on your interest, the amount of money you are willing to invest, and how much you enjoy sales. If you're addicted to a direct sales product, such as Avon or Pampered Chef, consider starting your own direct sales business so you can get the products you love and earn money, too.