Longaberger: A WAHM's Guide

 

Longaberger is a basket company founded by Dave Longaberger about 35 years ago. The business originally began with just 5 employees, but now includes 45,000 independent home consultants across the United States who sell the handcrafted baskets as well as other home and lifestyle products. The company's mission statement is to "stimulate a better quality of life." Basket-making was a Longaberger family industry, but Dave Longaberger did not found the company until the 1970s. The company's website emphasizes family, roots and the handicrafted arts. Essentially, as a Longaberger consultant, you are required to sell these products offered by the company.

Starting Out as a Longaberger Consultant

Undeestanding the company's emphasis on family, interested WAHMs can click on the link called "Join Our Family," to get more information about becoming an independent consultant. To apply for a position as a consultant, you are required to fill out a 3 page application on the website, after which you will be contacted by a Longaberger company representative. The company offers four starting levels, the Easy Start Kit ($49); the Team Spirit Kit ($59), the Business Basics Kit ($169), and the Business Builder Kit ($399). In return, the company will provide you with a free personalized website, training and support, product discounts and a rewards program.

Compensation

The Longaberger website emphasizes that you can choose to work full or part-time and that your income potential begins as soon as you receive your business starter kit. There is not an explicit compensation plan listed on the website, but other sites state that you will earn a 25% commission on each sale. Again, this is not verified by the company, so you will need to speak directly with your representative after you fill out the application. In addition, you receive discounts on Longaberger products as well as participation in the myDream rewards program, where you have the chance to earn points towards Longaberger merchandise, trips and other products.

Thriving as a Longaberger Consultant

The Longaberger website is different from other home based marketing opportunity sites in that it does not offer a selection of success stories. This is actually a little refreshing, but makes it difficult to assess how you can thrive with the company. Obviously, to succeed as a consultant, you will need to be able to enjoy selling the Longaberger products. A typical picnic basket in the company's catalog costs $119, so your commission on that product would be around $25.  You also earn commissions on the sales of people you recruit to the company, so it helps your bottom line to bring others in to the company.

Is It for You?

Longaberger's emphasis is on women; in fact, their website calls their independent consultant network a "sisterhood." So, this is a corporate environment geared towards women and family, making it quite comfortable for many WAHMs. You will need to enjoy selling products either individually or by having basket parties. You should be passionate about the home arts or the decorative arts so you will have a passion for the Longaberger products. Finally, you need to be able to afford the startup business kits in order to begin your home based business.

Noteworthy Information

The company has its own charitable foundation, the Longaberger Foundation, which supports entrepreneurial principles, American history and ideals, strengthening families and addressing regional (mostly in Ohio) quality of life needs.


Have more questions about this company? Visit our Longaberger discussion page

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