By Michelle Yanik
The Direct Selling Association says it is impossible to estimate the number of direct selling companies operating at any given time. This is a result of several factors. First most states do not require direct selling companies to register as such. Therefore, no exhaustive list exists. However, the Association estimates 13.6 million people are involved in direct selling in the U.S., and more than 54 million worldwide. Most are women, though nearly a third are men or tow-person teams such as couples. The vast majority are independent business people- are micro-entrepreneurs whose purpose is to sell the product and/or services of the company they voluntarily choose to represent-not employees of the company. Approximately 90 percent of all direct sellers operate their businesses part-time. Source:dsa.org.
Direct selling involves selling a product or service either person to person or at arranged parties. You've hosted or been to these parties. Kitchen utensils, gourmet food, candles, hand bags, cosmetics, skin care, home décor, cleaning products you name it, there's a party for it. They are profitable home based businesses that offer reasonable home based business income opportunities. If you like to socialize, get out and meet people, share valuable information with others then direct selling may suit you. The time investment is considerably less than say, running a franchise or your own start-up business. The financial investment is lower too.
Most people are wary of direct selling opportunities because of the pyramid scams that have victimized so many. For that reason you should carefully investigate your opportunities because there are many legitimate businesses in direct selling.
Direct Selling or Pyramid? How to Tell the Difference Look at the startup fee. If startup costs are high, beware. Startup for direct selling companies is generally low. You're often paying for a sales kit. Their goal is to make it easy for you to start selling. Pyramid schemes make almost all their profit on signing new recruits thus the high rate. Also, take a close look at the product or service you'd sell. Is it realistic or usable? Would you buy it?
Why Direct Selling? Direct selling is a good option for moms seeking home based business income opportunities. Direct selling offers flexible work schedules, it's a good way to earn an extra income, it provides a great way to start a work at home business and earnings are in proportion to effort.
How To Tell If a Direct Selling Opportunity is Legitimate * Apart from examining the startup cost, look into whether the company will buy back unsold inventory if you decide to quit. Reputable companies do, some for up to 90% of the price you paid. * The money you earn should be based on the sale of products or services. Avoid any company that claims you'll get rich by recruiting new people. * Would you buy the product you would sell? Think about your answer.
How To Get Started Identify a company and products that appeal to you. You've most likely had experience with many direct sales products or services. Research some more. There are many more out there that you don't know. They could be your home based business income opportunity.
1. Take your time deciding. A legitimate opportunity will be there later, you don't have to rush in. 2. Ask questions about the company, its leadership, the products or services, startup fees, realistic costs of doing business, average earnings, return policies and anything else that concerns you. 3. Read all the company literature. 4. Talk to others who have experience with the company and its products. 5. Double check all claims.? 6. Check to see if the company in which you're interested is a member o the Direct Selling Association. If it is you can be assured the company has pledged to abide by and uphold the DSA Code of Ethics. In addition, you might want to call your local Better Business Bureau, state attorney general or consume protection office. Source: dsa.org.
Here is a brief listing of some of the industries covered by direct selling companies: Baby/Childcare, Baskets, Benefits Packages, Books, Brokerage Services, Candles/Candle Accessories, Clothing/Shoes, Coffe/Tea/Specialty Beverages. Cookware, Cosmetics, Crafts/Craft Supplies, Crystal/China, Cutlery, Educational Materials, Homeopathics, Insurance, Lingerie/Sleepwear, National Supplements, Paper Products, party Supplies, Rubber Stamps, Scrapbooking/Photo Albums, Skincare, Software/Computers, Telecommunications Services, Toys/Games, Weight Management, Wine/Wine Accessories.
See a range of direct selling start-up costs at
About the Author
Michelle Yanik, is co-owner of Smart Moms, a company committed to being the top online resource for moms who want to earn money from home and find work/life balance. Sign up for our information packed e-newsletter and get a complimentary copy of our e-book, Striking A Balance at http://www.smart-moms-online.net.