Direct Selling: Is it For You?

Direct Selling: Is It For You?
By: Lauren Keith

On just about any night of the week, you can bet there's a home party going on somewhere.  During these parties, you can buy almost anything: from candles to food to cosmetics to tools. In fact, this type of direct selling is a multi-million dollar business that some folks in the Heartland are tapping in to.  However, can you really make any money doing this?  Here's what two local women had to say.
Crystal Shafer sells At Home America furnishings.  Just like the company title, Crystal really can sell these decorations at home!  In fact, she says about 85% of her home is covered with the furnishings, making Crystal's house a psuedo-store.
"It did allow me to quit my full-time job!" said Crystal.
Crystal invites people here for a showing of the products, but she primarily takes the decorations to other homes, to sell them, of course!
"The big plus is I can display products at your home and you can picture it in your own home," she says.
The latest CBS Marketwatch pool shows selling through home parties these days is a 30 million dollar business, with over 13 million people selling everything from home these days.  
"I also think ladies like to get together.  Our company president thinks what better job could you have than to go to your friend's home, sell products and eat dip!" says Crystal.
Plus, At Home America even sells the dip you might offer at one of the company parties.  When Crystal's not selling these furnishings, she's mentoring new specialists like herself.  She says if you're interested in direct sales like this, be sure to consider the startup costs.  In this case, they're free.
Meantime, with a simple key stroke, Amanda Becker fills Mary Kay cosmetic orders for her clients.  She's thinking about going "pink" full-time. 
"I found it to be something I really love," says Amanda.
Becker has been an independent beauty consultant for the last three years, under Mary Kay Cosmetics.  She says she's been quite successful.
"I work part-time a few hours a month and I'm able to bring in several extra hundred dollars a month. Some girls who work more hours, make more money," she says.
Just like a clerk in a store, Becker also periodically offers her customers discounts and freebies, all to help her move out inventory she pays for and to help her bottom line.
Both Amanda and Crystal say if you chose to go into direct selling, be sure to pick a reputable company.  That way, you can be sure you won't be scammed out of money if you decide to stop selling. 

For more on the At Home America products Crystal sells, log onto www.athome.com/crystalshafer

You can find Amanda Becker's information by doing a consultant search on www.marykay.com