In the direct selling world, you can find everything from coffee to cutlery. With over a thousand direct selling companies in the U.S., your choices are vast. But whether you’d love selling books, botanicals, baubles, or beauty, it’s essential to join a reputable company with high-quality products you’re passionate about.
Direct selling is a great way to get product discounts, make extra money, and meet people—all while maintaining a flexible schedule. And it allows entrepreneurial-minded people to build their own business with low startup costs. When it comes to finding a company, reputation is everything. High-quality, trusted products are the lifeblood of the industry—and your business—so you should believe in whatever you decide to sell!
Passion Meets Quality
If you’re thinking about dipping your toe into direct selling, you may already have a product in mind. Take a step back and find the intersection where your passion and product quality meet, because passion and peace of mind go a long way in your motivation to sell.
Start by thinking about products you love. Brands like Tupperware and Amway pre-date the 1960s, and their products have stood the test of time. Whether or not these specific companies are for you, they are good models for the kind of company you’re looking for.
Look for a company grounded in research, innovation, and customer trust. USANA Health Sciences, for example, sells premium supplements and health products backed by science-based innovation.
Research Your Products
Your first step before joining any company is to become familiar with the Direct Selling Association (DSA). This national trade association advocates for consumers by promoting, protecting, and policing the industry while helping reputable companies become successful.
After researching the DSA, search for specific company and product reviews to gauge peoples’ opinions and experiences. If you can’t find reviews, or if you find an overwhelming number of negative reviews, you’ll likely have a hard time selling the product.
Love It or Leave It
Many people get involved with direct selling through a product they already use and love. And joining a company you trust is a great way to get your favorite products at a discount and make extra money. As you consider your options, ask yourself these questions:
1. Would I pay retail?
Order and test the products yourself. If you’re buying from a distributor for the company you’re interested in, don’t join anything just yet. You’re purposely paying retail and rating the products for yourself.
When trying products, think about how you’ll explain the value to customers. Also consider customers who would be interested in a discount—does the company offer a preferred price? And are you comfortable inviting others to join the company and sell the products?
2. Do I love it?
You know that feeling you get when your friend asks about your favorite ice cream? You can’t wait to share the flavor, brand, and where you found it. If you can convey that level of excitement for a product you’re selling, then bingo! You’ve found it. If you’ve done your homework, purchased some of the products at retail price, and are still thrilled with them, you’re ready to convince someone else to buy.
3. Can I stand behind the quality?
High-quality products should be non-negotiable for you. Sure, some jewelry is designed to trend and may not be heirloom quality—but the manufacturing should be something you’re proud to represent. If you’ve read reviews and tried it yourself, you’ll have a good indication of the quality.
Next, review the company’s return policy. If they stand by their quality, they will make product returns easy for the customer.
4. Is it in demand?
Depending on the market, some product categories (like wellness) sell more than others. Once you know which industries and products are trending, you can make a more informed decision about what you want to sell. Also, knowing the demographics for a product can help you strategize for getting the word out.
5. Can customers make repeat purchases?
Consumable goods are replaced regularly as you use them up or wear them out (food, wellness, and skincare products). Durable goods are purchased once and provide a lasting benefit (jewelry, cookware, and home decor). While everyone buys both types of goods, it may be easier to gain repeat customers with consumables. But keep in mind—durable goods may offer bigger sales and commissions per order.
The Perfect Company
Though your passion for the products is the secret sauce to your motivation, take advantage of your company’s valuable business benefits. These resources help you get the word out and propel your selling strategy:
A personal website—an online shopping experience with your “profile” displayed. Customers use this website to buy product, and you receive the commission. Some companies also offer an app for on-the-go shopping.
Marketing resources—download and share digital marketing resources like advertisements, email templates, and social media posts. These professional assets help you boost your online presence and professional image. And remember to link everything to your online store!
Training—most direct selling companies provide free training to help you reach your goals. Find training on your own by searching for how-to videos or courses that fit your budget.
The research, competition, and innovation surging through the direct selling industry has produced some amazing products. When you are confident that your product will benefit your customers, it’s easy to pick up your bullhorn and let people know. Customers appreciate quality products and trusted relationships. They’ll tell their friends and family through recommendations, referrals, and online sharing, and—boom. You’re in business.