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  #1  
Old 09-06-2009, 08:35 PM
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daffodil Female daffodil is offline
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Default Direct Selling

A post in the business section got me on this. I'm thinking of trying the direct selling thing. There was a post about Scentsy Candles and I thought I might try it. I started looking at the main website and found Direct Selling 411. I clicked the ones I was interested in and it came up with around 80+ different companies. Which do you think would sell best...candles, wickless candles, jewelry, home decor, books, foods, religious items or something else? Anyone else involved in any direct selling companies? Doing any good with them? What are your thoughts on this? I'm thinking I might be able to sell some at craft shows too. Anyone go to any craft shows? What type of items do you buy? I know people say go with what you are interested in but I find my tastes are WAY DIFFERENT than most people so I think that might be the wrong way to go.
Edit: Some of the companies I picked were:
Barefoot Books
Blessings Unlimited
F.A.I.T.H.
Earths Elements
Jordans Essentials
Northern Lights at Home
Scentsy
The Happy Gardener
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Old 09-06-2009, 10:02 PM
Anon001 Anon001 is offline
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Daff,

When you refer to "direct selling" are you talking about ordering products and trying to sell them? Or... are you talking about selling and using them as the drop shipper?

If you are talking about buying an inventory and then reselling, it is a hard market. Drop ship online is a much easier way to go.

One word of caution, go online and look at retail prices for the same items. Most of the "wholesalers" are not actual wholesalers. You might find that the "deal" you get with them, is the same price or higher than the retail sites online.

Another thing is that you have to be careful about the quality. Many of those "direct sell" companies are pushing cheaply made foreign items that most people don't want.

How do you plan to sell if you order the items? Craft shows are not that often in one locale. You would have to do a lot of driving to get to all the craft shows.

Having "home demonstration" type parties are not very productive.

There are a lot of other things to consider. But to find a true wholesaler, you will have to check a lot of them before you find one that really is a wholesaler. I have a couple websites online in addition to my blog. The majority of retail websites use wholsesalers to drop ship. It takes a lot of hours and a lot of hard word to get something going and to weed through the "middle men" to find the real wholesalers. PM me if you would like more detailed info.
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Old 09-07-2009, 11:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PaulNKS View Post
Daff,

When you refer to "direct selling" are you talking about ordering products and trying to sell them? Or... are you talking about selling and using them as the drop shipper?

If you are talking about buying an inventory and then reselling, it is a hard market. Drop ship online is a much easier way to go.

One word of caution, go online and look at retail prices for the same items. Most of the "wholesalers" are not actual wholesalers. You might find that the "deal" you get with them, is the same price or higher than the retail sites online.

Another thing is that you have to be careful about the quality. Many of those "direct sell" companies are pushing cheaply made foreign items that most people don't want.

How do you plan to sell if you order the items? Craft shows are not that often in one locale. You would have to do a lot of driving to get to all the craft shows.

Having "home demonstration" type parties are not very productive.

There are a lot of other things to consider. But to find a true wholesaler, you will have to check a lot of them before you find one that really is a wholesaler. I have a couple websites online in addition to my blog. The majority of retail websites use wholsesalers to drop ship. It takes a lot of hours and a lot of hard word to get something going and to weed through the "middle men" to find the real wholesalers. PM me if you would like more detailed info.
Kind of like the Avon thing, catalog type sales. I think most start off with a kit with a few items. They do parties too but I'm not really into that type of thing. I thought the Scentsy one was a good idea (wickless candles) but I guess you have to buy/sell $150 a quarter, has to be done in one month not spread out over 3 as I understand it. You make a commission on the sales. Seems like you have to sell quite a bit to make any money though. Wonder if I'd just be better off making my own items and selling them at craft shows. Probably couldn't do something like the wickless candle though.
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  #4  
Old 09-07-2009, 12:40 PM
Anon001 Anon001 is offline
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Daff,

I'll be honest. To be competitive with anything, you must find a niche. My example is that I had been making my own moustache wax for about 3 years when I decided that if it was good enough for me, someone else might like it. I don't sell a lot, but I do ship anywhere from 30 to 50 orders per week. I've shipped all over the globe to almos 20 countries. It's now in a store in Brooklyn, a 3 chain store in Washington D.C. and Virgina, and an upscale "barber" type shop in Sweden that owns several shops. Did I plan it all to work that way? HECK no. LOL It has been selling for two years. It does supplement my cattle income which is nice since I no longer work from home. However, I would like for it to do well enough that my cattle income is what supplements the wax income.

My website of merchandise that is drop ship does okay, but I haven't spent as much time promoting it or it would do much better.

My point is that if you are crafty and make things, and if you're objective, you will find a niche sooner or later that you can slip into.

So, my accidental fall into the moustache wax showed me that there as more demand than I could ever have imagined. When people ask what I do, and I tell them about the wax, I get the oddest looks. But, hey, it works and with it and the cattle, I have a self-sufficient (almost) homestead.

So, I guess I'm trying encourage you and saying go for it. If you can make things, do it. But, you will need a much steadier stream of revenue than just craft shows. You will eventually have to have a website or eBay, Amazon, etsy, etc. Keep in mind that although people like craft shows, online selling is where people go.
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Old 09-07-2009, 06:07 PM
cinok Male cinok is offline
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Just remember there is no easy way to make money. With many of these direct sell or catalog sales most of the real profit is long gone before your cut is figured out. The only real way to make money is direct sales from the manufacturer.
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  #6  
Old 09-08-2009, 10:21 PM
Runaway_Slave Runaway_Slave is offline
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Default Some thoughts

Daff, I just wanted to add to what Paul said but ask you, or should I say, ask yourself, some questions relative to likely success in direct selling. Do you have good transportation to be able to move around in a 20-30 mile radius? If so, what is the population of that area? Then try to get an idea of the demographics to help you decide what kind of line you want to get into.
Speaking for myself, I own and operate a windshield repair business which I've built up over the last 9 years in an area with 2 million pop. I did it all by getting out and knocking doors. I've never even been in the phone book and I make a very good living.
My reason for telling you this is that I tell everyone thinking about getting into this business that it's OK if you don't know how to introduce yourself to people (or are timid, Lord knows I was and still am sometimes) but you must be able to reach down inside yourself and commit that you will learn whatever you need to learn to have some success. Success to me means feeding my family and keeping a roof over our heads.
I think this principal applies for anyone thinking about getting into sales.
Also, check out www.dsa.org this is the site of the "Direct Selling Association" and their member list has hundreds of companies listed. Some require an investment and others "drop ship" as Paul mentioned. Many offer very low cost startup. Again, as Paul said, it's about finding that one idea that you really connect with and can see yourself getting involved in and can get excited and want to go out and tell people about it.
Hope this helps.
Gary
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  #7  
Old 09-17-2009, 05:28 PM
MooseToo MooseToo is offline
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gotta hand it to you, paul - if there ever was a niche market, mustache wax has to be near the top - i'd guess the only way to further fractionalize the market would be to have a black mustache wax, a blond, a red, etc - or perhaps varied manly scents as utilized by snuff producers ?
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Old 09-17-2009, 06:31 PM
Anon001 Anon001 is offline
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Actually, I tried black, brown, and blond when I started. All anyone wanted was the neutral! LOL So, I stopped adding colors. Also, the majority of comments I've had on scents is that most of them don't like having to smell it all day. Not only that, but so many people seem to have troubles with allergies and asthmas that the scented don't do as well for me.
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Old 09-17-2009, 07:02 PM
MooseToo MooseToo is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PaulNKS View Post
Actually, I tried black, brown, and blond when I started. All anyone wanted was the neutral! LOL So, I stopped adding colors. Also, the majority of comments I've had on scents is that most of them don't like having to smell it all day. Not only that, but so many people seem to have troubles with allergies and asthmas that the scented don't do as well for me.
you're operating under constraints of an ethical marketing approach - the mass marketers would provide sizzle and heavily promote a range of colors and scents and claims of enhanced sexual ability and would not care if buyers used the product - only that they bought it -
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Old 09-17-2009, 07:21 PM
Anon001 Anon001 is offline
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lol.. true.
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  #11  
Old 09-17-2009, 08:42 PM
gump gump is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PaulNKS View Post
Daff,

I'll be honest. To be competitive with anything, you must find a niche. My example is that I had been making my own moustache wax for about 3 years when I decided that if it was good enough for me, someone else might like it. I don't sell a lot, but I do ship anywhere from 30 to 50 orders per week. I've shipped all over the globe to almos 20 countries. It's now in a store in Brooklyn, a 3 chain store in Washington D.C. and Virgina, and an upscale "barber" type shop in Sweden that owns several shops. Did I plan it all to work that way? HECK no. LOL It has been selling for two years. It does supplement my cattle income which is nice since I no longer work from home. However, I would like for it to do well enough that my cattle income is what supplements the wax income.

My website of merchandise that is drop ship does okay, but I haven't spent as much time promoting it or it would do much better.

My point is that if you are crafty and make things, and if you're objective, you will find a niche sooner or later that you can slip into.

So, my accidental fall into the moustache wax showed me that there as more demand than I could ever have imagined. When people ask what I do, and I tell them about the wax, I get the oddest looks. But, hey, it works and with it and the cattle, I have a self-sufficient (almost) homestead.

So, I guess I'm trying encourage you and saying go for it. If you can make things, do it. But, you will need a much steadier stream of revenue than just craft shows. You will eventually have to have a website or eBay, Amazon, etsy, etc. Keep in mind that although people like craft shows, online selling is where people go.
That's a good post, thanks Paul
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  #12  
Old 11-04-2009, 09:39 AM
Runaway_Slave Runaway_Slave is offline
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Default Put the sell in direct selling

This thread is titled "Direct Selling". I understand it as the "act of going out and contacting people with the purpose of promoting a product/service", as opposed to "passive selling", that is, where you set yourself up in some mode where the customers come to you. Not that there's anything wrong with that. It's just that some "offerings" are economically structured so as to make conventional advertising and promotion counterproductive. Ergo, you have to get out, knock doors, get face to face with people, tell them about yourself and your product/service and ASK for their business. Then build a repeat/referral network using a CRM (customer relationship management) system, which can be anything from state of the art software to a card file system.
Is anyone interested in discussing direct selling concepts and ideas?
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  #13  
Old 04-16-2010, 07:42 PM
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MYellowRose Female MYellowRose is offline
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Daffodil I tried selling Jordan Essentials back when it was Country Bunny Bath and Body. No one would buy it as they all thought it was overpriced. I didn't know enough people well enough to get even one person to host a party for me so I gave up. The tote bag I got with my kit in it lasted for years though, it finally fell apart this year when my DD was using it to carry her college books. If I had a large extended family that I could count on to host a few parties I might sign up for something else again. Of course without a car it's kinda hard to do any direct selling.
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Old 04-30-2010, 04:25 PM
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My wife tried several Avon type direct sales without much success. The biggest problem is that you have to sell x number of dollars before you get a commission. My sister got her started with Premier Jewelry, and it's been great. Firstly, they started the company to help fund mission trips. Their sellers show at parties where the hostesses get up to a few hundred dollars worth of free jewelry (which is a nice incentive to book shows). My wife makes a 50% commission on all sales (regardless of how much or how little was sold), and is only responsible for shipping fees. The last show she did was a little more than $2k, and the cost for her was less than 20 bucks for shipping. The hostess benefits do not come out of the seller's pocket either.
Until Premier she had been out of work for 7 months, and honestly, this company has been a god-send. I see that you're in NE OH. We're in the middle of the state. If you (or anyone else reading this) would like to know more about the company feel free to send me a message and I'll make sure you get some good information on it.

edit: I thought I should add, that most things in the catalogue (seller's do have actual items to show, not just the book) are around 20 bucks, and I don't think I saw anything over 50, so there's usually something that people not only want, but can actually afford
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Last edited by Treehog; 04-30-2010 at 04:28 PM. Reason: more info
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Old 05-02-2010, 05:37 PM
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Treehog what does it cost to get started with their program? Just curious as I don't know enough people who would be willing to book any kind of a party.
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Old 05-03-2010, 10:38 AM
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I know there is a startup fee that is a few hundred dollars, and Premier offers jewelry packages at a huge discount one time only to new sellers (it never costs more than 50% otherwise though). I believe the retail on the package my wife bought was somewhere around $2k, and she paid 7 or 8 hundred for it. With the other startup fee it was around $1,100.

I choked when I heard that was the cost and immediately thought "what a scam". But, I knew two others who were selling it successfully so I went along with my wife on it. She ended up making it back in her first two shows. Generally, sellers make around $250 per show, so even if they only book one show a week, they make back the startup costs after about a month.

Sellers also make a 10% commission on all sales from people they sign up, and people those people sign up. My wife was just at a meeting for sellers where one woman who has been with the company for a few years just got a commission check for $27,000 for one month. The potential is crazy, it's all a matter of how much work one puts into it.
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