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Making money from home

Bonnie_2  Who wouldn't want to make some cash working from home on your own schedule? Clearly direct selling (also known as multi-level marketing) isn't for everyone. But more people are finding it a viable way to earn some income at a time when costs are high. The big benefit: you can work from home on your own schedule, putting in as many hours as you wish. But you must put in work and time to make decent money. And, you must research the company first!

     Bonnie Ross, a stay at home mom for eight years, turned to Silpada silver jewelry to bring her household some extra income. She hosts a couple parties a week, putting in about 15 to 20 hours. She says she gets to meet interesting people and sell a product she loves. Apparently, believing in your product is key to success in direct sales. You also need to be able to pitch your product to family, friends and even strangers and recruit others to sell the product under your network.  Ross says she choose Silpada because  ``silver catches people's attention . . . it jiggles and shines so it's like I'm a walking advertisement.'' Her website is bonnielovessilver@comcast.net. Carmen Rojas, 20, chose to be an independent consultant with Passion Parties as her fulltime job. Her strategy is to market online, word of mouth and with car magnets. Her website is passionpartybycarmen.com. Only two months into it, she's still working to recoup her initial start up costs but sees potential in her line of adult toys, lotions and other items.

      Here are some smart sales strategies from some of the direct sales consultants I interviewed for my article in The Miami Herald: Be aggressive about lining up your initial round of parties, set yourself apart from other consultants through marketing or car magnets, target special events, encourage repeat business, view everyone as a potential customer. My article also gives suggestions for what to ask before getting into the business.

     Family Circle Magazine also published an article on direct sales this month. In all, there are more than 250 companies who do direct sales. Avon and Tupperware may be the best know but the hot businesses today are online shopping portals, earth friendly products, adult toys and satellite phones. To ensure a company is legitimate, make sure it is a member of the Direct Selling Association. Members have agreed to a code of ethics and violations are reported.

    Have you had any experience with direct sales? Do you see it as a the perfect part-time, maybe even full-time job?

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Brigitte

I've been following your blog for a while now, and generally love your advice. But I am very concerned that you're recommending MLM schemes. As a former Mary Kay rep, I know first-hand that these companies make money off their "consultants" not actual customers. The compensation structure encourages consultants to front load and take on debt. You actually make more money off recruiting than selling, so women in the programs over-inflate their earnings to make the opportunity more attractive to newbies. There's a blog that was very eye-opening for me as I was leaving Mary Kay called the Pink Truth (I am in no way affiliated with the site). Anyone considering a MLM company should check sites like theirs before investing their time and money.

Cindy

Brigitte,

You make a good point. There is a lot to be weary of with multi-level marketing. I would encourage anyone to do lots of research before becoming a direct sales consultant. Thanks for your comment.

Cindy

Rafael Cardoso

I am retired and in need to do somthing to keep me going, also in need of extra money. I worked all my life in sales.

carmen rojas

My name is Carmen Rojas and I am in the story above but I wanted to thank everyone who read this story. I love doing Passion Parties. I have fun make money and make friends. You can make money off of the products and all consultants help each other out. If you would like to contact me for more information please write me an email at passionpartybycarmen@yahoo.com

Thank you,
Carmen

carmen rojas

My name is Carmen Rojas and I am in the story above but I wanted to thank everyone who read this story. I love doing Passion Parties. I have fun make money and make friends. You can make money off of the products and all consultants help each other out. If you would like to contact me for more information please write me an email at passionpartybycarmen@yahoo.com

Thank you,
Carmen

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