What does a Direct Seller do?

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  • Written By: Sheri Cyprus
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 25 February 2019
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A direct seller typically works out of his or her home marketing products to retail customers. He or she may sell any type of consumer products from candles to quilting supplies. Beauty items, clothing, jewelry and kitchenware are popular products in direct selling. Although the distribution of the products to consumers often includes the use of catalogs to order items through, a direct seller always meets with customers face to face at some point.

Since in-person meetings are such a distinctive part of this type of product marketing, a direct seller must enjoy speaking with people face to face. Direct sellers should believe in the products they sell and understand how to convince customers of the benefits of each item in a professional, non-pushy manner. Home parties are a popular method of direct selling to retail consumers since the mood is light and the seller comes to the customer.

In a home party, the host or hostess invites his or her friends on an evening prearranged with the direct seller. The direct seller demonstrates some of the products for sale and brings catalogs and special offers for the guests in hopes of receiving many orders. The host or hostess usually prepares some light refreshments such as coffee and cake. Keeping the mood light and fun while persuading guests to purchase products is the seller's job, while the hostess typically receives some free items and discounts for having the home party.


Some direct sellers work for product companies that don't use the home party method, but rather rely strictly on the catalog and distribution components. The direct seller leaves catalogs and order forms stamped with his or her name and contact information at offices and homes. People interested in ordering the products then contact the seller on the catalog. The seller picks up the order from the company's factory or distribution center and delivers the products to the customer to collect payment for the goods.

Flexible hours and having a home business are common reasons why people become direct sellers. As long as the company is legitimate, the initial investment required by the seller is only enough to cover a product sample case or two. The direct selling job may be done part time or full time. Whether the items are pet products or body care items, if the demand is there and the direct seller is pleasant and persuasive, he or she may be able to earn a good income.


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Post 2

@BabaB - I've been doing direct sales home parties for many years. When a host invites me to come to a party, I always bring lots of samples of the things I sell. I have a few games to "break the ice." I give away some door prizes and really try to make it fun. The hostess and I try to demonstrate different ways to use the products.

Sometimes, the hostess is a little pushy about getting orders because she earns free things. But, I am never offended if some people don't buy anything.

For twenty years now, I have made a good part-time wage. And, it's been lots of fun. Meeting new people has been great, also.

Post 1

I have been to so many direct sales home parties in my life, I've completely lost count. Sometimes, I just had to tell the hostess that I couldn't come. I couldn't aford to buy things that I didn't really need. I've been to glassware, plastic containers, jewelry, kitchen gadgets, clothing, and wine home parties.

Now, don't get me wrong, I've enjoyed going to some of the home parties, socializing and having snacks.

The salespeople and hosts are not usually too pushy, but guests somehow feel compelled to buy something they really don't want.

I really like the method where you are given a brochure that you can take your time looking at. Then if you want something, you call the salesperson.

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