Q. What products and services are sold through direct selling? A. Virtually every consumer product or service can be purchased through direct selling. People who purchase through direct selling cite product quality, uniqueness and money-back guarantees as the top reasons for shopping through direct selling.
Q. Are there different ways to shop through direct selling? A. Yes. Parties are probably the most well-known method of direct selling, but most products and services (about 70%) are actually sold one-to-one by appointment. You can also buy products and services from direct selling companies on the Internet, and representatives of some companies make products available in retail settings such as mall kiosks.
Q. I’m invited to many direct selling parties and I always feel obligated to buy something, so often I don’t go. Any advice? First, don’t feel obligated to purchase anything! Direct selling is meant to be fun, not stressful. You should attend a party because you want to socialize with the other people who will be there. Be sure to take a look at the products and services being offered, but if there’s nothing that appeals to you, thank your host for a wonderful time and don’t give it a second thought. You wouldn’t feel guilty about not buying something in a retail store, would you? You might also consider taking a catalog home with you and making your purchasing decisions after the fact. In many cases, orders can still be placed after the party so you should feel free to take your time deciding.
Q. I feel I can buy similar products in a retail store. Why shop through direct selling? Just as you’ll find a wide variety of products and price points in a retail store, so are there many options when shopping through direct selling. In fact, you’re likely to find many products that you just can’t buy in a retail store. Direct selling offers you brand choices in addition to traditional retail brands, with the added benefit of a personal demonstration.
And don’t just assume that the product demonstrated at a party won’t perform any better than something purchased at the dollar store – many items are of higher quality, have additional features and also come with a money-back satisfaction guarantee.
It’s also important to remember that, as in a traditional retail setting, supply and demand dictate pricing. The market will not support products that are priced too high. Look carefully at each product to determine the value it holds for you. Also, remember that you are receiving the benefit of the personal service offered through direct selling. Having the equivalent of a personal shopper is an important value-added part of the experience.
Q. If I buy something and don’t like it, can I return it? A. Yes. Before you buy, ask about the company’s return policy. Just like retail stores, every direct selling company’s return policy is different.
Q. A friend asked me to host a party. What should I expect? A. Your main job will be to supply a location where a party can be held, usually in your home. You should invite your friends, neighbors and co-workers to the party and to provide some snacks and beverages. The sales representative will do the rest. You might also choose to show the company’s catalog to invitees before the party as some people will want to order without attending, others may want to know more about the company and its products before attending and others will just not be interested. It’s best to create a low-pressure environment for your party – be sure to stress that it’s an opportunity to get together and have fun, and an excuse to do some shopping! And the best part: as a host you’ll receive discounted or free products and other special incentives as a “thank you” from your sales representative.