Who has not heard of the famous sales meetings for Tupperware products by an aunt who wants to make a little money? Home selling is not new. But what about today with the meteoric growth of sales over the internet? Does this type of selling still have a place? Is it still a good way to earn a little extra money or even to switch to for your main income?
Yes, Tupperware meetings still exist today. But home selling has diversified considerably: cosmetics, clothing, lingerie, toys, natural products, vacuum cleaners and even sex toys have invaded the field.
Overseen by the Direct Sellers Associations of Canada (DSA), more and more companies in the country are using the principles of relational (by representation), home or multi-level selling and generating billions of dollars.
The way this type of selling works is simple: the seller offers an individual the opportunity to invite her network to a meeting at which they will discover exclusive products. The sale is held in a lounge between woman friends. Woman friends, because this field always attracts a majority of women, particularly housewives who want to have an income by managing their schedule as suits them. But be careful. Today, these women are young professionals, often new moms, who want to start their own business and who frequently use social media to boost their sales. The remuneration is paid by a commission (variable from 20% to 35% depending on the sector) deducted from sales.
The benefits of home selling
Home selling does not require any diploma or particular expertise. Only a sales culture, good sense of communication and organization, and a good dose of motivation are necessary. In addition, the field is one of the few open to all ages without restriction.
Broad schedule flexibility, ideal for someone working part time or with a family life, is also one of the well-known benefits of home selling.
Succeeding in home selling calls for two key skills: having a good social network and believing in the products you are selling. It is also necessary to be persistent and organized to be able to manage order follow-up and keep in contact with the hostesses and customers. Your income will depend on these two factors and your involvement in this new enterprise. The more time you invest, the better chances you will have of earning your living.
Succeeding in home selling nonetheless requires a minimum of preparation.
- To host your product sales meetings you will need an inviting space. Sound out your network to see if any of your acquaintances would be willing to lend you their lounge for one or two meetings during the year.
- Plan a place where you will stock the demo products and those to sell.
- Invest in purchasing a car, essential for your visits.
- From the moment when you purchase goods and services to resell them at a profit, you become a merchant. You should therefore have an appropriate permit and collect GST and QST.
Home selling vs pyramid selling
Every year, many people looking for income embark on multi-level selling or pyramid selling. However, while the first is legal, the latter is not. And there is sometimes a blurred line between the two. In multi-level selling, participants earn income by selling the goods or services of other participants, who in turn recruit other people. This type of business is legal in Canada. In the pyramid scheme, illegal in Canada, most of the time there is no sale of goods or services. You pay an amount to the promoter (the one at the top of the list) and have to convince other people to pay the same amount to the person whose name is at the top of the list. The goal is to pocket a very large sum of money when you become the top of the pyramid. The problem is that at some point you or your recruits will lose your investment.
So be well informed about the business and how it works before jumping into it. This will prevent you from getting caught in a scam. Home selling can only be a lucrative and enjoyable business if it is legal. Otherwise you could have serious problems.