A number of my friends have recently gotten into the at-home sales business. Years ago, the big names were Tupperware, Mary Kay, and Avon. Now there are so many different types of businesses out there. And I have noticed a lot of people posting about how much money they are making from their business and how great it is to be able to spend so much time with their kids.
So is one of these sales businesses right for you? Can you earn enough money to quit your job?
Short answer: Probably not.
The first thing that you need to know is that this type of sales and marketing is called MLM – multi-level marketing. What that means is that a salesperson is paid not only for their sales but they also get compensated for the sales of the other salespeople they have recruited. And the people who they recruit and so on and so on.
So when you see people who are advertising how much money they make more than they are advertising their products, I think you should be suspicious. They’re just trying to get down-line salespeople working for them.
I have to admit, I see these most with some of the companies that are selling what I would call suspicious products. Tupperware? You can see it and you can see how it works. But some of these companies that are peddling health remedies or fitness supplements… how do you know if they actually do anything?
I’m definitely not saying these products are all bad. I’ve had some delicious Tastefully Simple products, I love some of my jewelry from Stella & Dot and I’ve done Beachbody workouts that have been fabulous. And if you want to shop at these parties, go for it! But if a product sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
So you want to try to sell these products and make money. Is it worth it?
First off, you have to figure out if you have a good network to sell to. Do you know a lot of people who might be interested in these products? Are you a good sales person? You have to be okay with asking people to buy products from you. Personally, I’m not a fan of that. I don’t like trying to get my friends to buy things from me. But that’s just me.
The better money comes if you can get some of your friends or acquaintances to also start selling. That’s where the “easy income” starts. But this means you have to recruit people who are really going to work selling. And you can’t just give up. You also have to continue to sell.
So my opinion? If you’re looking for a side gig, check out the costs. How much does it cost to sign up to sell? What is your discount on the product? Do you personally like the product? If it’s not something you like and use, you will struggle to sell it. Crunch the numbers and decide if it’s for you.
But if you’re trying to make a living, be wary. It can be done, but those people who bring in the big bucks put a lot of time and effort into their business. It is vital to look at the market of what you are selling and determine the psychologically acceptable range of prices. Conjointly’s Van Westendorp PSM is a Price Sensitivity Meter that will give you information on the price range the market considers to be fair for your product. It’s not always easier than having a full-time job. In many cases, it’s more work. Sure, you can make your own schedule, but it’s not like you can just sit back and vacation and make money while relaxing. It’s not as easy as people make it seem.
So be careful before you jump in. True get-rich-quick schemes never work. Make smart decisions and don’t throw your money away trying to make more money.
Megan is a 40-something government employee in the Washington, DC area. She got interested in Personal Finance when she got out of college and realized that her paycheck wasn’t going to go as far as she had hoped. Since starting this blog, she has managed to buy a house and make a solid start on her retirement goals, and hopes to help others do the same. Here is her story:
In 2007, I was a gainfully employed 20-something with no debt but not a lot of knowledge about personal finance. It was a co-worker’s comment about Roth IRAs that sent me to the internet, searching for information. It was then that I realized that I really didn’t know a whole lot about personal finance and that my current financial situation was due a lot to inherent frugal tendencies, generous family members, a fear of debt, and good luck. While that was working for me, clearly I needed a better plan.
While I had no debt, I was also pretty much living paycheck to paycheck and not worrying about going over budget (I say this as if I had a real budget) because I had an emergency fund set aside to cover any overages.
Except that’s not what an emergency fund is for.
So I did a lot of research, read a lot of blogs, and decided that I needed a plan. I needed to budget. I needed to know what I was spending my money on. I needed to prepare for the future.
I decided to create a blog not only to make myself accountable to others but also to share the knowledge that I gained along the way. I’ve learned so much from my fellow bloggers, and I hope that my readers can find something useful in what I have to share as well.
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