Turn Direct Sell Passion Into Cash

Tory Johnson shows you how you can make extra money without leaving your home.

ByABC News via logo
June 22, 2009, 5:45 PM

July 6, 2009— -- Direct selling is a proven moneymaker when times are tough. The numbers tell the story: During the 1990 recession, the number of direct sellers grew to more than 5 million. In the 2001 recession, that number jumped to more than 12 million. In 2007, there were 15 million direct sellers and rising. Direct selling brought in more than $30 billion in the United States alone.

It's not easy. To succeed in direct sales, you really have to hustle. It's like running your own business; your effort (or lack of) will make your sales sink or swim. The people who are making money now in direct sales work on their business every single day; it's front and center on their minds and in their actions.

It's not get-rich-quick. The median income is about $2,500 a year, which means a couple hundred dollars a month perhaps enough to pay down a credit card bill. For active sellers, the median jumps to $6,000 a year.

If you think it's for you, there are several details to consider.

What's in a name? When you hear Mary Kay or Avon, you know exactly what they sell. You can dream of cruising around in a slick pink Cadillac as a Mary Kay superstar or jetting off to the Bahamas for a luxurious vacation, as Avon's top sellers did recently. Everyone knows the product and there's a history of quality, which may make you feel most comfortable.

The potential challenge: Since everyone knows the product, you may have an uphill battle carving out a customer base because existing fans may already be aligned with their favorite seller.

Lesser-known companies will lack the multimillion-dollar marketing campaigns to generate awareness for their brand, so you'll have to work overtime taking on the challenge of introducing new product lines.

Clever Container, for example, is a relatively new line of organizing products with only about 100 consultants nationwide. You could be the one to introduce friends to its products by hosting Tupperware-style parties, which the company calls organizing workshops, for every part of the home.