Is direct selling for you?

More information on Direct Selling:

Direct selling seems to be an answer for women when financial times are tough. More than 15.2 million people, mainly women, are involved in direct selling in the United States. Historically, during times of recession, this sector seems to grow. During the 1990 recession, the number of direct sellers grew to more than 5 million. In the 2001 recession, the number jumped to more than 12 million.

While there are many benefits to direct sales, here are the main reasons why it is so alluring:

  1. Anyone can do it - There are no required levels of education, experience, financial resources or physical condition. People of all ages and from all backgrounds have succeeded in direct selling.
  2. Direct selling offers flexible schedules. This is great news for stay-at-home moms or women with limited time.
  3. You can own your own business with very little or no capital investment.
  4. You're your own boss. You can you choose when and how much you want to work.
  5. And finally, there's a real opportunity to make money. The earnings one can expect to make in direct selling differ for each individual based on a number of factors, including your the amount of time you plan to dedicate to it. The average income for a direct seller is about $2400 per year, or $200 a month. Yet almost 10% of direct sellers earn more than $50,000 per year.
Another benefit of course is that it is easy to get started. With any new venture, however, there are a few important things you should consider:
  1. Identify and Choose a company that appeals to you and has a solid business reputation. You should choose a product or service that you use and enjoy yourself, and that you really believe in. A good sign is one that has been established for a good amount of years. Tupperware has been in business for 60 years. Pampered Chef for more than 25. I've been working with a company called Jafra Cosmetics that has been is business for 50 plus years using all natural products. If you're selling products you're interested and passionate about- you'll naturally do better.
  2. Set realistic goals. Success depends on hard work.
  3. Do your homework. Make sure you learn about start-up fees, the costs of doing business, average earnings, return policies and anything else that may concern you. Know what you get out of your initial investment and be aware of how much you'll have to invest before beginning to sell. For example, with Jafra, you receive a starter kit with product samples so you're ready to begin selling right out of the box. Companies that belong to the Direct Selling Association must abide by a code of ethics, which requires members to repurchase 90 percent of the marketable inventory and sales aids you have purchased within the past 12 months if you decide to leave the business.
  4. Finally, visit the Direct Selling Association Web site at to see if the company is a DSA member. If the company is not a member, it may still be a legitimate opportunity, but you'll have to do a bit more of your own research to make sure the company has policies in place to protect both you and your customers.
Connie Tang, President, JAFRA USA

Brief Bio: Connie Tang was appointed President of JAFRA USA effective July 7, 2008. One of the largest multilevel marketing and direct sales companies of skin care and beauty products in the world, JAFRA is based in Westlake Village, California and is a division of the Vorwerk Group, a German-based, international direct sales supplier of superior products for the home. Connie is responsible for developing dynamic strategies, initiatives and objectives that generate market growth in the U.S. General Market and the U.S. Hispanic market, while supporting JAFRA's commitment to offering a competitive opportunity for independent consultants via a flexible selling system.

Additionally, Connie is charged with leading a team of approximately 250 employees and supporting 80,000 consultants in the U.S., Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic. Connie is also one of the seven members of the JAFRA Management Board. Connie has more than 22 years experience in the cosmetics industry. Prior to joining JAFRA, Connie spent 13 years with BeautiControl, Inc., an international manufacturer and party-plan direct-sales company providing skin care, spa and cosmetic products.

At BeautiControl, Connie rose quickly through the ranks to positions of increasing responsibility and complexity to become Vice President, Special Markets. During her tenure she opened domestic and international markets, increased sales in existing markets and business units, led market segment studies, successfully launched new product lines, developed distributor and sales force training programs and created public relations programs. When Tupperware acquired BeautiControl in 2000, Connie was tapped to lead the successful introduction of BeautiControl into key global markets through Tupperware's infrastructure.

Connie began her career in the New York and New Jersey markets where she spent eight years in the competitive retail cosmetics industry representing Clinique, Inc. and then Lancôme, Inc. Born in Hong Kong and raised in Brooklyn, New York, Connie graduated with a B.A. from Brooklyn College. She is fluent in English, Spanish and Chinese. She and her husband Harrie, and daughter Kassidy recently relocated from Frisco, Texas to the Westlake Village.

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