Hey, Please forgive me but I have to write this post in response to some chatter that I’ve seen on Facebook recently regarding objections to direct sales AKA multi-level marketing AKA home party businesses.
Ok, here we go. I recently saw someone post about how much pressure she felt from her friends who are in direct sales. She went on to say how she felt the prices were almost always overpriced and that she didn’t like being invited to parties or invited to join.
I went on to read the comments and apparently there are a lot of people with hard feelings about direct sales in general. People were posting about how these companies are predatory and no one can make money, etc, etc.
To be honest, I’ve heard it all before. I’ve seen comments about how so many people fail and how difficult it is to make any money. I’ve also seen people comment about how the people that are “higher up” in the organization make all this money off of their downline.
I want to address these opinions. Please keep in mind that I can only speak for myself, my experience and my company, Scentsy.
First of all, let me say that I understand why so many people are irritated by direct sales. I am on Facebook too. I see some people in many direct sales companies who bombard your Facebook wall with pitches. I try not to do that. BTW, you can unfollow people and still remain FB friends. They won’t even know you’ve done it.
I think that if someone is making you feel uncomfortable regarding their business, you can politely tell them. I find that being direct is best. Simply tell them that you are not interested in the product. Also tell them that you won’t be going to the party. Personally, I am grateful when I know that someone isn’t interested. I don’t want to waste their time or mine.
Believe me, I’m in direct sales and people in other direct sales companies approach me “all the time” regarding their products and I usually don’t buy them. However, if it is something I’m interested in, I buy it.
Regarding the prices, I have to come to the defense of my products and others. With Scentsy, we are absolutely NOT the cheapest home fragrance option. However, I believe whole heartedly that Scentsy products are the BEST VALUE. What I mean is you can buy fragrance wax or candles somewhere else at half the price of Scentsy but it will last half as long and it won’t smell half as good. It also won’t cover as much square footage as Scentsy. If you need less square footage you can use less wax.
If you don’t believe me, I welcome you to take the “Scentsy Challenge”. Let me know if you’d like to borrow some Scentsy. If you try it with an open mind, I’m confident you will prefer it. If you don’t prefer it, don’t buy it. How’s that for pressure.
I will even defend other companies. Most direct sales products have a higher price than some alternatives that you will find elsewhere. However, in my experience, I’ve found that there is often no comparison. The direct sales products are often much higher quality. That doesn’t mean that I need them all. I just use a few to be honest with you. Frankly, I believe that the ones that I use actually save me money because they last longer than “cheaper” alternatives.
I’ve also heard people complain that they are paying more because of the multi-level compensation plans. Obviously, the consultants are paid as a result of product sales. However, do you have any idea how much price markup exists on traditional products in a store to cover production, distribution, commercial real estate, utilities, advertising, employee wages, etc. I promise, it’s more than you think. It’s just a different business model. Advertising alone is a HUGE expense. Well guess who pays for it. You, the consumer.
Regarding the “predatory” nature of direct sales. I know that some people operate that way and I’m sorry. I don’t like it either.
However, this is how I look at it. Scentsy is an opportunity that has changed my life and my family’s life. It has allowed me to be home with my son. Our second son will arrive in September! It has actually strengthened my marriage. My husband and I work well together. My Scentsy business has allowed my husband to stop working at a job that he didn’t love and now he works with me full time. It has allowed me to go on several all-expenses paid trips. Through my business, I have made many wonderful friends. I simply want to offer this opportunity to others. It has been a huge blessing for me and could be for anyone who wants it. I don’t know if you are interested unless I ask.
I also know that it won’t be such a blessing for everyone. It depends on how you run it. You need to believe in the product and the opportunity. Obviously, everyone doesn’t share my passion. But, as I said, I don’t know unless I ask.
I can also tell you that the people that are “higher up” don’t exploit those below them. I invest countless hours on helping my team and I don’t make much money from any one single individual.
I will tell you that my income has grown every year. Some better than others. I still have to keep working but my business has constantly evolved.
I also know that most people join Scentsy or other direct sales companies as a side job or even hobby. Maybe just to get a discount for themselves. That’s ok. Anyone can run it however they want. If other consultants or companies pressure people, that is unfortunate but I promise, we are not all like that.
The truth is most people in direct sales don’t last long. I don’t think that is a reason to condemn the industry.
Most brick and mortar businesses don’t last either and you don’t see outrage about that. My husband was an insurance agent for a while and he had to make over $5000/month before he could pay himself 1 cent. Rent, employees and utilities are quite expensive. You can join Scentsy for $99 and you don’t have to rent a commercial space, pay employees or any other expenses associated with a business.
I think one reason people don’t last in direct sales is because they only made a small investment to start it and it is easy to walk away from. I truly believe that there are many direct sales companies that can offer you a very viable opportunity. It does however require time and effort to make a significant income. If you just want a hobby or a discount on your own purchases that is much easier. I’m glad I made the investment in my Scentsy business.
Having said all that, I also want to add that many people join and enjoy direct sales businesses for non-monetary reasons. I see many women who LOVE being a part of the Scentsy family, myself included. Many of them don’t make much money but they love each other, support each other and simply enjoy the camaraderie. You can also learn a lot about yourself, networking, business, etc.
I know that there are a lot of opinions about these topics and I know everyone doesn’t agree with me but I hope you can understand and appreciate some of the points I’ve made in this post.