Have you ever thought about working for a direct sales company? Even if you have not heard the term, you have probably heard of the companies before from your friends or neighbors. Direct sales companies are a great way to make money from home. In fact, there’s one that I have been using products from, but first, let’s dive into what you need to know about direct sales companies!
This post contains affiliate links. See my disclosure for details.
What Is a Direct Sales Company?
A direct sales company is simply a company that lets you work from home or some other non-retail location and sell items directly to customers. The term MLM (or multi-level marketing) also refers to direct sales companies. While it might sound strange, if you have a relative that sells Avon, essential oils, skincare products, or makeup from home, you are familiar with direct sales companies.
Are Direct Sales Companies a Pyramid Scheme?
In a word, no. Direct sales companies are different than pyramid schemes. In a pyramid scheme, there is no product or service that is exchanged for money. (Pyramid schemes are also illegal in most places.)
Direct sales companies have a physical product that is sold. As a direct sales consultant, you work with a company to sell products for a commission.
Many direct sales companies follow the MLM model of business, where you can also earn money by recruiting more people to be part of your sales team.
How To Get Started As a Direct Sales Consultant
First, choose a product that appeals to you. A large part of your success depends on your enthusiasm and knowledge of the product. Research the company that you are interested in working for. Ask questions. Develop a plan for how you will promote your product, as well as a plan for time management, especially if you have kids.
Be sure to pay attention to what kind of support and training the company offers its consultants. Also, take into account monthly fees, sales quotas, and other guidelines. Balance it against the perks of joining with the company, such as your own website and discounts for personal purchases.
Pros and Cons of a Direct Sales Company
Pro #1: You don’t have to create your own product.
Pro #2: You can support and align your mission with a company you love and use.
Pro #3: All the heavy lifting of creating, shipping and supporting the product is done for you.
Con #1: You have no control over the price or sales of the product.
Con #2: Direct sales have a mixed reputation and some people really do not like them.
Con #3: You’re not creating your own business, but growing a business created by someone else.
If you’d like to be more in control of your business, I highly suggest creating small digital products and selling them online.
They’re easy to create and sell – and they’ve helped me make over $1 million online.
You can get the free plan here to build your blog and start selling digital products online.
Tips For Success With a Direct Sales Company
There are many different ways to promote your products. You can create a business page on Facebook, Instagram, and other social media channels, go to shows, set up booths, mail out postcards, do webinars, and/or have live chats.
However, one of the best ways to be successful as a direct sales consultant is to start a blog. Blogging is a great way to grow your direct sales business quickly because you can start an email list and promote it on Pinterest. It also gives you access to everyone in the world that has internet.
What Are The Most Profitable Direct Sales Companies?
Going by annual revenue, the top 5 most profitable direct sales companies in the world are:
- Amway (9.5 Billion)
- Avon (6.16 Billion)
- Herbalife ( (4.47 Billion)
- Mary Kay (3.7 Billion)
- Tupperware (2.28 Billion)
Direct Sales Companies List
Every direct sales company is a little bit different. I want to help you find the one that is the best fit for you, so I have compiled a list of the best ones around. This is by no means a comprehensive list, as there are many direct sales companies. Even if you don’t find one that’s right for you, there are still many other ways to make money as a stay at home mom.
Top 10 Direct Sales Companies
Here are the top direct sales companies you can join to make an income from home.
Amway has the distinction of being the top most profitable direct sales company. They offer a wide variety of products but generally focus on health-related items.
- Products: Health, beauty and home care products
- Who Is This Company For? Amway’s main target audience is women, but they are also a world leader in health supplements, so that includes anyone wanting to improve their health as well.
- Starting Investment: $62 registration fee for training materials containing information on how to get started. There is also an optional product starter kit for $99.99 containing $245 worth of full-sized products, samples, and 10 mini catalogs.
- Keep Inventory: no
- Testimonials: See success stories on Amway’s site
Avon has been around for a long time. They cater to a large age range of women and offer a generous sales commission.
- Products: Cosmetics, fashion, and accessories
- Who Is This Company For? Avon’s main target audience is women. The age range seems to be something of a mystery, with some claiming mid-20s- mid-70s, and others claiming mostly 40+
- Starting Investment: Sign up for $30, pick a free gift, get 40% off your first order and earn up to 40% commission on what you sell
- Keep Inventory: no
- Testimonials: “Avon job structure gives you the opportunity to manage your time in the event you work another job or need to stay home to work. There is plenty of training they provide to make you successful in the business.” -Current employee in Charlotte, NC
Like Avon, Mary Kay is a household name when it comes to direct sales companies. They have quality make-up that has withstood the test of time. Of all the direct sales companies that I have researched, Mary Kay offers one of the best commission rates.
- Products: makeup, skincare, fragrances, men’s skincare, and shaving products.
- Who Is This Company For? Mary Kay was originally designed for stay at home moms that wanted to earn extra income from home. Today, they still market to women but do have a small line of men’s products as well.
- Starting Investment: $100 for a starter kit. 50% commission rate on products that you sell.
- Keep Inventory? You can, but not required.
- Testimonials: Video testimonials on the Mary Kay Site
Tupperware products are incredibly durable and come in many shapes and sizes. Of all the direct sales companies I have researched, this one was the only one to offer a 2 payment plan for the initial investment.
- Products: preparation, storage, and serving products for the kitchen or home.
- Who Is This Company For? Anyone needing storage solutions and products in their kitchen or home
- Starting Investment: $100 for a start-up kit or you can pay $39 down and use a 2 payment plan. up to 35% commission on what you sell
- Keep Inventory? I was not able to find a definite answer to this question. I did see that Tupperware operates on a party system that requires it’s consultants to host parties to sell the product. You probably need at least a small amount of inventory in order to do that, though you can also sell from online.
- Testimonials: Video testimonials on the Tupperware site
I love Beautycounter! I use their products and they have made my skin look great. Here is my before and after picture by using their products.
So I signed up to be a rep (because the stuff works + I want a discount on my own purchases ;). Here’s my first baby commission check! Whoo hooo!
- Products: Skincare and cosmetics
- Who Is This Company For? Women that want skincare products and cosmetics that are safe and effective to use. Target audience is women ages 20-40.
- Starting Investment: $98 enrollment fee that includes a personalized website. Option to purchase a starter kit ranging from $218-$729. The commission rate is 25%-35% of the products sold.
- Keep Inventory? No
- Testimonials: “I don’t need another job – I do this because I care about my community and seeing women win. It’s transformative.” -Dr. Steph Walker Source: Beauty Counter Website Success Stories
Lularoe was named after the founders oldest 3 granddaughters. The initial investment is quite pricey and they do require you to keep inventory. The idea behind Lularoe is that you order the items wholesale and then you sell them for a profit. This business model seems to be more geared to having your own fashion boutique that may or may not operate out of your home.
- Products: Leggings and fashion
- Who is This Company For? Women looking for fashionable but modest clothing designed with both pretty and functional in mind.
- Starting Investment: Initial inventory prices start at $2500
- Keep Inventory? Yes
- Testimonials: retailer success stories on the Lularoe site
Essential oils are quite trendy. Many people claiming that they can treat certain medical conditions and have health benefits. Young Living is one of 2 top essential oil companies. (DoTerra is the other). The basic starter kit is under $50.
I never really thought essential oils were helpful, until they took away my migraine and nausea – now I run my little diffuser almost daily!
- Products: Essential oils and related products.
- Who Is This Company For? Men or women looking to reap the benefits of essential oils
- Starting Investment: Purchase a starter kit ranging in price from $45-$260
- Keep Inventory? yes
- Testimonials: “I was so happy when I found Young Livings’ essential oils because they work. My clients know they can count on me and I know that I can count on Young Living products.”
– CAROL PLISKA, YOUNG LIVING GOLD MEMBER
Paparazzi sells jewelry. The thing that sets them apart is that they are always changing and all the products are the same price – $5 each. They also have a line for kids featuring $1 jewelry
- Products: Jewelry and Accessories
- Who Is This Company For? Fashion-conscious women in their 20s and 30s looking or an easy and cheap way to accessorize their style.
- Starting Investment: Starter kits ranging from $99 to $499. Up to 45% sales commission
- Keep Inventory? Yes
- Testimonials: “Paparazzi is changing lives. I jumped into Paparazzi over 6 years ago and haven’t looked back – I love that I can bring extra income to my family. I was able to help my family buy a new (to us) van with my Paparazzi income.” Mandy Beyeler – Paparazzi Site
Pampered Chef sells quality kitchen products aimed at making food preparation more convenient. They have also started a gardening line. Like many direct sales companies, parties with demonstrations are one of their recommended ways to sell products.
I remember going to Pampered Chef parties as a kid with my mom – I loved all the snacks and goodies!
- Products: kitchen tools, food products, cookbooks, and gardening tools
- Who Is This Company For? Anyone that loves to cook or garden
- Starting Investment: $109-$249 for a starter kit
- Keep Inventory? No, if you sell online, though you will need a few products to host an in-home party.
- Testimonials: video testimonials on the Pampered Chef site
Usborne books are popular among moms that want to encourage reading. The books are great for prek kids that are interested in books to elementary school children learning to read. They also appeal to homeschool moms that are looking for books to cultivate reading skills.
I adore Usborne books and have bought a bunch for my kids! They’re fantastic and last forever!
- Products: Children’s books
- Who Is This Company For? Parents or grandparents of children that want to instill a love of learning to read in their kids.
- Starting Investment: $75- $125 for a starter kit with an optional $12 upgrade with 10 catalogs.
- Keep Inventory: No inventory required
- Testimonials: ” This “job” makes me so happy sometimes! Just processed the order for my latest book fair. All the free books earned through were donated to a local Food Pantry so they could set up a reading area for all the many children that accompany their parents to the pantry to collect food. A total of 48 brand new books will be donated. I am SO proud of this!!!! – A.H. ” -Source: Usborne Success Stories
New Direct Sales Companies
Here is a list of new direct sales companies that you can join.
Acti-labs was actually started in France in 2011 and came to the US in 2016. They offer a line of beauty and skincare products as well as supplements and weight loss body wraps. At $27 for a startup kit, it is the least expensive to start of all the companies that I have researched.
Products: Beauty and skincare products
Who Is This Company For? Women 20s to 40s looking to improve their skin
Starting Investment: $27 for a start-up kit with the option to purchase additional kits or supplements. 20% commission on each sale.
Keep Inventory? no
Testimonials: Acti-labs has a facebook page for success stories, many of which are pictures showing the results of using the products.
Maskcara, (founded 2017), has a philosophy that makeup should enhance a woman’s natural beauty and not cover it up. It was started by a fellow blogger and makeup artist. It does have a monthly fee, but it does not currently have any sales quotas.
- Products: Makeup designed to simplify your beauty routine
- Who Is This Company For? Any woman looking to simplify her beauty routine, so that she can spend less time on makeup and more time living her life.
- Starting Investment: Basic starter kit for $199 or pro kit for $399. Monthly fee of $9.95/month to sustain your back office and replicated site fees. All distributors make a 20%-40% commission on all products sold.
- Keep Inventory? no
- Testimonials: “The mood of Maskcara is such a generous, kind, loving creative, optimistic, wonderful place to be.” – Randi Brook -Source: Direct Selling News
Moji Life, founded in 2016, is a relatively new product. There are many home fragrance devices out there, but this one operates on battery power and can be controlled with your smartphone via Bluetooth. However, if your battery goes dead, you do have to reprogram it.
- Products: wickless and heatless home fragrance diffusion device that runs on a battery and is Bluetooth compatible.
- Who Is This Company For? Those wanting to refresh their homes with fragrances, without the heat or flames.
- Starting Investment: Starter kits range from $88+tax to $295+tax. Consultants make 20-25% commission on products sold
- Keep Inventory? no
“The AirMoji is cordless with a battery that lasts over 50+ hours so you can put it anywhere in your home for long-lasting freshness. You can also control the amount of time it stays on with your smartphone! WHA?? Isn’t that amazing!? It’s Bluetooth compatible so you can have it going strong when you wake up, before you come home, right after dinner, etc.” Source: LollyJane.com
Mayberry Fashion is a Canadian company, launched in 2016 in the US. Unlike Lularoe, the initial investment is not huge and you are not required to keep inventory. They also offer a line of kids clothing.
- Products: Fashion and apparel for women and children
- Who Is This Company For? The fashion-conscious woman looking for nice clothing for herself and her kids.
- Starting Investment: Stylist kits range in price from $199-$499, each with various levels of benefits and discounts for personal purchases. Stylists receive 20% commission on sales.
- Keep Inventory? No
“Love, love, love these fleece-lined leggings. Using them for jammie pants and at the end of the day, they feel so cozy getting into. Wish I had bought more pairs!” – Renee on Mayberry’s Fashion Reviews
Direct Sales for Men
Direct sales are not all fashion, makeup, and home products for women. There are also profitable direct sales companies for men!
Advocare’s tagline is “We build champions.” Unsurprisingly, their focus is on health-related products. They cater to both men and women with products that promote competitive athletics and fitness.
- Products: Fitness related shakes, supplements, and drinks
- Who is this company for? Men or women that are seeking competitive fitness levels and are serious about getting into shape.
- Starting Investment: $59 for a starter kit and up to 40% commission on products you sell.
- Keep inventory? No
- Testimonials: “Advocare is perfect for athletes who are trying to train and compete at the highest level.” -Jason Witten, TV Analyst and former Dallas tight end. Source: Advocare Home Page
Pace Products are unique in that they are not for personal use. Instead, they are in the building and property maintenance field. They boast that their roofs and blacktops will last as long as your building will. I was unable to find a commission rate, but Pace is geared towards commercial buildings instead of private individuals.
- Products: protective roof coatings, floor coatings and sealants, custom concrete, plumbing system conditioners, and de-icing products.
- Who is this company for? Men wanting to go into business for themselves (full time or on the side) in the building and property maintenance industry.
- Starting Investment: Starter kit $69.95.
- Keep inventory? No
- Testimonials: Testimonials on the Pace Products Site
Have you seen pens with a business name on them? Maybe custom printed t-shirts, caps, coolers, or other products with a business name on them? Those items may have come from Kaeser & Blair. You sell the products and they manufacture and ship them directly to the customer.
- Products: custom printed products for promoting businesses
- Who is this company for? Men or women wanting to get into direct sales, but not wanting to sell to private individuals.
- Starting Investment: $85-$299 for a starter kit, 50% commission rate.
- Keep inventory? No
- Testimonials: video testimonials found on the Kaeser & Blair Site
The Last Thing You Need to Know About Direct Sales Companies
Direct Sales companies are not a new concept. Many people like the idea of being able to make money from home, whether it be full -time or on the side. Pick a direct sales company that you love and believe in. Ask lots of questions to find the one that’s a great fit for you.
My favorite direct sales company at the moment is Beauty Counter because I have been using their products and they make my skin look great! What are your experiences with direct sales? Leave me a comment below!