Work at Home with Direct Sales on the Internet

Another great question in my inbox today:

Kelly, I’m very interested in direct sales as a business model because I think that building a downline has the greatest potential for developing a great income overtime.聽 But I want to work exclusively on the internet and I wonder if that is going to work or not.聽 Do I have to hold parties or other events in order to succeed at it?

I’m a huge fan of direct sales. I was a Home Interior’s gal when my son was a baby though you wouldn’t know it by my bare walls today 馃槈聽 I adore Pampered Chef, Mary Kay and many other direct sales businesses.聽 These ‘ready to wear’ businesses are perfect for many work at home moms.

On the flip side, I’m not a huge fan of ‘networking marketing’ when the emphasis is on the downline rather than products. Those programs are stinky and hurt far more people than they help.

Can you do direct sales entirely on the web?聽 The answer would have to be that it depends on the company you choose.

Some direct sales companies have created such a long list of restrictive rules about marketing on the web that they literally tie their representative’s hands behind their back.聽 Some forbid the use of their business name online.聽 Others allow you to mention them but provide no online marketing support.聽 Some businesses have gone to the length of providing representative websites but then make it against the rules to create web links that point to them.

If you’re serious about building a business online you will want to do research to find companies that embrace internet marketing and give you as much leeway as possible for promoting your self on the web.

You’re looking for a company with as many of these features as possible:

  • Great products
  • Direct product shipping
  • Generous commission structure
  • Good team/downline organization
  • Ecommerce ready representative websites
  • Freedom to market yourself on the web

A direct sales company that is surprisingly web friendly is Watkins.聽 I say surprising only because it’s one of the oldest companies and they are usually the stodgy ones.聽聽 My friend Melanie has built a very successful Watkins business by taking advantage of internet marketing.聽 Watkins is WAHM 2.0 friendly.聽 Melanie blogs and is quite active on Squidoo, Twitter, Facebook and other social networks.

Do you have a direct sales business that you find to be WAHM 2.0 friendly?聽 Email me about it, tell me how the company embraces the web and I’ll feature it in a future post :)


  1. Rebecca says

    You’ve got to be kidding, right? Direct sales companies are one of the worst ways to try and make money. Not only that, but most of them have clauses in the contract you sign that prevent you from marketing them yourself on the web. Please visit for more info.

  2. says

    Hi Kelly,
    I have been involved with direct sales and network companies for years and would like to say that, one company I am with is a “party plan company” to be correct. I have never done a party and have a huge organization and great monthly sales. I have run my entire business online.

    So, it is possible to do!

    Work At Home Mom Blogs last blog post..Favorite 5 Home Business Books

  3. says

    Rebecca, sorry for the late approval of your comment – it was gobbled by my spam filter and I just found it.

    I see from your website that you have a pretty firm opinion of Mary Kay and direct sales.

    But seriously, I know a lot of moms who are making a great living from direct sales – some exclusively online.

  4. says

    I’m so happy to hear your support for DS women and the companies we work for. I’ve only been with one DS company and feel very fortunate to have found one that allows its consultants to market as we wish. Cherish Bound has been very liberal and embraced the internet marketing possibilities without the limitations so many other companies put on their distributors. I do in home parties, but I also have the freedom to take my business to the next level because I don’t have internet/online restrictions.

    Tara B.s last blog post..Confessions of an Ex-Scrapbooker #16

  5. says

    I love Direct Sales! been there, than a few:)

    And I am with Kelly, I am not a great fan of anything that put a lot of emphasis on “recruiting” and forget the service and the product.

    As for marketing it online; many of the companies are now changing their policies in order to allow reps to promote their business online, and order online. You don’t have to party, and you don’t have to do the shipping. People can order it through your site.

    BUT, there are a few that are very restrictive. So carefully study their advertising policies and don’t accept verbal re-assurance from the person signing you up. Get it in writing from the head office.

  6. says

    I have never been involved in Direct Sales, until a year ago. I had in my head, they were all scams, until I came across my current business. I have been involed for a little more than a year and have a team over 150 people throughtout the country including Iraq. I few of my team members have been involved with Direct Sales before and said the companies plan didn’t allow for success, that’s why they are so relieved to have found our new company.


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