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Frequently Asked Questions 

What is Direct Selling?  
Direct Selling, as represented by DSA Member Companies, is a method of marketing and retailing consumer goods and services, based principally on face to face contact with customers. For more information see What is direct selling?  
Is Direct Selling for me?  
We are witnessing a significant widening in the range of people looking to earn additional income through direct selling including more men, under-25s and over 50s. In contrast to the difficult traditional jobs market, direct selling allows anyone to set up and run their own business. Direct selling is open to everyone over the age of 18 regardless of gender, background, education or race. 
What level of income can I expect? 
The great attraction of Direct Selling is that it offers a flexible earnings opportunity where you are in control of the income you generate. Whilst many people work their Direct Sales businesses part-time, others put in full time hours and generate a substantial income. Some companies offer the opportunity to earn from selling the product and others also offer team development programmes where you can generate further income from developing a team of other Direct Sellers. 
What should I look for in selecting a business opportunity in Direct Sales? 
You should select a business that markets products which appeal to you and which seem fairly priced. If you are enthusiastic about the product yourself, sales will be much easier to achieve. 
The appeal of company's product is much more important than the rates of commission and bonuses that are on offer. Reasonable commissions on easily achieved sales are much better than high commission on sales that are difficult to achieve. 
Look for an assurance that the business is a DSA Member. This gives an assurance that the business opportunity is legal and the company has agreed to abide by the DSA Codes. 
Can I operate a Direct Selling business from home? 
You can run a substantial Direct Selling business from your home and do a certain amount of retail sales and recruiting on the telephone and the internet although personal contact does significantly help to grow your business. Direct selling allows people to work for themselves and to run their own business in a way that fits with their lifestyle. 
What is a reasonable investment to make in a Direct Selling business? 
The amount varies with nature of the product and recommended method of sales. With most companies the investment in a business kit and a range of sample products rarely exceeds £100. The law governing MLM does not allow an investment of more than £200 in the first seven days. The great advantage of any business opportunity in Direct Sales is that it is not necessary to buy goods before you have made any sales to consumers. 
Never be tempted to buy more stock than you are certain to sell, nor be tempted to 'buy' your way into a higher position in the company's sales organisation. 
What is the difference between Direct Selling,  MLM (Multi Level Marketing) and Pyramid Schemes? 
Direct Selling 
Direct Selling is the sale of a consumer product or service by an independent sales Representative who are also sometimes referred to as Distributors or Consultants. These direct sellers are not employees of the company rather they are independent contractors who market and sell the products or services of a company in return for a commission on those sales. 
Multi Level or Network Marketing 
Network Marketing is a way of doing business in which independent sales Consultants, Distributors and Representatives earn commission not only for sales of products and services they personally generate, but also from a percentage of the sales of others who they have recruited into the business. These recruits form a 'down line' of Distributors creating a hierarchy of multiple leveraged levels of commission. 
Pyramid Schemes 
Direct selling or network marketing should not be confused with pyramid schemes. Pyramid schemes are illegal in the UK and many other countries and is a type of fraud which is disguised to look like direct selling. Pyramid schemes are where recruits pay an admission fee to join the scheme to earn commissions on persuading other to join rather than supply any real investment or sale of products or services to the public. Pyramid schemes do not offer contracts to participants, cancellation rights nor the opportunity to buy back unsold goods - all of which are required under UK law. 
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