Is direct selling the solution for cash-strapped households looking to bring in some extra green?
According to the AP, Avon, Tupperware, Mary Kay Cosmetics etc. are seeing a swelling of their sales forces of late from part-timers trying to make ends meet.
Armies of new Avon ladies, Mary Kay reps and Tupperware sellers are advancing on living rooms across the country, their ranks full of professionals forced to take a second job amid the recession.
This trend is not new, as a glance at the data from previous recessions makes clear:
In the 1990-1991 recession, the number of direct sellers increased 8% to 5.1 million Americans. In the 2001 recession, the work force increased to 12.2 million.
And while 2008 figures are not yet available, in 2007 an estimated 15 million people nationwide were in direct sales. Some 58% of became reps as a second job, according to the Direct Selling Association, a trade group that represents 200 U.S. companies.
More great news…I was just sitting around the house this weekend saying to myself, “You know what I could use more of? More desperate housewives ringing my doorbell trying to sell us stuff we don’t need.”
Attention Avon, Tupperware et al: My wife has the internet now…it’s cool, she can buy stuff from home without any assistance. Keep walking.