Article: Direct sales companies draw local workers

Job cuts, smaller bonuses and scaled–back hours have pushed more people than ever to become direct–sellers, a phenomenon industry experts have seen before, said Amy Robinson, of the Washington, D.C.–based Direct Selling Association.

“It’s definitely not recession-proof, otherwise we’d never see downturns and only see gains,” said Robinson. “We call it recession resistant. We are absolutely affected by a bad economy. People don’t stop spending. They spend differently.”

The $30 billion industry offers a variety of products and holds steady even when retail numbers drop. More than 74 percent of the American public has purchased goods through direct sales.

Robinson said less than 10 percent work full–time and the majority are in it for supplemental income. The median salary for a direct–sales consultant is $2,400 and only about 2 percent of direct–sellers earn six figures.

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