We have all been there. Forced to attend a 'party' AKA direct sales event where a friend of your friend hosting the party, tries to sell you products that are soooo much better then what you can buy in stores. Not only that, the more you buy the more you save! Not only that, you are supporting small business! And here's the kicker... Not only that, the more you buy the more free products your host friend gets! And if you book a party your host friend gets a TON more FREE product!!! Sound familiar?
This dreaded pressured sales scenario is now compounded in my adult life by direct sales infiltrating many of my close relations. They now flood my social news feed with 'deal and steals' and product testimonials, add me to online party shopping groups without asking, send me scripted spam messages about the product, and if that wasn't enough they then post rants about how disrespectful it is of their friends and family for not supporting them.
Recently I have got to thinking, why do I absolutely hate direct sales but love to support my friends who are artists? Is it just because I am an artist? I got to thinking, I also support my friends when they raise money for charity, when they have community events they are involved with, or when they start a small business without any reservation. I go to their garage sales, donate to gofundme campaigns, and buy from small family-run shops all to show my support to others in my life. So here are a few reasons I could think of why direct sales just doesn't work for me and my values.
1. I want to give the money to YOU.
I want to give my money to you because you are important to me. I don't want to give 80% to another company and 20% or less of that product value to you. (Or worse yet, my purchase only means you don't have to pay for the product yourself. ) If I am going to pay for something that is ridiculously overpriced I want all of that money to go to you my friend.
2. I want to know where my money is going.
Yes, shopping at Target means I am giving my money to Target. But they are completely transparent about it. I know 100% of my proceeds goes to Target and they are for profit. And guess what? The direct sales company you work for is a for profit company as well. How much of this $69.99 steal is actually going in your pocket? If it is less than 20% and you are doing all the work, you are getting ripped off! When I buy from an artist I know the money is going to them directly to cover their time and materials.
3. Years trumps hours every day of the week.
You may have spent hours training to learn about the product, putting together the party, throwing the party, and keeping your business in order, but guess what? Artists have spent in some cases their whole lives learning their craft. They have tried and failed more times with their work than you have even thought of with your new direct sales business venture. So don't complain about how much work you have put it, because it doesn't even come close to a lifetime of passion.
4. I actually dislike what you are selling.
Your jewelry looks last season, the same goes for the clothes, the makeup is over-priced, your fad diet doesn't seem to be helping anyone actually lose weight, the purses look like diaper bags, I don't want my nails to look like something a ten-year-old would wear, and I barely ever cook so I do not need that chopper thingy, and I don't need that many candles in my life. Did I miss anything?
5. My decision to not support direct sales is not personal.
I hate how pushy direct sales programs are. They force peer to peer sales to pressure the sales through guilt of supporting a loved one. Many of them are pyramids schemes. Yes, I said it. They are schemes. You only get rich after you get underlings to sell product. The sales person at the bottom is getting almost nothing. It is practically slave labor and I will not support a business structure where you don't make a decent hourly wage. If you factor in all the hours you actually spend I bet you would make just as much having a part-time hourly job. And bonus! You wouldn't be guilting people around you to buy things! Pressuring me into buying something actually makes me feel uncomfortable. Don't you feel guilty about putting your loved ones in that position?
So don't be offended if I disappear from your private sales party group. It doesn't mean that I don't support you as a person or you trying to make a better life for yourself and your family. In fact I am proud of you for the hustle. But I don't support being pressured into buying things I don't need while someone above you is making WAY more money than you under the guise of me being a supportive friend. It is a deceitful practice. A bate and switch. And I want my hard earned money to go directly to you for all your hard work!