62% of UK’s direct sellers juggle an additional job

51% of direct sellers work fewer than 10 hours per week, with almost 95% claiming to only work part time on their business

62% of the UK’s 400,000 direct sellers, equating to 248,000 individuals, also have another job, according to research from the Direct Selling Association (DSA).

The study has shown that 51% of direct sellers work fewer than 10 hours per week, leaving themselves time to develop other skills and build a “composite career” – which the DSA defines as “combining a variety of part-time jobs to create a full-time career that suits your lifestyle and interests”.

The research cites a reduction in the number of full-time jobs and a boom in the sharing economy as having caused a shift in attitudes towards flexible working, with almost 95% of sellers working part time on their business.

Direct sellers are involved in a huge variety of other jobs including everything from golf pros and accountants, to yoga teachers and therapists.

Respondents also revealed that they are increasingly taking advantage of social media, with 38% choosing Facebook as the most effective channel for reaching consumers.

Direct selling involves selling products bought from a catalogue delivered by the sellers, buying products in a group party environment – such as Ann Summers’ sex toy party concept, started by Jacqueline Gold – products demonstrated in a customers’ home or products bought at an event such as a craft fair.

US company Avon, founded in 1886, is the second largest direct selling business in the world and is set to move its headquarters to the UK after completing the sale of its US arm earlier this year.

Members of the DSA, which promotes the sector and regulates members, include Stella & Dot, Amway, Usborne Books at Home and Forever Living. Last year, research from the DSA showed that there had been a significant increase in the number of young people involved in direct selling.

Lynda Mills, director general of the DSA, commented:

“Our results show that 56% of respondents were drawn to direct selling due to the flexibility to design your own career and take on numerous jobs that interest you. This new kind of work can provide the security of more than one source of income, plus the opportunity to work around your lifestyle.”

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