Is Direct Selling the Right Side Hustle for You?

UPDATED: May 7, 2020
PUBLISHED: May 5, 2020
direct selling side hustle

If you’re looking for a side hustle, you’ll do a double take when you see the changes lately in an established business model. Direct selling has come a long way since your parents were ordering Amway.

In fact, this new channel is giving Amazon and other eCommerce platforms stiff competition. From changes in compensation structures to innovative new products, you’ll be surprised to see what’s happening in the world of this customizable business opportunity where you can choose your own adventure. Here are some highlights:

1. You run your own business without reinventing the wheel. 

If a franchise sounds good to you for the established business model and products, but the overhead and upkeep sound like a nightmare, direct selling’s business-building model could be ideal. You not only get to run your own business and reap the rewards of your sales, but you also often have pre-researched, guaranteed, and fan favorite products to sell right out of the gate. Can you say easy start?

2. It’s about social selling. 

Instead of going door-to-door or relying on sales tactics, today’s direct selling companies are teaching independent business owners how to create authentic customer relationships based on real results and honest feedback. This kind of social selling is similar to what our great-grandparents had at their local dry goods store: a relationship with a business owner who would go out of his way to meet their needs. 

direct selling side hustle

3. Customers are king. 

Yes, you can build a business with a direct selling company backing you, and you can teach others to build their own businesses. But you could also just sell your products to customers online and cash your profit checks. Many direct selling companies have refocused their compensation plans to ensure that retail sales—not recruiting—are the primary goal for business owners. This means you’re building a business with a loyal group of retail customers who love your products. 

4. Products are ahead of the curve. 

The latest popularity of CBD products is a perfect example of how direct selling companies stay on the forefront of research and development. As some of the first major companies to offer a stable of CBD products, direct selling organizations continually find ways to innovate new products and improve existing ones. If staying on the cutting edge of beauty, health, wellness, and lifestyle products is your thing, you’ll find a direct selling company that’s out in front.

5. You can sell services, too. 

Today’s direct selling companies are offering services that were once the closely guarded realm of local companies. From electricity to travel planning, you’ll find services you’re already using at discounted prices—and you’ll get rewards for purchasing from your own business. Imagine being able to book your next vacation or pay your electric bill and earn rewards for even more great savings. 

6. Ordering is easy and discounts abound. 

If you love Amazon’s subscription option that allows you to place products on automatic reorder each month for a discounted price, you’ll be right at home with the same practice in direct selling companies. You can switch up your products each month or keep the same ones coming in. Either way, your automatic order will give you points for free products down the road, a perk Amazon and other eCommerce platforms can’t match.

Today’s direct selling companies are taking a social approach and redefining the channel. Don’t assume that because you looked into a direct selling company a few years ago, you know what they’re all about. Keep an open mind. This updated business model is changing the face of retail and small business. It could be just the side hustle you need. 

Is a side hustle your next big move? Check out the Hustle From Home podcast for secrets to starting and scaling a side hustle, and find out!

This article originally appeared in the May/June 2020 issue of SUCCESS magazine.
Photo by GaudiLab/

Amy Anderson is the former senior editor of SUCCESS magazine, an Emmy Award-winning writer and founder of Anderson Content Consulting. She helps experts, coaches, consultants and entrepreneurs to discover their truth, write with confidence, and share their stories so they can transform their past into hope for others. Learn more at and on Facebook.