Direct Sales Ideas: Thing to Sell, Sourcing Inventory & How to Do It

In today’s post, I’d like to share some of my best direct sales ideas.

I want to do three things in this article. First off, I’ll provide you a large list of things you can sell via direct selling. After I do that, I will share some tips on how to source your products. Finally, I’ll cover some different VENUES or WAYS to sell your products. Enjoy.

direct sales ideasDirect Sales Ideas: Things to Sell

Just to keep things interesting, I’d like to share a few ideas on things you could sell via direct selling. I’ve listed them in alphabetical order to keep things simple.

  1. Antiques
  2. Baseball Cards
  3. Cable Television
  4. Clothing
  5. Coffee
  6. Coins
  7. Consumables
  8. Cookware
  9. Energy Drinks
  10. Food
  11. Gold & Silver
  12. Guns
  13. Insurance
  14. Jewelry
  15. Knives
  16. Legal Documents or Services
  17. Makeup & Cosmetics
  18. Perfume
  19. Pet Products
  20. Purses & Handbags
  21. Real Estate
  22. Solar
  23. Skin Care
  24. Tea
  25. Training
  26. Vitamins
  27. Watches
  28. Weight Loss
  29. Website Services

This is list is by no means exclusive. There are many other things you could sell. The sky is the limit. When choosing a product or service to sell, I believe there are several things you should look for:

Mass Market Appeal

The more “potential” buyers you have for your product or service the better. Of course, there is nothing wrong with niche products either, if there is a large enough pool of potential buyers to choose from, and they are easy to get in touch with. With all things aside, I would always pick a “mass market” product myself.

Profit Margins

You won’t make much money if you’re just earning a few dollars profit per sale. Ideally, you want items that give you large margins. I’d aim for minimum 30 to 50 percent of the selling price as a baseline.

In the apparel segment of retail, brands typically aim for a 30-50% wholesale profit margin, while direct-to-consumer retailers aim for a profit margin of 55-65%. ~ Shopify

Your Passion or Belief in the Product

It helps a lot if you have a strong passion for the product or service you are selling. Yes, you can still sell stuff you aren’t passionate about, but it’s a lot easier to find something you really love and sell that.

If you don’t feel good about your product, you can’t expect your prospects to feel good about it. Showing honest enthusiasm for your product helps your customers feel more comfortable about buying it. Also, your presentation will gain credibility if you can say you own your product and use it yourself. Tell prospects how you’ve used it and how it’s helped you. Collect testimonials that will not only help you sell to new customers but will also remind you of your product’s value and the number of people who enjoy it. Strengthen your presentations by thinking of new applications for your product and submit ideas on how your company can make it even better. ~

be passionate about what you are sellingSourcing Your Products

You have several options when it comes sourcing your products.

Make Your Own Products

If you have a unique product or service that you created yourself, direct sales could be the way to go. Perhaps you have a great soap. Or maybe you’ve created a great weight loss product. The major benefit of taking this approach is you will typically have higher profit margins per product, when compared to your other choices.

The major problem with this option is that you have too many hats to wear. You have to manufacture the products, handle inventory, run the office and do the selling. With this option, it might be a better fit to hire someone to do your direct selling for you.

Team Up with a Manufacturer

You could team up with a manufacturer or drop shipper and sell their products. You might be assigned to a territory, or even have a quota, but the good thing is you will have a company backing you and supporting you. Before you sign an agreement with a manufacturer, please read the agreement. Make sure you understand what is allowed and what isn’t allowed. You might even want to have your attorney review the document with you.

Network Marketing Company

This is my favorite way to do direct sales. You team up with a network marketing company. They handle everything: the payments, shipping, inventory, R&D, customer service, etc. All you do is focus on selling and they take care of the rest. When it comes to choosing a MLM Company, you want a company with a good reputation, great products, a good wholesale/retail markup, lots of training, and a company that is distributor friendly. Do your due diligence. Talk to successful distributors, the owners and the BBB or Direct Selling Association.

Ways to Do Direct Selling

In today’s internet age, there are many ways to do direct selling. Here are a few options you have.


I’m personally a huge fan of direct mail, especially postcards. If you have a product with a nice profit margin this might just be the easiest way to do direct selling.


Facebook ads allow you to reach out to specific groups of people. Plus, you can join groups with people in your target market, or even sell on your timeline if it is a mass market item.


YouTube videos are a great way to make sales. You can educate potential buyers about your item. Or you can make educational videos about the benefits of the item you are selling. For example, if you are selling weight loss products, you could make educational weight loss videos.

In Person

In person works. You can set appointments with prospects and meet with them at their homes or at coffee shops.

Classified Ads

Classified ads are still a good way to sell certain items. Just make sure you have a way to capture leads and put together a good follow-up system.

Flea Markets

Flea markets are a great way to do direct sales. At our local flea market people sell guns, gold, coins, antiques, food, coffee, pet products and just about anything you can imagine.

Home Parties

Home parties are a great way to do direct selling. Think of the Tupperware or Pampered Chef reps who sell their products via home parties. You can sell to 10-20 people at one time, which can result in a large earnings per hour.


You could sell your products on eBay, Etsy or another third party site that already has a large group of buyers. You will pay a fee of 10 to 25 percent to leverage their customer base, but it’s still a good deal.

Your Own Website

Having your own website is a good idea. The major struggle with having your own website is getting traffic. Without traffic, it doesn’t matter how pretty your website is. That’s why it might be best to leverage a third-party website that already has customers waiting to buy in direct sales

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, these are some of my best direct sales ideas. If you are considering a career in direct sales, good for you. Assuming you have in-demand products and some basic salesmanship skills, the sky is the limit. Just follow the advice in this article and you will be well on your way.

What are your thoughts? What are some of your best direct sales ideas? Leave a comment below to let me know what you think. I look forward to hearing from you.

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chuck holmes


Chuck Holmes
Network Marketing Professional (since 2002)
Author, Blogger, & Entrepreneur

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