How to become a Party Plan Sales Agent

  • Price: £5.99
  • Published: July 2016
  • Type: Business Opportunity Profile
  • Format: PDF
  • What qualifications and skills are required?
  • Key market issues and trends
  • Trading, commercial and legal issues
  • Legislation
  • Further information

Party plan sales agents (often known as sales consultants) sell goods and services on a 'direct selling' or face-to-face basis following an explanation or demonstration of the products they are promoting. Selling is carried out at parties organised specifically for this purpose, which are often hosted by friends or relatives of the agent.

Typical goods sold on a party plan basis include health and beauty products, jewellery and gifts, children's clothes and toys, home accessories, cookware, stationery, cards and books, handbags, shoes and fashion, and adult-themed products, including lingerie. Services such as image consultancy are also often supplied on a party plan basis.

Depending on the type of party plan scheme they are involved in, agents typically earn commission on sales, or purchase their stock at a discount before selling it at the full retail price to make a profit. Agents often obtain future bookings from other party guests.

Some direct selling organisations that provide party plan sales opportunities operate multi-level marketing (MLM) - or network marketing - schemes as a way of organising and growing their business. MLM schemes allow party plan agents to recruit other agents in their own local areas. They then earn commission on their recruits' sales in addition to their own. However, MLM is strictly regulated under the Trading Schemes Act 1996 and the Trading Schemes Regulations 1997 and it is distinct from 'pyramid selling' schemes, which are illegal in the UK.

This profile provides information about starting up and trading as a party plan sales agent. It describes the skills required, the training available, the current market trends and some of the key trading issues. It also explains the main legislation that must be complied with and provides sources of further information and support.

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