Sep 14, 2008

Shopping and Swapping Groups

When I started my direct sales business in 2006, I soon discovered another method to network with other WAHMs - shopping and swapping groups. Most of my experiences in the groups have been great.

So what is a shopping or swapping group? In short the norm is that consultants are put into buying groups and take turns as Consultant of the month. So depending on group size you get one to a half-dozen purchases when it's your turn as COTM. Group rules vary and buying minimums and deadlines vary as well: $10 min, $15 min, $25 min and build a downline, compete with your ads/sales to get shoppers no guarantees for a grab, and on and on.

Through trial and yes even a little error - I've discovered the best for my needs are Grab groups and Swap groups. In a grab group every consultant gets grabbed by someone else in the group - so you make one purchase monthly for the minimum amount. It's a neat way to try out products from other companies, network and meet other direct sales folk/WAHMs from across the country and build a little volume. Sometimes your grabber will spend more than the minimum - so that's where you may have a positive benefit to your personal sales volume. My favorite is Home Shopping Club with only a minimum $10 purchase monthly.

The other type of swapping group I've had great experiences on is Direct Sales Swap and Trade. In this trading group - each member is required to list or grant a minimum of five items monthly. Items might be new items or unopened discontinued merchandise that is collecting dust in your own inventory. You can even list used /white elephant type items like that DVD you bought and only watched once. You list or grant items at your own set value -- this value should include what you feel is fair for the item (retail or sale value) plus shipping (which you will out of pocket to send the item on). When your listed items are grabbed - you will receive a "trade credit" value to your own DSST bank which then allows you to grab items -- usually over 1000 listings from every direct sales company imaginable. Group moderators keep things in check by ensuring and monitoring that grabbed items are shipped and crediting/debiting from banks as appropriate.

If you try any of these types of groups out - start out slow to see if it really belongs in your marketing mix. Some of them have referral bonuses too - when you bring in new members and that could be HUGE for your month's volume just based on new member purchases or bonuses.

I've inherited a shopping group to moderate called Consultant-of-the-month Club - it is at a crossroads and needs some new energy - so we're toying with adjusting the rules to meet the needs of the remaining members and anyone new who'd like to join. One idea is to change from $10mo/6month cycle to a 4month cycle for more frequent COTM opportunities. I'd love feedback and questions about this topic.

blog comments powered by Disqus
LinkWithin Related Stories Widget for Blogs