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Direct Seller

Direct sellers demonstrate and sell products such as books, candles, clothing, cookware, cosmetics, costume jewellery, craft supplies, gourmet food, hobby items, household cleaning products, toys and vitamins.

  • Avg. Salary $37,991.00
  • Avg. Wage $21.98
  • Minimum Education Varies
  • Outlook above avg
  • Employed 3,900
  • In Demand Lower
Also Known As

Product Demonstrator, Salesperson

NOC Codes

In Canada, the federal government groups and organizes occupations based on a National Occupational Classification (NOC) system. This alis occupation may not reflect the entire NOC group it is part of. Data for the NOC group can apply across multiple occupations.

The NOC system is updated every 5 years to reflect changes in the labour market. Government forms and labour market data may group and refer to an occupation differently, depending on the system used. Here is how this occupation has been classified over time:

  • 2006 NOC: Direct Distributors (6623.1) 
  • 2006 NOC-S: Other Elemental Sales Occupations (G973) 
  • 2011 NOC: Other sales related occupations (6623) 
  • 2016 NOC: Other sales related occupations (6623) 
Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years

37%
37%
Average Wage
Starting
Overall
Top
  • Certification Not Regulated
  • Strength Required Lift up to 5 kg
Interest Codes
The Direct Seller is part of the following larger National Occupational Classification (NOC).
Direct Distributors
METHODICAL

Interest in copying information to present sample products and catalogues, and to explain desirable qualities of products

SOCIAL

Interest in persuading customers by soliciting sales of goods and services directly to individuals or at sales parties

directive

Interest in handling merchandise to canvass prospective customers; may develop lists of prospective customers or follow leads supplied by management, and may distribute advertising literature and provide samples

Reading Interest Codes
A Quick Guide

The interest code helps you figure out if you’d like to work in a particular occupation. 
It’s based on the Canadian Work Preference Inventory (CWPI), which measures 5 occupational interests: Directive, Innovative, Methodical, Objective and Social.

Each set of 3 interest codes is listed in order of importance.

A code in capital letters means it’s a strong fit for the occupation.

A code in all lowercase letters means the fit is weaker.

Learn More

Duties
Updated Dec 15, 2016

Direct sellers sell goods to consumers. They are usually self-employed. They travel to customers’ homes to make sales. They may also sell goods at fairs, trade shows and booths in shopping malls.

Duties and responsibilities vary but, in general, direct sellers:

  • set up displays and demonstrations
  • give out samples, advertising and catalogues
  • explain how products work
  • write orders, accept payments and pass orders to others to process
  • buy products from companies at wholesale prices
  • deliver goods to customers and track orders sent by the company
  • show how orders can be placed online
  • attend meetings to learn about new products and special offers
  • learn new sales skills.

Most direct sellers do not sell products door to door. They contact people by telephone, in person, through social media and online promotions, or by holding home parties for groups.

Those who sell in person:

  • find new customers through people they know
  • encourage customers to recommend them to others
  • show product samples to friends, relatives and others
  • work in a select area or, more often, look for customers anywhere.

Those who hold sales parties:

  • demonstrate how the product(s) work in people’s homes
  • reward hosts by giving them merchandise or other benefits
  • ask attendees to host sales parties at their homes.

Direct sellers are often asked to recruit others and help them get started.

Working Conditions
Updated Dec 15, 2016

Most direct sellers work part time from their own homes. Some work full time. Their work involves travel to homes and other sales locations.

  • Strength Required Lift up to 5 kg
Skills & Abilities
Updated Dec 15, 2016

Direct sellers need to have:

  • self-motivation
  • enthusiasm
  • a willingness to learn about the goods they sell
  • a willingness to work with people
  • an ability to manage their time well.

They should enjoy:

  • telling people about their products
  • selling goods
  • taking responsibility for projects.
Educational Requirements
Updated Dec 15, 2016

There are no education or experience requirements. Having worked in customer service or sales is an asset. It helps to speak more than one language.

Some companies offer support to increase sales. Support may include training programs, contests or promotions. Training programs and materials are usually free or low cost.

Those thinking about direct sales should research any company they’re considering working for. This is very important if money has to be spent in advance (for example, to buy samples to show customers). Factors to consider include:

  • company reputation
  • number of years in business
  • business record
  • product and sales integrity.

For a broad list of programs and courses that may be related to this occupation try searching using keywords.

Certification Requirements
Updated Dec 15, 2016

Direct sellers may need a municipal business licence.

Employment & Advancement
Updated Dec 15, 2016

Most direct sellers are self-employed. They operate the business from their home and pay their own vehicle and travel expenses.

Advancement opportunities may take the form of more or better sales areas. Direct sellers may also bring on new employees and supervise them.

Direct sellers are part of the larger 2011 National Occupational Classification 6623: Other elemental sales occupations. In Alberta, 80% of people employed in this classification work in the following industries:

The employment outlook [pdf] in this occupation will be influenced by a wide variety of factors including:

  • trends and events that affect overall employment (especially in the industries listed above)
  • location in Alberta
  • employment turnover (work opportunities that come up when people leave existing positions)
  • occupational growth (work opportunities that come up when new positions are created)
  • size of the occupation.

Employment turnover is expected to increase as members of the baby boom generation retire over the next few years.

In Alberta, the G973: Other Elemental Sales Occupations occupational group is expected to have an above-average annual growth of 1.8% from 2016 to 2020. In addition to job openings created by employment turnover, 97 new positions are forecasted to be created within this occupational group each year.

Wage & Salary
Updated Dec 15, 2016

Direct sellers’ earnings vary from month to month and from year to year because they are based on commission. Commissions may increase with sales volume. Direct sellers may receive additional income based on sales generated by any new direct sellers they recruit.

Other sales related occupations

Survey Methodology

Survey Analysis

Overall Wage Details
Average Wage
Average Salary
Hours Per Week

Hourly Wage
For full-time and part-time employees
  • Low
  • High
  • Average
  • Median
Starting
Overall
Top
Wages* Low (5th percentile) High (95th percentile) Average Median
Starting $15.00 $28.85 $18.43 $17.50
Overall $16.00 $38.29 $21.98 $18.75
Top $15.00 $42.74 $25.61 $20.00

Swipe left and right to view all data. Scroll left and right to view all data.

* All wage estimates are hourly except where otherwise indicated. Wages and salaries do not include overtime hours, tips, benefits, profit shares, bonuses (unrelated to production) and other forms of compensation.

B: Good Reliability
Data Reliability Code Definition

Good Reliability, represents a CV of between 6.01% and 15.00% and/or fewer than 30 survey observations and/or if survey observations represent less than 50% of all estimated employment for the occupation.


Industry Information
Wholesale Trade
Manufacturing
ALL INDUSTRIES
Retail Trade

Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years

37%
37%)

Recruiting Employers that Experienced Hiring Difficulties

51%
51%

Employers with Unfilled Vacancies of over 4 Months

9%
9%

Vacancy Rate

4%
Related Post-Secondary Field of Study
  • Business, Management and Administrative Studies

Updated Mar 15, 2018. The information contained in this profile is current as of the dates shown. Salary, employment outlook, and educational program information may change without notice. It is advised that you confirm this information before making any career decisions.

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