Think you have a unique, never-before-seen product? Think again.
© 2013, Jeffrey Babener
Direct selling, that is to say, selling directing from one person to another, was established with the advent of
agriculture, the domestication of animals, and the rise of archaic states, where surplus food stocks of grain and
meat, population growth, and the rise of a class-based systems gave way to trading and bartering cultures in as
early as the Neolithic period of human prehistory. From that time on, humans have negotiated their goods in a
direct selling fashion.
With the rise of the Industrial Revolution (18th and 19th centuries and before), goods became mass produced and
the need for traders to negotiate sales of those goods to distant locations prevailed.
In America, the Yankee Peddler arose from this transition, who traveled the early colonies of Connecticut (in the
1600s) door-to-door selling goods such as clocks, tinware, and surpluses of farmed goods (for more information on
direct selling history order Attorney Jeff Babener’s book Network Marketing: What you should know). This continued
as a means of transporting goods until in the 1800s when several companies institutionalized the door-to-door
The Watkins Company first appeared in 1868, selling cosmetics, spices, and food-related items; Southwestern
Publishing was founded in 1855, selling bibles marketed by college students; and in 1896, the currently-titled
company Avon launched as a perfume distributor, all of which and among others sparked the age of
institutionalized direct selling.
The purpose of this brief historical overview is to reiterate that billions of people have bought, bartered, and sold
goods in the expansive time period of human history and prehistory, and within roughly the last 400 years – with
the growth of institutionalized direct selling – every type of product has been thought of and tried, from motor bikes
to liquid vitamins.
As of today, direct selling companies are marketing everything from medical marijuana to video social networking.
Industry Leader Attorney Jeff Babener states, “I’ve been in the direct selling industry for over twenty years and I
rarely hear of a product that I haven’t heard of before.”
Truly discovering a “new” idea or product is quite literally statistically rare. More likely, an entrepreneur will improve
on an existing idea, such as wickless candles.
It is noteworthy here to mention that companies offering intangible products (such as prayers or wishes) should be
seriously avoided, as should companies offering no product, but rather offer a cash-building pyramid structure
(more is available here on gifting club schemes). So too should entrepreneurs use caution when their innovating
product idea involves intangible products or no products at all.
However, just because a company doesn’t have a never-before-seen product doesn’t mean that its products are
not worth selling. For example, there are hundreds of companies that sell cosmetics and skincare products but
market them in different ways, offer variances on their compensation structure, add a unique twist to their particular
product, or all of the above. The great variety in direct selling products is exactly what inspires new ideas and
invigorates others. The important thing to remember is to find a product line that is intimate to you offered through
a credible company. Visit www.mlmlegal.com for vast amounts of direct selling industry information.
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© Jeffrey Babener, 2013