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Sell Buzz 08/05

Sell your stuff at parties, online advertising and more

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This story appears in the August 2005 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Andrew Shure would love to party with your pets. The 42-year-old owner of Shure Pets, a Chicago pet products company that sells pet accessories, including Hawaiian shirts for dogs, water dishes shaped like bistro mugs and more, bet his business model on the fact that direct selling through home parties would be successful. And he was right: Almost two years after startup, his company has added more than 530 independent consultants throughout the country and Puerto Rico, bringing projected 2005 sales to $1 million.

That kind of growth is not uncommon, says Amy Robinson of the Direct Selling Association. In-home sales accounted for 62 percent of the $29.5 billion in direct sales in 2003, she says. Home parties appeal to people with busy lives and can work for everything from golf clubs to scrapbooking supplies. Robinson offers these tips for success:

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