Working from home has become increasingly popular over the last decade. And it’s no wonder why!
There are many benefits to starting a business from home, including setting your own hours, working around your family’s schedule, and saving on childcare and commuting costs.
But what kind of work-from-home business do you want? A freelancing job or a job with one of the “best” direct sales companies?
We think freelancing jobs are better than direct sales, and here’s why:
- Freelancers have more control over their schedules. Direct sales can have flexibility, but some direct sales companies have requirements.
- A freelancer typically earns more money than a direct sales consultant. As a freelancer, you set your own rates and negotiate with clients directly.
- Direct sales companies often require you to buy from them and then sell products on your own.
- Many direct sales companies take a cut from your earnings. As a freelancer, you aren’t working for a direct sales company; all the money goes directly to you.
To help you decide on freelancing jobs over direct sales companies, here is a quick list of low-cost businesses that have changed our lives:
- Best For Passive Income – Blogging
- Best Career – Proofreading
- Best For Beginners – Freelance Writing
- Where To Find Better Jobs – FlexJobs
23 Best Businesses From Home
Are you interested in REALLY being your own boss and working from home? If you are, freelancing from home may be your pick over direct sales companies.
We’ve compiled a list of 23 of the best businesses to start from home that doesn’t involve direct selling for direct sales companies.
If you have a keen eye for detail and a love of language and editing, becoming a proofreader could be the perfect business for you.
There is a growing demand for these services as more and more people self-publish books and articles online. Even a beginner can make $15 – $20 an hour proofreading from home.
Want to learn more? Take the FREE workshop by Proofread Anywhere!
Blogging is a great way to share your passions and expertise with readers across the world. You can generate income through ads, affiliate marketing, or selling products or services.
We even created how-to start a blog guide to learn how to make money blogging.
Or you can check out our FREE Start Your Blog Boot Camp can help you get started the right way!
3. Facebook Ads Manager
As businesses increasingly look to Facebook to reach their target audiences, there is a growing demand for Facebook Ads managers. You’d create ads that make people want to buy!
The free Facebook Side Hustle workshop can show you how to make $1k to $2k in your spare time by managing Facebook ads for local businesses.
Bookkeeping is a great career from home that can easily pay $30 an hour- and no, you aren’t an accountant or need a degree for this!
You mainly use their records to make invoices for clients, make spreadsheets of money, record accounts payable via QuickBooks, and perform other tasks.
Learn more about becoming a bookkeeper with the free lessons from Bookkeeper Launch!
If you’re looking for a low-risk way to break into eCommerce, dropshipping might be the perfect fit for you.
You simply pick popular products on dropshipping sites, sell them on your own website or social media, and orders get filled by the dropshipping provider.
The free training by Dropship Lifestyle can help you get started!
6. Freelance Writing
With so much content being produced online, there’s a huge demand for talented writers who can create engaging and informative articles that capture readers’ attention.
You can become a freelance writer and write blog content, eBooks, research books, social media posts, and more.
And there are a lot of freelance writing tools like Jasper AI to help you write faster and more efficiently!
7. Virtual Assistant
With the rise of remote work, more businesses are looking for virtual assistants to handle daily administrative tasks.
8. eBay Seller
As an eBay seller, you can sell a wide range of products, including vintage items, collectibles, electronics, and much more.
Additionally, you buy and sell popular things you can afford and keep ALL the profit (unlike direct sales companies!), so it’s a money-making business opportunity.
9. Shopify Store
Shopify is a platform that allows you to create an online store without any prior experience or technical knowledge.
Shopify makes it easy to accept payments, track inventory, and ship orders; you only have to focus on promoting your business and making sales.
Sell whatever you like and whatever you want, just like you would with direct sales companies, but keep the profit for yourself.
10. Etsy Seller
Etsy is an online marketplace where people sell handmade goods, vintage items, and craft supplies.
You can make and sell just about anything, from paintings and printables to clothes and jewelry.
Are you a fast typist with attention to detail? If so, transcription might be the perfect work-from-home job for you.
Transcriptionists transcribe audio files into written documents, such as meeting minutes or doctor’s notes.
The free seven-lesson mini-course by Transcribe Anywhere can help jumpstart your transcription career!
12. Online Tutor
With the rise of online learning and remote education, there is a growing demand for qualified tutors who can provide personalized academic support to students of all ages.
BookNook connects tutors with students who need help with everything from math and science to writing and test prep.
13. Social Media Manager
As a social media manager, you’ll create and execute social media campaigns on behalf of businesses or organizations.
This can include anything from developing a content strategy to managing online marketing campaigns on Facebook or Twitter.
14. Flea Market Flipper
One person’s junk is another person’s treasure- and if you find the right treasures, you can make some serious profit by flipping items from flea markets and thrift stores.
Take the FREE workshop by Flea Market Flipper to learn more about finding the best items to flip online for the most money.
15. Dog Walking
Do you love spending time with animals? Starting your own dog-walking or pet-sitting business might be the perfect option.
Rover can connect you with dog parents looking to hire people to care for their doggos and spend time with them.
It takes a commission fee to set you up, but you earn more than you would from direct sales companies!
16. Graphic Design
If you have an eye for design and a creative flair, starting a graphic design business from home is the perfect way to make extra money (or even turn it into a full-time job!).
All you need is a computer and some basic design software like Canva Pro, and then you’ll be set to create profitable designs.
17. Data Entry
Data entry is another great option for those looking to work from home. It’s relatively easy work that can often be done on a flexible schedule.
You’ll need to type fast and accurately to get data into spreadsheets, and of course, you’ll need to know how to create spreadsheets.
As a YouTuber, you create and upload videos on your YouTube channel to share with your audience.
Content ranges from entertaining or informative videos on various topics such as beauty, gaming, cooking, travel, and more.
Mastering YouTube can help you learn more about starting your YouTube channel and making thousands per month from your videos.
19. Social Media Influencer
Social media management is a great work-from-home job that has become increasingly popular recently.
As a social media manager, you will create and manage content across various social media platforms, such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn.
You can use programs like Surfer SEO to create content that engages and interests readers and use the keywords needed to rank well on Google!
20. Web Developer
You can work from anywhere with a stable internet connection as a web developer. If you have some coding skills, this is for you!
Many companies seek skilled web developers to help create and maintain their websites or web applications.
21. Real Estate Agent
As a real estate agent, you will be responsible for helping clients buy, sell, or rent properties.
Real estate agents often have the flexibility to work from home, making it a great option for those who want to work remotely.
22. Website Tester
Website testing is a great way to earn some extra cash. Companies need help to make sure their websites are user-friendly, responsive, and bug-free.
As a website tester, you test websites for usability, functionality, and compatibility across different devices and browsers. Then you provide feedback on how things worked.
23. Mystery Shopper
Mystery shopping is a job where companies pay you to pose as a regular customer and provide feedback on your experience.
This feedback helps companies improve their customer service and overall business operations. It can also be done from home, though it doesn’t hurt to get out to shop!
15 Best Direct Sales Companies
Though we aren’t a fan of direct sales companies, we recognize that you want to know your options.
We think freelancing your skills is better than direct sales, but you must research yourself and pick what works for you.
You may decide that the right direct sales company is your thing, and direct sales commissions are how you want to make money.
Our research has identified these as among the best direct sales companies:
1. Pampered Chef
Starting Investment: $100 – $200
Types of Products: Kitchen tools, small appliances, cookware, bakeware, and pantry items
Pampered Chef is considered the best direct sales company. They specialize in high-quality kitchen tools and cookware designed to make food preparation more convenient.
I’ve gotten baking sheets from Pampered Chef, and I’ve been impressed by their quality- which means you might have other interested customers!
Starting Investment: $139
Types of Products: Food storage solutions, kitchen tools, baking tools
One of the best direct sales companies is Tupperware. Tupperware makes strong containers for our kitchen, and you can host parties to promote and sell their products.
People love them because they keep the air out and don’t leak. Almost everyone I know has been to at least one Tupperware party to get a hands-on demo of the containers.
3. Color Street
Starting Investment: $129
Types of Products: Stick-on nail polish
Color Street is a direct sales company that sells stick-on nail polish. The polish is applied to the nails like a sticker that gives the appearance of a professional manicure.
Color Street offers a commission-based compensation plan, with sales associates earning 25% commission weekly.
4. Mary Kay
Starting Investment: $30 – $130
Types of Products: Makeup, skincare products, fragrances, men’s skincare
Sales Model: In-home product parties
Mary Kay is a well-known direct sales company that sells makeup products.
Regarding commission rates, Mary Kay is known for offering some of the best rates for their multi-level marketing business opportunity.
Starting Investment: $0 & Get a FREE Welcome Kit
Types of Products: Cosmetics, skincare products, fragrances, jewelry, and more
Avon is also one of the few direct sales companies that offer a free starter kit when you sign up as an independent representative.
Getting the free starter kit (valued at $300!) makes it much easier for new reps to start as direct sellers without investing money upfront.
Commissions vary depending on the sales rep’s performance, but Avon offers a commission rate of up to 30% for each sale.
Starting Investment: $499
Types of Products: Clothing for men, women, and kids; mainly leggings
Lularoe is a direct sales company founded by DeAnne Stidham and her husband in 2012. They are known for their cute, colorful clothing with unique patterns and styles.
The starter kits seem expensive, but if a rep sells clothing and everything in it for the full price, the estimated payout is over $2,500!
Starting Investment: $99 – $499
Types of Products: Jewelry
Paparazzi is a direct sales place for affordable, trendy jewelry. Their pieces are constantly changing and on-trend, so you don’t have to worry about seeing the same thing anywhere else.
Paparazzi sells jewelry for just $5 each- an unbeatable price. They even have a line specifically designed with kids in mind, featuring jewelry starting at just $1 per piece.
8. Tastefully Simple
Starting Investment: $19.99 to $99
Types of Products: Meal Kits and other prepared meals
Tastefully Simple is one of the food direct sales companies that offers meal kits and prepared meals for people who want a convenient and delicious way to enjoy their favorite dishes.
You sell products through hosting online parties or direct sales to customers, allowing them to spread the word about Tastefully Simple’s offerings.
9. Usborne (Books)
Starting Investment: $10 – $99
Types of Products: Children’s books
Have you ever heard of Usborne Books? They offer a variety of books and learning resources for kids from infancy to young adulthood.
I’ve been buying them for my pre-k kids, and it’s been a wonderful way to encourage reading. They’re also great for homeschooling moms looking to cultivate their children’s reading skills.
You don’t need to keep any stock on hand with Usborne Books, and you don’t have to meet monthly minimums to be a book representative.
Starting Investment: $99; $10 a month for Scentsy website
Types of Products: Wax warmers, diffusers, bath items, and laundry detergents
If you’re looking for an easy way to make extra income, becoming an independent consultant with Scentsy may be just the ticket!
With a starter kit costing only $99 and a low monthly fee of $10 for your Scentsy website, it’s an affordable way to take advantage of the direct sales model and make money quickly.
Starting Investment: $39.95 plus $15.95 each month after signing up
Types of Products: Beachbody fitness programs and Nutritionals
You’ll be able to provide customers with streaming at-home workouts and health supplements as a Beachbody Coach and build your own business with this direct sales company.
Your Starter Kit is in-depth, with the Digital Coach Welcome Book, 30-day access to the online Coach Office, plus key tools for effective management and marketing.
Starting Investment: $23.96
Types of Products: Health & wellness, personal care, nails & beauty
BeneYou is a direct sales company that offers high-quality health and wellness products, including supplements, skincare, and wellness accessories.
As a BeneYou rep, you’ll promote these products to your friends, family, and other potential customers and earn a commission on any sales resulting from your efforts.
Starting Investment: $100 annually
Types of Products: Nutrition, beauty, personal care, and home products
Amway is one of the most well know direct sales businesses. It offers various products, from health products and supplements to home cleaning supplies.
You’ll need to purchase a starter kit, which includes many products and marketing materials and tools to help you promote them.
14. Seint Beauty
Starting Investment: $99 – $450
Types of Products: Makeup, skincare, perfume, brushes, palettes, and other beauty products
Being a Seint beauty consultant is a rewarding and exciting opportunity to help others feel confident and beautiful.
As a consultant, you’ll sell skincare and beauty products designed to enhance natural beauty and improve overall skin health.
15. Discovery Toys
Starting Investment: $20 – $189
Types of Products: Educational toys, games, and books
Discovery Toys is a direct sales company that sells premium-quality educational toys, games, and books that promote learning through play.
As a Discovery Toys representative, you’ll show and sell these products to earn a commission on your sales while also having the flexibility to work your own schedule.
16. Wineshop at Home
Starting Investment: $25 – $239
Types of Products: Wine
Wineshop at Home offers a direct sales opportunity for wine enthusiasts looking to share their love of wine with others.
You’ll host wine tastings and events, sell wines, and earn commission on your sales. The company ships directly to the customer, so you don’t need to carry any inventory.
17. Thirty-One Gifts
Starting Investment: $20
Types of Products: Stylish handbags, totes, backpacks, pillows, and other printed goods
Thirty-One Gifts is a one-stop place for people to buy things that fit their fashion dreams or house aesthetics.
They offer a wide selection of stylish handbags, totes, backpacks, pillows, and other printed goods that keep you on trend.
Starting Investment: $19
Types of Products: Essential oils, weight-loss, nutritional supplements
From weight loss supplements to essential oils, Melaleuca is a wellness company that sells personal care products designed to improve health and nutrition.
Their line of over 400 products includes some of the best wellness products on the market, making it a one-stop shop for health and wellness.
19. Young Living
Starting Investment: $100
Types of Products: Essential oils and other wellness products
Young Living is another direct sales company promoting alternative health products.
Young Living sells essential oils and other personal products, which you buy and resell as your direct sales business.
While direct sales companies may seem like a good choice, the multi-level marketing trap of direct sales companies requires significant investment with little guarantee of success with direct selling.
Freelancing might be the perfect solution if you want a more flexible way to earn a living.
Unlike direct sales companies, freelancing allows you to work independently without being tied to a specific direct sales or product.
Earn your own money by starting your own business, freelancing your skills, and keeping all the profit for yourself.
Skip the direct sales “business” and start on FlexJobs today to see what freelance jobs are available!