Avon, Mary Kay Defy Recession
By Drew Nelles,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 13, 2009 8:50 AM CDT
Phil Risch of Wilmette, Ill., talks with Lori Ingram of Avon Products Inc., at a job fair in Chicago.   (AP Photo/M. Spencer Green, file)
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(Newser) – More and more recession-plagued Americans are turning to direct-sales companies like Avon for extra income, the AP reports. Mary Kay saw its sales force grow by 22% this year, and Tupperware also reports higher profits and more salespeople. "'I need money.' That's what I've been hearing since about November," an Avon rep says. "There are no hobby seekers coming here.”

Direct sales work typically becomes more popular during tough economic times; although 2008 figures aren’t available, the recessions of the early '90s and 2001 both accounted for significant bumps. Plus, direct sales work still pays off after the economy strengthens. If “you create a solid foundation now, then just wait until the economy comes out of the down cycle and goes into an up cycle,” one expert says.