I had a great time last weekend celebrating our country’s 232nd birthday. My family and I ventured to downtown Washington DC (even though I go there everyday for work, on major holidays like July 4, it’s definitely an adventure). We had a great view of both the Capitol and the Washington Monument from the top of one of the many government buildings adjacent to the mall. My kids were duly impressed by the grandeur of it all, and we spent most of the ride home talking about which shape and color of fireworks was the best. It had been a few years since I’d taken part in our country’s birthday celebration in any significant way (other than watching fireworks on TV) so I took a few minutes to reflect on how lucky we are to be able to celebrate our Independence.
Of course, one of the other staples of any holiday weekend, especially one where millions of hard-working Americans find themselves with an extra day off, are in-store sales. Dozens, even hundreds, of ads proclaim the great deals that can be had from sea to shining sea. I did venture to the local shopping mall at the behest of my daughter, who at four is a verified shop-a-holic, and the sea of people I found there was fairly reminiscent of the sea of people that had been present the day before on the National mall.
I didn’t find too many great deals, but since my mind is never far from direct selling, as I was watching the crowd and sipping on my lite coffee Frappuccino while we took a quick rest, I was reminded that shopping in the home offers respite from several common aspect of the mall that are often better left behind:
- crowded parking lots and stores, especially around the holidays
- salespeople who aren’t familiar with the products
- impersonal shopping experiences that don’t provide a high level of customer service
Instead, direct selling takes place in the comfort of your own home (or the home of a friend, relative or coworker) with a knowledgeable sales representative who cares a lot about her products and works hard to personalize each shopping experience.
Clearly, direct selling will never completely replace retail shopping. I shop at the mall like most others, but it’s nice to know that direct selling can offer a little independence from the traditional shopping experience.