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#1 of 83 Old 04-11-2006, 01:00 PM - Thread Starter
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So I'm thinking about signing up for Natural Baby Boutique- and would like to hear from those of you who have gone to parties, or are consultants.

What do you think about the selling? Are people willing to buy at retail price at parties? I know I am always looking for deals and discounts online, and rarely pay retail price. But it seems like I could offer discounts also.

Those of you who have websites, do you really find people buying through your link? Why would you buy through a consultant's link rather than just finding the cheapest discount at another website?

The parties.... ahh! I would feel kind of awkward hosting parties, and asking people to come... but I imagine it would become easier with practice and confidence?

I also really like the idea of having all these great stuff IRL to share with other families, being able to really check out everything rather than ordering stuff online sight unseen. BUT that would mean ordering a lot of stuff to start off with!

But, what I really like about this is the opportunity to share attachment parenting concepts and natural family living stuff to the Deaf community- sometimes Deaf people can get left out of the loop. I'm thinking of doing a booth at big Deaf expos, that sort of thing.... But the fee for an big expo would be around $250. I'd have to sell $1,000 worth of stuff just to pay for the booth!! Whoo.

Thoughts??
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#2 of 83 Old 04-11-2006, 02:03 PM
 
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I have been to one of the parties. The advantage, IMO, to this from a home sales perspective is that you do have to order this stuff online because mainstream stores do not sell it. Also, your customers...probably SAHM or moms who wish they did, are more willing to support a WAHM, so if you do a good website and generate a good email newsletter, I think you could do well. I get alot of attention just by wearing my babe, so you probably have the advertising already. Good luck!
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#3 of 83 Old 04-11-2006, 08:44 PM
 
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There will always be people who want to find the absolute cheapest price out there. They are probably not your customers. You can find other audiences and it sounds like the deaf community may be yours.

First, you can find NFB products elsewhere, but rarely can you find all this stuff in one place with one S&H charge.
Second, you won't be hosting parties, but people who want to get the hostess rewards will be and THEY'LL be the ones asking people to come. Your job is to get the hostess excited and then that'll infect the guests.
Third, People ARE willing to be retail price for the customer service that comes with it. I've been selling diapers are retail price for almost two years now. Yes, perhaps some people found them cheaper elsewhere. But many stuck with me b/c I walked them through their journey. I was always there to answer questions and help them choose what would work best for their families.
Fouth, the advantage of direct sales is that you have a model that works and people to help you succeed. The other advantage is that that is a model and you can take your own spin. For me, I focus on diaper registries and parenting classes (diapering, potty learning, slings, etc). I get to meet moms and build a relationship with them and that is invaluable in this business. Since in my community, I'm the "Diaper Lady," I now get referrals! Relationships are everything. That's why I don't consider myself a "sales person" but I can do well. B/c I really focus on the mom and her needs and she usually ends up buying accordingly!
Last, you won't have to order a bunch of stuff to start. Your kit will contain a ton of stuff to get you started. After that, if you really try, you'll earn incentives and each month with NFB you have the opportunity to earn items at huge discounts! You can build gradually that way.
I've personally found it best to find your niche within the NFB products. Some people do well with the toys, others with the bodycare line, etc.

I hope I've helped some. Pls feel free to ask any questions!

Oh.....I always say, "direct sales will work if you work it." It's not instant, but if you dedicate yourself to it consistently (2 hours a week? 4? 6?) you'll see results!

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#4 of 83 Old 04-11-2006, 09:46 PM - Thread Starter
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Hey Yitlan, thanks for the great advice! BTW, I remember you from that Mothering article. Do you ever work with the Deaf community? Are you near NMSD?

I like your thought about having parenting classes also, and meeting moms and building a network through that... that's exactly what I hope to get from NFB- the opportunity to present AP ideas and concepts and natural living materials to my community. My niche may be a bit limited in that I could mostly present to Deaf or signing families, but I am where I am.

And these ARE products that I use, and love! So I feel I could do this.

Some random thoughts..... I also craft, knit, sew a lot of great stuff- Waldorf dolls, knitted longies, felted balls, etc. I was thinking about also having my handmade stuff available at parties and expos, etc, for immediate purchase. Would this be a-ok?

Also, if I were to gather some great NFL/AP books from secondhand sources, maybe I could sell them alongside the NFB products- it'd be nice for families to be able to pick up a book and learn more from there....

Would anything from NFB be available for immediate purchase? I know so many people just want immediate gratification- maybe to buy a wee toy or a box of crayons or a cute little cap, but wouldn't want to bother with ordering. Would I have to have my own stock of things if I wanted to do that? I'm thinking more along the lines of expos.

And, if I already had my own stuff that I use, like Stockmar crayons, slings, etc, I could bring them along to parties for people to try out, right? I wouldn't have to buy the whole shebang of NFB products...

Yitlan, you have a website... does this generate revenue? It'd probably be beneficial for my Deaf friends across the nation- to be able to check out a website, so it'd feel more personal, and do registries. Perhaps just a blog dedicated to NFL/AP ideals, new products, and links to the NFB site? I LOVE the idea of registries, I wish I had known of this site when I was preggers and was bombarded with all the mainstream junk at our baby shower. Ech!
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#5 of 83 Old 04-11-2006, 11:36 PM
 
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So many great questions

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lou
Hey Yitlan, thanks for the great advice! BTW, I remember you from that Mothering article. Do you ever work with the Deaf community? Are you near NMSD?
You remember me from that article? Wow! I am not ASL fluent, so I mostly work with hearing families. I am s...l...o...w...l...y increasing my ASL education, but not until my kids are older will I be able to focus on it as I'd like. NMSD is in Santa Fe, which is about an hour or so north of me

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lou
And these ARE products that I use, and love! So I feel I could do this.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lou
And, if I already had my own stuff that I use, like Stockmar crayons, slings, etc, I could bring them along to parties for people to try out, right? I wouldn't have to buy the whole shebang of NFB products...
Yes! You already know, love and use many of the products so your learning curve will be far less than others'. I had a pretty large selection of items I already owned and they did go into my show kit. Some I have to repack every time b/c my kids still use them and some they've grown out of.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lou
Some random thoughts..... I also craft, knit, sew a lot of great stuff- Waldorf dolls, knitted longies, felted balls, etc. I was thinking about also having my handmade stuff available at parties and expos, etc, for immediate purchase. Would this be a-ok?
Also, if I were to gather some great NFL/AP books from secondhand sources, maybe I could sell them alongside the NFB products- it'd be nice for families to be able to pick up a book and learn more from there....
You have to be very careful to keep the businesses separate. People, most importantly hostesses have to fully understand what is NFB and what is not. Hostesses have to understand that only NFB items can go toward their party totals.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lou
Would anything from NFB be available for immediate purchase?
You can hold stock to sell.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lou
Yitlan, you have a website... does this generate revenue?
It mostly generates revenue from friends/customers I already know or associated with a registry. Very rarely from someone I don't know.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lou
Perhaps just a blog dedicated to NFL/AP ideals, new products, and links to the NFB site?
I have one, in addition to a newsletter I do:
http://naturalfamilyfavorites.blogspot.com

Fire away if you've any more questions!

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#6 of 83 Old 04-16-2006, 10:04 PM
 
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Just a couple of thoughts...in random order...

I really like the "niche" idea. yitlan's is cloth diapering, mine is babywearing. I decided to sign up with NFB because I'm *always* being stopped for questions about my carriers. Hey, if I'm going to talk them up, I may as well sell them! I'm going to try to sell additional carriers beyond the ones that NFB stocks.

I think it's a great idea finding your niche in the Deaf community and I think it is perfectly fine to combine NFB products with your own products as long as the distinction is clear (and you don't sell stuff that NFB carries - i.e. it's OK to sell AP books as long as they're not the books NFB sells). Maybe you could find someone to share a booth with at the convention to split the costs, like a midwife or other crunchy type?

My upline suggested buying the mini-kit, which is what I did. I have various stuff from the NFB catalog already, but I'm focusing not so much on buying more stuff for the kit but getting a website up and running, giving out catalogs, familiarizing myself with the products, etc. So many people are used to catalog and on-line shopping that they don't necessarily need to see them before they buy, KWIM?

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#7 of 83 Old 04-17-2006, 12:14 AM - Thread Starter
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Jane,
I love your website! Very accessible.... the layout is gorgeous! Much more easier on the eyes, and more user-friendly than the NFB website.

I think I will start by networking, hoping to find interest for parties here and there... then think about expos and a website from there, but will probably start a blog first. A website sounds overwhelming! I'd have to do a lot more research before jumping into that. Really great for all those on-line friends, though, and online registries! Awesome!

I'd love to hear from other NFB sellers also... if you're out there!! How much work do you really do? How many parties a month? How much business through your website? How much income do you see coming in?

I figure.... $99 isn't a big investment, and I get actual good stuff. And the discounts! Great reason to join right there. So. I think I will jump in... I just need to work on my confidence and marketing skills!!
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#8 of 83 Old 04-17-2006, 12:36 AM
 
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I'm a NFB consultant and I love it. I've been doing about two parties per month, one usually being a catalog party, and I've found that I've developed a couple of regular customers. I hope to expand my NFB business even more and I'm going to work on getting more parties lined up for the next couple of month. I enjoy two parties a month, but I have some specific things I'd like to get for our family and I've set a goal of doing extra parties to get the money for those.

I have a NFB website and I get mostly local customers through it, and some of their family living in other areas. I also get a little NFB traffic through my main website which is not devoted to NFB but has some links.

I got the mini kit (also at my upline's suggestion!) and I made back my investment within my first month! I had a wonderful open house

Right now I am using my NFB income to help us pay off debts and for those "extras" that I want for our family (grain mill, yes please! I want to be totally crunchy!) I would like to eventually have more income from it, some more from online selling and I'd like to build a downline (I don't have any right now).

The community of consultants is wonderful and it's a very close-knit company which is nice. The products are also superior and I feel confident recommending them and using them in my home. I really like NFB!

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#9 of 83 Old 04-17-2006, 12:55 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Skrimpy
I've been doing about two parties per month, one usually being a catalog party
What is a catalog party as opposed to a regular NFB party? learning the terminology here!
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#10 of 83 Old 04-17-2006, 01:07 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lou
What is a catalog party as opposed to a regular NFB party? learning the terminology here!
It's when there's not a physical gathering of friends, but when a hostess takes orders. She hands out catalogs or sends the link to friends and still gets rewards based on her orders collected.

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#11 of 83 Old 04-17-2006, 01:27 AM - Thread Starter
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cool, thanks!!

Hey Yitlan- I imagine you have a good connection with the ASL books that NFB sells, and your sign language classes? I was also thinking about utilizing that connection and doing some ASL classes for moms and babes.... I was so glad that NFB carried the right sign language books, not those baby sign stuff. ech!
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#12 of 83 Old 04-17-2006, 01:36 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lou
cool, thanks!!

Hey Yitlan- I imagine you have a good connection with the ASL books that NFB sells, and your sign language classes? I was also thinking about utilizing that connection and doing some ASL classes for moms and babes.... I was so glad that NFB carried the right sign language books, not those baby sign stuff. ech!
Yes, I have been teaching classes much longer than I've been with NFB, but was SO GLAD they carry the Sign2Me products. I have a wholesale account with Sign2Me since I'm a presenter, but if I ever have anyone want to have one of the products shipped directly to someone, I'll probably do it through NFB. It's given me a better option for that. If you are interested in teaching ASL classes for moms and babies, consider becoming a Sign2Me presenter. There are absolutely no sales requirements and as someone already in the deaf community and a strong ASL vs. home signs advocate, you would fit in well:
http://www.sign2me.com/pnbenefits.php
We're having a convention in Vegas in Sept that I am way excited about attending.

Anyhow, don't want to go off track, but NFB does fit in well with that other facet of my business!

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#13 of 83 Old 05-02-2006, 11:10 PM
 
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Bumping because I would love to hear from other NFB folks.

Shay

Mothering since 1992...its one of the many hats I wear.
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#14 of 83 Old 05-03-2006, 03:04 PM - Thread Starter
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I joined! I've been having fun with it so far. I set up a little website... still in the beginning stages, but so far so good. www.deafmama.com I ordered some products to try out and am happy with what I've tried. The products that they carry are really great- stuff that I really use, love, and believe in.

I have a few people already interested in signing up. What I like about NFB is that the product selections are pretty varied- what one mama is interested in is the natural home care products, what another mama is interested in is the babywearing, another is interested in the toys. And so on. So this appeals to a variety of mamas.
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#15 of 83 Old 05-03-2006, 03:39 PM
 
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Lou, I thought I saw you signed up. I hope you're liking it and please feel free to contact me if you need any help.

I LOVE YOUR WEBSITE. It's beautiful and has great personal touches. For instance, I love your babywearing testimonial. I can't wait to see what you put under "Thoughts on Deafness" and think the database is a great idea. What a great way to help mamas connect!

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#16 of 83 Old 05-18-2006, 08:48 PM
 
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Bumping again...any other thoughts?

I'm thinking of doing this in the Philippines, where we live...I wonder if it's feasible?

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#17 of 83 Old 05-18-2006, 08:54 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ilaria
Bumping again...any other thoughts?

I'm thinking of doing this in the Philippines, where we live...I wonder if it's feasible?
Unfortunately NFB only operates in the US - we don't even ship to Canada right now.

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#18 of 83 Old 05-18-2006, 09:01 PM
 
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That's a bummer! There is such a need in the expat community for something like this...in the past month, I have seen lots of emails asking for places to buy cloth diapers and cloth training pants...and there are none!...maybe I will look into being a distributor for HH and/or FB....

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#19 of 83 Old 05-18-2006, 09:05 PM
 
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I think that's a great idea. Have you seen BumGenius! diapers? I don't know how widely they're being wholesaled but I LOVE them and I think they are a great one-size pocket diaper. I think retailing those and a couple different kinds of slings would be a great little business.

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#20 of 83 Old 05-18-2006, 09:09 PM
 
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I'm going to look into this! I REALLY would love to do it....like all mamas here, I think, I LOVE talking about diapers/slings and all that's good and crunchy ....I mean, it would be FUN and for each cloth diaper I sell, a little bit of earth would be saved!

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#21 of 83 Old 05-20-2006, 11:12 PM
 
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I am a NFB consultant also. I have been focusing on online sales as well as some events/booths/etc. For me it is a suppliment to my online business NPN and NFB works well with that - same target market.

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#22 of 83 Old 05-22-2006, 02:24 AM
 
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I'm curious -- as consultants are you able to buy product for your own use at a discount, and does that count towards your sales? The catalog is fantastic, it'd be wonderful to have everything under one roof, so to speak.
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#23 of 83 Old 05-22-2006, 02:34 AM - Thread Starter
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yep!! consultants buy at an approx 20% discount- and the sales value counts towards our sales! excellent, eh?
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#24 of 83 Old 05-22-2006, 01:49 PM
 
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oh yes, the discount is very nice I especially love being able to buy the NFB label products, which are mostly bath and body and household cleaners at a good discount because it allows us to buy the all natural products we want and not have to pay soooo much for them.

You can also earn 40% off discounts depending on sales volume and that's very nice too! I was able to buy a baby carrier I really wanted because my holiday sales earned me a 40% off discount

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#25 of 83 Old 05-25-2006, 11:48 PM
 
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I clicked one one of your websites and asked for more info. Can't remember who, though.

The reason that I am intetrested in this is b/c I would like to eventually open a physical "crunchy" store in my area. There are no places to see, touch, feel and talk about cloth diapers, slings, etc...

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#26 of 83 Old 05-26-2006, 12:08 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gunter
I clicked one one of your websites and asked for more info. Can't remember who, though.

The reason that I am intetrested in this is b/c I would like to eventually open a physical "crunchy" store in my area. There are no places to see, touch, feel and talk about cloth diapers, slings, etc...
It was mine. Got it earlier today! I'll email you shortly....

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#27 of 83 Old 05-27-2006, 11:37 PM
 
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Thanks!

I have been memorizing the website. Dh and I looked over it more, too. I just have this cynical nature that makes me skeptical of things like this. I mean, it's multi-level marketing, right? I just have heard negative opinions and don't want to get mixed up into something sketchy. Anyone had a not to positive experience?

All that said, the websites I have viewed seem legitimate. It's a low initial investment with items I already use. I am not too keen on the recruiting bit at this point. I would like to see that happen naturally, if people are interested but don't want to pressure anyone. Do you think that would be acceptable?

Do I need a local NC person to help me get started?

Also, how "natural" are the ingredients for the NFB cleaning products? I did not see a list of them.

Thanks for the info.

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#28 of 83 Old 05-27-2006, 11:56 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gunter
I mean, it's multi-level marketing, right? I just have heard negative opinions and don't want to get mixed up into something sketchy. Anyone had a not to positive experience?
It is multi-level, meaning there are levels of leadership. It is NOT a pyramid scheme b/c you make money selling a product, not just signing people up. You could do well buy just selling and never recruiting anyone. NFB is a member of the Direct Seller's Association, meaning they have met certain criteria and standards.

The great think about direct sales is that you have inherent motivation in seeing your team succeed. If they succeed, so do you! And it's natural, I think, for women and moms to want to help each other.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gunter
Also, how "natural" are the ingredients for the NFB cleaning products? I did not see a list of them. Thanks for the info.
Apparently, companies don't have to reveal ingredients, as their "trade secrets" or something. But here's info at the bottom of this page with ingredient info for the cleaning spray:
http://naturalfamilyfavorites.blogsp....html#comments

Is there a particular product you'd like to know about? There's a list somewhere, but I'm sure it's rather long.

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#29 of 83 Old 05-28-2006, 01:47 AM - Thread Starter
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On the 'recruiting', my mama friends are totally interested, I don't have to do any 'recruiting'... the products are those that we already use and love, so there's no bs. People just see the info on NFB and want to join! I did. You're interested, aren't you? But, if I do recruit some mamas to convert to cloth diapers and babywearing, then, awesome!! It's all good, you know?

I think NFB really stays ethical with direct sales. I've heard horror stories about other MLMs and pyramid schemes, etc. But again, these are real products that we're marketing. The start-up fee goes towards REAL products with resale value, the catalogs, etc. And NFB is being really conscious about not rewarding consultants for recruiting numbers, but for the team sales value. Make sense?

You can sign up under whoever you like. I signed up under someone who was really available and willing to offer start-up support, e-mailing back and forth and IMing.

I'm impressed with the natural products that NFB carries. Very simple, natural ingredients. Made in small batches with food-grade ingredients. There's a sample kit that consultants can buy to get samples of several of their body care products and essential oils, so I was able to try out some of their products. Someone put together this great comparison list of baby products, with lists of ingredients from NFB/Burts Bees/Arbonne. I put it on my website, in the natural body care page. Check it out at www.deafmama.com and let me know if you were able to read it or not. If not, I can email the word file to you. I would love any feedback on my site, too, while you're there! It's still new.
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#30 of 83 Old 05-28-2006, 09:09 AM
 
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One of the things I like about NFB is that they are very committed to using safe ingredients in their toiletries and have signed the pledge at the Compact for Safe Cosmetics: http://www.safecosmetics.org/compani...th_america.cfm I really like their toiletry products and I think it's a great line of products to reach out to those who aren't currently parenting small kids and may not be interested in toys and breastfeeding support, for example.

I think you can do well by just doing sales and not signing people up, but signing people up does help your bottom line. I do think you have to go out and sell, though, not just expect people to find you, KWIM? I think the on-line market is pretty well saturated with similar products and I think the best success is going to come from reaching out locally and bringing the products to people who just don't know they're available.

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