Not Your Mother's Tupperware Party – Making a Living on Facebook

The #NBC10Mornings Team is exploring the business and job-hunting aspects of social media and how using devices can impact your health. Here's some conversations with people making a living off of online social platforms.

When Kristy O'Connor started out as a Realtor in 2010 she says "I didn’t know what to do, so I kept putting myself out there on Facebook."

O’Connor, who works for Coldwell Banker Preferred in Media, Delaware County, uses the popular social media platform to sell houses in Delaware, Montgomery and Bucks counties.

The number of people like O'Connor who make their living off of their social media feeds is on the rise.

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NBC10 had the opportunity to speak with four people making money, even their living, through Facebook.

In O'Connor's case, a friend contacted her through Facebook looking for a Realtor, and from there her business “took off.” Now her clients range from friends to strangers.

Straight Up Real Estate

O’Connor said all of her clients she’s “either met through people I know or through friends who have shared my things on Facebook. It’s not just selling a house – I’ll post tips or market trends.”

When it comes to houses, O’Connor said, “I’ll get a lot comments but also a lot of private messages from people who have seen my post. People will buy the house from first seeing it on Facebook. It does garner a sale.”

"My business selling real estate becomes a very social thing. I use Facebook to keep in touch with former clients of mine. It really creates this all-inclusive relationship with customers," O’Connor said. "My clients are the best!”

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Victoria Pilat, a New York-based consultant and fashion retailer for Lularoe, agreed that using Facebook really helps reach clients.

Lularoe is a company that, rather than selling in stores, sells their items through direct marketing. Pilat buys the products wholesale and sells them at retail price from home. She helps those who want to sell as well have parties, whether at home or online through Facebook.

“Some people live further away or they think their house is too small, it’s definitely easier to do an online party,” Pilat said.

Right now, she is working with Caitlin Thompson, who wants to host her own Lularoe party online.

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Thompson explained how it’s done, “You get invited into a group, and they’ll either do album sales or sometimes they’ll do live sales through Facebook Live. You can just comment on the picture or the video and that’s how you claim it. It’s kind of like a Tupperware party but online.”

Both Pilat and Thompson explained that there are benefits to having a party at home. The buyers get to see what they’re buying up close, they can interact in person and they can buy what they want on the spot and then go.

However, they both said that online parties can be more successful because you can reach more people.

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“People from other states who want to participate wouldn’t have been able to come in person,” Pilat said.

Thompson said she thinks "that online is really appealing. It’s at everyone’s own convenience. Items are available for purchase the entire day.”

Pearl Glam owner Janie Algeri agreed that online selling is more convenient.

As a mother of three kids, she said, "I can do the videos from home without having to host, and it’s make your own hours – I can do it after the kids are in bed. At the beginning my husband was doubtful, but now it’s like, ‘I can’t believe it’s doing so well.’”

Algeri is from Connecticut and started Pearl Glam last October. Pearl Glam is now her income. Pearl Glam sells pearls found in oysters from Japan. Algeri opens up the mystery oysters that someone bought online. “I basically do most of the party on Facebook live,” Algeri said.

Pearl Glam

You can also buy pendants or jewelry to go with the pearls from Pearl Glam.

While Facebook seems to be working well, with some shows reaching 30,000 viewers, Algeri says she is “still learning the ropes of Facebook. Facebook changes their algorithms a lot. You have to keep what you have new and fresh.”

She revealed her plans to start doing bath bombs with the pearls inside.

“The live feeds are what get the most hits and views right now. There’s hundreds of thousands of people watching (April) the giraffe, so there has to be something to it,” Algeri said.

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