TN 10 (08-11)

RS 02101.172 House-to-House Commission Salespeople

A. Definition

House-to-house commission salespeople

  • sell door to door at retail prices to the customer; and

  • do not purchase stock at wholesale, maintain the stock for resale, or retain the risk of loss if the stock is not sold.

B. Working conditions for house-to-house commission salespeople

House-to-house commission salespeople

  • are subject to less control than city or traveling salespeople because they cannot integrate their services into the business of their company;

  • do not engage in house-to-house selling as their principal means of livelihood because they are housewives, retired, students, or between jobs;

  • invest in automobiles or trucks for work and carry large stocks of goods;

  • work on foot and are equipped only with a catalog, samples, and an order book;

  • work for more than one company;

  • receive the purchase price of the articles they sell from their customers, deduct their commissions, and remit the balance to their companies;

  • receive only a portion of their payment from their customers, which is equivalent to a commission. In this case, they send the orders to their companies and the orders are filled by cash on delivery shipments to the customers for the balance of the purchase price;

  • have assigned territories, but usually they do not have exclusive rights to them;

  • do not have to canvass their territories within any specified time or work during fixed hours, or at certain times;

  • receive no training, follow no established routines or schedules, and devise their own methods and means of selling;

  • pay their own business expenses and some maintain business listings;

  • do not have to produce any minimum volume of business or follow leads furnished by their companies.

C. House-to-house commission salespeople as employees

House-to-house commission salespeople are employees when they:

  • work only for one company on a full-time basis;

  • provide services that are an important part of the company's business;

  • do not have to report to the company's office at regular intervals, but must follow leads and instructions;

  • file an activity report frequently with the company;

  • canvass their territories regularly;

  • attend sales meetings occasionally, or take training courses;

  • receive instructions or assistance from a sales manager or a supervisor to develop sales techniques and other matters;

  • do not have to work fixed hours;

  • must produce a certain amount of business to continue the relationship;

  • have some independence of action because it is necessary in this field, but the company can take it away if they feel that the salesperson is not producing enough business; and

  • must conform to such routines, schedules, and instructions as the company believes necessary to increase sales.

D. House-to-house commission salespeople as independent contractors

Such salespeople are not usually employees. Typically, the company does not exercise, or have the right to exercise control over how, when, and where they work. The company is only interested in product sales. The company is satisfied as long as orders increase. If the orders decrease to any appreciable degree or stop, the company still does not try to control the services. The company will sever the relationship, or place substitutes in the territories.


To Link to this section - Use this URL:
http://policy.ssa.gov/poms.nsf/lnx/0302101172
RS 02101.172 - House-to-House Commission Salespeople - 08/19/2011
Batch run: 08/19/2011
Rev:08/19/2011