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Relationship (Guanxi) in Direct Selling Activities of Overseas Chinese
Direct selling is developing into a multi-billion dollars business worldwide in recent years. Only a few years ago, one may think direct selling as no more than the troublesome mail order things. But, with the development of direct selling both in concept theory and in practical areas, more and more people are involved in direct selling activities. In theory, direct selling is focusing on "the marketing of consumer goods and services directly to consumers in their homes or the homes of friends, at their work place and similar places away from shops, through explanation or demonstration of the goods or services by a salesperson, for the consumer's use or consumption" (Xardel, 1993). In practical, direct marketing has three main formats--internet selling, mail order and face-to-face direct selling. In this research, only the face-to-face selling model is addressed.
Direct selling is also considered as relationship selling, which involves "personal contact between a salesperson and a consumer away from a fixed business location such as a retail store" (Berstein and Associate, 1984). Chinese society is considered as a social, normative society rather than an instrumental, pragmatic society (Weber, 1968). During the direct selling activities, while the credence of the product is hard to obtain by ordinary consumers, the mutual trust and relationship or Guanxi will act very importantly for the final decision. …
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- Relationship (Guanxi) in Direct Selling Activities of Overseas Chinese
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