Door-to-door salesmen used to sell everything from encyclopaedias to vacuum cleaners. The women tended to only sell Avon door to door if I remember. If my mother was any example, if you were a housewife in the 50s and 60s, it was probably the highlight of your day to see a vacuum cleaner salesman.
Here is a swimming pool sample case from the 1960s. I think it’s pretty cool!
The people I remember are the rag and bone men (yes like Steptoe and Son) they came round twice a year and gave money for old metal and clothes.