About This Site

Welcome to DirectSelling411.com – your one-stop resource for information about direct selling.

If you’re visiting this site, it’s likely that you are either considering purchasing products or services from a direct selling company or thinking about direct selling as an income source yourself. Even if you just have some general questions about what direct selling is and how it works, you’ve come to the right place.

Direct selling has been a popular method of retailing since the days of the Yankee Peddler, when merchants would travel from homestead to homestead with an ever-changing array of household and farm goods for sale. In the 1940s, the well-recognized “party plan” method of sales was popularized by companies such as Stanley Home Products and Tupperware.

Today, sales made through in-home parties and person-to-person demonstrations account for more than $32 billion in sales annually. Many well-known name brands use direct selling to bring their products and services to market, and the number of companies choosing the direct sales model continues to grow each year. Consumers can find everything from cosmetics, skin care and wellness products to kitchen accessories, organic gardening supplies and pet products sold through direct selling.

As with any business or industry, direct selling is not without controversy. Some of this controversy arises from legitimate issues and concerns, and some is based on outdated stereotypes or misunderstood (or misrepresented) information. The good news for consumers is that many leading direct selling companies are working to address questions about direct selling honestly, proactively and transparently.

DirectSelling411.com is an important part of that effort. The site, a project of the Direct Selling Association, is dedicated to:
* providing factual information about direct selling for consumers, sellers and the general public
* addressing common misperceptions and misinformation about direct selling
* providing a forum for identifying and addressing contemporary issues, concerns and questions about direct selling

DSA, a trade association that represents more than 200 of the leading direct selling companies, serves to “protect, police and promote” the direct selling industry. We represent our members in many ways, and we also hold our members to a higher standard. When there’s a common practice in direct selling that consumers don’t understand or needs to be adjusted in the interest of consumer protection, DSA is perfectly positioned to assemble the facts and be a broker for honest, open and straightforward discussion. That’s what we intend to do on DirectSelling411.com.

In today’s Internet society, everyone has the ability to praise or persecute just about any other person or entity in a very public manner – regardless of the truth or fiction. A certain segment of online critics just want the opportunity to air their frustrations, but others are truly looking for avenues to contribute to the larger conversation or effect positive change. On DirectSelling411.com we hope to provide a forum for understanding and, where appropriate, a breeding ground for change.

Can’t find the answers you’re looking for on DirectSelling411.com? Check out our blog, moderated by DSA’s Amy Robinson. This forum will address hot topics in direct selling from a perspective that combines the viewpoints of industry insider and inquisitive consumer.

“There’s a lot I want to share with consumers about the benefits of direct selling – things I didn’t understand or appreciate before seeing things from the inside,” says Amy. “That being said, as a consumer myself, I understand the desire for more information and the need for a forum where one can get answers to the tough questions.”

DirectSelling411.com invites you to browse the site and evaluate the information for yourself. It most certainly won’t be complete – all Web sites are works in progress. And that’s where you come in. Want more information, need further explanation or want to add a new topic to the discussion? Head to the blog and let’s continue the dialogue. As appropriate, content on the main site will be updated to reflect issues raised on the blog.

You can be sure consumers, direct selling companies and industry critics alike are looking to this site to provide a credible place to explore viewpoints about direct selling. We’re counting on you to help make this project a success – and for letting us know how we’re doing. Welcome to the conversation.


Fast Facts

  • 76% of sellers have been with their company 1+ years
  • 78% of sellers say direct selling meets or exceeds their expectations
  • 82% of sellers report a good, very good or excellent experience with direct selling
  • 74% of US adults have purchased products from a direct seller
  • 15.9 million people in the U.S. are involved in direct selling
  • $31.63 billion in total US sales
  • $166.9 billion sales worldwide