About Direct Selling

Direct Sales

Direct selling is the marketing of consumer goods and services directly to consumers on a person-to-person basis, generally in their homes or the homes of others, at their workplace and other places away from permanent retail locations. Direct selling typically occurs through explanation or demonstration by direct sellers and is a form of non-store retailing.

Who can be involved in direct selling?

Virtually anyone may be involved in direct selling. Direct sellers come from all kinds of backgrounds, with no age, gender, or education discrimination. There are more than 96 million direct sellers worldwide, the majority of them being women. Most direct sellers work on a part-time basis, but a growing number of them work full time. Direct sellers appreciate the flexibility that direct selling offers because entering direct selling is easy, requires very little investment and no specific experience as ongoing and comprehensive training is offered by companies.

What products and services are marketed through direct selling?

Direct selling suits to a broad range of consumer products (goods & services): cosmetics, personal care, wellness, home environment, utilities, etc. Products sold through direct selling all benefit from demonstration by a direct seller and from trial by the consumer, provide often an after sales service, matched with an exceptional right of cancellation.

What is the difference between direct selling and other non-store retailing?

The key aspect of direct selling is the personal relationship between direct sellers and their customers.
Mail order, telephone and internet selling are forms of distance selling where contracts are concluded through the exclusive use of distance communication means without the person-to-person presence of the seller and the consumer.

Is there a difference between direct selling and multilevel marketing?

No. Direct selling is a channel of distribution. Multilevel marketing is a way of organizing a direct selling business and of compensating its direct sellers.

about direct selling

Direct selling is not

selling by Internet, by telephone or mail order without the simultaneous physical presence of the direct seller and the consumer. These sales methods are forms of distance selling. Distance contracts are concluded through the exclusive use of one or more means of distance communications.

Direct selling is not pyramid selling.

A pyramid scheme is any plan or operation by which a participant pays or promises to pay for the opportunity to receive compensation, primarily derived from the person's introduction of other persons into a plan or operation, rather than the sale of goods and services by the participant or other persons introduced into the plan or operation. There are mechanisms by which promoters of so-called 'investment' or 'trading' schemes enrich themselves in geometric progression through the payment made by recruits to such schemes. Related fraudulent schemes have been described in various international jurisdictions as 'chain letters', 'snow ball schemes', 'chain selling', 'money games', or 'investment lotteries'.

Pyramid schemes are an issue of concern to The European Direct Selling Association (SELDIA) because these and other similar fraudulent schemes are often disguised as, and sometimes confused with, direct selling.
SELDIA condemns these practices and strongly supports a European wide legal prohibition of pyramid schemes.

about direct selling

Benefits of the direct selling

Direct selling, a unique method of distribution

Benefits for the consumers

Benefits for the direct sellers