Top Questions:

What is Direct Selling?

Direct selling is a form of retail in which products and services are marketed directly to consumers.

What is Direct Selling?

What products are distributed by direct selling?

Direct selling organisations offer a wide range of products and services. More information can be found on our ‘Products & Services‘ page.

Where can I find industry statistics?

DSA publishes statistics which can be found on our website. View more information on Statistics & Research.

Global statistics can be found on the World Federation of Direct Selling Association’s website – www.wfdsa.org.

Members will find more detailed information in our Members only website.

I want to become an independent salesperson

There are many reasons people join the direct selling industry. To learn more visit our ‘Launch Your Career‘ page.

I am thinking about joining a direct selling organisation. How do I know it is credible and reputable?

Before joining an organisation ask yourself these questions:

Is it the right company for me?
What does it cost to join?
Can you return unsold inventory?
Are the company's products sold to consumers?
Does the company offer training?
What is the compensation or reward structure?
What are the organisation's guarantees, warranties and return policies?
What happens if you decide to leave the organisation?
Is the organisation a DSA Member?
Investigate and Verify All Information
Consult Others with Experience
Take Your Time Deciding
I want to start my own direct selling organisation

DSA has information and resources to assist new direct selling organisations in their business startup.

Read more on our ‘Company Startup‘ page.

What is pyramid selling and how is it different to direct selling?

Pyramid schemes are prohibited by Australian law. They take different forms with some cleverly disguised as direct selling in an attempt to avoid detection. Generally a scheme is illegal if a person is encouraged to make a payment to join a scheme (participation payment) for the right to payments or other benefits from recruiting others into the scheme (recruitment payment). Mathematically the scheme must fail with early participants gaining at the expense of later participants.

Direct selling is an established channel for retailing consumer products and services. Some mistakenly associate its multi-level reward structure for those engaged in selling its products with pyramid selling. There are key differences. First, any cost in joining a direct selling organisation is usually small and real in value. And importantly, recruiting is an important aspect of business building but rewards come from the sale and consumption of products, not recruitment itself. Some pyramid schemes try to disguise themselves as direct selling through value claims for joining fees and illusory products but essentially these schemes require payments to share in payments by later recruits to the scheme.

For more information on pyramid schemes and how to avoid them check out our page ‘Understanding Illegal Pyramid Schemes‘.

Further information is also available from Commonwealth, State and Territory Fair Trading organisations.

Is direct selling different to direct marketing?

Direct selling is built on relationship and experiential selling, that is person-to-person demonstration of products and services, commonly in a home or workplace. Direct marketing covers forms of direct selling without the person-to-person contact or perhaps any personal relationship. Examples are sales from telemarketing, catalogues and digital marketing.   Just as some direct selling models are merging traditional doorstop, party plan and network marketing methods, some are also embracing direct marketing techniques.

What is the difference between single level & multi-level compensation plans?

In a single level compensation plan independent salespeople earn only from their own sales. In multi-level compensation plans, distributors earn income from their own sales as well as the sales of the people they recruit or sponsor into the business and the people that those people recruit or sponsor and so on. This is called their down line.

What is the difference between direct selling, network marketing and multi-level marketing?

Direct selling is a retail distribution method that encompasses traditional doorstop, party plan and network marketing systems.

Network marketing involves independent salespeople both selling products and sponsoring others into their businesses to do the same.

Sellers are rewarded on their sales and the sales of others (down lines) they have recruited into the business. These reward systems are found in single and multi level structures. Multi level marketing describes the reward structure for a multi level direct selling business.

I'm having a problem. Where can I go for help?

In the first instance you should try and settle the matter with the organisation or salesperson concerned. If the problem persists and the organisation is a DSA member you should contact the Association for advice and assistance. View more information on resolving issues.

Further advice can also be sought from Commonwealth, State and Territory Fair Trading organisations.

What if I am not satisfied with my purchase?

In the first instance you should try and settle the matter with the organisation or salesperson concerned. If the problem persists and the organisation is a DSA member you should contact the Association for advice and assistance. View more information on resolving issues.

Further advice can also be sought from Commonwealth, State and Territory Fair Trading organisations.

What if I feel a DSA Member or direct seller has breached the Code of Practice?

DSA members must comply with our Code of Practice. If you believe a breach of the Code of Practice has occurred please contact us. Further information on this can be found on our ‘Resolving Issues‘ page.

I am receiving catalogues or brochures that I don't want. What can I do about this?

First, look over the material and see if there is an “opt out” clause. If there is, opt out and return the document to the organisation concerned. If there is no “opt out” clause contact the organisation and request that your address be taken off their distribution list.

If the organisation continues to leave unwanted materials you should check to see whether the organisation is a DSA member and if so, report the matter to the Association in writing. If the organisation is not a member, examine the material to find out whether it is a member of another industry association and take the matter up there. If there is no industry association connection, you should continue to pursue the matter with the organisation concerned and contact an appropriate regulatory body.

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