Companies in this industry sell a wide variety of products, primarily door-to-door or through other person-to-person contact. Major US companies include Amway, Avon, Mary Kay, Schwan Food, and Tupperware, as well as Vorwerk (Germany), Natura (Brazil), Herbalife (Grand Cayman), Coway (South Korea), and China's Infinitus, and Perfect.
Worldwide revenue for direct selling companies is about $193 billion, according to the World Federation of Direct Selling Associations (WFDSA). Markets expected to see strong growth include India, Latin America, and China, which in 2018 narrowly surpassed the US to become the world's leading market for direct sales. China is now Amway's top market, accounting for about 30% of the company's $8.8 billion in total sales.
The US direct selling industry includes about 21,000 establishments (single-location firms and units of multi-location firms), according to the US Census Bureau, with combined annual revenue of about $35.4 billion, according to the Direct Selling Assocation (DSA) Statistical Database.
Personal income and consumer preferences drive demand for the diverse array of products sold by the direct selling industry. Profitability for companies depends on the success of independent representatives who sell products to the public. Large companies enjoy economies of scale in marketing and in training and supporting representatives in the field. Small companies can compete effectively by offering popular products. The US industry is fragmented: the 50 largest companies account for about 40% of industry revenue.
Competition for the industry includes online, catalog, and brick-and-mortar retailers.
Products, Operations & Technology
Major product categories include wellness (35% of sales); personal care (15%), household goods and durables (16%); and clothing and accessories (about
Sales & Marketing
Finance & Regulation
Regional & International Issues
Also includes the following chapters:
Quarterly Industry Update
Trends and Opportunities
Call Preparation Questions
Glossary of Acronyms