According to the Direct Selling Association (DSA), shares of wellness and services products have gradually increased over the past several years. This, of course, doesn’t mean that wellness and services are always going to be the most successful products in an MLM business model but they are right now. The DSA states the following about current MLM product success:

Wellness (including weight management products, nutritional supplements, health foods and beverages, etc.) and Services (including utilities, and financial products) has steadily increased for the last several years…

Easy access to information about health and wellness has contributed to increased consumer interest in such products… Direct sales not only offers desirable products in this category, but has the value-added benefit of personal interaction with a knowledgeable representative to help the consumer make their purchasing decisions.

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This blog post is the companion post to the video: Why Do Distributors join MLM Companies? The following is the transcript of MLM Attorney Jeff Babener’s own words:

A common question we get is “why do people join direct selling and network marketing companies?”  Many studies have shown that recruitment is essential to success, particularly studies done by the Direct Selling Association. Many would be surprised at the results. One may think that most people join MLM companies for the money. However, believe it or not, money as motivation ranks as four, five and six on polls.

The polls have showed that the number one reason why people join MLM companies is because they relate to the product. The second reason they join is because they relate to company management; the person who founded the company. The third reason distributors join is because they relate to the company vision. If the company proclaims women’s empowerment or wellness, then distributors will relate to that as well. It is also important that distributors relate to the field leadership and the people that brought them into the company.

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In early December, 2013, the Direct Selling Association released five new direct selling companies that gained membership into the Association. The new members include:

The DSA’s Board of Directors recently approved two new member companies to full members of the Direct Selling Association: K&K Designs and Stream Energy are now full members of the Direct Selling Association and abide by the Association’s Code of Ethics.

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Although AtHome America has not made any official statement on their website, the Direct Selling Association has reported that the company has gone out of business. The phone number posted on the company’s website – 1.800.928.4663 – is no longer active. Apart from the Direct Selling Association’s mention, no other information is available.

The direct selling industry hasn’t proved to be as vulnerable to a down economy as other industry sectors. Fledgling and startup MLM companies are either flourishing or remaining economically consistent (see our recent blog post on the DSA’s – Direct Selling Association – Annual Growth & Outlook Survey for the latest U.S. direct selling industry statistics). Proof for this can be seen in the latest MLM industry headlines, but also in the growing pending member applications under review by the DSA.

Four new direct selling companies have applied for membership with the Direct Selling Association, announced in a recent DSA press release.

In June, Country Gourmet Home and Origami Owl applied for DSA membership and are under review. They are currently marked as “pending” members of the DSA.

In July, two more companies applied: ArtNest, Inc. and Jamberry Nails. Both are also currently sanctioned as “pending” members of the DSA.

A company must go under extensive review to become a member of the Direct Selling Association. The DSA states the follow requirements for membership:

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Recently, the Direct Selling Association released its U.S. Direct Selling in 2011 Fact Sheet [PDF] which provided statistics for the percentage of direct sellers in the United States over the last five years.

In 2007, there were 15 million direct sellers. 15.1 million in 2008. 16.1 million in 2009. 15.8 million in 2010. And, 15.6 in 2011.

For more quick facts on the direct selling industry, visit mlmlegal.com or mlmattorney.com.

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What parts of the country do you think have the highest MLM sales? Recently, the Direct Selling Association released its U.S. Direct Selling in 2011 Fact Sheet [PDF] which outlines the total percent of annual sales by direct sellers in 2011. Here is an overview of their findings:

- 17.1% of sales come from the states of Washington, Oregon, California, Alaska, and Hawaii – the “West”

- 7.5% of sales come from the states of Montana, Idaho, Wyoming, Utah, Nevada, Colorado, Arizona, and New Mexico – the “Mountains”

The combined sales of the Western states are 24.6 percent.

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The Direct Selling Association recently released its 2011 Fact Sheet which outlines how much the direct selling industry sold in retail sales from 2007-2011. In 2007, U.S. retail sales were $30.80; in 2008, sales were $29.60; in 2009, sales were $28.33; in 2010, sales were $28.56; and in 2011, sales rose to $29.87 billion. Although retail sales improved from 2010 to 2011, they have yet to reach sales figures achieved in 2007, which was just prior to the United States recession.

For more information on the direct selling industry visit www.mlmlegal.com. MLMLegal.com also offers up-to-date stock quotes for major MLM companies.

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The Direct Selling Association (DSA) recently released its 2011 Fact Sheet that provided some interesting statistics about the direct selling industry. Individual/person-to-person sales strategy came out as the most common, in 2009 representing 64.3 percent, 63.5 percent in 2010 and 64.9 percent in 2011.

Party plan/group selling was the second most popular sales strategy, representing 25.4 percent of the market in 2009, 27.9 percent in 2010 and 30.9 in 2011.

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