2013 Direct Selling Statistics

2013 Estimated Total Direct Retail Sales

The 2013 estimated retail sales of USD 32.67 billion for the direct selling channel were up 3.3% in the United States, from USD 31.63 billion in 2012.

The U.S. market increase of 3.3% in 2013 continued an upward trend that began after 2009 and brought the industry to a record high.

Direct sales grew 0.8% in 2010, 4.6% in 2011 and 5.9% in 2012.


*Direct retail sales are defined as the dollar amount paid by the ultimate consumers of the products or services. These are estimated direct retail sales based on survey data and extrapolated data from secondary sources.

Number of People Involved in Direct Selling in the U.S.

The size of the direct selling sales force increased 5.7% to 16.8 million in 2013, a record high.

The industry experienced a surge of new direct selling independent representatives at the height of the recession. Due to normal attrition and the fact that some people join the industry for the short term, the slight reduction in force was expected in 2010 and 2011. The size of the industry’s sales force grew 1.9% in 2012 and is continuing to rise through 2013.

The percentage of households estimated to have a direct sales person as a member is the same as in 2012 at 13.8% of U.S. households.

(Millions of People)


Note: These are estimated data based on survey data and extrapolated data from secondary sources.

Revenue by Product Group

The two product groups that continue to gain share as a percent of retail sales in the direct selling industry are Wellness and Services.

Home & Family Care/Home Durables and Personal Care have experienced a decline since 2008. Clothing & accessories and Leisure & educational remain relatively unchanged.

Share of 2013 Direct Selling Estimated Retail Sales


Estimated Direct Retail Sales by Method

Person-to-person selling continues to account for two-thirds of sales, however, the industry is in flux in terms of how to approach and view online sales when they occur in support of other methods.


Source: Estimated based on survey data and extrapolated data from secondary sources. Note that 2011-2013 percentages are not strictly comparable with 2008 - 2010 because of slight changes in question wording and categories. “Other Sales Approach” category includes sales at personal and company websites and via social media, sales at events and fairs reorders, etc.