DSA is committed to the highest ethical business standards for the direct selling channel and to the customers our member companies serve every day. Our Code of Ethics is a robust series of policies that every DSA member agrees to follow as condition of membership. It holds member companies accountable to policies that protect independent salespeople and consumers and encourages the entire marketplace for direct selling to meet these high standards. For example, the Code prohibits statements or promises that mislead consumers or prospective salespeople and sets stringent guidelines for earnings representations, product claims, sales and marketing tactics and policies for order cancellations and returns. DSA members have strengthened the Code since its enactment in 1970 to ensure it stays relevant with changing stakeholder expectations.

DSA Code of Ethics Complaint Process

As part of DSA’s mission to promote the highest levels of business ethics among DSA member companies, our self-regulatory processes ensures that DSA member companies and their independent salespeople comply with the Code of Ethics through the Office of the Code Administrator. The Code Administrator is an independent third party with expert knowledge of the Code of Ethics and the direct selling channel and whose Office provides a mechanism for any complaints or inquiries regarding potential violations of the Code’s provisions. The Code Administrator works with DSA member companies to resolve non-compliance with the Code of Ethics and is empowered to investigate concerns, render decisions and enforce remedies.

DSA member companies and applicants are subject to DSA’s Code of Ethics complaint process. View our membership directory to verify that the company you are dealing with is an active member or applicant of DSA. If the company is neither an applicant nor a DSA member company, contact DSA staff for more information. Additionally, if your complaint is originating from outside the United States, it may not be subject to the United States Direct Selling Association. 

If you have question or concern regarding an independent salesperson, you are encouraged to contact them and explain your concerns. If the salesperson does not correct the issue to your satisfaction, please contact the DSA member company. If the company does not resolve your concern you may wish to file a complaint with DSA’s Code of Ethics Administrator. Your information will be sent directly to the DSA's Code Administrator who will investigate the situation and contact you directly.

File A Complaint

Read DSA's Code of Ethics: 

English (June 2023)     Spanish (February 2016)

Code of Ethics

  • Preamble

  • A. Code of Conduct

  • B. Responsibilities and Duties

  • C. Administration

  • D. DSA Code of Ethics Enforcement Procedures

  • E. Powers of the Administrator

  • F. Restrictions

  • G. Resignation

  • H. Amendments

Our Code of Ethics protects consumers and independent salespeople with standards that ensure member companies are held accountable when it comes to claims about earnings, product and other important areas.

  • Our member companies must provide their independent salespeople with accurate information about products and services, sales and marketing methods and compensation plans
  • Our member companies and members of their independent salesforce must provide documentation for claims and representations when marketing products/services and the opportunity to become a direct seller
  • Our members must honor the repurchase policy, requiring the company to purchase any unused inventory from independent salespeople within 12 months at 90 percent or more of the original cost
  • Our member companies must provide adequate training to their independent salespeople on ethics, marketing practices and field interactions
  • Our members must offer reasonable entry fees and costs and encourage salespeople to purchase reasonable levels of inventory

Our Code of Ethics requires independent salespeople affiliated with DSA member companies to adhere to the Code’s guidelines and ensure a high level of professionalism, customer service and business ethics when interacting with consumers.

  • Independent salespeople must respect a consumer’s wishes to discontinue a product demonstration or a sales interaction
  • Independent salespeople must market income representations and product descriptions consistent with company directives and ethics training
  • Independent salespeople must provide a receipt from the member company that permits the consumer to withdraw from a purchase order within a minimum of three days from the date of the purchase transaction and receive a full refund of the purchase price

View DSA's Consumer Protection Resources

One of the hallmarks of our Code of Ethics is that it is enforced by an independent administrator empowered by DSA members to resolve issues. The Code Administrator can impose a variety of remedies in the event of a Code violation including calling for refunds, ordering a mandatory repurchase of inventory or other measures as needed. When media reports or other sources make the Administrator aware of allegations that could be Code violations, the Administrator may conduct an investigation into the practices of our members and suggest how issues may be resolved.