DSA Fact Check on Supposed FTC Direct Selling Earning Study

February 12, 2019

Several news outlets have made reference to a non-existent “report” on average income earned by direct sellers. Media stated that the supposed “report” was conducted by the Federal Trade Commission ("FTC").  

Here are the facts:

  • The FTC has never published a report with direct selling income information. There are no government reports addressing the issue of how much money direct sellers across the business channel earn.
  • The “report” referenced by media was a comment/study was submitted to the FTC as part of a public rulemaking on the business opportunity rule.  Direct selling companies were not specifically covered in the rule.
  • The  “report” erroneously cited by media was based on a comment/study submitted by a member of the public and a known critic of the direct selling industry; this comment/study was based on a limited and self-selected review of information.


  • 80% rated their direct selling experience as excellent, very good, or good*
  • 73% of direct sellers would recommend direct selling to others*
  • 64% of people chose to become involved in direct selling to get products at a discount**

What experts are saying about the non-financial aspects and rewards of being a direct seller:

"Whether you are valued by the firm, whether you are supported and valued by your sponsor; whether you take joy in socia/ aspects of the business, or whether you enjoy sharing products you love with other people...[these things] have nothing to do with the income you make, and yet they are persistently important in the reasons that people choose to be a direct selling distributor..."***


*2019 National Salesforce Study

**2018 Growth & Outlook Survey

***DSEF Fellow, Dr. Anne Coughlan, Polk Brothers Chair in Retailing, Professor of Marketing, Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University



I have additional questions, who can I contact?

You may contact Adolfo Franco, Executive Vice President.