Direct Selling Association Releases Data Showing Record High Sales and Customers in the U.S. in 2021

June 7, 2022

Direct Selling Growth & Outlook Study reports that the industry achieved $42.7 billion in retail sales in the U.S.

(WASHINGTON D.C.) – U.S. Direct Selling Association (DSA), the national trade association for companies that offer entrepreneurial opportunities to individuals who choose to sell products and services direct to customers, released its Direct Selling Growth and Outlook Survey results for 2021 today, showing record highs of $42.7 billion in retail sales and 44.6 million customers of the channel. The number of direct sellers decreased by 5.2% over 2020 to 7.3 million but remain above the number of direct sellers reported in 2019. Growth & Outlook is DSA’s annual survey that reports on the size and scope of direct selling in the U.S. and is audited by Nathan Associates, a third-party international economic consulting firm.

“The U.S. direct selling channel experienced record-setting sales and growth during the pandemic. As expected, in 2021 the number of direct sellers has moved closer to pre-pandemic levels after the significant increase in 2020. The impact our channel had on local economies, its philanthropic contributions to communities across the country, and the demonstrated resilience of the business model represent ongoing momentum for stable, sustainable growth,” said Joseph N. Mariano, Direct Selling Association president.

Mariano continued, “Innovation and flexibility are the hallmarks of direct selling companies, to the benefit of direct sellers and consumers. The public’s opinion of the direct selling channel, in large part for the way it adapted to a rapidly changing and disruptive world, may be the industry’s greatest achievement. Direct sellers and customers alike entered this decade at an incredible level of momentum and respect.”

This year’s Growth & Outlook Study provides the following data on the industry:  

  • Direct Selling Retail Sales are Up: The direct selling channel generated $42.7 billion in retail sales in 2021 – up 6.4% over a record-breaking 2020.
  • The Number of Direct Sellers decreased by 5.2% over 2020’s record high, with 7.3 million U.S. entrepreneurs selling on a part-time or full-time basis.
  • Demand for Direct Selling Products and Services Continues to Grow: In 2021, 44.6 million preferred customers and discount buyers purchased through the direct sales channel, an increase of 7.2% over 2020, with notable growth coming from preferred customers. (This customer count excludes those who have not signed an agreement with a direct selling company).

“Since 1995, Nathan Associates has been proud to work with DSA analyzing the Growth & Outlook Survey data and conducting extensive secondary research to develop industry-wide estimates for the U.S. direct selling industry,” said Paul Bourquin, Principal at Nathan Associates. “As a third-party international economic consulting firm, we deliver methodologically sound industry-wide estimates to help DSA serve as a trusted source of data on the full direct selling channel in the U.S.”

Media Contact:
Ginger Greenberg


For more than a century, the U.S. Direct Selling Association (DSA) has served as the national trade association for companies that offer entrepreneurial opportunities to independent sellers to market and sell products and services, typically outside of a fixed retail establishment. In 2021, direct selling took place across the United States, generating $42.7 billion in retail sales and 7.3 million entrepreneurs in the U.S. sold products or services through the direct selling channel, providing a personalized buying experience for 44.6 million preferred customers and discount buyers.

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I have additional questions, who can I contact?

You may contact Adolfo Franco, Executive Vice President.