Review of the Direct Sales Association

What is the Direct Sales Association? And what do you need to know about it? Also known as the Direct Selling Association or DSA, this association is a trade association composed of approximately 200 different direct sales and multi-level marketing companies. Some of the larger companies include Shaklee, Amway, Herbalife, Fuller Brush Company, Gano Excel USA, Jafra, Kirby, Lia Sophia, Melaleuca, Neways, Nikken, Nu Skin and many others.

Info about the Association

According to the association website, the mission is “To protect, serve and promote the effectiveness of member companies and independent business people they represent. To ensure that the marketing by member companies of products and/or the direct sales opportunity is conducted with the highest level of business ethics and service to consumers.”

The Direct Sales Association launched in 1910 and has been in business just over 100 years now. It is the largest association affiliated with the Direct Sales industry. Both direct sales companies and suppliers of direct sales companies can join the association.

The association has a board of directors, which is composed of senior executives from member companies. As of 2011, the Chairman of the Board is Mr. Jerry Kelly of Silpada Designs.

Membership Information

The DSA is membership based. Direct Sales Companies wishing to join the DSA agree to pay a membership fee based upon a percentage of its direct sales. If a company wants to join the association it must go through a one year waiting period. During this time, the DSA will review the company, its business plan and determine if it meets the strict criteria to join the association.

Whenever a company joins the association, it commits to follow the code of ethics. The code of ethics outlines acceptable and unacceptable practices concerning the direct sales industry.

Direct Sales Association Awards

Each year the association presents a variety of awards to include the Technology Innovation Award, Excellence in Sales force Development Award, Rising Star Award, Vision for Tomorrow award, Success Award, Partnership Award and several other awards. In my opinion, the DSA does a great job regulating the industry and rewarding companies for innovative processes and procedures.

Please know there are many great network marketing companies affiliated with the Direct Selling Association. In all, nearly 200 companies belong to the DSA. On the other hand, just because a company belongs to the organization doesn’t mean it’s a great (or bad) opportunity. It’s up to you to evaluate the company, its products and compensation plan, before you decide to become an independent consultant.

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, the Direct Selling Association is a corporate membership organization for direct sales companies and suppliers of direct sales companies. The mission of the DSA (summarized) is to protect the reputation of the direct sales industry and maintain a high level of integrity in the industry. In my opinion, this association does lots of great things for our industry.

Please note that source of this information came from the Direct Sales Association website. The name is a registered trademark and I am in no way affiliated with the company.

chuck holmes


Chuck Holmes
Network Marketing Professional (since 2002)
Author, Blogger, & Entrepreneur

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4 thoughts on “Review of the Direct Sales Association”

  1. This is a great way to keep MLMs in line with a code of ethics. I believe that it would be in the advantage of any, and all MLMs to join the Direct Sales Association. I was just wondering how they go about “policing” the network marketing companies that are members? I am sure they have a code of ethics, but how do they “punish” any company that breaks policies.

    I recommend that anyone joining an MLM should ask if that company is a member of the Direct Sales Association. If not, the prospect should ask why.

    This is a great way to help network marketing gain a better reputation. Great post Chuck.

  2. I had no idea that the DSA had been around for so long. I like the idea that there is some sort of policing organization over MLM businesses, but really, how effective is it? The dues seem pretty high, but if a potential customer or distributor doing their homework is willing to pass over an opportunity with a company just because it is not a member of the DSA, then perhaps the dues are worth it.

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