Better Business Bureau (BBB) and the Direct Selling Education Foundation (DSEF) today announced the launch of a national partnership to raise awareness of ethical business practices and consumer protection by providing expert advice and guidance for direct sellers and their customers.
According to the most recent figures from the Direct Selling Association more than 15 million people in the US sold about $30 billion in products and services through direct selling in 2008. Nearly one-third of the sales were for personal items such as cosmetics, jewelry, skin care; a quarter of the items sold were for home goods including cleaning products and cookware. Worldwide, direct selling is a $100 billion industry.
“The direct selling industry represents a vibrant channel of distribution, and BBB and the DSEF created this partnership to educate the growing number of sellers and customers on their responsibilities and rights,” said Stephen A. Cox, President and CEO of the Council of Better Business Bureaus. “Building trust is integral to success in sales and it’s important for direct sellers to maintain best practices and for customers to know what to expect when making a purchase.”
BBB and DSEF have created a series of articles, videos and PSAs to educate direct sellers, their customers and even those considering a career path in direct selling. The topics covered include maintaining ethical sales practices, understanding consumer rights and recognizing red flags to avoid pyramid schemes. All the information is available for free online at http://www.bbb.org/us/DSEF-tips/
“Promoting ethical business practices is at the heart of DSEF’s mission,” said Charles L. Orr, Executive Director, Direct Selling Education Foundation. “Our partnership with BBB brings ethics to life for both direct sellers and their customers.”