New figures have revealed that direct selling is thriving in the UK, with over a third of the UK population (34%) having chosen to buy products through this method, including via parties, catalogues or face-to-face.
The research, from the Direct Selling Association (DSA), the trade body for the industry, and YouGov, also found that 7% of people in the UK have worked as direct sellers. The figures reflect the industry’s growth in popularity in the UK, with DSA figures showing 400,000 people now make money as direct sellers – more than any other type of part time work in the country.
Direct selling includes products bought from a catalogue delivered by direct sellers (such as cosmetics), products bought in a group party environment (like kitchen equipment or jewellery), products demonstrated in a customers’ home (such as make up), or products bought direct from a direct seller at events like craft fairs or fitness clubs (like cards or nutritional supplements). Members of the DSA include Avon, Stella & Dot, The Pampered Chef, Neal’s Yard Remedies, Mary Kay and Arbonne.
Direct selling provides individuals with a unique opportunity to work flexibly around other commitments and run your own business. When people begin direct selling they purchase a starter kit, which is on average £100 for a business kit and sample products. They can then begin selling the products, making back a percentage of the sales they make.
Lynda Mills, Director General of the DSA says “These new figures reflect the strength of the direct selling industry in the UK. Direct selling is a vibrant, modern industry which offers a real alternative to traditional employment for many. With 60% of those asked saying they would like to run their own business or have flexible working hours, it’s no surprise that the industry continues to grow in popularity.”
“It’s the first time we have had data like this in the UK, and it serves to prove that direct sellers form part of the lifeblood of our small business economy in the UK.”
Direct selling lets anyone start their own business and begin selling products directly to their friends and wider contacts. It’s completely flexible; with direct sellers able to pick the hours they work to suit their own lifestyle. The DSA is responsible for promoting the sector and regulating member companies.