BBB and Direct Selling Education Foundation Partner to Educate Direct Sellers and their Customers

May 24, 2010

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 Robert Shomphe, President/CEO. “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

“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.”

About BBB

BBB, the leader in advancing marketplace trust, is an unbiased non-profit organization that sets and upholds high standards for fair and honest business behavior. Businesses that earn BBB accreditation contractually agree and adhere to the organization’s high standards of ethical business behavior. BBB provides objective advice, free business BBB Reliability Reports® and charity BBB Wise Giving Reports®, and educational information on topics affecting marketplace trust.

About DSEF

The Direct Selling Education Foundation (DSEF), created in 1973 by visionary leaders of the Direct Selling Association, serves the public as the industry’s goodwill ambassador. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., the international non-profit organization offers comprehensive programs that advance the direct selling industry’s support of consumer rights and protection, education about the industry, ethical leadership, and individual economic empowerment. Thousands of industry and community thought leaders from diverse backgrounds and organizations have come together at DSEF sponsored programs to learn, grow and create a vital and healthy business climate. Our services include conferences, training sessions, publications, university campus visits, teaching and instructional materials, networking opportunities, grants to organizations, consultative assistance and grants for research and case studies. For more information, visit