About Direct Selling

What is direct selling?

Direct selling is a method of marketing and retailing goods and services directly to the consumers, in their homes or in any other location away from permanent retail premises. It is usually conducted in a face-to-face manner - either where products are demonstrated to an individual , or to a group or where a catalogue is left with the consumer and where the direct seller call as later to collect orders. Unlike direct marketing or mail order, direct selling is based principally on personal contact with the customer. 

"Over 14 million of persons are involved in direct selling in Europe out of which 79% are women"



70% of direct selling is person to person

Main direct selling methods:

  • person-to-person: usually by prior arrangement or introduction, an explanation or a demonstration is given by a direct seller to a customer and the customer's family; 
  • party plan: selling through explanation and demonstration of products to a group of prospective customers by a direct seller, usually in the home of a hostess who has invited other people for that purpose. 


Multilevel marketing (MLM)

Many direct selling companies, both person-to-person and party plan, are now organised on multilevel principles. This is where direct sellers are given the opportun ity, in addition to the rewards from making personal sales, to build their own sales teams. In doing so, they are able to receive additional rewards that come from the sales achieved by those they have recruited trained, helped and motivated.

Direct Selling in Europe

In 2015, the direct selling sector enjoyed a growth over 7% in the EU, and accounted for sales € 28,2 billion. Sales in entire European region amounted to 32 bn €. In the EU, growth was driven by the five largest markets: Germany, France, UK, Italy and Poland.

More information on "Publications/statistics"


“Direct Selling is Europe’s largest provider of independent business opportunities”



    Seldia Supports


    The Women Entrepreneurship Platform is a not-for-profit organisation founded by Seldia in 2013 with the objective of raising awareness about the barriers preventing women from taking the entrepreneurial path and creating their own business.

    For more information click here.