What is Direct Selling?

Marie Lacroix gives us the lowdown on direct selling and what it means for consumers.
  Photo credit: Seldia

By Marie Lacroix

29 Oct 2019

Direct selling is a retail and marketing channel for distributing goods and services directly to consumers, in their homes or at any other location, away from the high-street.

It may even take the form of presenting products from a catalogue or via a demonstration.

The total volume of direct sales in Europe was over €30bn in 2018.


The retail channel is suitable for all types of products, and more and more companies are recognising and adopting direct selling as a successful method for reaching out to consumers.

Direct Selling is social selling. To succeed, direct sellers rely on strong personal relationships with their customers who benefit from personalised advice - a strategy built through face-to-face interactions, product demonstrations, word-of-mouth and social media.

At the same time, direct selling companies provide training to their salesforce, who acquire transferable skills and embark on a process of lifelong learning while managing their own business.

In a sense, Direct Selling is the original “gig”, it attracts entrepreneurial-minded individuals who value independence but want a business model with low start-up costs and low risk.

Direct Selling offers people of all backgrounds an opportunity to achieve personal fulfilment, financial independence, and empowerment through entrepreneurship and social retail.


                               Age of direct sellers                                           Completed studies by direct sellers



Find out more at www.directsellingis.eu


What is Seldia?

Seldia was founded in 1968 and represents, at European level, the voices of companies using direct selling as a method of distribution, as well as direct sellers and their customers.

We represent 28 national direct selling associations and 19 direct selling companies, and support movements promoting women entrepreneurship and lifelong learning processes.

“In a sense, Direct Selling is the original “gig”, it attracts entrepreneurial-minded individuals who embark on a process of lifelong learning”

In 2013, we laid the foundations for the Women Entrepreneurship Platform (www.womenentrepreneurshipplatform.org), today an independent organisation invested in raising awareness about the barriers preventing women from starting their own businesses.

We aim to promote a clear understanding of how direct selling works, as well as highlighting the diverse benefits our sector brings to Europe.

EU policymaking is of outmost importance for Seldia and its members. Seldia has been acknowledged by the European Commission to be an important contributor, particularly to EU consumer policy.

Since 2016, Seldia is member of the Commission’s Consumer REFIT stakeholder group.

Other EU policy areas are of great interest for Seldia, such as the Digital Single Market, Competition and Employment.

Maintaining and safeguarding the highest standards of ethics and protection for companies, direct sellers and customers is a core part of our work.

Our European Code of Conduct guarantees comprehensive protection to both customers and direct sellers, going beyond protections provided by law.


Interested in finding out more about Seldia? Register here for our event on November 5.


Follow us on Twitter: @SeldiaEU