Direct selling – where independent consultants sell products and services away from a traditional retail setting – is growing. After all, as many entrepreneurs look for a way to make extra money and learn new skills, what’s better than promoting quality products to your social network. From strong industry mainstays like Mary Kay, Pampered Chef and Avon, to rising new companies like Monat and Steeped Tea, there is a world of opportunity out there.
But don’t be fooled, it’s important to understand that not all direct selling companies are created equal. Only those who are members of the Direct Sellers Association of Canada (DSA Canada) are covered by the DSA Code of Ethics, which provides a level of security for both independent sales consultants (ISCs) and consumers. Among other things, the Code:
- Prohibits deceptive consumer or recruiting practices
- Mandates truthful earnings representations
- Forbids inventory loading
- Ensures a fair and reasonable buy-back policy
The Code is enforced by an independent code administrator, who works to resolve any complaint to the satisfaction of everyone involved, and has the power to decide on remedies.
As an ISC, the Code provides you with a level of trust, both in your dealings with your parent company and your customers. Having the backing of the Code, and even featuring the DSA logo on marketing materials, signals to your customers that they will be treated fairly and ethically in all transactions.
Are you covered?
Only members of DSA Canada and their ISCs are pledged to abide by the Code of Ethics. You and your customers are not covered if:
- Your company is not a DSA Canada member
- Your company is a member of another countries DSA (e.g. the US), but not a member in Canada
- Your company’s membership has lapsed
DSA Canada’s membership list changes every year, so to confirm if you are working with a member company, it is best to check the DSA website regularly – www.dsa.ca/member-directory. If your company is not a member, maybe it is time they joined, to support their Canadian entrepreneurs.
In Canada, direct selling companies are represented by DSA Canada, who advocate to government on behalf of the industry, provide business support and networking opportunities to member companies, promote the direct selling opportunity, and uphold the need for ethics and integrity. Find out more at: www.dsa.ca.