Modern direct selling includes sales made through the party plan, one-on-one demonstrations, and other personal contact arrangements as well as internet sales. Some sources have defined direct selling as: "The direct personal presentation, demonstration, and sale of products and services to consumers, usually in their homes or at their jobs."
According to the FTC: "Direct selling is a blanket term that encompasses a variety of business forms premised on person-to-person selling in locations other than a retail establishment, such as social media platforms or the home of the salesperson or prospective customer."
Direct selling consists of two main business models: single-level marketing, in which a direct seller makes money by buying products from a parent organization and selling them directly to customers, and multi-level marketing (also known as network marketing or person-to-person marketing), in which the direct seller may earn money from both direct sales to customers and by sponsoring new direct sellers and potentially earning a commission from their efforts.[unreliable source?]
- Merrilees, Bill; Miller, Dale (1999). "Direct Selling in the West and East: The Relative Roles of Product and Relationship (Guanxi) Drivers". Journal of Business Research 45 (3): 267–273. doi:10.1016/S0148-2963(97)00238-5.
- Michael A. Belch George E. Belch Advertising and Promotion: An Integrated Marketing Communications Perspective, 7/e., McGraw-Hill/Irwin, 2006
- Xardel, Dominique (1993). The Direct Selling Revolution. Understanding the Growth of the Amway Corporation. Blackwell Publishing. pp. 3–4. ISBN 978-0-631-19229-9.
- "Business Guidance Concerning Multi-Level Marketing". FTC.gove. Federal Trade Commission. Retrieved 8 January 2018.
- Bridge, Rachel; Edwards, Paul; Edwards, Sarah A.; Economy, Peter (2014). Starting a Home Business for Dummies. Wiley. p. 36. ISBN 978-1-118-73757-6. Retrieved 31 December 2015.