By Heather King

The Direct Selling Association (DSA) is the national trade association for companies that market products and services directly to consumers through an independent, entrepreneurial sales force. They started in 1910 as the Agents Credit Association by a group of representatives in Binghamton, New York hoping to resolve issues with agents unable to collect payments. Today they provide members various services from educational materials, access to industry research, networking opportunities, professional development, and other support programs. They work with Congress, government agencies, consumer protection organizations and others on behalf of nearly 130 member companies. One of the most pivotal roles they play is through their commitment to self-regulation and their Code of Ethics. 

Question: What is the DSA Code of Ethics and how can I find it? 

Answer: DSA is committed to the highest ethical business standards for the direct selling channel and to those customers member companies serve. Their Code of Ethics is a robust series of policies that every DSA member agrees to follow as a condition of membership. It holds member companies accountable to policies that protect independent salespeople and consumers and encourages the entire marketplace for direct selling to meet these high standards. For example, the Code prohibits statements or promises that mislead consumers or prospective salespeople and sets stringent guidelines for earnings representations, product claims, sales and marketing tactics and policies for order cancellations and returns. DSA members have strengthened the Code since its enactment in 1970 to ensure it stays relevant with changing stakeholder expectations. You can find the DSA Code of Ethics here.