Bringing the Economy Home

Do Direct Sales Models Work Better In The West?

Direct Selling Association

Percent of sales by region in 2010.

When I started researching the direct sales industry and one of Idaho’s newest direct sales companies, Scentsy, I wanted to find out if that model of selling at parties and events does particularly well in Idaho.

The Direct Selling Association has this handy map that shows the percent of sales by region.  Idaho is part of the western region, which accounted for more than a quarter of direct sales in 2010.  That puts the western region in second place, behind the South, for percent of total sales.

So are people in the West and South just more likely to go to home parties?  Are we particularly drawn to certain products?  Yes and no. 

DSA spokesperson Amy Robinson says it’s all very anecdotal.  There’s no data to back up her initial reaction, which is, rural areas might be more likely to shop the direct sales route than urban ones.

“If you live in an urban area you might be more likely to go to the coffee shop,” says Robinson. “Perhaps people living in an apartment might not have the space and might not tend to meet there.”

President of Scentsy North America, one of Idaho’s fastest growing direct sales companies, says they do better in suburban markets.  “I think that’s a combination of the direct sales dynamic,” says Mark Stastny, “and the types of products and the design of our products… [they] don’t speak as well to the traditional urban markets, which is something we’re interested in understanding.”

There are currently four direct sales companies based in Idaho that are registered with the Direct Selling Association.  An industry trade group.


About StateImpact

StateImpact seeks to inform and engage local communities with broadcast and online news focused on how state government decisions affect your lives.
Learn More »