The Direct Selling Association, the national trade association of the leading firms that manufacture and distribute goods and services sold directly to consumers, has accepted the membership application Damsel in Defense as a “pending member” of the organization.
Pending members must complete a minimum 12 month review period, during which time the marketing and business plans of applicant companies are reviewed to ensure compliance with all provisions of DSA’s Code of Ethics. During the review period the association will also contact entities including the Better Business Bureau and the relevant state Attorney General’s office to obtain any information those organizations may have about the applicant company.
Should the applicant company’s materials or business practices need to be adjusted to meet all requirements of the Code of Ethics, DSA will work with the company to identify and address these areas.
Members of the public are also invited to provide the association with any relevant information they may have about this or any other pending company. A list of pending members may be found on DSA’s website athttp://www.dsa.org/pendingmembers/.
Upon full and proper completion of the review period, the company will then be presented to the association’s Board of Directors for a vote of approval into the association’s membership.
Damsel in Defense, headquartered in Meridian, Idaho, specializes in women’s self defense products.
“The members of the Direct Selling Association pride themselves in their commitment to the highest standards in business ethics,” said DSA’s President Joseph Mariano. “By applying for membership in the association and going through a rigorous approval process, these companies are demonstrating that they take their ethical obligations to their field salesforce and to the ultimate customer seriously and are willing to make a public pledge to that effect.”
DSA’s Code of Ethics gives the direct selling industry one of the strongest self-regulatory codes in business today. All member companies, including applicants, are not only required to comply with the Code to be admitted to the association, but must also continue to uphold and promote the Code as a condition of continuing membership in the association. DSA’s Code is enforced by an independent code administrator who investigates and prescribes remedies in response to salesforce and consumer complaints against member companies.
The Code itself includes provisions requiring truthful disclosure of product information regarding price, grade, quality, quantity and availability. The Code expressly prohibits pyramid schemes, deceptive or unlawful consumer or recruiting practices, misrepresentation of earning or sales potential, inventory loading and unreasonable entrance fees.
DSA is the national trade association of the leading firms that manufacture and distribute goods and services sold directly to consumers. Among its more than 240 active and pending members are companies selling both via a party-plan method and in the traditional person-to-person style. In 2012, U.S. direct sales were more than $31.6 billion with nearly 16 million direct sellers nationwide. The vast majority are independent business people—micro-entrepreneurs—whose purpose is to sell the product/service of the company they voluntarily choose to represent. Approximately 90 percent of direct sellers operate their business part-time.
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