Glossary of terms

Direct selling, like most industries, has its own vocabulary to describe its people, companies, equipment, and general operating procedures. This glossary contains the most commonly accepted terminology. The language does change however, and some of the words and phrases that follow do not necessarily have the same meaning throughout the industry. These definitions are provided for background purposes only.

Code Administrator. An independent person or body appointed by a DSA to monitor member companies’ observance of the DSA’s code and to resolve complaints under the code.

Cooling-Off and Return of Goods. Provision in the Code of Ethics which requires all SELDIA member organisations, whether it is a legal requirement or not, a cooling-off clause in any order form which permits the customer to withdraw from the order within a specified period of time and to obtain reimbursement of any payment or goods traded in. Some companies offer unconditional right of return. This provision is aimed at eliminating high-pressure sales tactics.

Demonstration kit. A set of materials packaged together containing samples of merchandise and various sales aids.

Direct seller. A person who sells by the direct selling method. Many direct selling companies use different words to describe their direct sellers that are independent contractors. See “consultant,” “dealer” and “distributor.”

Distributor’s kit. Generally, the order forms, sponsoring forms and product literature sold by companies to new distributors. The materials contained in a distributor’s kit may be included as part of a demonstration kit.

Host/hostess. Person who invites friends and neighbours to attend a sales party in his or her home.

Host/hostess gift. A token of appreciation offered as a way of thanking a host or hostess for the use of his or her home to conduct a demonstration.

Party plan. A sales presentation made to a group of individuals (guests), invited by the homeowner (host/hostess).

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