Previous empirical research has focused on purchases made by telephone, catalog, and computer but has neglected the 4 modes of direct selling, which are: 1. one-on-one selling in a home, 2. one-on-one selling at a workplace, 3. a sales party at a consumer’s home, and 4. a sales party at a workplace, church, or other location. Data from 988 questionnaires were collected from a sample of consumers drawn from a national consumer mail panel in August 1987. Questions covering 3 other retailing modes were included to facilitate the interpretation of perceptions. Overall, 57% of the survey participants stated that they had purchased from a direct sales company at least once in the 12 months preceding data collection, compared to the 69% that made a catalog purchase during the same time period. One-on-one direct selling in a home was the most popular mode of direct selling, with 36% of the respondents buying through such a mode in the 12-month period. Direct sales purchasers were found to be younger, more educated, and more affluent than nonpurchasers.

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