Direct Selling in Canada

Detailed information for 1997





Record number:


This discontinued survey provided data on commodities sold and breakdown by method of distribution, i.e. personal selling, direct mail and other methods.

Data release - December 21, 1998


This survey provided data on commodities sold and breakdown by method of distribution, i.e. personal selling, direct mail and other methods.

Reference period: Fiscal year

Collection period: April to September


  • Retail and wholesale
  • Retail sales by type of product

Data sources and methodology

Instrument design

The results of the annual survey "Direct Selling in Canada" are based on the returns from a universe of direct selling organizations and returns from a sample of manufacturing establishments. Relevant published data from other current surveys conducted by Statistics Canada are also utilized. The universe of direct selling organizations is maintained by the Industry Division. In order to maintain this universe on a current basis, the Industry Division updates each year the mailing list of direct selling organizations through co-operation with the Association of Direct Sellers in Canada. Benchmark data on direct sales of consumer goods to household consumers by manufacturers were obtained in the 1971 Annual Survey of Manufactures (SDDS ID 2103). In order to improve the quality of data, with regard to direct sales of manufacturing establishments, the 1978 and the 1985 Annual Survey of Manufactures requested their larger manufacturers to report the value and distribution of direct sales. Commencing with the 1983 survey, the smaller bakery manufacturing establishments were also included in the sample. Estimates of direct sales for the item "Greenhouse flowers and nursery seeds, stocks, etc." are principally derived from the data published by Agriculture Division of Statistics Canada. Starting in 1986, companies reporting total direct sales of less than $100,000 were excluded from the survey. In 1985 and prior years, the survey included companies with direct sales of $20,000 or more.


This survey is a census with a cross-sectional design.

Error detection

Annually, major revisions only.


Non-response is based on last year's return.

Quality evaluation

The tables in this report cover only the direct sales made by specialized direct-sellers, manufacturers and some primary producers (greenhouses and nurseries, etc.). They do not include foreign mail-order sales to Canadians, direct sales made by Canadian department store mail-order divisions, or direct sales made by wholesalers, vending-machine operators, and service establishments.

Disclosure control

Statistics Canada is prohibited by law from releasing any information it collects that could identify any person, business, or organization, unless consent has been given by the respondent or as permitted by the Statistics Act. Various confidentiality rules are applied to all data that are released or published to prevent the publication or disclosure of any information deemed confidential. If necessary, data are suppressed to prevent direct or residual disclosure of identifiable data.

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