Direct Selling continues to successfully deliver a strong return on investment and creates opportunities for millions around the world. Globally, direct selling includes more than 90 million independent sales people who sell nearly $154 billion of goods and services.

While direct selling is best known in local communities for providing opportunities for entrepreneurs and "the person next door," while delivering a wide-range of consumer products on Main Street, it is also a viable, long-term investment opportunity on Wall Street. In the latest global data, most publicly traded direct selling companies reported strong earnings and income in 2011 – in some cases realizing an increase of more than 250 percent in stock price from 2009 – 2011.
The direct selling industry is a growing force in the global economy and remains an attractive investment opportunity because of its long-term growth potential. The industry, over the last 150 years, has continued to grow and deliver strong return on investment. Analysts are consistent in providing positive valuations calling for long-term stock investments in publicly-traded companies. Many analysts have cited the operating margins, including low overhead costs, low operating costs with minimal marketing and advertising costs, as a positive to many of these companies. Direct selling attracts investors from around the world, such as Warren Buffet, Carl Icahn and many others. Legitimate direct sellers have worked hard to clearly differentiate themselves from illegal pyramid schemes operating outside the confines of the law and the industry's self-regulatory environment. It is this differentiation that has led to the industry's increasing popularity and growing profits.

Emerging slowly from a global recession, world economies remained in a state of flux in 2012 and so too did the industries that power them. The direct selling industry was no exception, combating a pinball effect bouncing region by region and country by country from growth to loss and back again.

While anticipating the 2012 results of the World Federation of Direct Selling Associations' (WFDSA) General Annual Statistical Survey in June, Direct Selling News takes a look at the industry's Billion Dollar Markets.

There are 22 countries included in the review of billion dollar markets, and these countries comprise 90 percent of global direct selling retail sales. The top five countries—the United States, Japan, China, Korea and Brazil—generate over 60 percent of global direct selling retail sales. Turkey and Indonesia are newcomers to the list.

This collection of Billion Dollar Markets was compiled utilizing 2011 data (the most recent available to date), collected via the WFDSA Global Research Sub-Committee, which is headed by Judy Jones. Jones, who is also Chair of the U.S. DSA Industry Research Committee and Insights Lead, Consumer & Market Insights for Amway, devised research processes that include global reporting surveys, improved local DSA and company cooperation and confidentiality procedures to ensure company participation. By continually fine-tuning the collection process and striving for 100 percent reporting from 60 global DSAs, the research will eventually provide comparable global and regional growth and trending statistics. This data, in turn, will help direct selling companies optimize international expansion efforts and educate the world about the direct selling industry and its impact on the economy.

The research from 2011 says that all over the world some 91.5 million entrepreneurial-minded direct sellers built their own businesses or worked as part-time micro-entrepreneurs to earn extra income, learn new skills, seek contacts, build self-esteem and give back to their communities. They sold wellness products in Korea, Malaysia and Taiwan; home improvement items in France; and cosmetics in Russia, Turkey, Venezuela, Colombia and Argentina. Globally, they achieved $153.7 billion in sales.

The United States led global retail direct sales at $29.8 billion, with Japan ranking second at $23.8 billion. And there was growth—75.5 percent in Venezuela, 30.9 percent in Malaysia and 23 percent in Argentina.

"Statistically, in developing countries and some other markets in Asia, the direct selling industry is growing. In other markets, the sales may be flat, but the number of direct sellers is growing," says Tamuna Gabilaia, Executive Director of WFDSA. "You can see an overall trend that direct selling is growing. You can see it in America and Asia. You look in Russia too, and it is growing at a very fast pace."

Michael Meissner, Vice President of Corporate Affairs at Amway Europe, says, "Around the world, we see a lot of young people taking the opportunity to become entrepreneurs. Look at Asia or Russia; their entrepreneurial spirit is amazing. In Europe, self-employment offers great opportunities for people from all walks of life, too."

Despite global economic strife, direct selling remains uniquely poised for expansion in both advanced and emerging markets. WFDSA industry research shows advanced markets—housing 15 percent of the world's population—accounted for 60 percent of global direct retail sales. Advanced market sales for 2011 rose 5 percent.

Emerging market sales comprised 40 percent of global direct retail sales and showed an impressive 18 percent gain in 2011. But the number of people who live in emerging markets is staggering—some 85 percent of the world's population—and enormous growth potential lies in meeting the needs of such people, who often live beyond brick-and-mortar retail infrastructure. Direct selling is a win-win for those populations, those countries and the companies who choose to do business there.
International expansion into emerging or advanced markets works best when direct selling companies get specific. "Localization is about far more than.

"It's important to maintain a balance between protecting your brand and also understanding and adjusting to local market nuances." —Marinda Chaplin, Vice President, VideoPlus Europe simply translation," says Marinda Chaplin, Vice President at VideoPlus Europe.
Expansion to Europe is commonplace for many U.S.-based direct selling companies, and Chaplin says, "It's important to maintain a balance between protecting your brand and also understanding and adjusting to local market nuances."

Generalization is the enemy. Cultural nuances between Eastern and Western Europe, for instance, can be stark. There are differences in the acceptability of entrepreneurship, the availability of disposable income, regulatory and legislative restrictions, economic factors and trend variations. Even unemployment rates come into play. Often the difference between success and failure, Chaplin says, lies in proper legal advice.

Self-determination plays a big role in Europe, where people are highly motivated and want to take their lives into their own hands. "They want to strike new paths and they would like to manage their time more flexibly and live a better work-life balance—aims which are easy to implement with direct selling business models," Amway Europe's Meissner says.

"While Amway Europe will consider the trends that will grow the business, there is a need to consider the challenges—to understand what drives the future generation to the direct selling industry as a whole and how we tap into that potential," he says.

WFDSA stats show direct sellers are overwhelmingly female—75 percent globally. In some markets, women dominate the salesforce even more. Latin American countries, such as Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Mexico, Peru and Venezuela, all exceed 90 percent female direct sellers. To serve and encourage more women around the world, WFDSA launched Global Solutions for Women's Economic Empowerment Initiative in 2011 to provide basic business skills training to women micro entrepreneurs.

In Latin America, Mary Kay Inc. has succeeded by embracing a population filled with hard-working, socially extroverted and highly entrepreneurial women. Women of all ages seek to earn extra money, dream of having their own businesses, and have large networks of family and friends—perfect avenues for acquiring customers.

"The world population is 'graying'... [in Asia alone] the anti-aging category is growing at 20 percent per year." —Sydnee Fox, Senior Manager, Corporate Public Relations, Nu Skin avenues for acquiring customers.

Latin American Mary Kay representatives and customers also love deals and discounts. Patricia Wanderley, Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Latin America at Mary Kay Inc., says, "Companies must offer 'news' more frequently than in other markets—whether new products, promotions or a new twist to an exciting program. Women in the region are drawn to newness."

Because fragrances are a critical category to Latin American consumers, Mary Kay is expanding its product line and bringing to market fragrances made specifically for Latin women.

Nu Skin, a huge player in the Asian market, also understands what their customers want and keeps an eye on what demographic trends predict for the future. "The world population is 'graying'—in 2050 the United Nations estimates that Asia will account for more than 60 percent of the global elderly population; the anti-aging category is growing at 20 percent per year," says Sydnee Fox, Senior Manager, Corporate Public Relations at Nu Skin.

*Source: WFDSA

With the advent of the Internet and the ability of information to travel at the speed of light, the world is shrinking. That is good for the WFDSA, which is linked even more tightly with 60 international direct selling associations. "We work with direct selling associations around the world every day. We know what's happening in other markets," Gabilaia says.

Beyond research and statistics, WFDSA promotes ethical business practices through educational programs and by working with stakeholders throughout the direct selling industry globally. "Every ethical company wants to become a member of the local direct selling association and comply with their Code of Ethics. And every DSA in the world adopted the WFDSA Code of Conduct and all member DSAs must comply with this," she says.

WFDSA's Extra Territorial Provision to their Code of Ethics affords member companies and consumers extra protection from potentially questionable behaviors. "Complaints can be filed in the country where the company is headquartered and WFDSA can reach out to the company's home DSA and help rectify the issue," Gabilaia says.

Direct selling companies operating internationally are not always aware of the questionable actions of individual direct sellers. WFDSA assists with the logistics of meeting the ethical expectations of member companies.

Here's a glimpse at the 2011 WFDSA ranking of Direct Selling's Billion Dollar Markets and how they fared in 2012.

2% of the global market † total percent of the global market

The United States is the largest billion dollar market in the world, capturing 20 percent of global direct selling market share for the second consecutive year. Some 15.6 million direct sellers grew U.S. market sales 4.6 percent and generated $29.9 billion.

Women dominate the field of direct selling (78 percent) and participate in both person-to-person (65 percent) and party plan (31 percent) sales. Compensation plans are primarily of the multilevel variety (96 percent).

Product sales category leaders include: wellness (24 percent), household goods and durable (20 percent), cosmetics and personal care (18 percent), and clothing and accessories (12 percent).

With $23.9 billion in sales, Japan is the second-largest billion dollar market in the direct selling industry. Product categories such as cosmetics/personal care, wellness, and household goods lead sales at 30 percent, 28 percent, and 21 percent, respectively.

While Japan's portion of global direct retail sales held steady at 16 percent, sales volume slipped 4.7 percent in 2011 due to continuing global economic strife. As for 2012, Etsuko Utsumi of the Japan Direct Selling Association says, "The Japanese economy is said to see a sign of recovering slowly, but it is still opaque." Expectations for 2012 sales figures run consistent with those of 2011.

Japan's Cabinet Office approved the Japan Direct Selling Association in April 2012 as a "public-interest juridical body's organization."

A huge contingent of 3.4 million direct sellers—77 percent of which are female—participate almost exclusively (94 percent) in person-to-person direct selling businesses. The majority of compensation plans are single level (52 percent), with multilevel at 36 percent.

With the April 2012 approval of the Japan Direct Selling Association by Japan's Cabinet Office as a "public-interest juridical body's organization," Utsumi says the role JDSA plays for the public and consumers is larger and more important than ever before. "It means the JDSA is more reliable and a more firm association as a whole."

There is currently no formalized direct selling industry in China, so the WFDSA Global Research Sub-Committee has done secondary research to size the market. To that end, WFDSA's Gabilaia says, "In China, we saw in increase in sales and the number of salespeople."

WFDSA estimates that China's informal direct selling community generated $16.3 in 2011, grabbing 11 percent of the global direct selling market share. That was up 1 percent from 2010. Overall sales growth in China was up 16.2 percent, according to the WFDSA.

Gabilaia says, "People started investing more time in direct selling. They wanted to earn additional income. Every year they are growing steadily. Emerging markets like China enjoy consistent growth."

Research and development on the part of Nu Skin, a longtime participant in the Asian direct selling market since opening in Hong Kong 23 years ago, includes developing products to meet the needs of this market. For instance, the skincare concerns of Asian ethnicities focus on skin tone, rather than wrinkles. "On the nutritional side, we have integrated traditional Chinese ingredients with cutting-edge science that is embraced by Asian cultures," says Nu Skin's Fox.

Nu Skin now does business in 13 markets throughout Asia and future growth of direct selling in China seems a foregone conclusion. Fox says, "There is an increase in discretionary spending in many emerging economies throughout the region. For example, according to [McKinsey & Company research], Mainland China's middle class is expected to expand from about 29 percent of China's 190 million urban households to 75 percent of a projected 372 million urban households by 2025."

Korea's direct selling industry posted 4.7 percent growth with total direct selling retail sales of $12.9 billion. For the second straight year Korea captured 8 percent of global direct selling market share with wellness (38 percent) and cosmetics/personal care (26 percent) ranking at the top of product category sales. In Korea, 74 percent of its 4.2 million direct sellers are women. Most (75 percent) participate in person-to-person sales and 72 percent are paid on single-level compensation plans.

To be sure, Brazilians are an enterprising group, with 2.8 million direct sellers. They relish the personal contact direct selling offers and, like their counterparts in other countries, enjoy fostering new relationships, exchanging information and sharing experiences.

Sales, some $12 billion, come as a result of trusted recommendations of friends and family, plus a good dose of compassion. "Brazilians are very altruistic and buy goods from representatives in order to help them," says Roberta Kuruzu, Executive Director at Associacao Brasileira de Empresas de Vendas Diretas (ABEVD), Brazil's direct selling association.

"Direct selling is the channel to distribute product to consumers who do not have access to malls and stores." —Roberta Kuruzu, Executive Director, ABEVD, Brazil's direct selling association

Pair this altruistic society with a deficit of traditional retail establishments across most of the country and it is easy to see why direct selling is a powerhouse industry in Brazil. "Direct selling is the channel to distribute product to consumers who do not have access to malls and stores," Kuruzu says.

These sales figures represent a 5.2 percent increase from 2010, and Brazil comprises 8 percent of global direct sales overall.

In 2013, Kuruzu expects that product categories like cosmetics, fragrances and toiletries (CFT) will keep their market share, and new categories such as supplements/well-being, housewares and fashion will grow. "The Brazilian market has a huge opportunity for growth in other product categories since almost 90 percent of the current business is focused on CFT."

She adds, "In Brazil, logistics and investments in infrastructure will be crucial for the direct selling business and for the economy." To combat economic woes, direct selling companies operating in Brazil will have to "dedicate themselves to improving the level of services offered to the representatives and final customers."

With a predominantly female (96 percent) direct selling force of 2.2 million, Mexico generated sales of $6.3 billion in 2011. Person-to-person sales make up 90 percent of direct selling business models and some 62 percent of direct sellers are compensated on a single-level system.

The most popular product sales categories are cosmetics and personal care (42 percent), clothing and accessories (31 percent) and wellness items (21 percent). One of Mexico's leading direct selling companies is Mary Kay Inc., who entered the Mexican market 25 years ago.

Mary Kay's Wanderley says, "The business environment is complex in the Latin American region, including security issues in Mexico. Companies have to be flexible, nimble and creative to find solutions to barriers that are put in front of them."

Regardless of the obstacles, Wanderley says, "In Latin America the dream that Mary Kay started 50 years ago is alive and growing." Mexico's direct selling industry grew 10.2 percent in 2011, comprising a global market share of 4 percent for the second straight year.

France formally recognized direct selling and gave it legal status in 2012.
When France formally recognized direct selling and gave it legal status in 2012, it came at an increased cost to direct sellers, who were obligated to make social and health contributions. But, according to Maurits Bruggink, Executive Director of Seldia, a collective European direct selling association organization, the change served to promote the industry countrywide and increased consumer confidence in direct sellers. An added benefit to the French government is the ability to now include direct selling in national job-creation statistics.

Any tangible effect on direct sales growth in France will not be measureable until 2012 WFDSA statistics are released in June of this year, but Bruggink hopes that France will serve as an example to other countries to introduce and pass similar direct selling related legislation. Regardless, half a million French direct sellers, mostly women (78 percent), grew their country's direct selling industry 2.2 percent in 2011. They most frequently sold home improvement (40 percent) and household goods and durables (19 percent) for total national sales of $5.1 billion, a 3 percent global market share.

The way Germans want to buy products is changing. At least that's what a survey of 1,000 consumers late last year indicates. A TNS Infratest survey, on behalf of the German Direct Selling Association, showed an increased importance of direct selling for 15 percent of respondents, and shopping parties gained popularity, with 21 percent. Those trends were particularly pronounced among younger Germans.

"Consumers find it more and more difficult to find competent advice while buying in stores," says Jochen Clausnitzer, General Manager for the German Direct Selling Association. "The consumer's need to get advice is also not met while buying online; therefore, consumers find direct selling increasingly attractive."

Germany's direct selling companies deliver that expert advice in a nearly even split of sales methods: person-to-person (48 percent) and party plan (52 percent). Household goods and durables lead product category sales at 34 percent, thanks in part to recent innovations. Cosmetics and personal care rank second at 19 percent.

Strong corporate players in the marketplace include Vorwerk, Tupperware, WIV, AMC, InmediaONE (Bertelsmann), Mary Kay, Heim & Haus, Bofrost and LR Health & Beauty Systems.
"Jewelry trunk shows are becoming increasingly popular among younger people," Clausnitzer says. "Even chocolate parties performed by the company, Lindt, are currently having a good start in Germany."

Attracting new direct sellers and customers via the Internet and social media, as well as a trend toward multi-channel marketing, are Germany's greatest opportunities for 2013.

Unscrupulous activities of some nonmember direct selling companies have and continue to tarnish the industry's reputation in Germany, according to Clausnitzer. Low unemployment rates can also make recruiting a challenge, but some 300,000 German direct sellers (80 percent female) generated $3.7 billion (down 5.1 percent) in 2011, comprising 2 percent of global direct sales. Attracting new direct sellers and customers via the Internet and social media, as well as a trend toward multi-channel marketing, are Germany's greatest opportunities for 2013.

Cosmetics and personal-care items represent 70 percent of all direct selling products sold in Russia, where industry sales totaled $3.6 billion in 2011. The 4.1 million Russian direct sellers (87 percent female) promote their products using person-to-person sales and are paid entirely (100 percent) on multilevel compensation plans.

Sales growth in 2011 was 4.6 percent, higher than other areas of Europe. Central European countries are known to be champions against overregulation of the direct selling industry, according to Seldia's Bruggink. He believes Russia's growth is due to fewer government regulations and a population that is eager for the opportunities direct selling offers.

"A major challenge in 2012 has been the economic crisis in the European Union—especially in countries like Greece, Portugal, Spain and Italy," Amway Europe's Meissner says.

In spite of the region's economic woes, Italian direct selling retail sales remained steady and totaled $3.4 billion in 2011. Some 400,000 direct sellers sold through a mix of person-to-person (66 percent) and party plan (35 percent). Cosmetics and personal care ranked No. 1 in product sales categories at 26 percent, with wellness and household goods, durables and foodstuff/beverages at 18 percent and 14 percent, respectively.

Women comprise 76 percent of Italy's direct selling force and compensation was split 65 percent single-level and 35 percent multi-level

Malaysia's salesforce of 7.4 million direct sellers is one of the most evenly divided by gender in the world. While women still comprise a majority of 59 percent, Malaysian men make up a significant 41 percent of the country's direct selling force.

In 2011 Malaysia's direct selling market rose an astounding 30.9 percent. The most popular sales category products are wellness (34 percent), cosmetics and personal care (23 percent), and household goods and durables (22 percent). Of those sales 100 percent are made using a person-to-person sales strategy and 95 percent of Malaysia's direct sellers earn multi-level compensation.

In 2011 Venezuela's direct selling market rose an amazing 75.5 percent.
Venezuela, along with its Latin American direct selling neighbors, touts a salesforce that is almost exclusively female—91 percent of the country's 1.2 million direct sellers are women. They produced total market sales of $2.9 billion in 2011, an increase of 75.5 percent, according to WFDSA research. Nearly half (46 percent) of those sales were in the cosmetics and personal-care category.

The direct selling model is more widely accepted throughout Asia than within the United States. In Taiwan more than 4 million of its 23 million people are involved in direct sales," says Nu Skin's Fox.

Taiwan's 4.7 million-strong direct selling workforce is mostly female (68 percent) and 100 percent of direct selling companies report multi-level compensation plans with a person-to-person sales model. Wellness products are the hands-down leader in product sales, an astounding 59 percent. Total Taiwan sales in 2011 were $2.8 billion, up 3 percent from the year before and less than 2 percent of global sales.

Canada's direct selling market is evenly divided both in sales methods and product category sales. The country's 700,000 direct sellers represent an equal cross-section of the most popular direct selling product categories: wellness (25 percent), household goods and durables (23 percent), clothing and accessories (21 percent) and cosmetic and personal care (19 percent). Party plan sales comprise 53 percent and person-to-person sales stand at 44 percent.

While $2.2 billion in sales was recorded in 2011, there was no marked sales growth, and total global market share remained at less than 2 percent. The salesforce gender split is 84 percent female, 16 percent male. Most (83 percent) are paid through multi-level compensation plans.

Direct selling in Thailand is a unique industry when it comes to growth amid economic turmoil, says Kittawat Ritteerawee, President of the Thai Direct Selling Association. "Either positive or negative, it does not really affect the business much. The number of business owners and sales volume are still increasing. When the economy is good, consumers will have more purchasing power. If economic regression happens, there will be more new business owners, as people will try to earn more income."

"[Young people are drawn to direct selling], wanting to be entrepreneurs, not employees. They also desire to design their own lives and become rich and successful when they are still young… ."
—Kittawat Ritteerawee, President, Thai Direct Selling Association

Some 15.6 million Thai people, nearly 25 percent of Thailand's overall population of 69.5 million, are direct sellers. Young people are especially drawn to the industry. "They want to be entrepreneurs, not employees. They also desire to design their own lives and become rich and successful when they are still young, specifically before the age of 30," Ritteerawee says.

Thai people of all ages (70 percent female) look to direct selling (59 percent person-to-person, 36 percent party plan) as a means of support when faced with economic or natural disasters that can make jobs scarce. It is particularly appealing because it requires little work experience, offers mentorship and learning opportunities within direct sales uplines, and provides low-cost entry to the business. Most direct sales compensation plans are multi-level (89 percent).

While Thailand comprises only 2 percent of the global direct retail sales ($2.1 billion in 2011), its rapid annual growth of 8.3 percent makes it a billon dollar market to watch. Health and beauty products lead sales. Major corporate players in the region are Amway, Mistine, Giffarine, Zhulian, Nu Skin and Aviance. Niche product development that meets the needs of specific Thai target groups is commonplace. Ritteerawee predicts, "Brands will compete to create new innovations or technologies in beauty and healthcare in this year, more than in 2012."

AEC (ASEAN Economic Community) should prove important in 2013, as business owners plan for long-term growth and expand international business channels. Ritteerawee welcomes the focus of direct selling companies on ASEAN countries, the new players they will bring to Thailand and more intense competition. "It will drive development and consumers will benefit from it," he says.

Cosmetics and personal-care items are the products of choice (59 percent) for some 1.2 million direct sellers in Colombia. Compensation methods for the exceedingly female (95 percent) Colombian salesforce is the most evenly divided among the Billion Dollar Markets. Of direct selling companies operating in the country, 46 percent base compensation on single-level; while 54 percent use a multi-level system.

Colombia's $2 billion total market sales were the result of person-to-person sales methods (86 percent) and grew 14.1 percent in 2011.

The global economic recession continues to "bite deeply," according to Paul Southworth, Director General of the United Kingdom Direct Selling Association. While direct sales growth was down 2 percent in 2011 and DSA membership fell slightly in 2012, "We have also seen some good success stories, which overall shows that we are holding our own against other sectors," he says. "Direct selling continues to offer a great opportunity and alternative income stream."

VideoPlus Europe's Chaplin says, "The companies who succeed best are those who understand that in order to grow in a recession, they must do things differently. Some companies chose to cut back during the recession, and you can see that in their results. While other companies chose to stay strong and push through the recession, even introducing new products, new incentives, new strategies—all of which helped them experience growth through the recession."

By far, wellness products lead U.K. sales, and person-to-person is a preferred sales method, with 72 percent of the U.K.'s 400,000 direct selling force promoting products this way. Most are women (76 percent) and 90 percent are compensated on more than one level of business.

Supply chain issues in Argentina can make the business environment complex in this growing direct selling region. Mary Kay Inc. has 33 years of experience doing business here, and according Wanderley, its Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Latin America, companies must show flexibility and creativity when facing obstacles in Latin America.

"In Argentina, the government has put up barriers to import, so we had to focus our efforts on quickly localizing the manufacturing of our products. Even so, importing components into Argentina has been a challenge. Our success in the region relies greatly on increasing local manufacturing capabilities and we have a capable team focused on these efforts," Wanderley says.

Latin American women are highly entrepreneurial, hard workers and love to socialize—three characteristics that can lead to direct selling success.

Cosmetics and personal-care items make up 59 percent of product sales in Argentina. Most direct sellers work person-to-person (87 percent) to fulfill their customers' needs and are paid on a single-level compensation plan.

Direct selling is a very female dominated industry in Argentina. Some 94 percent of the country's 600,000 direct sellers are women. Latin American women are highly entrepreneurial, hard-working and love to socialize—three characteristics that can lead to direct selling success. All told, Argentina's direct selling industry grew by 23 percent, with total sales of $1.6 billion.

Hard hit by the Global Financial Crisis, Australia experienced a retail slowdown that continued through 2012. John Holloway, Executive Director of the Direct Selling Association of Australia, says, "This experience has found its way to direct selling, but anecdotal reports from members are patchy."

Direct sales growth in Australia was down 12.4 percent, reporting in at $1.4 billion total (2 percent of global sales). But, Holloway says, "Across party plan and network marketing models some members are reporting healthy growth, others negative or stable. We expect the 2012 numbers to show an overall improvement in member sales and sponsorship. There are encouraging signs for market improvement in 2013."

Wellness and cosmetics/personal care tie as product category sales leaders, at 28 percent each. Australia's predominantly female (85 percent) salesforce of 400,000 works a nearly even split between person-to-person (46 percent) and party plan (49 percent) sales formats, and 95 percent of them earn multi-level compensation.

Peruvians are among the most entrepreneurial population in the world. A General Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) study showed four out of 10 Peruvians between 18 and 65 perform some entrepreneurial activity. Direct selling's basis in this culture began some 40 years ago, when a local company with poor representation in the country's interior used a direct selling business model to expand. That success heightened Peru's collective entrepreneurial spirit.

Today, 90 percent of Peru's $1.2 billion in direct sales is generated through person-to-person sales by one of the most predominantly female salesforces on earth (90 percent). Some 400,000 direct sellers grew this market by 8 percent.

Cosmetics and personal-care products lead product category sales at 36 percent, and strong corporate players include Avon, Natura, Belcorp, Unique (Yanbal International) and Oriflame. Clothing and accessories comprise 29 percent of the market, and wellness, 19 percent, with Herbalife a leader in this product category.

While no major direct sellers are expected to land in Peru in 2013, Cinthia Ramirez Santillana, Administradora of Camara Peruana de Venta Directa (CAPEVEDI), says, "Considering the increase of retail malls, shopping centers and supermarkets, not only in Lima, but also in provinces, and the increase in purchasing power of the Peruvians, that will certainly improve consumption in general; we expect to continue developing the channel and strengthening the image of direct selling."

Last year, CAPEVEDI, Peru's direct selling association, worked in conjunction with COPECOH, the Peruvian Cosmetics and Personal Care Committee of the Lima Chamber of Commerce, to develop and strengthen the sector and promote close relationships with Peru's Ministry of Health, the General Director of Sanitary, Congress and trade associations.

Ramirez Santillana plans to continue those efforts in 2013 and make CAPEVEDI a "widely recognized symbol of quality, confidence and safety among consumers and prospects." CAPEVEDI launches a Women's Empowerment project sponsored by WFDSA in May.

New to the Billion Dollar Market list with $1.2 billion in direct retail sales is Turkey. Cosmetics and personal care is Turkey's direct selling powerhouse, representing 75 percent of total sales. Growth in the market is up 17.6 percent.

Some 1.2 million direct sellers, 79 percent of whom are women, participate in almost entirely person-to-person (98 percent) selling activities, and 90 percent are paid on multi-levels.

Indonesia is a vast archipelago of 17,000 islands with a population of more than 237 million. Some 8.3 million of them are direct sellers. Indonesia broke into the Billion Dollar Markets this year, with $1 billion in total sales and 10 percent total sales growth over 2010 statistics.