Direct selling and the big impact it has on the Utah economy

Aug 17, 2022, 5:30 PM | Updated: 8:01 pm
direct sales Utah...
FILE: A view of doTERRA essential oil booth August 25, 2021 in New York City. (Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for Mercedes-Benz)
(Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for Mercedes-Benz)

Big businesses like DoTERRA and Nu Skin share more in common with a door-to-door salesman than you may think. They both follow a direct selling business model, and they are popular. These companies made up more than 71% of Utah’s exports in 2020.

Over the decades, Utah has developed into a hub for direct sales. Dr. Levi Pace, a senior research economist from the Ken C. Gardner Policy Institute at the University of Utah, spoke with KSL about its prominence in the state. 

“One thing I didn’t realize was the extent to which this industry brings in revenue from other states and from customers globally,” said Pace.

According to his findings in a study titled, An Economic Analysis of Utah’s Direct Selling Industry, 10 direct selling companies combined for $6.3 billion in international sales. 

Direct sales have proved to be lucrative, but what are they?

Person-to-person selling, fueled by personal networks

Pace said that direct selling includes companies that have a person-to-person selling business model. Fueled by making contacts with their personal networks, he explained that not every internet retail company is a direct sales model.

“Direct selling often involves a lot of in-house manufacturing as well. So ordering and ingredients, but also preparing things,” said Pace. 

According to a paper published by Pace, the direct selling industry employed 17,487 Utahns. It has also indirectly supported 20,751 jobs through industrial activity. These are highly skilled jobs that pay above average said Pace  

“So we’re in the neighborhood of $63-64,000 for an average wage at these jobs,” said Pace. 

He also said that these jobs are not exclusive to the big name companies and that the fact that Utah is in a unique position by housing these companies. 




Today’s Top Stories

Business + Economy

kia markups...
Peter Valdes-Dapena, CNN Business

Kia, once the ‘value’ brand, now has the biggest price markups

On average, Kia cars and SUVs are selling for about 6% over their sticker price, according to data from
20 hours ago
intermountain healthcare...
Mark Jones

Name change coming to Intermountain Healthcare next year

In 2023, Intermountain Healthcare will change its name to Intermountain Health.
2 days ago
Inland Port Authority Plan...
Becky Bruce

The plan to build an inland port/commerce hub is on hold

The announcement comes about a week after a state audit suggested that the Utah Inland Port Authority needs a master plan.
2 days ago
Office space may look more like this work from home setup in the future in Utah...
Adam Small

Working from home associated with increase in housing prices, study finds

One reason for the increase could be the extra space needed as our homes became our offices when working from home.
2 days ago
Intermountain milestone 1 million tests...
Mark Jones

Intermountain Healthcare purchases land near Ephraim

Intermountain Healthcare has plans to develop 35 acres of land in the Ephraim area into a new hospital.
3 days ago
On Monday, David Rice was named president and CEO of Associated Food Stores. Photo credit: Associat...
Mark Jones

Associated Food Stores name David Rice as its new CEO/President

On Monday, Associated Food Stores named David Rice as its new CEO and president.
3 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Young woman receiving laser treatment...
Form Spa

How facial plastic surgery and skincare are joining forces

Facial plastic surgery is not only about looking good but about feeling good too. The medical team at Form Spa are trained to help you reach your aesthetic outcomes through surgery and through skincare and dermatology, too.
large group of friends tohether in a park having fun...
BYU MBA at the Marriott School of Business

What differentiates BYU’s MBA program from other MBA programs

Commitment to service is at the heart of BYU’s MBA program, which makes it stand out among other MBA programs across the country.
a worker with a drill in an orange helmet installs a door in the house...
Price's Guaranteed Doors

Home improvement tip: Increase the value of your home by weatherproofing doors

Make sure your home is comfortable before the winter! Seasonal maintenance keeps your home up to date. Read our tips on weatherproofing doors.
Curb Appeal...
Price's Guaranteed Doors

How to have the best of both worlds for your house | Home security and curb appeal

Protect your home and improve its curb appeal with the latest security solutions like beautiful garage doors and increased security systems.
A paper reading IRS, internal revenue service is pictured...
Jordan Wilcox

The best strategies for dealing with IRS tax harassment | You have options!

Learn how to deal with IRS tax harassment. This guide will teach you how to stop IRS phone calls and letters, and how to handle an IRS audit.
spend a day at Bear Lake...
Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

You’ll love spending the day at Bear Lake | How to spend a day at Bear Lake

Bear Lake is a place that needs to be experienced. Spend a day at Bear Lake.
Direct selling and the big impact it has on the Utah economy