Direct Sales History
By the 18th century, the direct-to-consumer channel of distribution had reached the United States in the form of the Yankee peddler, solitary figures who roamed the countryside bringing goods to isolated areas of the population. But it would be another century before the first direct selling company was established. In 1855, Rev. James Robinson Graves developed a business model that had young men going door to door to sell products. Peddling is the oldest form of direct selling. Modern direct selling includes sales made through the party plan, one-on-one demonstrations and other personal contact arrangements as well as internet sales.