Fighting Disinformation, together.

Awareness, Knowledge, Action

What is Disinformation?

Disinformation is the deliberate spreading of false information, with the intent to purposely mislead or deceive. It differs from misinformation, which describes the accidental or unintentional spread of false information.
domi
For example, if you invite a friend to a party but you misunderstood the directions and accidently give them the wrong address, that is misinformation. But if you deliberately give them the wrong address, with the intention of making them miss the party, that is disinformation.

Many scholars believe the term originated in the 1950s in Russia but it is in the 1990s, with the dawning of the digital age, that disinformation began to spread irrepressibly. Today, conspiracy theories, propaganda, deepfakes, fake news, hoaxes, frauds, photoshops, and scams are intentionally designed to target and mislead ordinary citizens.

Disinformation often spreads through social media and websites. It can also spread through traditional media outlets, such as television and radio. This can further generate misleading information which can create a wrong impression or perception.
Every responsible member of society should be ready to recognise disinformation and do their part to stop it from spreading.

What is Direct Selling?

Direct selling is a time-tested business model in which independent representatives sell goods directly to consumers outside of a retail environment.
Many companies utilise the direct selling model because it reduces overhead costs, gives them more control over how they market their products, and provides them greater flexibility to react to changes.
Entrepreneurs appreciate that direct selling offers a low-risk entry point to business ownership, flexibility, training, mentorship, and income-generating opportunities with hard work. Consumers like the convenience, personalised service, and high-quality products.
The model has deep historical roots. Long before retailers became the middlemen between producers and consumers, tradespeople sold and bartered their goods directly to their customers. Later, travelling salespeople provided a direct link between producers and customers who did not have access to markets in the big city.

In 2021,
more than 128 million distributors generated US$186 billion in revenue worldwide.

In the mid-20th century, the direct selling model evolved as companies like Tupperware and Mary Kay empowered their customers to leverage their personal networks and earn money by selling products directly to their friends, family, and neighbours.
Today, many global companies have adopted the direct selling model to effectively distribute a variety of exclusive and premium products in categories such as health and wellness, cosmetics and personal care, jewellery, and home goods while providing millions of aspiring entrepreneurs with the opportunity to build their own successful businesses.

Different Types of Disinformation

Around Direct Selling

Because direct selling relies heavily on word-of-mouth marketing, many people are unfamiliar with how the business model works. This has made the industry a target for disinformation.
One of the biggest misconceptions about direct selling is that it is a pyramid scheme, or “get-rich-quick-scam”, in which only the top-level associates can make money. The truth is that legitimate direct selling organisations adhere to strict ethical standards to ensure all participants have an equal opportunity to generate income according to the time and effort they invest.

Impact of Disinformation

on Businesses and the Industry

Disinformation can damage a company’s brand, impact the public’s trust in an industry, and even influence financial markets. For example, in recent years conspiracy theories about 5G cell towers have slowed down or even stopped the upgrade of digital infrastructure in many areas. False stories on social media about Metro Bank in the UK caused customers to line up to close their savings accounts. One study estimates that fake news costs the US stock market US$39 billion each year.

The worst damage that disinformation can do to direct selling is to discourage potential entrepreneurs from utilising the many benefits the industry offers. Individuals seeking a way to start their own business and generate income could lose out on an enormous opportunity due to malicious conspiracy theories and fake news. Instead of learning about the flexibility, independence, training and support that direct selling offers, they could fall victim to disinformation.

This is why many direct selling companies work with the World Federation of Direct Selling Associations to combat disinformation about the industry and institute comprehensive policies and procedures to promote public trust in the direct selling model.

Direct Selling Industry FAQs

How big is the Direct Selling industry?
According to the World Federation of Direct Selling Associations’ (WFDSA) 2021 Global Sales Report, Direct selling is a $186.1 USD billion industry worldwide that encompasses 128.2 million independent distributors. These independent distributors affiliate with a direct selling company but enjoy the freedom of building a business on their own terms and time. Many join because they love a company’s products or services and want to purchase them at a discount. Others sell to their friends, family and communities and earn commissions on their sales. The most successful entrepreneurs encourage others through support and mentorship to build their own successful businesses.
Why are direct selling products generally more expensive than similar products sold off-the-shelf?

The direct selling business model is all about reaching out to customers and members with premium, exclusive products that are not generally available through retail stores. Most of these products, both durables and consumables, have features and benefits that have to be explained to the customer, it is not something an individual would directly pick up off a rack. In the case of consumables, the efficacy of the product has to be established to ensure repeat purchase. The success of any direct selling company is reliant on this aspect.

An example is QNET, whose product price is the prerogative of the manufacturer/seller. It may be pertinent to note here that most consumer products have a cost of 30% of MRP and the remaining is distributed over marketing expenses and margins of the wholesaler and retailer. The formula applied by direct selling companies is the same.

Reference: Is It True That Direct Selling Products Are Expensive?

Why do some people succeed in direct selling and others don’t?

Direct Selling is a great platform to look for an additional source of income or for a full-time business. However, just like any other business, some people succeed, and some don’t. And therein lies the beauty of direct selling: It allows you to work at your own pace, which also explains why the results vary from person to person. Here are seven reasons why some people make money in direct selling (and others don’t):

    • They are focussed
    • They don’t procrastinate
    • They are consistent
    • They take relationships seriously
    • They don’t expect overnight results
    • They don’t overcomplicate the business
    • They have supportive uplines

Reference: 7 Reasons Why People Make Money in Direct Selling

Is Direct Selling Legal and Safe?

The direct selling industry is serious about protecting its members. That’s why it has regulations in place that also help to create confidence in the market. Direct selling protects its customers and entrepreneurs in two ways: (1) Self regulation through the Code of Ethics and (2) Laws in individual countries. Direct selling rose to popularity in the U.S. from the 1900s onwards. That required an independent body to protect the sector, which led to the formation of the U.S. Direct Selling Association (DSA). The DSA created the industry’s Code of Ethics to maintain the highest standards for doing business. These ethics cover what direct sellers can and cannot do when it comes to building the business. Today, more than 60 countries have their own direct selling associations. Local DSAs are a crucial part of the industry’s support structure. They act to promote the industry and to build trust and integrity around it.

Reference: Is Direct Selling Legal and Safe?

Who Are We?

Why did we set up this Direct Selling Disinformation Centre?

Trust is a crucial element in business. Misinformation and disinformation thrive best where there is a lack of accurate information.
Drawing from our own experiences as pioneers in the direct selling industry in many emerging markets, QNET is on a mission to educate the public with accurate and factual information about the direct selling industry and address allegations made against QNET in an open and transparent manner.
Establishing credibility is a key tool in a business’ arsenal in the fight against disinformation. An important element of this is being able to communicate data and hard facts that allow readers to cut through the fluff and get to the crux of the message.
QNET is a prominent direct selling company with customers in many parts of the world, including in emerging markets where direct selling is either unknown or still in its nascent stages. This has led to a lot of misinformation about QNET being propagated in the public narrative.
Our aim is to educate, empower, and provide readers with the resources and data they need to make an informed decision about the direct selling industry and about QNET.

Use this Form to Report Disinformation about QNET

If you are approached by someone with information about QNET that sounds suspicious or inaccurate, please report the disinformation to us with as much detail as possible. If you are being harassed or pressured by someone in the name of QNET, please let us know immediately.