Door-to-door is a sales technique in which a salesperson walks from the door of one house to the door of another trying to sell a product or service to the general public. A variant of this involves cold calling first, when another sales representative attempts to gain agreement that a salesperson should visit. Door-to-door selling is usually conducted in the mid afternoon, when the majority of people are at home.
The model 
Historically, products sold door-to-door will be of the same variety that can be purchased at large discount stores. The products accounting for the largest share of direct-sales revenue include cleaning supplies, cleaning equipment, appliances, magazine subscriptions, and home improvement products. The largest subset of these would be the home improvement products/services where items sold could be new or repaired roofs, siding, new replacement windows, and decorative stone. As of 2008 the business model of many companies that participate in this type of direct marketing has changed with the growth of the Information Age. Products sold door-to-door are now more likely to be more subtle in nature: such as sheets of coupons to events or local businesses, season tickets to local professional sports teams (both of these are known in the industry as "Cert [or certificate] Sales", or subscriptions to home television services or broadband internet services. Telecommunications companies like Verizon Communications (FiOS), Comcast (Cable television and internet) and AT&T (U-verse) all contract with various marketing companies for nationwide sales fulfillment at the residential level. While the older model of the salesman carrying a bag of goods on his shoulder to sell to the public still can occasionally be seen, the majority of today's salesman specialize in the newer field of account execution or literature distribution.
In many countries, encyclopedias, including the Encyclopædia Britannica, were frequently sold by door-to-door salespeople, although this practice has also seen a decline in recent years.
In the United States, some communities attempted to criminalize this form of selling by passing what is known as a Green River Ordinance which bans all door to door sales. The Supreme Court has ruled that an ordinance that totally bans door to door selling is unconstitutional, thus rendering the ordinances void of any legal value.
Door-to-door shipping 
A similar, but unrelated term is door-to-door shipping, which is a service provided by many international shipping companies. The quoted price of this service includes all shipping, handling, import and customs duties, making it a hassle-free option for customers to import goods from one jurisdiction to another. This is compared to standard shipping, the price of which typically includes only the expenses incurred by the shipping company in transferring the object from one place to another. Customs fees, import taxes and other tariffs may contribute substantially to this base price before the item ever arrives.
Door to doorers 
In Ireland the distribution of bags and tags by charities collecting clothes and other items has become widespread. The people that distribute these items have become known as the door to doorers
Religious work 
Jehovah's witnesses and Mormons are known for door-to-door proselytizing.
See also