but I can think of one product I have used for years at retail that is sold via LTR. It is a synthetic oil called Amsoil that performs well enough that it actually costs less to use their system of oils and filters than competing products.

An acid test of an LTR is whether the retail value of the product beats “mainstream” products sold at Wal-Mart and other stores. If it does, then it’s worth a second look. If not, then run for your life and hold onto your wallet.

A common argument supporting direct sales rather than “mainstream” storefront sales is that new or unusual products often require that one-on-one “education” of the end consumer. Although this approach is clearly open to abuse, I think it has some merit.