Who hasn’t heard of the iconic ‘Avon Lady’? Who hasn’t seen Avon’s colorful brochures and ordered at least one or to items of their wide range of makeup and skincare products?
Welcome to my Avon business review to check out if you should join this MLM company which has been founded over 130 years ago.
A lot has changed since then, and their direct selling approach from the humble beginnings of the door-to-door selling of perfume to a billion dollar business that operates in 70 countries.
What does it take to get involved with Avon? What are the good things about this company and the cons?
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Before starting up your Avon business as one of their representatives, it’s a good idea to find out what it takes to make money with selling Avon products.
And also, can you even make an income with the Avon Business opportunity?
Here are eleven facts you should know before you join.
#1The Avon Company – Impressive Numbers
Avon was founded in 1886 by a man called David McConnell. From its humble beginnings of selling perfume through door knocking, Avon probably pioneered the direct selling marketing structure.
The present CEO is Jan Zijderveld. Avon has its headquarters in London/UK.
Okay, here are some impressive numbers:
- Avon is sold in 70 countries
- it had annual sales worldwide of $5.7 billion in 2015
- with 6.4 million representatives it is the second largest direct-selling company in the world (Wikipedia)
#2 Some Major Hiccups
Even though the sales numbers overall are very impressive, Avon’s revenue has steadily declined from 2011 to 2017. From $9.3 billion in 2011, it was down to $5.72 billion in 2017.
In 2013, Avon withdrew from France and in 2018 from Australia and New Zealand, leaving thousands of Avon reps without a ‘business’.
In 2016, due to a constant decline in sales in the North America market and part of a restructuring, Avon Product decided to sell the USA, Canada, and Puerto Rico market which became New Avon LLC. It still operates under the name Avon.
Avon North America is now a privately held company. Read more details here.
#3 All Natural Products – Or Not?
No, unfortunately, the products are not free of parabens and other chemicals. If you are looking to sell skin care products that are free of nasties, you may want to check out Ever skincare or Arbonne.
Another question I had was if Avon is testing their products on animals. According to Avon, products sold in the USA, Canada, and Puerto Rico are not tested on animals.
Please note, as mentioned under #2 these three countries are operating under New Avon LLC which is separated from Avon itself.
#4 Who Wants To Be An Avon Rep?
It is easy to become an Avon rep. All you need to do is decide on what starter kit you would like to get and off you go.
The start-up costs are as little as $25 for the basic starter kit which includes brochures, 4 full-size products, skin care samples, a free replicated website, and access to online training.
As an incentive for the first campaign, a new rep will earn 40% on all orders except on Fashion&Home items. These ones are not manufactured by Avon and therefore you’ll get only 20% of these products.
What is a campaign, you may ask?
With Avon a year is divided into 26 sales campaigns which means one campaign covers a two week period. It is important to understand that when I talk about sales volumes and the commissions, the sales volume is for two weeks. You’ll see later what I mean.
Anyway, for each sales campaign, you’ll need to order new brochures. 10 brochures cost $6.49, 20 brochures cost $8.89 and so on (for each additional 10 brochures add $1.40 = 30 brochures cost $11.39 etc.)
Since giving out brochures are an essential part of Avon selling strategies, you need to buy twice a month brochures for at least $12.98
#5 The Starter Kit – Worth The Money?
The Avon starter kits are affordable and start as low as $25 for the quick starter kit. The highest one costs only $100 and is valued at over $400.
All of the starter kits include brochures for two campaigns as well as access to online training tools and a personal website.
The premium starter kit contains:
- 60 brochures
- 16 full-sized products
- 93 beauty samples
- an Avon tote bag
Overall, that sounds like good value for many to me.
#6 Getting Trained
Avon used to have training centers for their representatives but I am not sure if they still exist.
Otherwise, there is the Avon university, a 24/7 online training tool, where reps have access to webinars that talk about ‘how to launch your business’, best selling tactics, makeup tutorials and so on.
You’ll also have access to a social media center to promote Avon on various social media channels.
And there is the annual Avon RepFest, which reps can attend at their own cost (regular registration $149). The three-day event offers training seminars, guest speakers, and is a place to launch new products.
#7 How Do You Actually Sell Avon Products
There are a few different ways how to sell Avon products. It looks like the most popular way is still to hand out the brochures to friends, family, workmates, and to members of clubs or churches you may be a part of.
The bigger your network the better.
Because you’ll get new brochures every two weeks, you’ll be busy to keep your customers up to date.
Avon doesn’t really promote home parties but it is another way of getting some group orders.
You could do fundraisers as well – once they are officially registered, the rep earns a 50% off all sales.
Lastly, there is your website, where your personal customers can place their orders.
#8 Show Me The Money – The Compensation Plan
Please note, the sales requirements as you can see on the compensation plan applies to one campaign (two weeks).
As a rep, you can qualify for different bonuses. For example, there is the ‘new recruit’ bonus. You can earn $20 for each new representative who submits a paid order of $150 or more.
If you recruit new reps in your first 7 campaigns (14 weeks) you can get $50.
There are also one-time promotion bonuses when you achieve certain ranks. These are paid out over 4 campaigns. Example: achieve Bronze Ambassador and get $500, Silver – $750, Gold – $1000.
Other bonus payments are:
- Generation bonus (up to 5 generations)
- Leader Bonus
- Mentor bonus
Now let’s check out the commission payments for product sales.
The screenshot shows at a glance how much you need to sell in one campaign (in two weeks!) to get between 20% up to 40% commission.
Considering, that Avon’s product prices are considerable low and they also have lots of sales, a rep needs to sell a lot of products in just two weeks(!) to earn a good commission.
That means constantly acquiring new customers, keeping in touch with existing customers, giving out brochures, marketing on social media and so on.
On top of that, you’ll have to deal with chasing payments, handling returns and providing overall great customer service.
#9 Supporting A Good Cause
I do like that Avon is involved in supporting good causes including breast cancer research.
They also take a stance against domestic violence.
Well done, Avon!
#10 The Good
- low start-up costs
- the starter kits are good value for money
- products are affordable
- established and well-known direct selling company
- Avon offers lots of training tools
- they also offer healthcare and retirement savings plans for reps
#11 The Bad
- the commission payments are low
- reps need to buy brochures every two weeks which adds more business expenses
- $500 in sales (in two weeks) to get to 40% commission is high
- the products contain chemicals (not paraben free)
- the competition in the skincare and makeup branch is fierce
Conclusion – Is Avon A Good Business Opportunity
Based on my research, I don’t think that becoming an Avon rep is a lucrative business opportunity. Even though the products are affordable, the fact that Avon offers frequent sales makes it even harder to make money.
Customers probably wait for sales offers before they order their favorite products.
Handing out brochures and collecting payments from customers is time-consuming and seems outdated to me.
The sales requirements to get a decent commission of 40 % is high. Two weekly brochures and new sales products require consistent customer contact to keep the up-dated.
You might be able to earn a little bit of money on the side but I guess it takes still a lot of effort.
Avon is not very transparent about their reps earnings for any given year. There are no published income disclosures available to the public.
Last but not least, I said it other MLM review and I say it again, being an Avon rep is not the same as owning a business. When Avon withdrew their market from France, Australia, and New Zealand, it left thousands of reps without a ‘business’ they have built for many years.
It can happy with any MLM business, you get involved. At the end of the day, it is all about the money.
I personally find direct selling/MLM a tough business where you have to learn to deal with rejection, objections, and lots of party cancellations.
It takes a strong mindset to overcome the obstacles I mentioned before and to build a successful business in the industry.
Have you noticed that most MLM companies are mostly targeting women as potential recruits? Women join these companies for so many different reasons.
Quite often they look for ways to supplement the household income, find something that offers flexible hours, and the chance to make a career.
When I started my direct selling business I was looking for something different than ‘just’ being defined as a mom. The thought of being part of a sisterhood was also appealing to me.
The same applies to Avon. Being part of a supportive group of women, making new friends, and earn money is attractive to so many women.
But you need to be aware, not reaching sales goals, or problems with recruiting and therefore not advancing up the ranks is frustrating and leaves you doubting yourself.
The truth is ‘the overwhelming majority of MLM participants (most sources estimated to be over 99.25% of all MLM participants) participate at either an insignificant or nil net profit.’ (source: Wikipedia)
To build a substantial income, you’ll need to hassle and put in full-time hours for sure.
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There Is A Better Business
When I look at Avon, I think there are better business models out there than selling, recruiting, doing home parties, and handing out brochures.
I had been a consultant with a direct selling company for over three years so I speak from experience when I say it takes a lot of hard work to be successful with the MLM business model.
The initial enthusiasm rubs off pretty quickly if other people don’t share the same love for the product you are trying to sell.
I’ve learned that selling stuff to people is not my strong point even though I loved the products.
Ringing potential customers, dealing with return and refunds, traveling for hours to do presentations without sometimes getting any sales was tough going.
I know of people who were super successful but they were working consistently for around 40 hours or more a week.
Well, looking back I’d say it was a huge learning curve but not what I was looking for in an ideal business. In reality, the hours weren’t exactly flexible, instead, I had to work in the evening and on weekends.
For the past three years, I have been building my online business that doesn’t involve recruiting or calling people at all. Now I can truly work whenever and wherever I want to work with only a laptop and an internet connection.
I have to be honest though: my recommended business model is not for everyone. It takes at least 6 to 12 months of consistent work to see the first results aka earning money.
If you are able to invest between 10 and 20 hours of work a week then you will surely succeed.
Once you get the foundation right, you will earn passive income for years to come. All it takes is good training, consistent work, and taking action!
I am now earning around $1000/month in passive income with little effort.
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