Product Name: Avon
Product Owner: Avon Products, Inc
Price: Cost per brochure, startup cost of $10 – $20
Industry: Makeup & Beauty Products
What is it?
Avon is a large, well-known company that sells products through catalogs and online. People can potentially make money by being an Avon representative, but the amount of money the average distributor makes is much smaller than you might imagine.
As programs go, Avon is a very well-known program, and there are many Avon reps out there who use Avon as a way to make money. There are many advantages of Avon, but as a money making tool alone, it is unlikely to be effective for most people.
In my opinion, the fact that it's a well known company means that most people have come in contact with it in one form or another and are either already a customer, or are not interested. Plus, all of the ‘big money makers' in the business are the people that have large teams, so if you don't plan to recruit and lead a team, there's very little chance of making this a full time income for yourself.
Before You Join
The one thing to consider before getting involved in Avon is that there are some costs involved. In particular, you have to pay for the brochures that you use and the company does have a startup fee, although it isn’t large.
What I Like About Avon
I have friends like Avon products, and they have purchased them in the past. I even have a friend that sells Avon, and is currently making money. Unexpectedly though, it's a guy, and he doesn't really enjoy it any more because he has to talk to women all day (sorry ladies! lol).
But for people who are interested in the products, it can be an interesting program, because there are incentives and discounted products.
Many people find working for Avon enjoyable, particularly the networking aspect. This is probably the biggest benefit of the company. For mothers and housewives that don't have much to do during the day, getting out of the house and meeting with other people to talk about health, beauty, and other topics while trying out new products can be fun.
What I Don't Like About This Company
Competition & History
Selling Avon is very common and most people have heard of or know someone in the company. You either are a customer, or you aren't. As a representative, getting people to switch brands is going to be a hard sell.
The amount of competition is even more significant if you don’t have a large network of people to sell to. If you live in a large city or have a decent size group of friends or family, you can call people up and meet with them. If you are like me however, with a small family, and even smaller network of friends, you have to go out and find customers. This makes you a kind of modern-day door-to-door vacuum salesman, or like those cold-calling telemarketers that no one likes to talk to.
There’s also another level of competition to think about.
Avon was a good venture back when people purchased products in stores or through mail order. However, as the internet has become more prevalent, many people buy products online instead. You can even buy Avon products through Amazon or EBay if you really want them.
Because of this, many customers will purchase the products they want other ways, rather than relying on an Avon rep. You should also consider the future of your business. Maybe people will continue to make money in the next few years, but what about 10 years or 20 years in the future?
My (obvious) prediction is that more people will be buying stuff online, leaving real life distributors in the dust. No matter what you sell, you need to get your business online with a website. I run my current business online, and am able to sell to people from around the world. Even reaching outside your state or local community can grow your business exponentially. The face to face selling model is dying, and I would not be investing my time into it.
Time Consuming (Time VS Money)
An issue that many people find with Avon is that it is time consuming. Not only do you have to network to get customers in the first place, but you also have to deal with ordering products and getting them to the customers. This also means that the more popular you get as an Avon rep, the more work you have to do.
This isn’t really a good business model because it's hard to scale! Right now you are probably thinking, “I don't care if I have to work hard, I just want to make money.” But a business owner with foresight knows that you only have so much time in the day, and if you want to make money, but still have time to enjoy life, you need a business that will scale to allow you to work less, and make more.
After looking for Avon's income disclosure for it's distributors – I discovered that they do not make it easy to find. In fact, I could not find it on their website or by searching in Google. The only information I found this website which lists the following stats from 2009:
- 36.1% earn 0 – $4,999
- 5.8% earn $5,000 – $6,999
- 26% earn $7,000 – $11,999
- 17.6% earn $12,000 – $29,000
- 4.4% earn $30,000 and above
Although they are not huge numbers, they are actually pretty good compared to typical MLM company earnings. Not, the stats don't mention how many hours are dedicated to earning that money. Depending on how hard you work and how much money you make, your hourly wage will vary. Still, you have to consider that earning $10,000 per year sounds nice, until you realize it's less than $1000 per month which is pretty poor for a “business”.
This is why I say it's good for someone that needs a hobby and wants some extra money. But it's not a fantastic new business that's going to give you financial freedom.
Avon is best for people with a lot of free time on their hands, a network of friends, and an interest in beauty products. It can be a lot of fun and a good way to make some money on the side.However, most people would struggle to find the customers they need to make Avon effective for profit. Guys in particular will be bored to tears from selling the product.
Avon versus Affiliate Marketing
Avon is advertised as a way to work for yourself and develop your own business – but it really isn’t that effective in my opinion. With your own business, you shouldn’t be reliant on any single company, particularly not one with as many rules and regulations as Avon.
Furthermore, with more and more people purchasing products online, you really need to taking advantage of that growing market, rather than targeting the diminishing number of people who still order Avon.
A much more effective and realistic approach to making money is affiliate marketing – which really does let you create your own business. With affiliate marketing, you are matching up a product to a buyer. Like with Avon, you earn commissions for sales.
However, one of the big differences is that you don’t have to manually seek out each individual customer. Instead, you design your site and content in a way that attracts them to you. Websites can make money while you sleep. You can't say the same thing about selling beauty products around town! You could even make a website about health and beauty if you want, and make money promoting many of your favorite brands.
Do you know someone that sells Avon? What do you think about the quality of their products? Would you rather do network marketing or affiliate marketing?
Let us know in the comments!
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