Avon, Scam or Real Business? (2019)
The inside scoop, from someone who has made actual money with Avon.
Let me kick this off, I am an Avon Representative and I need to tell you a few things. I want you to know how much money you can realistically make. (Hint: It won't be much, especially in the beginning.)
Is Avon a scam?
A scam is a way to get money or product from someone without giving anything in return, IMO. There are usually false promises and no exchange of goods. Many people see direct sales companies as scams or "pyramid schemes." The idea is that making money is dependent on recruiting people. Then having them recruit, having the people highest earning the most. While some companies are complete wastes of time and money, others can be profitable.
"Oh no, she is going to try and recruit me."
There are also the reps who "guarantee" the moon.
"Sell Avon and you can quit your job!"
While there are Avon millionaires, they are very rare. It is unrealistic. Yes, I said it. I sell Avon and I don't promise you will make money. Even when you work hard, the profit you make is small. Is Avon a scam though? No, but it isn't a way to get rich quick either.
The Real Money
When I started Avon, I was hesitant. I didn't want the eye rolls or judgement. I only wanted to make a little bit of money, while I raised my daughter.
My first sale was $50. That was it, for a whole month. I spent the next four months promoting myself locally and online. I tossed brochures and took out newspaper ads. I also started growing my customer base online. This was hard to do and I spent a lot of time blogging, learning about website rankings and backlinks. I put in the time of a full time job, but wasn't making full time pay. I made mistakes, overspent on advertising, but my business started to grow. It was at the four month mark I was getting consistent calls. It is definitely slow getting new customers, but most people will repeat business. I found this to be especially true with online customers.
Fast forward a year and I had sold just over $13,000. My commission ranged from 20% to 30%, until I sold $10,000, then it was 40%. Check out a commission chart HERE. This may sound like a lot, but after costs it came out to me making $50–$200 profit each month (More on costs later). It took work to get there, but it has been worth it. I don't nearly have to do as much work now. The income I get from online sales is pretty passive. I send brochures out monthly, blog in my spare time and help other reps on my team. I have about one to three new customers a month and I am happy with that. This business really is what you put into it, especially when starting out.
The minimum cost is $25 to start Avon. With this, you will receive brochures, samples and a few full size products. This is really all you need to get started, but you will need to spend money in the future. Brochures are not free, but are a great way to grow your local business. Here are the Avon catalog costs:
In the beginning, I was buying 100 brochures at a time. I would then do a book toss. Book tosses can work well if you hit the right area. Out of 100 books I would get one to two calls. I found the most effective way to use brochures was to leave them places, check out 10 Places to Advertise Your Avon. I also use Campaign Mailer for my online customers or people that sign up for a Free Avon Catalog. Campaign Mailer will send the books for you at a small mark up.
Another cost is the shipping on your orders. Here is a breakdown:
It isn't too expensive, but these costs add up. I would be placing orders weekly and shipping was eating away my profits. This was one reason I made a switch to selling mostly online. Online sales are really convenient and can help you grow your business fast. Your online store can save you time, gas and money. I do spend money on advertising, but I find it to be beneficial. I use a Facebook business page and spend about $20 a month on ads. Do your research if you go this route. I wasted a lot of money on ads in the beginning.
Is it worth it?
For me, Avon has been worth it. I have earned free products and make enough to pay some bills. I get huge discounts on beauty products and help make our family feel more financially comfortable. It has been a really positive experience for me. My biggest tip, if you decide to go for it, is don't quit. It takes time.