Can You Really Make Money Selling Avon? – Let’s Be Realistic Here
Of course all the Avon representatives say that you can make money–and they make it seem like the greatest opportunity to ever bless this Earth–but can you really make money selling Avon?
Spoiler Alert: The opportunity is almost always presented as being way better than it really is!
In this short article I’ll be going over the reality of selling Avon and why it’s not the incredible financially rewareding opportunity that you may think it is.
So anyways… I hope you didn’t join yet. You will see why I’m saying this.
Let’s get to it!
An Overview of Avon’s Business Opportunity
Avon was founded in 1886 by David H. McConnell. You may be surprised that it was founded by man, since the core of the company is focused on women empowerment, but the story goes like this–McConnell started off as a traveling books salesmen and later started recruiting women to sell fragrances, which eventually led the company down the path to what it is today.
It’s often presented as a way to make a part-time or full-time income on your own terms, working whenever you want, anywhere you want (both online and in the real world)–a way to empower women by providing a means of flexible income.
The business opportunity comes from the fact that they are a direct sales company, which means that products are not sold in retail stores, but are instead sold by independent representatives which can be anyone. Independent representatives are able to make commissions by selling products directly and are also encouraged to build “teams” by recruiting in other representatives and earning from their efforts.
In a nutshell, Avon is a direct sales/MLM (multi-level marketing) opportunity.
What I Like:
Avon goes above and beyond what other similar companies offer. They don’t leave representatives high and dry after joining, but provide what they call “Avon U”, which is their online training program to help representatives get their businesses up off the ground. A lot of other companies do offer some training, but Avon take it to another level in this area by offering over 100 training courses on various areas of the business.
Another thing I like is how involved the company is in humanitarian issues–specifically I’m talking about breast cancer awareness which you probably already know they are involved in.
What I Don’t Like:
Well, as you will see, what I don’t like is that the opportunity to make money with Avon is much more difficult that it may seem at first, which I will go over in detail.
The Process & Cost of Joining
The cost of joining Avon is relatively cheap compared to many other MLM’s. You will have to purchase a starter kit, but if you go with the cheapest option it is only around $25. This kit will provide you with order forms, brochures, your personalized Avon website that you can send people to, and more.
Some MLM opportunities push you into starter kits that are hundreds and even thousands of dollars, so $25 is not too bad at all.
That said, just because joining is cheap definitely doesn’t mean it is a good opportunity.
The Compensation Plan
Before I dive into the compensation plan head first, let’s first go over the different ranks. There are different levels of rank and ‘subranks’ (if you want to call it that) within the levels…
- Star Promoter
- Bronze (BA)
- Silver (SA)
- Gold (GA)
- Bronze (BL)
- Silver (SL)
- Gold (GL)
- Executive Leader
- Bronze (BEL)
- Silver (SEL)
- Gold (GEL)
- Platinum (PEL)
The reason this all is important is because the rank you are at determines how much commissions you will earn for various reasons, as you will see.
Direct Sale Commissions
This is the only part of the comp plan where rank doesn’t matter.
What does matter is how much product you sell. The more you sell, the higher commissions you make. As you can see, by selling beauty, jewelry, and health & wellness products–you can earn anywhere from 20% – 40%.
The different amounts shown above are monthly requirements. So for example: you must sell between $150 – $299.99 worth of products to get 30% (If selling Beauty, Jewelry, Health & Wellness products).
For fashion and home products the commissions stay the same at 20% no matter what.
How Do You Make Direct Sales?
Direct sales can be done in either of 2 ways:
- You refer people to purchase products through your Avon website
- You purchase extra products at wholesale price and sell them at a markup directly to consumers
Direct sales commissions are the only part of the compensation plan that rewards you for direct selling–the other ways to earn that I will now discuss are all about recruitment–recruiting in other reps beneath you and earning from their efforts…
Bonuses are paid out for several different reasons, but what it all comes down to is recruitment. Each time you bring in a “qualified” new recruit, you will earn a flat $20 bonus, no matter which rank you are at. You will also earn a Sponsoring Bonus of 3% down all of the ranks. When it comes to the Promotion and Mentor Bonus, the amounts awarded will vary and start once you reach the ambassador ranks…
This is where the MLM part of it really starts coming into play…meaning that this is where you will be able to earn commissions down multiple levels in your downline.
Before I get into how much you will make, it’s first important to briefly describe how all of this works.
Avon uses their terms a bit differently compared to most MLM’s. What most MLM’s call a ‘level’, Avon calls a ‘generation’. And what most MLM’s call a ‘generation’, Avon calls a ‘Leader Central Team’.
You’ll see what I mean…
When you recruit a rep in beneath you, that person is then part of your first generation (gen 1). And if that person recruits another rep in, they are then part of your second generation (gen 2). If that person on your second generation recruits someone in, they then are part of your third generation (gen 3)… and so on.
So in the diagram below there would be 3 generations beneath you, which are the different levels of people in your downline. The first generation are the people you directly recruit in and then it goes from there.
But there is more to it than just that. As someone in your downline builds their own ‘team’, they sort of break off from your structure, as you can see below from this person that achieved the Bronze Leader rank…
It doesn’t matter what generation someone is in, if they climb the ranks they can break off into their own team.
Make sense? I know it is confusing.
As a ‘leader’ you will be able to earn 2 types of commissions from all of this:
- Generation bonus commissions
- Leader bonus commissions
Here is the breakdown…
As a promotor you will not earn any Leadership Compensation. But as when you move up to a Star Promoter you will begin to earn 3% commissions on your first generation (people you recruit in).
As you climb the ranks you will be able to earn down more and more levels. When you reach the Executive ranks you will be able to earn down all 5 generations, which is the max. But it’s not like when you reach the Bronze Executive rank (the lowest Executive rank) you have maxed it out–as you move up within the Executive ranks the commission percentages increase.
The max you can earn it it’s peak is…
- Gen 1: 8%
- Gen 2: 3%
- Gen 3: 3%
- Gen 4: 2%
- Gen 5: 1%
It takes a while longer to earn these commissions. You don’t qualify until you reach the Leader Silver rank in which you earn 3% on L1.
These are the commissions that come from the ‘teams’ that break off from your downline as I went over in the diagram above.
The reason it is called a ‘leader bonus’ is because when you get these bonus commissions it means there are people at the rank of leader in your downline, and you are rewarded for this.
The max you can earn here if you make it to the top is…
- L1: 5%
- L2: 5%
- L3: 4%
- L4: 2%
- L5: 2%
How Much Are Reps Actually Making?
The good news is that the FTC pushes MLM companies like Avon to be transparent with their representatives by posting income disclosures that show the statistics for the earnings of all their representatives at different ranks. Unfortunately for us, Avon doesn’t really seem to care and does not provide any official income disclosures.
So this brings up the question… Why not? Why are they not disclosing the income of their representatives? Is it really that bad?
My guess–Yes it probably really is that bad.
The only ‘somewhat’ reliable income disclosure I could find online comes from 2009 and the stats are as follows… (Yes I know this is old as heck)
- 36.1% earn 0 – $4,999
- 15.8% 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.
Now to be honest, the stats don’t look all that bad. HOWEVER, these numbers are for people who have already been in the business for one year–and well over 50% of the representatives are still not making all that much.
Why Reps Don’t Make Much
Since Avon doesn’t seem to have the decency to disclose their earnings to the public, I will briefly go over why reps do not make much and why the majority of people will never make much.
What it all comes down to is the pyramid-like structure of the MLM business model.
In this business model there is a lot of potential to earn a lot of money–but this business model also makes it more difficult for the majority of people involved to earn good money.
Money flows from the bottom to the top. That is great for those at the top, but sucks for those at the bottom–and since a pyramid is always bigger at the bottom, this means that the majority of people will always be getting the shorter end of the stick–having more money sucked away from them than given to them from the MLM structure.
That is why MLM business models always have extremely high turnover rates and only the top few percent earn good money.
In another recent article I looked into the 2 popular essential oils MLM business opportunities for Young Living and doTERRA–the findings were not too pretty.
Is this a pyramid scheme? Simply put, No. I’m not going to get into this in this article, but you can read my MLM vs Pyramid Scheme post for good detail on what the difference is.
Conclusion – Worth It?
I’m very disappointed that I wasn’t able to find any good income disclosure to share with my fellow readers, but it is what it is.
In my opinion Avon is probably keeping their disclosure a secret to save face–because I have looked into many different MLM opportunities and never saw what I would consider to be a “good” income disclosure, where distributors (reps) are actually doing well for themselves in high numbers–it is always the case that I discussed above where a slim percentage at the top make good money.
So is Avon Worth joining? I can’t really answer this question for you, but I can say that if you are thinking about joining then you MUST be able to recruit people in. If you do not recruit people in consistently, then you will not climb up the ranks and you will have very little chance of making good money.
I hope you enjoyed this article and found it helpful–although I don’t have enough information to be as helpful as I would like.
Before you go, be sure to check out my top income ideas for making money from home. I think you might be interested.
Also, leave any comments or questions down below and I’ll get back to you as soon as I can 🙂