Someone has probably shown you that it's possible to work from home selling makeup. And you're probably searching for a legit way to make money from home. But can you really make good money from Avon?
First of all, I want to congratulate you on taking a few minutes to research the Avon MLM opportunity.
The reason that 99% of MLM recruits lose money is because they tend to just dive in, without understanding how the business model works.
Well, this honest Avon MLM review, with videos, will show you the pros and cons of the "opportunity". That way you can make an informed decision if it's for you or not!
Avon MLM Review
The overview and rankings
Founder: David McConnell in 1886
Website URL: avon.com
Type: Personal care MLM (beauty & skincare)
Products (Including Pricing): 80 out of 100
Success Stories: 1 out of 100
Price To Join MLM: $10 sign up fee currently free to join + $25/ $50/ $100 starter kit
$40-$200 monthly sales quota to remain active (40 out of 100)
What To Look For In An MLM:
Summary: Avon is a legit MLM that sells affordable makeup products. There have been some issues with external companies buying Avon that has led to some friction at the long running company.
However, most Avon representatives lose money because of the monthly sales quota to "remain active". If you cannot sell enough product then you need to buy it yourself.
Make Time Online Rating: 40 out of 100
Recommended: No (maybe for a "beauty blogger")
What is Avon?
Avon is a personal care Multi-Level-Marketing company that specialises in beauty and makeup products.
It was founded in 1886 and is one of the most well known MLM companies. However, it was bought by Cerebus in 2015, who pretty much ran the company into the ground. Cerebus is a company that is all about the bottom line and made some changes that really did not help Avons representatives.
Then LG bought Avon, in 2019. This has again caused a lot of changes and instability for the company, but many representatives seem more hopeful (I guess they have to be though!)
This Avon MLM review will take a look at the up to date changes with the new pricing points and compensation plan.
Watch the 2-minute promotional video below to see what Avon offers...
It looks like you could be your own boss then, right?
But you know this is just a sales video.
So you're probably still wondering...
Is Avon a pyramid scheme?
Avon is not a pyramid scheme as it's possible for reps to make money just by selling Avon products.
However, it is like a "pyramid scheme in disguise" because it's only possible to earn good money by recruiting.
To understand what I mean by this let's first learn exactly...
What is a pyramid scheme?
A company that promises payment to members for recruiting new members rather than selling a product or service.
Pyramid schemes are totally illegal in most countries as it is impossible for everyone to make money as you can see in the Wikipedia diagram below...
Most MLM companies do sell legit products or services.
However, Avon, like many MLMs, has a "monthly sales quota" for their reps to hit. If they do not hit this amount then they need to buy the products themselves.
The only way reps can guarantee they don't need to keep paying this is by recruiting a "downline".
Plus, the only way to make good money, due to the low commissions, is by "building a team" and getting bonuses from their sales.
The 5 minute video below explains this better...
Success is rare with Avon MLM
In fact, success is rare at any MLM company.
Avon doesn't release income disclosures for their sales reps, unlike many MLM companies.
However, I did my own research based on their annual report to discover some pretty disturbing truths about the company. You'll find out about that later in this Avon MLM review.
It certainly questions how accurate that "be your own boss" dance video above is.
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Hey, I'm Mike.
I created a passive income online within a year. I had no marketing skills or online experience when I started.
How does Avon Work?
Avon makes a range of makeup and personal care products.
They also offer everyday people the chance to make money by selling these products for them to earn a commission.
These "representatives" have used all kinds of selling techniques such as knocking on peoples doors or "hosting parties" or sharing products with Moms while drinking coffee. Now the use of social media is dominant for MLMs (which is probably how you have heard of this "opportunity").
In theory, it's a win-win...
Avon saves marketing costs and everyday people can make money from home.
If you are serious about joining any MLM company then you absolutely need to understand their product range.
Avon has a lot... in fact... a lot a lot!
They have a range of products in categories such as:
- Skin care
- Bath and body
There are far too many to go into detail about them all here but you can find all of them in the Avon shop.
It is important to be aware that this is very similar to products offered by hundreds of other MLMs such as:
So the way you can tell how one MLM company differs from another is usually...
The flagship product- Avon Lipstick
Avon doesn't really have a "flagship" or stand out product because they offer so much.
However, the one that seems to grab a lot of attention in their marketing is the lipsticks.
Some of the benefits of the lipsticks are:
- Formulated with Shea Butter, Omega-6, Sunflower Seed Oil and vitamin E
- Conditions and moisturizes lips
- Designed for every skin tone
- Full coverage with True Color Technology
- Paraben-free, sulfate-free, talc-free
Now, I'm not going to pretend like I know whether this is good or not.
But a bit of research and digging into what other people think usually helps.
That's from their own website so take it with a pinch of salt. But I dig more into what people think later on in this Avon MLM review.
For now you can watch this pretty cool 1-minute video below to see more about the company...
Let's then know more about...
Can you really make money with Avon?
Yes you can make money with Avon.
It will be hard to make money by only selling the products especially if you do not use online marketing. But some people do make good money by "building a team".
First of all, let's clarify the 2 ways you can make money as an Avon rep:
- Sell the products and earn a commission
- Recruit people into your "downline" and earn bonuses from sales they make
I want to make this clear right now.
You do NOT get paid to recruit someone. You only earn bonuses from purchases they make or sales they make!
This is how Avon makes sure they are technically not a pyramid scheme and avoids being shut down by the FTC.
How much does it cost to join Avon MLM?
It used to cost $10 to join.
But currently their website claims this...
How long will it be free? Your guess is as good as mine.
But if you're serious about making money from Avon, you absolutely will need to actually buy some products.
The starter kits come with products for you to personally try, some samples and other marketing goodies to try to help you to sell things on.
This will set you back either $25, $50 or $100.
But the costs do not stop there amigo...
Avon monthly cost
You will need to make sure you hit the monthly sales quota to "remain active" and be eligible to earn any commissions for sales you do make.
This starts at $50 a month and goes up to $200 a month for certain "ranks".
If you cannot sell $50 of Avon products in a month, you will need to buy $50 of Avon products yourself or your account will be suspended. Any future sales you make won't be credited to you.
So for your first year with Avon you need to allow a total cost of:
- $50 x 12
First year minimum costs: $625 - $700
This is before you think about any other marketing costs such as an email autoresponder, your own website (not just the replicated one you get from them), paid social media advertising or packaging supplies.
If you do sell $50 of product each month then you aren't required to buy anything yourself... but many people are not aware of this when they join.
It's clearly far less than starting a "normal" bricks and mortar business like a restaurant, but it's certainly not "free".
Avon MLM compensation plan
For some reason MLMs like to make their compensation plan harder to understand than solving a Rubik's cube blindfolded.
Avon is no different.
So I will do my best to keep this simple.
There are 7 ways you can make money with Avon:
- Retail commission (20%-50%)
- Qualified new recruit ($20 bonus if they spend $150 in their first 2 months)
- Sponsoring (3% bonus on new recruit sales)
- Promotion (as you go up the ranks)
- Mentor (as you go up the ranks)
- Generation bonus (you get a bonus on 70% of your teams sales)
- Leader bonus (bonus on the "leaders" sales in your downline)
See this table in a full screen here.
If you're like me you're probably looking at that screenshot and wanting to shove your head under a pile of sand!
But do not worry!
All you need to know to start is what you actually NEED to do to make money. All this jargon is a load of codswallop!
Remember here's what you need to do:
- Sell Avon products
- Recruit people
And do you notice that 6 out of 7 ways to get paid require you to recruit people?
If you want to know more about the up to date compensation plan (and get a really good insight into what Avon reps do) check out this video...
It's pretty long but you can watch a few minutes to get an idea.
Avon rep compensation plan video summary
If you can't be bothered with that, here is the summary of the video with some interesting points I picked up:
- It has been hard for Avon reps to make money recently (changes and big companies interfering haven't helped)
- Avon is considering "increasing the prices so reps can make more commissions".
- She has 300 members in her team (that's how much she's recruited!)
- She still only sells around $30,000 of products a year. That means they earn 40% commissions or less and that is less than $12,000 profit a year from sales from these clearly experienced Avon representatives.
- Sure they will earn more from their bonuses and team. But the point is it will be hard to make good money from Avon unless you recruit (*cough pyramid scheme in disguise*)... even if you treat it like a full time business!
Is Avon a scam?
No Avon is not a scam.
Many people will argue that because it's really a pyramid scheme in disguise that it is a scam.
But Avon sells legit products and they pay their representatives exactly like they say they will.
The question is...
Is Avon right for you? And can you really make money from Avon?
Just to be fully transparent with you, I am not a distributor myself and I do not endorse Avon in any way.
I have researched the website, testimonials and information on the Internet to get to the bottom of what this program genuinely does. This is because I have been burnt from programs just like this in the past and I want to prevent others from making the same mistakes. If you’d like to learn how to “Spot an Online Marketing Scam” then click the highlighted text.
What I like about Avon MLM
So there are some things that I genuinely like about Avon and think it makes the MLM company stand out compared to other MLMs.
- Pyramid Scheme – recruits members via a promise for payment from referring others to the service rather than providing a product
- Affiliate Marketing- Connecting a customer to a product they are looking for and receiving a commission for doing so
- Red Flag - A warning sign
#1 Proven history
This is a great way to tell that Avon is not a scam...
They have been in business for over 100 years! That's amazing!
Did you know that 50% of MLMs disappear after 5 years?
That means that Avon is already established and a legit business. It's unlikely to disappear tomorrow, with your "residual income" that you build... hopefully.
#2 Positive product reviews
There are so many amazing product reviews just like this on consumer affairs...
If you're like me then you're probably thinking...
Yeah sure, but she's clearly an Avon representative, so of course she's going to say that!
Well there were also plenty of reviews like this...
You can tell that's an honest Avon review!
Real people use Avon, I even know some of them (my wife has tried them before and she says "yeah, they're alright"... that means they are good).
#3 Affordable products
My wife even told me that their products are pretty affordable.
This is honestly very rare for MLMs like this.
Usually they claim they are "making the world a better place" and only use only "natural ingredients" and "give back to charity"...
Then they think it's acceptable to charge you 500% more for the same thing!
Well not Avon...
I mean, buy mascara through a rep and you beat Amazon!
This is a huge tick for me.
I would like to point out that by watching some reps videos it's clear that Avon are considering raising their prices. From a reps point of view, low prices is not always a good thing as it means less commission for them!
So you're probably still wondering.... can you really make money with Avon?
What I don't like about Avon MLM
I wanted to really find out the truth about the MLM.
Not just what their sales videos tell you and their fancy website shows.
So I did a lot of digging, which means you don't have to...
#1 Can you really make money from Avon?
The short answer is yes you can. But realistically, only those who are good sales people and use social media well to "attract" other people to recruit into their "downline" will make good money from Avon.
That is an opinion, so I want to back it up with facts for you.
This was the hard because Avon doesn't release income disclosures.
So I used their 2018 annual report to figure it out...
As you can see below, they made almost $6 billion in revenue in 2018 and had 5 million reps.
Being generous to Avon, let's assume everyone earns 50% commission (they don't... most earn 20%, but I don't want to manipulate the stats that I can't prove to make it any worse).
Reps max commission
Number of reps
Avg pay per rep
But reps also earn bonuses from sales their downline makes.
So by looking at the SG&A (selling, general and admin) expenses we can also work out...
Avon SG&A Expenses
Number of reps
Avg pay per rep
Combine those payments together and you realise that the average Avon MLM representative earns $1,708.68 per year.
That works out to be $142.39 a month on average.
Could your family live off this?
It's important to remember that some reps will earn over a million dollars a year (usually around 1 in 100,000 earn this amount). So actually, you can tell that the vast majority will earn $0 and almost all of the reps will actually lose money every year due to the...
#2 Hidden monthly expenses
This is one of the weirdest things I've ever read and seen before...
This is from a question an answer that a rep provided.
Is it just me or does she say "there's no monthly "sales quota"... there's just a $40 monthly sales quota?"
She's also lying because as the compensation plan states the monthly sales quota increases to $200 a month as you get "promoted". In reality, you can only get promoted by recruiting people and effectively they will pay your "sales quota" for you. So she's kind of right.
This is the main reason that most people don't make money in Avon.
And may reps won't be aware of this before they join, because whoever tried to "recruit" you knows it will put you off.
#3 Is Avon a pyramid scheme in disguise?
There are just far to many signs pointing to Avon being a pyramid scheme in disguise...
Look, Avon is NOT a pyramid scheme. Most MLMs are not.
They are clever in the payment structure and they do offer legit products that people can earn commissions from.
The simple fact is that if you really want to make good money from Avon, you HAVE to recruit people. That is a pyramid scheme in disguise and it's proven to be impossible for everyone to make money.
The only other possible way to make good money is by using SEO and online marketing to attract leads... but Avon won't teach you this and chances are you have no idea what that means (I didn't a couple of years ago either!)
#4 Avon lawsuits
The SEC brought to light that Avon was violating Foreign Corrupt Practices by bribing officials there. In 2014 Avon settled the charges for a total of $135 million!
I mean this doesn't really affect how much money you can make, but since this case has happened Avon has been acquired by 2 different companies and its reputation has taken a massive knock.
Lawsuits on this scale are never good for any business!
#5 Downward trend
The final nail in the coffin for me is found on Google Trends...
If you can get into a company when more and more people are interested in it, then you can benefit from people wanting to "jump on the bandwagon" and "build a big team" (aka recruit suckers that don't know any better).
Unfortunately, Avon has been on the decline since 2009 for how many people search for it.
Just compare this to a new and rising company like Farmasi you can see that the trend is going the wrong way (although Avon is far more established!)
Ready to make passive income online with your own beauty website?
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See how you can do this too...
My opinion - Avon MLM
Avon does sell legit and affordable products.
It's impressive what the company has achieved and how strong it still is after over 100 years.
But can you really make money with Avon?
Here's what I think your chances are...
The only way you'll make good money in an MLM like Avon is by recruiting a lot of people. That makes it very similar to a "pyramid scheme in disguise" which means that the majority of people you recruit will lose money.
I am certainly not a fan of recommending something that is most likely going to lose people money.
But if you could use online marketing then it is certainly possible to use Avon as one income stream if you personally really like their products.
How I make passive income online
MLMs are not all scams or illegal. However, I'm not a fan of them because of the restrictions to the expensive products you have to promote.
Once I learnt about affiliate marketing, I realised it's a far superior business model because:
- You can promote anything you want and truly own the business
- You never need to sell to friends and family
- It's completely free to start
In 2018 I had no idea what affiliate marketing was.
But I went from a full time PE teacher to making a passive income online within one year...
If you want to discover how I did it then check out this special video I created which explains exactly how. You can also get your free 7-day bootcamp to get started.