Being an Avon ‘lady’ is not just for yummy mummies now. More and more men are getting into selling cosmetics around the neighbourhood and now Avon is targeting graduates who are struggling to get jobs in the current economic climate. If you would like to run your own business and you have an interest in cosmetics, check it out.
Avon is a US-based company selling women’s beauty products. So-called “Avon ladies” (although 5% of the Avon workforce is male) act as sales representatives, selling Avon products to women all over the world through Avon brochures.
They’re now doing a recruitment drive among university leavers called ‘Project Grad-preneurs’ to reach out to struggling graduates. They’re suggesting selling Avon products as a way of setting yourself up in business and making your own money, rather than waiting to get a job.
They have a point – as we often say on this site, there are lots of ways of making cash for yourself either as a ‘bit on the side’ or as a full-time occupation. Working through Avon is just one of them.
There are two main ways you can work with Avon: as a representative or as a sales leader. A representative goes round taking Avon orders from clients directly, while a sales leader will manage a team of representatives and earn commission from their sales. It’s a type of ‘direct selling’ which can work for those who are highly motivated and good at selling. If you’re not too enthusiastic, though, it can just be a lot of work for relatively little reward – make sure you know what you’re going into!
Being an Avon representative is good for people who only want to work part-time with flexible working hours, as the amount of work you put in is entirely up to you – some people even work as an Avon lady while holding down a full-time job. Sales leaders manage the people working under them and therefore work longer hours.
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Avon works by letting its representatives buy products at a discount. The reps then sell the products on to customers at full price, and pocket the difference. Avon representatives get a 20% discount on £100-worth of sales. Your discount increases to 25% for orders over £135. So, when you sell £400 worth of products, you get £100 profit. Sales leaders earn commission from those working for them. Top sales representatives are earning a huge £284,000 a year, but the sky’s the limit.
However, as you will see from comments on this article (see below) not everyone finds the costs of running the business as low as they might seem at first.
Avon has a joining fee of £15 for representatives and £25 for sales leaders, but these fees cover the necessary training.
The working hours are very flexible and you can decide how much money you want to earn in a week. It’s a very sociable job as you’re constantly meeting new people. If you put a lot of work in you can make plenty of profit – but be aware that it’s something you do have to put a lot of energy into, at least in the beginning, in order to get enough reward.
You really do need to be good at selling, as your profits depend entirely on your ability to sell Avon products. Sales can be tricky, especially when targeting your friends is going to be your first port of call. Would you be comfortable asking your friends to buy Avon products from you?
Megan Palmer, aged 19 from Cheshire, is an Avon Representative hoping to qualify as a Sales Leader soon. Megan is a full time student at the University of Liverpool studying Anatomy Human Biology. She decided to start her Avon business in May this year, partly inspired by her Mum Julie who is her Sales Leader, but mainly to earn extra money to help fund the costs of university. Megan’s customers are primarily her gymnastic club and residents on her road, but she is really keen to encourage her student friends to join. Most of Megan’s earnings go towards the costs of general student living, her studies, petrol to drive to and from uni, and nights out!
Megan says “The flexibility of Avon is really great for students. My course is very full-on but with Avon I can fit it in where I can around my lectures and still earn the extra money I need.” Being an Avon rep has also given Megan a much better understanding of running her own business, as well as teaching her valuable communication skills, how to be well organized and she has even learnt the basics of accounting.
If selling Avon products is your calling, or you just fancy making a bit on the side from it then go to the Avon website now.
Been an ‘Avon lady’? Share your tips and experiences by commenting below.