I'm starting to see lots of ads for Avon happening again on TV. In the one we just saw, all these professional-looking women talked about the "financial freedom" they have selling the stuff, and how in this financial downturn it's so great to be able to have security.
They have to be freakin' kidding. Here's the deal. No matter how much you sell, you can't live off selling Avon. You just can't. And when you break down the hourly earnings (time put in vs. profit), it's downright disgusting.
I got sucked into doing this in my very early 20's. Thought it might be a nice side thing to do while I was working a minimum wage job. What a sucker I was - I made way more at my minimum wage job than I ever could have selling Avon. I think I even took a loss once I was done buying their catalogues and samples to give to my friends and family.
It's been a long time since I sold it, so I don't know what the percentages are, but here's a rough idea of how it works. You buy a starter kit (ah, the old, you-have-to-pay-us-in-order-to-work thing). You also buy those little catalogues. You get people to order stuff from you from the catalogue and they pay you catalogue prices. Then you order the stuff from Avon, and Avon sells it to you at a set discount from the retail catalogue price, depending on the amount you sell.
I don't know what the percentages are anymore, but they say that you get a 40% discount during your first month, which is a "special rate". (And I remember from when I sold it that the "regular" rate was nothing near 40% unless you sold some outrageous amount of product).
But let's just pretend that every month is like the first month. You would have to sell $5,000 worth of Skin-So-Soft and deodorant and eyeliner EVERY MONTH in order to earn $2,000. They charge you for the catalogues (imagine how many catalogues you'd have to order in order to attract $5,000 in retail sales), they charge you for samples (again, imagine how many you'd have to order in order to get people to buy lipstick and anything scented from you). Which cuts directly into that gross amount.
Now, let's talk about the work involved in selling $5,000 worth of product. Seriously, selling even $500 worth of product is not just something you can do by giving friends and family the catalogues. The amount of time you'd spend pounding the pavement to try and sell stuff means you get paid something like a buck an hour, maybe.
It seems they also have one of those Amway-esque schemes where if you sign associates below you, you become a "Leader" and then you make more profits. I have no idea how that works, but I'm betting it involves exploiting people you trick into believing they can have "financial security and freedom" by selling their friends Avon.
It's a scam, folks. If they were just honest and told you to do it for fun and you might be able to make enough to buy a bit of make-up, that would be one thing. But telling women they can get financial freedom from Avon if they work hard enough is a message that really pisses me off.