There’s a lot of talk about Avon now being a pyramid scheme scam. This Avon review fills you in on if there is any substance to these claims.
Avon in a nutshell
Quite frankly, I am saddened by the state of affairs at Avon. The transition from the company I used to know to the one it has become is simply astounding, and I do not mean that in a positive way.
I remember when I was growing up, my mom used to purchase their body lotion for herself from a regular departmental store but I loved the smell and used it occasionally. That was all I knew Avon for at the time but as I grew older and moved to a different country from my mom, I changed products and completely forgot about the existence of such a company.
That was until recently when a reader of this website emailed me to ask about my opinion on the Avon business opportunity. I looked into it and discovered that this company is easily one of the most obvious product-based pyramid schemes around.
It looks as though the company is proud of this fact because they do not do anything to hide it. In fact, I think they fuel this talk of them being a pyramid scheme. More on this to come later on in the review…
I get that you might not want/need to sit through this long review. To get a nice overview of the company without having to read this entire review, you can read the following point-form summary of some important things to know about this company:
- Avon sells household, beauty, and personal products
- This company operates a Multi-Level Marketing (MLM) business model
- To become a representative of the company, you will have to spend $25-$100 on a starter kit
- There is huge emphasis on recruiting rather than actual product sales
- In most MLMs, the above issue usually comes from the reps themselves. However, in this case, the problem comes from Avon themselves.
- On paper, they are not a pyramid scheme since they sell real products
- From an analytical point of view, they are a pyramid scheme
- The company has been in a steady decline in recent years
- This is certainly not a work-from-home opportunity.
Avon is one other company among thousands of MLM companies in the Beauty and Personal Care market. This is never a good omen for reps because it means they’ll not only have to compete with reps within the company for marketshare, but they have to compete with thousand of reps from other companies as well.
If Avon offered proper marketing training to their reps, maybe that would give them a big advantage over others. Unfortunately, they do not and that leaves them all in the same mess with little chance of success.
The good news is you can follow the exact system I follow that allows how to get leads while promoting absolutely anything, including Avon products. It’s FREE too. 🙂
What is Avon?
Avon is an MLM-based company that sells household, personal care, and beauty products. It was founded by David McConnell in 1886.
Avon has a variety of products which fall into the following categories:
- Bath & Body
From my own experience with one of their skincare products, I can say their products are good quality.
Having said that, I’m pretty sure you are not reading this review to know if their products are nice or not. You want to know if you can make money as an Avon rep.
Well, here are some of the problems I reckon you will face if you decide to become an Avon rep who promotes the products:
- You will be competing with about 6.5 million other Avon representatives to sell the products. The only MLM company with more reps is Amway. This means there is a good chance that your friends already know an Avon rep.
- Avon is a very well-known company. People do not need you to get their products when they can just walk into a store or purchase directly from their website.
- The company still does paid advertisements, which is actually supposed to be the job of a rep. When people see a product they like, they either order it online or walk to a store. They don’t need you.
- The obvious problem of getting leads consistently. The company states on many occasions that you should sell the products to your friends and family. While this might be enough to recoup your starter kit fee, it is certainly not the way to be successful as an Avon rep.
- You get 40% commissions from each sale but the products are not expensive. This means you will have to make so many sales in order to make any reasonable amount of money.
I could go on and on with more reasons why promoting the products is a waste of time but I think the ones I mentioned above are enough for you to see my point.
The Business Opportunity
We established in the last section that even though the products are top-quality, they are crap from a marketing perspective. If you want to become a successful Avon rep, your focus shouldn’t be on the products.
Like most MLMs, the real business opportunity lies in how many people you are able to recruit to become representatives of the company.
Avon does not even make any attempt to hide the fact that one of their main aims is to have as many representatives as possible. Check out the following images:
The pink box in the first image is on the product page. You are trying to view the products in peace but they are trying to recruit you into the company.
The tagline of their website tells me everything I need to know about the company’s priorities. “Become an Avon Representative”.
Normally, you would think that companies would make paid ads to promote their products or discounts, right? Apparently, not Avon.
Here is an Avon advertisement that solely promotes the opportunity to become a representative…
A huge symptom of a pyramid scheme is when a company talks bigger on recruiting than products. Avon ticks all the boxes for me of a product-based pyramid scheme.
You might not give a damn about anything I have said about this opportunity up to this point because you want to make money as an Avon rep.
Well, here are some of the problems you should expect to face when you are trying to recruit people into the company:
- How do you find the people? After you follow Avon’s advice of recruiting your friends and family, what next? To make a killing with any MLM, you are going to need a system of getting consistent leads.
- A lot of network marketing companies protect their reps by making sure people cannot become reps without their referrer’s ID. This is not the case with Avon and people could easily bypass you and become reps directly from the company’s website. Unless you are prepared to be aggressive enough to make sure people sign up on the spot, be prepared to not be compensated for some leads.
- I am not the only one saying this company is a scam. Many other people are saying it. You might not agree with it but it’s going to become your problem when you try to recruit people into the company. You better have some sweet words to convince them to join a company with so many bad reviews.
- Again, you are competing with 6.5 million reps. Avon is like Amway and almost everyone you meet would have come across a rep at some point. The best time to join a pyramid is near the beginning but unfortunately, this company has been in existence since 1886!
- To make a real income off this, you need to recruit people and those people need to recruit more people and so on. If you manage to recruit some people, they will face the same problems listed in 1-4.
Much like promoting the products, recruiting people to become reps is not going to be a smooth sailing either. It’s never simple with MLMs but life would be much easier if the company decided to give reps adequate training on how to get leads, without relying on friends and family.
Rather than have me put the compensation plan into words, I will just let an Avon representative describe it to you in the video below.
**The person in the video is an Avon rep and is obviously biased. I do NOT endorse the video. I do NOT endorse Avon. I’m sharing this solely for educational purposes.
What I liked about Avon
- It is cheap to join as a representative
- The products are good quality and inexpensive
What I didn’t like
- The company focuses on recruiting reps rather than encouraging product sales
- This makes the company a blatant pyramid scheme
- New reps will be at the bottom of a pyramid that is over 130 years old!
- Their cheap products are good for customers but bad for reps
- New reps will be competing with 6.5 million other reps for market share
- Customers could bypass reps by simply heading to the company’s website to order products or join the opportunity
- Even though it is cheap to join, reps will be required to brand themselves in order to be successful. This includes paid advertising, flyers, business cards, website, etc.
- No income disclosure statement
- The company has been steadily declining for a few years and nobody knows what this company will be like a few years from now
- There is no in-depth training on how to get leads.
Is Avon a Pyramid Scheme?
On paper, they are not a pyramid scheme because they offer real products. This keeps them on the good side of the law until figures are published to show that they make more from affiliate purchases than they do from regular customers.
From an objective point of view, they are a blatant pyramid scheme. I only need to look at how often they talk about their business opportunity to know where their priorities lie. I would definitely think twice about joining this company.
This is a company that is in a steady decline. This is a company that brands itself like a pyramid scheme. This is a company that has failed to publish an income disclosure statement. It is a company that does not help its representatives. I am really struggling to find a reason for you to join this company.
I am not a fan of MLMs in general but if you must join one, there are a lot of safer options than Avon. In any case, there will always be a high chance of failure with any MLM for reasons that might not be down to you. Your downline, most of whom you might not know personally, might be responsible for your failure.
If you would love to build your own successful online business that does not involve recruiting, downlines, pyramids, and all that nonsense, check out the system I follow.
Product Name: Avon
Price: $25-$100 for a starter kit
Founder: David McConnell
Overall Ranking: 20/100