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Old 03-27-2010, 02:16 AM
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Default Is Avon that difficult? Many questions for U 2 Answer

Hi. I am a student (tarynsavon [at] gmail.com) who is seriously thinking about selling Avon to pay for my education.
I just read about Avon from others.I was surprised. I have many questions but no one to answer them.

1. Can I use banners to advertise Avon on any type of website?

2. Are there territories if you sell via internet only in the USA?

4. is this statement true? Whether you use the website or a local Sales Rep., you will be referred to a "recruiter" of sorts who actually receives 10% of your sales commission right off the top, simply for signing you up. If so, am I doomed to be a recruiter to make the bulk of my money?

5. is this comment true? Avon offers a website where your customers can place orders themselves, which is a total nightmare. The prices are never correct, the sales tax is always off, and the website rarely, if ever, loads as it should. Not only is the website difficult for customers to navigate, but it all reflects on you, their Rep. Oftentimes, my customers would attempt to place an order online and decide to cancel it after it had processed. Guess what happens then? I get stuck footing the bill for their canceled orders!

6. Is this one true? Avon also offers their Reps. a way of entering and tracking their orders via the worldwide web. I would not recommend using this feature. It has the same glitches as the site for customers, only it's very common for the site to "accidentally" over-order things for you. I've received cases of products that I never once ordered and then had to try and force these products on my few remaining customers because Avon refused to refund my account.

7. Are the following 3 bulletins true?

*How Much Money Can I Make?
While I won't say that it's impossible to make money selling Avon, it is nearly impossible. After buying additional catalogs, product samples, printing business cards, the cost in gas to deliver the $2.99 order across town, the products on your account that you never ordered, and all sorts of other fees, you will most likely end up owing Avon money.

*The Pyramid Scheme
Realistically, the only way you can make much money with Avon is to sign up Reps. to work below you. As previously mentioned, anyone in a "leadership role" receives 10% of the sales commission of the Reps. below them. If your Reps. have the same headaches as you, and they will, they probably won't stay with Avon very long themselves.

Getting Reps. beneath you is not worth the trouble of spending 6-10 hours a day listening to them complain about all of the problems they have with Avon, questions, and constant contact.

*The Truth, in My Experience
Avon promises you that $10 is all it takes to begin your lavish lifestyle of raking in over $100,000 yearly for very little work. The truth is that it's very hard to make money selling Avon or recruiting Reps. because the company rips you off at every given chance and treats their Reps. very poorly. Don't sell Avon. You'll only end up owing them.

8. What do you say about this series of 3 questions?
a. Will I be bound to a district of selling only to certain people in a certain area? if so, then will the website be only for those particular customers to use?
"the district manager has given you your very own "territory" of 100 houses! It's too bad that territory doesn't include your actual neighborhood, which another rep already has, but it's pretty close by. The thought of knocking on 100 stranger's doors makes you feel a little unsure, but you can start with the people you already know, and see how you do."

b. This is sounding more like a sales job at a corporate office cubicle. I was hoping to get away from that. Exactly how much money am I expected to turn in every 2 weeks or even every month?
"Avon will be expecting you to submit an order every time, so you have to try, especially because you have to sell well over a thousand dollars' worth of stuff-every two weeks, remember-before they let you take even a slightly reasonable profit of 35-40%. Think you can do that? Most wholesale markup is more like 200%, but hey, it sells itself, right?

9. Has the below happened to you or even happened often?
In this case, is it possible for customers to return their own products? especially when they do not live near me? Or in another state?

If not, then what am I responsible for?

Avon Representatives should also watch their Avon accounts for erroneous charges by Avon Products, Inc. I have been billed many times for later ordering fees, when in fact the order I placed was on time. The charge for a late order fee is $7.00. I have had to call Avon Products and request (or demand) that the charge be removed on several occasions.

Customer returns can add up as many customers don't like the colors of products, or how the products work (or don't work) after they receive them. The representative is responsible for having to ship the product(s) back to Avon Products if the customer returns them. The Avon Representative has to pay the return shipping when the products are sent back to Avon.

Also, with the rising gas prices, driving all around to deliver brochures and customer orders isn't very economical. I spent a lot for fuel when I was delivering brochures and customer orders. After considering what I
made in commission (versus fuel costs), I didn't profit anything.

9. This Customer fee and return fee is so surprising. are they real?

*The 'Order Processing Fee' Avon charges you, which is about $2.50 per Campaign.

*If you happen to be a few hours late placing your order, you will be charged a $7.00 fee.

*If one of your customers decides to return an item for any reason (as Avon advertises), you will be charged a return fee of around $5.00.

It does not take an accountant to see that by the time you get payment from your orders, not only will you not break even; you will be in debt to Avon. The only way you will make any money being a regular representative is to have several hundred dollars of orders per campaign (so you will be given a mainly 50% discount at that point), give little or no discounts, order absolutely nothing for yourself, be very strict with your customers (refusing late orders and returns), and order the very basic brochures to give to your existing customers. This proves to be impossible for most Representatives.

11. Please explain this..Exactly what does sub-par mean?
*Avon's sometimes sub-par products. Although most products are a good deal-occasionally you will be sent something that is of poor quality and over-priced (which can be embarrassing for you as a Rep.).

12. how do you get around something like this?
Avon's Representative pricing can sometimes be misleading, and you may order something and end up paying much more than you had planned.

13. is there a fee for accepting credit cards on avon websites?
The Return Guarantee and credit-card acceptance should be up to the individual Representative and not advertised on the brochures (especially if fees are to be charged for returns or credit card imprinters are required to be purchased).

how much in products will i have to sell to afford the monthly website charge?
Avon-sponsored websites should be either offered to each Representative as a free service or offered for much less than the current $15 per month (plus set-up fee). A monthly fee of $5 or less is much more

THIS COULD BE ME..at least one of these samples. Tell me your truth. Is this comment correct?
As it currently exists, Avon is definitely not for people who are low-income and are struggling to put food on the table every night. It is also not recommended for the lower middle-class, stay-at-home mother who has very little access to the "outside world". Though there are rare exceptions, most of the people in these categories will not make any profit and may even end up owing more than they can pay; most should not pursue selling it. Avon has the possibility of being great, if the company would truly focus on "empowering women".

14. Calculate this for me...if i want to gross $2k each month (figure fees/charges into it) w internet only sales and i don't want to buy extras like books and samples, how much in sales would i have to make each month?

15. I am told that Facebook and Twitter are my only choices I have to advertise on. if this is true, then how in the world am i to get traffic for the website? explain. What’s wrong with the other social websites, communities, forums, blogs, etc.?

16. what’s the best way to sell via the internet? do you have internet parties? how to plan a successful internet only business? i want to talk to 3 internet only high rollers to see how they advertise and drive traffic to their Avon website.

17. can i do a commercial/demo for youtube.com?

19. Is it okay to advertise in directories for women, business, start ups, etc.

20. i saw this on a forum site...is this true? how do i get an ingredient list of all the products?
Avon's products aren't good anyway. Their full of chemicals. I got a pair of flip-flops from Avon as a gift and they had a tag that said they could cause cancer.
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  #2 (permalink)  
Old 03-27-2010, 07:29 AM
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1. You can use banners however you must state you are an Independent Sales Rep and you can not use any photo are logos owned by Avon.

2. There are no longer territories with Avon.

4.No leadership reps do not make profit off of their downline until they are titled Unit Leader or Above and we only receive a % of our downlines sales if our downline pays for their orders. You can make good profit with sales alone.

5. Avon offers reps a site where customers can place their orders it is called an erep site. I have not had an issue with a customer having a problem placing an order not to say it hasn't happened though. If a customer chooses rep delivery it goes to our order cart on our account site where you can delete the order if the customer wishes to cancel it and you are not left with the order. If the customer chooses direct delivery Avon handles everything and you make a % (usually 20%) of their order and don't have to do a thing.

6. Again never known anyone to have these problems and if they did Avon is good at correcting their problems. If you ever receive more than you ordered all you have to do is contact Avon and send it back. They will credit your account back.

7. I always tell my downline never order what you don't need including samples. It will cut into your profit. Only order what you need including personal items and only order samples when you need them. Only order as many brochures as you have customers to start off with and see if you can get any free from the District Manager for potenital customers. And to Save your profits till you have enough to cover your Avon bill each campaign.

*The Pyramid Scheme
You do not have to sign up to get a good profit. But to see a good profit you will need a good customer base. This depends on how much you are willing to work and how reliable you are. And again our % depends on our downline sales and if they pay.

Most of my downline reps never contact me. I usually have to contact them.

*The Truth, in My Experience
Avon doesn't make this promise, only that it cost $10 to start. You get out of it what you put in it. If you think you will make money by doing nothing you are wrong. It depends on how you run your business and how reliable you are. I only spend two days a week on sales (less than 6 hr a day). I make pretty good profit and I am lucky enough to put all my profit into savings so I am building a pretty good savings.

8. a. You are put into the district in which you live but Avon no longer has territories so you can sell to whomever, where ever.

b. See the Frequently Asked Questions at the top of the Avon forum you will see what your profit will be. You are only required to place an order every 3 campaigns to keep your account active. How you run your business is up to you. Leadership reps do have to place an order every campaign to keep their leadership title but Avon does give us flexability if something were to come up.

9. Avon does guarantee their products. So a customer can return it at anytime.

If not, then what am I responsible for? You are responsible for upholding Avon's policy. If a customer wants to return an item you need to return it. Avon will credit your account the only thing you should have to pay for is the shipping to send it back to Avon but if you are careful at running your business and not sending everything back everytime you get a return you won't have to pay that much in shipping. I only send it back when I get a box full to send back. This usually takes me a while so I cover the cost until I am ready to send it back.

Avon charges a late fee if you place your order after their due date, and a fee if you do not pay your bill. And a fee for more than one order placed a campaign. Other than that Avon does not charge fees. And if you talk to your district manager it may be possible to reverse these fees.

You only have to return the product if Avon request you to return the product and yes you do have to pay shipping.

Again this is going to depend on how you run your business. Most of us only have certain amount of destination we will deliver. Plus mileage is tax deductable.

9. The customer is charged $0.75 per order placed. Avon charges you 1/2 and the other half is to help pay for business items (brochures)

*The 'Order Processing Fee' Avon charges you, which is about $2.50 per Campaign. True

*If you happen to be a few hours late placing your order, you will be charged a $7.00 fee. True however if there is a reason call your District Manager and your fee could be removed.

*If one of your customers decides to return an item for any reason (as Avon advertises), you will be charged a return fee of around $5.00. False. You are only charged shipping if Avon request the product back. However if it was a direct delivery off your website Avon will take back the profit for that item.

How you see this depends on how good you are at money management. If you purchase alot for yourself then yes you are going to end up owing Avon. But if your order is mainly customer orders and a few needed business items you can see your profit. The more sales you make each campaign the more profit you will get.

11. I have no idea!! Maybe someone else can answer this question.

12. This does not happen often but Like us Avon does make mistakes it is up to you to check your invoice when it comes in and report any problems. Avon is good at correcting mistakes they make but if you do not let them know then how can they correct it.

13. Reps are not charged for credit cards on websites, this is directly Avon repsonsiblity. But if you were to accept a credit card for rep delivery orders placed through you then you will have to get an imprint of the card, authorization code and signature not to be responsible if the credit card got denied. Most customers pay by cash or check.

The erep site is $7.50 per campaign but if you have a customer order that campaign the fee will be waived for that campaign. So you can actually not pay anything for the erep site.

THIS COULD BE ME..at least one of these samples. Tell me your truth. Is this comment correct?
I am a stay at home mom and we were in the situation of financial problems when I started Avon. I also didn't get out much. I learned how to manage my money and because of that and learning from my upline and her success I am able to see profit in my Avon business. Of course again this depends on how you run your business what you are willing to do and how reliable you are as to if you get an order from your customer. You will need a good customer base because not everyone orders every campaign.

14. don't recommend only trying to do it online only. It is very difficult not saying it cant happen but most likely it won't happen. I would suggest you also sell locally. The brochure is your store so if you do not buy them how do you expect to get an order. That would not be possible.

15. You can advertise you just have to state you are an Independent Sales Rep and you can not use any photo's or logos that Avon Owns. You can not have a website with the name Avon in it.

16. I do not suggest this. I would only suggest online as an addition to your local business. I would like to see who has done it online only and was successful with it also.

17. I have seen many of them on there.

19. I would reccomend you reading their advertising policy before you do so. Mostly states that you can not advertise on TV and major magazines, ect.

20. You can go to Avon.com and get a list of ingredients and we also have a product referrence that gives us this information. If you do not find what you are looking for we also have a number you can call to find out the information.


Also out of curiosity where did you come upon this information?
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Last edited by SAHMof2; 03-27-2010 at 07:33 AM.
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Old 03-27-2010, 10:57 AM
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Whew, that's a lot of questions and a lot of answers. Good job, Heather!
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Old 03-27-2010, 11:12 AM
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Yeah it was alot of questions, thanks!!
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Old 03-27-2010, 11:38 AM
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Default Okay. What answers do you have.

I know I have a lot of questions. I was hoping to get them all out on the table to prevent multiple postings. I do not expect you to answer all of them. I do expect some answers though. You can pick and choose to answer the ones you know about.

I am glad you made comments on the number of questions, but please answer some questions when you post again or for the first time.

Thank you very much.
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Old 03-27-2010, 11:41 AM
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Default If this is not the right place to ask questions, please recommend another site

I wonder if this is not the correct place to ask questions. The responses are not reflective of what i am looking for. If this is not the right place, could someone please recommend a community, forum, etc where I can get some help.

Thank you.
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Old 03-27-2010, 11:54 AM
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I'd started a response and my computer shut down on me (didn't realize it was unplugged).

First off, Heather did an excellent job answering all the questions!

Second, I've seen a lot of blogs and such on when searching the internet with former reps saying the things you have mentioned. It has always been my opinion and I'm sure some of the other reps who have been around for a while would agree... the writers of these posts most likely did not understand the process and/or respect the fact that they were actually starting a business. Most probably didn't take the Free training Avon provides or contact their upline, DSM or Avon with questions.

A lot of people who sign up and don't stick around because they found it too hard to get customers, didn't take the time to try. Some assume that when they sign up the phone will start ringing. Not true. You have to advertise your business every chance you get. Drop brochures in shopping carts, hand them to every cashier you meet, post flyers on every bulletin board you come across.

As far as being over charged or receiving product never ordered (and being billed for it), I'm not saying it never happens but typically these issues are due to user error. I'm guilty of it myself but as Heather mentioned these types of things are easily resolved by contacting Avon or talking to the DSM.

One thing I've found in regards to receiving or being charged for products never ordered is that the rep is enrolled in Preferred Preview and didn't realize or understand the process. This is an optional program Avon provides. If enrolled we are notified well in advance of the shipment so we can opt out of a specific product or if we want out of the program all together we simply go to our account profile and unenroll.

Avon is a great company and selling isn't difficult, but as Heather said, you get out of it what you put into it. If you don't try you're not going to succeed.

Example: I had a really nice (shy) girl in my downline who nearly a year into selling was struggling to get total orders of even $100. She did not leave near me so I wasn't able to go out with her and help but I tried to offer advise, regularly. She insisted that none of the businesses around town would allow her to leave brochures, although she never asked. She didn't do a lot to get brochures out in the community. She ordered 10 - 20 a campaign which doesn't go very far, especially when you have to give them to your current customers. At the time, she was living in an apartment complex but she never put brochures out to her neighbors. Occassionaly she'd leave one or two in the laundry room but that's it. One day UPS shows up at the same time her neighbor who lived down stairs was leaving her apartment. The neighbor had been there the entire time she'd been selling. The neighbor says, "OH!! Are you selling Avon? I love Avon!!! Can I get a brochure?" She had a customer living below her the whole time but because she was affraid to step out of her comfort zone and simply leave a brochure on her neighbors door she'd missed out on months of order opportunities.

As a matter of fact, my first two years were great. My second year I was #1 in the district in increased sales from the prior year. This past year (my 3rd) I slacked off a lot, did not keep myself motivated. I'd quit putting out as many brochures or getting them to a lot of my current customers and my sales were back down to where they were my first year. I cannot blame Avon, or the economy for the decrease, I only have myself to blame. The past few campaigns I have made an effort to reconnect with my customers and my sales have increased. I want this my 4th year to be my best yet!!!
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Old 03-27-2010, 11:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TStudent View Post
I wonder if this is not the correct place to ask questions. The responses are not reflective of what i am looking for. If this is not the right place, could someone please recommend a community, forum, etc where I can get some help.

Thank you.
This is an excellent forum for getting your questions answered. We may misunderstand exactly what you're looking for as far as answers I'll post my responses to these for you. Just give me a few minutes to go through and type them up.
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Old 03-27-2010, 12:03 PM
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Default Thank you so much. I really appreciate your responses

You have no idea how lost I am.
Some folks are too busy to get back with me here so I turned to the internet for help.
I appreciate you so much for your assistance.
I can visualize things a little better now.
Thank you.
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Old 03-27-2010, 12:37 PM
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When I first answered the post and hit the post reply button it wouldn't accept because my post was to long. This is a great forum for getting questions answered honestly. Everyone here is great. The reason I wondered where you got some of the statements in the questions were because I never heard them before but I don't go forum browsing either. I was admin to the district manager so I know both sides of the Avon business. I think there was another person here who use to be admin also. I have ran into a couple of times where reps got more than they ordered (a lot more) but these reps who those who are on the mail order forms which Avon does not offer anymore. We called manager support and it was taken care of fast. So most of the issues you will run into can be solved easily just some reps do not take advice or the time to solve them and then blame Avon or someone else for their problems.
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