Is MLM giant Avon in big trouble? (full review)

avonAvon is a popular network marketing company, and one of the largest in the game.

EVERYONE has heard of Avon (often through our Grandparents).

They may be the quintessential old lady cosmetics brand, but their status as one of the first major network marketing companies has made them the biggest name in the MLM space, rivaled only by Amway.

Product-wise, these guys are solid. They’ve developed a name brand over the years that women love.

Business opportunity-wise, however, the company is a little played out. Not saying it would be impossible to still make money with Avon, but there are certainly more sustainable options out there.

Click here for my #1 recommendation

Either way, here’s the full review on Avon.

Overview

Avon was founded wayyy back in 1886, before your Grandma, by a New Yorker and door-to-door salesman David McConnell.

Now they’re ranked #2 on the DSN Global 100, behind only Amway. They hit $6.16 billion in revenue in 2015. [1]

That being said, their revenue in 2013 was $10 billion. Ouch, big hit since then. [2]

In fact, their global sales numbers have been falling for 5 straight years now. Their revenue was hit the hardest in North America, their home market (Avon hails from New York), where their revenue in 2014 was barely half of what it was in 2007. [3]

If it wasn’t already clear that they’re struggling to keep their head above water, last year Avon sold the remainder of their North American business and moved their headquarters over to the UK, cutting some 2,500 jobs worldwide in the process. And that’s just full-time employees – it doesn’t even begin the cover the impact on their representatives. [4]

Supposedly this is all part of a plan to turn themselves around, but it reminds me of the violinists who played music to ease the pain of people on the Titanic as it sunk.

How much does Avon cost?
The sign-on fee to become an Avon Sales Rep is $10, one of the lowest in MLM (see the full rankings).

However, the start-up cost doesn’t include much. You still have to purchase your own Avon brochures and other marketing materials as well as a small fee ($5.95) on orders that covers shipping, handling, and your personal sales website.

Products

Avon sells make-up, skincare products, perfume, home goods, and even accessories and lingerie. Of course, they’re known for their make-up, so that’s what I’ll focus on.

Almost every single MLM out there overprices their products, but Avon actually has incredibly reasonable prices…and not just for an MLM, but even compared to drugstore brands.

Many of their products, from foundation to lipstick to eyeliner, can be purchased for £4-£10, with some products on sale for as low as £2.

While Avon certainly isn’t going to win any contest for best cosmetics line in the world, especially up against uber-popular and forever trendy brands like Urban Decay, NARS, Benefit, and MAC, they are generally well-liked (especially at the price point) and very well-established.

Their skincare products are a little pricier, mostly ranging from £20-£30, but they have fantastic reviews. Marie Claire even called their skincare products “the perfect solution for every skin problem you’ve ever had.”

The Skin So Soft Original Dry Oil Body Spray has long been one of their most famous products, partially because it does what it says (makes your skin so soft), but also because people have discovered that it’s one of the most effective insect repellents. Some claim it works even better than DEET. [5]

Their Sun+ Clear Spray SPF 30 won a “Best Buy” award from independent reviews.

A-F33 Treatment, a “miracle” anti-aging cream, stirred up such a buzz that it gained a 60,000 person waiting list and eventually became Avon’s fastest selling product ever. It’s been hailed by dermatologists as the biggest breakthrough in skincare for two decades. [6]

Benefits:
Their skincare products have been praised for their anti-aging and moisturizing benefits. Their insect repellent and sunblock are very highly rated.

Side Effects:
There are no reported side effects associated with Avon products.

Compensation Plan

Avon is one of those rare MLMs that allows you to make an OK supplemental income on selling alone, without ever recruiting a single team member. In fact, many Avon Sales Reps do just that. It’s refreshing to see this model is still around when most new MLMs all but require you to recruit, recruit, recruit.

Commission on personal sales ranges from 20%-50% depending on the product and your rank, which is pretty good.

Once you start recruiting a team, you open up a wider range of earning opportunities, from team commissions to rank bonuses to cars and vacations.

However, the vast majority of Avon reps make only a few hundred dollars a month, if that. It’s certainly not a full-time wage, but it could be a fun side job for some.

Recap

Overall, Avon is clearly one of the most well-established, ethical MLMs out there.

And that might be why they’re failing.

Avon has made a respectable name for themselves for over a century now, but if they don’t make some big changes quickly, it looks like they might be going under for good. Even if they manage to stay afloat, the sale of their entire North American operations proves that the company will never be the same again.

After a while, being the oldest player in the game stops being an advantage and starts being a disadvantage. It’s clear that Avon has had trouble adapting to new times and new trends, and their products are just NOT achieving the popularity they used to, even just a couple decades ago.

On top of that, the fact that they follow all the rules better than that kiss ass you always hated in Kindergarten might win them brownie points with the SEC and FTC, but it might also be making it difficult for them to compete in a world filled with MLMs that bend and break the rules to such an extent that they find themselves under investigation in less than a decade (see: Trivita, Bioceutica, or Vemma).

Even the brightest stars die out eventually, and Avon is flickering.

I’ve been involved with network marketing for over ten years so I know what to look for when you consider a new opportunity.

After reviewing 200+ business opportunities and systems out there, here is the one I would recommend:

Click here for my #1 recommendation

Meet the Author

JP

JP teaches network marketers how to build a real business. Far from a hater, he still LOLs at 3-way calls and building "downlines". If you like Monday morning conversations with your kids by the pool, you might like this.

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