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Should I try selling Avon products from home?

Updated on June 12, 2016
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Erin Shelby is passionate about living a lifestyle that aims for financial freedom. She writes about personal finance and other topics.

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If you need extra money for Christmas gifts or if you've been wanting to become your own boss but haven't managed to get around to it yet, you might be wondering how to find success in sales from home. If you're thinking how to make money by working from home, take a look at the pros and cons of selling Avon products.

About selling Avon

Getting a part-time job selling Avon products isn't a passive income business- it takes effort. During each campaign, you’ll purchase catalogs and distribute these to current or potential customers. You’ll receive a profit based on the price of each item. It’s a percentage that varies based on the type of the item. The more you sell, the more you earn.

There is a small start-up fee to get started with Avon. There's also a fee if you choose to buy bags to deliver your customers’ items, but there is no requirement to buy inventory to be an Avon representative.

Advantages of selling Avon

The appeal of selling Avon is the chance to earn extra money, the freedom to set your own schedule and the ability to work from home. Avon offers all these things and more. Whether you’re a full-time college student, a homemaker or an office professional, Avon gives you the freedom to make your own goals. Unlike other ventures that cost lots of money to start, Avon is a very affordable business to start so there's not much you'll lose financially if you decide it isn't right for you. Avon is also a company that puts female-friendly values into practice by supporting breast cancer research and domestic violence advocacy.

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Disadvantages of selling Avon

While the allure of working from home with a flexible schedule is appealing, there are disadvantages to being an Avon representative.The money spent on Avon's one-time start up fee is one downside. Avon's catalogs for each campaign and bags to deliver customers’ products is another. While all of these fees are not large fees, they do add up and take away from profits that the representative keeps.

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Small expenses for Avon businesses

Why are small expenses a concern for the Avon representative? Mainly because Avon products are reasonably priced. While this is positive for the customer and the representative, let’s assume that a lip balm costs $2.00. If the representative earns a 40 percent profit, and that's the only purchase the customer makes for the entire campaign, the representative has just made 80 cents. However, if the representative chooses to buy a bag to deliver that 80 cent lip balm, deduct some cash. And the fee for buying the catalog that helped the customer pick out that lip balm? Deduct some money for that as well. This is how profits can vanish quickly in an Avon business.

Avon sellers must be persistent

Another downside of selling Avon products is the delay in waiting for products. While not being required to have inventory makes it cheaper to have an Avon business in the beginning, instant gratification is embedded in American culture- people want things NOW. Some would-be customers will pass on the opportunity to buy Avon products because they have to wait to receive the merchandise. Will prospective customers choose to wait for Avon products or will they go to local grocery stores for their beauty products instead?

Shopping from a catalog is exciting for many customers. Some will choose this opportunity sporadically while others will be regular customers. For the Avon representative who is committed to making a profit, it will be a requirement to keep finding prospective customers.

Is it right for me?

Only you can decide if working from home to sell Avon products is right for you. Evaluating the advantages and disadvantages should help. Speaking with a current Avon representative in your area can also help you decide. Ask her (or him) how long it takes for a new representative to make a profit, how many hours she spends on the business and what the typical roadblocks to success are. Compare those answers with your expectations to determine if selling Avon is right for you.

Is selling Avon the right business for you?

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© 2013 erinshelby

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