I’m a new Avon rep, yes, but my perspective is fresh, and my personal experience is recent enough that I can still remember the difficulties.
I got into Avon for reasons similar to what others say: I liked the flexible hours, the working for myself, the additional income, the discount on products. I think it’s a good endeavor for women who are not otherwise employed, or who are students. I would advise that if you think it will be easy money, think again. It’s not hard to break even, but it requires effort to make a profit. You have to treat it as a job, or else you won’t get an income from it.
It’s easy to sign up. If you don’t know an Avon representative personally, you can just get on the website and fill out a form. Then, an Avon rep in your area will contact you. It costs $10 to get started, which pays for the “kit” you’re given. If you have a good upline manager, you will also be supplied with a few brochures for your first few campaigns.
I’d suggest you register for the website youravon.com as soon as possible, which will be a couple of days after you are appointed as a representative. The website gives you access to product reference guides, online ordering and payment, and much more. Some of the useful things took a while for me to find, on my own. I would specifically point you to the “community” tab, where you can find forums (message boards) for communicating with over representatives and, on the left hand side, a link called “Avon advantage,” which will show you all of the business partners that will give you discounts on products for being an Avon rep. One of the most useful ones will even give you free business cards, minus shipping costs.
Do the online training courses, especially if your upline manager is not in contact with you frequently enough to answer all of your questions. You should try to finish these within the first few campaigns if you have the time.
When I first talked to my sister about Avon, she immediately assumed that, since the brand is so well known, I must be doing little-to-no work and getting tons of sales. Wrong. As evidenced by my own sister, who has known of my business for a month but has ordered nothing, Avon does not simply make money grow on trees for me. It does, however, sell itself. To a degree.
The good thing is that it is well-known. But you have to get your name, and more specifically your brochures out there. Buy some printable address labels as soon as you can and print out something with your name, phone number, email address, and website if you’re an E-rep. Stick them on your brochures. Get on some nice, business casual clothes. Then go out and do it. If you walk into a business or up to a stranger with a brochure, the worst that they can do is say no (to avoid embarrassment, check businesses for “No Soliciting” signs). The more brochures you get in people’s hands, the more potential customers you have, and the more calls you can get.
More than anything demos or samples or gift baskets or sales, you should make it a priority to get brochures out. Just do it.
Keep your Avon money separate from your personal money, and keep accurate, thorough records. This means saving receipts for anything that might be a business-related expense. Traveling to make a delivery = gas money. Printer cartridges, printer paper, internet service, and gas money are all business expenses to track. I’m no tax expert, but I know you can write off business expenses, so keep good records! Start early so that at tax time you’re not running around stressed, trying to find those long lost receipts.
Things I Didn’t Know:
When I started my Avon business, I was probably less familiar with Avon than most people. Maybe you’re in my position, maybe not, but I want to go through a few things I didn’t know or understand at first. Hopefully it will help you out.
1. Campaigns & Brochures – Each brochure is good for one campaign, and a campaign is 2 weeks long. At the end of the two weeks, the brochure is expired. The new brochure may have different products available, or it may just be they’re available at different prices. You put your order in at the end of the campaign, and then you receive your products and make deliveries. And that’s how it goes. Every. two. weeks. Also, you pay for your brochures. They’re not expensive, and they do get cheaper the more you buy in bulk, but they’re not free.
2. Upline & Downline – Your upline manager is whoever is above you, who appointed you. It may or may not be your district sales manager. It may just be another representative. At any time, you, too, can become an upline manager, but be aware that the first “appointment” you make must be done with you, your upline, and the new rep. And you won’t receive any extra commission right away.
3. Ordering Early – Don’t do it. I learned the hard way, following the advice of my upline. If you want to submit your regular order early, forget it. If you try to add another order to your regular order after it has processed, you may be stuck with an “additional order” fee. For some reason Avon refuses to add items to an order once it has processed, even if the deadline for submitting orders hasn’t passed yet and the order hasn’t shipped yet. So I’d advise to just avoid it. Don’t order early because it gains you nothing.