IF YOU ARE CONSIDERING BECOMING AN AVON REP, PLEASE READ THIS
Several years ago, I signed up to be an Avon Rep. My mom used to be an "Avon Lady," and my grandma had been one also. I didn't make a dime, but I only blame myself because I was busy with other things. I went through a separation, then divorce, resulting in my moving twice, and putting Avon on the back burner.
A year later, when I was settled, I decided to give it a try again. I knew I could make the business profitable, because I was going to "work the business" like I had not done before.
I contacted Avon, said I knew I had an unpaid balance, and wanted to find out how to pay my balance and get reinstated. They told me they had NO RECORD OF ME WHATSOEVER! So, I called the local district manager where I now live, and signed up under her to be a rep. I explained my situation to her, and was told that she would try signing me up, and it may be so old that it wouldn't be in the system.
So I was officially signed up as a new rep, and when everything went through, I figured I had nothing to worry about. So I invested my all into promoting my business. Suddenly, THREE campaigns later, my order was placed on HOLD for CREDIT DECISION. So I called my DM. Got a voicemail, left message. I emailed her. After trying for 3 days to contact her, with no response, I called Avon directly. I was told that if my order was on hold I had to talk to my DM to get it released.
FINALLY I got a response from the DM saying that my privileges were terminated due to an account going to collections, and that Avon has a policy that any rep whose account goes to collections can no longer be a rep EVER. Even after paying past due balance, even if a deposit is paid, end of story, no more Avon for you.
Well I went through all my paperwork, contract, training manual and nowhere was this policy stated.
PLEASE NOTE THAT I NEVER DENIED OWING MONEY, AND I WAS MORE THAN WILLING TO PAY!!!
So I wrote a letter explaining my situation, and said that Avon, being THE company for women (their motto), I would think they would be more understanding to a women who has had some trouble and is trying to make up for it. I sent this letter to the president, the CEO and my DM, and believe it or not, they reinstated me, after I paid the $75 that had gone to collections. My DM said that was unheard of.
So I happily went about my way, trying hard as a single mom to bring in some extra income for my kids. And you will see the problems I had with Avon.
*Occasionally, Avon places orders on hold for no apparent reason. Call customer service, and they say they cannot release your order, you have to talk to your DM to get it released. (How the h#ll are you supposed to talk to your DM about it when they NEVER return your calls or emails?? And customer service is no help because every question you ask they refer you to your DM???) By the way, when you call customer service, it is a long distance number.
*When my orders were held, my DM when I finally could get ahold of her said she didn't know why they were being held. Apparently nobody knows, Avon just randomly puts holds on orders just because they feel like it? Sales campaigns run for two weeks. On average, when things go right, the order should be arriving within about 3 days after you placed it. When it doesn't show up, you realize it has been held, you FINALLY get ahold of your DM to release it, it has now been almost two weeks and you have lost a whole sales campaign! How do you keep your customers that way?
*Avon occasionally sells things in incentive packages to reps. If you order so many of a promoted product, you get so many free, and all at a reduced price and with a free gift. They entice you by saying if you sold all of the product, you would earn such and such amount of money. So I felt ambitious and signed up for one of those promotions. As time grew closer I asked my DM, since Avon gives you a credit limit, and if you place an order that goes over that limit, they will place a - you guessed it - HOLD on the order. So I asked her if that would happen when the promoted product arrived. She told me she would release the order if she knew that was why it was over.
*During the campaign I was to get those items delivered, I was waiting to place my order, because a woman had ordered $40 worth of stuff, and then did not pay me for it, and I didn't have the funds to pay it myself. I was about $20 short of making my payment. I received an email from DM asking that all reps who had not yet placed their order for this campaign to please order SOMETHING, at least catalogs.
Well, also right around this time, she sent out an email saying she was resigning in two weeks, and gave the new DM's name. I replied to her email, explaining why I hadn't placed my order and asking if I should wait and make full payment before placing my order, or pay what I could and place order.
NO response. I emailed the new DM. No response. So I went ahead and paid what I could and placed my order - guess what, it was HELD!! I emailed my DM and said I had gotten no response to previous inquiries, and so I just guessed at what I should do, since she could give me no guidance. She sent back a nasty email saying that my order was held due to my owing a balance and she had no control over that. Never addressed my original question and her lack of response.
*Bottom line: I know I didn't always do things right but I tried. I know some say you can make money in this business, if you do it right, and I am sure some are. But it is very difficult to do that when you can't even get basic questions answered. There is more to this story, but this has gotten very long already. But I will say, that during the two weeks that I had two managers, even then I couldn't get either of them to respond to my questions. And apparently the new DM is already managing two districts. I asked if she was going to cover two districts for good or if it was temporary. It is permanent! Now, if two managers cannot manage to answer emails for ONE district, how the h#ll is ONE manager supposed to handle TWO districts?
ALSO here are more reasons it is nearly impossible to make money with Avon:
1. Avon is the only direct sales company I know of that DIRECTLY competes with its own reps. Avon.com and Amazon.com both offer Avon products for sale, and offer promotions such as free shipping, and free gifts, things that the average representative cannot afford to offer.
2. Avon heavily pressures reps to recruit other reps, from the moment you sign up. It is very difficult to sell Avon when everyone you talk to has a rep or has a relative that is a rep or a family member, etc. It's difficult to SELL Avon with so many other reps already; how on EARTH are you supposed to find people to recruit? And if you do, they will find the only two customers in your town that aren't already taken!
I quit selling Avon because I am involved in a number of direct sales companies, and Avon is the only one that made me jump through hoops and stand on my head to continue. My other companies don't compete against me. My other companies answer my questions when I ask them. My other companies require payment when orders are placed, and therefore, my orders are not placed on HOLD!! My other companies don't pressure me to buy product that I may or may not be able to resell.
Oh, and one more thing in my rant: after I quit, I got a letter from Allied saying I owe $75 for an Avon account in collections. Um, that would be the original $75 I already paid to get reinstated! This company just can't seem to get it together, from the CEO and President, down to the managers, and right on into collections.