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Post by stellarbbs » Thu Jun 18, 2009 12:38 am

Curious, is Avon considered an MLM? It doesn't seem to come up on the forum search anywhere...

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Re: Avon?

Post by Doktor Avalanche » Thu Jun 18, 2009 4:47 am

Curious, is Avon considered an MLM? It doesn't seem to come up on the forum search anywhere...
The short answer is yes, although they didn't start out that way.

Here's a sample of what I found:
Avon is becoming an MLM!
I signed up to be an Avon lady in January. In my first interview, I was shown something called a Fast Start bonus, where if I recruit so many Avon ladies, I get $25 per new recruit. Plus more and more and more if I recruit more, upwards of a $1200!
(What they don't tell you, and what I found out later, is that if you don't have 5 active recruits spinning at any one time over a 13 campaign period (6 months), Avon wipes out your downline and gives it to your district manager. And you can be out several levels of bonuses. MOST Avon ladies that post on discussion boards lose their bonuses. They are told to blame themselves for not trying hard enough. A HANDFUL succeed at it. The donkey and the carrot.)
My first two campaigns, despite speaking with many women and handing out brochures, I got zero orders. My third campaign, I was able to order as many brochures as I wanted and gained 3 customers by Herculean effort.
Why was it so difficult?
A) Avon doesn't tell you your area is infested with Avon representatives. No, they say call a few friends and relatives, it's easy. You get 50% off. Here's 10 brochures for your first two campaigns. Ten brochures is a joke! You need 100 brochures to land 1-2 customers!
So Avon is guaranteed that you won't make full use of the first two 50% off campaigns -- except for the inventory they tell you to "stock-up" on for all the customers that will be calliing you. (Fat chance.)
Our What's New flyer -- which is an advance opportunity (everything is called 'opportunity') to order demonstration products -- is packed with adamant advice that we must wear the jewelry, the purses, the shoes, the sunglasses, the etc., etc., if we ever hope to be a good salesperson. Ka-ching. (Red flag #3)
And hard goods like purses and shoes are only at a 20% discount! Ever! (Made in China, faulty merchandise -- which we have to pay to return.)
Flag 1: When I told my 'upline' (Yes, they use the terms Upline and Downline all the time now) about the fact that their were too many reps, and I wasn't gaining new customers, guess what?
She came out to train me on door-to-door canvassing.
INSTEAD, she spent hours and hours training me how to RECRUIT. In a town already top-heavy with representatives.
To show you how bad it is, we ran into several women and spoke to them directly. Out of all the women, only ONE did not have a representative. We even met one active Avon representative and three former representatives! Talk about over-recruiting.
So her solution to my dilemna that I wasn't getting enough customers was, you guessed, it go into LEADERSHIP.
Yes, Leadership is an unofficial level of recruiting & management (Red Flags 1, 2, 4!!!!, 5!!!, 6!!! and 7!!!)
There are levels called Leadership (1-4 recruits,) Unit Leader (5-?) recruits, Adanced Unit Leader, Executive Unit Leader, etc., etc.. They are not 'called' management. But you are expected to 'manage' your downline using a tool called 'downline manager.' (Red flag 2, 4)
My goal? To recruit women from low-income (specifically, low-income per my training) women who are permitted by public assistance to join Avon. Get them to place the minimum orders required to get my bonuses. Once I get my first bonuses, in order to advance, I need to ... uh, welll.... no advice there, because you aren't really supposed to get any further. (Most don't.)
So I'm supposed to convince already impoverished women to join a pyramid scheme, promising them that if they invest in demo products, clothing, jewelry, they are not in a position to buy, that they can 'take control of their finances,' (quote) with Avon. Only, there is 1 rep for every 400 residents in our town (est.) -- and that includes disinterested men, babies and children without paychecks, and women that hate Avon.
I'm not even supposed to try to sell the Avon products anymore?
I joined Avon to a) sell Avon, b) enjoy a discount on my products, c) use products made in the USA (only now I find 75% are made in China; and Useless Customer Service has been moved to India) and d) get high-quality, affordable products into the hands of struggling women.
Now look what Avon's turned into :(. It wasn't like this when I sold in the nineties.
My DM says that Avon is soon increasing the MLM scheme $1200 bonus to $2000. Woo-hoo :(.
You've got take a closer look at this company.
A Masked Avon Rep
Unless I missed my guess that sounds a lot like a MLM.
The laissez-faire argument relies on the same tacit appeal to perfection as does communism. - George Soros

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Re: Avon?

Post by Imalawman » Thu Jun 18, 2009 7:57 pm

But...not all sales jobs are MLMs. They all might be a bit shady, but they're not all MLMs. I sold cutco in college through vector and really enjoyed direct sales. The difference is that the money is made directly off of the product sales. You have a regional manager for a sales team (large area and predetermined) that gets commissions based on the level of overall sales per rep. As the rep sales more the rep makes more and manager less. All the way up about 4 levels of management. Eventually, the overall executives are employees that are not paid per commission. Typically, an MLM as defined here is something that sells an obviously bogus product for a lot of investment money so that the most money is generated off of failed launches or are sales schemes that try to get you to recruit and to make the most money available you have to recruit as many people as possible.

Simply selling a quality product is not shady. Its just that direct sales tends to be a little shady ethically. Most people suck at it and fail, so you have be creative to get people to do it. I happen to be pretty good at it and made some real decent money doing direct sales. I never, ever wanted to make a career out of it, but I learned some good inter-personal communications from it.
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Re: Avon?

Post by Doc Bunkum » Sun Jan 29, 2012 8:56 pm

stellarbbs wrote:Curious, is Avon considered an MLM? It doesn't seem to come up on the forum search anywhere...
Pyramid Scheme Alert published an in depth article recently explaining how Avon diverged from it's path as a direct sales company to a MLM company:Has MLM Corrupted Avon?
Today, Avon appears to be teetering between its traditional direct selling model on which it built a renowned brand with a loyal customer base and its newer multi-level marketing model, championed by the likes of Amway and Herbalife. The new model is based upon hyping an “income opportunity” for salespeople.
The result from putting the emphasis on recruiting instead of sticking with it's its traditional direct selling model?
Avon’s stock price has languished in the last five years following its strategic refocus toward selling its “income opportunity.” The stock price is less today than it was in 2006 despite top line revenue growth and more global expansion. As stock prices declined and legal costs have risen, class action lawsuits in the USA are being filed by shareholders.