The ten-dollar start-up: Complaints About Avon


The ten-dollar start-up: Complaints About Avon

Investing in a business is like getting married.  Any sane person would do a sort of background check before he or she signs the marriage contract.  In multi-level marketing, common sense tells you to do some investigation, too.  Factors such as the company’s history, the start up cost, success and “mortality” rates are just some examples of what you should check.  Today, we’re checking on Avon MLM and some complaints against them.  Yes, that big name must be as controversial as big celebrities are.  Well, MLM alone is controversial.

Complaints, complaints, complaints

Let’s jump right into the controversies and lawsuits filed against Avon.  Because MLM is also misconstrued to mean “pyramid scam”, Avon had to bear this stigma, too.

In 2004, a group of Avon representatives filed a lawsuit against Avon, who allegedly practiced “unfair business practices, fraud, and breach of contract.  These women claimed that Avon deliberately shipped excess product orders to their representatives, and that the latter would not repurchase any of the unsold items:

“The suit also alleges that Avon falsely denies receiving the returned products from its sales representatives, coerces the representatives to accept and pay for unordered products rather than return them for credit; unfairly requires the representatives to pay the return shipping costs; revokes its policy of “instant credit” and requires the representatives to pay for unordered products until Avon completes its lengthy return process; refuses to ship any further products until the representatives pay for their entire orders in advance, which most cannot afford to do; threatens to terminate the representatives’ businesses if they persist in returning unordered products for credit; and, when representatives quit or are terminated, submits claims to collection agencies based on unordered products that were returned to Avon in order to harass the representatives into paying monies they do not owe.”

Online, the most common complaints from people who claim they were or at present Avon representatives are that the start up cost of $10 is actually more.  An Avon representative always carries a catalogue, which features Avon products.  They say that they have to purchase the catalogues on top of the $10 sign up fee.  Also, any trial products – make-up, perfume, etc. – have to be purchased as well.

125 Years In The Business Is Simply Attractive

Probably, the one thing about Avon that stands out is the fact that they have been in the direct selling business for over a century now, 125 years to be exact.  Needless to say, they are done with the hit-or-miss and experimental stage, which almost every business goes through.  The system is set.  It’s not broken and it actually works well.

A hundred years is also long enough for them to have 5 million Avon representatives in over 100 countries.  Almost every person in the US has probably known or met at least one Avon lady.

The number of Google searches for “Avon products” is more than 40,000, excluding the individual searches for specific Avon products.  That figure tells you how in demand and popular their brand is.  As a prospective or starting Avon representative, that is a pretty good number.

Large companies getting sued for various charges are pretty common already.  I’m not saying that lawsuits do not affect MLM companies.  MLM controversies definitely raise eyebrows, even cross arms.

But lower your eyebrows and uncross your arms for now.  Although an MLM company may have negative publicities, take a second look and see if the pros outweigh the cons.

In the world of MLM, the way to succeed is really to get to the top.  The income you’d be receiving by staying at the bottom as a representative probably would not be enough to be financially free.  Rising to the top, as a director, leader, or what-have-you’s is where the money would really start coming.  In other words, in Avon, or in any MLM company, you have to position yourself as a leader.  Pretty much, it works the same way as being an employee.  Promotion equals raise.


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