Hi, I am an Avon rep. Almost all of my Avon sales are on ebay and Avon has engaged in a vicious campaign of destroying my Avon sales career and my ebay site by deliberately refusing to deliver my avon products to me, causing my customers to demand their money back, denying me my commissions for selling their products. Avon is now claiming that Avon reps are forbidden to sell on ebay which I certainly was not told when I signed up to sell. That, we all know, is an illegal restraint on commerce and trade. They claim that we reps are "independent contractors" but that is not the case. Avon is very controlling and we are, in actually, Avon employees who have been targeted by Avon for discrimination based on sex. Avon reps are denied the sorts of benefits employees typically receive in our socieyt, things like payments into social security, unemployment compensation, workers comp, protection under equal employment laws. Avon claims it is the "Company for Women" but it is, in fact, the company that abuses women by denying them traditional employee rights and taking advantage of down and out women in poverty by luring them into becoming sales agents. This is my view as a national expert on abuse of women and children. I have already begun legal proceedings against Avon for unemployment compensation, equal rights law enforcement, and a wage and hours complaint. I am wondering if there are other Avon reps out there who are also upset with the way Avon runs and treats is reps?
I can't understand this at all!! It looks like it would be a win/win situation--they make money and you make money. It doesn't seem like it should matter how or where you sell it. How did they find out that you were selling it here? Did someone report you? I am wondering if you could possibly change your selling ID or something. I know that there is LOTS of Avon available here on ebay. Basically, IMO when you pay Avon for what you ordered, it is yours to do with as you see fit. I think their orginal door-to-door concept is a dying (maybe already dead) dinosaur. Who's home during the day with nothing to do but chat with the "Avon lady"?
I used to sell Avon, but quit a couple of years ago (nothing to do with this--my problem was that I bought more than I sold--I was my own best customer LOL ) Anyway, I wish you luck with this. Come back and let us know how it turns out. :-)
"...Avon reps are denied the sorts of benefits employees typically receive in our socieyt, things like payments into social security, unemployment compensation, workers comp, protection under equal employment laws..."
As ind. contractors, AVON reps are NOT employees and therefore do not qualify for the above benefits.
Im surprised no one chimed in on Avon's behalf. Like Mary Kay and some of these other companies, they're trying to 'preserve the integrity' of their products. They know that expired, damaged and other products from their company can make it onto online auction sites like this one and they would not want to become a company known for low quality products. Even as reps selling from your home, there are certain things that you agree to in order for everyone to keep the business as uniform as possible. Someone selling avon in Seattle, WA would follow the same return policies etc as someone selling it in Palm Beach, Fla. It saves the company from being liable should anything 'go wrong'. It shouldnt be illegal to sell something of your own, that you purchased in the past and that you just don't want anymore but if you're doing it as a representative of the company (and they simply don't want to be represented here) then I would think they have a right to express that.
I guess my main beef with companies like this is that they offer nothing other than shipment of product on their terms & timeline. (You MIGHT qualify for sales performance based "spiffs" if you meet or exceed sales goals they set for you.)
the independent reps have to buy the product, often large quantities to qualify for certain things. they have to spend money to make money in essence.
they offer little/no benefits to the women who sell their products, yet they impose conditions and restrictions on how they can sell. They do this while maintaining their "empowering women" spiel...
i've never sold mk, avon, lia sophia, partylite, home interiors or anything similar, but I've known many people who've tried it. Very few were sucessful and even less were sucessful long-term. The only people who came out ahead was the companies these women "independently contracted" for.
Let me just say I do not mean to imply that the products aren't worth selling. I also believe that it can be lucrative under the right combination of circumstances. (such as in MK if you are on the TOP of the pyramid with many reps working for you, then you get a piece of all the sales/recruits of the reps under you)
IMO a company can't have it both ways....they can't have "independent contractors (so they don'y have to pay ss, fica, fed & state taxes etc. or health, disability or unemployment benefits) and claim they are helping women better their economic situations.
1.) they force you to purchase start-up and sampler kits (prime example mk reps have to buy their start-up kits.) they require buying "minimum" amounts of product at regular intervals whether you are making your sales goals or not, they could care less. they give you quotas. if you don't meet them you dont get to go to the ball cinderella!
2.) they penalize you if you don't sell or have to return product because they change product design etc...and heaven forbid if you want to quit selling! Many sellers lose all their profits and more because they cant return their product or they are given such a paltry sum for their remaining inventory.
I have heard the sob stories from friends & others who have tried and failed and beg you to buy ANYTHING at cost just so they can recoup their investment.
I really want to know ...Other than a discount, promotional freebies based on selling performance and/or a commission...what benefits do these companies provide to the women who sell their products?
selling expired product is one thing, of course thats against ebay's rules & they should be pulled, but IMO if avon is so worried about their products being sold on ebay in general, then avon should pay someone to police ebay listings so they can find out who they are or who is supplying to them and stop them.
I have a short response to that one. If they don't like the policies of Avon, Mk and all the others, then don't become a rep. I sold both avon and Mk for extra cash when I was in school. In both cases, I read the agreements before signing up and by signing up, I agreed to whatever rules were on that paper. Im not trying to bash anyone but is it really fair to join a company and then in essence feel that you can change their policies? Didnt they disclose this info to you before you signed up?
I think all of those types of companies do put disclaimers in the contracts signed. I don't think they take a lot of time explaining and making sure it is understood.
I don't doubt that selling avon, etc can be a great hobby. IMO very few women are probably able to make enough to money support their entire families by only selling avon/etc.
Again I have never sold avon, mk or anything so I am looking for information about any benefits that are provided to the independent sales consultants other than commission, sales spiffs, incentives or freebies.
I am also curious to hear from women who currently sell or have recently sold from these types of companies. I would like to hear about their experience and learn some detailed specifics.
The one thing that captured my attention in the OP's post was the phrase "the company for women" I remember during the many times I got roped into a "party" and the hard sell on why I should become a rep & the talk of empowering women, yadda yadda...I also remember at the initial pep talk there are only glowing testimonials mentioned...nothing negative or detailed is discussed. it makes me wonder how lightly they gloss over the fine print until after you sign up.
That said, prettygyrl777...you are right...she signed a contract & she should have known about/agreed with the terms or not signed up and once she signed the contract the terms aren't negotiable. pretty much end of story, right?
I have been reading the posts and I felt it necessary to reply. I am currently an AVON rep. And I must say that in our contract, we are not allowed to sell the AVON products on any other website except the one provided by the company.
As an AVON representative, we are not employees of AVON, we are in essence self employed. So , no we do not qualify for traditional benefits. And, I would like to clarify that AVON does not require its reps to purchase a start up kit or purchase large amounts of inventory to meet sales quotas. You can sell as much or as little as you want without any kind of penalty. And, my start up fee was a paltry $10.00. With nothing further to purchase except the selling brochures. And, I can buy as little as 10 brochures if i want. So I don't feel like im being taken advantage of.
I don't make a whole lot of money, but then i went into this knowing that i would not get rich selling AVON, but if it buys my kids a couple of outfits and maybe a couple of going out to dinner and a movie nights a month, then I'm happy with that. I think most of the women who are doing this feel the same way. At least the ones that i have been in contact with.
I know a lot of reps who are unhappy with the fact that others are selling the products on ebay because it gives them an unfair advantage, the purchase large quantities and then it is hard for the other reps who do things the legal way to get the products they need. For example over the Christmas Holiday there were so many backorders, it was very hard to get the items that our customers wanted, but then you log on to e-bay and someone is selling 20 fiber optic christmas trees and 20 pairs of ivory faux fur boots, is that fair to those of us who do it the right way.
Anyhow, i felt the need to state my opinion on the matter, I hope it help clear things up a bit.
Hi everyone! I am currently an Avon rep, and have been for almost 5 years. I sold Avon 25 years ago for a brief time, then went on to other things. I rejoined Avon in mid 2002, only because of my lifelong love for the product (not the company or women's empowerment). I have been following this discussion, and would like to post a reply to several others who have responded here on this thread, plus add my own two cents.
First, I would like to say to Ourladyofmystery, that I am sorry you are having such a hard time with Avon, and sincerely hope that you will be able to resolve your problems. Do not take anything I say personally or as being mean or vindictive, as I am just throwing in my two cents, just as the others have.
Selling Avon products through online auctions while a representative is prohibited. This is stated on the back of the representative's signed contract, Section 1, Item B, as follows: As an Independent Sales Representative for Avon, I agree to the following: To sell only to Consumers and not to sell Avon Products for resale to or through third parties, any business entity or any type of retail establishment or any Web site unless authorized by Avon in writing...The same is also stated in the Avon rep's business guide.
Also, in the same section, Item D, it states that as an Independent Sales Representative for Avon, I agree to the following: To recognize that I am an Independent Sales Representative .....I understand that I will not be treated as an employee with respect to federal, state or local tax purposes, and I am responsible for paying my own income and self-employment taxes.
Ourladyofmystery, you stated that: "Avon is now claiming that Avon reps are forbidden to sell on ebay"...
With very minor provisions (not related to selling on Ebay or Independent Contractor status), this is the same contract I signed in August, 2002, so this policy has been in effect for several years, and not something that was just put into effect.
You also stated that you were not told when you signed up to sell that selling on Ebay was not allowed. Not to be mean or anything here, but I'm sure that is one of the reasons that Avon does not allow individuals below 18 years of age to sell Avon, because adults know that contracts must be read before affixing their signature to the document. I would also like to add that as a trained and certified appointment maker, it would take hours to do one appointment if I were to have to point out and read each item, line by line, on the back of the contract. That is what the new rep is supposed to do, because it is their contract to sign, and ultimately their choice to sign up. I, personally, tell the new rep to go over the contract first, and ask any questions they may have before they sign, then I tell the new rep that they should spend their first few weeks with Avon learning the basic selling cycle and reading through their new materials, AND making a list of questions to cover during our next meeting.
There must be some assumption of responsibility here.
I don't quite understand what you mean regarding your statement: "Avon....deliberately refusing to deliver my avon products to me, causing my customers to demand their money back, denying me my commissions for selling their products".
Has Avon contacted you regarding the selling on Ebay, and this is the result of that? Or could there be underlying issues such as credit problems, like "Hold Orders" or "Pay and Sell" which have forced you to have to pre-collect from customers in order to pay first to receive shipments from Avon? The reason I'm asking this is because I've never had to collect from customers up front for Avon orders, unless it is a particularly large order, say $200 or more, from a non-established customer. I just do this as a safety measure, since I don't know the person placing the order.
The statement you made..."Avon is now claiming that Avon reps are forbidden to sell on ebay which I certainly was not told when I signed up to sell. That, we all know, is an illegal restraint on commerce and trade" Could you please tell me what that means, because I am not in the "we all know" group in regards to "illegal restraint on commerce and trade". Once again, this is Avon's contract, and you signed it, pure and simple, and I can just about guarantee you that Avon had an attorney prepare the contract.
You made the statement that "They claim that we reps are "independent contractors" but that is not the case. Avon is very controlling and we are, in actually (word should be actuality, I think), Avon employees who have been targeted by Avon for discrimination based on sex."
Can you describe why you feel that Avon is "very controlling", and what do you base the "targeting for discrimination based on sex" on?
During the first time I sold Avon, and during the last almost 5 years I've sold, I've never found Avon to be controlling, other than making sure their accounts receivables were handled correctly and in a timely manner, which is no different than the way I or any other company would handle our receiveables and as for discrimination, well, I contacted Avon to sign up; they didn't seek me out because of my gender.
You stated that "Avon reps are denied the sorts of benefits employees typically receive in our socieyt (I think you meant society), things like payments into social security, unemployment compensation, workers comp, protection under equal employment laws"
Quite simply, we are not denied these things - we just aren't eligible, since we are Independent Contractors, as we attested to when signing our Avon contract. You can also do research on the definition of an Independent Contractor in your state, and most likely you will find that Avon does abide by the rules.
I would like to note, however, that Avon does offer an excellent representative savings plan, of which I am part, plus, they have offered us an avenue to obtaining good cost, high quality health insurance for the self-employed.
You stated: "Avon claims it is the "Company for Women" but it is, in fact, the company that abuses women by denying them traditional employee rights and taking advantage of down and out women in poverty by luring them into becoming sales agents."
My opinion, for what it's worth, is that Avon has made available an opportunity for women to earn an income, whether it be pennies or millions. The sign up fee for Avon is $10, that's it. It's the same $10 it cost me to sign up in 2002. You could run your Avon business for the rest of your life if you wished on that first $10 investment. $10 to start your own business can make a HUGE difference to someone who is in poverty, and would like to find a way to earn honest money, while having the freedom to set their own hours around their kids, family, other job, whatever. The new rep wouldn't have to buy $2 grand worth of inventory, or be forced to attend meetings, or forced to throw parties. For $10 that new rep living in poverty can change their lives and the hopes of their financial future IF THEY CHOOSE TO DO SO. The part about "empowering women" must work both ways. They've offered the road, it's just up to the reps to take it. In order to succeed, you must be "proactive", not "reactive". Don't think the "Empowerment" is just going to happen to you.... You have to "Empower yourself along side the opportunity to reach those goals!"
Additionally, in my experience, I've never seen a company that made it so easy to succeed on so little investment. For example, samples of perfume, 10/$1 - Beauty Advisor Kit - $60, which they split up into 3 payments of $20 every 2 weeks for 1 1/2 months. How much easier can they make it to help you "empower YOURSELF" along with the opportunity they've presented?
Where I ask, can you start a business for $10? There's probably places, and maybe even places that let you start for free, but are they backed by a company that has just celebrated it's 120th anniversary or is considered a household name equivelant to the likes of say a McDonald's restaurant?
Am I "Pro-Avon"...yes, you better believe it! Have I had issues with Avon...yes, you better believe it! But then again, Avon is a large company, like WalMart, and others, and problems do happen. If I encounter a problem, I ask questions. Years ago, when I sold Avon on Ebay, someone contacted me regarding my listing and told me it was prohibited. I immediately called my DM and read through my handbook, and there it was, in black and white. I stopped selling on Ebay immediately and problem solved.
I get from Avon exactly what I put into it, nothing more, nothing less. It was my choice to succeed with Avon, and I didn't sit back and wait to see if I'd suddenly be empowered...
Avon, for many people is just a "hobby". Many women, and men, limit their selling to close family and friends, in order to receive discounts off their own orders, and maybe those in their family. On the flip side of the coin, Avon can be a career, as it is in my case. It's up to the individual.
Another thing to consider is this: Hobbies - cost money; Businesses - make money. You have to make a choice which it will be in your case. Don't blame Avon if you don't succeed for whatever reason - whether it be not putting enough time and effort into it, or not reading the contract, or most common - not paying your Avon invoice. Avon has presented the opportunity, and believe me, their mountain can be climbed, and as long as you abide by their legitimate business rules, they will live up to their end of the deal.
I'm gonna stay out of this, since this has been discussed many times on these boards, but I did want to set the record straight on something that was said in post #6:
"selling expired product is one thing, of course thats against ebay's rules & they should be pulled...."
Unfortunately nowhere in the ebay rules does it state that selling expired goods is not allowed. I specifically asked a Pink this exact question when someone complained about getting old, unused merchandise. We asked if she could file a complaint against the seller with ebay for seller non-performance (the seller refused to disclose that the items were very old-all the auction said was that they were unopened. The Pink never responded, nor were her subsequent auctions pulled.
If you can find where it states that expired goods are not allowed, please share that with us. maybe they added it and I didn't see it.
I am sorry, but I just have to laugh. If you are so informed on the law, then you should also know how to read and interpret a contract. I am an AVON representative and I have also sold on ebay. I had originally thought that I would sell my AVON products on ebay until I read and signed my contract. It is quite clear as to how we are allowed to sell and what is prohibitted, and I am not an expert on the law of trade and commerce.
For those who believe that it is a dead and gone way of doing business, you are incorrect. We may not go door to door and sit in for tea, but we do meet with customers in person to deliver our orders. We also have the choice of having our own website to sell our products. Times have changed and so has AVON. There are rules in place we are to follow, but most companies have rules. We are Independant Sales Representatives. This does mean that we represent AVON, and AVON has the legal right to set guidelines in place for how this is done.
I say that you need to look for something else to sell on ebay. If you do your research, most of the truly successful sellers will tell you to never sell anything that you don't have in your posession. That can cause you to run into all kinds of problems with any product. Any company can run out of stock or have delivery problems causing delay in your delivery or no delivery at all. People buying on ebay expect that you have the product in hand to send out as soon as payment is received.
Cracked brain idiot comes to mind. Read the fine print on the back of your contract. Didn't anyone ever tell you to read before you signed on the dotted line? Targeting our sex? Your a real piece of work. My district has both men and women and we are proud to be Avon Reps. I am proud of how Avon is dealing with you.
I think it is so lame that they don't specifically state that OLD items are not allowed. You are correct that USED items are verboten, but IMHO expired items are just as bad. Skin is porous, and impurities can be absorbed through that membrane. IMHO anyone who sells expired products should have a NPS assessed against them.
I think that Avon needs to set an example of themselves if they do not wish for Avon to be sold anywhere but door to door.
Avon sells their own products on Amazon.com now. So, would it be safe to say that the Avon ladies and gents could also sell on Amazon.com?
If Avon wants the person to person contact and does not wish for their products to be sold on any online market place except their own, then why are they doing it themselves?
Is it the do as I say not as I do?
AVONis a copyrighted name and they don't want their coprighted material on here. If you sign a contract to represent them then it's on their terms. Ifyou don't like it then don't represent their products.
i sold Avon when i worke for a large company. I have to say that i also sold and still sell it at fleamarkets. I have some interesting observations.
1. It is hard if not impossible to make money selling avon on ebay. Most of the auctions do not even generate bids. The one that do are either discontinued hard to find items, or items that are listed well below a reps costs.
2. Even at fleamarkets the product has been devalued. Avon rep stock up on product and then try to sell it at pennies above cost to get avon paid in time.(there is a lack of understanding of the profit margin concept)
3. If ebay avon sellers could agree on a price for each item, they would all make some money but thats not going to happen.
4. the derick jeter new fragrance is going for an average of $9.00. Its value had been RUINED. no one will make money on it. Avon rep have cut their own throats
5. The big winners are avon and ebay, and the buyers like me who buy it and then resell it at fleamarkets.
I can get it cheaper from ebay than i can from ebay
6. THE PERSON I BUY FROM SELLS IT AT A PRICE TO WHERE HE MAKES SOME MONEY AND I CAN GET A GOOD DEAL AT THE SAME TIME. WE BOTH WIN
FOR MOST OF THE REST OF YOU
AVON EBAY REPS, GET A CLUE AND SOME COMMON SENSE AND STOP UNDERPRICING EACH OTHER