Does Avon Give Me a Website?

Everything seems web-based in modern times. However, Avon really is meant to be a personal contact system. You talk with your family and friends, you build personal relationships with them, you share products and hand deliver them. This has many benefits. First, shipping is really cheap. Avon sends the box of stuff to you (for free) and then you give them to your friends (for free). One big box, little hassle. Because of that, Avon gives you a huge percentage of the sale - up to 50%. If someone orders via the web, you only get 20%, because of all those extra costs.

If you want to have an Avon public sales site, they charge you. That costs you $7.50/campaign (as of June 2007). So that's $15/month. The reason they charge is that if there are say 1 million Avon ladies in the US, and all 1 million of them have the exact same Avon website online, all of them are competing with each other for online sales. That would be like having 1 million separate Amazon sites and having visitors trying to choose which one to buy from :) It doesn't make a lot of sense.

As an Avon representative, you always have a "profile page" - i.e. a page with your personal contact information, a "contact me" link to your personal contact page and so on. So you have 2 or 3 pages that you can put on a business card, to hand out to people so they can know how to find you. But the intention is for them to contact you and then talk with you personally to place their order. That way you can give them samples, talk to them about the products, and build that relationship.

But if you want an actual fully-stocked sales site, where people can place orders and get items without ever talking with you personally, Avon does charge extra for that, and it's not where their focus is. For you as a salesperson, you lose 30% of each sale by doing that.

The stock seems to be based on regional warehouses. There are times when I see something in stock, but someone in another part of the country sees that same item as being out of stock. Also, if someone signed up a while ago with a different rep, and they try to then order from you, they have to put in your phone number in order to do that switch. You might not be comfortable giving out your phone number to internet contacts, but it's a required step.

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