There are reports today on Sky News of Debbie Davis, now making Â£250,000 a year with a turnover of Â£7m – as Britain's most successful Avon lady. This will probably swamp the UK Avon website with curious women wondering if they can easily do the same. The dream, making a fortune from selling cosmetics to a most grateful selection of family and friends. But a word of caution.
I will ask a question, do you think she earned this by selling direct to friends and relatives? Or was it earned by trudging door to door in the rain delivering catalogues and collecting orders? Simple answer to both, no. Avon, just like Kleeneze, is a Multi Level Marketing (MLM) organisation. You join at the lowest level earning virtually nothing but you recruit for the company like crazy. The recruits do the legwork earning nothing but the recuiters earn the dosh. Areas become quickly saturated and the turnover in 'representatives' (who are self employed) is horrendous.
As an MLM 'team leader' you have to have a rhinosceros hide to recruit and discard with no regard to suitability or ability. It works on a glorified pyramid selling basis. The very few that can stick the course can (like Debbie) earn a fortune. But this is on the back of many desperate people driven into their arms by debt. After all, who but the most desperate would consider door to door sales in Britain? As far as I am concerned MLM is another Ponzi scheme that should be made illegal.