Monday, February 10, 2014

Ding Dong. Avon Blogging.

In the 60s, bored housewives (now called "stay at home moms") traveled from one house to the next, pitching lipstick and perfume. These items, made by Avon Products, were sold successfully by enterprising women who helped the company become the fifth-largest cosmetics company in the world.






It's no surprise that Tupperware parties soon followed, pioneering the "direct marketing" concept, as women learned that their friends were a great source of income. Decades of PartyLite, Pampered Chef, jewelry, lingerie, makeup, aromas, and other direct marketing parties ensued, leading record numbers of people to grow exhausted with the people they once called "friends."

Today, nobody has time to spend a Friday evening listening to a sales pitch about the benefits of scrapbooking. But these women continue, both through social media and blogs. In fact, an entire generation of women are currently using their blogs to promote a variety of products, often for financial compensation.

But is this a lucrative business? A Facebook friend recently promoted her latest blog through her Facebook page, but it was entirely about some new MLM she's involved in. I quickly scanned the blog and realized it was all sales pitch, no substance. I then clicked away. If she hadn't been an online friend, I wouldn't have even gotten that far.

I applaud enterprising individuals who successfully mine their real-life and online friends for funds. But with more than half of all Mary Kay consultants making less than $100 in commissions each year, I have to wonder if all of this hard work ever really pays off? If it doesn't, why do people keep doing it? Isn't there an easy way to make money?

18 comments:

  1. You really do have to be a natural born salesperson. Most are not. But these companies don't care and don't like to talk about that. Heck, I bet a lot of the company profits are on the backs of people who buy the starter kit and maybe some inventory but never actually sell anything.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Possible Reason: Many people who love a product (i.e. Mary Kay) can buy it at a discounted rate, sometimes up to 50% off for themselves,family and friends. So a few consultants do it from a savings rather than earnings standpoint. Even at a 10% markup for said friends and family, it is a great way to save money on products they are going to buy anyway--and perfectly okay with the company. It is a win-win for both the consumer and the business.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I think it's the rare few who can really make a go of this sort of thing.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Amen to what Valerie said. A lot of people do it for the steep discounts in products that they love.

    I have known a few people who have made real money in Mary Kay (not so much with other companies) and I know it works. If you're willing to make it your life. Personally, I'm not. I like walking away from my job at the end of the day and leaving it in my office. I don't want my work to be my entire life.

    Until I become a full-time writer, of course.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Karen, be careful what you wish for! I seem to write night and day. When it's something you love, you don't mind. Perhaps for many people, they don't mind selling 80-100 hours a week. Seems like a ton of work to me! But I will say I much prefer the blogging version of this than the in-person version. I've had friends who insisted on hosting a new party each week and, for those who work full-time and have a family, there just is no time for that.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I really could help but see myself in those ladies. Only, I am peddling books!

    BTW, I loved my Avon lady. She totally made a career out of it. She has passed away, but if you talk to reps in this area, they still know Mary. She is a legend in our neck of the woods.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I have to add...I hate hosting parties too...there's the cooking, the cleaning...bleh!

    ReplyDelete
  8. I think you definitely have to love the products to overlook the lack of riches one is developing. I am just glad that being a boring guy I am exempt from all the product party invites.

    ReplyDelete
  9. $100 per YEAR? Really? Why on earth do people do this? Of course, I hate selling things, so that might be part of my disbelief! It's a really good question, though.

    ReplyDelete
  10. I remember once when I went to a friends "party", then didn't buy anything. We got the cold shoulder from then on out. I was like, seriously? She seemed to only be making friends so she could sell things. I haven't gone to any of those kinds of parties since.

    ReplyDelete
  11. I still remember the Avon and Tupperware parties! Do people still host them?
    Now and then, an Avon brochure will pop up somewhere... I must say that they have some nice specials!
    Tupperware, on the other hand, has become VERY expensive. But it's still the best in terms of durability.

    See you next week for my Ubuntu Blog Hop. I'm looking forward to reading all the entries.
    Writer In Transit

    ReplyDelete
  12. What I'm seeing all the time is all the people selling those aromatherapy oils lately. It's jamming up my Facebook feed, which is kind of annoying. I get that the oils might help some things, but the way these sellers talk they can cure anything on earth, and I just don't buy it.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Lisa--it's always something. The sad thing is, with any MLM (or "referral marketing," as the snake oil salesmen like to call it!), the people making the money are the ones at the top of the pyramid. They sit back, collect hundreds of thousands of dollars off people, then move on to the next thing that is going to "change your life." There's a lot you can convince people to do out of fear. Put this oil on your food, wear this special armband, use this great shampoo, etc...and you'll never get cancer. You'll live forever and be the happiest person on the planet...

    ReplyDelete
  14. I once attended a Pampered Chef party, and the salesperson was telling us about these great trips she got to go on being with that company. I'm guessing you have to sell a lot to qualify for that.

    ReplyDelete
  15. I've wondered this myself - you really have to pursue it with time and passion if you want the bigger payout. Used to sell Avon and the best thing about it was getting products at a better price. Never won any trips, cars, or anything like that.

    My daughter in law is a Pampered Chef rep, and while she doesn't rake in thousands, she does earn a little on the side doing something she enjoys. One perk of this is that I get to hear about the great sales right away. :)

    ReplyDelete
  16. I'm a skeptic. I've met lots of women who were over-the-top manic about becoming a Mary Kay rep. In time, they dropped it, because it had so little pay-off.

    PS Great to "meet" you.

    Smiles.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Love it! This is a great post. I like this topic.This site has lots of advantage.I found many interesting things from this site. It helps me in many ways.Thanks for posting this again. Thanks a million and please keep up the effective work Thank yo so much for sharing this kind of info- Become and avon rep Cardiff

    ReplyDelete
  18. Fantastic Blog! This article gives me a clearer idea as to how I want to go about doing this. Thanks for the great tips.Sell Avon Bridgend

    ReplyDelete