Avon Scam: Pyramid Scheme or MLM? [Review]

If you’re looking for a way to make extra cash online, you may have come across Avon. But with all the scams out there, you’re probably wondering if it’s worth your time and money. Don’t worry, I’ve got you covered!

Chances are, someone you know – a friend or family member – has introduced you to Avon. It’s a popular direct-selling company that’s been around for a while.

As someone who’s passionate about helping people find legitimate money-making opportunities online, I’ve reviewed hundreds of similar programs like Avon. And I’m happy to share my findings with you.

First off, I want to make it clear that I’m not affiliated with Avon. That means I’m not getting paid to write this review. You can trust that what I’m about to tell you is unbiased and honest.

In this review, I’ll give you a detailed rundown of what Avon is, how it works, and how much money you can make.

I’ll also recommend the best alternative that’s helped me make a full-time passive income online. So let’s dive in!

What is Avon?

Avon is a well-known company in the personal care industry that specializes in beauty and makeup products. Established in 1886, Avon is one of the oldest Multi-Level Marketing (MLM) companies that exists today.

A MLM company is a business model where individuals can become representatives of the company and earn money through selling products and recruiting others to join the business. Avon operates on this model, and its representatives are called Avon Representatives.

However, in 2015, Avon was bought by Cerebus, a company that focuses primarily on the bottom line. This led to some changes in the company’s policies that were not favorable for Avon’s representatives. Nevertheless, in 2019, Avon was bought by LG, which caused more changes and instability in the company.

Despite these changes, many Avon representatives remain hopeful about the company’s future. Avon continues to offer a wide range of personal care products, including cosmetics, skincare, and fragrances, and its MLM model provides opportunities for individuals to earn income through sales and recruitment.

You may also want to read our article on the top MLM companies.

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What Products Does Avon Offer?

Avon offers a wide variety of products in different categories such as makeup, skincare, bath and body, fragrance, jewelry, wellness, and even products for men. There are too many products to go into detail about them all, but you can find them all on the Avon shop.

Unlike other companies that have a standout product, Avon offers so much that it’s hard to choose just one. However, their lipsticks seem to get a lot of attention in their marketing campaigns. Avon’s lipsticks have many benefits, such as being formulated with Shea Butter, Omega-6, Sunflower Seed Oil, and Vitamin E. They’re designed for every skin tone, have full coverage with True Color Technology, and are paraben-free, sulfate-free, and talc-free. Plus, they also condition and moisturize lips.

How Does Avon Work?

Avon’s representatives are everyday people who earn a commission by selling these products to others. In the past, they used various selling techniques such as knocking on people’s doors or hosting parties. Nowadays, social media is a dominant platform for MLMs, making it easier for Avon representatives to reach potential customers.

By using representatives, Avon saves on marketing costs and allows people to make money from the comfort of their own homes. It’s a win-win situation: you can enjoy Avon’s products while earning some extra cash.

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Is Avon an MLM?

Yes, Avon is an MLM company. MLM stands for multi-level marketing, also known as network marketing, which has been around for years. Some popular MLM companies include:

When you work in an MLM company like Avon, you don’t receive a salary. Instead, you earn money by selling products to people you know and by recruiting others into the business. You earn commissions from the sales and recruits generated by the people in your downline. This continues down multiple levels, which is why it’s called multi-level marketing.

To give you an example, imagine a triangle. The person at the top of the triangle recruits 10 people, and each of those 10 people recruits another 10 people, and so on. As you can see, if you’re at the top of the triangle, you’ll be making commissions from everybody within the triangle because they’re all in your direct downline. In other words, the people underneath you in an MLM are referred to as your downline, and you’re their upline.

While you can make money from selling the products that your MLM company offers, most people in MLM companies prefer to recruit others because they can make a lifelong passive income from that person. On the other hand, if they sell a product, they’ll only receive a one-off commission. The ultimate goal of somebody in an MLM company like Avon is to have as many people in their downline as possible, enabling them to form large amounts of passive income for little work.

Is Avon A Pyramid Scheme?

No, Avon is not a pyramid scheme. Pyramid schemes are fraudulent and unsustainable, and they can cost members a lot of money.

Pyramid schemes typically promise members money or services in exchange for recruiting others to join. Members have to pay a fee to the organization, which then rewards them with a portion of the funds raised from each new member they bring in. The directors of the organization get the most money, regardless of whether they do any work or not.

Unlike pyramid schemes, Avon sells valuable goods and services, such as makeup and skincare products. Members can make money by selling these products, not just by recruiting others to join.

Avon members also have the freedom to choose how they make money. They can sell products directly to customers, recruit new members to join their team, or both. This means that members at the bottom of the pyramid have just as much chance of making money as those at the top.

Another important difference between Avon and pyramid schemes is that Avon’s profits don’t solely come from recruiting new members. Avon’s revenue comes from the sale of their products to customers, just like any other legitimate business.

In summary, Avon is not a pyramid scheme. Members of the company can make money by selling products directly to customers, and they don’t have to rely solely on recruitment to make a profit.

Watch the short video below to learn more:

Avon’s Compensation Plan

If you’re thinking about becoming an Avon representative, you may be wondering how exactly you can make money. Well, there are two ways: selling Avon products and recruiting others to sell Avon products under you. It’s that simple.

To clarify, you don’t get paid just for recruiting someone to sell Avon. Instead, you earn bonuses from the sales that person makes. This is important because it means that Avon is not a pyramid scheme, which is good news for everyone involved.

Now, let’s talk about the seven ways you can make money with Avon:

  1. Retail commission: You can earn between 20% and 50% commission on your sales, depending on the product.
  2. Qualified new recruit: If you recruit someone who spends $150 in their first two months, you’ll earn a $20 bonus.
  3. Sponsoring: You can earn a 3% bonus on the sales made by new recruits that you personally sponsor.
  4. Promotion: As you move up the ranks, you’ll earn more money per sale.
  5. Mentor: As you move up the ranks, you’ll also earn more money by mentoring and training other representatives.
  6. Generation bonus: When you have a team of representatives under you, you can earn a bonus on 70% of their sales.
  7. Leader bonus: If you’re a leader in your downline, you can earn a bonus on their sales as well.

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How Much Does It Cost To Join Avon?

Joining Avon used to cost $10, but currently, their website claims that it’s free. However, if you want to make money with Avon, you need to purchase some products. When you sign up, you can choose from three starter kits which cost $25, $50, or $100, and they come with products for you to personally try, some samples, and other marketing materials to help you sell.

To remain active and earn commissions, you need to meet a monthly sales quota, which starts at $50 a month and goes up to $200 a month for certain ranks. If you can’t sell $50 of Avon products in a month, you will need to buy $50 of Avon products yourself, or your account will be suspended. Any future sales you make won’t be credited to you.

If you can sell $50 of products each month, then you don’t need to buy anything yourself. However, many people are not aware of this when they join. Keep in mind that while joining Avon may be free, it does require some investment to get started and maintain your account.

Is Avon a Scam?

Legally, Avon is not a scam. First, let’s address the question everyone wants to know: can you actually make money selling Avon products? The answer is yes, but it’s not easy. Most Avon representatives don’t earn any money, and those who do only make a significant amount by putting in a lot of time and effort. It’s important to note that many of the high earners with Avon make their money by recruiting aggressively, which can feel disingenuous to some people.

In addition to the recruiting tactics, Avon has been known to make questionable marketing claims to attract new members. This has led some individuals to view Avon as a scam. However, it’s worth noting that many Avon representatives have had positive experiences and enjoy selling Avon products.

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Reasons Why I Don’t Recommend Avon

If you’re considering joining Avon as a sales representative, there are a few things you should know before diving in. 

The Good Reviews are Written by Avon’s Affiliates

If you’ve searched for reviews of Avon online, you’ve probably seen plenty of positive reviews. However, it’s important to note that these reviews are often written by Avon affiliates who receive a commission if you join Avon through their link. As a result, their reviews may be biased and not entirely trustworthy. It’s best to look for reviews from non-affiliates to get a more accurate picture of what it’s really like to work with Avon.

Very Few People Can Make Money With Avon

Success with an MLM company like Avon can be challenging to achieve. Statistics show that between 72.5% to 99.9% of MLM members actually lose money. This is because MLMs have sales quotas that must be met to remain active and eligible for commissions. Unfortunately, many members end up losing money before even recruiting anyone into the company.

Losses From Avon Are Reframed As Investments

Avon uplines may try to reframe financial losses as “investments” in the business, but in reality, it’s unlikely that you’ll ever see that money again. The return on investment is usually negative, making it an unfair and inaccurate characterization.

Avon is a Cult

Like many MLMs, Avon has a cult-like company culture that discourages critical thinking and encourages reps to isolate themselves from those who question their involvement. Those who leave are often labeled as failures and cut off from contact with other reps.

You May Need to Purchase Avon Products Yourself

If you don’t have a large network of friends and family to sell to, you may have to buy Avon products yourself each month. This can quickly add up and cause you to lose money in the long run.

Avon Products are Overpriced

Avon, like other MLMs, offers overpriced products that may be difficult to sell. Many consumers can find similar products at lower prices elsewhere, making it challenging to make a profit by selling Avon products.

Avon’s MLM Business Model Has a Bad Reputation

Avon’s MLM business model is widely criticized for being fundamentally flawed. The distribution of commissions is skewed towards those at the top, leaving those at the bottom struggling to make a profit. This has caused many people to view Avon as an illegitimate business opportunity.

Exaggerated Claims Of Income

Like many MLMs, Avon makes exaggerated income claims that are often unrealistic. In reality, very few people make a substantial income by promoting Avon products.

Recruiting is Required to Succeed

If you want to succeed with Avon, you’ll need to focus on recruiting others. This can be a turnoff for many people who are looking for a more straightforward way to earn money.

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Pros and Cons of Joining Avon 

If you’re considering joining Avon, there are a few things to keep in mind. Here are some of the pros and cons of becoming an Avon representative:


  • Avon is a well-established company that has been around for over 130 years. As the oldest direct-selling company in the world, they have a strong reputation and a loyal customer base.
  • With operations in more than 100 countries, Avon offers a global platform for sales, which can be a great advantage for those who want to expand their business beyond their local area.
  • Joining Avon is relatively easy and affordable, with just a $25 sign-up fee required to get started.


  • One of the biggest downsides of joining Avon is the low income potential. Unless you recruit others and build your team, your earnings may be relatively modest. This can be a challenge for those who are looking for a full-time income or who are relying on Avon as their sole source of income.
  • Avon has also faced a number of controversies over the years, including allegations of bribery and animal testing by PETA. While these controversies may not necessarily impact your personal experience as an Avon representative, they can be a turn-off for some people who are concerned about ethics and social responsibility.

Ultimately, whether or not to join Avon is a personal decision that depends on your goals, priorities, and values. By weighing the pros and cons, you can make an informed choice about whether this opportunity is right for you.

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Final Verdict

Honestly, I wouldn’t recommend it if you’re looking to make money. It can be tough in the beginning as you try to find people to recruit and add to your commission.

One of the worst parts is having to bug your family and friends to join your Avon business. It’s not exactly a fun task, and your upline will constantly try to sell you more Business Support Material even when you’re struggling to recruit.

The truth is, you’re more likely to lose money than make any. According to a case study on the FTC’s website, 99% of people who join an MLM break even or lose money. It’s not worth the pressure and stress of trying to succeed in a model that doesn’t work for most people.

That’s why I suggest starting your own online business instead. With an online business, you can choose what you want to promote and have the flexibility to work whenever you want. It’s a better option than having someone else tell you what to promote.

If you’re interested, I can share some tips on how to build a legit online business that can generate passive income. I’ve been doing it for a year now, and it’s been a game-changer for me. Best of all, it’s 100% legit and sustainable, unlike MLM models.

So, my final verdict on Avon? Don’t waste your time or money. Consider starting your own online business and enjoy the freedom and flexibility that comes with it.

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Is There a Better Way to Make Money Online?

If you’re starting your online business journey and looking for a better platform than Avon, I’ve got great news for you. I recommend using Wealthy Affiliate, which is my #1 choice for building an affiliate marketing business from scratch.

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You may read our article about the difference between MLM and affiliate marketing.

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You can read our full review of Wealthy Affiliate here.

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