The most trusted and popular consumer complaints website
Explore your opportunities! Create an account or Sign In

Avon Products / fraud and cheating

1 United States Review updated:
Contact information:

Avon misleads its representatives into thinking that they can earn money selling avon products. This is a big fat lie. My credit cards are maxed out, and I have nothing to show for it, and I still owe avon.

I also tried leadership, and this is the worst scam yet. They tell you that all you need is 5 reps. To sign up to sell avon and you're a unit leader. Well if you want to see a check from leadership and keep your unit leader title you have to recruit a ton of people and sell $250 yourself every two weeks, and as a unit sell $1, 200 combined total. You need a ton of people because your entire unit must sell $1, 200 every two weeks. It never happens, so you never see a check.

I busted my behind finding people, put ads in the paper, advertised on my car, spent money on business cards, banners, etc. I got a bunch of naive people like myself to sign up thinking they were about to make lots of money.

Now that i'm in a leadership role, i've got headaches. Calls out the kazoo from these people I recruited for avon. The calls are about simple questions and complaints about avon. My phone is always ringing and I never have any free time. I spend at least 6 hours a day after working a 40 hr job on avon task when I get home. Avon wants you to attend leadership rallies, district meetings, hold open houses, and much more. I work full-time and I have no time at all to baby-sit over 20 reps. To be sure they place orders and pay their account balances. And I have yet to see a check from leadership.

You also have to buy kits to sign-up the people, and you pay for them in advance. Why can't avon perform some of these services? For example, how the people sign-up online, pay the appointment fee, ship them a starter kit and assign them to a leader in their area. Much easier. Lot's of times, I don't feel comfortable going to meet strangers to sign them up for avon, or inviting them into my home. It also makes not since to have to assemble kits to give to people. Avon has online training available; why not require the new recruit to take the training before their account becomes active. It's just stupid the way this process works.

Besides the pyramid scam to recruit more reps. , avon is always running out of products. They advertise stuff in the catalogs, you order it and take the customs money, and then avon tells you sorry we ran out. It'll be 4 - 8 weeks before we get more, or we want be getting any more at all.

So now you as the avon rep. Has to face the angry customer and look foolish and take a lot of back talk from a customer, and refund the money. And you just lost a customer because of this.

Besides this, they offer the reps. An internet website for $7.50 bi-weekly where customers can login and place orders. This is a nightmare. The prices on the products don't show correctly, there's no way to invoice the customer and collect payment, and you get people who search the internet looking for these avon rep. Websites to run scams. They log into, place a big order, and offer to pay by credit card. You take the credit card information and run it through. Avon clears it, then 2 months later, the credit card is reported stolen, the customer is nowhere to be found, and avon charges the rep. For the lost. This has happened to me only once, but it was for $900. Ouch!

I did my part; I used the avon credit card processing toll free number to validate the information and the available credit. Avon gave me an authorization number and I ordered the product and delivered it. So now it's my burden to pay for a stolen credit card that they authorized?

So to pay off the $900 charge back, I returned $900 worth of unsold product I had accumulated over the yeas. Avon quickly punishes me for doing this.

Avon suspended my return privileges. I am no longer allowed to return items for instant credit, because of the large amount of items that I returned. Once again i'm kicked in the a** by avon and out of money again. When I called avon to ask if there was a way to work out payments for the charge back, I was told put it on my credit card and write if off at tax time as a business loss. Let's see if that works. But it's my out of pocket loss.

Right after this happened, I get a call from avon about a customer who has complained that an avon brochure with my name on it has ended up in his driveway and clogged his snow blower. My response was so, what do you want me to do about it. The avon care rep. Tells me that I am no longer allowed to distribute avon brochures in that area and to discontinue the practice of leaving the brochures any where besides the door knob. What!

So let's calculate my losses, avon is having me train over 20 new recruits for free as a unit leader. Avon has gotten $900 out of me for a stolen credit card that they authorized. Avon has suspended my return privileges, and has asked me not to distribute catalogs anymore. So I can't recruit customers, and I can't process returns. But avon wants me to continue selling product to reach honor society and a chance to win a free trip. And they want me to continue recruiting new sales reps. I'm flat broke, tired, and have nothing to show for it. Avon doesn't care.

Do not sell avon if you are trying to make money. You'll lose more than you make.

Sort by: UpDate | Rating


  • Di
      9th of Aug, 2006
    0 Votes
    Toyota Avon - Seal the deal
    United States

    My husband and I were shopping for a new vehicle on Saturday July 1, 06 and had a salesperson ask us for our credit card to "seal the deal". We had NEVER heard of such a thing and left shortly after to go purchase our vehicle at O'Brien Toyota. We were VERY satisfied with our salesperson there and were NEVER asked to give our credit card to them.

    Do you know if asking for a credit card is a practice that we were not aware of? If so, what use is it?
    There was only one reason to take our card that we could think of and it was not for good use. If you need the name of our salesperson just ask.

    If you could answer this with a satisfying answer I will drop it, otherwise I will continue my quest to find out if this sort of thing happens often and why.

    Thank you for any help with this matter,

  • Am
      24th of Nov, 2008
    +3 Votes

    I have been selling avon for 3 months am quiting because these are the things being done to me as well

  • Em
      26th of Nov, 2008
    +1 Votes

    Boy am I glad that I read this. I was on my way to selling AVON. I had been propositioned in the past to sell AVON and have known women who have as well. Thank you for posting this. Good Luck with your monetary issues.

  • Ke
      29th of Nov, 2008
    +1 Votes

    Wow!! i regret working for avon so much! those huge unsold poducts...well i did about 4 or 5 of those orders and right now the charge nacks are happening :( doesnt any one have advice??????????????????? please!!!

  • Dc
      9th of Dec, 2008
    0 Votes

    There is a disclosure on the Avon E-Rep site that if you don't imprint the card, it could result in a charge back. There are credit card imprinters available through Avon. Lots of people make money with Avon. It is a business. It is not for everyone though. Usually the people who don't succeed are the people who expect the business to work for them instead of the other way around. If you want to succeed in any business, it takes hard work including, business meetings, seminars, etc... My suggestion to people who are not willing to put forth 150% is to stick to hourly work. I love this business, and fully expect to get out of it what I put into it.

  • Je
      21st of Feb, 2009
    +1 Votes

    I completely agree with this!!! I didn't make much selling Avon. I have a full time job, and a family to take care of and although I got a lot of sales, I didn't see the benefits from any of it. I hardly made anything from all my hard work. So I decided that after I paid my last invoice that was it. I called Customer Service and had myself taken off of Avon. About 3 weeks later, the District Manager calls and asked me if I wanted to become a representative or not. In clear words I said "NO, it is not for me, I do NOT want to be a representative anymore, but thank you." She completely disregards what I say, and decided to order brochures on my account in my name!!! I am absolutely furious over this. I called customer service AGAIN, had them suspend my account and told them that in no way shape or form is for anyone to call or fax anything to them for me to be a representative anymore. I told them that NO ONE other than myself should have the authority to place an order in my name and that I wanted a credit for what I didn't order. They gave me the credit and suspended my account, but if that District Manager does that again I will have a little talk with her myself. Because in my eyes that is Identity Theft. They have access to my social. How can I trust any of these people???

  • Ra
      11th of Apr, 2009
    +1 Votes

    I am a new rep. and have a guy (Rev.Walter Moore) trying the same thing with me. Emailed order for 80 bottles of purfume and sent me his credit card info. Wants products sent to me but he will send me shipping labels so I can ship products to him. Does he thing I am that stupid. $2, 800.00 worth that I will have to pay for in the long run.

  • Te
      14th of Apr, 2009
    +1 Votes

    Their policies and procedures are difficult and excessive to the point of being unrealistic when considering the way they want you to do business.
    The return policies are flawed, as is online ordering.The way that Avon handles product shortages is unprofessional and forces the Sales Associates to then appear unprofessional as a result as the rep is therefore forced to refund and apologize with an unacceptable regularity.Avon is also known to discontinue products without ample notice to reps or customers and their billing policies are flawed, leaving many people in debt for attempting to sell Avon's products.The profit margin is very small especially when taking the overinflated prices into consideration.
    Older women will tell you that part of Avon's charm and popularity was that they were a down-to-Earth, lady next door, average woman brand at reasonable prices, targeted to the needs and budget of the average housewife or moderate income working woman.Nowadays Avon is attempting to glamorize there image to jack up their profit margin now making Avon a more Department store priced brand.Their top competitor Mary Kay offers better quality products at a similar price no longer giving Avon the "better price, same quality" advantage they once had...Avon has become capitalist and very flawed, the image and many of the policies have changed.The policies ensure that you'll eventually be in debt with Avon after which time if you cannot pay off your balance before it is transferred to collections they have a new rule in place that that rep can NEVER do business with Avon makes you wonder if Avon is doing you a favor with that if any sane person who started out blind and enthusiastic only to end up in debt and disappointed would ever return...I was excited and optimistic myself going in years ago, I'll never sell it again.As a business that used to have such an amazing product line, loyal customer base and was at one time such a fine opportunity for women it is sad to say that the same greed pulling our entire country under has led them to appear to be no more than another modern day "get rich" scheme.TO BE SKIPPED.Sorry.

  • Ka
      19th of Apr, 2009
    +1 Votes

    Hi I have been an Avon rep for ten months. Wow what A ride. I have made President's Club, Unit Leader and yes I receive a check from Avon every 2 weeks from my Unit. I think when people are upset with Avon and saying they did all the work and Avon is not there for them, they are just going to be unhappy no matter who what or where thay are. My life has changed because of Avon and Now I hope to help change other s lifes.

  • Ma
      21st of Apr, 2009
    +2 Votes

    I gave Avon an honest try, and now I'm stuck in it because I have to earn back the money I lost with the tiny customer base that I've developed. I have shipping issues, customer service issues, billing issues (every invoice requires a call to get corrections, ) and many more issues. But my biggest problem has been Avon's over-recruitment. I worked at Avon full-time for four months and have nothing to show for it. Any time I bring this ups, the Leadership reps (the ones doing all the recruiting without a care in the world about the other reps in the territories their over-recreating; they don't care because THEY are the only ones making money. If they are lucky that is.) jump on me and say that I spend too much on myself (not true), spent too little/too much on supplies, didn'tadvertise (I did, ) didn't make any effort (if 40+ hours isn't effort, then maybe a full-time job is), didn't go into Leadership where the real money is (cause it's so smart/ethical to recruit women where there are dozens of reps on every block already?), or this, or that, most of which is lies, assumption or just plain baloney.

    Then I'm told to drive to other towns to get cutomers. Same thing. Avon has recruited every other adult women in those towns too. All reps, no customers, makes Avon a big chunk of change. And we live in terror of returning because we have no idea what Avon will do to punish us.

    I have invested $500 in this business (less on inventory than you'd think!) and have zero net profit. It'll take me many months to earn that money back.

    So before signing up, ask yourself: Do I want to work for a whole year at Avon -- full-time -- just to break even? Woudln't I be better off working at the local RiteAid and getting my 10% discount off shampoo? Because, believe me, you would.

    What about those women who claim to make money with Avon? 99% of them are LYING. Yes, they are LYING. I've had reps tell me they "make" $500 per month, only to find out they "sell" $500 a month in product! BIG difference! After expenses and 20% fixed commission items, gasoline, discounts, promotional tools, etc., they'd be really lucky to walk away with even $50 a month.

    Of all the reps I've met or spoke with, not a single one was able to PROVE their real Avon income with a tax return. Why? Because they are LYING. Even Leadership reps 'claim' to earn $120K per year. Yeah, right. How much did they really earn after Unit meetings, renting halls, advertising, yada, yada? I'd like to know.

    Another question to ask yourself: Would I work for an unethical company like Amway? If the answer is NO, then you would not work for Avon either. Why? Because Avon has CHANGED. Now they only reward women who recruit and recruit and recruit. The very day you sign up, your 'upline' will be on a high and use her time in YOUR town to try to recruit MORE women.

  • St
      29th of Apr, 2009
    +1 Votes

    I am having the same problem. Avon are making out that I owe them £46.71 and have added £10 in charges for 'late payment'. Hang on a tick. Late payment? You mean for the items you personally collected from my home on the 12th January 2009 and you are contacting me on the 27th April to tell me that I owe you money?

    Do NOT do this. It's not worth it and they will try to rip you off.

  • Wo
      27th of May, 2009
    0 Votes

    Well I am not lying. I am very successful at Avo. I do make a nice PROFIT every campaign. I have a very loyal customer base. Do 2 or 3 parties a month as well as fundraisers. Just because you can't sell doesn't mean that all of us can't and that we are all lying about making money. I have a second bank account just for Avon and would gladly go over my monthly statements with you.

    AS for the op it is your stupidity for taking a credit card without meeting with the person and checking their ID. If I get someone who wants to pay with a credit card that cant meet me face to face then I tell them they must go through the website that way I am not responsible if a problem arises. And my website is free just as long as 1 person orders from it.

    What did you think, that you were getting a get rich quick oppertunity. No work all money? Of course Avon takes work. What you wanted to sign all these people up, get their money, a % of their sales and never have to answer their questions or offer any help? Its deadbeat upline reps like you that cause seasoned reps like me to have to spend hours a day on the forums training YOUR recruits because you can't be bothered to do it.

    You should not sign up for Avon if you don't want to work at it or don't have the time for it. See its reps like you that forces Avon to go on these recruiting benders. You sign up then get mad because no one is paying loads of money to sit on your butt or hand out a couple of books every two weeks, so you come to places like this and rant and scare off what could be successful reps, so Avon tries to compensate by pushing recruiting to the fullest. Just shut up and quite already. More money for the rest of us who really want to work to be successful.

  • Wo
      27th of May, 2009
    -2 Votes

    PS you wouldn't have to worry about refunding when products are on backorder if you just didn't collect the money ahead of time. The rest of us reps always wait until the products come in before charging the customer. DUH!!!

  • Di
      27th of May, 2009
    -2 Votes

    Thanks i have been going back and forth on whether I would start this process, boy am I glad i read this post...God Bless you...Good info...Hang in there...

  • Ne
      28th of May, 2009
    +2 Votes

    I am new to Avon. I cleared $137.00 profit my first campaign. And am looking forward to my second campaign with over $400 in orders already. I think that to work the Avon business you have to work smart and hard. It's not a get easy fast scheme...It's a legitimate way to make money if you work hard.

    It takes a special kind of person to become a Leader, something evidently not all of you are cut out for...I already have 3 recruits and they are each placing $200 or above orders this campaign...I can't see why $1200 seems so far out of reach...

    I sold Mary Kay for 4 years...Now that didn't work for me...hopefully Avon will be a different story.

  • Ma
      28th of May, 2009
    0 Votes

    Many reps claim to "make" a profit their first 4 campaigns, which are at the 50% earnings level automatically. You've conveniently forgotten to add your start up costs, like business cards, printer ink, labels, rubber stamps, gasoline, etc., unless you'd like to convince us they were $0. Calling your Gross Profit the same thing as "clearing" is basically a lie in my opinion. Please tell us your net profit. Tell us, too, how after your warm market of friends and family stop placing $100 each campaign and drop to $25 -- or no orders -- each campaign, and your earnings level drops to 30-35%, how you will be achieving the same numbers? Will you start tapping into the cold market? Because many of us can tell you, it's ICE cold. There are so many Avon reps, you'd be lucky to not have two neighbors on your block alreaddy selling Avon. Plus, what will you be bragging about when the two friends you sign up find out $100 in their orders have been placed on backorder -- or worse, they are instructed not to order the item again? Or what are you going to say when they find out their order has been left on another reps porch? Or lost? And what will you say when they get their first bill with a $7.50 erep fee and a $7 late fee? Please tell us again, being still in your 50% earnings level, which means you are still in your first campaign, how those of us who have been with Avon for a while now, just can't cut it? It's our fault, right? I'd love to see you come back in four months with some more fabricated stories, like how none of the recruits you signed up have quit yet.

  • Ma
      28th of May, 2009
    0 Votes

    That is, you are in your first four campaigns. Also, remember that with the new earnings bonus, your downline must place $50 or higher orders the first TWO campaigns -- instead of one like the last bonus structure -- for you to get your bonus checks. They should have split those orders up a little so you could get your check for using your friends. Best of luck.

  • La
      21st of Jun, 2009
    +2 Votes

    Ok, like i wrote in my Review about "Is avon a scam". It is definatly not a scam. It depends if you are a good Sales person or not.
    If Avon is a scam, why are then so many people keep working for that company.

  • Ye
      21st of Jun, 2009
    +1 Votes

    I began selling avon b/c I wanted discounted make up and perfume-I had not illusions about making money and have been very laid back about the whole thing. I order the minimum number of catalogs, I had some business cards printed and I only distribute at work. My gripe with avon is that I think they nickle and dime their reps to death, the outsourcing of customr services to India is offensive and ineffective (I really can't understand them!) and the product shortages and mishandled orders are irritating ( I do not collect money for shorted items until they arrive-they problem is, they often never arrive or take weeks while the customer wants to know what's up). Since my products began being packed by Zainesville, items have been missing for 3 campaigns in a row. Further, my DM is a shmuck who never returns phone calls and does not follow through on her own promises to reps-it burns me that she makes money and acts like a total bimbo. I am debatingwhether to quit avon, since I have more makeup, skincare and perfume than I could ever need at this point.

  • Ma
      22nd of Jun, 2009
    -1 Votes

    If Avon isn't a scam, why would someone have to write an article titled "Is Avon a Scam?" Spamming of their own blog to lure in recruits. To the right, "Make Money! Sell Avon!" link. Talk about a self-promotional advertisement (and "M" for mukky-muk author -- Avon isn't a scam because of EZ returns, it's a scam because of the pyramid scheme!)

    She's breaking the golden recruiting rule of never alluding to anything negative about Avon (especially not in writing, oh my!) Here is a woman who is not making minimum wage selling Avon (after REAL, undisclosed expenses.)

    I found a link that will help the Avon SpamBot Recruiters understand why Avon IS undeniably a scam

Post your comment