Monday, 6 July 2009

The 'Avon Lady' is reborn stateside but is it still the same old story?

As the recession continues and people are looking for ways to supplement their income and cover their basic bills, more people are looking at direct selling jobs to see them through hard times. The familiar sound of the ‘Avon lady’ is becoming all the more common across middle America, as cash-strapped women – and men – peddle the popular door-to-door cosmetics brand.

The difference now is rather than knocking on neighbour's doors and leaving catalogues on doorsteps, the ‘Avon lady’ of today uses networking to get sales also. The conventional role of the ‘Avon lady’ has evolved, you no longer have to go door-to-door - instead, many people are taking catalogues along to events at their local church, their children's school, when meeting up with friends and family and are even setting up networking pages and internet sites to make sales.

During a recession, I think the flexibility of direct selling may work because it appeals to people that can’t afford not to earn whilst looking for a job or that need a second income that can fit around their already busy lives so it’s easy to see how Avon and other companies that use similar business models have seen an increase in representatives in the last year.

I remember when I was at school I signed up for Avon, however, partly because I didn’t have much time to dedicate to it and partly because I liked the products too much, I used to lose money and end up with lots of products that went to waste so I’m quite sceptical about the value and income it adds.

I know a lot of people that use other talents and skills to earn money in different ways but with the same principle of supplementing their main source of money. For example, selling stuff on eBay or Gumtree, becoming an Ann Summers party rep, spray-tanning or doing other beauty treatments in the comfort of people’s homes and it seems to me to be a more rewarding source of income, especially with the increase in Avon rep’s but it would be interesting to know you think.

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