For a period of time, Avon offered some representatives a small line of credit, which allowed reps to delay payment (or a portion of their payment) on their orders until the following campaign.
As of Campaign 9, 2020 (April 1, 2020), Avon will be discontinuing the credit program (for all but a small percentage of Premier and President’s Recognition Program achievers). As of Campaign 9, 2020, most representatives will be required to pay for their orders at the time of checkout.
While this may be a change for many Avon representatives, paying at the time of ordering products is the normal procedure for all other direct sales companies. In fact, just about every business anywhere requires some form of payment before turning over the products to the consumer. It’s a standard business practice, and as Avon is not in the credit industry, it makes sense that payment would be expected at the time of ordering.
Fortunately, having (or not having) credit does NOT make or break your Avon business!
Here are THREE simple options (with TIPS) to consider as you adjust your business practices to function without a line of credit from Avon:
PAYMENT OPTION #1: COLLECT UPFRONT PAYMENT FROM CUSTOMERS
When ordering any other products from any other business, customers are used to paying for the items when they place their order. This is a 100% normal practice, so most customers will have no problem with paying for their items when they give you their order.
Common Concern: My customers are used to paying when I deliver. That’s what we’ve been doing for years!
Simple Solution: Simply notify your customers that the procedure has changed and you’re now required to collect payment upfront. Most customers will have no problem with this new procedure. (If they don’t have the money to place the order, wait until they do. It doesn’t help your business to place orders for customers who can not pay for their items.)
Common Concern: My customers email (text, message, call…) me with their orders. I don’t want to make a separate trip to collect their payment.
Simple Solution: Expand your payment options to include digital options such as PayPal or Venmo, so customers can easily pay you without an extra trip. You can also accept credit card payments by phone, which you can enter directly into Avon’s system. (If you prefer, for a small fee, you can also accept credit card payments through a Square account, which enables you to have those payments deposited into your bank, instead of onto your Avon account.)
Common Concern: What if my customer pays me and then one of their items is sold out when I place my order?
Simple Solution(s): Confirm item availability by entering the items on avonnow.com before you give the customer their total. After that point, try not to delay in placing the order (especially if their order includes items which are more likely to sell out, like outlet/clearance items, items marks “while supplies last”, seasonal items, and limited-time fashion/jewelry items). If there will a delay in placing the order, suggest that the customer utilize your online store, so they can secure the items before they sell out. If all else fails and a customer’s item is not available after they’ve paid you, simply give them a refund or a credit towards their next order.
PAYMENT OPTION #2 – GET A PERSONAL CREDIT CARD
If you’d really prefer to not collect payment from customers when they give you their orders, get yourself a personal credit card, with even just a small credit limit of a few hundred dollars. Use the credit card to pay for the order when you submit it to Avon. Pay off the credit card immediately after collecting payment from customers, so that you never incur any interest fees.
TIP: Reserve the credit card exclusively for your business use, so it doesn’t get tangled up with your personal finances.
Perk #1: This option gives you credit for a month, as compared to just one campaign.
Perk #2: Avon’s line of credit was typically only a couple hundred bucks, at most. You may be able to get a higher line of credit through a personal credit card.
Perk #3: If you get yourself a credit card which offers rewards (like airline miles, cash back, Disney dollars, discounts, etc.), you can take advantage of those added benefits.
Common Concern: What if I have bad credit and don’t qualify for a personal credit card?
Simple Solution(s): Collect payment from customers when they place their orders or consider Payment Option #3.
PAYMENT OPTION #3 – BUILD UP A SMALL SAVINGS
Don’t want to collect payment upfront and don’t qualify for a personal credit card? Another option is to set up a free personal checking account, exclusively for your Avon business. Get an account which comes with a Visa/Mastercard debit card. Save your earnings in the account until you’ve saved up enough to cover the cost of your typical order. When you submit your orders to Avon, use the debit card to pay for the order. Replenish the account by depositing your customer payments after you’ve delivered their orders. Always keep enough money in the account to be able to cover the cost of your orders.
TIP: You can link a Paypal/Venmo account to your checking account, to easily deposit payments made that way. If you use a Square reader to accept credit card payments, you can link that account to your bank account as well, so those payments are deposited right into your bank.
In a nutshell, there are many SIMPLE ways to handle payments on your Avon orders without having an Avon credit line.
Consider the option which works best for your personal situation and begin implementing it now, so it will be smooth-sailing when Avon’s credit program changes in Campaign 9 (April 1, 2020).