Selling Avon/making Cakes

Updated on January 14, 2011
T.C. asks from Minneapolis, MN
20 answers

I have going to become an avon rep today and was just curious if anyone has done this how did you do? Was/is it worth it for you selling it, do you enjoy it, etc? I dont expect to make a lot off of this but any extra is helpful. Just looking for any experiences you may have had.

Also i have been toying with the idea of making cakes on the side. I made my own wedding cake and have made my kids birthday cakes. I am not a pro by any means yet but i do think i do quite well and have the potential to be really good. Wondering if anyone does this and if you have any tips on how to get started, or what you would charge for birthday cakes, etc? Times are tough right now and im trying to do what i can to make some extra just to get by. I work full time and so does my husband but we still just need that little boost to make it. If you have any tips or advice on cake decorating that would be great.

Thanks for the help!!

UPDATE: When i talked to the avon rep last night i was never told you have to order product up front. She said people place thier orders from me and pay me and then i pay avon and keep the difference. So i guess im kinda confused on that part. Why would i have to buy product and have a bunch extra when im only ordering what people order. Why does the percentage you make go down after awhile? I was never told that either. All i was told is basically people pay me the book prices and i pay the avon prices and keep the difference of 40%. Was i given false information?

2 moms found this helpful

What can I do next?

  • Add yourAnswer own comment
  • Ask your own question Add Question
  • Join the Mamapedia community Mamapedia
  • as inappropriate
  • this with your friends

Featured Answers



answers from Johnstown on

I sold Avon and it was NOT worth it for me. I then switched to Mary Kay and the profit is 1,000 x better! The trick to Avon is that you have to have a HUGE customer base to make anything.

Cakes you can make a killing on if you're good. Pricing varies with types of cakes and the detail of decoration. Go for it! :)

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Rapid City on

My mother was an Avon rep for a while, she never kept product on hand, she ordered as the customers ordered. You can't guess what the customers will want so I wouldn't try. At Christmas you could order some of those Christmas items to have on hand for craft shows but as for the make up and all that, I would wait for the orders.

More Answers



answers from Appleton on

What a great idea. You want to make money doing something you love to do. The cake idea is great. I agree with the Mom who responded with the idea of putting together a book of cakes to show people. And taking a class or two is also a good idea. I would check to see what venues are available to you to market your business. Sometimes you can set up a booth at a farmers/flea market. But that won't happen until spring/summer. While you are waiting for winter to pass plan your marketing stratagy. You can make your own brochures and cake book on your computer. You can also sign up on wedding websites to advertise your business. Set up a facebook page also. When you are able to do flea markets have everything ready to go. Make sure you have samples of cake for people to taste. One caution: I ordered my business cards from VistaPrint and was signed up for some membership and they took about $18/month from my account. It was 2 months before I noticed it. I would also place business cards at bridal shops, florists and other places where brides look for all the pieces to put together their weddings. Contact the Chamber of Commerence to see if there is a wedding professional organization in your area. They often have monthy meetings. See if you can get a group together and market the group, kind of a one stop wedding supplier. If they get the cake from you hire a certain DJ or band a certain minister,florist etc you will all do their wedding for a 10% - 20% discount. I would rather have 80-90% of something than 100% of nothing.
About Avon, I sold Mary Kay years ago and you have to order products so the customer can take it home that day. And you have to work very hard to make a buck. A friend of mine has a Tupperware business and makes decent money and doesn't have to keep stock on hand. Also do you really want to have to go knock on doors in the winter in MN? A good sales director/recruiter will help you market yourself because that is part of the way they make money. If this doesn't seem like the right thing for you pass on it.
One more thing to consider: why can't you do both? You could market your cake business through your Avon or Tupperware parties. Take the snack with you and as you bask in the compliments about your wonderful cakes let them know you also make wedding and birthday cakes. And market your Avon or Tupperware through the cake business.
Also you can set up a website for yourself on for free. I am a minister who does weddings. If you want to PM me for more info please do.



answers from Provo on

T. I just want to say good luck! Last night I posted something similar to this asking ideas on how to reach more people and for business ideas and someone reported me. I hope someone doesn't do that to you. :/ Good Luck!


answers from Saginaw on

Don't know much about Avon, but my mom has always made cakes on the side.

First things first, if you haven't done it yet. You need to take some cake decorating classes. Secondly, you need to build a book of cakes for people to look at. As for slices, when dealing with wedding cakes most people and bakeries charge by the slice. I know the bakery around here charges around $2.85 a slice (maybe more), while my mom charges $1 a slice. You need to know your cake sizes and how many slices are in a cake. For sheet cakes my mom will charge $20-30 depending on how big the sheet cake is. My mom used to do a ton of cakes on the side but has slowed down as of the past few years. She doesn't do fondant cakes, and that is mostly what people want now a days.


answers from Chicago on

I had a friend that sold Avon for a little while.

You have to buy the supply up front and then resell it, so if you get stuck with product that you can't move, then you're just "out" the money. She had some takers, but as people moved on to different brands, she started to lose money.

She tried just ordering as needed, but people (me, too) got tired of waiting for 2 weeks to get makeup, especially when I can just order it online directly and get it much faster.

Just wanted to share. Not something I would invest my $$ in, personally.

For cakes, if you can do it, DO IT! :) We have a lady in our area that started doing it awhile back, and now she's booked 3 mos out! Her cakes are phenominal (she did our wedding cake) and she charges by type and person. For ex: our wedding cake had 4 layers, 4 flavors and fed 300. We paid around $400, I think.
She had no formal training, and just grew her business by word of mouth. Trust me, if you can do it well, word spreads fast!
Here's her website, for reference:



answers from Davenport on

The lady who said she used to do Mary Kay and had to order up front so the customer can take it right homw with them etc. She is wrong, she may have been coached by her recruiter that she HAD to do that, but according to the company's rules she did not.....thye try to make you do that in Mary kay, quite often - I was in it for 4 years too, I started out doing it the way you said, take orders+money, order products+ pay company their share, then keep your share and deliver products - MANY Avon reps do it this way, the right way as a business person. BUT many at home sales companies so try to talk their sales persons into buying inventory up front - I fell for it - it seems like you will sell so much more stuff if the customer can have it in their hot little hand right then and there - HOWEVER, hwo do you know what they will want before thye order it??? I ended up with over $10,000 in debt on a Mary Kay credit card, and $5000 of ( my cost) inventory sitting my my shelf now selling.....i did their buy-back program, and got $2500 back, and quit eventually.

Do Avon, it is great, as is Mary Kay, as long as you do it the way you said, take orders and money up front, make the orders and then deliver - don't do the inventory is great for the higher-ups, but not great for you!!!

The cake making business sounds great too - I know Our local Michael's store offers Wilton's cake decorating classes regularly.

With either business make sure to check out who/where your local competition is - how many Avon ladies are there in your town; we live in a town of 1400 people, and when we moved here I was in the thick of Mary Kay - little did I know there were already 5 Mary Kay Ladies and various Avon Ldaies too in the town already - LOTS of tough, established competition. Check around and find out who else makes cakes locally and find out their prices, too!

That said, Good Luck in both businesses.




answers from Clarksville on

I tried to sell Avon for a few months, but it wasn't for me. I didn't like asking my friends or strangers if they would like to buy some Avon. It is really easy to sell if you are an outgoing person, not shy like me. I would give it a try it is really inexpensive to start selling.



answers from Minneapolis on

Check out other direct sales companies - there are so many out there that have a much higher commission than Avon. A coworker helps her mom out with Avon by bringing the books to work and she told me that her mom hardly makes any money at all but does it because her friends like to buy it and she likes to use it. (Think "old ladies" - not that only old ladies use Avon, but there are so many other companies that are more current)

Just Jewelry offers a 50% commission for example.

Oh, and check out the state laws about food prep. You may need to use a commercial kitchen in order to have a cake company. One of my advertisers is a personal chef and she can only cook for people in THEIR kitchens or a commercial kitchen. If you get caught making cakes out of your home, you could be shut down and pay significant fines.


answers from Kansas City on

i was an avon rep for awhile and it was tough. i joined during a special time and my kit was only $10, so that as fine. for a website it was $8 a month, you pay a fee based on how many people you place an order for, and also an $8 fee if you are late, so make SURE that you dont place late order! to "get paid" what happens is you place the order and it charges everything at your discounted rate (which can be anywhere from 10-40% depending on whether or not the item is actually from avon, or if they bought a spot in the avon catalog like curves or disney does) then the box gets shipped to you you sort everything out, deliver it to your customers and charge them the full price. Since YOU paid the discounted price and charge THEM the full-price, you "earn" the difference.

i also looked into mary-kay, but i wasnt as impressed. they wanted me to buy this $250 pack, put it on a credit card, there was an inventory and the products just werent as good. they have a lot of alcohol in the products which is really drying to the skin. at least that is how it was when i looked into it. it may have changed.

I do health education for a wellness company now. It also takes a lot of marketing, but they have make-up as well as a plethora of other stuff and i dont have to handle any products or sell anything. just set up the account so they can shop online, it ships to them and my pay check is mailed to me. much easier for me that way since i have 2 small kids! lol.

I have a friend who does cakes and desserts on the side and does pretty well with it! just through work she manages to bring in some extra by taking orders for custom cookies, candies, birthday cakes, etc. Her work also hired her on to bake brownies for staff meetings and things like that. If baking is something that i enjoy, i say go for it!



answers from Fargo on

As far as making your cakes into a business, you will more than likely need a commercial kitchen in order to sell your cakes to more than just your family. Something to consider when you get more interest in your cakes.
As far as Avon. I don't know too much about the company and their commision program. I used to sell Premier Designs jewelry. I didn't have the time last year, but am considering getting back into it. They give you 50% commission. You can purchase a starter kit of jewelry, but this is a tax write-off and it's yours. It does help to sell the jewelry, but you don't have to have it as we women like to try things on. :)



answers from Boise on

I have never sold makeup, but I think it is easier to sell Avon than Mary Kay. Every Mary Kay party I went to, the prices were way up there and the makeup wasn't good. At least with Avon, people don't mind buying the stuff because it is inexpensive and they have other things like jewelry, clothes, and toys in their catalogs.

As for cakes, I think if you could make beautiful wedding cakes for cheaper than the bakeries around, and market yourself as inexpensive but fantastic, you could get a lot of clients.



answers from Allentown on

Awesome that you have a talent, it is something you enjoy, AND you can make money at it! *SIGH* I am always a tinge jealous of the mommas on here that are crafty and can make and sell things- I don't have that in me. ;)
I was confused by your update? Shouldn't the % you make go UP as you build your business? And I'm not sure that Avon requires you to stock product? I think that is Mary Kay. But if you can find something like that for some 'sure thing' cash while you promote your cake business that would be good. You can PM if you are interested in taking a look at what I do from home. :)



answers from New York on

I sold Avon for a couple of months. Like you, I had a full time job and in the end it wasn't worth it for me. I had to put too much time in to Avon (prepping all the brochures, distributing them, getting orders in). In the begining it was worth it because they give you 40% commission no matter what qty you sell, but after some time it becomes tiered ((you have to sell above 200 per campaign I think to make that amount commission) and with two campaigns per month that is not an easy task if you have a full time job and kids. Also note that you have to be really good with your money. You pay Avon the full amount and keep the profit. To me, I was collecting the money, not really realizing what I spent it on, and then had a huge Avon bill to pay on my credit card at the end of the month. You can tell I was a bad match LOL!

That said, I do love their products and the company in general (for everything they do for women). I you do decide to do it, I am happy to email you the materials I made for myself (notes for brochures, labels, etc) just PM me.

Best of luck to you whatever you decide!



answers from Philadelphia on

I sell Avon and I don't make any money. You have to market yourself and I haven't done it, it's a lot of work!!

You do not buy products up front and what you don't sell just return to Avon.

About the cake take some classes, it sounds like fun but cakes aren't my thing. I know a local bakery was offering classes so call around and see what advice they give. Someone may even take you on if you have the interest and any talent.



answers from Dallas on

I believe the MaryKay profit is better than avon. You can make some $ selling the product, but bringing in new team members is where you increase your income significantly. It wasn't for me - nice products, but the biz wasn't my thing.

I don't know much about the cake making, but if you love it, do it. It's something you can put your passion behind and that makes a huge difference. You can google and find sites all over the internet to help you get a pricing idea. You may want to donate some to a school event under your business name to help get the word out.

I was also thinking of having your friends over for a Cake Tasting - like a wine tasting, but with cake. Perhaps make miniatures of the larger cakes you've done so people can see your talent, and have mini-bite samples so people can taste them all and not get too full. Serve tea and coffee. Don't charge, BUT do take orders. Valentines day is coming up, as well as St. Patricks Day, etc. does GREAT business cards and other stuff for a very good price.



answers from New York on

Both Avon and cake baking are great things to do to make money but you are going to have to be willing to put in the work. Let everyone you know that you are doing these things. With the Avon you will need to develop a client base, perhaps at your job, husband's job (my Avon rep is a man), your children's school, your neighbors and family should know, and any organizations you belong to should all know. When you are out and about you need to let people know what you do.

Have flyers done or/and business cards for the cake baking. You may decide to do mini cupcakes or bake a special cake for your kid to take to the school. Take tons of pictures of your work. Also social networking sites like FaceBook and Twitter are also excellent opportunities for you to let people know what you are doing.

As for price points with the cakes, think about how much the ingredients cost to bake the cake as well as your time and use of your oven. Also think about the sizes of cakes you want to offer. Find out from local bakeries and supermarkets how much they charge for their cakes and you may consider that in how you will price your cakes. Have fun and do your very best and it will be very profitable for you and your family.



answers from Milwaukee on

There are lots of commercial kitchens now because of the popularity of farmer's markets and they're cheap to use. Check out community centers too - our wedding cake was made by a master and she works out of the local Italian Community Center (they have a commercial kitchen). My parent's neighbor does still make cakes out of her rural Wisconsin home and has made a good supplementary income with it for years. I'd say if you're not in a big city (with access to commercial kitchens), then why not give it a shot and cook them from your home. At least until your business takes off and you can start converting your kitchen into a commercial kitchen as a tax write-off. Good luck!



answers from Dallas on

I would go with the cake idea! specially if you have talent for it. I love staying home and if I could bake I would sell baked products (cupcakes, cakes , cookies etc)
I think it's a great idea.
Good luck!



answers from Kansas City on

You can have your customers pay you first (when they place their order with you, before you order from the company) so you don't use your own money, but Avon wants their money before shipping anything to you. I tried this manyyears ago and found that most people either already have an Avon rep or don't want any Avon. The Avon reps I know (I used to work with a lady that did it on the side, and there is an Avon lady at church) barely break even. You have to pay for shipping (both ways - this is a bummer when returning something - you can lose a lot of money with returns!), pay for the books, order forms, samples, etc. The percentage is higher when you start because they want to hook you and 'help you out' while building clients.

For Updates and Special Promotions
Follow Us

Related Questions