There’s a growing trend for selling clothes online, especially through social media and some people are raking it in. One lady claims that she started with zero and made over 5 figures in just a few months! What is the hype all about? In this Agnes and Dora review, we’ll be looking into such a business opportunity and find out if it’s worth your investment or not.
What’s Agnes and Dora?
Established in 2013 by Buffy Bandley, Agnes and Dora (A&D) is a network marketing company that sells women and children’s clothing and accessories. Customers can buy the apparel through the official online store or through sales representatives who are called fashion stylists.
Like a boutique owner, a stylist will acquire inventory at wholesale price and then sell at retail, earning up to 50% in sales profit. They can choose to promote the product one-to-one through social events or through social media like Facebook Live, Instagram and YouTube.
Another method of earning is through the representative referral program whereby you are compensated with credits for referring new members to the business plan. The credit system lets you purchase future inventory and the earning is 3 levels deep into your downline. On the first tier, you make 5%, the second tier gives 2% and the third tier will pay 1%.
This income opportunity seems to be created for individuals who are interested in fashion AND keen to start their own clothing line business at the same time. That typically includes students, stay-at-home moms or anyone who’s looking to gain more financial independence doing the things that they like.
According to some resources, the number of sales reps has been steadily increasing over the years. Coupled with a strong social presence online, it does seem like a doable/fun venture to make money. It actually reminds me of Lularoe, a clothing company that used to sell leggings exclusively so I kind of have an idea what A&D is all about.
It’s easy to misinterpret network marketing nowadays as something shady and I don’t blame you for that. Most of them do have that kind of reputation, but not all are rotten apples. If you are interested to join, there are a few things you may find attractive with this business program.
What Do I like About the Company?
1 – First off, their collection is full of varieties and is known to be of good quality, hence the higher price point. The patterns tend to be more feminine and brightly colored which is more suitable for young to middle-aged adult women.
There are also petite and extra-large sizes to cater to more audiences. Every 2 weeks and in every season, new styles are being released so there’s always something fresh for everyone to choose from.
2 – When signing up to be a stylist, there’s a warm-up period for you to get to know the company, and the products before deciding to commit to the business program. In that sense, they aren’t pushy and there’s no obligation to invest if you don’t want to. If you do decide to join, training will be available through your sponsor, the team and the company.
3 – In the beginning, your boutique will be curated by the company in order to give you a good headstart in selling. Thereafter, you basically get to choose what goes into the inventory according to personal style and your buyers’ needs. It also lets you preorder stuff to prepare your shop for the following season.
4 – Every sales rep gets a personalized website that doesn’t direct to the official store. Instead, you can list your favorite clothing so no two stylist boutique would look the same. The personal store is set up in such a way that it is user-friendly so it’s quite easy for customers to find what they want and pay for the item.
These sites are often shared on Instagram and Facebook profiles as you promote different styles on social media. You earn from retail profit whenever someone clicks and purchases through your online boutique.
5 – The credit system is a good way to save on inventory costs. Inside every inventory kit, there are bonus credits for A&D products that are worth twice the value. The rep credit system, on the other hand, lets you earn 100% in sales profit so that’s a good motivator to work harder for your business.
Many people start network marketing on a part-time basis, but before you go any further, know that it is not all rainbows and roses. Anyone who works in retail or dealt with inventory before will know what I mean. If you never had any experience, it’s worth finding out the cons of running an offline/online boutique business before going full time.
What Are The Challenges of Selling Agnes and Dora?
1 – The number one challenge to get started is the cost of (subsequent) investment. With A&D, there are 4 packages to choose from;
- Buy in Collection = $500 x 3 (purchase over 3 months period)
- Friends and Family Collection = $1,500
- Launch Collection = $2,500
- Boutique Collection = $3,500
On top of that, it actually takes more to get the business rolling. For example, you must order at least a minimum of $100 wholesale every 6 months to maintain as an active representative. To benefit from the compensation plan mentioned earlier, you must order a minimum of $500 every month!
Those are just figures for inventory. What about supplies like racks, hangers and not to mention, petrol for traveling if you are doing social events like house parties or booth setups? Do you know that you also need to pay for shipping to receive the inventory? If you do the math, the sum can easily add up to a lot of money – and risk – than expected.
The risk we are talking about here is not moving your inventory fast enough. If you can’t sell within a time period, you will be stuck with a bunch of clothes that are out of trend. People will not buy them and you can’t make any money.
That’s the worst that can happen with high volume investment and you totally need to avoid that.
2 – When it comes to selling, I have always preferred doing it online. Honestly, I don’t know anyone around me who still does home parties. It doesn’t seem very popular with modern consumers who are quite capable of shopping online without all the social fluff.
Even though A&D gives you a site, it still doesn’t do much if you don’t promote it. That’s why so many women sell on Facebook, create Facebook live and do YouTube videos. It’s still a lot of social hustle except that most of the interactions are virtual. You have got to love doing this otherwise, it’s going to drain the energy of you.
Unlike creating a fashion blog or an online store that can be optimized for free traffic, you need to constantly search for new customers and new reps to join your team. Your personalized store, unfortunately, isn’t optimized for this so doing the extra work will be necessary.
3 – In case you aren’t aware, female fashion is a VERY saturated online niche. A simple Google search for a pink blouse will direct you to many outlets and chances are, none of those belong A&D. The only time the site will ever show up is when someone actually types in the brand name.
Hence, your direct competition will come from marketplaces like Amazon to burgeoning brands that have strong eCommerce features. These companies can afford to carry way more inventory than you and they don’t need sales rep because they have affiliate marketers and strategies to get free/paid traffic from the search engines.
My Final Verdict about Agnes and Dora
After going deep and under, I would say that A&D is a legit company. However, like any retail business, it will take time to see profitable results. It’s not impossible to make 5 figures per month as what you see on the YouTube videos, but it’s rare.
As for the cost of investment and running the business, I have my reservation. Unless you have a marketing strategy in place and lots of experience in selling, I think the process can be very frustrating whether it is offline or online.
If you aren’t careful, you can actually end up with a pile of inventory and a very bad debt. That’s basically how many people go bankrupt when they don’t plan properly in network marketing.
There’s certainly no shortage of sales rep who exudes excitement about the company and I totally get that. When you carry that much inventory in your garage, you need to have that push to sell them. Many people also went on to say that it changes their lives for the better and I am pretty sure the majority meant what they say.
However, when I search on Google trends, I am not sure if I should be excited about this opportunity or not.
Clearly, it’s a fading trend. Is it because the products are disappointing? Could it be due to the lack of online marketing? Or is it all just hype? Either way, it doesn’t look very convincing and if you are thinking of trying, please proceed with caution and watch what you’re spending.
In this day and age, you don’t really need expensive inventory to start a business. Ever heard of affiliate marketing? It lets you earn commissions through sales that other people make. You can partner with your favorite fashion names and it only costs $1 per day to run the business.
Join this training platform for free to learn how it all works.