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Ding, Dong--Your Avon Lady Is Calling

Avon remains our top pick among the multilevel marketers.

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At this time of year, malls are bustling with shoppers looking for the perfect gifts for their family and friends. And for those who don't like the crowds, the Internet has become an alternative way to shop, with all the comfort and privacy of their own homes. But, even before the emergence of the Internet, consumers were able to shop for products such as makeup, kitchen utensils, Tupperware, and jewelry via multilevel marketers (or direct-sellers, as they are commonly known), which, unlike the Internet, allow for a more personalized shopping experience.

Here at Morningstar, we cover four multilevel marketing firms-- Avon Products (AVP),  Herbalife (HLF),  Nu Skin (NUS), and  Usana Health Sciences (USNA). While we aren't huge fans of the multilevel marketing business model in general, we do believe that Avon has separated itself from the rest of the pack, demonstrating that it can deliver on the benefits of the business model without any of the excess risk that seems to be inherent in the operations of its peers.

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Erin Lash does not own shares in any of the securities mentioned above. Find out about Morningstar’s editorial policies.