A cosmetic sales representative provides education about cosmetics to potential customers for a particular company or companies. He or she encourages potential customers to purchase cosmetics from the company cosmetic line. Many cosmetic sales representatives work on straight commission, which means earning a set percentage of sales amounts. Others receive a salary or hourly paycheck. In addition to selling cosmetics, many cosmetic sales representatives are expected to recruit new reps to the company.
The cosmetic representative who works from home is typically self-employed. He or she represents the cosmetic company, attends sales meetings, and generally works to gain new customers as well as new representatives. The cosmetic company usually provides a starter kit for a price and offers training and encouragement while the rep gets started.
For companies that recommend cosmetic parties, the cosmetic sales representative contacts friends, family members, and business acquaintances to book cosmetic parties. The hostess of the party invites her friends, and the representative arrives to show the group how to use the company products. There are usually fun games and prizes to be won at the party, and the hostess typically gets free products, depending on the amount of sales the party generates. While at the party, the representative signs up guests to hold future cosmetic parties.
Another type of cosmetic sales representative does not attend group parties, but instead distributes catalogs and takes individual orders. Product samples are available for the rep to purchase and give to customers. The samples are designed to prompt the customer to purchase full-sized cosmetics.
Whether in parties or individual sales, the cosmetic sales representative is paid a percentage of total sales. Many cosmetic companies have tiered recognition levels for those who meet benchmarked sales goals. These recognition levels are usually tied to the number of recruits the rep has signed up under his or her name.
Self-employed cosmetic sales representative are usually encouraged by the cosmetic company to set up a company Web site under the individual rep's name. Customers can order directly from the Web site, have the product shipped to their door, and the cosmetic sales rep that owns the site gets a commission. While most cosmetic sales representatives work out of their homes as self-employed individuals, some reps work in retail locations. In such cases, the cosmetic sales rep is typically paid an hourly rate plus a commission or bonus for each sale he or she makes.