Cosmetics Retailing

Startup Costs: $2,000 - $10,000
Home Based: Can be operated from home.
Franchises Available? Yes
Online Operation? Yes


Cosmetics sales generate billions of dollars every year worldwide, and starting out in the industry is relatively straightforward as far as new business ventures. There are numerous ways to sell cosmetics and make a profit, including launching your own direct-to-consumer line, but here’s one segment of the industry that can be set in motion for less than a $5,000 initial startup investment: First, locate a manufacturer of cosmetic products who doesn't have representation in your community, state or even country. Negotiate an exclusive contract to represent and distribute their cosmetic products in the desired area. Once the distribution contract has been secured, the cosmetics can be sold to retailers on a wholesale basis. Or you can hire a direct sales team whose main focus is in-home sales of the cosmetics. Both approaches have the potential to generate enormous sales and profits.


How much money can you make?

Launching a company generally requires the belief it will be successful, so there’s likely not much of a ceiling in terms of the revenue you can bring in. For example, since Emily Weiss founded Glossier, it’s raised $34.4 million in venture capital.

What kind of experience do you need to have?

“Being a freelance makeup artist taught me the value of entrepreneurship and networking. It really taught me that if I wanted to constantly build the amount of clients I had that hired me, I had to continually reach out when things were quiet. I had to reach out and remind people sometimes or show them some new things. Being an entrepreneur, you have to constantly do that and you can't be afraid to cold call someone or go up to someone at a party or be open to an introduction from someone.” -Bobbi Brown, Bobbi Brown Cosmetics

What’s the most important thing to know about this business?

“It's really important to know who you are and to own who you are. There are times where people will come to me and say, ‘You should do more of this; you should do more of that.’ And I say to them, quite frankly, it's important to own your area and to own your audience. When you get messy, you start to lose your DNA. You don't need to be cookie-cutter like every other person. I always say, ‘I’m cake face.’ I wear a lot of makeup. I’m not ashamed of it… Be who you are. Don’t be apologetic.” -Huda Kattan, Huda Beauty

Cosmetics Retailing Ideas

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