If you’ve ever purchased cosmetics for yourself or someone else, you’re probably well aware of Mary Kay, a privately-owned cosmetics company founded in 1963 by Mary Kay Ash. This company has yearly revenues now totaling over $3 billion and focuses on six major product lines: skin care, cosmetics, sunscreens, fragrances, men’s personal care (colognes, face soap, shaving cream), and gifts.
You can buy Mary Kay products by going online to its website; however, what’s more strongly encouraged is that you work with your local Mary Kay “Independent Beauty Consultant” and purchase through her or him. Why?
Because Mary Kay is a direct sales and multilevel marketing (MLM) company.
What is Mary Kay all about?
Companies that wish to reach different marketplaces and sell their products by the gross usually make deals with area distributors, who purchase their items in bulk and at wholesale prices. Those distributors then sell their products to retailers at a set markup. Finally, the retailer sells those products to consumers, and also at a set markup.
With direct sales companies like Mary Kay, there are no distributors or retailers. Individuals purchase directly from the company, paying wholesale prices for the products. These individuals then mark up their goods as they see fit in order to make a profit from their customers.
To sell their products, individuals will host product parties at their homes or list items via special company-hosted websites. Other consultants might even go door-to-door, with samples in hand, to sell.
Such individuals, who are often called consultants, can also recruit others to sell product (this is the MLM side of the company). Through this recruitment, the original consultants earn referral commissions. When their recruits, in turn, recruit others, the commissions to the original recruiter increase. With some MLMs, commissions can trickle up through four or even more levels of recruits.
How do you start a Mary Kay business?
You can sign up to become a Mary Kay Independent Beauty Consultant by purchasing the $100 Starter Kit. Within this Starter Kit, you get a few products, brochures and access to a personal website.
You can then start taking orders for customers and buying their products for them at 50% off retail value. So, if a customer orders a $10 lipstick from you from an MK catalog, you make $5 in profit when you purchase that item and deliver it to her.
Keep in mind that, to remain an active consultant in Mary Kay, you must purchase at least $225 of wholesale-priced (or $450 retail-priced) product every three months.
You can also earn additional income from consultant recruitment. In fact, recruitment is the surest way to leverage your selling efforts and to rise up in the Mary Kay sales ranks. There are 15 total levels for MK consultants, with each level paying out higher commissions, bigger bonuses, and major incentives like the use of a pink Cadillac “career car.” Keep in mind, though, that the car perks require high personal and team wholesale product sales, sometimes to the tune of roughly $200,000/year.
Should you become a Mary Kay consultant?
Like every direct sales MLM reviewed so far, Mary Kay has its pros and cons:
Quality products– Mary Kay sells medium-end personal care products that are on par with those of Avon and Nu Skin. There are many products to choose from, including a line of products directed towards men.
Market reach– Mary Kay products are applicable to a wide audience, including women, men and kids. The company sells much more than just makeup.
High commissions– Being able to pocket 50% of the product price means that consultants can run promotions and discounts and still make a profit.
Market saturation– When I looked up Mary Kay reps for my geographic area, I found not one or two, or even three, but six local beauty consultants. That’s a fairly high number for a geographic radius spanning about 15 miles.
Peer pressure– If you thought buying $225 worth of wholesale product every 3 months was bad, be prepared to undergo some major sales pressure by your local sales director to purchase “inventory packages” that run $600 to as much as $4,800. This is because the higher up you go at Mary Kay, the more you are pressed to have your underlings purchase wholesale packages and thousands of dollars of inventory each month.
Storage– Unlike Avon, where you take orders from customers and then purchase the inventory, here you are first purchasing massive amounts of wholesale inventory to (hopefully) sell later on. But until that inventory is sold, you need to store it. The question is where, of course. If you rent out a storage unit, you’ll be paying a monthly fee for your extra space. Unless you have some spare basement or closet space, you’ll be surrounded by inventory.
Restrictions– Mary Kay emphasizes that you sell to your “warm market,” which consists of your family members and friends. However, such a market is easily and quickly tapped out, so you must soon look for new customers. Many people use third-party platforms like eBay, Facebook or Craigslist to sell their goods. With Mary Kay, however, you are not allowed to take advantage of these opportunities. Additional information about where you can advertise your products is provided here (spoiler alert: it’s only the company website).
Is starting a Mary Kay business a good idea?
Despite the fact that Mary Kay offers high commissions and good products, I’d be hesitant to sign up with this company because of the high pressure to buy loads of company inventory and to then try to sell it only via the approved company website. This limits you to doing mostly house parties and/or fairs in order to sell your massive amounts of stock. And speaking of which, that stock does come with expiration dates, so you must either move it or be stuck with stuff that you never wanted in the first place.
Have you sold Mary Kay products or are you a current consultant with this company? Please leave a comment about your experiences below.
If you like completing crafts and/or do crafts as your job, then you might already know about Stampin’ Up!. This company, which has been around for over 25 years, offers a direct sales MLM business opportunity to individuals wherein they can make stationary items and earn money from their efforts. So, what is Stampin’ Up! all about and how can you get started?
What is Stampin’ Up?
The Stampin’ Up! company offers craft and hobby supplies for making custom stationary, greeting cards and scrapbooks.
You can go to the Stampin’ Up! website and purchase all kinds of items to help you in this venture, including rubber stamps, paper, envelopes, ribbon, twine, etc. You can also join Stampin’ Up! as an “Independent Demonstrator,” which enables you to not only engage in your hobby, but to make money by selling Stampin’ Up! products to others via home parties, demonstrations and through the online catalog.
Getting Started with Stampin’ Up
If you want to start earning money with Stampin’ Up!, you need to first purchase a $99 starter kit. This starter kit is advertised to contain $125 worth of product. You get to pick the products you want in your starter kit, with the idea being that you can create one to two crafts from your selected products when you use them in your first at-home party. There are many items to choose from when you build that starter kit, as this online selection table shows:
Fortunately, Stampin’ Up! provides you with advice on which stationary, stamps, ribbons, twine, etc. you should select in order to have a full kit for creating a birthday card, for example. Or a vacation scrapbook page. In the starter kit outlined below, you’ll have sufficient materials to create both a birthday and congratulatory card if you select all the recommended products.
Once you receive your customized kit, it’s time to start generating some money. This can occur in one or more of the following ways:
Stamp Camp– With this approach, you invite guests over for a session of crafting and collect a set ‘camp fee’ from each participant. Depending on how much material you ordered beforehand, you might charge anywhere from $25-$100 for such a camp. Your guests will end up creating several cards, scrapbook pages, etc. and take these crafts home with them for their own personal use. This approach can be very successful because you make money by offering camps and don’t necessarily have to sell any product.
Open House– With this approach, you invite guests over and introduce the Stampin’ Up! products to them. Some products might be tested out by the guests or demonstrated by you. The end goal is to collect product orders and submit those orders to the company. Each product purchase earns the Stampin’ Up! demonstrator a set commission.
Opportunity Night– Here, you attempt to recruit other individuals into joining Stampin’ Up! as demonstrators via your referral. By recruiting others, you earn a percentage from their eventual product purchases and/or sales.
Catalog Workshop– If you can’t host a lot of camps or other home events, you can supply a hostess with catalogs and order forms and she can distribute these items through various channels (e.g., work, door-to-door, coffee shops). Once a few orders have been submitted to the hostess, that hostess submits those order forms to you for placement.
How much can you earn with Stampin’ Up?
Demonstrators earn different commissions based on their sales volume and on how many new demonstrators they recruit into their downline. The commission structures based on personal sales and downlines are outlined below:
Demonstrators must sell a minimum of $300 every 3 months in order to remain active in the Stampin’ Up! program and make at least the 20% commission from product sales. To earn commissions from their downline, demonstrators must meet personal sales quotas every month.
Should you sign up with Stampin’ Up?
Like all direct sales MLM opportunities, there are pros and cons to being part of the Stampin’ Up! business.
Great products– Stampin’ Up! offers quality stationary products that are beautiful to look at and receive. The company has even won awards for its unique designs.
Flexible sales model– Demonstrators can choose to sell Stampin’ Up! products several different ways. You don’t have to peddle any products, at least overtly, by holding Stamp Camps. In this way, your customers pay their fee up-front and get to participate in an event with no sales pressure to buy.
Low commissions– MLMs offer commissions that range from 20%-40% to start. So, with Stampin’ Up! offering a 20% commission to start, that’s on the low end of the scale. As noted on other reviews, having a lower than average commission makes it harder to run promos and other offers and undercuts your potential profits.
Ex-demonstrator competition– Many Stampin’ Up demonstrators sell their inventory and supplies at cut-throat prices once they decide to shut down their businesses. This is bad news for active demonstrators who still want to sell products at a reasonable profit.
Parties– Stampin’ Up still relies on the in-home party model as a way to make the majority of product sales. Call them Stamp Camps if you will, but hosting customers and having these camps will still require a lot of your time and attention, plus other expenses such as food and drinks.
Sales minimums– To collect regular commissions, you must meet monthly sales minimums. This can become a big issue if you need to take time off for health or leisure reasons.
Stampin’ Up! may not be profitable enough for you
Given the pros and cons inherent in running a Stampin’ Up! business, it may not be profitable enough to be worth your time and effort. Additionally, you will need to purchase and keep company inventory at your house if you wish to offer Stamp Camps to your customers. Unless you really enjoy the hobby of making beautiful stationary and don’t much care about making lots of money with it, you are better off seeking out other business opportunities.
Have you had experience with Stampin’ Up? Please let us know in the comments below.
If you’ve been to a craft fair or neighborhood festival, you’ve probably seen PartyLite products being sold. The company has been around since 1973 and sells a variety of candles, candle holders, flameless fragrance and wax warmers. The company sells these products via a direct sales MLM model through its independent contractors, who are called consultants. Anyone can sign up and become a consultant for PartyLite. The question is, should you?
How to get started with PartyLite
Individuals who wish to start a PartyLite business of their own must order a starter kit from the company. The cheapest kit costs $30 and includes product fragrance samples, a candle, and a candle holder. The larger starter kit costs $99 and includes fragrance samples, candle holders, two candles, a dozen tea lights, six votives and wax warmers. Both kits also contain catalogs and business supplies (e.g., sales receipts).
These kits are all intended to be used as “party starters.” In other words, they are a way to get people involved in finding out what their preferred scents are, after which they place orders for corresponding products. So, the PartyLite sales model relies quite heavily on having parties (sometimes up to four/week).
The paid-for starter kits enable the new consultant to instantly earn 25% commissions on her sales. She can also earn an additional 7% bonus if her product sales exceed $2,300 in a month.
If the potential consultant cannot afford to invest in a starter kit, she can still receive one, and for free- provided she earns at least $350 at her next next in-home party. The consultant does not earn a commission on her sales during this party (unless sales exceed $350).
Consultants earn bonuses on top of their 25% commissions if they also recruit others into becoming consultants. However, this is where the issues start with being a PartyLite consultant.
Sales minimums, sponsored members and quotas- oh my!
The chart below shows potential commissions that a consultant can earn as she moves up the ranks. Initially, a 25% commission is earned on personal sales- the caveat, however, is that a minimum amount of $1K/month is required. A Team Builder earns a 32% commission, but only if she moves a minimum of $2,000 worth of product in that month and has two active consultants under her. Then, to reach 38% in commissions, the Unit Leader must reach a minimum of $2,000 in sales and have 4 active consultants under her and ensure the team makes a minimum of $5,000 in the same month.
This is a lot of work to earn the minimum combined commissions and bonuses of $250, $640 or $1,110, respectively.
All these requirements are noted in the following PartyLite graphic:
Should your host a party instead?
PartyLite also offers non-consultants the option of simply hosting a party in exchange for product credits and discounts. The idea is that if you book a party and host it, sales generated from that party will earn you credit towards free and/or reduced price product.
However, if you again read the fine print provided here, you are not only required to have a set minimum for product sales, you must also have one of your guests book a party of his own. Without a booking, you earn only 15% product credit.
That sounds like a lot of work for a free candle (maybe).
And speaking of candles and other PartyLite products…
PartyLite products ain’t cheap
Some people really love PartyLite products- their unique smells, their quality, etc. Personally, I have used PartyLite products as well as similar products from Yankee Candle and Bath & Body Works, and I have found all these products to be of similar variety and quality.
However, what I have also discovered is that, in comparison to PartyLite products, Yankee and Bath& Body Works items are priced much more affordably.
Looking at just one PartyLite item, the signature 3-wick jar candle, you’ll find the following prices posted:
In comparison, large Yankee candles are priced at $27.99, which is almost the same price for a lot more candle.
On the Bath & Body Works website, these 3-wick candles were priced at $22.50- and select 3-wick candles were only $15. Plus, the site was offering a promo code for $10 off a $30 purchase.
In fairness, the PartyLite website does feature an outlet area which showcases discounted products. However, that option poses an issue all its own: How will you, the consultant, be able to compete with a parent company that undercuts your own profit margin?
Should you pass on PartyLite?
PartyLite features unique scents and quality candle products and accessories. However, so do other companies like Yankee or Bath & Body Works- and for less money. PartyLite consultants are required to meet personal and team sales quotas before they get their cut of the profits. Finally, the company competes with its own consultants on price. With so many negatives around PartyLite, you’re better off passing on this business opportunity altogether.
Have you sold PartyLite products? Tell us about your experiences in the comments below.
The demand for remote jobs has steadily been increasing in recent years, and customer service jobs are no exception. If you’re in the market for work from home call center jobs, you’ve come to the right place.
Call center representatives may either work directly for the company they represent or work for a third-party provider that deals with calls on behalf of a company or multiple companies.
In the past, when someone says “call center,” one automatically thought of rows and rows of cubicles of call center agents hunched over computers. Now, you can answer calls right in the comfort of your own home.
If you have excellent listening and communication skills, above-average typing skills, and the patience to talk and build rapport with all types of people, working for a call center may just be the perfect work-from-home job for you.
In this article, you’ll learn about what types of call center jobs you can expect, what you need to start, and where to find work from home call center jobs.
Types of Call Center Jobs
Call center representatives may work as inbound agents, outbound agents, or both. Inbound agents answer calls from clients or other agents, while outbound agents make calls to clients, businesses, or other agents.
The most common position for inbound call center agents is customer service representatives, but inbound agents can also work as technical support agents or virtual receptionists.
On the other hand, outbound call center agents are usually in telesales making cold calls, but they may also work as collection agents, survey takers, and appointment setters.
Travel agents, dispatchers, and help desk service agents are examples of jobs where you take both inbound and outbound calls.
In general, outbound call center agents make more than their inbound counterparts. Those who take both can make even more.
However, your skills and experience are also important factors in your expected salary.
Requirements to Work Call Center Jobs From Home
Now that you know the different types of call center jobs you can do, read on to know what you need to apply and start working.
Education — Most companies don’t require a college degree, though this is certainly an advantage, especially if you have aspirations for higher positions, such as supervising a team of agents.
Experience — Call center jobs are beginner-friendly; you don’t need a lot of experience to be considered for a position. Of course, any service-oriented job is a great leg up over other applicants.
Background check — Some companies will ask that you pay for a background check before you get hired. These usually cost $20 to $50 depending on the information they require.
Skills and Qualities
Anybody can train to receive and make calls, but not everyone can be a successful call center agent. Here are the skills and qualities you’ll need.
Strong communication skills — Your communication skills are what makes or breaks an interaction with a customer or a client. Whether you’re helping someone with a complaint or convincing someone to buy a product or service, how well you explain and express yourself is key to de-escalating or clinching that sale.
Technical skills — At the very least, you should be able to use dialer software and be able to talk to someone while doing basic actions on your computer, like typing call notes or looking over training materials.
Average or better typing speed — Most call center staffing agencies would expect their reps to type at least 25 words per minute (WPM) or better. Luckily, getting up to this speed isn’t too difficult. There are also plenty of free online typing courses that can help.
Active listening skills — The ability to pay attention to details and unspoken cues is valuable in a call center job. Often, what a customer or client says is just the surface of an underlying problem, such as a complaint or an objection to a sales pitch.
Patience — This is especially important when you tend to talk to upset or confused customers who may take time to explain their concerns, not to mention take out their frustration on you. Dealing with such customers can be a real test of emotional strength, so you need to be able to have healthy coping mechanisms.
Empathy — Yes, you’ll have stock phrases to go by, but it just doesn’t cut it. Customers can tell, even over the phone, who really cares and who’s just pretending.
Problem-solving skills — All the empathy and patience won’t matter if you’re not in a problem-solving mindset. You’d need to be able to look beyond stock phrases and set procedures to find a solution that will satisfy the customer while looking out for the best interests of the company.
Aside from these skills and qualities, you’ll need to have the following technical hardware and devices to be able to serve your customers and clients better.
Computer — This is essential if you want to work from home. If you’re lucky, your company will provide a computer for you, but it’s better to be prepared with your own computer. It doesn’t even need to be top-of-the-line. As long as it can run the specific call center software you’re using, it should be fine.
Call center software — The software you’d be using will vary depending on your role and will usually be provided by your company. For instance, if you’re going to make outbound cold calls, you’d need software with an autodialer.
Wired internet — You’d need to have not only a fast but also a reliable internet connection, and that means investing in cable or fiber internet, if available in your area.
High-quality headset — It’s not enough that you can hear and you have a built-in microphone (so, no, you can’t use your AirPods). Your headset needs to be compatible with the call or dialer software you’re using, plus have noise-canceling capabilities and enhanced volume control.
Quiet space — Find a space in your home to work out of that has low foot traffic and has few ambient sounds. If you can soundproof the area, even with materials as simple as egg cartons, that would be even better.
Where To Find Work From Home Call Center Jobs
Now that you know what it takes to be a call center agent, you’re ready to zhuzh up your résumé and turn in your applications. Below are companies that offer remote call center positions.
We highly recommend starting your job search on FlexJobs.
This job marketplace lists remote and flexible jobs only from companies they have vetted. You can rest assured that the job opportunities you get from this site are legitimate.
Pro tip: Use the right keywords and search filters to get results that would fit your skill set and the type of call center job you want to work.
Here are some examples of keywords you can use:
(Inbound/Outbound) Call Center (Agent/Representative/Associate)
Adecco is the second-largest staffing agency in the world (as of 2019), offering thousands of jobs of various work hours (full-time or part-time) and various work locations (home-based or office-based) across different industries.
There are currently more than 1,000 work from home call center jobs listed on their job site, with hourly rates ranging from $12 to $20 per hour.
Benefits vary depending on the employer and whether you’re going to work a permanent or temporary position.
Bear in mind that some of the listed positions ask that you travel to the work site for check-in at the start of your training. Once you complete that requirement, you can do the rest of your work at home.
They currently use Certree to provide background checks with information on proof of employment and proof of income.
Concentrix is a BPO provider that works with companies to formulate customer service solutions and technology.
Some of the industries they’re currently working on include automotive, electronics, financial and insurance, eCommerce, and travel and tourism.
They pride themselves on offering work from home call center jobs since 2004, lowering costs for their business clients, as well as providing opportunities to remote workers to earn a livable wage while remaining flexible.
Most of the positions available now are inbound customer service positions. There’s no specific information on hourly salary and benefits available on the listings on their website, although from online forums it seems that they provide health insurance (with vision and dental) as well as paid time off.
Cruise.com has been around since 1998, offering cruise vacations to various exotic destinations to savvy travelers.
They continually hire home-based cruise sales agents to offer cruise vacations and other leisure travel options, as well as insurance, through inbound and outbound calls. You’ll also be offering package deals and upgrades, plus resolving booking issues.
Aside from your base pay, you’ll also be paid commissions on your sales.
They do require cruise industry experience for home-based opportunities.
It doesn’t mean they’re behind on the times, though.
Kelly Services has been operating for 75 years and has provided staffing solutions to various companies throughout the decades.
Search “call center” on their job marketplace and plenty of work from home call center jobs will show. Hourly pay is from $17 to $22, depending on the client and the responsibilities of the role.
Kelly supports their talents with a host of benefits and perks, including health plans (medical, dental, vision), a free employee wellness program, student loan programs, retirement plans, and product discounts.
Liveops prides itself on transforming the remote contact center model by introducing the virtual flex model, where their call center agents work as independent contractors paid by the minute on a flexible schedule.
Instead of opening daily nine-hour schedules, paying hourly even if the agent isn’t taking in any calls, they open half-hour- or hour-long schedules during periods when high call volumes are expected.
Customers don’t have to wait long, clients get their money’s worth, and agents get more freedom to choose their own schedules and work as much or as little as they want in a day.
Some of the industries that Liveops works with include healthcare, insurance, travel & tourism, and retail industries.
Since Liveops will hire you as an independent contractor, they don’t provide the usual benefits. You would also need to pay a $25 fee for your background check.
Their estimate on hourly pay is around $12 to $17 per hour depending on call volumes, how much time you can commit weekly, and other factors.
Sitel is a global leader in customer management solutions and data security.
Sitel work from home virtual associates can do a variety of duties, such as help with billing inquiries, product support, filling out and deploying service orders, schedule installations and repairs, and many more.
There are both full-time and part-time opportunities, with hourly rates ranging from $10 to $18.
They are particular when it comes to your computer’s specifications, your internet connection, and even the headset you need to use.
But Sitel does offer standard benefits such as sick days, vacation days, health insurance, paid overtime, maternity leave, 401(k) with company matching, among others.
Other perks include paid training, not only at the start of your career but all throughout and plenty of growth opportunities.
Teleperformance is a global BPO that has over 380,000 employees worldwide, 70% of which work remotely. So if you want to work with them, you’re in good company.
Some of the work from home call center jobs they currently offer include healthcare customer service representatives, technical support representatives, automotive inbound sales and service representatives, and talent acquisition recruiters.
They don’t post hourly rates on their job listings, but they do offer benefits such as paid training, medical, dental, and vision insurance, 401(k) plans, employee wellness programs, paid time off, and other perks.
Transcom prides itself on being a remote working pioneer, offering work from home call center jobs for 16 years and counting, so they know how to keep both their clients and employees satisfied.
They even provide the computer equipment so you don’t have to worry about getting a computer that meets their specifications.
The usual positions they open include technical support advisors, customer service advisors, and remote franchise relations managers.
Their job listings don’t indicate hourly salary, but benefits include medical, dental, and vision insurance, 401(k) plan, and vacation time. What makes Transcom stand out is that you’re eligible for these benefits within your first 30 days at work.
Formerly known as TeleTech, TTEC is a global BPO provider based in Colorado.
The most common work from home job you can apply for is customer service representative, but they’re also currently looking for helpdesk/service desk analysts, talent acquisition specialists, and remote pricing analysts.
TTEC at Home offers full-time, part-time, and seasonal roles, with hourly wages from $11.50 to $15 per hour, depending on the role and local minimum wage guidelines. They also offer the usual benefits you’d expect, like paid time off, 401(k) plans, health insurance, and wellness programs.
VIPDesk has been around since the late 90s but has only emerged recently as a top provider of BPO services to industries such as luxury retail, fashion, consumer electronics, medical equipment, home, and ecommerce.
The most common remote position open on VIPDesk is work from home customer service representative for a luxury brand, which pays $20 per hour plus benefits including paid time off, paid holidays, medical, dental, vision, and life insurance, and performance incentives.
Being a call center agent is not for everyone, but if you have the patience and the technical skills, this may very well be a great remote job for you.
If you’re interested in remote jobs but don’t want to limit yourself to call center jobs, take a look at our huge list of work from home jobs and find something that’s a great fit for your skills and your lifestyle.
Tupperware has been a household name for over 65 years and is arguably one of the founders of the direct marketing/MLM model business. Back in the 1950’s the company, via its VP of marketing, Brownie Wise, refined the “Party Plan” aspect of product selling, enabling Tupperware to achieve impressive yearly revenues. Successful Tupperware consultants were rewarded with lavish ‘jubilee’ events and sales awards, a tradition that continues to this day.
What is Tupperware all about?
Tupperware currently offers a line of kitchen accessories and food storage products that are not only functional and durable but even pretty to look at. The following photo showcases a representative group of Tupperware products:
Regular individuals can sign up to sell Tupperware from their home, office or even online. Such Tupperware consultants, as they are called, join the company by first purchasing a starter pack for $99.
If a potential consultant doesn’t have the $99, there is the Confident Start Program, wherein one puts down only a $35 down payment. If that consultant then makes $1,000 or more in personal sales in his first 90 days, the remaining $64 is compensated for by the company.
Consultants make 25% commissions from product sales up to $1,500. After that amount, an additional 5% bonus is received from the company. At $10,000, the company bonus becomes 10%. So, a truly successful consultant can earn up to 35% in commissions even with no downline.
However, the downline, called a unit by Tupperware, enables consultants to earn even more money. Beginner consultants who recruit others are called managers and earn a percentage of sales from their unit up to three levels down. In addition, managers who achieve a team sales volume of at least $2,500 start earning an additional bonus, called the Vanguard Bonus. The Vanguard Bonus applies until managers exit their rank and become directors.
Once at director level, which actually consists of eight total levels, a different commission structure comes into play. Directors still earn 25% on their personal sales and up to 35% depending on sales volume. However, directors also earn a 6-8% bonus in commissionable team sales. This commissionable amount is calculated as 75% of team total sales. So, if a director’s team sells $20,000 of product, its commissionable sales will be $15,000, which will result in a personal bonus of $1,050/month.
Obviously, using this bonus and incentives structure, higher level consultants are encouraged to motivate others to sell, and to sell more.
Tupperware’s MLM model
In the Tupperware MLM structure, each consultant, whether a beginner consultant, manager or director, is encouraged to complete three tasks on a regular basis:
Welcome and/or promote 1-2 consultants each week. This means that you are either recruiting 8 new consultants each month or, if you are a director, promoting consultants from within your team to higher level positions. At the top-level director positions, you are actually encouraging your already promoted consultants (i.e., managers and directors) to promote other consultants. Promotion means that these consultants are qualifying for those advanced positions via their selling and recruitment activities.
Host 2 personal parties each week. No matter what their level, all Tupperware consultants are expected to host parties per week in order to sell their expected volume.
Tupperware pros and cons
As with any business, there are positives and negatives to entering and working at Tupperware.
Quality brand– Tupperware has decades of brand name recognition and there are very few complaints about its products.
Large market– Anyone who eats can use Tupperware products. Also, Tupperware items are often used for non-food storage purposes such as holding sewing kits, bait, office supplies, screws and nails, etc.
Generous recruitment commissions– If a consultant is talented at recruiting others to sell Tupperware, she can earn sizable bonuses on her team’s sales. Once sales reach the 100K to million dollar ranges, the bonuses include trips to exotic locales and even sports cars.
Required quarterly volume– Consultants must sell at least $250 of product every 4 months or they are deactivated. While $250 in product sales doesn’t sound like a lot, it can become a pivotal factor if you need to take a break from selling because of a vacation, sickness, new baby or other disruption in your schedule.
Warm market emphasis– I’m not sure what information is presented at the events that Tupperware throws for its consultants; however, the content on its website is all about selling to one’s “warm” market (i.e., family and friends). Unfortunately, a warm market won’t sustain repeated and large volume sales. To truly become successful in an MLM, one must learn how to reach out to cold markets and have them buy- and buy repeatedly. It’s uncertain if Tupperware provides any sales training to this end.
High wholesale cost– Consultants purchase Tupperware products at only 25% off their suggested retail price. This is not a huge discount and creates a problem for consultants who may want to sell their products through a promotion or product discount. It also leads to the nagging question of who exactly is the real customer here, the consultant or their ‘customer?’
Discounted products– eBay, Amazon and even yard sales all offer lots of discounted Tupperware product. When one can purchase an entire box of pre-owned Tupperware for $25, why should he pay a consultant ten times that amount for brand new items?
Tupperware is a great product but a so-so business
Tupperware is sold in almost 100 countries and its quality is known the world over. Supposedly, 9/10 households in the U.S. own at least one Tupperware product. Frankly, the bright colors and unique designs of Tupperware containers make them fun to use.
However, selling Tupperware as a personal business is fraught with risk. To begin with, the wholesale inventory isn’t cheap- and if it doesn’t sell, one is stuck with some rather expensive product. Also, selling successfully requires a large customer base, not just one’s network of friends and relatives. Finally, it doesn’t appear that Tupperware teaches its consultants how to vary their selling strategies to include online advertisement, brick-and-mortar stores, kiosks, fairs and trade shows, etc.
Do you currently sell or have you sold Tupperware as a consultant? Please leave a comment about your experiences below.
If you like to cook or bake, then you may have heard of Pampered Chef.
This company was started in 1980 by Doris Christopher and offers several lines of cookware, bakeware, food products, cookbooks and kitchen accessories. Here is a sampling of just a few products that Pampered Chef offers:
One of the notable facts about this company is that, in 2002, it was purchased by Berkshire Hathaway. So, Pampered Chef is actually owned by Warren Buffett.
Another notable fact about Pampered Chef is that it’s an MLM (multi-level marketing) company. In other words, the company contracts with private individuals, who are called consultants, to sell its products. These consultants sell the company’s products at house parties, craft fairs, or online. Consultants’ customers can range from complete strangers to family members and friends.
Pampered Chef consultants can be just about anyone- your neighbor, boss, or colleague at work. Even you. So…should you consider Pampered Chef as your side or full-time work gig?
Getting started with Pampered Chef
Enrolling with Pampered Chef requires a purchase of a starter kit. There are three kit sizes ranging in price from $109 to $249. Within each kit, you receive an assortment of kitchen bakeware, cookware and accessories. You also receive marketing collateral such as brochures, catalogs, sales receipts, invitations, thank you cards, etc.
Incidentally, if you don’t want to, or simply can’t shell out $100-$200 for a starter kit, Pampered Chef offers host credits to consultants who host a party. These credits can be used to knock off up to $50 from your starter kit.
Pampered Chef consultants also have the option of creating a company-supported website; the charge for this service is $10/month. Unless you have a lot of current customers who are just dying to buy a bundt pan, your best bet is to snag new customers by advertising products online.
Depending on their volume, Pampered Chef consultants earn 20-25% commissions from the sales of their products to others. The following table outlines how the sales volumes, expected work hours and commissions work:
Consultants can also earn 3% bonus commissions from any individuals whom they recruit and who then go on to also sell Pampered Chef products.
Pampered Chef offers a good line of products which are backed by a 30-day return policy. The company also offers discounts to its consultants for selling products and for hosting parties- even virtual (i.e., social media) parties. So, are these incentives and the overall compensation plan worth becoming involved with this company?
Broad market base– Pampered Chef offers several lines of kitchen products that can be used by just anyone in the world. Whether you choose to sell online or in person, you’ll be hard-pressed to find anyone who can’t use a spatula or a cake pan.
Quality products- This company prides itself on offering great products, some of which come with lifetime guarantees. Additionally, the company has a 30-day “no questions asked” return policy.
Consultant discounts– When you host virtual/in-home parties, you can score product discounts with the following party sales:
So, if you like Pampered Chef products, hosting parties is one way to get them (more) cheaply.
Stability– Pampered Chef has been around for decades and, much like Tupperware, is a viable household name. It’s also part of the Berkshire Hathaway family of companies. Unlike some MLMs, this company is not about to go bankrupt or close down anytime soon, leaving you with a bunch of inventory you can’t sell.
No inventory– Speaking of inventory, Pampered Chef consultants don’t have to store it in their homes. Aside from the starter kit components, all orders placed by consultants are delivered directly to the consumers through the company.
Expensive products– Pampered Chef products are not cheap by any measure. For example, this stainless steel steamer costs $17.50. Is it really any better than a similar stainless steel steamer that I can purchase at Wal-Mart for $11.56?
Your “warm market”– Pampered Chef strongly encourages consultants to sell to their “warm market;” in other words, their relatives and friends. This approach might work initially, such as during the first virtual/house party, but then what? Consultants need to cast a much wider net than their “warm market” or their “warm market” will soon become the “oh no, not another Pampered Chef party” market.
Low commissions– As mentioned on other MLM review posts, commissions that are 30% or below make it more challenging for the consultant to earn a viable full-time or even part-time income because it is difficult to launch effective promos or product discounts. As such, one has no real advantage against the glut of other Pampered Chef consultants, or even other third-party kitchenware companies.
Market saturation– Pampered Chef products are offered on Amazon, on eBay, and on many other websites set up by consultants- so why is anyone going to pick you out of this crowd of established sellers? Furthermore, consultants who have leftover inventory and just want to leave the business often post their wares online. These can be found at a significant discount, compared to the actual retail cost of those items.
Party costs- Eating and cooking are sensory experiences that cannot be fully enjoyed just by going to a computer and landing on a social media page. To truly make the bucks in this business, you will need to host actual home parties and, preferably, cooking demonstrations. Such events will not be cheap, and they will certainly not take up the few hours per week that are advertised on the Pampered Chef website.
Is Pampered Chef worthwhile?
Overall, Pampered Chef does not offer the benefits that come with the efforts involved in selling its products. You may want to try hosting a party just to score some product discounts for yourself. But doing this line of work as a business will test your patience and your personal finances. Furthermore, the market is already glutted with kitchen products and accessories, which makes your late entry even more of a challenge. Overall, you are better off seeking other business opportunities elsewhere.
Have you had any experiences with Pampered Chef as either a buyer or seller? We’d love to hear about it in the comments below.
There are many direct sales MLM jewelry businesses like Paparazzi Accessories to choose from, including Park Lane, KEEP Collective, etc.
All of these businesses offer their representative contractors the opportunity to make a profit by selling jewelry directly to their friends, relatives, neighbors, etc.
The profits are made when reps purchase wholesale jewelry from the business and then sell it to others at a marked up price. In some cases, the business may already have a suggested selling price that all the reps adhere to; in other cases, reps have more personal discretion at marking up their merchandise.
Most jewelry MLMs require that their reps first purchase starter packages that enable them to enroll in the business and give them some product to sell. Starter package prices vary depending on what amount and type of merchandise is included, as well as add-ons such as software, website(s), order forms, business cards, etc.
With all these jewelry businesses to choose from, it pays to shop around and compare MLM businesses on their starter packages, profit margins, commissions, and terms.
One MLM jewelry business you may have heard of is Paparazzi Accessories.
What is Paparazzi Accessories?
Paparazzi Accessories is a direct sales jewelry business that was started by sisters Misty and Chani and prides itself on offering the majority of its jewelry items for the retail price of just $5. The jewelry items range from necklaces to bracelets to rings to earrings- and more. Here are a few example pieces available on the Paparazzi website:
Paparazzi consultants who join the business and sell their products earn an impressive 45% commission, which is hard to find in direct sales MLMs. The norm for most MLMs is 25%.
Furthermore, Paparazzi consultants earn even higher commissions if they recruit other consultants under them.
Consultants can earn percent commissions from recruits that are up to three levels below them. So, first level recruits would be those individuals that were personally recruited, second level recruits would be consultants that the first level recruits recruited, and third level recruits would be consultants that second level consultants recruited.
How do you start a Paparazzi business?
Anyone who is interested in becoming a consultant must purchase a start kit from the company. There are three starter kit sizes to choose from, including preview, small and large.
This all sounds good in theory…but is it?
High commissions- Paparazzi definitely offers a higher than average commission to its consultants. This enables them to take a more liberal approach to pricing and promotion strategies. On Facebook, you can find quite a few Paparazzi online parties, with consultants advertising all kinds of discounts and freebies (e.g., buy 4 get 1 free).
High bonuses- Other MLMs pay out 2-5% on recruit sales. With Paparazzi, you instantly earn 5% on the sales generated by your direct recruits. Once you surpass three recruits, your bonus is bumped up to 10%. This makes having a downline very profitable for the consultant.
Cheap products- Jewelry is, arguably, one of the most evergreen products out there. People buy jewelry regardless of need or personal financial situation. And because Paparazzi jewelry is priced at just $5, it becomes an easy impulse purchase for just about anyone.
Required bulk purchases– Paparazzi consultants must buy their jewelry packages in bulk, after which they sell their inventory at fairs, at home parties, or online. When a consultant orders a bulk jewelry package, this is what she might receive:
Because individual pieces cannot be purchased, this leads to some inventory not getting sold due to low popularity, inability to match/accessorize, etc. For example, if a consultant had a customer who wanted 10 sets of a certain earring, necklace and bracelet, she would be hard-pressed to have that much inventory on hand to make a sale.
Update: I have been corrected. As pointed out in the comments below, you no longer have to make bulk purchases.
Levels are sales-driven– Paparazzi consultants who wish to ascend the ranks and earn bonuses from their recruits need to not only fulfill a given amount of personal sales (or PV for personal volume), they also must eventually have a set amount of sales from their team (or OV for organizational volume). This is a monthly requirement, by the way- in other words, if in a given month you do not meet your PV and/or OV requirements, you slide down the ranks and lose out on potential bonuses.
Minimum monthly cost– According to Paparazzi, each $5 in sales provides 2 PV. So, to even ascend to the Star Consultant level, you need to sell 25 pieces of jewelry in that month. Now, if the total amount of revenue for 50 PV is $125 ($5 x 25 pieces), and the basic commission is 45%, that means you’ll need to pay $56.25 each month for a jewelry package that you can mark up.
So, while the company bonus is a ‘nice’ thing to have, it will cost you a monthly fee to obtain and maintain.
Is Paparazzi a worthwhile business to start?
Many MLMs are operated by stay-at-home parents and spouses who have some extra time on their hands. The money that is earned via the MLM is side income that is not the primary income of the household.
At least, that’s the theory.
In many cases, MLM contractors and reps end up investing significantly more money into the business than they end up earning through their sales. Also, it takes a lot of work to keep hitting people up for purchases of non-essential items like jewelry. A good majority of MLM reps are burned out and done after putting in about two years into their business. Many of these reps have extra inventory they can’t sell, or that they sell at a loss. The only sure winner in all this is the MLM itself, which has managed to clear out its own inventory to its main buyers, the distributors (i.e., reps).
Have you had experiences with Paparazzi as either a buyer or a seller? Please let us know in the comments below!
In the wide, wide world of MLMs, you can choose from businesses that sell everything from jewelry to food to clothing to financial services. Membership rules and compensation plans vary widely with MLMs, so it pays to do your research and find the one with the biggest benefits, best merchandise and lowest risks.
One of those MLMs might in fact be India Hicks.
Who and what is India Hicks?
India Hicks is a direct sales MLM that was started by the former fashion model India Hicks in 2015. This MLM markets higher-end bags, beauty products and accessories, akin to those that would be reputably be found at stores like Bergdorf Goodman. The prices for India Hicks products range from $16-$480, although, according to the site, at least 75% of the items cost under $100.
You can purchase India Hicks products directly from the website; however, the site’s message strongly encourages that people join its ranks as “Ambassadors,” and then sell the company’s merchandise through events called “Get Togethers.” These Get Togethers entail hosting parties at one’s home or inviting people out to an event at a restaurant, bar, park, etc.
How do you join India Hicks?
To join this direct sales MLM, you must first purchase a starter kit from the company. There are three starter kit sizes: The Baby, which costs $99, The Booty, which costs $449, and Big Kahuna, which costs $749. These kits contain different amounts of product plus business items such as order forms, brochures, catalogs and fabric samples.
In addition to the kit costs, Ambassadors pay a monthly fee of $12.95 for a website that can be populated with India Hicks products. This website also contains training modules, product images, etc.
The India Hicks compensation plan
India Hicks Ambassadors are rewarded with 25% commissions on sold merchandise. They also earn 6-10% commissions on the sales of their recruits.
So, is the India Hicks MLM the right business opportunity for you? Here are the pros and cons of this business and the selling model it’s set up on:
No sales pressure: India Hicks ambassadors are not pressured to sell a given volume of merchandise or have their memberships deactivated.
Training: India Hicks ambassadors are provided with online and live training courses, as well as course materials including documents, videos and graphics. They are also in contact with their sponsor and other ambassadors.
Generous opt-out policy: If an ambassador decided that the program is not for her, she can return all her purchased merchandise and the company will credit it at 90% or higher of its original net cost for up to a year after its purchase.
Expensive goods: While 75% of India Hicks items are advertised as costing $100 or less, that still doesn’t put them in impulse purchase territory. Ambassadors who really want to push product will need to target wealthier consumers who can afford to splurge on an expensive purse or set of body lotions.
Lack of originality: India Hicks products appear to be of higher-end quality and fabrication, but they do not appear unique enough to generate universal appeal. Here is a sampling of items that the company produces and sells:
Frankly, with sites like Gilt Groupe, Fab and HauteLook, it will be difficult to convince anyone but diehard India Hicks fans that these pieces are fashion musts and/or incredibly original products.
Get Togethers: India Hicks emphasizes that ambassadors host Get Togethers, which are essentially home parties, to showcase merchandise and motivate people to buy. Unless you enjoy bringing strangers into your home every week, you’ll soon find yourself tiring of constant houseguests. Furthermore, it’s not free to host a party, yet those costs aren’t detailed on the India Hicks website, nor are they compensated.
Lower than average commissions: By receiving just 25% in commissions, you won’t find it easy to periodically discount your merchandise or have promotions. This will make it harder to garner in those impulse purchase consumers. Alternately, you’ll find yourself chasing after your friends and family members in order to enrol
Your market is small: India Hicks merchandise is marketed to women only. So, you’re cutting out 49% of your available worldwide market right from the start. Furthermore, while the site says that any woman, whether 18 or 80, could use the India Hicks merchandise, speaking from an economy and name recognition standpoint, your market will consist mainly of women from 45-60 years of age.
Is India Hicks a worthwhile direct sales MLM?
As noted from the start of this post, there are many MLMs one can choose to work with, each offering different benefits and risks. India Hicks appears to be at the higher end of the MLM scale, which may be useful if your typical crowd has more disposable income or is really into British fashions and designers. Otherwise, you will be hard put to sell expensive women’s accessories to a population that may not even know who this person is, and may not even care. Overall, when it comes to enrolling in any MLM, you’re better off finding a different business opportunity.