Should You Invest in and Sell PartyLite Products?

10 Comments
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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.

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10 Comments

  1. Hi Steve,

    Your article is very detailed about the PartyLite experience, although it is not completely accurate on several points. I have been a PartyLite Consultant for almost 6 years.

    You did a great write up on our Kit option but started to misrepresent on the income. Consultants make 25% commission on all compensatable sales, not just when they reach a $1,000 in sales. The same goes for Team Builders and leaders. The minimum $2K in sales is for the Bonus. You will earn and additional 7% on all your monthly sales when you hit $2K, equal to 32% commission. Any sales less than $2K is paid at 25% commission.

    To become a Team Builder you have to have 2 active consultants under you at one time and have $750 in sales, all in the same month. Once you become a Team Builder that status does not change. No minimum sales.
    Once you become a Unit Leader with at least 4 consultants then you are required to bonus 11 out of 12 months and your entire team would need to have $3K in sales per month to remain in the Unit Leader status. Additionally, as a Unit Leader you are paid the 25% sales commission, plus 6% commission bonus when you hit the $2K on your personal sales, plus an additional 7% commission on the sales volume of your unit. There are not many other DS companies that pay that much to their consultants. The sales figures in the diagram shown are examples.

    Onto the Host Program. Partylite has one of, if not the best host program of any direct sales company, and I am not just saying that. I have worked in a few other DS companies and hosted parties for a handful more and PL offers the most. Yes there is a minimum sales figure of $200 & a booking to earn 25% of your party sales in free product. An average show ranges from $350 – $500, so getting $200 in sales is usually not an issue. The purpose of seeking the booking is so that the consultant can continue to grow her business. Without meeting new people and getting new bookings at shows the consultant would not have a business. In addition to the 25% in host credit on show sales, we also offer half priced items based on the show sales (shown in your article), you choose the item. Plus we always have an extra offer for the host, when sales hit $300. It is often an item or collection of items at about 70-80% off. Plus we offer what is called Booking Perks for the host and anyone who books a show. A Booking Perk is an incentive for Hosts to obtain one or more bookings at their Party (the primary Party). Perk Reward Coupons are redeemed on each subsequent Booking. The Host can redeem their reward for any full priced catalogue item. For each qualified booking that is held the Host can redeem:
    o Booking 1 – Perk 1 will allow for any full priced catalogue item up to $50 for $15
    o Booking 2 – Perk 2 will allow for any full priced catalogue item up to $100 for $25
    o Booking 3 – Perk 3 will allow for any full priced catalogue item for $30
    o Booking 4 – Perk 4 will allow for any catalogue item for FREE
    Plus the retail value of the Booking Perk item is included in the total Guest sales when determining Host credit for the new hosts show. So everyone wins.

    Ok, now for the pricing. I agree the price is a little high but when compared to the high end candles it really is not. The quality of our candles is top notch. All PartyLite candles are made of a proprietary wax formula, a custom blend of high-quality natural wax and food-grade paraffin that is specially crafted to deliver the very best fragrance experience and performance. They are free from harmful impurities and are safe for consumers and the environment. Our candles wicks are lead free and made of 100% cotton, which many of the lower cost brands that you mention don’t. They are safe, clean-burning with long-lasting fragrance, so they don’t give you that black soot you may see from other candles. Our candle wax completely liquefies as it burns to give a clean even burn with no waste of wax, so there is no inch or 2 of wax left in the jar and the fragrance lasts from beginning to end.

    Additionally, as you mentioned we offer guest specials all the time for customers to save, the jars are 2/$40 plus if you spend $50 you can get 40% off an additional item. This is an ongoing promotion for guest at a party. For online customers, we have the Outlet with wax and product marked down up to 70%off and we often offer an add’l 30%off coupon. So please don’t rule out PartyLite. Have you tried our candles to see if there is a difference in quality to others (Yankee, B&B W)? If you want I am willing to send you a candle for Free just so you can try it and give your opinion. partylite.biz/marlo

    Reply
  2. Hi Steve, I liked your website, I especially liked the service that you are offering.

    I have an all-consuming desire to start my own business. I see many offers on the internet but I just don’t know about them. Seeing your offer to review that product, is a great idea.

    It makes it much easier to take the products you are recommending at face value.

    You really do need a team of people for this!

    Reply
  3. James Harvey says:

    Party life products aren’t cheap that’s for sure. I have had experience with the the products and it was an alright experience for me. But I no longer do it. I just couldn’t continuously come up with the funds to buy more inventory. But if you have the money then this can be a lucrative way of making income.

    Reply
    1. Steve Razinski says:

      Thanks for sharing your experiences Jim.

  4. Make Money With Ricky says:

    Very nice article about PartyLite. There are many ways to make money online and PartyLite is one of them. Now there was one thing I did not like about PartyLite and it was you have to reach certain about of sales each month to generate some commission. That is good for those who like to reach monthly goals but for those who can’t make it for some other reason is not beneficial.

    Thanks for sharing!

    Reply
    1. Steve Razinski says:

      Thanks for reading Ricky! The minimum sales number is rather unfortunate as it just creates added pressure for the seller and often has them reaching into their own pockets to buy more of the product they are already having trouble selling. This is my biggest gripe with these party style MLMs. An incentive system that doesn’t rely on minimums would be much easier on the average seller.

  5. Hi!

    Thanks for this review.

    My girlfriend really likes scented candles, but the ones she buys are not in the same price range as the party lite candles (luckily haha).

    To be honest, I have never liked the MLM model, I have always been suspicious of this model cheating people. I guess I am biased because MLM has a very bad reputation in my home country, and most have actually been banned there.

    Reply
    1. Steve Razinski says:

      MLMs tend to have a bad reputation in general due to their structure and the fact that many illegal ponzi schemes tend to masquerade as MLMs. PartyLite does have a product attached to it and their main focus isn’t recruitment, so it does pass that test fortunately.

  6. Hey there, Steve!

    Great content! I had been wondering about the whole PartyLite thing for a while and I’m very happy to know I made the right choice passing it up.
    Keep up the good work! I look forward to reading more and hearing the same quality. Much appreciated.

    Brendan

    Reply
    1. Steve Razinski says:

      It has the potential to be the right opportunity for the right person, but MLMs in general are a tough business to crack into and there are a lot of risks to be wary of when starting out that other business opportunites just don’t have.

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