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.