Park Lane Jewelry was founded in 1955 by Arthur and Shirely LeVin and calls itself “the world’s leading direct sales jewelry party plan company.” It is based in Schaumburg, Illinois. Similar jewelry companies to Park Lane include Lia Sophia (now closed), Silpada, Premier Designs and Stella & Dot.
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This higher end jewelry company offers bracelets, necklaces, earrings, rings, watches, and more through its website and its representatives, the latter of which go by the moniker of “Fashion Directors.” The company also states that its jewelry is backed by an unconditional guarantee.
How does Park Lane Operate?
Direct sales companies do not deal with retailers. Instead, they contract with private individuals who sell the merchandise directly from the company. In so doing, these individuals become wholesale distributors and mark up the merchandise as they deem appropriate in order to make a profit.
With Park Lane, individuals who wish to become such distributors pay $39 to join the company. They then select one of three starter kits. The first kit is the “Free Kit”- provided you make $600 in sales to cover its cost. The next kit is the same as the Free Kit except that you pay $129 for it and do not worry about generating any sales. The last kit is the Presidential Kit, which costs $500 and includes a huge assortment of jewelry and supplies.
Fashion Directors who manage to sell their purchased inventory make a 30% commission on their goods. That commission increases to as much as 50% depending on sales volume or the number of recruited Fashion Directors on one’s team. Interestingly, the company reports that it has no MLM-type multilevels, and commissions are earned from all the members of one’s team.
Unfortunately, the company’s website doesn’t show how the commissions are calculated and how much sales volume or recruitment is required to kick earnings up to 50%.
About that unconditional guarantee…
Park Lane Jewelry pieces are guaranteed to be free of defects for up to 120 days after purchase. What that means is that the customer or Fashion Director can send a piece back to the company for an exchange or replacement and pay nothing on shipment or handling. After 120 days, a $7 or $12 handling fee is added to jewelry or watch items, respectively.
Cash refunds are also possible if the items are returned within 30 days of their purchase and are accompanied by a receipt.
Minimal pressure to sell
Some direct sales companies require that the rep sell a given volume of merchandise or face deactivation of her membership in the program. With Park Lane, Jewelry Directors can work when they want and collect their 30% commissions as time allows. Leaders who have actually recruited Jewelry Directors must host two parties or recruit one team member per month in order to continue earning commissions from their team’s sales.
Is Park Lane a worthwhile business opportunity?
With so many business opportunities out there, you may be wondering if Park Lane is a worthwhile investment of your time.
Straightforward commission structure- It seems that Park Lane is not into building downlines of downlines, as is the case with a majority of direct sales companies. Granted, recruits are always welcome and also earn the Jewelry Director an extra commission. However, it appears that the company places a greater emphasis on actually having its reps simply sell jewelry.
High quality merchandise– There are many direct sales jewelry companies out there, offering jewelry and other accessories. Hands down, Park Lane has a larger assortment of high-end jewelry pieces, with some of its pieces costing as much as $400.
Open work schedule– Park Lane is more flexible than most direct sales companies when it says that its reps can work when and how much they want to. There is no rep deactivation. Also, the fee to join the company is fairly low when compared to other companies.
Incentives– Park Lane members can enroll in incentives programs to earn trips to locales such as Aruba. They are also eligible to work towards a Mercedes. The company has contests and drawings for such prizes as well.
Expensive jewelry– Jewelry purchases, especially at home parties, are often a spur-of-the-moment thing. One does not consider spending $5 or $10 on a piece of costume jewelry. However, Park Lane’s jewelry is more expensive on average than that of other direct sales companies. So, customers may hesitate and not purchase merchandise.
Parties, parties and more parties- Park Lane emphasizes that parties are the way to snag customers and make them purchase merchandise. These parties do not necessarily have to happen at one’s home, but they need to happen. As such, reps will be spending time and money to host parties, and these expenses are not accounted for by the company.
No guarantee of income– Working for a direct sales company can sometimes feel like shooting fish in a bucket. You may host a lot of parties. You may get a lot of interest in the merchandise. You may even get a few orders…followed by silence and requests for refunds. In short, there is no actual guarantee that you can rely on this side gig for income or even side income.
In MLM world, Park Lane is better than most, but…
It’s still not a recommended side business to get into because it’s hard to predict how much you will earn as one of its Jewelry Directors. Furthermore, you’ll be traveling far and wide to locate customers who have deeper pockets and can afford jewelry pieces that cost several hundred dollars.
Have you bought or sold Park Lane Jewelry? Please let us know in the comments below!