Multi-level marketing companies such as L’Bri, Avon and Monavie used to spread their direct marketing via home parties and trade show events. Recently, many MLMs have taken to social networks to spread their word (and sales). A large number of MLMs have chosen Facebook as their route, using Facebook Groups to advertise products via virtual product parties (i.e., sales events).
This is certainly the case with Younique. This MLM company, which was founded in September 2012, is unique (sorry) in that it markets almost exclusively through social media. Thus, many of its “presenters,” as they are called, use Facebook to host virtual product parties.
What products are offered through Younique?
This MLM company offers women’s cosmetics, with most items ranging from $20-$60. Some items, like the moisturizers, cost a bit more ($65). While these items are on the higher end of the scale (in terms of prices), they still aren’t grossly expensive. By comparison, L’Occitane sells their moisturizers at prices ranging from $60-$120, and Algenist face creams are similarly priced.
The Younique sales model is MLM-based. Presenters that join the company must pay $99 for a starter package. They must also make $125 in personal retail sales (PRS) within three months to remain in the program.
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To move up to the next level (yellow), a $1,000 PRS amount must be reached. The following level (pink) requires recruitment of one presenter and company wholesale sales of $2,000; this means that the recruit is purchasing $2,000 of merchandise to sell. However, the pink-level presenter’s PRS amount is decreased to $250.
At level white, presenters earn 20% commissions on sales. At level yellow and beyond, 25% commissions are earned.
Regardless of how you cut it, Younique places a heavy requirement on pushing product. Presenters who can’t hack it and don’t sell enough product are deactivated. So, unless a presenter is willing to purchase product with her own cash, she had better be out there, selling Younique products.
As a result, many Younique presenters have chosen to reach wider audiences by having virtual parties on social media outlets such as Facebook. Here are just some of the products that have been featured at Younique Facebook parties:
Younique virtual parties on Facebook and other social media run a familiar course:
- The presenter creates a Facebook group devoted to Younique buy, sell and trade.
- Periodically, the presenter put an item or items up for sale- but not their prices.
- Viewers are asked to PM (private message) the presenter for product prices.
- The presenter PMs interested parties with prices.
- Viewers either buy or don’t buy the product(s).
By not showcasing the product prices, presenters can entice viewers with the product(s) first. Sending PMs to people also opens up communication channels, transforming a cold lead into a warm one.
While there are some testimonials from successful presenters, the truth of the matter is that 95% of new presenters in Younique quit the company after a few months. Only 1-3% of Younique presenters truly ‘make’ it, in that they make a reasonable (and regular) monthly commission without needing to buy their own product.
With such imposing stats, is the Younique business model worthwhile?
- The $99 startup cost is fairly low for any kind of business, MLM or not.
- The company not even five years old, which means fewer presenters and market saturation.
- Many Younique product are made from organic and/or animal-free ingredients. Animal products, such as hairs used in the brushes, are harvested humanely.
- Presenters receive access to their own selling website.
- Only 51% of the population will use your products.
- There is pressure to sell $125 in product (in the rolling 3 months) or be deactivated.
- To maintain their levels, presenters must reach their sales goals every month.
- Downline commissions can only be earned if presenters maintain at least one active presenter, reach $1,000 in lifetime PRS, and earn $250 in PRS each month.
- Presenters must not only sell their own products, they must also come up with ways for their active presenters to sell their products.
- With starting prices for Younique products being $20 and above, the items aren’t exactly in the “mindless splurge” category.
Thus, as you might infer from the bullet points above, Younique places heavy emphasis on recruitment, large downlines, and lots of product advertising and selling. If you have a bad month or get sick, you may lose out on your commissions. If you take a long vacation, you are similarly placed at a disadvantage and will need to hustle like mad to make up for your lost sales.
Virtual parties may seem like a great advertising idea at the outset, but the fact is that most of your social media friends will eventually tire of your party ads and ask Facebook to not show your announcements in their news feeds.
So, you’ll be spending extra money on Facebook Ads to get your products out there and noticed by people outside of your circles. If you decide to host actual house parties, such events will also cost you in terms of time, food and drinks.
Still, if you like having virtual and/or real parties and are a social butterfly by nature, this may be the ideal gig for you. There is also the potential for selling Younique products quite well in rural and isolated areas where brick-and-mortar stores are few and far between. Of course, this only works if those rural and isolated areas have money to spend on higher-end cosmetics.
Have you sold with Younique before?
As with all MLMs, we aren’t particular fans of the business model in general. With most MLMs, the first hurdle is having to sell inferior products at inflated prices. There is often heavy pressure to sell first within your social circles. Once you exhaust your sphere of influence, the pressure moves to recruiting the people you know to sell to their social circles. This model just isn’t sustainable in the long run.
Have you tried selling Younique before? Have you attended a party, virtual or in-person? Do you have experiences with their products? Sound off in the comments below.