Company Name: Matilda Jane Clothing
Do I Recommend Matilda Jane Clothing?
Matilda Jane Clothing (sometimes just Matilda Jane) has very little transparency, making it impossible to find out much at all about how people earn money or what the potential is. As a result, most people who want to make money with Matilda Jane Clothing won’t be able to. For that matter, you’d be better off promoting clothing through affiliate marketing because that would at least give you more competitive products.
What Products Does Matilda Jane Clothing Sell?
Not surprisingly, Matilda Jane Clothing primarily sells clothing. Their product line is sometimes considered to be ‘whimsical’, offering somewhat unconventional items for women and girls. That is a fairly accurate way to sum up the product line too, as many of the products are unusual. This aspect is good from a sales point of view, as it would be hard to find similar products from other brands.
As with any clothing company, the products are likely to be hit or miss. After all, people will either like the styles or they won’t. In fact, the clothes do tend to polarize people. Some find that they love the style and the innocence of the products. Others think that the colors and patterns are too loud or that the styles are simply too unusual.
The same is true for the pricing of the products. While the items aren’t excessively expensive, the price points may not be suitable for all families. For example, a pair of leggings for girls costs $34, while many of the dresses for children are more than $50.
Those prices aren’t unreasonable – especially if the pieces are being purchased for special occasions. Nevertheless, many families may not be willing to spend this much for clothing that is likely to get muddy, stained or torn relatively quickly.
More than anything, the pricing means you should pay close attention to your audience and think about who you would be selling to. For example, of most of your potential customers would regularly spend $30-$50 on a single item of clothing, then you could potentially make money through Matilda Jane Clothing. But, if those prices would seem excessive, getting sales would be that much harder.
There are also some additional considerations about the products.
One is that the selection isn’t all that large. At the time of this review there were around 22 items for women, 8 for tweens, 24 for girls and 8 for babies. Plus, many of the products are similar to one another.
Realistically, the more options there are, the greater the likelihood that people will find something they want. With relatively few products available, many potential customers might choose to buy nothing.
Nevertheless, the product selection doesn’t appear to be static. Instead, new items are released over time and older ones are retired. That pattern can create excitement, often meaning that customers buy items as soon as they are available to be sure that they don’t miss out.
The company has faced controversy in the past for doing this because they were releasing a very limited number of some products – such as Shasta top, which is described below.
It’s not clear whether Matilda Jane Clothing is still following this pattern with some releases. But, it is a concerning aspect. It means that some people may not get clothing items that they want and this could create some very frustrated customers.
Is Matilda Jane Clothing A Good Business Opportunity?
The general idea with companies like this is that you’re selling products and earning a commission by doing so. The exact structure varies but most companies pay based on the orders that customers make, meaning that the distributor doesn’t have to buy and then resell products. The commissions typically vary somewhere from 20% to 35%, depending on the company and on performance.
There is also a second component, which is recruitment. Here, distributors can increase their income by getting others involved in the company. Doing so means that they can earn from the sales that their recruits make and they also have access to various bonuses.
Recruitment tends to have the greatest income potential but is more difficult to pull off in practice. And, the successful people tend to be the ones who can make sales, build a large team and also ensure that team members do the same. Achieving this requires a considerable skill set and/or ability to learn – and it’s nowhere near as easy as it sounds.
But, Matilda Jane Clothing actually provides very little information about what is involved or how precisely people make money. For example, they don’t even explicitly state whether the distributors are buying and then reselling products (like with LuLaRoe) or whether customers order using catalogs. From the phrasing and from other reviews, I’m assuming the latter – but it’s not actually clear.
That lack of transparency is always concerning. This also means that the main source of information would be another distributor, if there is one in your area. Personally, I always prefer the ability to fact-check information rather than having to learn everything second hand.
Hosting Trunk Sales
Regardless of the compensation approach, it is clear that Matilda Jane Clothing follows a party model. This means that distributors hold events where they highlight the various products that are on offer and show them off. The events are called Trunk Shows and distributors are known as Trunk Keepers. The product selection means that kids would attend these shows as well as adults, which is an unusual twist.
As a general rule, parties work well for sales. There is significant social pressure at play and people often make orders on impulse. Mothers bringing their daughters along could also promote sales, especially if the kids get excited about the products.
But, this type of event has disadvantages as well. For example, many local areas are already saturated with companies that use the same approach. This means that potential customers are sick of the concept and may be unwilling to attend. Some also feel manipulated or used when they are asked, as it can feel like people are taking advantage of their friendship.
Even if you do get people interested in the events at first, you’ll normally find that attendance decreases over time. That often happens simply because the novelty wears off. Plus, some people may only want one or two items.
There are also costs to consider. For example, holding a show would take a considerable amount of time and energy. This could get tiring quickly, especially if you were trying to hold multiple of them in a month. For that matter, the goal is often to hold two or more parties each week with different audiences each time.
Parties can cost financially too. One aspect is simply the gas to travel there, as parties are typically held at hostess’s houses (sometimes called Janes), not your own. You may also want to provide snacks, drinks and/or prizes. These costs can be significant, especially for parties where you don’t make many sales.
Finally, the concept is to have many products on hand, so that people can see them and try them on. This means that the more you own, the greater your sales potential. With the product line consistently changing over time, it’s easy to see how this could quickly get expensive.
You would be able to sell some of those items directly on to customers, especially once they are out of season. But, even then, the potential to end up out of pocket is considerable.
Matilda Jane Clothing is one of the few companies that makes you apply before you can become a member. This style gives the company more control over who represents them and helps ensure that the competition doesn’t get too high.
This could be good for sales. For example, it means that some areas don’t have any local distributors, even though demand for the products does exist. So, if you could break into those markets, the potential for income would be higher.
But, this pattern does make recruitment more difficult. As such, you might recruit someone just to find that they aren’t accepted as a distributor. This would make it harder to build a team and to increase your income.
One other thing to mention is competition. The items from Matilda Jane Clothing may be unique but there are many other clothing stores out there. Additionally, Matilda Jane products are frequently resold often for a much lower price. The site Thread Up is one example of this and there are also many Matilda Jane items on eBay, including both used and new variations.
This availability of product would make it much harder to sell Matilda Jane items at full price. Some people would still want new items, of course. And, this is clothing, so items that are in fashion will always be more popular. Still, the competition is important to consider.
Making Money Selling Clothing
People get passionate about clothing. That alone makes it appealing as a type of product to sell. But, trying to sell clothing isn’t as easy as it sounds. For one thing, people want to know what an item is going to look or feel like on them (or on their daughter). That aspect is hard to pull off with a Matilda Jane trunk show and you’re unlikely to have every item and every size available.
Realistically, clothing is just too individualized to work well in this field. Sure, you could manage it, especially with the right audience and product selection. For that matter, you can even make money selling clothes online and there are various fashion affiliate programs out there.
In many ways, using an affiliate program actually makes more sense. This means you don’t have to target a local audience and you aren’t buying and stocking any product yourself. You can also promote items that are more competitive and convenient.
After all, there are many inexpensive clothing companies online, including ones that offer detailed information about the products on sale and their measurements. Selling these could be much easier than trying to be a Trunk Keeper for Matilda Jane Clothing.
Matilda Jane offers very little information about their processes. When you combine this with the small product selection and high amount of competition – joining the company simply isn’t worth it.
Whatever type of product you decide to promote, it's important to own your own website to grow your business.
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