Stella & Dot is one of countless jewelry network marketing companies. Jewelry ends up being an incredibly packed field, as there are so many different companies competing for the attention of customers.
This isn't so surprising, as the jewelry industry continues to grow. 2018 estimates place the industry at around $271 billion USD. The industry is expected to expand dramatically, reaching roughly $645 billion USD by 2035. One of the incredible things about jewelry is that it withstands competition well. This helps explain how there can be so many different successful jewelry companies in the field.
This pattern occurs because there are so many differences between pieces of jewelry. Even similar companies rarely produce jewelry that is entirely identical. It also becomes very easy for companies to develop unique styles and to keep their audiences interested.
Another advantage is how regularly jewelry is purchased, especially costume jewelry. People often look for new pieces, especially if they want to match an outfit or if they are trying to keep up-to-date with current trends. This means that jewelry often ends up being ideal as a field for making money.
Stella & Dot is incredibly unusual in that it actually offers three ways to make money, rather than two. This post focuses on the MLM aspect of Stella & Dot, where you earn money from product sales and from building a team.
I'll also talk about the third approach, which involves an affiliate program. Just be aware that you cannot be an affiliate marketer and a consultant for Stella & Dot at the same time. You would need to decide which way of earning you prefer.
At the end of the post, I highlight how Stella & Dot stacks up as a way to earn overall. This includes looking at whether you can earn consistent income as a Stella & Dot consultant.
Stella & Dot is primarily a jewelry company and they have a range of different products and styles on offer. The company itself is also well-known and some of the products have been featured in publications like Cosmopolitan and InStyle.
The selection doesn’t just stop at jewelry either. Instead, there are also related products available, including bags and accessories, as well as a limited selection of clothing.
As with similar companies, the products available will change over time. For example, Stella & Dot releases various collections, while other products may get retired. This variation in availability also encourages people to buy more items, simply because they know there is a limited window that they can purchase in.
Visually, the products on offer are appealing and there is a wide selection available. For example, the jewelry category alone offers more than 300 items. Some of those are just different colors of the same design but most are entirely distinct pieces. At the same time, every jewelry company offers their own unique styles and designs. As such, customers can’t find the exact same products elsewhere.
Jewelry is often considered an evergreen field, which means that there is always money to be made. That view is accurate too – as people tend to buy jewelry regardless of the economy and even their own personal finances. This makes the products at Stella & Dot a particularly powerful choice.
So far, so good. It’s easy to see how people might get excited about Stella & Dot, especially if they like the way that the items look. Nevertheless, there are some limitations too.
The first is the price. Stella & Dot isn’t the most expensive jewelry on the market but it’s not cheap either. For example, you’re paying more than $50 for many of the relatively simple necklaces and well over $100 for the more complex ones. Some of the other items are less expensive but the jewelry is still over the market average.
This aspect alone could decrease your potential for sales, but, it doesn’t remove it entirely. For that matter, some people do regularly pay this much (or more) for jewelry, especially if it is of high quality. So, with the right audience, the price may become a non-issue.
That brings me to a second issue, quality. For the prices charged, you would expect Stella & Dot products to be amazing. But, that’s not the case. Instead, there are countless complaints that the products are poor quality and that they simply don’t last.
This could easily mean that you get many upset customers – which is never a good situation when you’re trying to earn money.
The one other issue is competition. Sure, you won’t find the exact same items from other companies, but jewelry is an incredibly common product at many different stores. Likewise, you can easily find jewelry online, especially if you turn to sites like Etsy or eBay.
Beyond all of that, there are also many other jewelry direct sales companies. Some examples include Touchstone Crystal, Sabika, Paparazzi Jewelry and Chloe + Isabel. As a result, many people you know will have already been invited to one or more jewelry parties in the past.
Even with this competition, sales aren’t impossible. After all, jewelry is an emotional purchase and people are attracted to specific styles. Nevertheless, when you consider the competition, the prices and the quality issues, the products from Stella & Dot don’t seem particularly amazing.
Stella & Dot provides plenty of versatility for making sales. You are able to sell online or in-person. Your sales aren't limited to shows either, as you can make one-off sales as needed. This approach gives you more flexibility than you'll find with most other companies.
Even so, there is still a strong emphasis on using parties to get sales. These are called Trunk Shows and are held at the houses of hostesses, who are responsible for inviting as many people to attend as they can. The hostess also gets various rewards for the events, mostly in the form of discounts, although there are some freebies too.
The style works well because the hostess’s rewards are connected to how successful the party is. This gives them an incentive to invite people – and allows the distributor (called a stylist in this case) to reach a wider audience than they could otherwise.
Events like this also work because of social pressure. People often find it difficult to say no to others, especially when doing so might harm a friendship. As a result, many people who go to these parties will buy something the first few times, even if it is just an inexpensive piece.
As for income, consultants earn a base 25% commission on any sales. This level is fairly typical for an MLM, so it’s not amazing but it isn’t horrible either. That commission can then go up to 30% if you sell more than $2,500 of product in a month, 32% for more than $5,000 in a month and 35% for more than $10,000 in a month.
It’s always encouraging when you can increase your commissions from sales alone. But still, most people probably wouldn’t get up to the first increase, let alone all the way to 35%.
Unless you can get a very large number of sales – selling the products isn’t where most of the income potential lies. Instead, Stella & Dot is an MLM, so the ultimate goal is to recruit others and build your team.
According to the company, you can earn another 18% commission from the sales of your downline. Precisely how much you earn varies depending on your performance.
In particular, the compensation plan for Stella & Dot has 13 different ranks, starting from Stylist and going to Double Diamond Director. As you go up ranks, the potential commission payouts increase, although each new rank has additional requirements that you need to meet.
Because the ranks become progressively more difficult, many people end up stuck in the early tiers. As such, their income potential is never especially high and they may be struggling to develop a team. Stella & Dot's commission document even states that the average earnings for all consultants in the U.S. was just $829 in 2018. That's pretty low for the amount of work involved.
Costs And Considerations
To join Stella & Dot, you have to buy a starter kit for $149. There is also no sales quota, which is a key advantage. So, you could sell just one item each year and still earn a commission from the sale.
But, that’s only the case if you don’t build a team. Once you recruit people, you need to sell at least $500 worth of product every 3 months. Those requirements increase as you go up the ranks, up to $2,000 of product for the same period. So, to be truly successful with a team, you have to be good at recruitment and at sales – you can’t just focus on one.
There are also costs involved with hosting parties. This includes the gas to travel there and also to deliver products to some customers once the orders arrive. You may also need to spend money to make the parties interesting, such as providing drinks and nibbles, along with prizes for games.
These costs tend to add up – and there is no guarantee that you’ll actually make sales at all of your parties. So, in some cases, you may even lose money from events.
One final cost is the products themselves. Stella & Dot doesn't use a reselling model, so you don't need to purchase products and then sell them on. Even so, you do need to have samples on hand. Stella & Dot even advertises that you will.
You can buy these items at a discount, but there is still pressure to buy them. This adds to the costs of the whole process.
With that in mind, it’s worth considering how expensive the products are. The prices do mean that you need fewer sales to make a decent income. However, they are high enough to make people hesitant. After all, spending $50 or more on a single piece of jewelry would be a decent investment for many people. This can mean that sales are fairly difficult to achieve.
Unusually, Stella & Dot offers an affiliate program as well. However, you can’t be both a distributor and an affiliate – you have to pick one.
The affiliate program allows people to earn 12% commission on qualifying sales from first-time customers and 5% commission from returning customers. There is also a 30-day cookie and a $100 bonus for any distributors that join through you.
The role of an affiliate is an online one – and you would promote the products by building your own website and then driving traffic to it. As the company states, this could also be a good fit for anyone who already has a blog in a related field, although you could just start a new website as well.
Affiliate marketing often looks less appealing because you’re not making as much per sale. But, it’s actually a much more powerful technique. For one thing, you have fewer costs yourself. As an affiliate, you also don’t need to purchase the products (unless you actually want to). You’re also selling online, so you don’t have any of the travel or consumable costs that come with hosting a party.
You also have a larger audience with affiliate marketing – you’re not just limited to people that you know. This aspect alone makes the growth potential much higher.
If you do want to go in this direction, you’re not restricted to Stella & Dot either. In fact, there are many other jewelry affiliate programs out there, as well as ones in related fields, such as makeup and fashion. By looking into these programs, you could easily find products that are more competitive and are more likely to sell than what Stella & Dot offers.
While the affiliate program is appealing, be aware that Stella & Dot doesn't provide much training that teaches you how to take advantage of it. You'd need to learn that information from another source.
Stella & Dot could be an interesting way to make money. The company does provide more flexibility than most and even has an affiliate program. One of the biggest problems is the way that the jewelry appears to be of low quality for the price that customers pay.
Even so, it's important to weigh up the opportunity seriously. While Stella & Dot is sometimes promoted as an empowering company, some members have very different experiences. You could even end up losing money if you purchase many sample items and don't make a large number of sales.
Think about how you're going to make sales as well. You'll often start out by leveraging friends and family members, along with any social connections that they have. This often works okay in the short-term but quickly gets frustrating for them (and for you!). Creating a successful long-term business requires expanding your audience pool. That's a process that Stella & Dot doesn't teach in any real depth.
The end result is that you need to figure things out for yourself. The lack of training may also mean that you have to hand-hold team members and work hard to help them improve their sales. Is the process worth it at the end of the day?
Whatever type of product you decide to promote, it's VITAL that you generate leads to grow your business.
But let's face it, "parties" are boring, and no one likes the annoying Facebook friend who's always promoting a biz-op.
That's why I use this lead generation system. Learn how to generate leads outside of your circle of friends and family and discover what it means to truly own your own business, rather than just be a cheerleader for one network marketing company.