Company Name: Stella & Dot
Do I Recommend Stella & Dot?
Stella & Dot offers relatively expensive jewelry that is often considered low quality. For this reason alone, trying to make money with Stella & Dot would be difficult. At the same time, there is high competition out there, both from other direct sales companies and from conventional stores. This also means you’d be much better to try affiliate marketing as a strategy. In fact, you could even promote Stella & Dot that way if you really wanted to.
What Products Does Stella & Dot Sell?
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 close to 400 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.
Is Stella & Dot A Good Business Opportunity?
Stella & Dot is promoted as being an empowering company. In theory, it gives people control over their own income and lets them earn by promoting products that they already love.
Yet, for most members, companies like this aren’t empowering at all. There are some success stories, of course, with some members going on to earn a full-time income from the process. But, those are the exceptions. In most cases, people who join this type of company make very little. Some actually lose money and might even go into debt.
For the right person and the right audience, the business opportunity can work – which is why we’re going to take a look at exactly what Stella & Dot offers. But, the stories of failure show that it’s important to be wary when getting involved.
If nothing else, you need to be sure you’ve got an audience who will regularly buy the products. Likewise, you want to be sure that anyone you recruit is going to put the required effort into the process. So, let’s take a look at what’s involved.
The Party Component
First of all, the key focus is to make sales through parties, which are called Trunk Shows. These events 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 the 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.
With Stella & Dot, Trunk Sales are designed as two-week events. This period includes the physical party, along with the availability to order before and after, both in-person and online.
This style offers considerable flexibility – but also means that orders have to be associated with a specific party. So, you can’t just have people ordering online whenever they feel like it. To me, that’s a frustrating pattern because you can reach a larger audience when you do make sales online.
Ways To Earn Money
With Stella & Dot, you 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.
Costs And Considerations
To join Stella & Dot, you have to buy a starter kit. These cost $199, $499 and $699. Each kit comes with a range of accessories and jewelry from the company. There is also no sales quota, which is a key advantage. So, you could sell just one item each year and still earn 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.
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.
The Affiliate Program
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.
Stella & Dot may be fairly famous but the income opportunity is average. I don't recommend joining the MLM program, but I take no issue with the affiliate program, if you truly do like their brand of Jewelry. Every taste is different, and if you can find an audience for it, that's great!
Personally, I don't think there's a lot of great things to say about the quality of the jewelry, but I think the affiliate program could be a good potential for profit. Also, the affiliate program is FREE, and run through a reputable website Shareasale.
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