Company Name: Touchstone Crystal
What Is It?
A jewelry-based MLM selling relatively high-priced jewelry.
Touchstone Crystal offers a large selection of fairly decent jewelry but is fairly tight-lipped about their opportunity. Nevertheless, this is yet another party-based MLM, which implies that selling products and recruiting is a whole lot easier than it actually is. Regardless of the jewelry, there simply isn’t much potential here.
As products go, jewelry is an appealing one, which is partly why there is such a large jewelry industry. After all, many women tend to purchase jewelry on a pretty regular basis, especially when they find something new or unusual.
At the same time, people tend to choose jewelry based on personal preference and emotions. In some ways, this makes selling the products easier, especially as there will always be some differences between the products that one brand sells and the ones that another sells.
Before we start on the products, I do want to say that I don’t know all that much about jewelry. So, I can’t really say for certain whether the products from Touchstone Crystal are appealing to women or not. But, hopefully you can from the images.
The first thing to note with the company is that they do have a decent section, including a variety of styles. To my eye, some of their products seem unusual and unique (in a good way), while others look like variations of jewelry from other brands.
The first thing that stands out to me is the selection. From the company’s website, I estimate anywhere from 400 to 500 individual products. Most of these are jewelry, including necklaces, earrings and bracelets. That’s a fairly impressive list, especially as the company does also change up its products selection based on the season.
The prices for products vary somewhat across the selection, depending on what the specific item is. For example, I saw some necklaces that were around $50, while others were closer to $100 or $150. That is a fairly common pattern when it comes to jewelry in general and what you pay depends on the type of product that you’re looking for.
However, even with that variation, the products aren’t cheap. You’re looking at a minimum of around $50 for a necklace and much higher for some of them. Likewise, even the earrings cost from roughly $30 and up. That’s a major difference to some other companies (like Paparazzi) who have fairly inexpensive products.
All things considered, the price here isn’t a major issue. After all, there are many people out there that do pay $50 or $100 per piece of jewelry, especially if they like the brand. So, the demand does exist. In fact, some people even expect jewelry to cost this much.
There is also one other thing to consider with the jewelry, which is the crystals and this may play a role in the price. In particular, the jewelry makes use of Swarovski crystals, which does have a fairly good reputation. Nevertheless, for the most part, this is still costume jewelry, so you won’t find valuable stones in the pieces.
Now, because this is an MLM, it’s a little bit tricky to find out how good the products actually are. If you do some digging, you might notice this, as many sites review the opportunity rather than the products. Additionally, sites that do review the products are often connected to distributors in some way and tend to be biased.
I did notice that some sites talked about liking the sparkle of the jewelry and its weight, which suggests that the quality is fairly decent.
For the most part, the reviews that I did find were positive. To me, this is an indication that the jewelry is at least somewhat decent. It’s very likely that the reviews are exaggerated somewhat. Nevertheless, I would expect to see more negative feedback online if the products didn’t live up to expectations.
So far, just looking at the products, I think Touchstone Crystal looks not bad!
In general, the products from Touchstone Crystal seem to be pretty decent and the prices aren’t horrible compared to what you find in shops. This might suggest that the company is a good way to make some money. However, the products are only one side of the story. If you want to join the company, it’s also important to consider what’s involved in the opportunity.
Touchstone Crystal promotes its opportunity with the same general techniques that you find on countless other sites. This makes the opportunity sound fun and easy but any legitimate method of making money isn’t quite that simple.
In fact, that’s one thing that I want to make clear. Touchstone Crystal is an MLM opportunity. This means that it follows the popular model where distributors earn money from sales and also from recruiting others. It is possible to just focus on the sales aspect of the model but most of the income opportunity comes from recruitment. So, if you want the company to be anything more than a little money on the side – you have to recruit.
I’m going to get into the specifics of the model shortly and show you exactly how it works.
First though, I want to talk briefly about sales and about recruitment. The marketing for this company makes both of those processes sound simple. After all, making sales is as simple as showing off the product and getting people excited, right? Well… not really.
In practice, people tend to be hesitant about spending money at the best of times and that gets worse when even your cheapest products are around the $30 mark. Members of MLMs often find that they have to push friends and family into buying products, which is extremely damaging to those relationships.
And, that’s just making sales. Recruitment is more difficult again. Do you know many people that would have the time, money or inclination to get involved with a business? Most won’t. Plus, there’s a good chance that at least some of the people you recruit won’t be very dedicated. That will affect your ability to make money too.
My big point here is that sales and recruitment are much harder than most people assume. If you are even considering Touchstone Crystal or any other MLM, I suggest taking a serious look at whether you could make sales week after week, month after month. The stereotypical line is “our products are so good, they sell themselves”. That's hardly close to the truth.
The Compensation Plan
Like many MLMs targeted at women, Touchstone Crystal relies on home parties as a way of selling products. The idea here is that you hold parties at somebody else’s house, which gives you access to their friends and contacts. In return, they get discounts and even free product.
Those parties provide an opportunity to showcase the various products that Touchstone Crystal has to offer and to show people the catalogs. Some of the bonuses that you can earn are based on the performance per party, while others are based on your team. The company makes this estimate about those parties.
Technically, that estimate is probably correct but it is also misleading. For one thing, I doubt that most members would be able to hold one ‘average’ party per week. I’ve actually known distributors for similar companies and many have struggled to even hold one party per month. Even then, they found that after the first few parties, people generally lose interest and stop making purchases.
In many cases, the estimate of an average party is also inaccurate. For example, I’ve seen MLMs make this estimate by only considering members who are actually making a certain amount of sales and are thus considered active. If you were to consider all members, I imagine that the average for a party would be considerably lower.
Honestly, the home party model simply doesn’t work – not anymore.
There are just too many companies selling products in this way and your potential customers will get sick of them fast. With the online world of buying the cheapest and the best with a little bit of research, going over to Becky's house with a “great once in a lifetime deal” just doesn't make sense anymore.
Unusually, the company provides very little information about their actual compensation plan. For example, most similar companies have a PDF of video showing the various ranks and bonuses but there isn’t anything here. So, I can’t go into this in detail. However, I can pretty much guarantee that the structure is going to be the same as just about every other MLM out there.
In particular, teams at an MLM tend to look like a pyramid. That’s not too surprising, as you are recruiting people who are recruiting others and so forth (in theory anyway). The idea is that you earn some commissions from the levels under you, based on their performance and your own rank in the company. As your team gets bigger and more successful, your rank increases, as do your bonuses and your profit.
However, this all hinges on being able to create a large and successful team. As I’ve mentioned before, even basic sales and recruiting are tricky to pull off. Can you imagine how much more complex it is to create an extensive team that actually makes sales? That issue alone is a key reason why so many people fail at MLMs.
To make matters worse, there are also other issues, like the fact that you have to continue to make purchases yourself and that parties are most successful when members have lots of physical product to show off. Because of that, members often end up pressured into spending their own money on jewelry, which makes it that much more difficult to turn a profit.
Any MLM, including Touchstone Crystal, is going to have its passionate followers along with a small number of people who are genuinely successful. Often, those people will defend the idea because making money is always going to be hard.
That’s entirely true. But, trying to make money in a model that’s stacked against you is never a good plan. There are other approaches that are much more powerful and let you earn an income without having to pester your friends and family for money.
In many ways, the biggest issue with the MLM model is simply that there is no advantage to it. Instead, there are lots of things that make earning money more difficult than it should be and little reason to try out the model. Often, people just focus on either the products or the reputation of the company but you can sell good products for a well-known company without relying on MLM.
Good products, poor business model with little earning potential for a full time business unless you plan on recruiting a large team of distributors.
MLM VS Affiliate Marketing
As a way to make money, MLM is inherently complex and strongly relies on person-to-person sales and interactions. In contrast, affiliate marketing is another approach and one that is much more powerful. With affiliate marketing, the model is extremely simple and you are using online marketing methods so you don’t have to pester your friends or ruin family relationships.
Under the affiliate marketing approach, you promote products online. When people follow your link to buy them, you earn a commission. In some cases, your commission might get higher as your sales increase but that’s it in terms of complexity. As such, it’s a very simple approach. Find people that want stuff, then sell them that stuff.
Because affiliate marketing is digital, you can also scale it up much higher than direct sales. After all, selling to 5 people directly takes much less work than selling to 20. But, the difference between 5 and 20 online is pretty much nothing. Your website does the work, and sells stuff 24/7/365. This is why affiliate marketing works so well as an income opportunity and over time it is something you can turn into a decent income.
Affiliate marketing does involve making your own website but don’t let that scare you off. Everything that you need to know is easy to learn and one of the best places to do so is an online training site called Wealthy Affiliate. I’m a long time member of the site and it has taught me a huge amount about how to be successful online and how to keep growing my business.
Whatever type of product you decide to promote, it's important to own your own website to grow your business.
Parties only work if you have a network of friends with money in their pockets. Network marketing only works if your friends are interested in joining business opportunities.
With a website you can reach the entire world, and only promote great products to people interested in what you have to say. Plus, you open up doors to multiple streams of revenue like affiliate sales, ad click revenue, paid advertising, and even selling your own digital products.