Company Name: PartyLite
What Is It?
A direct marketing/MLM company that focuses on candles and related products. While the product choice is not common among MLMs, the rest of the company seems all-too-familiar.
If you’re passionate about candles and wax melts, PartyLite might seem like a good choice. Yet, the company suffers from many of the standard failings of an MLM, including a strong emphasis on recruitment and team management. At the same time, the products themselves are on the pricey side and some customers aren’t happy with how they burn. All of this means that you could earn money with the company but most members probably won’t.
I always find it refreshing when I find an MLM that isn’t in the health and beauty field and that’s certainly the case with PartyLite. The company name doesn’t give much away but essentially the MLM sells a range of candles and melts, as well as holders for them.
The choice of products is an interesting one. Certainly, there aren’t many MLMs out there that sell candles and melts, and even fewer that specialize in this area. At the same time, there are a decent number of people out there that love this type of product and they can make good gifts. So, there is certainly an audience for the products.
But, what are they like?
First of all, I hope that the products actually smell good because they certainly don’t look all that unusual. Instead, many of the products look the same as candles that you might find out a grocery store or any store that specializes in home décor.
At the same time, paying $26 for a pretty average candle feels quite expensive. Now, I know that people do pay that much for candles but the price is likely to be too high for many people. Personally, when I see a candle over $10 I back away slowly… I love the smells sometimes but just can’t justify the cost. Even if you can use it for a long time, I just don’t need a collection of a bunch of candles. I guess I’m not a girl so don’t quite understand the whole candle thing.
My point being, with an MLM, your success is connected to how well you can sell products and the prices of the products do affect this. Nevertheless, there is some variation in pricing and some of the candles are less expensive than others.
At the end of the day, you’ll find that the products from an MLM will almost always be more expensive than their conventional counterparts. This is essential for the MLM to stay in business, as they have to pay distributors and still make profits themselves.
Because of the cost of products, the ideal MLM is one that has products that are unusual or unique in some way. Now, this isn’t the case for PartyLite’s candles (unless the scents are out of this world) but, what about the rest of their products?
Well, one other area that the company focuses on is melts. These aren’t incredibly expensive (5 for $25) but the idea of melts isn’t all that unusual either.
Now, I will admit that I liked some of the candle holders that the company offers, as some of them are fairly unusual. But, if you are a distributor you’re going to want repeat sales and those are going to come mostly from the candles, melts, and similar products, not the holders.
I mentioned it in passing before but the wildcard with these products is the scent. The scent is a key reason that people would choose one candle over another and it is also why people may be willing to pay more for a certain candle brand.
Whether or not the products from PartyLite smell good enough to have this impact can’t really be determined online – but we can get some indication from the reviews. For example, this is one review hosted on their site.
Nevertheless, I recommend being careful of reviews about the scent for two reasons. First, the scent is extremely subjective. So, I may love a particular scent while other people might hate that same one. Second, it’s extremely difficult to find unbiased reviews on MLM products. Instead, many of the online reviews tend to be from distributors, so you will often find that there are more positive ratings than a product actually deserves.
One final thing is that some of the products from this company have been making people unhappy. In particular, the design of the jar-based candles seems to mean that the candles burn unevenly, which leads to a waste of the product.
This issue might seem minor but every problem does count for distributors. After all, even minor issues with products can be enough to stop people from making future purchases.
Like many MLMs, PartyLife uses a party-based approach. The general idea with this approach is that you hold a gathering and use that as an opportunity to sell the products. Every party that you hold will have a host, which is someone other than you. That host gets various discounts on products and can even get some free products – depending on the sales from the party.
The idea is that you try to get different people as hosts each time. In theory, this expands how many people you can make sales to, as each host will have their own group of friends. This practice works better when you have a wide group of friends because otherwise, you will just find that the same people end up getting invited to each party.
The structure here makes some sense.
At a party, you have the chance to show off the various products and get people excited about them. That can potentially increase your sales but there’s also a catch. The catch is that you have to buy a product to make the parties work.
As such, you can easily end up spending quite a bit of money on products just so that you can promote them at parties. It’s easy to see how this can get expensive, especially if you don’t manage to sell all that much at a given party.
The compensation plan itself offers members a 25% commission for the sales that they make. That’s pretty great actually! If you get upwards of $2,000 in sales within a month, then you also get a 7% bonus. Theoretically, you could make money in this way alone but only if you could sell enough products.
However, the emphasis of the compensation plan isn’t on selling the products. Instead, if you want to be successful, you have to get involved in recruitment and team building.
This general concept is the same across every MLM out there and this is actually where the term MLM comes from (it stands for multi-level marketing). The overall idea is that you recruit others and that these people recruit others, and so forth. All of these people become your downline.
As your downline increases in size and success, you are eligible for more bonuses and can increase in rank within the company. In turn, increasing in rank means income. Because the bonuses are so heavily tied into your downline, you really do need to grow this in order to be successful in the company.
At the same time, there are also minimum sales that you need to make and your team needs to make to keep you at the ranks in the company.
As you can probably imagine, this whole system gets complex fast and distributors find themselves juggling recruitment, sales, and the management of their team. With so much complexity, it’s no wonder that so many distributors simply don’t make money.
Far too often, I’ve seen people get involved in this type of company because they like the products and because the whole money-making approach sounds easy. In reality, though, the potential to make money is a lot more difficult than most people realize. One reason is the compensation plan. As I mentioned above, this is fairly complex and there are hoops you have to jump through to progress.
But, the biggest issue is simply the process of sales and recruiting.
The idea of simply promoting cool products might sound easy enough but, in reality, people are very reluctant to part with their money. To make matters worse, the products are fairly specialized and you’ll find that many people just don’t care about them at all.
In many cases, distributors for this type of company find that people are willing to come to the parties and make some purchases initially. However, as time progresses, the novelty of the products wears off and it gets a lot more difficult to make sales. Most of the time you are trying to get a person to start a new buying habit, rather than sell them something they really wanted in the first place.
All of these factors are significant and they help to explain why so many people struggle to make money in an MLM.
MLM VS Affiliate Marketing
At face value, MLMs like PartyLite tend to look good and they seem like a good way to earn money and get discounted products. Yet, when you really get down to it, this isn’t true at all. Instead, the approach is much more difficult than it seems and there are a lot of complexities that you need to consider.
People often argue that this is a given and that you can succeed in an MLM with hard work. To a degree, that claim is actually true. However, it’s kind of like arm wrestling with your weak arm – theoretically, you can win, but you’re always at a disadvantage.
So, why follow a model that puts so many constraints on you and makes earning money so difficult? Well, sometimes people choose to simply because they don’t realize there are alternatives.
What about something where you are in charge? You don’t have to worry about the company going bust and you also don’t have to focus on recruitment. In fact, you don’t have to sell physical products at all.
The approach is known as affiliate marketing and it takes advantage of just how prevalent the internet is and how much we all rely on it.
With affiliate marketing on the internet, you use a website to promote products. Those products can be anything you want, which gives people the chance to tap into their passions and to talk about things that interest them personally. That flexibility is one of the best things about affiliate marketing, as you get to choose your own direction, rather than relying on one specific company.
Rather than sell one kind of product to your friends, why not sell products you think are interesting to people who also think are interesting? That sounds like a much better business to me!