Is Scentsy.net A Scam?
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One of my loyal subscribers Jennifer Truppa has been asking me to review this home based business, Scentsy, and I have to be honest I am like a bull in a china shop talking about this kind of thing. I tend to leave all of that feel good, smell good side of my life to the ladies in my house. But when you look at the business side of things I am back in my comfort zone. So I thought I'd take a look, so lets get to it.
Before we get into the nitty gritty details, I need to remind you we are talking about a business, and that means you are not just stamping the time clock each day and taking home a paycheck. With a business, you're the boss, you determine when you work and ultimately how much money you make. That being said, there are costs involved to start a business and there is a strong likelihood that initially your ROI isn't all that great if at all. But for the business minded people that are willing to stick through and work their business until they succeed, it can pay off many times over. Any of my loyal subscribers that have been following me long enough know I'm living proof of this with my affiliate marketing career. In any event now that we have that disclaimer out the way, let's get into how you can make money with this BUSINESS.
What is Scentsy
As I stated above this is a home based business, where you as a Independent Consultant sell their product. In this case the product is a wick-less scented warmers. You get the benefit of the scented candle without the flames, soot, smoke or fire hazard. (My sister and mother are notoriously known in my family for almost burning down their homes because of candles. lol) So that type of feature makes Scentsy “somewhat” different from other products out in the market which is a good start.
The scented warmers use a low watt little light that melts the fragrance wax. They claim these decorative warmers can be placed anywhere. But the reality is they can only be placed anywhere close to an outlet. Lol As usual with these kinds of businesses there are some extras, travel packs, air fresheners, scent of the month. You know the drill. These are the things that are allegedly suppose to keep customers coming back. For those of you scent lovers, here are some of their scent themes Corner Caf?, Scentsy Man, Spa ,Romance, and Tropical and even warmers with College colors.
Now that you know what Scentsy is, lets take a look at the business income opportunity you can get from this company.
What is the Scentsy business model?
This is a home based business that deals in direct sales. Independent Consultants sell the Scentsy products in various which include home parties, at fairs, craft shows, fundraisers and over the Internet. Although 12% of the orders and reorders take place online or by phone, most direct sales happen at home shopping parties. Depending on your personality these home parties can be a fun night out of trying out and choosing products with friends and family. This is what Tupperware and Pampered Chef have been doing for years and it's a model we know works if you're a social bug.
What makes a home party model a success is first getting a solid group of people to the party, and second to get most of those people to buy stuff. You know if you accept the invitation you are expected to buy something, and the presentations should hit that impulse buying streak we all have. For me my impulse buying happens at the electronic gadget stores, so we all fall victim. Home parties count on that.
What kind of income can you make with Scentsy?
You will earn a commission on all sales. You start off earning 20% on your direct sales and it goes up from there with bonuses from the sales of anyone you sponsor, which is the same model most home bases direct selling businesses use. They have eight levels of commission structure that include bonuses for how large and deep your team goes.
Here is a sneaky thing I discovered. As with most of these things, your income improves greatly from sponsoring others which I'm not mad at! You will make your own commissions, but getting a solid team together can really make you the real money. But here is the kicker. For you to earn on your referrals your own personal sales must be $500 a month and your combined team sales must be at least $1000. With people coming and going, getting your team active and selling will be an important part of your time. I personally think that sucks. But I understand that the company wants all their reps to be active but why does the threshold have to be so high?
Well that's pretty much the spiel for the income aspect. There is nothing really super complicated to grasp here. It can be a decent money maker if you work hard and have a good team. But let me just say this again. This isn't a job and just because you put in a 100 hours doesn't mean your earnings will reflect that. I know this terrifies most people with the worker bee mindset and that's fine. But if that's not you, just understand that this business like any business will build over time and sometimes it is hit or miss. You will run into dud parties, with no-shows and people with empty pocketbooks. So if delayed gratification bothers you, then direct sales or any business for that matter isn't for you.
When and how do you get paid?
Commission checks are mailed out on the 10th of each month. You must have earned at least $30 to get a check, otherwise they hold it over until the next month or until you reach $30. My loyal subscriber Jennifer sent me a copy of her commission checks, so I know they do actually pay you.
To remain an active Scentsy Consultant you must generate have placed a minimum $150 order every quarter. What that means in my language is at least one good solid home party 15 people buying one $10 product. Note this does not mean commissions, it means an order you place from a home party or one Internet order will have to be $150. You can't just do this once and awhile for fun, or only during the holiday season. This may be a con to many of you.
Are there start up costs?
Since this is a business and not a work at home job, yes there is a start up fee. But it's no where near what you would pay to start an offline business. It is only $99 (plus shipping and handling) for a starter kit. This consists of basic tools and fragrances that include 80 party size scent testers, order forms, business cards, a warmer, and a scent bar. They also give you a website free for three months, then they will charge you $10 a month. This website will have all the products and ordering portals built in, so that is worth the $10 for not having to deal with that headache with a capital H.
Might as well mention here, before getting involved in any of these home based businesses, a conversation with your tax professional might be in order because you are an Independent consultant not an employee. That involves handling taxes differently which we've already detailed in our work at home taxes article.
Do they offer any training to help you build your business?
Yes there is training, you get DVDs, downloadable training materials, Webinars and a training website full of information as well as newsletters. Much of your training will come from the sponsoring consultant you signed up with, who for the most part will be local and will be your personal connection to answer all your questions. I'm not a consultant so I'm hoping that the training they provide also includes Internet marketing so you can actually get people to your website if home parties and fairs aren't your things. Because any trained marketer will tell you just having a website isn't enough to make sales. But if you plan to go more the face to face route then this isn't as important.
Any more questions?
– We all know by now that there is no perfect home based business, so there will be problems to be aware of before you decide if this is what you want. As such I've detailed some things that may rub folks the wrong way but may not necessarily be deal breakers. It's just stuff you should be aware of so you can make the right decision for you and not for the person merely trying to just recruit you into their team.
– With home parties being their biggest income producer, that means evenings and weekend afternoons out of the house. It might only be once a week, or if your business takes of a couple nights a week and this can run havoc with family life. Stay at home moms want to be free when their kids are free, and with a direct sell business, you will often be busy when the kids are home. Many folks handle this well, they develop a routine, but it is the downside of this thing.
– There will be paperwork involved in processing the orders you collect from a party. The consultant calculates the orders totals, adds the tax, shipping cost, etc. and then will have to enter everything into the Scentsy workstation online. This requires a super detailed brain and obsessive compulsive double checking. Although I would think having the website handles some of this stuff for non-party ordering. Individuals can pay extra to get their order shipped directly to their home, but for the most part an order is shipped to the host or the consultant, which adds another layer of paperwork and dealing with getting the orders to the people. If it were me, I would only have stuff delivered to the party host and keep me out of the pick-up and delivery headaches.lol At least with email, you won't have to get on the phone to tell everyone the orders are in. Realistically, all of this is part of the job, it is just the less fun part and I don't know of any job that does not have those less fun tasks
– Another downside would be that in order to make a sustainable income, you have to sponsor quite a few people, and on top of that you will not do well if you live in an area where there already are quite a few Scentsy consultants or in an area that is isolated and far from hustle and bustle so your crowd to sell to is limited.
– This next one is turning into a big problem is some areas. They only let one consultant go to local fairs and craft shows, and it is first come first served. In the summer months lots of communities have weekly farmers markets or garden walks and such and these are just the place to set up a booth and either take orders or buy stock ahead of time to sell. If you live in an area with several other consultants, only one of them can be at these things at a time. I read quite a few moanings and groanings about this policy. But I honestly know quite a few people who set up booths as places like this and unless you are selling food, or it is a Christmas Bazaar the sales do not always match the cost of the booth. So take this for what it is worth.
– If you're anything like me when you first read about their product you thought to yourself, what's stopping folks from going to their local WalMart, Kmart, Target and finding similar products that are cheaper? Furthermore you have big brands like Yankee Candles to contend with, so what's your value add with this business?
– I am trying to figure out if this is a con or not, but any advertising you do and if you create a separate website to promote sales, it all must be approved by the home office. On one hand they are monitoring quality, but on the other I know in order to boost the ranking of a website quite a few blog posts, articles will need to be written and to me it will be a hassle to get them approved first before I submit them to Ezine or put it on my blog.
– It seems to me this is a business that will be seasonal in nature. I have a hunch most sales come in the fall as people use these for gifts. I'm not saying there aren't scent warmet parties in the spring (Mother's Day) and summer, but in general the fall will be your busy time. This is true of any retail business, but for those looking for sustainable income throughout the year, it might pose a problem.
I know at first glance there seems to be a lot of “cons” mentioned. But honestly there wasn't a lot of bite to any of the stuff I listed above. But it's always good to point out some things that may give you pause. This way you can make an informed decision that isn't just based on all the sweet stuff you might be reading out there. That being said it's not a knock on the company.
So Is Scentsy a scam?
Well let's look at the data about this company. They have a real product that is selling, not only in the United States but in Puerto Rico, Guam, Canada, Germany, and the United Kingdom as well. The Scentsy company was started in 2004 and has grown at a steady pace since then.They have distributions centers in several locations to help ship the goods. They are a member of DSA Direct Selling Association and as members you need to uphold certain business and marketing criteria. This also provides customers an avenue for complaint resolution. For those who care, their BBB rating is an “A ” which you can take or leave if you feel the BBB is the end all of determining the legitimacy of a company.
Something else I liked was the fact you can't just go to the main website and buy a Scentsy warmer, or air freshener. The company will refer you to one of their consultants in your area to place the order. This tells me the company supports their consultants by actively pushing sales to their consultants instead of taking them out of the equation. That is just good business and keeps your consultants happy campers!
So based on all these data points and the feedback I've gotten from some of my loyal subscribers I don't think this company is a scam. Like any company it has a few cons that may not sit well with certain people. But that's just life. You can't please everyone. I give away free information and I still have people bitching and moaning to me that I'm a scam, etc. etc. It's just how some people roll. At the end of the day you just have determine if what you've read about this company fits your goals and comfort levels. If so it seems safe to give it a shot. Either way I look forward to hearing your comments below.
By the way if running a home business isn't your cup of tea, you might be interested in some of our free traditional work from home job leads or my personal recommendations: Work from Home Jobs – My Work At Home recommendations.