Saturday, December 10, 2016

Touchstone Crystal – poor man’s Swarovski or solid business?

For all the women (and men, not judging) out there who love their glitter and sparkles, this MLMs got more glitter than RuPaul’s dressing room.

Their website lures people in with the phrase “Glittering Opportunity with a Sparkling Heritage.” Oh, and they don’t have distributors…they have “Glambassadors”.

They’re a part of the Swarovski brand, and they’ve made a killing.

Does this mean I’m involved?

This video explains everything:

Make sense? Either way, here’s the full review on Touchstone Crystal.


Swarovski is the leading producer of fine crystals from Austria, founded back in 1895. In 1977, they entered the fashion jewelry market in the United States while fashion designers and style fiends rejoiced and have been covering their designs ever since. [1]

They’re massive – in 2011 they hit $4 billion in annual sales.

Touchstone Crystals brought a little piece of Swarovski Crystals to the direct selling world, all thanks to Swarovski’s North American president, Dan Cohen, who is also the great-great-grandson of the founder of Swarovski. The guy clearly knows selling crystals like the back of his hand. [2]

The company’s Managing Director, Liz DiPaolo, was brought in to launch and run the direct selling component. She’s a 25-year industry vet with experience in direct selling, sales, and operations.

Touchstone Crystal has been getting some serious buzz, especially in the past year.

The company designed and launched its first jewelry collection for in-home parties in 2010. Their collection is unique to Touchstone Crystal, so you can’t go buy it from a regular Swarovski vender.

Here’s the thing – this is yet another MLM still trying to sell their product through in-home parties. While this might work well for a select few, for the most part, it’s a tough sell.

Women have jobs and lives nowadays, they aren’t desperate housewives sitting around bored all day watching soap operas. How many women do you know that have time to spend a day at a jewelry party to listen to their friend’s sales pitch? How many actually want to?

That’s the problem with these MLMs who can’t keep up with the times. But, I digress. Let’s check out the products and compensation.


Remember, supposedly this isn’t just some cheap costume jewelry you’d find at Forever 21 marked up to $100 instead of $10. This is jewelry designed and manufactured by Swarovski…so at least you know you’re getting quality.

However, if you actually look at their products, they’re definitely not up to par with what you’d see in a Swarovski store. They are, in fact, costume jewelry, although prices aren’t insane. They’ve even got an under $50 category.

That being said, a lot of this stuff, especially when it’s not on a hot model in perfect lighting and retouched in Photoshop, looks like it should be priced closer to $10.

Think slightly better than Origami Owl…but not much.

Stella & Dot seems to be a little more fashionable when it comes to styles and designs.

They sell necklaces, statement pieces, rings, bracelets, earrings, and even bridal jewelry.

They’ve also got pieces that incorporate pearls, birthstones, sterling silver, and even “gold” (gold-ion plating). A “gold” necklace with massive, cheap rhinestone jewels costs $150. A long necklace featuring crystal pearls costs $140.

All in all they’ve got almost 500 different products to choose from at a huge range of prices (between $30-150). [3]

Don’t get me wrong, there are some nice pieces. But it’s nothing you couldn’t go pick up at the mall (and for less money, if you know how to score deals).


If you really want to figure out how much money you’d make with Touchstone, you have to be honest with yourself here in regards to how many parties you could really host as a “Glambassador”.

How many times are you willing to ask the same friends to come to your necklace parties on their day off and listen to you try to sell them stuff?

The company recommends holding one party a week. Even if you can double that and hold two parties a week, based on their commission rate and average party sales, you’d be netting an unimpressive $1,400 a month. [4]

That’s barely above minimum wage – except that if you go work for McDonald’s, at least you’ll still have friends when it’s over.

Plus, two parties a week isn’t really feasible. One is hard enough – a lot goes into convincing large groups of people to give up their weekend to hold these parties and buy your stuff, because again, they usually aren’t interested.

So most people aren’t even making that much. Or anything at all, for that matter.

But, anyway, if you’re still interested, here’s what their compensation looks like…

  • 25-40% commission on sales, pretty standard
  • Free jewelry for hosting (up to 30% of sales), also standard
  • 9% on your direct recruits’ sales, not bad [5]

You can join for $139 if you want their basic starter kit and $299 for the enhanced starter kit. Pretty spendy, but you do get a lot of jewelry, catalogs, and training materials.


If you happen to like their jewelry, and if think your friends will too (even after the 10th time they’ve attended one of your glam parties), this could be a fun side gig.

Their compensation plan is pretty good, and the company is transparent and well-run.

But the reality of these kinds of MLMs is that most of their distributors don’t make money, even if they are called “Glambassadors”…because this model just doesn’t work anymore.

I’m not a Touchstone Crystal hater at all. But when it comes to making money, I think your time could be better spent elsewhere.

If you like automated ways to build passive income, there are better ways.

(and you can trash those old MLM habits, too)


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