Monday, January 23, 2017

Why PartyLite consultants aren’t making money

Chicks dig candles.

Seriously, they’re a decorating staple more popular than Paris memorabilia and cheesy wall quotes. Don’t put a bird on it – make it smell like the latest seasonal holiday pumpkin spice apple cinnamon cookie dough latte cupcake and put a wick in it.

You can charge a pretty penny for scented wax too if you call it artisanal or manage to gain a following. I’m talking upwards of $30 to $40 for one candle.

So does this mean I’m involved?

This video explains everything:

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


Who would pay $40 for a candle??

A lot of people actually..

Yankee Candle, the holy mecca of candle shops, managed to build a pine tree scented empire worth nearly $2 billion selling $40 candles. [1]

And where there’s a huge market of women willing to pay outrageous prices for a simple product, you know there’s an MLM supplying it. Enter PartyLite.

PartyLite is the direct sales branch of Blyth, Inc., a decorative products manufacturer. In 2001, Blyth was the biggest candlemaker in the United States, which is pretty impressive. [2] But what about now?

Their revenue, as of 2012, was $1.179 billion. Massive.

PartyLite, their direct sales subsidiary, has been around forever in MLM years – since 1973. They opened shop in Massachusetts, inspired by an age-old Cape Cod candle recipe crafted by a school teacher in 1909. Direct Selling News ranked them #31 out of the top 100 revenue-generating MLMs in the entire world. [3]

Their new president, Martin Köhler, has decades of experience and has been with PartyLite for over 15 years now. Before being named president of PartyLite, he served as the president of their European branch for six years, where he did so well that the European market is now the company’s most important segment. [4]

All in all, the company is pretty huge. They’re doing sales now in 24 countries via a network of 45,000 sales consultants.[5]

That being said, would you give up your Friday night to go to a candle party where your friend Suzy tries for the third time this week to sell you her stash so she can get a commission? If that doesn’t sound exciting to you, there’s no way you’ll be able to convince other people to do it as a distributor.

While candles may be a popular product, the business model here is definitely outdated.


PartyLite offers regular one-wick candles, three wick jar candles (their signature product), tealights, and pillar candles. All the candle essentials. They even sell GloLite candles, glowing candles that are “The World’s Brightest Candle”. I didn’t know that was a thing, but if it is, they seem to be the only company doing it.

They’ve got a line of everyday fragrances, such as Red Apple, Sunset Woods, and Black Currant. Of course they’ve also got a line of seasonal fragrances, like Mistletoe, Peppermint Snowflake, and…drumroll…Spiced Pumpkin.

The candles are actually surprisingly affordable. Most seem to be priced at about an average price for what they are, a little more than candles you might find at Walmart or Target, a little less than premium fragrance companies like Yankee Candle.

The signature 3-wick jars are $25. Unscented pillar candles range from $15 to $25. Tealights are $11 for a dozen.

There’s not much on their website to explain what sets their candles apart from the cheap ones, though. They claim to use “superior and exclusive wax” and the “finest fragrance ingredients”, but anyone can say that.

Apparently they do use food-grade paraffin wax and don’t add in any harmful ingredients. The wick is pure cotton so it won’t emit any toxic smoke. [6]

One thing PartyLite sells that makes them stand out is their huge “Flameless Frangrance” section. They sell Scent Plus Melts with ScentGlow Warmers as well as SmartScents Fragrance Sticks and room sprays.

Of course, beating out companies like Scentsy in the flameless fragrance category might be difficult in terms of brand recognition. Especially because Scentsy offers way more in terms of variety and is a little more affordable. Scentsy warmers range from $20-60, while the cheapest warmer offered by PartyLite is $50. [7] [8]


Most of their consultants start out by hosting a party for the rewards.

Party hosts get a combination of host credit and half-price items as long as they sell at least $200 worth of product. Host credit ranges from $50 for hosts who make $200 in sales to $250 for hosts who make $1,000+ in sales.

In order to become a consultant, you have to purchase the $99 starter kit. It includes a variety of products from 3-wick candles to tealights to warmers as well as samples of various fragrances, so even though it’s a little on the high end for a starter kit, it’s not a bad deal with all the product you get.

If you host a party first and make enough in sales ($350 minimum), you can even get your starter kit for free.

As for their actual compensation plan, they’re not very up-front with that, but that’s par for the course in MLM.

According to their website, as a part-time consultant you can make $100 per week just working for 2-3 hours. They base this order off one party a week, with average sales of $350, and one only online order per week of about $50. [9]

Of course, the figures are a little misleading. Sure, a party might only take a couple hours of your time to host, but they’re not taking into consideration the amount of time it will take you to promote your party, market your business, make connections, and do all of the work that leads up to building a strong client base.

Commission on sales is 25%, which is nothing impressive.

However, with bonuses of up to 50% on your direct recruits for their first month of sales, up to 7% commission on your downline, and 5-7% bonuses on personal sales over $2,300, the plan isn’t so bad for people who can sell a lot and recruit even more.

However, most can’t.


The product is definitely a popular one, and it seems to be well-liked. Most people don’t bother to build up a strong client base in MLM. They usually aren’t well-versed in sales and marketing, they’re selling a product that’s either not too special or downright fraudulent, and they’re given little to no sales training.

They’re super secretive about their compensation plan, but in the end, it’s all the same with these MLMs that still host parties. Here’s the thing…Most people don’t bother to build up a strong client base in MLM. They usually aren’t well-versed in sales and marketing, they’re selling a product that’s either not too special or downright fraudulent, and they’re given little to no sales training.

Most people don’t bother to build up a strong client base in MLM. New consultants usually aren’t well-versed in sales and marketing, have little to no experience, and they’re selling a product that’s either not too special or downright fraudulent (at least there’s nothing shady about candles, but I’m not jumping out of my seat to go buy them).

On top of that, new distributors are given little to no sales training.

So, they rely on friends and family to make a quick buck (usually they’re literally only making a few dollars off this technique). Pretty soon, that well dries up and then they’re both broke and friendless.

Maybe candles is totally your thing and you know a ton of people that would be interested. Great, give it a try and have fun with it. Just don’t plan on quitting your 9 to 5 job with it overnight.

But 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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