It is said that the world of marketing is an arena where you gamble for your future. But with a brave heart and desperation for opportunity, some people join this field unknowingly fighting giants new to them. This is where multi-level marketing (MLM) opportunities come to “help” people out. One of those MLM companies prominent in this industry is Scentsy. Nevertheless, how much do you know this company? Is it here to help you out in your marketing journey and struggles? Can you really make money selling Scentsy? Is it here to give you a clear vision on what to aim for? Or is it a company that acts as a puppet master using you just for its own benefits as you take all the punches and bruises from this world? What’s Scensy’s role in your journey? Are you going to earn here or lose?
Basics: Starting Your Journey at Scentsy
- Company: Scentsy
- Owners: Orville and Heidi Thompson
- Products: Homecare and Personal Care Products
- Website: scentsy.com
- Cost to Join: $99 for a Starter Kit (warmer, scented wax testers, catalogs, order forms, product samples, guide books and others)
With lots of MLM companies sprouting everywhere, the marketing world could be a Wonderland for anyone searching for an opportunity. The craze even gets crazier with lots of testimonials gracing MLM companies with flattery and sparkling words. This is not new. You can’t blame them. They all need to find a way to stand out from their competitors especially that the market is being saturated gradually by each of them. With promises of overwhelming bonuses and compensations, it would be impossible for an unwitting individual to say no. Even famous celebrities who don’t even have a single bit of truth about these opportunities join the game by promoting them using their influence. Nevertheless, beyond those glitters and sparkles we all just want to know if it’s all worth the trouble. We all just want to know if we could make fair money in selling their products. This is why we are here to talk about Scentsy, one of the giants in the MLM industry and has been continuously gaining popularity time after time.
Scentsy’s journey started with two sisters named Kara Egan and her sister-in-law Colette Gunnell in Salt Lake City, Utah in 2003. The two were seen showcasing their company’s wickless candles by a struggling entrepreneur, Orville Thompson, in one of his events. With this intriguing product, Thompson and his wife, Heidi Thompson, decided to buy the company after some months and founded it in 2004. It started the building of this MLM empire that people know today as Scentsy.
With Scentsy’s success brought by its innovative candle products, the unsaturated market that time welcomed the company. This led to its expansion in 11 countries such as the United Kingdom and Germany. In 2012, a total of 170, 000 active independent consultants had been recorded with the said expansion. Scentsy also reached 2011 Forbes America's 100 Most Promising Companies and the 2018 list of America’s Best Midsize Employers.
With those achievements, it is undeniable that Scentsy has already made its mark in the MLM industry. Nevertheless, how much do we know about the company, especially in the eyes of those who worked and work for it?
Scented Scentsy Scents
Bringing candles into the world of marketing gives you a little chance to stand out. With the market being consumed like raw meat by hungry MLM wolves, a company needs to find a way to be the dominating alpha. Scentsy just found out to do it: wickless candles and warmers.
As if colorful scented candles are not enough to please people, Scentsy innovated the concept of candles by introducing it in a flameless way. With various scents to choose from ranging from bakery to citrus to floral to fruity to spice to woods, the market welcomed it warmly.
Scentsy prides itself with a variety of its scented wax bars that cost $6 for 2.5 ounce and warmers ranging from $20 to $85. The company also offers other fragrance-related products such as scented oils, diffusers, room sprays, soaps, laundry soaps, lotion, and pet-care products.
Underscoring that traditional candles are fire-hazards and are producing carcinogens, it is no wonder that Scentsy’s innovative safe, healthy, and “natural” products received its good reputation. Nevertheless, despite the claims that their “wax” bars are made of “natural’ ingredients, others oppose it.
According to Scentsy, it uses a “secret combination of ingredients, used to create a pool of melted wax which is transformed into a wickless candle bar. Scentsy uses a food-grade petroleum-based wax.” Who cares if it is made of secret ingredients and not purely natural? Well, if you care about your health, you should care.
It has been claimed that paraffin wax, a petroleum by-product, produces toxic fumes when burnt. To support this, a 2009 study by South Carolina State University was conducted and found out that burning paraffin wax candles give off harmful fumes (toluene and benzene). What are those things? Should we mind it? Well, yes… especially that those fumes are linked to asthma and lung cancer. It is also said that frequent burning of such paraffin candles in an unventilated space could lead to irritation of skin and respiratory tract. Nonetheless, the study states that it would take years of exposure before those health problems start to manifest.
But who cares? Scentsy wax bars are aromatic as hell. Who cares if it could make you sick? Who cares if some of your customers would be sick? You are here to sell these products. You are here to earn, right?
Compensation Plan: Aromatic or Putrid?
We know why you are here: to find out whether it is possible to earn a great deal of profit and compensation by selling Scentsy products. Well, to determine whether that is possible or a far cry from reality, let us first examine Scentsy’s Compensation Plan which is the foundation of a consultant’s source of earnings. Is it the kind and considerable type of plan or a cunning bait for anyone? Let’s see it.
Just like any other MLM compensation plans, Scentsy’s highlights that there are two basic ways to earn in the industry; selling products and earning commission by recruiting people. With these two combined, you can be eligible for various bonuses which are listed below.
- Personal Retail Volume Commission - Here is the thing about Scentsy: it uses a point system convertible to local currency using a peg rate. By making sales, you could earn points for your PRV. However, the point system may vary depending on the location of a consultant since Scentsy has its expansions in various countries. Currently, in the US, $1 is equal to 1PRV. This would then be calculated together with tax to determine your commission for the given period. An Escential Consultant, the first rank at Scentsy, is automatically eligible for a 20 percent PRV. By making a total of 1000 PRV, the commission percentage would bump up into 25 percent which would also promote an Escential Consultant to Certified Consultant status.
- Bonus Personal Wholesale Volume - To be eligible for this bonus, an individual must reach certain ranks at Scentsy. It starts with the level of Lead Consultant position which is eligible for a 2 percent bonus from his or her Personal Wholesale Volume. Of course, the percentage for this bonus progresses depending on the title or rank you would reach. This could grow up to 9 percent if you would be able to be promoted to Superstar Director.
- Frontline Escential or Certified Consultant Team Wholesale Bonus - As you progress to higher positions, you would be required to meet various requirements to be eligible for various bonuses. It starts at Lead Consultant level which requires at least one Active Frontline Consultant or one personally-sponsored recruit that meets certain requirements to be considered active. According to Scentsy’s guidelines, a consultant needs 200 PRV at least once in every four consecutive months to remain active. With this, Lead Consultant would be eligible for a 2 percent bonus from his or her Certified Consultant’s wholesale volume. This percentage grows as one progresses to higher ranks.
- Frontline Lead Consultant TWV Bonus - To progress to higher ranks, you also need to support your recruits and the entirety of your team members to progress into higher ranks as well. With this, you would be able to be promoted to higher levels and be eligible to more bonuses. Once you reach the Star Consultant position, you would be eligible for this bonus. This would give you 2 percent of your Lead Consultant’s wholesale volume. Just like any other bonuses percentage, this bonus could grow. It could reach up to 7 percent upon reaching the highest rank which is the Superstar Director position.
- Frontline Star Consultant TWV Bonus - To receive this bonus, an individual must reach the Superstar Consultant position. Upon reaching the said level, the Superstar Consultant would be eligible for a 3 percent bonus from his or her Star Consultant’s wholesale volume. This could grow up to 5 percent upon reaching the Superstar Director rank.
- Frontline Superstar Consultant TWV Bonus - This bonus starts at the Director up to Superstar Director position with a constant 2 percent bonus from the wholesale volume of those junior to them. However, to be eligible for this bonus, you also need to meet more requirements. Besides meeting the quota for Group Wholesale Volume (GWV) volume from your team, you would also start to meet the quota for TWV. To produce your TWV, you need to help one of your members under you to be promoted to Director rank as well. Though the promoted Director under you would form his or her own team, their wholesale volume would still be included in your GWV. However, this time, that newly-promoted Director under you and his team should meet the 2000 TWV quota. This would then give you the qualification for the Frontline Superstar Consultant TWV Bonus.
- Frontline Director (Q) TWV Bonus - This bonus starts at the Director level and continues up to Superstar Director level with a constant 2 percent bonus. Upon reaching the Director position (that requires you to produce another Director junior to you), you would not only be eligible to Frontline Superstar Consultant TWV Bonus, you would also be eligible to get your bonus from the Director under you that you helped to be promoted.
- Generation Director Bonuses - By helping one of your members to be promoted to be Directors under you, you wouldn’t just be entitled for the bonuses from these Directors’ sales but so as to the sales made by individuals under them. They make your Generation. As your team produces more Directors and more promotions to higher ranks, your team would also branch out that would produce your First to Third Generation.
Given that, here is the succession of the positions at Scentsy that you need to work on to in order to get your bonuses.
- Escential Consultant
- Certified Consultant
- Lead Consultant
- Star Consultant
- Superstar Consultant
- Star Director
- Superstar Director
Income Disclosure Statement: Scent of Reality
If there is one thing in common about all MLM compensation plans, that’s their promising compensation and bonuses. Nevertheless, beyond those dazzling “possibilities” of earning a great deal of money in the MLM industry, what we are all looking for is the realistic earnings we could get. That is where the companies’ disclosure statements do their role; to prove whether those presented plans are effective not just for the benefit of the companies themselves but for the advantage of the consultants as well.
Now, let us see if the Scentsy’s Income Disclosure Statement could prove its Compensation Plan’s efficacy.
Scentsy divided its 2019 US consultants into two groups; Group 1 and Group 2. The first group consists of Consultants who were with Scentsy for the entire 12 months of 2019. On the other hand, the second group consists of Consultants who were with Scentsy for less than 12 months, including those who joined the company for the first time and those who left it due to inactivity or for other reasons.
Scentsy’s Income Disclosure Statement is very different from the detailed ones we have already encountered in our previous reviews such as Pink Zebra's. Does it look simple? Yes. Is it much more comprehendible? Yes. But, obviously, it lacks a lot of ESSENTIAL details to determine the exact and realistic earning of each Scentsy consultant.
It is overwhelming to see $1,014,942 and $36,046 as maximum annual compensations for Group 1 and Group 2 respectively. That is true. However, do not forget that it is just an estimation of earnings of those who are earning figures close to those numbers. Worse, the numbers of individuals who are earning such amounts are NOT EVEN indicated. Who knows how many Scentsy Consultants are earning those profits? Maybe over a thousand? Definitely not!
Despite those flattering numbers of maximum annual commission, it is bothering (TRULY BOTHERING) that individuals from those 49,729 Consultants staying with Scentsy for the entire 2019 only had $1,769 as their AVERAGE annual commissions while some of them hit $121 minimum annual commission for the ENTIRE FREAKING 2019.
Why did Scentsy release this Income Disclosure Statement with too little details? Is it concealing something? Anyone who is in the right mind knows the answer.
Nevertheless, Scentsy prides itself by providing incentive trips to striving Consultants who are able to meet specific requirements. But, thinking about it, the company saves a great deal of money in using these trips as a motivation to Consultants than providing them with monthly commissions and bonuses that could cause Scentsy a lot. Simply cunning.
Testimony: Real Scent
A Consultant bragging about green pasture at Scentsy is a normal sight for everyone who’s familiar in the MLM industry. All MLM companies do the same: flattery, bright future, great compensations and profit. No individual can contest such ideas better than people who had experienced the companies themselves.
On the website of Anti-MLM Coalition, a group of former MLM members, one former UK-based Scentsy Consultant with the pseudonym “Tiff” imparted her experience at the company.
Tiff started her Scentsy journey as a Consultant in 2015 when UK was still unsaturated by the company. Despite having a partner and an infant that time, Tiff invested most of her time promoting the products by attending parties to sell Scentsy’s products even on weekends. In desperate need to find recruits to earn more, Tiff “wasn’t sleeping much” as she “scoured the internet for customers.”
Her downline grew to a 40-people team that caused her to feel the pressure and need to be a good “leader”. She even produced team shirts for her members using her own funds and even tried to appease irate customers over the increasing amount of products at that time by letting them purchase the products at lower price and “covering the rest” on her own. She was told by her uplines that “it would be the only way to succeed.”
Despite the continuous gradual increase of the products’ prices, Tiff continued motivating her team though she had been struggling on her own.
Until two and a half years of doing the business, Tiff was contacted by her local Council over an anonymous report for benefit fraud. It claimed that she had undisclosed income despite being registered as self-employed and paying for national insurance contributions. They demanded her to send across all her paperwork and earnings information about the Scentsy business. This is where Tiff reached her absolute realization, her light-bulb moment. She stated:
“Staring at all my calculations, I realized that most months I was in the negative: £30 income, £350 outgoing; £90 income, £110 outgoing. What I thought was a ‘thriving business’ was actually slowly eating away at any spare cash we had in the account. There were a few months that I made £100 profit but I remember sitting on my carpet, surrounded by paperwork and realizing that I’d really been losing money the whole time. I had also just found out I was pregnant. And I cried.”
Considering the hours she put in and the expenses running her business, Tiff then realized that she was actually losing and was working for pennies. According to Tiff, the Scentsy business didn’t just take a great amount of her time but it also affected her relationship to her family and herself. Befriending people and inviting them at her home just to sell Scentsy products, Tiff realized that the MLM didn’t just take things from her but it also changed her. She realized that it was an act of “preying on people’s good nature” and claimed that “it’s so unfair to the people you’re using and it’s also unfair to yourself.”
Diving in: Can I earn Money at Scentsy?
Answering that question, the technical answer would be yes. Nevertheless, if you are pertaining to a great deal of earnings, we can’t guarantee you the affirmative answer.
It is true that Scentsy had been graced with lots of recognitions by various groups: Top 44 on Direct Selling News' list of the top direct selling companies in the world, one of Forbes magazine 2011 list of America's 100 Most Promising Companies, and one of 2018 list of America’s Best Midsize Employers.
However, it makes us all wonder why US Consultants staying with Scentsy for a year received a flopping $1,769 in 2019. It makes us wonder why its 2019 Income Disclosure Statement was made of sagging numbers. It makes us wonder why Scentsy concealed a lot of important information on its Income Disclosure Statement. It all makes us wonder why there are Consultants like Tiff, who despite having a great number of heads in her downline, still faced her oblivion. Why?
Perhaps, it is true that the company Scentsy is thriving as years go by. Sadly, the numbers of Consultants making up its bottommost structure aren’t doing the same; they are earning from too little to nothing. Even Scentsy’s vague Income Disclosure Statement proves it.
According to the study conducted by Jon M. Taylor, MBA, Ph.D., Consumer Awareness Institute regarding MLM profitability, the vast majority of commissions paid by MLM companies go to a tiny percentage those at the top of the system at the expense of a revolving door of recruits, whom 99 percent of them lose money. That is simply true. All MLM companies are organized using a pyramid structure. With those at the top of the system recruiting their downlines, the earnings that should be given to those at the bottom who worked hard for it would be sucked away from them.
Though legal MLM is different from pyramid schemes, MLM is still a thing that preys on people and spreads injustice.
Weighing Things: Pros and Cons
Despite the facts and realizations we had, let us still weigh the pros and cons of Scentsy before you come up with your verdict whether to risk joining the company or flee.
- It has great products which are being patronized by a lot of people.
- The products of the company aren’t just limited to candles and warmers anymore. They also produce other homecare products which could be sold to other target markets.
- Scentsy offers incentive trips to its Consultants who meet specific requirements. I mean, who doesn’t love travelling?
- Scentsy was recognized by various organizations as one of the “best promising” companies in the world. That’s what they said.
- Scentsy uses petroleum-based wax. You don’t want to gamble for your health just to get a moment of smelling some aromatic scents, do you?
- The products are quite pricey. There are other candle products that offer the same quality but at lower prices. Despite Scentsy’s scents, you might find it hard to sell to people.
- Scentsy’s Income Disclosure Statement is an utter mess. I’m not just pertaining to its incomplete data, but with the fact those numbers tell. With those concrete flopping figures, you know where you would end up.
- There are former Scentsy Consultants proving how crazy things are at Scentsy. You don’t want to experience the same hell they had.
- Scentsy is an MLM. Despite being legal, it is still an MLM. MLM is an MLM with 99 percent of failure possibilities.
Conclusion: The Verdict
Everyone wants fair compensation. It is true that it depends on the effort an individual is willing to invest. However, there are opportunities out there that no matter how hard you try, you’d still end up getting zero. MLM is one of them.
Do you want to take the risk in the world of MLM with Scentsy? It is a call for you to make. You know the facts. You know the truth.
We hope that this article helped you to realize things. If you are still looking for the best opportunity, we know a better way help you! We have been doing this business since 2015. No more sharing of commissions and pestering others just to earn. It doesn’t just give us fair earnings but it also assures us of a certain future. Discover it now!