Expensive fashion botique meets MLM. Welcome to Etcetera.
Clothes are getting more and more expensive these days. Just how expensive? An Etcetera top might run you back a hideous $225.
Unless it’s made with unicorn hair and woven by elves, many would agree they’re charging too much. But Etcetera makes a fortune every year. So am I involved?
This video explains:
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Etcetera is a well-turned MLM selling women’s fashion founded in 2000 by Bill Rondina. (1)
By well-turned, I mean the website is stunning. No weird attacking ads, flashing banners or inordinately smiling women with racks and racks of new clothes. It’s styled like a normal fashion website which immediately ticks a legitimacy box. You’ll log on and feel secure rather than sleazy, wading through a mess of primary colours and scrolling discounts.
The about section is similarly sleek and written well. No horrendous typos or aggressive sales copy. It also doesn’t really touch on recruitment. It just encourages people to get in touch with a stylist. The bit about the stylist being a “trusted friend” is a bit ick, but otherwise there’s nothing to suggest it’s an in-your-face, buy-or-die MLM. Yet.
As with a lot of fashion sites, etcetera has a lackadaisical approach to organizing its wares. There’s collections, lookbooks, and so on. In the interest of sanity, I’ve organised it into collections.
- Necessities (sounds interesting.)
You can pick and choose what products to view, but the pricing filter is suspiciously absent. You know, list from high to low price, newest to oldest or vice versa.
There aren’t even prices on the main search page. You have to click on individual items to see how much they are, and they aren’t exactly middle of the road.
For example, they sell a top called Brulee that’s full of keyholes. I know it’s purposeful and “fashionable”, but it’s probably only got half the material a normal top would have. This half top will set you back an eye-watering $250.
For half a freaking top.
It would probably be cheaper to get a top in the same colour from a cheaper store and cut out the holes yourself.
Necessities, by the way, are camis and wardrobe essentials. A plain skin colour cami is still $45. That’s about as essential as you can get before we get to actual underwear. To say there are cheaper options is putting it mildly.
So not cheap. The craftsmanship does look good though and there’s clothes people would actually wear. Even the holey top would appeal to people who take looks more seriously than being warm.
They’ve also got an inspiration section which essentially functions like a blog. It covers lookbooks and holidays – a recent post covered what to wear to Thanksgiving, aside from a baby bib and apron to protect yourself from flying slivers of turkey. I can’t help but feel they’d have been better served with a more extensive gallery with captions as opposed to blogs, because they’re running out of synonyms for “beautiful”, “fashionable” and “modern.” They may well be skirting the line of shady SEO.
We’ve established that the website as a whole doesn’t hammer recruitment. Nevertheless, there’s an opportunities page. Let’s dive right in.
The first word I see in caps lock is ENTREPRENEUR. That’s better than never-work-again, but it’s still not 100% honest.
It’s still all beautiful rendered with pictures of sultry women looking thoughtfully into the distance.
They shoot themselves in the prosaic foot by, for some unfathomable reason, calling their home parties “trunk shows.” I’m not exactly a fashionista, but that sounds about as appealing as only wearing the holey top in a blizzard.
The opportunity page is full of all the right buzzwords wrapped in a comforting, high-class shade of grey. There’s no numbers though.
Hopping back on Google doesn’t help either. The only article remotely connected to the plan was this weird, creepy Google book with a section on MLM work in retirement. Ew. (2)
Etcetera has to stand on its own as a website. The only way to find out about opportunities is handing over your email and details, presumably after which they will email you a thousand times a day until you go off the grid or die of exasperation.
The website itself seems great, but there’s a significant lack of integrity if there’s no plan to be found. Maybe they don’t rely on it much. Maybe they’re a nicer company.
Or maybe they’re just hiding away their unscrupulous master plan. Who knows.
They’ve obviously spent a lot of dough on making their website look fantastic. It’s a shame that their supporters let them down so drastically.
Type in “etcetera mlm review” and you’ll see what I mean.
Lesser known companies like this are really brought down by their fans. There’s a whole bunch of help and advice websites concerning etcetera, but they all look…how shall I say…less than legit.
If anything has a >>>CLICK HERE<<< on it, I’m immediately walking in the opposite direction.
No numbers, no feedback, only get rich quick schemes and no actual links to etcetera other than their black hat meta description and twenty word long title.
In addition, this won’t be a relaxing selling venture.
Etcetera falls into the same trap Aerus does. You don’t need a new top every week to “replace” the old one. The whole point of these products is they last. If you’re struggling to replace a pair of shoes after a month, they’re clearly not well made.
This means you’re not exactly going to have regular repeat customers. Sure, some women will think of you when they decide they need a new skirt, but it’s not going to be a “the usual, please” kind of relationship.
Ergo, you’re going to struggle maintaining retainer customers. Every sale is going to require effort, which undermines the whole point of an MLM.
There’s a better way to earn passive income online than desperately flogging holey tops to family members when you realize supply vastly outstrips demand.
Instead of sobbing over a box full of unsold necessities, invest your time and money in something that will produce lifetime income streams.
In other words, you might like our training because it teaches the “good life” without peddling overpriced products to your family and friends.