Younique offers trendy products in a thriving industry of cosmetics

Younique sells cosmetics via the direct selling method with special attention given to social media techniques.

The home based business opportunity caters to women who connect with the visionary message of the company, which promises to “Uplift, Empower, and Validate women”.

It’s no secret people love Younique products and their compensation plan looks interesting too.

So have I been involved?

This video explains:

 

All good? Let’s continue…

Overview

As of 2013, Younique was doing fantastic. Founded in September of 2012, revenue hit the $347,471 mark in just nine months after launch (1). That represented roughly $100,000 more than the previous month, so growth was fast and furious at that time.

2013 ended with a bang: $2.06 million in sales and 2,138 new presenters in December, according to the company newsletter (2).

All this launch excitement was occurring during a particularly bad time for Avon, who was about to report a $50 million loss for the first quarter of 2013 (3). Avon would also cut 1,500 jobs and leave certain markets in Asia. Their previous quarterly loss was $162.2 million. On top of all that, Avon was dealing with allegations of bribery of overseas officials.

So Younique looked like the rising star: complete with a progressive selling model catering to younger generations, trending products (3D lashes!), and an explosive start.

Fast forward two years later and it’s pretty tough to find any financial info on Younique, which is a privately held company so they’re not required to disclose their financials to the public.

The company was, however, named among the Emerging Elite for 2015 by the MountainWest Capital Network (MWCN) (4). Each year the MWCN ranks Utah companies based on their rate of growth.

And in October of 2014, they’d reached the level of 100,000 Presenters (5).

But to compete with the likes of Mary Kay, direct seller of cosmetics for over 40 years?  Here’s what Younique is up against: Mary Kay has over 200 products, 2.5 million independent sales consultants, and exposure in around 35 countries (6).

But Younique does have the advantage of targeting a social media crowd and possessing a fresh new name. Besides, nothing conjures up your grandmother’s cosmetics more than the Mary Kay lady driving around in a pink Cadillac.

So, they’re not Mary Kay Cosmetics…but who is Younique?

Younique was founded by a brother and sister team Derek Maxfield and Melanie Huscroft. Mr.Maxfield was already a “name” in MLM, having run Netsteps for seven years prior to founding Younique. Netsteps was on the Inc 500 list in 2010, having reported over $5 million in revenue the preceding year (7).

Hate home parties but love cosmetics?

The Younique business opportunity was made for social media mavens who love cosmetics. The whole plan was devised around the concept that Younique products would be sold via social media. Home parties are not required. Instead, Presenters (that’s what the independent business owners are called) hold “Facebook Parties”.

In exchange, they get hostess rewards amounting to free and discounted product.

Younique has a fully developed marketing plan designed to fully and easily integrate with Facebook (and other platforms). Presenters receive a constant supply of graphics and promotions with which to fill up their Facebook timelines.

They are also given access to hundreds of images created by other presenters, which they can use on their Facebook pages. Images are also contributed by customers who’ve used Younique products.

Of course Presenter marketing efforts are not limited to Facebook. There’s also Pinterest, Instagram, and whatever else they can come up with.

Compensation Plan

It costs a one-time fee of $99 to become a Younique presenter. That covers a beauty kit which contains the following:

  • 30 eye pigments (made in the USA)
  • 3D Fiber Lash mascara
  • 3 eye brushes
  • a Younique charm
  • 6 concealers
  • 5 blushers
  • black kit for holding it all
  • your own Younique website

These are demo products, which the Presenter uses on herself, then snaps pictures to post on Facebook to entice sales. Customer sales are shipped directly to the customers.

Staying active means selling at least $125 worth of product every 3 months.

Presenters must sell at least $200 at a “Party” (Facebook event) to earn 1 half-price product plus 10% in Younique cash. This can be used to acquire free product. There is also the chance to earn actual cash.

Presenters have access to weekly free training and $25 in Younique Cash every year on their birthday.

Younique products cannot be sold on Amazon, on eBay, or in retail locations (like salons, for example). The products are backed by Younique’s Love It Guarantee. Customers may return product within 14 days for full refund or exchange. Within 15-30 days, it’s 80% back and 31-90 days it’s product credit or exchange (all minus shipping and handling).

Younique is a member of the Direct Selling Assocition and is fully accredited with the Better Business Bureau where they maintain an A- rating (8).

Compensation Plan Beyond the Facebook Party Hostess Rewards

Recruiting brings rewards, too. There’s a Fast Start Bonus available to Presenters who enroll 3 new Presenters and sell $2,000 in product within your first 90 days. That nets $250 in Younique Cash and a Fast Start charm.

There’s 20% commission on retail sales, and that figure goes up as you advance in the ranks. Commissions are paid “instantly”, or within 3 hours of sales. The commission amount gets transferred into the Presenter’s PayQuicker Younique debit card for her use any time. Transferring that to a bank account will cost $.50.

Advance to Pink status to earn real cash: 3% of team sales. Advance to higher ranks and that percentage goes up.

Recap

Cosmetic sales are a tough business. Pair that with what’s happened to Facebook since Younique launched and you might get the sense this is a hopeless battle. Monetizing Facebook has become increasingly difficult as a result in a change in FB policies.

But Younique forges ahead, empowering women and seemingly oblivious to the challenges they face. With energy and optimism like that, they’re not done yet.

HOWEVER…

Just like with any MLM, peddling products to your family members and friends at church might work for a couple months…maybe over a year if you’re lucky.

In the end, it’s still the sad story of selling hype and chasing the hot opportunity.

There is a better way.

Check this out. It will help wreck your money-chasing habits.

See our top 22 small business ideas of 2017

Click here

Jeremy Page

Jeremy Page created Multiple Streams for ballers, big thinkers and online business owners. You can follow him on Instagram here.

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  • Younique Makeup with AndreaTV March 19, 2016, 8:41 pm

    I agree with you that direct sales is a tough business. If you listen to any of the people who have actually stuck with it long enough to really make some money they will tell you that most of their sales do not come from friends and family.

    Cedric Harris was the first person I heard that said network marketing is personal development attached to a product. I was a big mlm unbeliever until this year when i realized that I trust my ability and drive more than the “security” of my employer. I see the writing on the walls and layoffs are coming in my company very soon.

    Do I want to go and ask another corporation to give me a chance to give them my all and hope they don’t decide to make changes that are “best for their future” down the road and leave me looking for yet another job? Or do I want to give my all to my own “little piece of the pie in the sky” dream made possible with direct sales and see how far I can go? I will take the latter myself, for now.

    If things don’t work out don’t worry. All companies love hiring “new” people at the bottom of the payscale who will be on their best behavior for the first few years. Old veterans have become complacent, know the tricks and loopholes, and they have to pay them way more. This is just what I have come to learn just by keeping my eyes open.

    • Jeremy Page March 22, 2016, 8:39 pm

      Thank you.