Connect with us

Multilevel Marketing

Younique review: Cosmetic MLM doing it the right way

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.

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 and your 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.

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.

Many times, it’s still the story of selling hype and chasing the next hot opportunity.

There might be a better way to build a business. Check this out.

2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. Younique Makeup with AndreaTV

    March 19, 2016 at 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 at 8:39 pm

      Thank you.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Multilevel Marketing

Zija review: Nutritional supplements from moringa

Zija is a nutritional products network marketing company capitalizing on the healthful properties of moringa.

In May 2017 they acquired Xango, making them a bigger force in the health MLM space.

Run by a pioneer inventor in the herbal supplement industry and propelled by a top Harvard scientist, Zija is setup to do big things.

Overview

We’ll take a look at exactly what Zija is celebrating. You’ll find out whether the science is there to support the claims made about moringa. You’ll also discover how well their International compensation plan stacks up in a sea that’s brimming with nutritional energy drinks (hint: Tru Vision, Isagenix, and Visi).

First let’s find out about moringa.

Moringa Oleifera is a tree found in the foothills of the Himalayas known for its drought-resistant properties (1). The seedpods are eaten in Africa and Asia. The leaves are the most nutritious part and are eaten in Southeast Asia. The flowers are said to taste like mushrooms.

There seems to be no question as to the high nutritional value of moringa. It’s a good source of protein as well as vitamins, amino acids, minerals, and phenolics (2).

But delve a little deeper and the clinical studies aren’t there yet for many of the claims made by Zija Interntional. More on that below.

Who is Zija International? The founder of Zija is Ken Brailsford. He is credited with inventing herbal encapsulation, and with helping to bring moringa to the supplement industry after watching a documentary about the health benefits of consuming parts of the moringa tree.

Mr.Brailsford is actually something of a “star” in the herbal supplement world. He started Nature’s Sunshine in the 1970s, to capitalize on his new herbal encapsulation methodology. He ran that until 1979 when he left to become a stockbroker because of a noncompete clause with Nature’s Sunshine (3). He later went back but fully retired in 1997 until he founded Zija years later.

The company is based in Lehi, Utah and boasts an executive team of “experienced MLM professionals.”  That would include CEO Rodney Larsen who was hired to promote the growth goals of Zija. Mr.Larsen has been with ZI since 2006 and his LinkedIn profile shows no other data before that year. Some Zija affiliate websites do mention that he worked for NEXX and a branch of NuSkin Entrprises before joining Zija.

President Brad Stewart’s profile mentions that he has managed his career “through vision and faith”. He has been involved in network marketing his whole life.

Executive Vice President Darrell Eyre started as an Amway distributor and has been in network marketing for 25 years.

COO Michael Hershberger has over 15 years experience in management and IT and an MBA.

The takeaway: apart from the Chief Operating Officer, Zija International is run by people who have pretty much always worked in network marketing. The founder is recognized as an important figure in herbal supplement history and founded one of the oldest and most successful herbal supplement companies in the world.

Zija International is a BBB accredited business with a rating of A+.

Products

The ZI products can be divided into three categories: moringa, ameo, and ripstix. Headed by  Harvard Medical School valedictorian Joshua Plant, the scientific wing of Zija International is actively engaged in formulating new products based on moringa and other botanicals.

Moringa is believed to support a wide range of health benefits, including anti-inflammatory support, improved digestion, improved mental clarity, increased energy, anti-aging, immune system support, and blood glucose level regulation. All of these benefits are listed on the Zija International website.

Scientific evidence and clinical trials, however, are hard to find.

There is one agricultural study  where mice and ruminants were given moringa tea. It was found that the white cell count in the mice who drank the tea was significantly higher. Mice also experienced reduced inflammatory responses.

In that same study, Moringa also improved cell viability in sheep and goats, and reduced oxidative stress from internal parasites. No effect on the gut health of pigs was observed, however (4). The results of this study have only been published informally to date.

The same Ag & Tech school that’s conducting that study is also looking into the use of moringa to promote animal health. Specifically, they’re researching moringa’s effects on the immune system (on B and T cells). In addition, they’re studying moringa’s effects on growth rate and performance of pigs. However, at this time it’s merely stated that more research is needed (5).

There is also a World Health Report citing the use of moringa in the use of water treatment in developing countries (6). But so far, not much has made it into the National Institutes of Health’s PubMed system.

The takeaway: moringa is incredibly nutritionally dense, but clinical studies are needed to support many of the health benefit claims made by Zija Interntaional.

Essential oils produced with clinical-grade standards and Zija’s exclusive patent-pending certification system.

Ripstix Hydration and Fitness Line – these are energy drinks in powdered form. Fitness supplements containing L-arginine (8) and electrolytes, they also contain fructose which some people try and stay away from.

Compensation Plan

There are tens of thousands of independent distributors working for Zija International. They have access to an extensive network of Zija training modules, including videos, an app, audio training, all of which is measured by a series of exams.

It’s the only MLM known to have a certification process for its distributors. Not only that, but every 90 days, distributors must re-certify. Passing exams means higher pay, too (7).

This is similar to how non-MLM companies handle their training. For example, public school teachers get pay raises when they pass graduate-level courses from accredited institutions of higher learning.

So what if Zija operates its own training, testing, and certification program in-house: it’s far above and beyond what you’ll see in other MLM companies.

Details:

1) IBOs profit by purchasing products at wholesale prices and selling them at retail (up to 25% profit).

2) Qualify to earn commission by being on autoship for at least 75 PV per month.

3) Get 10% of sales made by your personally enrolled recruits.

4) Team commissions and further bonuses as you advance in rank.

Recap

Zija appears to offer a good product. They have done a lot of things right and have a unique niche in the competitive nutritional supplement industry. But the income potential isn’t worth my time.

I’m not saying Zija International is a bad company – they’re not.

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. This will help wreck your money-chasing habits.

Continue Reading