In this article, we will figure out if Scentsy is a scam, or if it is a money-making opportunity that can help us make some cents.
You must be here trying to research more about this company’s products because someone just gifted you with a Scentsy candle, or they are trying to get you to buy some, or even sell you the business opportunity.
You might be wondering:
Can this be something you try out on the side of your day job, or a supplemental income while you are staying at home caring for the kids? Maybe it could even become your full time income, and best of all, passive income.
This is a main topic we will be exploring: the earning potential if you join Scentsy as their distributor.
Now let’s dive right in, to look at this in-depth review of Scentsy, through the following sections:
- its review summary
- Scentsy product line
- Scentsy business opportunity
- its pros and cons
- my recommendation
Scentsy: Review Summary
Creators: Husband and wife team – Orville and Heidi Thompson
Product type: Wickless scented candles and electric warmers, sold through MLM (multilevel marketing) scheme
Price: Basic starter kit ($99 or $149) to join as distributor, $10/month (after the first 3 months) to continue selling Scentsy through the website they provided, as well as a minimum purchase of $150 every 3 months.
Scam / Legit? : Legit
Recommended or not? : Not recommended
Scentsy is an Idaho based company, selling scented ‘flameless’ candles that run on electric warmers, and a whole line of fragrances. Its products appeal to many, and are innovative, but priced too exorbitantly, with frequent price increases each time a new season unfolds, with new catalogues and stuff.
Being an MLM at its core, the odds are stacked against you as a distributor. The vast majority of people who join MLMs end up losing money.
If you do not want to waste anymore time and money supporting other people’s dream lifestyle, check out my #1 recommendation to making money from home:
Read on for the detailed review of Scentsy, and why I do not recommend it.
What is Scentsy
A brief background of Scentsy
Scented candles are nothing new, there are hundreds and thousands of small businesses selling them. So Scentsy’s wickless candles are a great hit, taking to homes as many people who use fragrances and candles at home embrace them as a much safer alternative.
This is the sales pitch taken by the company: conventional candles are a fire hazard, and they give off harmful substances as they burn, etc.
In fact, Orville and Heidi did not come up with this brilliant idea themselves. They stumbled upon two ladies selling this type of wickless candles, saw the ‘Aha’ moment, and bought over the company. That is how Scentsy was started in 2004.
Riding on the lifestyle trend, Scentsy took off, and was ranked 19th on the Inc. 500 list for “America’s fastest-growing consumer products company” in 2010. It definitely said something about how they are running their business, considering Scentsy had only been 6 years old then.
Scentsy Product Line
These are the categories of the products sold by Scentsy:
- Wax cubes (also called wax bars) – more than 90 fragrances to choose from!
- Electric warmers – all types of design for you to choose from
- Essential oils and their diffusers
- On the go: car bars, room sprays, scent circles, scent paks, and travel tins
- Laundry: laundry liquid, fabric softener, dryer disks
- Cleaning: all-purpose cleaner, bathroom cleaner, dish soap, counter cleaner
- Body and bath: body wash, body cream, bath bombs, hand wash, lotion, etc.
Are Scentsy products marketable?
The main products sold by Scentsy are their wickless wax cubes and electric warmers. Wax cubes are expensive, at $6 per 2.6 ounce (at the time of this writing). The same can be bought elsewhere, for example Walmart, for just $2.
Their electric warmers have a huge price range, from about $20 all the way to $55, as it depends on which design you choose.
The thing is, once people buy an electric warmer from a distributor, they do not need to buy another one, it can last for a lifetime. As for the wax cubes, they can easily purchase from some small retail store, or Walmart, or anywhere for that matter.
Even if they do buy wax cubes from a distributor, the retail commissions are going to be very little, given it only costs $6 per cube. It’s expensive for a wax cube, but too small an amount to make a decent commission from.
So Scentsy products are, in my opinion, not very sellable. Once your own market made up of family and friends get saturated, your business would have reached its peak, and it would be very difficult to grow it, make more sales, and recruit more people.
So even though I do believe in its products, and understand how people will love it for the unique scents it brings to their homes, it may not be such a lucrative opportunity for the distributor, something that we will explore in the next section.
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Scentsy Business Opportunity
How to become a Scentsy Distributor
The upfront cost to get into the business opportunity as a Scentsy distributor is very high:
First, you have to buy a starter kit, which costs $99 or $149. Of course the more expensive kit will give you more value for your money. In the kit, you will get a warmer, a scent bar, party size scent testers for you to hold your house party, along with business tools like brochures, name cards, etc.
After the first 3 months, if you still want to use the website provided to you to sell Scentsy products, then you need to pay $10 per month, to maintain it as your personal page.
On top of these, you also need to meet a minimum purchase of $150 every 3 months.
How to make money with Scentsy
Just as with any MLM company, there are two main ways to earn with Scentsy:
- Retail commission: you make a percentage off the sales to retail customers when they buy products from you.
- Recruitment commission: as you recruit people as your downline, to form your own team, you get to earn commissions and bonuses. The exact compensation plan of every single MLM is complex beyond me, so I have never bothered. To understand it very simply, the more you recruit, the higher you climb the ranks, and the more you earn.
You see, this is how I view it: why MLMs have to make their compensation plans so convoluted, is simply to hide the conspiracy that all the profits go to those at the top ranks and its founders. You do not start earning until you climb a few ranks up, and even then, you are only starting to recover the ‘losses’ that you have accumulated over the years.
I will dwell more about this in the next section…
Why Scentsy will not work for you
The short answer is: because it is made not to work for you.
You see, it all starts with the exorbitant pricing that MLM companies slap onto their products, claiming its superior quality, purest ingredients, stringent testing and what not. Don’t buy that BS, because there are similarly amazing products in the open market selling at much lower prices.
So with a price that is over the top, it deliberately kicks itself out of the open market, as there can be no real demand to sustain its business.
These MLMs then create an artificial demand. You say nobody will buy their products? They simply “coerce” people into buying, by creating this reward structure (a.k.a. compensation plan). Drag people into it, incentivise them, promise them passive income and a luxury lifestyle, and they will buy.
The rookie distributor simply pays out of his or her own pocket, for the starter kit, the monthly website maintenance, and all the quarterly minimum purchases they must meet in order to stay in the business. But what actually is the business?
The business is a far-fetched promise of a life-changing income, but a current and immediate sinking into further debt.
If there is very little open market demand, where does the $456 million in 2017 revenue come from??
A big portion of this money comes from the pockets of the unsuspecting distributors at the lower ranks. That is how MLMs are made to work. Distributors are given a dream to chase, but sadly that dream is not theirs.
Distributors are the work horses of the companies, made to work their butts off, long hours, sacrificing family time, and many times, even sacrificing relationships, to dig themselves deeper into debt.
They are paying the company to help them promote their products and brand.
But how could millions and millions of people involved in all the MLM companies be wrong?
They are just blinded by the screen placed in front of them by the leaders, showing big limos, luxury yachts, and dream cruises. Promise of a better life, who doesn’t want it?
In reality, uplines themselves are struggling real hard, and yet they portray an image of success to their team. So everyone gets sucked into this big lie.
Check out this article about a previous Scentsy distributor, who worked very hard, and was a dynamic and entrepreneurial leader to her team that was 40-people strong! That she built up over 2.5 years.
One day, by a twist of fate, she had to dig out all her receipts and other paperwork to prove to the authorities that her financial situation still entitled her to social benefits.
As she went through the spending and earnings of those years, it finally dawned on her that her Scentsy business, that she thought was booming, had not made her any income at all. In fact, after accounting for the expenses she put into holding house parties, travelling to attend conferences, etc. she actually made a loss.
She quit Scentsy the very day, and is now anti-MLM.
The proper way to make money from home
If you think joining an MLM company will give you more time flexibility to work from home, work anytime you like, then you are wrong.
Unless your customers are all stay home mums, otherwise you would have to work around the schedule of those who have a day job. Which means you have to work evenings and weekends, trying to hold house parties, selling the products, and selling the business opportunity to people.
In fact, to have any hope of climbing the ranks in an MLM, you really have to work full time hours, while paying the company! What kind of renumeration scheme gets more twisted than this?
Now, I want to share with you how I am earning my online income. This genuinely gives me freedom of space and time, because all my work is online. I can work anytime, anywhere I want, and however much I want.
I do not have to do any recruiting or direct selling.
I am not working for somebody’s dream, but building up my own online business.
I am not limited to promoting one company’s products, I get to choose which companies’ products and services to promote, and I can promote whatever number of companies I like.
Most importantly, my earnings are based on a fair and transparent system. I do not have to pay to play the game. There is no upfront cost to the companies, as they recognise that I am actually doing free advertising for them when I promote their products.
When I drive customers to their business, I earn a commission.
Are you interested to learn how this business model works?
Then click on the button below to hop over to my other post where I explain it in much more detail:
Look at the income disclosure by Scentsy for 2015:
Notice that even at the Director level, the average earning is only $15K for the whole year, which works out to $1.2K per month, that’s just a part time income after slogging 5.5 years for the company? I would not accept this as a life-changing opportunity. There are many other things I can do with my time and energy that can earn me much more.
Even the Certified Consultant, who had spent an average of almost 3 years with the company, is only making $676 the entire year. I can only shake my head at that.
Remember, these are earnings, for which expenses have not been deducted yet. All the quarterly minimum purchases, the starter kit, and those house parties hosted, etc. would set you back a lot more than this kind of earnings.
Some distributors put their heart and soul into the business, and this is what they get.
Finally, if I discount the Star Directors and Superstar Directors who are really making a substantial amount, the rest of the ranks represent 99.5% of the total number of distributors shown here.
How’s that for the dream life promised to new recruits?
I do not recommend Scentsy, or any MLM for that matter. They are made to work only for the creators, just like all the other MLMs I have reviewed, like Valentus, doTERRA, and Young Living, to name just a few.
Instead of paying money to chase someone else’s dream, build your own dream by carving out an online business for yourself.
This requires hard work too, nobody ever said any kind of success comes easy.
But this will be so worthwhile, because it is your very own.
You get to choose whatever niche area you like to work on, it can be anything under the sun, from parenting or cooking, to rock climbing or migraines. Something that you are passionate about.
And you start to build content on your own website (do not worry, setting up a website is the easy part, can be done within 15 minutes).
As you build on it, you become the authority in the niche, and search engines are going to rank your site on page 1, when people search for answers related to your niche.
They land on your site, interact with your content enough to sense that you are genuine and knowledgeable in this area, so will be happy to take on your recommendations.
When they click through your links to buy some product, you earn a commission.
It’s neat and hassle-free, because the sales transaction is between your website visitors and those companies. You simply get rewarded by bringing them sales.
What is most priceless about this business model is that you are helping people who are actively searching for solutions to their problems, through the search engines. That is how they land on your website in the first place.
So you are not shoving some expensive product that they are not even looking for, down their throat.
I’m so happy I found this honest and legitimate way of doing an online business, because now I’m reaping its benefits, making an online income out of it.
I want to show you all the information about this, so that you can decide if this is the way you want to make money online. Click on the button below:
If you have any concerns or questions regarding this Scentsy review, do comment below, and we will start a conversation from there.
2 thoughts on “Scentsy is a Scam? Make Cents?”
WOW! Joo this article is amazing. Your presentation of this MLM company is impeccable. Everything one should know about Scentsy is here. What impresses me, though, is the fact that you say that Scentsy is Legit. Is this your personal opinion or is it because MLM schemes are -technically considered legit? The whole system seems a scam to me. Aren’t there any regulations for this marketing method?
You’re so right, actually if I can have any voice at all, I’d say all MLMs should be banned. Countless families and relationships have been destroyed because of them. But still, they are on the right side of the law, as long as there are sales of actual products, so it’s not like you are just paying for a monthly membership and getting no physical goods in return (that would be classified as an illegal pyramid scheme then). Sadly, that’s the way things are with MLMs and the law right now.