Product Type: MLM
Scam or Not: Not a Scam
Overall Rating: 7/10
Paparazzi (sometimes known as Paparazzi Accessories or Paparazzi Jewelry) is a jewelry and accessory company, which offers people a way to make money by selling the products.
The approach is hardly unique but Paparazzi is somewhat unique by the fact that their products are just $5. This makes the products very affordable and gives members a much greater chance of actually making sales.
In this Paparazzi Jewelry review, we’re going to take a look at exactly what you can expect from Paparazzi as a money-making approach. We’re also going to consider whether the $5 products are enough to make this company stand out from all of the other direct selling companies out there.
If you look at Paparazzi from a basic level, then the general idea is to join the company as a consultant and sell the products to friends, family and anyone else that you can. In this case, the company uses a party model, so you’re supposed to show off the products in the party setting.
The company describes the overall concept like this:
It all seems fairly straightforward – but of course, there is a lot going on behind the scenes, and we’re going to look at exactly what is involved.
To kick this Paparazzi Jewelry review off, let’s take a look at the products themselves.
Paparazzi Jewelry Products
This company specializes in jewelry and accessories, and they do have a decent section. At the time of writing, the products fall into the following categories – although these certainly change over time.
For example, these are some of the products in the earrings category:
All of the products are costume jewelry, so the items aren’t extremely high quality and they aren’t going to contain any valuable stones. However, they are designed to be interesting and easy to afford.
In fact, that affordability is probably the biggest selling point, as all of the products the company offers are $5. That’s a good price for jewelry in general and an amazing price for jewelry sold by a MLM.
The specific jewelry designs that the company sells are unique although, of course, you could find many similar styles from other companies. However, it would be relatively hard to find similar products at this price.
The products are also lead and nickel free, which is appealing for people who are sensitive to jewelry. Instead, the products are made from aluminum and stainless steel. That choice of metals does make this jewelry less sturdy than some other brands although the metal also makes them easier to fix.
Paparazzi Jewelry Complaints
There are surprisingly few complaints when it comes to the products from Paparazzi.
In part, this is probably because people have relatively low expectations of the jewelry to start off with. After all, it isn’t reasonable to expect a $5 piece of jewelry to last as long as a piece that costs 10x that much and the metal that Paparazzi uses does also suggest that the jewelry won’t have an extremely long lifetime.
One online review of the jewelry sums it up pretty nicely.
This basically suggests that the products are decent enough but you can’t expect them to act like fine jewelry. Additionally, the quality probably varies from piece to piece and it’s likely the at some are more prone to breaking than others.
So, the jewelry isn’t extremely high quality but, from the lack of complaints, it seems to perform reasonably well for the associated price.
The Paparazzi Jewelry Compensation Plan
One of the key aspects of any Paparazzi Jewelry review is a consideration of the compensation plan. Ideally, people should know this plan before they seriously consider joining the company, because it plays a huge role in your potential to earn money.
Thankfully, Paparazzi does make this information easy to find.
So, there are three ways to earn with the company and we’ll look at them briefly. The first is direct sales.
In the case of Paparazzi, distributors earn a 45% commission on sales – which is pretty nice. This is considerably higher than most other MLMs (which are often in the 20% to 30% range). However, there’s a reason for this.
The reason for the higher commission is that members actually have to purchase the products themselves first. So, you purchase Paparazzi jewelry at the wholesale price and then turn around and sell it at the $5 price the company promotes.
I’ve seen other MLMs take this approach as well, although it is relatively unusual.
Now, there are advantages to selling products this way. After all, people can see exactly what they’re getting and they don’t have to wait for products to ship.
This makes a lot of sense for inexpensive costume jewelry, as this will often be an impulse purchase and people are much more likely to buy if they can see and hold the product.
Nevertheless, this practice does make it harder to earn money.
Because you’re buying the products first, you have to try to anticipate which products are likely to sell and which ones aren’t. This is especially challenging because Paparazzi has a large product range and jewelry is often an emotional purchase.
This system also means that you might earn 45% commission from the sales that you do make – but your average commission would be lower, simply because you may not be able to sell everything. Instead, you’re likely to end up with some products that nobody wants to buy, while you may also run out of other products.
For example, the image below is from a YouTube video of a successful Paparazzi salesperson.
She has a considerable amount of stock on hand, which would represent a lot of money, even at the wholesale price. So, without a doubt, Paparazzi is an investment and a risk, more so than many other MLMs.
In particular, there are multiple other MLMs out there where you are selling jewelry too. Touchstone Crystal is one example. In that case, the products are certainly more expensive. But, you don't have to keep a large stock of products on hand.
The next aspect to consider is team building.
In many MLM, the process of building a team plays a key part in your income. It is possible to make money just by selling products but most of the bonuses are associated with team building. Essentially, the larger and more successful your team is, the more income and bonuses that you get.
Many of these bonuses are tied into the generations of people below you.
For example, if you recruit one person into the company, they become your first generation or level. If that person recruits someone else, they become your second generation, and so on. Part of the idea is to create a team that is deep (multiple generations) and wide (lots of people at each generation).
Many of the bonuses that you can earn are also tied into ranks at the company – which is also where the whole process gets much more complicated. You can see this in the image below, which is directly from the company’s commission plan (full version here, as the image does not fit well into this post).
The various ranks run from left to right in the image.
Each rank has a higher amount of bonuses than the previous one, along with a higher amount of requirements. This includes requirements for the amount of product that you buy personally, the amount that your team sells and the ranks of some of your team members.
Making a decent and consistent income really involves making a huge amount of sales or getting in the higher ranks of the company (ideally both). Because your success is tied into your team, there is also an emphasis on training and supporting team members. Over time, this can become more difficult as your team grows.
One final thing to note is that team building really only works if you can recruit people who are dedicated and passionate about making money this way.
There is also one other interesting area of the compensation plan, the online bonus.
With this approach, you also have the ability to make sales online.
Because the website is just a duplicate, you aren’t likely to be able to rank for it and you probably won’t be able to get people to it from search engines. However, the site can still be useful for getting friends and family members to buy the products, especially if they want something specific that you don’t have in stock.
This is a major advantage and helps to offset some of the issues associated with having to buy the products. However, you do still have to make purchases yourself to stay active with the company, so no matter how you do it, you need to buy a decent amount of products and sell them in person.
Benefits and Advantages
Paparazzi Jewelry does have some advantages, which may make it a viable approach for some people. For one thing, there is a huge market for costume jewelry. People often don’t have the means or desire to spend a lot of money on expensive jewelry and costume jewelry, like what Paparazzi offers, is an easy way to give a person lots of options.
At the same time, Paparazzi is one of the few MLMs that actually offers inexpensive products. Most of the time, MLM products tend to be more expensive than the average for the market. That's especially true for health or beauty companies like It Works or Life Vantage,
Yet, in the case of Paparazzi, most of the products are $5.
It’s easy to see how this could be appealing.
Plus, jewelry is a type of product that people don’t really get enough of. After all, people tend to want different pieces of jewelry for different occasions, situations and outfits. In theory, this should make repeat sales much easier.
Costume jewelry also works well as a product type because you’re not going to find the exact same pieces with another company. Every company tends to have their own styles and specific pieces and this does help when it comes to making sales.
The company does also change up its selection pretty frequently.
That acts as an incentive to buy and helps to make sure there is always something new on offer.
The final advantage of this company is simply that the jewelry looks appealing. Now, I don’t wear jewelry personally but it’s easy to see how the products from the company could be appealing, especially when you consider their price tag.
There is also a small selection of products targeted at men - although these may be harder to sell, as all of the marketing for the company focuses on pink and females.
Issues with Paparazzi Jewelry
With all the advantages of Paparazzi, it’s easy to see how this company would work well as a way to make money. However, there are some issues too.
One of my biggest problems as this is one MLM where you buy the product (at wholesale) and then resell it to customers. That approach is frustrating for any type of product and it’s an even bigger problem with a company like Paparazzi, which has such a wide selection of products.
As I mentioned earlier, this approach means you have to try and predict what people will want and there is no way that you will get this right every time. This pattern lowers your profit margin significantly.
At the same time, this approach means that there is considerable investment involved in the business. After all, you have to constantly buy new products, especially whenever the company releases new ranges. Indeed, there’s considerable investment in just getting started with the company, as you buy a starting kit, which contains products for you to sell.
For some people, this pattern may not be an issue at all – especially if you have social connections that love jewelry and aren’t too picky about what they buy.
However, in other cases, it’s easy to see how this would be a problem and the pattern certainly increases the risk that you will make a loss with the company.
The company doesn’t actually talk about this much in their promotion. Instead, they make claims like this:
And even breakdown of how much profit members can make from each starter kit:
Those claims assume that people are able to sell every single piece that they get at the suggested retail price. Personally, I doubt it. You may well be able to sell enough to make your money back but selling every piece is pretty unlikely.
The second main issue is simply the MLM model.
Now, people vary considerably in what they think about the MLM approach.
Some people argue that the model works well and it makes sense. I’ll agree that you can actually earn money in a MLM and within every company like Paparazzi, there will be some distributors that do make money.
Nevertheless, that doesn’t make the model a good thing.
The problem is that the money making approach heavily focuses on recruitment, which isn’t easy at the best of times. Selling $5 jewelry is one thing but trying to get other people to join the company and do the same is quite different. Realistically, most people aren’t going to have the time, funds or inclination to get involved.
This makes it extremely difficult to be successful with the recruitment side of the company and unfortunately, that’s where most of the money is too.
I can certainly see how you could make a side income just by selling the products – and Paparazzi is one of the few MLMs where this really is a viable approach. However, the fact that you have to buy the products does add some risk to this process, which is certainly something to be aware of.
My Personal Paparazzi Jewelry Review
Overall, the opinion that I’ve found in this Paparazzi Jewelry review is pretty mixed. On the one hand, the inexpensive products and large selection do make it easier-than-normal to make sales, which does create significant potential for making money.
Yet, at the same time, you have to buy the product beforehand, which adds a major element of risk.
Even with that risk, I can see the appeal of selling the products from the company.
As a side income, that’s fine and I imagine that it works well for some people.
However, if you want to turn Paparazzi into a full-time (or even a part-time) income, you’re going to run into issues because of the MLM system. The MLM approach means that most of the money making potential comes from recruitment and team building. The bigger your team, the larger your income. Likewise, the more successful your team is, the more successful you are.
This places a huge emphasis on developing a large and successful team but actually achieving that is difficult. In practice, most people in a MLM will only manage to recruit one or two others and in many cases those people who are recruited won’t be very effective either.
Even if you are somewhat successful with recruitment, you still end up with an income approach that heavily relies on other people and on a company that may, or may not, last.
To me, that’s too much risk and not enough reward.
In many ways, it seems like one of the reasons that MLMs are so popular is that people think they need an opportunity to make money.
Yet, that isn’t true, especially not nowadays.
Instead, there has been this growing movement towards non-conventional jobs, where people are finding their own ways of making money, without relying on a traditional business or a traditional job.
One of these approaches is an idea called affiliate marketing.
As with the sales part of a MLM, affiliate marketing involves selling products from a company and earning a commission off those sales. Exactly how much commission you earn varies widely because there are so many different affiliate programs out there.
But, one of the key features of this approach is that you don’t need any physical product. In fact, you aren’t even making direct sales. Instead, you use the internet as a tool to promote the products. Doing so means that you have a much larger potential audience and you can scale up your income much easier than you could with physical sales.
Now, the thing that turns people off affiliate marketing is the fact that you build a website.
This approach sounds like a difficult process but honestly, building a website has become so much easier than it ever used to be. In fact, you don’t really need any previous skills or knowledge to be successful in affiliate marketing. Instead, it’s very possible to learn everything that you need to know.
And that, really, is the other major advantage with affiliate marketing – there is great training available.
Out of all of that training, one of the best places that I’ve found for beginners is my #1 Recommendation. The advantage here is that the site is designed to teach affiliate marketing from the ground up. So, you get step-by-step training that covers information for beginners, as well as more advanced training along with considerable community support.
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