Company: Stella & Dot
Price: $199+ for a starter kit
Scam or Not: Not a Scam
Overall Ranking: 5/10
An Introduction to Stella and Dot
You may have heard about Stella and Dot before, as the company is a well-known creator of jewelry and accessories for women. In fact, the company is popular enough that it has been featured on sites like Huffington Post and The Telegraph.
There also are many people out there that truly are successful with Stella and Dot. In some cases, they may be making thousands of dollars a month and might have even replaced their day jobs.
But, how good is Stella and Dot really?
This post takes a look at the company, from the perspective of earning money. This includes considering Stella and Dot reviews and seeing what people truly think of the products and the opportunity itself.
How Stella and Dot Works
The idea behind Stella and Dot is an extremely common one, known as direct sales or MLM. MLM is short for multi-level marketing and it refers to a system where you are focusing on selling products and also recruiting people.
The general MLM approach tends to be consistent, regardless of what company you choose. In particular, all MLMs involve some degree of sales and recruitment. In most cases, you can make money without recruiting at all but your income level would be fairly constrained if you tried.
However, there are some differences between companies. Those differences make some MLMs a better choice than others.
For example, another jewelry-based MLM is Paparazzi Jewelry. This company is fairly unusual because their products are just $5. But, the catch is that you have to buy that jewelry and resell, which is something that you don’t have to do with most other MLMs.
There are also companies like Clever Container, where the products are surprisingly reasonable and unusual.
So, where does Stella and Dot fit?
The Compensation Plan
With Stella and Dot, the average compensation varies from 25% to 35% from sales, depending on how you are progressing with the company.
That level is fairly typical and I’ve seen better and worse examples. When you sign up, you also pick a starter kit, which offers a number of bonuses.
The most interesting thing about this is probably the ability to sell online via a website, which you can do with some MLMs and not others. However, it seems like you do have to pay monthly for that site, so bear that in mind.
The starter kits themselves vary in price, but none are especially cheap.
In fairness, having to pay to begin your own business isn’t unreasonable. But, there are ways to make money online that don’t require this type of investment.
Plus, it is a risk because you don’t know how well the products are going to sell.
The compensation plan itself is fairly typical. Like most MLMs, the company has a range of different ranks. Each rank offers more bonuses than the previous one, which means more potential for income.
But, at the same time, each rank comes with its own requirements.
This includes reaching a particular level of total team sales and having specific levels of leadership in your team. For example, these are the requirements for some of the early ranks:
And these are the requirements for the highest ranks:
It’s easy to see how most people end up staying within those first few ranks.
Yet, there are major differences in bonuses.
For example, the first two ranks just let you get bonuses from the people you recruit. You have to get to the third rank to get bonuses from their recruits. The end result is that you really need a strong team to be successful.
There are also a couple of other interesting things.
One is the ‘new qualified stylists’ requirement. This is needed for all ranks except the first 5. Basically, it means you have to recruit between 2 and 8 (depending on your rank) new distributors every 12 months.
That requirement is unusual and tricky.
Basically, it means that you can’t just develop a good team and maintain it. Instead, you need to be constantly growing that team.
The other thing to mention is that there is a power seller bonus.
I do like this part of the plan. Basically, it increases the amount you can earn from sales alone. You would have to get pretty high sales to get these bonuses. But still, at least it’s an option.
Hosting a Trunk Show
One interesting aspect of Stella and Dot is the idea of a trunk show. Many different MLMs use a variation of this idea and it can be popular.
Basically, with a trunk show, you’re hosting a party where people have the chance to see the products for themselves and try them on. Distributors aren’t expected to have all of the products on hand but having more can potentially result in an increased number of sales.
At the same time, the distributor is supposed to act as a stylist, helping people to match products or pick options suitable for a given occasion.
This type of show can work effectively.
It gives distributors the chance to showcase products and it is a perfect chance to be a salesperson. At the same time, parties like this can create social pressure, making people more likely to buy.
One aspect of this model is that the trunk show gets held at different people’s houses, rather than the home of the distributor. Those people act as hosts and get various bonuses for doing so.
In theory, this increases your audience, as each host invites their own friends. Plus, the bonuses the host gets is connected to the total sales in a show, so there is an incentive for them to invite as many people as possible.
For the most part, people do genuinely enjoy these shows. But, the pressure to buy can be frustrating and often ends up alienating some of your potential customers.
Additionally, distributors often find that sales decrease over time.
So, you may be able to make a lot of sales in the first show or two. But, as you start getting the same people coming back, the amount they purchase is going to get lower.
This can easily get to the point where you are only making a couple of sales per show. If that happens, the process can easily become more effort than it’s worth, especially if you are providing snacks or drinks for a show.
The Product Selection
The compensation plan is extremely relevant for your chance to make money. But, the products are equally important.
With this type of company, the whole idea of making money revolves around selling products. This means that you have to be promoting something that people want to buy.
Jewelry does often end up being a particularly good choice. In fact, jewelry is sometimes called an evergreen niche.
This is based on the idea that people tend to buy new jewelry, regardless of the economy or their income. Likewise, jewelry is often purchased as an indulgence, rather than something that a person needs. That increases the chance that people will come back and buy more.
Visually, many of the products from Stella and Dot are appealing – although people vary in what jewelry they like.
There is also a considerable variation of products and styles. So, many people would find at least some products that they like.
Stella and Dot does also change their selection over time, with new options being introduced seasonally. That pattern, plus the large selection, increases the chance that your customers will like some of the products.
However, the price is somewhat of an issue.
Stella and Dot does have some inexpensive items, including products that are under $50.
But, many of their products are fairly expensive. For example, many necklaces are $80 or $90, while others are over $100.
Now, people are often willing to pay this much for jewelry. But, the pricing does still decrease how many people will be able to afford the products. Likewise, the pricing could easily affect repeat purchases.
Whether or not this is an issue really depends on your customers.
In some cases, people will have no problems with the prices and may even consider them to be fairly normal. But, other people may find these prices out of their reach or may only spend that much on special occasions.
As such, it’s worth taking the time to weigh up your potential audience and their finances, before you consider getting involved with Stella and Dot.
Jewelry and Competition
Evergreen or not, jewelry is still a tricky area to try and make money.
Realistically, there is a ton of competition out there and no shortage of choice. After all, people can buy jewelry from pretty much anywhere. That includes basically every department store, along with specialized jewelry stores and craft markets. At the same time, people can buy a lot of jewelry online, especially from sites like Amazon or Etsy.
In many cases, these places will offer a greater selection of jewelry and cheaper prices too.
There are also other MLMs that sell jewelry, so you’re competing against them, along with distributors from Stella and Dot itself. For example, I mentioned Paparazzi Jewelry earlier and another option is Touchstone Crystal.
This competition makes things more difficult but it isn’t the end of the world.
After all, the products from Stella and Dot do look kind of cool. Which, brings us to the next question, what do people think of the products? For that, we can turn to online Stella and Dot reviews.
Stella and Dot Reviews
As a general rule, the products from Stella and Dot are fairly popular. Yet, despite this, not all Stella and Dot reviews are positive. Instead, some customers have had bad experiences, often ending up with products that are broken or incomplete in some ways.
This type of problem is particularly concerning for a direct sales company – because dealing with refunds and returns is often tough. In particular, you tend to have to ship products back to the company and wait for their response.
Even if Stella and Dot were very efficient at dealing with returns, the whole process is a hassle and means customers can end up waiting weeks for a refund or replacement.
Needless to say, that doesn’t encourage people to keep buying from you.
At the same time, many Stella and Dot reviews aren’t too happy with the overall concept either.
But, in fairness, reviews are mixed. Some people do love the idea of being able to shop at somebody’s house and in the presence of friends.
Likewise, some people do like the jewelry and the styles on offer.
All-in-all, the Stella and Dot reviews are far from conclusive.
Nevertheless, the large number of unhappy customers is a major cause for concern. With this model, you’re trying to get people to buy jewelry time and time again. That’s not likely to happen if some of your customers are frustrated at the products they buy.
In fact, even just one or two bad experiences can be enough to turn a customer off Stella and Dot completely. They may also end up taking some of their friends with them.
This makes the company a pretty major risk, even if you like the jewelry yourself.
My Personal Stella and Dot Review
The MLM model does work as a way to make money. In fact, just about every MLM will have some members who are doing amazingly well.
The problem is that the model doesn’t work great for most people.
The first aspect is just sales. Directly selling products to others is never actually an easy task. This is even worse with a MLM, because you’re often trying to sell to friends and family members. In many cases, those you’re promoting to may not even want more jewelry in the first place.
As a general rule, direct sales will always be more difficult than you assume.
This means that you should think very careful about your potential audience before getting involved with Stella and Dot. At the very least, you need to have an audience that is going to be interested in buying relatively expensive jewelry on a fairly regular basis.
You may know people that meet those criteria, or you may not.
Beyond this, you also have to consider recruitment.
The idea here is to get people involved and successful within the company. This means that they have to be able to sell the products effectively and some will even need to recruit themselves.
Finding people and getting them to actually do this ends up being extremely difficult. In most cases, people simply don’t have the time, energy or money to try and run their own business selling jewelry.
Even if you do get some good recruits, you end up having to spend a lot of time trying to manage and organize them. All-in-all, this can end up being a major headache and you have few tools to force people to be effective.
These issues mean that, overall, being successful with a MLM ends up being a much more difficult process than it first appears. Some people do succeed but most get stuck in the first rank or two, spending a lot of time and energy, while getting almost nowhere.
Having your own business is an amazing process, offering freedom and flexibility. So, it’s easy to see why companies like Stella and Dot end up looking so appealing.
Yet, this type of company is also extremely limited. Despite what Stella and Dot claims, you’re not actually running an independent business at all. Instead, you’re basically an employee but you have fewer perks than most actual employees would have.
In contrast, there are other ways to develop your own business where you are actually completely independent. You can even do so selling jewelry, if you particularly want to.
I’m talking about a method called affiliate marketing. In some ways, this works like Stella and Dot, because you don’t have to own the products you’re promoting. However, you don’t have to sell directly either.
Instead, you rely on the internet instead of physical sales, which gives you a much wider potential audience. You have more flexibility with products too, as you can pick products from any company that has an affiliate program and there are a lot of those out there.
Getting involved in affiliate marketing is also pretty easy. The one thing that you need is just decent training, and there is no shortage of this.
My recommendation is that you check out a site called Wealthy Affiliate. This is a training site that specifically focuses on the field of affiliate marketing. It’s also targeted directly at beginners, so the training is easy to follow, even if you’ve never even heard of affiliate marketing before.
On a side note, Stella and Dot itself also has an affiliate program. So, if you really want to make money with the company, you’re better off doing it that way than trying to be a distributor.