Introduction to Jamberry MLM Compensation Plan
You might think that I would be out of my depth writing this Jamberry review because, as I have often pointed out here on the pages of Notebook Crazy, I am a dude, which automatically makes me not a target audience for Jamberry products, which are something called “nail wraps”, which, to my male eyes, look a lot like nail polish when they have been applied. Ever since Christmas, when I saw The Big Short at the movie theater and walked away outraged at how unwise many Americans (my younger self included) are in their financial decisions, I have made it my purpose to review as many multilevel marketing (MLM) companies as I can and to warn people against joining all but a select few. In my quest, I have run across a lot of MLMs that market their products and their business opportunities to women, and for reasons that have nothing at all to do with sour grapes, I think that most of them are terrible. If Jamberry products were makeup, or worse, anti-aging skincare products, my Jamberry review would probably be a lot like my other reviews of female-oriented MLMs, meaning that I would snark for a while about what a narrow view the MLM has of women’s role in entrepreneurship, and then slink off to bro out with the other Brad, the co-founder of Notebook Crazy.
The reason that my Jamberry review is not going to be quite like my other woman-focused MLM reviews is not entirely because of a type of financial fallacy to which I fell victim and to which, I admit, men are more vulnerable. A few days after I started this MLM review project, the other Brad and I made a bet about something silly (specifically fitness, and I proudly admit that Notebook Crazy is the only MLM review blog in the entire world that would dare to describe fitness as “silly”). Needless to say, I lost the best, and as a result, I am not much in the mood to bro out with the other Brad these days, I will have to buy him a bunch of diet Vernors. It was fun at first, but by now, the other Brad has drunk so much diet Vernors in my presence that my eyes sting from the ginger even when I have not been in the presence of the other Brad and his diet Vernors in a few days.
No, the real reason that my Jamberry review is different, the reason I have an opinion on the Jamberry business opportunity, is because I once got my nails painted. It was Halloween 1998 (longtime readers of Notebook Crazy will recall that this was a few months after I started writing my e-zine Classic Rock Ragnarok), and I was a junior in high school. I was dressed as Oscar the Grouch. My costume consisted of a sheet of aluminum wrapped around my middle like a garbage can, a green sweatshirt, and a green toboggan hat. I had some green Halloween makeup on my face, although I’m not sure that qualifies me to have an opinion on the products of MLMs like Mary Kay. I was just wearing regular pants and sneakers. I don’t even think my pants were green. I think they were just regular jeans or khakis or something.
The night began and ended at the house of my friend Bethany, who held a leadership position in the drama club all four years of high school, even though she never had more than a minor role in any of the plays. Making costumes and building sets were what really interested her the most. Bethany’s whole family was full of Halloween spirit; her parents always decorated their house for Halloween, as did most of the people on their street. Anyway, Bethany and her best friend Tina, who worked on the yearbook, had been at Bethany’ house all afternoon working on their ladybug costumes. They even painted their nails in ladybug patterns. In retrospect, they must have painted the dots on each other’s nails, because I imagine it would be very difficult to paint dots of the fingernails of your own dominant hand. My zeal for trick or treating is such that I was one of the first guests to arrive, and Bethany and Tina decided that I was not a real treat-grubbing grouch unless my nails were painted. They had a heated debate as to whether, as I grouch, I should have black nails or green. They finally settled on this grayish green color that reminded a lot of trash. Waiting for the trash-colored polish to dry on my fingernails was the longest five minutes of my life. Eventually, about six people gathered, and we set out trick or treating in Bethany’s neighborhood. That was so long ago that the other Brad still used to eat candy in those days. When we had finished trick or treating, we all went back to Bethany’s house and ate a bunch of candy, and then I lay down on the floor and everyone spread candy wrappers all around me, and Tina took a picture and published it in the yearbook. It was awesome.
Compared to that, compared to good, old fashioned innocent Midwestern Halloween, college Halloween was a huge disappointment. Every costume was either store bought at the last minute, so offensive that a description of it would be unprintable, or some combination thereof, and no one trick or treated. There wasn’t even any candy corn. See, the point of Halloween is to eat candy until you have a mild stomachache. In college, everyone interprets “eat candy until you have a mild stomachache” as “drink until you puke” and it just isn’t fun, because in college, people drink until they puke every other weekend of the year, making Halloween even less special. I lasted for two Halloweens in college. The first year, I drank. I didn’t puke, but enough people did for it to be a very unpleasant experience. The second year, I sat alone on the back porch of the frat house, eating Autumn Mix I bought from Kroger, and made up my mind not to come back the following semester.
Jamberry: The Company and Its Products
The Jamberry business opportunity was founded in 2010 by three sisters named Christy, Keri, and Lyndsey. Based on the spellings of their names, they could easily be from the Midwest, but I am not actually sure where they are from. Jamberry products are something called nail wraps, which look like nail decals, but the frequently asked questions page of the Jamberry website makes it sound like you have to dry them under heat lamps like the ones at the nail salon. I don’t really know the details about those heat lamp things. Like I said, my entire experience with getting my nails painted is limited to one night half my life ago.
Jamberry is the only MLM company I know of that specializes in fingernails, and Jamberry products do look colorful and fun, but here comes the bad news. Jamberry encourages its distributors to market Jamberry products and to recruit new Jamberry distributors at home sales parties. If you have read Notebook Crazy before, then you know that my response to any mention of MLM home sales parties is “quadruple crown diamond barf”, but this is a special kind of quadruple crown diamond barf. The only thing I can think of that is less fun than sitting at an MLM home sales party while someone you thought was a friend tries to get you to buy stuff is sitting at an MLM home sales party, unable to move your hands, while someone you thought was a friend tries to get you to buy stuff. I will never forget those five minutes when I waited for the grouch green nail polish to dry on my fingers. It felt like an eternity. I wanted so badly to reach into the candy dish that was sitting in front of me on the coffee table and pick up some candy corn, but I couldn’t. And everything that was going on around me was quite pleasant, the other Brad putting the finishing touches on his zombie makeup and little kids coming to the door dressed as Barney and Power Rangers while Bethany’s mom gave them store brand lollipops. I can’t imagine what it would have been like if those sights and sounds had been replaced with an MLM sales pitch.
The Jamberry Compensation Plan
There is a page on the Jamberry website dedicated to the Jamberry compensation plan. It says that there are five ways for Jamberry distributors to earn money through the Jamberry compensation plan. You can earn commissions of up to 40% on the sale of Jamberry products. You can also earn smaller commissions on sales made by the first three levels of your downline team. That is fewer levels of downline than a lot of other MLMs, which is actually good if you are a new recruit, because you get to keep more of your commissions instead of paying them to your upline sponsors. You can get bonuses on the total sales made by your entire downline team, as well bonuses for being promoted and for your downline team members being promoted. It is quite simple. The only really sleazy part is the fast start bonus, because it incentivizes people to recruit really aggressively in the first few weeks after joining the Jamberry business opportunity.
I am not sure what the leadership levels in the Jamberry compensation plan are called. If it were up to me, I would name them Pinky, Diamonds are Forever, Road Rage, Itchy Trigger Finger, and Opposable Thumb.
Advantages and Disadvantages
- I am not entirely sure of the exact definition of “nail wrap”, but I am confident that Jamberry products are not nutraceuticals.
- If people want to pay to get their nails done, there are plenty of actual nail salons, where the people wo paint your nails are professionals at doing manicures or pedicures. Besides, getting your nails done at a nail salon costs a lot less, financially and emotionally, than going to an MLM home sales party.
Even though my experience on the matter consists of exactly one night a very long time ago, I will be the first to admit that, under certain circumstances, it can be a lot of fun when friends paint each other’s nails. As outlined above, it is fun when, after getting your nails painted, you walk around the neighborhood collecting free candy, and then everyone stuffs themselves with mini Milky Way bars, Skittles, Smarties, Starburst, and those fruit flavored Tootsie Roll things that I have never seen for sale in the store but which have ended up in my trick or treat bag every single year that I have been trick or treating, and then a six foot tall dude in a grouch costume lies down on the floor, and people throw candy wrappers on him and take pictures, and it ends up in the yearbook. In other words, innocent fun. If you want to have a nail painting party, by all means, be my guest, but please let in culminate in something that is actually fun. Paint your nails and then play Paintball. Paint your nails and then play Ultimate Frisbee. Paint your nails and then play Magic the Gathering. Paint your nails and then stage a reenactment of the Defenestration of Prague. All of those are suitable endings for a nail painting party because they are all innocent fun. MLM is not innocent fun. People lose real money and real friendships. If you hit the same person up for money at enough MLM home sales parties, it will take more than nail polish remover to turn that person from a grouch back into a friend.
I can’t be the only person in the world who likes Autumn Mix. If you share my appreciation for the world’s most underrated Halloween candy, schedule a call with me.