Introduction to Celebrating Home MLM Compensation Plan
I know I am always boasting about the Midwest on this blog, but brace yourselves for another boast. Midwestern women of a certain age have a great talent for collecting decorative clutter. I have an elderly aunt whose kitchen is covered from wall to wall in decorative spoons, and if you live anywhere near here, I’m sure you do, too. All those souvenirs that are for sale at service plazas and at those resort town souvenir shops that also sell homemade fudge have managed to squeeze into a place somewhere on the walls of my aunt’s living room or on the makeshift knick-knack shelf that is the spaces on the bookcase in front of the books.Every time you reach for a photo album or a volume of 1983 World Book Encyclopedia, you have to carefully remove a Precious Moments figurine or personalized thimble. I don’t mean to imply that the Midwest has a monopoly on collectible clutter. If anything, the South has us beat. I have seen pictures online of the Christmas villages that lots of Southern grandmas construct in their living rooms. In case you have spent your entire life in a Scrooged out bubble, a Christmas village is kind of like a Nativity scene, except instead of a baby Jesus, Mary and Joseph, three wise men, a manger, an assortment of donkeys, cattle, and camels, and perhaps some real hay, there are hand-shredded cotton balls interspersed with ice skating polar bears, Rudolph the red-nosed reindeers with light-up noses, miniature garden gnomes, and the occasional McDonald’s happy meal toy.
You will occasionally find a Midwestern grandma whose house has a theme animal, but you are much more likely to encounter such houses in the South. If you have ever been to a house with a theme animal, you know what I mean. If you haven’t, it usually happens like this: Grandma likes poodles (or Siamese cats or pigs or chickens; it could be any animal, really), and she buys a few poodle-themed items because she finds them charming. Perhaps she has a poodle figurine on the TV console, poodle hand towels in the bathroom, and a coffee mug with a picture of a poodle on it. People who visit her start noticing her poodle collection, and she buys a few more poodle items to amuse her guests. Pretty soon, word gets around that Grandma has a poodle collection, and people start buying her more poodle stuff for Christmas, because it’s more thoughtful than just buying her more hand soap. Eventually, you can’t go two steps in Grandma’s house without encountering a poodle. She has poodle oven mitts, poodle salt and pepper shakers, a poodle tea cozy, a poodle soap dish, poodle everything. “No more poodles!” Grandma protests every Black Friday, but no one listens. She even posts a Facebook status that says “No more poodles!” with a clip art drawing of a poodle with X’s over its eyes, but it is no use. The only way Grandma can possibly stop the influx of poodle memorabilia into her home is by designating another theme animal.
All this is to say that there are people out there who like stuff for the sake of stuff, stuff that serves no purpose other than to make your home look like it belongs to you and no one else, that it reflects your tastes and your experiences. The entire economy of Berea, Kentucky relies on this fact. Located at the crossroads of Appalachia and the Midwest, Berea is where everyone comes from north and south to buy theme animal Christmas presents for their grandmothers whose theme animal collections are so well advanced that they know better than to buy Grandma any more cheap, mass produced poodle memorabilia from Hobby Lobby, because she already has all of it.
There is a contingent of the multi-level marketing (MLM) sector that consists of testosterone supplement-fueled dudes puffing out their chests and boasting about who sells the most nutraceuticals, but there is another contingent that consists largely of churchgoing women who stay up from sun to sun preparing to host sales parties intended to divert the bulky boxes of expensive but otherwise perfectly ordinary meal replacement shakes and eye shadow compacts from their knick-knack stuffed homes.You would think that someone in the MLM industry would have noticed all the tchotchkes sitting in the background and tried to capitalize on them. You would be surprised how rare it is for the upper management of an MLM company to have an original thought, but it appears that someone finally noticed that, while Grandma always politely attends the MLM sales parties hosted by ladies in her Bible study group, she almost never buys the merchandise they sell, because she doesn’t need any more vitamins, lipstick, or furniture polish, and if she did, she could get them for a much better price at Wal-Mart, meanwhile, as soon as a Bed, Bath, and Beyond coupon shows up in her mailbox, she is out there buying more scented candles, incense burners, and whatever other knick-knacks strike her fancy. For that reason, this phase of my quest to review every MLM company I can find is dedicated to Celebrating Home.
Celebrating Home and Its Products
Two home goods companies merged to form Celebrating Home in 2002. One of them, Home Interiors & Gifts, had been in existence since 1957 and had over 100,000 members at the time of the merger. The company’s founder, Mary Crowly, had intended the company to provide business opportunities for women. The other, Home Garden Party, was a party decoration company founded in 1996 by Steve and Penny Carlile. The purposes of the new company were to provide business opportunities for women in a business environment with Christian values. And guess where this merger transpired. If you guessed Texas, then you are really starting to understand how the culture of MLM works.
When you look at the merchandise on the Celebrating Home website, it looks a lot like the sections of Wal-Mart that light up in your grandmother’s mind’s eye when she walks into the store. It has decorative vases, inspirational books, accessories such as scarves and handbags, scented candles, air fresheners, decorative wall hangings, and kitchen paraphernalia such as casserole dishes. It would be a genius idea, if only it were not so easy for your grandmother to just go to Wal-Mart.
The Celebrating Home Compensation Plan
Celebrating Home does live up to its wholesome image, so you aren’t going to find the worst of the MLM sleaze. You aren’t going to find marketing conventions that are essentially drunken orgies where married men who carry the credit card debt of several failed MLM investments sloppily proposition equally debt-ridden young women who are just a little bit too shy for the sugar baby scene. It is still an MLM company, though, and while it is on the clean end of the spectrum, it does require you to put yourself in social situations that you might find a bit icky.
Generally speaking, the more morally upright an MLM company is, the more it focuses on direct selling. It expects its members to sell products to people with whom they interact in daily life, such as neighbors and church members, and it pays its members a commission on the sales. There are rewards for referring other people to sell the products, but the emphasis is on operating your own business where you sell products that you yourself would use and probably do use. The sleazier an MLM company is, the less product actually changes hands and the more the company emphasizes obtaining an income based on commissions on the sales made by your downline (the people you recruit and the people they recruit). There are often many levels to which you can be promoted. The higher levels tend to have names like Blue Diamond Ambassador and be exceedingly difficult to reach.Usually that means that you end up with a basement full of MLM merchandise that no one wants to buy but which you have to keep purchasing in order to maintain an active status in the company and remain eligible to receive those commissions and bonuses that will allegedly come to you, but in some cases, the companies operate through drop ship, so you don’t even deal with the products at all. The sleaziest MLMs appeal to people’s desperation to get out of debt and their desires to become rich enough not to have to work. They don’t tell you that a six-figure salary in the MLM world is no easier to come by than an MLM salary in the 9 to 5 world. Luckily for you, though, Celebrating Home has a little more respect for its customers and its distributors than that. It knows that its customers are not looking to spend their days lounging on yachts. They are happy in their humble houses full of wall to wall decorative spoons; they would just like a little bit more money.
Celebrating Home pays its sales representatives a generous commission on its products, usually between 30 and 45 percent, depending on which items they sell. There are also bonuses for sponsoring other sales representatives. Now for the bad news. This isn’t sleazy in the sense of morally questionable, but it is still an aspect of the MLM business that a lot of aspiring MLM entrepreneurs find unpalatable. Celebrating Home encourages its sales representatives to sell merchandise to their personal acquaintances. Worse yet, it encourages them to host parties in which they try to sell Celebrating Home merchandise to the party guests. I was I a fraternity in college, and I can tell you that fraternity parties get very old very quickly, especially the semi-formal ones where there is a strict dress code and the conversation is as stilted as at a wedding reception, except that there is no major rite of passage being celebrated, but I can tell you in all honesty that there is no worse social event than an MLM sales party.
Remember school fundraisers? When you were tasked with selling candy, you just ate it all by the time the afternoon school bus dropped it off at your stop and then threw yourself at your parents’ mercy to reimburse you for it. Those fundraisers were actually fun. But what about the wrapping paper fundraisers right before Christmas. The wrapping paper itself was quite snazzy, and your parents were happy to buy a few rolls, but who else was going to buy it from you, when everyone you knew was also selling it? That is how MLM sales parties are. And that is, for all practical purposes, what Celebrating Home asks you to do.
Advantages and Disadvantages
- Celebrating Home offers a wide variety of products. You can choose the products that you think will sell the best in your warm market.
- Celebrating Home’s reputation as a Christian business can really help you if your warm market consists largely of people you know from church, or if you live in a place where almost everyone is a practicing Christian.
- Besides the variety, another nice thing about Celebrating Home’s product inventory is that it includes items not normally sold through MLM channels.
- Most of your income will come from commissions on your own sales, and these commissions are sizable. Compare Celebrating Home’s minimum of a 30% commission to the lousy 10% commission you get from selling Amega AMWands.
- Even if you serve the most awesome party snacks in the world, there is no way that MLM home parties are ever anything but a chore for everyone involved.
- Products very similar or identical to Celebrating Home products are available for lower prices at big box retail stores and online.
Celebrating Home is one of the most honest MLM companies out there, and it has products people actually buy. It is never easy to make a full-time income from MLM, but if you are interested in direct selling and have a clear idea of what you want to sell and who will want to buy it, then Celebrating Home is a good choice.
If you call me, we can swap stories about the knick-knacks in our grandmothers’ houses. I can also give you advice on how to make money through direct selling and MLM.