Good evening friends! I have a new blog for you, with a same old song and dance. Today I will dive into why I am quitting Scentsy and give insight on the company.
Well, let’s start with the fact that the founders are actually Kara and Colette, and they founded Scentsy in 2003. It started off as a simple wickless fragrance business. Orville and Heidi Thompson (husband and wife) ended up purchasing the company from them in 2004 and relaunched with a multi-level marketing business model. Kara remained on board as a consultant, however, and at one point had over 42,000 consultants under her (as of 2012). They started in the United States, expanded to Canada in 2008, and then Germany and the UK in 2011. Recently, they also expanded to the Netherlands.
My Personal Scentsy Story
First, I already wrote a blog that you can find here about joining Scentsy. For those who haven’t read it, and those that have, please continue reading this blog, as I dive into much more detail.
I started dabbling with the idea almost right after I quit Younique. I started exploring ideas with my best friend (who passed away on Easter weekend) about possible direct sales companies. We looked at US only companies, to watch for, that might come over here. We both really wanted to look into Home Decor direct sales companies. However, she stated if I sold Scentsy she would definitely buy it because she used it quite frequently. It felt like a way to stay close to her so I joined.
I started with Scentsy in May of 2019 when they were having their 15 year anniversary promotion. I started for just $20 CAD (plus shipping and tax). With that came a surprise mini warmer, a single bar of wax (Pink Cotton – still my favourite to this day!), a bag of testers (15), a handful of catalogues, and my website free, for 3 months. It was a very basic kit, but it was still worth more than what I paid – the mini warmer is $26 alone.
How I Saw It Working
My high school best friend had been selling a while, and typically she never bothered me with her posts, didn’t ever randomly message me about Scentsy, or try to get me to host a party, so I messaged her to ask some questions. She was quite helpful in my decision making process.
I stated right away all the things I was not willing to do: cold messaging, friend farming, online parties, harassing people, etc. My friend was very understanding, and said I could do it any way I wanted. This gave me a huge sense of hope for the company, to be honest.
I always vowed to be 100% transparent with my customers and myself. Basically, if something was overpriced or smelled horrible, I would share so. I never lied to my customers.
Launching with Scentsy
During my first 30 days as a consultant, I actually did quite well. I made a whopping $1197.00 CAD in sales which gave me $316 in commission. (In Canada, before you hit 1000 PRV, you receive 20% commission x 1.32). Not bad eh?
In order to get those sales, I did three “12 Bar Specials”. Basically how it worked, is you manipulated your order to use rewards to pay the difference. So, normally 8 wax bars would cost $80+ tax, but with my special it was $67.50 +tax for 12 wax bars. Pretty damn good deal for my customers, crappy deal for me.
Here is where it turned a bit sour. In order to make the special work, I required 8 people to take the deal (or 4 people taking 2 deals). However you looked at it, I had to sell 8 “specials”. Running it 3 times, I will be honest, I didn’t get all 8 sold any of those 3 times. I had to find other ways to manipulate the cart with other orders, or pay a small difference (never more than $15, thank goodness). I still made pretty darn good sales, though.
I also had someone join my team at the very end of May. She saw a post, and reached out to me. She joined before I woke up the next morning. (Shoutout here, because she sure as hell rocked the shit out of her sales!)
How I Made Sales and Gained Customers
At this point, I had no idea how to gain customers outside my personal Facebook, without cold messaging. I decided to use Facebook Marketplace. I didn’t really care if it was against compliance, but I tried very hard to just remember the old compliance rules from #Poonique, to be honest. I posted up new products in local Buy and Sell groups – which didn’t really work. I was fast, and would get them up before anyone else but then people would just go to their regular consultants. So I started posting specials – those 12 Bar Specials, if you recall. I actually gained a LOT of new customers – most of which were one time only buyers, though. I even managed to make a couple friends in the process.
I started a Facebook page, and I have 22 likes after 7 months. Not really successful, if you ask me. It has been unpublished, so cannot be seen anymore. I also had an Instagram page as well. I never ever received any sales from my FB/IG business pages.
When new products would come out, I would message previous customers but ONLY if I knew they might like it or had ordered similar before. For example, my one friend likes the whiff boxes (Scentsy mystery box), so I always shared the content once we knew what exactly it contained. If she said no, that was that. I did not push, and I did not try and guilt anyone into buying what they didn’t want or need.
Oh boy, this next part is what everyone is waiting to read.. the dirty secrets of Scentsy. The nitty gritty. Well, I will try my best not to displease you, but I can pretty much guarantee that it is not as juicy as my Younique blog. Don’t forget to check out my one month Younique follow up blog here. Let me know what you think in the comments.
The Hiccups aka Where it All Went Wrong
I think where it started to go wrong was with the specials, alone. As I stated above, if you didn’t sell all your “spots” or mystery bags, etc, then you were either paying out of pocket or manipulating your cart even harder. I had many many people say they wanted spots in the 12 Bar Special, and then back out when it came time to pay, so then it would put everyone else behind while I tried to replace those people, or find a way to manipulate my cart.
Nothing pisses me off more. No one saw me as a business owner (because you aren’t! More on that later), so they didn’t think I required the same respect as even a Wal-mart. I had one woman, who I know spent hundreds a month on Scentsy, say she was going to buy me from me, almost from day one. Her rep went out of business and she knew me – her friend also became a customer of mine. I had seen this lady buy over $500 in Scentsy bars on more than one occasion. She would say she wanted 2 or 3 spots and then never pay me. She would ignore my messages. Then once I stopped doing the specials, she messaged me saying her old rep gave her good deals, and “what could I do for her?”. Nothing. I can give you the items for what they cost. This isn’t Dollarama. So, she never became a customer, even after placing orders (remember, she didn’t actually pay for them). The same goes for people who would send me money, place the order, and then ask for the money back. Buyer’s remorse I am sure – but it didn’t help during the times I was doing specials. Flaky people should not be allowed to message direct sales reps or ANY home business (this happened to me with my legit home business all the time too – so I started asking a 50% nonrefundable deposit up front).
Anyways, when you close out a qualifying order you earn free credit and then half priced items. Those are what you use to “make deals”. You really aren’t actually giving anyone a deal, you are simply forfeiting your own rewards to bring in sales. Kind of a deal, I guess.. for them, anyways. The problem with these rewards is that if you don’t use them, they make you pay a fee for it. Yep, that’s right. If you don’t order free stuff, or pay half price on things you may or may not want – you pay for it. Excuse me? I didn’t care for that at ALL. Why should I be charged for not needing/wanting product? So, all the time I was either buying extra items for myself, or offering my rewards to other people when I couldn’t afford to use them myself.
The other big problem I had were the other additional charges, like above with the rewards. My website cost me $12.00 CAD a month. In September, Scentsy decided to change the shipping cost tiers for orders. Originally qualifying parties (200 PRV) got free shipping – now, you pay 10% shipping. Excuse me? Now I have to tell my customers that they are paying shipping because I don’t have a large enough customer base to get the new required amount for free shipping (500 PRV). I maintained only TWO customers once that happened. I couldn’t afford to pay for everyone’s shipping, so bulk orders were pointless. They could have ordered from my website and pay the same amount for shipping, and it shows up at their front door. However, having customers go through your website, well, always room for error, or mind changing. That is what you are taught in direct sales – to be involved 100% of the way. It cost me money to sell outside my own region (I was region 1, so was Mexico and USA, but I only got a Canadian website with my $12.00) – so I paid $6.78 CAD to be able to sell to friends in the USA.
Which brings me to my next big hiccup. After purchasing the region 1 subscription, I sent my link to a friend in the USA, as well as her friend. Both were interested in items. Neither had credit cards, they only had “debit cards”. I had to research the exchange rate and get them to send me the amount in Canadian through PayPal. Then when I received it, I had to ship it to them in the USA. I remembered from Younique that shipping could be ridiculous, but apparently I didn’t learn my lesson. It ended up costing me a significant amount of money to ship the items. They offered to pay, but I didn’t want to charge them for my mistakes. I cancelled my region subscription, and closed to the doors to any non-local customers unless they wanted to drive and pick it up.
I made one rule about delivery/pick ups. I required 48 hours from delivery to establish a delivery schedule, as I use public transportation and my bus line connects 3 major cities. OR you could pick up within an hour of me receiving the shipment. I always asked when I was putting the order through so I wouldn’t be surprised with deliveries the day I received them. Well, that didn’t help. I had several people decide to change their minds after the order went through, that they wanted delivery. Let me lay this out. I am in the city on the right, Cambridge, and most of the deliveries were in the middle city – Kitchener – or the one to the left – Waterloo – of the tri-cities. To get to Kitchener, it is minimum 45 minutes one way on the bus.. Waterloo is minimum 1.5 hours. EACH WAY. So, if I knew about deliveries, I would plan to spend the day in said city, running errands. Towards the end of my journey, it became expected that I would deliver with no previous discussion, and that was starting to bother me. My time is valuable too.
I still have 3 customer orders sitting here from various different shipments in the last 6 months – one of which dating back to my second order, back in May 2019. I am not sure how to even get a hold of two of these people because I lost my original Facebook.
Let’s stop and talk about that for a moment. That was probably my huge turning point, when I stopped caring about sales. After posting my link several times, sharing with previous customers, etc during a flash sale, I lost my Facebook. I also had a disgruntled customer at this point. One of these two reasons was the cause of losing my Facebook. Facebook took my account in August due to “spam or fake profile”. I have sent in proof that I am who I say I am about 12 times now. At this point, I will probably never see that account again. I was able to download my photos and videos but most of the things I lost are irreplaceable. When my best friend passed away in April, I was made her Facebook legacy contact. I controlled pinned posts on her wall, as well as allowing friend requests to be accepted. Her Facebook turned into a memorial page. I lost all access. (I had to use an old fake facebook account, and turn it legit – and we weren’t friends on there… so now I can never see her wall again). She also had a business page that only I was the “owner” of, after she passed away. That is now gone too. I lost all our messages from the 6 years of friendship we had, all our wall posts, etc. Those are thing I cannot get back – no matter how hard I tried. I am still very very angry about this. In fact, I need to stop talking about it, before I lose my mind again.
The Okay-ish Stuff
I am in several team Facebook groups and while sometimes they were helpful, I found them more annoying than anything. One of them was rather underwhelming, and kinda dead. However, the big group (my uplines, uplines, upline) was always booming. I did find the owner of that group (our star director) was a mix of blunt and straight up rude. I mean, she seemed very knowledgeable (as she should) but sometimes her responses could be mean and condescending.
You get paid once a month. So say you make sales from December 1st to December 31st – you get paid for those sales on the 10th of January. This was a huge difference from Younique – where you got paid for each sale 3 hours later. Not a big deal, but I was super unaware of that before joining – my fault, I should have asked. With that, you also had to make at LEAST $30 in commission or they didn’t pay out. Wait what? It was my money, but I couldn’t have it unless I hit requirements? That didn’t sit well with me.
The products I personally used were scent circles, warmers & wax, scentsy wall fan & pods, counter clean, and washer whiffs.
The washer whiffs, in my opinion, didn’t work. After using the ones by Gain and Downy, I definitely had high expectations for this product and it fell short.
The counter clean I used was Lemon Verbena. I have mixed reviews, to be honest. I somewhat liked it on my counters, loved it on my stove, but hated it on my island and coffee table. I felt it was just another product for specific use – which I have no use for. I like my products to be all purpose. The other thing I hated about the cleaning products: the fact they did not have disinfectant. Not even the bathroom cleaner. That didn’t sit well with me that I would use this product and then another product to disinfect.
I want to take a moment now to discuss pricing. I touched on it above but barely. Most of the Scentsy products were, in my opinion, overpriced. The Darth Vader warmer was almost $100. No wax included. They had a limited edition snow globe warmer that was damn near almost $200. Scentsy buddies – scented stuffed animals – were ~$40+. The same cost at Build-A-Bear which includes personal messages and heart beats as well as scent. I recently picked up scent tarts at Yankee candle for $1 a piece. They are higher quality, in my opinion for less money. In fact, they have a new scent system that offers a scent system similar, but their single pods are $6 instead of $8, and last 5x longer.
Which brings me to the scent selection. They were constantly retiring scents, and it seemed they were always my customers favorites. Aside from that, the scent selection was… weird. Yes, weird. That’s the word I am going to use. They mixed a lot of different scents to get their scents. Whereas Yankee candle scents have a mix of single scents or mixed scents. They had plain cherry, plain apple, but also blueberry pie, pink sands, grandma’s kitchen, etc. The selection outside of Scentsy is much more grand. Hell, even Wal-mart has ~100 scents for only $3 per bar and they last around the same length as Scentsy.
The Good Stuff
That all being said, as I stated way above, Pink Cotton is my absolute favourite wax scent, that I haven’t found anything similar anywhere else. I will continue using that scent, going forward. I also absolutely LOVE the wall fan I bought. The pods last FOREVER – they say 120 hours per pod but I have been using the same pod (running 24/7) for around a month now – the scent has not changed, or lost strength. Superbly pleased with that purchase! The warmers I have are also superb quality. No issues whatsoever, and the bulbs seem to last a long time.
So, here we are, Facebook profile gone, coming up on the fall catalogue. Lots of new and exciting products coming out. Star Wars, Disney (yes, I separated those on purpose), fragrance flowers, blah blah blah.
I couldn’t sell any of this shit! Not a damn thing! How was I supposed to promote the things I found too pricey for my own cart? No one I know has that kind of money laying around.
I know at Younique we learned not to “be in peoples wallets” but.. these people are my damn friends! I AM in their wallets because it’s my job as their friends to make sure they succeed in life. It is my job as their friend to be helpful, not a hindrance. I didn’t feel comfortable pushing these things onto my friends or even strangers. I couldn’t help it.
My last sale was in November and in order to get half of it, I had to offer it at half price. As of December 31st, I am an inactive consultant because I hadn’t made 200 PRV in THREE months. In fact, I made only $17 in commission, in those 3 months and they still owe it to me.
I also recently learned that I have to request the money, after I’ve gone inactive. They don’t just pay it out. I contacted Customer Support after my upline told me she spoke to them. She stated that as soon as I go inactive, the money will be released. She said I could receive it early by going inactive early. However, when I spoke to them I was told something completely different. I contacted them last week, and the guy I spoke with said that the money isn’t released until it’s been requested as it is under the $30 restriction- but first he told me that it wasn’t possible at all. So then he tells me I can cancel early, but then it’s a minimum 6 month wait to rejoin, instead of 3. Oh well. I said, “onward!”. After 35 minutes of all the above banter back and forth he tells me that it is too close to the holidays and the request to cancel wouldn’t process until January 3rd at the earliest, when I’d already be inactive. He said to contact Customer Support again, once I am inactive to request my commissions. That was that.
If I hadn’t been contacting him to cancel/go inactive, I surely would have after that interaction.
The decision to go inactive was not a last minute decision. I had been planning it for months. Originally I just needed a break, but then it turned into more effort than it was worth. I sold ~$150 in product and my commission was only $17 dollars. It didn’t feel worth it anymore.
The other factors resulting in this decision are irrelevant to the post, but extremely relevant to who I am as a person. My mental health, my goals, my children – all need to come before direct sales companies, and I felt like that wasn’t happening anymore. I have way too much on my plate as is.
So that’s it, my entirely honest review of yet another MLM. This time, I think I’m done with direct sales entirely. It is clearly not for me.
Right now my sole hobby is my writing. Please give my Facebook page a like here to follow my journey. I am currently writing my first novel and debating joining the podcast community with my own.
Thank you – and if you have any questions or comments, please feel free to reach out.