PartyLite Review: Fragrance products combined with MLM lite
PartyLite provides no information on its website about who owns or runs the company.
A few Google searches reveals that PartyLite launched back in 1973. At some point it was acquired by former MLM conglomerate Blyth.
In addition to PartyLite, Blyth is known for previous ownership of now defunct Visalus.
In October 2015 Blyth and PartyLite were acquired by the multinational Carlyle Group.
In May 2016 Carlyle Group merged PartyLite with Candle-lite, a fragrance and candle company founded in Ohio back in 1840, under the holding company Luminex Home Décor & Fragrance Company.
Heading up Luminex Home Décor & Fragrance Company is CEO Scott Meader (appointed July 2020).
Meader (right) has an executive history in the consumer packaged goods industry. As far as I can tell Luminex Home Décor & Fragrance Company and PartyLite is his first MLM appointment.
As per a press-release issued at the time of Meader’s appointment, Luminex Home Décor & Fragrance Company had ‘about 1,200 total employees and $495 million in revenue in 2019’.
Although Luminex Home Décor & Fragrance Company and PartyLite are effectively one and the same, this is a specific review of PartyLite.
Read on for a full review of PartyLite’s MLM opportunity.
PartyLite sells fragrance themed product spanning home fragrance, wellbeing, fragrance forms and home decor.
There are far too many PartyLite products to list here individually. Thankfully though the company provides a complete retail catalog on its website.
On their website PartyLite state their products are
made with a finest and cleanest ingredients.
That’s why we stand behind our products with our PartyLite BePure Commitment, No No List and 100% Love It Guarantee.
Out of curiosity I went looking for the “BePure Commitment”, only to find archived versions of it have recently been removed.
I did however find a 2019 BePure Commitment marketing video on PartyLite’s YouTube channel.
In the video PureLite claims its products
- burn clean;
- generate “minimal soot”;
- are non-toxic;
- are free of parabens, phthalates, sulfates and lead
- use 100% natural wicks;
- are cruelty free;
- are created in “small batches”;
- contain natural essential oils;
- “maximize renewable resources”;
- contain “plant derived ingredients” and “recycled materials”;
Whether the recent removal of the BePure Commitment website resources is because of a shift in these claims is unclear.
PartyLite’s Compensation Plan
PartyLite doesn’t provide a readily available copy of its compensation plan on its website.
I was able to find two PartyLite compensation plans, dating back to 2017 and 2020.
In 2017 PartyLite had what I’d call a traditional MLM compensation plan.
In August 2020, around the time of Scott Meader’s appointment as CEO, PartyLite introduced a “new affiliate business model”.
In this new model, you would be paid based on sales volume through a simple commission structure.
You can also add Affiliates to your team and make commission on their sales.
The following analysis is based on PartyLite’s introduced August 2020 compensation plan for the US.
As far as I’m aware it hasn’t changed over the past year.
PartyLite affiliates earn a commission on sales placed by retail customers.
Retail commission rates are determined by total monthly retail customer volume:
- generate $0 to $250 in monthly sales and receive a 15% retail commission rate
- generate $250.01 to $1500 in monthly sales and receive a 20% retail commission rate
- generate $1500.01 to $3000 in monthly sales and receive a 25% retail commission rate
- generate $3000.01 to $5000 in monthly sales and receive a 30% retail commission rate
- generate $5000.01 or more in monthly sales and receive a 35% retail commission rate
PartyLite affiliates who have recruited at least one affiliate and generate $100 or more in monthly retail customer sales, qualify for residual commissions.
PartyLite pays a 5% residual commission down one level of recruitment.
Note that residual commissions include both downline retail sales and their own purchases.
PartyLite affiliate membership is $49.90 annually.
Affiliates are charged a $1.50 a month if they want to “manage your commission payments”.
A $3 monthly penalty fee is charged if an affiliate does withdraw earned commissions for three consecutive months.
PartyLite suffers from “faceless corporation” syndrome. Whereas I’m typically against this for an MLM company, I’m torn on giving PartyLite a pass.
For whatever reason, PartyLite gutted their fully-fledged MLM opportunity last year. What they now offer is MLM lite.
Paying down one level of recruitment (earning on sales volume generated on what is technically level two of your unilevel team), is the bare minimum to qualify as an MLM company.
There’s nothing wrong with that, it’s just an observable shift away from “traditional” MLM.
In that sense I don’t think there’s much of what we’d typically refer to as an MLM culture at PartyLite.
With that in mind, do they need front-facing management, events and the whole shebang?
A visit to PartyLite’s website reveals the products are front and center. It looks just like any other retailer.
There is a “join our team” link in the navigation bar but that’s it. PartyLife is otherwise all about the products.
And that’s definitely a good thing.
I can’t personally speak to the quality of PartyLite’s products but what’s presented on their website looks pretty decent.
Our wax products are proudly made in the U.S.A. and manufactured in the USA at our Leesburg, OH facility.
Tealight candles come in at $12 and jar candles are $27 to the mid to high $30s.
Cheap enough to purchase and evaluate before committing to anything.
And for those that do commit, MLM commissions are behind a $100 a month sales qualification.
Whereas residual commissions are paid on affiliate purchases, this $100 a month has to be retail customer sales.
Customer Volume (CV) – this represents purchases of PartyLite products, including gift certificates, that customers make using your Unique Affiliate Link or on the PartyLite company website where a customer’s order has previously been attributed to you.
PartyLite make the distinction between CV and “affiliate volume”, so there doesn’t appear to be a loophole.
Given the strong focus on products and overall direction PartyLite seems to be focusing on, I’ll give them a faceless corporation pass.
PartyLite is a no nonsense product-focused opportunity with an equally no nonsense compensation plan.