Pink Zebra Review: Sprinkle fragrances
Pink Zebra launched in 2011. The company is based out of Texas and operates in the fragrances MLM niche.
Heading up Pink Zebra are co-founders Tom and Kelly Gaines.
As per a 2016 Direct Selling News interview;
Back in 1997, well before launching Pink Zebra, the Gaineses had tested the Sprinkles product through Bath & Body Works.
“If it was going to be successful anywhere, it would be successful there,” Tom says. The store’s approach is very hands-on and service-oriented, providing an opportunity for staff to engage with customers and to have the opportunity to tell them about the products.
The product was distributed in 30 stores and, says Tom, “it was a complete failure.”
Tom, Kelly and the buyers thought the product was great. The consumers, though, he says, “didn’t really understand it—it really needed demonstration.” It needed the direct sales approach that would allow for that personal touch.
Prior to going at it alone the Gainses worked in a candle factory, which is where they met.
There’s a large unexplained gap between the 1997 Bath & Body Works attempt and Pink Zebra’s 2011 launch. I wasn’t able to establish whether the Gaineses were involved in other MLM companies during that time.
Read on for a full review of Pink Zebra’s MLM opportunity.
Pink Zebra’s Products
Pink Zebra’s flagship product is their Sprinkles line.
Sprinkles are small individual wax melts, which Pink Zebra states are ‘made with our Soft Soy wax, fragrance blends and dyes.
I counted fifty-seven individual Sprinkles fragrances in 3.75 oz. jars at $9 each.
The Sprinkles carton variety retails at $28 for a 16 oz. container.
I noted the carton variety came up one fragrance short, which I’m putting down to supply issues.
To compliment purchased Sprinkles Pink Zebra sells a range of
- “simmering lights” for $39 each
- “accent shades” to house simmering lights for $25 to $65 and
- “simmer pots” for $28 to $35
Liquid fragrances are available as “soaks” (incl accessories), as well as a “wallhug” diffuser.
While fragrances are definitely Pink Zebra’s flagship lines, the company also markets a range of hand soap and sanitizer under “Supa Clean”.
A full catalog of products with retail pricing is available from Pink Zebra’s website.
Pink Zebra’s Compensation Plan
Pink Zebra’s compensation plan pays commissions on generated sales volume through a unilevel team.
The unilevel is expanded via a generational bonus. Additional performance-based bonuses are also on offer.
Pink Zebra Affiliate Ranks
There are eight affiliate ranks within Pink Zebra’s compensation plan.
Along with their respective initial qualification criteria, they are as follows:
- Consultant – sign up as a Pink Zebra affiliate and generate and maintain $400 PV a month
- Executive Consultant – maintain $400 PV a month and recruit and maintain three personally recruited Consultants
- Manager – maintain $400 PV a month and recruit and maintain four affiliates (two of which must be Executive Consultants)
- Senior Manager – maintain $400 PV a month, generate and maintain $15,000 GV a month and maintain four personally recruited affiliates (two of which must be Managers)
- Executive Manger – maintain $400 PV, generate and maintain $30,000 GV a month and maintain four personally recruited affiliates (two of which must be Senior Managers)
- Director – maintain $400 PV a month, generate and maintain $50,000 GV a month and recruit and maintain five affiliates (four Managers and one Executive Manager)
- Executive Director – maintain $400 PV a month, generate and maintain $100,000 GV a month and recruit and maintain six affiliates (four Managers, One Executive Manager and one Director)
- Presidential Director – maintain $400 PV a month, generate and maintain $150,000 GV a month and maintain four personally recruited affiliates (Director or higher)
Once qualified for, monthly rank maintenance qualification criteria is as follows:
- Consultant – maintain $400 PV a month
- Executive Consultant – maintain $400 PV a month and maintain three personally recruited Consultants
- Manager – maintain $400 PV and $5000 GV a month and maintain four personally recruited affiliates (two Executive Consultants or higher)
- Senior Manager – maintain $400 PV and $10,000 GV a month and maintain four personally recruited affiliates (two Executive Consultants or higher)
- Executive Manager – maintain $400 PV and $15,000 GV a month and maintain four personally recruited affiliates (two Executive Consultants or higher)
- Director – maintain $400 PV and $25,000 GV a month and maintain four personally recruited affiliates (two Executive Consultants or higher)
- Executive Director – maintain $400 PV and $100,000 GV a month and maintain four personally recruited affiliates (two Executive Consultants or higher)
- Presidential Director – maintain $400 PV and $150,000 GV a month and maintain four personally recruited affiliates (two Executive Consultants or higher)
PV stands for “Personal Volume” and is sales volume generated by retail sales and an affiliates own orders.
Pink Zebra’s compensation plan states that
commissionable volume is 75% value of Sales Volume (SV is calculated at 92% of catalog/retail price).
GV stands for “Group Volume” and is PV generated by an affiliate and their downline.
At Manager, no more than 60% of required GV can be counted from any one unilevel team leg.
At Senior Manager and higher, no more than 40% of required GV can be counted from any one unilevel team leg.
Note that only commission qualified affiliates count towards rank recruitment criteria.
Stated ranks in the recruitment qualification criteria above are minimum ranks required.
To qualify for commissions, a Pink Zebra affiliate must generate and maintain $400 PV a month.
Pink Zebra affiliates earn a base 25% commission on retail sales and recruited affiliate orders.
The base retail commission can be increased meeting monthly sales volume targets:
- generate $900 to $1999 in monthly sales volume and receive a 30% commission rate
- generate $2000+ in monthly sales volume and receive a 35% commission rate
Note that sales volume targets include an affiliate’s own purchases.
Pink Zebra pays residual commissions via a unilevel compensation structure.
A unilevel compensation structure places an affiliate at the top of a unilevel team, with every personally recruited affiliate placed directly under them (level 1):
If any level 1 affiliates recruit new affiliates, they are placed on level 2 of the original affiliate’s unilevel team.
If any level 2 affiliates recruit new affiliates, they are placed on level 3 and so on and so forth down a theoretical infinite number of levels.
Pink Zebra caps payable unilevel levels at four. Residual commissions are paid at 3% of sales volume generated across these four levels.
- Consultants earn 3% on level 1
- Executive Consultants earn 3% on levels 1 and 2
- Managers earn 3% on levels 1 to 3
- Senior Managers and higher earn 3% on levels 1 to 4
Note that from the Executive Consultant rank, Pink Zebra affiliates are able to place personally recruited affiliates in their unilevel team (as opposed to automatically being placed on level 1).
Any placed affiliates do not count towards rank qualification as they are not new unilevel legs.
The Generation Bonus begins at Director and is paid on up to three generations per unilevel team leg.
Pink Zebra define a generation when a Director or higher ranked affiliate is found in a unilevel team leg.
This ranked affiliate caps off the first generation for the leg, with the second beginning immediately after.
If no second Director or higher ranked affiliate is found in the leg, the second generation extends down the full depth of the leg.
If a second Director exists deeper in the leg, they cap off the second generation. The third generation begins directly under them.
Using this generational structure, Pink Zebra affiliates are able to earn on sales volume generated across three generations per unilevel team leg.
- Directors earn 3% on up to one generation per unilevel team leg
- Executive Directors earn 3% on the first generation and 2% on the second
- Presidential Directors earn 3% on the first generation and 2% on the second and third
Quick Start Incentive
The Quick Start Incentive is referenced in Pink Zebra’s compensation plan as follows:
Quick Start is an incentive that is available to any new Consultant for the first 90 days and awards Pink Dollars for achieving sales and sponsoring milestones.
The incentive also rewards Consultants when they achieve the leadership level of Manager.
Reports are run once per month and rewarded consistent with the commission period of the 10th of the month.
Quick Start is an annual incentive and is may be changed at the beginning of each year.
Refer to the current Quick Start incentive flier for all details.
A 2017 flier reveals the Quick Start Incentive is paid in “Pink Dollars”, which are used to purchase Pink Zebra products.
- Level 1 – generate $500 PV within your first thirty days and receive 75 Pink Dollars
- Level 2 – generate $1000 PV between days 31 to 60 and receive 125 Pink Dollars
- Level 3 – generate another $1000 PV between days 61 to 90 and receive 150 Pink Dollars
The Quick Start Incentive also has a downline component, paying 75 Pink Dollars on up to three personally recruited affiliates who qualify for Level 1 within your first ninety days.
While the above information is dated from 2017, I don’t imagine the Quick Start Incentive changes much from year to year.
The Sponsoring Bonus is a 7% bonus on sales volume generated by personally recruited affiliates.
The Mentoring Bonus is paid on sales volume generated down to a specific ranked affiliate in a unilevel team leg.
The first tier of the Mentoring Bonus starts at Executive Manager, and pays 2% on each unilevel team leg down to the first found Executive Manager or higher ranked affiliate in the leg.
If no such ranked affiliate exists, 2% is paid out on sales volume generated down the entire depth of the leg.
The second tier of the Mentoring Bonus applies to Director and higher ranked affiliates.
Directors and higher receive a 3% bonus on downline sales volume, paid down to the first Executive Manager or higher found in a unilevel team leg.
Joining Pink Zebra
Pink Zebra affiliate membership requires the purchase of a Consultant Kit.
- Starter Kits cost $129
- Deluxe Kits cost $199
The difference between the kits is bundled Pink Zebra products.
We have one melt lamp in our house so I’m somewhat familiar with the product niche.
What I’m not clear on is the difference between your traditional “chocolate bar” size melts and Pink Zebra’s sprinkles.
I suppose realistically there’s no much difference, other than being able to fine-tune the amount of wax you’re adding to your melter.
What I will give Pink Zebra credit for is the range of fragrances available. “Old Fashioned Donut” might not be my thing (who wants to feel hungry all the time?), but it’s there if you want it.
Personally I’m more of a sandalwood guy, which I noted isn’t a fragrance Pink Zebra offers.
Sawdust and leather though, they’ve got you covered.
As for pricing Pink Zebra’s products seem reasonable. I punched “16 oz wax melts” into Amazon and didn’t see any big discrepancies.
One thing I will add though is the claim that Pink Zebra’s sprinkle melts don’t work in non-company melters.
Note that Pink Zebra does warn that Sprinkles “do not perform the same in competitors warming systems.
As I own a melter, I can tell you there’s nothing particularly unique about it. There’s a globe that functions as the lamp component, and you place the melts on top.
Heat transfers through the metal bowl top and the wax melts.
For reference Pink Zebra’s lamps use 25 W globes (you can buy replacements in their store).
I went and checked my own melter and found it uses a 25 W globe too. Is there really a difference in using a Pink Zebra product versus my own melter?
I don’t have a problem with Pink Zebra marketing their own melters. Be honest about it though; there’s no need to pretend wax melts differently in a functionally identical melter.
On the off-chance there’s something I’m totally missing here, feel free to let me know in the comments below.
Moving onto compensation, Pink Zebra’s recommended marketing strategy is home parties.
How do I sell Pink Zebra?
Pink Zebra is a party plan company and focuses on providing you tools, incentives, and training to support having great parties for you and your Host.
We recently introduced an industry leading Blend Bash party which makes partying even more fun and successful.
We do support all sales such as in-person, website, and events, in addition to parties.
Given the current climate home parties are not ideal, but one can’t fault Pink Zebra for that.
Outside of the pandemic we’re in, home parties make sense as you really need to smell fragrances to get an appreciation of them.
For example, I might really like “Santa Cruz Sunset”;
Weathered driftwood, salted ocean breeze combined with gentle swirls of bonfire smoke – a perfect summer night.
But on the name and description alone I wouldn’t be confident purchasing without running a smell test first.
One thing to watch out for, and that particularly applies to wax melts is sample costs. You’re obviously going to need samples to run a successful home party, but don’t fall into the trap of letting costs get away from you if the sales aren’t there.
Actual compensation is pretty simple in Pink Zebra, which isn’t a negative.
You’re essentially looking at a four-level deep unilevel, fleshed out with a generational bonus.
I noted there’s no retail volume requirements, which is a concern given the aforementioned hidden costs of hosting marketing parties.
Not helping is Pink Zebra also paying commissions on an affiliate’s own purchases:
If he or she places a Consultant Order or uses the Consultant Pay when placing a party order, the Consultant receives or retains the 25% when he or she places the order.
This means the Consultant receives a 25% commission at the time he or she places the order.
This sounds like a regular wholesale discount but for some reason Pink Zebra have framed it as a commission.
Kinda makes it sound like your earning money when in fact you’re not.
Month to month Pink Zebra affiliates are required to generate $400 in sales volume. I feel this is a bit high, specifically for new affiliates.
That high ceiling could potentially lead to months of marketing spend (see home party concerns above), before a Pink Zebra affiliate gets anywhere near $400 in sales a month.
And god help you if you’re self-qualifying by spending $400 a month in product. Nobody needs that and you’re inventory loading.
What I’d like to see is Pink Zebra address this with retail volume requirements. Wax melts might have a shelf-life but it’s not immediate.
Do away with calling the wholesale discount a commission, and affiliates should only be getting paid when product is sold to retail customers.
Pink Zebra have made some effort with the sliding retail commission rate but I think they can do more.
With respect to rank qualification, I found it odd that rank requirements were lessened once initially qualified for.
I get giving affiliates a safety-net if their volume drops but realistically how is GV going to be maintained with drastically smaller teams (with respect to downline rank requirement)?
Ultimately what you want to see in a potential Pink Zebra upline is them hitting at least $200 in retail sales (half of the PV requirement) each month. If they aren’t hitting that and are trying to sign up you, that’s not a good sign.
One last thing I’ll touch on is this, taken from Pink Zebra’s FAQ:
What happens if I drink my Soaks?
It will taste terrible. DO NOT DRINK Soaks.
There’s a running joke in MLM circles based on people drinking essential oils (sadly based on it actually happening).
I don’t know if Pink Zebra are being overly cautious or addressing people actually drinking their soaks, but if anyone even remotely suggests their products are drinkable – run.