If you’re wondering if becoming a direct sales consultant for Jamberry sounds too good to be true, you’ve come to the right place. Here, with the help of been-there-done-that Jamberry consultants, we are delivering the exclusive, behind-the-scenes look at what becoming a Jamberry Consultant truly costs.
In this installment of the Jam Series, we’ll be looking at the hidden costs of starting your Jamberry business. This article is meant to inform you of the Jamberry Consultant start-up expenses in an easy to understand, straightforward manner.
Here are a few hidden costs of becoming a Jamberry Consultant:
- Starter-Kit. Jamberry is upfront about making an investment in your Jamberry business. So you may be wondering what’s the hidden cost in that? Well, for $99, you get some promotional materials, but there’s a catch: the promotional materials expire. This issue goes beyond your first few weeks with Jamberry. No matter how many samples or promotional materials you have, if Jamberry releases something new, you can no longer use the old material to promote your “business”. Also, it’s against the rules to create your own catalogs, brochures and even your own business cards. Since you’re running your own “business”, you may think it’s easy to get away with creating your own marketing materials. But think again. Your fellow Jamberry Consultants (AKA “Jamsisters”) will rat you out ASAP. Because killing the competition is the easiest way to get to the top. It’s biology. Seriously. Lions kill cubs. Veteran Jamsisters kill newbies. Oh, also: you pay shipping & handling for your starter kit. It comes out to $124, not $99.
- Promotional Materials. I touched on this, but after your starter-kit promo goods are gone, it’s your responsibility to refill and replenish your samples. And how are you going to sell a product you can’t check out in stores without samples? Catalogs are 10 for $6.50, or $0.65 each. That doesn’t sound like a lot, right? We’ll get back to that in a minute. In addition to catalogs, you’ll want business cards, 7-day challenge cards, envelopes, labels, stationary for those hand-written notes, etc. Are you seeing dollar signs yet?
- Shipping. In a perfect world, you wouldn’t have to ship your promotional materials to potential customers. In reality? Your friends list will be so sick of hearing about Jamberry that you’ll need to branch out and find new territory (or you live far from home, your college friends, etc.) To send out just the catalog, you need an envelope and 4 forever stamps ($0.49 * 4 = $1.96). If you take the envelope to the post office and have them weigh it, you can save $0.10 per catalog, but you’ll still be spending $1.86 + gas + time to send out your Jamberry catalogs.
- Website. After your first 3 months as a Jamberry Consultant, you’ll start being charged $10/month for your Jamberry website. That’s $120 a year, for those keeping score (and for those who want to get super technical, yeah, your first year would be $90 “only”). If you’re making sales, this doesn’t seem so bad, but then comes the monthly Personal Retail Volume requirement to really screw you over.
- Monthly Personal Retail Volume (PRV). In order to maintain your status as a Jamberry Consultant (you mean buying a starter kit and paying for a website was not enough?!), you must sell $200 in product a month. This $200 PRV does not include taxes or shipping and handling. It is purely the retail cost volume. In order to achieve this goal, you need to sell 13.3 nail wraps at $15/each per month. While that doesn’t sound like a lot, many consultants fall short and end up buying $200 in product by themselves to ensure they stay active as consultants. Of this $200, they receive $60 in commission (or in return, if they purchased the wraps for themselves), but after paying for their website, the commission is only $50. And, if they’ve promoted the product and purchased or sent materials, that also reduces the “profit”. Stay with me and let me break it down for you:
The average conversion rate from promotion to sale is 2.35% online. Yes, I’m talking digital. Let’s say you promote your Jamberry business on Facebook to a group of your friends and acquaintances. In order to make 13.3 sales, you need to have directly reached 565.95 (13.3/0.0235) people regarding Jamberry. This doesn’t mean people who are passively in your network; it means you need to have directly reached those 565.95 individuals.
But what about in person direct sales? Well, approaching someone about Jamberry for the first time in real life is the equivalent of a cold call. Only 2% of cold calls result in an appointment in traditional sales. That means you’d have to be in contact, directly, with 28,298 (565.95/0.02) people in order to maybe sell 13.3 nail wraps per month, assuming you can covert at 2.35% in real life.
For fun, let’s assume you want to reach 28,298 people with catalogs and samples in real life. You’d need to spend $18,292.70 to give each one of those people a catalog. Just a catalog. Samples? I’ll spare you the heart attack. By the way, you’d still only make $50 in commission after selling 13.3 nail wraps and paying for your website. So, you’d be in the red -$18,242.70.
So, online is definitely the way to go, right? If you send out 565.95 catalogs, you’ll spend $1,420.53 (565.95 * ($0.65+$1.86)) to make $50 in commission. -$1,370.53 Yes, I was nice and assumed you’d save the $0.10/mailer by bringing your catalogs to the post office.
Did you know that, on average, it takes a sales person 5 times to reach a person in order to close a single sale? So, you could send 5 catalogs to 565.95 people. That will cost you $7,102.67 ($1,420.53 * 565.95). But maybe you’ll sell a nail wrap to all 565.95 people after that. Let’s be optimistic and say that you achieve that. That would be $8,489.25 PRV. You’ll make 30% commission, which comes out to $2,546.77 commission. But, since you spent $7,102.67 to make that happen, you’re negative. Your loss is -$4,555.90, to be exact.
What more do you need to know?
Data Junkie says
Brilliant! Thank you for this fine bit of research Mrs. Bottlesoup! Jamberry assumes no risk but pushes all the risk onto the consultant (who’s business model is stacked heavily against them). This is sick, sick, sick. I wonder about the true “cost” of the $124 starter kit. Let’s say $5 ($10 most), to produce and ship? Boom! There’s ~$115 margin from each new consultant. Multiply that by the number of consultants (136,541 in 2015), and that’s ~$16M “margin” in starter kits alone. Assuming 80% consultant churn annually, and Jamberry can expect ~$13M per year in recurring margin off those kits alone. Consultant churn is very lucrative for Jamberry…much more lucrative than selling nail wraps! You just proved in your post why retail sales of nail wraps cannot be profitable. If building a team is the only path to profitability, how could anyone in good conscience take pride in making money this way, knowing how much real loss is required in their own down-line, and given the heavy dependence on consultant churn? Sadly, your great effort probably won’t sway the faithful. I just hope your post will keep the curious from taking their first sip of Jam-juice. I look forward to your next installment. Keep up the great work!!!
Jamberry is definitely not for the struggling moms or people living paycheck to paycheck. Your initial investment is a lot more than $99 + $15 shipping/handling + State Sales Tax…you also need to figure in costs for labels for the back of the catalog $13.99 if you order from Jamberry, if you do labels yourself you still have to purchase labels at Office Max/Staples, etc and factor in your ink printing cost, Business cards and/or the 7 Day Challenge cards are $28.99 through Jamberry for a pack of 250, labels for the Order Forms, return address labels, 6.5 x 9 envelopes for catalogs mailings, postage, etc. It starts to add up and those things all eat up your profit. Some will say they only do Facebook parties but Jamberry is hated on FB and has totally jumped the shark in my humble opinion. Everyone hates when you promote a product on Facebook and the Online parties are a joke! So lame and pathetic! Maybe you could make money that way when it was new and exciting. But that fad is over…good luck to those that are still annoying your friends and family that way!
I am a Jamberry Team Manager. I will do anything possible to help my downline save costs. Every cost you listed is unnecessary. You can write your info on the back of the catalogue. I have never purchased a 7-day challenge card in my 18 months of consulting! I have used Freecycle to get envelopes and postage is a business expense. Jamberry is not hated on FB. My top seller hits between 2-4K sales every month using FB parties only. She’s currently at 1K 6 days into the month.
Stop hating! Direct Sales is a legitimate business. If you can’t afford the luxuries of catalogue labels or biz cards, you can get creative with your business and do what fits into your budget.
And, FWIW, NONE of my friends/family are annoyed because I am respectful and all I have to do is offer them a sample 😉
Mrs. Bottlesoup says
Direct sales is not a legitimate business for consultants. They have absolutely no ownership.
“…NONE of my friends/family are annoyed…”
Yeah, that’s what you want to think. Believe me, a lot of us are. We’re just too respectful to lay it out there for you.
Also, there is another hidden gem/fee. Jamberry pays out commission using debit credit cards called JamberryPay. If you decide to save up your commission on your card, think again. JamberryPay will charge you a $3.00 Service Fee per month for maintaining a balance on your commission paid-out debit card. If you keep no balance or a zero balance then of course you will not be charged the service fee. I think it’s geared to make you reinvest in Jamberry and buy more products with the company. If you request your commission to be paid via check they charge you $2.00 to have that option PER CHECK. For me, I wish all commission could be paid out via check but it galls me to pay the company money to access my money. Either way it’s just one of the many perks, I mean jerks of being a Jamberry Consultant. Employees and sales people for legit companies don’t get charged service fees or check fees when getting paid their sales commissions.
kimberly Hernandez says
I have thr jamberry pay card ans do not get charged a fee and I do have a balance..u also have the option of transferring the funds to your bank acct
I wanted to point out that you also have to pay costs for attending Jamberry Area Meetings and Jamberry Regional Conferences. The Area Meetings will cost you $5 to $7 and they are usually held at a Consultant’s home. Jamberry has 3 Regional Conferences in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Las Vegas, Nevada and Hartford, Connecticut. The Regional Conference tickets are $69 + $4.44 EventBrite website fee = $73.44 each. This cost does not include travel time or gas/mileage, airfare (if you are not in driving distance), hotel, food and babysitting fees (for your children while you attend this company event). Jamberry is also doing an International Conference in August at the Walt Disney Resort in Florida and tickets for that event are $225 and they expect the international consultants from Australia, New Zealand and now the UK to attend. Yes, these can be used as a tax write-off but unless you are rolling in the Benjamins with NET profit with Jamberry these costs will wipe-out any profit you make with Jamberry, especially if you are only making a part-time income with your business or any money at all. But hey, you get to buy slightly flawed Nailwraps at a discount at these events…that makes it totally worth it! Rolling my eyes. Or maybe you tell yourself that you attend for the sisterhood and empowerment… Did you join for the sisterhood or to make money? Truth be told, they are not your sisters, they are your competition and if you ever get smart enough and wake up and realize the company’s unethical practices (illegal pyramid scheme), you will see that your so-called sisters will turn into your Cinderella step-sisters before you can finish your line of questioning.
I made $18,000 last year selling these wonderful “nail stickers.” After totaling all of my expenses for the whole year (2015) I spent $4000. So I still MADE $14,000!! I’m not sure if you’ve done the math from experience, but I have and it’s worked in my favor every time ????
Mrs. Bottlesoup says
Your story is the exception, not the rule.
And your per hour earnings when it’s all said and done?
This article is so full of inaccuracies and idiotic math. Who sends the same customer 5 catalogs to reach out to them? Who is mailing out 28,000 catalogs??? You do NOT have to sell $200 a month to stay a Jamberry consultant. That is not what that number means. Thankfully, in the 3 years I have been doing Jamberry, I have not once sold less than $750 in a month. And I very much make a profit. YES, businesses cost money to run. What business on earth DOESN’T?? And yes, a plan for how to be successful is needed. No one in their right mind thinks if you just throw $100 at a company, you will get rich quick. You are attacking a straw man with lies and obviously have a bone to pick. Luckily, your arguments are so easy to refute, I could talk anyone who brings this to me around to seeing the light.
Mrs. Bottlesoup says
“Idiotic math” meaning math that doesn’t fit into the Jamberry narrative? The article is meant to illustrate the improbability of successfulness. And, yes, people think if they buy the starter kit that’s all they need to be successful.
You only need 600 PRV per 12 months to be a Jamberry consultant. That’s only $50 per month- basically 5 wraps. There is a lot of wrong information in this article.
Mrs. Bottlesoup says
The commission from $50/month (commission = $15) in sales barely covers the cost of the website ($10/month) and any marketing materials or efforts. Sorry but Jamberry gets $50 and you’re left with $5 after paying your website – assuming you didn’t buy any catalogs, cards, or other forms of marketing materials? The numbers do not add up to profit.
Kelly Bass says
I don’t know if I’ve ever read a more biased and bitter article (and the exaggerating is out of control). Let’s debunk the biggest lie here (because most of your other complaints are just about your poor money management in running a business, which does require some start up costs): you do NOT need to sell $200 in product every month to remain a consultant. You only need to sell $600 over the course of a rolling year, which is only 40 sheets of nail wraps. Considering how amazing the products are, that’s super easy, I did it in my first month.
Also, I don’t think I saw you mention that Jamberry gives you free credit to purchase marketing materials (which there are lots of uses for once they’re retired, by the way) as well as generous bonuses.
& for the person who referred to it as a pyramid scheme, you should do some research on what that actually means because Jamberry is a legitimate multi-level marketing company and that is NOT the same thing.
Complain all you want, but there are many, MANY successful consultants who’s lives are changing thanks to this company.
Mrs. Bottlesoup says
I’m not bitter or bias; I have never sold Jamberry or been a part of direct sales. The math doesn’t lie.
Crystal Brown says
Haters gonna hate.
First off, most everything you listed in your article above is unnecessary. I have been doing this for 2 years now, and haven’t need to purchase over half over everything you claim is needed for the business. Secondly, paying for the website is optional. You will still have your own business website without paying the fee, you just don’t have a few of the handy capabilities. No biggie. Lastly for now, you absolutely do not have to have $200 PRV in a month to be a Jamberry Consultant. There is nothing true about that statement at all. You have to have $600 sales in a rolling YEAR to maintain your consultant agreement. The only thing that happens if you don’t have $200 in sales each month, is you don’t get commission off of any team members that fall under you. There was so much falsehood in this write up.
Mrs. Bottlesoup says
Jamberry sells the idea of “financial freedom” and no one is going to be financially free with $600 a year in sales (which isn’t even the income or profit you would get – just the sales) or $200 in sales a month. Nice try, though.