Hey there sea changers, and welcome back to my series of MLM reviews. Today we are going to weave ourselves into the clothing/fashion industry with my etcetera MLM Review. The online sale of clothing is an extremely lucrative one with many making a good living selling new and used clothing via online stores and affiliate marketing. Added to this obviously is the ever growing array of clothing based multi level marketing programs that appear to be popping up more and more. So is etcetera a MLM program worth considering? Let's have a look and find out…
Note: I am not a member of the etcetera MLM Program (and hence make no commissions from any of the links included within this post). The reason for this is that I prefer to write these posts based on what a newbie would be seeing if they were interested in joining – that way I feel I can make a better judgement on what it is that these companies are offering within their programs.
What is MLM?
Multi-level marketing (MLM) programs are the traditional mainstay of the ‘party plan' world of products such as Tupperware, Mary Kay and Amway etc. and, of course within the beauty/cosmetics, supplements and essential oils markets. It is not as prevalent within the clothing industry but as MLMs have become more popular in recent times – mainly due to the fact that much of the sales and marketing is now being managed online – companies in other niches are starting to get in on the action.
The ‘multi level' aspects of MLM come from its hierarchical nature in which you make commissions based not only on those that you sell to, but also the sales of those whom you ‘sign' into membership arrangements as well.
In short, the process works as follows:
- You join the program, either via referral from another person (known as your up line) or directly through their website.
- You promote the products of the company via parties, workshops or online.
- As you make sales, you offer incentives to your customers to sign up as a member of the program (there are different names for this but they all mean the same thing).
- That new member is then placed ‘underneath' you in a hierarchical arrangement (known as your down line).
- You, and a number of levels of your up line, then gain extra commissions for everything they sell as well.
- If they manage to refer their customers into memberships, they also become a member of your down line allowing you to make up line commissions as well.
The number of levels of your up and down lines will vary depending on the program you have joined. Commission rates will also change as your down line grows or contracts and many will also offer other incentives such as total company sales percentages and/or access to membership prizes as your own business grows.
Who are etcetera?
etcetera was founded in the year 2000 by William Rondina who has built a company selling NYC designed women's fashion items using quality fabrics from Europe.
etcetera is based in New York City with Stylists who sell products via seasonal trunk showings of the company's four collections each year in over 660 cities.
What do they Sell?
etcetera operates within the women's fashion industry with a large and interesting array of apparel (sold in seasonal releases) including:
There is also a small range of accessories (scarves, belts etc.) with items available in Casual, Day/Night, Work and Ready to Wear categories. Item costs appear to fall into the medium to higher price range of around $200 to $500 per piece.
MLM Program outline
The etcetera MLM program calls their members ‘Stylists' who are able to incorporate two selling options into their program:
- Trunk Show Stylist – This is the traditional clothing MLM operation where Stylists show a complete set of samples in the privacy of their home or within one of etcetera showrooms.
- Digital Stylists – This entails the use of online methods to display and sell products to customers via virtual trunk shows.
Ok, now as far as the rest of the program goes, I have been unable to locate any information in regards to the compensation plan either via the etcetera website or within the sales pages of actual stylists. This is not uncommon for MLM Programs but also makes it difficult for new members to determine whether it is worth joining or not.
I usually like to only take information purely from the main website of the platform owner so that I am reporting what new potential stylists would see, however in this case I am taking what I can get and making assumptions on the rest based on how other programs within this niche operate. I would love however to be corrected, or informed within the comments below.
Base Commission rate: The best numbers I have seen is 25 – 50% – based on monthly sales figures
Down line commission rates: Not Located
Minimum monthly spend to qualify for commissions: Not Located
Payment terms: Not Located
Application required?: Yes, Application form on website.
Purchase requirements to join: Not Located
etcetera bases its operations on the sale of seasonal kits for its trunk shows, with this in mind most other programs of this type require their Stylists to purchase a seasonal ‘trunk' as they are released. Based on the cost of the items within the etcetera site, if this is the case then a budget of over $1000 – $2000 or more may be necessary
Marketing materials provided: A personal online store, tools & apps, marketing materials, extensive training.
Most MLM programs manage commissions in that they are paid on the points assigned to a product rather than the entire sales total. Again, the points allocation systems or arrangements is not available on this site.
How can I get paid?
As there is no compensation plan available I am again going to complete the following based on standard programs within this niche. In general, there are two main ways that MLM programs within the Clothing niche pay their stylists. These are as follows…
Personal Sales Commissions
Personal Sales (or Retail) Commissions are the base commissions earned for personal sales made via trunk shows or personalised websites. Commissions rates usually range from 20% – 50% based on monthly point allocations assigned to generated sales.
In some cases, Stylists will be required to meet minimum sales targets to qualify for retail commissions.
Line or Unilevel commissions are the basic commissions that are prevalent within most MLM programs where payments are made to a number of levels based on the attainment of personal points targets and total sales within down line legs.
To qualify for line commissions, Stylists are usually required to meet a minimum personal and down line sales targets (based on point allocation). Commonly, these target figures increase with rank up achievements.
Most MLM programs use ranking structures on which to base commission payments and other bonuses upon. Rank progression is usually determined by both the number of members within down line legs, and the total sales made by those legs per month. Ranks can rise and fall based on the ability (or dis-ability) to reach the required member and sales targets.
As mentioned above, ranks and ranking qualifications for the etcetera MLM program are not available.
What is good about it?
So, after a good look around the site and looking at all the options I could find, I do like the following:
- Clothes are high end meaning possible high commissions
What is no so good about it?
There are also some things to be aware of including:
- Any real information in regards to this program is not available.
How much can you make?
I was unable to locate projected income figures on the etcetera website however as with most MLM programs, the percentage of members making the upper rank levels – and hence earning a living – is usually very low.
My final thoughts
Look, MLM is not an easy platform to make money in and there is absolutely nothing that I have seen here to put this program above the many others I have seen.
To be honest, the lack of information available can usually mean one of two things:
- The company has something to hide
- The company is trying to promote a sense of exclusivity for its program
Let's hope here that it is the latter. Regardless, I would be undertaking a lot more research before taking the plunge into this one.
So there you have it, my honest review and appraisal of the etcetera MLM program. I hope it has been of assistance but as usual, if you have any questions or experience with this program please do not hesitate to reach out by commenting below – especially if any of my information is inaccurate (or you can fill in the blanks).
Are there any other programs you have been looking at but want to know more about? If so, please comment below and I will do my best to get some details for you.
Do you want further assistance with any of the above or need help to build your own fashion or MLM based website?
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Until next time
Note: If you make a purchase from this page, there is a very good chance that I make a commission from it – these commissions do not increase your sale price.