Thirty One Gifts is a multilevel marketing company that focuses on jewelry, purses, stationary, totes, wallets, and other gifts.
Different—that’s the best way to describe Thirty One Gifts. In a world of seemingly endless health or skincare multilevel marketing companies, Thirty One Gifts offers a decidedly different business model. The business model is explicitly created for and marketed to women.
Did I get on board? This explains everything:
In fact, the stated purpose of the company is to help women start and run their own small businesses.
Thirty One Gifts was founded in 2003 and has expanded and grown rapidly since then. According to a 2015 article in the business trade journal Smart Business, the company has grown explosively over the last decade: after starting out as a small local company, Thirty One Gifts expanded rapidly growing its revenue two or three-fold each year.
Ultimately, Thirty One Gifts ended up hitting over $750 million in revenue in 2015, though growth has since flattened out.
Search engine traffic also suggests that Thirty One Gifts is reaching market saturation. Searches for the company’s name on Google have been on a slow decline since a peak in 2011 and 2012.
Search engine traffic today is now about a quarter of what it was during Thirty One Gifts’ period of peak popularity.
Historically, the company has experienced spikes in popularity leading up to the holiday season—this makes sense, because people would want to stock up on gifts before the holidays, and hence might be interested in getting involved in Thirty One Gifts.
However, this spike in interest has been waning since 2014. The last few years recorded no significant spike in popularity during November or December, providing further evidence of market saturation.
Thirty One Gifts sells products in a variety of categories. These range from obvious gift choices, like jewelry, purses, and wallets, to less common items like stationery, tote bags, and insulated lunch boxes.
Their colorful totes, made of canvas or thick synthetic fiber and often customizable with initials or a name print, are definitely their top sellers.
Thirty One Gifts doesn’t use the typical MLM strategy of jacked-up prices on all of their products: there are plenty of items for sale for under $20 or $30, so moving product volumes is substantially easier.
There is not a lot of information on the quality of construction of Thirty One Gifts’ products, so it’s hard to say whether their jewelry or totes or wallets are worth the cost you pay; they may well be cheaply constructed.
But at the same time, this certainly isn’t a boutique MLM selling only supplement packages for triple-digit prices.
The sparse reviews that do exist online are fairly positive, and given the explosive growth of the company, there’s got to be something to their products.
Thirty One Gifts’ marketing strategy is a classic “blue ocean” tactic: by forging out into an underexploited market, the company was able to rocket past other MLMs using the tried and true method.
Instead of being yet another skin care product, Thirty One Gifts focused on selling a type of product that’s already popular among women: relatively inexpensive and elegantly designed totes, wallets, and jewelry, while simultaneously presenting the product in a new way, i.e. network marketing through female-led marketing networks.
The way in which the products are designed to be marketed is also very different from other MLMs. Distributors (called “consultants” in company parlance) are explicitly encouraged to host parties and events, selling large numbers of goods at once instead of the slow steady trickle of the old-school network marketing daily grind.
The compensation plan for Thirty One Gifts is somewhat unconventional too. This shouldn’t be too surprising, since the rest of their business model shakes up the old MLM norms as well.
There is no joining fee and no requirement for auto-shipping. Instead. to become a consultant, you must sell $1000 in sales (total in your career).
Once you’ve achieved that, you become a consultant. To remain active, and eligible for commissions, you must maintain $200 in sales every three months.
As a consultant, you’re eligible for a 25% commission on all orders that pass through you. Once you start enrolling consultants underneath you, you can become a Senior Consultant.
This requires at least two qualified and active consultants (meaning $1000 in lifetime sales and $200 in sales every three months), and once you’ve hit $4000 in personal and downline sales, you can start earning a 3% sales bonus on your personal sales, plus a 3% override on your first level below you, and a 2% override on the level below that.
The rewards and qualifications scale up as you increase your sales volume and increase your active consultants. After you hit $4000 in sales and $1000 in personal sales, it becomes more profitable to scale up your downline sales instead of trying to expand your own sales to a greater extent.
According to the income disclosure statement, Thirty One Gifts consultants fare about average as far as MLM operators go. In 2015, the average active consultant had been working for 19 months and made $548 annually.
The yearly earnings don’t really get attractive until you reach “Senior Director” status, which is when you start to ramp up your downline and focus less on your own personal sales.
The quality of the products sold by Thirty One Gifts is unclear in an absolute sense, but their popularity is undeniable. The company’s success is predicated on it.
Their event-based model is a different take from the approach of many other MLM companies, and the earnings potential is not terrible once you’ve moved up the ladder a ways. For women looking to get into network marketing, it’s a pretty solid choice.
So if you’re set on MLM, it’s not terrible, but probably not the most profitable opportunity out there.
If you’re doing it for the money, there are better ways to kill your day job. You might like our coaching because it shows you the good life without peddling products to your family and friends.