Saturday, June 17, 2017

Should you join Partylite?

It’s nice when the name of a multilevel marketing company tells you exactly what it’s all about.

That’s the case with Partylite, a selling party based network marketing company that sells gifts like candles, fragrance accessories, and incense holders.

While the company’s product portfolio is more diverse than it used to be, it’s not much of an oversimplification to call it, more or less, a candle company.

So did I get on board? This explains everything:

The Partylite company is a wholly owned subsidiary of Blyth Incorporated, which holds the unusual distinction of being the largest candlemaker in the United States.  It’s also a little unusual in that the company is headquartered in New England; most are in the western US.

Like many party-oriented multilevel marketing companies, Partylite’s popularity is hugely variable throughout the year.  As a gift based enterprise, business skyrockets in November and December, and plunges thereafter.  

This is easy to see when analyzing search engine traffic volume reports.

This is expected with this kind of MLM, but what isn’t expected, and is in fact disappointing, is the overall downward trend in the company’s popularity: it’s not doing so hot these days.

Partylite typically had very consistent business every year during the holiday season, but Christmas in 2015 and 2016 were particularly disappointing.  This should be at least a caution sign to anyone looking to get involved with this MLM in the near future.


As the name suggests, Partylite is all about candles.  They offer scented candles, candle holders, scented waxes, and wax melters.  If you are a fan of candles and candleholder decor, Partylite is a great choice.  

They have products that fit a wide range of home styling themes and come in all sizes.

If you aren’t too keen on open flames in your house, the company has some flameless fragrance selections. These are also wax-based, but they use electric heaters to melt the scented wax and keep it liquid.  

This allows it to freshen up a room or household with less of a fire hazard, which is great if you have small children or pets running around.  Some of these scents come in “melts,” which are wax cubes you can place into wax warmers.  This allows you to use different scents with the same warmer.

As you browse the product categories, you pretty quickly realize that this company is a one-trick pony.  They do candles, candle holders, and wax really well, but beyond that their offerings are pretty bland.

The company has seen some complaints about the quality of its products, and perhaps this should not be too surprising.  The prices, even for their large centerpiece candles, candleholders, and hurricanes, are pretty low.  This means it’s easier for you to sell them, but also means that the quality is likely to suffer too.

Compensation plan

What you are really wondering is “Can I really make money selling candles?”  It’s going to depend on what the compensation plan looks like.

The pricing and the seasonal business cycle comes into play again here.  Startup costs are not too bad for Partylite.  To join, it costs $30 or $99 depending on which starter kit you choose.  You can also join for free, though you aren’t able to make any money on your first party.

Figuring out whether or not to go with the free membership is pretty easy.  Since all sales net you a 25% commission (basically a wholesale discount but with less administrative work for you), and since the basic kit costs $30, all you need to do is estimate whether you can sell more than $120 of merchandise at your first party.  

If you can start making big money ($2000 per month) your commissions go up to 32%, but selling that much money’s’ worth of candles is a tall order.  

Moving up the ranks is pretty simple.  As you sponsor more hosts who host their own parties, you get an additional 6% commission on their sales.  The plan is very heavy on sales commission and pretty light on recruiting.

Now we come down to the real problem.  Even with high commission rates, you can only sell so many candles.  Unless you have a huge social network to plow through, every year’s sales are likely going to be a one-and-done thing in the late fall and early winter.


Partylite does one thing, and it does it well.  It makes a wide range of candles, scented waxes, and accessories, and if that is what you are looking for, it’s one of the best places to get it, especially in the direct sales world.  But one question remains, and unfortunately it’s a pretty big one: how much money can you really make?

If you get to take home a third or a quarter of your sales, and you work your entire social network, you might get a couple hundred dollars in a season of sales.  And with the seasonal nature of party-based multilevel marketing schemes, it’s definitely not a good year-round model for income.

If you’re a candle fanatic, you can probably make some pocket change with Partylite, but you should set your expectations pretty low when it comes to the actual money you can make.  

It’s the classic low cost problem: when your products are cheap, even if they are really popular, you don’t make much money unless you sell a huge volume.  

And with something that’s used as occasionally and sparingly as candles or scented wax, it’s hard to set up a consistent flow of customers to sustain your business.

If you’re set on going the MLM route, Partylite isn’t terrible, but probably not the best one either.

Look, if you’re just doing it for the money, there are better ways to kill your day job.

You might like our training because it shows you the good life without selling stuff to your family and friends.

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