Younique is a cosmetics company founded in Utah in 2012. Since inception Younique has grown to become an international brand being sold through a network of almost 1 million ‘presenters’. The idea being that the presenters can earn an income by using Younique products and referring others to do the same. Their philosophy is ‘Love it, Share it, Live it’.
Here at The Finance Guy, we believe that you can’t make money with MLM, but we’ll take a closer look at Younique and see if they are the exception.
What is the Younique Opportunity
The first thing we learned is that the Younique opportunity gives presenters the ability to reach their potential for ‘personal growth and financial reward’. We also find that Younique is different from other direct sales companies because they sell almost exclusively through social media.
We then see that there was a trip to Cancun, and if you join Younique, you can get paid very quickly. There’s even a Younique Visa Debit Card. To learn more, we watched this video:
From this video we learned that:
- For US $99, you get a black box that will ‘change your life’
- You can earn 20% - 30% commission, all you have to do is direct people to your Younique website
- The worst that can happen, is that you get a box full of $240 worth of makeup
While it’s nice to know that the lady in this video ‘replaced her income as a mortgage broker’. We still don’t understand how much we can earn with Younique. We also don’t know how much she was previously earning, so we thought we better keep looking
How do You Make Money With Younique
You can earn a commission on any purchases made through your Younique website (including your own makeup). If you sponsor others to become Younique presenters, then you might be able to earn a commission on any sales they make too!
The amount of commission you can earn will depend on your rank in the Younique MLM. The ranks and commissions payable are shown below:
Once you reach the green level and become an ‘Elite Presenter’, the commission you earn from your own website increases to 30%. At this level you can also earn some royalties from people below you in the network.
Maximum earnings come once you have reach the black level of ‘Exclusive Presenter’. If you reach this rank, then you can earn commissions from all the way down to the third generation in your Younique downline.
To us this generous commission structure raises a concern. If we look at the commissions paid to the top ‘black status’ presenters, it adds up to 48%. If Younique can afford to pay this much commission, and still make a profit, then it means it is included in the prices they charge.
How Do You Qualify for Promotion with Younique
If you want to make your way up the ranks from White Status all the way to Black status, then you need to qualify. Each rank has specific qualification requirements shown below:
Before Hyou can earn any commission at all, your website needs to generate $125 in PRS (Personal Retail Sales) every 3 months. The good news is that once you’ve accumulated a lifetime PRS of $500, you automatically get promoted to the Yellow Status, and earn 25%. It’s refreshing to see that this promotion is based purely on your PRS.
To qualify for payments above the Entry Presenter ranks, you need to generate monthly PRS. On top of that your downline will also need to generate monthly ‘Company Wholesale Sales’. For example, to qualify as ‘Pink’, and earn the 3% ‘Circle Royalty’, you need to meet the monthly qualifications. Every month you’d need at least $250 from your own website, and $2,000 from people in your downline. You’d also need at east 1 personally sponsored qualified presenter
To continue to achieve promotions, you need to keep sponsoring qualified presenters, have them do the same, and generate as much monthly ‘Company Wholesale Sales’ as possible.
Like other MLMs, there are other ways to earn with Younique. These include a ‘fast start’, and a ‘car bonus’. These things all sound great, but we think it looks very difficult to earn full commission as a Younique presenter.
How Much are Younique Presenters Making
The best way to assess any business opportunity, is to look at how well it is doing for existing members. According to the talented ladies club, Younique presenters are making less than $14 per month. That’s not a great start but we’ll keep looking
Younique decided not to provide us with an income disclosure, so we had to do our own research. We found a copy of the 2016 Younique SEC Filings. These reports show us how much Younique was paying out to presenters in 2016. We made a quick calculation, shown in the table below:
As we see from the 2016 Younique financial reports, ‘Presenter Incentives’ represented 22.06% of total revenue. So even though the Younique compensation plan offers up to 48% in commission, less than half of that was paid. We are not suggesting that Younique did anything wrong, it’s more likely that most Younique Presenters never make it past the White Entry Level rank
Younique told us that they now have almost 1,000,000 presenters world wide. That tells us that on average each presenter received around $87.39, for the entire year of 2016. While it’s possible that they had less presenters 2 years ago (in 2016), let’s pretend they only had half a million. At this level, the average annual income for Younique Presenters was $174.70
This may be a system which offers ‘financial reward’, but on average, Younique presenters are making less than $4 a week.
Why is it Hard to Make Money With Younique
In our opinion, the problem is not with Younique, it is with network marketing. MLM is a system which is designed to help the company make sales. It is not designed to offer franchises or create business owners. If you join any MLM, you are a customer not a business owner
Younique are proud of the fact that they focus on social media. While it may be true that they use social media more than other MLMs, this is not necessarily a good thing. Think of it this way, we wrote this review from West Australia, is that anywhere near where you are?
The point we are making, is that the internet is global. It’s great that you can promote your Younique website to anyone with a connection and a credit card, but so can everyone else! This means that you are in the same market and in competition with ever other Younique presenter
Do you know someone who promotes Younique online? If you do, then if you become a presenter you are going into competition with them. If you know people in common, then you are both trying to sell them the same makeup. Every Younique Presenter has the ability to sell to your customers. If you recruit people within in your social network, you are just diluting your own profits
We found a page claims to teach you how to make money with Younique. We were expecting to find some hints and tips. All we found was a constant reminder that Younique pays commission daily, followed by an attempt to recruit us to Younique, or sell us products. In other words the page was designed for them to make money. It’s important to remember that the people in your upline are making money off you. It’s in their best interest to tell you how great things can be, and keep you spending money.
Is Younique an Illegal Pyramid Scam
While Younique, and most MLMs resembles a pyramid scam, it is legal. We believe the reason goes back to the 1979 FTC Amway ruling. While MLMs may be legal, that does not mean that they are ethical. Would you ‘recruit’ a friend to a gig that pays less than $200 a year. If you build a Younique downline, that’s what you’re doing…
We don’t believe that Younique presenters are trying to scam you. It’s more likely that they themselves believe that this is their ticket to financial freedom
Should You Join Younique
If you are interested in selling makeup for a living, then it’s quite possible that you can make more than $200 a year with a different opportunity. We suggest that you look at all your options before deciding on Younique or anything else.
As always, we’d love to hear what you think in the comments section below, especially if you can share your experiences with Younique
Let us know if you want to which MLM we should review next from our list of MLMs