If you thought we’ve had our fill of makeup multi-level marketing companies, you would be wrong. Today we’re talking about the makeup MLM called Crunchi. We’re going to take a look at whether it’s a good business opportunity or not and we’ll answer the big question:
Is Crunchi a pyramid scheme?
Let’s dive into this one.
What is Crunchi?
Crunchi is a “green beauty” makeup MLM founded in 2015 by Melanie Petschke and Kelly Watson. They focus on natural, toxic-free makeup and they stay away from certain potentially-harmful ingredients. They are leaping bunny certified, but some of their products do contain beeswax so they are not 100% vegan.
Their product line includes things like:
- Eyeshadow and Mascara
- Lipstick and Lipgloss
- Brow Pomade
- Makeup Brushes
I always like to take a look at product prices and see if they are inflated due to the MLM structure. Here are the prices for some different types of products:
- Eyeshadow = $24 (this is for one color)
- Foundation = $48 (this is for 30ml / 1 fl oz)
- Mascara = $28 (.26 oz)
- Lipstick = $30 (4.5g / .158 oz)
- Daylight Facial Cream $48 (30ml / 1 fl oz)
- Makeup brushes = Costs vary. Smaller eye brushes are $28 and larger brushes go up to $48
We’ll take a look a little later to see how these prices compare to other brands.
How Much Does it Cost to Join Crunchi?
Crunchi claims its MLM style is “different” from the others because they have a “unique boutique direct sales model.” In order to become a Cunchi Advocate, you will need to complete two steps:
- Purchase a Business Portfolio
- Purchase a Collection
1. Purchase a Business Portfolio – $78
The Business Portfolio includes a replicated website, access to your personal back office, 20% off personal purchases (when qualified), access to training materials and classes, disposable tester materials, business materials, and a tote bag.
2. Purchase a Collection – $117 – $772
There are four collections to choose from:
- Go For It! – $117 (Includes three facial cream products)
- Savvy Start – $172 (Includes 1 facial cream, primer, foundation, lipgloss, 1 makeup brush, body butter)
- Goal Digger – $522 (includes 2 facial creams, primer, foundation, concealer, bronzer, finishing powder, 4 eye shadows, mascara, 3 lip glosses, 3 lipsticks, 4 brushes, makeup bag, and 2 body butters)
- All In! – $772 (includes 2 facial creams, primer foundation, 2 concealers, bronzer, finishing powder, 2 blushes, 9 eye shadows, mascara, 5 lip glosses, 5 lipsticks, 6 brushes, makeup brush cleansing pad, 2 makeup bags, 2 body butters, 2 facial bars)
There is also a $40 annual fee.
There’s also a 150PV (personal volume) per month qualification in order to qualify for all commissions. This can be from your own personal sales or sales that you make to customers.
But, from my experience, this is where consultants get into trouble. They have to worry about qualifying so they end up spending at least a portion of this themselves every month.
Crunchi Compensation Plan
I think Crunchi is the first MLM where I couldn’t find a compensation plan. And I have to tell you, I am relieved.
I freaking hate compensation plans.
They are so complicated.
So I have no idea how people get ranked and what the compensation is, but here’s a video telling us why we need to get in on this “ground-floor” opportunity because the compensation plan is so awesome.
We know the compensation plan is great but is it really? Who knows because we can’t see it! I guess we just have to trust that it’s good?
(But really, it’s not. Because it’s an MLM.)
Crunchi Income Disclosure
If Crunchi doesn’t have a compensation plan, do you think they’ll actually have an income disclosure? Oh hell no.
But my guess is the reason why is less to do with them hiding information and more to do with the fact that they are not that popular and don’t have that much data to show.
Because we know all the data we need.
Over 99% of people lose money in an MLM. Here is the source for that information. Even the very best MLM companies are a terrible business opportunity for most people.
This is the only paragraph you need to read in the entire paper:
“Failure and loss rates for MLMs are not comparable with legitimate small businesses, which have been found to be profitable for 39% over the lifetime of the business; whereas less than 1% of MLM participants profit. MLM makes even gambling look like a safe bet in comparison. ”
We don’t need a Crunchi income disclosure to tell us that MLMs kind of stink.
Crunchi Complaints and Positive Reviews
Crunchi has an A+ from the BBB and is not accredited with them at this time:
Here’s someone who tried the products and liked them:
Here’s someone on Reddit who tried the foundation and had some things to say about it:
To each his own, right?
Since they are a fairly new company, there aren’t a lot of reviews – good or bad – about them. Of course, you’re going to find Advocates saying that the products are “ahhhhmmmmaaazzzinnngg” because they are making money with this.
I’m not even against that if they’re truthful since you do kind of have to like the thing that you’re selling. The issue is that this is an MLM and you just can’t make money with an MLM. It’s almost impossible.
I also have issues with some of their messaging.
We’ll get back to that in a minute.
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Is Crunchi a Scam or a Pyramid Scheme?
In my opinion, Crunchi isn’t a scam and I also wouldn’t say it’s a pyramid scheme. MLMs can easily turn into pyramid schemes when retail sales are few and far between and most of the money is made via referrals and building a team.
The thing is, Crunchi is too new and doesn’t seem very popular right now so there’s probably not a ton of any sort of sales going on.
But YoU CAn gET in on ThE GROunD FloOR. ANd baNIsh TOxiNS.
Yea. Don’t fall for that.
- Inexpensive startup cost if you stick with a lower-priced package
- You could potentially, maybe, sort of make money with this. (Especially on ThE GROunD FloOR)
- Pretty good reviews on the makeup overall
- This is an MLM, and it’s extremely hard to make money with MLMs
- The products are over-priced
- The bigger packages are very expensive
- There’s no compensation plan that we can see
- There’s no income disclosure
Here’s why I don’t like some messaging on Crunchi’s website.
(Disclaimer: This is all my personal opinion.)
Here’s what they say on their Become an Advocate page:
“We refuse to be the typical multi-level marketing company, in many ways, for many reasons. Over the years, we have built a solid foundation for our vision and our identity as a company, and we are so proud of it. Crunchi is a boutique direct sales company that goes against the grain and embraces the following values: education, integrity, service, credibility, and quality.”
I’ve looked at may MLMs now, and they all say they are not the typical MLM (or they try to say they’re not an MLM, so I give Crunchi credit for admitting it) and that they do things differently.
Crunchi says they’re different because they are a unique boutique direct sales company. But what does that even mean? How is this different from the multitude of other makeup MLMs?
Here are a couple of interesting stats posted on the Crunchi Advocate page:
I understand why Crunchi is pointing out that most people who join have no makeup experience. But is this a good thing, or a bad thing? I have seen the Younique makeup artists out there who also have had no prior makeup experience. And yikes.
The second point about 80% being mothers…
MLMs target moms. They target stay-at-home moms, making you feel guilty for not contributing to the family. And they target working moms, making you feel guilty for not staying home with your kids. In either case, an MLM is NOT the answer.
(And also, you don’t need to feel guilty about anything. You’re fine. Your kids are fine. Whatever you guys are doing.)
MLMs are not “part-time work for full-time pay” so do not let them fool you about that. I have heard of women being completely taken over by their MLM, barely able to spend an extra minute with their children.
I don’t know about you, but $24 for one eye shadow color seems out of control to me. Look at these options from Ulta:
This is what makes it hard to sell MLM products to regular retail customers. They know this stuff if too expensive for what it is. And that’s why the majority of distributors in an MLM are the REAL customers. I have no doubt that it’s exactly the same here with Crunchi.
Maybe these products aren’t as good because they have “toxins”?
When I was in Young Living the whole “natural living” toxic-free” lifestyle was a marketing tactic that we used too to target a certain group of people. And we would tell people that other oils weren’t as pure as Young Living’s. But I later discovered that was far from the truth.
In my opinion, Crunchi is the makeup version of Young Living.
Is Crunchi a pyramid scheme? In my opinion, it’s not. Not yet. Crunchi doesn’t seem to be very popular yet and it’s too hard to tell if it will eventually take off. If it does ever take off, then they should reveal their compensation plan, and then their income disclosure.
At that time, we would have a better determination about whether Advocates make money with retail, or mostly with recruitments. If they start to make money primarily from recruitments, then you’re looking at something that’s closer to a pyramid scheme.
For now, it doesn’t seem like people are really digging the Crunchi makeup. Maybe it’s the name. Perhaps people don’t really want to look “crunchi”.
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