Is Vantel Pearls a pyramid scheme? Maybe you’ve been looking into the business opportunity for Vantel Pearls, but you want to know all the details before diving into it. I applaud you for that because just jumping into something before researching it is a sure way to lose your shirt. (I’ve been there, done that.)
I’m going to take you through what this company is about, how much it costs to get started and we’ll also look at positive reviews and complaints.
And finally we’ll find out if Vantel Pearls is a pyramid scheme, or a legit business opportunity.
Let’s get right into it!
What is Vantel Pearls?
According to their About page, the idea for Vantel Pearls was born in 1985 when Joan Hartel Cabral, CEO of the company, brought back an oyster from Hawaii to give to her niece. Inside was a beautiful pearl.
Vantel Pearls has been accredited with the BBB since 2001. (We’ll get back to the BBB a little later to discuss their rating and customer reviews and complaints.)
How Vantel Pearls Works
You’re probably familiar with how Vantel Pearls works, but in case this is new to you, they have a unique way of conducting business.
You connect with a distributor and order a jewelry set from their website. Then you watch their Facebook Live “pearl party”. The distributor has a bucket of oysters.
Don’t worry. They’re dead.
They’ll show you the oysters they have available (they’re numbered) and you choose one.
They’ll shuck the oyster live and it’ll reveal a pearl. That pearl will go back to Vantel Pearls and they’ll put it into the set that you ordered and they’ll ship it back to you.
The Vantel Pearl Products
Let’s take a look at some of Vantel Pearl’s products and their costs. Their main jewelry categories include:
Besides what you see in the image, here are the costs of some of their other jewelry:
- Necklaces range from $69 – $109
- Bracelets range from $49 – $74
- Rings range from $74 – $109
- Earrings range from $39 – $84
- Charms range from $55 – $65
Are Vantel Pearls Real Pearls?
According to the website, “Vantel pearls are genuine freshwater cultured pearls.” and “The genuine pearls get their beautiful hues from nature and subtle enhancements that bring out their unique beauty.”
Are these beautiful pearls and jewelry worth the costs?
Well, there have been customer complaints and even a class-action lawsuit regarding the quality of the jewelry. But we’ll get into that a little later.
For now, let’s get into the details of being a Vantel Pearls consultant.
How Much Does it Cost to Join Vantel Pearls?
It looks like there are two starter kit options:
At the time of this writing, the Starter Kit is $49, but it looks like from the graphic above that it’s usually $99.
The Pro Kit is $149.
Here’s an idea of what you would get in your Starter Kit:
In most MLMs, there is a monthly, or semi-monthly sales quota, and Vantel Pearls is no different. You need to have $500 is TSV (Total Sales Volume) in a rolling two month period.
However, with Vantel Pearls, it doesn’t look like your own personal sales would go toward this amount, which is kind of refreshing because it means you won’t have to spend a bunch of money on products that you don’t really need in order to qualify for sales and commissions.
With that in mind, you will have to make sure to make that amount via retail sales.
There may be other optional expenses involved with being a Vantel Pearls distributor. Some party hosts have different trinkets and games to make their parties more entertaining. Some may give out prizes.
Vantel Pearls Compensation Plan
The Vantel Pearls compensation is available here for your viewing pleasure. There are eight ranks:
- New Recruit
- Star Consultant
- Star Leader
- Executive Director
- Star Executive Director
I don’t understand compensation plans. I think they are purposely confusing. The one for Vantel Pearls doesn’t look too complicated, but I’m going to direct you to Behind MLM who does a great job of breaking down the requirements.
Vantel Pearls Income Disclosure
Vantel Pearls does not have an income disclosure that I could find. It doesn’t matter though because every income disclosure I’ve looked at reveals the same thing.
It’s almost impossible to make money in an MLM.
My friend Mike conducted his own study, looking into 167 MLM companies and he discovered that 92.3% of members lose money. You can find his research here.
And this study posted on the FTC website shows that over 99% of distributors lose money in an MLM.
The odds are not in your favor.
Vantel Pearls Complaints & Praise
Let’s start at the BBB. As mentioned above, Vantel Pearls is accredited with the BBB and they get an A- rating from them. The rating means that they are good at getting back to customers who have complaints and resolving their issues.
Looking at the reviews, some of the positive reviewers said things like:
- This was the most beautiful pearl purchase I’ve ever made
- I have pieces I have had for years, and I’ve never had a problem
- I have placed over 40 orders and I’ve never had a problem
- Vantel Pearls rocks!
- Finally, a direct sales company that is legit and fun at the same time
Now let’s take a look to see what the Vantel Pearls complaints are all about. They said things like:
- Total scam for customers and consultants
- I spent close to $400 on jewelry, but I never got it and I can’t get my money back
- Complete waste of money, not worth the hundred I spent
- After three months, my jewelry tarnished badly
- My credit card was charged, but my jewelry never came
I think this complaint sums everything up nicely:
Now, I just wanted to point you to TruthinAdvertising.org. This is a great website where you can see what kinds of tomfoolery companies are getting themselves into.
In 2017, TINA looked at every company in the DSA database and found that 97% are making unsubstantiated income claims. Vantel Pearls is no different. You can see the list of claims here.
Here’s a particular Facebook post that they point out, which you can get to here:
You’ve probably seen this kind of thing before. Distributors saying things like “I LOVE the financial freedom.” You can’t really say that unless you can back it up.
And as we already discussed, at least 92% of consultants LOSE money, so that claim is going to be very hard to back up.
I also wanted to talk about the marketing tactics in this post real quick because I see this a lot with distributors.
“I am so close to reaching one of my goals for a free vacation. I just need 2 people to join my team.”
What kind of marketing strategy is begging? This is a terrible tactic because people who join MLMs (or any other business) want to join to make themselves successful. No one cares about your vacation goal, Susan!
And you can see the post got 1 like, so that proves my point.
Vantel Pearls Lawsuits
When I started researching Vantel Pearls, I typed into Google “Is Vantel Pearls real” and the first thing that came up was this:
It’s never good when a class action lawsuit shows up in search like this.
According to classaction.org:
“Dozens of consumers have come forward with complaints regarding Vantel Pearls, including delayed shipments and poor jewelry quality. In light of these complaints, attorneys working with ClassAction.org began investigating whether the company could be sued.”
What’s interesting and sad is that it they decided to close the investigation because:
“The attorneys have reason to believe that Vantel is financially unstable and would be unable to reimburse all the class members in a successful lawsuit.”
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Is Vantel Pearls a Pyramid Scheme?
Now, we answer the big question. Is Vantel Pearls a pyramid scheme? Actually, they are not a pyramid scheme. And to be honest, since they focus a lot on retail sales, they are less pyramid-schemey (that’s a word I just made up) than many of the other MLMs I’ve reviewed.
Does that mean you should join them?
That’s your choice, but my recommendation is no. Let’s discuss after I share with you some of the pros and cons.
- Fairly inexpensive to join
- Pearl parties are fun
- It’s extremely hard to make money in an MLM, including Vantel Pearls
- There have been tons of complaints (and even a lawsuit) about the quality of the jewelry and pearls
- The jewelry is extremely overpriced
- You have to shuck dead oysters (not only ewww, but it seems wasteful and not environmentally friendly)
- Their customer service team doesn’t seem on top of things
- There have been many customer complaints that they paid for an order and didn’t receive it
- Vantel Pearls is financially unstable, according to the class-action lawsuit that was filed against them
MLMs are never a good idea if you actually want to make money. If you just want to do something in your spare time, and you want to host pearl parties for the fun of it, then go for it. But don’t expect to make a big income. Or any income.
Here’s a great video from The Recovering Hunbot regarding Vantel Pearls if you need more convincing.
I think Vantel Pearls is particularly scary due to the fact that they don’t seem to have any money. At least according to that class action lawsuit.
They also seem really disorganized as far as customer service issues go. That’s never a great way to keep your customers happy.
An Alternative to Vantel Pearls
Vantel Pearls jewelry is extremely overpriced, especially considering that they have gotten a lot of complaints about the poor quality of the sets.
But there’s good news. There are alternatives.
Of course, you can always find better jewelry at any reputable store. I can’t really guide you in that as I’m not an expert. I just wear my engagement band, wedding ring and a few things here and there that my husband gave me.
I’m so not fancy!
If you like the idea of opening up dead oysters to reveal a pearl inside, there are options for that too.
Amazon has everything. Dead oysters with pearls inside is no exception.
You can also hop on over to Etsy. They have ’em too.
If you want an alternative way to earn an income, then there are options for that too.
My favorite way to do that is through blogging and affiliate marketing.
You’re on my blog right now. And if you click on that picture of the oysters with pearls from Amazon, that’s an affiliate link.
Let’s say you ordered a set of those oysters or anything from Amazon. I would earn a commission.
That’s affiliate marketing in a nutshell.
Of course, you don’t have to promote oysters. Affiliate marketing is great because you can promote anything you like.
In fact, let me show you the difference between affiliate marketing and MLMs and you can see for yourself why I choose affiliate marketing. (And I have experience in both.)
There’s no comparison.
Is Vantel Pearls a pyramid scheme? I hope I helped you answer that question. They’re not a pyramid scheme, but I would still advise you to stay away from this one because:
- It’s extremely hard to make money in any MLM
- Vantel Pearls’s jewelry has a bad reputation of being low-quality
- They don’t have a lot of money and therefore could shut down at any moment
Instead, if you want to learn how to earn an income, be a real “boss babe” by actually working on your own business on your own time, then I encourage you to look into affiliate marketing. There’s no recruiting, no uplines, no downlines, no contacting friends, family, or strangers.
Other related content:
- Best Programs to Make Money Online
- Learn How to Make a Site That Pays You Over and Over Again
- How To: Affiliate Marketing for Beginners (FREE Guide)
- Ultimate Wealthy Affiliate Review