Recently, I was on Facebook and came across a few excited individuals, promoting a beauty brand called LipSense. There seems to be a lot of hype around it so after some research, I found out that it is not just a regular lipstick, but one that comes with an income opportunity – ah-ha! Instead of indulging in the product, this article aims to discuss more on the business side of things in an effort to answer, is LipSense worth selling in an already saturated and competitive beauty niche? Read on if you are curious to know.
What Exactly Is LipSense
LipSense is one of the many beauty products that are being distributed by SeneGence, a network marketing company based in Oklahoma, US. Even though it has been around since 1999, it’s only in recent years that we hear about it on the internet. The brand prides itself for producing premium cosmetics that are animal-cruelty free, uses FDA approved ingredients and made up of mostly natural ingredients.
Key Selling Features
LipSense is unique in several ways and one of the following factors is probably what captures your attention in the first place.
1) I am sure you’ve heard that the liquid lipstick is waterproof, smudge-proof and could stay on your lips for up to 18 hours. So, it may be suitable for women who are constantly in the outdoors, yet still want the good-look at the same time, although no one really knows what chemical equation causes such long-lasting effect.
2) When a product is tied to a networking company, it means that you can sign up as a distributor and enjoy discounted orders, earn from retail profits AND bonuses/incentives through building a team of down lines. Such a scheme usually targets female individuals like college students, stay at home moms or any women who are interested in the entrepreneurial side of beauty products. I am guessing you are probably one of them.
What Are The Challenges With Selling LipSense
On the outlook, the product seems fantastic and you might think that everyone is going to buy it. Well, reality can be quite the opposite.
1) An Unordinary Lipstick
Firstly, the application process isn’t as straightforward as you think. Right after the lipstick, it must be followed by a special lip gloss coating to prevent dryness. In fact, it is recommended to apply the gloss several times a day to lock the moisture and by the end of the day, one will need a special liquid to remove the lipstick color.
That means, to get the best out of LipSense, three different sticks are required to complete the whole process, from putting it on to taking it off. Great for those who have the luxury of time, but not so for busy moms.
On top of that, the liquid lipsticks also come with a strong alcohol smell and according to some users, it could sting at first touch. Yeah, so much for ‘natural ingredient’, right. Perhaps this video can provide better visualization.
2) Pricey and Somewhat Old Fashion
When comparing to other brands in the market, a set of LipSense will cost more because you are essentially buying 3 sticks (LipSense color is $20 to $25/piece, the lip gloss is about $20 and the removal liquid is $10). That puts them in the higher price range where only certain consumers will want to buy.
That’s all fine, but there’s a certain issue that bothers me – their packaging. If you get a chance to look at it, the labeling and designs of the product will remind you of the ’90s. Even though it is not a representation of the product quality, it affects the appeal factor, especially when you are trying to sell to the younger generation of female users.
3) The Risk of Keeping an Inventory
Like most direct selling companies, promoting LipSense involves home parties and product demonstration. When someone wants to buy something, they either do it on the spot or expect you to deliver as soon as possible. That means you need to have some inventory on the standby.
New distributors are usually offered discounted prices to buy at wholesale and this may prompt many people to stock up even before they have any idea on how to sell these things.
And there’s a danger to that because if you rely on networking alone, your targeted customers are actually quite limited, which will cause your inventory to move slower. At that rate, you could potentially be running the business at a loss.
4) Poor eCommerce Presence
Okay, so maybe there are people who are really interested in long-lasting lipsticks. How many would you know within your circle of friends? Probably not a lot. What if I tell you that the larger population of these consumers are actually online?
They could be searching for this type of product but never heard of LipSense before. When you think about promoting this set of audience, you’ll soon discover that the company falls behind when it comes to online marketing.
They might be popular on Facebook right now, but when it comes to the actual eCommerce experience, there is a lot of inconsistency and they pale in comparison to other beauty brands with solid online retail presence.
Technically, one can own a distributor website to sell directly to the online customers, but it would cost $300/year for maintenance and mind you, the design of the website is not impressive at all. Honestly, I didn’t have any luck finding these sites online so I am guessing that they are either not very search-engine friendly OR they are not widely used in the first place.
To add to the urgency of the situation, there are distributors who are actually using the Amazon platform to sell these products at a cheaper price range. Just look at the price difference below.
It’s pretty obvious who’s better at selling here, and if you are going to stick with home parties, I bet that all your potential customers are heading towards Amazon for their purchases.
5) Meeting the Distributorship Requirement
A lot of time, network companies aren’t very transparent about what’s required to become a successful distributor. So here’s what you need to know about LipSense before you think about becoming their distributor.
- The distributorship opportunity is only available in the US, Canada, and Australia.
- You need to pay $55 per year to remain as an active member.
- You must spend $200 within a 6 month period in order to maintain as an active distributor.
- Besides just selling products, recruiting new distributors is essential to make the most out of their ‘complicated’ compensation plan.
Factor in with poor marketing strategies and it’s obvious how unrewarding the whole process can become after all the time and money you spend on this endeavor.
So, Is LipSense Worth Selling?
Even though I am a big believer in product innovation, there’s something about this ‘magical’ liquid lipstick that makes me feel uncomfortable about using it. As for the so-called income opportunity, it is nothing more than your typical MLM scheme whereby more than 90% of its members never really make anything out of it.
While the social media frenzy portrays this brand as some kind of hot selling product, a quick search on Google Trends tells us otherwise.
The curve that you see in the graph is what Google calls as a ‘Falling Star’ which means, fads that have reached their peak and have already started to DECLINE rapidly. That pretty much explains as to whether LipSense is worth buying OR selling or not.
But hey, that’s not the end of lipsticks, girls. If you still want to make something successful out of the beauty business niche, why not try affiliate marketing instead. It’s more flexible, there’s no hype – just genuine product reviews – and no pressure with selling or recruiting.
Want to know how to get started? Take a look inside this awesome training platform, connect with me and I’ll be more than happy to show you the step-by-step. Hope to talk to you soon.
Question – What experience do you have with selling beauty products, especially one that is related to MLM? Please share them in the comment space below.