The jewelry and the lifestyle… this classic MLM has been getting some buzz lately as more people look for a way to make money from home. The goal of this Premier Designs review is to help you decide if it's for you. I'll discuss the jewelry (is it overpriced?), the compensation plan, as well as the cost and what it takes to become a successful Premier Jewelry consultant.
Please note, I am not a member or an affiliate for Premier Designs Jewelry. This review has been researched with information and/or testimonials that are available online in the public domain. Any recommendations and/or conclusions are strictly opinions and may not to apply to, or agree with, all persons or situations. See full disclaimer for more info
Premier Designs – Who Are They?
You might think that Premier Designs sells jewelry… and you’d be partially right. Their core business however, is selling lifestyle. Their purpose, as stated on the Premier Designs website is to “enrich every life they touch. Provide people a way to find identity and meet their personal and financial needs.”
On the outside, Premier Designs is a direct sales jewelry distributor. On the inside however, you will find an MLM family of distributors trying to build a life of freedom and independence.
It was the year 1985, in Texas, where Joan and Andy Horner founded Premier Designs. Based on Biblical principles, they first envisioned it as an opportunity for single Moms to stay home, as well as a way to support ministries around the world and the US.
What I’m going to say may be controversial… but in my opinion, multi-level-marketing and Biblical principles don’t go together very well. I’ll explain why in a moment.
How Does It Work?
Before you embark on your journey to freedom, you must purchase one of three boutique packages.
The least inexpensive option is the Simple Sparkle for $395.00. It includes,
- $300 in jewelry.
- $50 in business essentials, and…
- 3-month trial website subscription.
Next up is the Bling It On package which is $595.00. You get,
- $1,000 in jewelry.
- $75 in business essentials.
- 3-month trial website subscription.
Finally, there is the Luxe Launch boutique option for $795.00.
- $1,500 in jewelry.
- $100 in business essentials.
- 6-month trial website subscription
- Extra one-time jewelry discount.
It’s also worth mentioning here that there is a $350 annual renewal license.
Premier Designs is not the most expensive home-business to start, but it’s not cheap either. You can go with the entry-level Simple Sparkle package but it won’t be long before you are spending money on fuel, possibly parking, supplies for style shows (home parties) and additional show inventory.
With a lucrative compensation plan, your sales should cover your expenses… but they are still important to include in your budget.
In addition to the financial cost, Premier Designs suffers from what most (if not all) MLM’s suffer from. They are best suited to people who are good at selling and recruiting.
If that does not describe you, it won’t be the cost of getting started that holds you back.
Like trying to stay on a diet that makes you miserable… you'll be held back by the frustration of having to do something you don’t like doing. You can sell and recruit for awhile, but if you don't enjoy it, building your business will be difficult to sustain.
Don't Like Recruiting? Check out my number one recommendation. Learn how to earn from home without ever having to sell or recruit a single person.
Making Money With Premier Designs
Of course, the goal isn’t to spend money, but to earn it, and Premier Designs does not disappoint. At least, not as far as commission rates go. You earn 50% of the jewelry you sell at retail value.
That’s a big number for physical products. You can look at that in one of two ways. Get excited about it, or… question what the real cost of the jewelry is if they can afford to pay you 50%.
But the commissions don't stop there.
This is of course an MLM, and your ultimate goal (if you want to create passive income like other multi-level-marketing programs such as Youngevity or Team National) is to recruit distributors into your downline… a process referred to here as building a Premier family.
Unlike pyramid scams such as 30-Day Success Formula though, this one is legit.
And in addition to the 50% commissions (on your own sales), you also earn 10% on sales from your first 3 levels of distributors… also called Jewelers.
Premier Designs has labeled this the 10-10-10 plan, and it’s quite impressive.
Do The Numbers Add Up?
As they say… the devil is in the details, and this is when I first became skeptical of their Biblical principles claim.
On the surface, it appears as though you receive 10% from all the products sold by your first 3 downline levels. If that’s true… that means your upline is also getting 10% from your first and second level. Your downline is getting 10% from your second and third level.
In all… 30% is being paid out, right? That's the 10-10-10 plan.
Thirty percent (30%) in addition to the fifty percent (50%) the actual seller (you) are receiving… totals 80% in commissions!
But, we're not done paying people. What about Premier Designs? They need to make money too.
How much do they keep? There’s only 20% left (after 80% in commissions have been paid out). Let’s say they keep 10% as well.
That means… unless my math is wrong… 90 out of every 100 dollars is going to pay sellers. (50% to you + 30% to you and your upline/downline + 10% to Premier Designs).
That’s leaves $10 to cover the cost of the product, the packaging, the shipping and the handling. And what about support for ministries around the world and in the US?
Is it fair to say (if those numbers are correct) you might be selling a product worth five-dollars (a trinket really) to your friends and family for a hundred bucks?
That doesn’t seem right does it? There has to be some financial trickery going on here…
As I mentioned above… the devil is in the details. Your commissions are based on Commissionable CV… which includes sales from Jewelry Shows, Individual Orders and Catalogue Purchase Plan Orders.
And when you get into the finer print you find this…
I may be misinterpreting this policy, and if anyone reading this can clarify please do in the comments section below.
But, it seems to me that the 10% commission has a maximum of $100 per Jeweler in your downline. Is that a game changer? What are your thoughts?
They’re not necessarily lying about the 10-10-10 plan, but are they being completely honest? These may be mild deceptions that you might expect from most MLM’s… but as I mentioned above, it’s my opinion that MLM’s and Biblical Principles don’t go together very well.
And, I need to be clear, this is NOT a condemnation… although the math seems straightforward to me, I could be missing something here. I'm only adding up the numbers and asking the question.
In addition to earning commissions, like most MLM’s, we get into a complex matrix of levels, bonuses and requirements.
I won’t spend too much time on these because they probably won’t mean too much at this stage. In fact, considering the vast majority (some studies say 99%) never make money in multi-level-marketing once expenses are accounted for… so many of these extra goodies will be out of reach for most.
Jewelry Show Club Awards
These are achievement level awards for doing Jewelry Shows
- 25 Jewelry Shows (in any 120 consecutive days) – Jewelry Show Club Charm
- 100 Jewelry Shows (no time period) – $250.00 Retail Jewelry Certificate, 100 Jewelry Show Club Charm
- 250 Jewelry Shows (no time period) – 250 Jewelry Show Club Charm
- 500 Jewelry Shows (no time period) – 500 Jewelry Show Club Charm
- 750 Jewelry Shows (no time period) – 750 Jewelry Show Club Charm
- 1,000 Jewelry Shows (no time period) – 1,000 Jewelry Show Club Charm, Plaque awarded at National Rally
Crown Jewel Program Awards
The purpose of the Crown Jewel Program, is to inspire Jewelers to build a balanced business through selling and recruiting.
Level CV Requirement Award
- Level – Amethyst
Requirement – $3,000 Qualifying CV in any 30-consecutive-day period Award – $200 Retail Jewelry Certificate Amethyst Level Award Charm
- Level – Sapphire
Requirement – $6,000 Qualifying CV in any 60-consecutive-day periodAward – $400 Retail Jewelry Certificate Sapphire Level Award Charm
- Level – Ruby
Requirement – $9,000 Qualifying CV in any 90-consecutive-day period Award – $600 Retail Jewelry Certificate Ruby Level Award Charm
- Level – Emerald
Requirement – $12,000 Qualifying CV in any 120-consecutive-day period Award – $800 Retail Jewelry Certificate Emerald Level Award Charm
The purpose of the Century Club is to give recognition to the high achievers in their personal Jewelry Show business. Jewelers who hold 100 Jewelry Shows in a calendar year are awarded membership into the Century Club for that year.
Beyond this point you get into the Founder’s Club, the Founder’s Circle, as well as Designers, Executives, Executive Directors, and several Diamond levels.
Is it A Scam or A Pyramid Scheme?
Although scams and pyramid schemes share similar characteristics, they are different.
A scam is defined as “a dishonest way to make money by deceiving people”.
Premier Designs has been in business since 1985 and they are a member of the Direct Selling Association which has a specific code of ethics that members must follow. They are not a scam.
Having said that, as with all MLM’s, the potential to be a scam exists as independent distributors (or “Jewelers”) going “rogue” so to speak, can use deception and dishonesty to gain a person’s trust and take their money.
And, it's not always deliberate. It’s common in multi-level-marketing to repeat what your upline tells you. And, your upline is often repeating what they’re upline told them. It’s easy for things to get miscommunicated along the way.
A pyramid scheme on the other hand is defined as “a business model that recruits members via a promise of payments or services for enrolling others into the scheme”
These can be both legal, and illegal, as you probably know. Again… having been in business for thirty plus years, Premier Designs operates within the legal boundaries.
Those legal boundaries however, are always being pushed (not necessarily by Premier Designs, but by MLM’s in general) and there are some things to watch out for;
“Unfortunately, extravagant income claims and compensation plans that reward recruiting over sales continue to plague the MLM industry,”said Jessica Rich, Director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection. “MLM companies must ensure that their promotional materials aren’t misleading, and that their compensation programs focus on selling goods or services to customers who really want them, not on recruiting more distributors.”
So Premier Designs Jewelry is neither a scam, nor an illegal pyramid scheme.
Premier Jewelry Home Parties (Style Shows)
If you’d rather not become a Premier Jewelry consultant, you can still earn (free jewelry) by hosting home parties… or “style shows” in Premier Designs' lingo.
And, as a consultant (or jeweler), these style shows will be a valuable sales tool.
Simply ask a friend to host a Premier Jewelry party (I say simply… but we know that’s not always true) and she can earn free jewelry, as well as 50% off of several items.
When show sales exceed $200 in retail sales, your friend (family, neighbor, etc.) earns 30% of her style show’s retail sales in free jewelry. In addition, she will receive 50% off of (up to) 8 items… depending on total show sales.
There is a quote on the Premier Designs website (and in their Jeweler Handbook and Facebook Page) attributed to Proverbs 16:11, which states that “God demands fairness in every business deal”.
There are actually over 50 variations of this particular verse from Proverbs, and you have to dig pretty deep to find this version.
But, getting back on topic… for every business deal to be fair, the customer needs to walk away feeling satisfied as well.
Unfortunately, as I read reviews about Premier Designs’ jewelry it became clear that not everyone thought the deal was fair.
And, considering the lucrative commissions mentioned earlier (which could potentially add up to eighty or even ninety percent)… it seems reasonable to assume that people are overpaying for jewelry that's cheaper in quality than the price suggests.
The online Premier Jewelry catalog lists anklets, bracelets, charms, earrings, necklaces, rings, watches, enhancers and pins, as well as men’s jewelry, key chains and styling tools.
So what are people saying?
Premier Jewelry Reviews
The quality is subjective of course, and I’m only sharing what others have been saying (examples below). Before passing judgement, I highly recommend that you find a local Premier Designs Jeweler to show you some pieces.
Not all are bad reviews though. Here are some positive ones as well.
What I Like About Premier Designs
- I’m torn about the high commission rates. If the quality lives up to the retail price and your customers are happy, then the high commissions are a good thing. If it turns out to be costume jewelry at premium prices, however, those commissions are a problem.
My suggestion would be to purchase a few items through regular channels before joining to see if the service and the quality is something you could recommend to others.
- You will require some show inventory, but your sales orders are shipped for free, direct from Premier Designs. Customers can also place orders using the online Premier Jewelry catalog. You won’t be stocking product, shipping it, or delivering it… which leaves you more time to focus on selling.
- They’ve been in business for more than 30 years, and despite the negative reviews and accusations of being a scam… they must be doing something right to have endured that long.
- 60-day manufacturer guarantee against defects.
What I Don’t Like
- Like all MLM’s, success is rarely achieved unless you have a rare outgoing personality, enjoy speaking in front of people, and possibly begin with previous experience or unique circumstances that give you access to many people. A community leader for example, or local business owner.
- They have restrictions when it comes to selling online. The internet is a valuable tool for home-based businesses… especially if you’re not the sales and recruiting type.
However, according to the Premier Designs handbook, “Jewelers are not permitted to use the internet to sell or auction products.” This isn’t the opportunity for those looking to start an online business. There are better options if earning an income online is what you’d rather do.
- Continuing the topic of rules and restrictions, this brings up an important point…
It’s a misconception to call an MLM business… YOUR business. When joining a multi-level-marketing business you are signing a contract. Not only are you bound by their rules, your income is coming from a single company and brand.
It’s not unlike your job. If you decide to quit or move on to a new opportunity, you are leaving this one behind and starting from scratch.
There are things to like about Premier Designs, and you are buying into a system of help and support that has potential.
On the other hand, setting up a home-based business online (that is completely yours) is both less expensive, and free from the rules and restrictions typically found in multi-level-marketing.
Premier Designs is not the perfect opportunity, but it might be right… for the right person. They have a track record, and if MLM's suit your personality you may want to consider them.
Hopefully this Premier Jewelry review was helpful.
If you have any questions, comments or a review of your own, please share in the comments section below 😀
PS – I’ve gone down the MLM path before (Amway) with frustrating results, and I’ve since learned that for those who don't enjoy selling, earning an income online is significantly easier (in my opinion).
Click HERE for the exact formula I followed
9 thoughts on “Premier Designs Jewelry Review – The Pearl of MLM’s or Fake Diamond?”
I think how the numbers are getting mixed up is you are thinking the 50% of the sales in commissions plus the 10% three layers down is used to pay the commissions. I was a member of Premier designs, only stopped doing it because I received a promotion at my full-time job but had me working crazier hours and I just hadn’t had time to set up parties. However I did pretty well I was in for about two and a half years and made close to $15,000. I would have made more, but I could only do about two parties a month with the schedule I had before the promotion. After I decided not to re-up in 2018, I still was receiving call from attendees at my hostesses parties wanting to book a party with me, I of course recommended them to the next closest jeweler, but they had specifically wanted me to be their jeweler (honestly women seem to get a kick out of a guy showing jewelry to them and the different ways they can wear the jewelry). I loved entertaining and playing the games and watching the excitement when they won free prizes or free jewelry and if you are good at entertaining and not shy, this could be a great business for someone with that kind of personality.
Okay so back to the 50% commissions, earned on the total of sales at the party BEFORE taxes. So say the party made a $1000 in sales before taxes, I would receive $500 (CV), in order to fund the commissions as you say there is an $8 fee (at least back when I was doing it) called the jeweler fee and a fee for the amount of bonuses the hostess received, so say the hostess got all three bonuses , than it would be $24, so that with the always $8 jeweler fee would be a total of $32, which is what the jeweler pays (how they are able to give %50 of commissions and 10-10-10) So subtract that from my $500 commission and I would receive $468. Not bad for a two hour showing (the average time of a party – sometimes a little longer or a little shorter). Now in order for my upline to receive the 10% (which is paid directly from Premier designs, not out of my sales; so I keep all my money) she/he would have to create $1000 in jewelry sales themselves from parties or sales (which they can do with just two parties (depending on how well they do it may take 3, or they may do it in 1 party!) Then they are paid directly from premier as stated above. This is so that the upline doesn’t just do nothing and collect commissions, they have to work themselves to earn it – why its not a pyramid scheme because they are very much about promoting a product – The Jewelry! Now it is your business, because you do get product, so you can display it at your hostesses parties, but a lot you can receive for free to bonuses you earn, giveaways at functions, or buy it at 50% off yourself. So that jewelry I can sell from off my table for the price I choose; obviously if you want to maintain good customer service, you sell it for a discounted price, and that money I keep all for myself. Also if I want to give further discounts to my customers to maintain a good relationship, that is my choice and I have to eat the cost (as a normal business does when they offer discounts). As far as the not selling online, that is only jewelers cannot advertise and try to sell their jewelry on Amazon or E-bay or create a website selling it and not promoting as Premier designs.while a jeweler through Premier. However, as for myself for example, who no longer is a member, the jewelry I own ,Ii can sell it whatever way i want. Now a Premier Designs jeweler can actually use Facebook Live and have a Face book party (I did a couple myself and profited decently from it, as customers can purchase directly online now and it will be linked to that specific hostess, under that specific jeweler. Or You can do a non-live online party, where folks will go the hostesses link. Another way is they could use an amazing platform like Wealthy Affiliate and create a website, giving a review (like yours here) about the jewelry, show you tube videos about the jewelry, etc. and put in links to their specifically created Premier Designs website (which I think would be an excellent way for them to advertise)
So with the right type of motivation, incentive, charm and charisma, one could be very successful with Premier Designs.
All in all I did like your article, and for the most part, it was a pretty fair and honest review, a few misinformed areas, but still a very fair review.
Hi, Jay. Thanks for your review of Premier Designs jewelry. I was a former PD jewelry sales rep., ”Former” due to the poor jewelry quality. I was selling and earning enough to cover my expenses and make a profit the first year. However, I had so many returns for damages that I could not continue to ethically/morally sell PD jewelry. My upline tried to convince me the number of damages was normal for any business. She quoted the “free replacement” policy. However, returns/replacements are not free for the PD sales consultant. Needless to say, my upline was only “my friend” while I was her downline for Premier. If someone is comfortable selling overpriced jewelry along with handling many damages, then Premier Designs jewelry might be for them.
This information is wrong. I have been at Director level (designer and above) with PD for 11 years . We earn 10% commission on our first 3 levels. I have made 50% cash commission on my jewelry sales. Premier Designs is one of the ONLY MLMs that is honest. You can ACTUALLY make money selling jewelry . I sell $55,000 to $80,000 in jewelry every year . With NO INVENTORY. All of.my samples have been earned for FREE!!! Premier Designs gives away ridiculous amounts of jewelry to above average achievers. Plus! We can earn 30% in free jewelry when we host a party for ourselves. I have made money EVERY year, including my first year. I don’t market on Facebook or social media.
Thank you for sharing your insight. I’m not sure what information is wrong though… I think the numbers and percentages you are quoting are consistent with the review. Whether you make money or not though depends on the distributor and I’m certain you would agree, most people who join will make very little money, which is fine. MLM’s are not everyone’s cup of tea.
The bigger question I think, is what the actual value of the jewelry being sold is? If you have a $100 piece of jewelry and the seller is making 50%, 3 levels of distributors are each making 10% and then you add in the logistical costs as well as Premier Designs’ margins… your customer is getting an item that is worth significantly less than what they are paying. It would suggest (and I’m not being condescending, I’m just referring to the math) that the samples are free because the actual dollar value of the jewelry is somewhat insignificant. 80% of the value is commissions that would have been paid out anyway (and at least another 10% is logistical and Premier Designs’ margin), unless my math is wrong, which is entirely possible.
I think, although I don’t know… that some people would be uncomfortable selling $100 worth of jewelry to someone knowing that at least 80% of their money is going to pay commissions to distributors. I mean, when you buy something from a store you’re okay knowing they are earning 20%-30% to cover their costs and earn some profit. But 80% is a lot.
Having said that, I have no doubt that you’re successful and for the right person, Premier Designs is a good opportunity.
I need to weigh in here. You obviously aren’t schooled in normal, customary retail markup. Which is 800%. How do you think that retailers regularly sell clothing and jewelry at 50- 75% off and still make money? Where do you think retailers get the avg $5000 monthly store lease, salespersons salaries & commissions, cleaning & maintenance, bags, boxes & packaging, shipping the inventory, not to mention magazine & television marketing funds from? Every dime comes out of the end product. .Every cost is built into pricing that product. You are naive if you think that normal retail markup is 20-30% that is laughable! It doesn’t matter if you’re buying a gallon of gas or a gallon of milk, every supplier, shipper, salesperson, packer, merchandiser, etc… from the cow to the supermarket makes a 109% markup along the way. So the next time you treat yourself to that luxury brand $100 night treatment cream you need to realize youve got about $2.50 in product in there and the other $97.50 is packaging, shipping, marketing, modeling, commissions, store leases and maybe a little research! Is that misrepresentation? No ma’am that my dear is good old American capitalism at its finest! Why do you think Premier Dedigns should be run differently? If they choose to put 100% of their marketing/advertising budget into their hostess plan, that is their prerogative! If they prefer to pay their reps a better than average commission and forgo corporate Lear jets…again, their prerogative! I fear you are misinformed and naive.
I am cautious of MLMs that are priced high, although this one is justified by the elegance of the products. When a person coming from a low background joins such business for any reason, he or she will be compelled to work really hard just to recoup the huge investment and if he or she fail to sell the products, then he’s left with expensive products lying in the garage.
I have a question about your PS line.. What can you say about these new MLMs that are launched online that work exactly like affiliate program where you no longer have to do face to face selling?
Hey Gomer, thanks for your comment.
No one wants to be left with products in the garage, but I suspect it happens more often than we know.
As far as the new “hybrid” versions of MLM’s that work like affiliate programs… I do like that there’s less face to face selling. I spent many years in B2B sales, I also sold insurance about 15 years ago and as mentioned, tried the MLM thing and would go out at night and on weekends trying to meet people everywhere from supermarkets and movie rental stores to car dealerships. Some people enjoy that type of thing… I never did. I like meeting people, just not for the purpose of always selling. So anything that takes the face to face element out of it I think is good.
However, the problem with MLM’s (online, hybrid or classic) is that you’re still bound to that specific company… and trying to get people into that company. I prefer having an independent online business and having full control over the products and services I recommend.
It’s hard to be unbiased if you’re tied to a specific product or brand… and it’s also difficult to change direction if you’ve built a big downline. With an independent online business, if for any reason I want to change, or a product I recommend no longer delivers as they used to… all I have to do is change a few links.
Sorry for the long winded answer 😀 Hopefully answers your question.
I enjoyed reading your review about this jelwery Home business. I have to agree that even if it is not technically a scam, there are a lot of things they don’t explain well like the compensation plan which makes me raise an eyebrow toward them.
Also not to mention it cost a whole lot to join and sell the products. Also I don’t like the fact this is an Mlm type company where main source income from recrutimg people and not not the products themselves.
Hi Michael, thanks for stopping by. I agree their are some things about the compensation plan that require some clarity, but as far as being an MLM, I think Premier Designs does try to balance their retail sales with their recruiting efforts.
If you don’t mind sales and recruiting, there is a potential business opportunity here… for the right person. I think the bigger issue with MLM’s is that you’re still tied down to one company and one product line. You can work your own hours, but it seems (to me at least) that it’s not unlike having a job. If you don’t like the company, if they treat you unfairly or change the rules, the pricing, the quality of the products or the services… you’re stuck with them. Unless of course, you decide to quit, but then… like a job, your income is gone and you’re searching for something new.
When you build your own business you can diversify and protect yourself from becoming dependent on any one company or supplier.
I appreciate your comments and insights 🙂