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I know that this is a very long review but it is aimed at anyone that is thinking of joining The Body Shop At Home so that they know everything they could want to before signing up, I hope that it will help.
Background and deciding to sign up.
I am a complete addict when it comes to The Body Shop and can't deny that I spend way too much on their products and am constantly after trying new products they bring out as well as the products I am yet to use/own. I can honestly say that coming across a dud Body Shop product is a rarity.
My job has been getting more and more boring to me and so a change was in order, I have been looking on and applying for the odd job every now and again that came up on the job centre website with no real luck, I guess the lack of urgency means that I am not pushing myself like I should in searching for something.
While looking through job after job, which didn't interest me, I came across one advert that did! The Body Shop have their shops and website but also have a section called The Body Shop At Home. Before seeing this ad and looking into it further I had never heard of this side of it. The At Home section is that a consultant comes to your home bringing catalogues and products and you have friends round and try things out and order from the catalogue, much like Ann Summers, Virgin Vie and Tupperware parties.
I was interested but thought that there must be a catch, there always is isn't there!?
I visited the Body Shop website and found links to the At Home area and read up on what it is all about (see end for website address) and after reading a lot and becoming interested I watched a snippet of their video which they send you if you apply for more information and I couldn't believe my eyes! One of the women on this video (only for a few seconds) was a girl I used to go to primary school with!
As this friend was on there I thought she was the ideal way to find out more without it being some faceless person that was going to tell me what they felt was best for them rather than a personal and honest account that I knew I would get from this old school friend. She had always been quiet, reliable, honest and genuine at school and I knew nothing would have changed.
I contacted this friend through Facebook, see it's not just for bunking off work duties!
She was really helpful and as she was further up the career ladder with The Body Shop At Home she could sign me up personally and be my manager, it meant she would be getting something out of it too (I will explain that in the career ladder section), which I thought made more sense.
She answered all my questions and concerns and talked me through everything, as I had never been to a party to know what it was all about she invited me to go with her to one before I signed up so that I knew what I would be getting into.
The party I went to with her was brilliant! So simple to be at and do! I was definitely up for joining and by this point I had talked everything through with my other half and he was very supportive and even paid my sign up costs.
I had read everything I could find to see if I would end up regretting it but there seemed to be no obvious loophole that could end up being my eventual downfall.
Joining up and signing my life away.
After the party my friend came back to my flat for a coffee and talked me through my final few questions before I signed up and handed over my money.
Almost every month there is an offer on joining. I know the offers they have had for the last few months, I thought if I put these you will get the general idea.
Christmas offer was joining for £75 and you got the usual kit (detailed later) along with a selection of gifts and Christmas products worth just over £50.
January offer- half price kit fee of £45!
February offer- Join for £95 and receive a free Aqua lily set worth £41.50.
March offer- join for £95 and also get the new Moringa collection, this includes body butter (both 200ml and 50ml versions), body scrub, shower gel, foam bath, body lotion and body brush. I don't know how much this is worth exactly but by my calculations it is at least £55!
If you plan to join you are better off watching the offers and doing so when it is an offer you feel is good value, not that the kit isn't good value to start with.
Before you sign up they like you to already have five parties booked with friends, relatives and/or colleagues.
The form that I had to fill in my friend helped me with and it was pretty simple. Because of the offer I joined on, the Christmas one, it was a case of it you do not reach £325 worth of sales within six weeks you had to pay an extra £20 so that they have had the full price of the kit (the normal price of the kit is £95). I know that sounds like a loophole to worry about but it isn't, as you will soon see when you keep reading. She needed a credit card payment really so that the further £20 could be taken if I hadn't done the sales but as I don't have one my friend was happy to do it on her card as she knew that if I had to make the extra payment I would see her right and she had my address.
Receiving my kit.
Is it really sad that I was excited? Yes I know I am sad! I couldn't wait to get my hands on it and try out the things in it!
About a week after I had paid and signed up my kit was delivered. All boxed up and full of goodies I was like a child at Christmas!
I was told by my friend to go through and check that everything on my invoice was in my kit as she had signed up consultants that had found they had one or two things missing when they had received theirs, so I did.
Not only do you receive the products but also business tools as they call them.
There was a 18 inch dark green trolley case for it to all go in as well as a selection of make up, make up brushes, skin care, body products and a home fragrance oil and burner. That is the main kit not including the extras that came with my offer, two body butters, home fragrance oil and two gift sets.
The support tools are great, there is a large folder with product information on almost everything, catalogues (core and Christmas in my case), flyers and order forms as well as a tablecloth for a good display at parties.
My kit was complete there was nothing missing after I had been through and ticked off what was on the invoice so I went about trying and sniffing, poking and prodding the products I had never used before.
The kit contains products that are worth over £500 without the value of the business tools! That is excellent
value and it can make you money!
Before your first and every party you need a host, no not like in Alien! The host is the person throwing the party and is the most important part, as they will have the influence on how much money you can make at the parties.
It is best to sit down with the host about two weeks before the finalised party date and talk about what they would like to happen at their party and help them draw up a guest list, the more people they invite the more potential orders. Some will drop out at the last minute so over inviting is always the best way.
The more the hosts party makes the more the host can get for free and half price, working this out is simple there is a table showing this in the front of the catalogue to make this easy for you and the host. Sales total---------Free shopping----------Half price shopping £120-----------------------£15-------------------------£0 £180-- --------------------£15-------------------------£30 costs £15 £230-----------------------£30-------------------------£30 costs you only £15 £280-----------------------£30-------------------------£50 costs you only £25 £330-----------------------£50-------------------------£50 costs you only £25 £380-----------------------£50-------------------------£70 costs you only £35 £430-----------------------£70-------------------------£70 costs you only £35 £480-----------------------£70-------------------------£90 costs you only £45 £530-----------------------£90-------------------------£90 costs you only £45 Additional half price shopping added in £20 increments for each additional £100 of sales above £480. Additional free shopping added in £20 increments for each additional £100 sales above £530.
As well as the above incentive there is almost always another, February's was that if the party total was over £200 then the host could buy a collection of Japanese cherry blossom body butter, EDT and shower gel for just £5. The set is worth £34. March has a similar offer where the set offered is a vanity case, make up bag, mirror, manicure set and nail buffer worth £32.50 for just £5. I find it best to take the offered incentive with me so that they will try and get their total over £200 in order to get the items offered.
You leave them with a catalogue or two as well as order forms and invites to give to their friends. Anyone that they invite that can't come can then place an order if they want to, extra sales equals a bigger party value and potentially more freebies for the host!
When getting ready for the party it is a good idea to use some of their products so that if someone likes your perfume for example you can say oh it's this one and hand it to them to try themselves.
About half an hour to an hour before the planned party you turn up and set out on a table or the floor your products, making them look as appealing as possible to get as much interest as you can.
Chat with the host and try and keep her calm, you know how a lot of women get when they are having people round, panicking over how many will turn up and that the whole thing is going to be a disaster!
As the guests arrive you introduce yourself and make conversation while handing them catalogues and order forms with a pen and if you like a piece of paper for them to note things down on as they go through.
Once everyone has arrived you start off with a little get to know you game which is great for breaking the ice and relaxing everyone. I like the what is the worst present you have ever received game. At the end of this the winning person gets a little prize to make up for the bad gift they had previously received. This doesn't cost all that much as I will explain later in the ordering section.
There are different types of party and what then happens is down to the host and will have been discussed in the planning stage.
The host can chose to hold a
Fabulous facial party
- you give the host a facial talking through the products you are using, how they help the skin and the best ways in which to use them. Help people to figure out their skin type and which range would be best for them. ===Pamper party=== - The host asks the guests to bring a towel and bowl with them and they all have a foot soak and try the foot products and some hand cream. ===makeover party=== - you ask the host to be fresh faced when you arrive and you make her up to look fantastic showing the guests how easy the products are to use and just how good they can look.
or they can chose to try a little of everything.
I have found that the one that works out the best is the bit of everything because different people are interested in different things and if you are invited to a Body Shop party but don't use make up only for it to be a makeover party you have no interest in the products being shown and used for example.
I find it best showing the products I really like as that way you know what you are talking about and can convey how good that product is. If someone asks me about a product I have never used I will tell them the truth but try and be of as much help as possible.
It is usually easiest to work through the book picking out one or two products from each two-page spread to get the guests to look through the whole catalogue.
After talking through and testing out the products you give them a chance to take a closer look at anything they may be interested in that is in your display and answer any questions they may have on ordering, product, which is better value and gift ideas. It is obvious really, you make sure you help as much as possible while trying to encourage in the most gentle of ways them to buy as much as possible.
If there is interest in a certain product and it is something they can easily try then encourage them to do just that! If it is a shade of lipstick put it on them, body scrub etc can be tried on the hands, they can easily pop to the bathroom to wash something off of their hands.
Once they have ordered you check through their order and that the total is correct, that everything is in stock as well as taking payment or checking that their card details are readable and all there. Once that is done ask if they would be interested in either hosting a party of their own or becoming a consultant just like you. Even if they said no to becoming a consultant if they seem ideal for it mark on their order form in the corner why they seem cut out for it, I will explain why later.
Once everyone has placed their orders and left, you total up the orders including the hosts' that is the party value and once you have that you can work out what the host is entitled to when it comes to freebies and half price shopping using the table talked about previously.
As the host will know about the free and half price shopping incentive because of the visit before the party she will no doubt have tried to make the party total as much as possible so that she can get as much as possible out of it.
If for example the party value is the average that The Body Shop At Home sees of £200 the host will be able to buy the host special for £5, chose £15 worth of products for free and order a further £30 worth of products of the choice and pay just £15 for them. That works out with February's host offer as being, £79 worth of products at a cost of £20, bargain!
If two or more of the hosts guests have booked a party then she also gets a gift worth £15!
You then tidy up, arrange a delivery time for the order of about a week later and leave.
Placing the orders is a lot simpler than I had expected, my friend said that if at any point I was unsure to ring her and should would help me, I am sure any manager would be like this.
I bank any money for orders before placing an order, that is personal preference you can pay yourself and bank the money later if that is more convenient for you.
There are two ways of ordering, you can call the call centre or order on-line. I have not called in an order so cannot comment on that side of ordering but the way I see it is that if you do the order on-line you aren't relying on someone else getting everything right and can see in front of you the details of everything to know that you have done everything correctly.
The website is simply laid out and easy to follow, the majority is all common sense. I will talk about the rest of the site shortly but the ordering area is simple and can be used in two ways when adding products, you can search an item by code or by name.
You add the customers one by one and add each product checking them off against the order form. The website totals up and also says if the customer is entitled to any offers that may be on at the time.
They offer what is known as a PWP Purchase With Purchase most months, this is usually a gift bag with a few small products in with around a thirty pound value that can be bought for a small fee when over a certain value of products have been ordered.
The host is added slightly differently so that the site can identify them and advise how much they are entitled to free etc.
Once all the orders have been placed you can if you wish add your own, the Consultant always appears on the order.
If anything ordered is out of stock you just call the customer and see if they would like an alternative and talk through any options or refund them any cash or just recalculate the charge they should have on their card (the site shows you how much their products total).
You can have the order shipped either to yourself to deliver to the host which is good if you order anything for yourself or you can if you prefer ship the order directly to the host.
Adding payments is simple, anyone who has paid by card you add their details and type in the amount that needs to be paid on that card, once you have done all these you can see how much is left to be paid by you, this will be the total after your cut has been taken. You pay the remainder on your card and then complete the order.
Delivery can be in some cases as soon as two days after you have placed the order, usually thought it is about five days, during busy periods it can take longer.
A delivery driver will turn up with your order in cardboard boxes that are well packed and protected by extra packaging. The individual orders are packed in separate bags with the names on the sides of whom they are for. I personally open them and check the contents is correct, I am sure it is not necessary but I feel it saves any later hassle if something isn't right.
In all the orders I have placed nothing has been wrong but I have had one damaged product. A lid on a bottle of shower gel was broken so I replaced it with a cap from one of my yet to be opened stash of shower gels.
You deliver the orders to the host as arranged and you are done.
Earnings and extra costs.
Each party earns a different amount, you earn 25% of the total party value. That sounds pretty good doesn't it! If a party makes the average (according to The Body Shop At Home) £200 that is £50 for a few hours work.
If you place an order and all the payments are by card you will be credited by The Body Shop At Home your earnings directly into your bank account but this can be some weeks later.
There are a few extra costs that you must factor in though. You pay the delivery charge of £5, it isn't much but does swallow up a lot of your money if the orders are only very small.
You have to keep your kit up to date, new products are what most people are interested in at parties, most of those at parties are Body Shop lovers so they know what the usual stuff is like and want something new. What you buy is cheaper because you get your 25% off and they do offer cheaper deals on certain products each month, which I will get to in a moment.
There is a section when ordering of supply items, these are much cheaper than you would usually pay when the item is bought at half price, these can be used as a thank you gift, prize for a draw, adding to your kit etc. For example cotton wool is something I tend to use a lot of at parties and rather than costing £2 like it would be it is in the supply items as 50p.
You also need to buy the host special and PWP for each month so that can be about £10 a month.
Although there is the outlay on the above items they do potentially increase your earning power, as people are more inclined to buy something they have seen, touched and tried than just a picture in a catalogue.
Kit build and promotions.
Every month there is a target set by The Body Shop At Home of how much to sell in order to be able to buy certain products half price, there are usually about ten products in this offer. The target is either £425 or £600 depending on the time of year and length of the month. This is achievable and the first month you join you do not have to qualify in order to be entitled to buy these products half price.
There are monthly promotions, this is a bit like above only you win the products free. There are two levels in this and in February for more than £600 of sales you would receive the new Moringa range and if you achieved over £900 you got the Moringa range along with the Body Focus range. You can keep these or you can put them in your kit.
There are other offers and competitions as well which mean that you always have a reason to try harder. At the moment there is an offer on to win diamond jewellery! Recruiting five people and earning over a certain amount before June will give me the opportunity of choosing between two sets of earrings and two necklaces all of which are worth over £400!
New consultants get a success start period of six weeks, if in this time they make over £600 they win themselves a set of Spa products worth £49. Sell over £900 you also get a set of hand and foot products worth £53 and if you sell over £1200 you get those two plus a set of skincare products worth £38.50. For the first person you recruit as a consultant you also receive a make up box.
This is not just a simple self-employed job that you can fit around your life as you want, you can turn this into a full time career as many have. As with all jobs you start at the bottom of the ladder but can climb and earn more and more by doing so.
You start out when you join as a consultant, the next steps are as follows.
To achieve this you need two recruits and £425 of sales. ===Executive consultant.=== To achieve you need a team of 4 personal recruits, £425 of sales and £200 of team sales. ===Area manager.=== To achieve this level you need a team of 8 with a minimum of 5 of these being personal recruits, £425 of personal sales and team sales of over £3500.Further levels are: Senior area manager Executive manager Senior executive manager Regional manager Senior regional manager.
The higher up the ladder you get the more earning potential you posses. I cannot comment on the earnings of the titles above area manager but when you recruit you start earning more, as you get a small percentage of the sales made by your recruits, only 2% as a senior consultant, 2.5% on personal recruits and 2% on indirect recruits (indirect have been recruited by those you recruited) as an executive consultant and as an area manager you get 3% on your recruits sales, 5% central team bonus and a leader bonus.
I said earlier about marking on customers order forms if you thought they would make a good consultant, this is because you pass their details on to your manager who will then try and recruit them. If your lead gets a recruit they are then classed as your recruit and earns you money.
The percentage made from recruits does NOT take any money from their earnings! The percentage is from The Body Shop At Home and is a bonus meant to encourage people to recruit others.
This has so many different areas and so much information that is of great use when you are a consultant. To enter you must have a user number and password which is given to you when you join and you can then access it to see product and offer information, order, see past orders you have made, see the stock availability and when stock will be back in and also see when your orders have been dispatched.
Before parties it is handy checking the stock update and even printing a copy to take to the party with you and then if someone orders something out of stock you can tell them straight away so they can order an alternative.
When you are placing an order you can come out of it at any time during the ordering process and that order is saved on the system to go back to at any time over the following three days, after that time it will disappear but it means that you have the opportunity to even fit ordering around other things in your life.
There are training events held every few weeks and they are optional but recommended. I haven't been to any of these, as I cannot get the car until just before they start and they are in most cases about an hour away they aren't really an option. Also I am quite knowledgeable on the products, skincare and make-up to start with but they are great for people who aren't confident about making someone else up or on advising about skincare products.
There are almost daily emails of the stock updates, offers, upcoming events, charity information, ideas and tips.
My overall experience.
Deciding to take this chance has been good so far, I work from home so feeling isolated meant I really needed to get out, this means I am mixing with people, having fun and making money all in one go.
I can be a little shy and anxious at times and this is helping me get past that as well, when you have a room full of women who have questions and want to talk to you there isn't the option of shying away and after a few minutes it is easy to get past any reservations and just talk about something you like and at times there are people at the parties who make the job much easier by being the life and soul and make the whole experience even better.
Starting out was the most difficult and before my first party I was a bag of nerves! I am not usually good at standing up in front of people but my future mother-in-law hosted the party and we had a good time.
Getting party bookings is the hard part but once you get started with a few they do mount up and there are ways of finding more. Prize draw slips were the way I found it easiest to get more bookings, it is a great way of getting people to stop and talk to you.
I think I have made the right decision giving this a try and even if it doesn't work out I haven't lost anything because what I paid out for my kit I have already earned back.
If you are thinking of becoming a consultant I would say go for it, there are so many potential earning opportunities that you see advertised and you never know if they are real or bogus but this is a major company with good products, career advancement opportunities, training, competitions, support and bonuses.
I was worried at the start about what I was signing up for and if there would be more to it than met the eye but there really isn't, now looking back I fail to see how it can go wrong for anyone. If you have a few parties booked up before you sign up you will make back what you pay out and even if you decide it isn't for you, you haven't lost anything and have a load of products you can keep!
It seems strange rating this am I rating the company the job or the earning potential? Well it doesn't really matter, as all three would get five stars!
For more information see the website www.tbsresource.com/athome/
If any Ciao members have questions or want more information on any specific details please leave a comment and I will edit this review adding your question and my reply below.
I have been asked about how much I have made and I can't give monthly figures as they are a pointless comparison for others when each party is different and so the earnings vary. I have had reasonable success and tend to agree with the £200 average. Most people try and get the host gift so aim for the £200 target which certainly helps.
My party totals have been between £80 and £250. My friend has held parties with totals of over a thousand, she did say it was hard work and was like doing two parties simultaneously as there were that many guests they were in two rooms but she made a lot out of a couple of hours work.