Thanks for stopping by to read my Matilda Jane MLM Review. That tells me that you want to make an informed decision. Making money and not having to be at the mercy of your employer is freeing. I am not affiliated with the Matilda Jane Company. So my review is to simply share my thoughts on the business and if I think it is a smart opportunity or not.
Have you ever been to Las Vegas? We know the chances of winning in Las Vegas are pretty slim. Well, your odds are most likely better at winning in Las Vegas than they are profiting from a Multi-level Marketing business like the Matilda Jane Company.
Okay, let’s jump right in and see what happens as an independent distributor (Trunk Keeper) of the Matilda Jane Clothing line.
What is Matilda Jane?
Matilda Jane is a high-end, boutique-style clothing for babies, young girls, and women. Their whimsical designs are youthful, playful, expressive, and one-of-a-kind. Denise DeMarchise, the founder of MJC, started out by featuring her clothing at local community art fairs.
Finding much success in a small market encouraged her to expand the business. However, she did not want to lose the essence of the art fair spirit or building relationships as her business grew. This is the reason all of Matilda Jane’s clothing is sold exclusively by their independent distributors called Trunk Keepers.
In this Matilda Jane MLM Review, I will give you the information to decide if selling clothes in a Tupperware party style setting is for you.
Is This For You?
A Multi-level Marketing business like Matilda Jane may not be for everyone. The initial start-up cost is around $1600. A salesperson is also obligated to buy seasonal items at the total retail price. A person is also bound to purchase seasonal clothing items throughout the year.
So, Matilda Jane can be ideal for a woman who has a lot of extra money and does not rely on the income to support themselves and their family right away.
Also, the Company is known to place a lot of pressure on trunk keepers to dress themselves and their children in their signature pieces, requiring more cost.
How Does Matilda Jane Work?
The trunk-keepers (MJC salesperson) are encouraged and compensated for recruiting other trunk-keepers. Likewise, those new trunk keepers are also pressured to recruit others. This is an endless chain of recruiters recruiting recruiters. There is no concern by corporate if there are too many recruiters in one area to serve the community. I would compare it to having a Starbucks on every corner. Well, we only need so many coffee places.
Can You Make Money with Matilda Jane?
Even before COVID-19, the ability to make a lot of money with Matilda Jane was a challenge. Online sales have skyrocketed because of the pandemic. As a home-party Matilda Jane trunk keeper, there is intense competition to the online market. The trunk keeper’s income has taken a massive hit from the change in buying habits, social distancing, and direct purchasing through the Company’s website, Amazon, Zulily, and eBay.
There are two ways you can make money. First, you can sell clothes through home parties you host or having a ‘Jane (explained in a minute)’ host a party. The second way is by building a team of trunk keepers, known as your downline.
The ability to make money is easier when you have a substantial-sized downline. But, as we all know, recruiting people into an MLM is an uphill battle.
Believe me, when I say a distributor must get in the mindset of bringing in new people on a weekly basis. The goal of MLM’s is focused mainly on their distributors to bring in more people, and less on selling the clothing line.
A trunk keeper will earn a 20% commission on all sales. If you hit a specific sales volume, you can make a 5% bonus. There is a lot of pressure to sell at least $1500 of clothing/accessories each month. If you don’t, your active trunk keeper standing can be put on hold with restrictions and warnings imposed.
Earning money from building your team of recruits comes from team commissions. There are some hefty requirements to make money from your downline. Take a look at their 42-page policies and procedures manual HERE.
What is A Jane?
A “Jane” is a trunk show hostess. This is usually the person who offers you their home to host the party. A Jane cannot earn a commission but can earn a discount on the products. A Jane must have $300 in sales at her party to receive a 50% discount on one item. A one-item discount doesn’t seem like much of an incentive to throw a party with food and drink costs, not to mention the clean-up afterward.
A trunk-keeper can act as her own Jane by hosting the trunk showing in her own home. The trunk keeper can take advantage of the Jane discount to purchase clothes. She will definitely need that discount to dress herself and her family in the clothing line.
*Disclaimer~Your host can only be a “Jane” once. Take a look at the Jane Benefits of being a Jane (host).
Pros of Matilda Jane
A wide variety of popular clothing and accessories to sell
- Company Support
All the support you need from the start as long
- Turn-Key Platform
An existing platform to grow your business
- Company Training
Great onboarding with representatives
- Work When You Want/Earn What You Want
Flexibility to set your own schedule and financial goals
- Girl Power
built-in community of women supporting women (AKA Trunk Keepers)
- Fair Commission
A 20% commission rate
Cons of Matilda Jane
- Limited Growth in the Company
Trunk Keepers can not move up the multi-level marketing ladder unless you recruit other trunk keepers. The dollar amount of sales is not considered in this decision.
- High Start-Up Costs
There is an initial high start-up cost ($1600 plus ongoing mandatory purchase during the year).
- Non-Refundable Deposit
A person is required to give a $300 non-refundable deposit to become a trunk keeper.
- Company Restricts Use of Discounts
The Company asks that discounts extended to the trunk keeper be used to purchase clothes for themselves or their family rather than advancing the discount to a friend or using it to buy gifts for others.
- Restrictive Company Guidelines
Invitations and promotional material to a Trunk Keeper showing must meet restrictive company guidelines.
- Bans the Use of Internet for Sales or Recruiting Purposes
Matilda Jane Clothing prohibits you from using the internet, or any online service providers to reach a national or international audience for the sale of our products or for recruiting purposes.
- Prohibits the Use of Trademarks/Logo/Emails
You may not use any of Matilda Jane’s trademarked names or logos on any website. This includes personal websites or sites sponsored by other organizations. Sending an e-mail to strangers to promote product sales or sponsoring is considered spamming, and this is prohibited by Matilda Jane Clothing.
- No Competing Business
A trunk keeper may not have a second business that is a clothing competitor.
- Giving Termination Notice
A trunk keeper must pay to have their written resignation sent to MJC by Federal Express.
- Commission Garnishment
Matilda Jane will bill you for the return of commissions paid for returns or exchanges even after you are no longer employed.
- Sales Quota
Failure to sell $1,500 in a month will result first in a written warning. The 2nd month of not meeting the quota will result in the termination of your trunk keeper status.
- Responsibility for Your Down Line
Your down line must sell at least $1000 in a month for you to start receiving commission from their sales.
Beware of Lawsuits
A lawsuit was filed against Matilda Jane in 2018 by Ms. Williams of West Virginia. She claimed the restrictive policies and time-consuming work she put into selling their clothes did not match her compensation.
Ms. Williams’ wages were approximately $1000 even though she spent $8000 to purchase mandatory clothing samples and supplies. Ms. Williams went on the record as saying “[Matilda Jane] created a system in which salespeople had very little control over the manner in which they were to sell Matilda Jean products,” Williams said in the lawsuit. “[Matilda Jane] controlled who salespeople were permitted to sell to, what they were permitted to sell, and how they sold [Matilda Jane] products.”
At the time of this writing, I was unable to find a verdict in the case.
Is Matilda Jane Legitimate?
Matilda Jane has an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau and is a credible sign that it is legitimate. But even legitimate businesses aren’t always on the up and up.
Those who invest a lot of money have the most to lose because they have accepted deceptive claims they have invested in a legit business. They continue to invest in the hope of eventually making a hefty profit.
Most of us have cringed when we hear the words pyramid schemes. Four distinct characteristics are not found in any other business besides pyramid schemes.
Well, guess what? Matilda Jane’s business model is almost identical, except there is no cash changing hands between the buyer and the seller. The “cash” comes from your Matilda Jane commission check based on the clothing sold to your buyer.
I found this review on Indeed.com from a former anonymous representative that said, “The Company has drastically changed over the last five years. There are no more requirements to become a representative. Basically, all Matilda Jane corporate wants is your money.”
There were also several reviews by warehouse workers in their Indiana HQ’s that spoke of unfair working conditions. These changes may have started when the founder, Denise DeMarchise, was fighting ovarian cancer and sadly passed in 2015 at the young age of 41.
Multi-Level Marketing opportunities can be a real headache for our friends, family, and acquaintances. The trunk keeper will either build the Matilda Jane pyramid taller or get crushed by it.
The reality is, about 99.7% of all MLM participants lose money. What typically happens is the person spends more on purchasing for themselves, promotions, and operating costs than what they receive in commissions. Hey, you might be the 1 person out of 100 that makes a heap of money!
Take a look at my iMarketslive MLM Review here.