Origami Owl promises you an opportunity to build friendships and earn a competitive income while promoting their jewelry. But is it right for you? Only a closer look can tell.
Is Origami Owl a Good Opportunity? According to the company’s Earnings Disclosure Statement and Compensation Plan, approximately 95% of all Origami Owl Designers lose money with the opportunity. Most people would earn more with a part-time, minimum wage job.
Before investing your time and money into Origami Owl, it would be wise to thoroughly investigate the company and opportunity. Although Origami Owl, LLC, is a legitimate company, the opportunity may not be right for you.
As with any potential business, you must conduct your own due diligence as objectively as possible. This is the purpose of this article.
The prospect of making money is always exciting. However, you must make the right decision for you.
The wrong choice might lead to embarrassment, debt and damaged relationships.
Is Origami Owl a Good Opportunity?
Every so-called opportunity is different, and it’s different for every person who tries it. Take a moment to determine what you expect from Origami Owl.
Do you want to just have fun and enjoy the jewelry? Make a few extra dollars each month? Or, do you want a fair shot at making your life a little better?
Origami Owl Will Cost You.
If you choose to become an Origami Owl Designer, aka distributor, you will be investing time, energy, and money.
As with any business, there’s a real chance you could lose everything you invest.
The one thing you can be sure of with the Origami Owl opportunity is that it will cost you money.
Think Like a Businessperson.
Please be as objective as possible as you consider joining Origami Owl.
It’s easy to get excited about a potentially fun business opportunity. But excitement can blind us to dangers we would otherwise see.
Making a decision based on feelings is a lousy way to start a business.
We humans typically make decisions based on emotion and then later try to justify our decisions with logic. When money is involved, decisions based on emotion usually lead to disaster.
So, as you consider this business, think like a businessperson. Check your emotions at the door. And be sure you understand what it will cost you and what you hope to earn.
Also, think about how you will build your business if you join. Who will be your customers and who will you recruit into your organization?
What Do You Expect from Origami Owl?
To help keep your exploration of Origami Owl on track, it’s helpful to define what you expect from the opportunity.
- Do you only want to buy products?
- Earn a few hundred dollars a month?
- Replace your job?
- Build an empire and retire wealthy?
Think about your answer and write it down. Do that now.
Your answer is the focal point of this analysis. Later, we’ll come back and see how Origami Owl meets your expectations.
Here’s Where We’re Headed.
Moving forward, we have some questions for Origami Owl too. Through answering these questions, you can evaluate the opportunity and, hopefully, decide if it’s right for you.
Here’s where we’re headed and what we’re looking for.
- What is Origami Owl, and is it a typical MLM?
- Does Origami Owl provide the information we need to conduct proper due diligence?
- Does Origami Owl front-load Designers with products?
- Does Origami Owl have a refund policy?
- How much does Origami Owl cost to join?
- As a Designer, are you required to buy product each month?
- How much can you expect to earn as a Designer?
- What must you do to succeed with Origami Owl?
- Can you protect your customer base and grow your company?
What is Origami Owl?
Origami Owl sells costume jewelry.
Costume jewelry is jewelry designed to wear with current fashions and is typically made of inexpensive materials and imitation gems.
Origami Owl appears to be an MLM.
Wikipedia defines Origami Owl as a “privately owned multi-level marketing custom jewelry company.” And, Origami Owl is profiled on MLMLegal.com.
However, nowhere on the Origami Owl website does the company describe itself as an MLM.
This is typical because the MLM industry has a horrible reputation. It’s known for promising to help people make money only to cause them to lose money instead.
The Origami Owl Compensation Plan is structured like a typical MLM and shows 8 levels of compensation.
Finally, Origami Owl is a member of the Direct Selling Association. Wikipedia describes the DSA as a lobbying group for the MLM industry.
Origami Owl is a Multi-level marketing company.
Is Origami Owl a Typical MLM?
In a typical MLM, people are promised an opportunity to make money, but end up losing money instead.
The typical MLM attracts people with a so-called opportunity then insists they buy over-priced products before they can qualify to earn commissions and bonuses.
This trick turns distributors into captured customers who spend more on products than they earn with the business.
Before we can determine if Origami Owl is a typical MLM, let’s look more closely at the MLM industry.
In the following few paragraphs, I’m referring to the MLM industry in general and NOT Origami Owl. With an understanding of the industry, we can see how Origami Owl measures up.
Keep in mind that people start MLM companies to make money for themselves, not to help other people make money.
The MLM industry has a bad reputation for several reasons. The business is known for promising opportunities only to lure people into buying over-priced products.
With most MLMs, the opportunity is merely a marketing ploy to fool people into buying a lot of product upfront and then buying more products each month.
MLM isn’t about the opportunity. It’s about capturing customers and locking them into buying over-priced products each month.
The Federal Trade Commission publishes research that shows conclusively that most MLMs do not offer a legitimate opportunity.
Promising an opportunity is how an MLM can sell $5 worth of costume jewelry for $50.
Sadly, once a distributor is sold the dream of making money, they will often continue to try to make their MLM business work until they go broke.
Less than 1% Make a Profit.
Data gathered on hundreds of MLMs for decades has established that less than 1% of distributors earn a profit with their MLM business (Source: MLM Abysmal Numbers).
The odds of winning are better in Vegas. And, a part-time, minimum wage job would be more rewarding.
In the MLM industry, it’s common for the company to load a new distributor with hundreds or thousands of dollars’ worth of products. Often causing the distributor to max out his credit cards.
This practice is known as “product loading” or “front-loading.”
In every MLM company, distributors usually quit within the first few months. Product loading is an unethical tactic to squeeze as much money out of a distributor before they come to their senses and leave the business.
The MLM Business Model.
MLM is a lot like Tom Sawyer tricking his friends into paying him to whitewash the fence. That’s the nature of MLM.
With a promise of opportunity, an MLM will convince you there is money to be made in buying their over-priced products and paying for the privilege of selling them.
There is no reason to pay a company for the privilege of selling their products when there are thousands of companies who will gladly pay YOU!
This is where you can see a glaring difference between the old, outdated, and inefficient MLM business model and the new, highly efficient business model of the 21st Century, Affiliate Marketing.
Affiliate marketers don’t pay the company. The company pays them.
A Closer Look at Origami Owl.
Now that we’ve established that a typical MLM sells false hope disguised as an opportunity let’s take a closer look at Origami Owl, also known as O2.
Origami Owl’s Reputation.
There are a lot of complaints online about Origami Owl. This is troubling.
The complaints report poor customer service and cheaply made products.
Although Origami Owl is a member of the Better Business Bureau with an A+ rating, there are 14 complaints registered with the BBB.
The star rating on the Chandler Arizona BBB website gives Origami Owl 1.75 out a possible 5 stars.
13 reviewers gave Origami Owl 1 star, the lowest score possible. The odd 5-star review skewed the average up.
One review said;
“The product is super cheap for the outrageous price they charge.”
Another reviewer said;
“What was advertised and what I got were empty promises.”
The final review on the BBB was from a former Origami Owl Designer/Team Leader who wrote;
“I was a designer/team leader with O2 for the past year. Horrible experience. Horrible.”
Here’s an Origami Complaint I found on PissedConsumer.com.
“Origami Owl is the worst! They are overpriced, and their customer service is despicable. They never answer. I bought better lockets on Amazon and the charms as well. Do not waste your money.”
Another from PissedConsumer.com
“Charms that sell for $5-7 dollars on OO, can be bought for about $1-2 on Etsy, and typically 10 for $1 on wholesale from China! Which is where OO gets their products from anyway! I found stainless steel lockets, with chains, for $6. I made a beautiful locket with a plate for around $15 using Etsy and eBay.”
In comparison, there are MLM companies with very few or no complaints online.
Does Origami Owl Provide the Information We Need?
Before you can determine your chance of success with Origami Owl, you must read the company’s Earnings Disclosure Statement and Compensation Plan.
As a member of the Direct Selling Association, Origami Owl is required to publish an Earnings Disclosure Statement that shows how much their Independent Designers earn.
Unfortunately, the Earnings Disclosure Statement does not account for business expenses, such as buying products to qualify for active status.
While we can never know how much Designers spend to run their business, we can find out how much they are expected to spend on products to maintain their active status. For that, we need the Origami Owl Compensation Plan.
The Earnings Disclosure Statement is available on the Origami Owl website through a link in the footer.
Unfortunately, the Compensation Plan is not available on the website. Apparently, it is only available AFTER you join Origami Owl.
In a moment, we’ll look at the Compensation Plan and the Earnings Disclosure Statement and determine if you can make money with the Origami Owl opportunity.
For now, note that Origami Owl does NOT provide ALL the information you need to make an informed decision. This lack of transparency is troubling.
Origami Owl does not provide ALL the information needed to make an informed decision.
Does Origami Owl Load Designers with Products?
As was mentioned earlier, product loading or front loading is when a company encourages or forces a distributor to buy more products than they can possibly sell.
New distributors are most vulnerable to this tactic because they are usually excited about the opportunity and are easily manipulated. And, unfortunately, they will probably soon quit.
Typically, when an MLM front-loads a distributor they sell them an expensive Starter Kit. With some MLMs a Starter Kit can cost $5,000 or more.
If an MLM company doesn’t have a refund or buy-back policy, the distributor is stuck with all the stuff they bought and usually a hefty credit card debt too.
In the second paragraph of the Origami Owl 2019 Earnings Disclosure Statement, it says;
“Designers should never purchase more product(s) than they can use or sell to customers in a reasonable time period. Those who choose to terminate their relationship with O2 are protected by our twelve (12) month buy back policy for marketable inventory.”
Although we don’t know the details of their buy-back program, it does appear that Origami Owl will buy excess inventory if the products can be sold again AND if the Designer is quitting.
A buy-back policy is a requirement of the DSA Code of Ethics and is more than most MLMs offer.
Also, the Origami Owl Starter Kits are reasonably priced at $49, $99 and $199.
In theory, if a Designer was loaded with product and decided to terminate their association with Origami Owl, they should be able to get some of their money back.
Because the Origami Owl Starter Kits are reasonably priced and because the company has a buy-back policy, the probability that a new Designer will get stuck with too much inventory is minimal.
How Much Will the Origami Owl Opportunity Cost?
This is where we really need to look at the Compensation Plan. Because it’s not available on the website, we must find it elsewhere online.
Several Designers have it posted on their website, and it’s also listed in an image search. I won’t include it in this article because it’s copyrighted material.
The Compensation Plan will show us if there is a monthly requirement to purchase products.
Forcing distributors to buy products each month to remain active is probably the biggest reason most distributors fail to earn a profit.
According to the Origami Owl Compensation Plan, a Designer must meet MONTHLY Personal Volume requirements. The minimum PV is 75.
The monetary value of 75PV is not clear. This lack of transparency is a typical MLM misdirection. Why are they hiding what this business will cost you?
Assuming 1PV equals a dollar, it will cost a minimum of $75 a month to stay active.
According to the Compensation Plan, as you build your sales organization, the minimum PV requirement increases from 75PV per month up to 700PV per month at the highest level.
Here’s the kicker, if you fail to meet your minimum PV, you are considered inactive. When you’re inactive, Origami Owl takes away your rank and your sales organization.
You lose everything you worked for.
As a minimum, the Origami Owl opportunity will cost you $49 to join and $75 a month to stay active. In other words, your first year will cost $949.
Remember $949, because, in a moment, we’ll look at what the average Origami Owl Designer earns.
Can You Make Money with Origami Owl?
Yes, you can make money with Origami Owl, but a better question to ask might be, “Can you make a profit with Origami Owl?”
That’s a different kettle of fish.
Most people don’t make a profit with the Origami Owl opportunity.
With that in mind, let’s look at what the average Designer is paid.
How Much Can You Expect to Earn?
We’ve established that as a minimum, the Origami Owl opportunity will cost you $949 for your first year. This amount is the cost of the most affordable Starter Kit, plus $75 in purchases each month to remain active.
After such an investment, how much can you expect to earn?
According to the Origami Owl Earnings Disclosure Statement for 2019, approximately 95% of ALL Designers earned $233 or LESS for the YEAR!
When you subtract the cost of a Starter Kit and 12 months of minimum PV, you can see that most of the Designers LOST more than $700.
This is a far cry from the “competitive income” Origami Owl promises on its website.
Less than 1% of Origami Owl Designers earned a full-time income in 2019. That’s consistent with the MLM industry average.
A minimum wage, a part-time job is a better opportunity than Origami Owl.
Most Origami Owl Designers earn less $233 a year BEFORE expenses are deducted.
What Must You Do to Succeed with Origami Owl?
With any attempt at business, success is never assured.
However, according to information on the FTC website, the failure of MLM distributors is exceptionally high.
A 1% chance of success is almost zero.
But some people do succeed with MLM.
And, according to the Origami Owl Earnings Disclosure Statement, out of a sales force of 29,716 Designers, the top 59 earned an average of $66,714.
The highest earner received $347,731 in commissions and bonuses.
Success in MLM is not an accident. It requires a unique skill set, specifically the ability to build and manage a sales organization the size of a modest city.
If you don’t have these skills, you may well end up as just another MLM casualty, over-spending, and underachieving.
Given the Origami Owl product line, in the beginning, it would be essential that you knew a lot of people who are okay paying premium prices for costume jewelry. And, you also knew people who would enjoy doing the business.
Even then, it may take years to make your Origami Owl business consistently profitable. Consider that the first year in business might be a loss.
Don’t think you can just buy a $49 Starter Kit and build a business.
As a minimum, success with Origami Owl requires the following;
- $49 to $199 to buy a Starter Kit
- $75+ a month to maintain active status
- The skills to recruit and manage a sales organization
- A ready market of people who can pay premium prices for costume jewelry.
- Access to people who would enjoy the business
- Resources to keep your Origami Owl business afloat until profitable.
- A thorough understanding of your market.
- Patience and commitment.
The secret to MLM success is the ability to talk a lot of people into spending money they don’t have on an opportunity that isn’t real.
Can You Protect Your Customer Base and Grow Your Business?
As you consider the Origami Owl business opportunity, think about why people would buy from you or join your organization.
A trusting relationship might be one reason.
Does the quality of the Origami Owl jewelry contribute or subtract from a trusting relation? You don’t want to cause your friends to lose money or pay for inferior quality jewelry.
Some businesses have a natural barrier that protects it from competition, but that does not appear to be the case with Origami Owl.
There is a lot of competition in the costume jewelry market. Origami Owl products are sold on eBay at a discount, which might indicate ex-Designers are unloading their inventory.
Amazon sells similar jewelry for a fraction of the price.
Etsy sells genuine original jewelry for less than Origami sells mass-produced pieces.
Plus, at least 20 other MLMs are in the Jewelry niche, including;
- Vantel Pearls
- Park Lane Jewelry
- Stella and Dot
- Traci Lynn Fashion Jewelry
- Bead for Life
- Compelling Creations
- Bella Shaye
- Premier Designs
- Sabika Jewelry
- Azuli Skye
- Lilla Rose
- Endless Expressions
- Paparazzi Accessories
- Just Jewelry
- Fifth Avenue Collection.
- Trades of Hope
That’s a lot of competition. Building an Origami Owl business might be like trying to gather water in a Spaghetti strainer.
Here’s an Interesting Experiment.
Take a moment to search Amazon for Origami Owl jewelry. You’ll find a ton of similar jewelry at a fraction of the cost.
Origami Owl Products are Non-essential.
A lot of people are struggling financially.
If a potential customer is having trouble paying their bills and keeping the lights on at home, they aren’t going to buy jewelry.
This means you need to market to people who can easily afford the products. Do you know people like that?
Is Origami Owl Right for You?
We began this journey of discovery with four questions. Let’s look at them again.
- Do you only want to buy products?
- Earn a few hundred dollars a month?
- Replace your job?
- Build an empire and retire wealthy?
Did you write down what you expected from Origami Owl? How has the opportunity measured up?
Do You Only Want to Buy Products?
If you enjoy the Origami Owl jewelry and only want to buy the products, you can buy online as a customer or join to purchase at reduced prices.
The bottom line is, if you just want to buy Origami Owl products and don’t care about the opportunity or making money, you have little to lose.
Do You Want to Earn a Few Hundred Dollars a Month?
Based on information found on the Origami Owl Earnings Disclosure Statement and Compensation Plan, it will be nearly impossible to earn a few hundred dollars a month.
Remember, 95% of Origami Owl Designers earn less than $233 a year BEFORE deducting expenses like buying $75 worth of product each month to stay active.
$233 a year is about $20 a month.
A part-time, minimum wage job is a better investment.
Do You Want to Replace Your Job?
Replacing your job may be possible IF you love the products and IF you have the skills to build a large sales organization.
However, if you don’t have the skills, it can take years before your Origami Owl business replaces a full-time salary. There’s a real possibility it will never happen.
Do You Want to Build Wealth?
The top earner with Origami Owl made $347,731 in 2019. That was one person out of 29,716 Designers.
It is possible to build wealth with the Origami Owl opportunity, but it’s a very slim probability.
Is Origami Owl a Pyramid Scheme?
Origami Owl is not a pyramid scheme. It’s a privately own MLM company that adheres to the Direct Selling Association Code of Ethics.
Many critics of MLM argue that all MLM companies are “product-based pyramid schemes” because of the overpriced products and because most of the revenue is generated through sales to distributors and not through retail sales to the public.
Is Origami Owl a Scam?
Origami Owl is not a scam. The company has a 12-month buy-back policy. If someone tries the opportunity only to discover it isn’t what they expected, they can return their inventory for a refund.
The Last Word on the Origami Owl Opportunity.
Multi-level Marketing doesn’t work for most people. It’s an antiquated and inefficient business model created in the 1940s when person-to-person selling made more sense.
The only reason MLM is still here is that the business model is hugely profitable for the people who own the company and a few distributors at the top of the organization.
MLM has never given the little guy a fair chance. People fail at MLM because it’s an “ALL or NOTHING GAME” designed to funnel money from the multitudes on the bottom to the few at the top.
We can see this in the Origami Owl Earnings Disclosure Statement and Compensation Plan.
Granted, Origami Owl is more transparent than most MLMs. And, their buy-back policy is more generous too.
Unfortunately, the earning potential is about the same as the MLM industry average, 1%, just a hair’s breadth above zero.
Remember, the founders of Origami Owl, Tyson Basha, Bella Weems-Lambert, Chrissy Weems, and Shawn Maxwell created the company to make money for themselves.
This is the American way and the nature of capitalism.
Like every good businessperson, the founder’s highest priority is to maximize profits. All the feel-good promises on the Origami Owl website serve this purpose.
Remember, if you play the Origami Owl game, they will always make the rules. And consider this, you’ll conceivably spend $949 a year to earn $233.
For the many reasons outlined in this article, it appears that Origami Owl is a poor fit for anyone who wants to make a respectable amount of money with their efforts.
A Better Option.
This is the 21st Century. Now, anyone with an internet connection has access to the global marketplace and its infinite income potential.
If you want to make serious money as efficiently as possible, learn how to leverage the internet to your advantage.
With the right training, you can build an affiliate marketing business that matches customers to products across the globe and, in the process, enjoy unlimited income potential.
Affiliate Marketing is the best chance most people will ever have to be financially independent.
- Why Affiliate Marketing is Better than MLM
- The Heartbreak of MLM
- How to Evaluate an MLM Company
- Is MLM a Scam?