Update, 6/30/18: RIP Jamberry. I feel so bad for all of the consultants who got screwed and hope Jamberry makes good.
Update, 4/29/16: I have gotten SO many nasty messages in response to this Jamberry post. And also SO many messages of agreement and support. I am constantly torn between tearing this post down (because I am human and have feelings and while disagreement is ok, hate mail about nail wraps is not something I was ever prepared to deal with) and leaving it up (because there are so few people who write negative reviews of their experiences with Jamberry or if they do, they go poof pretty quickly — probably because getting barraged with nastiness is just TOO MUCH for your average person to handle unless they are totally IDGAF. I am not that person. I do care and I do have feelings). Bottom line, I want people to know that there is another side to what the ladies trying to recruit you are saying. And I don’t intend for this to be anything other than Jamberry specific. I am not down on DS or MLM. I think they are great opportunities for women to do awesome things for themselves and their families. I feel very strongly, however, that Jamberry is not one of those companies. Don’t just take my word for it. Mrs. Bottlesoup has broken down the Jamberry experience here, and here, and here, and here. Don’t just read the posts. Read the comments. Those are the women you’ll be working with. The women who are trying to recruit you onto their teams and into their “sisterhood.”
Without further ado:
Jamberry, I loved you. I’ll still wear your cute little nail stickers until I finally run out of them which by my best estimate might be about ten years after you go under and are replaced by some new direct sales fad. But it is time for us to part ways. It’s not you, it’s me.
In no particular order, here’s why (a top ten list!):
1. Everyone is a consultant. If you did a Venn diagram to demonstrate this oh here I’ll help you out.
I’m not joking. That’s how Jamberry rolls. I mean duh, it is an MLM. You either love these things or you hate them. There are no casual Jamberry users. So when all of your best customers become consultants…or you want to book a table at a vendor show…or you want to post a “game” on a Facebook yard sale site… Sure there are pockets of the universe where Jamberry hasn’t yet reared its ugly head, but it sure isn’t where I am. Oversaturation: achievement level unlocked.
2. P&P (Policies and Procedures for the people who have not consumed the Kool-Aid) is a HOT MESS. It is jibberish. It contradicts itself. If you seek clarification from Jamberry, they will regurgitate the P&P to you with a little explanation that probably contradicts what P&P actually says. And if you ask for further clarification, you’ll get an entirely different answer. Good luck staying compliant, sweetie. I’m a paralegal and can digest contracts all day long, but I can’t make sense of most of what forms the basis of a consultant’s agreement with Jamberry. Which brings me to…
3. Compliance Wank. Hell hath no fury like a Jamsister who thinks you are doing something wrong. First she’ll call you out in public and tell you you’re doing it wrong. She’ll tell her Team Leader, her other more perfect Jamsisters who are capable of following the rules, all of the people in the other Jamberry Facebook groups she is in, her husband, and her mother. Then she’ll screenshot whatever it is she thinks you’ve done and report your ass to Jamberry. (ETA: Or she’ll just call you a “real bitch” as Proud Consultant Veronica Frank did here, see comment section.)
Bitches love to tattle. But the problem with this is….
4. Everchanging Rules. Every time Jamberry has a meeting they change the rules. They have rules for font usage and how many minutes per day you can offer discounts and what information you can post where and what items you can display their precious product next to. Oh hey, I see you’ve spent a bunch of time making awesome compliant graphics and games? FUCK YOU. NEW RULES. START OVER. This happens like every six months or so from what I can tell. But there is one cardinal rule that never changes:
5. No Selling on Ebay EVER.
There are lots of consultants who base their entire business on selling Jamberry on Ebay. Yep. You can get them there cheaper and faster. You can even buy half sheets and get more variety for your buck. Jamberry knows, they just kind of throw their hands up because they make money either way. But it really hurts the consultants who are doing things the right way and not selling on Ebay, which sucks.
6. Jamberry nail wraps last up to two weeks. But only if you apply them, gingerly adjust your thermostat to 68 degrees (or better yet get someone else to do it), go straight to bed, and stay there doing absolutely nothing for two weeks. Run a dehumidifier. Have your family members give you sponge baths and do the dishes for you.
(Realistically, I can get mine to last for about four days before they start lifting and YES I am applying them properly I used to sell the damn things I know how they work.)
7. TruShine. Because Jamberry wraps don’t actually last as long as they are supposed to, Jamberry developed a shiny new gel system so NOW they will actually stay on for two weeks. GOOD LUCK getting it off your nails. I haven’t tried it but I have heard nightmare stories about people having to sit with their fingers wrapped in remover packets for hours and the stuff still having to be hacked off. And also unless you are a nail artist you are going to suck at applying it. Trust me, your nails look like shit. Go to the salon if you want gel nails.
8. Jamberry wraps will damage your nails. The biggest lie we are asked to tell our customers is that Jamberry wraps won’t hurt your nails. They can, and they will. You have to be very careful and patient during the application and removal process, or you will shred your nails and be left with a weak, peeling mess. Jamberry helpfully offers other products that will make the damage not look so awful, but it kind of sucks to sell a product and then have to sell other products to fix things the first product screwed up. (YES I also know how to remove the wraps properly thank you.)
9. Social Media. Jamberry consultants are locusts who have chewed through social media and shredded the opportunity for online “parties.” I am ashamed to have been a part of that. I was first invited to a Facebook party (Jamberry) a little over a year ago. It was a fun, new thing! A few months later, I got invited to another one (yep, Jamberry again). Awesome! The first one was fun so yay I get to do it again! And then, around Februaryish…ALL OF THE FACEBOOK PARTIES FOR EVERYTHING EVER. Holy shit. What happened? In the past six months or so I think I have been invited to, plopped into, and/or participated in approximately 100 direct sales events or groups on Facebook (not including the handful that I conducted myself).
I am SO over it. I am tired of my phone clamoring for my attention 24 hours a day asking me to buy stuff I don’t need. It is obnoxious. Yes I know that is how those things work, but enough is enough. What happened to having people over to your house? I may be old, but I miss the Pampered Chef and Party Lite parties where my friends and I all got together IN PERSON and had actual fun, not virtual, meaningless, cotton candy “fun.”
As if the Facebook parties* were not pervasive enough, they now want us to do Instagram and Pinterest “parties”. Is nothing sacred?!?!
All of that having been said, I did meet lots of lovely people through social media as a result of my involvement in Jamberry, so there is that. =)
*Sidenote: Facebook hates Jamberry.
10. Nail Art Studio. Yeah, this was my very favorite thing about Jamberry. Actually last month I had my highest sales ever, only selling wraps I designed in Nail Art Studio. I was SO PROUD! But there was this little problem…I barely got compensated for all of my efforts. My commission was approximately 7%, not the 30%+ that you would earn following the party plan model. The reason for that is that per the P&P, consultants cannot make PRV off of other consultants. So, if a consultant wanted to buy one of my designs, they would have to buy a gift code from themselves (and get the commission from that gift code) and give the code to me. I would then use that code to purchase the wraps, making ZERO commission (and earning ZERO hostess rewards) on the time I spent designing, marketing, ordering, and shipping that wrap.
I WORKED FOR FREE if a consultant wanted to buy my designs. It’s like, walking into a grocery store and expecting them to give me a 30% discount because I was nice enough to shop in their store.
Actually, I worked for less than free because Jamberry was making money on all of my hard work so I was basically paying Jamberry for the privilege of seeing my designs on other people’s nails.
(Jamberry’s solution is to charge a $3 design fee, thus “splitting” the commission. And also don’t market to consultants. (HA! See #1 above.) Consultants were generally not willing to go around P&P and pay for them via PayPal (where I could actually earn commission) because Compliance Wank (see #3 above).)
Anyway…as with everything, YMMV. I know lots of people who are kicking ass with Jamberry and logic suggests it is because they have built a large team of consultants, all of whom are their own best customers. I don’t mean to knock the MLM thing at all — I think it is great for people who are much more aggressive about selling things than I would ever want to be — and I am glad I dipped my toe in to have another one of those fun life experiences that taught me a whole hell of a lot. 😉