Is Scout and Cellar an MLM or Pyramid Scheme? [Review]

In a world where the idea of earning extra money from home is enticing, companies like Scout and Cellar grab our attention. But is it a genuine way to make money, or is it yet another scheme that offers big rewards but doesn’t deliver?

In this thorough investigation, we’ll dive into the details of Scout and Cellar, including whether it operates as a multi-level marketing (MLM) or pyramid scheme. If you’re thinking about getting involved with Scout and Cellar, this review will help you make a well-informed choice.

What is Scout and Cellar?

Scout and Cellar, founded in 2017 by Sarah Shadonix, is a company that has been creating ripples in the wine industry. It’s not just any wine company; it’s a wine company with a mission. Scout and Cellar doesn’t just offer wine; it prides itself on providing a healthier option. Their wines are crafted to be free of artificial ingredients, catering to those who seek a more natural and clean wine experience.

What sets Scout and Cellar apart from conventional wine brands is that it operates as a multi-level marketing (MLM) company. This means that anyone can become a distributor and potentially earn money by selling their wines. With over 10,000 distributors in the United States alone, Scout and Cellar has made a significant impact in a relatively short time.

But what makes Scout and Cellar particularly intriguing is its relatively fresh entry into the market. Unlike some well-established MLMs, Scout and Cellar’s market isn’t yet saturated. This aspect could be beneficial for those considering joining as distributors. Furthermore, with plans to expand globally in the coming years, Scout and Cellar aims to carve a prominent place in the world of MLMs, similar to household names like Avon or Herbalife.

Scout and Cellar

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Is Scout and Cellar an MLM or Pyramid Scheme?

When assessing opportunities like Scout and Cellar, it’s crucial to understand the difference between an MLM and a pyramid scheme. Pyramid schemes, which are illegal in most countries, primarily prioritize recruiting people instead of selling actual products or services. In a pyramid scheme, the only way to make significant money is by being at the top of the pyramid, leaving most participants with little compensation for their efforts.

On the other hand, legitimate MLMs involve the sale of real products or services and provide participants with the chance to earn commissions not just from sales but also by recruiting others into the business. So, where does Scout and Cellar fall in this classification?

Scout and Cellar is not a pyramid scheme; it operates as a legitimate MLM business. Its main goal is to sell wine through its consultant program. As a consultant, your primary responsibility is to sell their products. Unlike a pyramid scheme, the primary focus is on sales rather than recruitment. In fact, Scout and Cellar places a strong emphasis on sales over recruitment.

While pyramid schemes promise large returns for minimal effort and lack a real product or service, Scout and Cellar operates as a genuine MLM, offering real products and prioritizing sales over recruitment. This distinction is vital for understanding the legitimacy of Scout and Cellar.

Read more: Pyramid Scheme vs. MLM

Are Scout and Cellar Products Any Good?

Now, let’s delve into the quality of Scout and Cellar’s products. After all, if you’re going to sell something, it’s essential to know that it’s worth promoting. Scout and Cellar specializes in offering “Clean Crafted Wine.” But what does “Clean Crafted” mean?

According to their website, “Clean Crafted” signifies that their wines are made with organic grapes and without any added chemicals, sugars, or synthetic pesticides. This commitment to clean and natural winemaking is intended to cater to health-conscious consumers who are looking for a wine experience without the potential downsides of conventional mass-produced wines.

Scout and Cellar’s wine collection includes four types: Sparkling, White, Rosé, and Red. Each type comes with detailed information about its history, taste, origin, and what sets it apart. Prices range from $19 to $48 per bottle, with the most expensive at $48.

The question of whether Scout and Cellar’s products are “good” is subjective. Taste in wine varies greatly from person to person. Some may find Scout and Cellar’s offerings to be a delightful departure from the norm, appreciating the emphasis on organic and clean winemaking. Others may prefer the taste of more traditional wines.

The key takeaway is that Scout and Cellar positions itself in the market as a provider of wines crafted with care, devoid of artificial additives, and catering to health-conscious consumers. If this aligns with your values and the preferences of your potential customers, it could be a positive aspect of the business.

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Scout And Cellar Compensation Plan

If you’re curious about the Scout and Cellar compensation plan, we’ve gathered some information to help you understand how it works. As a consultant, you’ll earn commissions based on the products you sell, and you can also receive bonuses for exceptional performance.

Product Sales Commissions

The commission rate you earn on product sales depends on the total value of your sales. Here’s how it works:

  • 12% commission on sales worth $500 or less
  • 15% commission on sales worth more than $500 but less than $1500
  • 20% commission on sales worth more than $1500 but less than $3000
  • 25% commission on sales worth more than $3000

Rank Advancement

In Scout and Cellar, you can advance to higher ranks by achieving specific sales goals. Here are the ranks you can achieve:

  • Consultant: The starting rank, achieved by registering and paying a $249-pack fee.
  • 2nd Consultant: Requires a personal sales volume of $200 and a downline volume of $500.
  • Executive Consultant: Requires a personal sales volume of $300 and an indirect sales volume of $800.
  • Associate Manager: Requires a sales volume of $400 and a downline volume of $1500.
  • Senior Manager: Requires $500 in personal sales and $3000 in downline volume.
  • Executive Manager: Requires $600 in personal sales and $2000 in downline sales.

Once you reach the fourth rank, there are additional requirements related to legs in a binary compensation scheme.

Retail Sales Commissions

In addition to the product sales commissions, you can also earn commissions on retail sales. The commission rate depends on your sales volume:

  • Less than $499: 12% commissions
  • Between $500 and $1499: 15% commissions
  • Between $1500 and $2999: 20% commissions
  • More than $2999: 25% commissions

Residuals (Binary)

Scout and Cellar also offers a binary compensation scheme, where you can earn additional income based on your rank and the levels from which you can make money. The commission rates vary depending on your rank and the level.

Bonus Opportunities

Scout and Cellar offers bonus opportunities for exceptional performance. For example, there’s a fast launch reward scheme where you can earn a bonus by selling $2000 within your first four months. You can also earn advanced incentives for each level you reach and each representative you mentor who progresses.

How Much Does It Cost To Join Scout and Cellar MLM?

If you’re interested in becoming a wine consultant for Scout and Cellar, you’ll need to purchase their Business Basics Kit (BBK). The kit costs $249 and includes four bottles of wine as well as promotional materials to help you get started. But that’s not all you get for your money! Here’s a breakdown of what’s included:

  • A six-bottle insulated carrier, perfect for transporting wine to tastings or events
  • Wine makers to help you learn about the wine-making process and improve your tasting skills
  • A Pulltaps corkscrew for opening bottles with ease
  • A one-and-a-half oz gauged pouring spout for serving wine accurately
  • The genuine Vacu Vin wine saver to keep your wine fresh after opening
  • Your own personal Scout and Cellar webpage for a year
  • Business building and promotional kit to help you market your wine business

In addition to the BBK, you’ll also get access to a portal called The Cellar, which costs $99 a year. This website allows you to manage your business and connect with other Scout and Cellar consultants.

One of the great things about working with Scout and Cellar is that there are no monthly sales quotas to meet. However, you will need to maintain a personal sales volume total in order to remain active.

When you sign up to become a consultant, you’ll need to accept their policies and sign an agreement to get started. Once you’re up and running, you’ll earn money based on how many people you can recruit and how much wine you can sell.

Can You Really Make Money With Scout And Cellar?

Let’s face it, Multi-Level Marketing (MLM) can be a tough nut to crack. While it’s true that you can earn some serious cash if you put in the time and effort, the reality is that most people who join an MLM end up losing money instead of making it. In fact, a report by the Federal Trade Commission from 2011 shows that 99% of recruits don’t make any money and that 100% of MLMs are focused on recruiting new members rather than selling products. This means that only a small percentage of top-tier promoters receive the bulk of the commissions.

So where does Scout and Cellar fit into all of this? Well, the truth is that it operates in a similar way to most other MLMs. While it is possible to make some money with this company, the odds are not in your favor. If you’re looking for a reliable and sustainable way to make money, then it’s probably best to look elsewhere.

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Pros of Scout and Cellar MLM

Now, let’s take a closer look at some of the advantages that come with the Scout and Cellar MLM opportunity:

  1. Unique Product Offering: Scout and Cellar stands out by focusing on clean-crafted wine. This distinct product appeals to health-conscious consumers seeking a healthier wine option.

  2. Transparent Compensation Plan: Unlike some MLMs with complex structures, Scout and Cellar prides itself on having a straightforward and easy-to-understand compensation plan. This transparency helps consultants better understand their potential earnings.

  3. Health Benefits: Scout and Cellar’s commitment to clean-crafted wines means their products are free of harmful substances often found in mass-produced wines. This can be a selling point for those looking for wines with potential health benefits.

  4. Market Potential: Scout and Cellar is relatively new in the market, which means there may be less competition compared to well-established MLMs. As the company expands globally, there could be opportunities for growth.

Cons of Scout and Cellar MLM

While there are some positive aspects to Scout and Cellar, it’s important to also consider the potential drawbacks:

  1. Low Success Rate: Like most MLMs, success rates for individuals in Scout and Cellar tend to be low. Many people do not achieve significant financial success, and a notable percentage may even end up losing money.

  2. Limited Availability: Currently, Scout and Cellar products are only available in select U.S. states. This limited availability can be frustrating for individuals in areas where Scout and Cellar has yet to expand.

  3. Lack of Income Disclosure: Scout and Cellar doesn’t disclose its members’ incomes, which could indicate limited earning potential for most consultants. While this lack of disclosure isn’t uncommon in MLMs, it can discourage potential recruits.

  4. Costs to Join: Becoming a Scout and Cellar consultant involves initial expenses, including purchasing the Business Basics Kit and paying an annual fee for The Cellar portal. These costs may deter individuals seeking a low-cost business opportunity.

  5. Selling Challenges: Selling products, especially wine, can be challenging, particularly for newcomers to the online sales world or those lacking prior sales experience. MLMs like Scout and Cellar often rely heavily on personal networks for sales, which can strain relationships.

  6. Product Pricing: Scout and Cellar’s products are priced higher than many traditional wine brands. This premium pricing may deter budget-conscious consumers and suggest a focus on recruitment over product sales.

  7. Limited Value of Personal Websites: Consultants receive personal websites, but customers are directed to purchase from the main website rather than individual consultant sites. This can make the annual fee for a personal website seem essentially worthless for consultants who don’t see a return on their investment.

Is Scout and Cellar a Scam or Legit?

One of the most important questions to answer is whether Scout and Cellar is a real business opportunity or a scam. From the available information, it’s clear that Scout and Cellar is not a scam. It operates as a legitimate direct selling business, offering clean-crafted wines, and its founder, Sarah Shadonix, has a credible background in law and winery studies.

Scout and Cellar has a compensation plan, pays its members based on their sales and recruitment efforts, and provides real products to customers. There’s no evidence to suggest that Scout and Cellar engages in fraudulent or illegal activities.

However, it’s essential to differentiate between a genuine business opportunity and the challenges often associated with MLMs. While Scout and Cellar is a legitimate company, the MLM industry as a whole has faced criticism due to the low success rates and recruitment-focused business models of many MLMs.

Scout and Cellar Review: Should You Join This MLM Opportunity?

Overall, Scout and Cellar is a legitimate MLM company that offers a home-based business opportunity. It holds an overall rating of 4 out of 5 based on 2 customer reviews on Trustpilot.

When considering whether to join Scout and Cellar, or any MLM, it’s important to proceed with caution and conduct thorough research. Here are key factors to ponder when evaluating if Scout and Cellar is the right fit for you:

  1. Realistic Expectations: Keep in mind that success in MLMs isn’t guaranteed, and most participants don’t achieve significant financial success. It demands dedication, effort, and an understanding of the challenges within the MLM business model.

  2. Financial Preparedness: Assess whether you’re financially prepared to cover the initial costs of joining Scout and Cellar, which include the Business Basics Kit and annual fees.

  3. Sales Skills: Reflect on your sales skills and comfort level with selling products, especially in a competitive market like the wine industry. Establishing a customer base and making sales can be demanding.

  4. Personal Network: Consider if you have a sizable personal network that you can tap into for sales and recruitment. MLMs often rely on personal networks for initial growth.

  5. Research: Conduct comprehensive research on Scout and Cellar, its products, compensation plan, and the experiences of current and former consultants. Seek out independent sources of information to make an informed decision.

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