Scout and Cellar Review: Is This Wine Company a Legitimate MLM or a Scam?
Have you ever been curious about those wine companies that operate through direct selling, or multi-level marketing (MLM)? Perhaps you’ve received an invitation to a wine tasting party hosted by a friend or family member, and wondered if there was more to it than just drinking some free wine. Or maybe you’ve seen social media posts from people promoting wine brands like Scout and Cellar, and were curious about whether they’re actually making any money from it.
In this Scout and Cellar MLM review, we’ll take a comprehensive look at what the company does, how their business model works and its compensation plan, and whether or not it’s actually a legitimate way to earn income. You’ll also learn who launched Scout and Cellar, the products it sells, whether the company has been involved in any complaints or lawsuits, and alternatives to Scout and Cellar. By the end of this review, hopefully you’ll have a better understanding of MLMs in general, as well as whether or not Scout and Cellar is worth your time and money.
Who launched Scout and Cellar and when?
Scout and Cellar was founded in 2017 by Sarah Shadonix. Since its launch, the company has grown rapidly and now employs more than 115 people across the United States and Canada. Scout and Cellar headquarters are in Farmers Branch, Texas.
Shadonix is Scout’s CEO. She has over 20 years of experience in business development, finance and operations, having previously held executive positions at Microsoft, Hewlett-Packard, Motorola Solutions and others. In 2017 she decided to pursue her dream of launching her own business and founded Scout and Cellar.
The name Scout and Cellar is based on the company’s mission to “scout” for small-batch, clean-crafted wines from family-owned cellars around the world. Scout and Cellar sources its wines from vineyards located in California, Oregon, Washington State, Arizona, Italy, France and Spain. What sets these wines apart from conventional wines is that they are produced without the use of synthetic pesticides, herbicides, fungicides or additives.
What kind of products does Scout and Cellar sell?
Scout and Cellar sells a wide variety of clean-crafted wine varieties, including reds, whites, sparkling, dessert and organic wines. The company also offers a variety of wine-related accessories, such as aerators, openers and corkscrews.
- Reds: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Pinot Noir, Zinfandel
- Whites: Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling
- Sparkling: Prosecco, Champagne
- Dessert Wines: Moscato, Port
- Organic Wines
- Accessories: Aerators, Openers, Corkscrews
Scout and Cellar also offers a subscription service that allows customers to receive regular shipments of wines tailored to their preferences. The company has several different subscription plans available for those who want to explore different varieties of clean-crafted wine.
How does the Scout and Cellar MLM work?
Like most MLMs, Scout and Cellar relies on its network of independent consultants to promote its products. The consultants make money by selling directly to customers as well as recruiting other people to join their team and become independent consultants themselves.
The company pays consultants a base commission on all retail sales, as well as bonuses and rewards for reaching certain performance goals. Consultants earn additional commissions by building their teams – they receive a percentage of the total volume generated by their team each month.
- Retail commissions: Consultants earn a 20% commission on all retail sales.
- Team bonuses: Consultants earn an additional 10%-15% bonus on team volume of up to $4,000 per month.
- Performance bonuses: The company rewards consultants for achieving certain performance targets with cash bonuses and other rewards like trips and vacations.
The company has ranks that consultants can advance to as they build their team. The higher a consultant’s rank, the more bonuses and rewards they earn.
The five ranks in Scout and Cellar are:
- Associate Consultant: This is the starting level for all new consultants.
- Senior Consultant: Consultants can advance to this rank when they have an active team of at least three consultants.
- Manager Consultant: When a consultant has an active team of six or more consultants, they can advance to this rank.
- Director Consultant: When a consultant has an active team of 12 or more consultants, they can advance to this rank.
- Executive Consultant: When a consultant has an active team of 25 or more consultants, they can advance to this rank.
How to join Scout and Cellar as a distributor
If you are interested in joining Scout and Cellar as an independent consultant, first you must purchase a starter kit. The starter kit contains all the materials you need to get started, such as business cards, catalogs and samples of the wines. After purchasing a starter kit, you will then be able to register your account on the company’s website.
Once your account is registered, you can start selling Scout and Cellar’s products. You can also start recruiting other people to join your team and build your network of independent consultants. As your team grows, you can then take advantage of the bonuses and rewards offered by the company for achieving higher ranks.
Scout and Cellar start kits, what they include and cost:
- The Experience Kit ($125): Includes 2 bottles of wine, catalogs, business cards, brochures and other marketing materials.
- The Starter Kit ($299): Includes 4 bottles of wine, catalogs, business cards, brochures and other marketing materials.
- The Deluxe Kit ($499): Includes 8 bottles of wine, catalogs, business cards, brochures and other marketing materials.
- The Super Deluxe Kit ($999): Includes 12 bottles of wine, catalogs, business cards, brochures and other marketing materials.
What kind of support does the company offer?
Scout and Cellar provides its consultants with training, support and resources to help them succeed. The company offers an online platform where consultants can access tutorials, educational materials and marketing tools. Consultants also receive access to a weekly newsletter that includes tips and advice from successful team members. In addition, the company has a dedicated customer service team that is available to answer any questions or concerns.
Is Scout and Cellar a pyramid scheme?
No, Scout and Cellar is not a pyramid scheme. The company does offer bonuses and rewards for building a team of independent consultants, but these bonuses are based on performance and sales results – not recruitment. Consultants are not required to recruit others in order to earn money with the company.
Under a pyramid scheme, participants primarily earn money by recruiting people. Scout and Cellar does not use this type of compensation structure and the company strongly discourages any attempts to promote their business as a pyramid scheme.
How about complaints or lawsuits?
Scout and Cellar has been involved in a few complaints and lawsuits:
- In 2019, the company was accused of making false and misleading statements about their products.
- In 2020, a complaint against the company was filed in California alleging they did not comply with applicable laws and regulations when it came to product claims.
- In 2020, two former consultants filed a complaint against the company alleging that they were not paid correctly or on time.
- In 2021, a class-action lawsuit was filed against the company for alleged wage violations.
- In 2021, a lawsuit was filed against the company for allegedly not providing proper working conditions to its independent consultants.
- In 2021, a former consultant alleged that they were denied overtime wages.
- In 2021, a complaint was filed with the BBB alleging deceptive business practices by the company.
Despite the complaints and lawsuits, Scout and Cellar has been able to maintain its reputation as a legitimate business. The company has taken steps to address these issues, such as improving their compensation system and providing additional support for consultants. Additionally, they have implemented an internal review system to ensure that all of their products meet the highest standards of quality and safety. It is important to note, however, that there can always be risks associated with any business opportunity and it is best to do your research before investing your time and money.
What we like about Scout and Cellar
- High-quality products and excellent customer service.
- Generous commissions and bonuses for consultants.
- Comprehensive training and support from the company.
- A vibrant online community of consultants to connect with and learn from.
- The company’s commitment to quality and safety standards.
- An ethical business model that does not encourage recruitment for monetary gain.
What we don’t like about Scout and Cellar
- Complaints of false product claims, delayed payments, and deceptive business practices.
- A lack of clarity in the compensation system.
- The potential for pyramid schemes to be associated with the company.
Are there alternatives to Scout and Cellar?
Yes, there are a few alternatives to Scout and Cellar. Some of these include:
- Avon: Avon offers a variety of products and provides training, education, and support to its consultants.
- Herbalife: Herbalife offers nutrition and energy drinks as well as supplements. Consultants are given the opportunity to earn commissions through sales of these products.
- Amway: Amway is a multi-level marketing company that sells home care and beauty products. Consultants are compensated for both their own sales and those of the people they recruit.
- Young Living: Young Living is a leading supplier of essential oils. The company offers generous commissions for sales as well as rewards for recruiting new members.
- Perfectly Posh: Perfectly Posh sells natural skincare, body care, and spa products. The company encourages consultants to form a network of sales representatives in order to increase their earnings potential.
- Nature’s Sunshine: Nature’s Sunshine sells herbal supplements, vitamins, and other health products. Consultants are able to earn commissions from their own sales as well as those of people they recruit.
- Arbonne: Arbonne provides natural skincare, nutrition, and wellness products. Consultants are able to earn commissions from their own sales as well as those of people they recruit.
Our verdict on Scout and Cellar
Scout and Cellar is a legitimate company that offers quality products and generous benefits for its consultants. While there have been some complaints about deceptive business practices, the company has taken steps to address these issues, such as improved compensation systems and additional support for consultants. We recommend researching any opportunity before investing your time or money. Additionally, it is important to make sure the company you are considering has an ethical business model that does not encourage recruitment for monetary gain. All in all, Scout and Cellar is a well-respected and legitimate direct selling organization with many benefits for its consultants.
Thorough research is crucial
Ultimately, you should thoroughly research each company you’re looking into joining to determine which one is the best fit for you. Consider factors such as product selection, customer service, commission and bonus structure, training and support provided, and any other important criteria you may have. Doing so will help ensure that you make an informed decision about which company to join.
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