JR Watkins is an MLM/Direct sales company that has been in business for over 150 years. Originally started in 1868 JR Watkins himself would go door to door selling liniment oil. Approximately 1 year after he started selling his oils he introduced a “trial mark” on the bottles. This mark was so that anyone who used the product and was not completely satisfied could return it for a full refund as long as the oil was above that mark.
Things Started To Change
Watkins did well until the 1970s. At that time things were changing and Watkins did not keep pace and as a result, they filed for bankruptcy protection. In 1978 they were purchased by a Minneapolis investor named Irwin Jacobs. The Jacobs family still owns Watkins to this date.
Baking Goods & Spices
JR Watkins sells baking goods and spices as well as personal skincare products. They are sold as natural products and animal cruelty-free. In 2018 a California firm bought out the household and personal care products from the Jacobs family. They operate under the JR Watkins name. The Jacobs family kept the spices and baking products and operate under Watkins Inc.
- Business Name: J.R.Watkins
- Business Owner(s): Jacob Industries Incorporated
- Business Type: MLM Direct Sales
- Website: jrwatkins.com/Household & Personal Care Products, watkins1868.com for Spices & Baking Goods
- Training Offered: Yes
- Website Offered: 2 Sites Given With Membership
- Products Sold: Personal Health & Skin Care. Spices & Baking Products
- Tech Support Offered: Limited
- Price To Get Started: $29.95
How To Get Started & What Do You Do/Get
To get started with Watkins you can either sign up directly from another rep or sign up on their main website and you will be assigned someone as your upline. If you are unfamiliar with how an MLM works, check out my article on MLM’s.
You do not have to keep any inventory and there are no minimum monthly quotas you will need to buy. Here are a couple of things to keep in mind:
- You have to order at least $100 worth of merchandise in order to receive free shipping
- You have to order at least $150 to start getting a discount on the products
- When you get to the point where you have a downline and your downline starts buying products and making money, you are not eligible for any bonuses unless you spend $100 that month on products yourself
What Do You Get For Your Membership Fees
When you join you will be given access to a free training website called Timeless Integrity. This site contains training and everything you will need to know about your Watkins business. It provides information on the commission structure, how to promote the businesses (there are actually two routes you can take), a list of the “what you can” and “can’t” do while promoting the business, any contests that may be running, and any news updates.
It is where you can get answers to any questions you may have. There are also audio recordings of training on this site but I have found them to be dated. You can also get social media “Easy Share” ads that can be applied to your social media accounts. It is a “one-stop” training and promo material site.
2 Ways To Build Your Business
There are two different ways to build your Watkins business. The first way is to sell products. The more you sell the bigger the discount you will receive. As with any type of retail business if you sell a product for more than you paid for it the difference is your profit. Included with your membership, you will receive your own website to send people to that concentrates specifically on selling products.
Recruiting Other Members
The second way is to get others to join and start their own Watkins business. While signing someone up alone does not make you money, it is a great way to start getting your sales volume up. With your membership along with the selling website I mentioned above, you will also get your own website specifically designed to get people to join.
No Monthly Minimums
Although you do not need to buy anything monthly to keep your membership active the bottom line is that you will not make any money if you don’t buy/sell a minimum of $100 of products a month. If you buy $100 worth of products a month to either use yourself or sell then you are eligible. If you don’t spend $100 in any given month you are not eligible for anything that month but will not be penalized either.
Sales And Percentages
This chart will give you an idea of the compensation percentages. It explains how much volume you need and what kind of discount that gives you on their products. Remember you need at least $100 per order for free shipping and $150 to qualify for any commissions/bonuses. Any orders under $100 you will pay $9.95 for shipping.
Note: If you purchase small orders during the course of a month, Watkins will take your monthly total and give you a discount based on your monthly sales. For instance, if you ordered $150 worth of products 4 separate times during a specific month you would receive 1- free shipping on all 3 orders and 2- a 15% discount on each order.
At the end of that month since you have ordered $600 worth of products, you are eligible for the 20% discount so Watkins would send you the difference between 15% & 20%.
Achievement Level Bonuses
The column in the middle on the above chart is your sales discounts. The column on the right is your “achievement level bonus” discount.
These discounts are applied at the end of the month. For example, if you personally sold $150 worth of products you would receive a 15% discount. If everyone that signed up under you sold an additional $500 worth of products that month you would be compensated at the rate of whatever you and your downline combined sold together.
Points Not Dollars
Something to keep in mind. When it comes to Achievement Level Bonuses Watkins uses a point not dollar amount. If you are in the USA, the dollar to point conversion is very close to 1=1.
Here Is An Example
Below is an example taken from the Watkins training site:
“You place one personal order during the month for $100 (100 points). When you place that order, you don’t get a discount but you do get free shipping if you order online (some Consultants shoot for $150 each month to get the 15% discount but only 100 points are required to get paid on your team). You have sponsored ten Consultants on your team and each of them do $100 (100 points). This makes your total volume for the month $1,100 (1,100 points), which qualifies you as a Silver Consultant.”
“First, you will receive a bonus on your personal purchases of 20% of the Bonus Value (likely 6%) or $6. This means you actually are getting a discount on your personal purchases, just not up front. Second, on your ten Consultants, you will earn 20% of the Bonus Value of their volume (1,000 points), which typically equates to 6% of the retail price, or likely another $60.”
“As you can see, in this example, your total volume was 1,100 points and your income was $66, so in this case you earned 6% which is slightly greater than the 5% average earnings you will typically get as you build your One Minute Business team.“
- Inexpensive To Get Started
- Very Low Yearly Renewal
- No Inventory To Carry
- No Minimum Monthly Orders
- You Must Order $100 Worth Of Products To Get Free Shipping
- You Will Need To Order $150 Worth Of Product In Any Given Month To Qualify For Commissions/Bonuses For That Month
- Delivery Of Products Is On The Slow Side (Usually About A Week To Ten Days)
- Watkins Products Are Sold In Retail Stores and Online Sometimes For Cheaper Than You Can Get As A Distributer
My Biggest Problems
I have been a Watkins consultant for years. There are a couple of really big issues that I have found that make it hard to actually make this a viable business.
- You Need To Spend $100 To get Free Shipping
- The Products Are Sold In Many Large Retail Stores And Online Websites Many Times For Cheaper Then You Can Buy Yourself
- People Can Go To The Watkins Website And Buy Straight From The Company Bypassing Consultants
The fact that it’s so cheap to start and renew your Watkins business is very appealing. Their products are of top quality and are made in the USA. Also appealing is you do not have to purchase monthly minimums or stock inventory to keep your membership active.
While I think there is a possibility to make money with a Watkins business, I feel it is just too hard to compete against the big-name retail stores. We even did a test of our own and found our favorite bar soap on Amazon for cheaper then we could buy it and we did not have to spend $100 dollars to get free shipping!!!
There are also many people that frequent fairs and shows to set-up booths and sell products. We have personally witnessed on two separate occasions where a Watkins booth was set up at a large gathering (RV show & RV Rally) and while there were a few people looking the sales just were not there.