In 2017, Sarah Shadonix launched the multi-level marketing company Scout and Cellar to fill what she saw was a growing demand for "clean-crafted" wines. With modest aspirations, the company quickly outgrew their 2,200 square foot facility in just two months. They closed $20 million in sales within their first year, and by January 2020, has sold over 3 million bottles of wine.
Is the Scout and Cellar MLM opportunity worth it? Who's behind the company? What products do they sell? In this Scout and Cellar review, we'll deep dive into everything you need to know about this new "clean-crafted" wine club MLM. Let's go!
Who Started Scout & Cellar?
A former attorney, Sarah Shadonix spent two years in Sonoma, California as a Channel Manager with WineCountryConnect. Passionate about wine and the wine industry, Sarah Shadonix began studying to become a sommelier. She also started researching wine regulations and law, and discovered how unregulated the wine industry was.
Most wines that you'll find at your grocery store use synthetic pesticides, chemical additives, sugar, and other sweeteners in order to mass-produce their wine at scale. She saw an unmet need in the market for cleaner, healthier wines...
Their Products: What are Clean-Crafted Wines?
Scout and Cellar's unique product is what they've coined as "clean-crafted" wines. They source their wines from all over the world, ensuring a product that meets their standards, void of the harmful chemicals that are so prevalent in the market. How do they do it? A quick look at the Scout and Cellar journey from grape to glass...
They find, research, and build relationships with vineyards that align with their values. Scout and Cellar's partner vineyards don't use chemical pesticides or any harmful chemicals that go against their mission. The company set strict standards for growers they choose to partner with.
The whole process is different than what you'll find with most vineyards. Their grapes are harvested and sorted by hand. The fermentation and aging process is slow (minus the synthetic chemicals). All of their wines are also lab tested to ensure quality they expect from their brands.
Scout and Cellar's bottling practices are also consistent with their environmentally responsible "clean-crafted" mission. No chemicals, preservatives, or even sugars are added to their wines. They bottle in lighter glass (smaller carbon footprint). They use eco-friendly cork, and avoid using foil and other packaging that could be harmful to the environment.
In the end, Scout and Cellar's building a respected brand, a wine that's cleaner and safer than much of the competition, and doing it in a way that's responsible to the Earth...
According to a recent Nielsen survey:
- 68% of consumers are willing to pay more for products that don't contain ingredients perceived as bad for them.
- 53% say the exclusion of undesirable ingredients is more important than the inclusion of beneficial ingredients.
Clean-Crafted Wine Club
A large amount of the company's sales come from their wine club. Customers or consultants (more on that below) can visit their e-commerce site and get their wine order on auto-ship. Simply choose:
- Your preference: White wine or red wine (or mix)
- Choose how many bottles in your shipment: 4, 6, or 12 bottles
- How often you want a shipment: Monthly, bi-monthly, or quarterly
The direct sales company @scoutandcellar has sold over 3 million bottles of #cleancrafted #wine since launching in 2017... but is #ScoutandCellar worth it?
Scout & Cellar Consultants
The MLM wine company uses a multi-level marketing (MLM) business model to sell their wines. Currently only available in the United States, individuals can sign up as Scout and Cellar consultants directly on the website. New consultants must sign up through another active consultant in order to get started.
If you don't already know an active consultant and can't find one online, you can search for and choose a consultant through their database. As is typical with MLMs and affiliate programs, the company will provide their consultants the e-commerce website and back-office platform to track all business growth and product sales.
Scout & Cellar MLM: What's the cost to join?
The MLM wine company charges a one-time fee of $249 for their Business Basics Kit. This kit includes four bottles of clean-crafted wine, an assortment of products, and some promotional material.
How do Consultants Get Paid?
Scout and Cellar consultants get paid in three ways:
- Retail sales
- Downline bonuses
- Leadership rewards
Retail sales commissions on personal volume (you and your customers) range from 15-25% depending on your total sales volume. Similar to other network marketing or sales positions, the company also pays downline bonuses for the total sales volume of your organization.
In addition to the downline sales commissions, the company also pays leadership rewards. This is to incentivize consultants to help members of their downline find success. For a detailed look at the Scout and Cellar compensation plan, check out Cameron Allison's video below. She's one of the top earners with the MLM wine company.
What I Like About Scout and Cellar...
While I am NOT a Scout and Cellar consultant, there are a few things that I really like about this wine club MLM. First off, I'm absolutely not in any way a wine expert. I have tasted a couple of the Scout and Cellar wines and I think they're decent wines. I also like their unique selling proposition that these wines are "clean-crafted" and not as harmful as what we find mass-produced in stores...
Reasonably Priced Product
When reviewing MLMs, I often come across a decent product or service, but the product pricing isn't competitive. These MLM companies end up overpricing their products in order to pay their MLM sales force a lucrative commission. This is a huge problem because it makes customer sales difficult. If you can't make retail product sales, you can't build a passive income.
As far as wines go, Scout and Cellar's pricing makes sense for what people would pay retail for wine Additionally, Scout and Cellar wines are "clean-crafted" and via the wine club - shipping is free.
The Company is Young... but not TOO Young.
They're a newer network marketing company... Launched in 2017, there are currently just over 7,000 Scout and Cellar consultants in the U.S. There is still so much room for growth.
I'm normally hesitant to recommend a younger MLM because many direct sales companies never make it past their first year. It's a risk to put your reputation, time and effort behind a company that may not make it. Are the company founders in over their heads? Do they have the infrastructure in place to grow fast? Is the market responding favorably to their products/services? So many things can go wrong.
This company product and opportunity has so far proven a success.
Great e-Commerce Website
Whether you're an affiliate marketer or a network marketer, you want to be able to sell online. You could have the best product in the world, but if you don't have a sales funnel that makes it EASY for customers to buy, it's going to be difficult to make sales.
Especially with network marketing, I haven't found many companies that know how to build a good sales funnel. Usually the sites are not built to make sales. The Scout and Cellar e-Commerce site makes it easy to sell the wine club membership. I know because I visited their site and ended up putting in an order, ha...
What I Don't Like about the Wine MLM Company...
The company itself puts a focus on traditional MLM. Meaning, their culture focuses on recruiting and product sales via home parties, social media, and old-school belly-to-belly recruiting.
I personally have built a large MLM team strictly online marketing... Without doing any of the awkward practices that (in my opinion) give MLM a bad name.
I don't think the company is against their consultants marketing wine online. They just don't seem to have a culture or community that's focused on training or teaching their reps how to create a passive income stream marketing online.
I'm sure the young company has plans for global expansion, but as of late 2020, their availability and distribution is limited. As a digital marketer, I like products that I can promote globally. If you're an online marketer with a global audience, you'll likely get a lot of clicks to your site from people that just can't join or buy (yet)...
Scout and Cellar Review
Overall, I think Scout and Cellar is a great network marketing wine MLM company. They offer a "cleaner" wine, competitively priced, with convenient online wine-club ordering and shipping... I'm not at all surprised by their explosive growth across the United States. I can see how the company's sold over 3 million bottles in such a short amount of time.
If this article ends up getting a lot of organic search traffic for Scout and Cellar, I might just dish out the $249, sign up as a wine consultant and monetize this page! It might be a no-brainer to (at the very least) easily cover the cost of their wine club shipment each month.. But for now, I'm just a customer.