JDE Jewels: Custom-made knockoff jewelry with pyramid recruitment
JDE Jewels claim they ‘started customizing fine jewelry pieces in 1998‘.
The JDE Jewels website domain meanwhile was only registered in 2016.
Other than incorporation in the Philippines in 2014, to what extent JDE Jewels existed prior to 2016 is unclear.
Whatever operations might have existed though don’t seem to resemble JDE Jewels’ current MLM business model.
Daisy Seterra Estrada (right) is named as founder of the company on the JDE Jewels website. A corporate address in Quezon City, Philippines is also provided.
As per Estrada’s corporate bio, she’s
a graduate from DLSU with a Biology major and from the Ateneo Graduate School of Business with a Master’s Degree in Business Administration.
To what extent Estrada is involved in the day-to-day running of JDE Jewels is unclear. Posts on Estrada’s Facebook profile suggest she is currently chasing a career in television acting.
Read on for a full review of the JDE Jewels MLM opportunity.
JDE Jewels Products
JDE Jewels market a range of jewelry spanning yellow gold, white gold and rose gold across a variety of settings.
There is also a section on the JDE Jewels website where visitors can upload their own designs, suggesting some level of customization is available.
Basic product information is provided for each jewelry piece, however JDE Jewels do not provide pricing.
This might be because the company appears to be in the business of manufacturing knockoff inspired pieces.
We do not have any stocks on inventory.
Although we showcase the images on the website, these are just references of commissioned works we were asked to create.
Sometimes, the customized pieces of jewelry we were asked to create involves consultations with our clients thru a series of emails and several rough drafts by our clients if they sent us illustrations of their own design.
Usually, our clients send us pictures of jewelry they saw either online or from a magazine, then they send their specific changes to make it their own personalized jewelry.
All jewelry are hand crafted and manufactured upon confirmation of the order after the customer agree to the quoted price sent thru email.
Furthermore JDE Jewels jewelry is not available for retail purchase, only JDE Jewels affiliates may place orders.
The JDE Jewels Compensation Plan
JDE Jewels affiliates sign up and make a mandatory jewelry purchase.
Commissions are earned when they then recruit others who do the same.
For each personally recruited affiliate who purchases a JDE Jewels piece, a $50 commission is paid out.
JDE Jewels appear to track residual commissions via a 2×12 matrix.
A 2×12 matrix places a JDE Jewels affiliate at the top of a matrix, with two positions directly under them.
These two positions form the first level of the matrix.
The second level of the matrix is generated by splitting these first two positions into another two positions each (4 positions).
Levels three to twelve of the matrix are generated in the same manner, with each new level housing twice as many positions as the previous level.
As per a compensation plan description on the JDE Jewels website;
You are entitled to receive rebates on all initial purchases made by all your downlines upto the 12th level.
That’s a total headcount of over 8,000 persons in your network.
A 2×12 matrix houses 8190 positions.
To qualify for residual commissions, a JDE Jewels affiliate must purchase jewelry and then personally recruit at least two affiliates who do the same.
The JDE Jewels website quotes a 2% commission on jewelry purchased by directly and indirectly recruited affiliates placed in their matrix.
JDE Jewels affiliates earn cash bonuses upon filling certain levels of their 2×12 matrix.
- fill level 3 (8 positions) = $750 bonus
- fill level 6 (64 positions) = $2250 bonus
- fill level 9 (512 positions) = $12,000 bonus
- fill level 12 (4096 positions) = $35,000 bonus and a “vacation voucher”
Joining JDE Jewels
JDE Jewels affiliate membership is tied to the purchase of one of the company’s jewelry pieces.
No pricing is provided on the JDE Jewels website.
JDE Jewels is your classic product-based MLM pyramid scheme.
Retail isn’t possible as all customers have access to the compensation plan upon purchasing a jewelry piece.
This makes every JDE Jewels customer an affiliate, meaning commissions are paid out directly and residually on recruitment.
Paying recruitment commissions in MLM without significant retail equivalent volume makes JDE Jewels a pyramid scheme.
With respect to the jewelry itself, I can’t speak to the craftsmanship quality or pricing as no indication of either is provided.
Jewelry images presented on the JDE Jewels website look legit enough, however are ultimately meaningless without adequate product descriptions and pricing.
I’m also not sure whether trademark comes into play. Jewelry is a pretty competitive niche and if JDE Jewels are banging out replicas for clients, this might attract the attention of the companies they are replicating designs of.
One example is JDE Jewels’ “Tiffany setting”:
The specific Tiffany setting is a trademarked design. In 2013 Tiffany went after Costco for infringing on its trademark.
In February 2013 Tiffany & Co. filed a trademark infringement lawsuit against Costco Wholesale Corp. over Costco’s practice of selling prong setting engagement rings described as “Tiffany setting” rings.
The lawsuit alleged that Costco was unlawfully using the “Tiffany” trademark to describe products that were not made or licensed by Tiffany & Co.
Costco’s “generic use” argument was rejected and Tiffany went on to win the lawsuit in 2015.
Apparently there are entire malls dedicated to selling knockoffs in the Philippines, so that might explain why JDE Jewels are getting away with it.
In addition to being anti-consumer by way of failing to provide detailed information on pricing and their manufacturing process, JDE Jewels also fail to provide refunds.
JDE Jewelry does not accept returns because jewelries made are custom made.
One could argue that Philippine law only covers returns and exchanges when goods purchased are defective (which JDE Jewels do honor). Of note is JDE Jewels do ship internationally, which means their refund policy might come as a shock to customers living in countries with stronger consumer laws.
At the very least JDE Jewels’ “no refunds” policy should be taken into consideration before purchase by any potential customers.
Custom-made or not, as far as the MLM industry goes not having a refund policy is a regulatory red flag. Especially when you’re forcing affiliates to purchase products to qualify for commissions.
Perhaps when you’re running what is essentially a product-based pyramid scheme though, regulatory compliance isn’t a primary concern.