AiYellow Review: No retail and a useless directory
On the AiYellow website, the company details a history spanning back to 2005, which appears to be when a management board got together and decided to go ahead with the company.
No idea what happened over the next three years but in 2008 the company claims it was incorporated in the US. Another three years of marketing to third-world countries and AiYellow finally announced a global launch to take place in June, 2012.
I’m not exactly sure why they had to announce a global launch, given the company was already claiming it’s affiliates had already generated $50 million in cumilatative revenue globally as of June 2012.
AmarillasInternet and AiYellow were co-founded by President Martin Naka and Vice-President Rick Cabo. I had a look for any signs of a history in MLM but was unable to find one for both men.
Trying to establish where AiYellow (and parent company ‘Amarillas Internet’) are operating out of is anything but a straightforward task. The company has two primary domains, ‘aiyellow.com’ and ‘amarillasinternet.com’, with both listing different registrant addresses for ‘AmarillasInternet Corp.’
aiyellow.com (registered on the 9th December, 2010) lists
5545 Whitsett Ave #1
Valley Village, California 91607
whilst amarillasinternet.com (registered on the 12th January, 2007) lists
25 SE 2nd Ave. Suite 410
Miami, Florida 33131
Meanwhile the AiYellow ‘Terms and Conditions’ state that
AmarillasInternet Corporation (has) its principal headquarter office located at: 990 Biscayne Blvd., Suite 503, Miami Florida 33132
but at the same time also mentions that AmarillasInternet is ‘an American privately held corporation organized and existing under the laws of the State of Delaware‘.
No address in Delaware however is provided by the company, with the Delaware business registration (file number: 4625981) only providing an agent address for ‘Delaware Intercorp’ in Newark.
One would think addresses in two US states was enough, but AmarillasInternet is also registered in Florida as a ‘Foreign Profit Corporation’ (EIN: 263779909), giving an entirely different address again, this time in Argentina:
NAKA, MARTIN S
JULIO A. ROCA 95, VILLA GRAL BELGRANO
CORDOBA, ARGENTINA AR 5194
Muddying things up even more is the fact that AiYellow co-founder and President Martin Naka (photo right) also appears to have a presence in Montevideo, Uruguay:
Domain Name: CAMARAMERCOSUR.ORG
Registrant Name: Martin Naka
Registrant City: Montevideo
Registrant Postal Code: 1374
Registrant Country: UY
Spanish is the official language of Uruguay and this also explains AmarillasInternet and AiYellow’s heavy South American presence, and the fact that most of the information online regarding the two companies is in Spanish.
What on Earth is going on with AmarillasInternet and AiYellow in the US I have no idea but Uruguay and Argentina at least kind of make sense, given that both country’s official language is Spanish, which is the language most of the information about AiYellow and AmarillasInternet online is in (not to mention the company’s strong presence in South America).
Read on for a full review of the AiYellow MLM business opportunity.
The AiYellow Product Line
Online business directories are nothing new and have been around for almost as long as the world wide web itself. These days the market is flooded with business directories clamouring for a slice of the marketplace and mostly operating on a free-to-list platform.
Typically businesses are added either via opt-in or automation and are grouped by location and then industry niche.
Claiming to be ‘the internet yellow pages’, AiYellow’s AmarilloInternet business directory is none of that.
Charging $30 to $325 for a listing, AmarilloInternet simply classifies business listings by country, in order from most recent entries to oldest. At the time of publication, here’s what the US directory looks like:
And here’s an individual directory listing:
Note that I didn’t break the image in the listing, that’s how it came up (it was the first listing I clicked on).
Listings are capped at 60 a page, are mostly in Spanish (despite being US business listings) and are not grouped in any order. Oh and there’s no search either, begging the question who on Earth is using AmarilloInternet and why?
Prices for an ad listing on AmarilloInternet are as follows:
- Standard Ad – $30 annually
- Premium Ad – $200 annually (Standard ad + photo gallery, video hosting, social network listing and coupons)
- Premium Plus – $250 annually (Premium ad + business hours, delivery advice, viewer able to leave phone number, testimonials, listing of payment options and user-voted ad ranking)
- Premium Plus VOIP – $300 annually (Premium Plus ad + voip calling feature from ad listing)
- Ad Super Plus – $325 for 3 years (Premium Plus + “increased ranking and performance“)
The AiYellow Compensation Plan
AiYellow provide affiliates “retail” commissions, residual commissions via a unilevel commissions structure and a series of incentive bonuses.
The basic idea behind AiYellow’s “retail” commissions is that you decide what level you want to join the company at, pay your membership fee, which is actually the purchase of a bunch of business listing “codes”, and then sell these positions to businesses who want to create a listing on AmarillasInternet to make a profit.
AiYellow explain this process as a percentage ROI on the money you initially pay the company:
The above table pretty much lays out the three membership options new members have open to them, Standard, Premium and Director.
- Standard Membership is $30 with members receiving 5 ‘Standard Ad’ codes ($6 a code)
- Premium Membership is $200 with members receiving 5 Premium Ad codes ($40 a code)
- Director Membership is $1000 + a $30 admin fee with members receiving either 50 Premium Ad codes ($20 a code) or 350 Standard Ad codes ($2.85 a code)
As above in the ‘Products’ setion of this review, Standard Ads retail for $30 each and Premium Ads for $200 each, and by reselling the ad codes purchased from AiYellow at retail this is how an AiYellow member makes their money.
Once a member has sold off all their ad codes, they then have the option of purchasing codes in bulk as above, or individual “higher-end” ad codes.
Residual commissions in AiYellow are paid out everytime a recruited affiliate purchases ad codes to resell.
In order to qualify for residual commissions, AiYellow members must meet the membership requirements applicable to their membership rank. There are five primary membership ranks in AiYellow and along with their qualification requirements they are as follows:
- Standard Membership – must purchase 1 Standard ad package every 30 days
- Premium Membership – must purchase 1 Standard ad package every 30 days
- Regional Director – must purchase at least 1 Director ad package every 365 days and 1 Super Plus ad package every 30 days
- National Director – must have recruited at least 6 Regional Directors, purchase at least 1 Director ad package every 365 days and 1 Super Plus ad package every 30 days
- International Director – must have recruited at least 5 National Directors, purchase 1 Director package every 365 days and 1 Super Plus ad package every 30 days
AiYellow use a unilevel commissions structure which means that every personally recruited affiliate is placed directly under their sponsor, forming their level 1. If any level 1 affiliates recruit new members, they are placed on the affiliate’s level 2 and so on and so forth.
How much commissions an affiliate earns depends on what membership level they buy into the company at (note that the figures below include both initial ad code purchases and repurchases).
- Standard Membership (only able to earn on Standard Ad code purchases) – $15 on level 1, $7.50 on level 2, $1.25 on levels 3 to 5 (dynamic) and $1.25 on Standard Ad code repurchases
- Premium Membership (earn on Premium and Standard Ad code purchases) – same commission on Standard Ad codes as Standard Membership, $10 on a Standard Ad code purchase paid out on 5 levels (dynamic) and $3.50 on Super Plus ad code sales paid out on 5 levels (dynamic)
- Regional Director Membership – same commissions as Standard and Premium members, $40 on Executive packages paid out on 5 levels (dynamic), $7 on an Ad Super Plus package sale paid out on 5 levels (dynamic) and $200 Director package commission paid out on personally referred sales (level 1 only)
- National Director – same commissions as Regional Director members, $3 bonus on personally referred (level 1) Standard ad package purchases, $15 bonus on personally referred (level 1) Premium ad package purchases, $50 bonus on personally referred (level 1) Director package purchases, $10 bonus on personally referred (level 1) Ad Super Plus package purchases, $7 paid out on personally referred (level 1) VOIP ad package purchases and a 10% matching bonus paid out down 5 levels
International Directors earn the same commissions as a National Director, with some slight increases to the commissions paid out:
- Standard ad package purchase bonus increased to $6
- Premium ad package purchase bonus increased to $15
- Director ad package purchase bonus increased to $100
- Ad Super Plus package purchase bonus increased to $20
- VOIP ad package purchase bonus increased to $14
Note that AiYellow don’t define what an “Executive Package” is in their compensation plan or product material, other than stating it costs $600 plus a $25 admin fee.
Every time an AiYellow affiliate recruits a new affiliate who buys in at the Premium or Director membership level, they receive a membership e-voucher.
This e-voucher allows them to recruit their next affiliate free of charge (the e-voucher value is that of membership itself, however a $10 and $160 admin fee still applies to the Premium or Director vouchers respectively).
When a Director affiliate qualifies to become a National Director, the company additionally provides them with two Director level e-vouchers ($160 admin fee payable on each).
Note that standard monthly/annual requirements and all associated costs still apply to e-voucher members after their first month).
Corporate Lifetime Director Pool Bonus
There are two membership levels beyond “International Director” with both being eligible for participation in Corporate Bonus Pools.
These Corporate Bonus Pools are made up of localised revenue generated in the country where the eligible affiliate is based.
- Lifetime Director 1 Star (must have 1 International Director in downline and have recruited 1 Regional Director) – a share in a 3% pool of company profit
- Lifetime Director 2 Star (must have either 2 International Directors or 1 Lifetime Director in downline and have recruited 1 Regional Director) – a share in 3% pool of company profit and 1 share in an additional 1% pool
- Lifetime Director 3 Star (must have either 3 International Directors or 1 International and 1 Lifetime Director in downline and have recruited at least 1 Regional Director) – a share in 3% pool of company profit and 1 share in two additional 1% pools
- Lifetime Director 4 Star (must have either 4 International Directors or 2 Lifetime Directors in downline and have recruited at least 1 Regional Director) – a share in 3% pool of company profit and 1 share in three additional 1% pools
- Lifetime Director 5 Star (must have either 6 International Directors or 3 Lifetime Directors and have recruited at least 1 Regional Director) – a share in 3% pool of company profit and 1 share in four additional 1% pools
Note that there are no monthly purchase requirements at the Lifetime Director membership level.
Corporate Ambassador Pool Bonus
Whereas the Lifetime Director Pool is only made up of localised revenue of AiYellow, the Ambassador pools are made up of global company profits.
There are three Ambassador levels, with each providing an additional share in a company bonus pool:
- Ambassador 1 Star (must have at least 1 Lifetime Director 5 Stars in downline and have recruited at least 1 Lifetime Director) – a share in 1% of global company profits
- Ambassador 2 Stars (must have at least 2 Lifetime Director 5 Stars in downline and have recruited at least 1 Lifetime Director) – 1 share in two pools of global company profits (1% each pool)
- Ambassador 3 Stars (must have at least 3 Lifetime Director 5 Stars in downline and have recruited at least 1 Lifetime Director) – 1 share in three pools of global company profits (1% each pool)
AiDreams Rewards Program
On the sale of every ‘Executive Ad Package’ purchased ($600) in your unilevel team, AiYellow award affiliates points which can be then redeemed either for a car, travel or electronic goods bonus.
AiYellow do not provide specifics on how many points are needed for what bonuses and as mentioned earlier, do not specify what an Executive Ad Package is other than its cost.
Membership to AiYellow is available at three levels:
- Standard Membership – $30
- Premium Membership – $200
- Director Membership – $1000 + $30 admin fee
Note the membership level bought in at directly effects the commissions made available to affiliates (see compensation plan explanation above).
One could almost forive the worrying paper trail that spans several US states and international countries if AiYellow had a substantial product that could be considered competitive in today’s online directory marketplace.
Recent global launch or not, the simple fact of the matter is that AiYellow’s business directory in its present form is a joke. And a bad one at that.
Lacking basic functionality such as industry niche categorization and even the most basic of search capabilities (search is non-existent altogether), it would seem the least amount of effort possible has been put into the development of AmarillasInternet.
With an abundance of free online directories available offering a far superior user experience, there’s no way known AmarallasInternet could survive without the attached AiYellow MLM business opportunity.
And that brings us to the biggest red flag of all when analysing AiYellow: 100% internal consumption.
As AiYellow describe the sales process of ad packages themselves,
you earn income by purchasing AiYellow Ad Codes at a discounted wholesale price and then reselling them at a retail price.
Functionally 100% of the revenue going into AiYellow is coming from company affiliates, who are then free to try selling their purchased ad codes for extra money or ignore them altogether.
This is reflected in AiYellow’s compensation plan, which only pays out commissions on the purchase of ad codes by company affiliates. It’s also evident in the way AiYellow present the money made on the sale of ad codes as an affiliate’s ROI in the company, rather than product sale with accompanying sales commission.
What happens after the affiliates have paid the company is not factored into the AiYellow compensation plan commissions structure.
When you consider that 100% of the revenue going into AiYellow is essentially from affiliates, this is a red flag business model wise in that it means functionally it is only affiliate money being shuffled around and paid out as commissions to other affiliates.
The nature of AiYellow’s compensation plan relying on affiliate pre-purchasing ad codes to sell is reflected in the weighted recruitment requirements and monthly and annually required ad code purchases within the plan.
Compensation plan wise what affiliates do with their ad codes doesn’t matter, so long as they keep purchasing them each and every month via forced purchase requirements.
You could make the argument that the selling on of ad codes to businesses for directory listings (discounting for a moment how no business in their right mind is going to pay $30 let alone $300+ for an AmarillasInternet directory listing), qualifies as a retail commission but falling outside of the AiYellow compensation plan and commissions structure this is clearly not the case.
It’s the equivalent of buying a can of coke from a supermarket, selling it to someone on the street for a small profit and then claiming the supermarket paid you for selling the can of coke.
What you did with your can of coke after you paid the supermarket for it doesn’t factor into their business model, much in the same way what affiliates do with their ad codes doesn’t concern AiYellow.
A poor product, complicated corporate structure with offices all over the place and a compensation plan that’s 100% funded by affiliates raises too many flags as far as I’m concerned.
Approach AiYellow with extreme caution.