Bidify v2.0 Review: Relaunch of a Ponzi scheme
Almost a month ago to the day, the newly appointed CEO (Albert Liske) and VP (Christopher Robinson) of Bidsson (Bidify’s penny auction platform) suddenly and without explanation resigned from their respective posts.
To date these resignations have not been explained by Bidify, despite promising to do so. Possibly indicating a conflict of opinion on the future direction of Bidify and Bidsson, just days after Liske and Robinson’s resignations, unofficial rumours began to surface indicating that Bidify were looking to ditch their retail bid orientated compensation plan just four months after its implementation.
Worryingly, these rumours also suggested that Bidify were seriously considering a return to their Ponzi scheme roots, which were abandoned literally days after the SEC shut down their biggest competitor, Zeek Rewards, for being a $600M Ponzi scheme.
Prior to the compensation plan change, Bidify was running a near identical affiliate funded bid investment scheme to Zeek Rewards.
A few days after the rumours appeared, Bidify itself confirmed it was looking to change up its compensation plan on the official Bidify blog, however no specifics were given.
Dubbed “the future of MLM penny auctions”, recently the new “Bidify 2.0” compensation plan (which is really Bidify 4.0 if you count the two post Zeek Rewards compensation plan changes) have leaked, and today we take a look at it.
Of specific interest will be to see whether or not retail bid focus has indeed been ditched and perhaps more importantly, has the focus of the compensation plan reverted back to affiliates paying affiliates?
Read on for a full review of the Bidify 2.0 compensation plan.
Compensation Plan breakdown
As we’d normally do with a new company review, here’s a breakdown of the Bidify 2.0 compensation plan:
New (non-commissionable) membership fees have been introduced, starting at 100 EUR ($130 USD) to join Bidify and then 50 EUR ($65 USD) a month thereafter.
A unilevel compensation structure starts with an affiliate at the top and places every directly recruited affiliate under them (level 1).
If any of these level 1 affiliates go on to recruit new affiliates of their own, they are placed on level 2 of the original affiliate’s unilevel team, and so on and so forth.
Using this compensation structure, Bidify pay out a percentage of the bid commissions earnt (including an affiliate’s self purchase of bids) down 15 levels.
How much an affiliate earns on each of the affiliate’s in their downline depends on what level of the unilevel structure their team members fall on:
- Levels 1 and 2 – 5%
- Levels 3 and 4 – 4%
- Levels 5 and 6 – 3%
- Levels 7 to 10 – 2%
- Levels 11 to 15 – 1%
Note that level payments are restricted to affiliate tiers, of which there are five in total:
- Tier 1 (pays out on levels 1 to 3) – 50 PV
- Tier 2 (pays out on levels 1 to 5) – 100 PV, PCV and GV
- Tier 3 (pays out on levels 1 to 8) – 150 PV, PCV and GV
- Tier 4 (pays out on levels 1 to 10) – 200 PV, PCV and GV
- Tier 5 (pays out on levels 1 to 15) – 300 PV, PCV and GV
Also note that
- PV = Personal Volume and are the bids personally purchased by an affiliate
- PCV = Personal Customer Volume and is the bid sales volume by an affiliate’s personal retail customers
- GV = Group Volume of an affiliate’s entire downline
Daily Profit Sharing Pool
Bidify’s Daily Profit Sharing Pool essentially redistributes the money spent purchasing bids (by both retail customers and recruited affiliates), to those who did the recruiting.
This is done via CAPS and the CAB.
A CAP is a “Customer Acquisition Point” and are generated when
when someone (a recruited affiliate or retail customer) you have referred purchases premium bids and redeems the bids in Bidsson.
Affiliates are capped at giving away up to 250 bids per month to any retail customers they have referred.
CAB is the “Customer Acquisition Bonus” and is how an affiliate gets paid. The CAB is made up of the money generated by bid sales (bids must be used in an auction to count towards the CAB) and any income generated by won auctions.
Subtracted from this amount are company costs (paying out Executive staff salaries etc.), shipping and auction item costs. What is left at the end of each day is then split a further 40%/60% between affiliates and the company, with 60% making up the daily CAB.
This CAB is then redistributed out to affiliates with each CAP paying out a daily ROI over 60 days. Essentially the more CAPS you have, the higher your daily payout through the CAB will be.
Bidify also state that the percentage value of each CAP is dependent on an affiliate’s unilevel tier rank, with higher tiers earning an affiliate a higher percentage of the CAB per CAP point they have generated.
Frequent Sales Credit
The Frequent Sales Credit pays out credit to an affiliate equating to 25% of any unilevel commission earnings they generate.
This credit cannot be directly redeemed for cash and has to be used either in the Bidsson auctions or to pay an affiliate’s monthly membership fee.
Before we get into an overall summary of the “new” Bidify compensation plan, let’s take a look at the individual components.
The unilevel commissions do actually require retail customer bid purchases if affiliates wish to earn anything beyond three levels of recruitment. If you’re not interested in finding customers however, it’s entirely possible to juts ignore levels 4 to 15 of the unilevel and earn on the first three levels, solely on your own bid purchases.
Why would you do that? That brings us to the whole CAP/CAB scheme.
Basically a clone of every other affiliate funded daily profit share out there, the CAB/CAP scheme (hereafter referred to as CAB) theoretically pays an affiliate for auction activity they generate.
Set up a few dummy customer accounts to bid with and the money being paid out is still primarily being generated by affiliates.
The theory of course is that affiliates purchase bids, give them away and then later these customers go on to purchase bids, contributing to the overall success of Bidsson and injecting non-affiliate money into the daily CAB payout.
Demonstrably though, this has been proven to not happen. In the example of Zeek Rewards, upon being shut down it was revealed by the SEC that, as per Zeek Rewards’ own books, 98% of the daily ROI paid out to Zeek Rewards affiliates consisted of affiliate money (affiliate’s purchasing (investing) and re-purchasing (re-investing in) bids).
In the wake of Zeek Rewards’s retail activity (or lack thereof) being revealed, it has been generally accepted that the retail side of MLM penny auctions is simply not viable.
The most recent example of this in practice is the failed penny auction startup Funky Shark. Funky Shark initially announced plans to launch an affiliate funded scheme, but after their legal counsel advised them to restructure their compensation plan to rely more on retail bid sales, Funky Shark pulled the plug on the entire operation.
A letter sent out by Funky Shark to its members advised
(We have) recently discovered that the way we executed our Founder program may violate certain securities laws in the United States.
Due to these actions that we’re taking to remedy this error, in conjunction with our business model, our confidence in the future success of Funky Shark as a penny auction is greatly reduced.
We really cannot in good conscience move forward with the penny auctions.
In order for the penny auction to be profitable, there needs to be a lot of activity with the auctions. We lack confidence in this regard.
Looking at Bidify itself, in changing their compensation plan in August following the Zeek Rewards bust, Bidify started only paying affiliate’s on the bid purchases of retail customers.
Following this change, commissions plummeted and Bidify affiliates began to revolt.
The changes brought to light the painfully obvious fact that Bidsson had next to no genuine retail customers buying bids and the business would be unable to survive should it continue to rely on this insignificant retail activity.
Now this is a point I can’t stress the importance of enough. From a retail customer point of view, the Bidsson bidding experience is the same post Bidify 2.0 compensation plan and prior.
Prior to the plan changes there were no retail customers and both Bidify and Bidsson were stuck in a downward spiral, often paying out affiliates just a few cents a day.
Following the implementation of Bidift 2.0, the company has again reverted back to paying out commissions on the purchase of Bidsson bids by Bidify affiliates (internal revenue), and rewarding affiliates with a daily ROI based on the amount of bids purchased and given away.
Bidify have of course introduced the caveat that the bids be used and capped the giving away of bids to 250 per customer per month, however given the amount of customer fraud going on in Zeek Rewards, it’s evidently all too easy to generate a few fake customers and use them to bid with.
Make no mistake, for those experienced with how Zeek Rewards, the creation of fake auction customers (family members, bogus email addresses created only to create a Bidsson account etc.) is a non-issue.
Fundamentally, the money going into the CAB, whether the bids are used or not, is still going to come from Bidify’s affiliates.
You join Bidify, you create a few bogus customer accounts (accounts which are solely created to use bids in auctions with no intent to ever purchase any retail bids), you earn a daily ROI through the CAB.
And just like Zeek Rewards, you then earn even more if you recruit new Bidify affiliates and get them to invest in bids too.
In changing the compensation plan to pay out a daily CAB ROI (and it is a ROI, given that affiliates are now purchasing bids with the expectation of earning a >100% ROI over 60 days on the purchase price of each bid), nothing has changed for the end customer.
Infact, arguably with all the guaranteed bid inflation that’s going to arise (Zeek Rewards demonstrated that a ton of affiliates investing in bids made the auctions even more unattractive to genuine retail customers via bid inflation with all the bids being given away), following the implementation of Bidify 2.0 Bidsson will become even less attractive to retail customers.
They weren’t interested in spending money in Bidsson when commissions were solely tied into the retail purchase of bids post Bidify 2.0 and they aren’t going to be interest post Bidify 2.0.
Hell, Zeek Rewards had over one million affiliates “advertising” the company and they still generated next to no retail activity. Is Bidify going to be any different with a near identical affiliate funded daily ROI compensation plan?
You tell me.