Conligus Review: Kicking the MLM penny auction bucket
There is no information on the Conligus website indicating who owns or runs the business.
The Conligus website domain (“conligus.com”) was registered on the 22nd of January 2014, however the domain registration is set to private.
If one clicks the “blog” link at the top of the Conligus website, they are redirected to a page with a “read our blog” button on it.
Clicking this redirects to the “conligus.org” website domain, which appears to be used backoffice services for Conligus affiliates (you can’t do anything there unless you “sign in”).
This conligus.org domain was registered on the 23rd of January 2014 (one day after the .com), and lists a “Jonathan Camilleri” as the domain owner. An address in Malta is also provided, which matches the corporate address provided on the Conligus website.
Jonathan Camilleri’s name appears online in relation to Conligus only in conjunction with the registering of various Conligus website domain names. His relationship with the company is unclear.
Update 18th October 2014 – Jonathan Camilleri has been in touch and writes
I am no longer affiliated or connected to Conligus or its operations as I have resigned.
No clarification as to what Camilleri’s role was within the company, why he resigned or who owns Conligus was forthcoming. /end update
As always, if a MLM company is not openly upfront about who is running or owns it, think long and hard about joining and/or handing over any money.
The Conligus Product Line
The Conligus website contains a lot of marketing material for a penny auction platform, however at the time of publication it appears that one does not yet exist.
No specifics on the penny auction platform are provided anywhere on the Conligus website.
The Conligus Compensation Plan
The Conligus compensation plan revolves around affiliates signing up as either Pro Auctioneers (250 EUR) or Executive Auctioneers (700 EUR), and then recruiting others who do the same.
The primary difference between the two affiliate membership options is that Pro Auctioneers receive only one position in the compensation plan. The more expensive Executive Auctioneers option gives a Conligus affiliate three positions, two of which are placed directly under them (to effectively double-dip on commissions).
Conligus affiliates are paid a commission on every new paid affiliate they recruit. How much of a commission is paid out is determined by how much money a newly recruited affiliate spends on membership fees:
- recruit a new Pro Auctioneer affiliate = 45 EUR
- recruit a new Executive Auctioneer affiliate = 90 EUR
Conligus’ revenue-sharing scheme pays out ‘10 % of the company’s total monthly CV‘. This includes affiliate revenue.
“Shares” in the revenue-sharing pool are given to affiliates based on how much money they spend on affiliate membership fees.
- Pro Auctioneer affiliates (250 EUR) receive one share in the pool
- Executive Auctioneer affiliates (700 EUR) receive four shares in the pool
Conligus affiliates can receive additional shares in the pool by recruiting new affiliates. How many shares per newly recruited affiliate are generated depends on how much money the new affiliate spends in membership fees:
- recruit a new Pro Auctioneer affiliate = 1 share
- recruit a new Executive Auctioneer affiliate = 4 shares
Residual commissions in Conligus are paid out using a binary compensation structure. A binary compensation structure places an affiliate at the top of two binary teams, left and right:
These teams are filled with recruited affiliates (either direct recruitment or indirect), with the money spent by each affiliate used to calculate volume balances for each binary team.
The purchase of a Pro Auctioneer package by an affiliate generates 165 CV, and the purchase of an Executive Auctioneer package 575 CV.
Commissions are paid out when a ratio of 300:150 CV is met on either side of the binary. That is for 300 CV on one side to be counted, 150 CV must exist on the other side.
This ratio match is referred to as a “cycle”, and pays out 16.50 EUR.
After a CV ratio pair is matched, the volume is flushed, with any excess volume retained to be matched at a later date (note that unused CV has a binary lifespan of 6 months).
Also note that binary earnings in Conligus are capped, subject to how much an affiliate spent on their membership fees:
- Pro Auctioneer – 990 EUR a day (60 cycles)
- Executive Auctioneer – 2970 EUR a day (60 cycles on each of the three compensation plan positions provided)
Presumably the retail sale of bids also counts towards an affiliate’s binary CV, however there is no mention of this in the Conligus compensation plan.
A 6.5% Matching Bonus is available on the binary earnings of an affiliate’s downline, payable down a maximum five levels of recruitment.
How many levels of Matching Bonus an affiliate gets paid on depends on how much they spent on membership fees:
- Pro Auctioneer – 3 levels
- Executive Auctioneer – 5 levels
3% of Conligus’ worldwide CV is put into a Leadership Bonus Pool.
Affiliates qualify for “units” (shares) in this pool by meeting the following qualification requirements:
- Achiever (sign up and generate at least 2300 CV) – 1 units
- Red Star (generate at least 1500 binary cycles a month and have a personally recruited downline generating 750 CV) – 2 units
- Black Star (generate at least 3000 binary cycles a month and have a personally recruited downline generating 1500 CV) – 3 units
- Bronze Star (generate at least 6000 binary cycles a month and have a personally recruited downline generating 3000 CV) – 5 units
- Silver Star (generate at least 9000 binary cycles a month and have a personally recruited downline generating 6000 CV) – 7 units
- Gold Star (generate at least 18,000 binary cycles a month and have a personally recruited downline generating 9000 CV) – 9 units
Incentives Trips are mentioned in the Conligus compensation plan:
These fabulous trips are a reward for your hard work. They also provide a unique way to meet other leaders from the Conligus
This atmosphere will help to build your team to even greater heights.
However no specifics are provided.
Affiliate membership to Conligus can be achieved via the purchase of penny auction bids or packages:
- purchase 165 CV in penny auction bids over three months (no specifics on the cost of bids are provided)
- purchase a Pro Auctioneer package (250 EUR)
- purchase an Executive Auctioneer package (700 EUR)
The primary difference between the affiliate packages is commission potential and qualification (see compensation plan breakdown above).
With not one MLM penny auction taking off and surviving the aftermath of the Zeek Rewards Ponzi apocalypse, it’s pretty evident that the MLM penny auction business model just doesn’t work.
As with the dozen or so failed MLM penny auction schemes before it, Conligus will survive for only as long as affiliates continue to purchase auctioneer packs.
Retail is absent in the Conligus compensation plan material, and will likely only exist to provide a cover for what is otherwise a stock-standard recruitment scheme.
Conligus affiliates join the company, pay their membership fee and then recruit others who do the same. And Adding a “pay to play” layer to the scheme, the more an affiliate pays in fees, the bigger their commission potential.
As per their compensation plan, Conligus themselves are pretty candid it:
The Executive Membership is clearly the SUPERIOR option to generate the optimum earning potential.
Of note is that the company is using Towah as a payment processor. The last time an MLM penny auction used Towah, thousands of dollars of invested affiliate money was purportedly seized as part of an investigation.
Bidify use Towah to handle payments to their affiliates and this appears to have caused nothing but problems for Bidify’s US-based affiliates. Problems which the affiliate’s have recently become much more vocal about.
One affiliate recently called for a “Bidify recruitment strike” (later retracted once BehindMLM covered the story) and others still are speculating that payment problems between Towah and Bidify’s US based affiliates are simply a plot to keep as much money as possible on Bidify’s end.
In an attempt to get some answers one Bidify affiliate, ‘after waiting a much longer time than usual for (their) towah withdrawal to be completed’ contacted Towah support today only to be told ‘all money is frozen for everybody‘.
Whether this relates specifically to Bidify affiliates or all of Towah’s merchant partnerships however isn’t clear. At the time of publication, no announcement existed on the Towah website indicating any such predicament.
Whether or not Bidify affiliates ever had their money returned to them to this day remains unclear.
Possibly a pre-empting of regulatory failure in the US, the country is currently on a list of countries Conligus “may not accept” affiliate membership applications from:
The following countries are restricted countries and Marketing Partner Applications may not be accepted from residents within these territories, or there may be limited payment options available: USA, India, Iran, Iraq, Nigeria.
Whether or not that’s due to potential regulatory problems as a result of Conligus’ recruitment-driven compensation plan I can’t say, but it should certainly raise a red flag for anyone conducting their due diligence into the company.
Even more so considering who owns and runs Conligus is a mystery.