Fusion Shopping Network Review: FuseBucks deals
Fusion Shopping Network launched in early 2014 and are based out the US state of Wyoming. Heading up the company is Dr. Frank R. George, who serves as Fusion Shopping Network’s CEO and President.
Fusion Shopping Network seems to have originated from a previous venture titled “Fusion Entertainment”. According to a now defunct Fusion Entertainment blog (“fusionentertainmentllc.com”), back in February of 2013 Fusion Entertainment began to ‘work with top Comp plan software company (and) top MLM legal counsel‘.
Fusion Entertainment LLC is an Arizona domiciled Limited liability Company. It is currently owned and operated solely by Management. The Company is also advised on the Network Marketing side by a leadership council that includes some of the industry’s best and hardest working leaders.
It’s main business is currently the development of a new online auction and discount shopping site using a network marketing strategy for sales and marketing. We are developing a strong and innovative compensation plan that will attract many thousands and products and services that will attract millions.
In addition, we are partnering with some of the world’s best compensation plan consultants, networking software designers and others to create an extremely strong corporate structure and customer service program.
The end result of Fusion Entertainment’s efforts would appear to be the Fusion Shopping Network, with the following additional information provided on the company website:
Fusion Shopping Network is a Wyoming domiciled Limited Liability Company with headquarters in Cheyenne, Wyoming. It is a privately held Company with all Units (shares) currently held by Management. It was formed in 2013 following a divestment from Fusion Entertainment LLC, which was formed in 2010 out of Amethyst Technologies, Inc., an Arizona Type “S” Corporation formed in 1995.
Note that some of the above information was pulled from the Fusion Entertainment LLC website Google cache, indicating that the site was only recently taken down. Why the Fusion Entertainment LLC website was pulled is not immediately clear.
Prior to Fusion Entertainment the business was called “SpyderBids LLC”, which looked to be an attempt to cash in on the MLM penny auction craze at the time.
As for Frank R. George (right),
Dr. George is a “serial entrepreneur” and has been referred to by investors as a “rainmaker.” He has over thirty years of experience including multiple successes with launching and growing private companies, extensive regulatory compliance experience plus a strong understanding of private equity and other forms of business funding.
While he holds a Ph.D. in Neuroscience and Genetics, he prefers to call it a degree in “thinking” and has used his talents and skills in several arenas over the years.
There’s no MLM related information in George’s Fusion Shopping or Fusion Entertainment corporate bios, and I was unable to find any further information online. Presumably Fusion Shopping Network is Frank R. George’s first MLM venture.
Read on for a full review of the Fusion Shopping Network MLM business opportunity.
The Fusion Network Product Line
Here is what makes Fusion Shopping Network different from any other business – The core business is to provide “Instant Online Rewards” – guaranteed savings on instant downloads of gift card codes (eGifts) from any of hundreds of retailers, while giving you the opportunity to earn money with our Affiliate program.
Fusion Shopping Network would appear to have no retailable products or services. The company does state that it has ‘a product (eGifts) with strong and growing demand’, yet as above “egifts” are just gift card codes.
Customers appear to have to convert real money to something called “FuseBucks”, in order to “purchase” access to eGifts third-party discounts and rebates:
SAVE MONEY! – Simply log in anytime at your convenience and purchase our “FuseBucksTM” using your Customer Code. Then whenever you choose, at home or in the store, buy and download our savings and rewards codes, and have fun playing some games!
Access to discounts (“guaranteed savings”) or gift cards from third-party merchants are not viable MLM products. Nor would FuseBucks, as its essentially a virtual currency within the opportunity (with no real value outside of Fusion Shopping Network).
The “games” mentioned appears to be a way for customers to obtain FuseBucks via the playing of games, as opposed to directly buying them.
One could make the case that access to the Fusion Shopping Network website merchant directory might constitute a service, however I was able to browse the directory as an anonymous visitor to the company’s website. Thus it appears the “eGifts” are the only thing actually purchasable from within Fusion Shopping Network itself.
Note that at the time of publication, there were no eGifts available for purchase on the Fusion Shopping Network website.
The Fusion Shopping Network Compensation Plan
The Fusion Shopping Network revolves around retail customers and affiliates spending at least $50 a month in FuseBucks. Retail commissions are available, along with residual commissions via a 3×6 matrix. Additional performance-based bonuses are also available.
There’s no mention of how much a FuseBuck costs, but the company does pay a retail commission of 20% on the purchase of them by retail customers.
If a Fusion Shopping Network affiliate manages to sell over $500 worth of FuseBucks volume in a month, this retail commission is increased to 25%. If an affiliate sells $1000 worth of FuseBucks volume, the retail commission is 30%.
Affiliate FuseBucks commissions
Affiliate purchases of FuseBucks generate the same commission as retail purchases, however only upon condition that the FuseBucks be actually used.
Fusion Shopping Network Affiliate Membership Ranks
There are five affiliate ranks within the Fusion Shopping Network compensation plan. Along with their respective qualification criteria, they are as follows:
- Silver – sign up as a Fusion Shopping Network affiliate ($149)
- Gold – sign up at least three activated customers and recruit at least 3 active affiliates
- Platinum – recruit at least six active affiliates and have at least 100 activated customers within your total affiliate downline
- Ruby – recruit at least nine active affiliates and have at least 500 activated customers within your total affiliate downline
- Diamond – recruit at least twelve active affiliates and have at least 1000 activated customers within your total affiliate downline
Note that in order to maintain these affiliate ranks, a different set of qualification criteria must be met each month:
- Silver – remain “active” as an affiliate
- Gold – maintain at least 20 activated customers within your total affiliate downline, three of which must be personal
- Platinum – maintain at least 60 activated customers within your total affiliate downline, six of which must be personal
- Ruby – maintain at least 300 activated customers within your total affiliate downline (no more than 60% can come from any one affiliate recruitment leg), nine of which must be personal
- Diamond – maintain at least 600 activated customers within your total affiliate downline (no more than 60% can come from any one affiliate recruitment leg), twelve of which must be personal
Note that an “activated customer” is a retail customer who has redeemed at least $50 worth of purchased FuseBucks in a month. This is an ongoing monthly qualification requirement.
An “active affiliate” is an affiliate who has either signed up one retail customer who has redeemed at least $50 worth of FuseBucks that month, or has three or more existing retail customers who have each redeemed at least $50 worth of FuseBucks that month. Again, these are both ongoing monthly requirements (either of which can be met to qualify as an “active affiliate”).
Fusion Shopping Network use a 3×6 matrix structure to pay out residual commissions. A 3×6 matrix places an affiliate at the top of a matrix team, with the first level having three positions:
The second level is an additional three positions per position on the first level. The third level an additional three position again and so on and so forth down a total of six levels.
Each position in the matrix represents a recruited affiliate, with commissions paid out at a rate of 5% of the FuseBucks volume generated by affiliates. This volume is either retail purchases of FuseBucks or affiliate purchases (provided the FuseBucks are used).
Note that within the matrix, only 80% of the FuseBucks volume is counted (affiliates are paid 5% of 80%).
Additionally, how many matrix levels a Fusion Shopping Network affiliate can earn on is determined by their affiliate membership rank:
- Silver – 5% on level 1
- Gold – 5% on levels 1 and 2
- Platinum – 5% on levels 1 to 4
- Ruby and Diamond – 5% on levels 1 to 6
Diamond Affiliate Infinity Bonus
When a Fusion Shopping Network affiliate qualifies as a Diamond, they are paid an Infinity Bonus beyond the first six levels of their matrix.
This Infinity Bonus pays out a flat 5% beyond level 6 of the matrix, down a theoretically infinite number of levels until another Diamond ranked affiliate is found in each individual matrix leg.
When that happens a further 5% commission is paid out on the first six levels of the Diamond affiliate’s matrix, with the Infinity Bonus then not being paid out any further down that particular line of recruitment.
Direct Referral Commissions
A 5% commission is paid out on the FuseBucks volume generated by personally recruited affiliates (level 1) and any affiliates they recruit (level 2).
Note that this is in addition to matrix commission also paid out on any volume these affiliates generate.
Check Match Bonus
If a Fusion Shopping Network affiliate has three activated customers and three active affiliates, they qualify for a Check Match Bonus
The Check Match Bonus is paid out at a rate of 5% of the “bonus check earned by (personally recruited) affiliates”.
Note that the Check Match Bonus can be raised to 20%, based upon the following qualification criteria:
- have three personally recruited active affiliates who have in turn recruited three active affiliates each – 10%
- achieve “Ruby Superstar” status (no qualification criteria provided) – 15%
- achieve “Diamond Legend” status (no qualification criteria provided) – 20%
Platinum Rockstar Bonuses
No information is currently in the Fusion Shopping Network explaining how affiliates achieve Platinum Rockstar status, but if they do, two additional bonuses are opened up to them:
- a new matrix position (to be placed in an affiliate’s existing matrix)
- ability to place affiliates in a matrix manually
Note that upon reaching Platinum Rockstar status on their second position, an affiliate is given a third matrix. The Fusion Shopping Network compensation plan material only specifies three matrices, but presumably this process repeats itself each time a position achieves Platinum Rockstar status.
Diamond Bonus Pool
Each month Fusion Shopping Network take 5% of their company-wide BV and distribute it through four “executive pools”.
- Executive Pool (20%) – a Diamond ranked affiliate who has personally recruited at least one Diamond ranked affiliate
- Senior Executive Pool (20%) – a Diamond ranked affiliate who has personally recruited at least two Diamond ranked affiliates
- National Executive Pool (20%) – a Diamond ranked affiliate who has personally recruited at least three Diamond ranked affiliates
- Presidential Executive Pool (40%) – a Diamond ranked affiliate who has personally recruited at least four Diamond ranked affiliates
Note that shares in the pool are awarded monthly and paid out annually.
Joining Fusion Shopping Network
Affiliate membership to Fusion Shopping Network is $149 and then $9.95 a month.
Putting aside the compliance issue of having a virtual currency that provides access to third-party discounts as your primary product, the crux of Fusion Shopping Network is going to be the company’s ability to attract merchants.
Typically shopping network MLMs rely on their affiliate-base to attract merchants in addition to their own corporate efforts. With Fusion Shopping Network there’s no mention of the merchant network within the compensation plan, so it looks like it’s all on the company to populate it.
Not only do Fusion Shopping Network need to ensure the network is well-stocked, but they also have to attract merchant deals people are going to be willing to shell out at least $50 a month to save on as well. There is some recruitment-based qualification within the compensation plan but ultimately it’s pegged to having customers spending at least $50 a month or more on FuseBucks.
Affiliate pre-loading is effectively stopped by requiring affiliates actually use any purchased FuseBucks. One could create a fake customer account and purchase FuseBucks through that, but there appears to be little incentive to do so. I say little because a 25% commission on the money spent on top of whatever is saved through the merchant network might be enticing.
Again, this entirely hinges on what is offered through the merchant network.
Typically these shopping network niche MLMs tend not to do too well. Contrary to the typical “we’re going to be the next Groupon!” sales pitches, getting local merchants to offer savings through a third-party network on the promise of increased exposure is a hard-sell. Especially when the shopping network is relying on said merchant business to generate the promised exposure.
It’s a bit of a catch-22 situation. Customers won’t spend if there’s no merchants and merchants won’t sign up if there’s no customers.
Throw in a $149 affiliate sign-up fee and that’s a lot of discounts an affiliate has to redeem to make that back. Granted retail customers don’t have to pay a fee (I presume), but if it’s not all that attractive on the affiliate-side, who’s going to be marketing the network?
If Fusion Shopping Network and its affiliates can populate the merchant network and get customers to spend at least $50 a month on FuseBucks, they might be in with a chance. Looking at the history of MLM shopping networks that have come before them though, the prognosis tends to fall on the bleak side.
Thanks for the writeup Oz.
I agree completely that the merchant network they are able to establish will make or break this company. This is by no means the only service offering consumers 3rd party discounts and it would seem that the margins on any of these offers is quite thin. Not only the number of their merchant partners is important here but also the type.
There’s no way they’ll be able to save people money on taxes, mortgage/rent, utilities or car payments so the best they can do is to save you money on your other recurring expenses.
It’s great if they can get you X% off an online electronics purchase but no one buys that sort of stuff often enough to base a pay structure on.
We do eat every day. Gas, clothes and a few other essentials form the majority of remaining household expenses. If Fusion could score discounts on these then there could be enough volume to make up for how little each individual transaction nets them.
One issue of note, the basis of the commission structure. I think it’s pretty much impossible for FSN to pay out 20+% commissions on the face value of discounts sold. That’s just nowhere near the average “cash back” percentage of any of the other companies in this niche. So the numbers in the comp plan have to be predicated only on the portion of their profit margin they share with the affiliates and we aren’t talking about large numbers here.
Over at RS I made some more or less “informed speculation” as to how much these actual payouts might be in light of an affiliate paying their membership costs just off of retail sales and personal redemptions. Suffice it to say the results of that speculation amplify the need for a very strong merchant network with as many opportunities to sell discounts as possible.
One advantage this company has is that eGift cards purchases are applicable to a much wider range of products than a typical MLM company supplies. The disadvantage is that the profit margin per transaction pale in comparison to the typical “lotions and potions” companies.
This company is less than a full week into a “soft launch” and perhaps weren’t expecting to be commented on this soon. There are several legitimate questions with no answer at the moment. It will be interesting to see if they can get their acts together.
Hey Bossman, Just a FYI, Fusion will nolonger launch as Frank lost Interest in starting/getting into this type of business.
IMHO: I guess that’s the way it goes when you try to come out of the gate driving a lamborghini rather than “working your way up” to own one.
Thanks for the update Legoman.