Immunotec Review: Immune system optimization
Immunotec launched in 1996 and market nutritional supplements, based on glutathione research conducted by Gustavo Bonous in the 1980s.
In 2007 Immunotec went public (IMM:CN), with shares in the company currently trading at 28 cents Canadian.
Immunotec is a Canadian company based out of Quebec, and is headed up by CEO Charles L. Orr (right).
In his Immunotec corporate bio, Orr is credited with having been an Immunotec “director” since 2006 and the CEO of Shaklee (health and wellness) from 1993 to 2000.
Mr. Orr is a seasoned professional with 23 years of experience in the direct selling field. Additionally, his work history includes extensive leadership responsibility in the financial services and computer industries.
Charles Orr signed on as Immunotec CEO in May 2013, replacing Robert Henry, who “departed” four days earlier on May 13th.
A subsequent “corporate update” from Immunotec in June reveals Henry did not depart from the position but was infact “terminated” on May 10th.
The Board asked for the resignation of Mr. Henry as a director of the Corporation and its subsidiaries.
As Mr. Henry declined to resign, the Board also approved the calling of a special meeting of the shareholders of Immunotec for the purpose of removing Mr. Henry from its Board.
Immunotec did settle with Henry for $500,000 after he was terminated:
Immunotec Inc. and Mr. Robert Henry, its former Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, are pleased to announce that they have amicably concluded a final settlement to their mutual satisfaction with respect to the claims regarding Mr. Henry’s past involvement with the Company, for a total amount payable to Mr. Henry of USD$522,000.
What the story there is I have no idea, but it’d certainly be interesting to know why Henry refused the Immunotec Board’s request he resign, and why they then terminated him.
Whether we’ll ever find out unfortunately seems doubtful, with the above agreement notice ending in flowers and sunshine:
The Company thanks Mr. Henry for his contribution to the Company. Mr. Henry also expresses his appreciation to the Company’s founders, the management team and the Company’s employees, distributors and customers.
In anycase, read on for a full review of the Immunotec MLM business opportunity.
The Immunotec Product Line
Immunotec’s flagship product is Immunocal, which was created by Gustavo Bounous.
Our flagship product Immunocal has been awarded many “method of use” patents, is listed in the Physicians’ Desk Reference, and appears in highly-respected international medical journals.
Immunocal is a specially formulated dietary product whose base is a unique and remarkable pure protein which is derived from whey.
A unique patented method is used that isolates these specific whey proteins, and importantly, ensures that they are maintained in their natural state so that they are preserved during processing.
The protection and integrity of these very fragile proteins is critical, because it is these very same proteins that raise glutathione, which serve to optimize the immune system.
A unique profile of critical amino acids, lactoferrins, immunoglobulins and other proteins are present which are proven to bolster immunity.
Immunocal helps to restore people’s immune systems so as to accelerate their return to good health.
By optimizing the immune system, Immunocal helps people who are healthy to maintain their good health by giving themselves the best advantage.
Immunotec retail Immunocal in a box of thirty pouch servings for $99.
In addition to Immunocal, Immunotec also market a large range of products spanning the health and wellness, weight management and beauty niches.
A full product catalogue is available (including retail and wholesale pricing) on the Immunotec website.
The Immunotec Compensation Plan
The Immunotec compensation plan rewards affiliates with retail commissions, residual commissions via a unilevel and several performance-based bonuses.
Immunotec incorrectly identify retail sales as affiliates purchasing product from the company and then reselling it:
You can quickly earn retail profits by purchasing the products at wholesale and selling them at retail, to friends, neighbors, relatives etc.
Immunotec does however offer actual retail commissions on orders placed by preferred customers, paying out the 10% difference between the retail cost of an order and the 20% discount a preferred customer pays (affiliate wholesale is 30% off).
There is also an online storefront on the Immunotec website, so it appears affiliates can also earn retail commissions on retail orders placed through that (the difference between retail and wholesale).
Immunotec Affiliate Membership Ranks
There are seven affiliate membership ranks within the Immunotec compensation plan and, along with their respective qualification criteria, they are as follows:
- Associate – generate at least 400 PV a month
- Venture – your personally recruited affiliates must be generating at least 2000 GV a month (400 of which can be PV)
- Silver – have at least 3 Venture ranked affiliates in three individual unilevel legs with a total monthly downline volume of 6000 GV (no more than 2700 GV from any individual leg)
- Gold – have at least 3 Venture ranked affiliates in three individual unilevel legs with a total monthly downline volume of 30,000 GV (no more than 13,500 GV from any individual leg)
- Diamond – have at least 4 Venture ranked affiliates in three individual unilevel legs with a total monthly downline volume of 125,000 GV (no more than 56,250 GV from any individual leg)
- Executive Diamond – have at least 4 Venture ranked affiliates in three individual unilevel legs with a total monthly downline volume of 500,000 GV (no more than 225,000 GV from any individual leg)
- Platinum – have at least 4 Venture ranked affiliates in three individual unilevel legs with a total monthly downline volume of 1,500,000 GV (no more than 675,000 GV from any individual leg)
Quick Start Bonus
If an Immunotec affiliate recruits a new affiliate and they purchase a “Quick Start Pack” ($249 – $449), they earn a 20% bonus. The recruiting affiliate’s immediate upline also earns a 10% bonus on the order.
Residual commissions in Immunotec are paid out via a unilevel style compensation structure.
A unilevel compensation structure places an affiliate at the top of a unilevel team, with every personally recruited affiliate placed directly under them (level 1):
In turn, if any of these level 1 affiliates go on to recruit new affiliates of their own, they are then placed on level 2 of the original affiliate’s unilevel team. If any level 2 affiliates recruit new affiliates they are placed on level 3 and so on and so forth.
Using the above unilevel compensation structure, Immunotec pay out residual commissions down a possible 8 levels.
How many levels an Immunotec affiliates is paid out on depends on their affiliate membership rank:
- Associate – 5% on level 1
- Venture – 5% on levels 1 to 3
- Silver – 5% on level 1, 10% on level 2 and 5% on levels 3 and 4
- Gold – 5% on level 1, 10% on level 2 and 7% on levels 3 to 5
- Diamond – 5% on level 1, 10% on level 2 and 7% on levels 3 to 6
- Executive Diamond – 5% on level 1, 10% on level 2, 7% on levels 3 to 6 and 2% on level 7
- Platinum – 5% on level 1, 10% on level 2, 7% on levels 3 to 6 and 2% on levels 7 and 8
Business Builder’s Bonus
The Business Builder’s Bonus pays out Immunotec affiliates when affiliates they’ve just recruited place product orders in their first month.
- If one affiliate is recruited a 5% bonus is paid on any order(s) placed
- If two affiliates are recruited a 10% bonus is paid on any order(s) placed
- If three affiliates are recruited a 20% bonus is paid on any order(s) placed
Note that the recruitment qualification period is a monthly. Also note that the purchase of a Quick Start Pack does not pay out via the Business Builder’s Bonus.
Moving Up Bonus
The Moving Up Bonus serves as a Rank Advancement Bonus and pays out when an affiliate qualifies at a new rank and maintains it for two consecutive months:
- Silver – $200
- Gold – $500
- Diamond – $2500
- Executive Diamond – $5000
- Platinum – $10,000
Note that for affiliates who qualify at certain ranks within a specified timeframe of them signing up, Immunotec pay out an increased bonus. This increased payout is referred to as the “Accelerated Moving Up Bonus”
- Silver within 2 months – $200 for two consecutive months ($400 bonus)
- Gold within 4 months – $500 for two consecutive months ($1000 bonus)
- Diamond within 8 months – $2500 and then $1250 for two consecutive months ($5000 bonus)
- Executive Diamond within 12 months – $5000 for four consecutive months ($25,000 bonus)
- Platinum within 24 months – $20,000 for five consecutive months ($100,000 bonus)
Note that an affiliate must have an autoship order to qualify for both bonuses (paid as one or the other, they do not stack).
Upline Moving Up Bonus
In addition to the Moving Up Bonus an affiliate receives when they qualify at higher membership ranks, their upline also receives the Upline Moving Up Bonus.
The Upline Moving Up Bonus starts with a newly promoted affiliate’s immediate upline. If they fail to meet the applicable qualification criteria however, the system continues to search the upline tree until a qualified affiliate is found.
- downline promoted to Gold – 1st qualified Gold or higher ranked affiliate in the upline receives $250
- downline promoted to Diamond – 1st qualified Diamond or higher ranked affiliate in the upline receives $1000
- downline promoted to Executive Diamond – 1st qualified Executive Diamond or higher ranked affiliate in the upline receives $2500
- downline promoted to Platinum – 1st qualified Platinum ranked affiliate in the upline receives $10,000
As with the Moving Up Bonus, an Accelerated variation exists for downline members who are promoted within a specific timeframe:
- downline is promoted to Gold within 4 months – 1st qualified Gold or higher ranked affiliate in the upline receives $250 for two consecutive months ($500 bonus)
- downline is promoted to Diamond within 8 months – 1st qualified Diamond or higher ranked affiliate in the upline receives $1000 for three consecutive months ($3000 bonus)
- downline is promoted to Executive Diamond within 12 months – 1st qualified Executive Diamond or higher ranked affiliate in the upline receives $2500, $1666 for two consecutive months and then one final payment of $1668 ($7500 bonus)
- downline is promoted to Platinum within 24 months – 1st qualified Platinum ranked affiliate in the upline receives $10,000 and then $6250 for four consecutive months ($35,000 bonus)
Note that the downline affiliate qualifying at a new rank must maintain this rank for the duration of the Accelerated Upline Moving Up Bonus. As with the Moving Up Bonus, the upline affiliate receiving the bonus must also have a standing autoship order with the company.
Affiliate membership to Immunotec is $24.95. Upon joining Immunotec affiliates are able to purchase a Quick Start Pack, which can potentially increase the joining fee by $249 to $449.
Quick Start Packs contain a selection of Immunotec products, bundled together at a discount.
Despite the flawed retail commission definition presented in Immunotec’s compensation plan material, the company still has a readily retailable product line which pays out actual retail commissions.
Anything an affiliate purchases from the company naturally does not count as a retail commission (regardless of what the affiliate does with the product after purchase), however via an affiliate’s online replicated store and preferred customer orders, retail is definitely possible.
Due to the compensation plan layout however I’m not entirely convinced retail plays a significant enough role in Immunotec. This is primarily due to the manner in which Immunotec market their autoship program, and how it’s integrated into the Immunotec compensation plan itself.
The first red flag can be found in how Immunotec describe their autoship program:
Immunotec Autoship Program
-Conveniently receive your products automatically every month – “Be a product of the product!”
-AutoShip helps you meet your qualification and receive your monthly commission cheque.
-Significantly increase your monthly residual income and grow your business by making sure everyone in your downline is also on AutoShip.
In addition, by being on AutoShip you are eligible for the many Immunotec Bonus Programs and Promotions! (e.g.: Business Builder and Moving up Bonuses)
I have no problems with autoship per say, but having it as a requirement for commission eligibility, telling prospective affiliates they can increase their income by ensuring their downlines are on autoship and advertising it as a crutch to meet minimum monthly volume quotas is risky business.
It detracts from retail sales and directly fosters a culture of signing up as an Immunotec affiliate, placing an autoship order and then recruiting others who do the same.
Not helping is Immunotec’s income potential example, which states that
Number of people on level x average order size ($160) x 12 months x commission rate/level.
The big question would be whether that product was bought for actual self-consumption or commission qualification (known as “garage stacking”). Given how Immunotec themselves market their autoship program, like I said I’m not entirely convinced this isn’t an issue within the opportunity.
What I will give Immunotec credit for is a simply presented compensation plan and overall transparency in their products, associated affiliate costs and corporate history.
I found their website easy to navigate and all information required for the analysis in this review as readily available from the company itself.
As a prospective Immunotec affiliate I’d be checking with your potential upline as to how much retail activity they’ve got going on. Contrast this to the amount of affiliate autoship volume they move each month (be careful not to add preferred customer autoship volume to this amount).
The goal here would be to try to ascertain whether or not they’re running a balanced business or are just simply signing up new affiliates (such as yourself) and getting them to place a monthly autoship order.
Oh and definitely try out some of Immunotec’s products before committing yourself to anything. Autoship doesn’t appear to have a minimum monthly commitment period so I’d probably place an order for a few months to try as much as I could out.
There’s too much to commit to in one order, but a few months of testing out the range should give you a good enough feel for Immunotec’s range and how you might look to market it.
Real product, POSSIBLE benefits
Basically this provides some of the components for your body to synthesize glutatione, which may help with some neural diseases. Unfortunately to read the full paper costs $100 USD. But the short of it is whey protein seem to help people get their glutathione (glue-thigh-own) levels up. That’s the same whey protein you get at fitness stores.
In other words, it is probably cheaper for you to buy whey protein from any supplement store than this product. 🙂
But, we’re talking about a very special, proprietary form of whey here, K Chang.
And further, according to Immunotec …
Other whey products on the market couldn’t possibly match nor surpass Immunocal’s benefits now, could they? 😉
K.Chang I really think you need to do your research, as a user that has used other forms of whey from the Health Food Store I can attest to the effects that it did not work……..But when I started to use Immunocal it did make a difference and also My Blood work proved it …..
@david I much prefer third-party verifiable information rather than company’s own PR material. PR material’s job is to tell you just enough to change your mind rather than the whole truth.
@emma and how many of you are there? Is it a sufficient sample size, along with placebo control samples and other whey protein comparison samples to form a proper study?
A single positive result (you) doesn’t mean anything.
PDR is nothing more than an “encyclopedia” of prescribing information that is funded in part by the manufacturing companies. It is not in any way an endorsement of any product listed in it.
What does “appears in” mean? Are there actually peer review articles or is it just paid advertisements?
Here’s there income disclosure for 2013 (Impossible to find on Google)
Some choice highlights:
93.3% (9.9+62.7+20.7) of active Immunotec Consultants made less than 5390 a year (first 3 rows of the table)
Average yearly income for an active Immunotec Consultant in 2013 is approximately $1643 (just below the table)
In 2013, roughly 74% of Consultants are considered customers (just below the table)
Out of 62902 people who joined the company (and got the title of “consultant”) 74% never earned any income. Their money went to the 26% who did.
Out of that 26% who did make some money, they average 1643 A YEAR