It Works! Review: Body sculpting masks & nutrition
It Works launched in 2001 and had been a long-standing staple of the MLM industry.
Headed up by Mark Pentecost (President and CEO), so the story goes Pentecost (photo bottom right) is a teacher by trade who became one of the top distributors in a telecommunications MLM in the 1990s.
It Works doesn’t state which company this was and I was unable to find any specific information referencing a company name.
After a few years, Mark became a top-ten earner in the company, bought the family’s freedom, and began to dream of the next big challenge: helping other families do the same.
They weren’t sure how they would do it yet, but the seed had been planted for It Works! Global.
Twelve years later the company is still going strong and today we go over the It Works MLM business opportunity.
The It Works Product Line
It Works operate in the health and wellness MLM nice, focusing on body sculpting and weightloss.
It Works’ flagship product is the “Ultimate Body Appicator”, which the company states is
a non-woven cloth wrap that has been infused with a powerful, botanically-based formula to deliver maximum tightening, toning, and firming results when applied to the skin.
Daily, toxins are naturally removed from the body by your stool, urine and the air you breathe out.
The ingredients continue to work for 72 hours after you have applied the Ultimate Applicator, so you may continue to see progressive results over this time period.
The basic unit price for the Ultimate Body Applicator appears to be $99 for four applications, ranging to $559 for a “Rich Chocolate Ultimate Body Pack”.
In addition to their flagship offering, the It Works product line also includes
- a defining gel ($79)
- Ultimate Profit (a nutritional supplement powder, $99)
- It’s Essential (weightloss energy bar, sold in a box of 10 for $35)
- skin care facial applicators, a toner, gel and eye cream
- a range of nutritional supplements ranging in price from $23 to $79, including an alkalizing drink powder, detox, “fat fighter”, thermogenic weightloss, energy booster, multi-vitamin, “longevity formula”, ache and pain relief, regular colon function restorer and menopause treatment
The It Works Compensation Plan
The It Works compensation plan revolves around a unilevel commissions structure, paying out distributors a range of bonuses and commissions based on their sales, the sales of their downlines and their distributor rank.
It Works Distributor Ranks
There are nine distributor ranks within the It Works compensation plan, and along with their respective qualification criteria they are as follows:
- Distributor – $150 Personal Business Volume (PBV) a month or $80 autoship
- Executive – $150 PBV a month or $80 autoship, plus 2 “qualified” unilevel legs
- Ruby Executive – $150 PBV a month or $80 autoship, plus 3 “qualified” unilevel legs (one must be Executive ranked)
- Emerald Executive – $150 PBV a month or $80 autoship, plus 4 “qualified” unilevel legs (two must be Ruby Executive ranked), or a monthly downline sales volume of at least $8000
- Diamond – $150 PBV a month or $80 autoship, plus 5 qualified legs (one at least one Ruby leg and one Emerald leg), or a monthly downline sales volume of at least $10,000
- Double Diamond – $150 PBV a month or $80 autoship, plus 5 qualified legs (one at least one Emerald Executive leg and one Diamond leg), or a monthly downline sales volume of at least $25,000
- Triple Diamond – $150 PBV a month or $80 autoship, plus 5 qualified legs (one at least two Diamond legs and one Double Diamond leg), or a monthly downline sales volume of at least $50,000
- Presidential Diamond – $150 PBV a month or $80 autoship, plus 5 qualified legs (one at least two Diamond legs, one Double Diamond leg and one Triple Diamond leg), or a monthly downline sales volume of at least $100,000
- Ambassador Diamond – $150 PBV a month or $80 autoship, plus 5 qualified legs (one at least two Double Diamond legs and two Triple Diamond legs and one Presidential leg), or a monthly downline sales volume of at least $250,000
Note that “monthly downline sales” includes a distributor’s own sales and a “qualified leg” is defined as
one that contains at least $400 in BV somewhere in the depth of the leg.
Fast Start Bonus
Fast Start Bonus qualified It Works distributors are paid out a Fast Start Bonus for each “new $199 distributor” they recruit.
Note that these newly recruited distributors do need to meet two specific criteria. Upon joining It Works, in order to generate a Fast Start Bonus for their upline, newly recruited $199 distributors must
- sign up for an $80 minimum monthly autoship order and
- enrol at least 2 loyal customers (minimum three month autoship program)
In order to qualify for Fast Start Bonuses, an It Works distributor must either purchase a Business Builder Kit ($199) or generate $500 in Personal Business Volume (PBV) and recruit two new loyal customers, each on a monthly autoship order of at least $80.
Residual commissions in It Works are paid out using a unilevel MLM compensation structure.
A unilevel compensation structure places a distributor at the top of a unilevel team, with each personally recruited distributor placed directly under them (level 1). Each of these level 1 distributor’s forms an individual “leg” within the unilevel structure.
If any of these level 1 distributors go on to recruit new distributors of their own, they are placed on level 2 of the original distributor’s unilevel structure and so on and so forth.
Using this compensation structure, It Works pay out commissions on the sales of distributors in the unilevel down 6 levels (with an infinity option for Emerald Executive ranked distributors):
- Distributor – 10% on levels 1 and 2
- Executive – 10% on levels 1 and 2 and 5% on level 3
- Ruby Executive – 10% on levels 1 and 2 and 5% on levels 3 and 4
- Emerald Executive – 10% on levels 1 and 2, 5% on levels 3 to 5 and 2% on level 6 and down (the infinity bonus)
The infinity bonus pays out 2% on all levels under 6, but is capped once an Emerald rank distributor is found under level 6. In this case the distributor is paid out 2% on all levels up to the one the Emerald rank distributor is on, as well as 2% on the first 5 levels of the ranked Emerald distributor.
The Generation Bonus pays out distributors who have Diamond ranked or higher distributors in their downlines (personally recruited or otherwise).
Paid out as a percentage of the personal sales volume these ranked members, generate, It Works distributors are able to earn the Generation Bonus down 5 “generations” of Diamond or higher ranked Distributors:
- Diamond – 2% on all first generation Diamond ranked or higher distributors
- Double Diamond – 2% on the first generation, 4% on the second
- Triple Diamond – 2% on the first and third generations, 4% on the second
- Presidential Diamond – 2% on the first and third generations, 4% on the second and 1% on the fourth
- Ambassador Diamond – 2% on the first and third generations, 4% on the second and 1% on the fourth and fifth
A 5% additional bonus is added to any of these percentages if the ranked Diamond distributors was personally recruited (bringing the percentage payout to 7%).
The Customer Acquisition Bonus (abbreviated as CAB) pays out Emerald or higher ranked distributors each time a Fast Start Bonus qualified distributor is placed in their downline.
To qualify for the Fast Start Bonus, an It Works distributor must (within 30 days of joining the company) sign on “as a $199 distributor” or generate $500 in Personal Business Volume, sign up for a monthly minimum $80 autoship order and sign up 2 loyal customers.
How much of a CAB Bonus is paid out depends on an It Works distributor’s rank:
- Diamond – $80
- Double Diamond – $40
- Triple Diamond – $15
- Presidential Diamond – $10
- Ambassador Diamond – $5
Regardless of their distributor rank, if an It Works distributor accumulates 60 loyal customers (customers on monthly autoship) and is generating at least $3000 a month in personal sales, It Works will pay them a $600 monthly car bonus.
Joining It Works
A basic distributorship with It Works costs $35, however in the marketing material I cited and compensation plan layout, potential distributors are strongly encourages to sign up at the $199 “Business Builder Kit” level.
Distributorship is an annual ongoing cost, fixed at $35 annually after the first year.
First and foremost It Works has a clear retailable product and focus on customer sales, and this I feel is also reflected in the ongoing longevity of the company itself.
Initially going over the compensation plan I did note a worrying emphasis on autoship (both on the distributor and customer side), however thinking a bit more about the product line this then made sense.
I’m no expert on weightloss, body wraps and what not, but I do know that they are repeat consumables. Ideally you want to be finding customers who are going to be long-term users of the It Works products and due to their nature, that shouldn’t be too hard.
That said I would like to have seen at least some incentivization for true retail sales other than global Personal Business Volume targets. Strictly speaking “loyal customers” can’t participate in the compensation plan and earn money, however I think both options should be of roughly equal weight when it comes to customers deciding between the two.
Typically someone might try out a few products at the retail level and then later sign on as a loyal customer if they’re happy with them. That can happen now but there’s little incentive on the distributor side to push this as an option over a straight autoship signup – which might not be the best thing for the customer (autoship has a three month minimum).
Even when given opportunities to highlight the acquisition of customers (take the CAB bonus for example), It Works instead focus on the recruitment of new distributors:
As a Leader you can earn a CAB (Customer Acquisition Bonus) of up to $150 on EVERY Fast Start Bonus Qualiﬁed Enrollee Distributors entering your downlines.
It was only when I scratched my head and went back over the plan that I remembered every “Fast Start Bonus Qualified Enrollee” has to find two loyal customers to qualify.
Naturally I’d strongly advise roadtesting at least a few of It Works products yourself if you’re considering applying for a distributorship. Moreso if you’re either overweight or don’t have the best skin.
Fair or not people are going to judge you as a “product of the product” so you’ve got to be confident in marketing the product line. Additionally personal results never fail to boost a distributor’s marketing repertoire.
It also might be worth checking with your potential upline what their initial autoship order was from the company and how long it was before they broke even sales wise.
On paper an $80 autoship minimum a month doesn’t look like much but over a few months it can add up if you’re not making those initial sales. Obviously the idea is to “host parties” and give the products away as an incentive, but be prepared for a potential initial ongoing cost if your sales don’t kick off right away.
It Works do warn their distributors against stockpiling inventory (an often abused side effect of propping up an MLM compensation plan with affiliate autoship purchases),
It Works Marketing Policies & Procedures Handbook deﬁnes speciﬁc guidelines as to appropriate inventory levels. You should not exceed these guidelines.
so it also might be worth checking how much stock your upline has sitting at home vs. their actual sales volume for the month.
With products of this nature there’s always going to be curious people (why companies like It Works push the “home party” marketing method so hard) but what’s often not mentioned is that all the products featured in these parties is paid for by the distributor themselves – regardless of whether any product sales are generated.
Your uplines figures, whilst obviously not concrete, will perhaps give you a balanced idea of what to expect in this regard.