LifeWave Review: Skin patches and recruitment
LifeWave was founded in 2004 and is based out of the US state of California.
Heading up the company is CEO and Founder, David Schmidt. Schmidt’s LifeWave corporate bio states that he has ‘experience in business and product development (that) spans over 25 years‘.
Schmidt is credited with having owned ‘successful companies involved in manufacturing and product development‘, however LifeWave appears to be his first MLM venture.
Read on for a full review of the LifeWave MLM business opportunity.
The LifeWave Product Line
LifeWave’s flagship product is a range of patches they claim are ‘clinically proven to stimulate acupuncture points, ultimately improving the flow of energy in the body‘.
The company also claims the patches are ‘backed by solid research and over 60 clinical studies‘ and ‘demonstrate real and immediate results‘, including improved energy, pain relief, better sleep, anti-ageing and weight loss.
The LifeWave Technology was born out of 3 years of intense research by David into the concept of being able to naturally increase energy and stamina through elevation of fat burning utilizing wireless communication to the human body.
The LifeWave Technology is now available to the public and David has committed the past 7 years into making this opportunity a reality.
A number of papers, letters and studies are published on the LifeWave website, however whether or not any of these are independent is not entirely clear.
LifeWave appear to dodge the question in their product FAQ:
Have the patches been independently tested?
LifeWave has completed dozens of clinical studies that prove the patch products improve health and wellness.
In addition to the patches, LifeWave also market a nutrition “system”, a cell phone radiation exposure reducer and a LifeWave branded homeopathy product range.
The LifeWave Compensation Plan
LifeWave’s compensation plan is primarily geared towards the recruitment of new affiliates and their purchase of the company’s products. Weekly residual commissions are paid out via a binary with a unilevel based matching bonus.
LifeWave offer their affiliates retail commissions on product orders made by retail customers (non-affiliates).
Customers can order products directly from LifeWave at retail prices, and LifeWave automatically sends you the retail profits (difference between wholesale and retail) each week.
Referred to as a “Product Introduction Bonus”, LifeWave pay affiliates commissions on the recruitment of new affiliates.
How much of a commission is paid out depends on how much money a new LifeWave affiliate spends on membership:
- Bronze – $15
- Silver – $50
- Gold – $100
- Platinum – $150
- Diamond – $200
If an affiliate upgrades their membership at any time, provided they meet the recruitment commission qualification criteria, the recruiting affiliate earns the difference in commission above between the two membership levels (the current membership level and the one being upgraded to).
Note that in order to qualify for recruitment commissions, a LifeWave affiliate must have purchased at least 55 Product Volume (PV) within five weeks prior to the week the commission is being paid out.
Residual commissions in LifeWave are paid out using a binary compensation structure. A binary compensation structure places an affiliate at the top of the structure with two positions directly under them.
These two positions form the beginning of two sides, with both positions branching out into an additional two positions each, again and again down a theoretically unlimited number of levels.
Positions in an affiliates binary are filled either via direct recruitment, or the recruiting efforts of an affiliate’s up and downlines.
Commissions are paid out based on volume generated by both sides of an affiliate’s binary (downline volume), with 330 Group Volume (GV) matched up from one side with 660 GV on the other side (which side is matched up with the other does not matter).
Everytime the above volume matching condition is met (calculated weekly), an affiliate earns a $50 commission.
Binary commissions in LifeWave are capped weekly, depending on how much an affiliate pays each month in membership fees:
- Bronze – $5000
- Silver – $15,000
- Gold – $25,000
- Platinum – ?
- Diamond – ?
LiveWave do not specify how much Platinum and Diamond ranked affiliates can earn in the binary (presumably it’s the same as Gold or not capped).
Note that in order to qualify for binary commissions a LifeWave affiliate must have personally recruited at least two new affiliates (who are placed one on each binary side) and maintain a 55 PV order over the last 5 weeks prior to the binary commission being paid out.
LifeWave offer affiliates a matching bonus on binary commissions earnt by their personally recruited downlines. This is tracked via a unilevel compensation structure.
A unilevel compensation structure places an affiliate at the top of the structure, with every personally recruited affiliate placed directly under them (level 1).
If any level 1 affiliates recruit 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.
LifeWave cap their Matching Bonus at three levels of recruitment, with each level having to be qualified for as follows:
- Level 1 (25%) – must be Silver ranked or higher, have purchased at least 110 PV of products in the 5 weeks prior to the matching bonus being paid out on, recruited at least 4 affiliates of equal or higher rank (2 on each side of the binary) and have had at least 2 volume matches in the binary for that particular week
- Level 2 (20%) – must be Gold ranked or higher, have purchased at least 100 PV of products in the 5 weeks prior to the matching bonus being paid out on, recruited at least 4 Silver or higher ranked affiliates (2 on each side of the binary) and have had at least 6 volume matches in the binary for that particular week
- Level 3 (20%) – must be Gold ranked or higher, have purchased at least 110 PV of products in the 5 weeks prior to the matching bonus being paid out on, recruited at least 6 Silver or higher ranked affiliates (2 on each of the binary) and have had at least 10 volume matches in the binary for that particular week
Affiliate membership to LifeWave is priced as follows:
- Starter – $25
- Bronze – $99
- Silver – $299
- Gold – $499
- Diamond – $1499
How much an affiliate spends on membership directly effects their potential earnings in the LifeWave compensation plan.
When going over the LifeWave compensation plan it struck me that the business has been set up more as a buying club than an MLM income opportunity.
For starters there’s the commissions paid out on the recruitment of new affiliates. Nothing is paid out on the Starter level however with all commissions and bonuses offered to affiliates affected by their membership level, the idea here is obviously that newly recruited affiliates don’t buy in at the Starter level.
When you consider the mandatory purchase of products required from affiliates in order to qualify as “active” for commissions, the focus of LifeWave is steeply skewered towards the recruitment of new affiliates and having them purchase products each month.
Every qualifying LifeWave member may earn bonuses each time they personally enroll a new member.
This naturally introduces a pyramid scheme element to the business, with affiliates able to qualify themselves for commissions via self-purchase and solely focusing on recruiting new affiliates and getting them to self-qualify too.
Effectively the required product purchases equate to a 5 week autoship requirement for affiliates and, due to the fact commissions are tied into the purchase, draws into question the motive behind the purchase of products.
Are affiliates buying products because they are going to use them or to qualify for commissions?
Retail, apart from the mention of it in the compensation plan, is paid little attention to. All qualification criteria in the LifeWave compensation plan is a combination of recruiting new affiliates and/or purchasing products as an affiliate.
I’d strongly advise prospective affiliates to check what the retail sales volume of their potential uplines is. I suspect due to how the compensation plan is laid out there’s little to no retail activity here but the possibility exists.
Far more likely (and profitable) I imagine would be most of the revenue coming from affiliates in order to qualify for commissions, with those they recruit doing the same.
Unfortunately the above scenario would put LifeWave squarely in pyramid scheme territory.
One possible reason for this might be the inherent difficulty in trying to convince people a small plastic patch is going to affect to passively affect their health.
You can cite all the studies you want but at the end of the day health improving patches are always going to be a hard sell.