Figuring out the Polaris Media Group compensation plan
Ever since the Polaris Media Group launch, Polaris distributors and the general public alike have been trying to get their heads around the hugely complicated compensation plan.
There’s been emails, tables, diagrams, conference calls, videos and even a recently announced EMC (the guys who make all the money) Aussie tour between the 18th and 22nd of September with free entry to hopefully clear the confusion up.
Free entry…? Geez you know things are bad when Polaris aren’t charging for events.
I’m not a marketing guy nor do I have any extensive knowledge of MLM business opportunities. My focus on Polaris Media Group is continued on after writing about Liberty League International. I’m a guy who saw a tv commercial, did some research and started writing about what I found.
I’d like to think I’m fairly educated yet it still took me many goings over, rewatching and relistening to try and get my head around Polaris’ compensation plan.
The good news is I think I’ve figured it out and can hopefully explain it properly in this article. The bad news is I still think the entire thing is a pyramid scheme and will inevitably rely on a constant influx of new recruits to generate the infamous ‘six figure incomes’ distributors love to market.
But anyway, that’s what I think. Hopefully by the end of this article you’ll have enough information and leave some feedback for others to read on what you think of it all.
With all that out of the way, here’s an indepth look at the new Polaris Media Group compensation plan.
Associate in training
Just a quick note that although members of Polaris Media Group are labelled ‘distributors’ all the promotional material I sighted from Polaris on the compensation plan referred to members as associates. I’m not sure why Polaris can’t make up their mind but for the purpose of this article I’ll refer to members as associates.
An ‘associate in training’ is the entry level you are given upon joining Polaris Media Group. You need to hand over $49.95 for a compliance guide and permission to start selling Polaris products.
At this point you receive a blanket 20% commission on all products sold.
If you are unfamiliar with Polaris Media Group’s product range and prices, I strongly suggest you read the article “Polaris Media Group: Analysing the new product line” before continuing.
It is worth noting that at this level there’s not a hope in hell you’re going to be selling the big ticket items (unless you’re freakishly lucky and find some really gullible person) so we’re mostly talking a 20% commission on products with a <$2500 price tag. The $2500 amount is the entire retail cost of Beyond Freedom Evolution: Action (the most expensive component of BFE).
20% of $2500 is $500. In any one single product sale, this is realistically the most you’ll be making per sale at this level. Many Liberty League associates had trouble selling just one Beyond Freedom product which was priced at $1495, so keep that in mind when looking at the $500 commission.
Before continuing on with the associate levels, I’d like to quickly talk about activation. Being activated in a Polaris product means you are eligible for a further 20-40% (I’ll explain the reason for the percentage variance later) wholesale bonus on your sales. This is in addition to the 20% retail bonus you get.
To become activated you need to sell a complete product line. For the Beyond Freedom Evolution products this means all 3 parts of either Departure, Decision or Action, and for the conferences and Know for Yourself just a single sale is required.
Despite the many claims that you don’t need to purchase anything or pass up any sales, it’s important that one of these two must be undertaken to become activated.
When an associate makes an activation sale on a conference or the Know for Yourself product, 20% retail commission is paid out as normal but the other 20% (the lowest scale of the activation wholesale bonus mentioned earlier) is then passed up to your advisor.
If an associate is trying to qualify for a Beyond Freedom Evolution product, it gets a little trickier as all three parts must be sold to achieve activation. What this means is that until you’ve sold all three parts, you’re continually passing up that 20% wholesale bonus to your advisor on sales from the other two parts.
Note that there’s 3 separate parts of Beyond Freedom Evolution with 3 components each, so there’s a lot of scope for passed up profit here until an associate is qualified in all 3 parts.
The other option associates have for activation is to sell to themselves, which is a fancy way of saying buy all the products yourself. Via this method the 20% wholesale bonus is given to the company and you get an effective 20% off the price of the product range via keeping the 20% commission to yourself on your own sale.
There is no other way to become activated in the product range and as you can clearly see, you either need to pass up commission to your advisor or buy the products yourself to become activated.
This is the next level up in the associate levels. To achieve independent associate status an associate needs to become activated in any of the product ranges. At a retail of $29.95, this is most likely going to be activation in Know for Yourself.
At this level you get the 20% retail bonus as well as a 20-40% (I’ll explain the variance next) wholesale bonus on the products you are activated for.
At this associate level your mostly generating a small income (or loss if you buy all the products yourself) as you try to gain activation in the various product levels.
What is the variance in the 20-40% wholesale bonus?
Customer points are awarded for each sale that you make of a Polaris Media Group product. They come in two varieties, ‘personal customer points’ and ‘group customer points’. Personal customer points are achieved via your direct sales and group customer points are the total amount of points gained by those under you (the lower levels of your personal sales pyramid).
Customer points reset at the end of the month and directly contribute to how much wholesale bonus you get for that period. Here’s a relationship list between customer points and the wholesale bonus:
- 1-5 personal points: 20% wholesale bonus
- 6-10 personal points: 25% wholesale bonus
- 11-15 personal points: 30% wholesale bonus
- 16-25 personal points or 40 group points: 35% bonus
- 26+ personal points or 60 group points: 40% bonus
- To give you an idea of how many sales customer points translate into, the following is how many points you’ll get per Polaris product sold:
- Know for Yourself single product: 0 CP
- Know for Yourself 10 pack: 2 CP
- Beyond Freedom Original: 6 CP
- Beyond Freedom Evolution Departure: 2 CP each or 6 CP total
- Beyond Freedom Evolution Decision: 4 CP each or 12 CP total
- Beyond Freedom Evolution Action: 5 CP each or 15 CP total
- Foundation Live Conference: 14 CP
- Sovereignty Live Conference: 80 CP
- Influence Live Conference: 128 CP
The price per CP varies across the product range (using the full retail price) works out to $131-177, or an average of $154. Now the maths isn’t 100% correct as lower ticket product sales will be disproportionately high to higher ticket items sales but to give you a rough idea, 26 personal points is approximately $4000 of goods a month give or take.
With a succesful group under you, you can rely on their work to qualify for the 40% bonus. $4000 isn’t much spread out over a lot of people. In this way the Polaris actively encourages you to build an active downline rather then to simply sell products at a retail level.
An Advisor is the next level up in the associate ladder. At this level you’re activated in at least one product line and have one associate beneath you who is also activate in at least one product line.
You receive the 20% retail bonus, the 20-40% wholesale bonus and 5% of your downline’s sales. Note the 5% is off the profit your downline takes home from their sales, not their total sales revenue.
A director comes next and to achieve this level you need to have three activated associates under you and have accumulated 1000 group customer points. The group customer points target doesn’t have a set timeframe and is separate from your monthly wholesale bonus customer points.
At this level you get the 20% retail bonus, the 20-40% wholesale bonus, 10% commission on your directly enrolled associate profit and 5% on 2nd generation associate profit.
A second generation associate is one of your directly enrolled associate’s downlines, ie. people your associates have directly recruited themselves in their own sales register.
The executive level continues on and to qualify for this level you need to have 6 qualified associates under you and have accumulated 2,500 group customer points. Again there is no timeframe for the group points accumulation.
At this level you get the 20% retail bonus, 20-40% wholesale bonus, 10% commission on directly enrolled and second generation associate profit and 2% commission on third generation associate profit.
A third generation associate is someone who has been enrolled by one of your second generation associates. Ie. You enrol Bob and Bob enrols Sue, Sue is a third generation associate in your sales register.
Presidential is the highest level an associate can make in Polaris Media Group. To qualify for this level you need to have 9 activated associates under you and have accumulated 5,000 group customer points.
At this level you get the 20% retail bonus, 20-40% wholesale bonus, 10% commision on directly enrolled and second generation associate profit and 2% commission on third and fourth generation associate profit.
Additional sources of revenue
In addition to the direct revenue made from being an associate, there is also two pools of revenue that contain a percentage of the total worldwide sales associates make each month. This percentage is deposited into the pool monthly and is paid out to qualifying associates quarterly.
Star Builders’ Bonus Pool
The Star Builders’ Bonus Pool is made up of one pool of revenue. To determine how much of the pool an associate gets, shares are used. To qualify for one share an associate must have three associates under them who have reached Advisor status within their first 30 days of joining Polaris.
For each associate you enrol after this who also reaches Advisor status in their first 30 days of joining, you receive an additional share.
Think of a share as a part in the pool on offer. For example if there are 3 associates who qualify for the Star Builders’ Bonus Pool and each has 1 share, the pool will be divided into three and distributed amongst them each quarter.
If one of those associates had 2 shares and the other 2 associates had just one, then the pool would be divided into 4 shares total and 2 would go to one associate whilst the other two associates would each receive just one share each.
As of time of publishing the exact percentage of worldwide sales that goes into the Star Builders’ Bonus Pool is unknown.
Executive Bonus Pool
The Executive Bonus Pool is broken up into 3 equal sections, each with it’s own qualifying parameters.
To qualify for a share in section 1, associates must have two directors and one executive under them on their sales register.
To qualify for a share in section 2, associates must have 2 executives and at least one associate under them who meets the requirements for a share in section 1 of the Executive Bonus Pool.
To qualify for a share in section 3, associates must have two associates under them who qualify for section 1 of the executive bonus pool as well as one associate under them who qualified for section 2.
Again at the time of publishing the percentage of worldwide sales revenue that goes into the Executive bonus pool is unknown. Presumably though it is higher then then the Star Builders’ Bonus Pool percentage.
So why do I think Polaris Media Group is still a pyramid scheme?
In a nutshell it’s easy to see how each associate level after ‘Independent associate’ encourages associates to build a large downline underneath themselves. The additional bonus pools also encourage associates to recruit by offering larger shares of the pools for each associate recruited as well as how far that associate progresses within the company itself.
At the higher levels of the associate levels you simply cannot progress without obtaining group customer points and the only way to get these points is by recruiting associates underneath you.
Let’s not kid ourselves, nobody is going to be generating an income off retail sales alone. For starters the entire Beyond Freedom Evolution package is a once per customer sale. Nobody is going to buy the product twice which leaves the conferences as repeatable consumables.
In Liberty League International nearly all the people who went to the conferences were associates themselves attached to the business opportunity and I imagine nothing will change with Polaris Media Group.
I mean really, do you honestly think people are going to spend tens of thousands of dollars annually as purely retail customers just to go to conferences with no business opportunity attached?
Polaris Media Group differs from Liberty League International in that there is the option of retail sales which more then anything appears to be there for the sole reason of appeasing regulators and authorities.
Realistically money will only be made at the upper levels and it is this earning potential that is marketed to new recruits and only achievable by building vast downlines. This mind you is how the six figure incomes were generated in Liberty League International and as far as Polaris Media Group is concerned nothing will change.
Under Liberty League these vast sales pyramids were made due to lack of public awareness of how the company operates, this time around due to the scrutiny of Liberty League International (particularly in Australia) the company structure of Polaris Media Group is a lot more transparent from the beginning.
To the best of my knowledge I’ve interpreted the compensation plan material made available to me correctly but if I’d made a mistake please feel free to correct me by leaving a comment and I’ll look into it.
I’ve attempted to make the Polaris compensation plan as easy to understand as possible and hopefully this article raises awareness to potential recruits in just what they’re getting themselves into before they financially commit.
Additionally I hope it makes the compensation plan a bit clearer to existing associates so that they can see that really it’s nothing more then a front for rewarding people for building large sales registers underneath themselves.