Rippln Compensation Plan v2.0 Review
Back in April Rippln went public with a compensation plan that paid affiliates to recruit new free and paid affiliates. In order to qualify for these commissions, affiliates had to upgrade to either a “Domestic” or “Global” affiliate.
At the time it was explained that Domestic affiliates would be able to earn on those recruited within their country of residence, and Global affiliates were able to earn globally.
These commissions were earnt via a pass-up system, with affiliate fees being passed up to a new affiliate’s upline.
Mobile app commissions were also briefly mentioned, however no specific information was provided.
Shortly after details were released on the initial compensation plan were released and the BehindMLM Rippln review went up, lawyers were called in and the entire compensation plan was retracted.
That was a month and a half ago and since then over 700,000 affiliates have signed on with no clue on just how exactly anybody is going to earn commissions.
Last night Rippln finally addressed these concerns and held a webinar to lay out their new revised compensation plan.
Read on to learn exactly what Rippln affiliates are going to have to do to make money.
Affiliate membership options and costs
To keep things simple I’m just ignoring this and using the terms we’re all familiar with:
- Fan = free affiliate
- Player = paid affiliate
A “Fan” is the term given to free affiliates in Rippln. You get recruited, you sign up and you are a “fan”.
A Rippln “Player” is your basic paid affiliate membership, which requires a mandatory purchase of Rippln’s “tracking platform” (detailed backoffice downline activity). Player affiliate membership (hereafter referred to as “paid affiliate membership”) is thus $69.95 annually (for the tracking platform) and a $25 a month membership fee.
There is also an affiliate status called “Super Fan” which doesn’t really make any sense from an MLM business opportunity perspective.
Super Fans pay Rippln $69.95 annually for access to the tracking platform. This tracking platform is pretty much just a more detailed overview of an affiliates downline activity in their backoffice.
Super Fans don’t seem to be able to earn commissions so I’m not sure why anybody would pay Rippln $69.95 a year for this.
Paid Affiliate (Player) Ranks
After paying Rippln $69.95 and $25 a month, paid affiliates are still unable to cash out their commissions. They can generate commissions but unless they recruit new affiliates (free or paid), they are not paid any commissions.
There are three paid affiliate ranks in Ripple, and along with their respective qualification criteria they are as follows:
- Pro – recruit at least 5 affiliates (paid or free)
- All Pro (50% increase in commissions over Pro ranked affiliates) – recruit 5 affiliates (paid or free) and sell one coaching and one loyalty offer to your downline
- MVP (50% increase in commissions over All Pro ranked affiliates (100% over Pro)) – recruit 5 affiliates (paid or free) and sell three coaching and three loyalty offers to your downline
Whereas the above qualification criteria pertain to an affiliates ability to earn commissions, Rippln also impose a separate set of qualification criteria to determine how many levels of their downline they get paid on.
This qualification criteria is referred to as the “Pro Player Levels”, of which there are six levels in total:
- Level 1 – recruit 2 paid affiliates (players), recruit 5 free affiliates (fans) and have at least 10 affiliates total in your downline
- Level 2 – recruit 4 paid affiliates (players), recruit 5 free affiliates (fans) and have at least 50 affiliates total in your downline
- Level 3 – recruit 6 paid affiliates (players), recruit 5 free affiliates (fans) and have at least 150 affiliates total in your downline
- Level 4 – recruit 8 paid affiliates (players), recruit 5 free affiliates (fans) and have at least 1000 affiliates total in your downline
- Level 5 – recruit 10 paid affiliates (players), recruit 5 free affiliates (fans) and have at least 2500 affiliates total in your downline
- All Star – recruit 15 paid affiliates (players), recruit 5 free affiliates (fans), have at least one Level 5 Pro affiliate in five individual recruitment legs and have at least 15,000 affiliates total in your downline
Coaching and Loyalty Offers
Everything sold through the Rippln network is classified as either a coaching offer or a loyalty offer.
From what was said on the Rippln compensation plan webinar, coaching offers sound like marketing and training materials with everything else being classified as a loyalty offer.
Coaching Rewards Compensation Structure
Coaching Rewards are paid out via reward points on a weekly basis. Paid affiliates at the Pro level (recruit 5 affiliates) earn Coaching reward points as their downlines purchase Coaching offers.
Coaching reward points are paid out sequentially in 5% blocks as follows:
- Level 1 affiliate – 5%
- Level 2 affiliate – 5%
- Level 3 affiliate – 5%
- Level 4 affiliate – 5%
- Level 5 affiliate – 5%
- 2nd Level 5 affiliate – 5%
- 1st All Star affiliate – 5%
- 2nd All Star affiliate – 5%
- 3rd All Star affiliate – 5%
The commission is calculated by first considering the rank of the affiliate directly above the affiliate making the purchase. Whatever their rank is, that is what they are paid out at.
Eg. if they were a Level 4 affiliate, they would earn 5% times 4 (the Level 1, Level 2, Level 3 and Level 4 commission), with the remaining unpaid commissions distributed amongst their upline in a similar fashion until all nine segmented commissions are paid out.
Note that being an All Pro ranked affiliate results in a +2.5% addition to the 5% commissions above, and being an MVP affiliate adds an additional 2.5% to the base 5% (for a total of 10% being paid out).
As an additional bonus, the affiliate who recruited the affiliate purchasing the Coaching offer also receives a 10% bonus on the rewards points generated by the sale. Their direct upline (the affiliate who recruited them) also earns a 10% bonus.
Loyalty Rewards Compensation Structure
Loyalty Offer commissions are paid using a unilevel compensation structure. A unilevel compensation structure places an affiliate at the top of the structure, with every personally recruited affiliate directly under them (level 1):
If any level 1 affiliates go on to recruit new affiliates of their own, they are then placed on level 2 of the structure, if any level 2 affiliates recruit those affiliates are placed on level 3 and so on and so forth.
Using this unilevel compensation structure, Rippln pays out a percentage commission on up to 10 levels of recruitment. How many levels and how much of a commission an affiliate earns on Loyalty offer purchases depends on their level rank:
- Level 1 – 5% on levels 1 and 2
- Level 2 – 5% on levels 1 to 4
- Level 3 – 5% on levels 1 to 6
- Level 4 – 5% on levels 1 to 8
- Level 5 and All Star – 5% on levels 1 to 10
All Star ranked affiliates are also paid beyond level 10, receiving a 5% comission on every level until an All Star ranked affiliate is found in that recruitment leg (each is treated individually).
Note that All Pro and MVP rank promotion adds an additional 2.5% to the 5% base commission, raising it to 7.5% and 10% respectively.
There are only three simple steps you have to follow to maximise all of the benefits you can receive and all of the monetization and incentivisation within the Rippln Rewards System.
You invite fans, you help those fans that wish to become players and you help those players do the same thing, invite fans.
This entire plan is driven by those three simple steps.
Dissecting the Rippln compensation plan took considerably more energy than would otherwise be required due to the attempts to rename well-established compensation plan characteristics.
Going through the figures and attempting to draw a flow of money through Rippln, I initially saw it as a re-imagining of a pay to play recruitment scheme, with the simple renaming of free affiliates to “fans”.
This I later reduced to a lack of retail within the company (more on that later), and saw that revenue wise, paid affiliate fees were infact not commissionable.
Required to earn commissions in Rippln but not commissionable, which was key.
The crux of Rippln’s compensation plan entirely depends on affiliates purchasing whatever products the company is going to push through the network. Thus far they appear to primarily be mobile phone apps but other than the mention of “hundreds” and “thousands” of products, nothing has been clarified.
Regardless, these products will need to be purchased in order to generate revenue which is then paid out as commissions.
Again, recruitment is required in order to qualify to earn commissions, but in and of itself does not generate commissions. Rippln could grow to encompass hundreds of millions of affiliates but if nobody is spending money on the products they push through the network, nobody (except Rippln) gets paid.
Will Rippln manage to sell products through their network?
I’m going to suggest that the revelations above should have been made public weeks ago. Instead of all this “march to a million” marketing hype rubbish, the company should have been upfront about its compensation plan well before 700,000 affiliates signed up.
If they’d have done that, they could now be focusing on the products they’re going to populate the network with. Instead, I imagine there’s going to be a considerable portion of the affiliate base left with an unpleasant taste in their mouth as what lies ahead is more uncertainty.
Despite not being commissionable, without a doubt the larger a Rippln affiliate’s downline is the more sales volume they open themselves up to. And with no retail option, that means there’s a significant lack of distinction between the income opportunity and Rippln’s products.
I know the argument to this is going to be “but it costs nothing to join as a free affiliate (fan)”, but in terms of MLM, that’s irrelevant.
Retail customers cannot recruit. Thus fans are in effect just free affiliates.
I didn’t see it anywhere mentioned in the compensation plan material I viewed for this review but a retail option with the Rippln app wouldn’t be all that hard to do. Tracking who referred the customers might be problematic though over mobile devices and I suspect that’s behind the lack of a proper retail channel in Rippln.
Meanwhile I’ll say it again, affiliates joining for free does not make them retail customers. The second you sign up to Rippln you enter the compensation plan and begin your affiliate career.
Even if you do not sign anyone up or ever pay Rippln affiliate membership fees.
Purely on a technical level, you are an affiliate, the same as if you joined any other “free to join” MLM company and never upgraded (paid membership fees) or recruited another affiliate.
Furthermore, despite the use of mobile devices and apps, historically these “free app” type models haven’t worked. The most notable of which would probably be MyShoppingGenie.
The comp plan is slightly different (MyShoppingGenie paid recruitment commissions and used a binary), and the company used a toolbar instead of a mobile app, but theory was the same.
Give out the toolbar to as many people as possible and earn money on their purchases. Replace toolbar with mobile app and we’ve got the same thing with Rippln.
How did MyShoppingGenie turn out? It wound up being a network of paid affiliates who didn’t purchase anything and instead focused on recruitment commissions.
After failing to pay commissions for over 6 months, MyShoppingGenie went on to collapse in 2012.
Yes the mobile app slant on the business model is new and (thankfully) Rippln abolished the recruitment commissions they initially advertised before they officially launched, however the fundamental question remains, is the commerce side of the business going to be any different?
The e-commerce is huge however that clearly didn’t guarantee the success of MyShoppingGenie.
Heavily touted has been the success of other companies mobile apps and the revenue these generate. Like anything, for every succesful app out there there’s god knows how many failures.
Yes, the mobile app industry is tipped to hit $25 billion USD in sales this year… but
For every Instagram, the wildly popular photo sharing app that Facebook Inc. FB -0.82% bought for $1 billion last year, there are hundreds of thousands of apps that don’t catch on.
Rippln appear to have focused strongly on building up a free affiliate-base, how they’re going to pay everyone but on the app (and other product side of things?), no idea.
I think realistically it’s an extremely big promise for an MLM company to come out and compare their unreleased app line to the most profitable apps today. Those apps aren’t just profitable because they exist, they’re profitable because of the ideas and thought that went into them.
Based on the massive “recruit everyone you see” hype-machine style marketing Rippln have rolled out with, my gut tells me Rippln believe they’re going to be successful purely because they have apps, rather than on the merits of the apps (and other products) themselves.
On the other hand if Rippln do pull out some unique and profitable apps that propel the company into solid profitability, at least affiliates now know what they’re up for to participate in the MLM side of things.
$69.95 a year and $25 a month.
Probably best to wait though and see just what Rippln come up with products-wise first though before financially committing to anything.
I like the idea of only get paid on actual sales (or royalty offers), and membership costs are NOT commissionable, though the idea of qualifying payout on recruitment troubles me somewhat, esp. when memberships are NOT always FREE.
In fact, membership fee cost way too much. Normal admin fee should be to the order of $30-50 a year. $70 is a bit on the high side. So what the heck is that $25 a month for?
This part about getting more commission if you sold coaching offers to your downline also bugs me greatly. Burnlounge got burned (pun intended) because its affiliates only get credit for membership and music sold if they don’t pay the “mogul” upgrade per month. If they do pay the mogul upgrade, then they can get cash instead of credit. This part about selling coaching offers to downline and get increased commission smells VERY MUCH like the Burnlounge model.
Then the question is again, is this pay to play?
Frankly, this is not the “mobile revolution” they are claiming. This is merely another iteration of
1) Selling their own “coaching products” (much like Empowered’s two Daves selling their coaching)
2) Selling loyalty offers (no details, sounds like just about any other “free offers” on the net, i.e. try this app and get some credits to spend in something else, and there’s a lot of competitors already).
I was hoping to see something different. This is pure bait-and-switch.
This is just speculation, a guess and opinion, I have no inside information, but I would not be surprised if they claim a “super fan” is a pure retail customer.
There may not be too many super fans, but the point would be to establish the $69.95 is the retail price of the main product. Then, based on that they could claim the $69.95 of the player fee is product sale for personal use.
I hope they do not do that. I do not think should. I just believe that it’s a possibility that they might.
Super Fans can recruit though, so that rules them being retail customers out.
Also I don’t think detailed backoffice information would count as a retail product :).
Interesting thought though.
Then what’s the $25 for?
$70 to buy an app? Just to see how well your referral chain is doing? When almost all MLM companies do it for FREE?
Sounds like gouging to me. But then, there’s nothing illegal about gouging. Immoral yes, but not illegal. If they can convince people to pay $70 for something that should be free, all the power to them. Just don’t pretend it’s worth $70
Of course this is 100% speculation, but continuing this line of reasoning…
The $25 would be the fee to be a distributor.
If they were to only pay commissions on the $69.95 part of the sale, and not the $25, they might then claim they are not paying commissions on recruitment, just on retail sales.
This might be enough to convince waverers that they are based around retail sales.
Whether it would convince a regulator is another matter.
I hope this GUESS is wrong.
Unless I’m missing something in the compensation plan, the $69.95 (and $25) weren’t commissionable. At least not directly.
The points are generated via sale of products and services through the network. At least that’s how I read it.
As an online Marketer, I have been approached about Rippln a hundred times – each time I said NO. Today I continue to say NO and chances are next week and next month my answer will be the same…
Once again thanks for the review of Rippln and with sharing the compensation plan!
As the CEO of an actual app and game company. It’s not as easy as rippln thinks it’s going to be.
Sadly it takes months to code an app. And one that brings value and is good is even more. Personally I see this company going the way of that free thing…… no where.
I’ve been in this industry for 25 years. I can say when any of my colleagues hear about this company we all laugh. It’s amazing what people fall for.
Hey people…. you have a better chance building your own app and publishing it via Google play free with ad mob installed. and making money. Than with this ripplin non sense.
If you stay don’t say a pro didn’t warn you. If companies like e.a., ubisoft etc haven’t done this I’m sorry it’s just not a thing. But hey feel free to destroy your name with it.
I really appreciate the voice of experience. Thanks
The first week Rippln came out i was approached. They claimed they were not an MLM and not to worrie about downline and by the end of the presentation they told us to invite 5 friends a day???
The worst is that back then they wanted to charge $300 entry fee + $50 a month. it seems to me that this company is makinng rules as they go. I’m staying with my little 10 dollar app and that’s that.
Create a great day.
A bit of background check on the founders of Rippln would show that to be a lie: they are ALL MLMers (well, maybe except Jim Bunch, who’s more of a “motivational trainer”).
Frankly, I’ve yet to see a SINGLE MLMer who went on and create a non-MLM company. I’m sure there are, but I certainly don’t recall any.
It’s also interesting that NONE of this comp plan thing is linked on the official Rippln website.
This is exactly what it is, classic bait and switch.. I got the text yesterday.. over 800,000 people and growing.. ARE THEY SERIOUS??
And how do they plan on retaining a fraction of those people?? They originally came out thinking they were going to sucker these people but this website and others were onto their game so they went back to the drawing board and are coming out with this new comp plan making it look like such a deal..
PLEASE.. GO AWAY RIPPLN! How can you get involved in this mess with all the names involved and backing it??
..says it all..
..again, says it all..
Seriously, what is Rippln?? All they have been is a rumbling, bumbling snowball of pure hype. Have they been clear on anything?? What it is, what it does?? Nothing, you just get tossed and pitched by “the most respected names in the business” under the promise of “trust me, just get in”..
Their tactics STILL have been amazingly, incredibly misleading, confusing and shady.. It’s the blind leading the blind here, yet once again but the blind leading are insanely greedy, dishonest and don’t care about you.. THEY JUST WANT YOUR MONEY.
Now their just settling for a smaller portion of it.. Awwww how nice of them.. so sweet!
It’s actually a marketing strategy right from the book, or probably from tens of books mixed together. It’s designed to attract very specific “personality types” or “psychological profiles”, and filter out most others. E.G. if you’re looking for the “easy victim” types of personalities you don’t want to attract the opposite type.
I made some comments about it in the initial Rippln review, comparing it to Mike Dillard, “Attraction Marketing”, CarbonCopyPRO and other similar ideas. Another word for it is “GUMP Hunting”.
GUMP = Good Unexperienced Money People, the ones willing to invest their own savings accounts in almost any type of vague investments, recommending other GUMP’s to do the same.
GUMP’s are very specific personality types, very predictable in how they will react to offers, which types of marketing they will fall for and in how they will react if the opportunity or investment fail to deliver as promised.
For a con artist, it clearly makes some sense trying to attract GUMP’s rather than experienced people. GUMP’s are the ones willing to bring in their OWN money, and also willing to bring in family’s and friends’ money. Experienced people are normally more restrictive and can potentially cause much more trouble.
Rippln is about “GUMP hunting”, clearly trying to attract specific types of personalities while filtering out others. You were simply not the right type of personality this time.
Unexperience is not a proper English Word. I think you want “Inexperienced”. Works better as a acronym any way.
Ha! The acronym. That’s funny. Why is it inexperienced rather than unexperienced?
The source where I found it used “Uneducated”, but the article itself explained it was mostly about lack of experience rather than lack of education.
“GIMP” didn’t sound right. 🙂
Having too specialised education may actually make people become more vulnerable to confidence tricks. E.G. if they identify themselves with a specific title or profession, it will be easier for the con artist to identify which methods that may work.
I take that back. Unexperienced is a valid word, just very rarely used in contemporary American English. Most people use inexperienced.
“An unexperienced experience” should be grammatically correct? “An experience not experienced yet”.
The original source I used came from scam.com, 2005 or 2006, username deadintoit, thread about Liberty League International / Emerald Passport, 2 posts containing an article about GUMP Hunting. It explained the whole process, and briefly the psychology behind it and why it can work.
That source used “Uneducated”, but he also spent a whole section pointing out that it wasn’t about education, intelligence or anything like that.
“GUMP Hunting” is about selling IDEAS, people’s own ideas or new ideas they can be willing to accept and believe were their own ideas in the first place. The idea that they actually have contributed to make the Facebook and Google owners become billionaires by recommending them to friends is that type of idea.
A GUMP won’t analyse the idea critically for whether it’s true or not, as long as the idea reflects something he WANT to believe in. E.G. his friends would probably have joined Facebook anyway, they didn’t join it because of HIS recommendation but because they found the service useful.
He has actually contributed, but by his own use of the services rather than by introducing others. That’s why they never have offered him any rewards either, except for the services.
“The Anatomy of a GUMP” has to include that factor, the willingness to accept ideas like they are his own, without critically analysing them first. Willingness to accept half truths is rather essential.
…and there you have it. MLM is like a box of chocolates.
I love that comment. Very true!! LOL
Is Dooly doing damage control or subcuubing to PR spin? He did a couple articles showing Terry LaCore’s story behind the SEC charges, then had an interview with Underwood about “the real truth” and all that.
At least he’s TELLING that he’s reading from the company’s own marketing material.
* The launch has been delayed to August.
* The program has been redefined from “App” to “Platform”.
And that was it. The rest of the video was about how difficult it was for innovative people launching new business ideas, e.g. the risk of suddenly being shut down like BurnLounge was.
He also read some quasi theories about pyramid schemes, plus a presentation of Rippln’s management. And that was all.
Total time: 28:18
There’s a new vid out today that pretty much regurgitates that Q&A Rippln put out a few months ago.
With nothing of substance yet released, I’m still seeing Rippln as 2013’s Wazzub.
“It was Deja Vu once again”. 🙂
I had exactly the same feeling when I listened to the April 15th 2012 “Troy Dooly reads from ZeekRewards’ NMBJ marketing inlay”. The only major difference was that he clearly identified the source to be marketing material this time.
Another difference is that the program hasn’t officially launched yet, so there isn’t much to analyse either. You can’t clearly point out flaws in a program if it hasn’t officially launched. It isn’t suspected of being a Ponzi scheme either.
One major flaw in the review was to use the company’s own half truths in areas where he easily could have found better sources, e.g. for the pyramid scheme definitions. He should simply have dropped that part.
From the MlmHeldDesk article “RippLn Mobile Platform: Can You Seperate The Facts From The Fiction” (actually not an article, but a copy of Rippln’s own marketing material).
“Brand new model” doesn’t answer the core of the question. And it’s also the most frequently used excuse from pyramid scheme organizers, the argument you will meet in almost ANY scheme. “Our model is so new that people simply don’t understand it, and we don’t understand it ourselves either. But since the idea comes from us it simply has to be legit”.
The criterias for pyramid schemes are something like this:
1. Chain recruitment.
2. Considerations from the participants.
3. Prospected financial gains.
4. That derives primarily from other participants.
Rippln’s business model meets all 4 criterias.
It has clearly been marketed as prospected financial gains rather than as the functions of the prospected app (or they are both part of the same idea).
1. It’s clearly about chain recruitment, it’s actually the core criteria for earning something.
2. People will need to give consideration (any type of “payment”, including work) to participate in the income opportunity. They have dropped the $300 / $900 payment, but they still have the yearly and monthly fees.
3. and 4. Any financial gains will probably derive from the participants themselves, but that part can’t be analysed before they actually have launched the program.
The weak point in that part of the marketing material is the one about FTC’s definitions. I decided to ask Troy to ask Rippln for original sources there.
BTW, DSA.org isn’t a reliable source. It’s a lobbyist organization for direct selling companies rather than a neutral source. It’s clearly biased in favor of the companies themselves rather than being a neutral “resource” for distributors or customers.
And here it is …
Actually, to put it even MORE plainly…
At best, Rippln simply said what it *should* be. (Much like Zeek said it’s an auction reward program)
As for how it actually is… ANYTHING they said is FICTION UNTIL PROVEN BY FACTS (i.e. actual launch).
EVERYTHING about Rippln right now is fiction (other than the background of the principals)
So no, Rippln is not a Ponzi or Pyramid scheme. It is NOTHING than a bunch of empty promises to pay people for doing almost nothing (which is also nothing).
Which was what I wrote on my own hubpages review. 🙂
It will probably be able to pay people, but much less than what was initially planned.
The compensation plan is rather unattractive if you don’t plan to recruit a huge downline, or if you aren’t interested in the products and services as a customer type of affiliate. The compensation plan has a major flaw = too low payments for personal sales efforts other than to your own downline.
All the delays are probably related to that they can predict some initial problems (e.g. member flee immediately after launch), and that they’re trying to come up with solutions.
It was initially set up to run smoothly as a pyramid scheme, with the $300 National and the $900 Global memberships. It’s probably difficult to replace those parts.
It may or may not be “Wazzub 2013”. It pre-launched 101 years after Titanic, missed its initial launch date and have had similar delays.
It appears to a slight paraphrase from this 1998 speech given by an FTC official:
(See third sentence under subhead of, “What is a Pyramid Scheme and What is Legitimate Marketing?”
I simply used a different strategy = “Collect information first, and THEN you can post some of your own conclusions”.
“Can You Separate Facts from Fictions?” failed relatively immediately because of vague and misleading info. But the vague and misleading info can be based on some facts, so I will first need to ask about that before I can choose a strategy.
Thanks. I posted that version at MlmHelpdesk to speed up the dialogue.
I added a conclusion there …
I was about to add something about the 28:18 minute video too, but I dropped the idea.
I added something to the disccussion (at MlmHelpDesk) 5 days ago, but forgot the whole thing.
The main issue was about “Can you separate facts from fiction?”, and I repeated my statement about the whole document being a fiction, a misrepresentation of the real problem.
“Marketing logic” is typically about how we want to present something to a market, what we want people to focus on and what we want people to believe in.
It will only solve those types of problems. And Rippln was doing exactly that, being vague on the important parts and directing the focus towards unimportant factors.
The main myth is the one about that ANY type of logic can be used to solve any type of problem, e.g. that “marketing logic” can be applied to legal problems. “Marketing logic” will simply direct the focus away from something.
Whether or not Rippln has been organized as a pyramid scheme can’t be established before it actually have launched a real business.
It was organized as one in its initial plans with the “$300 Domestic” and the “$900 Global” memberships, where all 4 criterias for pyramid scheme were met directly.
Pyramid scheme definitions (simplified):
1. Chain recruitment system, where …
2. participants “gives consideration” …
3. for prospected financial gains …
4. that derives primarily from other participants …
5. rather than from sale or consumption of goods or services.
Criteria #5 is simply an extension used to separate promotional pyramids from traditional ones. It doesn’t define in itself whether something is legal or illegal, it only defines an EXCEPTION to the other 4 criterias.
The exception is not about retail sales or consumption, but about “fair trade principles” found higher up in the system (or sideways in the system to rules with a similar rank).
Adding products or services to a pyramid scheme will make it become a promotional pyramid, and potentially involve the exception rules about “fair trade”.
Rippln’s initial model clearly met all the 4 criterias DIRECTLY, e.g. paying people directly for recruitment.
Its current model is much more vague.
1. It has been primarily set up to be recruitment driven (rather than about sale of goods or services to external customers). It will probably fail to find customers outside the network itself.
2. Participants will have to pay consideration, $69.95 initial fee and $25 monthly fee, for the right to participate in the income opportunity. They also have a recruitment qualifier = recruit minimum 5 people (“fans”).
3. The marketing has clearly been about prospected financial gains, rather than about the products or services.
4. Any financial gains will clearly derive from other participants in the network. It will derive from people you have recruited yourself into your own downline.
5. The app itself isn’t a retailable product or a service, and neither is the opportunity. The app is simply a part of the opportunity, comparable to a back office and other systems designed to organize transactions in a downline.
As far as I can see, Rippln’s current model will clearly meet the 4 criterias used to define a pyramid scheme, and it will only poorly meet the exception criteria for promotional pyramids.
The fifth criteria is about “fair trade” / “fair compensation for work”. It’s generally accepted that people should be compensated for work, but not for any type of work. You can’t legally compensate anyone for doing anything illegal by calling it “work”.
Recruitment into a pyramid scheme will be that type of “work”. People simply can’t expect to get compensated if the work itself is illegal.
We have been served theories about how successful businesses have been organized. Jonathan Budd even recommended a book, “The Lean Startup” by Eric Ries.
I believe that is a major part of the problem here, the attempt to apply a specific set of theories to an area it hasn’t been designed for. You will simply get a “neither fish nor fowl” solution as a result.
This Wazzub of 2013 still hasn’t lanched. Here’s the latest update sent out to affiliates regarding cost of participation:
Meanwhile an actual product is still yet to surface.
I’d update the review but they’re probably just going to change it again soon when they realise people were sold on “building a ripple”, not paying Rippln money.
There’s several flaws in the business model, so they will probably need to make several changes. The business idea was flawed right from the beginning, in its core rather than in the details.
What’s the latest on Rippln? I see LOTS of people (supposedly credible) marketing it. I don’t like their model but am wondering what these folks are seeing that I don’t!
LOL I said the same thing about Zeek too after I got educated here!
As I understand it they launched Photo Guessaroo which turned out to be an underwhelming affair.
The smart watch hype has died down (the watches recieved poor reviews compared to Samsung’s identically priced offering)…
…and now they’re asking people to pay hundreds of dollars for some 90 day goal-setting app or some such.
The communicator app is still MIA too.