TrueStar Health Review: Boutique multivitamins?
Operating out of Ontario in Canada, TrueStar Health was founded in 2001 and originally functioned as a pay-to-use health information website.
Headed up by CEO Tim Mulcahy, throughout the years TrueStar claims to have supported
many weight loss clinics, health clubs, doctors, chiropractors, nutritionists, personal trainers and various other health providers in offering health care services to hundreds of thousands of people all over the world.
Mulcahy (photo right) credits himself with ‘25 years experience in direct marketing and motivation‘ and prior to TrueStar,
co-founded Ontario Energy Savings Corporation, play(ing) a significant role in organizing and growing the company from a start-up in 1997 to a TSX publicly listed company.
In 2011 TrueStar abandoned the pay-to-use model and instead shifted to a free information model. During this time the company also introduced a vitamin range and launched a MLM opportunity (TrueStar Wealth) using the established TrueStar Health brand.
Today we take a look at the home business side of TrueStar Health with a complete review of the TrueStar Wealth MLM opportunity.
The TrueStar Health Product Line
In line with TrueStar’s history, the company markets a range of multi-vitamins for its members to sell. TrueStar claim their vitamins are “North America’s #1 Rated Multivitamins” but do not attribute any particular source to the claim.
TrueStar Health’s multivitamins are sold under the “TrueBasics” brand and range in price from $39.95 (TrueBasics for kids) to $82.95 (TrueBasics AO) for a 30 day supply.
The TrueStar Wealth website only mentions the basic TrueBasic multivitamins however the TrueStar Health websites lists a whole lot more products covering a much wider range of vitamin supplements.
I’d assume the entire range is made available to TrueStar Health’s members to market and sell however given the lack of mention of the entire product range on the TrueStar Wealth website I’m not entirely sure if this is the case.
(If a member of TrueStar Health is reading this review they’re welcome to clarify this point in the comments below).
The TrueStar Health Compensation Plan
Personal Sales Volume
Personal sales volume (PV) is used extensively throughout the TrueStar Health compensation plan and refers to the total sales volume of any individual member.
For qualification purposes, PV is measured in a five-week period (4 rolling weeks prior plus the current week counting as the fifth).
Certain components of the TrueStar Health compensation plan are tied into a member’s membership rank. Within the compensation plan there are sixteen membership ranks, each with their own qualifications and requirements.
I don’t think we need to go into the specific qualifications required to explain and understand the compensation plan, save to say that membership rank advancement is tied into how much product volume your team generates (matrix and unilevel teams are counted separately) and the higher the rank achieved the longer it must be maintained in order to qualify for that rank’s appropriate bonuses and payouts.
Additionally the maximum required personally recruited member requirement never extends past 2 although using the unilevel compensation structure there is a rank requirement of your downline (starting with Gold Associate that requires at least one ‘Silver Associate’ qualified unilevel leg) at certain levels.
TrueStar Health offer retail commissions on the sale of all their products. These retail commissions are calculated on the difference between the retail cost of a product and the wholesale price.
There are percentage overrides that can affect how much of a retail commission can be earnt based on the total retail cost of a product, and this is tied into the PV of the TrueStar Health member earning the commission:
- less than 100 PV = 20% cap
- 100 to 199 PV = 25% cap
- 200+ PV = 40% cap
TrueStar Health use a 3×9 matrix for the residual income backend and this matrix houses a total of 29,523 positions. A 3×9 matrix starts with you at the top and has three legs branching out underneath you.
The first few levels of a 3×9 matrix look something like this:
These three legs form level 1 and in turn branch out into another 3 legs each (level 2) and so on and so forth down 9 levels. Positions in your matrix can be filled via the personal recruitment of new TrueStar Health members, acquisition of customers and recruiting and/or acquisition of customers by your upline.
TrueStar Health pay out a flat rate 4% of the PV generated by each person in your matrix.
Using a unilevel compensation structure, TrueStar Health also pay out a check match bonus on the earnings of TrueStar members that have been personally recruited.
A unilevel compensation structure places all members you’ve personally recruited directly under you with these members forming your level 1. Any members they then recruit form your level 2 and so on and so forth.
Within this structure, a “generation” is defined as all members below you up until a ‘Gold Associate’ or higher member is found below you. All members that fall between you and the Gold Associate form your first generation.
The second generation is then defined using this same methodology (travelling down the downline until another Gold Associate or higher member is found), with the members between the second qualifying member and the first forming your second generation.
How many generations a TrueStar member is paid out on depends on their own membership ranks as follows:
- Gold Associate – 4% match on first generation
- Star Associate – 5% match on first generation
- Silver Executive – 6% match on first generation, 5% on second
- Gold Executive – 6% match on first generation, 5% on second and third
- Star Executive – 6% match on first and second generations, 5% on third
- Gold Vice President – 6% match on first and second generations, 5% on third and fourth
- Diamond Vice President – 7% match on first and second generations, 6% match on third and fourth
- Star Vice President – 8% match on first and second generations, 7% match on third to fifth
- Gold President – 9% match on first and second generations, 8% match on third to fifth
- Diamond President – 10% match on first and second generations, 9% match on third to sixth
- TrueStar – 10% match on first to sixth generations
TrueStar Health pay out what they call a ‘Power of 5 Bonus’. This Power of 5 Bonus rewards members who recruit at least five new members in any given month.
These new members must purchase at least a $399 TrueStar joining package and generate at least 100 PV that month.
If the above qualifications are met, TrueStar Health will pay members $500 per every 5 new qualified new members they sign up in a month.
Fast Start Bonus
The TrueStar Fast Start Bonus is paid out on the first orders of all recruited TrueStar Health members (level 1) as well as any first orders made by new members recruited by your level 1 (they become your level 2).
The Fast Start Bonus amount depends on which “Fast Start Pack” is being ordered with corresponding payouts (tied into how much PV you yourself have generated) as follows:
First Level –
- Beginner Pack – 100 PV = $10, 200 PV = $15
- Basic Pack – 100 PV = $25, 200 PV = $40
- Builder Pack – 100 PV = $45, 200 PV = $70
- Advanced Builder Pack – 100 PV = $90, 200 PV = $140
- Mega Builder Pack – 100 PV = $125, 200 PV = $200
Second Level –
- Beginner Pack – 100 PV = $2.50, 200 PV = $5
- Basic Pack – 100 PV = $5, 200 PV = $15
- Builder Pack – 100 PV = $10, 200 PV = $20
- Advanced Builder Pack – 100 PV = $20, 200 PV = $40
- Mega Builder Pack – 100 PV = $40, 200 PV = $60
Rank Achievement Bonus
As members grow their customer base and team in TrueStar Health and advance in membership rank, the company pays out a one time bonus for certain membership promotions called a Rank Achievement Bonus.
The Rank Achievement Bonus is paid out on promotion to the following TrueStar membership levels:
- Gold Executive – $250
- Star Executive – $500
- Gold Vice President – $750
- Diamond Vice President – $1,100
- Star Vice President – $1,750
- Gold President – $3,000
- Diamond President – $4,250
- TrueStar – $5000
TrueStar Health members who achieve and maintain the rank of Gold Executive or higher are entitled to an additional ‘Car Bonus’ monthly payment:
- Gold Executive – $200
- Star Executive – $400
- Gold Vice President – $600
- Diamond Vice President – $800
- Star Vice President – $1,000
- Gold President – $1,200
- Diamond President – $1,500
- TrueStar – $1,500
Note that the TrueStar Car Bonus is superceded by the Rank Achievement Bonus should a member qualify for both simultaneously in any given month.
House and Lifestyle Bonus
For TrueStar members who achieve and maintain a membership rank of Star Vice President or higher, an additional House and Lifestyle bonus is also paid out as follows:
- Star Vice President – $500
- Gold President – $1,000
- Diamond President – $1,750
- TrueStar – $2,500
Like the Car Bonus, if a member qualifies for a Rank Achievement Bonus and House and Lifestyle Bonus in the same month, the Rank Achievement Bonus supercedes the House and Lifestyle Bonus.
Each quarter TrueStar Health puts aside 2.5% of the global volume sold by members and puts it into three bonus pools. Each pool has different qualification criteria and should a member qualify, they are then awarded an equal share of the pool each quarter.
The three TrueStar Health Bonus Pools along with their qualification criteria are as follows (note all references to levels are referring to the unilevel compensation structure used to calculate matching bonuses):
- Pool 1 – have at least 5 people in your level 1 generating more than 100 PV a month, at least 2,500 PV on level 2 (with 3 legs generating at least 500 PV each) and 100,000 global PV across your entire downline
- Pool 2 – have at least 10 people in your level 1 generating 100 PV or more a month, at least 5,000 PV being generated on your level 2 (with 5 legs generating at least 500 PV each), 10,000 PV being generated on level 3 and 500,000 global PV across your entire downline
- Pool 3 – have at least 20 people in your level 1 generating 100 PV or more a month, at least 10,000 PV being generated on your level 2 (with 10 legs generating at least 500 PV each), 5,000 PV being generated by level 3, 30,000 PV being generated by level 4 and 1,000,000 global PV across your entire downline
As far as I can tell nothing more is needed to become a member of TrueStar other than the purchase of products. The company itself doesn’t seem to differentiate between retail customers and members.
If members and/or customers wish to participate in the compensation plan though, the company requires that these members be “active”:
To be considered Active in the commission period, a Wellness Consultant must complete the following requirements in the Qualification Period:
• Must have purchased a Welcome Kit (one-time purchase)
• Must have at least 50 Qualifying Volume PV-Q
Thus as far as the business opportunity goes, if you want to earn anything the purchase of a Welcome Kit is inescapable. The price of TrueStar Health’s welcome kits therefore pretty much constitute the joining cost for those wishing to participate in the TrueStar Health MLM business opportunity
- Beginner Pack – $99
- Basic Pack – $199
- Builder Pack – $399
- Advanced Builder Pack – $799
- Mega Builder Pack – $1,499
Overall the TrueStar Health compensation plan is firmly grounded in the sales of actual product however there is one slight concern I have on the recruiting side of things.
As far as I can see the ‘Fast Start’ and ‘Power of 5’ bonuses are just flat-out recruitment commissions (when you consider that a welcome pack must be purchased in order to participate in the business opportunity side of thing).
Given that everything else in the TrueStar Health compensation plan involves the selling of products, the inclusion of these two bonuses which are strongly tied into recruitment are a bit of a mystery to me. Members wouldn’t earn as much per new member recruited, however I think overall the compensation plan would be better off if these two bonuses were altered with a stronger focus on product sales (beyond the purchase of mandatory welcome packs).
I was a little concerned about the use of a matrix based compensation structure but at a flat rate 4% commission paid out on sales, if your downline doesn’t sell anything you don’t get paid.
Membership ranks increase commission payouts but overall the recruitment requirements are pretty low so building a large team of autoship members shouldn’t be a concern.
With the price of TrueStar’s products and the commissions generated per product sold it doesn’t really make much sense to encourage members to join, sit on autoship and try to recruit new members themselves.
As far as the products go I think marketing TrueStar’s vitamins is, to put it lightly, going to be your biggest challenge. I’m by no means a vitamin expert but pushing $100 a month for multivitamins is going to be a hard sell when local supermarkets and chemists sell multivitamins for much cheaper.
Issues of quality of the ingredients and what not will be a strong selling point when marketing TrueStar’s products but I think most members will find this is definitely a narrow niche of customers they are marketing to.
That said if you can establish a viable long-term market around TrueStar’s vitamin based products then the compensation plan certainly will reward you for doing so.
Given the personal nature of multivitamins I’d strongly encourage thorough testing of the product before considering TrueStar as a business opportunity. When marketing health products it’s worth keeping in mind that personal testimony and experience often delivers much more of an impact than broad ‘all our products are great!’ type statements.