4Life Review: Preferred customers = affiliates?
4Life operate in the nutritional supplement MLM niche. The company launched in 1998 and is based out of Utah in the US.
Heading up 4Life are husband and wife co-founders, David and Bianca Lisonbee.
Danny Lee serves as 4Life’s CEO and President.
Way back in 1985 David Lisonbee co-founded Nature’s Labs, which was later renamed to Enrich International.
Enrich International marketed nutritional supplements, sold in capsule form.
Towards the end of the 1990s Enrich International went through management and ownership changes, coinciding with Lisonbee’s launch of 4Life.
Danny Lee was appointed CEO of 4Life in late 2017.
Lee has been with 4Life since 2008, having served as COO and CMO prior to his CEO appointment.
Read on for a full review of the 4Life MLM opportunity.
4Life market a robust range of nutritional supplements, many of which are in capsule form.
The company also sells workout bands, essential oils, personal care products, pet and livestock supplements
There are far too many individual 4Life products to list here. Including bundle packs, I counted eigthty-two 4Life products currently available.
Thankfully a full catalog with retail pricing is readily available on 4Life’s website.
The 4Life Compensation Plan
The 4Life compensation plan combines retail sales with three-level deep residual commissions.
An Infinity Bonus extends commissionable sales volume, and is combined with twin pool bonuses.
4Life Affiliate Ranks
There are seven affiliate ranks within the 4Life compensation plan.
Along with their respective qualification criteria they are as follows:
- Associate – generate and maintain 100 PV a month and recruit/refer and maintain at least one Associate or preferred customer with a minimum 100 PV order
- Builder – maintain 100 PV a month and recruit/refer and maintain at least three Associates and/or preferred customers with a minimum 100 PV order
- Diamond – maintain 100 PV a month, recruit/refer and maintain at least six Associates and/or preferred customers with a minimum 100 PV order and generate at least 3000 GV a month across your first three unilevel team levels
- Presidential Diamond – maintain 100 PV a month, recruit/refer and maintain at least eight Associates and/or preferred customers with a minimum 100 PV order, have two unilevel legs with one Diamond or higher in each and generate at least 10,000 GV a month across your first three unilevel team levels
- International Diamond – maintain 100 PV a month, recruit/refer and maintain at least eight Associates and/or preferred customers with a minimum 100 PV order, have two unilevel legs with one Presidential Diamond or higher in each and generate at least 20,000 GV a month across your first three unilevel team levels
- Gold International Diamond – maintain 100 PV a month, recruit/refer and maintain at least nine Associates and/or preferred customers with a minimum 100 PV order, have three unilevel legs with one International Diamond or higher in each (each with 50,000+ GV a month under them), maintain at least 20,000 GV a month across your first three unilevel team levels and 250,000 GV in total monthly unilevel team volume
- Platinum International Diamond – maintain 100 PV a month, recruit/refer and maintain at least nine Associates and/or preferred customers with a minimum 100 PV order, have three unilevel legs with one Gold International Diamond or higher in each, maintain at least 20,000 GV a month across your first three unilevel team levels and 1,000,000 GV in total monthly unilevel team volume
PV stands for “Personal Volume” and is sales volume generated by retail customer orders and an affiliate’s own product purchases.
GV stands for “Group Volume” and is PV generated by an affiliate and their downline.
Note that unless explicitly stated, GV is counted across the entire unilevel team.
Preferred customers are typically retail customers on monthly autoship.
In 4Life however preferred customers are required to sign up as affiliates.
4Life affiliates earn retail commissions on products sold to retail customers.
Retail commissions are paid out as the difference between the wholesale and retail price of products ordered.
The first order placed by retail customers, preferred retail customers and recruited affiliates are paid out through Rapid Rewards.
Rapid Rewards pays a 25% commission to the referring/recruiting affiliate.
Upline commissions are paid according to rank:
- Associates receive 2% if they are the immediate upline (the affiliate who recruited the referring affiliate)
- Builders and Diamonds receive 2% if they are the immediate upline or 5% if they the third upline
Sales volume generated by second orders of retail customers, preferred customers and recruited affiliates are paid out via a unilevel compensation structure.
A unilevel compensation structure places an affiliate at the top of a unilevel team, with every personally recruited affiliate placed directly under them (level 1):
If any level 1 affiliates recruit new affiliates, they are 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 down a theoretical infinite number of levels.
4Life caps residual commission payments at three unilevel team levels.
Residual commission rates across these three levels are determined by rank:
- Associates earn 2% on level 1 (personally recruited affiliates) and 25% on level 2
- Builders and higher earn 2% on level 1, 25% on level 2 and 5% on level 3
Infinity Payout allows a 4Life affiliate to earn beyond the first three levels of their unilevel team.
Infinity Payout is calculated based on generations. 4Life define a generation within a unilevel team leg when a Diamond or higher ranked affiliate is found in the leg.
Once found, this affiliate caps off the first generation for that leg. The second generation begins immediately thereafter.
If a second Diamond or higher ranked affiliate is found deeper in the leg, the second generation is capped off and a third begins.
If no second Diamond or higher ranked affiliate exists in the leg, the second generations extends down the full depth of the leg.
Using this generational structure, Infinity Payout begins at the Diamond rank as follows:
- Diamonds earn 6% on one generation and pass up another 6% to the first upline Presidential Diamond or higher ranked affiliate
- Presidential Diamonds earn 12% on the first generation and 3% on the second and third
- International Diamonds earn 12% on the first generation, 3% on the second and third and 2% on the fourth and fifth
- Gold International Diamonds and Platinum International Diamonds earn 12% on the first generation, 3% on the second and third and 2% on the fourth to seventh
4Life affiliates at the Builder and higher rank on monthly autoship can qualify for the Builder Bonus.
The Builder Bonus is a tiered bonus, paid out based on the following criteria:
- $50 Builder Bonus – recruit/enroll and maintain three affiliates and/or preferred customers on minimum monthly 100 PV autoship and generate and maintain at least 600 GV a month
- $200 Builder Bonus – recruit/enroll and maintain three affiliates and/or preferred customers on a minimum monthly 100 PV autoship, or recruit and maintain three affiliates generating at least 600 GV a month
- $800 Builder Bonus – have nine affiliates on the second level of your unilevel team, each with a 100 PV autoship order and generating at least 600 PV a month
As long as qualification is maintained, 4Life affiliates receive the highest Builder Bonus tier they qualify for monthly.
International and Gold International affiliates receive a share in 2% of 4Life’s company-wide sales volume.
Platinum International Diamond affiliates receive a share in 1% of 4Life’s company-wide sales volume.
The 4Life compensation plan mentions Incentive Trips as follows;
In addition to the opportunity to earn a part-time or full-time
income, world-class incentive trips to exotic locations are a
key part of the recognition and rewards program at 4Life.
The company states that “less than 1% of 4Life distributors qualify for incentive trips” but doesn’t provide further details.
Basic 4Life affiliate membership is $25.
New affiliates can also sign up with an “enrollment pack” at additional cost.
Note that 4Life do not provide enrollment pack pricing on their website.
The 4Life online shop does have some packs in it ($138 to $700), but I’m not clear on whether these are enrollment packs or not.
It was until I was researching how much it costs to join 4Life as an affiliate (distributor) that I realized the company doesn’t have actual preferred customers.
This is taken from 4Life’s preferred customer FAQ:
How much does it cost to become a Preferred Customer?
All U.S. Preferred Customers are required to purchase an Enrollment Kit within the first month of enrollment.
Why should I buy an enrollment pack when I sign up?
Enrollment packs offer the best value on products and they include an Enrollment Kit, which is required to be an active distributor.
As above, 4Life preferred customers are required to purchase an enrollment kit. That purchase makes them affiliates and part of the compensation plan.
Whether a preferred customer recruits or not neither here nor there, as there’s no difference between a preferred customer and an affiliate who hasn’t recruited (i.e. they are one and the same).
This is a problem, as it sees 4Life cannibalize potential retail sales.
And the worst of it is there’s absolutely no reason to do so.
Charging preferred customers $25 does nothing but dissuade retail customers from signing up for autoship – which ultimately hurts sales.
Why wouldn’t a retail customer who’s satisfied with 4Life products not sign up for an autoship discount?
It also makes it difficult for prospective 4Life affiliates to ascertain whether their potential upline is retail or recruitment focused.
Ultimately the misclassification of autoship retail customers potentially drags 4Life into pyramid scheme territory.
If company-wide sales volume from preferred customers and recruited affiliates is greater than raw retail volume, 4Life would primarily being paying commissions on recruitment.
Again, no reason for it. Drop the preferred customer $25 signup fee and separate preferred customers from the compensation plan.
Note that recruitment isn’t a barrier from the compensation plan, as every new affiliate signs up with zero recruits.
For a company that’s been around as long as 4Life and otherwise has a straight forward compensation plan, I’d have thought this oversight would have long since been rectified.
Maybe it hasn’t been pointed out to them, who knows.
One other aspect of 4Life’s compensation plan I found interesting was the big upfront 25% commission.
After initial orders the 25% commission switches to level 2. I imagine this is a pretty strong motivator to encourage personally recruited affiliates to build their own downlines.
Probably one of the highest unilevel team commission rates I’ve seen, and a different take to the usual lower percentages we see across multiple levels.
The Infinity Payout will take up some of the slack, but otherwise you’re looking at a tight focus on your immediate team if you want to see initial results.
On the product side of things 4Life goes above and beyond your typical nutritional supplement MLM offering.
There’s a lot to choose from and market but be sure to check against local and online pricing.
Looking through 4Life’s products I didn’t see anything that screamed proprietary, so you should be able to compare to similar third-party offerings.
All in all considering the ease of dropping the preferred customer fee and properly separating them from the compensation plan, I’d be cautious about joining until 4Life has done so.
As I’ve stated multiple times, there’s really no excuse for it. Charging retail customers unnecessary fees makes no sense, when it is their business above all else you should be chasing.