APLGO Review: Ageo’s pay to play pyramid expands into US
A reader wrote in a few weeks ago requesting a review update for APLGO.
BehindMLM reviewed APLGO in 2017 as “Ageo Product Line“. APLGO existed only as the company’s online storefront.
Since then Ageo Product Line seems to have adopted APLGO to represent the entire business.
Despite operating through a US shell company in 2017, APLGO recently announced it was launching in the US.
APLGO USA’s official Facebook page was created on March 10th, 2020.
Supposedly accompanying this announcement was compensation updates. Today we revisit APLGO for an updated review.
As far as I can ascertain APLGO is still a Russian MLM company. Ageo Product Line founder Sergey Sergeevich Kulikov (right) remains APLGO’s President.
Alexa currently splits the US (45%) and Russia (41%), as primary sources to APLGO’s website.
APLGO in the US is run through “APLGO US”, with a corporate address in Florida now provided on the company’s website.
Further research reveals this address actually belongs to Florida Registered Agent, an incorporation services provider.
This suggests APLGO still has no physical business operations in the US.
We’re not sure why APLGO changed shell incorporation from Delaware to Florida.
One positive is that instead of referencing Cyprus as a governing law jurisdiction, APLGO’s policies and procedures now references ‘the State of Florida and the exclusive jurisdiction of the United States courts.’
Without a physical presence in the US though, take that with a grain of salt.
APLGO’s flagship product line remains its “Acumullit SA” drops.
Seeing as our Ageo Product Line referenced euro pricing, we’ve provided the current lineup below with US pricing.
- ALT – “help(s) you quickly cope with allergy symptoms without causing harm to your body”, retails at $75 a packet
- GRW – “helps strengthen the immune system and permanently preserve youth and energy”, retails at $50 a packet
- GTS – “a natural complex of B vitamins, which in combination with coenzyme Q10 improves metabolic processes in the body and accelerates decomposition of carbohydrates to release energy”, retails at $50 a packet
- MLS – “help(s) to restore and maintain health and get rid of parasites”, retails at $75 a packet
- NRM – “blocks the development of diabetes, and reduces the risk of the disease tenfold”, retails at $50 a packet
- PWR Apricot and Lemon (Man and Woman) – “a unique duo product “for her” and “for him” that helps improve the condition of the genitourinary and reproductive systems as well as preserve activity and spontaneity of intimate life”, retails at $50 a packet
- RLX – “will not only calm you down, give you confidence and help you to rally your thoughts, but will also saturate your body with essential vitamins and minerals”, retails at $50 a packet
- SLD – “can be essential for people who suffer from pain and low mobility (and) slow(s) down the process of joint destruction”, retails at $50 a packet
- STP – “quickly and effectively helps get rid of headaches, toothaches, muscle and bone pain, without any harmful side effects”, retails at $50 a packet
- HRT – “helps keep the heart healthy for many years”, retails at $75 a packet
- ICE – “carefully developed ingredients are the most effective in treating such delicate problems as heartburn, poisoning, nausea and bloating”, retails at $75 a packet
- HPR – “to keep your liver healthy”, retails at $75 EUR a packet
- BRN – “has essential nutrients for supporting already established cognitive clarity for learning, thinking, managing mental stress, and alertness”, retails at $100 a packet
- BTY – “provides nourishing phytonutrients and other nutrient factors that can support healthful radiance, maintain healthy aging, and reveal one’s
intrinsic attractiveness”, retails at $100 a packet
Acumullit SA drops are sold in packets of thirty drops each.
On addition to the drops APLGO also markets a beauty range.
In our original Ageo Product Line review, we noted a much larger product range. This appears to have since been either stripped down company-wide, or reduced for APLGO’s US offering.
APLGO’s Compensation Plan
APLGO do not provide a copy of their compensation plan on their website.
The following analysis is based on official APLGO compensation documents, believed to be up to date as of August 2020.
APLGO Affiliate Ranks
There are sixteen affiliate ranks within APLGO’s compensation plan documentation.
Along with their respective qualification criteria, they are as follows:
- Associate – generate 40 PV a month
- 2 Star Associate – generate 40 PV a month and recruit two affiliates who also purchase at least 40 PV a month
- Manager – generate 40 PV a month and 250 GV in monthly binary payleg volume
- Senior Manager – generate 40 PV a month and 500 GV in monthly binary payleg volume
- Director – generate 60 PV a month and 1000 GV in monthly binary payleg volume
- Senior Director – generate 80 PV a month and 2500 GV in monthly binary payleg volume
- Managing Director – generate 100 PV a month, 5000 GV in monthly binary payleg volume and recruit and maintain 2 Directors, or sign up with a Super 5 Kit, or sell $3000 worth of Go-Kits
- Corporate Director – generate 140 PV a month, 12,500 GV in monthly binary payleg volume and recruit and maintain four Managing Directors
- National Director – generate 200 PV a month, 50,000 GV in monthly binary payleg volume and recruit and maintain two Corporate Directors
- International Director – generate 250 PV a month, 75,000 GV in monthly binary payleg volume and recruit and maintain four Corporate Directors
- Premier Director – generate 300 PV a month, 100,000 GV in monthly binary payleg volume and recruit and maintain six Corporate Directors
- Ambassador – not disclosed
- Gold Ambassador – not disclosed
- Platinum Ambassador – not disclosed
- Diamond Ambassador – not disclosed
- Crown Ambassador – not disclosed
PV stands for “Personal Volume” and is sales volume generated by retail customer orders and an affiliate’s own purchases.
Note that APLGO only counts 50% of a retail customer order volume towards PV.
GV stands for “Group Volume” and is PV generated by an affiliate and their downline.
APLGO affiliates earn a 30% commission on orders placed by retail customers.
Preferred retail customer orders generate a 10% commission.
A 10% First Order Bonus is also paid out on a preferred retail customer’s first order.
Note that APLGO has two preferred customer classes; regular and Prime.
Regular preferred customers sign up for autoship and pay full retail price.
Prime customers pay a six-month recurring $25 fee and receive a discount of 20% to 50% on their orders.
Prime preferred customers are able to purchase APLGO Go-Kits, which correspond to the following commission payouts:
- Prime customer purchase of a PR, Detox or Vigor kit = $10
- Prime customer purchase of an Everyday, Creative or Vibrant Youth kit = $20
- Prime customer purchase of a Family or Wild kit = $60
- Prime customer purchase of a Presentation or President’s kit = $105
- Prime customer purchase of a Fantastic kit = $360
- Prime customer purchase of a Super 5 kit = $600
APLGO affiliates are paid on recruitment of affiliates who purchase a Go-Kit:
- recruit an affiliate who purchases a PR, Detox or Vigor kit and receive $10
- recruit an affiliate who purchases an Everyday, Creative or Vibrant Youth kit and receive $20
- recruit an affiliate who purchases a Family or Wild kit and receive $60
- recruit an affiliate who purchases a Presentation or President’s kit and receive $105
- recruit an affiliate who purchases a Fantastic kit and receive $360
- recruit an affiliate who purchases a Super 5 kit and receive $600
Residual Recruitment Commissions
APLGO affiliates earn residual commissions through a hybrid binary compensation structure.
A standard binary compensation structure places an affiliate at the top of a binary team, split into two sides (left and right):
The first level of the binary team houses two positions. The second level of the binary team is generated by splitting these first two positions into another two positions each (4 positions).
Subsequent levels of the binary team are generated as required, with each new level housing twice as many positions as the previous level.
Positions in the binary team are filled via direct and indirect recruitment of affiliates. Note there is no limit to how deep a binary team can grow.
APLGO’s hybrid binary start off with two legs but is expandable to nine legs. Additional legs are opened up based on rank.
The leg with the highest volume is referred to as the “power leg”. Affiliates earn a percentage of sales volume generated on their “pay legs” (every leg except the highest volume one).
Sales volume is generated across the binary through Go-Kit purchases as follows:
- PR, Detox and Vigor kits generate 40 PV
- Everyday, Creative and Vibrant Youth kits generate 80 PV
- Family and Wild kits generate 160 PV
- Presentation and President’s kits generate 240 PV
- Fantastic kits generate 720 PV
- Super 5 kits generate 1200 PV
Residual recruitment commission rates are determined by the most costly Go-Kit an APLGO affiliate has purchased:
- purchase a PR, Detox or Vigor kit and earn a 10% residual recruitment commission rate
- purchase an Everyday, Creative or Vibrant Youth kit and earn a 15% residual recruitment commission rate
- purchase a Family or Wild kit and earn a 20% residual recruitment commission rate
- purchase a Presentation or President’s kit and earn a 25% residual recruitment commission rate
- purchase a Fantastic or Super 5 kit and earn a 30% residual recruitment commission rate
Residual recruitment commissions are paid weekly. APLGO however caps residual recruitment commissions at $10,000 a month per binary pay leg.
Note it is unclear whether Prime customer Go-Kit purchase volume is paid out through the hybrid binary team.
Matching Recruitment Commission Matching Bonus
APLGO pays a Matching Bonus on recruitment commissions earned by personally recruited affiliates.
The Matching Bonus is paid 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.
APLGO caps the Matching Bonus at seven unilevel team levels.
How many unilevel team levels the Matching Bonus is paid out on is determined by rank and personal recruitment efforts:
- Managers earn a 20% match on level 1 (personally recruited affiliates)
- Senior Managers earn a 20% match on level 1 and 10% on level 2 (two recruits required to earn on two levels)
- Directors earn a 20% match on level 1, 10% on level 2 and 5% on level 3 (three recruits required to earn on three levels)
- Senior Directors earn a 20% match on level 1, 10% on level 2 and 5% on levels 3 and 4 (four recruits required to earn on four levels)
- Managing Directors earn a 20% match on level 1, 10% on level 2 and 5% on levels 3 to 5 (five recruits required to earn on five levels)
- Corporate Directors earn a 20% match on level 1, 10% on level 2, 5% on levels 3 to 5 and 3% on level 6 (six recruits required to earn on six levels)
- National and Premier Directors earn a 20% match on level 1, 5% on levels 3 to 5, 3% on level 6 and 2% on level 7 (seven recruits required to earn on seven levels)
Autoship commissions are paid on all retail and recruited affiliate monthly autoship orders.
APLGO pays autoship commissions via the same unilevel team as the Matching Recruitment Commissions Bonus (see above).
Autoship commissions are paid at 10% down six levels of recruitment.
The Leadership Bonus functions as an infinity bonus, in that it allows an APLGO affiliate to earn beyond six unilevel team levels for autoship orders.
- National Directors earn 1% on autoship orders placed from level 7 onwards
- International Directors earn 1.5% on autoship orders placed from level 7 onwards
- Premier Directors earn 2.5% on autoship orders placed from level 7 onwards
Note that the Leadership Bonus is calculated monthly but paid quarterly.
Rank qualification must be maintained for the entire quarterly pay-period.
A.L.E. Monthly Bonuses
APLGO’s compensation details three A.L.E. Monthly Bonuses:
- Activity – qualify as a 2 Star Associate for twelve consecutive months and receive $10 a month for twelve consecutive months
- Lifestyle – qualify as a 2 Star Associate for twelve consecutive months and receive a 5% bonus on earned residual recruitment commissions for those twelve months (capped at $300 a month and paid monthly over the next twelve consecutive months)
- Entertainment – National Directors receive $1000 a month, International Directors receive $2000 a month and Premier Directors receive $3000 a month (ranks qualification must be achieved and held for two consecutive months before the Entertainment bonus is paid out)
Required ranks must be maintained to receive A.L.E. Bonuses.
APLGO solicits lets affiliates invest €250,000 EUR in countries the company doesn’t officially operate in yet.
Investment is made on the promise of a 4% to 6% monthly return on sales volume generated in that country.
Luxury Bonuses are awarded to Ambassador and higher ranked affiliates.
Specifics of the Luxury Bonus are not disclosed.
APLGO affiliate membership costs $25 plus the purchase of a “Go-Kit”:
- PR, Detox and Vigor kits – $100
- Everyday, Creative and Vibrant Youth kits – $200
- Family and Wild kits – $400
- Presentation and President’s kits – $600
- Fantastic kit – $1800
- Super 5 kit – $3000
The primary difference between the kits is bundled products and income potential.
Whilst trying to obtain a copy of APLGO’s compensation plan I came across a corporate blog entry, which stated;
To make it more convenient for Associates, we recently updated the plan. We’ve simplified it and made it easier to understand—even for those who have never worked in direct selling before.
To download the Russian version of the Compensation Plan, visit our website or access our cloud services.
We’re currently working on translating the Plan into a number of languages to make it more accessible and available for Associates all around the world.
Two things; firstly six months on there is absolutely no excuse for APLGO failing to provide a copy of their compensation plan on their website.
Secondly, our original Ageo Products Line review concluded the company was a pay to play pyramid scheme.
With the mention of compensation updates, I was looking forward to seeing significant change.
Unfortunately APLGO is the same pyramid scheme we reviewed back in 2017.
APLGO’s compensation changes are mostly superficial.
Take the Go-Kits for example. All APLGO have done is change from compensation themed names (Promoter, Builder, Leader, Diamond etc.), to product themed names.
The price-points and pay to play benefits attached to the kits is the same.
To qualify for commissions APLGO affiliates are forced to purchase product each month. The bulk of the compensation plan focuses on recruitment of autoship affiliates, which in practice is what makes APLGO a pyramid scheme.
The more you pay for a Go-Kit, the higher your associated commission rates – which is the same pay to play nonsense we called out in 2017.
It also boggles the mind why APLGO charges $50 a year for preferred customer discount pricing.
Standard MLM industry practice is to encourage retail sales by providing retail customers with a discount just for having an autoship order.
As it stands APLGO’s compensation plan is in violation of the FTC Act.
Something completely new from 2017 is securities fraud.
Soliciting investments of €200,000 EUR or more, on the promise of a 5% to 6% monthly return on generated sales, is a passive income opportunity.
APLGO is not registered with the SEC and therefore cannot legally offer securities to US residents. Outside of the US securities fraud is just as illegal.
Russia might be a regulatory wild-west but if you want to “launch” in the US beyond a Delaware shell company, you need to abide by US law.
Under US law, statements like this from APLGO are patently false;
It is forbidden to exaggerate the useful properties of the Products, while retreating from real facts, mislead people with unreliable advertising – otherwise the Distributor itself is legally responsible for possible consequences.
APLGO affiliates breaking the law, by promoting a pyramid scheme, engaging in securities fraud or otherwise, are as liable as the company itself.
Should the FTC or SEC opt to investigate APLGO and proceed with a legal complaint, both the company and Sergey Kulikov will find themselves liable.
“It was our affiliates, we didn’t do it!” does not work in the US.
The onus is on an MLM company to run a compensation plan that doesn’t translate into an illegal business model.
Even with compensation updates APLGO has failed in this regard.
Seeing as APLGO’s core business model hasn’t fundamentally changed since 2017, I’ll finish up with a quote from our original review;
In MLM earning potential should always be a result of increased sales to retail customers. Not how much an affiliate themselves spends.
As with any pyramid scheme, APL’s growth is tied to affiliate recruitment.
This isn’t a sustainable business model for obvious reasons, with the whole company collapsing if recruitment slows down.
The unsustainable math behind a pyramid scheme guarantees that the majority of participants will ultimately lose money.
Pending meaningful changes to APLGO’s compensation plan, take its US launch for what it is; expansion of an exhausted pyramid into a new market.