bUnited Review: $10 per recruit ecommerce platform
bUnited operates in the ecommerce MLM niche and launched around five years ago.
The company’s website domain (“bunited.com”) was first registered in 2014. Promotion of the company however began on or around mid 2015.
After nothing much happening since then, measurable interest in the company started earlier this year.
At present Alexa pegs Brazil (10%), Russia (8%) and the US (8%) as the top three sources of traffic to bUnited’s website.
On the management side of things bUnited is headed up by co-founders Jim Jorgensen, Ozan Taner and Johannes Pohle.
Jorgensen serves as Chairman of bUnited. Jorgensen is notable enough to have his own Wikipedia entry, on which he’s described as a serial entrepreneur.
He has started over 25 enterprises since getting his MBA at Stanford Graduate School of Business at the age of 24.
Jorgensen’s industry selection for these new enterprises has been wide, running from retail to manufacturing, from Internet to mail order, and from oil exploration to insurance.
Some of the entities remained small, while two of them reached market caps in excess of $1 billion.
Jorgensen and Pohle’s business relationship dates back to at least 1999 through AllAdvantage.
On his LinkedIn profile Ozan Taner cites himself as founder and CEO of Moema Espresso Republic.
Moema Espresso Republic is purportedly a “leading importer of Brazilian roasted gourmet espresso/coffee”.
Read on for a full review of the bUnited MLM opportunity.
bUnited has no retailable products or services, with affiliates only able to market bUnited affiliate membership itself.
The bUnited Compensation Plan
bUnited are cagey about the specifics of their compensation plan.
bUnited’s terms and conditions states that ‘referrals are limited to 5 degrees of separation‘.
This is tracked 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.
According to bUnited’s terms and conditions, affiliates
are able to receive three basic kinds of benefits from bUnited.
1) You will be offered by bUnited partner entities (which will offer products and services to bUnited Members at reduced prices as well as special services).
These benefits You will accrue when You decide to take advantage of them during the time period they are offered.
2) You will also cause global benefits through our Global Initiatives.
3) You may receive benefits from bUnited if You decide to participate in bUnited’s Get Paid to Unite Service.
No further information about partner entities or global benefits are provided.
bUnited’s Get Paid to Unite are recruitment commissions, for which the company provides a commission calculator for on their website.
By default the calculator inputs six recruited affiliates who will each recruit at least four affiliates each.
As above, this generates potential earnings of $20,460.
When I changed the calculator to ten recruits who each recruit ten, it calculated potential earnings of $1.1 million dollars.
Supposedly this is based on bUnited paying “ten dollars for each person” recruited, down five levels of unilevel team recruitment.
bUnited affiliate membership is free.
According to bUnited’s website;
You reserve your earnings now. You withdraw your earnings over time.
Some people will be able to withdraw some earnings within 60 days.
Most people will be able to withdraw some earnings later in 2019, and continue to get paid until they have received the full amount – it could take a couple of years.
With no payment collected from affiliates, naturally there’s a question mark over where bUnited source commission revenue.
Withdrawing earnings is based on when bUnited gets paid by companies giving discounts to bUnited members.
This will vary by what country you are in, how fast the membership grows there, and the speed at which companies sign up.
As with any online service, if you’re not paying for it you are the product.
Before bUnited, Jim Jorgensen, Johannes Pohle launched AllAdvantage.
The idea certainly was revolutionary at the time, and I believe even I had an account at some stage.
Seriously, back in the late 90s AllAdvantage was all over the internet.
You downloaded and installed a software-based ad bar on your desktop, ran it and got paid.
On top of that you got paid to recruit new AllAdvantage members, which saw the company’s membership numbers explode.
Two years in however and AllAdvantage imploded. I’m going off memory here but I remember advertising commissions tanking long before the company shut down.
Although we didn’t have a word for it back then, AllAdvantage and the associated spam turned into a meme.
Fast forward to 2015, and Jorgensen and Pohle are trying something similar with bUnited.
Instead of advertising though, this time it’s ecommerce.
The internet has matured in leaps and bounds since 1999 and AllAdvantage.
Promising to pay people $10 per affiliate recruited under them, even over “a couple of years”, is stretching probability pretty thin.
I assume the idea is to collect commissions from companies on bUnited purchases, and use those funds to meet the $10 member bounty.
As far as bUnited’s liability goes, they have to pay a maximum $50 on each affiliate recruited ($10 multiplied by five unilevel team levels per affiliate) – on top of their own operational costs.
Right now, bUnited’s partner companies like Vodafone are paying Google, Facebook and others billions of dollars in advertising to find customers.
At bUnited, YOU get that money. Companies pay us, and we pay you.
The bottom line is that while bUnited itself doesn’t charge fees, members have to spend at partnered companies or nobody gets paid.
In that sense for all the talk about “our planet becom(ing) more fair and sustainable”, bUnited is just a glorified ecommerce platform with cashback.
The problem is they’re not upfront about that, and instead lead with a potentially misleading commissions calculator.
Although bUnited might seem like a pyramid scheme, as long as they don’t charge affiliates they’re not.
Where the company might run into problems though is represented income potential.
Even with the “few years” disclaimer, if the majority of bUnited affiliates earn nowhere near the advertised $10 per affiliate recruited, the FTC could go after them for misleading income potential claims.
Seeing as the company has been around since 2015, by now they should have historical data on who has earned what. Better yet, that information should be made available to existing and prospective bUnited affiliates.
I couldn’t see it anywhere on their site though, so I think it’s a safe assumption that in general the numbers aren’t anywhere near $10 per recruit.
If you’ve been approached to join bUnited, a good starting point would be to ask your potential upline how many people they’ve recruited. Then followup with how much they’ve made on each recruit.
If you can’t get a clear answer with documented evidence, assume it’s peanuts.
Four years is a long time on the internet. Fair enough it doesn’t hurt to try a business idea, but if you can’t make it work over four years – chances are high the model itself is flawed.
I think that pretty much sums up bUnited. You’re being sold on the potential, and because it doesn’t cost anything the “no risk” factor comes into play for marketing.
Remember though, the money has to come from somewhere. And if you’re not interested in buying from bUnited’s corporate partners, what are the chances those you recruit aren’t either?
Approach with caution.