Jeunesse Review: Answering the affiliate autoship question
Jeunesse launched in late 2009 and operate in the health and wellness MLM niche.
Based in the US state of Florida, co-founders Randy Ray (CEO) and Wendy Lewis (COO) head up Jeunesse’s executive team.
As per Ray’s Jeunesse corporate bio:
Randy has been involved with multi-level marketing for eighteen years, including co-owning MarketQ, Inc. with Wendy Lewis.
He has provided service and support to the industry with back office software, commission processing, and full customer service.
Some more information is provided in Wendy Lewis’ bio, but no MLM specifics:
Wendy and Randy started their multi-level marketing adventures eighteen years ago as distributors and then owners of MLM companies and support companies.
Under their visionary leadership, these companies have flourished. With offices and distribution centers operating worldwide and a network of more than 500,000 distributors in 215 countries and territories, they have paid out over $122.5 million in commissions.
Multi-lingual customer support, in-house shipping, on-staff professional software programmers, and a proprietary web-based Back Office system are only a few of the many examples of what they have accomplished.
Ray first appeared on BehindMLM has the CEO and owner of Global Telecom Connect.
Launched in 20Global Telecom Connect sees affiliates pay $179.90 or $299.90 when they sign up, with commissions paid when they recruit other affiliates who do the same.
Back in 2005 Ray and Lewis launched was Fuel Freedom International, now known as Forever Freedom.
Forever Freedom market ‘pills trade marked as MPG-CAPS, which are claimed to improve fuel economy, reduce emissions and increase engine power‘.
Despite BehindMLM having not formally reviewed Jeunesse, I’ve previously written about the company due to the controversy it attracts.
Jeunesse first appeared on BehindMLM courtesy of a lawsuit filed over a $90,000 secret affiliate deal.
Then President of Jeunesse, Darren Jensen, responded by accusing plaintiff Matthew Nestler of murder threats.
Jensen has since gone to become the CEO of LifeVantage, having left his position with Jeunesse in May.
Earlier this year, Jeunesse executed a takeover of a bankrupt Monavie. By way of rank purchasing, active Monavie affiliates have since been rolled into Jeunesse.
Last month Alex Morton signed up with Jeunesse, following a very public departure from Vemma.
A few weeks after Morton (a top-earner in Vemma) left the company, it was shut down by the FTC.
The regulatory agency contends Vemma is a $200 million plus illegal pyramid scheme, with the matter set to play out in court.
In the aftermath of the FTC Vemma shutdown, questions have been raised regarding similarities between Vemma and Jeunesse’s respective compensation plans.
Read on for a full review of the Jeunesse MLM business opportunity.
The Jeunesse Product Line
Jeunesse’s product lines span the personal care and wellness niches, with the following product lines listed on the Jeunesse website:
- Luminesce cellular rejuvenation serum ($134.95 for a 15ml bottle) – “this silky serum soothes and supports your skin with a unique formula containing the highest possible percentage of growth factor complex”
- Luminesce daily moisturizing complex ($69.95 for a 30ml bottle) – “this daily facial cream provides serious protection for your skin”
- Luminesce advanced night repair ($99.95 for a 30ml tub) – a “nightly cream” that “nourishes your skin”
- Luminesce essential body renewal ($59.59 for a 150ml tube) – “Your skin will love its antioxidants and human growth factors that revitalize your skin’s appearance, giving you a healthy and nourished look”
- Luminesce ultimate lifting masque ($69.95 for a 118ml tube) – a “unique formula” that provides “provide a gentle exfoliation, lifting away old skin to reveal your glowing complexion”
- Instantly Ageless ($74.95 for fifty 0.3ml sachets) – “lightweight and contains a skin-conditioning complex of minerals that evens skin tone”
- AM & PM Essentials ($139.95 for two bottles of 60 caplets) – “dietary supplements exclusively designed for your well-being”
- Reserve ($134.95 for a box of thirty 30ml pouches) – “a botanical blend of antioxidants that super-charge your internal systems”
- Finiti ($289.95 for two bottles of 60 capsules) – a “proprietary blend of natural ingredients known to safely lengthen short telomeres and maintain healthy stem cells”
- Zen Shape ($55.95 for a bottle of 120 capsules) – “fights sugar cravings while controlling hunger”
- Zen Fit ($48.95 for thirty single-serve packets) – “a rich source of amino acids, which aid with muscle recovery as well as with the digestion of proteins”
- Zen Pro ($69.95 for fourteen single-serve packets) – a “potent blend of whey, rice, and pea proteins to build the power you need to tone up”
The Jeunesse Compensation Plan
The Jeunesse compensation plan sees affiliate paid for making retail sales of Jeunesse products to retail customers. The MLM side of the business sees affiliates paid on the sales efforts of their recruited affiliate downline, with an emphasis on signing affiliates up on a monthly autoship order.
Jeunesse Affiliate Ranks
There are fifteen affiliate ranks within the Jeunesse compensation plan.
Along with their respective qualification criteria, they are as follows:
- Associate (no MLM) – sign up as a Jeunesse affiliate (minimum $49.95)
- Distributor – generate 100 PV within a 30 day period
- Executive – maintain 100 PV a month and recruit 2 Distributors
- Jade Executive – maintain 100 PV a month and recruit and maintain 4 Executives or 8 Distributors
- Pearl Executive – maintain 100 PV a month and recruit and maintain 8 Executives or 12 Distributors
- Sapphire Executive – maintain 100 PV a month and recruit and maintain 12 Executives
- Sapphire Elite – maintain 100 PV a month and Sapphire Executive qualification, in addition to earning at least 100 binary commissions the previous month (an ongoing requirement)
- Ruby Director – maintain 100 PV a month, have at least two Sapphire qualified legs and have earned at least 200 binary commissions the previous month
- Emerald Director – maintain 100 PV a month, have at least four Sapphire qualified legs and have earned at least 500 binary commissions the previous month
- Diamond Director – maintain 100 PV a month, have at least six Sapphire qualified legs and have earned at least 1000 binary commissions the previous month
- Double Diamond Director – maintain 100 PV a month, have at least two Diamond Director legs and have earned at least 1500 binary commissions the previous month
- Triple Diamond Director – maintain 100 PV a month, maintain a downline of at least 10,000 affiliates on autoship, have at least four Diamond legs and generate at least 2,000,000 GV a month in downline sales volume (no more than 500,000 GV from any one recruitment line)
- Presidential Diamond Director – maintain 100 PV a month, maintain a downline of at least 15,000 affiliates on autoship, have at least six Diamond legs and generate at least 3,000,000 GV a month in downline sales volume (no more than 500,000 GV from any one recruitment line)
- Imperial Diamond Director – maintain 100 PV a month, maintain a downline of at least 20,000 affiliates on autoship, have at least eight Diamond legs and generate at least 4,000,000 GV a month in downline sales volume (no more than 500,000 GV from any one recruitment leg)
Note that a “Sapphire qualified leg” is a recruitment leg that has one qualified Sapphire ranked affiliate in it.
A Diamond Director leg is a recruitment leg with a Diamond Director or higher ranked affiliate in it, with a Diamond leg simply requiring a Diamond Director or higher ranked affiliate in it.
Also note that Jeunesse affiliates can temporary buy affiliate ranks when they sign up as follows:
- Supreme Package ($499.95) – Pearl Executive rank for 60 days
- Jumbo Package ($799.95) – Sapphire Executive rank for 90 days
- Ambassador Package ($1099.95) – Sapphire Executive rank for 180 days
- 1 Year Jumbo Package ($1799.95) – Sapphire Executive rank for 90 days
True retail doesn’t seem to exist in Jeunesse, with affiliates instead encouraged to purchase product themselves and then resell it:
At any level in Jeunesse, Distributors are able to purchase products at the wholesale price for personal use.
As a Distributor, you are also able to resell Jeunesse products and earn a retail profit.
What happens after a Jeunesse affiliate purchases products is external to the Jeunesse compensation plan, with the above description not fitting that of bonafide retail sales in MLM.
That said, products are purchaseable from the Jeunesse website, which when used with a Jeunesse affiliate referral link would count as retail. Ditto retail customer orders placed through an affiliate directly with Jeunesse (not supplied by product resale).
On those sales, the Jeunesse compensation plan quotes a 20 to 45% retail commission.
Note that Jeunesse preferred customer orders count as retail commissions.
Preferred customers receive a 20% discount on the retail price of Jeunesse products, in exchange for signing up for a monthly autoship order.
Commissions paid on preferred customer orders are the difference between the price paid by the customer and the wholesale cost of the product(s) ordered.
A $25 commission is also paid out if a preferred customer refers two new preferred customers to Jeunesse. Note that this commission is paid out to the affiliate who signed up the preferred customer, not the customer who referred the two new customers.
Retail Commission Bonus
If a Jeunesse affiliate makes a sale to five retail or preferred customers, or they recruit five Jeunesse affiliates who purchase a Basic Product Package ($199.95) but have not yet recruited another affiliate (classified as wholesale customers in the Jeunesse compensation plan) in any given month, a 10% retail bonus commission is paid out.
If the number of sales is ten, a 10% bonus commission is paid out.
Note that the above qualification criteria is for US and Canada based affiliates only. Outside of the US and Canada the retail bonus qualification criteria revolves around autoship recruitment.
To qualify for a 5% bonus retail commission, a Jeunesse affiliate must recruit and maintain five autoship customers each month. These customers can be preferred retail customers, or affiliates on autoship who have not recruited another affiliate.
If the number of autoship customers is 10 for any given month, then the retail bonus is paid out at 10%.
When a Jeunesse affiliate recruits a new affiliate who signs up with a product package, the following recruitment commissions are paid out:
- Basic Package ($199.95) – $25 commission
- Supreme Package ($499.95) – $100 commission
- Jumbo Package ($799.95) – $200 commission
- 1-Year Jumbo Package ($1799.95) – $200 commission
- Ambassador Package ($1099.95) – $250 commission
If a newly recruited affiliate signs up and purchases products outside of the above packages, then the following commission percentages are paid out:
- 100 to 200 CV order = 10% commission
- 200 to 300 CV order = 12% commission
- 301 or more CV order = 15%
Note that CV stands for “Commissionable Volume”, a point value allocated to each Jeunesse product and affiliate product package for the purpose of commission calculation.
MLM Commission Qualification
In order to qualify for MLM commissions in Jeunesse, each affiliate must generate in sales or purchase 100 PV in products within a single month.
Thereafter in order to remain commission qualified, each affiliate must maintain 60 PV in product volume each month. This monthly requirement can be met either through sales to retail customers or via an affiliate’s own purchase of products.
Note that PV stands for “Personal Volume”, with it having the same point value and purpose as CV (explained above).
Residual commissions in Jeunesse are paid out weekly using a binary compensation structure.
A binary compensation structure places an affiliate at the top of a binary team, split into two sides (left and right):
Positions in the binary team are filled via direct and indirect recruitment of new affiliates, with positions filled left to right as the binary team expands.
Sales and affiliate purchase volume is tracked through both sides of the binary with commissions paid out using a 2:1 matching ratio.
When 600 GV of sales volume matches up with 300 GV on the other side (which side is which doesn’t matter), a $35 commission is paid out.
Note that every Jeunesse affiliate’s binary earnings are capped at 750 matches ($26,260) a week.
Leadership Matching Bonus
The Leadership Matching Bonus pays a percentage match on binary commissions earned by recruited affiliates, paid out down seven levels of recruitment.
How many levels an affiliate can earn on is determined by their Jeunesse affiliate rank as follows:
- Jade Executive – 20% match on level 1 (personally recruited affiliates)
- Pearl Executive – 20% match on level 1, 15% match on level 2
- Sapphire Executive and Sapphire Elite – 20% match on level 1, 15% match on level 2 and 10% match on level 3
- Ruby Director – 20% match on level 1, 15% match on level 2, 10% match on level 3 and 5% match on level 4
- Emerald Director – 20% match on level 1, 15% match on level 2, 10% match on level 3 and 5% match on levels 4 and 5
- Diamond Director – 20% match on level 1, 15% match on level 2, 10% match on level 3 and 5% match on levels 4 to 6
- Double Diamond Director – 20% match on level 1, 15% match on level 2, 10% match on level 3 and 5% match on levels 4 to 7
Diamond Bonus Pool
The Diamond Bonus Pool is made up of 3% of Jeunesse’s company-wide commissionable sales volume.
The pool is paid out per quarter, with affiliates able to qualify for a share of the pool by acquiring and maintaining ten retail, preferred or wholesale customers throughout each month of the quarter.
If the above qualification criteria is met and a Jeunesse affiliate is at the Diamond or higher rank, then shares in the pool are allocated as follows:
- qualifying as a Diamond Director (first time) = 1 share
- maintaining Diamond or higher qualification each month = 1 share per month an affiliate maintains Diamond or higher rank qualification
- a personally recruited Jeunesse affiliate qualifies at the Diamond rank (first time) = 1 share
- each 1000 binary commissions paid out in the quarter = 1 share
- (non-US and Canadian affiliates) recruit and maintain ten affiliates who are signed up on autoship = 1 share
Rank Achievement Bonus
Jeunesse pay the following cash bonuses when affiliate qualify at the Triple Diamond Director or higher rank:
- Triple Diamond Director – $100,000 bonus
- Presidential Diamond Director – $250,000 bonus paid over 12 months
- Imperial Diamond Director – $500,000 paid over 24 months
Jeunesse offer the following performance-based incentives to their affiliates:
- qualify as an Emerald Director for at least three months in the calendar year = a trip to “the luxurious Grand Wailea Resort in Hawaii for five days of fun in the sun”
- qualify as a Diamond Director for at least three months in the calendar year = an “annual six-day Diamond Discovery” held at “exclusive five-star resorts and experiencing some incredible adventures together”
According to the Jeunesse compensation plan, affiliates may only qualify once for the Emerald Director reward:
You may only participate in this experience the first year you meet the qualification criteria.
Basic affiliate membership with Jeunesse is $49.95 and then $19.95 annually.
Note that if a affiliate signs up for and maintains a minimum a minimum of 360 CV in autoship the previous year, the $19.95 annual affiliate fee is waived.
To give you an idea of how much 360 CV in autoship is, here’s an example of some Jeunesse autoship monthly orders:
- 1 bottle of Luminesce cellular rejuvenation serum, 1 box of Reserve gel packs, 1 set of AM & PM Essentials and 1 set of Finiti costs $299 and generates 200 CV
- 1 bottle of Luminesce cellular rejuvenation serum and 1 box of Reserve gel packs costs $167.90 and generates 120 CV
Single product orders of Jeunesse generate between 20 CV ($29.95) and 120 CV ($179.95).
When signing up, an affiliate can also choose to do so via a Product Package:
- Basic Package – $199.95
- Supreme Package – $499.95
- Jumbo Package – $799.95
- 1-Year Jumbo Package – $1799.95
- Ambassador Package – $1099.95
The primary difference between these packages is products bundled with them, as well as income potential through the Jeunesse compensation plan.
With a readily retailable product line, there is no question that Jeunesse as an opportunity is able to marketed to retail customers.
The question most of you are reading this review want answered is whether or not that’s actually happening.
Before we get into that, I have to point out that Jeunesse do make a fair effort to encourage retail sales. Affiliates who generate retail sales are rewarded with products and of course the commissions the sales generate.
The problem is the rest of the Jeunesse compensation plan departs from this focus, leading itself to a focus on affiliate recruitment and autoship.
This is most evident in the Jeunesse affiliate ranks, which start off with a 100 PV requirement that I imagine is universally qualified for by an affiliate’s own purchase of Jeunesse products. Recruitment then kicks in as well as meeting minimum downline rank requirements.
Then at the Triple Diamond Director rank, all of a sudden an affiliate needs 10,000 affiliates in their downline on monthly autoship.
Not as an optional method of meeting monthly sales volume quotas, but as a requirement in and of itself.
Think about that for a moment.
It’s not like Jeunesse affiliates are going to hit Triple Diamond Director and then switch their focus on recruiting affiliates on autoship. The 10,000 (later 20,000) autoship recruitment quota is built up from the ground throughout the rest of the compensation plan.
The retail incentives I mentioned earlier? Jeunesse affiliates need to be on monthly autoship to qualify for it. And if an Jeunesse affiliate maintains autoship, they don’t have to pay annual affiliate fees.
One thing I also noticed was the suspicious separate qualification criteria for the retail bonus and Diamond Bonus Pool.
Non US and Canadian affiliates can qualify for both solely based on their affiliate autoship recruitment efforts.
Why aren’t these affiliates subject to the same qualification criteria as US and Canadian affiliates?
In December 2013 Scott Lewis, Jeunesse’s Chief Visionary Officer, told Direct Selling News that ‘Asia Pacific is about 80 percent of Jeunesse’s revenue‘.
Direct Selling News observed this was
unusual for a company started in the United States.
In fact, of Jeunesse Global’s top 10 markets with respect to revenue, the U.S. marketplace ranks eighth.
How much revenue does Asia generate for Jeunesse in 2015? No idea, but I don’t imagine it’s changed too much.
So what’s the significance?
Well autoship recruitment schemes in the US (and Canada) are known as product-based pyramid schemes.
In Asia, regulation of such schemes is decades behind. It’s a market where the old fallacy of “we have products, how can we be a pyramid scheme???” is still trotted out.
The multi-million dollar question here is how much of Jeunesse’s Asian revenue is sourced from affiliates purchasing product on autoship or otherwise. And what percentage of revenue was from genuine retail sales orders.
On a related note, I couldn’t see an Income Disclosure Statement anywhere on the Jeunesse website.
That Jeunesse’s compensation plan is customized to encourage autoship affiliate recruitment outside of the US and Canada speaks volumes as to what the focus of affiliates in those markets is.
That said, it’s not like affiliate autoship chain recruitment isn’t entirely possible in the US and Canada – it’s just that it won’t qualify you for certain bonuses.
Under Jeunesse’s current compensation plan, it’s entirely possible to self-fund commission qualification and then do nothing more than recruit other affiliates who sign up for autoship.
Hell, with 10,000 minimum autoship affiliates required for the beginning of Jeunesse’s top-tier affiliate ranks, it’s pretty obvious that this is the core of the business (what’s the bet existing Triple Diamond Director affiliates have nowhere near 10,000 retail customers throughout their downlines?).
Another indication as to the core driver of revenue within Jeunesse is the recent flocking of Vemma affiliates to the business.
As mentioned in the introduction of this review, Vemma, who operate a similar binary-based affiliate autoship orientated compensation plan, were recently accused of being a product-based pyramid scheme by the FTC.
I’m really not seeing much difference between Vemma and Jeunesse at the backend here, albeit Vemma was slightly more aggressive in their autoship recruitment efforts.
Nonetheless, the reason so many ex-Vemma affiliates are excited about building their new Jeunesse businesses, is because they can carry on doing what they were doing in Vemma.
That is, paying for autoship to qualify for commissions each month and then focusing on recruiting other affiliates who do the same.
A secondary issues in the Jeunesse compensation plan include the purchase of affiliate ranks.
Affiliate ranks within an MLM compensation plan should be obtained via sales performance. In Jeunesse however it’s entirely possible to almost $2000 and buy a rank.
Granted the rank is temporary (unless requirement are met within the set time-period, which can be as long as six month), but ranks are being sold for cash nonetheless.
That recruitment commissions are paid out on these purchases is also cause for concern. By all means pay commissions through the binary on product purchases made by recruited affiliates, but to pay a separate commission out?
That just further encourages affiliates to focus on recruiting package affiliates (who sign up on autoship).
And I’m not making this up, most of the affiliate marketing material I went over for this review (in addition to information on the Jeunesse corporate website) emphasized that paying $1099.95 represented the “first best recommended” option new affiliates sign up with.
And that’s not just lip-service. With marketing material like that, what do you think new Jeunesse affiliates are going to be advised to sign up with?
And it pays their way into the compensation plan ranks to boot!
On the solution side of things, I’ve already mentioned paying affiliate purchase of products through the binary only gets rid of the recruitment commission concerns.
How do you fix the complete lack of incentive to market Jeunesse products at a retail level (beyond qualifying to receive a few tubes of product each month)?
Simple. Add in retail sales volume qualifiers to binary commissions. Implement them incrementally, so that those earning binary commissions are required to be making retail sales each month.
I mean anyone making $26,260 a week should at least be personally generating a minimum $1000 a week in retail sales.
If not, what on Earth are they earning on? (hint hint the FTC and Vemma hint hint)