PM International Review: Nutrition, personal care & autoship recruitment
PM International began in 1993 as P.M. Cosmetics. Today PM International is an MLM company that operates in the nutritional supplement and personal care MLM niches.
The company is based out of Luxembourg (previously Germany), and claims to be ‘one of Europe’s largest direct marketing companies in the areas of health, wellness and beauty‘.
On its website, PM International claims to have “around 150,000 successful distributors worldwide”.
Heading up PM International is founder and CEO, Rolf Sorg (right).
As per Sorg’s PM International corporate bio;
Rolf Sorg started off as a car mechanic. He was fascinated by direct marketing and during his first three years sponsored an average of at least 10 business partners a month.
I wasn’t able to ascertain Sorg’s MLM history prior to founding PM International.
In 2013 Sorg won a lawsuit against Google. Sorg claimed Google was associating his name with “fraud” and “Scientology” via the search engine’s auto-complete feature.
When asked by Bild how he felt about winning the case, Sorg replied;
Good! The judgment protects me and my name. I have nothing to do with fraud and Scientology.
Read on for a full review of the PM International MLM business opportunity.
PM International Products
Through their FitLine and BeautyLine brands, PM International market a range of nutritional supplement and personal care products.
The highly-quality [sic] nutritional supplements in our FitLine series include a unique Nutritional Transport Concept (NTC).
NTC brings nutrients to where they are needed, exactly when they are needed, to cellular level.
- Basics – “with the best from fruits, vegetables and cereals, fibers, live lactic bacteria and enzymes as well as valuable Indian Ayurvedic herbal extracts from, the digestive system is cared for in multiple ways”, retails at $69 for a 600 g box
- Activize Oxyplus – “supplies the active substances which our body needs to produce energy”, retails at $37 for a 174 g box
- Power Cocktail – “supports optimum nutrient intake” (vitamin B2, C, E and selenium), retails at $104 for a 600 g box
- Restorate – contains “10 highly nutritious minerals for better regeneration”, retails at $23 for a 200 g box
- ProShape All-in-1 – daily meal replacement shake (vanilla and chocolate), retails at $34 for a 420 g canister
- ProShape Amino – ” a dietary supplement intended to meet the expenditure of intense muscular effort, especially for athletes”, retails at $62 for a 115 g canister
- CC-Cel Capsules – “for tauter skin against Cellulite”, retails at $64 for a bottle of 60 capsules
- CC-Cel Lotion – “figure forming lotion (that) softens the appearance of cellulite”, retails at $32 for a 125 ml tube
- Q10 – “for energy production in the cells”, retails at $47 for a 30 ml bottle
- Heart Duo – “Omega 3 from high-quality fish oil”, retails at $74 for a 50 ml bottle
- Omega 3 – “for healthy cardiovascular functions”, retails at $38 for a 50 ml bottle
- Fitness Drink – “supports optimum nutrient intake” of magnesium and B-vitamins, retails at $48 for a 450 g box of single-serve sachets
- Herbalism Tea – ” high-quality herbs in a unique mixture”, retails at $15 for a 100 g box
- D-Drink – daily supplement drink, retails at $37 for a box of fourteen single-serve sachets
PM International claim “many top athletes all over the world” use their FitLine supplements.
In the BeautyLine series, we offer you a line of high-quality cosmetics that are perfectly matched up to one another.
Natural ingredients ensure highest possible dermatological tolerance.
Gentle methods of manufacturing guarantee maximum purity and a continuously high level of quality.
- Ultimate Young – “lines are immediately reduced and the skin is visibly and noticeably toned”, retails at $117 for a 15 ml bottle
- 4ever – “a rich 24h facial care for mornings and nights to support your skin’s youthfulness”, retails at $66 for a 50 ml tub
- Cleansing Tonic – “closes the skin’s protective acidic layer preparing it in the best possible way for the care which follows”, retails at $28 for a 200 ml bottle
- Cleansing Milk – “frees the pores of make-up, dead skin cells and surplus grease”, retails at $28 for a 200 ml bottle
In addition to be sold separately, various PM International products are also grouped in complimentary combo packs.
The PM International Compensation Plan
PM International do not provide a copy of their compensation plan on the company website.
The following analysis has been taken from official PM International compensation material sourced elsewhere.
PM International Affiliate Ranks
There are twelve ranks within the PM International compensation plan.
Along with their respective qualification criteria, they are as follows:
- Team Partner – sign up as a PM International affiliate
- Manager – generate 1500 GV a month
- Sales Manager – generate 2500 GV a month and personally recruit and maintain one Manager or higher ranked affiliate
- Marketing Manager – generate 5000 GV a month and personally recruit and maintain two Manager or higher ranked affiliates
- International Marketing Manager – generate 10,000 GV a month and personally recruit and maintain three Manager or higher ranked affiliates
- Vice President – generate 25,000 GV a month and personally recruit and maintain three Sales Manager or higher ranked affiliates
- Executive Vice President – generate 50,000 GV a month and personally recruit and maintain at least three Marketing Manager or higher ranked affiliates
- President’s Team – generate 100,000 GV a month and personally recruit and maintain at least five Marketing Manager or higher ranked affiliates
- Silver President’s Team – generate 200,000 GV a month and personally recruit and maintain at least three Vice President or higher ranked affiliates
- Gold President’s Team – generate 400,000 GV a month and personally recruit and maintain at least three Executive Vice President or higher ranked affiliates
- Platinum President’s Team – generate 600,000 GV a month and personally recruit and maintain at least four Executive Vice President or higher ranked affiliates
- Champion’s League – generate 1,000,000 GV a month and personally recruiut and maintain at least five President’s Team or higher ranked affiliates
GV stands for “Group Volume” and is sales volume generated by a PM International affiliate and their downline.
PM International affiliates are paid a commission when they sell products to retail customers.
The retail commission paid out is the difference between the wholesale and retail price of products ordered.
If a PM International affiliate has a standing 100 PV or more monthly autoship order, they receive an additional 10% retail commission bonus.
Manager and higher ranked affiliates on 100 PV monthly autoship or more receive a 40% retail commission.
Top Retailer Bonus
PM International affiliates who generate 2500 GV a month receive a 3% bonus on their monthly GV production.
Affiliates who generate 5000 or more GV receive a 5% Top Retailer Bonus.
PM International affiliates are paid a $60 commission when they recruit affiliates who sign up and purchase a Pool Pack ($481 or $500).
Manager and higher ranked affiliates earn a $120 recruitment commission.
The $60 difference when downline Team Partner recruit new Pool Pack affiliates is paid to the first upline Manager or higher ranked affiliate.
Effectively Manager ranked affiliates receive a $60 override on downline affiliates who recruit Pool Pack affiliates up until a Manager or higher ranked affiliate is found in each unilevel team leg.
PM International pay residual commissions 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.
Residual commissions are paid via generations in each unilevel leg.
PM International define a generation when a Manager or higher ranked affiliate is found in a unilevel leg.
Note that generations are defined in each unilevel leg independently of the other legs.
When a Manager or higher ranked affiliate is found in a unilevel leg, the first generation is capped off and the second begins.
If no other Manager or higher ranked affiliates are found in the unilevel leg, the second generation extends down the full width of the leg.
Using this generational structure, PM International pay residual commissions as a percentage of sales volume generated in unilevel leg generations as follows:
- Managers who have personally recruited one Manager ranked affiliate receive 5% on the first generation and 3% on the second and third
- Managers who have personally recruited at least five Manager ranked affiliates receive 5% on the first generation, 3% on the second to fourth, 5% on the fifth and sixth and 2% on every generation thereafter
- Sales Managers receive 7% on the first generation, 5% on the second to fourth generations and 7% on the fifth and sixth and 2% on every generation thereafter
- Marketing Manager – 10% on the first generation, 8% on the second to fourth generations, 10% on the fifth and sixth and 5% on every generation thereafter
- International Marketing Manager – 14% on the first generation, 12% on the second to fourth generations, 14% on the fifth and sixth and 9% on every generation thereafter
- Vice President – 17% on the first generation, 15.5% on the second to fourth generations, 17.5% on the fifth and sixth and 12.5% on every generation thereafter
- Executive Vice President – 20.5% on the first generation, 18.5% on the second to fourth generations, 20.5% on the fifth and sixth and 15.5% on every generation thereafter
- President’s Team – 23.5% on the first generation, 21.5% on the second to fourth generations, 23.5% on the fifth and sixth and 18.5% on every generation thereafter
- Silver President’s Team – 24.5% on the first generation, 22.5% on the second to fourth generations, 24.5% on the fifth and sixth and 19.5% on every generation thereafter
- Gold President’s Team – 25% on the first generation, 22% on the second to fourth generations, 25% on the fifth and sixth and 20% on every generation thereafter
- Platinum President’s Team – 25.5% on the first generation, 23.5% on the second to fourth generations, 25.5% on the fifth and sixth and 20.5% on every generation thereafter
- Champion’s League – 26% on the first generation, 24% on the second to fourth generations, 26% on the fifth and sixth and 21% on every generation thereafter
Note that these are differential bonuses, meaning the difference is paid out between higher and lower ranked downline affiliates.
The figures above are the maximum earned commissions at each rank, assuming a generation is defined by a Manager ranked affiliate.
In the event of higher ranked affiliates defining unilevel leg generations, the difference in percentage between their rank and the affiliate receiving a residual commission is paid out.
Rank Achievement Bonus
PM International reward affiliates who qualify at specific ranks within a specified timeframe.
- qualify as an International Marketing Manager within a month of signing up as a PM International affiliate and receive $500
- qualify as a Vice President within three months of signing up and receive $1250
- qualify as an Executive Vice President within six months of signing up and receive $2500
- qualify as a President’s Team within twelve months of signing up and receive $5000
PM International reward Vice President and higher ranked affiliates with a monthly Car Bonus.
- Vice Presidents receive $222
- Executive Vice Presidents receive $333
- Executive Vice Presidents generating 75,000 GV a month or more receive $444
- President’s Team affiliates generating 150,000 GV a month or more receive $555
- Silver President’s Team affiliates generating 300,000 GV a month or more receive $1111
- Platinum President’s Team (800,000 GV or more) and Champion’s League affiliates receive $2222
PM International compensation plan material mentions a “pension plan”:
A pension plan has been developed for leaders worldwide with one of the world’s largest and most reliable insurers.
This is virtually unheard of in the Direct Sales industry, PM-International contributes up to 50% to your pension account.
Specific details are not provided.
US & World Tours
International Marketing Manager and higher ranked PM International affiliates qualify for all expenses paid trips around the US.
Vice President and higher affiliates qualify for an all expenses paid world tour.
Presidents Team Recognition
When a PM International affiliate qualifies at the President’s Team rank,
Rolf & Vicki Sorg will send you and your spouse a personal invitation to a join them for first-class weekend at their private villa in St. Tropez, France.
Joining PM International
PM International affiliate membership is tied to the purchase of a $99 “Demo Starter Pack”.
This kit contains a Demo Bag, sport bottle, 2 FitLine glasses, a spoon, and the two top-selling PM products to be used for doing demonstrations.
A PM International affiliate can also sign up with an additional Pool Pack.
Pool Packs come with additional PM International products and cost
- $481 for an Optimal Combo Pack or
- $500 for a 6 FitLine Optimal Set Pack
The combination of nutritional supplements and personal care products is a bit of an MLM cliché. PM International however launched in the 1990s though, so I’m willing to give them a pass.
That said the products seem a bit uninspiring. Other than the “Nutritional Transport Concept”, which to be honest sounds completely gimmicky, I’m not seeing anything that differentiates PM International from your typical health store offering.
Definitely compare PM International’s offering in your country with what’s available locally.
With respect to the compensation plan, PM International has a distinct slant towards affiliate autoship recruitment.
Before we get into that though, I want to point out that the PM International’s residual commissions built entirely around generations was pretty interesting.
Typically we see straight residuals combined with a generational bonus, but here it’s the primary method residual commissions are paid out by. Not sure if that’s better or worse (understanding it is certainly more complicated), but definitely a compensation aspect that differentiates PM International from a regular unilevel generation plan.
PM International’s affiliate sign up process is easy enough, however problems arise upon consideration of the Pool Pack.
Various marketing materials I read claimed that a Pool Pack purchase was required to receive Pool Pack commissions.
Regardless, at the end of the day affiliates are getting to paid to recruit, as Pool Packs (officially referred to as Premium Pack (Pool Sets)) are not retailable.
An official PM International compensation presentation specifically clarifies that signing up with a Pool Pack is “the faster way” to qualify at the Manager rank:
Under no circumstances should an affiliate of any MLM company be able to purchase their way to a rank (and/or recruit others who do the same), “faster” than achieving the same rank over generating retail sales.
In fact why this is even a thing in PM International I have no idea. Affiliate purchases should be excluded from rank qualification entirely, with only volume generated via retail sales counted.
Further incentivizing affiliate autoship is a 10% retail bonus. This makes no sense (other than to encourage affiliate autoship), as how much an affiliate spends each month has no correlation to their retail sales.
And then there’s PM Office Gold, which PM International claims is a tool affiliates can use to “manage” their PM business.
With a recurring order of at least 100 PV, I will receive the PM Office Gold for free! PM Office Gold is your personalized online tool to manage my PM business.
Yup, PM Office Gold also requires autoship, otherwise affiliates are slugged with a $5 a month fee.
In an official PM International marketing document published by their PM International India Pvt. Ltd subsidiary, a “road to success” is laid out as follows:
- Register – Every successful journey begins with the first step…. Use the products… Order a preferential order and your own Auto Shipment.
- Position – Experience results and share your own experiences with others. Secure yourself up to 6 simultaneous incomes as a Manager.
- Duplicate – Thrill and register 5 Key Persons on Auto Shipment. Be a role model for others…
According to PM international, to experience success all an affiliate needs to do is sign up, get on autoship and recruit others who do the same. Nowhere in the document are retail sales mentioned.
With the above in mind, later in the same document PM International India Pvt. Ltd’s then has the gall to claim:
Distributors freely stipulate their own place, type, time and amount of activity, on their own responsibility and without any instructions.
Naturally I’m making a big deal about this because affiliate autoship recruitment is a key component of MLM companies not in compliance.
As we saw in the FTC cases against Vemma and Herbalife, an MLM company without significant retail activity is a pyramid scheme.
The counter to this is that affiliate autoship is entirely optional, which is true. Given the strong financial incentive to sign up for a 100 PV monthly autoship order, this is obviously a pseudo-compliance justification.
The good news is establishing whether you’re about to enter an affiliate autoship recruitment chain is straight-forward.
Each PM International affiliate above the Team Partner rank is required to generate monthly sales volume.
What you want to find out is how much your potential upline is generating themselves (GV is group volume remember), and how much of that personal volume is attributable to retail sales (ask for proof).
If an affiliate’s own volume contribution to their monthly PV is that of their autoship, it’s a given those in their downline are doing the same.
A business with little to no retail taking place is specifically what you want to avoid in MLM, so based on what you find consider your next steps carefully.
Personally I think PM International launched in a time where *winkwink nudgenudge* retail (or a complete lack thereof) hadn’t been tackled by regulators.
That MLM business model has since attracted regulatory attention (Herbalife, Vemma etc.) but, for reasons known only to them, PM International has thus far failed to remain current with compliance.
Until PM International management rectify these glaring compliance issues, approach with caution.
Current video from the German ZDF (Second German Television).
PM International was selected as an example for the dubious working methods in network marketing in this documentary. In the picture CEO Rolf Sorg: