SeneGence Review: Recruit affiliates, they buy, you earn (pyramid?)
SeneGence are based out California and operate in the cosmetics MLM niche. The company was founded in 1998 by Joni Rogers-Kante.
As per Rogers-Kante’s SeneGence corporate bio;
Joni began her career at 16 years of age, working for the Sav-On Corporation.
By the age of 23, she was the assistant manager of the top store in the Sav-On chain. Having learned from high level management, buyers and operations experts, she knew the corporate structure was not for her.
Armed with a vision and her business education, she pursued her dream of being an entrepreneur.
Joni was introduced to a direct selling cosmetic company and recognized the incredible opportunity the industry offered to women.
Joni’s 13 year direct selling career produced jewelry, cars, awards, trips and recognition yet, more importantly, a burning desire to create a plan for the establishment of her own company which we now know as SeneGence.
Prior to founding SeneGence Rogers-Kante was an affiliate with Mary Kay.
Read on for a full review of the SeneGence MLM opportunity.
SeneGence market a range of products in the skin care, anti-aging, face, eyes, lips and body cosmetic categories.
The SeneDerm range is available in dry, normal to dry, normal to oily and acne varities.
- SeneDerm Cleanser – “designed and formulated to clean, tone, and exfoliate in one easy step”, retails at $30 for a 4 fl oz tube
- SeneDerm DayTime Moisturizer – “daily moisturizer that provides environmental protection in a unique formula”, retails at $50 for a 1.66 fl oz tube
- SeneDerm Evening Moisturizer – “allows skin the opportunity to repair, re-moisturize, and rejuvenate itself while you sleep”, retails at $60 for a 1.66 fl oz tub
- EyeCreme – “works to improve and protect the condition of skin around the eye”, retails at $50 for a 0.44 fl oz tub
- EyeLuminator – “made to help make your skin more beautiful around the eye area”, retails at $55 for a 0.44 fl oz tub
- Anti-wrinkle treatment – “clinically proven to visibly reduce the depth and shadows of light to medium size wrinkles, helping to make skin’s texture smoother and younger looking”, retails at $65 for a 0.5 fl oz bottle
- Nangai Oil – “intensely moisturize and smooth the driest skin with natural blend of exotic Nangai nut oil and anti-aging ingredients”, retails at $45 for a 0.5 fl oz bottle
- Polishing Exfoliator – “polish away rough, dry skin and impurities with a unique, gentle scrub containing naturally exfoliating Vanuatu volcanic ash”, retails at $50 for a 2 fl oz tub
- Facial Resurfacer – “buff away rough, dry skin with this powerful exfoliator that contains grains of natural Vanuatu Volcanic Ash”, retails at $50 for a 2 fl oz tub
- Spot-On Blemish & Acne Treatment – “use this targeted acne treatment to help skin become clearer and smoother, reduce redness and inflammation, while helping to fight signs of aging”, retails at $50 for a 0.5 fl oz tube
- Climate Control – “an anti-aging moisturizer for sensitive and dry skin types made up of a proprietary formulation”, retails at $60 for a 2 oz bottle
- SeneSerum-C – “100% natural blend of the most advanced anti-aging ingredients”, retails at $65 for a 0.5 fl oz bottle
- Collagen Night Pak – ” anti-aging sleep treatment product that harnesses the power of 100% natural marine collagen, revitalizing caffeine, and SeneGence proprietary anti-aging complex, SenePlex Complex+”, retails at $85 for a 1 fl oz bottle
- Corrective Concealers – “get the red out and blur a multitude of imperfections”, retails at $25 for a 0.25 fl oz tube
- BlushSense – “provides the perfect touch of color in a long-lasting, creamy blush”, retails at $30 or a 0.25 fl oz tube
- Translucid Loose Power & Bronzer – a “finely-milled, light powder with breathable finish in an all-in-one dispensing brush”, retails at $50 for a 0.2 oz bottle
- MakeSense Foundation – “a combination of cosmetics with skin care to give you an impeccably flawless finish”, retails at $50 for a 1 fl oz. bottle
- Advanced Anti-Aging Foundation – “this powerful, creamy foundation is packed full of protective ingredients that help prevent damage and work to shield your skin from environmental hazards like pollution, and protect your skin from the sun’s rays”, retails at $60 for a 1 fl oz bottle
- Fooops! SenseCosmetics Dual Phase Color Remover – “remove long-lasting SenseCosmetics quickly and easily”, retails at $20 for a 1.7 fl oz bottle
- SenseCosmetics Brush Cleaner – “contains a mixture of scientific and naturally cleansing ingredients to thoroughly clean your artistry tools”, retails at $20 for a 6 fl oz bottle
- MakeSense Silk – “use alone for naturally beautiful skin, or use as primer before MakeSense Foundation for a perfect finish”, retails at $60 for a 0.5 oz bottle
- MakeSense Color Correcting Tinted Moisturizer – “enjoy sheer coverage, color correction benefits and skin protection”, retails at $45 for a 1.4 oz bottle
- BrowSense – “perfect the shape of your brows with this unique, waterproof liquid brow color”, retails at $20 for a 0.125 fl oz bottle
- EyeSense – “transform your eye makeup look by effortlessly creating crisp, flawless eyeliner shapes that last all day”, retails at $25 for a 0.125 fl oz bottle
- ShadowSense – “experience long-lasting, rich eye shadow shades “, retails at $22 for a 0.2 fl oz bottle
- LashSense – “brush on richly pigmented color to your lashes”, retails at $25 for a 0.2 oz bottle
- UnderSense – “before applying LashSense mascara, coat your lashes with this effective lengthener and builder”, retails at $20 for a 0.2 fl oz bottle
- LashSense With Undersense – “waterproof LashSense Mascara on one side, and lengthening and building UnderSense on the other”, retails at $20 for a 0.25 fl oz bottle
- Lash Extend – “apply LashExtend to the base of the lashes and watch your lashes extend in length”, retails at $50 for a 0.125 fl oz bottle
- Dark Circle Under Eye Treatment – an “effective blend of ingredients to help reduce the appearance of darkening and tighten loose skin in the sensitive area under the eyes”, retails at $50 for a 0.5 fl oz bottle
- LinerSense – “line your lips with your choice of shade, for a more defined and finished look”, retails at $22 for a 0.125 fl oz bottle
- LipSense – “LipSense is versatile in that you can mix shades to create a number of effects”, retails at $25 for a 0.25 fl oz bottle
- LipSense Gloss – “dehydrated and damaged lips are no match for the moisturizing ability of Shea Butter, a natural ingredient used as the base for the many textures of LipSense Glosses”, retails at $20 for a 0.25 fl oz bottle
- Lip Balm – “enjoy long-lasting nourishment and protection for dry, rough lips”, retails at $20 for a 0.25 fl oz tube
- Ooops! Remover – “specially designed to erase those mistakes that can occur when applying LipSense lip color”, retails at $10 for a 0.25 fl oz bottle
- Lip Volumizer – “plump lips from the inside out with the most advanced and natural technologies designed to support lasting results of full, pouty lips”, retails at $50 for a 0.2 fl oz bottle
- Body Wash – “this gentle, rich foaming gel works to cleanse and moisturize the entire body”, retails at $20 for an 8 fl oz bottle
- Body Scrub – a “gentl(e) but highly effective body exfoliator”, retails at $20 for a 4 fl oz bottle
- Body Lotion – a “rich cream delivers intense, advanced moisturization and anti-aging benefits”, retails at $45 for a 6 fl oz bottle
- Hand Cream – “this rich hand moisturizer is packed with emollient rich Shea Butter to soothe and botanicals to protect skin while leaving no greasy feeling behind”, retails at $20 for a 2.66 fl oz bottle
- Detoxifying & Moisturizing Mask – “gently removes impurities from pores to reveal smoother and softer-looking skin”, retails at $50 for a 4 oz tub
- Shea Butter Body Cream – “the natural healing properties of Shea Butter allow you to experience immediate dry skin relief”, retails at $30 for a 4 fl oz tub
- Self-Tanning Bronzing Coconut Milk – “get a gorgeous, natural-looking golden tan with this unique spritz-on self-tanner”, retails at $50 for a 4 fl oz bottle
SeneGence products are also available in a variety of “collections”.
SeneGence claim their products
- are not tested on animals
- use no animal bi-products
- use naturally reoccurring natural ingredients
- are formulated with FDA approved ingredients
- are made in a ‘Pharmaceutical Grade’ rated manufacturing facility
- are made in the United States for stringent quality control and
- are Gluten and GMO free (most products)
The Lipsense product line also contains no wax or lead.
The SeneGence Compensation Plan
The SeneGence compensation plan sees affiliates required to purchase product each month to qualify for commissions.
Commission payments are largely focused on recruiting other affiliates who do the same.
To initially qualify for commissions a SeneGence affiliate must purchase 300 PV worth of product.
To qualify for commissions on an ongoing monthly basis, a SeneGence affiliate must purchase 100 PV of product each month.
SeneGence affiliates earn a commission when they sell products to retail customers.
The SeneGence compensation plan doesn’t disclose how much of a retail commission is paid out per order.
SeneGence 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.
SeneGence cap payable unilevel levels at five. Commissions are paid out as a percentage of the first 100 PV purchased by recruited affiliates in the unilevel team.
How many levels deep a SeneGence affiliate can earn is determined by how much they spend on products each month:
- purchase 100 PV worth of products and earn 10% on level 1 (personally recruited affiliates), 20% on level 2 and 30% on level 3
- purchase 200 PV worth of products and earn 10% on level 1, 20% on level 2, 30% on level 3 and 5% on level 4
- purchase 200 PV and recruit at least five affiliates who are commission qualified and earn 10% on level 1, 20% on level 2, 30% on level 3 and 5% on levels 4 and 5
To earn residually on sales volume of 100 PV or more generated by unilevel team affiliates, a SeneGence affiliate must meet the following monthly qualification criteria:
- purchase 100 PV worth of products and earn 10% on level 1 (personally recruited affiliates)
- purchase 300 PV or more and earn 10% on level 1 and 6% on level 2
- purchase 300 PV or more and recruit at least five affiliates who each purchase 300 PV or more and earn 10% on level 1, 6% on level 2 and 4% on level 3
- purchase 300 PV or more, recruit five affiliates who purchase 300 PV or more, who have recruited five affiliates who purchase 300 PV or more, who have recruited five affiliates who purchase 300 PV or more, who have also recruited five affiliates who have purchased 300 PV or more (three levels of recruitment), and earn 10% on level 1, 6% on level 2, 4% on level 3 and 3% on level 4
- purchase 300 PV or more and have a downline who have each recruited five affiliates who have purchased 300 PV or more each down five levels of recruitment, and earn 10% on level 1, 6% on level 2, 4% on level 3, 3% on level 4 and 2% on level 5
SeneGence affiliate membership is $55 plus purchase of a “Distributor Business Kit”:
- LIPS Kit – $95 (not available at time of publication)
- Glamour Demo Kit – $295
In a 2011 interview with Passports From the Heart, Rogers-Kante claimed she
always knew that (she) wanted to start a direct sales cosmetics company that sold products that REALLY WORK and offer a career path that really paid women for helping to build a new brand.
When asked “What sets your products apart from the others on the market?”, Rogers-Kante replied;
We offer products that really work and live up to their claims.
Whether this is a dig at Mary Kay’s cosmetic line is unclear. At least as far as products go though, SeneGence’s founding was obviously heavily inspired by Joni Rogers-Kante’s time at Mary Kay.
At the core of the SeneGence business model is a requirement that affiliates purchase product and recruit five others who do the same.
The upper-tier of the compensation plan pushes that purchase requirement to 300 PV (approx $600) down five levels of recruitment, who have all done the same.
That is you recruit five affiliates (5), who each recruit five affiliates (25), who each recruit five affiliates (125), who each recruit five affiliates (625), who each recruit five affiliates (3125) – and you all purchase at least 300 PV of product a month.
Typically in MLM we see PV defined as a combination of an affiliate’s purchases and retail orders. In the SeneGence compensation plan however, repeatedly the monthly PV requirements are defined as an affiliate order.
Forcing affiliates to purchase product in MLM is “pay to play” and a major compliance issue.
In the recent FTC shutdown of Vemma, affiliates purchasing products to qualify for commissions, paid out when recruited affiliates do the same, was at the core of pyramid scheme allegations.
In SeneGence there might also be securities issues at play, as the company openly refers to signing up as an affiliate as an “investment”.
Join SeneGence with just a $55 investment.
Invest $55, continue to invest your required PV each month and get paid when you recruit others who do the same.
The flip side of this is SeneGence’s primary recommended marketing method, the “Glamour Demo”.
A Glamour Demo is another name for the party plan, which sees affiliates host parties they invite potential retail customers to.
As an incentive to drive retail sales, the more retail orders they take at these parties the higher the discount on their own product orders.
On top of this the more an affiliate spends each month the higher their personal discount:
- 0 to 99.5 PV = 20% discount
- 100 to 299.5 PV = 30% discount
- 300 to 749.5 PV = 40% discount
- 750 or more PV = 50% discount
The problem however is that this is all affiliate purchases.
As far as I can see SeneGence do nothing to discourage inventory loading, that is affiliates buying products to qualify for commissions.
In fact the way the SeneGence compensation plan is set up, it is mandatory that affiliates purchase product to earn commissions – whether they intend to consume/resell the products or not.
As per the FTC this is strongly indicative of a product-based pyramid scheme.
The good news is as a prospective SeneGence affiliate, with a bit of poking around you’ll quickly be able to confirm this for yourself.
Your potential upline (the person trying to recruit you) will be able to tell you what their retail PV volume is for the past three months, versus that of their own product order.
Make sure you’re being provided with true retail, with orders proven by documented receipts.
If the affiliate’s own order eclipses their retail volume on average from month to month, this is no different to how Vemma was operating.
In MLM you have to be selling products to retail customers and this has to be the primary method of commission generation.
Purchasing products to qualify for commissions on the promise you may or may not make retail sales isn’t good enough.
That might have flown back in 1998 but MLM regulation has since evolved. To the detriment of their affiliates, SeneGence still appear to be stuck in the past.