Truvy Review: No retail customer differentiation
Truvy began as TruVision Health, a Utah based MLM company launched in 2014.
Initially heading up TruVision Health were co-founders Boyd Wathen and David Brown.
The two are credited as the creator of Plexus’ established “pink drink” product, Slim.
The pair had a falling out with Plexus, which initiated TruVision Health’s launch.
Rather than provide corporate and management information, Truvy’s “about us” section of their website is a marketing pitch.
I had to run a web search to get to Truvy’s “meet the team” website page. I went back and checked Truvy’s homepage, and as far as I can tell this page isn’t linked.
As per the information provided, Truvy was co-founded by David Brown and Shawn Gibson. Gibson is also credited as a TruVision Health co-founder.
Since launch, TruVision Health has had two run-ins with the FDA.
The first was in September 2015 and pertained to the use of illegal ingredients in TruVision Health’s products.
In November 2017, the FDA sent TruVision Health a manufacturing violations warning letter.
Following an earlier inspection in May, the FDA found
serious violations of FDA’s Current Good Manufacturing Practice (CGMP) in Manufacturing, Packaging, Labeling, or Holding Operations for Dietary Supplements.
These violations cause your dietary supplement products to be adulterated within the meaning of … the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act … in that the products have been prepared, packed, or held under conditions that do not meet CGMP requirements for dietary supplements.
Further, a review of the product labels collected during the inspection, and a review of your website, identified serious violations of the Act and applicable regulations.
As I understand it there hasn’t been any followup action, meaning TruVision remedied the FDA’s findings.
As to why TruVision Health recently rebranded to Truvy, a May 20th press-release states;
This is a much needed “makeover” for the future of Truvy. The name Truvy retains the beloved “Tru” part of the previous brand, but is softened, and shortened with the added “vy” (meaning to compete).
It’s softer, hipper and a whole lot easier to remember than TruVision Health.
Read on for a full review of Truvy’s MLM opportunity.
While Truvy has a robust product range, the company fails to differentiate retail customers from recruited affiliates.
How does my account get upgraded to an Associate?
Anytime you enroll someone or someone in your downline places an order your account will be automatically upgraded to an Associate and eligible to earn commissions and bonuses.
As per the above, taken from Truvy’s compensation plan, everyone who signs up for a Truvy account is an affiliate (more on this in the conclusion section below).
Truvy markets a range of products spanning weight loss and general wellness.
The company’s flagship weight loss roduct shares the same name as the company.
Tru is our secret to supporting blood chemistry.
It’s our famous truFIX formula enhanced with 100% more Green Coffee Bean Extract and formulated using plant-based ingredients including Alpha Lipoic Acid (ALA), Magnesium, Raspberry Ketones, and Cinnamon.
Tru supports all systems of the body and makes maintaining your general health easier than ever!
Vy (pronounced vee) is a powerhouse product packed with ingredients that can make you feel more naturally energized, optimize body fat and suppress your appetite without feeling starved.
Truvy products are designed to amplify and support a healthy lifestyle.
Truvy retails at $112 for a twin-box of 60 Tru and Vy capsules.
Other products in Truvy’s weight loss and general wellness ranges include:
- truFix – weight management that “helps you maintain optimal blood chemistry”, retails at $42.95 for a box of 60 capsules or $60 for a pouch of thirty single-serve drink sachets
- truControl – weight loss supplement “formulated with the best naturally sourced ingredients like green coffee bean extract and vitamins and minerals to help support metabolism and manage cravings”, retails at $61.25 for a box of 60 capsules or thirty single-serve drink sachets
- rePlace (brownie mix and vanilla bean)- “vegan meal replacement”, retails at $43.75 for a box of 15 pouches
- truSlumber – “supports healthy natural sleep”, retails at $35.95 for a box of sixty capsules
- truSlumber Gummy – “can be taken during the day to aid in feelings of calmness and focus or at night to help with a good night’s rest”, retails at $30 for a bottle of sixty gummies
- VitaFix Gummy – “aid in the support of your health and energy”, retails at $30 for a bottle of sixty gummies
- H&H Super Drink (elderberry, grape, pink grapefruit and watermelon) – “hydrates your body (and) also helps you maintain a healthy heart”, retails at $49.95 for a box of thirty single-serve drink sachets
- reNU – “designed to support the detoxification of the body, all while helping maintain a healthy digestive tract”, retails at $27.50 for a box of thirty capsules
- Vibrant – CBD patch that provides “emotional support”, retails at $93.75 for a box of 30 patches
- Balance – “created to support the body in balancing and metabolizing the minerals that we consume”, retails at $34.80 for a box of 60 capsules
- Harmony Patch – “wild yam extract patches … designed with proprietary patch technology for optimal female balance”, retails at $49 for a box of 24 patches
- MSM – Organic sulfur supplement for joint health, retails at $23.75 for a bottle of 120 capsules or $40 for a 20 oz. tub
- Women’s and Men’s Complete – “women’s/men’s multivitamin”, retails at $41.25 for a bottle of 90 softgel capsules
- Pycnogenol – “a powerful antioxidant that can help support overall cell health, reduce temporary muscle soreness due to vigorous exercise, as well as support the cardiovascular system”, retails at $42.50 for a bottle of 60 capsules
- Omega 3 – “supports heart health”, retails at $25 for a bottle of 100 softgel capsules
- Ubiquinol – contains CoQ10, a “fat-soluble compound involved in the production of energy with the body’s cells”, retails at $55 for a bottle of 60 softgel capsules
- Protein Cakes (blueberry cheesecake and toasted s’mores) – “resh baked protein cakes”, retails at $16.74 for a five-pack
- Protein Popcorn (salty & sweet and cheddar) – “made with whey protein isolate and has 2.5x the protein and half the carbs compared to other leading brands”, retails at $17.94 for a 10g five-pack
- truMend – “balm that contains a powerful combination of natural ingredients for the skin”, retails at $3 for travel size or $6 for large
- Clearstick – “a convenient personal nasal inhaler, infused with our CLEAR Diffuser Blend of essential oils”, retails at $5
Truvy also markets a range of essential oils under “By Nature” branding.
The company’s products are available either individually or in numerous bundle packs.
Truvy’s Compensation Plan
Truvy’s compensation plan pays affiliates on sales to recruited affiliates.
Residual commissions are paid out through a unilevel team, with additional rank-based bonuses on offer.
Truvy Affiliate Ranks
There are eleven affiliate ranks within Truvy’s compensation structure.
- Associate – sign up as a Truvy affiliate and maintain 100 PV a month
- Managing Associate – maintain 100 PV a month, recruit and maintain two Associates and have at least five affiliates in your downline
- Senior Associate – maintain 100 PV a month, recruit and maintain three Associates and have at least thirty affiliates in your downline
- 1 Star Director – maintain 100 PV a month, recruit and maintain four Associates and have at least ninety affiliates in your downline
- 2 Star Director – maintain 100 PV a month, recruit and maintain five Associates and have at least two hundred and fifty affiliates in your downline (min twenty-five outside of the two largest unilevel team legs)
- 3 Star Director – maintain 100 PV a month, maintain five personally recruited Associates and have at least five hundred affiliates in your downline (min fifty outside of the two largest unilevel team legs)
- 4 Star Director – maintain 100 PV a month, maintain five personally recruited Associates and have at least one thousand affiliates in your downline (min two hundred outside of the two largest unilevel team legs)
- 5 Star Director – maintain 100 PV a month, recruit and maintain six Associates and have at least two thousand affiliates in your downline (min four hundred outside of the two largest unilevel team legs)
- 6 Star Director – maintain 100 PV a month, maintain six personally recruited Associates and have at least four thousand affiliates in your downline (min eight hundred outside of the two largest unilevel team legs)
- 7 Star Director – maintain 100 PV a month, maintain six personally recruited Associates and have at least eight thousand affiliates in your downline (min one thousand six hundred outside of the two largest unilevel team legs)
- 8 Star Director – maintain 100 PV a month, maintain six personally recruited Associates and have at least sixteen thousand affiliates in your downline (min three thousand two hundred outside of the two largest unilevel team legs)
PV stands for “Personal Volume” and is sales volume generated by sales to personally recruited affiliates and an affiliate’s own orders.
Required affiliate numbers are counted down eight unilevel team levels. And affiliates who haven’t qualified as an Associate can still count towards requirements provided they are generating at least 75 PV a month.
Truvy pays commissions on the sale of products to retail customers.
Retail commissions are paid as the difference between the wholesale and retail price of products ordered.
First Order Bonus
The First Order Bonus is a residual commission paid on the first order placed by a newly recruited affiliate or retail customer.
Note that an order has to generate 75 PV or higher to count. Additionally the affiliate making the sale has to have generated 100 PV either in the month the order was placed or the previous month.
The First Order Bonus is paid out 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.
The First Order Bonus is capped down four levels of recruitment:
- level 1 (personally referred retail customers and recruited affiliates) – 20%
- level 2 – 10%
- levels 3 and 4 – 5%
Truvy pays residual commissions using the same unilevel compensation structure used to pay the First Order Bonus (see above).
Residual commissions are paid on sales volume generated across eight unilevel team levels as follows:
- Associates earn 7% on level 1 (personally recruited affiliates)
- Managing Associates earn 7% on levels 1 and 2 and 6% on level 3
- Senior Associates earn 7% on levels 1 and 2 and 6% on levels 3 and 4
- 1 Star Directors earn 7% on levels 1 and 2, 6% on levels 3 and 4 and 5% on level 5
- 2 Star Directors earn 7% on levels 1 and 2, 6% on levels 3 and 4 and 5% on levels 5 and 6
- 3 Star Directors earn 7% on levels 1 and 2, 6% on levels 3 and 4 and 5% on levels 5 to 7
- 4 Star Directors and higher earn 7% on levels 1 and 2, 6% on levels 3 and 4 and 5% on levels 5 to 8
All Truvy affiliates qualify for a 10% Matching Bonus on residual commissions earned by personally recruited affiliates.
The Go Bonus rewards Truvy affiliates for rank qualifying within a set time period.
- qualify as a Managing Associate in your first month and receive $50
- qualify as a Senior Associate in your second month and receive $150
- qualify as a 1 Star Director in your third month and receive $300
Rank Achievement Bonus
Truvy rewards affiliates for qualifying at Senior Associate and higher with the following Rank Achievement Bonuses:
- qualify as a Senior Associate and receive a luggage tag
- qualify as a 1 Star Director and receive a FitBit
- qualify as a 2 Star Director and receive an external battery charger
- qualify as a 3 Star Director and receive a “FOCUS trip”
- qualify as a 4 Star Director and receive a “founder signed guitar”
- qualify as a 5 Star Director and receive a “truStory video”
- qualify as a 6 Star Director and receive “branded luggage and passport tag”
- qualify as a 7 Star Director and receive a “custom truAdventure”
Note that there isn’t a listed Rank Achievement Bonus for 8 Star Director.
Global Bonus Pool
Truvy takes 3% of company-wide sales volume and places it into the Global Bonus Pool.
The Global Bonus Pool is shared monthly by 5 Star Director and higher ranked affiliates.
- 5 Star Directors receive one share
- 6 Star Directors receive two shares
- 7 Star Directors receive three shares
- 8 Star Directors receive four shares
Eight Plus Star Pool
Truvy takes 1% of company-wide sales volume and places it into the Eight Plus Star Pool.
The Eight Plus Star Pool is shared monthly by 8 Star Director ranked affiliates.
Everyone who makes a Truvy product purchase is counted as an affiliate.
Affiliates qualify for commissions by maintaining 100 PV a month and recruiting at least one affiliate who places a product order.
Being a recently rebooted MLM company, it is disappointing to see Truvy take the “affiliates are retail customers” pseudo-compliance route.
Both Vemma and Herbalife didn’t push the matter in court, instead opting to settle their respective pyramid scheme cases.
What it boils down to is an MLM company with no retail customers being a pyramid scheme (all sales and commissions are tied to recruitment).
Legitimate MLM companies separate retail customers from affiliates with clear differentiation, meaning under no circumstances can retail customers qualify for commissions.
In Truvy everyone is an affiliate just one recruit away from qualifying for commissions.
This is not adequate differentiation between retail customers and affiliates.
Truvy could easily remedy this by introducing an actual retail customer class. In light of the widely covered Herbalife and Vemma FTC cases, I don’t know why they haven’t done so.
Given Truvy are effectively operating a pyramid scheme as per the FTC’s guidelines, further analysis of the company feels moot. Nonetheless we’ll continue.
In going over Truvy’s products, I get the flagship weight loss stuff but a lot of the others seem overly niche.
Take for example Balance, which is ‘created to support the body in balancing and metabolizing the minerals that we consume’.
Does the average consumer have a problem balancing and metabolizing minerals.
I’m not a doctor but this sounds awfully like a solution to a non-problem.
By their own admission, Truvy changed their name to be “more hip”. And you can see this reflected in some of their product descriptions.
Some products however could do with a “hip” naming refresh. Pycnogenol is a bottle of veggie caps, but sounds like something you’d take to cheat at in sport.
In the grand scheme of things this isn’t a big deal, but perhaps something for Truvy’s marketing dept to think about.
As to Truvy’s product line in general, the focus is on the weight loss stuff. You can buy a 7-day sample supply which Truvy states will leave you ‘surprised how good you feel after just one week‘.
If you’re going to ignore the pyramid scheme problem and sign up anyway, perhaps that’s your best bet.
Personally pending an overhaul of Truvy signing everyone up an affiliate, I’d be avoiding the company altogether. You never know where the FTC might strike next.