Valentus Review: Autoship recruitment trumps retail
Valentus launched in late 2014 and are headed up by CEO and Founder, Dave Jordan.
In Latin, the word “Valentus” means “prevail,” defined as proving to be superior in strength, power, and influence.
A “product return” address in the US state of Nevada is provided on the Valentus website, however it is unclear whether or not this is where Valentus actually operate from.
A Google search of the Nevada address brings up United Fulfillment Solutions, who claim to be a ‘pick pack order processor, inventory manager, return processor, assembly partner, data processer (and) multiple facility‘.
The address provided by Valentus doesn’t differentiate from that of UFS, suggesting Valentus uses UFS for order fulfillment. A corporate address is not disclosed on the Valentus website.
Dave Jordan meanwhile first popped up on BehindMLM’s radar as a LiveSmart affiliate. Back in 2011 we ran a story covering Jordan’s giving away of sports memorabilia as a marketing angle.
When Jordan left LiveSmart 360 is unclear but it was presumably before the launch of Valentus (LiveSmart 360 itself recently collapsed).
Read on for a full review of the Valentus MLM business opportunity.
The Valentus Product Line
Valentus market a range of what they call “functional beverages”;
With the Prevail line of functional beverages, people all over the world are experiencing a new kind of health and vitality.
Formulated with purest natural ingredients from some of the most pristine locations on the planet, we pride ourselves not only on creating product that get results, but on creating products that are good for your body.
Products featured on the Valentus website include:
- Prevail SlimRoast – a “delicious Italian dark roast coffee formulated with natural appetite suppressants, feel good ingredients and detox components”
- Prevail Energy – “designed to give you a healthy boost of energy, without the harmful artificial stimulants”
- Prevail Immune Boost – “packed with antioxidants from some of the most nutrient-rich fruit and vegetable extracts on the planet”
- Prevail Trim – “formulated with natural appetite suppressants and ingredients to help detoxify your body”
Unfortunately retail pricing is not provided on the Valentus website.
A “buy now” button is present on the company’s product pages, however clicking through sees the website demand a “referring member” code.
The Valentus Compensation Plan
The Valentus compensation plan primarily focuses on affiliates signing up for monthly autoship and recruiting others who do the same.
Silver Valentus affiliates are required to generate 50 PV a month in order to qualify for commissions.
PV stands for “Personal Volume” and are retail customer sales, along with an affiliate’s own purchase of product.
The Valentus compensation plan equates 50 PV to a $59 purchase of “a box”. What is in “a box” is not clarified.
Gold to Crown Ambassador ranked affiliates are required to maintain a standing 100 BV a month autoship order (~$129).
Valentus Affiliate Ranks
There are thirteen affiliate ranks within the Valentus compensation plan.
Along with their respective qualification criteria, they are as follows:
- Silver – maintain 50 PV a month and recruit at least two affiliates who also maintain 50 PV a month
- Gold – maintain a monthly 100 PV autoship order, recruit 2 Silver or higher ranked affiliates and have a weekly lesser binary side volume of at least 500 GV
- Platinum – maintain a monthly 100 PV autoship order, recruit 2 Gold or higher ranked affiliates and have a weekly lesser binary side volume of at least 1000 GV
- Ruby – maintain a monthly 100 PV autoship order, recruit 2 Platinum or higher ranked affiliates and have a weekly lesser binary side volume of at least 2000 GV
- Emerald – maintain a monthly 100 PV autoship order, recruit 3 Ruby or higher ranked affiliates and have a weekly lesser binary side volume of at least 5000 GV
- Diamond – maintain a monthly 100 PV autoship order, recruit 3 Emerald or higher ranked affiliates and have a weekly lesser binary side volume of at least 15,000 GV
- Double Diamond – maintain a monthly 100 PV autoship order, recruit 3 Emerald and 1 Diamond or higher ranked affiliates and have a weekly lesser binary side volume of at least 30,000 GV
- Triple Diamond – maintain a monthly 100 PV autoship order, maintain 3 Emerald and 1 Diamond or higher ranked affiliates and have a weekly lesser binary side volume of at least 100,000 GV
- Blue Diamond – maintain a monthly 100 PV autoship order, recruit 3 Diamond or higher ranked affiliates and have a weekly lesser binary side volume of at least 250,000 GV
- Royal Diamond – maintain a monthly 100 PV autoship order, recruit 4 Diamond or higher ranked affiliates and have a weekly lesser binary side volume of at least 500,000 GV
- Black Diamond – maintain a monthly 100 PV autoship order, maintain 4 Diamond or higher ranked affiliates and have a weekly lesser binary side volume of at least 750,000 GV
- Crown Diamond – maintain a monthly 100 PV autoship order, maintain 4 Diamond or higher ranked affiliates and have a weekly lesser binary side volume of at least 1,000,000 GV
- Crown Ambassador – maintain a monthly 100 PV autoship order, maintain 4 Diamond or higher ranked affiliates and have a weekly lesser binary side volume of at least 1,500,000 GV
Valentus offer up a 25% retail commission on the sale of products to retail customers.
Valentus affiliate fees range from $59 to $499, with existing affiliates paid to recruit new affiliates as follows:
- recruit a Basic affiliate ($59) = $20 commission
- recruit a Starter affiliate ($129) = $40 commission
- recruit an Advanced affiliate ($199) = $60 commission
- recruit a Business Builder affiliate ($499) = $100 commission
Residual commissions in Valentus are paid out via a binary compensation structure.
A binary compensation structure places an affiliate the top of a binary team, split into two sides (left and right):
As new Valentus affiliates are recruited an affiliate’s binary team grows. Each new level of a binary team is generated by splitting the previous level’s positions into another two positions each.
At the end of each week sales volume across both binary sides is calculated, with affiliates paid for each 200 BV on the stronger binary side matched with 100 BV on the weaker side.
This match is referred to as a “cycle”.
- Silver ranked affiliates are paid $5 per cycle
- Gold and Platinum affiliates are paid $10
- Ruby and higher affiliates are paid $20
BV stands for “Business Volume” and is sales volume generated by affiliates on both sides of the binary team.
Note that regardless of the size of an affiliate’s binary team or how much sales volume is generated, Valentus cap weekly binary commissions according to rank:
- Silver – $25 a week
- Gold – $100 a week
- Platinum – $200 a week
- Ruby – $400 a week
- Emerald – $1000 a week
- Diamond – $2000 a week
- Double Diamond – $4000 a week
- Triple Diamond – $8000 a week
- Blue Diamond – $16,000 a week
- Royal Diamond – $32,000 a week
- Black Diamond – $48,000 a week
- Crown Diamond – $70,000 a week
- Crown Ambassador – $100,000 a week
An affiliate is able to earn a matching bonus on binary earnings of their downline.
How much of a percentage and how many recruitment levels is matched is determined by a Valentus affiliate’s rank:
- Silver – 10% on level 1 (personally recruited affiliates)
- Gold – 15% on level 1
- Platinum – 20% on level 1 and 15% on level 2
- Ruby – 25% on level 1, 20% on level 2, 10% on level 3 and 5% on level 4
- Emerald and Diamond – 25% on level 1, 20% on level 2, 15% on level 3, 10% on level 4 and 5% on level 5
- Blue Diamond and Royal Diamond – 25% on level 1, 20% on level 2, 15% on level 3, 10% on level 4, 5% on level 5 and 3% on level 6
- Black Diamond or higher – 25% on level 1, 20% on level 2, 15% on level 3, 10% on level 4, 5% on level 5, 3% on level 6 and 2% on level 7
Legacy Enrollment Bonus
The Legacy Enrollment Bonus is a commission that incentivizes Business Builder affiliate recruitment.
The bonus is paid out via a 3-up compensation structure, which sees an affiliate pass up a $100 a week commission on their first three recruited Business Builder affiliates.
From the fourth recruited Business Builder affiliate, a $100 a week commission is paid out.
In turn, personally recruited affiliates must also pass up $100 a week commissions from their first thee recruited Business Builder affiliates.
To qualify for the Legacy Enrollment Bonus, an affiliate must be at the Ruby rank and have a standing 100 PV a month autoship order.
Enrollment Pool Bonus
The Enrollment Pool Bonus is made up of 1% of Valentus’ company-wide sales volume.
Affiliates can earn a share in the Enrollment Pool Bonus by having a standing 100 PV a month autoship order and recruiting three Business Builder affiliates.
Provided the required autoship order is in place, each group of three Business Builder affiliates recruited that month generates a share in the Enrollment Pool Bonus (shares expire each month).
The Car Bonus is a monthly bonus that kicks in at the Diamond rank as follows:
- Diamond – $400
- Double Diamond – $800
- Triple Diamond – $1000
- Blue Diamond – $1500
- Royal Diamond and Black Diamond – $2000
- Crown Diamond and Crown Ambassador – $3000
Note that Valentus affiliates receive the car bonus after they’ve held a Diamond or higher rank for two consecutive months.
Affiliate membership with Valentus is tied to the purchase of an affiliate pack:
- Basic – $59
- Starter – $129 (buys Gold rank for two months)
- Advanced – $199 (buys Platinum rank for two months)
- Business Builder – $499 (buys Ruby rank with 100 PV a month autoship, upgrades to Platinum rank after 6 months)
The evident lack of retail focus in Valentus begins with the company’s website, which is devoid of retail pricing.
The company goes to the effort of having an online storefront, but fails to provide basic product information to the general public.
By all means restrict purchases without a referral code, but retail pricing should always be fully disclosed upfront.
Valetus’ compensation plan compliments this initial lack of retail focus in spades.
The two most pressing issues within the Valentus compensation plan are autoship recruitment, intertwined elements of “pay to play” .
Autoship is required for five out of the seven offered compensation plan components, with obvious incentives to sign up as a Business Builder and recruit others who do the same.
Those incentives come by way of Legacy Enrollment Bonus, which is basically a vehicle for autoship chain recruitment. And the Enrollment Pool Bonus isn’t too far behind.
Pay to play is evident in Valentus’ affiliate membership options, with affiliates able to purchase ranks that directly effect their commission payouts.
This alone is a core compliance issue within Valentus’ compensation plan.
At the end of the day an MLM opportunity needs to reward affiliates based on sales performance, with a healthy amount of that being retail sales.
Valentus instead demands affiliates sign up for autoship and recruit others who do the same, with retail able to be ignored completely.
Retail sales volume commission qualifiers would go some way to encourage retail, however the pay to play aspects of the compensation would still need to be reworked. Ditto recruitment commissions and autoship requirements.
The only retail incentive I found in Valentus pertained to existing preferred customers (non-affiliates):
Preferred customers purchase at wholesale $59.00 (USD) per box on auto order.
If they refer TWO Preferred Customers who set up and purchase an auto order (product value equal to or greater than their own auto order), then their next month’s auto order is FREE.
Which is nice for them, but why would an affiliate focus on this when the financial incentives for recruiting Business Builder autoship affiliates is so much greater?
In its current state, Valentus’ compensation plan is pretty comparable to that of Vemma’s… and we all know how that turned out.
Approach with caution.