Vollara Review: ActivePure air filters + nutritional supplements
Vollara provides no information on its website about who owns or runs the company.
There is also no corporate address provided, however Vollara’s website does state it has a “manufacturing facility in Bristol, VA”.
According to a press-release account, Vollara was founded in 2010 through parent company Electrolux, USA.
That snippet led me down Vollara’s company history rabbit-hole.
Electrolux, USA was founded all the way back in 1924. That’s not the Electrolux you know today.
The Electrolux you know today is Electrolux Group of Sweden, who separated from Electrolux, USA in 1968.
In 2000 Electrolux Group bought the rights to Electrolux in the US.
That prompted Electrolux, USA to rebrand as Aerus in 2001.
Joe Urso (right) bought Electrolux LLC off of Sara Lee (then Consolidated Foods) in 1998.
Urso owns Aerus, as well as Vollara – who, at least on the appliance side of things, are selling Aerus manufactured products.
In addition to owning Vollara, Urso is the company’s Chairman and CEO.
Vollara’s specific origins can be traced back to Alpine Industries, co-owned by Michael Jackson and Bill Converse.
As reported by The Greeneville Sun in 2015;
In 2000, Jackson bought Converse’s ownership interest and formed a new company, EcoQuest International, to manufacture the air and water purification products and take over the multi-level marketing network through which Alpine products were sold.
Under Jackson’s leadership, from 2000 to 2006, both EcoQuest’s sales and its network of independent distributors and dealers increased explosively.
Company products were marketed through EcoQuest’s international multi-level network which at one time numbered some 100,000 independent distributors or dealers.
However, the dramatic growth and expansion, coming at the same time as greatly increased marketplace competition, brought EcoQuest significant financial stresses by 2006.
As a result of the difficulties, including foreclosure on bank debt, most of EcoQuest’s assets were purchased in March 2009 by the Aerus subsidiary and moved to the large Aerus manufacturing and distribution facility in Bristol.
EcoQuest International itself, as a corporate entity, was forced to declare bankruptcy in late 2009.
Separately, in early 2010, Aerus re-formed what had been EcoQuest international, and the new company was given the name Vollara.
Why this information isn’t provided on Vollara’s website is unclear.
Read on for a full review of Vollara’s MLM opportunity.
Vollara’s flagship products are a series of air purifiers and water filters.
Most of Vollara’s air products are equipped with our exclusive, award-winning ActivePure Technology that safely eliminates nearly 100% of airborne and surface bacteria, viruses, mold, fungus + VOCs.
Additionally, Vollara claim they’ve
spent tens of millions of dollars developing products, acquiring patents and testing them with standards in various settings including chemical studies and others in labs certified to be compliant with US, FDA and EPA standards and regulations.
Purifiers and filters featured on Vollara’s website include:
- Vollara Air & Surface Pro (non-ozone) – “compact air purifier”
- Vollara Air & Surface Pro+ – “new and improved ActivePure Cell design delivers ActivePure faster”
- FreshAir Mobile – “Our pocket-sized purifier provides clean, healthy air when you’re on the go”
- Pet Refresh – “plug-in air purifier is great for smaller rooms up to 50 square feet in size that need targeted air purification”
- FreshAir Focus – “helps remove odors in poorly ventilated areas”
- FreshAir Personal – “provides nature’s own powerful cleaning properties with a built-in ionizer”
- LivingWater – “a pH-balancing, healthy alkaline water filter that connects to your sink”
Note that retail pricing is not provided on Vollara’s website.
That said, I was able to track down a December 2020 Vollara price list. I have not quoted the prices directly as I don’t know if they are still accurate.
Here’s the cost of Vollara’s purifiers and filters as of December 2020:
Vollara also has a range of nutritional supplements:
- Essentials For Life – “the ultimate 6-in-1 complete nutritional supplement … with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, flora and enzymes”
- HealthySlips – Broad Spectrum Hemp CBD strips
- KetoZone – “one serving of KetoneZone includes nutrients needed to help your body transition into ketosis”
- Perfect Start – “a low sugar, high protein creamer made from healthy coconut fat”
- Re:Absorb – “helps ensure your body is able to properly absorb and utilize the nutrients you eat”
- Re:Balance – “has 12 strains of healthy bacteria to support and maintain the growth of billions of probiotic flora”
- Re:Coupe – “B vitamins can help you get back on track”
- Re:Flex – “a proprietary blend of enzymes, powerful herbs and antioxidants specifically formulated to support muscle and joint health while helping you recover more quickly from physical activity”
- Re:Mind – “a balanced source of omega-3 essential fatty acids that promote heart health”
- Re:Plenish – “a proprietary blend of red grape juices including the powerful Muscadine, Syrah and Cabernet grape juices, which provide high levels of antioxidants and resveratrol”
- Re:Sist – “supports the immune system with a unique combination of natural extracts and vitamins”
- Re:Vive – “clear thinking and energy”
- Royal Essentials – “a supplement that combines Royal Jelly, Vitamins C and B12, whole food ingredients and unpasteurized honey to support a healthy cardiovascular system”
Vollara’s supplements are also available in various bundle packs.
Again, to give you an idea of pricing here’s the relevant products from Vollara’s December 2020 list:
Two Vollara products that don’t fit into either of the above categories are:
- LaundryPure 2.0 – “(uses) cold water infused with hydrogen and oxygen-based oxidizers to bubble and lift dirt from clothing fibers, reducing the need for laundry detergent”
- SteadyPower – “provides a cost-effective, single-installation way to protect the entire home from electrical surges and spikes while conditioning incoming electricity to optimize power factor and reduce static-causing line noise”
Vollara’s Compensation Plan
Vollara’s compensation plan is initially tied to sales volume generated by personally recruited affiliates.
Across higher ranks generations come into play, expanding available commissionable volume.
Additional rank-based and sales volume bonuses are also available.
Vollara Affiliate Ranks
There are nine affiliate ranks within Vollara’s compensation plan.
Along with their respective qualification criteria, they are as follows:
- Business Associate – sign up as a Vollara affiliate and generate and maintain 100 PV a month
- Bronze Associate – maintain 100 PV a month and generate and maintain 2000 TQV a month
- Silver Associate – maintain 100 PV a month, generate and maintain 3000 TQV a month and recruit and maintain two Business Associates or higher
- Gold Executive – generate and maintain 200 PV and 5000 TQV a month for three consecutive months (alternatively 200 PV and 15,000 TQV in one month), and recruit and maintain three Business Associates or higher
- Platinum 1-Star Executive – maintain 200 PV and 5000 TQV a month, maintain two personally recruited Business Associates or higher and personally recruit at least one Gold Executive or higher
- Platinum 2-Star Executive – maintain 200 PV and 5000 TQV a month, maintain two personally recruited Business Associates or higher, maintain one personally recruited Gold Executive or higher and have at least three Gold Executives or higher in your downline
- Platinum 3-Star Executive – maintain 200 PV and 5000 TQV a month, maintain one personally recruited Business Associate or higher, recruit and maintain two Gold Executives or higher and have at least five Gold Executives or higher in your downline
- Platinum 4-Star Director – maintain 200 PV and 5000 TQV a month, maintain one personally recruited Business Associate or higher, recruit and maintain two Gold Executives or higher and have at least six Gold Executives or higher in your downline
- Platinum 5-Star Director – maintain 200 PV and 5000 TQV a month, generate and maintain 10,000 GV a month, recruit and maintain three Gold Executives or higher and have at least eight Gold Executives or higher in your downline
PV stands for “Personal Volume”. PV is sales volume generated via retail sales and an affiliate’s own orders.
TQV stands for “Team Qualifying Volume”. TQV is sales volume from personally recruited Silver Associates and lower ranked affiliates.
Note that from Silver Associate, no more than 50% of required TQV can come from any one recruited affiliate.
GV stands for “Group Volume”. GV is PV generated by an affiliate and their entire downline.
Vollara affiliates earn a retail commission on the sale of products to retail customers.
Retail commissions are calculated as the difference between the wholesale and retail price of products ordered, minus a 4% “processing fee” (applied to the retail price).
One example provided by Vollara affiliates is the air purifier. The air purifier costs $538 wholesale and retails for $1499.
This generates a $961 retail commission per unit sold to a retail customer.
Vollara affiliates earn a $200 recruitment bonus if a personally recruited affiliate purchases a “Vollara Builder Pack” when they sign up, or within their first three months.
Vollara refers to this initial three-month period as the “Fast Start Period”.
Certain Builder Packs also trigger a recruitment bonus if purchased outside of the initial three-month period:
This includes the first eligible Pack purchased by the new Associate outside of Fast Start Period.
Specifics are not provided.
Another recruitment bonus is tied to SFSGV.
SFSGV is sales volume generated by purchases made by a recruited affiliate during their three-month Fast Start Period.
The SFSGV recruitment bonus is determined as follows:
- generate 10,000 SFSGV and receive $500
- generate 15,000 SFSGV and receive $750
- generate 20,000 SFSGV and receive $1000
- generate 25,000 SFSGV and receive $1500
I’m assuming the SFSGV bonus is calculated monthly (even though there’s a three-month qualifying period), however this isn’t explicitly clarified in Vollara’s compensation documentation.
Vollara affiliates earn a commission on any products purchased by recruited affiliates during their “Fast Start Period” (their first three months).
- Business Associates to Silver Associates earn a 20% recruitment commission rate
- Gold Executives and higher earn a 35% recruitment commission
Note that recruitment commissions are coded, meaning 35% is paid out on each newly recruited affiliate purchase.
If a Business Associate to Silver Associate earns a recruitment commission, the system searches upline for the first Gold Executive to pay the remaining 15% out to.
Team Qualifying Volume commissions are paid on sales volume generated by personally recruited Silver Associates and lower ranked affiliates.
- Business Associates earn a 5% TQV commission rate
- Bronze Associates earn a 10% TQV commission rate
- Silver Associates earn a 20% TQV commission rate
- Gold Executives and higher earn a 35% TQV commission rate
Note that TQV Commissions are coded, meaning 35% is paid out on all TQV.
Business Associates, Bronze Associates and Silver Associates earn TQV commissions at their applicable commission rate.
The system then searches up line for higher ranked affiliates to pay the remaining 15%, 25% or 30% too.
Note that this remaining 30% can go to multiple affiliates.
E.g. a Business Associate generates TQV and earns their 5% for the month, leaving 30% to pay out.
The system searches upline and find a Silver Associate first. They are normally paid 20% but 5% has already been paid out on the volume, so they receive 15%.
This still leaves 15% to pay out, so the system continues to search upline for a Gold Executive or higher to pay the remaining percentage out to.
Note that any time a Gold Executive is found, they are paid the total outstanding percentage and nothing further is passed up.
The Generational Bonus is paid to Platinum 1-Star Executives and higher.
The Generational 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.
Vollara defines a generation within the unilevel team when a Gold Executive or higher is found in a leg.
This affiliate caps off the first generation for that leg, with the second generation beginning immediately thereafter.
If a second Gold Executive or higher ranked affiliate is found deeper in the leg, they cap off the second generation for the leg. A third generation begins after them.
Using this generation definition, the Generational Bonus is paid on sales volume generated across up to five generations per unilevel team leg:
- Platinum 1-Star Executives earn 15% on one generation per leg
- Platinum 2-Star Executives earn 15% on the first generation and 4% on the second per leg
- Platinum 3-Star Executives earn 15% on the first generation, 4% on the second and 3% on the third per leg
- Platinum 4-Star Directors earn 15% on the first generation, 4% on the second, 3% on the third and 0.5% on the fourth per leg
- Platinum 5-Star Ambassadors earn 15% on the first generation, 4% on the second, 3% on the third, 0.5% on the fourth and 0.25% on the fifth per leg
Gold Executive and higher ranked Vollara affiliates can qualify for a $600 a month Car Bonus.
To qualify they must generate 10,000 TQV and 2000 TQVFS a month.
Note that no more than 50% of required TQV and TQVFS can come from any one recruitment leg.
TQV is sales volume generated by personally recruited Silver Associates and lower ranked affiliates.
TQVFS is TQV generated within these affiliate’s Fast Start Period (their first three months).
Rank Achievement Bonus
Bronze Associates and higher receive the following one-time Rank Achievement Bonuses:
- qualify at Bronze Associate and receive $50 product credit
- qualify at Silver Associate and receive a $100 product credit
- qualify at Gold Executive and receive a $200 product credit
Note that a 100% product credit match is also awarded to the affiliate who recruited the qualifying affiliate.
Executive Fast Start Bonus Boost
The Executive Fast Start Bonus Boost is paid to Gold Executives and higher.
There are seven tiers to the Executive Fast Start Bonus Boost:
- generate 25,000 GV and 2000 TQVFS and receive $1000
- generate 50,000 GV and 2000 TQVFS and receive $1500
- generate 100,000 GV and 3000 TQVFS and receive $2000
- generate 200,000 GV and 3000 TQVFS and receive $3000
- generate 300,000 GV and 4000 TQVFS and receive $4000
- generate 400,000 GV and 4000 TQVFS and receive $8000
- generate 500,000 GV and 5000 TQVFS and receive $10,000
Whether these are accumulated or monthly requirements is not specified.
Vollara do not provide affiliate membership costs on their website.
Based on marketing presentations I’ve seen, Vollara affiliates can sign up for vanilla affiliate membership or pay thousands for a “builder pack”.
The previously referenced December 2020 Vollara price list details a free affiliate member option along with the builder packs:
Take the above pricing as a guide. I have no idea if the quoted figures are still accurate.
EcoQuest essentially collapsed because it wasn’t competitive. I get the feeling that’s still the case today with Vollara.
Before we get into that there’s Vollara’s major disclosure problem.
On its public-facing website, Vollara fails to provide:
- corporate information;
- a corporate address;
- retail pricing;
- affiliate membership costs; and
- compensation details.
With respect to MLM due-diligence, these are red flags that should not be ignored. They’re also potential violations of the FTC Act.
For an MLM company that can trace its roots back to 2000, this is, quite frankly, unacceptable.
Vollara’s lack of retail pricing in particular is telling. And brings us back to competitiveness.
Vollara affiliates are encouraged to purchase their air purifiers in a “5-pack” for $2699. Vollara affiliates refer to this as an “investment”:
While Vollara don’t disclose pricing on their website, as you can see above the wholesale price of each purifier is $538. This is what Vollara affiliates pay (the above screenshot is from mid 2021 and is cheaper then the previously quoted December 2020 pricing).
The retail price for one purifier is $1499.
Vollara’s retail customers are expected to pay almost triple the wholesale cost, because commissions.
Vollara make a big deal about their “ActivePure” technology.
The Vollara Air & Surface Pro combines multiple complementary technologies, including HEPA, activated carbon, and
Patented ActivePure Technology is the most powerful surface and air purification ever discovered.
It has been proven to reduce over 99.9% of many common airborne and surface contaminants.
The filters have “ActivePure cells” in them, which are marked “replaceable”.
One interesting aspect of Vollara’s filters is the Covid-19 marketing.
As above, last December ActivePure (which is a stand-alone company within the Aerus ecosystem), applied for emergency FDA approval for its filters.
This ties into the filters killing COVID-19 in the air. And naturally Vollara affiliates were quick to integrate this into their marketing:
I couldn’t find anything further on the FDA application, so I’m assuming it was either denied or still pending (?).
In any event, while air purifiers might kill COVID-19 in a lab environment, how effective is that out in the wild?
If you’re in a room with someone who has COVID-19 and is breathing/coughing/sneezing it around, a little purifier in the corner of the room isn’t going to catch everything before you’ve breathed some in.
Where I can see them being effective is in cleaning out a room after someone who is infected has left. But this is assuming the area was cleared after they left and the purifier was given time to work.
That’s not happening in your typical business environment as pitched above.
With respect to Vollara’s air purifier marketing outside of COVID-19, maybe 99.9%+ contamination removal was a thing 20 years ago.
These days however it’s standard, if not expected. And competing units only cost a few hundred dollars.
This makes Vollara’s $538 purifier wholesale cost probably what the actual retail cost should be about.
You’re still paying a premium for ActivePure but you’re sitting at the high-end of retail home purifier system offerings.
$1599 is ridiculous and I can’t see too many people going for it outside of the MLM opportunity.
And that’s a problem.
The marketing for Vollara’s MLM opportunity focuses heavily on signing up with a 5-pack of purifiers. Then you get paid recruiting others who do the same.
Obviously thousands of dollars on purifiers each month doesn’t work for autoship, so for that there’s the nutritional supplement line.
And that’s the intended business. Retail merely exists as a possibility, it’s not a focus.
This is evidenced both in Vollara’s compensation plan as well as marketing presentations.
Outside of Vollara’s air purifiers there’s the water filter, again widely available. The company also sells a “power conditioner” and detergent-free laundry device.
I had a brief look into power conditioners and their major selling point seems to be sorting out static and protection from surges.
Again, maybe this was a thing 20 years ago? These days if your meter doesn’t have a protector then your power board should.
Static can be an issue when it comes to sound. If you have a problem with this then maybe a conditioner is an option.
I can’t speak from personal experience here because I’ve never had an issue with this.
Vollara do market SteadyPower as “improving efficiency”, however that doesn’t seem to be a selling point elsewhere.
With respect to the detergent-free LaundryPure 2.0 device, Good Housekeeping tested it and found it “didn’t zap stains any better than plain water.”
Good Housekeeping tested three devices, with LaundryPure 2.0 coming it at double and a third again the cost of the other two devices ($600 vs. $300 and $397).
Vollara’s products being super-expensive seems to be a running theme here.
LaundryPure 2.0 works by mixing cold water “with hydrogen and oxygen-based oxidizers”. This creates ozone.
In January 2021 the California Air Resources Board published a study featuring LaundryPure 2.0.
They found that LaundryPure 2.0 “emitted ozone at levels that may result in health effects”.
The greatest increase of room ozone concentration from a single use was from the laundry water treatment system.
The room ozone concentration gradually increased to levels above the level of the 1-hr California AAQS for outdoor ozone, and peaked at about 0.25 ppm.
Due to users’ proximity to this product, the concentration of ozone that users actually inhale can be even higher.
Additional testing showed that for one wash cycle, users may be exposed to an average of 0.42 ppm ozone, which accounts for about one-quarter to one-half of the ozone that a typical California resident may be exposed to in one day.
Granted that might not be an issue if your device is in a well-ventilated area, in which case there’s also this to consider:
Due to its strong oxidative ability, ozone is widely advertised for odor removal and disinfection.
However, the benefits of ozone-generating products as claimed by their manufacturers are not well supported.
For example, to kill fungi and bacteria, ozone concentrations at least 5 ppm or higher are required, which is higher than the level that most appliances can produce and in the unhealthy range for individuals.
Vollara’s nutritional supplement range was pretty ho-hum. A mishmash of products readily available elsewhere with pricing unknown.
Moving onto Vollara’s compensation plan; as a whole its very top-heavy, meaning the majority of commissions are geared to and/or exclusively paid to high-ranking affiliates.
Initial volume commissions are coded, seeing affiliates pass-up what they don’t qualify for. Generations, the bulk of MLM commissions paid out, don’t kick in till Platinum 1-Star Executive.
This is a mid-tier rank. What we typically see in MLM companies is the majority of affiliates not making it past the first few ranks.
This means there’s a good chance the vast majority of Vollara affiliates don’t even qualify for the bulk of MLM commissions paid out.
The TQV and TQVFS bonuses (volume generated from ranks under Silver Associate), seem to reinforce the “sign up with a 5-pack of purifiers and recruit others who do the same” marketing.
Signing up to autoship is also incentivized, via waiving of the monthly 100 PV requirement for six months.
New Associates who sign up for any Subscribe + Save get a 100 PQV Credit for qualification purposes only during their first 6 month period.
What recruited affiliates actually do with the five-pack of purifiers they’ve signed up for wasn’t a concern.
For their part Vollara doesn’t require retail sales, audit retail sales or have any retail volume qualifiers in their compensation plan.
Perhaps the most damning indication Vollara’s MLM opportunity is recruitment centric was this question from one of the company’s leaders:
Hey, not everyone wants to retail … but how about building a team?
This led to an affiliate autoship recruitment pitch, focused on Vollara affiliates “registering people who buy the product at the exact same price they buy the product for”. I.e. sign them up as affiliate recruits to access wholesale pricing.
I can’t comment on the overall health of the company, but as an MLM opportunity after twenty-one years Vollara is in rough shape.
I’d infer neglect but that’d be speculation my part. I do however get the distinct impression that Vollara is just a corporate money-spinner for Aerus, as opposed to an MLM company run by passionate people.
This starts with the company’s faceless corporation website, complete lack of retail focus and top-heavy compensation plan.
If you’re a prospective Aerus affiliate and someone has hit you with the “sign up with a 5-pack” pitch, run.