Yevo Prelaunch Review: Dehydrated nutritional meals?
Yevo recently went into prelaunch and are currently scheduled for a February 2015 official launch.
The company currently does not have an official corporate website, with affiliates marketing a prelaunch domain that at the time of publication provides little more than a marketing video and sign up button.
This domain (“myyevo.com”) was registered on the 29th of October 2014 and lists a “Eugene Tipps” as the owner. An address for “Foods Matter LLC” in the US state of Utah is also provided.
Foods Matter LLC is a “domestic limited-liability company” registered in the US state of Nevada. The Foods Matter LLC registration lists Peter Castleman, David Brown, Nathan Horvath and Chip Marsland as officers/managers of the company.
The YouTube video currently published on the “myyevo.com” website mentions an additional domain in the video description (“yevointernational.com”). This domain is also registered to Tipps, however at the time of publication that domain is not active.
Presumably “yevointernational.com” will be the official company website when Yevo decides to go live.
On the management side of things, research reveals Yevo affiliates crediting Peter Castleman (Chairman of the Board) and David Brown (CEO) as the co-owners of the company.
Eugene Tipps (credited as “Gene Tipps” for some reason) is listed as Yevo’s COO.
On the MLM side of things, Peter Castleman (right) appears to have gotten involved in MLM back in 2002, when fund Whitney V LP along with Golden Gate Capital purchased Herbalife. Castleman was Managing Director of Whitney V at the time.
After the acquisition, Castleman served as Chairman at Herbalife until he resigned in 2007 to ‘focus on other business activities‘.
Bios published by Yevo affiliates suggest Castleman went on to launch a “Chinese herbal company” that was later sold off to Nu Skin.
Prior to LifeVantage Brown was CEO and President of Metabolife (2000 – 2005).
Metabolife was founded in the early 1990s by Michael Ellis, a former police officer on probation for charges relating to his involvement with a methamphetamine lab.
Ellis and a boyhood friend, Michael Blevins, were arrested in 1989 for producing and distributing methamphetamine. Both Ellis and Blevins cooperated with federal authorities in return for lighter sentences.
Following Blevins’ release from prison, the two formed Metabolife to market ephedra, an herbal supplement containing compounds chemically related to methamphetamine.
In the late 1990s, the U.S. FDA considered regulating ephedra more strictly, in response to reports of adverse reactions and more than 100 deaths linked to the supplement. These included reports ofpsychosis, heart attack, stroke, and diabetic ketoacidosis.
A clinical trial conducted to address safety concerns found that Metabolife 365 increased blood pressure and induced mild cardiac arrhythmias; the trial concluded that there were serious safety concerns associated with the use of Metabolife.
Metabolife took an active role in lobbying against regulation of ephedra, forming an advocacy group called the Dietary Supplement Safety and Science Coalition and contributing heavily to Congressmen Brian Bilbray (R-Calif.) and Dan Burton (R-Ind.), among other politicians.
Following the FDA’s ban of ephedra, Michael Ellis was indicted on eight counts of making false statements to the FDA in an effort to obstruct regulation of ephedra.
Ellis ultimately pled guilty to a single count of lying to the FDA about the adverse effects of Metabolife 356. He was sentenced to 6 months in federal prison and a $20,000 fine.
Metabolife was also investigated by the Internal Revenue Service and the Department of Justice for income tax evasion; ultimately, the company pled guilty to filing fraudulent tax returns and was sentenced to pay a criminal fine of $600,000.
Metabolife owner William Bradley also pled guilty to evading millions of dollars in taxes and was sentenced to 6 months in federal prison and 2 years of probation.
Some of the politicians associated with Metabolife also encountered legal difficulties; Texas state legislators Jeff Wentworth and Rick Green were accused of illegal lobbying on behalf of the company.
In response to falling sales, and facing more than $1 billion in personal injury legal claims related to Metabolife 356, Metabolife filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2005.
Read on for a full review of the Yevo prelaunch MLM business opportunity.
The Yevo Product Line
On the 15th of November 2004, Foods Matter LLC put in a trademark application for “Yevo”.
Two International classes are listed on the application, “003” and “030”:
030 – Coffee, tea, cocoa, sugar, rice, tapioca, sago, artificial coffee; flour and preparations made from cereals, bread, pastry and confectionery, ices; honey, treacle; yeast, baking-powder; salt, mustard; vinegar, sauces (condiments); spices; ice.
003 – Bleaching preparations and other substances for laundry use; cleaning, polishing, scouring and abrasive preparations; soaps; perfumery, essential oils, cosmetics, hair lotions; dentifrices.
Sounds uh… delicious.
Due to a lack of company-supplied product information currently provided on Yevo’s product line, how “bleaching preparation” fits into the business (and whether or not it has anything to do with their food-based product line) is unclear.
Promotional material from Yevo affiliates marketing the opportunity suggests that the company will offer packaged dehydrated meals. These meals are advertised as just needing hot or cold water to prepare and costing around $4 to $5 a meal.
There is also an emphasis on “43 essential nutrients”, which appears to be a focal point in each of the packaged meals Yevo will market.
The Yevo Compensation Plan
The Yevo compensation plan pays affiliates on sales volume generated by the sale of Yevo products.
Commissions are paid residually via a unilevel compensation structure, with various performance and rank based bonuses also on offer.
Yevo Affiliate Ranks
There are fourteen affiliate ranks within the Yevo compensation plan. Along with their respective qualification criteria, they are as follows:
- Bronze 1 – maintain 100 PV a month and recruit and maintain 1 active affiliate
- Bronze 2 – maintain 100 PV a month and recruit and maintain 2 active affiliates
- Bronze 3 – maintain 100 PV a month, recruit and maintain 2 active affiliates and have a downline generating at least 1000 GV a month
- Silver 1 – maintain 150 PV a month, recruit and maintain at least 3 active affiliates and have a downline generating at least 2000 GV a month
- Silver 2 – maintain 150 PV a month, recruit and maintain at least 3 active affiliates and have a downline generating at least 4000 GV a month
- Silver 3 – maintain 150 PV a month, recruit and maintain at least 3 active affiliates and have a downline generating at least 8000 GV a month
- Gold 1 – maintain 200 PV a month, recruit and maintain at least 3 active affiliates and have a downline generating at least 12,000 GV a month
- Gold 2 – maintain 200 PV a month, recruit and maintain at least 3 active affiliates and have a downline generating at least 24,000 GV a month
- Gold 3 – maintain 200 PV a month, recruit and maintain at least 3 active affiliates and have a downline generating at least 60,000 GV a month
- Platinum 1 – maintain 200 PV a month, recruit and maintain at least 3 active affiliates and have a downline generating at least 150,000 GV a month
- Platinum 2 – maintain 200 PV a month, recruit and maintain at least 3 active affiliates and have a downline generating at least 400,000 GV a month
- Platinum 3 – maintain 200 PV a month, recruit and maintain at least 4 active affiliates and have a downline generating at least 1,000,000 GV a month
- Presidential Platinum – maintain 200 PV a month, recruit and maintain at least 5 active affiliates and have a downline generating at least 3,000,000 GV a month
- Crown Platinum – maintain 200 PV a month, recruit and maintain at least 6 active affiliates and have a downline generating at least 6,000,000 GV a month
PV stands for “Personal Volume” and is sales volume generated by a Yevo affiliate’s own product purchases and that of their retail and preferred customers.
GV stands for “Group Volume” and is sales volume generated by an affiliate’s downline.
To remain active, a Yevo affiliate must meet and maintain the minimum monthly PV requirements applicable at their current rank.
Retail commissions are paid out on both retail customer and preferred customer orders.
Preferred customer orders pay out a 25% commission and preferred customer orders pay out 15%.
For those unfamiliar with the term, “preferred customers” are retail customers who sign up for monthly autoship in exchange for a wholesale discount.
Preferred Customer Bonus
The Preferred Customer Bonus is paid out monthly on the number of preferred customers a Yevo affiliate has and their associated product order volume.
- 4 preferred customers and at least 300 a month GV from preferred customer orders = $40
- 6 preferred customers and at least 600 a month GV from preferred customer orders = $75
- 10 preferred customers and 1200 a month GV from preferred customer orders = $200
Note that “GV” stands for Group Volume and for the purpose of qualification for the Preferred Customer Bonus, is the sales volume generated by all product orders made by a Yevo affiliate’s personally enrolled preferred customers.
Recruited Affiliate Order Bonus
The Recruited Affiliate Order Bonus (referred to as the “First 30-Day Bonus”), pays out a 25% commission on all product orders made by newly recruited affiliates made within their first 30 days.
Residual commissions in Yevo are paid out using 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 of these level 1 affiliates go on to recruit new affiliates of their own, 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.
Commissions are paid out based on the sales volume generated by sales activity within an Yevo affiliate’s unilevel team.
Yevo cap payable unilevel levels at seven, with how many levels an affiliate is paid down determined by their affiliate rank:
- Bronze 1 – 5% on level 1
- Bronze 2 – 6% on level 1 and 2% on level 2
- Bronze 3 – 7% on level 1, 3% on level 2 and 2% on level 3
- Silver 1 – 8% on level 1, 4% on level 2, 3% on level 3 and 2% on level 4
- Silver 2 – 9% on level 1, 5% on level 2, 4% on level 3, 3% on level 4 and 2% on level 5
- Silver 3 – 10% on level 1, 6% on level 2, 5% on level 3, 4% on level 4, 3% on level 5 and 2% on level 6
- Gold 1 or higher – 10% on level 1, 6% on level 2, 6% on level 3, 5% on level 4, 4% on level 5, 3% on level 6 and 2% on level 7
The Infinity Bonus extends payable unilevel commissions beyond the initial seven levels offered.
Open to Presidential and Crown Platinum ranked affiliates only, the Infinity Bonus pays out as follows:
- Presidential Platinum – 0.5%
- Crown Platinum – 1%
Note that this bonus applies only to sales volume generated beyond the first seven levels of an affiliate’s unilevel team.
If a Yevo affiliate qualifies at the Silver 1 rank within three months of joining the company, they are paid a $250 Advancement Bonus.
If an Advancement Bonus qualified affiliate then recruits three new affiliates who also go on to qualify for the Advancement Bonus, they receive an additional $250.
Note that the original bonus is a one-time payment, however the bonus paid out for recruits qualifying for the Advancement Bonus is paid out each time a newly recruited affiliate qualifies.
The TeamBuilding Bonus pays a Yevo affiliate for having a Silver 1 or higher ranked affiliate in each unilevel recruitment leg.
How much of a bonus is paid out depends on the highest rank of an affiliate in any given unilevel leg, as well as the rank of the affiliate qualifying for the bonus:
- Silver 1 – $50 for a Silver 1 or higher ranked affiliate (paid out per leg)
- Silver 2 – $50 for a Silver 1 affiliate and $75 for a Silver 2 or higher ranked affiliate (paid out per leg)
- Silver 3 or higher – $50 for a Silver 1 affiliate, $75 for a Silver 2 and $125 for a Silver 3 or higher ranked affiliate (paid out per leg)
Note that the TeamBuilding Bonus is paid monthly.
Once a Yevo affiliate qualifies at the Gold 1 rank, they are paid a Leader Bonus.
The Leader Bonus pays an affiliate an additional percentage commission on sales volume generated by their downline. The bonus is paid out according to generations, with how many generations an affiliate is paid out on determined by their affiliate rank:
- Gold 1 – 3% on the first generation
- Gold 2 – 3% on the first and second generation
- Gold 3 – 3% on the first to third generations
- Platinum 1 – 3% on the first and second generations and 4% on the third and fourth generations
- Platinum 2 – 3% on the fist and second generations 4% on the third to fifth generations
- Platinum 3 – 3% on the first and second generations, 4% on the third and fourth generations, 5% on the fifth generation and 4% on the sixth generation
- Presidential and Crown Platinum – 3% on the first and second generations, 4% on the third and fourth generations and 5% on the fifth and sixth generations
The Yevo compensation plan material does not define how generations are counted. Typically however generational bonuses either follow the unilevel compensation structure (with a generation equaling a unilevel level), or a generation is defined according to affiliate ranks within an individual unilevel leg (which is this case would likely be Gold 1 ranked affiliates defining a generation).
Global Bonus Pool
The Global Bonus Pool is made up of 1% of Yevo’s company-wide sales volume.
Affiliates earn shares in the Global Bonus Pool according to their affiliate rank:
- Platinum 1 – 1 share
- Platinum 2 – 2 shares
- Platinum 3 – 4 shares
- Presidential Platinum – 6 shares
- Crown Platinum – 8 shares
Affiliate membership with Yevo is available in three options:
- Basic (affiliate membership only) – $50
- Silver – $224
- Gold – $480
- Platinum – $540
The Silver to Platinum packages come with an assortment of Yevo products.
Given that Yevo only just went into prelaunch, I’ll forgive the lack of official information provided by the company.
That said, Yevo affiliates are currently marketing the opportunity and signing new affiliates up – so in that sense one would hope Yevo put up basic information about the opportunity (at “yevointernational.com” or elsewhere) within the next few days.
One would hope the allowing affiliates to sign up and recruit without having a basic website up providing essential information about the company isn’t a representation of the level of professionalism behind Yevo’s management.
That aside, on the product side of things if one can get past the whole dehydrated thing, providing affordable meals that meet nutritional requirements sounds great. My experience with dehydrated meals extends only to strawberries and the rare snack of two-minute noodles.
A whole meal prepared in this manner that’s cheap and quick to make sounds intriguing, although I’m not too sure about the whole bleach thing. Why that’s included in the Yevo trademark application remains a mystery.
In any event, this is definitely a product line that’s going to require sampling if retail customers are to be acquired. Depending on the finalized price-points, it might also be possible to have customers place a small order and go from there.
Taste isn’t really something you can adequately convey with marketing copy, in addition to it being rather unique to the individual. And with food, that’s really the bottom line here. Are Yevo’s products tasty?
As an affiliate marketing Yevo’s products, trying some of Yevo’s products yourself and leading with sampling seems a given here. That adds an ongoing cost to Yevo affiliate membership, which is something to think about.
On the compensation plan side of things, Yevo’s plan appears to be fairly well-balanced with only a few minor red flags evident.
First the product line is obviously retailable and retail commissions are offered. The preferred customer incentive bonus is a welcome sight, but I do not that it’s only an incentive.
Formally, there are no retail requirements at any level of the Yevo compensation plan, with an affiliate fully able to qualify themselves via recruitment and self-purchases alone.
Combined with significant retail activity self-purchases and recruitment aren’t an issue, but retail is only incentivized here – leaving the possibility for affiliates to earn on chain-recruitment.
You sign up, purchase your monthly PV requirement and then recruit affiliates who do the same. Retail is entirely optional, which shouldn’t be the case.
To alleviate this some retail volume requirements (true retail, not the misleading “you purchase the product and then resell it” nonsense) or preferred customer requirements applied to affiliate ranks would address the issue.
That way there’s zero room for ambiguity and given an affiliates monthly PV quotas aren’t that much, would ensure adequate retail activity was taking place within the company.
A secondary concern arises with respect to the Recruited Affiliate Order Bonus (“First 30-Day Bonus”), in that it’s unclear whether or not the Silver, Gold and Platinum affiliate packages generate a commission under this bonus.
If so, then the concerns about affiliate focusing on chain recruitment over retail are emphasized. 25% of the Silver, Gold and Platinum package fees paid by newly recruited affiliates would definitely undermine the rest of Yevo’s compensation plan.
I expect this point to be clarified shortly after publication of this review either by Yevo themselves or an affiliate who reads this review.
All in all, with those few points addressed, Yevo certainly offers something I personally haven’t seen in MLM before. Will dehydrated food under an MLM business model take off?
Guess we’ll have to wait till February 2015 to find out.
Footnote: Pending the official launch of Yevo, the above review is based on what information is currently available about the company. Note that this information is subject to change.
I’ll do my best to update the review pending any significant changes. At at the time of publication of this review, the information provided is accurate as sourced from official Yevo documentation and affiliate marketing efforts.
Update 27th July 2016 – On June 26th Yevo sent out an email advising they are shutting down the company.