Zilis Review: Third-party products & affiliate autoship recruitment
Zilis launched in mid 2015 and are based out of the US state of Texas.
Heading up the company are husband and wife co-founders Steven and Angie Thompson.
As per the their Zilis corporate bio, the Thompsons (right) have ‘a career spanning over three decades in the wellness and Direct Sales industries‘.
After starting their first health and wellness endeavor shortly after college, they have gone on to build three highly successful global enterprises.
To date, the Thompson’s have built teams totaling over 250,000 people in 40 countries throughout the world.
In addition, Steven has served as Director of Marketing and Vice President of Sales for multiple international Direct Selling firms.
None of the firms or companies referenced above are named.
Further research reveals Steven Thompson was an affiliate with Cyberwize from 2001 to 2009. In 2010 Cyberwize was relaunched as LiveSmart 360.
Thompson rejoined LiveSmart 360 as both an affiliate and Vice President of Sales in 2012. With Zilis launching in mid 2015 obviously Thompson left LiveSmart 360 before it shut down. I wasn’t however able to pinpoint an exact date.
Read on for a full review of the Zilis MLM opportunity.
Zilis’ align their product philosophy with that of Amazon’s, in that the company sources third-party products and markets them via a non-physical location business model.
According to Steven Thompson;
After many years developing proprietary products in network marketing I realized we had it backwards. Why not find the best products being made and offer them through our company?
Product range categories listed on the Zilis website include:
- Zen (“electromagnetic energy charge” mist nutrition)
- Vera Life (liquid nutrients)
- Common Sense (dietary and nutrition supplements)
- 7 Help CBD Oil
- Clean Machine (plant-based sports supplements)
- Wright Family Organic Skin Care
- Elementa Essential Oils
- Safe4U Cleaning
- Aleris Skin Care & Cosmetics
- Cutting Edge Health & Wellness
- Ultimate Life Styles Travel (discount travel services)
There are far too many products in Zilis’ offered range to list here individually (the company launched with over a hundred offered products), however a full catalog with retail pricing is provided on the Zilis website.
The Zilis Compensation Plan
The Zilis compensation plan pays affiliates to sell products to retail customers. Recruiting Starter Pack affiliates on autoship is also heavy incentivized.
Zilis Affiliate Ranks
There are ten affiliate ranks within the Zilis compensation plan.
Along with their respective qualification criteria they are as follows:
- Ambassador – sign up as a Zilis affiliate
- Associate Ambassador – generate 180 PV a month or have a 120 PV autoship order, have generated an accumulated 200 PV since signing up and recruit at least two MLM commission qualified affiliates (one on either side of the binary team)
- Community Ambassador – maintain 180 PV a month or a 120 PV autoship order and have a monthly downline volume of at least 2500 GV (no more than 50% from any one unilevel leg)
- City Ambassador – maintain 180 PV a month or a 120 PV autoship order, have generated an accumulated 1300 PV since signing up and have a monthly downline volume of at least 5000 GV (no more than 50% from any one unilevel leg)
- Area Ambassador – generate 225 PV a month or have a 150 PV autoship order, recruit at least four Associate Ambassadors (two in each binary side), have a monthly downline volume of 12,500 GV (no more than 40% from any one unilevel leg) and 2500 GV in monthly volume from each binary team side
- Regional Ambassador – generate 300 PV a month or have a 200 PV autoship order, recruit at least six Associate Ambassadors (three in each binary side), have a monthly downline volume of 50,000 GV (no more than 40% from any one unilevel leg) and 10,000 GV in monthly volume from each binary team side
- National Ambassador – maintain 300 PV a month or have a 200 PV autoship order, recruit at least eight Associate Ambassadors (four in each binary side), have a monthly downline volume of 100,000 GV (no more than 40% from any one unilevel leg) and 30,000 GV in monthly volume from each binary team side
- Presidential Ambassador – maintain 300 PV a month or have a 200 PV autoship order, recruit at least ten Associate Ambassadors (five in each binary side), have a monthly downline volume of 200,000 GV (no more than 40% from any one unilevel leg) and 80,000 GV in monthly volume from each binary team side
Alternative “customer points” qualification for the Area Ambassador to Presidential Ambassador ranks are as follows:
- Area Ambassador – maintain 100 active retail customers or 12,500 GV a month in retail orders
- Regional Ambassador – maintain 300 active retail customers or 50,000 GV a month in retail orders
- Presidential Ambassador – maintain 1000 active retail customers or 200,000 GV a month in retail orders
Zilis pay affiliates a commission when products are sold to retail customers (non-affiliates).
The retail commission paid out is the difference between the retail and wholesale price of products ordered.
MLM Commission Qualification
To qualify for MLM commissions (excludes retail commissions), a Zilis affiliate must be “active”.
Active affiliate qualification requires an affiliate to either have a 60 PV monthly autoship order or generate 90 PV a month.
PV stands for “Personal Volume” and is sales volume generated by retail sales and a Zilis affiliate’s own purchase of product.
Autoship volume is sales volume generated by a Zilis affiliate’s personal monthly autoship order.
Direct Recruitment Commissions
Zilis affiliates are paid to recruit new affiliates who sign up with a Starter Pack.
- recruit a Bronze affiliate and earn $20
- recruit a Silver affiliate and earn $60
- recruit a Gold affiliate and earn $130
Area Ambassador, Regional Ambassador and National Ambassador ranked affiliates are able to earn an additional “Infinity Fast Start” recruitment commission when new affiliates sign up with a Starter Pack.
Infinity Fast Start qualification requires a 60 PV autoship (can be either an affiliate’s order or from preferred customers).
Payouts across each of the Starter Packs are spread out as follows:
- Bronze Starter Pack – $8 paid to Area Ambassadors, $7 to Regional Ambassadors and $6 to National Ambassadors
- Silver Starter Pack – $35 paid to Area Ambassadors, $25 to Regional Ambassadors and $15 to National Ambassadors
- National Starter Pack – $60 paid to Area Ambassadors, $50 to Regional Ambassadors and $40 to National Ambassadors
The above bonuses are “coded”, meaning appropriately ranked upline affiliates are able to collect payments corresponding to their rank.
Eg. If an Area Ambassador recruits a Silver Starter Pack affiliate, they are paid $35, with $40 remaining ($25 + $15).
The system searches the upline for either a Regional Ambassador or National Ambassador to pay the remaining $40 out to.
If a Regional Ambassador is found first, the system pays that affiliate $25 and continues to search for a National Ambassador to pay the remaining $15 to.
If a National Ambassador is found first, they are paid the remaining $40 and the system stops searching.
Starter Pack affiliates recruited by affiliates ranked lesser than Area Ambassador trigger an upline search for the first rank qualified Area Ambassador, Regional Ambassador or National Ambassador.
Upon finding an appropriately ranked upline affiliate, Infinity Fast Start payouts are paid out using the same coded model explained above.
Residual Recruitment Commissions
Zilis pay residual recruitment commissions via a binary compensation structure.
A binary compensation structure places an affiliate at the top of a binary team, split into two sides (left and right):
The first level of the binary team houses two positions. The second level of the binary team is generated by splitting these first two positions into another two positions each (4 positions).
Subsequent levels of the binary team are generated as required, with each new level housing twice as many positions as the previous level.
Positions in the binary team are filled via direct and indirect recruitment of affiliates. Note that there is no limit to how deep a binary team can grow.
Sales volume paid out via the binary team is exclusively affiliate Starter Pack volume, purchased by newly recruited Zilis affiliates.
A minimum of 300 GV is required on each binary leg to qualify for residual recruitment commissions.
If 300 GV or more is matched on both binary sides at the end of the week, a Zilis affiliate is paid a 10% commission on matched volume.
A Zilis affiliate can increase their matched volume commission rate by signing up with a Silver or Gold Starter Package:
- Silver Starter Package affiliates earn a 15% binary commission
- Gold Starter Package affiliates earn a 20% binary commission
Note that weekly binary earnings are capped as per a Zilis affiliate’s rank as follows:
- Associate Ambassador – $250
- Community Ambassador – $500
- City Ambassador – $750
- Area Ambassador – $1000
- Regional Ambassador -$2500
- National Ambassador – $5000
- Presidential Ambassador – $10,000
Unmatched volume on the stronger binary side is carried over subject to the following eligibility criteria:
- be MLM commission qualified and have one personally recruited MLM commission qualified affiliate in both binary team sides = up to $100,000 in unmatched volume carried over
- generate 180 PV a month or have a 120 PV monthly autoship order and maintain at least one personally recruited MLM commission qualified affiliate in both binary team sides = $up to $250,000 in unmatched volume carried over
- generate 300 PV a month or have a 200 PV monthly autoship order and maintain at least one personally recruited MLM commission qualified affiliate in both binary team sides = up to $1,000,000 in unmatched volume carried over
Zilis 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.
Zilis cap payable unilevel levels at six, with commissions paid out on sales volume generated by affiliates in the unilevel team (excludes Starter Pack volume).
How many unilevel levels a Zilis affiliate can earn on is determined by their rank as follows:
- Associate Ambassador and Community Ambassador – 5% on levels 1 and 2
- City Ambassador – 5% on levels 1 to 3
- Area Ambassador – 5% on levels 1 to 3 and 4% on level 4
- Regional Ambassador – 5% on levels 1 to 3, 4% on level 4 and 3% on level 5
- National Ambassador – 5% on levels 1 to 3, 4% on level 4, 3% on level 5 and 2% on level 6
Through the Infinity Residual Bonus, Area Ambassadors and higher can earn a bonus percentage on unilevel volume (no level cap).
- Area Ambassadors earn a 4% Infinity Residual Bonus
- Regional Ambassadors earn a 7% Infinity Residual Bonus
- National Ambassadors earn a 9% Infinity Residual Bonus
Finally, through the Infinity Matching Bonus, Zilis affiliates can also earn a earning match on Infinity Residual Bonuses paid to their personally recruited affiliates:
- Area Ambassadors earn a 10% Infinity Matching Bonus
- Regional Ambassadors earn a 20% Infinity Matching Bonus
- National Ambassadors earn a 40% Infinity Matching Bonus
Note that Zilis affiliates who sign up with a Gold Starter Pack automatically qualify for a 20% Infinity Matching Bonus “for life”.
Rising Star Pool
The Rising Star Pool is made up of 5% of Zilis affiliate sign-up fees.
To qualify for the Rising Star Pool a Zilis affiliate can either
- generate 600 GV from four personally recruited affiliates within 30 days of signing up
- generate 3000 PV within 30 days of signing up or
- sign up as a Zilis affiliate with a Gold Starter Pack ($1299)
To maintain Rising Star Pool qualification, a Zilis affiliate must generate 180 PV a month or have a 120 PV autoship order.
Once Rising Star Pool qualified, an affiliate receives an equal share in the Rising Star Pool week they generate a minimum of 6 points.
Rising Star Pool points are generated weekly as follows:
- 1 point per 100 PV generated by a retail customer’s first order
- 2 points per Bronze affiliate recruited
- 3 points per Silver affiliate recruited
- 4 points per Gold affiliate recruited
The Blessing Bonus is a monthly cash bonus paid to affiliates at the City Ambassador and higher ranks.
- City Ambassadors and Area Ambassadors receive $100 a month
- Regional Ambassadors receive $200 a month
- National Ambassadors receive $300 a month
- Presidential Ambassadors receive $400 a month
The Blessing Bonus is supposed to be spent on an affiliate’s local community. Zilis requires all affiliates receiving the Blessing Bonus to provide “photo or video” proof of them giving away their blessing bonus once every three months.
Failure to do so once a calendar quarter will result in a forfeiture of the Blessing Bonus.
In this instance, no further Blessing Bonuses will be paid until the Ambassador submits documentation of a Blessing Bonus moment.
What an affiliate does with the Blessing Bonus outside of the one instance they provide proof each quarter is up to them.
Zilis pay Regional Ambassador and higher ranked affiliates a monthly Healthcare Bonus.
- Regional Ambassadors receive up to $500
- National Ambassadors receive up to $750
- Presidential Ambassadors receive up to $1000
The Healthcare Bonus is specifically to be put towards health insurance (affiliates are required to file proof of healthcare premiums with Zilis).
The Jeep Bonus is a monthly payment to Area Ambassador and higher ranked affiliates who lease or take out a loan to purchase a Jeep Wrangler or Grand Cherokee.
- Area Ambassadors receive $400
- Regional Ambassadors receive $500
- National Ambassadors receive $700
- Presidential Ambassadors receive $800
Presidential Bonus Pool
The Presidential Bonus Pool is made up of 2% of company-wide sales volume.
Regional Ambassador and higher ranked affiliates can qualify for a share in three rank-based pools:
- Regional Ambassadors receive a share of 50% of the Presidential Bonus Pool
- National Ambassadors receive a share of 30% of the Presidential Bonus Pool
- Presidential Ambassadors receive a share of 20% of the Presidential Bonus Pool
The Zilis compensation plan states a qualified affiliates share of the Presidential Bonus Pool is ‘in direct proportion to one’s sales contributions to the total pool volume‘.
Basic Zilis affiliate membership is $99.
An affiliate backoffice designed to assist Zilis affiliates with managing “a large organization of other Ambassadors” is an additional $29 a month.
The following three optional Starter Packs are also available:
- Bronze – $199
- Silver – $599
- Gold – $1299
The primary difference between the packs are bundled Zilis products and increased income potential through the compensation plan.
Zilis’ Zen mist product looks awfully similar to LiveSmart 360’s Zorbmax mist.
That’s perhaps not so surprising when you consider Derrick Desilva is Zilis’ Chief Wellness Officer and was LiveSmart 360’s Medical Advisory Board Chairman.
After launching with Zorbmax, LiveSmart 360 had to “relaunch” with a new product a year and a half later. The interest in Zorbmax as a flagship product simply wasn’t there to sustain the company.
This isn’t so much of a concern with Zilis, as the company has a ton of other products to market. I’m bringing it up however as it’s clear that LiveSmart 360 was a big inspiration in the setting up of Zilis.
How you perceive that is up to you.
With respect to the product range, there’s a lot on offer. One aspect that might be confusing with such a large range is overlap, leading affiliates to choose to market one product over another based on personal preference.
Customers might be left wondering why Zilis offer multiple products targeting the same niche.
Price comparisons for most of Zilis’ offered products should be easy enough both online and locally at your nearest health food store.
Moving onto the compensation plan, Zilis has some serious compliance issues they need to address.
Zilis have a whole sections of their compensation plan dedicated to direct and indirect affiliate recruitment! Recruitment commissions in MLM are the defining factor of a pyramid scheme.
Zilis attempt to justify paying recruitment commissions by stating;
It is essential that new Ambassadors have a reasonable amount of product to use, sell, show and demo to facilitate their
Customer gathering efforts.
Be that as it may, bundling over a thousand dollars in an affiliate pack and paying a commission on purchase of said pack by a newly recruited affiliate is chain-recruitment.
Pay to play is also a serious concern with the more an affiliate spends on a Starter Pack directly impacting their income potential via the compensation plan.
By choosing a promotional starter pack, you’ll receive a number of additional benefits.
Nowhere in the Zilis compensation plan is retail volume required, with an affiliate wholly able to sign up with autoship and solely focus on recruiting others who do the same.
Infact the Zilis compensation plan actively encourages this, by reducing autoship volume when compared to Personal Volume equivalents. In legitimate MLM this should be the other way around and preferably exclude an affiliate’s own purchase of products.
That is to say less retail PV should be required to qualify for ranks and commissions. If an affiliate wishes to qualify via autoship, the amount of volume required should be at least 50% higher.
Simply put, Zilis have their retail focus ass-backwards.
Evidence of a strong focus on affiliate autoship recruitment can be found throughout the Zilis compensation plan.
Take, for example, this description of the Infinity Matching Bonus:
This incentive encourages you to personally enroll large numbers of new Ambassadors.
The Rising Star point qualification meanwhile awards 1 point per 100 PV of retail orders or four times that for a single Gold Starter Pack affiliate recruitment.
Somewhat disturbing, Zilis also use charity to justify Starter Pack recruitment. This is taken directly from Zilis’ Infinity Fast Start description:
Since you are encouraged to continue personally enrolling, it is possible to earn multiple IFS rank bonuses simultaneously.
The more Ambassador enrollment packs within your leadership teams, the more IFS bonuses you’ll earn and the more children reached with proper nutrition.
Providing nutrition to children is not a justification for paying pyramid scheme recruitment commissions.
And over and over it’s stated that Starter Packs are optional. Technically yes, but they provide a huge financial benefit beyond bundled products.
I’d be willing to bet the percentage of new Zilis affiliates signing up without a Starter Pack is incredibly small.
All of which is a shame really, as something like the Blessing Bonus is certainly an interesting addition to an MLM compensation plan. Unfortunately as interesting a concept as it is, it doesn’t justify an extremely affiliate autoship recruitment heavy business model.
Normally I’d recommend verifying if a potential Zilis upline affiliate is engaged in chain-recruitment, but with the sheer focus on it in the compensation plan I can’t even do that.
Zilis has to address these serious compliance issues if they wish to be taken seriously as a legitimate MLM company. As it stands, I can’t see Zilis’ business model passing a regulatory investigation from the FTC.
Update 11th January 2020 – As part of efforts to expand into South America, on January 9th Zilis announced it had acquired Zrii.
Steven Thompson, CEO, and Founder of Zilis explained the impact of the acquisition, “Zrii has made a significant investment in building a robust infrastructure throughout Latin America.
By adding the Zrii platform to Zilis, we will collapse the timeframes normally required for this type of aggressive expansion by multiple years, thereby providing our Independent Ambassadors the opportunity to develop their organizations throughout the region.”
As a result of the Zrii acquisition, Zilis will instantly expand operations into Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Guatemala, Mexico, Panama, and Peru.
Zilis’ Latin American headquarters will be located in Bogota, Colombia.
What’s left of Zrii appears to have been completely integrated into Zilis. The former company’s website domain now redirects to a Zilis LATAM variant.