I’ll be honest, going into writing this article, I had never heard of Valentus. However, one of my loyal readers wanted me to do my usual thorough research on the company, and see what the deal is.
If, like me, you haven’t heard of Valentus then to give you a brief summary, they’re essentially yet another MLM-type business flogging supplements to promote “health and wellbeing”.
Or, to quote Valentus themselves:
“From a breakthrough new line of products, to the highest level manufacturing facilities on the planet, to a compensation plan that is unparalleled in the network marketing industry, to our corporate team that represents an unmatched level of leadership and integrity, at VALENTUS our mission is to help people PREVAIL in ALL aspects of their life!”
I must say, it is difficult to take a company about health and wellbeing seriously when their founder and CEO looks like this:
Hardly looks like the picture of health, does he?
However, it is entirely possible that as a business, Valentus is actually producing good products. At the end of the day, no amount of supplements can overcome a bad diet, so I will delay judgement until I look at the actual facts.
History of Valentus
It is actually quite difficult to find too much history about Valentus. They’re relatively new in the grand scheme of things, and they seem to be quite small when compared to the behemoth MLMs like Herbalife and NuSkin.
They began trading in July of 2014, yet by 2016 they claim to have made $36 million in sales, which is extremely impressive growth in a short space of time for a company which is effectively selling “diet coffee” (my words, not theirs).
The Valentus claim is that their special blends of coffee will help you lose weight. This idea was all founded by Dave Jordan, who claims to have had years of experience in “network marketing” (another term of Multi-Level Marketing) but became disillusioned with the industry and felt he could improve upon it.
Some companies that Dave Jordan has network marketing experience with are:
As is always the case here, Valentus offer people the opportunity to make money while working from home, and selling their products to the masses.
Take a look at Valentus’ promo video below to see what they have to say about themselves:
In the above video, they claim various things which are a little dubious.
I do not doubt the fact people love coffee. Everyone in my circles LOVES coffee. I am an outlier, and don’t touch the stuff. However, they also claim that coffee is one of the most highly traded commodoties in the world. Technically, not a false statement, but is arguably irrelevant to the success of Valentus. Crude Oil is the most traded commodity, but I’m not sure you’d make a successful MLM out of it.
This is purely marketing blabber in an attempt to make the viewer feel as though they’re selling some hot products.
It may seem like a good opportunity on the face of it, but once you look behind the marketing talk, you will realise this is just a sales video to lure you in as a distributor of their “special coffee”.
Valentus Success Rates
The key point of all of this is whether or not the people distributing for Valentus are actually successful.
I’ve said it before, I generally have no issues with the MLM structure as a whole. Most businesses are “pyramid shaped” in the sense that the people at the top make more than the people at the bottom doing most of the legwork. However, nobody promises the janitor that they’ll be making millions at home with ease when he signs up to the job.
My issue with MLMs lies with the false claims they generally make, and the abyssmal success rates of their distributors.
When looking at a study of 167 MLM Income Disclosure Statements, it was found that 92.3% of MLM distributors LOSE money! That’s insanity! Imagine if you were in an interview for your job, and you were told that over 90% of the work force wouldn’t actually make any money, and you’d actually potentially lose money….you’d walk out the room in a flash!
The issue with analying Valentus here is that unlike MLMs I have previously looked at, they are not a publicly traded company, and therefore they do not release any public accounts.
I cannot state with any certainty whether or not distributors are making any money. However, I am having deja vu of many other similar companies. Somehow I don’t think the “unique” product of selling coffee is going to change much here.
Valentus Product Line
As I’ve already said, I’m not a big coffee drinker. However, my girlfriend absolutely loves the stuff!
I bought her one of those all singing all dancing coffee machines which fluff up the milk and blend the beans into fresh coffee for Christmas one year, and I’ve become quite the home-barista. So, I somewhat know about coffee products, as I often buy different coffee for this machine.
Having a quick look on Amazon, the first product I came across was their “Valentus Slim Roast Optimum Dark Coffee”, at the eye watering price of £65 for 700g
Now, to put this into perspective if you’re not a coffee drinker – I buy 1KG bags of coffee beans for our machine at around £7/8 per bag.
This means that this special coffee Valentus make is almost ten times the price of the equivalent coffee we use around the house. However, I’ll hold judgement, as maybe the product is amazing and the customers love it!
So far, it isn’t looking great. They’re ticking all the boxes of your typical sales focussed, false claim making, overpriced product selling MLM.
When looking through other products, the theme seems to remain. The products appear to be incredibly expensive, with pretty dissmal reviews.
When looking further across the internet, the main complaints appearto be, as expected, that the products are too expensive, they don’t actually work, and they taste bad.
Well, I think anything costing that much would leave a sour taste in my mouth if it did absolutely nothing it claimed to do.
I must say, even their promotional videos for their products do not do them any favours – they just make ridiculous claims. If you were desperate to lose weight and wanted an easy solution, then you’re potentially going to be sucked into these claims unfortunately:
I’m always sceptical about a sales video on YouTube which has the comments turned off. Probably because they’re spammed with comments about how bad the product is?
Becoming a Valentus Distributor
I’ve spoken about their products, and I think we’re pretty confident that they’re not all that they’re cracked up to be. At best, they’re incredibly over priced, at worst, it is blatant fraudulent false advertising.
Now, even if money could be made as a distributor, you would have to take a hard look at your ethics as to whether you would want to sell a product which doesn’t seem to do as it claims. Regardless, let’s take a look at the distribution structure.
The key difficulty here is of course going to be selling the product at the prices they seem to be charging. I would imagine if the coffee was £10-20 you could sell it relatively easily, but at these elevated prices, you’d need to be a pretty good salesman.
The key issue I see here is with the Valentus Sales Quota. The crux of it is that you need to sell $100 worth of stock each month in order to remain an active distributor.
What happens if you don’t sell $100 worth of stock? Well…you could always buy the products yourself! And this is the core problem with these businesses, they always have a levelled or ranked system in place which forces distributors to buy their own products in order to remain that rank.
If you lose your position, you often have significantly reduced commissions from your sales.
There are people who are successful at MLMs (albeit, they’re the minority). But, they aren’t selling products. They’re managing the distributors below them, and hyping them up to sell products – some of whom will be ordering their own products from the “manager” in order to maintain their status. It is a vicious circle, and I can’t fathom how people at the top continue doing what they’re doing from an empathy and ethics stand point.
When it comes down to it, there are going to be two ways you can make money with Valentus:
- Sell a boatload of overpriced coffee products
- Recruit a boatload of niave people who are looking to make a quick buck, and convince them to buy up stock, and hope they continue to believe your hype story
You cannot, however, make money from simply recruiting people. The people you recruit must buy/sell the product.
Valentus Fee Breakdown
There is a one time joining fee of $20 – which seems cheap, right? Easy access points are the key to these businesses.
However, you will then be encouraged to purchase one of their business starter packs. These range anywhere from $60 all the way up to their premier “Career Success” pack for $1,200!
Career success pack….you almost couldn’t make up how blatant the marketing is here.
The key here would be you buy the pack, which comes with a box of products (varying in size depending on the pack you buy) and then you get to selling the coffee to people.
It should be noted that if you buy the more expensive packs, you automatically get upgraded to a higher rank, which presumably results in better commissions. However, it also means you’re required to sell more product to maintain your rank.
At the highest level (Emerald), you must sell $120 of product per month in order to continue at that level. If you don’t do this, your account may be suspended. Which can lead to distributors desparately buying the product themselves in an attempt to continue.
Let’s do the maths here, as an example. Let’s say, one thousand distributors per month struggle to meet the target, and buy the stock themselves at $120….
That’s $120,000 in the pockets of Valentus purely based on their pressurised toxic setup.
So, at a minimum, your costs of being a Valentus distributor are as follows:
- $20 setup fee
- $120 monthly stock cost (you may sell this)
- $60-1,200 initial stock box
Valentus Compensation Plan
MLM companies and their compensation plans. They require a PhD to understand half of the time. Why can’t they just keep it simple?!
Well…partially because they rely on people not being able to fully understand it. If it isn’t simple, then it is more difficult for people to claim they’re a pyramid scheme, or take them to court.
If you take a look at the below compensation plan table and understand it, then please let me know.
I think the key problem here is that I’m sure most of the people who are distributing for Valentus don’t even really know what commissions they should be getting, or when they should achieve what level.
It makes it damn difficult to argue whether you should be a diamond or an emerald if you can’t really de-code what on earth the plan is supposed to mean.
The core breakdown of their compensation plan is as follows:
- 25% Commissions on retail sales
- Fast start bonus of $100 (it doesn’t make it clear what triggers this)
- Legacy coded bonus of $100 (what does that even mean?)
- Dual team commissions up to $100,000 per week (yeah…like anyone is making $100k a week selling coffee)
If you want some fun night-time reading then you can get a breakdown of the full compensation plan here.