How much can you earn with MLM Valentus?

Considering joining MLM Valentus? Find out how much you could earn – and why we believe the company is a strong contender for the title of ‘Worst MLM’.

There’s a significant amount of competition for the title of ‘Worst MLM’. (To be honest, there’s not much to recommend about ANY company – as you’ll know if you’ve read our investigations into them.)

But one MLM company continually appears in messages we receive from former MLM victims, and that’s Valentus. So we thought we’d investigate why this MLM seems to be just SO bad – and how much money you can really earn (or lose) with Valentus.

Trethowans
Trethowans

If you’re new to our MLM articles, or to the industry at all, then we recommend learning more about the business model here.

Here’s what we cover in this investigation into the MLM Valentus:

Valentus are a member of the UK DSA

Before we look at the income opportunity (or potential loss) with Valentus, it’s worth noting that Valentus is a member of the UK DSA. Many companies use membership of the DSA as some kind of evidence that they are above board. As the DSA themselves say:

“By applying to join the DSA, a company is proactively demonstrating its commitment to the higher standards of processes and business practices required of DSA members compared to non-members.”

Sadly, this is not the case in our experience. As we highlight here with Forever Living, member companies and their representatives continually appear to contravene the DSA’s own Codes of Conduct, with no apparent consequence.

And the DSA are aware of these contraventions – we have personally met with the former Director General and highlighted all our concerns with her. We also appeared on the BBC’s Woman’s Hour with the current Director General and made her aware of several violations on air – none of which neither she nor anyone in the DSA has followed up with.

In fact, we were extremely disappointed at how Susannah Schofeld, the Director General, misrepresented the industry and trotted out old, disproven lies such as “every organisation is pyramid shaped”.

(You can read the eight ways we believe that she misrepresented the MLM industry on Woman’s Hour here.)

So it’s no surprise to us that, as you’ll discover, a company that passed the DSA’s “rigorous examination of an organisation’s business practices, policies and processes” appears to be so rotten.

Valentus admit that ‘most reps’ lose money – and should not expect to make a profit

So, how much can you earn with DSA member company Valentus? It turns out that even the company admits that most of their Independent Representatives lose money, and should not actually expect to make a profit.

To launch our investigation into how much you can earn with MLM Valentus, we thought it would be pertinent to reference this statement from Valentus’ own Policies and Procedures document:

Yes, you are reading that correctly. Valentus themselves admit that, “Most Independent Representatives earn less money each month in the compensation program than they are paying for their products.”

And they also go on to openly state that, “Valentus Independent Representatives should NOT expect to make a profit.”

This doesn’t surprise us at all. As we have shared many times, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) have published research that shows that, on average, 99.6% of participants in an MLM (or ‘direct selling’ company as the DSA prefers to label the industry) will lose money once business expenses (including personally purchasing products) are taken into account.

Here are some more things Valentus are hiding in their small print:

Why MLMS are actually ‘worse’ than no-product pyramid schemes

Companies and organisations like the DSA are always keen to distance themselves from the ‘pyramid scheme’ label.

But according the above referenced research published by the FTC, you are MORE likely to earn money in a traditional pyramid scheme than you are an MLM:

“MLM as a business model is the epitome of an “unfair or deceptive acts or practice” that the FTC is pledged to protect against. It is even worse than classic, no- product pyramid schemes (for which the loss rate is only about 90%) and “pay to play” chain letters.”

They go on to state that, “For promoters to present MLM as a “business opportunity” or “income opportunity” is a misrepresentation.”

Please keep this, and Valentus’ own income statement, front of mind as we learn more about the company and the messages their Independent Representatives share on social media in an attempt to recruit.

Why Valentus products are banned around the world

Before we dive deeper into the ‘business opportunity’ presented by Valentus let’s look at the company itself, and the products it sells.

Valentus, Inc. has apparently been in business since 2014 and was founded by their CEO, Dave Jordan. Dave Jordan is apparently a veteran of multi-level marketing veteran, with “a history of moving on from companies just as they are about to go under“.

Valentus say they sell “Functional Beverages to Support a Healthy Lifestyle!” However, their products are not without controversy.

Some Valentus products are banned in a number of countries, including Denmark, Singapore and New Zealand, as they contain ‘harmful’ ingredients. Valentus were also sent a warning letter by the DFA in the US.

A Valentus rep was ‘closed down’ by Trading Standards in the UK

There have also been problems in the UK with Valentus reps selling their products. In 2017, one high profile Valentus rep was visited by Trading Standards and had her business closed down as she continued to sell the product.

Trading Standards required proof that Valentus products complied with the following UK and EU laws:

  • The Food Safety Act 1990
  • The Food Information Regulations 2014
  • The Nutrition and Health Claims (England) Regulations 2007
  • The coffee Extracts and Chicory Extracts Regulations 2000
  • The Food Additives, Flavourings, Enzymes and Extraction Solvents Regulations 2013

They also required that the Valentus rep “should also register as a food business”:

How Valentus reps are encouraged to sell banned products, just ‘not publicly’

Valentus reps are aware that some of their products are not legally allowed to be sold in the UK. But that doesn’t stop them continuing to flog them. Indeed, they simply tell their downlines to sell them out of the public eye:

So they acknowledge that some products should not be sold in the UK. But rather than comply with the law (and ensure they protect the safety of their customers) they just tell people to sell it on the sly, so Trading Standards don’t find out.

Is this really behaviour that complies with the DSA’s Codes of Conduct? And if not, why aren’t they doing something about it?

‘Valentus products don’t work’

So why are Valentus products still banned in the UK? Valentus reps claim that it’s not because they’re not legally complaint, but just that they’re still ‘in registration’. .

But according to this investigation, that claim is rubbish. The REAL reason why Trading Standards clamped down on the company is that their products don’t work:

As you’ll see later on, this doesn’t stop Valentus reps from making claims on social media about their weight loss results of their products.

Valentus reps are making banned income claims

So what about the income opportunity with Valentus? Well, it’s not just false claims about results that Valentus reps seem to be making. They’re just as happy fabricating fake income and lifestyle claims too, it seems.

Something they should not be doing, as all DSA member companies need to abide by the DSA Code of Business Conduct, which clearly says:

“Advertisements placed by members or direct sellers shall not make unrepresentative or exaggerated earnings claims.”

And:

“Any earnings claims must relate to actual earnings from the opportunity by an identifiable person and be capable of verification.”

However, this doesn’t stop Valentus reps using unsubstantiated, unidentified claims like these:

So are these wild, unsubstantiated income claims of people earning ‘thousands every week’ really true? Based on Valentus’ own admission in their Policies and Procedures document, we think not:

This is behaviour we see time and again in MLMs – reps are encouraged to lie (or fake it ’til you make it as it’s sold to them) about their success in order to attract other people to the opportunity.

It’s why we don’t believe you should ever believe anything an MLM rep tells you when selling you a product or trying to recruit you.

What’s it like working as a Valentus rep?

To find out the truth about what it’s like as a valentine rep and how much you can earn working for Valentus, we spoke to a former Valentus rep about her experience with the company. This is what she told us.

Why did you join Valentus?

I was with a different company called Nu Skin alongside my full time job and a lot of people were joining this new company (Valentus).

I didn’t know much about it, but was seeing all the success posts and promotions which was crazy to me as it was really difficult to reach promotions in Nu Skin as the sales targets are high.

The income statements people were posting saying they were earning 3-4 figures a week, some five figures a week and getting a car bonus. I would say the lavish lifestyle was sold to me – not having to go into work and the whole ‘be your own boss’ mantra.

At that time I had just lost a family member and was having time off work. And being self-employed, I was not earning. The thought of going back to work killed me as I had been through a lot of trauma with the loss of my close relative.

The person who introduced me to the business (there must have been at least 20 girls from this company message me about it) said a lot of people were leaving Nu Skin and achieving massive success. with Valentus. These girls literally got in at the start and now are big earners, and they don’t forget to broadcast it to you either.

I did not really believe in weight loss drinks, however at that time I didn’t want to go back to work – I wanted to spend time with my family after our loss. So I decided to move over to Valentus from Nu Skin.

I had built a team with Nu Skin but no one was making money. In Valentus it seemed like everyone was making money, and I was tempted by all the ‘Fripay’ posts.

The seven ways of earning really baffled me, as did the claims that the company wasn’t sales based (only one in seven of the seven ways of earning in Valentus is sales based).

I did not know the first five promotions (Silver, Gold, Platinum, Ruby and Emerald) were based on what package you bought. So in all of the success stories and promotion posts on social media, people had basically just bought a certain number of boxes. They had purchased their promotion!

I did not know this until after joining.

How much did you sell on average a month?

In my first month I sold 13 boxes. In my second I sold 4-5 boxes. In my third I sold one box, and in the fourth month I sold nothing.

I was advised to create a private Facebook Group, and the initial excitement got people interested so I had good success to begin with. However, the interest soon died down and a lot of the customers were coming back saying they lost zero weight, which did not sit well with me.

And how much did you personally purchase to stay active a month?

I had to buy three boxes a month, costing $200 including shipping and sales tax, to stay active.

[This rep is UK-based but Valentus operates using US currency.]

Were you encouraged to make personal purchases?

To maintain your rank you had to purchase three boxes a month, otherwise you would lose it. This was definitely important when you achieved Ruby status and above, as that’s when you unlock the seven ways of earning and get paid for recruiting and your downline’s sales.

You were encouraged to purchase every month to keep your rank. Here’s a post from the team Facebook group:

What pressure was there on you to maintain or increase your rank?

Initially, when you first start, your upline advocates that in order to get a decent amount of profit you need to purchase six boxes platinum (£100 profit from resale) and then you can upgrade to Ruby after two weeks. Ruby is a 16 box package, so you have to buy another 10 to upgrade.

Your upline gets paid $100 for each ruby in their team, or $200 as a legacy bonus if they have recruited more than three Rubies. So I would say there is pressure to get to Ruby as that’s when you benefit from all of the ways of earning and unlock all the recruitment bonuses (six of the seven ways of earning).

In the lower packages (1-3 boxes) there is little-to-no profit, so they always say it’s not worth joining unless you’re going to go for the bigger boxes to get more profit.

I would say pushing for Diamond (30,000 points in sales, 15,000 points in each leg) is really advocated, as then you get the car bonus.

We were also told to purchase bigger monthly orders to help our uplines hit these higher ranks.

Did you see any evidence of people making false income claims?

If you follow or are friends with any of the Valentus reps on social media, you’ll see the income claims EVERYWHERE. You’ll see very little about the actual products (these are kept in the private Facebook groups), but the income claims, weekly fripays and car bonuses are plastered everywhere.

So for someone who doesn’t know much about MLMs and the lies people tell, this would be extremely enticing.

And what about false claims about the products?

Although it is illegal to say the products have resulted in weight loss, the before and after pictures are all over social media.

Here’s an example:

And here’s another example clearly promoting the weight loss benefits:

Some products are banned in the UK. Were you ever asked to sell them?

I did not know any of the products were banned in the UK. We were told the products were not all registered, so to keep it on the down low it we are selling the non-registered products in our Facebook groups.

All of the girls are selling all of the products, not just the ones that are registered.

How much pressure was there on you to work?

We were given a daily task list to complete, and we had to tick it off every day. You were always checked up on, especially if you had gone quiet with posting, to make sure you’re still working (recruiting).

How many hours a week or day on average did you work?

On average I worked 21-28 hours a week.

And how much did you earn?

I earned a total of $1,490 over five months. But I spent $2,518 so overall I made a loss of $1,028.

Why did you leave?

Initially I sold the products to people I knew; extended friends, work colleagues etc. But they came back and say they’d spent £60 on 24 sachets of instant coffee but had no results. And that did not sit right with me.

I have always been a health and wellness advocate and never really believed in weight loss products or fad diets so this was one reason why I decided to leave.

I was also not comfortable with the over promoting of how much people were earning, car bonuses and all the lavish lifestyles the top earners portrayed. I started to get embarrassed and hid a lot of people, including family, from my social media posts.

I was spending a lot of time on social media basically selling a lie, as I was not earning enough for a lavish lifestyle from Valentus. I had a nice lifestyle as my boyfriend has a good job, and also my 9-5 pays well but as you can see from my earnings, this was nothing to do with Valentus.

I remember I did a post saying I’d been on five holidays this year all thanks to my business, when in reality that was far from the truth. Yes, we had been on five holidays but that was from our jobs, not from Valentus.

We were told to do attraction marketing ALL THE TIME. Everything we posted on social media had to be for the business, to attract more people. I just stopped enjoying using social media and connecting with people, as it was all centred around who can be the next recruit.

I used to love social media to connect with other people, but MLM has ruined social media for me as they always have a hidden agenda to recruit you.

My family and boyfriend told me that Valentus were taking advantage of how vulnerable I was, and advised I stopped doing it and focus on my career.

I had a good career but I was made to feel that it was wrong because it was a 9-5, so once I started MLMs I thought I hated my job, which I had never done before.

It’s only since leaving I have realised how much I enjoy my 9-5, earning a good wage without having to scam people. I showed my boyfriend the compensation plan video and he strongly advised that I stopped all involvement due to the pyramid scheme nature.

I got a lot of negative messages from people I sent cold messages to, too. I went to one of the top earners as I was quite taken a back by the negative comments, and she told me I was wasting her time with the negativity and just need to ignore it.

Spending $200 a month on products that were not selling and definitely do not work was just a waste of money, as well. So I stopped purchasing and lost my rank.

Do you ever hear from your old upline?

I still get messages from her telling me how well the team is doing, and that she doesn’t want me to miss out on the opportunity.

She says if I want to get started again I should buy the Ruby or Emerald package so I get all the ways of earning. Bearing in mind these cost $700 for Ruby and $1200 for Emerald!

“I lost $1,028 with Valentus over five months”

Before we move on, let’s just scroll back up and recap how much this former Valentus rep earned in her five months with the company.

She told us that she worked 21-28 hours a week. But overall, she lost $1,028. And the biggest reason for this loss? According to her it was the requirement to buy a minimum quantity of products every month to stay ‘active’.

Every time we speak to a former MLM rep they tell us the same – it is the requirement to sell (or in most bases, buy) a certain quantity of products every month that got them into debt.

To compare, if this rep had worked the same number of hours in a minimum wage job, she’d have earned between £3,397 and £5,249.

That’s why we always recommend that people do ANYTHING rather than join an MLM. Indeed, this woman would have been financially better off if she hadn’t worked at all.

Why Valentus appear to lie on their recruitment pages

So how does this rep’s experience compare with the company’s recruitment marketing messages? On their UK homepage, Valentus make the following claim:

“Since day one, our focus, our passion, and our commitment have been to create a company, a product line, and an opportunity built on a foundation of integrity. From creating significant levels of income, to building strong networks, healthy long-lasting relationships, making new friends, participating in activities.”

‘A foundation of integrity’ and ‘significant levels of income’ seems a little bit of a stretch to us, given what we’ve already learned about the company, their products and the behaviour of their reps.

Valentus go on to claim:

“Valentus launched the ultimate compensation plan with a profit structure unparalleled by any pay plan in the direct marketing industry.”

And:

“Four top pay plan experts got together and equipped Valentus with 7 POWER BONUSES that can help you achieve the lifestyle of your dreams faster than was ever possible before.”

However, despite working between 450 and 600 hours in total, the rep we spoke to LOST $1,028 with Valentus. Which, while it contrasts the company’s marketing messages, does confirm this admission we shared earlier, from their Policies and Procedures document:

How can you recruit people with promises like: “7 POWER BONUSES that can help you achieve the lifestyle of your dreams faster than was ever possible before,” when you admit that most people will LOSE money with your company?

To us, this makes their recruitment messages at best misleading, and at worst an outright lie, designed to knowingly deceive.

“This is the most blatant pyramid scheme I’ve come across so far”

It’s not just us who have been researching Valentus recently. Here’s what anti-MLM YouTuber Charlotte Dickerson says of Valentus in her deep dive into the company:

As you can imagine, Valentus reps weren’t too happy with Charlotte’s video. However, Charlotte told us that one rep took things a bit far.

A Valentus rep attempted to hire someone to ‘hack and bully’ Charlotte

Charlotte told us that a person had got in touch with her via social media and said that they had been asked to bully and hack her:

Charlotte asked the hacker to provide proof, which they did:

Here’s a video Charlotte made about the experience:

Why MLM reps HAVE to lie and bully

Sadly, we’ve heard of far too many cases of MLM reps lying, harassing and bullying others. And we understand why they need to resort to this behaviour.

You see, building an MLM ‘business’ is as secure as constructing a house of cards. You’re not in control of any part of your business, and it can be taken away from you at any moment.

Every MLM marketing plan we have seen so far rewards reps for their own sales, and that of their downline. And they always require minimum volumes of sales, and numbers of people in your team, to maintain your rank and earn and keep bonuses.

The MLM car plan is a classic example of how MLMs keep you working – and ensure you keep the team under you working. Yes, you may qualify for money towards the lease of a car, but you need to take the lease out in YOUR name. And your monthly car bonus is conditional on you hitting your sales and team sales numbers.

You usually also need a certain number of managers and people underneath you. So if someone leaves the business, through no fault of your own, and completely out of your control, you lose your car bonus and have to cover the lease payment yourself. And you are under this pressure every single month.

It’s requirements like these that ensure you are never relaxed and comfortable as you climb higher up an MLM. In fact, you just have more to lose the higher you get.

So you can’t afford for someone to tell other people in your team they’re not happy – they may make others realise that they too are losing money. And you certainly don’t want people like Charlotte above calling your company out.

This is why people are ostracised, discredited and even bullied when they leave an MLM – their upline and team need to ensure that this person can’t ‘infect’ the company with negativity (or realism).

Its why former reps are also dismissed as ‘failures’ who couldn’t make it work or didn’t want it enough. It’s why family and friends who are worried about you are labeled as ‘unsupportive’ and ‘jealous’. And why MLM critics are sent hate mail and death wishes.

Indeed, it’s why (toxic) positivity at all times is pushed. Because if the 99.6% of people in MLMs who lose money actually listened to ex-reps, people who love them, or MLM critics, and realised the truth of their situation, they’d leave in a second.

And the whole house of cards would collapse.

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Photo by Annie Spratt