Introduction to ASEA MLM Compensation Plan
In ancient times, the city of Faiyum in Egypt was the site of a temple dedicated to Sobek, the crocodile-headed deity. At the temple was a pond where there lived a tame crocodile called the Petsuchos. The Petsuchos lived a life of luxury, even wearing jewelry of gold and precious stones. When it died, a new Petsuchos was chosen, and it would live at the temple and be adorned with jewelry, as well. If this were any other multilevel marketing (MLM) blog, this would be the part where I would tell you that, if you join my MLM, you will be able to live like a Petsuchos, but this isn’t any other MLM blog. This is Notebook Crazy, and the Petsuchos is just the beginning of the story.
Crocodiles are virtually extinct in Egypt. The only remaining crocodiles in Egypt live in the southeastern corner of Egypt, near the border with Sudan. Faiyum is located at a desert oasis just southwest of Cairo. Until very recently, the Petsuchos was one of ancient Egypt’s great mysteries. The crocodiles in Africa, the logic of Egyptologists went, are Nile crocodiles, and they are some of the deadliest, most aggressive animals on earth. The Nile crocodile won’t think twice before putting you in a death roll if you cross its path, even if it just ate. Imagine trying to capture one of those things from the wild and make it wear jewelry. It would probably react the way my niece reacts when her mother tries to take away her iPad and get her dressed for school, the key difference being that my niece, unlike the Nile crocodile, is not the second largest reptile on earth. The Internet went crazy a few years ago about how crazy and mean the African honey badger is, but even the notorious honey badger has got nothing on the Nile crocodile.
Almost anyone who has tried to make MLM into a full-time career knows that everyone wants to feel like life is a quest, but different people find fulfillment in different ways. Some people gamble. Some people clip coupons. Some people guzzle placebos. (Most MLM companies couldn’t survive without such people.) And some people find that the best alternative to the soul-sucking 9-to-5lifestyle is to travel to countries where Americans don’t usually go, and when they do go, they go armed with guidebooks that advise them not to drink the water.
There are several lakes in Burkina Faso and northern Ghana where humans and crocodiles have coexisted peacefully for thousands of years. People draw water from the lakes and wash their clothes there, and the crocodiles just mind their own business. Of course, there are no secrets on the Internet, and word got out about these friendly crocodiles, and now they have become something of a tourist attraction. If you search for them online, you can find pictures of kids holding up crocodiles’ tails while the crocodiles act like they don’t even notice. (Importantly, though, it is always their tails. At most, I once saw a picture of a kid straddling the topmost part of a crocodile’s tail, right behind its hind legs.) Why would like Nile crocodile, which, in the actual Nile (which runs from the Uganda/DRC/Kenya/Tanzania border and from Ethiopia through Sudan and Egypt) is so ornery that you can’t get near it, behave like an overgrown lap dog in Burkina Faso? Local folk tales tell of an ancient pact between the crocodiles and the humans of certain areas that they would not harm each other. In 2011, DNA testing on ancient Egyptian crocodile mummies revealed that they could not belong to the same species as the modern Nile crocodile. They were the same species as the friendly crocs of Burkina Faso. This both led to the recognition of the West African crocodile as a separate species and solved the mystery of the Petsuchos. The Nile crocodile and the West African crocodile look just alike, but their behavior is completely different. DNA testing has been a thing since the 1990s. It’s almost surprising that no one thought to solve this mystery through DNA evidence until 2011.
I mention the Petsuchos because sometimes a really great scientific discovery comes along, but much more often, people are willing to hail something as a great scientific discovery when there is no evidence for it. I also mention the Petsuchos because, even though you are probably a generally well informed person, you probably didn’t know about the two species of African crocodiles. People are all too willing to leave the science to the scientists and just shell out money for consumer products. Throughout countless reboots and nostalgia fests, I have never heard anyone mention that the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles look a lot more like tortoises. People just don’t want to think that hard.
But enough about reptiles. My real purpose on this blog is to review as many MLM companies as possible, and today I am reviewing ASEA.
ASEA and Its Products
Lots of MLM companies sell nutritional supplements based on dubious scientific claims, but ASEA takes the cake. ASEA sells a bottled “Redox supplement”, the only ingredients of which are water and salt. It is, for all practical purposes, a less tasty version of Gatorade.It also sells skin creams made from redox water.The ASEA website has a long explanation about what is special about its redox water (redox means reduction/oxidation), but is really is just water. The website Science-Based Medicine has an explanation for why ASEA’s claims about the health benefits of its products don’t hold water, no pun intended. Meanwhile, the website Chem1 has some choice words for ASEA and any other commercial products that claim to be “special water”. For example, some companies sell alkaline water, but, as Chem1 points out, all the water you drink becomes acidic when it is in your stomach, and then your liver makes it alkaline when it is in your small intestine.
The ASEA Compensation Plan
In case you ended up on this page by accident after Googling “Petsuchos jewelry” or “Teenage Mutant Ninja Tortoises”, ASEA has a multilevel compensation plan, in which you can make money in seven different ways. Like with other MLMs, you pay to distribute ASEA products and then you recruit other distributors, and they recruit still more distributors. These distributors are your “downline”. You have two downline teams, known as your right leg and your left leg. The right leg is the one with stronger sales, which, as I have pointed out in previous posts, is so offensive to lefties that it would make Ned Flanders himself slap you across the face with his left hand. If you meet certain quotas of sales, recruitment, and sales by your downline distributors, you can get promoted to a higher rank. The leadership ranks of ASEA are called Associate Director, Director 300, Director 700, Bronze Executive, Silver Executive, Gold Executive, Diamond, Double Diamond, and Triple Diamond, which are pretty boring as MLM leadership level names go.
ASEA offers seven different ways distributors can make money:
- Retail Sales: You can make money by buying ASEA at wholesale prices and selling it for retail prices.
- Preferred Customer Bonus: This is a $25 bonus you get when one of your customers signs up for a rewards program.
- Fast Start Bonus: You receive a bonus of between $5 and $16 when a distributor you recruited orders ASEA merchandise to sell.
- Team Commission: You receive a commission equal to ten percent of your left leg sales.
- Check Matching: This is a bonus based on the sales of your downline up to seven levels deep. (If Adam recruits Hal, Hal recruits Isidore, Isidore recruits Justin, Justin recruits Kay, Kay recruits Lilith, and Lilith recruits Maxwell, Adam’s bonus is based on their combined sales.) This bonus can be up to $2500.
- AAA Bonus: This bonus, up to $750 per month, is based on how many of the distributors in your downline maintain an active membership.
- Executive Momentum Bonus: This bonus, reserved for members who have reached the highest levels of membership, is a portion of a bonus pool.
Advantages and Disadvantages
- Some people love health fads, and if you can find them and sell to them, you might be able to sell some ASEA products.
- I guess, if you have a basement full of unsold redox water, and you get thirsty while playing video games in your basement, you can drink some of it, and then you won’t be as thirsty.
- You probably learned a lot about crocodiles from reading this review of ASEA. (I’m grasping at straws here.)
- I can hardly imagine anyone pay a dollar per ounce for a beverage unless it gets you drunk in ways that the cheap stuff doesn’t.
- As with so many MLM products out there, ASEA water is really overpriced, even for a placebo. There are so many other “wellness waters” out there (and Chem1 has some very readable explanations about why none of them are any more beneficial to your health than tap water), and people who really want to drink them can find them for much less than a dollar an ounce.
- Unless you find a really marketable product and an MLM company with a flexible business plan, and you yourself have great business sense, getting rich through MLM is a mirage. You have a better chance of meeting a crocodile in Lake Michigan than you do of getting a piece of that Executive Momentum Bonus.
- The ASEA company was founded in 2010, which means that it has made it past the two-year milestone, but it still has a long way to go to prove its staying power. Compared to the big guys like Amway, ASEA is a tilapia in a lake full of Nile crocodiles, the mean ones that will snap at you even if they’re full.
- There are so many better things you can do with your money than paying membership fees to an MLM company that sells nutritional products of dubious benefit at prices almost no one can afford and then makes you pay some of your income as commissions to your up-line distributors. When people at MLM events complain about the IRS, I point out this fact to them. If you really have money burning a hole in your pocket, you can make a donation to your alma mater so that it can provide scholarships for students to study chemistry and other STEM subjects, so they won’t be fooled by the pseudoscientific babble on the ASEA site and other MLM sites. Since you are lucky enough to have drinkable tap water, perhaps you could donate to one of those charities that helps people gain access to clean drinking water.
It would not be fair to single out ASEA products as a bigger fake than any other MLM product out there. MLMs that sell expensive nutritional supplements whose only mechanism of action is the placebo effect are a dime a dozen. Placebos make people feel considerably better if they believe in them enough, especially when they are being used for non-specific ailments, so if you have a warm market full of hypochondriacs who have tested negative for every diagnosable disease but who still want a potion to cure their ill, whatever it might be, you might have some success selling these things. The key is knowing whether or not that is your market. In some ways, your success in MLM depends less on whether your product is actually of value or not (most MLM products aren’t, or else they wouldn’t be sold through MLM) and more on common sense. The crocodiles in Burkina Faso have a reputation for being harmless, but people still know not to try to touch any part of them but the tail. They are smart enough to know never to get anywhere near the business end of a crocodile.
If you are ready to get your feet wet with MLM marketing, but you want to know how to make the best decisions and avoid the pitfalls, give me a call. I won’t bite.