Since so many multilevel marketing (MLM) companies, including the one I will be reviewing today, deal in dietary supplements, I should start this column by pointing out that the other Brad, my friend and partner in writing this site, looks and acts like a walking advertisement for the diet and fitness industry. As I mentioned in a previous post, I don’t think I have seen him ingest a carb since 1998. A few years ago, we took a road trip to St. Louis for an MLM event, and we ate barbecue at Sugarfire. We gorged ourselves on ribs and brisket, and I watched in amazement as the other Brad didn’t go near the bread or the potato salad. Sure, he ate some coleslaw and baked beans, but what is a barbecue dinner without the starchy sides? He wouldn’t even join me for a White Russian shake. (In the other Brad’s opinion, beer is not a carb.) If you give proper time and efforts in a prospective compensation plan then you have the opportunity to earn more than 5K a week, to know more about this innovative technique click here.
Agel corporation brief
The barbecue in St. Louis is pretty amazing, but, if you ask me, the best part was going on a road trip to something as seemingly boring as an MLM convention. There is a certain unique pleasure in two or more young men going on a road trip to pursue wholesome ends. You still get to bro out in ways that you cannot on family road trips. Over the course of our long friendship, the other Brad has given me an appreciation for hip hop, and I have taught him everything he knows about classic rock. There is something magical about driving down I-55 at 4:00 in the morning, bumping The Piper at the Gates of Dawn; you can’t do that with your parents.It is a timeless pleasure; you can’t taste barbecue and potato salad online, and you can’t see your friend’s face online when he hears the genius of Syd Barrett for the first time, coming at him through a car stereo. (Thanks to Skype, you probably can, but it violates more traffic laws than I want to think about.) At the same time, road trips without the sleaze are a rite of passage. Think about when you drove back from New Orleans or Las Vegas and went over in your mind which version of the truth you would tell to which of the people in your life. (The other Brad and I once took a road trip to New Orleans. All my efforts to persuade him to eat a beignet failed, but that is a story for another day.)
I am here to tell the truth, and that is why I have dedicated this blog to giving an honest assessment of as many MLM programs as possible. The MLM company I am reviewing today, Agel, is undeniably wholesome, but it is also more than a little bit old-fashioned. Agel was founded in Utah in 2005; it now operates in more than 60 countries, and its revenue is estimated at $37 million as of 2013, although it was reportedly higher around 2009. Like so many other MLM companies, Agel deals in dietary supplements, and it encourages marketing its products and business opportunities to people you know personally, at the expense of selling and networking over the Internet.
Products of Agel
I have to give Agel credit for selling a product that stands out in the market. There are lots of MLM companies that sell vitamin tablets. In fact, if you are a veteran of the MLM scene, the number of vitamin tablets in your basement is probably greater than the human population of some of the counties in Missouri. Agel’s products are not vitamin tablets; they are vitamin gels. Agel claims that vitamins in gel form are more easily absorbed in the body than vitamins in pill form. I am not sure I buy that, but vitamin gels certainly stand out from the crowd. There is something unique about them, and there is someone out there will go for them. There are people out there who hate swallowing pills, and for them there is Agel. Likewise, there are people out there who hate to double click, and for them, there are Mac computers, and there are people out there who hate assigned seats on planes, and for them, there is Southwest Airlines.
Compensation Plan in Agel MLM Opportunity
Agel, like all MLMs, has various levels of marketing. You must pay to join, and the amount varies according to the level at which you join. The higher levels can only be reached by selling products and recruiting other people who continue to sell products and recruit yet more sellers.Agel has 12 levels, the highest of which are Senior Director, Corporate Director, Diamond Director, Triple Diamond Director, and Quadruple Diamond Director. One of the most fun things about doing research on MLM is finding out what they name their levels, and, personally, I think Quadruple Diamond Director sounds like something a third-grader would name a video game boss. It’s like if Mario and Luigi got tired of fighting Bowser, King of the Koopa, and decided to take on the Quadruple Diamond Director. If the other Brad and I ever get rich enough from MLM, we might even take up fighting the Quadruple Diamond Director ourselves.
Several other things stand out about the business culture of Agel. First, it has a strict code of conduct for its distributors. One would assume that people trying to make a good impression about a company would naturally adhere to a code of conduct, but one can never assume. I’ve heard some stories. There is a YouTube video about the 10 deadly sins of MLM, and some of them are things like, “do not represent the MLM company while drunk or under the influence of drugs,” “do not sleep around at MLM events whether you are single or married” (emphasis mine), and “do not steal other people’s recruits.” Who knew that MLM meetings could be such a hotbed of debauchery and betrayal?
Another notable characteristic of Agel is that it emphasizes face-to-face marketing and selling and recruiting within your own social circle. Its business model does not emphasize Internet marketing and social media. In my opinion, this is why it has lost some of its competitive edge. On the other hand, if you are going to buy expensive vitamin gel from your neighbor, it is at least better to buy it from a neighbor who isn’t also going to try to talk you into keeping a long list of secrets from his wife or ask you to give him an alibi if his wife asks where he was.
Another characteristic of Agel, and a frustrating one, is its “two-legged” model of commissions. Lots of MLMs have you recruit two “legs” of down line sellers, but there is a twist with Agel. Let’s say that Adam recruits Bill, Bill recruits Chet, Chet recruits Darlene, Darlene recruits Ezekiel, Ezekiel recruits Francine, Francine recruits Gary, Gary recruits Hattie, Hattie recruits Isaac, Isaac recruits Judy, Judy recruits Ken, Ken recruits Laurie, and they all sell lots of vitamin gel. That is Adam’s right leg. Let’s stay that Adam also recruits Molly, Molly recruits Ned, Ned recruits Odette, Odette recruits Pauline, Pauline recruits Ralph, and their sales stagnate. This is Adam’s left leg. Agel pays commissions based on the down line sales of the left leg. That is like the wait staff of Sugarfire only getting tips on their sales of potato salad.
That said, Agel offers a variety of opportunities to make money.
Retail profits: Distributors can make a profit of up to 25% on their sales of Agel products. When Agel’s “preferred customers” buy products, the representative who sells to the preferred customer gets a bonus of $15 per order.
Bonus Income:Bonuses are paid to representatives based on their selling more products, retaining existing team members and recruiting larger teams. Some of these bonuses are mad money, retention bonuses, leverage matching bonuses, expense bonuses, car bonuses, executive bonuses and first order bonuses.
- Awards:Awards often take the form of travel expenses paid by Agel, such as travel to the yearly leadership conference, which takes place in a different popular vacation destination each year.Representatives who have reached or surpassed the Star Diamond level are eligible for the conference travel award.
- Commissions: Commissions are paid based on a representative’s down line sales, usually 10% of the representative’s left leg sales.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Agel:
- Agel has a squeaky clean image. It might be vitamin gel, but it isn’t slimy.
- The Agel website contains detailed and straightforward answers to questions about the products, including everything from their glycemic index to which products are suitable for vegetarians and which are certified kosher and halal. It also contains refreshingly little hype about the products.
- The Agel product is easy to explain to potential buyers. Vitamin gel stands out from the crowd of other “nutraceutical” products. It is probably very popular with the same kids who eat Otter Pops without freezing them.
- The business model of face to face selling to the same family and friends who have been patient with your MLM schemes for years is antiquated. The company’s peak ended around the time smartphones became more widespread.
- Nutritional supplements in gel form aren’t for everyone. The other Brad once tried a meal replacement gel of some type while he was training for a marathon, and he said it tasted gross, and he could feel it in his esophagus for days. Now, the other Brad is the type of guy who never met a protein bar he didn’t like. I have even seen him eat protein powder straight out of the jar without mixing it with milk. Sometimes vitamin supplements are best when you don’t taste them.
- The whole left leg thing, in addition to being frustrating for representatives who are enjoying great down line sales success with their right leg, is an insult to lefties everywhere. To any lefties out there who are reading this, I’m sorry. If it weren’t for copyright, I would embed the Simpsons episode about the Leftorium right here on this blog.
- Like so many nutritional products sold by MLM companies, Agel’s products are expensive. Of course, expensive gels are more inherently special than expensive vitamins, but if people really want vitamin gels, they will look online until they find them at reasonable prices.
A lot of times, people get started in MLM because they are tired of working hard for small amounts of money, but that is usually what happens with MLM, too. Agel’s left leg commissions are a perfect example of how your hard work can go unrewarded in the MLM world just like it can in the cubicle farm you were running away from. If you are going to sign up with Agel, do it because you think you know people who will want to buy vitamin gel. With Agel’s business model, that means actually personally knowing people who will want to buy vitamin gel, as in, being an eyewitness to the battle your cousin has to go through to get her kids to take vitamins because they are too young to swallow pills and hate the taste of chewable vitamins so much that they refuse to take them. The emphasis on selling to people in your social circle is, in my opinion, one of the biggest weaknesses of Agel. Unless you have been active on the MLM scene for a long time, it is hard to appreciate how much of a nuisance you can be to your friends and relatives when you are always trying to pressure them to buy things. A few years ago, when I arrived at my grandparents’ house for Thanksgiving dinner, just after I parked in the driveway, my little cousins ran outside and put their faces right up to all the windows of my car. At first, I thought they were just excited to see me, but I later found out their parents sent them out there to make sure I hadn’t brought any MLM products with me and wasn’t going to turn Thanksgiving dinner into another sales pitch.Agel’s products and business model work for certain people, but only for certain people. You already know whether you are one of them.