Introduction to Nature’s Sunshine MLM Compensation Plan
I think it is an uncontroversial statement to say that the multilevel marketing (MLM) industry suffers from an overpopulation of nutritional supplements. The worst part is that they are all so similar to each other that the only difference is in how you market them. Some of them come in very unassuming packaging, looked like they are dressed for Earth Day, while others come in bold, modern colors, looking like they are ready to make this a New Year’s Eve to remember. You can package them in pastel colors or fashion colors and sell them in the form of a pill or a gel. But they are all just vitamins. I’m sure you’ve all heard the old adage about how there is only so much of any water-soluble vitamin your body can absorb at any given time, so the rest of them just get filtered out through your kidneys, anyway.
But that doesn’t stop people from trying. The people who are really in charge at the MLM companies have money to spend on research and development on how to make their by nature unassuming product stand out on the market. They hire marketing majors to design slogans and packages, and they test them out on focus groups. As you may know, my quest to make a living outside the soul-sucking world of 9 to 5 jobs, and for a while between that Pink Floyd planetarium show in 1998 where holograms of the stars aligned before my eyes and it all made sense and when I was finally able to make enough money through MLM and my other income streams, I worked for a short time doing transcription.
If you are the kind of person to read articles online about the most lucrative work from home opportunities, you have probably heard transcription mentioned frequently. I guess there is a certain type of person for whom transcription is the perfect work from home job. That kind of person is one who has learned to type properly using all ten fingers and one who has a foot pedal with which to play and pause the sound file he or she is transcribing, and neither of those things describe me. I only lasted a few weeks at that job. After transcribing just 90 seconds of audio, my hand would invariably hurt more than it ever did in the early 90s when I played the entire Super Mario Brothers game from beginning to end, from the first KoopaTroopa to the final princess, in one day. (If you are too young to have had an old school NES, you could not save the game in those days. All you could do was hit the pause button, run to the kitchen to get more Vernors, and come back and play some more.)
Of the few files I did manage to transcribe before my hand was so sore that I could hardly even click “send” to submit my resignation, most of them were recordings of focus groups, usually giving their opinions on food products. Being a fly on the wall at a focus group was really interesting, especially since I had already tried my hand at a few MLM business opportunities prior to starting my transcription gig. It was interesting how a certain word in an advertising slogan could make some people in the focus group want to buy a product and others want to avoid it, and I came away convinced that there are some states in the U.S. where Greek yogurt is hailed is a hero, and then there is the Dannon Belt where people regard Greek yogurt the way the Know Nothing Party regarded immigrants, and then there are Greek yogurt swing states. (I am not really sure which were which, because place names were rarely mentioned in the files I transcribed, but people tended to have such strong opinions about Greek yogurt that they would mention it favorably or unfavorably even when giving their opinions on foods which most of us would never eat at the same meal with Greek yogurt.)
The lesson I learned from my focus group transcription days which is most applicable to those of us with a basement full of nutraceutical products we bought from various MLM companies with the intent of selling them is that almost everyone has an opinion about what it means to be healthy, what will make you healthy, and usually it is based on nothing. Some people are on a lifelong quest to ingest vegetarian sources of protein, even though they are not vegetarians themselves. Some will dump Pixie Stix into their mouths all day long just to be able to brag that it is beneath them to consume artificial sweeteners. Some get a kick out of being able to influence others to eat foods on the influencers “healthy” list, while others get a kick out of tricking their children and guests into eating foods the masters of deception consider healthy. The point is that there are a lot of people out there who feel that ingesting certain foods and supplements will make them superior to other people, and if you can figure out which foods and food ingredients make the placebo receptors in your subject’s brain light up, then, congratulations, my friend, you have a future in the nutraceuticals industry, and all the MLM merchandise piled up in your basement will be sold by the spring equinox.
As for me, I have better things to do than experimenting with which nutraceutical ingredients attach to the placebo receptors of my relatives and friends who are already sick of me asking them to buy MLM merchandise from me. I am on a mission. My quest is to review as many MLM companies; I have been reviewing a different one every day for a few weeks now. Yours is to decide which placebo works best on which of the people on your warm list. Once you figure that out, this Nature’s Sunshine review is for you.
Nature’s Sunshine: The Company and Its Products
After reviewing so many different MLM companies, and there are quite a few of them, they all start to blur together, except the ones that have a truly outrageous product or an interesting origin story. Unfortunately, this Nature’s Sunshine review will have to begin on a boring note, like so many of its sisters. Nature’s Sunshine was founded in (you guessed it) Utah, when the Hughes family started making herb capsules in their kitchen in 1972. When you research enough MLM companies, it seems like there are lots of them that started with a family making vitamin supplements in their kitchen, but the Nature’s Sunshine website does tell the story in a slightly more interesting way. Gene and Kristine Hughes started making capsules out of not just any plant but cayenne pepper, which Gene had been taking to cure his stomachaches. If you are thinking that ingesting large amounts of cayenne pepper probably makes your stomachache worse instead of better, the Hughes family eventually came to the same conclusion, which is why they started making the cayenne pepper into a pill you can swallow. Nature’s Sunshine claims to be the first company to sell herbal supplements in pill form.
Since then, the Nature’s Sunshine product line has expanded considerably. Much like DoTerra, Nature’s Sunshine products include essential oils such as lavender, jasmine, and patchouli, which will make you smell like you just came home from the Renaissance Fair, as well as oils like thyme, marjoram, and rosemary, which will make you smell like the inside of a Thanksgiving turkey. And then they have herbs, sold in pill and/or powder form, from Alfalfa, Bayberry, and Catnip to Marshmallow, Saw Palmetto, and Yucca. I am not denying that there is such a thing as a medicinal herb; if I did that, you could just wave the National Geographic Encyclopedia of Medicinal Herbs in my face, but I do have a problem with how expensive these very ordinary ingredients can be when sold through MLM companies. I don’t deny that yucca and alfalfa are good for you, but why not just get some alfalfa sprouts on your turkey sandwich at Subway or some yucca as a side dish with your Peruvian rotisserie chicken, and as for catnip, perhaps it’s about time Mittens paid you back for that time you gave him a cocktail shrimp. If he ignores you, ask again when he sobers up.
And from there, the Nature’s Sunshine products just sink deeper and deeper into familiar MLM merchandise territory. There are probiotics and weight loss supplements and supposedly anti-aging lotions. As another Nature’s Sunshine review I read put it so cynically, you might have success selling these products to the elderly or to women who are afraid of getting old or who are insecure about their weight.
Nature’s Sunshine Compensation Plan
Other Nature’s Sunshine reviewers have come right out and said that the real purpose of selling Nature’s Sunshine products is not to give your cousins their fix of catnip when their cats won’t share or to let them brag about eating cayenne pepper without having to taste the spice, or even to convince your mom’s neighbor that she will stay young and beautiful if she buys multivitamins from you instead of from CVS. The real purpose of the Nature’s Sunshine Compensation Plan is to refer other people to sell Nature’s Sunshine products. It’s the typical MLM business model.
The Nature’s Sunshine Compensation Plan actually offers a few different ways that you can distribute Nature’s Sunshine products. You can go the network marketing route, or you can distribute Nature’s Sunshine products in a retail store. If, by chance, you do have a retail store, then, by all means, sell Nature’s Sunshine products there at your store. If you have a retail store, you have no excuse for browbeating your sister-in-law into selling black cohosh and Echinacea tablets on your behalf.
The Nature’s Sunshine Compensation Plan is pretty standard, as MLM compensation plans go. You can buy the products at wholesale prices, making a profit of 33% if you manage to sell them, and you can earn commissions of up to 40% on the sales made by up to six levels of your downline. (That means that, if Adam recruits Carlos, Carlos recruits Desmond, Desmond recruits Evelyn, Evelyn recruits Filbert, Filbert recruits Grayson, and Grayson recruits Harold, Adam is eligible for a commission on all of their sales.) And then, if all the stars align eve better than they did in the planetarium that night when I watched the Pink Floyd light show, you are eligible to win prizes like cruises and car payments.
Advantages and Disadvantages
- As I said before, if you can figure out whose placebo receptors respond to which supplement, you may be able to sell some merchandise.
- Many of the Nature’s Sunshine reviews I found on YouTube were made by young, blonde women with British and/or European accents. That could be a major selling point in some markets.
- Your friends don’t want to smell like marjoram and swallow catnip, and neither do their friends.
- This is a problem with so many MLM companies, but the Nature’s Sunshine products are nothing you cannot find at your local supermarket for a lot less money.
If your aunt is a crazy cat lady with three or more cats, it would be fun to go to her house, spill a bottle full of catnip capsules on the floor, and see what happens, but other than that, I’m not impressed with the Nature’s Sunshine Compensation Plan. You would probably make more money by uploading a video to YouTube of your aunt’s cats playing with a bottle of catnip pills, all the better if her living room floor is made of white tile, and waiting for the video to go viral.
If you want to spend all day watching cats play with catnip pills on YouTube but still want to earn passive income while doing it give me a call.