Introduction to SPX Nutrition MLM Compensation Plan
My dear mother has been reading the Dear Abby column in the newspaper for as long as I can remember. Sometimes, when I was a kid, my mom would cut out favorite Dear Abby columns and stick them on the refrigerator, as, presumably, she thought that their advice was applicable to a wider range of situations than just the one the letter writer was asking about. I grew up with the general impression that Dear Abby, in both her incarnations (Pauline Phillips the original Dear Abby, and then her daughter Jeanne, who currently writes the column) is full of common sense; the younger Dear Abby, especially, does not hesitate to call BS on letter writers who are trying to drum up sympathy for themselves when they are clearly in the wrong. She also does not hesitate to point out when behaviors and situations that the letter writer mentions only in passing are huge red flags. But yesterday Dear Abby showed herself to be completely naïve about the seedy world of multilevel marketing (MLM).
Yesterday, a woman wrote to Dear Abby asking how to politely deal with the following situation. The letter writer had received a gift basket of cosmetics from a friend who was promoting the cosmetics line. The letter writer had used only the lip balm before discovering that most of the products in the gift basket contained ingredients that the letter writer did not feel comfortable using. (I can’t remember why she did not feel comfortable with these ingredients, whether she was allergic to them, or they were not vegan, or what exactly.) The letter writer went on to say that these were “high end European” cosmetics, and that her friend was “wowed” by them.
If I listen carefully, all around me, I can hear the sound of MLM veterans face-palming as they read this tale of an unsuspecting MLM victim being pressured to get mixed up into the world of MLM. You and I both know that Dear Abby should have responded “MLM Alert! Run! Now!” But she didn’t. Instead, she examined various ways in which the letter writer could tactfully phrase her reasons for returning the unused merchandise to her friend without causing offense. At no point did she seem to notice that making appearance of being “wowed” by a “high end” product and disseminating it to friends and hallmarks of a person desperately scrambling for a fast start bonus in an MLM business opportunity. I am a bit surprised that she did not notice these disturbing signs, since Dear Abby can usually sniff out the warning signs of addictions, controlling family members, and irresponsible financial behavior based on so much as a comma. If Ann Landers, the sister of the original Dear Abby, were here, she would sentence Dear Abby to “fifty lashes with a wet noodle” for this oversight. (Fun fact: Ann Landers was the person who took Roger Ebert to his first Alcoholics Anonymous meeting in 1979. Ebert stayed sober for the rest of his life.)
It takes a story like that, of someone caught so off guard by the dealings of cosmetics MLM representatives, to make me feel relieved that my SPX Nutrition review only deals with a nutraceutical MLM company. I tend to be of the opinion that nutraceutical MLMs are the worst kind of MLM out there, but the fact that not only an unsuspecting victim but also Dear Abby herself was bamboozled by an MLM cosmetics sales pitch reminds me that, every time you declare something the worst, something even worse comes along.
On that note, onward to my SPX Nutrition review.
SPX Nutrition: The Company and Its Products
The list of SPX Nutrition products is quite short, but the story of the SPX Nutrition business opportunity is where things get complicated. Everyone agrees that Nutri-Thin, the best known of the SPX Nutrition products, predates the existence of the SPX Nutrition business opportunity by some time. All the SPX Nutrition reviews I read while doing research for this SPX Nutrition review agree that Rick Wall, the original proprietor of Nutri-Thin and a founder of the SPX Nutrition business opportunity, began marketing his weight loss supplement, Nutri-Thin, at least as early as 2009. One SPX Nutrition review that I read cited a source that said that Wall has had over 25 years of experience as a salesman and coach, but the writer of that SPX Nutrition review could not find any information about Wall from before 2009.
It appears that Wall originally marketed Nutri-Thin by himself, or perhaps with a partner named Lyle Waters. Then, at some point, he began to sell the product through an MLM company called EPX. He later cut ties with EPX and founded the SPX Nutrition business opportunity. All this time, Nutri-Thin has been the product he has most actively promoted, and today it is one of about four SPX Nutrition products.
I previously mentioned that Dear Abby is very good at identifying the exact location of sleazy behavior in complicated situations, but even she would be at a loss to separate the innocent parts from the sleaze in the origin story of the SPX Nutrition business opportunity. Most of the SPX Nutrition reviews I read were quick to brand Wall as one of those shameless pushers of low quality nutritional supplements who bound from one MLM business to another, taking their too-white smiles and their booming voices with them. In some of my other MLM reviews on this site, I have recounted stories of high-ranking MLM distributors who created new MLM companies out of the ashes of old ones or who jumped ship with their downline teams right before things got bad. The authors of the SPX Nutrition reviews I read must be familiar with those stories, too. It was too easy for them to see Nutri-Thin as some sort of Lernaean Hydra that keeps regenerating itself every time it gets destroyed, like that tiny Audrey III in the final frame of Little Shop of Horrors that keeps the movie from having a happy ending.
But the commenters in the comments section of those SPX Nutrition reviews that painted Rick Wall and his Nutri-Thin in a negative light told a different version of events. I am used to seeing bombastic, unreasoned defenses of MLM companies, their founders, and their products, in the comments sections of critical MLM reviews, but that was not the tone of these comments defending the SPX Nutrition business opportunity. The commenters universally described Rick Wall as an honest, helpful, and morally upstanding person. They declined to go into detail about why EPX had imploded, but they insisted that Wall did the right thing by leaving EPX when he did. These were not sweeping claims about the health benefits of SPX Nutrition products nor a catch-all condemnation of jealous haters; they were more like something a character witness would say. You do not see that very much in the MLM world (think about how many times you have seen the phrase “science-based” MLM reviews versus how many times you have seen the word “honest”), and for that reason, I am inclined to take them seriously.
One of the comments that offered a rare insight into the decline of EPX revealed another disturbing fact about MLM, and about nutraceutical MLM companies in particular. The commenter said that he was the owner of a gym, and that when EPX failed to send him the supplements that he had ordered on behalf of his customers, he had to give away hundreds of dollars’ worth of personal training sessions in order to compensate them. I think that the gym owner did the right thing by offering his customers compensation when they did not receive the products they had paid for, but it gives me the creeps that gyms are distributing MLM nutraceuticals. I have lots of reasons to avoid gyms and to stick to being a couch potato, but that story gives me one more reason.
Besides Nutri-Thin, the SPX Nutrition products are Nutri-Cleanse, Xtreme Cardio, and Sea Veg, all of which have quite transparent and self-explanatory names. The possible exception is Sea Veg, since, as I have discussed on other MLM reviews on this site, not only is “sea vegetables” a euphemism for “seaweed”, but the term “seaweed” itself is a euphemism. That stud that ruins your swim in the ocean and that makes your sushi roll hold its shape so neatly is neither a vegetable or a weed; seaweed is, in fact, algae, meaning that it is a close relative of the slime that accumulates on the surface of your swimming pool if you do not shock your pool often enough.
The SPX Nutrition Compensation Plan
I was able to find a detailed description of the SPX Nutrition compensation plan on the SPX Nutrition review on an MLM review site called Behind MLM. I also found that someone had posted the SPX Nutrition compensation plan document in the form of a slideshow on Slide Share. The leadership levels are Customer, Independent Professional, Senior Independent Professional I, Senior Independent Professional II, Manager, Senior Manager I, Senior Manager II, Director, Senior Director I, Senior Director II, Executive, Senior Executive I, Senior Executive II, Corporate Director, Senior Corporate Director I, Senior Corporate Director II, Corporate Executive, Senior Corporate Executive I, Senior Corporate Executive II, and IGSC. (None of the versions of the SPX Nutrition compensation plan said what IGSC stands for.)
The SPX Nutrition compensation plan includes big rank advancement bonuses, namely $1,200 for reaching the Director level, $24,000 for reaching the Executive level, $120,000 for reaching the Corporate Director level, $320,000 for reaching the Corporate Executive level, and $1,000,000 for reaching the IGSC level. Once you reach the Senior Director II level, you also get a lifestyle bonus each month, which sounds very nice until you consider the fact that it is nowhere near enough to break even after the amount of money you have spent on autoship of SPX Nutrition products. The lifestyle bonus ranges for $200 per month for Senior Director II to $5,000 for IGSC.
Advantages and Disadvantages
- The fact that the comments on the SPX Nutrition review on Behind MLM contained genuine defenses of Rick Wall’s character rather than paranoid ruminations about how nutritional supplements are your only defense against the conspiracy that is modern medicine is too rare to go unnoticed.
- Rick Wall may very well be a very nice guy, but nutritional supplements and the MLM companies that distribute them just are not my cup of tea.
- The SPX Nutrition compensation plan is not very transparent about how “personal volume” is calculated.
- The SPX Nutrition review on Behind MLM concluded that the SPX Nutrition business opportunity puts more emphasis on the recruitment of new SPX Nutrition distributors than it does on the sale of SPX Nutrition products, but stories like the one in the gym owner’s comment lead me to believe that there are SPX Nutrition distributors out there who put a lot of effort into selling products.
- Autoship of SPX Nutrition products figures prominently into the SPX Nutrition compensation plan. I do not want a basement full of seaweed, thank you very much.
The SPX Nutrition business opportunity does not even come close to being the sleaziest MLM company to sell nutritional supplements, but I still cannot recommend that you invest in it. The products just are not unique enough to justify the price and, as is the case with any product-based MLM, the process of recruiting new distributors is way too much work for so little financial reward. You will make more money just by sticking with the job you already have.
Happy Mother’s Day to moms everywhere. I hope that this SPX Nutrition review reminded you that your kids really are paying attention to the little things you do, like posting Dear Abby columns on the refrigerator. What is the littlest thing you ever did that your kids noticed? Schedule a call with me and let me know.