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Univera MLM Compensation Plan Review 2.0

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Introduction to Univera MLM Compensation Plan

Aloe is refreshing, but so are a whole lot of other things.  Beer is refreshing.  Cantaloupe is refreshing.  Dragonfruit was the most refreshing ingredient in those voluptuously red juice cocktails I used to drink all the time in the summer between my junior and senior years of high school.  Egg salad is refreshing when it has been properly refrigerated.  Fruit salad is refreshing.  Grapefruit is refreshing, as are its ancestors the refreshing tangerine and the refreshing pomelo.  Honesty is refreshing.  Iced tea is refreshing.  Jolt Cola looks too syrupy and thick to be refreshing, but trust me, it is one of the most refreshing things you can ever drink; it was under the influence of Jolt Cola that I drove home from the Pink Floy planetarium show in the summer of ’98 and wrote the first installment of what would become Classic Rock Ragnarok, which, if it were around today, would be called a blog.  (At least, it is a lot more refreshing than the stuff that influences most other people to go home from Pink Floyd planetarium shows and write, but that is a story for another day.  If you are really interested, you can read my Healthy Headie review.)  Kiwi fruit is refreshing.  Lemonade is refreshing.  Mojitos are refreshing.  Notebook Crazy is, if I may say so, the most refreshing multilevel marketing (MLM) review blog you will ever click on.  Otter Pops are refreshing.  Popsicles of all sorts are refreshing, for that matter, sticks or no sticks.  Quiet is refreshing, especially if you have spent the whole day surrounding by noisy kids.  Road trips are refreshing, especially in the summer, and especially if they begin at night.  Seltzer water is refreshing.  Tonic water is refreshing.  Ugli fruit (which sometimes goes by the euphemism Uniq fruit) is refreshing, although perhaps not quite as refreshing as its close kin, the grapefruit.  (For more details abot the citrus family tree, please see my Unicity review.)  Vernors is so refreshing that, if you try to look up “refreshing” in the dictionary, the ginger bubbles start to sting your eyes and tickle your nose as soon as you turn to the first page of words that begin with the letter R.  Water is refreshing, although Wikipedia explicitly does not classify water as a beverage.  Xanthippe artichokes would be refreshing, if they existed.  Yerba mate beverages are said to be refreshing, although I have never tried them.  I have likewise never tasted Zingo pineapple soda, but it sounds so refreshing that I just might have to travel all the way to Sweden to try it.

Yes, there are a lot of refreshing things in the world, but out of all of the refreshing things I just named, and many more that I did not, of course the good people of the Univera business opportunity chose aloe to be a flagship ingredient in Univera products.  I am a little bit disappointed, but that as less to do with the aloe plant itself and more to do with my general disillusionment with the MLM industry in general and with nutraceutical MLMs in particular.  If you are reading this, you can probably relate.  Unless you belong to the proverbial 1%, you probably know someone whose basement is piled high with some sort of nutritional supplements sold through an MLM business model.  It may be that the person got suckered into becoming in MLM distributor (in which case, no judgment, I have been there myself), or perhaps the person was just trying to help out a co-worker or cousin who needed to enroll a certain number of autoship customers within a certain time frame in order to qualify for a fast start bonus.  Perhaps you thought you were helping your kid become financially independent; enrolling as one of his autoship customers seemed less like helicopter parenting than if you had just handed him an amount of cash every month equivalent to the retail value of the autoship delivery.

No, it isn’t the aloe that bothers me.  I kind of like aloe.  I have been to Florida, and on the advice of a sunburned German woman sitting near me at an MLM convention in a Florida hotel, I have broken a spiny leaf off of an aloe plant and rubbed the aloe gel straight from the plant onto my face.  Aloe gel has a pleasant smell.  It smells like it would have a good taste, cool, mild, and, for lack of a better word, refreshing.  In fact, I almost started this Univera review by writing about the culinary uses of aloe, but the more I read about them, the more they gave me the creeps.  I was hoping to find out that, in one or another part of the world, people use aloe as an ingredient in savory dishes of some sort, but all I could find was health food blogs with posts about aloe smoothies and poached aloe.  My research led me to believe that aloe as a food is a health fad, nutritious first and tasty second, which is completely not my style.  If you have ever read Notebook Crazy before, you know that I only like food when its primary purpose is to taste good.  To me, a few mushrooms on a pizza tying together the animal and vegetable textures of the other toppings, is a dream come true.  A weight loss fungus deliberately mixed with coffee so that you can’t even taste the fungus, on the other hand, is a nightmare.  (If you have not read Notebook Crazy before, and you just landed hear through an accident of search engine optimization, such as by Googling “in love with the orange next door”, “are Xanthippe artichokes real”, or “Pythagoras at Paisley Park”, then welcome.)

No, my issue is with the fact that MLMs take a naturally occurring plant ingredient that you can buy at the supermarket or, in the case of aloe, pick from your garden in Florida, and connect it to an overpriced product that, the MLM company alleges, is the way that truly business savvy people become healthy and wealthy, while the rest of the chumps out there are eating supermarket veggies and running on the treadmill.  It takes something that was harmless, if not downright enjoyable, and ruins the enjoyment of it, like when they use classic songs in car commercials.

Univera: The Company and Its Products

Univera

Neither the Univera website itself nor any of the Univera reviews I read while researching this Univera review explicitly state where the Univera company got its name, but I think I figured it out.  I think it was named after aloe vera, which is an ingredient in quite a few Univera products.  The Univera reviews I read did, however, say something about the Univera origin story, in which aloe vera plays a role.  (If you read enough Notebook Crazy reviews, you will discover that I enjoy hearing the origin stories of MLM companies, some of which are more believable than others.)  The founder of Univera is Bill Lee.  When Lee was a young man in Korea, his father became ill (the Univera reviews I read did not specify the nature of the elder Mr. Lee’s illness) and was restored to health after taking medicines that contained aloe vera.  According to the Univera origin story, this is why Bill Lee to start a nutritional supplement company.  As MLM origin stories go, this is pretty standard.  I have reviewed other MLM companies on this blog in which the founders decided to get into the nutritional supplement business after they or someone close to them experienced an improvement of health thanks to one or another ingredient.  This is all well and good, but it does not sufficiently explain why Bill Lee or the founders of any of the other companies would choose an MLM business model as opposed to, for example, just selling aloe vera products through an SEO-friendly website, which, in my opinion, sounds like it would be a lot simpler and more cost effective.

The Univera business opportunity is available in the United States, Canada, and Malaysia, and there is a line of text on the homepage of the Univera website in what appears to be Korean.  (I am not entirely sure it is Korean; it might be Chinese.  I am not very good at identifying non-Roman scripts.)

I know I have talked a lot about the fact that some Univera products contain aloe, but there is actually quite a big selection of Univera products, and not all of them contain aloe.  There is a long drop down menu on the Univera website, where you can choose to view Univera products specific to joint health, digestive health, weight loss, and a whole other array of purposes.

The Univera Compensation Plan

The Univera website does not offer up the secrets of the Univera compensation plan freely.  There is a page of the Univera website called “opportunity”, but both its text and its video are simply advertisements for the Univera business opportunity; they do not really give any details about the Univera compensation plan.  I did find that some Univera distributors had posted the Univera compensation plan online, and some had posted videos about it.

One of the first things that stood out to me about the Univera compensation plan is that it is associated with a particular kind of car.  Whereas a successful Mary Kay distributor gets rewarded with a pink Cadillac, if you do well as a Univera distributor, you get your very own Prius.  When I saw that, I immediately thought about that scene from the movie The Other Guys, where Mark Wahlberg’s tough guy character taunts Will Ferrell’s milquetoast about driving a Prius.

The leadership levels in the Univera compensation plan are Associate, Senior Associate, Executive, Bronze, Silver, Gold, Platinum, Diamond, and Blue Diamond.  There is a bonus pool available to the very small number of Univera distributors who reach the Blue Diamond level.  One of the criteria for rank advancement in the Univera compensation plan is having a certain number of members of your downline team achieve certain ranks, as well.  That means that there is a good chance that, if you join the Univera business opportunity, you will get a lot of phone call from your upline sponsor, pressuring you employ increasingly desperate tactics to boost your sales and recruitment, and if you succeed, there is a very strong possibility that you will make those same kinds of phone calls to the Univera distributors you recruit.

Advantages

  • I actually do feel quite refreshed after starting with aloe and thinking of something refreshing for every letter of the alphabet.
  • As I have mentioned many times before here on Notebook Crazy, everyone’s placebo receptors are different, and there must be someone somewhere whose placebo receptors respond to aloe vera. If you can find such a person, you may be able to convince him or her to buy Univera products.
  • There are some quite flattering pictures of aloe vera on the Univera website and on the packages of Univera products.

Disadvantages

  • The little blurb under the link to the Univera website when you do a Google search describes Univera products as “science-based”. If that phrase does not make your skin crawl, you really must be new to the world of MLM.
  • Some of the bonuses in the Univera compensation plan are based on achieving certain sales goals in a certain time frame. This is bad news, as it almost always translates into the kind of desperation that makes you spam your friends’ social media pages and ruin family reunions with your MLM sales pitches.

Conclusion

There is nothing shocking about the Univera business opportunity.  In fact, it seems very much like every other nutraceutical MLM out there, except with less interesting cars and a less interesting flagship ingredient.  It is about as interesting as a Prius.

Which refreshing refreshments did I leave out of my list at the beginning of this Univera review?  Schedule a call with me and let me know.

 

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