Introduction to Vidacup MLM Compensation Plan
If you have read more than a few reviews of multilevel marketing (MLM) business opportunities here on Notebook Crazy, then you are probably familiar with the Grouch’s Paradox. The Grouch’s Paradox, in the immortal words of Oscar the Grouch on a Sesame Street record I used to listen to in the 80s when I was a kid, goes something like this: “Being miserable makes me happy, and being happy makes me miserable.”
But what happened to me today is more than just an example of the Grouch’s Paradox. One of the first things I found out when researching my Vidacup review is that Vidacup products are nutraceuticals, which put me in a bad mood, and that the flagship ingredient in Vidacup products is a type of fungus called Agaricussubrufescens, also known as Agaricusblazei, and this sent me into a tailspin (trash can spin?) of grouchiness. If, next, I had read a whole bunch of sites written by people who hate fungi as much as I do, and I actually had fun doing it and started looking forward to writing this Vidacup review, I could have chalked it up to the Grouch’s Paradox. But what happened today was something more.
First, a bit of background. Who am I, and why do I hate fungi so much? I am Brad, and I have not always hated fungi with such a passion. I am from the Midwest, and I enjoy a supreme pizza with pepperoni, sausage, green peppers, black olives, and mushrooms as much as anyone else here does. I don’t go out of my way to consume mushrooms, but I also don’t go out of the way to avoid them. The reason I hate fungi is because they very nearly destroyed my lifelong dream of owning my own business.
You see, I am a bit of a serial entrepreneur. I have been one since before that term existed. I always wanted to own my own business. I was a business major in college, but I quickly realized it wasn’t for me. (The last straw was when I went to a barbecue, and people were grilling Portobello mushrooms instead of burgers, but that is a story for another day.) I worked a series of not very well paying but not very demanding jobs, where I had lots of free time to read, and I made a serious effort to become the world’s most knowledgeable college dropout. I also lived within my means, staying with my parents or sharing a modest apartment with roommates. I decided that, when I turned 25, I was going to take whatever money I had saved and use it as startup capital for my own business.
Since my 25th birthday, I have tried a number of business ventures, from web design to freelance writing to search engine optimization (SEO). In some of my business projects, I have partnered with my childhood friend the other Brad, who is the cofounder of Notebook Crazy. About two years ago, the other Brad convinced me to sign up for a multilevel marketing (MLM) business opportunity that he had joined. I joined for two reasons: first, that I trust the other Brad’s judgment about business, and he seemed to have found success with his MLM opportunity, and second, because the other Brad has such extraordinary powers of persuasion that he could sell a hair brush to an eel. (Case in point, the other Brad talked me into a bet which requires me to buy him a theoretically unlimited amount of diet Vernors between now and the summer equinox, but that is a story for another day.) This MLM company was of the nutraceutical variety, as so many of them are, and its flagship ingredient was a certain fungus which shall remain nameless.
To make a long story short, I lost a whole lot of money because of that fungus. When I joined the MLM, I had enough experience in entrepreneurship to know that you have to invest a lot of time and a non-trivial amount of your own money into a business before it becomes profitable, but the autoship requirements that kept boxes of the supposed miracle fungus coming to my house and the bigger and bigger exaggerations (to put it politely) that I had to keep telling my downline distributors just to stay in the game got to be too much. I have, I am happy to say, paid off the credit card debt that I accumulated from that MLM business opportunity (that makes me luckier than most MLM survivors), but I still have a basement full of fungus projects, and a Humungous Fungus-sized grudge against most of the fungi kingdom.
So I started reading about A. blazei, also known as the almond mushroom, the mushroom of the sun, the mushroom of life, God’s mushroom, and Princess Matsutake. Of course there were the usual MLM claims. Princess Matsutake cures cancer. Princess Matsutake stimulates the immune system, whatever that means. I wasn’t impressed with any of the health claims, because I have heard them all so many times before when reviewing nutraceutical MLM companies, but I kept clicking links on Wikipedia and reading articles related to the Princess Matsutake article, such as the article on edible mushrooms, and I ended up finding a lot of reasons to like fungi. I read about how people in Europe go mushroom picking in the forest and the ways to tell an edible mushroom from a poisonous one. I read that the normal everyday supermarket mushroom, also known as the white mushroom or button mushroom (I shall refer to it as the “supreme pizza mushroom” for the sake of convenience) is actually the same species as the Portobello mushroom. The only difference is that the Portobello mushroom is older. That means that the supreme pizza mushroom is to the snobby foodie Portobello as veal is to beef or lamb is to mutton. I learned that penicillin is made by a fungus. I learned that some types of fungi can decompose petroleum and even plastic, meaning that they are a big part of the reason that our landfills are not bigger than they are. Fungi, I salute you.
This is not merely the Grouch’s paradox. This is something more. I believe this phenomenon is called “Ignorance is the root of bigotry.” The phenomenon I experienced is probably the thing that makes people want to be teachers. The more you know, the less you hate.
Vidacup: The Company and Its Products
Vidacup is a nutraceutical MLM company. Its flagship products are coffee drinks that contain Princess Matsutake herself, A. blazei, the almond mushroom. The Vidacup website goes out of its way to say that Vidacup products do not taste like mushrooms. Meanwhile, Wikipedia says that Princess M is known as the almond mushroom because it tastes like almonds, and I don’t know why Vidacup didn’t advertise this, since some people intentionally add almond flavoring to their coffee. (You know what else tastes like almond? Cyanide. I guess maybe “tastes like almond but is not really almond” is not the best sales angle for nutraceuticals.) Vidacup products include fungus coffee that makes you lose weight, fungus coffee that just makes you wake up, and just some plain old fungus supplements.
The Vidacup business opportunity was founded in 2012 by MLM veterans Jeff Mack and Donna Valdes, formerly of Waiora and Javita, respectively. One thing that does make Vidacup stand out from other MLM companies is that it was founded in North Carolina, which, while it does have its fair share of MLM distributors, is not the birthplace of a particularly high number of MLM companies.
The Vidacup Compensation Plan
When I clicked to download the Vidacup compensation plan from the Vidacup website, I got a dead link, so this information about the Vidacup compensation plan is based on what I was able to find on other Vidacup reviews such as the one on Behind MLM.
In order to qualify for any commissions in the Vidacup compensation plan, a Vidacup distributor must meet certain sales requirements or else autoship a certain amount of Vidacup merchandise to himself or herself per month. This is sounding a lot like how I ended up with a basement full of fungus. Once you do this, though, you are eligible for various types of financial gain:
- Retail profits – If you manage to sell Vidacup products, you can allegedly sell them for a 40% profit.
- Recruitment commissions – When you recruit a new Vidacup distributor, you get a bonus that varies in value based on which business starter pack your recruit buys. If the new Vidacup distributor buys a Bronze pack for $149.99, you get a bonus of $27.50. If he or she buys a Silver pack for $369.99, you get a bonus of $82.50. If the distributor buys a Gold pack for $699.99, you get a bonus of $165. If he or she buys a Bronze pack for $999.99, you get a bonus of $230.
- Binary residual commissions – Through a formula that is much too complicated to go into here, as long as the “legs” of your downline team are structured in certain ways, you can earn commissions on the sales made by your downline team. Depending on your leadership rank, these commissions range from $100 to $15,000.
- Unilevel residual commissions – You can get commissions on the sales made by individual members of your downline team. At the lowest rank, you get commissions on the sales made by the first three levels of your downline team, and at the highest rank, you get commissions on sales made by the first ten levels.
The leadership ranks in the Vidacup compensation plan are Associate, Silver Associate, Gold Associate, Director, Silver Director, Gold Director, Ambassador, Silver Ambassador, and Gold Ambassador. They are not even the slightest bit fungus themed. If I could name the leadership levels in the Vidacup compensation plan, I would call them Spore Print, Stipe, Hymenium, Cap, Princess Matsutake, and Humungous Fungus.
Advantages and Disadvantages
- The Vidacup website contains no mention of MLM home sales parties.
- Researching this Vidacup review led me to learn more about fungi than I had ever known. Before today, fungi were just the things that put a major dent in the businesses I had spent years building. Today I know about how they help the environment and about the wondrous ways in which they regenerate themselves.
- If your friend has a thousand dollars burning a hole in his pocket, why not just straight up ask him to give you 230 bucks without going through the whole nutraceutical MLM charade? If you insist on including fungi in this exchange, you could give him a slice of your supreme pizza as a token of your appreciation.
- blazei has so many interesting names, and the people at Vidacup did not see fit to name their nutraceutical company after any of them. Princess Matsutake sounds like she is ready to enter a beauty contest, or at least start a feud on social media with the lovely Miss Mangosteen. This really supports my theory that MLM is marketing to people who have too little imagination to think up their own businesses.
- Sales teams in the Vidacup compensation plan have a binary structure. Couldn’t they at least make them mushroom-shaped?
April Fool! I still hate fungi as much as I ever did. I am quite a convincing storyteller, and all of the facts I just told you about fungi in this Vidacup review are true, so I cannot blame you for believing them. If you still think, though, despite all the evidence to the contrary, that you are going to get rich through the Vidacup business opportunity or any other nutraceutical MLM business opportunity, then we are probably going to have to reform the calendar to make room for at least one more Fools’ Day, because one just isn’t enough.
Would you like to find out how I recovered financially from the fungus incident of 2014? Schedule a call with me.