Is Vasayo a Pyramid Scheme? – The Offspring of Flawed Opportunity
Knowing that all multi-level marketing (MLM) companies promise lucrative compensations, you are considering gambling for a new MLM named Vasayo. You just have that marketing daredevil in you that you are willing to risk jumping into a new company. Anyway, what could go wrong, right? Vasayo rhymes with halo, Oreo and your son’s name, Julio. That’s cute. So, it’s probably safe and legit! Who are the founders of the company anyway? Well, it doesn’t matter, does it? As if the founders’ reputation could hurt the opportunity you are taking. Geez. Oh, but you are still doubting, aren’t you? Just ask it… say it… Is Vasayo a pyramid scheme?
- Company: Vasayo
- Founders: Dallin Larsen and Karree Larsen
- Products: Dietary Supplements and Skincare Products
- Website: www.vasayo.com
- Cost to Join: $49.95 Enrollment Fee and $239 to $1,399 Initial Product Order
With the vision to “transform lives physically, financially, spiritually and socially through the superior delivery of products, opportunity, and community,” a company named Vasayo was built in 2016. Vasayo claims to offer products that deliver superior results and a generous financial opportunity highlighting that it is “an ecosystem of vibrant people, cutting-edge science, and an experienced corporate team with the ability to dream big.”
Through its founders, husband and wife, Dallin Larsen and Karree Larsen, the company prides itself on being “different” from other companies in the market by aiming to “deliver solutions to health-conscious consumers who demand superior quality and delivery of key ingredients for maximum product performance.” That said, the company assures us by using science and utilizing “the latest technology” in offering solutions to the market. Believing that it has the “inherent power” to transform dreams into reality, Vasayo sells its advocacy through the charismatic words it offers to its prospects. Nonetheless, could the company really build triumph out of dreams? Or does Vasayo just transform nightmares into reality for everyone involved with it?
Vasayo offers various dietary supplements and skincare products. Nonetheless, the company draws a line that separates its products from others in the market. With the fact that only a small amount of nutrients reaches the intended location of the body, Vasayo claims that it discovered a delivery system that would make it possible for these nutrients to be absorbed by the body effectively.
According to the company, using its “Advanced Delivery Technology” that utilizes enzymes, the delivery of the key nutrients within an individual’s body would be optimized. With its “smart enzyme delivery system,” the company says that the nutrients would be aided in passing through the harsh environment of the digestive system. This keeps the nutrients somehow undestroyed giving consumers “premium quality products designed to maximize results and minimize waste.”
That said, the company offers the following products:
- Beleza Rejuvinating Cream $89.95
- Beleza Serum $149.95
- Beleza Hydrating Mist $64.95
- Eternal Liposomal Antioxidant Super-Blend $89.95
- Renew Microgel $54.95
- V3 Powder Drink $57.95
- Sleep Micromyst Dietary Supplement $54.95
- Core Complete Microcaps $64.95
- V-Slim Weight Management $107.95
- Nuero Dietary Supplement $59.95
Despite the enticing claims of Vasayo regarding the products, the company states that none of its statements has been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Ironically, it continues to tag its products with the most impressive words.
One of them is the Eternal Liposomal Antioxidant Super-Blend which is described as “the world’s most potent known antioxidants and polyphenols.” Anyone who has little knowledge about such scientific words could be easily impressed. Nonetheless, this claim is vague and questionable. Polyphenols are beneficial plant compounds with antioxidant properties. Polyphenols work as antioxidants. If Visayo is referring to the “most potent polyphenol,” which kind is it among polyphenol’s 8,000 kinds? Currently, the most powerful natural antioxidant currently known is hydroxytyrosol which can be found in olives, specifically in its leaves and olive pulp.
Though there are studies that could back up the claims of Vasayo about the health benefits of the raw materials it uses, there are no available studies that could prove the magic behind the science of its actual products. With that, no matter how elegant the company presents its products, everything remains as opinionated claims without proper and proven studies.
The FDA, on the other hand, doesn’t have the power to prove such claims about dietary supplements due to Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act of 1994 that states dietary supplement firms do not need FDA approval prior to marketing their products. Nonetheless, the responsibility of validating the safety and truthful claims about the products relies on the hands of the companies producing them.
With that, shouldn’t Vasayo need to be more careful with the words it is using and ideas that it is implying about its products? The public would probably prefer average-performing yet honest products than majestic yet unproven ones. Unfortunately, profiting through selling fantasy and dreams is easier over truth in MLM industry.
Compensation Plan: Can I Earn at Vasayo?
As Vasayo boasts to deliver a “prosperous life” among people, it offers numerous possible ways that a Brand Partner (consultant) could use to earn. However, to be eligible for the commissions and bonuses at Vasayo, you as a Brand Partner must first enroll in the company that would cost $49.95 for the fee. This will be followed by a placement of your initial product order that acts as your starter kit. There are different choices that you could choose from; the Intro pack (costs $239 and contains one bottle of each product), Founder’s Pack (costs $329 and contains one bottle of each product, 2 energy sample packs and 2 sleep sample packs), Platinum Pack (costs $699 and contains all items in Founder’s Pack and additional bottles of each product), Executive Pack (costs $949 and contains additional sleep and energy sample packs and three to five bottles of each MicroLife product), and Ambassador Pack (costs $1,399 and contains variety of products, six sleep and energy sample packs and a free ticket to the convention).
Before you make your sales, on the other hand, do remember that you need to make 80 Personal Volume (or PV which is generated through your personal and customer purchases) a month to stay in active status and to be eligible for some commissions. You have the option to have this monthly requirement of 80 PV by enrolling for the Loyalty Convenience Program (LCP) which auto-ships your products every four weeks. You also have the option to have the 160 PV LCP which allows you to enjoy bigger commissions.
With that, here are the ways that you could earn your commissions and bonuses at Vasayo.
- Customer Sales Bonus (CSB)
Being a Vasayo Brand Partner gives you the right to sell Vasayo products. Besides using the products in your inventory, you also have the option to direct your customers to your own replicated website provided to you by the company during your enrollment.
By selling your products, you earn 20 percent Commission Volume (or CV that is assigned to all orders to determine payout calculations) on every item your customer would purchase.
- Product Introduction Bonus (PIB)
This bonus gives you rewards whenever you encourage your personally-sponsored Brand Partners to place their first commissionable order. This gives you 20 percent PIB on each of your personally-sponsored Brand Partner’s first commissionable order. Hence, if your personally-sponsored Brand Partner purchased an Ambassador Pack that costs $1,399, you would have your 20 percent PIB or $279.8. Also, that first order’s volume would roll up and would be applied towards your other payouts and rank advancements.
- Team Commissions (TC)
To earn this commission, a Brand Partner must be considered active and eligible for TC by maintaining at least one active personally-sponsored Brand Partner on each placement tree leg since Vasayo uses a binary compensation plan. With that, you would be eligible to earn $28 TC whenever you manage to produce 240 CV on one of your legs and 480 CV on the other. It has a weekly cap of 1,000 cycles which could give you up to $28,000 TC weekly IF and only IF you would be able to meet those 1,000 cycles. On the other hand, your unused CVs, since balancing the CV on both legs could be hard, would be carried forward to help you qualify for future bonuses as long as you stay active.
- Team Commission Matching Bonus (TCMB)
If other bonuses only require you to 80 PV to get them, TCMB requires Brand Partners to at least produce 160 PV. After that, you would be eligible for TMCB down to seven generations deep. To reach the last generation, of course, you need to reach the highest rank which is the Crown ranks.
As a Bronze, you are eligible for 20 to 30 percent TCMB. In this rank, you have the 20 percent as your base TCMB. If you would be able to maintain at least 400 CV with at least five active customers, the first generation percentage would go up to 25 percent. On the other hand, this would turn into 30 percent if you would be able to maintain at least 640 CV with at least eight active customers. For your customers to be considered active, you need to encourage each of them to purchase at least 35 PV worth of products every 4 weeks.
After that, as you advance in ranks and produce other generations, you would be placed into Silver rank that receives 10 percent TCMB and Gold rank up to Crown ranks that are eligible for 5 percent TCMB. Here is the complete list of Brand Partner ranks together with their corresponding TCMB percentages from First to Seventh Generation.
- Global Leadership Bonus (GLB)
This bonus starts at the paid-as Gold rank and continues to the highest rank in the organization. You also need to produce 160 PV to be considered eligible for GLB. With that, you would be eligible to take part in compensating for the 3 percent Global CV of the company being paid every week. This is based on the total Global CV pool and your individual points. Also, by attaining high paid-as ranks every week would give you bigger points for GLB.
You can also earn more points by supporting your personally-sponsored Brand Partners to achieve high paid-as ranks.
To determine your GLB, the value of one bonus point is calculated by dividing the pool amount by the total bonus points. That value is then multiplied into the points Brand Partners earned to determine the bonus amount.
- Rank Advancement Bonus (RAB)
By advancing to Ambassador ranks, you would receive the RAB that pays you depending on the rank you would be able to attain. Apparently, there are specific requirements and quotas that should be met to be eligible for these ranks. Nonetheless, when you reach them, you would be paid $100K for the Black Diamond rank, $200K for the Royal Black Diamond rank, $400K for Imperial Black Diamond rank, $600K for Crown Blue Diamond rank, $800K for Double Crown Blue Diamond rank, and $1M for Triple Crown Blue Diamond rank.
- Lifestyle Trips (LT)
LT is given for high ranking positions that are eligible for Blue Sapphire Celebration (trip for two to a regional destination for 5 days ad four nights), Diamond Destination (trip for two to Hawaii and other destinations for six days and five nights), Black diamond Discovery (trip for two to world-famous destinations for seven days and six nights), and Crown Blue Diamond Exclusive (trip for two to world-famous destinations for 10 days and nine nights).
How Much Will I Earn at Vasayo?
Like a written rule, a compensation plan’s efficacy can only be measured by the transparent and honest figures listed on the income disclosure statement (IDS) of a company. Unfortunately, almost all MLM companies present their IDS with utter ambiguity and complexity to lead prospects in false beliefs that they are being offered with prosperous opportunities. However, almost all MLM IDS contain ugly figures that can only be concealed using complexity bias and unnecessary figures and statements. Doing all possible tricks, from omitting the actual numbers of individuals earning ugly figures to just stating the impressive figures of high-ranking individuals, these MLM companies have the audacity to present their IDS. Nonetheless, there are MLM companies that choose to hide their figures completely from the scrutinizing eyes of the public. Vasayo is one of them.
After a lot of digging, I failed to find any Vasayo IDS. However, I did find a copy of its policies and procedures in presenting its IDS to its prospects. Aha! Why does Vasayo only present such information to its prospects while other MLMs bravely present theirs in public? Are the figures so bad that even complexity bias and ambiguous presentations would not do anything good? Well, only Vasayo folks can answer that.
While reading the provided procedures, I did notice the “magic” that this particular paragraph is trying to convey to its IDS presenters. Take a look at this.
With the phrases that the company is suggesting for presenters to use, it is obvious that Vasayo is aiming to uplift the entirety of its opportunity. Though it is possible that the “number one Brand Partner earned over a million dollars last year,” and an “average ranking Brand Partner” to make “five thousand per month,” the idea being implied in such bragging statements is that the said ranks are consistently earning good figures. However, the business in the MLM industry is uncertain. There are lots of stories that could prove how inconsistent life is in this industry.
This is the reason why some MLM companies prefer to have their consultants personally explain their IDS and compensation plans to prospects. This is the power of words of MLM folks.
So, after all that, how much would you earn at Vasayo? Well, it depends on the twisted fantasy story that an assigned Vasayo Brand Partner would tell you.
Should I Trust Vasayo?
If there are things that are quite impressive about Vasayo, they are the company’s persistence in using a lot of scientific jargons to beautify the presentation of its products and the poetic promises it offers to prospects. I even encountered some reviews praising and deeming the company’s founders as reputable individuals in the industry. Oh, don’t get me wrong. Dallin Larsen and Karree Larsen probably have clean legal records. Unfortunately, Dallin Larsen was the founder of MonaVie. So, what? What’s the catch about being a founder of another MLM? Shouldn’t that be something impressive? Well, yes, MonaVie “was” a successful MLM company until it defaulted on a US$182 million loan and was taken over by Jeunesse Global and only to go into a foreclosure in 2015. Oh, don’t blame it on Jeunesse Global.
Prior to its end, Dallin Larsen’s MonaVie faced a lot of controversies. One of them was the company’s questionable claims on its products’ potential. Due to the huge controversy, an analysis was conducted to prove the falsehood of the claims. In an analysis conducted by contract laboratory ChromaDex, MonaVie was deemed containing low levels of antioxidant vitamin C and of phytochemicals associated with antioxidant activity in test tubes. This was opposite the statements being claimed by the company at those times.
Also, MonaVie promoted that its juice had key polyphenol antioxidants from açai and other fruits in the blend. Nonetheless, no physiological evidence proving that fruit polyphenols have great actions in humans or that oxygen radical absorbance capacity has any significance in the human body.
Though polyphenols perform with positive results in vitro studies (controlled test tube conditions), it is said that antioxidant effects in the human gut are most probably insignificant to nothing. This was affirmed by the FDA, Linus Pauling Institute and European Food Safety Authority, stating that dietary polyphenols have little to no direct antioxidant food value after digestion since they are just mostly ending up in excretion. Do you remember something? Ahh… Vasayo’s Eternal Liposomal Antioxidant Super-Blend! Vasayo folks could always contest that the antioxidants could be spared from the harsh nature of the digestive system through the company’s Advanced Delivery Technology. That could be probably true. However, that would remain as a baseless claim until its efficacy is proven by a realistic study. Facts. Facts. Facts.
This is the same story that put MonaVie in the middle of boatloads of lawsuits. It includes a class action lawsuit filed against MonaVie in the US District Court of New Jersey, trademark infringement, lawsuits filed by Oprah Winfrey and Dr. Mehmet Oz, and another class action lawsuit in the Circuit Court of Miller County, Arkansas.
Even the original developer of MonaVie and the company’s chief science officer that time, Ralph Carson, stated that the juice was "expensive flavored water" and highlighted that “any claims made are purely hypothetical, unsubstantiated and, quite frankly, bogus."
There was also a clinical case report indicating that the use of MonaVie Active might cause fluctuations in blood clotting in patients using warfarin or other coumadin blood thinners. According to another clinical case report, consumption of MonaVie was also linked to some cases of cardiac hypertrophy and pulmonary hypertension at birth.
With that, MonaVie gained an infamous reputation in the industry and was even described as a pyramid scheme by some Forbes reporters. This was worsened when it was discovered that only 14 percent of the Distributors in the company made a profit as admitted by MonaVie’s Executive VP, Henry Marsh, in a 2009 Deseret News article. According to a Hartford Courant article that tackled MonaVie’s 2008 IDS, 45 percent of the Distributors in the company that time received less than $1,600 for a year while 37 percent received checks around $2,000. On the other hand, only two percent of the Distributors’ population received $29,000, and a pity number of 7 out of 80,000 Distributors received more than $3 million.
While it is a fact that MonaVie’s founders (Dallin Larsen, Randy Larsen and Henry Marsh) left the company to the leadership of Mauricio Bellora a year before the company’s end, some speculate that the three had foreseen the inevitable end of the company that led them to the decision of abandoning the ship. Now, the Larsen couple states that they decided to spend the rest of their days building their third and final company saying “WE HAVE EVERY INTENTION OF LEADING THIS COMPANY UNTIL OUR LAST BREATH.” Nonetheless, would they be able to hold on to these words once Vasayo starts to fall in the same abyss where MonaVie ended?
Is Vasayo a Pyramid Scheme?
Though Vasayo presents a lot of flaws when it comes to its products and founder’s past, the company is considered legit… at least legally. Nonetheless, being an MLM company, it possesses one particular quality of an illegal pyramid scheme: the structure.
In this pyramid structure, an MLM forms the organization of its members in a pyramid system; those who joined during the early conception of the company would be placed on top while the new recruits would be placed at the bottom. This is the reason why recruitment of members is crucial in the MLM industry.
With this system, those at the top are given the perks of obtaining “commissions” from the earnings of those at the bottom. Though this is something described as a benefit of a member, it practically serves as a burden for those who are being robbed of their rightful earnings. This explains why only few individuals in an MLM company earn massive incomes while almost 99 percent of the population receives little to nothing. With such imbalance in the system, a high failure rate in the MLM industry remains rampant.
Weighing Things: Pros and Cons
Before you dive into this opportunity, let us first have a review of the important points that you should consider.
- Vasayo claims that its discovery, the Advanced Delivery Technology, could aid in better and effective absorption of nutrients.
- The company offers multiple ways to earn. You could even receive a million dollars if you would be able to reach a specific rank.
- The company is new. This means that you have a greater chance of reaching the top easily since it still hasn’t saturated the market.
- The company’s claim about its products’ delivery system remains unproven.
- It doesn’t provide IDS for the public to see. Remember that viewing it yourself is different from a Brand Partner twisting the facts just to present it to you in a favorable way. Also, no company would conceal such details if there is nothing hideous about it.
- It is owned by a person who previously founded a disreputable company. No matter how much people romanticize the memory of MonaVie, it is still a fact that it has a controversial existence filled with lawsuits, false claims, and financial failure.
- Vasayo is an MLM. Whether it is legal or not, an MLM has a high failure rate.
Conclusion: The Verdict
Everyone deserves a second chance. That is true. Nonetheless, trusting another MLM company conceived by a founder that also nurtured a controversial one is a different thing. MonaVie didn’t just affect a single life. It wasted the time of many of its Distributors only to earn pitiful figures for a year and only to endanger the lives of consumers.
With the new company, Vasayo, built by Larsens, we are not just talking about numbers, we are talking about lives that could possibly fall again to an abyss of unproven claims, faulty opportunity, and wasted times. This is the last thing we need: to trust again to an offspring of a flawed opportunity.
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