The Vollara website promises you can make your “dreams a reality with rewards you can earn from home.” However, a closer look tells a much different story.
Is Vollara a Pyramid Scheme? Vollara is not a pyramid scheme. Vollara is an MLM company and a member of the Direct Selling Association. However, according to research published on the FTC’s website, most Vollara distributors lose money
The purpose of this article is to help you decide if the Vollara business opportunity is right for you.
Vollara Will Cost You.
The one thing you can be sure of is Vollara will cost you money. In this article I show you that the probability you will make money with Vollara is about 1% while the probability you will LOSE money is about 99% (MLM Abysmal Numbers).
Becoming a Vollara Independent Business Owner costs money. It will cost you to join and it will cost you each month to maintain your active status with the company.
While the Vollara website states you do not have to buy products to be a distributor, the compensation plan clearly shows you must purchase products in order to qualify for bonuses and advancement.
How Much Does It Cost?
On the Vollara website, there is no mention of how much it costs to join as a Vollara Independent Business Owner. Nor is there any mention of how much it costs to remain active.
The compensation plan shows monthly maintenance of 100PQV and 200PQV but does not define what it is. One PQV might equal $1.
The Vollara website does not mention the cost of products either. Without this information it is impossible to determine how much it will cost you to try the Vollara opportunity.
Just Another Secretive MLM.
Vollara’s lack of transparency is suspicious. What are they hiding? Is it because few people would join Vollara if they knew how much it cost? Probably.
The MLM industry has a horrible reputation for a reason. MLM companies churn through trusting distributors like a Bush Hog through wet tissue, making millions while their distributors go broke or worse, in debt. Read The Heartbreak of MLM.
If Vollara is better than the average MLM, it should show us. However, instead of giving us the numbers, the Vollara’s website is loaded with little more than feel good ad copy and carefully scripted promises.
The Vollara Product Line.
This article is focused on the Vollara business opportunity. In the Vollara Income Disclosure Statement, it says that “No purchase is necessary to become a Vollara business associate and all products carry a 30-day money back guarantee.”
However, as a distributor you will have to buy Vollara products and continue to buy products each month. This can get expensive.
Vollara sells eco-friendly laundry products, water ionizing systems, air purification systems, and nutraceuticals. And, by any definition, they are expensive. The least expensive product I found was bottle of vitamins for $21.99 wholesale ($36.99 retail).
Although the Vollara website does not reveal prices, there are Vollera distributor websites that do list the prices.
For example, FreshAir Surround, an air purifying device, costs $499 wholesale ($799 retail). SteadyPower, a surge protector, costs $443 wholesale ($624 retail). LivingWater, said to make water healthier, costs $1,399 wholesale ($2,199 retail).
Here’s an interesting experiment. Search Amazon for any Vollara product and you will find a list of similar products that sell for a lot less. That’s your competition if you become a Vollara Independent Business Owner.
Why It’s Not About the Products.
Trying to sell the Vollara products might be challenging unless you know a ton of people who don’t mind spending a lot of money for things they can get for less elsewhere.
Like most MLMs, Vollara appears to expect their distributors to accomplish the impossible. That is, they expect their distributors to talk their friends and family into buying their expensive products. That’s called harassment and it isn’t how sales are made.
In a legitimate and transparent sales organization, sales are made when you find a group of people with a problem and then show them how your product solves their problem. It’s so much easier that way.
I suspect the truth is Vollara is not about the products. It’s about the so-called opportunity. It’s a lot easier to sell a $2,200 water gadget if you can convince someone they can make money with it.
Because like other MLMs, Vollara requires their distributors, aka Independent Business Owners, or associates to buy products, the IBOs are first and foremost customers. In fact, they are captured customers because for as long as they believe they can make money with their Vollara business, they will buy products until they go broke.
Vollara Sales a Dream.
A foundational strategy for MLMs is to sell the dream. Whatever your dream of a better life might be, Vollara claims their opportunity can help you get there.
They set an emotional hook into your brain. Once that happens, it’s difficult to make a rational decision. This is where most MLM distributors go wrong.
The Ugly Truth About Vollara.
Remember all the feel-good messages on the Vollara website, the promise to make your dream a reality? The ugly truth is that very few Vollara Independent Business Owners make a profit. Most spend more on products and other business expenses than they earn with the opportunity.
As a member of the Direct Selling Association, Vollara is required to publish an Income Disclosure Statement. An Income Disclosure Statement shows how much money Vollara distributors earn on average. However, it does not show how much they spent on products and business expenses.
Vollara does publish an Income Disclosure Statement, but it’s not easy to find. To find the Vollara Income Disclosure Statement, visit the Vollara website and click on “Career” in the menu. Then click on “Earning with Vollara.”
You’ll be greeted with a video. Beneath the video is a paragraph in very small, difficult to read text that says,
“…earning and/or lifestyle claims made in this video are not necessarily representative of the income, if any, that Vollara Independent Business Owners will earn…”
Beneath this paragraph, you’ll find a single sentence in small print that has a link to the income disclosure statement. (Or, you can just click here).
Vollara Income Disclosure Statement.
For copyright reasons, I will not reproduce the Vollara Income Disclosure Statement here. Follow the link post above to read the statement.
There is a lot of misdirection in the Vollara Income Disclosure Statement and you need to read it closely to understand the reality it represents.
In the first paragraph, we learn that 80% of Vollara distributors did not earn anything. If they did not earn anything and assuming they purchased products, it’s fair to assume they lost money.
Also, in the first paragraph, we learn that of the 20% of Vollara business associates that were paid a commission the “average annualized income” was $4,226. That’s before the cost of products is deducted.
Most people would earn more working part-time for minimum wage. It gets worse.
Vollara performs a sneaky bit of misdirection to make the income disclosure look rosier than it is. First, it writes off the 80% of its distributors who did not earn anything. They aren’t listed on the income statement.
The 20% of distributors who were paid commissions are named “Active Business Associates” in the right column. If you casually looked over the income disclosure, you would probably think that 28.7% of all associates earned an average of $103 for the year. That is NOT what the income disclosure is saying.
It is saying that 28.7% of 20% of all associates earned $103 for the year. When you realize that the cheapest Vollara product is a $22 bottle of vitamins, it’s reasonable to assume that after deducting for the cost of products, they actually lost money.
Follow the average earning column and you’ll see that only the top three levels made a full-time income. It shows approximately 5% of Active Associates, that is 5% of 20% of all distributors, earned more than $33,000 for the year. In other words, less than 1% of ALL Vollara distributors earned $33K or higher.
That is, less than 1% of all Vollara distributors earn a full-time income, BEFORE deducting the cost of products and business expenses.
How can Vollara promise you can make your “dreams a reality,” when the vast majority of Vollara distributors are losing money?
It goes back to an earlier point we established, which is, most Vollara distributors are not distributors. They’re captured customers.
A Closer Look.
In the above table, the information provided by the Vollara Income Disclosure is adjusted to show the income of ALL distributors. In this chart we can clearly see that 95% of all Vollara distributors LOST money.
This chart does not account for the time and energy these distributors poured into their Vollara business. Neither does it account for additional business expenses.
Vollara Income is Concentrated at the Top.
Continuing with our analysis of the Vollara Income Disclosure Statement, we can see how the income is concentrated at the top.
The average income for the top three levels rises steeply, more than doubling with each higher level. It goes from about $33,000 a year, to about $74,000 a year to about $155,000 a year.
The highest income achieved was $196,000.
And this is the top 1%!
Is Vollara a Pyramid Scheme?
Dr. Jon Taylor is an avid MLM critic. He’s conducted detailed research into the MLM industry in general and Vollara specifically. He has a deep resume in business and analysis. He also has a harsh opinion of MLM.
Taylor warns that the more a new recruit invests in an MLM, the more they will lose. He considers MLM to be as a product-based pyramid scheme.
In 2005, Taylor investigated Ecoquest, the predecessor of Vallara. He found that it cost about $2,300 per year for a distributor to run their business and that 99.56% of all distributors lost money.
What About the Vollara Compensation Plan?
Like nearly every other MLM, Volara uses a highly complex compensation plan to create the illusion that distributors are earning a lot of money.
The Vollara compensation plan is a sales tool.
It is forward looking and shows what you MIGHT earn if you jump through the proper hoops and qualify. Qualify means you purchased the minimum amount of products and achieved other milestones.
You can see the Vollara compensation plan here.
Why is the Vollara Compensation Plan So Complicated?
If you could logically assess all the pros and cons of the Vollara opportunity, you would probably conclude it is not a genuine opportunity.
Afterall, we’ve shown that less than 1% of Vollara distributors earn more than they spend. And that a part-time minimum wage job would pay better than the Vollara opportunity.
The Vollara compensation plan is complex for a reason.
It is designed to lull your rational mind to sleep, while at the same time exciting your emotions. We all know that emotional decisions are rarely good decisions. MLM companies use this strategy because it works.
It’s all part of hooking you emotionally so you will buy products and hopefully recruit your replacement before you go broke and quit.
Vollara Proper Due Diligence.
If Vollara is a business opportunity, we must analyze it like a business. We need to determine the cost of starting and running the business and weigh these costs against possible profits.
And, since this is a marketing business, we need to determine if there is indeed a market and what the competition might be.
Dr. Jon Taylor reported that in 2005, it cost about $2,300 a year to run an active Vollara distributorship while only a very small fraction of distributors earned more than this.
Vollara is secretive about the cost of qualifying for bonuses, so we can’t count on them to help us decide.
What about the market? Is there a market for expensive non-essential products like Vollara offers? It’s hard to tell. There is certainly plenty of competition from retail outlets.
The dilemma is that MLM attracts people who need to make money. These same people are usually associated with people like themselves who also need to make money. The flip side is they don’t have money to spend on expensive non-essential products.
It’s not possible to perform a complete and proper due diligence on the Vollara opportunity because Vollara withholds information. However, this should be reason enough to pass on it.
The Last Word on the Vollara Opportunity.
The Vollara business opportunity will certainly cost you money. Unfortunately, there is less than a 1% chance you will earn a profit. Your odds are better in Vegas.
Here’s the Vollara Kicker.
In MLM, the money is made in the overrides of the products your downline buys. People who succeed with MLM are people who have strong recruiting skills and build a massive downline, enough to populate a small town.
MLM has enormous turnover. To succeed you must be able to recruit faster than people are quitting.
Before joining Vollara, or any MLM, ask yourself, can you go into someone’s home and sell them the dream, while at the same time knowing they will probably spend money they can’t afford to lose and then quit without ever earning a dime?
An Antiquated Business Model.
MLM is an antiquated and inefficient business model that has never worked for the people on the bottom.
At best, a distributor builds a business inside a business and is dependent on the whims of the company. As we’ve seen with the Vollara income disclosure, most distributors are really unpaid employees and captured customers.
If you are searching for a way to make money from home, I encourage you to consider affiliate marketing.
Affiliate marketing offers far more upside. It’s highly efficient and flexible. Startup costs are minimal. It’s a business you own completely with countless strategies for earning multiple streams of income.