This Puratae review investigates the Puratae business opportunity and exposes potential obstacles you may face as a Puratae Brand Partner or affiliate.
Is Puratae a good opportunity? The Puratae website does not disclose any information about the opportunity, and there is no published record of any Puratae Brand Partner ever earning a commission. Because of Puratae’s lack of transparency, it is impossible to determine if the opportunity is legitimate. Assume the worse.
There are a lot of feel-good messages on the Puratae website. However, there are also a lot of red flags.
I begin my Puratae review with a general look at the predatory nature of the MLM industry and then move on to red flags specific to Puratae. Finally, I drill down to expose details about Puratae you need to know.
What is Puratae?
Puratae is a Multi-level Marketing company. The Puratae website does not offer any information about the company, so we are left to describe Puratae based on information found elsewhere online.
The one sure thing about the Puratae opportunity is it will cost you money.
It’s important to remember that because of the awful reputation of the MLM industry, some MLM companies will describe themselves as a Network Marketing or Direct Sales company. Or, they will hide the fact they are an MLM and otherwise pretend they are different. This appears to be the case with Puratae.
Puratae Brand Partners.
In addition to affiliates, Puratae distributes its product through a contractual multi-level sales force. And it offers the opportunity for distributors, aka Brand Partners, to build a downline and earn overrides on the distributors they recruit. That is an MLM.
BehindMLM states; “Puratae operates in the nutritional supplement MLM niche,” and discusses the Puratae compensation plan which has 9 levels in the sales structure.
The Puratae compensation plan is a typical MLM compensation plan.
We can only speculate as to why Puratae avoids calling itself an MLM and why it neglects to tell us anything about the company or who owns it.
MLM is a Predatory Business Model.
Decades of research shows that MLM is a predatory business model where less than 1% of the sales force earns a profit. Read “MLM’s Abysmal Numbers” on the Federal Trade Commission’s website.
The MLM business model can be extremely profitable for the people who own the company and for a few distributors at the top of the sales force. Unfortunately, most of the wealth earned by the company owners and the few at the top is taken from the pockets of the distributors. Read The Heartbreak of MLM.
In general, MLM companies extract money from their sales force in four different ways.
- They sell a dream that is impossible to achieve for 99% of the people who try for it.
- They charge a fee to join.
- They require distributors to buy products to qualify for commissions and bonuses, thus turning every distributor into a captured customer.
- They push new distributors to buy large amounts of product, aka product loading, often maxing out the distributor’s credit cards.
- They reward recruiting over retail sales.
- They have excessive levels in their sales structure, which benefits the few at the top at the expense of the rest of the sales organization.
Because research shows the MLM business model exploits its sales force, each MLM company is challenged to demonstrate how they are not like the others.
In my view, Puratae fails to prove they are substantially different from a typical MLM.
The only difference I see in Puratae is their attempt on the front end to appear genuine and trustworthy. On the back end, they are a typical MLM with the same exploitative policies as every other MLM.
How to Spot a Pyramid Scheme.
Before you join Puratae, or any MLM, take a few minutes to watch the short video “How to Spot a Pyramid Scheme.”
Many MLMs are actually pyramid schemes and many more operate dangerously close to the pyramid scheme model.
The 3 minutes it takes to watch this video can save you from making a decision you might later regret.
Lack of Transparency.
While visiting the Puratae website, I was struck by its lack of transparency. The entire Puratae website is an unsubstantiated, feel-good, fluff piece without any useful information. When a business is not transparent, you must wonder what are they hiding?
For example, as with many websites, there is an “About” tab in the upper menu of the Puratae website. However, if you visit that page, you won’t find anything about the company or who owns it.
All you will find is a commercial for the Puratae product and an awkwardly phrased promise to donate meals to children in need.
On the “Giving” page, Puratae states; “For every Pure Superblend purchased, we donate ten meals to children in need.” I hope that’s true. However, like so many claims on the Puratae website, this claim cannot be verified.
On the “Giving” page, there is a link to Mary’s Meals, a global non-profit that provides simple meals to children in need throughout the world.
Puratae is indeed donating to Mary’s Meals. I emailed Mary’s Meals and asked if Puratae was a contributor. I received a reply from Rob Turner, Outreach and Fundraising Coordinator. Here’s what Mr. Turner said in his email:
Puratae has been a supportive business and has contributed on a fairly regular basis to Mary’s Meals. Mary’s Meals receives support from a wide variety of individuals, faith communities, and businesses, and Puratae has been one of the businesses that has been supportive with financial contributions.
I was pleased to learn that Puratae does give to Mary’s Meals. While this review of Puratae is largely critical, the company deserves credit for supporting a worthy charity. For every dollar given to Mary’s Meals, 93 cents goes to feeding children.
Visit Mary’s Meals and make a contribution. Go to MarysMealsUSA.org
Certified Pure? Not Really.
On a similar note, Puratae claims their product is pure and even claims it is “Certified Pure.” Did an independent lab certify the purity of the product? Apparently not. There is no evidence of certification on the website.
Also, the “Certified Pure” icon on the Puratae website is suspect. If you Google “Certified Pure,” you’ll discover that no company or organization is associated with it.
Also, if you search the US Trademark Office, you’ll see that the “Certified Pure” icon on the Puratae website is not registered. In other words, it looks like “Certified Pure,” and the icon are just made up for marketing purposes.
Who Owns Puratae?
When you visit the Puratae website, it’s not obvious who owns the company. Unless someone tells you where to find the information, you may never know who owns Puratae.
While the intuitive place to tell about the owners would be the About page, you’ll have to visit the Puratae blog to find the owners.
Meet the Holker Family.
When you click on “Blog” in the upper menu of the Puratae website, you’ll come to a page of recipes. Click the “Up Close” button, and you’ll arrive at an article about Marty and Heather Holker, the founders and co-CEO’s of Puratae.
It’s a lovely article about a beautiful family published in Alpine Life Magazine, a magazine that is so small it cannot be found in Google.
While reading the article, it’s easy to fall in love with the Holkers.
Unfortunately, in my opinion, the integrity and goodwill established in the article is not consistent in Puratae’s organization and policies. More on that in a moment.
How Will They Manage Puratae?
Now that we know who owns Puratae, we can look into their past and perhaps gain some insight into how they will run Puratae.
Prior to founding Puratae, LLC on January 25th, 2018, the Holkers were successful distributors with the nutritional supplement MLM company NuSkin. Prior to NuSkin, the Holkers were successful distributors with the nutritional supplement MLM company Synergy Worldwide.
Historically, both NuSkin and Synergy Worldwide emphasize recruiting over retail sales.
While I am not implying that the Holkers were in any way associated with wrongdoing at NuSkin, it is worth noting that NuSkin has been investigated for unethical and illegal practices including paying $47 million to settle a claim they were a pyramid scheme.
Meet Marty Holker.
Marty Holker grew up in Network Marketing/MLM.
In 1998, Marty and his father, Robert, pleaded guilty to bilking investors out of more than $2 million and to multiple counts of securities fraud. They both served time in jail. (Source)
The Holkers told some investors that a revelation from God had promised that gold would be found in the mine near Sheridan, Mont., and misled investors as to the mine’s profitability.
If you visit martyholker.com, you’ll find a short biography about the man and discover that Marty Holker’s parents were the “top producing distributors” in Shaklee. Holker describes Shaklee as one of the first network marketing companies. By the late 1970s, his parent’s organization was selling over $300 million in product each year.
99%+ Lose Money.
So far, we have tied Marty Holker to three MLMs; Shaklee, NuSkin and Synergy Worldwide. The single thing these companies have in common is that most people who try their opportunity lose money.
Jon Taylor, a leading critic of MLM/Network Marketing/Direct Sales, researched more than 300 MLM companies, including Shaklee, NuSkin and Synergy Worldwide. Taylor concluded that more than 99% who try the opportunity offered by these companies lose money.
Taylor’s research is published on the FTC’s website.
In the case of NuSkin, Taylor determined that 99.38% lost money. These figures are consistent throughout the MLM industry and show that the few at the top make money at the expense of everyone else.
If I was a betting man, I would bet that the numbers are the same for Puratae. 1% at the top make money at the expense of the 99% below them.
That money is made by recruiting people who are then forced to buy product in order to qualify for commissions.
More Lack of Transparency.
Because Puratae does not publish an Earning Disclosure, it is impossible to determine the percentage of distributors who are earning commissions.
Without the information an Earning Disclosure would provide, it cannot be determined if the Puratae opportunity is legitimate.
Compensation Plan vs. Earning Disclosure
Don’t confuse the Earning Disclosure with the Compensation Plan. The Compensation Plan is a marketing piece that is designed to get a prospect excited about what they “might” earn.
The Earning Disclosure is a historical record of what distributors actually earned.
A good test to determine if you are looking at an Earning Disclosure or a Compensation Plan is whether you are excited or disappointed.
- If you’re excited, you’re looking at a Compensation Plan.
- If you’re disappointed, you’re looking at an Earning Disclosure.
When properly understood, the typical MLM Earning Disclosure shows that the vast majority of distributors lose money.
Not surprisingly, MLMs that publish an Earning Disclosure will often present the numbers in a misleading format. Typically, they will only count the distributors who qualified and earned money. This is usually less than 25% of ALL distributors.
The industry standard if for about 80% of all distributors not to earn anything. About 12% to 19% to earn something, but not enough to cover expenses, and less than 1% to earn large amounts of money.
If you look at an Earnings Disclosure that does not reflect the industry standard, you are being mislead. Read Jon Taylors, MLMs Abysmal Numbers.
A Closer Look at Puratae.
At the beginning of this review, I showed how MLMs exploit their distributors. Now that we know the founders and co-CEOs of Puratae have extensive MLM experience, let’s see if Puratae is fundamentally different than other MLMs.
Below, I look at each of the 6 strategies MLMs use to make money from their distributors and see if Puratae uses them too.
It Starts with a Dream.
A powerful hook MLMs use to recruit new distributors is the promise of achieving your dreams, whatever those dreams might be.
Do you dream of being rich? You may be told that the opportunity will make you rich. Do you want to be an actor? You may be told that after you’re successful in MLM, you can afford the best acting coach in the business.
Selling the dream is essential to recruitment. It basically claims that whatever you want, you can achieve it with the MLM opportunity.
One Puratae distributor pitches the opportunity as a means for former law enforcement officers to transition out of the profession.
By selling the dream, the MLM captures the hearts and minds of their distributors. From that point, it becomes easy to emotionally and psychologically manipulate them because they don’t want to lose the dream.
A prospect becomes interested in the opportunity because they want to make money. However, once they “buy the dream,” they will jump through any hoop in an attempt to achieve it, including spending money each month on products they can’t afford, don’t want and don’t need.
Selling the dream is an attempt to force a prospect to react emotionally instead of making a logical decision. The mind cannot entertain a logical thought and an emotional response at the same time.
When we react emotionally, our logical brain is turned off. MLMs exploit this vulnerability of the human mind.
In a perverse twist of logic, once a distributor “buys the dream,” she believes that through buying products, she is building a business. However, according to the balance sheet, she is just a customer, emotionally bonded to the MLM company and psychologically obligated to buy products each month.
While most distributors join an MLM to make money, they usually end up spending money. And, unfortunately, it is often the people who can least afford to lose money that are drawn to MLM.
Does Puratae sell a dream? That cannot be determined from the Puratae website. However, Puratae has a typical MLM compensation plan, and the compensation plan is used to sell the dream.
Pay to Join.
Another typical ploy of MLM is to charge distributors a fee for the privilege of making money for the company. That only happens in MLM/Network Marketing/Direct Sales.
The cost of joining Puratae is not mentioned on the website; however, according to BehindMLM, Puratae charges new distributors $29.
While this is less than many MLMs charge, it is still a ridiculous requirement.
Pay to Play.
Most MLMs require distributors to buy products to qualify for commissions and bonuses, thus turning every distributor into a captured customer.
Again, according to BehindMLM, Puratae requires their Brand Partners to purchase $70 worth of product each month in order to qualify to earn commissions.
This requirement is unique to MLM and is the primary reason most distributors lose money. Keep in mind that when a distributor buys products, their purchase generates commissions for everyone above them in the organization.
The one sure thing about the Puratae opportunity is it will cost you money.
Some MLMs exploit their salesforce by pushing new distributors to buy large amounts of product, a tactic known as product loading. This often leaves new distributors with substantial credit card debt.
There is no evidence of product loading on the Puratae website. Also, Puratae has a refund policy which at first reading might appear to discourage product loading. However, a careful reading of the Puratae Refund Policy reveals it may actually do just the opposite.
Puratae offers three product bundles or packs. These include the Combo Pack $219, 4 Pack $279 and Mini Combo $149. At these prices, it possible a distributor might talk a newbie into buying thousands of dollars’ worth of product.
The Puratae Refund Policy states that if a Brand Partner returns more than $1000 in any 12 consecutive month period they will be terminated and their Puratae business canceled.
While I understand it’s important to control frivolous returns, the Puratae Refund Policy makes it possible to manipulate a newbie into buying thousands of dollars’ worth of product and then threatening them with termination if they try to get a refund.
In my view, the threat of termination negates the refund policy.
Does Puratae Promote Recruiting Over Retail Sales?
A test to determine if an MLM is actually a pyramid scheme is if the sales organization earns most of its revenue through recruitment.
According to the FTC, if a multi-level sales organization earns most of its revenue through recruiting and sales to recruits instead of retail sales to the public, it might be a pyramid scheme.
Puratae has an affiliate option on the website where someone can join Puratae as an affiliate and just sell the Puratae product, Pure Superblend. In theory, that should result in significant retail sales.
However, because the Puratae Compensation Plan emphasizes recruiting and building a downline, it’s clear that recruiting is the primary focus of the company.
Another way to look at it is to ask what would happen if Puratae stopped recruiting? Would the company collapse?
Both MLMs and pyramid schemes are dependent on recruitment.
Does Puratae have Excessive Levels in their Sales Structure?
Puratae’s sales structure reveals the company’s true nature.
It’s a typical MLM, and like a typical MLM, Puratae funnels money out of the pockets of most of the distributors to a few at the top.
You may have heard the advice to “follow the money.” When considering an MLM opportunity, it is essential that you understand where the money comes from and where it goes. Understanding the sales structure will show you.
A traditional sales organization only needs four levels. For example, the salespeople are at the bottom, a director for the territory above the salespeople, a regional director above the territory directors and, at the top, a national director.
Four levels are all you need to conquer the world.
With four levels, the person who made the sale earns most of the commission and retail sales are the focus of the business. And, because the salesperson earns most of the commission when there are only four levels in the organization, it’s faster and easier to earn a full-time income.
Four levels or less benefit the salesperson. More than four levels benefit the people at the top who had nothing to do with the sale at the expense of the salesperson and everyone else in the sales force.
When an MLM has more than four levels in its sales structure, the commission each sale makes is shared with everyone in the upline.
This means the person making the sale earns a much smaller piece of the revenue generated by the sale. And it means the people at the top of the structure who did nothing to make the sale also earn a portion of that revenue.
The more levels in a sales organization, the more the people at the top earn at the expense of everyone else. Puratae has 9 levels.
An All or Nothing Game.
Because the structure of MLM rewards the few at the top at the expense of the many at the bottom, it is an all or nothing game.
To the degree this is true of Puratae is impossible to determine without an Earning Disclosure. However, using industry averages, Dr. Jon Taylor has determined that less than 1% earn a profit with MLM while 99% lose money.
Nothing Special About Puratae Superblend.
Puratae Superblend is not a superfood. It’s not new, and it’s not unique. An online search will reveal several manufacturers who make a similar product.
I found three manufacturers who will produce a similar product and label it as yours;
On the Puratae website page that discusses the ingredients in the Superblend product, we’re told that; “With over 30 years’ experience in sourcing, we have personal relationships with our farmers and suppliers.”
It’s curious that Puratae has over 30 years’ experience in anything considering the company was only registered in January 2018, making it about 18 months old at this time. See Puratae LLC company registration.
On that same page, we’re told; “We’ve known our manufacturer for decades.” Which just makes things curiouser.
Puratae in Perspective.
People are not unhealthy because they aren’t eating enough processed green powder.
People are unhealthy because our culture and food supply are unhealthy, and because most people are confused about what they need to be truly healthy and disease free.
Marketing and media are largely to blame for this confusion.
An abundance of scientific evidence has proven for over a hundred years that the human body thrives on whole fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, beans and grains.
The largest and longest running nutritional research project, The China Study by Dr. T. Colin Campbell, confirms people are healthier and less prone to disease when they consume an abundance of whole fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and grains.
The Blue Zones, communities with the greatest percentage of residents over the age of 100, all eat a diet rich in plants, combined with a low-stress lifestyle, daily physical activity, a rich spiritual life and a supporting circle of loved ones.
Nowhere does any legitimate nutritional research suggest the secret to health is to eat processed green powder.
To learn more about science-backed nutrition, visit NutritionFacts.org.
The Last Word on the Puratae Business Opportunity.
There are far more ways to lose money and waste time online than there are legitimate opportunities. When in doubt, it is advisable to pass on an opportunity rather than take a chance.
Anytime you are considering a business opportunity, it is essential to think like a business person, to check your emotions at the door and to be as objective as you can. This means conducting proper due diligence.
Unfortunately, without an accurate Earning Disclosure, it is not possible to complete proper due diligence on Puratae.
Based on personal experience and the research of leading critics of MLM such as Dr. Jon Taylor, Corporate Fraud Investigator Tracy Coenen, and Robert Fitzpatrick, author of False Profits, I am confident that most people who try MLM will lose money.
Nothing in my review of Puratae suggests that Puratae is different. It was created by a veteran Multi-level Marketer, and it is structured like a typical MLM.
If you chose to try your luck with the Puratae opportunity, I recommend you start with the product. If you like it and can honestly recommend it to friends and family, go from there.
Also, if you become a Puratae Brand Partner, monitor the money you are spending on the opportunity and the money you are earning. Remember to include all the expenses incurred in running your business and keep track of your time.
The sad truth about MLM is most people would earn more with a part-time minimum wage job.
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