Can you really build a business selling “neurological coffee” and other “functional beverages” with Valentus? CEO Dave Jordan says you can, but there’s something you should know before you marry your fortune to magical coffee. Keep reading to discover the Devil in the details.
Product: A Direct Marketing Business Opportunity
Price: $59.95 to $499.95
Owner: Dave Jordan
Opinion: Not Recommended
What is Valentus?
Valentus is a multi-level marketing company that promotes “functional beverages.”
Their product line includes; SLIMROAST™ OPTIMUM, PREVAIL TRIM™, PREVAIL ENERGY™, IMMUNE BOOST™, BREAKTHROUGH AM/PM™, SLIMROAST COCOA™, PREVAIL SLIMROAST™, PREVAILMAX™, KETO CREAMER™, and PREVAIL-K9™.
A Valentus Review.
In this review, I focus on the most popular Valentus product and the Valentus business opportunity.
According to the Valentus website, their flagship product is SLIMROAST™ OPTIMUM, which is essentially instant coffee enhanced with energizing and mood-lifting supplements. It is promoted on valentusproducts.com as a “Weight management Coffee.”
In the business opportunity, video SLIMROAST™ OPTIMUM is described as coffee with a purpose that will help you lose weight, crush cravings and support mood.
Does It Work?
In some of the SLIMROAST™ OPTIMUM sales material, it claims to be the “…first weight loss coffee that really works.” However, I have not found anything that substantiates this claim. In fact, it doesn’t appear to work for Dave Jordan, founder, and CEO of Valentus!
There are many pictures of Dave Jordan online. I have yet to find one where he appears slim.
Meet Dave Jordan.
In the video below. Ask yourself does Dave Jordan appear to be managing his weight?
It’s Just Instant Coffee.
People are not overweight because they have not been drinking SLIMROAST™ OPTIMUM. Barring medical issues, weight management is the result of lifestyle choices and perhaps emotional issues as well.
SLIMROAST™ OPTIMUM is not magical. It’s just instant coffee with trace amounts of mood and energy enhancing supplements, and green tea extracts.
You can get the same supplements online for pennies per serving here and add them to your beverage of choice. Or, just drink green tea.
Also, if you are looking at the Valentus opportunity, you should know that there are several competing weight-loss coffees on the market that cost less. Walmart has one and Amazon has several.
No Retail Prices.
There are no retail product prices listed on the Valentus website. You’ll have to contact a Valentus distributer to get prices. Or, check Amazon or eBay.
I found it on Amazon for $109.99 for two boxes containing a total of 48 servings. That’s approximately $2.29 a serving! A serving contains 3.6 grams of coffee which is about a teaspoon.
The fact that the company does not have retails sales is a red flag. Lack of retail sales suggests that the majority of the company’s revenue is coming from recruiting new distributors. According to the Federal Trade Commission, if the majority of a company’s revenue comes from recruitment, it may be a pyramid scheme.
What is Valentus, Really?
At best, Valentus is a Multi-Level Marketing company and that’s NOT a good thing. Valentus describes itself as a Direct Marketing company, but MLM is a more appropriate description because the sales force is built on multiple levels and compensation is paid out based on a distributor’s level in the sales force.
MLM is the most inefficient business model imaginable. It’s a lousy way to try to make money. Most people who try MLM never break even.
Unlike traditional retail supply chains, in MLM a product must be priced high enough to support multiple levels of upline. Every level above the distributor who makes the sell gets a piece of the commission. This means the products must be heavily over-priced.
For example, Starbucks Italian Roast instant coffee is only 65 cents, compared to the same serving size of SLIMROAST™ OPTIMUM which is $2.29 a serving! Three and a half times more expensive than the most expensive mass-marketed coffee available. Folgers instant coffee is about 15 cents per serving, making SLIMROAST™ OPTIMUM 16 times more expensive than mid-market coffee!
Not only does the top-heavy commission structure mean products are overpriced, but it also means that most of the revenue from the bottom of the organization is funneled to a handful of people at the top. I suspect that is the true purpose of MLM.
Perhaps the only way Valentus can sell their expensive instant coffee is to convince people it’s magical. It’s not. Or, to convince people that the Valentus income opportunity will help them fulfill their dreams, which is doubtful.
Selling the Dream.
People don’t spend two bucks for a teaspoon of instant coffee unless it has an amazing flavor or magical properties.
Maybe the only way to sell the Valentus opportunity is to sell the dream of making lots of money. On their website, the recruiting video mentions enjoying more free time, more money and better health. Who wouldn’t want that, if it were true?
If you are considering buying into the Valentus opportunity, ask yourself, is it because of the products? Or is it because you believe you will make lots of money? Have you been sold a dream?
If you are passionate about the Valentus products and can tirelessly promote them without ticking off your friends and family, AND you can easily absorb the recurring cost of monthly auto-ship, AND if you can recruit legions of people to join your team maybe Valentus is your calling.
However, if you are just searching for a legitimate way to make money, I would advise caution.
Pay to Play.
Ironically, while there are no product prices or retails sales on the Valentus website, there are prices for the distributor starter packs. Prices range from $59.95 to $499.95. Clearly, the focus of the company is recruitment. That’s not good.
If you want to sell Valentus products, you must first pay for the privilege. On the website page promoting the opportunity, we are told “To advance ranks… you will be required to purchase the Business Builder Pack.”
This sounds like Pay to Play to me, another red flag that might indicate a pyramid scheme.
I’m reminded of the scene from the novel “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer,” where Tom persuades his friends to pay him small treasures in exchange for the privilege of whitewashing the fence.
The same thing is happening with the Valentus opportunity. Valentus expects you to pay them for the privilege of selling their products.
Walmart doesn’t pay their suppliers for the privilege of selling their products, neither does Amazon. In fact, there are tens of thousands of businesses online that will gratefully PAY YOU to sell their products.
It doesn’t make sense to pay a company for the privilege of making THEM money.
Valentus Compensation Plan.
The Valentus Compensation Plan can be found on their website.
The Valentus compensation plan rewards distributors for signing up for monthly auto-ship and for recruiting new distributors who also sign up for monthly auto-ship.
In other words, the entire structure is dependent on recruitment and locking people into auto-ship, not retail sales. This is troubling because the FTC litmus test for a pyramid scheme is whether or not the majority of a company’s revenue comes from recruitment or retail sales.
Base on the evidence apparent on the Valentus website, it appears that the majority of the revenue is earned by recruiting new distributors which indicates Valentus may be a pyramid scheme.
The Trouble with MLM.
When you build a business with an MLM company like Valentus, you are actually building a business inside a business. You are treated like an independent business person when it suits the company, but your behavior is controlled like an unpaid employee.
In the case of Valentus, if you are a distributor, you are helping Dave Jordan build his business and paying him for the privilege.
When you build a business inside a business, all your work and investment is vulnerable. At any moment, everything you’ve built can be taken away. The rules can change. Your downline can be taken away from you. The company can go bust or get shut down by the FTC.
MLM companies typically have a short lifespan.
The Last Word on Valentus.
MLM in any form is an expensive and difficult way to try to make money. Plus, if you become a distributor for Valentus, you will be committed to monthly auto-ship which is like creating a new monthly bill. Who needs that?
The sales pitch, the perceived magical qualities of the product and the group energy can be intoxicating. However, if you are looking at Valentus as an opportunity to make money, you owe it to yourself to remove your emotions from the equation.
Take a cold hard look at Valentus before you commit your time, energy and treasure.
If possible, discuss the opportunity with a trusted friend who can help you analyze the business and the opportunity from a rational perspective. Purchase sample products and take a few days to fully test them.
Also, have a clear understanding of what you hope to achieve as a Valentus distributor and determine to your satisfaction if your objective is realistic.
Do you have the personality and energy to succeed in MLM? In my experience, people who succeed with MLM are high-energy and charismatic and have influence over large numbers of people.
MLM has a huge turnover. Distributors are constantly quitting. Recruiting is like trying to fill a bucket that has a large hole in the bottom. You must be able to recruit new distributors faster than old distributors are leaving. It’s difficult and most people can’t do it.
99% Lose Money with MLM.
Research conducted by Jon M. Taylor, MBA, Ph.D., Consumer Awareness Institute, shows that less than 1% of the people who try MLM succeed with it. It no surprise that this 1% is at the top of the pyramid. 99% of the people who try MLM lose money.
Here’s where it gets sick. The only way anyone can succeed with MLM is to recruit an army of distributors. What kind of person can recruit hundreds, if not thousands, of people knowing that 99% of them will lose money?
Another way to look at it, if you want to succeed with MLM, you will have to callously recruit hundreds, maybe thousands of people, look them in the eye, sell them the dream of financial independence, and motivate them to buy boatloads of overpriced products while knowing they don’t have a snow ball’s chance in hell.
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If you found this article helpful or have experience with Valentus, please leave a comment below. Thank you.