Plexus is mostly a weight loss network marketing company, although they do provide some other health and nutrition products. It is most well known for the product Plexus Slim (or the ‘pink drink'). This drink is promoted as being a weight loss aid that also helps with gut health.
The weight loss industry tends to be a popular one, as many people struggle with their weight. There's always a demand for products that can make weight loss easier (or ones that seem to).
The U.S. weight-loss industry alone is estimated at around $72 billion. Some changes are occurring, such as a greater focus on body positivity. Even so, companies like Plexus continue to be popular.
Two Ways To Make Money With Plexus
Plexus is a typical weight loss MLM in many ways. Not only are many of the products familiar, but the company also uses the same general method of earning as usual.
This means that distributors can earn some money by simply selling products and they can increase their income potential by recruiting people and developing a team.
This post will focus on both of those angles. I'll also talk about whether consistent income is a realistic goal.
Plexus tends to be viewed as a weight-loss company, partly because of its product Plexus Slim. Despite this, Plexus offers three different product ranges. Only one of those focuses on weight loss. There is also a selection of nutritional supplements and two anti-aging skin products.
The most famous of these remains Plexus Slim, which is a powder that can be added to water to create a weight loss drink. Plexus Slim has been through various re-formulations and rebranding attempts since it was created and there are now two versions of the product.
The current version of the original drink now contains prebiotics. Plexus is focusing on the idea that a healthy gut microbiome can promote health overall and could play a role in weight loss too.
The powder also contains various ingredients that you'll often find in weight loss supplement, like Garcinia Cambogia, green coffee bean extract, alpha-lipoic acid (ALA), and chromium polynicotinate. Those ingredients do all have some potential to aid in weight loss, but the evidence is minimal, especially for humans.
Plexus does offer some evidence that their product is successful. I'm not convinced personally, especially as the experiment was just 8 weeks long. Even so, I'll leave it up to you to form your own conclusions.
Realistically, the main evidence that any of these products work is testimonials. Testimonials are inherently flawed because only the good ones are promoted. Additionally, people often take supplements and see results because of what they expected rather than because of the supplement (the placebo effect, or results from other activities like keeping a diet journal).
The weight loss category from Plexus includes a variety of other products, such as protein powder mixes and weight burning supplements. These do have their own formulations that are unique to Plexus.
The products look good and seem professional, but there are two serious problems. The first is that you can find similar items from many different companies. Other companies may also have lower prices.
The second point is just that, the pricing. The products from Plexus are pretty expensive. This is good from the sales perspective and increases the amount you earn from individual sales. On the flip side, the higher prices make the products from Plexus more difficult to sell.
Plexus hasn't always had the best reputation either. In fact, in 2013 the Australian Department of Health issued a safety warning for the Accelerator capsules that Plexus sells:
Likewise, Canada issued a similar safety warning for the same product.
Similar warnings haven’t been made in the United States, largely because each country differs in what it considers safe and unsafe. Nevertheless, the fact that any government issues a warning on a product from Plexus is a serious issue and something that shouldn’t be taken lightly.
The products from Plexus get pretty mixed reviews. There are a lot of really positive reviews about the products, but at the same time, there are many negative ones.
Part of this issue comes from the nature of the company. With Plexus, you have distributors trying to sell the product, which means that they need to make it look as good as possible. This means that many distributors will overhype the products, making them seem like they can do things that they can’t.
Some distributors may even have talked themselves into believing that the products work.
One of the more honest reviews that I found contained a list of side effects that the person experienced:
These side effects are concerning for consumers and distributors. Do you really want to be promoting products that can potentially cause side effects like these? Don't forget, you'll often be selling to friends and family members. What happens if someone you know experiences significant side effects?
Besides, even just one or two people with bad experiences could seriously damage your reputation as a distributor. Such issues could easily decrease your sales and make it more difficult to get people interested in Plexus.
Earning As A Distributor
Plexus offers two distinct ways to earn sales. Distributors can resell products that they have purchased or they can sell through a replicated Plexus website.
Using the website is more powerful and carries less risk. Buying products first and then trying to resell them is a risky move, as you need to try and anticipate demand. The last thing you want is to have excess items that you need to discount so that you can make sales.
Plexus also has a Preferred Customer program. Members of the program can buy products at a discount. Distributors can still earn from anyone in the program, as long as those members have a recurring monthly order.
Plexus makes the program sound like a good thing, but it's a catch-22. You're earning less from anyone who uses this program – and many people will. After all, why would customers pay full price if they can get a significant discount?
One oft-forgotten element of the commission plan is the need to qualify.
To earn anything at all from Plexus, you need to be qualified. Being qualified requires a 100 Personal Volume (PV) order every month. Plexus is hedgy about what 100 PV translates to financially, but you're probably looking at a $100 order (if not more).
This means that to earn money with the company, you have to be investing quite a bit in it. Every month you start out in the red and have to claw your way up to break even. Then you can start to turn a small profit if you haven't exhausted your list of family and friends yet.
That's not even the worst of it. Plexus has an odd approach to commissions. Distributors don't earn anything at all on that first 100 PV. If you sell less than 500 PV in a month, then you earn a 15% commission on everything but the first 100 PV. If you sell more than 500 PV, then you make a 25% commission (except on that first 100 PV).
There are two issues here. One is that you're not getting paid for the first 100 PV of purchases, regardless of what you do with them. The other issue is that the commission ranges from 15% to 25%. Both numbers are on the low end and 15% is a very low starting point. It's not unusual to see network marketing companies start distributors at 25% or 30%.
One good thing about Plexus is that the company provides plenty of information. This includes an income disclosure statement and a full compensation plan on their website. While I'm not a fan of the compensation plan itself, it's always impressive when a company provides the information up-front. Doing so gives potential members a chance to make an informed decision.
So then, the team component of Plexus focuses on the typical idea of progressing through ranks. Each new rank offers higher income potential, along with more complex requirements.
This is the area where many new distributors get stuck. It is often difficult to progress up through the ranks, especially if you struggle to recruit new people into the company. Plexus has 10 main ranks that you can move through, starting at Ambassador and going up to Diamond Ambassador.
Progressing through the ranks allows you to earn Plexus Points from more levels in your downline. Plexus gives the following image as an example of your organizational structure and points. The image assumes that you recruit 3 people, as does everyone else. An actual organization structure may look very different.
As the image shows, having access to deeper levels of recruits provides more points overall, which leads to greater income potential. This means that progressing through the ranks is essential for increasing your income.
The image also showcases another odd thing – Plexus Points.
Most network marketing and affiliate companies pay members a percentage of the sales price as a commission. Plexus awards point instead. These points are then converted into a financial figure at the end of each month.
This unusual style means that the amount you earn actually varies based on the number of ambassadors and how well they are performing.
It also means that the amount you earn can change based on the number of distributors. So, if the number of distributors grew but most of them weren’t very successful, the pooled model would mean you earn less for your work, not more.
That's not all for the compensation plan either. Plexus offers around 10 different ways that distributors can earn. This might sound like a good thing, but it simply means that the whole process ends up being very complicated.
I've spent time looking through many different MLMs and I've seen plenty of compensation plans along the way. In all honesty, the plan from Plexus isn't particularly good. The compensation rate is pretty low, the team-based aspect is complicated and you're not getting paid for the first 100 PV.