Is Le-Vel an MLM? Yes, by definition, Le-Vel is a multi-level marketing (MLM) company because independent distributors recruit people into the business and make a percentage of the sales from them. In other words, independent distributors get paid on multiple levels.
I’m going to take a look at Le-vel, how much it costs to join, how much you can earn and whether or not it’s a pyramid scheme. I’ll also give you some thoughts about the actual products from what I’ve researched and we’ll see if they’re any good.
Let’s dive into it!
Summary: Le-Vel is a network marketing / multi-level marketing company started in 2012 by a couple of guys who wanted to create a global brand of high level products. Thrive is their first brand of products and are within the supplement and healthcare industry. They also have a line of skincare products.
Recommended? I do not recommend MLMs as a good business opportunity because, according to a paper on the FTC’s website, more than 99% of people lose money in an MLM. And the very few who do make a good living make it because the people below them are losing money. If you like the idea of earning a living working from home, I have an alternative for you at the end of this article that doesn’t rely on recruiting.
What is Le-Vel?
Le-Vel Thrive is a direct marketing / multi-level marketing (MLM) company that was started in 2012 by co-founders Jason Camper and Paul Gravette. Their product line, Thrive, mostly constitutes supplements, shakes and other nutritional beverages and snacks. I’ve heard and read this line a few times from Brand Promoters…Thrive “fills in the nutritional gaps” in our diets.
They also have a line of skin products including a peel, a purifying bar and a charcoal mask.
According to their website, Le-Vel is not just about premium products, but it’s all about creating a global brand. But is Le-Vel just another pyramid scheme?
Let’s find out.
How Much Does Le-Vel Cost to Join?
There are 2 kits that you can choose when you come in as a promoter:
- $200 kit (1 month supply)
- $400 kit (3 months supply)
There’s also an option to start as a free promoter where you just start promoting the product without buying a kit. This isn’t recommended since you won’t know how the products work, but it is an option.
You also need 100 PV (personal volume) per month to qualify for compensation plan earnings and bonuses. 100 PV is equivalent to about $100. This 100 PV can come from sales, or it can come from purchases that you make yourself. (Which is where people can get into trouble. More about that later.)
The Le-Vel Compensation Plan
Because Le-Vel is an MLM, they have a convoluted, complicated compensation plan. It’s just how it goes! I don’t even know how these guys come up with these things.
Here’s someone who explains the compensation plan well. I’ll try to break down the most important points below.
There are 11 ways to earn with Le-Vel.
1. Retail Sales:
- Personal customers = 20% –> You can earn what’s called “Bonusable Volume” (BV) from retail sales. If someone places an order for $200, you take 50% of that, or $100 BV and then you get 20% of that, or $20.
- Level 1 = 12% –> Your level 1 customers (the customers that your first level downline bring in) give you 12%. So, $100 BV would give you $12.
- Level 2 = 4% –> Your level 2 customers (the customers that your second level downline bring in) give you 4%. So, $100 BV would give you $4.
- Level 3 = 4% –> Your level 3 customers (the customers that your third level downline bring in) give you 4%. So, $100 BV would give you $4.
2. Vanishing Autoship:
Whatever the average of the two highest customer orders placed with autoship equals, will be deposited into your Le-Vel account to be used as store credit for the following month.
He gives the example…friend purchases a $150 order and friend B purchases a $190 order, you get $170 placed in your account.
3. Infinity Fast Start:
You can get this when a new or current Promoter orders an Upgrade Package (through any 4 levels of your sponsorship tree). These are bonuses that you get for these upgrades and how much you get depends on the level of the person and which upgrade they order. You can earn anywhere from $5 – $140.
4. Infinity Fast Start Match:
You get a 10% Infinity Fast Start bonus on any of your personally enrolled promoters who make the Infinity Fast Start bonus.
5. GoVIP 800/1600:
This happens within the first 14 days. I honestly scratched my head at this one, so you might want to watch the video if you need the details. (Starts at 4:22)
6. iPad Mini Bonus:
You have to earn this within your first 30 days of becoming a Q&A Promoter. You need $4,000 QV (Qualifying Volume), 4 personal Q&A Promoters, $400 PV (Personal Volume) and 4 Personal Autoship Customers.
Honestly, I think it would be much, much easier to go to the Apple store and buy a damn Mini. (It’ll cost you way less too in the long run!)
7. Uni-Level Team Commissions:
This gets super complicated, so I’m not even going to try. This starts at 6:50 in the video. Good luck to you!
8. Team Matching Bonus:
9. VIP Auto Bonus:
With this bonus, you either get $800 toward a qualifying car, or a straight up $300. You need to have $12,000 QV in a calendar month, 4 personal Q&A Promoters, minimum of $800 PV (that’s your orders, plus your customers’ orders).
I always find the car bonus interesting, and it’s something I wrote about in this article about Arbonne. You have to continue to qualify month after month in order to keep receiving the car payment.
Let’s say you get a beautiful Mercedes, and you’re getting that VIP Bonus and all is going well. What happens if some people on your team leave and you no longer qualify? You’re stuck with a big ol’ car payment that you have to take care of yourself.
10. Lifestyle Getaways:
You can earn partial or fully-paid trips to different places around the world.
11. Waiting Room:
This one is complicated. It starts at 9:29.
As a reminder, you only earn when you’re an active Brand Promoter and you stay active. You are active when you have 100 PV (about $100) in a given month. You have to continue to either sell or purchase $100 worth of products monthly to remain active.
How Much Money Can You Make with Le-Vel?
To tell you the truth, it’s hard to tell how much you can make as a Brand Promoter with Le-Vel. There’s no income disclosure that I could find. As I mentioned in my summary above, in general, independent consultants of MLMs make little to no money at all. In fact, almost everyone loses money.
You may be wondering how that’s possible. Remember above I mentioned that you need at least 100 PV to remain active? Most people end up buying that themselves. Not only that, but you are often pressured by your upline to buy even more products every month.
Plus there’re business cards, brochures, food and wine for parties, samples to give out…and the list goes on.
Here’s a woman who left Le-Vel talking about her experience. I thought it was interesting that she was pretty high up in the company and only made $26,000 for the year. Before expenses. She said she ended up making a total of $3k after it was all said and done. For the entire year. Yikes!
She said,”It’s way too exhausting to do MLM.” She also mentioned she paid about $260 in products every month. Double yikes!
This is exactly what happens with MLMs. (By the way, she’s now promoting affiliate marketing as a way to earn a living, and I agree! But we’ll get back to that in a bit.)
Le-Vel Thrive Complaints
Before I get to any complaints, I wanted to mention that Le-Vel gets an A+ rating from the BBB. Their customer reviews aren’t super great.
Most of the complaints that I saw were about customer service and return issues with the products. Here’s someone who had an issue with the products making her blood pressure rise:
She also had a complaint about the way they handle shipping, which I saw a lot.
To be fair, there were a good amount of positive reviews too. People said that the products helped them lose weight and feel better overall. Are they Brand Promoters? Probably, but I can’t tell for sure!
Is Le-Vel a Scam or a Pyramid Scheme?
Technically, since Le-Vel has products that they can sell retail, they are not a scam or a pyramid scheme. I would definitely use caution with them though because MLMs always have people at the bottom losing money. And if you join, you will be at the bottom.
Also, the majority of money made will be through recruiting. This makes it closely on the edge of a pyramid scheme. Be careful about the products too. Some people have had medical issues with them.
- No yearly fees
- No website fees
- No autoship required
- Fairly inexpensive startup costs (even a free option)
- Monthly 100 PV to stay active
- Confusing compensation plan
- Recruiting is where you make most of your money
- Will have to spend a good amount on products and promotional materials
- Hard to sell products retail because of the prices
- Some people have bad reactions to the products
- The products are not FDA approved
- People have to lose money in order for others to make money
- Most people lose money in an MLM
Just going back to the products, I thought this woman’s experience with Thrive was an interesting one. She really had some adverse side effects. Just something to be aware of.
An Alternative to Le-Vel Thrive
If you’re thinking of joining Le-Vel because you think it will be a great business opportunity, I may have made you think about that.
In all honestly, most MLMs are NOT great business opportunities. They’re just a sneaky way for the company to make money off of the people who sign up for the “opportunity”.
Think about it. Who are the people who usually buy the products in an MLM? It’s not people outside of the MLM because they are way too expensive for normal people to buy. It’s the people INSIDE the MLM that are buying. YOU will become the customer.
(And I know this from personal experience too.)
There is another way.
You can work on your own time and promote whatever you like for a commission and there’s no:
- Hard sales
- Monthly fees
- Convuluted compensation plans
- Home parties
- Online parties
It’s called affiliate marketing. It’s what I do (and I came from an MLM), and it has to be the best way to earn income online, I’m convinced of it. And I’ve done a lot of things!
Affiliate marketing is promoting someone else’s product for a commission. Most major companies have affiliate programs (even Amazon), so you can basically choose any topic you like and earn a commission from it.
You don’t need to worry about recruiting people or training your downline or home parties. Everything is done on your computer by you. You’re not dependent on anyone but yourself.
If you’d like to learn more, you can check out my free guide, How To: Affiliate Marketing for Beginners.
Is Le-Vel an MLM? Yes. Is it a pyramid scheme? Technically no, but the focus on making money through recruiting makes it right on that border. Will you make money with Le-Vel? The odds are not in your favor since more than 99% of people lose money in an MLM.
If you like the idea of working from home on your own time without all the hustle and grind and recruiting and training people constantly, I would recommend affiliate marketing instead. If you like supplements, you can even promote those through Amazon’s affiliate program. You can promote anything you like and earn a commission from it.
If you’d like to see the affiliate marketing training that taught me everything, you can sign up here. Don’t worry. It’s free and you don’t even need your credit card.