School of Financial Freedom

Is It Works! a Pyramid Scam – My Complete 2019 Review

I saw many of my friends go with It Works! (yes it’s the name of the company!) so I thought I could write about this company to tell: Is It Works! a Pyramid Scam? It’s not because some of my friends work with It Works! that it is not!

At first, I was a bit intrigued by what It Works! was about, so I did a quick research on the web, and I found its website immediately. I found it interesting that its niche was health & care, but I think many companies are in this niche, so it makes it hard to know which one is better than another. 

So, when you are done reading this review, you’ll have a better idea of what It Works! have to offer, its business model, pros and cons, and if I consider it as a scam. After that, you’ll be able to decide if this company is for you or not. Now, let’s dive in!

 

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General Information


Name: It Works!
Founder: Mark B. & Cindy Pentecost
Website: https://itworks.com/
Price: ?
Rating: 3.5/5

About It Works!


Is It Works! a Pyramid Scam

This company was launched at least 20 years ago by Mark and Cindy Pentecost, but I couldn’t find the exact date and year. As I said, this niche is competitive, so it is hard, for us customers, to choose which company has the best products. On the other side, it is hard for companies to sell unique products to stand up in the competition. For It Works!, the solution it found for its customers was the It Works! Wrap, also known as the Ultimate Body Applicator. 

It Works! also has a nutritional line developed by Mark because he had a bad experience at the doctor and couldn’t find the exact thing his doctor was recommending him. It didn’t exist yet! So Mark decided to create it, and that is how the nutritional line appeared. For the kind of products they have, I think we can consider them as great products. I must admit that I didn’t try them, but since many of my friends were distributors, I can bet they were a minimum good. 

It Works! started international sales in Canada, Australia, and several countries in Europe, in 2008. Even though the economic crash of 2008, the company was able to survive and continue growing. It went debt-free in 2009. It’s in 2012 that It Works! reached $100 million in sales.

To give back, the founders decided to create a foundation in 2013 with the following vision: ”to make a lasting difference in communities locally and globally through financial, practical, and emotional support.” Today, the Foundation supports many pillars such as Humanitarian Aid, Anti-Human Trafficking, Veterans Support and more. Nowadays, the company continues to grow, and it is more than ready to conquer the world. 

Being able to find this fantastic story on its website shows me that this company has a real purpose in helping others. It builds trust indirectly toward this company, and it makes me want to know more. And this is what we are going to do without any further due!

It Works! Business Model


Is It Works! a Pyramid Scam

Ok now, let’s get in the exciting part: the business model. Is it possible to make money with It Works! or you can only buy products from them like a regular customer? You can do both; purchase products and make money. 

Being a Customer

Is It Works! a Pyramid Scam

If you like It Works! products you can buy from them or one of their distributors as a regular customer. There is no engagement; you only do a standard transaction as you do with any other merchant. Through their website, under the tab ”Shop”, you can buy all the products that you need. It Works! has different categories from which you can buy, which are: beauty, nutrition, lifestyle and apparel. 

Being a Distributor

If you love It Works! products you can become a distributor. Now, this is the part where you can make money with this company. I’ll go through it deeply because we’ll also understand what its business model is.

First thing first, as a distributor, you have some advantages such as:

  • A product pack of your choice;
  • 40% off your entire line of results-driven products;
  • 10% off your first purchase of It Works! apparel, accessories and business tools;
  • Unlimited access to our tools, training and apps.

So clearly, with these advantages, they want you to become one of their distributors. However, becoming a distributor is not necessarily simple; you must know how to deal with a business, customers, etc. This is the reason they have training and tools to teach you how to do it. This training is updated every month.

Now, yes, you have the advantages of becoming a distributor, but what do you have to do? My first thought would be: sell It Works! products (obviously). However, the way to earn money is mainly through their compensation plan (I couldn’t find any commission rate on your sales). 

The Compensation Plan

Compensation Plan- Is It Works! a Pyramid Scam

It Works! compensation plan is different from what I have seen until today. I found an interesting document on the web, explaining in detail what this compensation plan is about. I’ll try to go through it and highlight the information I consider relevant, but I’ll join the link to this document if you want to take a look at it yourself.

Let’s start with the business model. If you didn’t know, this company works under the model of an MLM (multi-level marketing). Shortly, what this means is that you earn a commission from people who come in the company under your sponsorship. If you want to know more about the MLM business model, take a look at my post here explaining in detail what it is about. 

What is different from their business model (even if it stays an MLM one), is that you earn a % of the SALES your distributors will make. The % depends on your rank (ranking is one of the reasons it is an MLM company). When I say ”your distributors”, I talk about the people who will become distributors under your sponsorship. Most of the MLM companies selling products can work this way, but there are also companies giving commissions depending only on your rank, which this one depends on the number of new members you can bring in, so they don’t care about the sales.

As I said, the % of the commission will depend on your rank (which will depend on the number of distributors you have). If we take a look quickly at the different rankings, we can find two levels divided in classification:

The management levels

  •  Distributor
  •  Executive (two qualified legs)
  •  Ruby (two qualified legs + one executive leg)
  •  Emerald (two qualified legs + two ruby legs)

The Management Levels

These are the % I was talking about

The leadership levels

  •  Diamond
  •  Double diamond
  •  Triple diamond
  •  Presidential diamond
  •  Ambassador diamond

Since this level is much more complex, I won’t put any screenshot but I encourage you to check the document if you are interested in knowing more. You can check the document here.

Wow, this compensation plan is probably one of the most complicated I have ever seen. If you are very interested in knowing more, I highly recommend you to take a more in-depth look at their document. I cannot recopy all their information here. 

The more distributors you have in your team, the more money you will make, this is how MLM companies work.

So, their business model is not wrong, but it is not a business model I recommend. You must be aware of what an MLM company involves and informed yourself correctly before making any decision to enter one.

Pros And Cons


Is It Works! a Pyramid Scam

Now let’s take a more in-depth look at the pros and cons of this company.

Pros:

  1. Great products;
  2. Many advantages to become a distributor;
  3. The founders seem to have a vision and nice values;
  4. The company is in operation for many years.

Cons:

  1. The compensation plan is complicated
  2. I couldn’t find the exact price to become a distributor
  3. MLM business model (not recommend)

Is It Works! a Pyramid Scam


Is It Works! a Pyramid Scam

Now, the ultimate question: is it a pyramid scam?

First of all, being an MLM company doesn’t make it a scam automatically. Since many legitimate companies work under this business model, It Works! can be one of them, and this is what I want to look with you since we did a quick check-up of what is offered inside.

Since this company is in operation for at least 20 years, I consider it more trustable than a smaller company. Through time, it was able to prove they can make it and offer excellent products to their customers. Those customers also seem happy with their purchase when it brought them to become loyal distributors. I think this is a great way to share products you believe in. So, for the legitimacy of this company through history, I don’t have any doubts. Plus, I was able to quickly find the founders and the reasons they decided to create this company; nothing was hidden from me. Trustability +1.

About the products, I don’t have much to say because I didn’t try them and I don’t want to tell things that are not true. Since they are pretty famous, I could say they are great, and I bet many people like them. I won’t go any further on this point, but with $100 million in sales, I believe they made their proofs.

Now, let’s talk about the distributor program. Honestly, the program is attracting, and I speak for myself. The one thing I find not attracting at all is the complexity of the compensation plan. I mean, it does look like a pyramid; you have people under you. However, it’s kind of weird and hard to keep a good follow-up because the pyramid seems distorted. I would lose myself quickly in this compensation plan. Plus, as any MLM company, it takes many people in your team to start to see some money comes in. Without these people, being a distributor isn’t interesting because it might cost you more to support your status than what you will sell. This is the ”trap” of MLM companies; you must start to build a team to see some money, be aware of this reality.

I will conclude with my rating based on what I have analyzed from this company. My verdict is 3.5/5, and I would not call it a scam. I think it is a legitimate MLM company that is in operation for many years now. The only thing I would recommend to you if you are serious about getting involved with It Works! is to make sure it is legal in your country. As I explained in my post on the MLM business model, some countries are more strict than others, so to not have any problems with your government, take a more in-depth look at what it involves. Plus, make sure to correctly understand their compensation plan because you don’t want to have any surprises once you are in.

There Is Another Way To Make Money


Is It Works! a Pyramid Scam

Yup, there is another way to make money! Since I find it exciting and promising, I thought I could share it with you (if you are interested in making money!)

It is not an MLM business model, so you don’t have the stress to recruit new people in your team to see your first dollars. This company, called Wealthy Affiliate, works with affiliate marketing. Is affiliate marketing the same thing as the MLM business model? No, let me give you a quick explanation of what it is. 

Affiliate marketing is when you become a salesman for a company. For example, you promote an Amazon product, and for each sale, you earn a commission. It’s the same principle as if one of your friends was asking you to sell his table (it could be anything, a table is as an example) for him. In exchange, he would give you 5% of the price you sell it. So basically, you don’t own the products, you only promote them to make more sales.

The most significant advantage of working as an affiliate marketer is that you don’t deal with the inventory, the shipping and the after-sale.

So at Wealthy Affiliate, you have access to training to teach you how to become an affiliate marketer. You also have access to many entrepreneurs who can help you upgrade your skills and become better at it. Many other features are offered, I invite you to take a look at my long review about Wealthy Affiliate or my short presentation.

Starting the training is FREE and do not need any credit card information. You subscribe, and you begin the first training, as simple as that. 

If you have any questions, you can contact me at yerdua (at) school-of-financial-freedom (dot) com. If you are ready to make money, this is a unique opportunity for you!

Your friend,

Audrey

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15 thoughts on “Is It Works! a Pyramid Scam – My Complete 2019 Review

  1. Thanks for covering this. At first glance, it’s really easy to think that it is a scam. Thanks for explaining!
    I’m going to go check out the site.

    1. Hi Amber, it’s easy to say a company is a scam without even doing simple research. I think the description of ”scam” depends on each individual experience and opinion. Sometimes, it’s obvious that it feels like a scam for everyone though. I think It Works! is harder to position obviously here.
      Thank you for sharing 🙂

  2. Good visuals and explanations of MLM. I’m glad you gave an alternative for those of us that have been exposed to MLM in our past. Wealthy Affiliate may be what I’m loking for.

    1. Hi Sam, this alternative is safe and unique compare to MLM that you have to convince many people to join before making a single penny. Affiliate marketing has proved for years that it’s sustainable and it’s only growing up. I can’t wait to see what affiliate marketing has for us in the future!

  3. I like how unbiased you positioned yourself for the article. I feel like the facts were given, I understand what’s good and bad about this program and it made me feel a little bit better that I’m not the only one who thought it could maybe be a scam.

    I might have to look further into it!

    1. Hi Maressa, it’s hard to position ourselves so that our opinion doesn’t take too much place, but it is crucial for my readers (and you!) that I stay unbiased. I’m glad this review helped you.
      Thank you for sharing this 🙂

  4. Started in 2008, during the economic crisis, and already debt-free in 2009, that’s impressive! I can also understand how the founder started his nutrition line: It’s pretty hard to come up with healthy meals where all ingredients are “perfect”.

    I really don’t like their compensation plan though… To me, it looks like it serves the company more than it serves the people bringing in new distributors and more sales.

    Even if you have only 1 leg but you generate more sales, you can earn less than someone who has more legs with less sales, simply because you’re in a lower rank where your commission % is lower.

    Then I’d prefer to just do affiliate marketing with health products, in the same niche, for the same target audience!

    1. Hi James,

      This compensation plan is completely crazy ahah. You make a good point here, it seems to serve more the company than the distributors, but hey, it’s an MLM business model we must not be surprised! 😉 Affiliate marketing was a good decision of yours!

      1. I don’t like the pyramid systems. Only a few actually get rich. I think affiliate marketing is a better choice. That way you can write about what you want and sell it. I guess if I wanted to sell their products, I would have to try them first, and that would not be cheap. In affiliate marketing, you write about what you already know; you don’t have to invent something new. Thanks for sharing valuable information.
        Have a nice day.

        1. Hi Katja,

          I understand you to not like pyramid systems, they can be trap sometimes. Affiliate marketing is definitely a safer choice; you don’t have the obligation to pay to enter some affiliate programs, as you said you can write on any niche that you want, there is some awesome training online (Wealthy Affiliate), your income only depends on your efforts. It’s simply the best option for people who their first goal is to make money.

          Thank you for sharing 🙂

  5. Seems like a great company with great products, but I’m not really sure about the MLM model though, because:

    1. The compensation plan is always complex.
    2. It can take a while to get your ROI.
    3. Because it sells physical products, it means there are extra costs involved, such as shipping & handling…

    Or do they take care of the shipping and handling as a company? Is it up to the individual to fulfill these orders & setup customer order tracking? Do they relay some sort of guarantee to their customer orders such as refunds, and how do they track these?

    Does their training teach their distributors how to actively sell & promote their products? I personally think that this model is not for me, I much rather prefer the latter model of selling, because it seems so straight-forward and yet at the same time adds value to your customers, in that they gain a valuable skill!

    Although, I would not have any reservations about anyone getting involved with this company since it seems like it’s quite reputable! Thanks for sharing, this review was a real eye-opener.

    1. Hi Kay,

      Your questions are pretty interesting. I must admit I didn’t think about that. In my opinion, the shipping and handling are taken care of by the company if you buy directly from the company, but if you buy from a distributor, the distributor must handle and ship (I guess). This could be an important point to consider if joining is an option. I cannot give you an answer for tracking and guarantee for now, but I will surely try to find it out.

      When you’re not a member, you don’t have access to their training platform, so I cannot answer you either for this question. I’m terribly sorry for not being able to correctly answer your questions. I’ll make sure to find the answers as quick as possible, stay tuned.

      Thank you for this interest!

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