This question is actually asked a lot: “Is Body by Vi a pyramid?”
The quick answer is no, but let me explain why..
When people ask this question, people are not referring to the pyramids of egypt (most times), they usually have in mind the old fashioned “pyramid schemes” that work in a similar way to a “chain letter”.
Those schemes were especially prevalent in the late 1990’s, but still exist today. They are set up to defraud people involved in them, and make big money for the people running them. They are referred to as the people “at the top of the pyramid”, ie. those who got in first.
How an illegal “Pyramid Scheme” typically works:
According to Wikipedia: In a pyramid scheme, the organisation charge a individual to join, and in exchange offer each member a share of the money taken from each additional member they recruit.
Whether or not the people at the top of the pyramid do any work, they receive a share of the money paid by members who are recruited in their organisation.
Such schemes can be potentially lucrative to people at the top of the pyramid, but seldom last very long because they lack a real product or service.
The history of illegal pyramid-schemes
It is right to exercise caution, because today companies have developed very sophisticated ways of hiding the fact that they are a pyramid scheme, and therefore being able to operate longer without being shut down by the authorities.
There were common schemes such as the “Airplane Game” where four tiers were labelled “captain”, “co-pilot”, “crew”, and “passenger”. There was also a scheme called “Original Dinner Party” where the levels were named “Dessert”, “Main Course”, “Side Salad”, and “Appetizer”.
Some schemes are also called “gifting programs”, and participants pay a sum to join that goes to their upline, and then they recruit new members and receive a share of those payments.
The problem is that it is sometimes hard to tell a legitimate business from an illegal pyramid scheme, but there are always clues you can look out for.
Is a Matrix scheme a legal pyramid?
Today a lot of pyramid schemes are described as a matrix, or “infinity downlines”.
It is a complete fallacy to say that a business is legal just because it has a matrix or a binary compensation plan.
In a matrix, the width of sponsoring is fixed, which causes “spill-over” or “spill-down” into the organisation below.
However, claims of profit from spill-over is nearly always exaggerated.
Most matrix or binary programs will only pay on the smallest or weakest “leg” of the organisation, so the spill-over often does not deliver the riches that were originally promised.
Connection with Multi-Level Marketing
Most illegal pyramid schemes do not have any product at all. But some of them do appear to have a product or service, at least at first glance. However, the product or service being offered is often very “thin content”, or is worth far less than the fee being charged.
To keep their schemes going for longer, illegal pyramid schemes will keep telling their distributors that new features are “coming soon”, and there will be massive new developments, however these announcements are just putting off the inevitable time when the pyramid scheme will collapse.
According to the US Federal Trade Commission, many of the multi-level marketing companies trading today are actually illegal pyramid schemes that are using a flimsy product or service offering to hide their true nature of being a pyramid scheme.
How to tell the difference between a genuine MLM business opportunity and an illegal pyramid scheme
It’s not always easy, but use these guidelines as a starting point when considering any business opportunity you are presented with.
“Pyramid schemes” are set up only to make money for people at the top, and you can often immediately tell them apart because of the initial emphasis on making money, rather than a product or service.
That is the biggest give-away when the presentation is focused on making money, upgrading to the next level, and very little mention (if any) of a product or service being offered.
Compare that to Body by Vi on the other hand..
Body by Vi actively encourage social sharing of the Challenge on Facebook, Twitter, and through word of mouth. That’s legitimate viral marketing.
People are recommending weight loss products to each other all the time anyway, so it makes sense to get paid for it. Especially as the products cost less than a typical meal (approx £1.30 a shake).
By replacing meals people can lower body fat, build lean muscle, and save money on their groceries, even more so when they get the product for free through the 3 for Free programme!
Here are some other points to consider when considering any home business opportunity to make sure it’s legit:
- Company background
How long has the company been trading? Look into the track record of the company. Some facts worth knowing about ViSalus (the company behind Body by Vi) are that the company was founded in 2005, there have been over 3 million challenge transformations documented to date, over US $100 million in free prizes and product has been given away, 4 million meals donated through the Project 10 Charity, and it’s officially the USA’s #1 shake mix in terms of number of shakes served.
- Learn about the product
I decided to take advantage of the 90 day money back guarantee and tried the shake for myself, I had seen all the before and after photos but didn’t really believe them. In 90 days I lost 11lbs of fat, and have gone on to get my body fat down to 11% whilst adding over 40lbs of lean muscle to date. Other products didn’t work for me, but Vi Shape and nutra-cookies have done. The product formulation contains a unique patented blend of three types of protein that work synergisticly with each other, and it tastes delicious so it makes it easier to stick to.
- Ask questions
Get all of your questions answered. Ask questions until you are blue in the face. I never mind people asking me questions. In fact you can contact me by email or by phone. I will be happy to answer all the questions you have about Body by Vi based on my personal experience as someone on the Challenge, and someone promoting the Challenge. If you don’t get your questions answered to 100% of your satisfaction, trust your gut instinct, and don’t join!
- Be aware of any restrictions
Check the company restrictions on marketing for example. I once joined a company and found it was not allowed to do any online marketing. Not even a blog post like this one! ViSalus do have guidelines, but they are all very fair. You might not be allowed to profit from selling Body by Vi t-shirts for example, but you can write blog posts, reviews, do videos, and social media posts to generate interest in the Challenge.
- Talk to other promoters – be wary of possible shills
Find other Body by Vi promoters and find out how they are doing. This applies to all other business opportunities out there too. But be wary about any “shills” – meaning people that are put there to tell you they are having a great experience to persuade you to join. This does happen in other companies! Do your own research, and bear in mind that people will only get out of a business as much as they are putting into it. ViSalus is certainly not a “get rich quick” scheme, it takes dedication and persistence to build a Body by Vi business.
- Ask a friend and take your time
If you know someone you trust who is successful and unbiased, ask them to take a look to check your research before you join. Your gut instinct will probably be right, but it can pay not to rush into a decision. If you want to promote ViSalus, or any other business opportunity, make sure it is going to be the right decision for you.
- Will it help you reach your goals?
If you are passionate about helping others to solve their obesity problems, seriously consider promoting Body by Vi. If you don’t care about fitness or healthy eating, then perhaps it is not the opportunity for you. You need to have passion to promote something effectively. So have a think about your goals, and consider if the Body by VI vision of conquering the world’s obesity problems fits in with your personal aspirations.
Indications that Body by Vi is not an illegal pyramid scheme in my opinion
The main indication is that Body by Vi is all focused on the Challenge, and not being a money making business opportunity.
The Challenge involves subscribing to a Body by Vi shakes on a monthly basis. Therefore ViSalus have real customers who are not just promoters.
There are 3 customers for every 1 promoter in my team. This shows that the company actively encourage promoters to find customers, in fact all of the bonuses are based on product sales.
ViSalus only operate in limited countries where the product can be delivered. The company select these countries based on obesity levels. This goes to show that the company is interested in real customers, and are not building a pyramid scheme.
If you look at pyramid schemes, they typically operate in hundreds of countries (or every country on the planet), because they are not concerned about delivery of product.
In ViSalus, people promote the Challenge, rather than distribute the products. There is a big difference. ViSalus ship Body by Vi products direct to the customer.
In many product based pyramid schemes the product passes from the company to a top level distributor, who then sells that product at a higher cost to a lower level distributor, who sells it at a higher cost to their team, who eventually sell it at a higher cost to the customer.
ViSalus is not a get rich quick scheme either
You cannot register as a promoter, sign up a few people, and sit back and wait for the money to come in. Don’t let anyone fool you about that.
You need to work the business, find customers, and help customers get great results with Challenge to earn your income.
Being successful in this business will probably take you outside of your comfort zone, but it can also be very rewarding.
One thing that attracted me to the business is the free personal development recordings and videos we have access to in our ViNet Pro subscription.
It is possible to make as much as $250,000 in your first year, as top earners from the United Kingdom have done in the first year of launch in the UK. However those earnings are unusual. For most people an extra £250 to £500 a month will help out, and that is very achievable with part time hours.
Don’t take my word for it, do your own due-diligence as I have.
Try the products for yourself. Let me know if you would like a sample pack sending and I will post one out.
Go to Vi events. Visit the group challenge parties that happen throughout the country from time to time, and Regional Success Training events. You can find details at events.vi.com.
When I tasted the Vi shake for the first time, I realised that the price is very reasonable compared to the nearest similar products on the market. The commission payouts (10 to 25% of personal sales volume plus 5% team commission) are generous.
You could promote a competitors product that is more expensive to the customer and only earn 5 to 7% commission, but Body by Vi has so many other advantages, not only the better product formulation, but the prizes, the 3 for Free programme, etc.
You don’t have to build a team, you can just earn an income on personal customer sales, but if your customers love it and want to promote it, the 5% commission on their sales is a nice bonus.
ViSalus is an established company with a proven product line, and as they expand into more European countries this year there will be fantastic opportunities for those who decide to run with it and promote the Challenge to everyone they know.
Personally, I love the product, love the results I’m getting with the product, I enjoy using it myself, and I’m happy to recommend it to my friends. I don’t care if 1 in 5, 1 in 10, or 1 in 2 customers decide to promote the Challenge.
It’s not just about the money, but more about the fitness. The main thing is I’m helping other people achieve great results, which motivates me to get better results for myself, and the satisfaction of doing that far outweighs all the generous commission I receive from the company.
If you’re passionate about helping others to get fit, lose fat, and build muscle – text or call me on +44 (0)7967 646039. Let’s get your questions answered, and help you to get started.
Beware of the next “shiny object” that comes along, do your due-diligence, find what works for you, and stick with it until you perfect it.
Let me know your thoughts and experiences in the comments below.
Here are some photos of people’s real results, many of these guys are from our team:
If they can do it, so can you!