It Works! does look like a pyramid scheme scam but is it, really? This third-party It Works! review walks you through the ins and outs of this company.
It Works! in a nutshell
I heard about this company a few months ago when some of our readers requested a review on “It Works!”. We had a lot on our plates with other programs at the time, so we pushed this down the pecking order.
For some reason, we did not come around to writing the review until recently when another reader asked about the same company. I looked into it and I can say, as far as pyramid schemes go, it hardly gets more obvious than It Works!
I understand that some people might not be able to sit through this long “It Works!” review. If you are one of such people, please hold on tight for a minute and read through a point-form roundup of some important things to know about the company:
- It Works! sells a few products, with The Ultimate Body Applicator (body wraps) being their biggest one
- The company operates a Multi-Level Marketing (MLM) business model
- For all they claim their body wraps can do, they offer zero scientific evidence or explanation to back up their claims
- To become a distributor, you will need to invest $99 on a business builder kit
- After purchasing the business builder kit, distributors need to either sign up for a monthly auto-ship of products worth at least 80 BV in order to earn commissions OR…
- Attain 150 PBV of products sales (this could include your auto-ship)
- The compensation plan of this company is geared towards recruiting
Personally, I don’t believe the product works. Distributors have to choose between making monthly sales unfailingly or paying auto-ship. This sort of pressure leads people to focus on recruiting instead of making sales. This makes It Works! a pyramid scheme in my opinion.
That was my opinion, so let’s talk facts. It Works! doesn’t offer in-depth marketing training on how to get leads to your business. This reason explains much of the failure rate among distributors.
Good news is you can follow the exact system I follow that teaches you how to get leads when promoting absolutely anything you want, including It Works! products. I don’t recommend this company at all but if you must join them, you could use some proper marketing training. It’s FREE to sign up for too 🙂
What is It Works?
It Works! is an MLM-based company that sells nutritional, skin care and some apparel products. The company was founded by Mark and Cindy Pentecost in 2001.
The first thing you should always analyze when looking into a business opportunity is the marketability of the product you will be selling. The product is usually what separates a good opportunity from a pyramid scheme.
If the company makes you continually pay for products that are extremely difficult to sell, there is a good chance they are a pyramid scheme. Make what you will of that statement.
On to the products…
It Works! sells a couple of products but their signature product is a body wrap called the Ultimate Body Applicator.
I will always have a problem with companies that claim their products will cause some sort of magical change in your body, without providing any form of scientific evidence.
No matter what anybody chooses to tell me, I will never believe that you can truly lose weight without exercising and altering your eating habits.
Read this clearly: Body wraps will NOT help you lose weight.
Now, you might feel thinner after using body wraps. Same way you might feel thinner after running for 5 minutes or after starving all day.
The body wraps are plastic and if you follow their advice and wrap your belly for 45 minutes, you will sweat obviously. This is the reason one might feel they are thinner.
This is a feeling that will disappear after the next glass of water or the next meal.
I understand that the company itself does not explicitly say the Ultimate Body Applicator will make you lose weight because that would be illegal but that is how the distributors promote the product and I needed to make this clear.
Needless to say, I think the product is fake.
The Ultimate Body Applicator costs $59. To remain a distributor, there is a minimum 80 BV auto-ship. The Ultimate Body Applicator is the equivalent of 54 BV. This means you might end up ordering 2 every month, making it $118.
Over the course of a year, that is $1400 in auto-ship costs to remain a distributor and this is modest. If you are unable to make sales, you will have to purchase 150 PBV of products and that would be much more expensive.
I don’t know about you but I think $1400 is a lot of money!
Don’t you think that’s enough to pay for a yearly gym membership and make proper adjustments that will lead to permanent changes in your body?
Even if you want to ignore the fact that I think the product is fake, it is still going to be a tough sell for you. Why?
Because customers can get a better deal for the products elsewhere!
The retail price of the Ultimate Body Applicator is $99. There are eBay listings of the exact same product for $50 or best offer, meaning they could even get it cheaper. The listing also gives free shipping!
Why on earth would any rational individual, other than your family and friends who would do it out of pity, purchase something for $99 when they could get the exact same thing for $50?
You could choose to bring your price down but remember you would have already paid It Works for the products, there are ongoing costs to remaining a distributor and you would want to make back that money as soon as possible.
From a marketing perspective, the product is terrible. Period.
The Business Opportunity
Now that we have established how unmarketable the products are, let’s get real and talk about the real business opportunity It Works offers.
The real business opportunity is recruiting. This is what the company is all about as we can see from the number of pages dedicated to recruiting on their compensation plan. A 22-page document and the products were only mentioned on one page.
Pyramid Scheme Alert!
Since distributors don’t have much luck selling the products and they are incurring costs to stay on as distributors, their next line of action is to sell false dreams to people in order to get them to become distributors as well.
The cycle is typical: Since you are not given any proper training on how to look for people, you start by recruiting your friends and family. Keep your fingers crossed and hope these people go out and recruit more people and so on.
This cycle is how the company pyramid grows, your downline/group grows, you advance in rank and consequently, your potential income might grow too.
It seems so easy to achieve when you read it but trust me, it’s not. That’s why 99% of the people in MLMs fail.
Let’s say you are able to recruit 5 people and those 5 people are each able to recruit another 5 people. Do you know that the maximum number of possible levels would be 13 before the entire population of earth is exhausted?
And there’s a very big assumption in this example that you and your downline are able to reach everyone in the world and everyone is willing to join the opportunity.
At this stage, I recommend you focus on building your own online business that does not require any form of recruiting.
Let’s have a look at the official It Works! Income Disclosure Statement for 2015…
Here are a few things to note:
- The figures in the above table are for only active It Works! distributors
- These are distributors that were qualified to earn downline commissions
- The average monthly income of all distributors was $189
- The average monthly income of active distributors was $227
- Remember that these average earnings are heavily skewed by the top earnings. Most distributors earn much less than the average
- 96.6% of active distributors earned an average of less than $500 per month
- These figures do not reflect any expenses incurred by distributors. Expenses like monthly auto-ship costs and start-up fees
- Most distributors actually spend more than they make from the company
What I liked
- They give you a replicated website as part of the business builder kit
What I didn’t like
- I hate the name of the company! What’s with the exclamation mark in their name??
- The product has no scientific backing
- It is an expensive opportunity to be a part of, especially with the monthly auto-ship
- The average earnings are pathetic
- There is far greater emphasis on recruiting than making sales
- This makes the opportunity a product-based pyramid scheme
- They do not teach you how to get leads to your business
Is It Works a Pyramid Scheme?
It Works! ticks all the boxes of a pyramid scheme.
I am struggling to find anything going for this company, It Works! It is literally the definition of a pyramid scheme. Not one component, not two, but all of them.
If you are big on MLMs, there are much better and less expensive MLM companies for you to consider. However, I don’t recommend MLMs at all. There are so many factors involved in this business model, a lot of which cannot directly be controlled by you.
If, like me, you are interested in building your own business online without any recruiting, cold-calling or hard-selling, follow the exact system I use to make money online.
It Works! Review
Product Name: It Works!
Price: $25-$100 for a starter kit
Founder: Mark Pentecost
Overall Ranking: 20/100