Is PM International A Scam? Possible Pyramid Scheme Alert!
Are you thinking about joining PM International and want to know if this company is a scam or not?
If so, this post is for you.
There's a lot to know about PM International and in this post you'll see background information, price to join, compensation plan overview, product breakdown and more.
You'll know if PM International is right for you by the time you're done.
PM International Summary
Company: PM International
Price to join: $99 + optional starter pack ($481 to $500)
Do I recommend? No!
Summary: PM International is a MLM company that sells various nutrition and cosmetic products based out of Luxembourg.
While this company has been around for a while and is one of the bigger MLM's in the world, I don't recommend you join.
It's been proven their products misrepresent their ingredients and there's legitimate concerns this company is a pyramid scheme.
At the end of the day the success rate here is going to be extremely low and most people will end up losing money instead of making money.
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PM International FAQ'S
1) What is PM International? PM International is a Multi-Level Marketing company that started in 1993 and was originally based out of Germany.
PM International is a very large and is close to a billion in revenue every single year. Worldwide they have 150,000 distributors and the CEO is Rolf Sorg.
Their main products are nutrition supplements and different cosmetics.
2) How do you make money here? Like I said this company is a MLM and this means you make money by signing up as a distributor and you get the ability to sell their products for a commission.
Additionally, you get rewarded for recruiting people and building a downline (you earn a commission from the sales of the people below you).
3) Are there any red flags here? The biggest redflag is a report done by TV 2 (A Danish TV network) which detailed that PM International's products are 50% powdered sugar which means they can't possibly deliver any meaningful health benefits.
Additionally this report claimed that PM International is operating as a pyramid scheme and not a legitimate direct selling company (I'll address this in the next section).
PM International has sued to have this story retraced twice and has twice lost (and in both instances had to pay legal fees for TV 2).
PM International is attempting to sue for a third time and the suit hasn't been settled yet.
This report should definitely give you pause about PM International.
Is PM International A Pyramid Scheme?
Pyramid schemes are basically illegal in all countries and not all MLM's are pyramid schemes.
Is PM International a pyramid scheme? It may be.
Look at this picture to understand what I mean:
Up top is what an illegal pyramid scheme looks and there's two ways this happens:
- There's no product and recruitment is the only way to make money
- Product based pyramid scheme where distributors buying products makes up too large of a company's revenue.
PM International has real products and you can sell their products without recruiting anyone (so it's not the first type of pyramid scheme).
However, they reward autoshipment when your recruit new people. Autoshipment is when a distributor personally buys products every month.
The problem is many MLM's make too much money from this and when they do make too much money form autoshipment it's a pyramid scheme.
This is why TV 2 made the claim PM International is a pyramid scheme.
PM International doesn't release how much revenue comes from autoshipment so it's impossible to know if it gets into pyramid scheme territory.
But it should raise some flags they have these kind of things in their company.
Most People Will Lose Money Here
Here's the craziest thing about MLM's: most studies show that up to 99% of people will lose money instead of make money when joining one.
There's many reasons for this but it usually boils down to two things:
- The products are too expensive and there's competitors selling basically the same products for much less
- Recruiting is very hard
You're going to run into both these problems with PM International.
The products at PM International can cost over $100 and are definitely luxury items. With Amazon and so many retailers it's easy to find high quality alternatives for much cheaper.
This may lead you to scrap trying to sell at the retail level and just recruit.
The problem here is recruiting is harder than retail sales. The people that are successful with a MLM have thousands of people in their downline and are networking superstars.
Many of these people take decades to build their networks.
How many people can you recruit outside a couple of friends or family members?
Probably not many. Most people don't like to be approached to be in a MLM and many people will resent you for trying.
This is why the success rate is so low.
Below is some even more eye opening MLM stats:
As you can see you'll pretty much want to avoid the entire MLM industry.
How Much To Join?
There's a couple of costs you need to factor in if you're thinking about joining PM International.
First off, there's a $99 fee you have to pay and you get some products to show potential customers as well as a few other goods like a water bottle, sports glasses, etc.
The next couple of costs are the controversial ones and the ones that make PM International a potential pyramid scheme.
There's pay to play here where if you pay extra you can progress through the rank system faster.
This happens when you buy either a $481 Optimal Combo Pack or $500 FitLine Optimal Set Pack.
How you progress through the ranking system should be based on performance not how much you spend.
The other optional fee is autoshipment.
You get a 10% bonus on retail sales if you spend more than $100 every month on PM International products.
Keep in mind most people lose money with PM International so adding an extra $100 per month to a distributor just means they'll lose more.
Again, if too much of PM International's revenue is coming from distributors buying products that would be a pyramid scheme.
PM International Compensation Plan
Like most MLM compensation plans PM International's compensation plan is confusing and will be hard to understand for most people.
I'm going to summarize the main parts so you can understand it better.
There's 12 affiliate ranks you can reach at PM International and you go from one rank to another by hitting certain goals.
You also get different rewards for going from one rank to another.
Here's the ranks you can achieve:
- Team Partner
- Sales Manager
- Marketing Manager
- International Marketing Manager
- Vice President
- Executive Vice President
- President's Tema
- Silver President's Team
- Gold President's Team
- Platinum President's Team
- Champion's League
Mainly you go from one rank to another depending on how much your downline sells in total volume and having affiliates under you rank up as well.
Most people at PM International will not get further than the first couple of ranks.
Retail sales is the money you make selling directly to customers. How much you make is the difference between the wholesale price you buy from PM International and the retail price you sell to customers.
Like I mentioned before you also get a 10% bonus if you sign up for autoshipment (paying $100+ per month for PM International products).
You get paid a $60 commission when you convince a new recruit to buy one of the expensive products packs (the $481 or $500 one).
If you're a Manager rank or higher you get a $120 commission (if you're under the Manager rank you keep $60 and send the other $60 to the first Manager or higher rank).
These are the commissions you earn from your downline's sales efforts.
This is paid out in a unilevel structure which looks like the following:
What percent you earn and to what level you earn from depends on your rank (you have to reach the second rank of Manager to earn residual commissions).
For example if you're a Manager rank you would earn 5% from your personal recruits and 3% from the second and third levels.
If you were to make it to the last rank of Champion's League you would earn 26% from personal recruits, 24% on the second to fourth levels, 26% on the fifth and sixth levels and 21% on every level past the sixth level.
Again, most people won't even get close to the last level.
Rank Achievement Bonus:
You get rewarded for ranking up as well if you do it in a certain time frame.
Here's what you can earn based on your rank and how fast you go there:
- $500 bonus for reaching International Marketing Manager in a month of signing up
- $1250 bonus for reaching Vice President rank within three months of signing up.
- $2500 bonus for reaching Executive Vice President rank within 6 months of signing up.
- $5000 bonus for reaching President Team rank within 12 months of signing up.
The above parts of the compensation plan are how you'll be making the majority of your money.
There's smaller bonuses you can get as well which include:
- Top Retailer Bonus
- Car Bonus
- Pension Plan
- Presidents Team Recognition
These bonuses aren't that important to know about unless you're doing well with PM International.
PM International Products
Nutrition and cosmetics are two of the most competitive and popular MLM's out there - PM International sells both of those products.
The main problem you'll face with selling these products is they are expensive and there's plenty of competition out there.
For example, there's a product at PM International called Power Cocktail and it's essentially daily vitamin with general health benefits.
It's ingredients include various berries and herbs and other common ingredients.
Power Cocktail, however, costs over $100!
How many nutrition supplements will have similar ingredients and promise to do the same thing that will cost half of that?
People do their research when buying health products and they're not going to pay double for the same benefits.
Additionally it's been proven through studies that most of the ingredients in PM International's products is powdered sugar.
This means they're misleading about how beneficial their products are and it makes their price tags even more ridiculous.
So overall I think the product line here is poor and will be hard to sell.
This is most likely why PM International resorts to pay to play and autshipment.
What I Like About PM International
There's only one thing I like here and it is:
Been around for awhile
MLM's don't tend to stick around for too long and most don't make it past a couple of years.
This means people that make a living as a network marketer are always restarting and having to rebuild their downlines.
PM International has been around for 30 years and most likely won't disappear overnight. This at least means there's stability here.
What I Don't Like About PM International
There's a lot to dislike here and the main things I dislike are:
Low success rate
MLM's are very hard to succeed with and up to 99% of people that join one will lose money.
This makes Multi-Level Marketing one of the absolute worst ways to try and make money.
There's nothing special about PM International that would change that.
Autoshipment requirements are basically the worst thing you can do as a Multi-Level Marketing company.
While they're not mandatory they kind of are in a sense. You get an additional 10% commission on retail sales if you do autoshipment.
Most people lose money here so this means you're basically just setting yourself up to lose money.
It also means PM International may just be a legitimate pyramid scheme (which has been alleged).
Pay to play
Another really bad practice is pay to play which PM International engages in. They claim by buying very expensive packs when you first sign up you will get to the second rank faster.
Again, this is just another way to milk new affiliates for money.
It's been alleged also that the main ingredient in PM International's products is powdered sugar which gives no health benefits.
The good stuff (berries, herbs, vegetables) makeup too small of the overall ingredients to be as beneficial as PM International claims.
Additionally, the products are way too overpriced and it'll be easy for customers to find cheaper alternatives that give the same (if not better) results.
Is PM International A Scam?
It's close and I don't really like throwing around the "scam" word.
But PM International does things that are unethical in my opinion.
First off, their products are apparently mostly powdered sugar and if they represent their products as being different, they're being scammers.
Next, they do some of the worst things you can do in a MLM which includes autoshipment and pay to play.
These two things could possibly mean PM International is a legitimate pyramid scheme.
At the very least PM International is nickel and diming their affiliates which is rotten in my book.
There's just a lot of red flags here and you should not join PM International.
It's most likely just going to end with you losing money.
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