Nerium is an international multilevel marketing company that is focused on skin care products that fight the aging process.
Many of their products prominently feature an extract from the Nerium oleander plant (hence the company’s name), which is a shrub native to Southeast Asia but found all around the world. The company claims that its Nerium extract has a strong anti-aging effect.
Did I get on board? This explains everything:
Nerium has been involved in some legal wrangling, but not for the usual reasons MLMs run afoul of the law. Nerium is tangled up with their competitor Modere, claiming that the company pilfered some of its top sales representatives and their customers.
This corporate sabotage story is rivaled by the dispute between Nerium and its former executive Dennis Windsor, who was terminated by the company and sued.
The good news is that none of these lawsuits have anything to do with deceptive marketing practices or pyramid scheme accusations, which are usually why MLMs find themselves in court facing a lawsuit or criminal investigation.
In terms of popularity, Nerium has been trending downward in search engine traffic on Google since its popularity peaked in April of 2015. This could be deceptive, though, since this could reflect waxing and waning interest in nerium oleander the plant, not necessarily Nerium the MLM company.
Indeed, the search engine traffic predictably rises every spring and declines after that, as you’d expect with plants (being planted in the spring, of course).
Nerium’s core product line consists of a night cream, a day cream, and an eye serum. These core products are sold in a package, which can be augmented and upgraded by adding a body contour cream.
The night cream is applied, as the name suggests, before bed, and contains rice bran oil, vitamin E, a peptide matrix, and a number of other herbal ingredients, as well as the NAE-8 extract from Nerium oleander.
The day cream shares some of the ingredients, like the NAE-8 and the peptide blends, but swaps out other ingredients for green tea, vitamin C, and jojoba esters.
The eye serum contains a number of specially designed chemicals intended to improve the skin around your eyes, as well as a few of the same ingredients as the day and night blends.
Nerium claims they base the ingredients on science, but as is almost always the case with cosmetics products, there is very little scientific research to look at to determine the efficacy of the product. There are a number of positive testimonials and reviews online, as well as some complaints about burning side effects or less than promised results.
Perhaps in response to the smattering of negative reviews, Nerium touts the tested safety of their products, noting that they have exacting purity standards and testing procedures.
The compensation plan for Nerium is, in a word, tough. As experienced MLM veterans know, maintaining a high product volume month to month is difficult as a distributor that works only for a company that offers a small range of products that have a high cost.
Nerium’s products are quite expensive: a standard package of the day cream, night cream, and eye serum is nearly $400, and comparable packages are on the same order of magnitude when it comes to cost.
Unfortunately, the compensation plan does not take these things into account. To earn any money beyond retail profit, you need to maintain a monthly product volume of at least 200.
This can include yourself, of course, but it’s still a very tall order when it comes to selling this kind of product. In terms of dollars per product volume, a high cost low count deal like Nerium (where each individual product is very expensive) does not work out too well when you do the math.
The amount of sales you do, in dollars, does not translate nearly as well into earnings for you until you can start earning commissions.
This much is reflected in the company’s income disclosure statement. Of some 24,000 active distributors in the “business opportunity” category, 4200 (or 17%) make no money at all. Above this another 11,000 (nearly half) make less than $1,000 per year.
Worse, these people represent only about a third of the total number of people enrolled in Nerium’s program. The “savings seekers,” who aren’t maintaining 200 product volume per month, earn an average of $138 per month, according to the company.
Only when you check the fine print do you find out that even this is misleading; a third of the savings seekers actually earn $0 per month.
Depending on your level of trust in the company’s scientists, the anti-aging products may or may not work.
The degree to which they do work, and your commitment level to maintaining a young look (i.e. how much you’re willing to spend to look good), will dictate whether the products are worth it for you or your customers.
The problem is that it’s going to be really tough to keep your product volume high enough to maintain good commissions.
While Nerium does have a better track record than other MLMs in the skincare and anti-aging space, it’s still got a compensation plan that does not line up with their product sales strategy.
With an MLM with the high cost, low volume model, you want a sales commission plan that directly rewards you for how much money you make, versus the number of products you sell. This is just not the case with Nerium, so it’s not my cup of tea.
So if you’re just doing it for the money, there are better ways to kill your day job. You might like our coaching because it shows you the good life without peddling skin care products to your family and friends.