Having just been founded in 2006, Plexus Worldwide has quickly grown into the 30th largest direct selling company in the world. Offering many products in the health and wellness space, their “pink drink” for weight loss helped explode them into the spotlight. While the buzz associated with the company seems to have subsided from its peak, they are still doing quite well and continue to sell their products around the world.
Plexus Worldwide Overview
History Of Plexus
Plexus was founded in 2006 by Tarl Robinson. At the time, Plexus only sold one product – an in-home breast health kit. One could say that direct selling was in Mr. Robinson’s blood. Both of his parents earned their full-time income as distributors in direct selling organizations. While he college, he became a distributor selling nutritional and weight loss products.
In 2002, Robinson relocated to Arizona and began to expand his skillset into estate management. However, he still had a passion for direct selling. He started Plexus in 2006 with their single breast care product. The company began to grow quickly, and today it has over 20 wellness products in its portfolio.
Today the company generates over $500 million in annual revenue. In 2017, the company’s exact figure was $562 million. While they have a large distributor network of around 700,000 reps, they employ less than 200 full-time employees. Plexus has been named by Direct Selling News as one of their Best Places to Work, and they have been often featured on the Inc, 5000 list of fastest growing companies.
Plexus has seen its share of investigations and accusations during its fairly short lifetime. Most of the accusations center around the products themselves and the marketing or advertising of those products. Plexus has gotten into some hot water for marketing their products as cures for diseases and ailments instead of simply as unregulated supplements.
In 2014, The FDA took particular exception to the marketing of several of their products such as Fast Relief, ProBio5 and BioCleanse. The FDA issued a warning letter to Plexus with specific examples of verbiage from their website where the false or misleading claims were being made. Plexus was told to promptly cease the misleading advertising.
Despite the warnings from the FDA, the Truth in Advertising group still found over 100 unsubstantiated claims on Plexus’ website in 2016. In addition, the Environmental Research Center sued Plexus for failing to provide clear warnings to its customers that some of its products contained lead. Lastly, the company is entangled in multiple lawsuits between founding members and members who left the company and joined other MLM’s. There are also over 600 consumer complaints about the company continuing to bill them for products they did not order.
Current Company Structure
Plexus still has its headquarters in Scottsdale, Arizona. Founder Tarl Robinson still servers as CEO of the company, and he has a strong leadership team assembled around him. While the company’s growth has slowed in recent years, revenues are still strong at around $500 million per year. With the countless consumer complaints and myriad of current lawsuits, the outlook for the company’s future is a bit uncertain.
The company has recently announced some organization changes to better align internally and position themselves as a legacy company for years to come. With a distributor network still in the 700,000 range, the company hopes to take advantage of their large network and continue to drive sales throughout the world.
Plexus Worldwide Product Lines
Having just around 20 products, Plexus Worldwide does not have an extensive product line like many MLM’s. All the company’s products are focused in the health and wellness space, from creams and serums to nutritional supplements. They still sell their original product, the Breast Check Kit, and their original breast cream is now Plexus Body Cream.
The most popular product that the company sells is their Plexus Slim or “pink drink.” This is a weight loss supplement designed to balance one’s blood sugar and curb hunger cravings. While many customers love this product, there are also many who think that it is a gimmick.
Another big thing that the company pushes is the importance of gut health. They sell many products designed to promote gut health, which they say reduces bloating and leads to a healthier and happier customer. In addition to single products, Plexus sells many kits that are comprised of a combination of several of their products. They also like to sign up customers for auto-ship deliver so that the next shipment of product is automatically billed and shipped on a standard timetable.
Company Marketing Practices
As with most recently popular MLMs, social media is one of the largest marketing channels for Plexus. There are numerous websites out there that offer tips and tricks for marketing your Plexus business. A common theme in all of those is growing your social media following. Distributors are encouraged to really define their target audience and produce content that caters to that audience.
The company also encourages reps to give small samples of products to potential customers. This is in hopes that the customer really enjoys the product and decides to buy it. Also, sharing success stories is a big way to spread excitement about not only the products, but also the opportunity to become a rep. Anything to create buzz and spread excitement about the company is a great way to advertise.
Making Money With Plexus Worldwide
The market for weight loss and wellness products is huge, so how is the opportunity for selling Plexus products? Since the company has a large network of approximately 700,000 distributors already, the market for Plexus products is somewhat saturated. Most reps barely earn enough to break even, while there are a very small few who earn a substantial income.
Unfortunately, Plexus has not been releasing up to date income disclosure statements with detailed information. The most recent detailed information that can easily be found online is the 2016 income disclosure statement. Working the math from this statement, you can find that about 78% of their distributors earned $0 because the statement only shows figures for qualified ambassadors and above. Another 17% of distributors only earned $301 for the year. So, less than 4% of reps earned more than $301 in 2016. You can see the full breakdown here.
While there is a 2018 Income Disclosure Statement available on the company’s website, the level of detail shared there is lacking. In looking at the data presented there, the numbers do not appear much different from the 2016 statement. Either way, your odds of earning a nice income from Plexus are very low.
How To Enroll
Enrollment as an ambassador is easy. Simply go to the Plexus website and click the links to Enroll with the company. At the time of enrollment, you will be offered a discount on one of the starter packs which range in cost from $99 to $199. In addition to the starter pack, you will need to pay a fee of $34.95. That fee is charged on an annual basis to keep your ambassador website and membership active.
In order to earn anything with Plexus, you must be a qualified Ambassador. This means that you must be current on your membership fee and reach a minimum monthly volume in sales. While their compensation plans vary slightly by country, the basics of the plans are roughly the same. Reps earn commissions on their personal sales; however, they do not begin earning a commission until they reach $100 in sales for the month. After that milestone, they earn 15% up to $500 in sales and 25% above that.
Another great way to earn income is through Preferred Customer bonuses. Each time an ambassador signs up a Preferred Customer, they earn a bonus on the products that customer orders based on the type of product. Those bonuses range from $4 to $28 depending on the product. Lastly, building your business and creating your team gives you the chance to earn additional commissions and bonuses.
Sales And Marketing Techniques
As previously discussed, the most successful Ambassadors have a very large social media following. They engage their social media audience with demonstrations and success stories about the products, and this encourages their audience to buy in. They use this audience to both sell products and sign up new ambassadors. Knowing your target audience and crafting your messaging to speak directly to them is a key to success in this organization.
Plexus Worldwide Comparison To Other MLMs
There are tons of MLMs out there, from Young Living to Mary Kay, so how does Plexus Worldwide measure up? On one hand, Plexus has been a quickly growing company that has really exploded in the last few years; on the other hand, the company has been subject to many complaints, lawsuits, and investigations. The earning potential for an Ambassador is very low, and even the highest earning distributors in the company make less than their counterparts at some other MLMs. Add that to the fact that there is an annual membership fee, and Plexus Worldwide does not appear to be a great opportunity compared to other MLMs.