Today’s blog post is one I felt I had to write. I joined a multilevel marketing company called the Digital Prosperity Movement on the weekend and I wanted to share my experience with you.
The Digital Prosperity Movement (DPM) is a group of distributors that sell products from the Japanese company Enagic. According to their website Enagic are ‘the leading manufacturer of alkaline ionizers and water filtration machines in the world.’
The numbers of Enagic distributors across the world is unknown but it’s a worldwide brand, with offices in 38 locations across 23 countries. Enagic are the real deal and produce high quality products to help its customers live a healthier life. My gripe is not with the standard of Enagic’s products, but with their cost and sales methodology.
If you’d prefer to see me present my main two cons with visual examples you can watch my YouTube video.
As Enagic is a worldwide brand there must be many distribution groups across the world. I learned about DPM in an Instagram advertisement, which read something like:
‘Do you want a freedom lifestyle to earn money from anywhere in the world?’
I assume that an ad like this got a lot of engagement, as it certainly got mine. From what I can remember I was asked for my details and was soon contacted on Instagram by a DPM distributor called Pankaj Sobti.
Pankaj is a genuinely friendly and positive guy who posted the ad to grow his team. He sent me more information about what DPM were offering, including a video from Adam Gately, one of the head distributors in DPM. He underlined the financial benefit of selling high-ticket products as an affiliate, something I completely agree with.
However, to learn what I would be selling as part of DPM I would have to pay £77. I was tempted but held off because of my current workload. I hardly have enough time for a new venture, unless I pack this in and start again.
Pankaj then informed me of a week-long event happening on Facebook that was for people that wanted to level up their life by owning an online business.
The event contained 2 daily meetups on the Facebook page; an intro to that days subject at 5pm, and the actual event at 8pm.
These meetups included ‘Eliminating Limiting Beliefs’, ‘Creating Unimaginable Confidence’, and ‘Money Management’.
Each session was full of valuable information and advice from successful online entrepreneurs. None of them spoke about their businesses but I assumed that they work as part of the DPM distributors.
The last event was presented by Adam Gately and was a similar pitch to the one I had watched before, about high-ticket affiliate marketing. By the end he offered the same deal with a discount – it would now cost £55 instead of £77.
I decided to purchase entry into the Digital Prosperity Movement and worked my way through the videos.
Firstly, you have to book a coaching call with your manager, before watching a set of videos with Adam Gately speaking about the goals and vision of those that choose to be part of the DPM.
This all leads to the main video, the one which explains what products you will be selling as a DPM distributor. It was only at this point that I found out that DPM is one of many MLM groups that distribute Enagic products.
This video was presented by an American man whose name sounded like Belarz (in the picture), who seemed like the man who created DPM. He told his story, relaying how the Kangen water produced by the Enagic ionised water machine cured him of his debilitating stomach illness.
He went on to show how the Kangen water was free of pollutants, contained healthy minerals, more alkaline than any other water, and a positive pH level.
I was impressed by the machine and was excited to start selling it… until Belarz revealed the price.
If you want to buy the latest model, the Kangen 8, it will set you back $4980.
Belarz then revealed that all distributors must buy the Kangen 8.
Being a distributor didn’t seem like such an appealing opportunity now.
Then the plot thickened.
Belarz then explained the direct selling methodology of Enagic. Every time you sell a K8 or any of their other products, you earn around 7%.
Where does the rest go you may wonder?
Well, $2,260 goes to Enagic to pay for the product. The other $2720 is divided into an 8 point commission structure, with 1 going to you ($340) and the other 7 points ($2,380) going to your upline distributors.
To give you a quick explanation of how the ranking system works, there are 6 ranks (1A-6A), with each rank having 8 pay points.
You can only advance in rank if you and/or your team sell a specific number of products. You can advance directly from 1A (which requires 2 direct sales) to any other rank when you and/or your team have accumulated the sales volume necessary.
For example: You’ve made two direct sales and are ranked 1A. When you sell a 3rd unit your rank goes up to 2A. It is possible to jump directly to being ranked 6A if the amount of units sold in your team is at least 100 in total. The chart below shows you how a distributor can rise in rank with the sale of K8 units alone.
Now this is clearly a multilevel marketing business. When I realised this the alarm bells started ringing because these 3 key letters ‘MLM’ had NEVER been mentioned before.
In fact, they weren’t mentioned at any point in any of the videos, in the week-long Facebook event, and Pankaj had never said it to me. When I mentioned it to Ben Stockford, my upline manager, he denied it was an MLM business.
Why? Because DPM don’t want to be tarnished with the negative press that MLM businesses have. This fact alone shows that DPM are full of BS and I have no interest in working with such people.
If they were honest about the fact that it’s an MLM business then I would have had more respect for them. I’m not against MLMs, I’m actually a partner of InCruises, an MLM travel business. What I am against is businesses that lack transparency and try to pull the wool over the eyes of future distributors.
On top of this, the goods are hugely overpriced. Why? Because it’s an MLM and the SEVEN distributors above you need to get their cut.
How do I know their products are overpriced? I researched similar products at wholesale price and was shocked at the difference.
You could buy a similar Alkaline Water Ionizer on the wholesale website DHGate.com with 8 water settings for $388 (£284). That’s over £3700 cheaper for an item that does the same thing!
In comparison I suspect (and hope) the K8 is a better water filter, as it has more safety certificates.
These are the ISO 9001, ISO 14001, and ISO 13485 for quality control and environmental management, the Water Quality Association Gold Seal for product certification, and a member in good standing of the prestigious Direct Selling Association.
The cheaper one has the 3C Certificate, which is a mandatory product certification system with the aim of protecting consumer’s security through the supervision of products concerning health, hygiene, security, environment, and anti-fraud.
Of course, when dealing with your health you shouldn’t cut costs… but $4,592 (£3,715) is a lot of money.
If I was to buy one personally, I would buy the cheaper one. I’m happy to take the risk because if it’s unsatisfactory the loss to my bank balance won’t hurt as much as buying one from Enagic.
Buying the cheaper one as a distributor might make more sense but I wouldn’t do this either. You could potentially make more money with each sale with the bigger profit margin, even if you sold it for $750 (£550), but I wouldn’t sell it because it is unethical.
It doesn’t have any safety certificates other than the mandatory one plus the return policy is 7 days. It is also from China, meaning a buyer would have to pay for the return shipping costs.
The return policy of the Enagic products isn’t much better, being only 15 days.
As you might tell from this blog post and from my YouTube video, I will not sell overpriced goods to live a life of financial freedom. It has nothing to do with selling as part of an MLM business, it has to do with these two cons:
Lack of transparency from the Digital Prosperity Movement