Apparently standard multi-level marketing matrices are old hat, because more companies are using powerlines these days.

A powerline is basically a single line of people, in roughly the order that they joined the company. The marketing hype for powerlines says that you can earn from everyone under you in the powerline. Since the powerline continues to grow as new members join, this sounds like a great deal. You don’t have to hope for spillover from your sponsor, instead everyone who joins after you is automatically under you.

The trick with companies that use powerlines is to read carefully the details of the commissions you get from the powerline.

MyWorldPlus, for example, features “infinity bonuses”. These are the commissions you earn on everyone below you in the powerline, down to infinity. But not really, because it’s only down to the next person who qualifies for your level of bonus. They rate members from 0 stars to 5 stars, based on how valuable you are to the company (presumably how many people you’ve referred, or sales volume you’ve generated). So as a 1 star member you earn commissions down the powerline until you get to the next member who is 1 star or above. This is only really useful if you get up to 4 and 5 stars.

Without the infinity bonus, you earn commissions from the 5 members below you. That’s right, you only earn commissions on 5 people. And the total is a whopping 14%.

Vocalix Direct is another company that uses powerlines. Vocalix Direct just launched recently, and their web pages are vague on the exact commissions earned from the powerline. Since they push you to upgrade to a paying membership to lock in your spot in the powerline, not having details on the commissions you’ll earn is a bit suspicious. They have plenty of details on what you earn from your sales of their product, and from your personal referrals, but no numbers on the powerline commissions.

Powerlines sound great, since you have a continually growing downline, but in practice earning any significant money just from being in the powerline is not going to happen. Yet that is typically how these schemes are marketed.

If you find a company using powerlines and think their offer sounds great, be sure to check the actual numbers for commissions so you know at what point you’ll break even on your membership fees.

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