This post may contain links from our sponsors. See our disclosure for more information.
In this review, I’m going to be answering the question, is SeneGence a Pyramid Scheme? And if you’ve heard of the company and their wildly popular product LipSense, then you probably already know the answer to the question.
But I’m going to go deeper here and break down the compensation plan and some other areas of focus for this MLM. In the end, I’ll tell you if I think this multi-level marketing company is a winner or not. Because a pyramid scheme is the last thing we would want to get duped in to.
OK, let’s go.
Table of Contents
What is SeneGence?
SeneGence International is a multi-level marketing company that sells a makeup and skincare line. The company was founded in 1999 by a single mother, Joni Rogers-Kante who developed the products and they’re headquartered in Foothill Ranch, California.
Joni Rogers-Kante is the Founder, CEO, and Chairwoman of the company. She started her career in retail as a store assistant and later assistant manager at the Sav-On Corporation. She then moved to direct sales for 13 years before starting Senegence in 1999.
This company manufactures products in the USA at a pharmaceuticals grade manufacturing plant and the company has grown substantially. They are now generating to the tune of hundreds of millions in sales revenue and have over over 500,000 distributors as of 2018, who promote the business.
The company’s products are not tested on animals and are made from ingredients that are both natural and ecologically sound. The company products do not have external packaging and the products themselves have no animal by-products.
They have a non-profit organization called “The Make Sense Foundation” which raises money for women and children in need. To date, Senegence has 80 full-time employees at their California HQ, and operate in around 13 countries globally.
What is a Pyramid Scheme?
First off, the difference between a legitimate MLM company and a pyramid scheme is that the MLM company will make the majority of its revenue from selling product. And only a proportion from recruiting new distributors.
In the truest sense of the word, a pyramid scheme doesn’t have a product or service at all. And the only goal is to separate unsuspecting people from their money. But in the mlm world, let me break down what it means to be a pyramid scheme.
With a pyramid scheme, the company may have a fake product or one of low value. This is a product that is not exciting to the public and there is no goal to generate revenue from product sales. Instead, the company and its distributors focus on selling “membership” to new distributors.
With this type of scheme, the founders, and the initial distributors can often make substantial amounts of income as they are in a new market and there are lots of potential distributors. But over time it becomes harder to recruit new people. And since the product just does not sell, the distributors who joined later lose out.
A number of MLM companies have been investigated after allegations were made claiming they were Pyramid Schemes. This list includes some big names. One such company that faced a number of allegations was Herbalife.
After investigation, it was cleared but the FTC required some modifications to their business activities. Other companies have not been so lucky and the following companies are just a few that have been designated Pyramid Schemes and shut down:
2extreme performance international, Bigsmart, Drivers seat network, Five star auto club, Fortuna alliance, Futurenet, Global assistance network for charities, Global Information Network (GIN), Jewelway international, Koscot interplanetary, Mall Ventures, MEGA$NET, Mentor network, National marketing company, Primebuy network, Skybiz, TelexFreeFunit, Trek Alliance, WCM 777, World class travel, YES International.
Is SeneGence a Pyramid Scheme?
Calling an mlm company a pyramid scheme would be classified as fighting words to some. But to many who hate mlms with a passion, these two words and mlm are used as one in the same. Hopefully I shed some light on it above when talking about what a real pyramid scheme looks like.
But the truth is, SeneGence is not a pyramid scheme. When you look at the popularity of their produts alone, that moves them away from the pyramid scheme category, where there isn’t a tangible product or service.
Not to mention, distributors can sell these products to earn commissions without ever recruiting and sponsoring a single distributor. But let’s take it one or two steps further and look at a couple more things about the company.
Better Business Bureau
As of the time of this review, SeneGence is not accredited with the BBB and has an A+ rating. This speaks to their reputation and most of the reviews were positive.
The company posted sales revenues of $380 million back in 2015. As of 2017, the company posted nearly double that number and generated $700 million in revenue. So they are growing rapidly. They just missed my list of the fastest growing mlm companies in the space.
How to Join SeneGence
To become a distributor with SeneGence, you will need to pay a registration fee to sign up. You can do this at the SeneGence website. This costs $55.
This covers your marketing equipment and training program. It does not, however, cover the cost of any products. As a distributor, you will get a 20% to 50% discount on the retail price of products. And you have the opportunity to receive commissions, bonuses, and other rewards (e.g car allowance) as part of the compensation plan.
You will need to purchase a distributor pack to start selling: The initial two packs are the Fast Start Pack and the Signficant SeneSeller Kit.
1) Fast Start Pack
This option contains over $3,500 worth of product at retail price. The cost for this pack is $1,195, which is an over 65% saving.
2) Significant $ene$eller Pack
This contains over $1,830 worth of product at retail. The cost here is $795 (over 55% saving).
The company also offers custom websites and will fulfill orders directly if the distributor opts-in and pays a fee. The distributor will receive commissions and bonuses on this.
Fast Start Program
As with most mlm companies, the goal is to get out of the gates quicky and start growing your business. To incentivize fast starters the company has what’s called a Fast Start Program. The goal is to encourage sales in the first 90 days of being a distributor.
Here’s a rundown of what the company has in place for people who get their business on the fast track in the first 30, 30, 90 days (In PV, which means Point Value).
- In first 30 Days – Place 1000 PV orders and get bonus stock worth $350
- In first 60 Days – Place another 1000 PV orders and get bonus stock worth $400
- In first 90 days – Place another 1000 PV orders and get bonus stock worth $450
By achieving all three stages, the distributor gets $1,200 of free stock.
SeneGence Compensation Plan
As a multi-level marketing company the SeneGence compensation platform is designed to offer commissions and bonuses for the efforts of distributors as well as the efforts of their team or organization. No different from any other mlm.
In the company’s comp plan there are basically 2 main ways to make money. They are:
- Earn profits on immediate sales and reorders
- Earn commissions on the distributors that you sponsor in your downline and group sales volume bonuses
Here’s a detailed SeneGence compensation plan breakdown from their website.
The SeneCar Program
They also offer added incentives based on your performance level. SeneGence offers the SeneCar Program, which is dependent on your performance and can earn you reimbrusment for car lease payments. This can be for part or all of the lease payment.
Compared to most companies, the compensation plan is quite clear and isn’t very confusing. After having reviewed dozens of mlms, I can tell you this is more of the outlier than the norm.
Here’s an excellent video overview of the SeneGence comp plan.
What Products Does SeneGence Have?
SeneGence is a company that prides itself on its revolutionary products. Some of the marketing states that their products are based on the SenePlex anti-aging complex of ingredients and the latest in technologies. Some of the product claims include:
- No animal testing, they test on real people.
- Use of alternative sources instead of animal by-products.
- They use naturally reoccurring ingredients.
- Products are made in cGMP manufacturing facilities.
- Made in the US under strict quality control.
- Gluten and GMO free products.
- Their most popular product LipSense contains no wax and no lead.
One notable thing about SeneGence that separates the company from other multi-level marketing/direct sales companies is the product endorsements. SeneGence is in a wildly competitive market with cosmetics.
You have celebrites with so many companies and brands vying for their attention. And rightfully so, considering so many celebrities use cosmetics and personal care products.
The fact that SeneGence has so many notable celebrities who endorse their products, speaks to the quality of the company and their brand. Again, this is very unusual for a multi-level marketing company because so many of them have me-too products that aren’t well differentiated from the market.
Here’s a list of just some of the their celebrity customers:
- Christina Aguilera
- Courteney Cox
- Lisa Kudrow
- Barbara Bush(former first lady)
- Barbara Streisand
- Brittany Spears
- Loretta Swit
- Leah Messer
The company’s product range is quite comprehensive and their porfolio contains products from most of the major categories in this space. But no review on Senegence would be complete without mention of the the company’s most famous product line. And that’s Lipsense.
Here’s a little more on LipSense by SeneGence.
Pros and Cons of SeneGence
- With this company, you have real products to sell that people want to buy with celebrity endorsements, in a huge market.
- The company compensation plan is not overly complex and is straight forward.
- The products stand on their own, which would make it more realistic to promote the products and earn income with loyal happy customers, instead of reliance on recruiting.
- Set-up costs are lower than some other companies.
- The company has been in business for decades, which speaks to their staying power.
- There’s potential for saturation with this market. This can make it hard to sell future products from the company. Especially if they’re not well differentiated in the marketplace.
- Some of the products are overpriced with cheaper options available elsewhere.
- The mlm cosmetics space is loaded with giants like Rodan + Fields, Avon, and Mary Kay to name a few. The market is very competitive.
The SeneGence business opportunity is not a pyramid scheme. They have a solid product line in a huge market. With so many celebrity endorsements and a product that is super popular, the company definitely separates itself from the rest of the companies in the industry.
As a distributor, the comp plan is clear cut with a clear path to how you can earn. It’s just a matter of promoting the product and growing your business. No business is easy and even more-so when it comes to the multi-level marketing industry. It’s definitely not for the faint of heart.
But if you have used the company’s products and you believe in them, you might have a solid business here. In SeneGence you have a rapidly growing company in a market that is paced to be in high growth mode for many years to come.