Chances are you’re here because you’re considering joining the Savvi and becoming a Savvi Brand Partner.
You’ve probably seen your friends posting about them on social media and figured you may as well find out what all the fuss is about and register as a ‘Savvi Brand Partner’ so that you can start selling Savvi products and making a bit of additional income.
And why wouldn’t you?
Who wouldn’t want to have their own clothing business, work from anywhere and enjoy financial freedom?
However, you’re a bit hesitant.
You’ve heard people saying that the Savvi MLM is a pyramid scheme and that it is impossible to make money with them, and you want to do your research before you dive in headfirst.
This article is here to help.
We are going to dive into the Savvi business opportunity and find out whether Savvi is an MLM, what it’s really like working for Savvi, whether Savvi is actually a scam, and lastly, whether Savvi is nothing more than another pyramid scheme in disguise.
Are you ready?
Then let’s get into it.
Is Savvi an MLM? A Deep Dive Into the Savvi Business Opportunity
Is Savvi an MLM?
Despite self-identifying as a ‘community-based lifestyle brand,’ YES, Savvi is an MLM company.
It isn’t immediately obvious from their site, but rest assured that Savvi is absolutely an MLM, or multi-level marketing company (also known as ‘network marketing’).
Some amusing MLM buzzwords and red flags on their website include:
- Savvi is a ‘ground floor opportunity.’ Translation: ‘You’ll be starting at the bottom of the pyramid‘
- ‘As Savvi grows, the brand will expand in a way that will set your business on fire.’ Translation: ‘We are aggressively recruiting people because we function like a pyramid scheme and your business will turn into a dumpster fire.’
- ‘Leading bonuses that reward you for your results.‘ Translation: ‘Bonuses that reward you more, the more you recruit.’
What is MLM?
Just in case you need a fuller breakdown about what MLM actually is, here you go.
MLM stands for multi-level marketing, and MLM companies are also referred to as network marketing companies or social selling companies.
MLMs have been around for years, and popular MLMs include Arbonne, Monat, Norwex and even Avon!
You don’t receive a salary in a multi-level marketing company.
Instead, you earn money from selling products to people you know and recruiting others into the business.
When you recruit a new person and that person begins earning money, you will earn commission from the sales and recruits generated by THAT person.
This continues down in multiple levels (hence multi-level).
Imagine a triangle.
If the person at the very top of the triangle recruits 10 people, and every one of those 10 people recruit another 10 people, and each one of those people recruit another 10 people, you’ll be making commissions from EVERYBODY within the triangle because they’re all in your direct downline (the people underneath you in an MLM are referred to as your ‘downline’ and you’re their ‘upline’).
All you had to do was recruit 10 people and you make money from 1100.
While MLM companies like Savvi also give you the chance to make money from selling their products, most people in MLMs prefer to recruit others because they stand to make a lifelong passive income from that person, whereas if they sell a product they’re just going to receive a one-off commission.
The ultimate aim of somebody in an MLM then, is to have as many people in their ‘downline’ as possible, enabling them to form large amounts of passive income for little work.
What is Savvi?
Savvi was originally launched in 2013 as Honey & Lace, a clothing MLM founded by Dianne Ingram, the twin sister of LuLaRoe founder DeAnne Stidham.
It then rebranded as Piphany, before Jen Ashby and Ken Porter, some of Honey & Lace’s original investors, decided to step in and change it to Savvi in 2019, which is the name it goes by today. It is based in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Savvi is a premium athleisure brand selling things like sports bras, leggings, hoodies and joggers.
You can shop for Savvi products in a few different ways.
First, you can buy them directly from a Savvi Brand Partner or the company website, at the retail price.
You can also join one of their subscription clubs (the Style Club and VIP Style Club) where you pay a monthly fee and receive discounts, shipping credits and vouchers if you spend over a certain amount.
There are also the Savvi Shopping Sprees, which are package bundles of store credits and discount codes for you to share with your friends and family. These ‘Shopping Sprees’ are designed for the Brand Partners when they sign up to the business as opposed to regular retail customers.
Now, it is important to note that Savvi’s products are pretty pricey, with sports bras costing upwards of $60 and leggings as high as $88.
These high prices are not necessarily reflective of the quality of clothes, like other premium athleisure brands (Lululemon for example).
Rather, they are priced so highly because in an MLM company like Savvi, the sales force receive their commissions directly from the sale of the product.
For example, if you earn a 20% commission from selling a $50 bra, the $10 that you receive will come directly out of the profit that Savvi generates from the sale of that bra.
In other words, your customer is paying your wage as well as buying themselves a nice bra, as opposed to the higher-ups in the company paying.
This might not matter to you, but the fact that the products are so expensive will definitely make them harder to sell.
Inside the Savvi Business Opportunity
How do Savvi Brand Partners make money?
There are several ways that Savvi Brand Partners make money, but the general gist of it is the following – Savvi Brand Partners purchase Savvi clothes and make social media posts and videos about how great they are, encouraging their followers to buy the products through their personalised links.
They can also recruit others into the company and earn money from the sales generated by those people, just like every other MLM company.
The more people they recruit, the higher they rank in the company and the bigger their commissions get.
Jill Johnson, a Savvi Brand Partner who blogs about Savvi, states on her website that recruiting is ‘where you can really leverage the business, creating a residual income for doing the work once.’
In other words, recruiting is the best way to earn money with Savvi.
How to Earn Money With Savvi
According to the Savvi Compensation Plan, there are several ways to earn money with Savvi.
Like all MLM compensation plans, this one was incredibly complex and difficult to understand, but I have done my best to break it down.
Here’s how you make money as a Savvi Brand Partner.
- Retail commissions from customers you enrol – You will receive a 25% commission from customers paying retail price, and a 10% commission from customers in the Style Club.
- Rank Advancement Bonus – Receive a bonus if you maintain your rank for over 2 months.
- Value Pack Purchase Bonus – Receive a bonus if you convince somebody to buy a Value Pack (Shopping Spree pack) when they sign up as a brand partner.
- Team Bonus Commission – Commission based on how much your team sells.
- Executive Generation Bonus – Having one ‘generation’ means that you have 4 levels of people beneath you in the company. Having 2 ‘generations’ means you have 8 levels of people below you. You will get a bonus for each generation you have.
- Pool Commissions – A profit-sharing ‘pool’ for people very high up in the company who meet certain requirements.
Of the 6 ways to make money with Savvi, 5 of them involve recruiting a team of people underneath you and receiving bonuses and extra commissions for achieving that.
One major red flag of a product-based pyramid scheme is a focus on growing a ‘team’ rather than selling products to the general public.
As we can see with Savvi, the only real money to be earned is when you have recruited a tonne of people, meaning that most people will likely prioritise growing a team rather than selling yoga pants for a small commission.
How much do you make in the Savvi MLM?
‘That’s all great, but can I make money with Savvi?!’ I can hear you asking.
In order to see whether Savvi Brand Partners are making good money with Savvi, I took a look at their Income Disclosure Statement.
The Savvi Income Disclosure Statement tells us that:
- The entry rank within Savvi represents 75% of Brand Partners. Of these, only 3% received any commission in the whole year.
- The 3% of entry level Brand Partners that did receive any commission represent 53% of all Savvi reps that were making any money. They earned a median average of $293 in 12 months.
- Advanced Reps (17% of Savvi Reps) made a median average of $1200 in 12 months.
- Senior Reps (15% of reps) made an average of $2956 in 12 months.
- Leaders (7%) made an average of $6748.
- Advanced leaders (4%) made an average of $12,227.
This shows us that not only do the vast majority of Savvi reps not make any money at all, but of those that do, 96% of them are not making enough money to replace a full time job.
Less than 2% of the company make $100,000 in a 12 month period.
This is no real surprise, considering that when Jon M. Taylor studied 350 MLMs, he found that 99.6% of people in MLM companies make no money or actually lose money.
How much does it cost to join Savvi?
To be able to call yourself a Savvi Brand Partner, there are some things that you will need to pay for.
First there is the sign-up fee of $49, which will renew each year.
Next, there is the Starter Kit, or ‘Value Pack,’ which is not actually mandatory, but which you will be heavily encouraged to buy when you sign up because the person recruiting you will make a commission, and also because the various Value Packs are better value for money than purchasing all the products separately (and you will need to buy products sooner or later anyway).
There are 3 packages to choose from: the Good Pack, the Better Pack, and The Best Pack.
Here’s what you get with each one:
Good Pack – $249
- $250 shopping credit
- Savvi hat, shirt and water bottle
- 8 $25 off vouchers to share with friends and family
- Your own Savvi website
Better Pack – $499
- $525 shopping credit
- Savvi hat, shirt and water bottle
- 20 $25 off vouchers
- Your own Savvi website
Best Pack: $999
- $1,100 Shopping Credit
- Savvi hat, shirt and water bottle
- 40 $25 off vouchers
- Your own Savvi website
You then have to pay $9.95 every month from your second month to maintain your Savvi website.
You also have to maintain a minimum of 50 PV each month in order to remain ‘active’ in the company.
1 PV translates to 1 dollar, which can come from EITHER purchases made by your customers OR your own personal purchases.
It cannot be made up of a combination of both personal and customer purchases, which makes the Savvi MLM a little different to other MLM companies.
In other companies, such as Monat or Arbonne, monthly targets can be hit by selling some products to customers and making up the rest with your own purchases.
Savvi requires you to hit $50 from sales OR personal purchases.
This means that if you don’t make much money from sales this month, you can’t just buy something cheap to make up the difference.
You have to spend $50.
It is also worth mentioning at this point that Savvi reps do not get ANY discount on Savvi products unless they have 4 engaged personal customers.
This means that when Savvi Brand Partners tell you that you can get paid to promote Savvi athleisure wear to your social network, they are not being truthful.
You must buy the products, at full price, and you will only receive any money if you manage to convince other people to buy them.
Is Savvi a pyramid scheme?
In order to see whether or not the Savvi MLM is a pyramid scheme in disguise, we must first outline what a pyramid scheme actually is.
What is a pyramid scheme?
Pyramid schemes are very similar to MLMs, but the main difference is that MLM distributors are supposed to make more of their money from product sales rather than recruitment.
A traditional pyramid scheme takes an initial investment from each member and promises to pay them for enrolling others into the scheme, meaning that people are buying into an ‘opportunity’ to get rich.
However, as members increase, recruiting quickly becomes impossible and so most members are unable to profit or even make their initial investment back.
The Wikipedia diagram below illustrates just how unsustainable this business model is – after just a few levels of recruitment, the scheme would have recruited everybody in the world and there would be no-one left to recruit!
Because it’s impossible for most people to make any money in a pyramid scheme, pyramid schemes are illegal.
However, most pyramid schemes these days have got wise to the fact that they have to offer a product in order to appear legit, but even though a business may have products, the focus will always be on recruitment rather than product sales.
Because there are so many of these ‘pyramid schemes with products,’ around, the FTC hasn’t quite caught up yet, and so many people believe that just because a company hasn’t been shut down yet, it can’t possibly be a pyramid scheme, which simply isn’t true.
In order to see whether the Savvi MLM is a pyramid scheme in disguise, we must attempt to answer 3 questions.
1. Are most people unable to profit?
In their Income Disclosure Statement, Savvi reveal that 75% of all Savvi reps are in the first rank of the company, and only 3% of them made any commission.
This makes it clear that the vast majority of Savvi Brand Partners are not making any money, and that when their expenses are taken into consideration, they are likely losing money.
Of the Savvi reps that did make money, 95% of them do not earn enough money to replace a full time wage.
2. Do you have to ‘pay to play?’
Not only do you have to pay $49 to join Savvi, but you will likely end up buying a product pack that costs between $249 and $999, as well as monthly website fees, products you purchase to hit your monthly target, and products you purchase for personal use.
Most people in MLM companies end up spending a lot more money than they make in the company.
3. Is there a heavy focus on recruitment?
As we have seen, recruitment is the only way to make real money with Savvi, and 5 out of the 6 ways of making money with Savvi involve ‘growing a team.’
The higher you rise in the company, the more bonuses are awarded, commissions increase and you begin receiving passive income from other people’s sales.
It is also very concerning to note that there are 13 ranks within Savvi, which is huge.
According to Jon Taylor, when there are more than 5 levels in a compensation plan, it becomes extremely difficult for new members to make a profit.
He states that when a compensation plan becomes more than 5 levels deep, it becomes ‘an exploitative money transfer scheme, or product-based pyramid scheme.’
Is Savvi a Pyramid Scheme? | Final Thoughts
Most MLMs closely resemble pyramid schemes and Savvi is no different.
With a huge emphasis on recruitment, fees to join and pressure to buy products in order to hit targets (making the distributors the biggest customers), Savvi appears to be functioning like a pyramid scheme.
Most Savvi reps are not making a profit, and so the idea that this is a legitimate business opportunity is just not true.
If it wasn’t already clear, Not Your Boss Babe does not recommend joining Savvi!
An Alternative to Savvi
If you’re looking for a side hustle or a work from home job, you may find these articles helpful:
Advantages and Disadvantages of Blogging
Easy Freelance Jobs for Beginners
Best Side Hustles for Single Moms
How to Sell Feet Pics Online
Secrets to Selling on Poshmark
Profitable Digital Products to Sell on Etsy
How to Become a Micro Influencer
That’s about it for today, but as always, if you have any questions then don’t hesitate to leave them in the comments section below and I will get back to you!
Until next time,