Can I become profitable promoting Atomy merchandise, or is that too good to be true? | cash

ON The South Korean cosmetics company is making a big foray into the UK, claiming that those who sign up as sales reps can earn thousands in commissions and bonuses of up to £ 720,000 every week.

Founded in 2009, Atomy has grown to become one of the world’s largest multi-level marketing (MLM) companies – where individuals make money selling items and getting people to sign up – and claims 15 million worldwide To have members.

After launching in the US, Canada, Australia and other areas, it has its sights set on the UK and Europe and says tens of thousands of people have already signed up.

It is the latest in a line of direct selling beauty companies that are likely to particularly attract women who may be facing financial problems and are looking for new ways to make money – a trend accelerated by the pandemic.

The company’s introductory videos and promotional materials highlight the huge sums of money that can supposedly be made as a “distributor” – including six-figure cash rewards and perks for those who reach the top of the program, such as a personal assistant and personal driver.

MLM programs typically consist of large numbers of people selling items such as beauty and cleaning supplies, candles, and books from home. They are controversial and there are dozens of individuals and groups in the UK fighting them on social media.

Hey Hun … #BanTheScam campaign group claims MLM is a “predatory business model” that should be banned and is planning a protest in central London on August 28th.

Meanwhile, another critic of this type of system told the Observer that he believed Atomy was an “economic cult”. However, there is no evidence that UK authorities are investigating MLM.

Critics have called them “pyramid schemes,” but Atomy denies this. Describing itself as “a consumer-centric network marketing company,” it adds that people can join for free, with no obligation to sell any product, and that the vast majority of its customers are “consumer only” – meaning no commissions from the sale. Its official launch event took place on July 28th at the New Theater Royal in Portsmouth.

The British company is called Atomy Distribution. It has an office in Guildford and is planning seminars to help people learn more about this “business opportunity.”

Specializing in beauty and skin care products and nutritional supplements, it offers people the opportunity to become their own boss and earn extra income by becoming distributors.

In her video message to potential recruits, she claims that through her compensation plan you can “make all dreams in your life scenario come true”.

Put simply, members collect points through their personal purchases and through purchases of their “legs”, that is, the customer team that they have recruited as members.

The points are then converted into commissions and other payments.

Before you can start collecting commissions, you need a minimum number of personal points plus those for each of your routes.

However, unlike some similar companies, members buy from an online mall rather than another retailer. This means that distributors don’t have to hold and pay for inventory that they may never be able to sell.

Atomy has five levels of salespeople known as “dealers” and seven “championships”, each with their own set of rules.

There is a complex system of commission payments, bonuses and other incentives.

In a video, Ruby McGrath, Managing Director for the UK and Europe, says that in terms of general commission, distributors receive a “score” for reaching each dealer, and each score is “approximately” $ five. “The maximum number of points you can earn per day is 300,” she adds. This indicates a commission of no more than $ 1,500 (£ 1,080) per day.

Then there are the championship bonuses known as “once in a lifetime” rewards for reaching each level. Those who reach the bottom level get some company products, while Atomy claims those who get to the top level known as “Imperial Master” status would receive £ 720,000 in cash, plus other perks like “office rent, personal assistant and driver rental ”.

To join, a person must provide the membership number of the person they are referring to.

Atomy’s website says it has more than 400 products, although the mall listed a smaller range on its UK website last week, from £ 5 for four tubes of toothpaste to £ 180 for the Absolute Skincare Set.

The British launch film on YouTube contains a sequence in which the company bosses have afternoon tea with “a very special guest” – who turns out to be the queen’s doppelganger. The doppelganger flips through an Atomy brochure while drinking tea and eating sandwiches on the terrace of a manor house and is then happy about a basket of products from the company.

The UK direct selling association, the Direct Selling Association (DSA), which includes cosmetics company Avon and health and beauty company Amway, estimates that there are 631,000 direct sellers in the UK, 96% of whom are women. The DSA is an association controlled by its members and operates a code of conduct that they must adhere to.

The Observer asked the DSA if they knew about Atomy UK and if they had applied for membership. She replied that “we are not aware of this company”.

The DSA has said in the past that while multilevel marketing structures appear “similar to pyramid schemes” – which are illegal in the UK – they are in fact much different and more like a traditional corporate business model.

The US Direct Selling News website recently published a “Global 100” list of direct selling companies that ranked Amway first and Atomy 12th. In 2020 Atomy’s annual sales were $ 1.48 billion.

David Brear, who describes himself as a writer who has studied cults, told the Observer that he believed Atomy was an “economic cult” that spread a “cruel illusion.”

However, McGrath says that “you don’t have to be a sales member to enjoy Atomy’s products” and that “97% of our customers are only consumers (ie, don’t earn any commission)”.

She adds: “Our members love our products and recommend them to people to try them out … there is no obligation to buy, no entry fee, no inventory, no minimum purchase requirement.

“Also, unlike other network marketing companies, our consumers buy through the online mall and not through a person.”

McGrath says that out of the maximum commission of $ 1,500 per day, “reaching this level takes a lot of hard work and dedication. Ordinarily we would say that someone who makes Atomy their full-time job takes over three years of dedication and hard work. “

She added that Atomy is “considering” an application for the DSA.

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