New energy drink sales an investment opportunity

Some students at The University of Alabama are working to sell Verve, a new energy drink product with nutritional benefits, to the fertile consumer base of the Capstone.

Max Rubenstein, a junior majoring in psychology, has been working with Verve for about a month and has made roughly $400 by selling it to his friends and fellow students.

“Someone that I know back home from high school contacted me over Facebook message, something as simple as that, telling me about an opportunity, something that was getting large at Tennessee and thought that I would be a good person to get it started at Alabama,” Rubenstein said. “I Skyped with him that night, got enrolled immediately, texted around and within a week I had 11 people enrolled and then a week later we had 60 enrolled.”

The product is not sold in stores and instead grows via a multi-level marketing strategy, which gives incentive for individual sales from its brand partners like Rubenstein. In order to sell Verve and earn a chance to make your own fortune, you have to pay roughly $140 a month for two cases of the product.

“You have to treat this like a job to be successful at it,” Rubenstein said. “We’ve been making sure that people know when they get into this, that is not something that you just sign up for and then let things happen.”

Craig Armstrong, an assistant professor of management, said the business model makes sense for the person at the top.

“It becomes a multiplying network effect because the more people down-line you have, the more money the first rung gets. It’s like a pyramid scheme,” Armstrong said. “The potential downside is that there is going to be a limit to how far down the line you’re going to be able to get. You can get too many people involved in selling it.”

Armstrong also said it would easy to get caught up in the potential opportunity but that it was also incredibly difficult to make much money from it. Armstrong gave some advice to students who want to start their entrepreneurial careers in college.

“Be the first guy in, get as many guys to sell for you as you can, and then convince them to go find other people to sell for them,” Armstrong said.

But Vemma, the company that owns Verve, does not outline any potential risk in its pyramid-shaped business model.

According to the website, “If you are ready to achieve your financial dreams without any barriers, now is the perfect time to join Vemma as a Brand Partner. Simply choose your Builder Pack to maximize your opportunity so you can start earning immediate income. You’ll see how this tiny investment in your business is pennies compared to the huge earning potential this opportunity can afford you.”

Unlike in pyramid schemes, where no tangible product or commodity exists, Verve is a real drink. One of the most prominent endorsements of the Vemma brand of products is Dr. Mehmet Oz, Rubenstein said. The celebrity doctor says in a video on the Vemma website that his charity, HealthCorps, has received nearly $1 million in donations from Vemma.

According to a company press release, Vemma is growing rapidly, with 2012 sales sitting at $117 million. The release also said the largest sales growth occurred in the U.S. market, with a 46 percent increase over 2011, and that the U.S. market also saw an 85 percent growth in recruiting.

Vemma spokeswoman Lynn McGovern said the company could not provide an average amount that brand partners receive in compensation. However, a corporate fact sheet provided by McGovern said the business has so far given $500 million to its brand partners.

“In terms of average earnings, I cannot give you an exact figure as each Vemma Brand Partner is an independent contractor, and like any other independent business person, his or her success or failure depends on his or her personal efforts,” McGovern said.

 

  • Sven

    Hey, my name is Sven Arneson I’m a student at the University of Montana looking to help people in Alabama build their own Vemma business. My website is svenny.vemma.com … feel free to contact me on facebook too or my email is sven.arneson@umontana.edu

    • http://www.opticad94.ro/ Opticad94

      … ?

  • Max Rubenstein

    There are a few misrepresentations in the article: 1) Brand Partners DO NOT SELL the drink. We promote the drink. How many college students drink energy drinks, starbucks, or some other energy substance? How much do they spend on those drinks each month? And how many of those companies pay them to drink those products? Verve is a product whose nutritional values are proven through clinical trials and are supported by various credible groups. The Vemma opportunity is that you can now consume an energy product that is not only healthy, but gives you the opportunity to offset your costs and earn some extra money on the side? College students across the country are making anywhere from $1000 a month to $125,000 a month. If this interests you at all, and you are interested in hearing about how this IS NOT a scam, you can contact me via Facebook or phone at 901-826-8351.

    • http://tylercrompton.com/ Tyler Crompton

      “nutritional values are proven through clinical trials”. Lol. Clinical trials. You’re funny. I like you. “an energy drink that prevents/cures hangovers” (from your Facebook). Hah. Please. You’re killing me. “supported by various credible groups”. Who? The website only indicates one! Nearly all of the ingredients are from the period table of elements. I’d rather not consume cobalt, silver, titanium, etc. It even has Sucralose in it (which has a shaky history). “College students across the country are making anywhere from $1000 a month to $125,000 a month.” I’d like to see some proof that you fall in this category. Got a dumb excuse? That’s okay. We understand.

      • Max Rubenstein

        Credible Sources: Dr. Mehmet Oz (Chief of Surgery at Columbia University), St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital (Uses Vemma Next), Children’s Miracle Network (Uses Vemma Next), Men’s Journal, Men’s Health, Men’s Fitness, Miss Fitness…need I go on? I don’t believe the number 1 children’s research hospital (the number one research hospital for that matter) in the world would use a product that wasn’t good for their patients. The ingredients that you are seeing that come from the Periodic Table are the minerals. Minerals are not produced by the body naturally and are necessary for sustaining healthy life. They are in every food you eat, and are completely safe for consumption; otherwise they wouldn’t be in every food that you consume. And a dumb excuse why, after a month, I’m not making between $1,000 and $125,000? I don’t believe I even need to respond to that…what kind of job do you think this is? Obviously, it takes time to get to that level. If you’re skeptical, please, I encourage you to come to a meeting, hear more about it, and then you can decide. Feel free to contact me over Facebook.

        • http://twitter.com/mindchangeframe MAB

          Dr. Oz pushes horribly unsupported medical claims all the time and the others, unless they have some evidence to support the claims made by you guys, don’t prove anything about the credibility of the product. You’re doing the exact same sort of defense of the product and MLM that the Amway and Cutco people do. Just stop.

          • MaxStolfe

            And yet Amway and Cutco have generated how much money in the time they’ve been around? Oh yeah…millions.

            You can look at these companies however you want, but there are always people out there who can make them work. You just have to know what you’re doing.

          • http://twitter.com/mindchangeframe MAB

            How much of that is going towards the workers at the level that these students would be? The answer is almost nothing. Encouraging this kind of toxic business structure does nothing to help society.

          • MaxStolfe

            50% goes back down to the employees, if we’re talking about Vemma. The others, I’m unsure how they do their money.

          • http://twitter.com/mindchangeframe MAB

            I’m sure some goes down to the employees, but that doesn’t really say that the people will be making money. I’m also sure that you’re working for them and have an agenda in trying to make the business model seem credible. Especially considering you’re replying 22 days after the article was written.

          • MaxStolfe

            You can assume that. I stumbled across this article because I was googling news about Vemma and this article came up. I don’t have an agenda, but I don’t really care whether you believe that or not. I’ve been researching this company and companies like it for 3 months. Like I said, if you know what you’re doing you can make money.

            Again, you can believe whatever you want to believe, but I’m just telling you what I know.

          • http://twitter.com/mindchangeframe MAB
          • MaxStolfe

            I hadn’t realized I wasn’t allowed to research these things.

            http://dailyoftheday.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/Owl0Z.gif

  • Beto

    Pr C. Armstrong should check his facts:

    1) As Max already stated, brand partners DO NOT SELL!
    2) The person at the top does not necessarily make the most money

    I recommend to watch Tim Sales video “Brilliant Compensation” to understand what MLM is about.

  • whattheduck

    Wow, it’s like Cutco knives finally grew up!

    Seriously, “multi-level marketing” = pyramid scheme. Even with a “real” product, it’s still a pyramid scheme. This is not an investment opportunity, it’s an opportunity to bankrupt yourself. News flash: you ain’t getting a BMW.

    • Max Rubenstein

      Again, come to a meeting, listen for 30 minutes, and then decide for yourself.

    • MaxStolfe

      A buddy of mine just got his car. He opted for a Mercedes rather than a BMW though. There’s a difference between a pyramid scheme and a pyramid. A lot of companies like this have been around for decades and have generated a lot of money. But you need to know what you are doing if you’re going to do it.

  • http://twitter.com/mindchangeframe MAB

    Looks like a new version of the Amway (look it up!) or Cutco scams!