The Company: Zyndio / Zyn Travel
Founder & CEO: Anthony Powell
Startup Cost: See below
This is a discount travel based mlm that was launched in late 2015 by Powell soon after abandoning Vemma. It is possible to make money with this company but there's some very real drawbacks to consider before signing up. I personally think there are better options to consider.
The company offers affiliates a membership to a 'travel club' in which they pay a fee to join and gain access to "up to 85% off hotels" and other savings. They sell these memberships through the mlm compensation model.
Zyndio is opportunity/ membership sign up website, while Zyn Travel is the actual travel portal. Both websites have private domain registration and neither explain exactly who is behind this, however, the address on the websites' terms pages are the same as those listed for a number of Anthony Powell's companies and websites.
Powell is also seen doing videos as the owner/ manager of the company on YouTube, among many other direct links.
Who Is Anthony Powell?
When I began looking into Powell I was a little shocked at some of the things I was finding and came to realise why he is so intent on maintaining the level of secrecy he does.
In all fairness, no one is perfect and everyone makes mistakes including myself, but that's not what I am talking about here.
Powell is either directly or indirectly associated with a string of questionable (mostly defunct) companies and websites. He quickly jumped ship from his previous company Vemma amidst a 2015 FTC investigation into the companies compliance. Among other things, the investigation looked into a number of complaints about deceptive marketing tactics used by a company owned by Powell known as GPS. The same GPS that is now operating under a different name.
Check out this in depth article for a detailed look into the history of Anthony Powell.
Personally, I think people have a right to know who they are getting into bed with when they are being asked to invest thousands of dollars and years of their time.
Is ZynTravel.com a Legit Service?
In the very technical sense of the word, yes, the travel products appear to be legitimate in themselves. However, the savings people are receiving are yet to be seen and there is more to the story. Much more.
Upon visiting the travel website I was unable to make a purchase or see any kind of information whatsoever on the discounts I could receive through the website. Every time I attempted to find out more information I was prompted to punch in a 'promo code' or login with existing account details.
After registering for this promo code, nothing happened. No email, no nothing. There is no direction on how to go about accessing this website and the so called savings it gives members. It then became clear that the only way to access this was by becoming an affiliate of the company.
One of the biggest concerns with any mlm company's legitimacy is how much revenue is being generated from the sale of goods and services by non-affiliates. IF there is a lack of legitimate sales to non-affiliate customers then very well indicates a company may be operating as a recruitment driven pyramid scheme.
The 2016 Zyndio Compensation Plan Explained
The company has already made fundamental changes to it's original compensation plan. Tt the time of writing this, the company has not provided people with an up to date and official version in writing.
I am basing the following analysis off the recently released opportunity video shown below, the original comp plan and common sense.
I do NOT endorse the following opportunity video, it is for education purposes only:
Update: The video was removed after publishing this review.
Basically, in the old version there were 3 membership levels and it used a 3x2 forced matrix system. In 2016 they scrapped this and embraced a 2x2 forced matrix with only 2 membership levels. The changes also include payout amounts and the names of the ranks within the company among other things.
Getting Started Costs
There are 2 membership options allowing you to become a 'preferred customer' (affiliate) and each membership comes with different earning capabilities.
Option #1 Gold Membership: This costs an upfront fee of $19.95 + $149.99 and an ongoing monthly fee of $14.99 to access the back office and $99.99 per month for the ZynEscape Program. This program seems to be essential to maintaining your affiliate status but there is absolutely zero information on any of the company's websites regarding what this is and how it benefits you.
First Year Total= $1,549.70
Option #2 Platinum Membership: This costs $19.95 upfront + $499.99 and an ongoing monthly cost of $149.99 + $14.99 to maintain your membership.
The 8 Ways You Can Earn
#1 Travel Commissions: This essentially pays you a percentage of a percentage, much like how a similar mlm known as Paycation operates. If someone purchases a membership through you and buys something through your replicated website, the company gets a commission. You then get a 25% commission based on the commission the company receives from the travel provider.
For example: Jenny purchases a $1000 holiday package through your replicated website. The average affiliate commission in the online travel industry means they stand to make an estimated 5% commission from this sale , or $50. You then make 25% of this, or $12.50.
It operates this way because Zyndio are simply affiliates for other travel companies.
Unless the company is providing unique value in a way that other websites are not then there is little value in this service. The customer has no advantage of using this as oppose to the many free competing websites and the affiliate would make better money promoting other travel agencies directly.
That said, the company may be (or plan to be) offering value above what competing travel websites are providing. Based on what I have seen though, there is zero evidence to support this.
#2 Referral Bonus: Since the company do not provide an up to date comp plan, all I know is that you'll earn $100 when someone you personally recruit purchases a Platinum membership if you are at Platinum level yourself. The Gold membership pays out a lower commission upon enrolment but the exact figure is not specified. You'll also earn 5% of whoever they recruit according to which membership they purchase.
#3 Cycle Bonus: Before I get into explaining this I need to clarify what happens when you join.
If you join as a Gold member, you'll be placed at the top of your own Gold 2x2 matrix and others you refer who buy in at this same level go under you in this matrix. If you buy in at the Platinum level however, you have 2 matrices running side by side and earn from both.
A 2x2 matrix means you'll only ever have 2 people on your first level and 4 people on your second level.
You earn this bonus when you complete a matrix, also known as completing a 'cycle'. A complete Gold cycle pays out $300 and Platinum pays out $700, this continues on and on with old affiliates 'following you through' in addition to placing new members in these as you recruit them.
#4 Travel Bonus: Every time you complete a cycle, you'll also earn between 5-10% of that cycle commission in addition for use in purchasing travel products through your own replicated website.
#5 Matching Bonus: Whenever one of your recruits... I'm sorry, 'preferred customers', completes a cycle you will earn between 5-25% of their bonus according to what rank you are at. Level 1 refers to whoever you have directly recruited and level 2 is for their recruits upon completing a cycle.
Here's a chart illustrating this:
For example: you have a Platinum membership and have reached 'Diamond Executive 3' rank. You personally refer Ben who completes a Platinum cycle and his referral named Sam also completes a Platinum cycle. You make $105 off Ben and $70 off Sam, or $175 total.
#6 Lifestyle Bonus: Bonus paid out upon reaching set ranks within the company. Since the new ranks and the details of this are not explained anywhere I cannot say much about this. I will say that worthwhile bonuses generally require tons of recruiting to achieve and come with some serious strings attached.
#7 Customer Bonus Pool 1: This part was very poorly explained by the company. Apparently, the company puts aside 5% of total membership sales worldwide and places it into 2 separate pools. That is all that is said. They then go on to explain that 50% of the companies ZynEscape revenue is paid out each month into 3 pools. Cool, thanks for clearing that up guys!
#8 Global Bonus Pool: Presidential ranking Platinum members will earn a share of all unpaid bonus payouts to non-qualified affiliates throughout the company. The definition of a unqualified affiliate is not explained however it seems to be similar to the old system as I explain below.
Old system: Being 'qualified' used to mean (may still mean) having 3 direct referrals in order to unlock the full 100% of your cycle bonus. For example if you'd only recruited 1 person directly you'd earn 50% of whatever matrix you cycled out of and the remaining 50% of that bonus went into reserve until you had 3 directs. They hold this for 1 full year and after this time if you are still not qualified with 3 people, they distribute this commission amongst those that are qualified. Seems like a pretty fair system in itself I guess.
Is It Worth Joining?
The biggest thing a person entering an opportunity like this needs to understand is that this is not about selling a product or service. It is about recruiting a boatload of people and convincing them to do the same. Period.
Over zealous affiliates can jump up and down all day long about this but you get Powell and a bunch of the top performers in a private meeting and I promise you they'd say the same. Make no mistake, Powell got to where he is by recruiting and transferring those recruits from one mlm to the next... Herbalife- Vemma- Zyndio. Not by selling health high value supplements, energy drinks or travel packages.
To do this requires hustling family and friends, paying tons of money for leads or learning internet marketing to drive new memberships. Option 3 is the best in my opinion, but it takes time and is not taught by companies like these most of the time.
Would I personally join? Nope.
Because based on what I have seen and in my opinion, this is a pyramid scheme offering very little value to genuine customers outside of recruiting. As it stands, affiliates gain directly based on how many affiliates they recruit and the 'product value' of the membership is grossly unclear at best.
What I Liked
- Potential to earn decent money if you know how to recruit and get in early
What I Didn't Like
- Secrecy from and history of Anthony Powell
- Lack of information provided on their website regarding comp plan and travel packages
- Affiliates are being paid directly from recruiting new affiliates
- Changed their entire compensation plan just months after launching
- Cannot purchase travel without becoming an affiliate
After looking into this company it is clear what it's about- recruiting. Whenever this is the case it presents a difficult and long-term unsustainable business model for people to follow. Yes, there are a small percentage of affiliates making big time cash and yes, any one person has the ability to make epic money.
However... it is only possible for a handful to create a life changing income, the same income made off the back of an overwhelmingly large amount of unsuccessful affiliates chasing the same dream.
If this really was about selling products instead of recruiting I would take a very different view. As it stands, I do not recommend this as the best way to build a legitimate and long-term business.