Nerium product based pyramid scheme?

Nerium Business Opportunity Review

I am writing this review just for you. I neither have other MLM or Pyramid systems to recommend nor was I ever involved in one or will I ever be involved. I just don´t like when people get ripped off.

nerium false clain ray liotta

What I noticed about Nerium is that they must have a very efficient marketing and sales approach. Even people who rarely fall for every scam feel the need of endangering friendships by going after their "warm market."

A few people have bugged me about in the last weeks.

Their promoters defend them with claws and teeth in full ignorance of any facts. Most don´t stay for long, though.

It will be a hard sell

People pay premium prices for premium products. They also pay premium prices for premium marketing bubbles and a sophisticated brand image. With an excellent brand image, you can be overpriced - but you still have to bring it. Even Apple would not succeed if they started selling Nokia phones from 2010 with their logo on it.

Nerium is way overpriced for what it is. A generic cream with everyday ingredients (besides one I will discuss further on).

The problem Nerium's promoters will face is that the price they are paying (even with the auto-ship program) is significantly higher than the street price the cream sells for on eBay and Amazon. And it sells on those sites.

Most people never make their money back (investment for the starter package and other costs I will outline below) ... when they kiss the "business opportunity" goodbye, they sell their stock dirt cheap.

Another factor is that those who still believe in the oleander dream have to reach a certain point level to qualify for bonuses.

As is common with product-based pyramids: You either need 200 points from selling the product to others or 80 points from buying it for yourself to qualify.

Just read the income disclosure for yourself.

Is Nerium cream even safe?

I do not hold against them that it has no proven long-term anti-aging effect. Most or maybe all the anti-aging products don´t. I do hold against them that they claim "scientific evidence" but are not willing to share it.
You would have to sign an NDA for them to share their testimony with you. Now, does that strike you as strange? Why would I want to shut you up and not share my incredible scientific results with the world?
  • The primary seller, the cream, is an utterly generic cream. Aloe and "the usual suspects" that are common in average low price creams. It's not organic or anything else worth mentioning. None of the ingredients have been proven to have any lasting anti-aging effects whatsoever. The only element that stands out is oleander.You do not find oleander in many creams. do not find oleander in any other creams. That is probably because oleander is toxic. Oleander is one of the world's most toxic plants - toxic in all parts. It can be deadly - especially for children.
Read more about Nerium oleander on Wikipedia: oleander
There is no proof whatsoever that oleander has any anti-aging benefits.
Maybe some people imagine a short-term anti-aging effect because their faces have a better blood circulation when they think about how they'll get rid of their starter package and get their investment back.
It could also be a mild inflammation from the toxic oleander that makes the skin look smoother - for a while.
I know nothing about their caffeine "brain" supplement, and from my level of brand trust, I would rather be poked in the eye with a stick than try it.

Pushing and pressuring

Now it is not new to pressure partners to spend more money. All pyramid schemes do that. First, you pay for a starter pack. That ranges from $50 (with no product, just some paper) to $1700. But ... to sell it you need to know it and ideally use it, right? So ... go buy it.
Then they offer paid training. In complaints on ripoff report and such people claim they were told: "you have to attend or else you will not make it". Not surprisingly, it only increased their losses.
They do have a "you have to get rid of 70 % first before you can reorder rule"  -  they also have a "make 80 points from purchases for yourself, and you qualify for bonus" rule. Hence, the high number of available products on Amazon and eBay even though Nerium only sells through their partners.
The 70/30 rule also means that you can never (when you give up ) send back more than your last order (minus shipping and handling 2-ways and they only credit 90% of the value of returned goods).

Payment structure

The few people at the top will earn a lot of money.
They pay residential income for 10 tiers. That is a clear indicator that they expect you to sell to your downline - not the market. A company that wanted to encourage product sale would probably have a different structure.
You are supposed to use the cream and find new partners and sell them the starter package.

A simple, proven system?

Nerium claims that the system is simple and proven to generate part-time or full-time income.
The average income for a Nerium (see income disclosure) partner is $1.220
Of 75000 promoters only 1009 make over $ 10k per year - and 10k is far even from minimum wage.
They offer a "free bonus car package". If you hit a particular goal, they pay the leasing rate for a Lexus for you. You can even choose between three colors. It.s on a month to month basis. If you do not hit "Senior Director" level next month - you are still in the contract, and you pay. You have to be enrolled in the auto-ship program to qualify.
Read more at Nerium "Bisuness Recources"
Update 2020: They removed the document that was linked above. The Bisuness Recource .... 

However, here's a FTC complaint for your enjoyment:

Fake promotion pictures

Brand partners use a lot of fake pictures to promote the product. Some are very obviously photoshopped.
Ray Liotta sued because Nerium used his picture and his photoshopped picture as "before" "after" customer success story. The thing is that Liotta had never used the cream, even less sent them photos or agreed to be a testimonial for them.
To me, it's a red flag that promoters are using fake pictures to show the "evidence" of how wonderful the cream works.

Fake from A to Z

What about this company is straight and honest? I cannot think of anything, help me out here.
  • Nerium is intelligent enough about their photoshopped fake "before" and "after" picture and other adventurous claims to make sure that they never publish it themselves. When things go wrong, it will the partners who posted false information on the web.
  • Nerium encourages people to write fake positive reviews. They promote the use of words like "scam" and such in the titles. What a speaker said (at a training event) is that they want to dominate the first three pages of search results. So when people are looking for honest reviews, they will have a hard time finding them. Nerium partners write fake "scam reviews". Nerium partners also go to and write fake reviews.Excellent business opportunities and companies with good products do not feel the need to plaster the market with fake reviews.
  • Customers have reported they were trying to return the product because they were allergic or did not see any difference. When they contacted Nerium for an RMA, they were told they need to continue using it for at least 30 days. When they called after 30 days, they were told that the return winow closed after 30 days.

Is Nerium a scam? Maybe not regarding the legal definition as you have overpriced toxic products (primary product is still the night cream) to sell - regarding moral they sure are. False promises, overpriced, unsafe products and many other features I would call shady at best.

The company is on the market since 2011, carefully surfing the gray zone in between MLM and illegal pyramid.

From the number of people who have bugged me about Nerium, I would think the pyramid is already of a size where starters cannot make real money (at least in the States),

Final verdict

They clearly are a product-based pyramid scheme, and I suggest staying away. There are enough good creams out there to sell (without toxic ingredients), and there are probably enough decent MLM around.

Also, once you know that over 90% of the people you gain just lose their money - why would you even do that.

If you already invested in them - do yourself a favor and don´t bug your friends and family. They will not love you for it when they lose their money or get allergies from your cream.

If I had to sell Nerium, I'd put on a wig and black glasses and prospect in areas as cold as "I/ll never go back to that town".

Related read: Differences between Pyramid and MLM

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