BehindMLM first reviewed Mint Builder back in 2018.
A reader left a comment on our review last month to advise there have since been several changes made to the MLM offering.
Today we revisit Mint Builder for an updated review.
Mint Builder is still run by founder Matt Barkes (right).
In 2018 Barkes had an active Facebook account, revealing he ran Mint Builder from Indiana in the US.
Barkes’ two known Facebook accounts were abandoned roughly a month after we published our initial review.
Location information has been scrubbed from both of Barkes’ Facebook profiles. According to Barkes’ LinkedIn profile, he’s now based out of Michigan.
Mint Builder provides a virtual UPS store address in Florida on its website.
Mint Builder’s Products
Mint Builder markets a range of bullion, semi-numismatic assets and numismatic assets.
Most of the products featured in Mint Builder’s store are coins, although there are some more exotic purchasable items:
Mint Builder’s Compensation Plan
Mint Builder pays retail commissions on any sales made through its online store.
The bulk of Mint Builder’s compensation plan however is weighted towards recruitment, both direct and residual.
Mint Builder affiliates earn 1% on the sale of bullion to retail customers.
Mint Builder affiliates are paid 10% of membership fees paid by personally recruited affiliates.
Mint Builder appears to pay residual commissions via a unilevel compensation structure.
A unilevel compensation structure places an affiliate at the top of a unilevel team, with every personally recruited affiliate placed directly under them (level 1):
If any level 1 affiliates recruit new affiliates, they are placed on level 2 of the original affiliate’s unilevel team.
If any level 2 affiliates recruit new affiliates, they are placed on level 3 and so on and so forth down a theoretical infinite number of levels.
Mint Builder caps residual commissions at 5 unilevel team levels.
Residual commissions are paid as 50% of retail and recruitment commissions earned by downline affiliates across these five levels.
Joining Mint Builder
Affiliate membership options provided in Mint Builder’s compensation plan do not match up with what’s on their website.
The lowest affiliate membership tier in Mint Builder’s compensation documentation is basic membership for $39 ($37 on Mint Builder’s website).
The lowest affiliate membership subscription tier on Mint Builder’s website is Micro Saver.
Micro Saver is $17 a month and includes “$7 coin value”.
The lowest affiliate membership subscription tier in Mint Builder’s compensation documentation is Silver Piece.
Silver Piece is $47 a month and includes “$17 coin value”.
Silver Piece and higher subscription affiliates gain access to wholesale pricing in Mint Builder’s online store.
Here are the rest of Mint Builder’s affiliate subscription membership tiers:
- Silver Saver (not in Mint Builder’s compensation documentation) – $65 a month, includes “$33+/- bullion value
- Platinum Gram (not in Mint Builder’s compensation documentation) – $85 a month, includes “$63+/- bullion value”
- Around the World – $97 a month, includes “$80 coin value”
- Gold Gram Bundle (not in Mint Builder’s compensation documentation) – $117 a month, includes “$95 +/- bullion value”
- Bullion & Numismatic Bundle (not in Mint Builder’s compensation documentation) – $127 a month, includes “$30 +/- bullion value and $80 +/- numismatic value”
- The Select Few Bundle – $177 a month, includes “$180 coin value”
- Global Elite Bundle (not in Mint Builder’s compensation documentation) – $497 a month, includes “asset valued well in excess of $595 +/-, access to wholesale pricing and “secret discounts”
Executive and product details of Mint Builder remain mostly unchanged since our January 2018 initial review.
There’s more on offer in Mint Builder’s online store, as opposed to the handful of bars and coins they had two years ago.
Out of curiosity I punched in the Palau Skull into into Google. It seems to go for just shy of $1500, which makes Mint Builder’s $1157 “member’s price” pretty competitive.
If you’re in the market for a silver skull that is.
On the compensation side of things retail is mostly a gimmick. 1% of retail bullion sales is dwarfed by the rest of Mint Builder’s compensation plan, which is geared to signing affiliates up on a monthly subscription.
In this sense nothing much has changed since ISN Coins; Mint Builder is still operating as an autoship recruitment scheme.
As per the FTC, MLM companies who don’t derive the majority of sales revenue from retail customers are pyramid schemes.
The easiest way to verify this yourself is ask your potential Mint Builder upline what their verifiable retail sales volume has been over the past three months.
If they can’t provide this information to you or won’t, assume the majority of their earned commissions are tied to recruitment.
If they’ve made some retail sales, compare that with what they’re earning on recruited affiliates each month.
If retail doesn’t at least match their recruitment commissions, that affiliate is running their Mint Builder business as a pyramid scheme.
Given Mint Builder’s history dating back to ISN Coins, outside of product expansion and compensation simplification, the core recruitment-focused business model has remained intact.
One major change from ISN Coins was Mint Builder introducing bitcoin.
Today there’s no mention of bitcoin in Mint Builder’s compensation plan or on their website.
That side of the business appears to have been quietly dropped.
In late 2019 BehindMLM reviewed QuickSilver, which we noted was the second ISN Coins spinoff.
Like ISN Coins and Mint Builder, QuickSilver was affiliate autoship recruitment focused.
Alexa traffic analysis reveals traffic to QuickSilver’s website plummeted in September 2020.