Is Usana a scam? Reasons why you should avoid it!

Welcome to my Usana Review!

Is Usana a scam? Is it just another pyramid scheme? Or is it a legitimate way to earn money. This might be the thoughts going through your head as you contemplate whether you should invest your time and money with USANA.

The health and wellness industry is one of the flourishing businesses around. It is an opportunity grabbed by many entrepreneurs, including USANA.

Although this industry is flourishing, does it automatically make USANA a good place to invest in?

Well, not necessarily.

There are entrepreneurs who are just joining the bandwagon and taking advantage to gain profits. 

But is Usana one of those companies?

Once again, is Usana a scam? Is it a pyramid scheme? Or are they just another MLM who gives empty promises?

Let’s find out…


Usana Review Summary

Product name: Usana

Founder: Dr. Myron Wentz

Price: Basic start-up cost is $29.95, but you have to pay monthly of $130 worth of product to remain active

Product type: Health and Wellness products

Recommended?: No!


my recommandation

What is Usana?

Usana is a business that focuses on dietary supplements and skincare products.

It was founded in 1992 by Dr. Myron Wentz. He was an awardee of the prestigious Albert Einstein Award for his achievement in science.

With this being said—you might argue that Usana does provide world-class health products. Although they’re producing quality products, it doesn’t mean that their business structure is outstanding.

The MLM business model is flawed, which almost similar to a typical pyramid scheme. The only difference between the two business models is legality.

MLMs are legal because they exchange products as a result of your investment, while pyramiding is illegal because the investment is purely money-based.

Also, you have to wonder why they have to focus too much on recruitment if their products are profitable and world-class.

What are the products they offer?

Usana offers health and wellness products that are categorized into 3 groups. I will only give a brief summary since their product isn’t the focus of this review. 

  • Nutritionals – it includes dietary supplements like vitamins and antioxidants.
  • Diet and energy – it includes energy drinks, diet shakes, and protein snacks.
  • Personal care – beauty products that center on skin and hair care.

The Usana Opportunity

For you to earn income, you basically have to recruit into your left and right down lines, which Usana calls your business center.

And for you to qualify for bonuses and commissions, you have to activate your business centers and remain active.

By remaining active, it means that you have to recruit and improve your personal sales volume consistently. You also have to monitor your lower associates’ performance on how well they recruit and sell.

Although this set-up resembles a pyramid scheme, it is a legitimate business and not a pyramid scheme nor a scam.

In fact, they are a widely known health and wellness company and have sponsored a few sporting events. 

I’m sure that there are people making serious with Usana, but I believe that they only represent a selected few. And the rest of the associates are either earning insufficiently or even losing money.

Network marketing is a flawed business model. For one thing, they give too much attention to recruitment than focusing on their actual product.

Recruitment or “building a network” is a company’s way of cutting costs from the additional workforce, promotions, and advertisements. 

In an MLM setting, you have to really work your butt off to be successful in this industry. The bottom line is you have to either work hard or be extremely lucky to gain significant income. 

What are the income streams of Usana?

Usana provides 6 potential income streams. It is as follows:

Retail Sales

One of the basic income producers of MLMs, in general, is reselling. This type of transaction is also what sets them apart from a pyramid scheme.

MLMs are only legal because, in exchange for your so-called investment, you receive value in return. Now, this value is the product that you have to resell to gain income.

You can earn approximately 12% commissions or bonuses through this income stream. However, it can be problematic since products offered by MLMs are often overpriced.

This is because they also have to account for the bonuses and commissions of the upper line associates.

Weekly Commissions

An associate earns 20% of commission every time his lower associates make a sale. Now, this is what I’m talking about in the previous section. Overpricing is often the result of accounting for the commissions of your upper-level associates.

Although it may sound beneficial, it renders the prices of the product uncompetitive against similar brands that are as or more effective but less expensive.

You have to keep on recruiting for you to earn reliable weekly commissions, and make sure that your lower associates are making progress also.

Well, you might say that you can just recruit your family, relatives, and friends. But you have to remember that you have to replace them any time one of them becomes inactive or quit.

Lifetime Matching Bonus

In simpler terms, you earn a bonus if you and one of your lower line associates reached a certain rank. 

For example, if a friend of mine is 6 weeks active in Usana and recruited another friend and me, and then we remain active for the next 8 weeks, then he’ll become a pacesetter. 

If our friend is super industrious in recruiting and find another 4 new recruits and let’s say that all of them remain active for the following 8 weeks, then he/she will be promoted to a platinum pacesetter.

The bonuses an associate and their upper line can earn are as follows:

is usana a scam
Source: Usana Compensation Plan

So it means that my friend and his sponsor will gain bonuses as soon as he becomes a pacesetter or platinum pacesetter.

Their explanation is too convenient, so I looked for more details and came across a document titled “The Pacesetter and Platinum Pacesetter Programs.”

However, the document offers more confusion than solutions.  

It implies that for an associate to qualify, she/he must be an active member for at least 14 months. And for which, the associate must attempt to qualify again for the following year.

Does this mean that their lifetime program requires renewal every 14 months?

Also, the compensation plan says that an associate shall earn 15% matching commissions. But other document states that it’s 100%. 

This type of sales pitch isn’t new to MLMs. It is their way of encouraging new associates to work hard and recruit more people. 

It’s a trick most MLMs employ before associates change their minds.


Usana provides annual incentives for exceptional associates. It includes paid travels, cars, cash bonuses, and plaque of recognition.

Leadership Bonus

Once you reached the ranks of Gold Directorship or above, then you’ll have a chance to qualify for the 3% weekly bonus.

But as I look through the mechanics of the compensation, it looks extremely challenging. For you to attain the Gold Directorship position, you have to pass through 7 difficult stages.

Managing your own sales and recruitment quota and helping others reach their goal can be very tedious.

is usana a scam
Source: Usana Compensation Plan

Elite Bonus

An elite bonus is given to top-earning associates within a certain rank.

The bonus works by providing the top 40 elite ranking leaders 1% of all commissionable sales. 

As a newbie, it tells me that 1% of sales I make go to my upper lines. Think of it this way; I am making the wealthy even wealthier by giving them special bonuses.

How to become a Usana Associate?

First, is that you have to register online and pay the starter’s cost of $29.95.

You have to pay the amount immediately because the application won’t be processed if unsettled.

Also, you have to pay a monthly of about $130 for product purchases. You have to make this purchase for your account to be active.

If you want to earn a more legitimate income, then there’s a better way to do so.

And the best and simplest way I found is through Affiliate Marketing. I say simple because there are no complicated set-ups. All you have to do is to flash and promote the businesses advertisement on your website.

Unlike MLMs, Affiliate Marketing is:

  • Risk-free
  • Free to start
  • And you can promote as many businesses as you want

Wait. You don’t have a website?

Well, don’t worry. I got you covered.

If you are a total newbie on Affiliate Marketing, then Wealthy Affiliates is the program for you. It’ll provide you all the things you’ll need to become a successful online earner.

my recommendation for newbies

Can you make a reliable income from the Usana Opportunity?

I believe there are a select few who are making income with Usana. And that these select few represent only about 1% of associates who are making significant income.

This means that about 99% are struggling or losing money.

The MLM model is flawed because you have to heavily rely on recruiting people than selling the products of the business.

This type of business model possesses a lot of problems. For one thing, you can’t control how other people would make decisions even though you’re a good salesperson. 

Also, you have to keep mind that people today are wiser. Nowadays, most people would probably associate MLMs with pyramid schemes or even a scam. Thus, it would be difficult to sell them.

As we repeated emphasize, you have to recruit actively and buy products for you to qualify for bonuses and commissions.

Also, they have a complicated pointing system that requires you to maintain balance in your down lines. If you have a new recruit, you can place them on either your right or left leg. But be sure to maintain balance.

This imposes a problem because your upper line has complete control over what your lower line might look like. Thus, it will significantly impact how much you’ll earn.

Is Usana a Scam?

No. Usana is not a scam. They are also not a pyramid scheme. They are a legitimate MLM business. 

In 2007, they were accused of operating a pyramiding scheme but have successfully defended themselves.

However, I do not recommend USANA or any MLMs in any case. 

Although they are a legitimate business, the opportunity is not good—it produces low income, and you’ll likely lose money than earn.

Instead, I recommend a more profitable income producing platform called Affiliate Marketing.

I choose Affiliate Marketing over MLMs for few apparent reasons:

  • They don’t require membership fees.
  • No cash-out, ever! Unlike MLMs, where you have to pay them to promote their products, Affiliates pay you commissions every time someone buys their products from you.
  • No complicated applications or earning computations.

If this is your first time hearing them, then my best recommendation is the Wealthy Affiliates program. It’ll give you valuable tools you can use on how to earn income online.

The Wealthy Affiliates program is very simple, and once you’re done with the training, no more expensive MLM fees, and you can now earn a more reliable source of income.


Negative Notes

They are more focused on recruitment than on marketing their product.

This is common in MLMs. A large part of their income comes from investments made by the new recruit.

As soon as you become an associate, you also have to ensure that your down lines are actively recruiting and selling the products.

Consequently, you will be more focused on selling the opportunity than the products. 

Expensive investment because you have to buy products

Although the initial investment is relatively small, you still have to buy their products to activate your business center.    

For example, if you want to gain 250 points, you have to purchase $350 worth of products.

Not a good opportunity for beginners

As you observed in their compensation plan, it seems that they heavily favor those on already on top. Top ranking associates have more bonuses and commissions.

Although it may be reasonable, opportunities for new associates to encourage them to perform well seems lacking. 

And the only really is for you to work your butts off and earn more points.

Products not approved by the Food and Drug Administration

Foods and dietary supplements that are not accredited by the FDA can be potentially harmful for human consumption.

Positive Notes

A+ rating in the Better Business Bureau

Usana has garnered an A+ rating in BBB. So does this mean that they are a good business to invest in?

Well, not necessarily.

A CNN online report has exposed that there are businesses in the BBB that were given an A+ rating despite having a background of malpractices.

Yup, so your research must not entirely depend on the BBB.

Low start-up cost

The start-up cost is about $30, which is very cheap comparing to other MLMs. 

However, you have to maintain your personal volume to qualify for bonuses and commissions. It means that you have to buy and sell products regularly.

Final Thoughts + A Better and More Reliable Source of Income

I do not recommend USANA because I believe that most associates aren’t making any income. Some may even be losing money instead of profiting. 

The cost of maintaining an active status in USANA exceeds the cost of commissions settled to associates.

When I look at their compensation plan, I don’t see a real demand for their product. What’s really happening is that the associates create the application themselves. 

You might be thinking that this is ridiculous, but remember that they have to improve their personal volumes. This ends up buying their own products or selling them with other associates.

I think that associates buy the products for their own sake, so they’ll earn points and keep their active status.

So this being said—does it make them a pyramid scheme, or is Usana a scam? Still, no. It’s just not an ideal investment.

If you’re aiming to earn a more reliable source of incomes, you can’t find what you’re looking for through MLMs.

There are better ways to earn income online, and probably of the best platforms you can do so is through Affiliate Marketing.

Affiliate Marketing is:

  • Risk-free!
  • No start-up cost!
  • No cash-out!
  • You can earn more than any MLMs can do because you can promote as many businesses as you want.

Affiliate Marketing works by advertising a brand in your blog or vlog. And if someone tickles the advertisement and eventually purchase the products, then you earn commissions.

You don’t even have to make significant efforts, just let the advertisements flash in your site or mention it when taking your videos. That is all!

But if you haven’t heard of Affiliate Marketing and do not own any sites to advertise any brands.

In this case, my best recommendation is the Wealthy Affiliates training program.  It’ll provide you all the essential skills you’ll need to become a successful online entrepreneur.

this is why i recommend affiliate marketing

Spread The Word:

Leave a Comment