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The Usana Scam

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Usana is a nutritional company that sells vitamins and other health related products under a network marketing model. The term Usana Scam is something that many people have been searching for online in order to become better informed about this particular MLM company. So is Usana a scam? Well, under what the law states as a scam, Usana is not a scam. However, this doesn’t mean that you should jump aboard its ship. Let’s take a look at what is really going on behind the scene of this multi-level marketing company.

As with all make money opportunities, the best thing to do is to do your research before getting involved. This only makes sense. Just because your friend tells you an opportunity is sound and will make you money, it doesn’t mean that it will. The problem with going online and searching for terms like Usana fraud or scam is that you will inevitably run into websites or forum that are dominated by people who have failed in the business and never even gave it a real try. This isn’t just for Usana, it’s for all MLM companies. Now on the other hand you will find reviews that are written by Usana reps which can be quite bias especially if the title of their site led you to believe that you were going to read about how Usana is a scam.

Update: Numbers are showing that the Usana business is declining due to former execs leaving the company and starting a new one. This has caused many top distributors of Usana to jump ships and join the new company, Ariix.

So let’s make it clear: Usana Health Sciences, by definition, isn’t a scam. Unlike those ponzi schemes where the only product is money that is being passed around from new members to older members, Usana makes money by selling products. If you look at their stock prices over the past 10 years, you will see that prior to the economy taking a turn, they increased their earnings every single quarter. So how were they able to do this? By selling products. But who exactly do they sell these products to? That’s right, recruits. Obviously, they have customers as well but the majority of their products sold every month is to recruits who need to buy the products in order to make a commission. This is called the “pay to play” structure where in order to qualify for a commission, you need to buy a certain amount of products from the company each and every month.

If you think about it, this is a genius idea. What better way to ensure that your products get sold than to force your reps to buy it from you? Of course, like any other network marketing company, they will say their reason for having this requirement is that it doesn’t make sense for a rep to be selling something that they don’t use themselves. This may sound like a great answer but Usana also claims that their vitamins are superior to their competitors and that’s why they can charge so much for their products; it’s just that good.

At this point, this Usana scam article may be confusing you. Is Usana a scam or not? The answer is, no, but it depends. It depends on how the reps go about recruiting people. If you were told that this business doesn’t take a lot of work and that you can retire within a year, then you may want to investigate a bit more. Yes, it’s possible to retire within a year with MLM but it’s also possible to retire within 1 minute with a lottery ticket.

The fact is that to be successful at anything takes hard work and time. Are there ways to quick riches? Sure, but it doesn’t guarantee that the money you make is sustainable.

If you are reading this article, them most likely, you searched for Usana scam to find out if Usana is a scam or not. This means that you must of been approached by a friend or learned about this company online somewhere. If that’s the case, you are wondering if you should join Usana or not. Well, this may help you decide.

Different Usana Network Marketing Groups

There are several different groups in Usana or any other network marketing company. The first group consists of people who make money by selling the products to one customer at a time. They hope the customers will like the product enough to go on automatic shipment every month in order to make residual income. This way can make you money but it will take a long, long time; long enough to make most people quit.

The second group consists of people who put on presentations and have reps invite their friends to these presentations. The presentation itself can be ran in various ways. The most basic, and probably least effective way, is to just give information about the company. It’s just a quick 30 minute presentation that shows you the opportunity and if you want to sign up, good. If not, that’s it. Another type of presentation which is much more successful, uses psychological tactics.

Everything from how the reps dress to what type of music is played, to the length of the presentation, to how you are asked to join at the end is all planned out to strategically get you to sign up as a member. Does it work? Yes. Is it ethical? Depends on your definition of ethical. If the intention of the Usana reps is good but they designed the environment in a way to influence your decision, is it ethical? After all, once you’re in Usana MLM or any other MLM, you will believe that it’s your duty to help other “escape” the rat race called a job. In their minds, they are doing you a favor even if they lied to get you to the presentation.

The 3rd group consists of people who do all of the recruiting online. They set up websites and join forums and buy network marketing leads. Many people like this approach better because they don’t have to ever meet their downline or attend weekly presentations and trainings. Plus, they don’t have to bother their friends.

Here’s the bottom line of this so called “Usana Scam”:

How to Make Money with Usana – Recruit. Whether you do the recruiting or motivate your downline to do the recruiting, it doesn’t matter. Someone, somewhere needs to be recruiting.

The question you’re asking yourself is, “should I join Usana?” If you are okay with the fact that the company is making most of its money from getting its recruits to buy their products every month, then you should consider joining. You’ll make a lot of positive friends especially if you’re doing this the traditional way (i.e. not online).

If you are okay with the fact that most of the people/friends you recruit will fail to make much money with this business, then you should join. The reason most will fail is that most people won’t put in the work and time necessary. This may be caused by the illusion they were given when they joined that making money in Usana is going to be a walk in the park. The fact is that Usana is no different than being in sales but since the products are so good that they it sells itself, you don’t have to worry if you are bad at sales. Although, it’s funny how they require their reps to buy the products on a monthly basis. If the products were really worth the price, see prices here, wouldn’t reps buy the products anyway? Apparently not. Also, most reps aren’t able to sell these vitamins without attaching a business to it. Just go to Ebay and you’ll find a ton of people selling their Usana vitamins from the Healthpak 100 to the regular bottles for a deep discount to reduce their loss. Why buy it at wholesale prices when you can get it for “at loss” prices?

If you are okay with hiding what you really do to people who ask you what you do and instead come up with fancy titles like “director of marketing” even though you’re really just a sales rep, then you should join. Most recruits are told to be general when it comes to answering questions about what they do because most people wouldn’t understand until they come to a presentation.

If you are okay with people accusing you of being part of a scam, then you should join. Again, Usana Health Sciences is not a scam but because it does involve a business opportunity for people to make money, there will be those who will take advantage of others and give the company, and the MLM industry a bad name.

If this sounds like too much for you, then maybe it is. This Usana scam article is written only to give you a better understanding of what this business opportunity is about. Am I in Usana or any other MLM? No. I make my money through internet marketing. I like to do things where I can proudly tell people exactly what I do if they ask even if I don’t make a lot of money yet. I don’t look at people with dollar signs in my eyes and think of them as potential recruits. I am not forced to buy anything I don’t really want. If I really wanted something, I’d buy it regardless of a requirement.

Network marketing truly is a powerful way to make residual income. However, it’s not for everyone. If you’re not okay with any of the stuff I wrote about in this article, I suggest to look elsewhere. Never put money ahead of everything else in your life and you will find that you will make ethical decisions and have better peace of mind. Hopefully, this Usana scam article was helpful to you.

Since you are interested in making money, if Usana or MLM doesn’t seem like something you want to do, perhaps you should try internet marketing. This is what I do to build residual income. No recruiting involved, no selling to friends, and it’s truly my own business.

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Read my review on The Keyword Academy and sign up for a 30 day free trial. This program changed my financial life and it could very well change yours as well.

32 Responses so far | Have Your Say!

  1. aaron  |  March 29th, 2011 #

    I use Usana skin care products and love them!

    But selling them isn’t for me. I buy Usana from my Dad and selling stuff like this is more his thing. I’m simply too lazy to be out there pounding the pavement for new business and trying to find customers.

    But as a consumer, I love these products and will continue to use them. I’m cool with Usana as an MLM because they are out there just trying to sell a product rather than selling the idea of how to get rich like what Amway was doing.

    I can understand why people are skeptical of MLMs – it is a somewhat new concept and is not quite trusted by a lot of people and I don’t blame them because it only takes 1 bad MLM to give the rest of them a bad name.

    Bottom line, selling these products isn’t for everyone. It really is a lot of work and I’ve had Usana people tell me that. They are totally cool with me just being a consumer after I told them I’m just not interested in sales.

    They make a great product and I know this company is legit and they are just trying to educate people about their products rather than deceiving people into a getting rich quick scam. They are very upfront and honest about the business aspect of it.


    aaron - Gravatar
  2. Kai S.  |  March 29th, 2011 #

    You’re right, selling these products isn’t for everyone. In fact, sales in general isn’t something most people can do and that’s why the turnover rate in the sales industry is so high even when most companies conduct interviews to qualify people. With MLM, anyone with money will generally be accepted so it’s not a mystery why so many people fail.

    As I said in my post, this company isn’t a scam or anything. However, they don’t have much control over how their distributors recruit people. With that in mind, it’s easy to see how some people end up viewing the entire company as one big scam.


    Kai S. - Gravatar
  3. anon  |  April 26th, 2011 #

    eer, please disregard that first comment, wrong copy/paste. Anyways, I’ve been looking for something this objective for a while. Your article is so very true. The company and its products may be good but the fastest way to earn money is to sign up new recruits. Conscience lacking people take advantage of it by falsely suggesting that the business is easy and success can be reached in a short period of time. They are able to sign up people who are really not for sales using psychological tactics. In the end those are the people that fail. I am a new distributor, I got in because of the products. I disapprove of the ways uplines recruit and teach people how to recruit, they use so much psychological tactics and they tell people that they are different from other MLMs but their actions are the same. In the end their biggest enemies are those who failed in the business and they would label those people as quitters without acknowledging the fact that this business is not for everyone.


    anon - Gravatar
  4. Suzy  |  July 9th, 2011 #

    I’ve been looking at USANA, but struggle with the MLM method which I tend to despise. However, as a certified nutrition counselor and owner of a retail nutrition store, I recognize that their supplements are excellent. I’ve been looking for a way to spread ‘health’ and actually did take the leap under Team Northrup/USANA (truly a wonderful group of people dedicated to health and of course wealth), then freaked out about the MLM model and did nothing with it. I’m once again revisiting how to make this work ethically for me. My thought is to just focus on helping people get healthy and if they choose, then they can start their own business. Our small town is experiencing the worst economy in 40 years, and I’m seeing so many people jump on the Direct Marketing train with poor quality products. So why would I not do this through my store? I do, however peoples mindsets are interesting. It’s very few that I can get to invest in the core products needed for optimum health. My thought is that perhaps they would invest in an entire health ‘program’ – the USANA line and along the way I can educate them about whole health. I also have a multi-media company and since I don’t sell my store products online, I like the idea of having a quality product to recommend. I have several friends who are making an excellent living with USANA, granted they live in a big city. My friends who are doing well, work very hard and all held down jobs until their USANA business was flowing. Lots to mull over, but one thing for sure, I won’t mislead anyone with dreams of grandure anyone and don’t want to work with anyone who is in it just for money. Health first!
    Good article – that sparked all the above thoughts! Thank you!


    Kai S. Reply:

    If you feel that MLM is for you, then I say go for it as long as you run your business in a way that you can truly be proud of. You’re right that lots of people are turning to MLM as a result of the bad economy but at the same time, many MLM reps are using the bad economy as a way to recruit desperate people even if it may not be a good solution for those people.


    Suzy - Gravatar
  5. Suzy  |  July 10th, 2011 #

    I so agree and I’m seeing this happening in our small town. Thanks for your thoughts!


    Suzy - Gravatar
  6. Cheryl  |  July 17th, 2011 #

    I agree with your article, this is truly informative and can help peoples who are seeking for a better understand of USANA. Thanks for the good article.


    Kai S. Reply:

    You’re welcome


    Cheryl - Gravatar
  7. Jay  |  July 17th, 2011 #

    I don’t agree with this article for a couple of reasons: (1) it is coming from someone that has not been part of the business, and (2) he makes generalized, negative statements about all MLM’s while focusing primarily on USANA, which makes it directed at USANA itself. When I first signed up for the business, I didn’t want to follow through with anything- I was just trying to help my Family out. My wife and I had already done the MLM thing with some other well known companies and I was done with it (Mary Kay, Tupperware, etc). However, I started to analyze their Policies and Procedures and went through their Online Training, completed it, and changed my mind. Why? Because I found that it was really a legit company that has a lot of restrictions in place to help PREVENT a lot of people making the mistakes that are mentioned above!

    One thing that’s funny to read is about “psychological tactics” to bring people into the business. That’s called Marketing or Advertising! You can complain about ANY type of sales tactics being “unethical”, but it’s still a part of sales! Think about it, how many times have you yourself seen a commercial that you liked and eventually it stuck with you to the point where you went and bought the product or service? It happens DAILY!

    Another thing is the fact that to make money is to recruit…That’s not entirely true. In fact, if you crunch the numbers, it’ll take you just as long to make enough money to support yourself to be “successful” as selling ONLY products on Retail! If you actually go through the Online Training, you’ll find that they DO in fact push sales and make it known that you don’t get paid for bringing in Associates, but for Sales! The Top 25 sales people that earn an extra bonus have done so by doing exactly that: SELLING NOT RECRUITING!

    Now, you also have to be realistic…USANA nor I can’t really account for every single person in USANA. They can try to through the Policies and Procedures, but just as the author of this article only MINUTELY addressed, it’ll give the company (USANA) a bad name. It doesn’t sound that objective to me if negative points are being targeted towards USANA directly or indirectly. You can tell just by reading it. I can only account for my team, which is apparently the TOP TEAM IN SALES within USANA! Nowhere have I heard a lot of the items mentioned in this article been pushed onto us. We are taught to listen and to try to help those around us, running on the belief that if we help enough people get what they want, we will get what we want. Stay energized and maintain a positive outlook on life and business and you can be successful, and for some people (like my little brother who was in a rut), it CAN change your life completely! That just depends on the person…maybe it’s just our Team, who knows really.

    Recruiting is part of it. Netwoork Marketing is NOT for everybody just as Sales is NOT for everybody. In fact, the training discriminates bringing just anybody into the business and to look for certain qualities that each person has, just like you would in your own company. If you know anything about how Network Marketing is set up, it stands as an in between step where Entrepreneurs can learn business concepts and methods (call them tactics if you want, it’s the same thing) that are relevant to running your own business. If you dig far enough into the Policies and Procedures, you can start to see the restrictions that help make it legal, legit, and that helps protect the company in itself. The beautiful part of Network Marketing is that it offers you a lot of the benefits of owning your own company without a lot of the overhead costs and effort to create and manufacture your own products (or find and someone to manufacture them); research, find, buy, and maintain a good location for a store; and create or pay someone to create and market your business. Those factors are taken care of through what they teach you at USANA.

    So, if you’re thinking about doing an MLM Business of ANY kind, you should already be thinking what you can learn from them, research and analyze their company (to include bad reviews) from the inside out, and then evaluate if you’re willing to follow along with them. For myself, I like the 3rd Party Reviews and I like the science put behind it, that’s why I am in it. You can have your own reasons why you would or would not join, but in the end its YOUR decision regardless. If this article wanted to be truly objective, then it would not have entitled this article as USANA Scam and mention generalized negative factors for all MLM marketing businesses. To me, that’s bad writing while trying to cover your own tracks.

    Again, I like to do my Due Diligence before saying anything. Why? Because it’s the smarter way to do things. To me, it sounds as if the author wrote about his bad experience from what he’s heard from some of the bad apples in the company and their teachings instead of the actual restrictions and training that the company puts forth (the actual legal documents of the Policies and Procedures). And yes, I am proud to be a part of this Network Marketing Company unlike the others I’ve been with because it offers me a greater compensation and potential earnings through better bonuses and incentives, as well as offers me greater insights into Marketing as a whole. That, I will continue with until I have learned enough to truly open my own business.


    Jay - Gravatar
  8. Kai S.  |  July 18th, 2011 #

    Thanks for your comment Jay. I’m glad that you’re not only making money with Usana but you’re part of the top sales group in the entire company. It’s weird, many people claim that for whatever reason. Perhaps you’re all on the same team.

    The whole argument between recruiting and sales is pointless because recruiting also equals sales. It’s the recruits who buy most of the products. You just can’t argue with that. I’m sure your team does things differently but you need to realize that your team only makes up a tiny percentage of Usana distributors. Although you might “screen” your potential recruits, many reps will recruit anyone who has the money to join.

    The company tells you to focus on selling products because if they didn’t, they would probably get in trouble with the FTC. You don’t have to tell distributors to recruit. They can look at the compensation plan and figure out that recruiting is the fastest way to make money and that’s what most people focus on.

    You need to realize that tons of people don’t talk crap about Usana for no reason. Heck, there’s even a Facebook page called the Anti-Usana Group with hundreds of members. You should look them up. Many of the stories are just downright sad. I’m glad you’re part of a group that runs the business in a way that allows you to proudly proclaim that you’re a network marketer but not everyone in Usana is part of such a group.

    I’m sure to you, MLM is the greatest thing since sliced bread. Heck, for anyone who isn’t smart enough to figure out how to make money beyond getting a job, MLM is a life saver, a golden ticket to the good life. All of your arguments for having an MLM business are valid for these types of people.

    As for me, MLM isn’t worth it. Constantly having to defend your business against nay-sayers, thinking about recruiting almost everyone you meet, being vague about what you do for a living, and selling products at a cost that you know damn well most of your downline wouldn’t continue to pay for if they weren’t in this business just doesn’t seem appealing. Although, I’m in a business where I don’t have to recruit anyone or pay for any products I don’t truly want or have to deal with people calling me a scammer or be vague about what I do for a living in fear that I might ruin the chance of recruiting someone to make money so my opinions are a bit biased.

    You said you will continue with this until you learn enough to truly open your own business. I hope that day will come soon because I gotta tell ya, it feels great. Good luck.


    Kai S. - Gravatar
  9. Jay  |  July 18th, 2011 #

    Kai, thank you for replying! There are a few things to mention in response. I do realize that many of the sales are based off of the Associates, but even still, the highest minimum requirement to maintain all of your “stores” monthly is just over $200. You are not accounting for sales that are being sold to customers where the Associate buys wholesale and sells it retail, which is a popular way to make money as well- traditional to say the least (like many other MLM companies). The fact of the matter stands that I’ve got a few people I’ve already recruited but am not getting paid much off of what they buy for themselves. The sales aspect I was referring to is that if there are people that are saying that Recruiting is the way to go to earn money, they are only slightly misguided or can unwittingly believe that means that you will get paid by recruiting. I see it more as building a proper sales team by scrutinizing who I want to join in as my Associates in my downline. Again, I don’t get that much residual income from their monthly sales for themselves rather than the sales they actually make to their customers. Quite a big difference in my eyes when every business wants to recruit the proper team that produces results. It CAN be the quickest way to earn money if you can build a team that wins, but that is the same with any business. That was my point, the focus isn’t really on just recruiting to make money (which you actually don’t make money), but rather on building the proper team that does sales the right way for you all to make money. There are also ways to get people in that don’t have money- some “tactics” that other MLMs have adopted as well. And as you said, it is difficult to argue when it comes to semantics, but how you work your business can mean the difference between legal and illegal.

    Again, a new Associate that doesn’t push sales that has a team that doesn’t push sales but only recruiting will find out that after a month or so, their contributions they’ve put in lead to almost nothing. They may possibly get paid in residual income, but not for long unless sales are actually made. It’s the difference between short term gratification and long term success. You just HAVE to do sales to see the difference! I only know this because I, too, started out ignorant of that fact and only recruited…it didn’t pay well at all until I focused on building my team for sales, which is what they don’t just tell you in training cause they have to, they push that fact constantly in training. Offer people something of value and they will follow…It’s voluntary for their customers.

    I do know of many Anti-Usana groups, but I’d rather read stories from those who have done what I have done through analyzing their legal documents over listening to people- mainly because, as you said, people are what can make a business get a bad name! That’s not the purpose of the company, nor should it be for the Associates, but then again, that goes back to the point that management cannot regulate every single person’s every action. Unrealistic, but they can try.

    It’s actually a bad assumption for you to think of my opinion of an MLM based off of a single comment. I see the value they hold, that is just about it. I not only like the products and use them, but I saw the lessons they had to offer in the Training and took them for my own- for all business matters and attitude, not just for MLM businesses. I already mentioned that we’ve tried Mary Kay, Tupperware, and the like, with a bad taste in our mouths- so no, I don’t think it is the greatest thing next to sliced bread, but it is a stepping stone in learning something I didn’t know about in the first place.

    In the end, it is your choice whether or not you want to do follow in an MLM business, but there really should be more discretion in everybody’s individual choices. Nobody forces people to sign. On the flip side where you’re at, it’s really their own fault for “falling for the psychological tactics” they put to them. Maybe they weren’t strong enough in their convictions to just say no. It happens every day in sales. Also, maybe it is just my team, but I haven’t found a single Associate that doesn’t use the products for their own health. I actually come from a mentality of HATING to take vitamins or any pills of any sort! And, as always, I gave it a try as I have many others before and actually felt a difference. Yay for me! So, I chose to pursue it and find out why it works the way it does.

    The last thing to mention was actually a point I did not mention from the article. Since it is directed towards USANA, you mentioned about “psychological tactics” being ethical or not, which, to be honest, was another reason why I did not like the article. Ethics is not based off of individual interpretation. I realize that there are many different thoughts to this, but if everybody thought of a single act to be “right” or “wrong”, then nobody would go to jail or be punished for any actions. The way I see, there are certain criteria (for business) that helps determine whether the acts are deemed ethical or not. You can ask 3 simple questions to determine this: (1) Are the company by laws, regulations, policies, procedures, etc, based off of illogical (and immoral) motives and organization? (2) Do the actions, goods, or services of the company pose any harm to individuals by forcing them into to something against their own will? (3) Do any of the by laws, regulations, policies, procedures, etc, against the law? If you can answer No to all of these, then the company is not a scam or illegal by any right. It is based off of marketing that happens to produce results- results based off of individuals choices. Again, of course, this does not account for every individual person, but I don’t follow people, I follow principle, which is much more lucrative to me than putting my faith into someone that may not be sound in business.

    I have many projects for making money in the works, one of which is this MLM company. I see its value to me for the future, but that is about it. I don’t see it as a cult either (especially since we’ve been in some other MLMs that chant together things like, “make money”- not here, Thank God). It’s cool that you’ve found your niche, but if you want to go as far as to say that Network Marketing is not your thing, so can anybody else say that Internet Marketing is not their thing. You can’t stay one-sided if you expect people to believe that you are truly objective. What I have always believed is that you in order to debunk someone’s beliefs or practices, you have to first endulge yourself completely (and 100% fully committed) to it, follow it, and then make a decision whether or not you believe in it or not, and want to pursue it or not. Obviously, there are exceptions, but the root source should be the overall deciding factor (for USANA, it is the Policies and Procedures that most people fail to even look at- not my wife and I). Due Diligence plays an extreme role in this.

    It was good seeing a response so quickly! Thanks again for replying!


    Kai S. Reply:

    As I mentioned before, not all groups in Usana runs their business like your group does. Many groups focus on recruiting. You said, “the focus isn’t really on just recruiting to make money (which you actually don’t make money)”?

    Let’s see, when you bring in a recruit, they buy $100 worth of products each month and you get points from that which equates into money when you have enough points on both sides. When you sell at retail, it’s just a one time thing unless you get customers onto autoship and no way does the average customer spend more per month than the average rep. Therefore, the FASTEST way to make money with MLM is recruiting.

    I don’t know what rank you are but here’s something to think about. There are people in Usana who hit the rank of Gold in under 6 months. Do you think they really went out and got customers to achieve that? Nope, it’s mostly recruiting. In fact, as you may already know, Usana has 3 times more distributors than pure customers.

    I don’t buy the statement that many people actually make good money selling these vitamins at retail price. Why? One, because customers can get it cheaper by going on autoship which means they get it at the same price that you do which also means no “retail” is taking place. Secondly, just check out Ebay. Tons of people are dumping the vitamins for less than wholesale prices which means they’re actually losing money showing that it’s hard enough to sell these vitamins at wholesale let alone retail.

    You said all of your associates use the products and that’s great. However, realize that most people who quit Usana STOP their autoship. In other words, most reps buy the vitamins only to participate in the compensation plan. This is why many MLMers have the problem of having to rebuild their “legs” when it dies out.

    As for the whole law, regulations, and policies thing, the bottom line is that MLM rewards recruiting. Period. That’s why people do it. If it means they use shady tactics, then so be it. If the system was set up where most of the money is made in sales of products to actual customers, then that’s where the focus will be, but it’s not.

    As for internet marketing, I repeatedly state it’s not for everyone. In fact, in some of my posts, I tell people over 90% of the people who try to make money online don’t make more than a few bucks. Also, one of the posts I link on my sidebar talks about just how hard it is to make money in this business.

    Why am I this honest? Simple. I really don’t care if people get into the business I’m in. I make money regardless. Obviously, articles with titles like The Usana scam has at least some affect on Usana reps otherwise, why would they bother spending time commenting?


    Jay Reply:

    As I had mentioned before, I do realize there are multiple ways to bring in money. And the retail sales portion of what I said was accounting for those that buy the products at a discount rate (since people that may want just under 100 points of product to use will not get). The 100 points to stay in the business actually does not equate to exact commission points for a check. The commission points accumulated are less than half of the points bought through Autoship (100 points will get you roughly $40 so long as you have both sides equal to it). To me, that’s not that much. Now, take the example of selling retail again, which was my initial point…I buy it for a customer at wholesale price WITH all the points associated with the product, PLUS I get the mark-up overhead costs to sell it retail to my customers. That’s automatic ROI upon sale, but also residual points that are built up to earn that fraction of commission points accumulated for a commission. So, it is still better to do sales than it is to just recruit.

    And your argument that people don’t get as much as Associates? Well, here’s a kicker…not all the prices of products are proportional to the points associated with it. What that means is that it depends on what they get which determines the price (AND mark-up price if selling retail). So, a $120 product may yield only 80 points or so, but yet another $120 product can yield 100 points. The point system matters on the type of product, not the price.

    Yes, I know of the rank structure, and the rank structure means nothing to me, really, since it’s all still dependent on the sales volume. Sure, they probably made “Gold” through recruiting, but in the end, it’s still sales. The fact of the matter of a Gold status in such a short time (assuming it is from a recruiting status rather than sales, from your perspective), it means that the number of people they’ve accumulated in their downline was put in at the right times in order to get it (as various “packs” put in yield much, much more points, obviously). If you can maintain a constant recruiting status every week in order to max out your business every week, then good on you. To me, that’s unrealistic. Again, that is short term gratification against long term success. How much more will they have to put in for them to KEEP that status is the real question. And THAT is where Sales outweighs Recruiting, which was my argument. Again, I don’t follow people, I follow principle. Sure, it’s great some people can do the recruiting and reach “Gold” status in such a short time through recruiting, but that’s not what’s going to keep them there. Some of the top sellers in the company DO make their money through sales, not just recruiting (holding some of the highest number of Preferred Customers), and THAT is what I follow. Why? Because it is easier to get current customers to buy from you again than it is to make newer customers. And that is Good sales. You can believe what you want, as I said, that’s what the company outlines for its training. People, on the other hand, may have their own agendas, but it is the Principle that I follow, not the People. Long term success and consistency is a lot better than some rank that I can put in my Signature or wear as a pin.

    Yes, I do know that there are more distributors than customers, but again, that goes back to those people that want to keep recruiting to maintain a paycheck than actual sales, which can have a higher yield without the added “psychological tactics” put into place to recruit. And even with 3 times more distributors than customers, their stocks have already gone down dramatically from the past 5 years for sales, and thus the residual “up” on quarters is not a good determinate for any sort of argument by USANA. However, the fact still stands that long term success can come from Sales than Recruiting in my eyes. Why? Because it takes less work for a longer yield. When people do quit, why would they want to continue with the products in the first place? If there were a job that I quit for my own reasons, I would not want to keep going their to buy from them, especially if I didn’t have my discount. What would be the point? But consistent customers (on Autoship or not) use it without expecting compensation, so yet again, customers are a better avenue.

    As for the Internet Marketing, the point I was making is that it should be known to anybody trying to get into it (as it should be known to anybody getting into MLM) needs to be aware of the fact that it is work. The fact is that there are still Internet Marketing companies that pay off of recruiting as well. It seems both arguments we are trying to make still rely on the individual making the decision to sign up or not to sign up, which is a valid realization that each person should ask themselves there reasons why or why not before making a decision.

    It’s kind of like how I made my decision to join the Marine Corps. I didn’t listen to the recruiter at all. In fact, when I walked into their office and tried to give me recruiting speech, I stopped them and told them that all I want is any information they had to take home with me, that I wouldn’t give them my number, that I have enough outside resources to pull from, and that I would call them if and when I was ready to join. Again, to me, it’s more a step for the lessons I can learn from them than a way of life- I suppose most people don’t join MLMs for that reason, but why not try to push that?

    And to touch on your last comment, it obviously will have an effect regardless. If you were at a family gathering and some passer-by came up to your group, and started pointing out possible flaws and faults you may all have, I’m pretty sure one or more of your family members would speak up and tell them to get out of there (if not worse). It’s human nature to defend what you believe in, but again, what you take from it is what counts. The more educated people are, the better choices they can make. And the more they engage in discussion or debate about the subject with a level head, the more adept they can potentially become with it…which is why I keep commenting. ;-)


    Kai S. Reply:

    You’re right Jay. Focusing on getting real customers with real demand is the best way to make long term income with Usana or any other MLM. From what you’re saying, you’re running your business how it should be ran. Unfortunately, the system still rewards recruiting over just merely selling products and again, that’s why folks recruit.

    Your explanation of sales over recruiting makes sense. However, most folks need to see money and they need to see money now. Recruiting 1 person and getting them to buy the highest priced package will get you more points than 1 customer on autoship for an entire year or 2 depending on how many products they’re buying each month. 5,000 points on both sides equals $1,000 in commission. You’d need a lot more ‘customers’ to achieve this than you’d need recruits.

    If everyone in MLM focused on selling products to actual customers and naturally recruiting people who would use the products even if they weren’t getting compensated, who would even call Usana a scam? This Usana scam article wouldn’t even exist. Distributors do what they do because the company rewards them for doing it.

    Anyway, thanks for your input Jay. I’m glad you’re running your business the non-controversial way and much success to you.


    Jay Reply:

    I understand what you’re saying- MLMs do reward recruiting. And I understand now, too, why you would name the article as such. I would personally have targeted such individuals that promote it that way, but, as you said, most MLMs run this way so it wouldn’t matter regardless.

    Thank you for the encouraging words! I will take them and run with them to future success! It was good discussing this topic with you, so thanks again!


    Jay Reply:

    And btw, I just reread my comment and noticed that my mind kept jumping ahead of my typing, thus making my whole comment full of grammatical errors and misspellings. I’m a stickler for doing things the right way (especially writing), so I had to mention it- maybe more for myself than anything.


    Kai S. Reply:

    Haha, not a problem. I do that myself. For what it’s worth, judging how your run things from your comments, if network marketing was dominated by people like you, it probably wouldn’t have such a bad name.


    Jay - Gravatar
  10. Richard  |  August 15th, 2011 #

    I absolutely LOVE the Usana Products. ALL of them. I have used them for 12 years with little compensation of income. But I can’t blame Usana for that. I was the silly fool for not waking up to the amazing oppurtunity.I finally did two years ago. I hate “recruiting” people into this business as that is an Amway model and people fall away. I much prefer to “Sponsor” Associates into this business. I build relationships and create trust and WOW have I made an amazing lot of friends with like minds to Health and Wealth. I totally commit to helping them get residual income to the best of my ability and each week it is improving ,in spite of the mistakes I make. this makes the Usana products “free” to Associates, so buying on EBay is pointless as it is still costing money with NO residual. I never buy from there as to me it is unethical and like I said I get it free anyway.
    My wife who had stage 4 cancers reversed it in about 7 months using high doses and a life style change. In fact our whole family followed the same path. The results speak for themselves. now many are calling to find what my wife did. We just tell our story and it is up to others what they want to do. I have learnt not to get emotional with a NO. There are millions more looking for oppurtunities.MLM is just in it’s infancy and the 21st Century is making MLM and HEALTH “THE” trend.Baby boomers and GenY’s are pushing it. I am 63 but love working with GenY’s and helping them succeed. I find my peers are so conditioned into a negative life that most are “dead” but don’t know it. Still I have Patience and hope to help even them reverse their ailments and hopefully prevent them from early graves or Nursing Homes . At 63 I feel I am starting a new life again .I look forward to the next 50 years. When I meet other Usana people I see how great they look and feel. and we all help each other, even crossline. Which I love doing even though it doesn’t get me a residual income.Isn’t helping each other what life is all about? That is reward in itself. Just hope I don’t get run over by a bus.Haha!.


    Kai S. Reply:

    Glad to hear you’re doing well and loving what you do Richard. As with any MLM company, there are always some success stories. In your case, Usana cured your wife’s cancer, how can you not full-heartedly promote their products? Thanks again for your input and I wish you the best with your business.


    Richard - Gravatar
  11. Richard  |  September 4th, 2011 #

    The best way to check out the quality of a Health company products is to read the “Comparitive Guide to Nutritional Supplements” by Dr Lylle McWilliam of Nutrisearch Labs. Usana is 97.8% ,second best is at 56% then all others rank down towards 0%. You will be surprised at how many “Big” names out there selling Health products are actually very low in Efficacy.Many around 15% and less.You get what you pay for.Also doing the business quickly gets the products for free.SO cost is not an issue. Any increase on that becomes income and eventually residual. It works .Otherwise many would not be getting the incomes. For those who do not succeed.There is something called HARD WORK .They should try it sometime.Working SMART mixed into it will produce results.


    Kai S. Reply:

    You mean the same Dr MacWilliam that used to be on Usana’s Medical Advisory Board? In a document called, “Comparative Guide Scoring Change”, Dr. MacWilliam stated, “In fact, for at least the last three years of the third edition’s run, it had been false to say USANA was ranked #1 in our research.”

    Everything you’re saying is just what your uplines told you. Perhaps you should take some time to do some of your own research from both sides.


    Richard - Gravatar
  12. Richard  |  September 4th, 2011 #

    By the way “recruiting” is an Amway model of doing MLM. A smarter way is to “Sponsor” then help the newcomer to succeed .No need for hundreds .Just join TWO and help them get their TWO.etc. The Binary System is the fairest with re-entry after a certain level below the very people you helped before so all get to help each other. With this system others who join later can still earn more than the ones above them. It is based on performance.How fair is that?


    Kai S. Reply:

    You can call recruiting whatever you want, it’s still recruiting. You might not personally have to recruit anymore than 2 people but the system as a whole must continue to add new recruits to sustain itself. Why? Because it’s the recruits that purchase most of the products.

    Regardless of what the company says, the minimum monthly requirement to get a commission wasn’t created so that only reps who use the products are allowed to promote them. It was created to ensure the flow of products. What better way to sell products than to basically require distributors to purchase $100 worth each and every month?


    Richard - Gravatar
  13. Ka Tr  |  February 2nd, 2012 #

    Thanks for the article! I’ve been recently invited by a friend to one of their presentations. Throughout which, I’ve seen how they made their business work – good products + bad marketing system. I personally use their products for a year now and I can say its effects are felt and seen within a month of continuous usage. I believe in the products but I can’t really say the same for the people running the business. It’s kind of sad that something so good can be tarnished by the agents handling it. I completely agree with the article as the company MAY be intentionally / unintentionally rewarding recruiting over selling to product users. With that, it somehow promotes recruiting as a faster way of gaining incentives – do they even realize that their market is FINITE? They could not just rely on recruiting as the main source of the company’s revenue as it leaves the bottom a failure because everyone else has already been recruited? USANA should put more emphasis on the selling to end-users rather than mandating its distributors to buy products every 28days. The latter is just a form of cheating and is undeniably unsustainable – the company will find itself at a loss given a period of time.


    Kai S. Reply:

    Seeing that 1 recruit is worth more than 1 average customer, I think it’s pretty safe to say the company rewards more for recruiting over selling. You’ve got to be a pretty good salesperson to sell enough of these vitamins to make a decent living. It’s easier to sell someone on the dream of being rich especially using the network model where you’re being sold the opportunity by someone you know.


    Ka Tr - Gravatar
  14. marjorie  |  February 20th, 2012 #


    I am from the philippines..I started as a user of USANA and it helped me a lot esp in my migraine, scoliosis and ensomia..When I found out the earning opportunity of USANA i grabbed it..I introduced in to my dad who has CYSTS on his neck ( for operation), my mom with cysts on her forehead and breast, who had goiter removal before and etc..After taking the product in One month, (Essentials plus proflavanol Hi-C) their cysts became so small that You can really see the change thru your eyes..They’ve become healthier, younger looking, with extra stamina and better sleep. My mom is no longer constipated..She can do it twice a day now.. Unlike before it takes her 4 days..

    That’s how great USANA is..And we are spreading the good news to people we know.


    Kai S. Reply:

    So Usana cures cysts and other health issues. Awesome. Keep spreading the word.


    marjorie - Gravatar
  15. Phong  |  March 11th, 2012 #

    I attended USANA meeting 2 days ago in San Diego as a guest. I know that their products are excellent based on all of the good stories that I heard from the associates. I’m sure they are telling me the truth. However, there is something bugging me about their MLM. In order to make a business, you have to purchase healthpak 110$ every month which make you swallow 12 pills a day. WTF?? That’s lunch right there. Nonetheless, the binary compensation plan is so bullshit. I will talk about the ideal situation that could benefit the most to their business centers. Let’s say you start the business, you must recruit 2, then each your associates must recruit 2, and so on. Keep in mind this order: you, 1st generate associates, 2nd generate associates, 3rd associates… 6th generate associates, the number of people on each tier are 1, 2, 4, 8, 16, 32, 64 (I could to high number but the company give a cap 5000left+5000right=10000 commission points), then then commission order 12600, 6200, 3000, 1400, 600, 200, 0 (equation (lowest tier points)*2+200), then, total income of each tier 1000$(you), 1240$, 1200$, 1120$, 960$, 0, 0. Overall, the total money associates make 5520$, the total people autoship is 127 which worths 127*110=13790$. So, the company get 60.5%. As I added 1 more tier to the bottom of the pyramid which is 128, the company get 57% total, and it keep reducing as adding more and more tier. So, what is wrong? the associates get more money. Derp. Well, I just created a perfect pyramid that requires 127 people perfectly cooperate what is that probability to happen? Most import, anything that disorders the perfect pyramid will increase the company income. They have payment plan for business center, and it really gives you the best benefit. But, they model kind of make you blind due to how much you can make. As, if you care about your associates and look at those models, they make pretty much nothing but you. Now, look at the different angle, the company doesn’t need any ads, financial department or plan, or even marketing to help them organize and sell their products. So, a lot of saving there buddy, USANA. Even worse, their customers who provide them a stable income are their workers without 401k or any benefits (hell yeah, I guess they have medicines already should you dont need 401k anymore). Those are my opinions. I apologize about my editing, and my calculation if it’s wrong. Peace.


    Kai S. Reply:

    Your math hurts my head


    John Robert Reply:

    12 pills a day! Ha! Now that puts things in perspective. Thanks! J


    Phong - Gravatar
  16. Barnabus Stinson  |  May 15th, 2012 #

    You nailed it Kai. Thanks. Your article really is informative.


    Kai S. Reply:

    You’re welcome, Doogie.


    Barnabus Stinson - Gravatar

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