What Is Usana? A MLM Scam? Dr. Oz Says No!

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usana-featured-image2110 Million – 60 Billion – 300,000 to 3 Million!

The latest statistics are in and Eddy with a Y wants you to know what these impressive numbers mean:

  • 110 Million Americans are obese (34.5% of the U.S. population)
  • 60 Billion Dollars per year spent in the USA on Diet/Nutrition products
  • $300,000 to $3 million paid to celebrities endorsing these products

Now we understand why there are so many different products saturating this market niche, brought to us by companies claiming that their product is above and beyond of all others.

Most of these companies peddling their goodies through damn MLMs, which I am not very fond of, as you all know by now. I reviewed a few of them in recent weeks, among them Jeunesse, LifeVantage, Vfinity and It Works Wraps. Lately, I was getting many requests to review the company Usana and their products, and I am glad to oblige.

What Is Usana?

is usana a scamUSANA Health Sciences, Inc., or USANA, is a Utah-based multi-level marketing company that produces various nutritional products. It's listed with the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and founded by Dr. Myron W. Wentz, the company stock is traded on Nasdaq.

What Are The Usana Products?

First off, Usana offers over 150 products which are way too many to list here. But here is the break down of the categories you can choose from:

Nutritional Supplements

Here you find the usual assortment of vitamin supplements and a number of ‘special formulas‘ for:

  • usana reviewBone Health
  • Acute Memory Function
  • Prostate Health (for men only)
  • Joint Health
  • Eye Health
  • Nutrition for total Body Health

Diet & Energy

This category carries the main dieting stuff so you can shed some unwanted pounds

  • A variety of food replacement shakes which give you a sated feeling, for a short while at least
  • A selection of Snack bars to carry you over to the next Shake time

Personal Care:

Here you find everything for Skin, Hair & Body Care (sorry, no toilet paper though)

  • Skin Care includes: Cleaners, Moisturizers, Skin Renewal Cr?me
  • Skin Treatment offers you: Concentrated Refining Serum, Age Defying Gel, and Purifying Mask
  • Hair & Body Care: In this section you find everything from Shower Gel, Shampoo, Hand & Body Lotion to Toothpaste

Are the products good or even better than others?

To be honest, I don't know because I have not tried any of them myself, except for one meal replacement shake given to me by someone trying to pull me into the Usana dingy.

So, I have to rely what other folks have to say about Usana products. I read about 120 user reviews and there were only 2 (two) that were negative. As hard as tried to find any complaints about the products on the internet, I was not able to find negative comments. So that's a good thing.

What About The Usana Business Opportunity?

To become an associate, you will have to pay a $29.95 start-up fee, and a renewal fee of $20 every year there after.

In order to create “Your Business Center” and start building your own downline, you can choose from 3 business models:

  • Basic Business Pack – Preferred Price: $305.00
  • Entrepreneur Pack – Preferred Price: $625.00
  • Professional Pack – Preferred Price: $1,250.00

If you cannot afford $300 – $1,300 bucks, but still want to go ahead and create your business center, you need to purchase at least 200 points of USANA products, roughly $240 bucks to get started, and then $120 every 4 weeks.

I am done with getting a migraine headache trying to figure out the rest of their messed up compensation plan, but if you want to learn more about ‘the opportunity to make your life the best it can be‘, you can look it up right here.

This seems like a pretty typical MLM set up. However USANA has implemented another level which is called a ‘5 customer rule‘ – where an associate has to make sales to 5 different people during EVERY 4-week period, before he is eligible to receive a commission. Presumingly this was set up to avoid being labeled a pyramid scheme by the FTC. So you better be able to meet that quota consistently to be an associate of the company.

What About The Endorsement By Dr. Oz?

Did you really have to ask me about that? Ok, here it is in a nutshell. Dr. Wentz/Usana donated roughly a quarter million dollars to Dr. Oz in 2014. I'm not really good at math but that's about 250,000 reasons that Dr. Oz has to endorse the product.

And on top of it….

“According to USANA's president Kevin Guest, USANA pays Dr. Oz an annual fee to advertise USANA products on the show”.

So what? There are a lot of legit companies I endorse on this site that happily pay me and I'm not ashamed of that. But there are a lot I turn down because I just don't believe in the company or their product. So I'm not attaching my name to it regardless of how much money I can make. I would hope that Dr. Oz actually believes in this product as well and it's not just about the Benjamin as Biggie would say.

What Are The Complaints Against Usana?

Surprisingly, there are no complaints about the products. Period. I couldn't find any on the Internet, the BBB or even on Amazon, which sells Usana products. That's a good thing in my book. But there are some other complaints or concerns.

Products Are Too Expensive!

I did a price comparison with similar products and found that Usana products are on the high end of the price scale, but they are not the most expensive products out there. Fort example, Usana Toothpaste is $10 retail, a competitor's tube of toothpaste goes for $12 bucks.

I find it strange though, that you can buy Usana products on eBay and Amazon, and that they sell for less than buying from a Usana associate:

usana products are cheaper at amazon

Ok, the difference is just 5 bucks, but price conscious retail customers may not buy from Usana.

The 5-Customer Rule Is A Ruse!

Well that's according to some of their own reps. Several Associates of Usane claim that the 5-customer rule is in place only “so that Usana does not have to pay commissions“. I've tried to get an answer about this from Usana support, but have not received a single response to numerous requests. Not good, not good.

Usana Associates Can Not Make A Livable Income!

The 5-Customer rule and the fact that Usana products sell cheaper at other places may have something to do with that. According to the latest shareholder report, Usana had over 180,000 associates on their books, and even if Usana should gross 500 million, the average per associate is a meager 2,778 buck per year. And this, my friends, is the sad but true fact about the MLM system.

So Is Usana A Scam or Legit?

First off, Usana products ARE good and better than most comparable products out there. The founder of Usana, Dr. Myron Wentz holds a B.Sc. degree in biology from North Central College in Naperville, Illinois, a M.Sc. degree in microbiology from the University of North Dakota, and a Ph.D. degree in microbiology and immunology from the University of Utah. This may be the reason that Usana products do not contain any of the harmful ingredients found in most dieting/nutrition products (source: wikipedia).

The business opportunity is what it is. I'm not big on MLMs because some of their reps are shady, they tend to have complicated compensation plans and usually over priced products that people don't want to pay for. Although Usana tries hard to rid itself from the bad reputation MLMs do have with their 5-customer rule. On paper it does look great that they want their associates to focus on selling the products rather than just recruiting associates. But from the associates perspective it's hard enough to make sales without being required to do so. So I think it's an unnecessary stress placed on the associate.

An Alternative To Usana Or Any Other MLM

I know you got to my site because you are looking for a ways to make income from home. I know the struggle and have spent a large portion of my life trying different ways to make money at home. Most were garbage but eventually I found my path which I would love to share with you. If you're interested take a look at My #1 FREE Work At Home Recommendation and find out how I managed to make money online full time.

So give it a look but with that said the reason I've been so successful at making money from home is that I have multiple streams of income and you can too. I teach you how with my Work At Home Courses here. In any event, I hope you enjoyed reading my Usana review and I would love to hear your opinion about it. Please, let us know what's on your mind, and chime in down below.

That's it for today. Like always…..thanks for stopping by

Eddy with a Y

16 thoughts on “What Is Usana? A MLM Scam? Dr. Oz Says No!”

  1. I got so scammed by USANA!!!
    I was spending so much money on product and was told just keep on trying to get customers. I did get customer’s but because USANA is a binary comp plan and I kept losing customers on the one side I LOST several thousand dollars.
    The BINARY COMP PLAN with USANA has people LOSING!!!
    The products are good..but there are some other good ones out there too, for less money.
    Don’t be duped.

    • Hey Elisa,

      Thanks for sharing your experience. This is exactly why I hate MLMs commission structures. They make it more complicated than it needs to be.
      It sounds like you do have a business mind. I would encourage you to look into affiliate marketing. It’s a similar concept except without the annoying MLM commission structures and you can promote products from major companies. Take a look here at how I learned to master this business.

  2. USANA is by far the best health care and vitamin product in the world, at least as far as I am concerned. I’ve been using the products for about 12 years now. As far as making a success of it as a business, it is definitely not a scam but it is MLM if you know what I mean. If my husband and I were not already successful in the business that we operate, we would most likely work a USANA business. It’s very hard to try to convince people that paying a little extra now for a top of the line product will more than likely save a whole lot of time, trouble and money later on. Great product, great business if you can handle MLM.

    • Hey Lynn,

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts about the product. That type of feedback seems to be consistent so far. Unfortunately the MLM business model isn’t the most attractive to folks. But at least the product is solid which isn’t always the case with many MLMs so I would imagine it might be easier to sell than some of the other crap we see out there.

      Either way, thanks for chiming in. I appreciate it.

    • Hey Eddy,
      USANA really is the real deal when it comes to quality. You can’t compare it to anything else on the market. When you buy USANA, you are buying quality.

  3. About five years ago, my uncle set me up to sell Usana. I didnt have to pay the start-up or for the starter pack because my uncle paid for all that for me. I will say that their products are excellent. I used to buy nutritional shakes and some facial cleansing items on a monthly basis. I definitely have nothing negative to say about any of the actual products. However, as you pointed out, the products are just too high. Associates get a 20% discount. I dont like selling so I just stopped buying products after being in the program for about 2 years. I never made a sale but wasnt really interested in trying either. Nothing was that intriguing about it to make me harrass other people. My uncle still does it though. It wasnt for me to be an associate but I liked their products. Im not interested in buying them at full price though so I just left it alone all together.

    • Hey Keri,

      Thanks for sharing your experience with this company. It sounds like the products are solid but like me you aren’t fond of the whole MLM model of the business. And I can totally appreciate that. That said it’s good to hear the products were good even if they were over priced. Thanks again. I really appreciate you taking the time to chime in on this article.

  4. That 5 customer rule sounds kinda stinky to me. Although everyone has their little tricks to differentiate from pyramid schemes (I think that is the motivation behind Melaleuca’s 35 point requirement you warned people about), I would be so worried about not selling to 5 customers each month that I would shoot myself in the foot and create a self-fulfilling prophecy.

    • Hey Paul,

      I totally agree with you. I totally dislike the pressure of having to meet a sales quota with these MLMs. You have enough pressure trying to make your business work and you don’t need any more imposed by the company. So I’m with you man. Thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts. I really appreciate it Man!

  5. Hi Eddy,

    I understand the idea of an investment when a person does a start up of any kind. With these kinds of companies the investment is for a start up kit that can then be used to test and then demo the product. However these companies who get people to ‘invest’ a start up fee all seem to have several of the same deal going on, namely the people who buy in never make any money at all.
    They go into debt buying stuff they can’t use fast enough or get enough people to buy because of the expense of the product.
    It ends up being a big loosing situation for the people selling it and a whole lotta win for the people who are at the corporate top.

    Then there is this problem with these companies, the cost of actually producing the product is really very low.
    Pennies per item while the mark up is thousands of percent per item.
    That way when things go on sale they still make money.

    But it’s never the distributor or associate who makes money, it’s always corporate who makes money.
    This model is the same that’s used in the brick and mortar businesses that already exist.

    The difference being if a person really wants to go this route the best deal in making money they will get is to actually get hired on with a brick and mortar company where they get paid per hour, which is something that many people are trying to escape.

    in the long run all of these companies who have associates out there selling after they have to keep buying product is going to be more expensive, except in one way, trying to make a living with one of these companies has only one perk. You can work when you want to.


    • Hey Wendy,

      It’s always great to hear from you because you bring some wonderful insight. I agree with your statement. You’ve pretty much laid out one of my major issues with the MLM model. But people argue that Corporate America is structured in a similar fashion and I don’t totally disagree with that observation. In either case there are some reps that are able to make money but it always seems like most of them are doing so because of the people they recruit and not actually selling the product. And with some of the bad MLMs the focus on recruiting seems to take a priority over actually moving the product. So I can see why so many people fail with this business model.

      Starting a business is always an up hill battle but I find the MLM model makes it like fighting up a mountain on roller skates. So it’s just not something I’m fond of. But this company seems to have a good product even though its probably marked up too much. But that’s capitalism. Either way I appreciate your insightful comments as usual.

  6. Hi Eddy,
    Sorry but am not into buying into a lot of these products, even like Nutrisystem , Jenny Craig or any of the other ones out there. All these companies are high in charges and you have to pay each month for the products.
    What I think is the best thing to do is watch what you eat and how much to lose the weight.

    • I’m not big on paying for these diet programs either. I agree watching what you eat and actually exercising consistently is the best way to lose weight. But like making money online, everyone wants shortcuts and the easy way.

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