What Is Usana About? Scam or Legitimate Opportunity?
The dietary supplements industry is one of the biggest industries in the United States, even in the world, because people obviously want to enjoy the benefits of a long, healthy and happy life. Among the companies in the global industry, Usana Health Sciences, Inc. (USANA or Usana) is among the largest multi-level marketing organizations.
Product: Multi-Level Marketing(MLM)- Variety of Products from Nutritionals, Diet & Energy to Personal Care
Founders: Dr. Myron Wentz
Overall Ranking: 4 out of 10 (Expensive Products + Pyramid Scheme)
3 Enrollment Packages: Professional Pack-$1,250, Entrepreneur Pack-$624.95 and Basic Business Pack-$305
How Does It Work?
What is Usana about? Based in Utah, the multi-level marketing company manufactures, markets and sells a wide range of nutritional products and nutraceuticals (i.e., nutritional pharmaceuticals). Most of its products are manufactured at its West Valley City facility before being distributed in more than 20 countries and territories worldwide. The three product lines are Usana Nutritionals, Usana Diet & Energy, and Sense personal care.
Independent non-salaried distributors, known as associates, market and sell these products with the expectation of income earned in various ways. Associates can sell their products offline, such as via direct sales, and online through their own websites resulting in commissions from two sources:
- From their own product sales; and
- From new associates recruited, known as downline in multi-level marketing parlance
But here’s where things become tricky. The company’s compensation plan requires the acquisition of commissionable point based on sales volume – a certain number of points must be reached before the associate can be paid his commission.
In case said associate doesn’t achieve the payment threshold, the points are accumulated for next week. But when the monthly minimum threshold isn’t reached, the points accumulated yet unpaid will be lost. Below case is based on 3 BC (Business Centre) that you working on.
The result: About 87% of associates fail to earn sufficient commissions to recoup their investments for the qualifying purchases, while 67% will not earn commissions at all! More than 72% of the commissions are earned by the upper 2% of the associates, too, leaving the rest to eat their dust. In 2011, according to Usana’s records, the average yearly income of the majority of the associates was a measly $617 while the 2% earned nearly $860,000 a year.
Indeed, very few of Usana’s associates will become wealthy from the activity. These can be attributed to several factors including:
- Most members will be unable to recoup their initial investment to participate;
- Members at the top of the upline-downline organization will make more than those at the bottom, oftentimes a thousand more times with little effort on their part;
- Members will have an increasingly harder time to recruit others as it grows; and
- Members must continually recruit because of the high turnover rate.
Like many multi-level marketing companies, Usana hides behind the cloak of the legitimacy of its operations while actually running a pyramid scheme. Even its products have been subjected to criticisms for unverifiable and unrealistic therapeutic claims, such as the nutritional products touted to cure a wide range of ailments including cancer.
Associates will even make the claim that the Usana products have superior qualities than their competitors’ products, thus, the higher sales prices. In fact, the products cost two to three times their equivalent items from pharmacies, health food stores, and the like! Yet there is no scientific evidence that will prove Usana’s products are of better quality to justify the higher prices.
This early, we have to say that Usana already has two strikes against it – its pyramid compensation scheme and its average products. You shouldn’t believe claims made by the manufacturers of dietary supplements that their products are akin to the miracle pill, the fountain of youth, and one-pill-cures-all because these aren’t true, far from it.
Dietary supplements are just that – products formulated to supplement the body’s possible deficiencies in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, among others, which can be due to an illnesses or injuries. Claims made otherwise, especially as cures for chronic degenerative diseases, are pure hogwash.
Who Is Usana For?
Usana is targeted toward adult men and women who want to earn part-time or full-time income from selling its nutritional supplements and nutraceuticals, as well as from recruiting others into the organization. The company classifies its associates into two categories for this purpose, namely:
- Associates who earn their income by selling and recruiting; and
- Preferred Customers who buy the products at wholesale prices but use them for their own personal purposes and, thus, aren’t allowed to receive commissions.
Aside from the Associates and Preferred Customers, Usana also targets its products for the consumption of men, women, and even older children.
Usana Tools and Training
Usana provides its veteran associates with advanced DLM training, usually coupled with a database management program, which has a Custom Query feature. New distributors without prior selling experience can avail of the SOW Sponsoring System.
Usana maintains several offices across the world as well as an official website, all of which will answer questions about the company as well as its compensation package, products, and policies. Its corporate offices are in Salt Lake City, Utah while its customer service hotlines are in several languages including English, Spanish, French, Chinese, Japanese, and Korean.
The Good and the Bad
Usana has its good aspects, too, although there are only a few including:
#1 The products have been proven safe for consumption by humans.
#2 The compensation scheme can result in thousands of dollars income in a single year although there are qualifiers for this statement.
#3 The brand is well-known in areas outside of the United States and Canada, especially in countries where multi-level marketing hasn’t yet been exposed as pyramiding schemes.
But the bad aspects outweigh the good including:
#1 The compensation scheme demands its new associates to sell more products and recruit more people, while the associates in the upper echelons earn the income accruing from their efforts (see above).
#2 The products are so expensive in comparison with similar products that selling them will be a great challenge, especially for the general masses. These are also touted as superior in quality yet when associates are asked for scientific proof, none can be presented.
#3 The brand has gained a negative reputation for being a pyramiding scheme masquerading as a legitimate multi-level marketing company. Establishing a profitable network becomes even more difficult.
My Final Opinion of Usana
With that being said, I suggest steering clear of Usana, both as an associate and as a preferred customer, even as an ordinary consumer. You will be buying into a pyramid scheme otherwise, which means that you have been conned of your hard-earned money.
If you’re looking for a legitimate way to earn income without being a con and being conned, then I suggest you check out Wealthy Affiliate. You can start your own business with a minimum investment in a website, choose from dozens of products and services from numerous companies to promote, and earn income from every click or purchase – no need for building your multi-level network.