Health and Wellness is one of the biggest niches in the MLM industry. A multitude of MLM companies operates under this umbrella, producing loads of distributors through their network.
Some have even reached the point of quitting their day jobs to become a full-time distributors for the MLM company.
Today, we’re taking a look at one of the serious players, Usana. How does it fare against the others?
In this review, we’ll focus more on the “business opportunity” part of Usana. For those of you who have been following my website, you’ll know that I always go deep below the surface to get you everything you need to know about any online money-making opportunity.
Honest, unbiased reviews – that is what you will find here.
And if you’d like to see an alternative, honest, and legitimate platform to start earning money online, then please click here.
Product Name: Usana
Founder: Dr. Myron Wentz
Product Type: MLM
Price: $9.95 welcome kit
Best For: MLM marketers
Summary: Usana is a health and wellness network marketing company with a nearly 30-year track record of success. They produce high-quality nutritional supplements and personal care products. Most of their products are proceed in-house in their FDA-Registered facilities. In terms of business opportunities, it is not easy to earn a living via their MLM system.
Overall Ranking: 6/10
Recommend: Yes and No
What Is Usana
Usana is a direct selling company specialising in nutritional, healthy food products, energy support, and science-based skincare. Usana operates in the United States and 23 other countries around the world.
It all started in 1992 when the company was founded by Dr Myron Wentz, PhD, with the vision of helping people to live healthy lives through scientific research, advanced nutritional products, cutting-edge medical facilities, and progressive humanitarian work.
Founder of Usana, Dr. Myron Wentz
“I dream of a world free from pain and suffering. I dream of a world free from disease. The Usana family will be the healthiest family on Earth.
Share my vision. Love life, and live to its fullest in happiness and health.”
(Dr. Myron Wentz – Founder & Chairman of USANA Health Sciences, Visionary, Scientist, Philanthropist & Entrepreneur)
A Little About Dr. Myron Wentz…
Dr. Myron Wentz is a renowned microbiologist, immunologist, and forerunner in the development of human cell-culture technology and infectious disease diagnoses. He founded Gull Laboratories in 1974 and developed the first commercially available diagnostic test for the Epstein-Barr virus (commonly called Glandular Fever). In June 2007, he was awarded Albert Einstein Award for Outstanding Achievement in the Life Sciences.” (source: drwentz.com). He is indisputably one of the most respectable humanitarian philanthropists.
His background and sterling achievements are a testament to his genuine interest in improving the health and wellness of people. It goes to show that his business was not founded purely in the pursuit of money. He is relentless in researching and developing new products to improve human health.
Other than Dr Myron himself, Usana has an impressive R&D team consisting of various experts from chemistry, molecular and cellular biology, nutritional biochemistry, sports science etc. Together they are committed to producing quality products for Usana.
Overall, this company works the same way as these MLM companies:
How To Join Usana
Just like any typical MLM company, you cannot sign up for Usana on your own. You have to sign up under another Usana consultant by providing the membership detail of the person who is referring you. Else, Usana will allocate one for you. You will be someone else’s recruit and be part of someone else’s team.
If you go to their website, they don’t have much information on how to get started and what’s the cost.
All they ask you to do is to get back to the person who introduced this opportunity to you – a very typical method used by MLMs.
Before we take the plunge, it’s important to familiarise ourselves with the product line Usana has to offer.
Usana has a huge product line, their primary products are supplements, weight control products etc. Over the years, they have also veered into other product lines like skincare.
As a whole, Usana products are divided into 4 categories:
2. Food and Energy
4. Healthy Living
USANA’s flagship product is the CellSentials. According to Usana, these products are designed to work at the cellular level to nourish your cells to make you healthier. The CellSentials pack contains a 28 days supply of both Core Minerals and Vita-Antioxidant, which support brain function, metabolism, collagen synthesis, and boost your cells’ natural ability to regenerate themselves.
There are simply too many products under the Usana brand, if you are interested in the full product range you can find them on the Usana product page.
How To Make Money With Usana
Like many other MLM companies, you can make money with Usana by:
1. Selling their products and earning commissions. You can either get products at wholesale prices and then sell them for the retail prices to make a profit, or refer your customers to make their purchase from the Usana website, where Usana pays you the difference between the retail price and wholesale price.
2. Recruiting people to access bonuses and higher commission.
3. Refer a friend and earn 10% when someone you refer buys through your referral link. This works like affiliate marketing – you promote your personalised referral link and if someone makes a purchase through your link, you will get 10% of the value of their order. Personally, I find this approach most appealing – no hard selling or face-to-face pitching. To help you get started promoting your links, here is a free course to guide you along.
Cost To Join Usana
There are 4 ways for you to be part of Usana:
Customers can buy Usana products at retail prices but cannot make money selling Usana.
Preferred Customer (Free, just need to register)
Preferred Customer can enjoy a 10% discount on their purchases but cannot make money selling Usana.
To save even more, a Preferred Customer can opt for the Auto Order program and get the products automatically shipped and billed monthly. This saves a Preferred Customer the hassle of reordering products whenever the products run low. By doing so a Preferred Customer also get to save an additional 10% off the Preferred Price.
Affiliate Partner (One-time fee of $9.95)
This option allows you to earn a 10% commission off any sale you make.
At this level, you can start making money by selling Usana’s products.
In addition to the benefits one would receive as a Preferred Customer, an Associate gets to :
1. Sell Usana products to make a retail profit
2. Sponsor Preferred Customers and earn commission from the sales of products
3. Help others become Associates (and thereby becomes your downline) and earn from their sales.
To become an Associate you will have to purchase a Welcome Kit for $9.95, which contains useful business information to help you get started. There is no obligation to purchase the products but you are strongly encouraged to do so. It makes sense because how are you going to convince your customers to buy if you yourself do not take the products?
If you intend to get involved in a business selling Usana, I suggest you sign up for the Auto Order program so that you get to enjoy a bigger profit margin (more about this in the Compensation Plan section later).
Furthermore, in order to access the full commission plan, you will need to either purchase the products yourself or generate 200 sales volume points (around $200 worth of products ) to unlock your first Business Center and remain on a 100 sales volume point (around $100 worth of products) per month.
Usana makes it clear that Associates only earn a commission when products are sold, i.e. no direct compensation for recruiting or sponsoring other Associates or Preferred Customers.
Open Your Business Center (BC)
The term used here is ‘Business Center’, but you can imagine it as a network of your downlines, with you at the top of the network.
In order to earn a commission selling Usana, you will have to accumulate 200 points in Personal Sales Volume. That’s equivalent to around $200 worth of product. With 200 points you can open one Business Center and begin earning commissions.
However, you are strongly encouraged to open 3 Business Center to maximise your income opportunity. To open 3 Business Center you will have to accumulate 400 points instead.
As you can see, with 3 Business Centers you can place more people directly under you (4 instead of 2 previously).
Usana Compensation Plan
Like many other MLM companies, Usana has a complicated compensation plan.
I will try to lay it out as simple as possible.
Usana compensation plan works on a binary compensation plan, a structure where you take in members at both left and right legs (in this case, your left and right Business Centers). The problem with such a structure is that, often time, people end up with one huge leg and another much smaller one. That happens when you get one very successful team under you. Now, to qualify for bonuses you will have to achieve a certain minimum threshold in the smaller leg, which means that you have to diversify your attention and help bring up other teams as well.
There are 6 ways Usana claims you can get paid:
1. Retail Sales
This is the most straightforward way to make money with Usana. Basically, you purchase products at Preferred Price and sell them to your customers at retail price, and you earn the price difference. The suggested retail price is a 10% mark-up from the wholesale price.
As I have explained earlier, a Preferred Customer or Associates can get an additional 10% off by signing up for the Auto Order Program. That will increase your profit margin as you can now purchase products for up to 20% below published retail prices.
You can sell Usana’s product in whatever way you deem fit – face-to-face selling, online selling, selling to friends and relatives etc.
2. Weekly Commissions
Usana’s Binary Compensation Plan put much emphasis on symmetry and teamwork. In other words, it is more rewarding for you to make sure that the sales volume on the left side of your Business Center comes as close as possible to sales volume on the right side of your Business Center.
To receive this weekly commission payment, each side of your Business Center must achieve a minimum of 125 points in Group Sales Volume. When you do, you’ll earn 25 Commission Volume Points.
The 20% weekly commissions will be calculated based on the Group Sales Volume on your smaller Business Center side.
Let’s say one of your Business Center accumulated sales that total 500 Group Sales Volume points while the other side only had 150 points. The commission will be calculated based on the 150 Group Sales Volume points.
3. Lifetime Matching Bonus
If your downline achieve Premier Platinum PaceSetters status, you will be eligible for up to a 15% match of their commission volume for life as long as both of you are qualified for commission. The percentage you receive depends on your own status:
Incentives can be anything – luxury travels, bonuses, prizes etc. Associate gets rewarded through Usana Incentive Programs and contests.
5. Leadership Bonus
Usana makes available 3% of the total company commissionable sales volume and shares it with the top associates every week.
You have to be at least at the rank of Gold Director to qualify for Leadership Bonus. Your share will depend on your leadership rank and the performance of your Business Centers.
6. Elite Bonus
To qualify for Elite Bonus you have to be the Top 60 income earners of the previous quarter. Usana set apart 1% of the total company commissionable sales volume and share it among those who are eligible for this bonus. Your share will depend on your position (among the Top 60), your performance in the current quarter, and the growth as compared to the previous year.
As you can see, the more you sell, the more ways you can earn. The system rewards the top few per cent of the Associate.
Don’t worry if you cannot figure out how does the compensation works, such structures are common among MLM companies. They cannot reward members directly for recruitment, as this will give rise to suspicion for pyramid schemes (more about this later). So instead, they offer rewards when your downlines achieve a certain sales volume. That’s to encourage you to recruit and build up your team.
The various levels of rewards and dealerships also serve as a way to make the whole scheme look enticing and exciting. They make it looks like career advancement is great with many ways for you to make money.
To make things easy, just remember, the two most important thing to keep in mind when joining an MLM company is :
1. Sell the products
2. Recruit downline
Here is a walkthrough video of the compensation plan if you want to understand it in more detail:
Is Usana A Pyramid Scheme
Despite some critics labelling Usana as a pyramid scheme, personally, I don’t think so. First off, Usana have real quality products to offer. They’re not entirely focusing on recruiting as they recommend people to become customer-first (In other words, it’s product-oriented!). Also, you don’t get paid by recruiting people. You get paid when there’s a product being sold.
What Is A Pyramid Scheme?
According to Wikipedia, a pyramid scheme is a business model that recruits members via a promise of payments or services for enrolling others into the scheme, rather than supplying investments or sale of products.
As the recruitment progress, the structure soon becomes unsustainable due to the sheer amount of new recruitments needed to take place. There simply aren’t enough people to maintain the structure of the pyramid. As such, pyramid schemes are doomed to collapse and are deemed illegal by many countries around the world.
Due to the nature of MLM, there is a fuzzy line between MLM and pyramid scheme. Avoid any MLM that overemphasise on recruitment rather than selling the actual product. Legitimate MLM is focused on the product itself, not recruitment.
What I Like About Usana
1. Proven Track Of Record
Founded in 1992, Usana has almost reached the 30-year mark and still growing strong.
It is a known fact that very few MLM companies actually make it to the five-year mark. Usana surely has its unique selling point that makes its business sustainable.
In fact, Usana was named one of “America’s Most Trustworthy Public Companies” by TGF Analytics. Usana came in number 4 among small/mid-cap companies with an A+ rating—something only 5 per cent of companies researched achieved.
2. High-Quality Product
When it comes to health and wellness products, the key factor in determining whether a company is good enough or not is the safety, quality and effectiveness of its products.
Usana manufactures over 90% of its products in-house, including all of its tableted nutritional supplements. In 2011, Usana obtained the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s “Drug Establishment Registration”, meaning that Usana’s facility is considered FDA-Registered. This allows the company to manufacture over-the-counter (OTC) drugs and hold them to a standard well above what is required of a dietary supplement manufacturer.
With their long-standing commitment to producing the highest quality products, plus their team of first-class R&D personnel led by the founder Dr Wentz., it’s no wonder that people are drawn into them.
You can be sure that their products are well-developed and well-researched.
3. Used By World-Class Athletes
it is not uncommon for athletes to use performance-enhancing substances or techniques to augment their ability to succeed in competitive sports. Some athletes had even resolved to prohibit drugs to achieve the desired outcome.
Usana’s products provide athletes with a safer way to do so – helping them to achieve peak health during the competition. Usana made an effort to partner with various sports organizations to educate their athletes on how to use nutritional supplementation effectively. It is no wonder athletes are one of the main consumer groups of Usana products.
4. A+ Rating From BBB
Usana has an outstanding A+ rating in the Better Business Bureau.
It is impressive for a company to achieve A+rating from the Better Business Bureau (BBB), not many companies are able to do so. This goes to show the credibility of the company in terms of good customer resolution and support system.
What I Don’t Like About Usana
1. Recruit, Recruit, Recruit…
Now, I am not saying that they’re a pyramid scheme. The difference between this company and a pyramid scheme is that Usana has products to sell.
However, their compensation plan has you recruiting a lot of people to get higher bonuses and commissions as opposed to just generating team retail sales. In fact, due to some of the associates’ sales practice, Usana was a subject of a probe by the Security and Exchange Commission and a subject of a criminal investigation by the FBI (source: Forbes) which ended without any action.
In other words, success in Usana hinges not only on your ability to sell the products but also on the performance of your downline.
We all know the drill – an old friend or acquaintance contacted you out of the blue, before long this person is inviting you to a hosting party or asking you to watch an informative video of some sort. What hit next was the sales pitch – how you can live a carefree life while earning a side income.
It is unfortunate when someone pitches their network marketing business at the expense of their friendship.
I hate to say this, but most people newly involved with an MLM company have to get started from their close family and friends. If you want to be part of this, that’s exactly what you have to do too. Do you have what it takes to put your relationship on the line?
After all, Usana is a typical MLM company. You’re expected to do all the face-to-face selling to run this business.
2. How Much Money Can You Really Make With Usana?
Now, pay attention to this!
Here are some shocking truths you need to know…
92.5% of the distributors made $5,000 or less per year on average. This is equivalent to $417/month.
$417/month could barely cover any expenses!
Also one in two associates earn less than $250 per year, that is $20 per month.
And we haven’t even taken into account the cost of running this business – the membership fees, the products they bought for themselves due to months that they cannot meet the minimum requirements etc.
I’m not saying it’s impossible for you to succeed with Usana.
The income disclosure above showed that there are still people getting rich with this MLM business but the percentage is very small.
The unfortunate reality is that most associates are struggling or even losing money.
3. No Early Bird Advantage
Timing is one of the key factors to your success in the MLM business. To establish yourself in the MLM industry, you need to get onboard the right company at the right time. Too late and you will miss the golden period for growth that the early adopters enjoy.
There are many advantages of joining an MLM early on. For example, during the early stage, there is a mystique surrounding the opportunity because not many people have come to know about it yet. It is an exciting time to get involved!
While it is still possible for you to make it big later on, you will have to work much harder than you would have if you had joined early on.
4. You Have to Pay in Order to Receive Commission
To remain active as a Usana sales rep and receive a commission from Usana, you need to purchase or sell a certain amount of products every month to accumulate enough points.
It’s 100 sales volume points (around $100) every month, and if you fail to maintain the points, you won’t be able to receive a commission if any.
Also, keep in mind that group sales volume or sales made by your downlines are not counted towards your “personal sales volume”.
5. Expensive Products
Usana products are sold at premium prices as compared to their retail counterparts.
Let’s take Usana best-selling product – CellSentials for example, it is a blend of multivitamins and antioxidants wholesale for $39.95, or $1.43 a day. A similar product under Centrum only cost approximately $7.00 for a 50-pill bottle, or 14 cents a day. Usana justifies the price by claiming that their products are of “high-quality, certified nutritional supplements that are in a class by themselves.”
However, Anthony Almada, the president and chief scientist of Imaginutrition, a consulting firm for the nutritional supplement industry. Alamada, who has more than 30 years of experience in the industry, beg to differ. According to him, “The economic reality of Usana, and other [multilevel marketing] entities, mandates that their products invariably lack robust distinctiveness and convincing evidence of consumer relevance and superiority—achievable through rigorous clinical trials only—to their retail counterparts,”
6. Complaints and Lawsuits
You might be surprised, but Usana was involved in multiple complaints and lawsuits, some even come from its own associates!
The company has been subject to criticism from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and other government agencies for its multilevel marketing practices (source: Forbes).
A recent case in 2019 was about a specialist general practitioner from Queensland, who is also a Usana Associate, that prescribe Usana products to one of the patients without fully disclosing her conflict of interest in recommending Usana products.
Are You Cut Out For Personal Selling? It Is Not For Everyone…
Can You Really Make Money With Usana?
Overall, Usana sounds like a good MLM company to work with. It is still growing strong even after 30 years in business and has maintained an overall good reputation all along.
Usana combines old school face-to-face selling methods with the online referral program that allows you to use Internet marketing as a business building tool. For those who are not a fan of face-to-face selling, an online referral program can be a game-changer. You simply need to learn how to drive traffic to your referral link, and your business is set to go. Here is a free course that I find helpful.
I know MLMs are a tempting model because the startup cost is so low compared to many legitimate businesses. But we also have to keep in mind that due to the pyramid structure of network marketing, recruiters can earn from both their own sales and the sales of their downlines. Naturally, it rewards those at the top.
A common issue with MLM is that, in order to continue receiving commission from your downline, you have to keep on working, otherwise, you will lose the earnings of your current rank, or even the right to sell.
If passive income is what you are looking for, then this is probably not what you are hoping for.
It is easy to see how things can get complicated quickly – juggling between sales, and management of your team. It is by no mean an easy task. Far too often, I have seen many people get involved in MLM thinking that they can just get a few recruits and then sit back collecting money – now we know that it is far from the truth!
How I Make Passive Income Online
In my honest opinion, the best reason for joining any MLM company is when you really love a product, and you want to get your cost covered while making extra money.
If making money is your only reason for joining, forget about it. Losing friends, wasting time and energy is not going to make it worth the money you make. And the worst part, you are still technically ’employed’, you build up nothing for yourself at all. If one day the company get busted, the downline that you have spent so much building will be gone in an instant too.
If you want to create an online business and learn how to make a full-time income, keep on reading because I have good news for you.
All these success stories you have read above come from applying one proven system.
There is no need for inventory, product creation, management of a team, or tapping into your personal network and proposition them to become your prospects. If it sounds good to you, find out more about this system here or click on the blue button below:
Let us hear your opinion – what do you think about Usana? Share with me your thoughts in the comment section below!
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