Is It Works! a Scam Pyramid Scheme? Exposed!

Are you looking for an It Works! MLM review? Is It Works! a pyramid scheme? If you want to make money online, you might have heard of this program. But you may wonder if it is a scam.

There is a good chance that you heard about It Works! MLM through someone – a friend or family member.

Many people these days are looking for additional income, and you are most likely one of them. There was then an opportunity to work from home through It Works! MLM.

I have a passion to help people explore the best money-making opportunities online, so over the years, I have reviewed hundreds of similar online programs like It Works! MLM.

To help you make a more informed decision, I have thoroughly researched the It Works! MLM so I can tell you more about it.

As a disclaimer, I’m not affiliated with It Works! MLM. It means I’m not paid to write this review. So you can rest assured that you will get an honest and unbiased review from me.

At the end of this review, I’ll also tell you the best alternative to It Works! MLM that has enabled me to make a full-time passive income online.

What is It Works! MLM?

It Works is a Florida-based company that sells products through a network of people. It sells items that help your skin look and feel better, as well as items that are beneficial to your body. In 2001, Mark and Cindy Pentecost made it up.

Before starting It Works!, Mark Pentecost worked as a public school teacher in Michigan. He worked for a few different multi-level marketing companies before realizing that starting his own was the only way to make real money.

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Who Founded It Works! MLM?

Cindy and Mark Pentecost founded the company in 2001, selling the company’s flagship product, the Ultimate Body Applicator (aka Crazy Wrap).

Mark Pentecost, originally from Michigan, was a public school teacher. He worked for several direct-sales companies before starting his own. He eventually settled on the body wrap idea after searching for a product, which his wife Cindy was willing to try.

In 2005, they launched a supplement line. In 2010, they expanded internationally into Australia and Europe. They also moved from Michigan to sunny Florida the following year.

They had over $500 million in sales by 2014, up from $100 million in 2012.

Mark Pentecost is the company’s top earner, and it’s safe to say he enjoys investing in real estate. He paid only $3.5 million for some land in 2014.

A year later, he spent an additional $14.5 million on his own private island. Less than a year later, another $7 million was spent on a ranch.

What Products Does It Works Offer?

One of It Works’ most popular products is the “Ultimate Body Applicator” body cover. It promises to tighten, tone, firm, and reduce cellulite in just 45 minutes. This is the company’s most well-known product.

It Works! also sells healthy protein powders, hair supplements, and a variety of other health and wellness products.

To begin with, despite the fact that It Works claims that their products have numerous health, wellness, and fat-burning benefits, it is critical to remember that none of the It Works! products have been evaluated or approved by the FDA.

The company has provided no clinical evidence to support the health claims it makes.

In fact, the FDA has issued general warnings about body covers, claiming that the technique has no long-term effects on body shaping.

Body covers work because they cause you to sweat, which allows you to expel water. Both alcohol and green tea dry out the skin, making it appear tighter.

This will only last a day. However, rubbing something on your stomach will not result in weight loss, even if it is a “non-woven cloth wrap infused with an effective lotion formula made from botanical ingredients.”

Another thing to keep in mind about It Works products is that the markup rate is extremely high, so any discount you receive as a distributor or “loyal client” isn’t really a discount at all.

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What is MLM?

Before we get into It Works! MLM, I’d like to explain what MLM is and how it differs from traditional business models.

Multilevel marketing companies are also known as direct sales companies or network marketing companies.

An MLM company does not pay you a salary.

You make money by recruiting others to join your business rather than selling products. If you hire someone and they start making money, you get paid a commission on the sales and recruits they bring in.

There are several levels to this (hence multi-level).

Think about a triangle. If the person at the top of the triangle recruits ten people, and each of these ten recruits ten more, and each of these ten recruits ten more, you will receive commissions from everyone in the triangle because they are all in your direct downline (in an MLM, the people beneath you are known as your ‘downline,’ and you are their ‘upline’).

You can earn $1100 by recruiting 10 people.

Even if your MLM company offers a wide range of products, most people prefer to recruit others because they can earn a lifetime passive income from them, whereas if they sold a product, they would only receive a one-time commission.

People at the top make a lot of money because money trickles up to the top of the triangle, while people at the bottom make the least.

The ultimate goal of someone who works for a company like It Works! MLM is to have as many people in their ‘downline’ as possible, allowing them to earn large amounts of passive income.

How Does It Works! MLM Work?

It Works does not sell its products in brick-and-mortar stores. Instead, people calling themselves “Distributors” sell the items online. These individuals promote their products on social media by using them and creating videos that demonstrate how they work.

Distributors are compensated for both selling products and bringing new people into the scheme, as with any online marketing.

When they hire someone, that person becomes a member of their downline. They make more money as they hire more people.

It Works MLM is distinct from other multi-level marketing companies in that it has a charitable arm known as the It Works! charity Foundation.

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Is It Works! A Pyramid Scheme?

A pyramid scheme recruits members by promising them money or services in exchange for enrolling others.

A pyramid scheme is unsustainable and frequently a scam because members lose money as the number of recruits increases.

Those who want to join must pay a fee to an organization that runs a pyramid scheme. The organization will share a portion of the funds raised from each additional member they recruit as a reward.

The directors of the organization receive a portion of these payments (those at the top of the pyramid).

The scam is profitable for the directors whether or not they do any work. It is in the membership’s best interests to recruit and funnel money to the top of the pyramid.

Such organizations almost never sell valuable goods or services. The scam’s only source of revenue is from recruiting new members and soliciting more money from current members because it does not produce any goods or services.

Pyramid schemes are very similar to exponential growth mathematics. The size of a pyramid grows dramatically with each level. A pyramid scheme would have to grow indefinitely in order to make money for everyone who joins. This is impossible due to the planet’s finite population.

The scam will fail in the absence of new recruits and other income sources. Because the largest terms are at the bottom of this geometric sequence, the majority of people live in the pyramid’s bottom layer.

Workers in pyramid schemes typically promote the company rather than the product they are selling. At some point, no one at the bottom of the pyramid will make any money, while only those at the top will profit.

People at the top of the pyramid usually make money, while those at the bottom usually lose money. Because they are at the bottom of a pyramid scheme, the majority of participants lose money.

Members at the scheme’s bottom will have no chance of profiting if the scheme fails, but they will have already paid.

Is It Works!, then, a pyramid scheme?

No. It Works! does not operate as a pyramid scheme. It’s possible for members of the company to make money by selling their products.

They don’t have to make money solely through recruitment.

Watch the short video below to learn more:

What is the It Works! MLM’s Compensation Plan?

It Works!, like most MLM companies, allows you to make money. in two different ways:

  1. Sell their products and earn commission
  2. Recruit other people to join the MLM program (plus get commissions from their sales)

The physical item is the most important distinction between illegal pyramid schemes and multi-level marketing.

If a service does not want to be labelled a pyramid scheme, it should make at least 70% of its money from sales to the general public rather than from recruiting new employees.

Now, because of It Works! Distributors have put the items on their websites. It works a lot of the time! Distributors will post photos of themselves using the cover before and after, as well as a lengthy description of how great they feel after using it.

You can earn money through “Retail Payment” and “Faithful Consumer Compensation” (selling items), but if you want to make real money with It Works!, you should concentrate on “Team Commission.”

This is money that continues to flow in from your downline. The more people you recruit into your downline, the more money and benefits you will receive.

Furthermore, the more people you bring in, the higher your ranking, which means you get a larger share of everyone’s pie.

It Works provides you with 6 different ways to make money:

  1. Retail commission
  2. Customer loyalty commission: 45 percent of all orders received
  3. Fast start bonus: You will receive $100 if you sign up a new distributor who completes the fast track program. (They must enroll two people in the MLM program.)
  4. Uni-Level management bonus: You can earn a commission when people in your downline make sales.
  5. Diamond generation bonus: When someone in your “downline” signs up for the “fast track” program, you receive between $80 and $150 as a “diamond leadership bonus.”
  6. Leadership bonuses: incentive journeys

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20 Reasons Why I Don’t Recommend It Works! MLM

1. The Good Reviews are Written by It Works! MLM’s Affiliates

You probably have found some other reviews of It Works! MLM and all of them are saying good words.

But all of them are actually paid to write, meaning they will receive a commission if you join It Works! MLM via their links. Therefore, their words are often biased and not trustworthy.

Those reviews are simply sales pages and do not tell you the hidden costs and the difficulties of really making money.

By common sense, should you trust someone who has a conflict of interest that receives huge compensation by “reviewing” the program? Probably not. They are not reviewing, but selling!

Therefore, I recommend reading the reviews of those written by the non-affiliates of It Works! MLM.

2. Very Few People Can Make Money With It Works!

Success is difficult to achieve with an MLM company like It Works!.

You can look at the statistic that says 72.5 percent to 99.9 percent of MLM members lose money.

The reason for this is that MLMs have sales quotas that require members to continue selling products in order to remain active and eligible for commissions.

They will not be paid if they do not meet the quota.

As a result, many MLM members lose a significant amount of money before even recruiting one person into the company.

3. Losses From It Works! MLM Are Reframed As Investments

It Works! MLM uplines often reframe their financial losses as ‘investments’ in their business so as to keep their reps in an MLM scheme, dangling the carrot of future financial freedom. 

But the reality is that these are not investments. You are unlikely to get the money back. And the return on “investment” is negative in most cases. So saying that it’s an investment is cheating.

4. It Works! MLM is a Cult

Why do people continue to work for It Works! if it appears to be so bad? Our investigation of MLMs revealed that they all have cult-like company cultures.

Critical thinking is actively discouraged among MLM representatives. They are chastised and even isolated when they ask questions that deviate from the ‘this company is a-mazing’ mindset.

MLMs, like abusive partners, encourage you to isolate yourself from anyone who questions your involvement.

Those who leave an MLM are labeled as failures or bad people/influences, and reps are not allowed to contact them.

Rejection from people they once considered practically family is one of the most devastating losses experienced by former MLM representatives.

MLMs frequently expect their representatives to prioritize their events and business over their personal lives in order to further embed them in the business while separating them from their family and friends.

5. You May Need to Purchase It Works! Products Yourself

If you don’t have a large network of friends, family, neighbors, and so on, you may have to buy products yourself each month. It’s a losing proposition all around.

I think it’s quite ridiculous when you have to buy the products you are trying to sell. But this is very common for people who join MLMs like It Works!. That’s why in the long term, you are going to lose a lot of money, not to mention making money.

6. It Works! Products are Overpriced

As with other MLMs, It Works! offers overpriced products. There are many other brands that offer similar products but at lower prices.

Therefore, you may find it difficult to sell It Works! products because your prospects can buy the same product elsewhere at a much cheaper price. This explains why most people who join MLMs only focus on recruitment instead of selling actual products.

7. It Works!’s MLM Business Model Has a Bad Reputation

Some people have benefited financially by joining a network marketing/MLM company. Unfortunately, most people who join MLMs are left with nothing but regret and a lot of useless products that they were unable to sell.

MLM like It Works! is fundamentally flawed. The distribution of commissions is skewed toward the top.

The majority of those in the top tier and pioneers make the most money, while those at the bottom will not even break even after a few months.

As a result, many people do not consider It Works! to be a legitimate business opportunity.

8. Exaggerated Claims Of Income

It Works!, like any other MLM company, makes exaggerated income claims, but in reality, very few people make a good living by promoting It Works!.

It Works!’s low retention rate can also be discouraging, as less than 41% of its distributors are active.

According to It Works!’s payouts to distributors, over 99 percent of It Works! distributors never make a profit.

9. It Works! Is Like A Pyramid Scheme In Disguise

If you want to avoid losing money every month, the MLM will actually encourage you to recruit people.

Every system that requires you to recruit people in order to make money eventually looks like this.

It Works! is not a pyramid scheme in the traditional sense because you can earn money by selling their products.

However, in order to make a living, you will need to hire others in reality.

10. Recruiting is Required to Succeed

I don’t recommend MLMs to people for this reason. MLMs like It Works! put a lot of effort into recruiting. Eight out of ten ways to earn money with It Works! require recruiting. If you don’t recruit, you are destined to lose money at the end of the day.

My #1 recommended platform is different. You can make a 4-figure, 5-figure or even 6-figure passive income by promoting and selling products you truly like. You don’t have to recruit people but recommend useful and great products. I will tell you more at the end of this It Works! Review.

11. People are Sick of Seeing It Works! Products on Social Media

It is true that having your MLM on Facebook has benefits, but there are also drawbacks.

Most of your Facebook friends, for example, have already seen It Works! If you see FB posts, it means that you are either sick of seeing them or that It Works products have already been purchased by someone other than yourself.

Furthermore, your friends who may be interested in selling this stuff may have already signed up with another company.

As a result, building a downline may be difficult for you to recruit new members.

You won’t last long in the MLM world if you don’t build a downline to sell more products.

12. Similar Products Can Be Found Elsewhere at a Cheaper Price

This isn’t unique to It Works; it applies to the majority of multilevel marketing companies.

However, there are several factors working against you.

You have made extraordinary claims about the products you sell that are unsubstantiated by scientific evidence.

The astute buyer realizes they can get comparable products at a lower price in a retail store or online (Amazon, eBay) than from you.

13. You will Have Inventory Cost

MLM sales representatives frequently receive discounts for purchasing in bulk.

As a result, the “best” way for a distributor to profit is to purchase a large order at a discount and then sell it at full retail price.

But don’t get too excited.

Having a trunk, basement, or garage full of overpriced junk is also a way for many people to lose money.

14. It Works! Has a Bad BBB Rating

The Better Business Bureau (BBB) maintains a database of all major corporations, and anyone can leave complaints and reviews on it.

Because most MLM reps lose money in the business, it’s unlikely that any MLM would receive a particularly high BBB rating.

It has received 484 complaints in the last three years and has received a 2.2 rating out of 5 or a C+ grade.

15. FTC Has Received Many Complaints About It Works!

They have filed nearly 300 complaints with the FTC.

The short version is that customers complain that it is difficult to cancel monthly orders.

Participants in the It Works auto-shipment program agree to receive products on a monthly basis for a minimum of three months if they sign up with a credit card.

If they want to cancel before the three months are up, there is a $50 “membership fee.”

Customers can cancel at any time after the first three months without penalty.

16. It Works Has Poor Rating on Trustpilot

Many customers, as well as some distributors, claim that It Works is not their favorite.

They have a rating of 2.3/5 on Trustpilot. Worse, it’s not just a few people who think this way.

TrustPilot has 527 reviews, with 63 percent of them being one star!

There have been numerous complaints about It Works resembling pyramid schemes.

Body wraps are also heavily criticized in reviews.

It is sufficient to say that many different people are dissatisfied with the products It Works manufactures or their experience as distributors.

17. It Works! Products Do Not Work in Reality

According to some scientists, the wraps don’t even work.

According to dermatologist Dr. Elizabeth Tanzi, there is no real scientific evidence to support body wraps that pull toxins out of the body.

18. The “Loyal Customer Program” Scam

A company that lies or deceives its customers is never a good thing. This is the most common complaint about the company.

There is no “membership fee” in the Loyal Customer Program. Instead, you will be charged for products for a three-month period.

If you try to cancel your program before three months, you will be charged $50.

I’m not sure about you, but it’s easy to see why there have been so many complaints.

19. It Works! Has Expensive Start-Up Costs

I’m sure you’re thinking that $99 isn’t a lot of money to start a business.

However, when you factor in the $20 per month for your website and the additional $100 per month for products to remain active, the price quickly escalates.

You’ll find yourself desperate to sell anything to get some of your money back, let alone work from home full-time!

20. Misleading Refund Policy of It Works!

The website has several issues, including misleading information about the return policy.

Despite the fact that they claim the product is 100% guaranteed, many customers are complaining that they cannot get a refund.

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How Much Does It Cost To Join It Works! MLM?

First, purchase the Business Builder Representative Package for $99, which includes a pack of wraps, small samples of the gel, and some brochures.

When you’ve completed all of these steps, you’ll be referred to as a “Wrapreneur.”

You will also receive your own website, which will consist primarily of links to affiliate marketing websites. Any product purchased from your website will be deducted from your payments.

You must pay $20 per month for this website.

To receive any kind of commission, you must maintain a monthly auto-ship of 80 system points, which is approximately $112.

You can count your sales toward this, but keep in mind that if you want to successfully sell products, you must use them yourself and show off the results on social media sites.

You must also sell 400 units of your products per month, which amounts to $560.

If you do not sell $560 in a month, you will not be paid for the items you did sell.

When all costs are considered, running an It Works! business costs at least $1500 per year, which is more than 83 percent of Distributors make (more about this later in this It Works review).

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It Works! MLM Positive and Negative Feedbacks By Real Users

Positive Feedbacks

  • The It Works Gives Back foundation donates funds to important humanitarian causes such as cancer research and homelessness assistance.
  • You could be successful in your first month if you purchase It Works’ $100 Business Builder Kit, which includes business cards, free e-Suite access, and commission qualification.
  • It Works sells a wide range of products, not just body wraps. It caters to almost every taste.

Negative Feedbacks

  • It may be difficult to convince people who haven’t heard about It Works through social media to sign up.
  • After the first month, you must do more work to be paid, and their e-Suite now has a monthly fee.
  • You sell products that make outlandish claims that cannot be supported by science (e.g. weight loss body wraps).
  • Many potential customers will be turned off by the number of complaints about It Works, and your reputation with your current clients will suffer as a result.

Is It Works! MLM a Scam?

I cannot say It Works! MLM is a scam for legal reasons. A scam is defined as “a dishonest scheme; a fraud” by the Oxford Living Dictionary. 

Can you make money selling It Works! products? We already know that a majority of It Works! reps did not earn any money. A few people do make money but only if you put in a lot of effort. And usually, the way they make a lot of money from It Works! is by recruiting aggressively.

Also, It Works! blatantly makes disingenuous and irresponsible marketing claims to recruit members. Therefore, some people do consider It Works! MLM a scam.

My #1 recommended platform, however, has seen a lot of beginners earn four figures a month after joining it for a year.

I will tell more about my #1 recommended platform at the end of this review.

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Final Verdict: It Works! MLM Review

Here comes the conclusion of my It Works! MLM review. Overall, I don’t recommend joining It Works! MLM to make money.

You will have a tough time at the beginning when you are prospecting and trying to find recruiters to add to your It Works! commission.

The worst part is that you practically have to ask your family and friends to join your It Works! business opportunity. It’s not fun.

Your upline is constantly following up with you to encourage you to buy more Business Support Material even as you struggle to get people to join your downline.

The reality is that you’re likely to lose more money. Statistics confirm this as well. 99% of people who join an MLM break even or lose money, according to a case study on the FTC’s website.

People who join these MLM-type businesses often feel under pressure to succeed, and that is one of the main reasons they leave. 

Why not consider starting your own online business if you want to earn money and have a flexible schedule? 

Thus, you can choose what you want to promote rather than having someone tell you what you must promote.

Let me tell you how to build an online business in a legit way to make passive income online in the next section. This has allowed me to make a full-time income in a year. Most importantly, unlike MLM models, It’s 100% legit and sustainable.

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The Best Alternative of It Works! MLM To Make Passive Income Online

If you’re beginning your online business journey, you deserve a programme much better than It Works! MLM.

My #1 recommended platform is called Wealthy Affiliate.

Wealthy Affiliate is an all-in-one platform for building your affiliate marketing business from scratch.

When you join Wealthy Affiliate, you can get access to the first-class web hosting service, keyword research tools, community support, comprehensive training, writing tools, and other software to help you build an online business step-by-step.

You can register a free account with Wealthy Affiliate, which enables you to get started with affiliate marketing right away without paying a penny.

If you like the platform, you can then upgrade to the premium membership to get access to everything on the platform. There are no upsells afterwards.

But How Much Can You Earn with Wealthy Affiliate?

A 21-year old student from Wealthy Affiliate was able to earn $7,395 in just 1 week, which means he made more than $1k a day…all while applying what is taught inside Wealthy Affiliate.

It Works! MLM Review

Compared with Authority Hacker, Wealthy Affiliate has a much longer history, which has been established for 15 years and there are many success stories in the past decade. Actually, Wealthy Affiliate has more than a million members so far, so you can see how popular this platform is.

To give you more examples, here are some of the other inspiring success stories of Wealthy Affiliate members.

Where to Join Wealthy Affiliate?

Wealthy Affiliate has a very simple pricing scheme. It has a free and premium membership. The premium membership only costs $49/month or $395/year.

If you want to feel about Wealthy Affiliate, you can sign up for the free starter membership here (no credit card required). You can select to be a free member with no time limit.

And as a starter member, you can get instant access to the community, live chat, over 500 training modules, 2 classrooms, networking, commenting, 1 free website, access to the keyword tool.

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So I strongly recommend you to register a free account and see it yourself.

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