LifeVantage Scam: Pyramid Scheme or MLM? [Review]

Are you considering joining LifeVantage as an independent distributor? Maybe you’ve heard about it from a friend or family member and you’re curious to learn more. Well, you’ve come to the right place. In this review, I’ll give you an honest and unbiased assessment of the company and its MLM program.

As an online entrepreneur, I have reviewed many similar online opportunities over the years. So I can tell you what you need to know.

As someone who’s not affiliated with LifeVantage, I can give you an objective perspective on the company. And while I can’t guarantee that you won’t make any money with LifeVantage, I can tell you that there are better options out there.

At the end of this review, I’ll share with you the alternative that’s worked for me – a way to make a full-time passive income online. So stick around and let’s dive into the world of LifeVantage.

What is LifeVantage?

LifeVantage is a company that focuses on health, wellness, and anti-aging at both the internal and external cellular levels. Sounds pretty cool, right? And get this – they also offer distributors the chance to earn some cash by selling their products through multi-level marketing.

LifeVantage has a variety of products to choose from. For starters, there’s Protandim®, which is a patented nutritional supplement. Then there’s Nrf2 Synergizer®, a supplement that helps support the body’s natural defenses. They also have TrueScienceTM, an anti-aging skin care regimen, and a line of energy products called AXIOM. Oh, and let’s not forget Canine Health, which is specifically designed for your furry best friend.

The company was founded back in 2003 by Darren Jenson and is based in Salt Lake City. So if you’re looking to support your health and wellness, or your dog’s, you might want to check out LifeVantage.

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Is LifeVantage An MLM?

Yes, LifeVantage is a legitimate MLM company. MLM, which stands for multi-level marketing, is also known as network or direct sales businesses. When you join LifeVantage’s MLM program, you become an independent distributor of their products and run your own business. 

However, it’s important to note that relying solely on selling their products may not provide a good income. Most MLM programs, including LifeVantage, require you to recruit new members under you to earn commissions from their sales and recruits.

Imagine a triangle, where everyone in the triangle is in your direct downline (the people beneath you are known as your “downline,” and you are their “upline”). If the person at the top recruits ten people and each of these ten recruits ten more, you will earn commissions from everyone in the triangle. With just 10 people, you can make $1100.

In most MLMs, people would rather earn a lifetime passive income from recruiting others than a one-time commission from selling products, even if the MLM offers a wide range of products. It’s important to note that those at the top of the triangle have the most financial success, while those at the base have the least. Thus, having a large number of people in your downline is crucial for success in a multi-level marketing company like LifeVantage.

Is LifeVantage A Pyramid Scheme?

NO, LifeVantage is not a pyramid scheme. Unlike pyramid schemes, LifeVantage does not rely on recruitment to make money. In a pyramid scheme, new members are promised money or services in return for recruiting others. This unsustainable business model often leads to members at the bottom losing money.

To join a pyramid scheme, one must pay a membership fee to the company. The company then rewards members for recruiting new members. In contrast, LifeVantage distributors are not paid to recruit new members, and there are no direct financial incentives for doing so.

Pyramid schemes only benefit those at the top of the pyramid, and they often don’t sell valuable goods or services. The only source of revenue is from recruiting new members and getting money from current members. This is not the case with LifeVantage, as they have actual products to sell.

Vemma is an example of a company that operated as a pyramid scheme. They sold energy and weight loss drinks, but the FTC accused them of being a pyramid scheme because they paid more to recruit new members than to sell products. Many participants, mostly college students and young people, lost money.

You may read our article on the difference between MLM and pyramid schemes here.

Is LifeVantage a Scam?

No, LifeVantage is not a scam. It’s indeed a legit MLM company. According to the Oxford Living Dictionary, a scam is a “dishonest scheme” or “fraud,” and LifeVantage does not fall under this category.

Now, you might be wondering whether you can make money selling LifeVantage products. Well, the truth is that while a few people do make money, a majority of LifeVantage reps don’t earn any money. Making money with LifeVantage requires a lot of effort and hard work. Usually, those who do earn a lot of money from LifeVantage are the ones who recruit aggressively.

However, it’s worth noting that LifeVantage has been known to make disingenuous and irresponsible marketing claims to recruit members. This is why some people do consider it a scam.

What Products Does LifeVantage Offer?

Here’s a quick overview of what they offer:

Nutrition: From supplements to probiotics, LifeVantage offers a variety of products to support your nutritional needs. Prices range from $40 to $127 monthly, depending on the product.

Beauty: LifeVantage has a line of beauty products that includes shampoo, hand cream, moisturisers, anti-aging cream, and more. Prices range from $13 to $141 monthly.

Fitness: For those looking to stay fit and active, LifeVantage offers whey protein, fat-burning pills, and other fitness supplements. Prices range from $41 to $141 monthly.

Pets: Even your furry friends can benefit from LifeVantage products with their range of supplements for pets. Prices start from $26 monthly.

One of LifeVantage’s flagship products is Protandim supplements, which are designed to reduce oxidative stress and combat the effects of aging. Oxidative stress is caused by an imbalance between free radicals and antioxidants in the body. Free radicals help fight disease-causing organisms, which can lead to infections in the body.

Overall, LifeVantage provides a variety of products that can help you achieve a healthier and more fulfilling lifestyle.

How to Make Money with LifeVantage?

If you’re looking to make money with LifeVantage, you might have heard that MLM compensation plans can be confusing. But fear not, we’ve broken down LifeVantage’s plan into seven simple ways to earn cash.

First up is the Smart Start bonus, which rewards you with a 30-40% commission for each person you recruit and the “starter pack” they buy. If they purchase 100PV or more, you’ll get 30% commission, but if they buy 200PV or more, you’ll get a higher commission of 40%.

Next is the Launch bonus, which requires your downline recruits to reach 200PV before you can start earning bonuses from their sales.

The Unilevel commission rewards you with 2-9% commission from the sales of your downline recruits. And if you reach the Premier Pro 5 rank, you can become a “distributor” under yourself and create additional business centers.

The Generational matching bonus gives you a 10% match of your downline unilevel commissions, while the Elite bonus pool awards you with 4% of the total sales, which is spread among all “active elite distributors.”

Lastly, the Rank achievement bonus offers one-time bonuses for achieving the top 3 ranks.

To make money with LifeVantage, all you need to do is sell their products and recruit others into the MLM “business opportunity.” While it’s true that recruiting others is the key to earning more, it doesn’t mean that LifeVantage is a scam. With hard work and dedication, some people have been successful in this industry.

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The Drawbacks of Joining LifeVantage

Biased Reviews by Affiliates

One of the major drawbacks of LifeVantage is that the positive reviews you might come across are mostly written by affiliates who receive commissions for bringing new members into the program. 

These reviews are often biased and not trustworthy since the reviewers have a conflict of interest. Therefore, it is recommended that you read reviews from non-affiliates of the program to get an unbiased perspective.

Difficulty in Making Money

It is not easy to make money with LifeVantage. According to statistics, 72.5 percent to 99.9 percent of MLM members lose money. This is due to the sales quotas that MLMs impose on their members. 

Members must continue selling products to remain active and eligible for commissions, and if they fail to meet these quotas, they will not be paid. As a result, many members end up losing significant amounts of money before even recruiting a single person into the program.

Losses Are Reframed as Investments

Another issue with LifeVantage is that uplines often reframe financial losses as “investments” in their business to keep their reps in the program. 

However, these are not actual investments and the return on investment is usually negative. It is important to recognize that these losses are not investments, but rather losses that may not be recouped.

The Cult-Like Culture of LifeVantage

One thing we discovered in our investigation of MLMs is that many of them have a company culture that feels like a cult. LifeVantage is no exception. 

Critical thinking is not encouraged, and those who ask questions that challenge the company’s message can be ostracized. Leaving the company can also be difficult, as former representatives are often labeled as failures or bad influences and cut off from the community they once considered family.

You May Need to Purchase Products Yourself

If you don’t have a large network of people to sell to, you may find yourself purchasing LifeVantage products yourself each month. This can be a losing proposition in the long run and can eat away at any potential profits you might make from selling products.

Overpriced Products

LifeVantage products are often overpriced, which can make them difficult to sell. It’s not uncommon for other brands to offer similar products at lower prices, which can make it hard to justify the cost of LifeVantage products to potential customers. This is why many people who join MLMs end up focusing on recruitment instead of selling products.

Unbalanced Distribution of Commissions

One of the main criticisms of LifeVantage is that the distribution of commissions is skewed towards the top. This means that the people at the top make the most money, while those at the bottom often struggle to break even. This has given LifeVantage a bad reputation and many people don’t consider it a legitimate business opportunity.

Exaggerated Claims of Income

Like any other MLM company, LifeVantage makes exaggerated income claims. Unfortunately, very few people actually make a good living by promoting LifeVantage. Their low retention rate is also discouraging, with less than 41% of their distributors being active. According to LifeVantage’s payouts to distributors, over 99% of them never make a profit.

Pyramid Scheme in Disguise

While LifeVantage is not a traditional pyramid scheme, it can still be seen as one in disguise. The MLM encourages you to recruit people in order to make money, which can be a slippery slope. While you can make money by selling their products, in reality, you will need to recruit others to make a living.

Recruiting is Required to Succeed

Lastly, if you want to succeed in LifeVantage, you need to be a master recruiter. Eight out of ten ways to earn money with LifeVantage require recruiting, which can be a turnoff for many people. If you don’t recruit, you are likely to lose money in the end.

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How Much Does It Cost To Join LifeVantage?

First, you’ll need to pay $50 to become a distributor and receive the starter kit. This kit includes helpful tools such as a blueprint for success, product samples, and guidance on getting your business up and running.

If you want to try out the products for yourself, you’ll need to purchase a launch kit. There are several options available, ranging in price from $350 to $1,250. Each kit includes a selection of LifeVantage products and offers savings of up to 30%.

To remain an active distributor, you’ll also need to meet a monthly sales quota of 100PV (which translates to selling at least $130 worth of products). If you can’t meet this quota through sales alone, you’ll need to purchase at least $130 worth of products each month to stay active.

It’s important to note that in addition to the initial costs, you’ll need to pay monthly fees to stay active. These fees include purchasing 40PV worth of products each month, which comes out to around $50.

When you add up all the costs for the first year, including the initial $50 fee, the launch kit (if you choose to purchase one), and monthly fees, you’re looking at a total expense of $1,960 to $2,860.

Keep in mind that these costs don’t include any marketing expenses you may incur, such as paying for ads or additional training.

Pros and Cons of LifeVantage


  • Well-known company with a solid reputation in the health and wellness industry.
  • Established presence in the market and trusted by many.


  • Expensive products that may not be affordable for everyone.
  • Criticisms of being a pyramid scheme, which may make some people skeptical of purchasing their products.
  • Recent trends suggest that LifeVantage may be on a downward trend, which could be a red flag for potential buyers.

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Final Verdict

I wouldn’t recommend LifeVantage. While it may seem like an easy way to earn income, the reality is that it can be challenging and frustrating, especially in the beginning.

Prospecting and finding recruiters to add to your LifeVantage commission can be tough, and it’s not fun having to ask your family and friends to join your business opportunity. On top of that, your upline may constantly pressure you to buy more Business Support Material, even when you’re struggling to get people to join your downline.

Unfortunately, statistics show that you’re more likely to lose money than to make a profit with MLM-type businesses. According to a case study on the FTC’s website, 99% of people who join MLMs break even or lose money. This pressure to succeed can cause people to feel overwhelmed and ultimately leave the program.

Instead of investing your time and money into an MLM, I recommend considering starting your own online business. Not only will you have the freedom to choose what you want to promote, but you can also create a flexible schedule that fits your lifestyle.

In the next section, I’ll share with you my personal experience of building a legitimate online business that generates passive income. This has allowed me to make a full-time income in just one year, without the pressures and uncertainties of MLM models.

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Is There a Better Way to Make Money Online?

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You may read our article about the difference between MLM and affiliate marketing.

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If you decide to upgrade to a premium membership, which is only $49/month or $395/year, you’ll get access to everything on the platform – without any pesky upsells. Plus, with over a million members and 15 years of experience, Wealthy Affiliate has an established reputation for success.

In fact, one Wealthy Affiliate student was able to earn $7,395 in just one week – that’s more than $1k a day – by applying the lessons taught within the platform. And there are countless other inspiring success stories from Wealthy Affiliate members.

You can read our full review of Wealthy Affiliate here.

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