Lyoness Scam: Pyramid Scheme or MLM? [Review]

If you’re looking to make money online, you may have heard about Lyoness. But with so many scams and pyramid schemes out there, it’s natural to wonder if it’s legit.

Chances are, you first heard about Lyoness from a friend or family member. Many people are on the lookout for additional sources of income, and working from home with Lyoness seems like a promising opportunity.

As an online entrepreneur, I’ve reviewed countless programs like Lyoness over the years. In this review, I’ll give you an honest and unbiased breakdown of what Lyoness is all about.

Full disclosure: I’m not affiliated with Lyoness, which means I’m not getting paid to write this review. You can trust that what you’re getting is an honest evaluation. Plus, I’ll also share the best alternative to Lyoness that’s helped me make a full-time passive income online.

What is Lyoness?

Lyoness is a platform that offers a cash-back program and a way to make money online. Founded in 2003 by Hubert Freidl, Uwe Proch, Max Meienberg, and Iwan J. Ackermann, it operates similarly to multi-level marketing (MLM) businesses. In this business model, you earn money by selling the opportunity to others and recruiting them to join the platform.

Lyoness Review

When you search for Lyoness online, you may also come across related brands such as Cashback World, Cashback Solutions, and Lyconet. This is because the name Lyoness is a registered trademark for several companies.

The official cash-back platform of Lyoness is Cashback World, where buyers and sellers are connected. Merchants can sign up for Lyoness’ international loyalty program on Cashback Solutions. Meanwhile, Lyconet is where all network marketing activities are managed.

There are three groups of people involved in Lyoness: consumers, merchants, and entrepreneurs. Consumers can benefit from the cashback program by earning a small percentage (around 1 to 5 percent) when they purchase from partner merchants. They can also earn shopping points that can be redeemed for discounts or cash bonuses.

Merchants, on the other hand, can sell their products while participating in the loyalty program. According to Lyoness’ website, there are approximately 90 merchants available.

Finally, entrepreneurs are MLM members who want to profit from the multi-level marketing opportunities offered by Lyoness.

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Is Lyoness an MLM?

Yes, Lyoness is an MLM company. It is an online shopping platform that operates using a multi-level network marketing business model.

This means that Lyoness relies on a network of independent sales representatives, also known as “members,” to promote and sell its products and services. These members are incentivized to recruit other members into the network, creating a multi-level structure where commissions are paid out to those who recruit and those who are recruited.

Lyoness is not the only company that uses this business model – another MLM company called Shopping Sherlock operates in a similar way. However, it’s important to note that MLMs have faced criticism and controversy in the past, with some people alleging that they resemble pyramid schemes.

So, while Lyoness may offer some benefits to its members, it’s always a good idea to do your research and consider the potential risks before getting involved with any MLM company.

You may also want to read our article on the top MLM companies.

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Is Lyoness A Pyramid Scheme?

If you are wondering if Lyoness is a pyramid scheme, you’re not alone. There’s a lot of debate about whether Lyoness is a legitimate business or a scam.

Here’s what we know: Lyoness doesn’t have a tangible product, and the primary way to make money is by recruiting others. While this may raise some red flags, it doesn’t necessarily mean that Lyoness is a pyramid scheme. However, several countries have accused Lyoness of being an illegal pyramid scheme, including Austria, where it originated.

The Austrian Economic and Corruption Prosecutor has even completed criminal investigations against Lyoness. On top of that, other countries like Norway, Lithuania, Greece, Poland, Sweden, and Hungary have all accused Lyoness of being a pyramid scheme.

However, Lyoness has made some changes to its policies and procedures. They’ve shifted all network marketing operations under the name Lyconet and made it free to join as a customer. These changes have led the Federal Court to determine that Lyoness is not a pyramid scheme.

Despite this ruling, there are still concerns about the business, and you should think carefully before investing money in it. While it is possible to build a profitable MLM business, there are also better ways to build a business.

In summary, Lyoness may have had a murky past, but it has made some changes to its operations and is no longer considered a pyramid scheme by the Federal Court. However, it’s up to you to decide if it’s worth investing in or not.

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

Watch the short video below to learn more:


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Red Flags For Lyoness

Difficulty getting your money back

Several people have claimed that they invested a significant amount of money in Lyoness and have not been able to get their money back. Lyoness requires members to shop to get their investment back, which can end up costing them more than their initial investment. This makes it difficult for members to recover their money.

A pyramid scheme disguised as a legitimate business

Many former members have claimed that Lyoness is a pyramid scheme disguised as a legitimate business. The company operates under various names, such as Lyoness, Lyconet, and MyWorld, but they are all part of the same organization. Members are encouraged to recruit new members to join the network, and profits are made from selling units to their marketers.

Misleading marketing tactics

Lyoness uses misleading marketing tactics to attract new members. They claim to have partnerships with big retailers and offer cashback rewards, but according to some former members, they are just re-selling discount vouchers. Additionally, small businesses pay high fees to become their partners, but they do not profit from it.

Poor customer service

Former members have reported poor customer service from Lyoness. When they tried to get their money back or cancel their membership, they faced difficulties. Some claimed that the company is not transparent about its rules and regulations, making it hard for members to navigate the system.

Overly complex system

Lyoness has an overly complex system that can be difficult to understand. They organize massive brainwashing events that resemble those of religious cults. Many marketers do not fully understand the business model, and the company continues to make it more complicated. This makes it difficult for members to make informed decisions about their investments.

Lyoness complaint on trustpilot 1


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Lyoness complaint on trustpilot

Is Lyoness a Scam?

Legally speaking, Lyoness is not a scam. The Oxford Living Dictionary defines a scam as a “dishonest scheme; a fraud.” So, in that sense, Lyoness is not a scam.

However, it’s important to note that most Lyoness representatives don’t earn any money. While it’s possible to make money with Lyoness, it takes a lot of effort, and typically, those who make a lot of money from it do so by aggressively recruiting others.

Moreover, Lyoness often makes disingenuous and irresponsible marketing claims to entice new members, which is why some people consider it a scam.

Learn more: Make Money Online Scams: How to Avoid Them?

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How Does Lyoness Work?

If you’re looking to save some money while shopping, Lyoness might be the answer for you. It’s a cashback program that rewards its members with loyalty cash and bonuses. But Lyoness has another objective, and that is to get more people to join the program. Here’s how it works.

Loyalty Cash

Lyoness measures your success as a recruiter with accounting units. When you accumulate 35 accounting units, you become an experienced recruiter and receive loyalty cash. One accounting unit is equivalent to $75.

Friendship Bonus

You’ll get a cashback of 0.5% on what your friends or indirect friends (someone your friend recruited) spend. It’s another way for you to earn money.

Volume Commission

The size of your referral chain determines your rank. It’s similar to a family tree. As you sell more, you move up the ranks and add a career level to your profile.

Loyalty Partner Bonus

This bonus has two levels. If you directly recruit someone, you’ll earn an 18.75% primary bonus. If your recruit recruits someone, you’ll get a 6.25% secondary bonus.

All of these incentives are designed to motivate you to invite more people to join Lyoness. However, some people question whether Lyoness is a pyramid scheme or not.

So, while the concept may seem a bit confusing at first, it’s actually pretty simple. Just keep shopping, referring friends, and climbing up the ranks to get more rewards!

Lyoness’s Compensation Plan

If you’re wondering how Lyoness’s compensation plan works, the “Friendship Bonus” plan is where it’s at. Unlike other MLM companies, Lyoness’s Friendship Bonus is more like affiliate marketing than a traditional MLM compensation plan.

Although you won’t receive compensation for bringing in new members, you’ll still need to recruit people to join Lyoness to reap the benefits. As a member, you’ll receive a 0.5 percent commission on sales made by the people you recruit, and an additional 0.5 percent commission on sales made by the people they recruit.

What’s great is that becoming a Lyoness member is quite affordable, and the advantages of the Friendship Bonus plan make it even more enticing. By upgrading your membership to a premium level, you can earn more money, shopping points, and cashback.

So, if you’re interested in taking full advantage of the Lyoness compensation plan, consider upgrading your membership and start recruiting your friends and family today!

Lyoness’s Compensation Plan


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How Much Does It Cost To Join Lyoness?

Lyoness provides a free membership for online shopping that anyone can sign up for. However, keep in mind that you won’t get all the benefits and perks that come with a premium membership.

If you’re interested in getting a premium membership, there are a few add-ons that you can pay for. According to some online sources, certain users have paid over $3,000 to become a premium member and enjoy additional perks and benefits.

It’s important to note that Lyoness doesn’t openly disclose the costs of becoming a premium member, so it’s best to do your research before committing to any payments. Make sure you weigh the costs and benefits to determine if a premium membership is worth it for you.

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Final Verdict

While the idea of earning cashback and shopping points might seem appealing, after careful consideration, I have concluded that Lyoness is not the way to go if you’re looking to build a successful business.

Don’t get me wrong, MLM can be a great business model, but with Lyoness, you could end up leaving too much money on the table. The good news is that you have plenty of other options if you’re serious about building a business.

My suggestion? Start your own online business. This way, you have complete control over what you promote, and you can work towards your own goals on your own schedule. Plus, it’s 100% legitimate and sustainable, so you won’t have to worry about losing money or feeling like you’re in over your head.

If you’re interested in learning how to build an online business and make passive income, you’re in luck. In the next section, I’ll share some tips that have helped me make a full-time income in just one year. So, let’s get started!

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Is There a Better Way to Make Money Online?

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One of the things that sets Wealthy Affiliate apart from other platforms like Authority Hacker is its long history of success. With over 15 years in the business, and more than a million members, you can see just how popular and effective this platform is.

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

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You can read our full review of Wealthy Affiliate here.

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