USANA Scam: Pyramid Scheme or MLM? [Review]

Are you curious about USANA and whether it’s a legit way to make money online, or just another pyramid scheme? You may have heard about it from a friend or family member who’s trying to recruit you. If you’re looking for additional income, it’s understandable that you want to explore all your options.

As an online entrepreneur, I’ve reviewed countless programs similar to USANA over the years. I wanted to share my thoughts on this program to help you make an informed decision.

Before we get into the details, I want to make it clear that I’m not affiliated with USANA in any way. That means I’m not being paid to write this review, so you can trust that I’m giving you an honest and unbiased opinion.

So, is USANA a scam or a legitimate way to make money online? I’ve done my research, and in this review, I’ll share what I’ve learned about the program. I’ll also give you my recommendation for the best alternative to USANA, which has helped me make a full-time passive income online.

Let’s dive in and find out if USANA is worth your time and effort!

What is USANA?

Usana Health Sciences is a brand that was established in 1992 by Myron W. Wentz, who is an immunologist and microbiologist. Usana’s products are available in 24 countries across the globe, including Canada, Mexico, China, Japan, Australia, and New Zealand.

The brand specializes in developing and producing dietary supplements, nutritious foods, and personal care products, which are sold directly to Associates and Preferred Clients. Most of the products (around 67%) are manufactured in the United States, while the remaining 33% are made in China.

Usana has partnered with Dr. Oz to increase brand awareness and is also the sole supplier of supplements to more than 1000 professional athletes worldwide. Famous personalities like Caroline Wozniacki and Austin Trout are part of “Group Usana.”

While Usana is well-known for its high-quality products, the company also provides opportunities to earn money through its MLM program. As a result, many people often question whether Usana is a pyramid scheme.

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What Products Does USANA Offer?

USANA is a company that offers various health products, from supplements to skincare and weight loss aids. But what exactly do they offer?

USANA is different from other MLM companies in the health niche, as they provide nutritional supplements that are safe for children as young as two years old. They have a wide range of products, with 97 different items currently available for purchase. The products range from diet and weight loss items to personal care products.

One of USANA’s latest product lines is CellSentials and Celavive, which uses their unique InCelligence Modern technology, currently in the process of getting patented. These products have prices that are similar to other online marketing businesses that offer similar supplements, skincare products, and weight loss aids.

Here are some of USANA’s most popular items:

  • Usana Essentials – 4-Week Supply of Total Body Health
  • USANA Hepasil DTX
  • USANA New Formula MagneCal D 112 Tablets
  • Usana Nutrimeal Shake Formulated Dutch Chocolate
  • USANA Healthpak: AM & PM Vitamin Packets
  • USANA CoQuinone 30

USANA Health Sciences is the company that manufactures most of USANA’s products, and they work closely together to provide a consistent supply of products. You can purchase these products directly from USANA’s website or from Amazon sellers who have a good reputation.

USANA has been conducting research for over 25 years, collaborating with well-known organizations such as The University of Utah, The College of Sydney, and Boston College. 

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Yes, USANA is an MLM company. But what exactly is MLM, and how is it different from traditional business models?

MLM, also known as direct sales or network marketing, is a business model where you don’t earn a salary, but instead make money by recruiting others to join your business. When someone you hire starts making sales and recruits of their own, you get a commission on their earnings.

The structure of MLM is often compared to a triangle, with you at the top and your downline of recruits below you. As your downline grows, so does your passive income. USANA, like most MLM companies, rewards its members for recruiting new people, often offering bonuses and incentives for reaching certain recruitment goals.

Although MLM companies typically offer a range of products, most people in MLMs focus on recruitment because it can lead to a lifetime of passive income. The people at the top of the triangle tend to make the most money, while those at the bottom make the least.

At USANA, the ultimate goal is to build a large downline of recruits, allowing you to earn significant passive income. While this business model can be lucrative for some, it’s important to research and understand the potential risks and challenges of MLM before deciding to join.

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

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Is USANA A Pyramid Scheme?

No, USANA is not a pyramid scheme. Unlike pyramid schemes, USANA does not promise money or services in exchange for enrolling others. Instead, USANA sells valuable goods and services that members can use and benefit from.

Pyramid schemes are unsustainable and often scams, where members lose money as the number of recruits increases. Members have to pay a fee to the organization that runs the pyramid scheme, and the organization shares 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, and they make money whether or not they do any work. Pyramid schemes almost never sell valuable goods or services, and the scam’s only source of revenue is from recruiting new members and soliciting more money from current members.

USANA, on the other hand, sells high-quality products that members can use to improve their health and wellness. Members can make money by selling these products to others, rather than solely through recruitment. USANA is a legitimate multi-level marketing (MLM) company that operates legally and ethically.

Watch the short video below to learn more:

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How to Make Money With USANA?

USANA is an MLM company that offers various products to sell and use. If you want to earn some cash, you can join as a distributor and sell these products. However, the real money lies in recruiting new members to join the program.

While some people may consider USANA as a pyramid scheme due to its MLM structure and focus on recruiting new members, it’s important to note that USANA does offer genuine products. But let’s be real, convincing others to join the business opportunity is much more lucrative than selling the products alone.

After all, more people are interested in making money than buying personal care items that can easily be found elsewhere. If you’re looking to make some extra cash, USANA may be worth considering, but keep in mind that the success of your venture will depend on your ability to recruit new members to the program.

USANA’s Compensation Plan

Usana offers two main ways to earn money: selling products and recruiting members. While you can simply sell items, building your downline through recruiting is more effective for advancing your business and making more money. As more people join your team and sell products, you’ll receive compensation for their sales.

Usana’s products are sold through direct marketing, similar to multi-level marketing. However, members can now sell items online through live streaming on social media, eliminating the need for formal meetings.

One advantage of Usana’s compensation plan is that the company saves on marketing and advertising costs since members are responsible for spreading the word. There are seven different ways to earn money with Usana’s compensation plan, including retail sales, weekly commissions on personal and team sales, lifetime matching bonuses, incentives like travels, elite bonuses, leadership bonuses, and Celavive product bonuses.

As a Usana partner, you’ll receive 20% of retail sales and your team’s sales. The company’s payment plan is based on organizational centers, which consist of your team with two people you hired directly on the left and right. These two affiliates must then find new affiliates to repeat the process.

As a new partner, you can open up to three business centers, which means you can double your compensation payments right away. Building your downline through recruiting new members can lead to even more compensation and success in your Usana business.

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How Much Does It Cost To Join USANA?

If you’re considering joining the USANA program, the cost of membership is only $29.95. This is an affordable price, and it includes a Starter Kit that contains helpful items like a product guide, a workout and eating guide, a branded water bottle, an exercise band, a pill box, and business materials.

While the Starter Kit provides you with essential tools to get started, you may want to consider purchasing USANA products to see their effectiveness firsthand. This would cost around $100 per month, which is a significant investment.

Is USANA a Scam?

USANA has been the subject of much debate lately, with many people wondering whether it’s a scam or a legitimate opportunity. Let’s clear things up: USANA is not a scam. According to the Oxford Living Dictionary, a scam is “a dishonest scheme; a fraud,” and that’s not what USANA is.

But can you really make money selling USANA products? Well, the truth is that most USANA reps don’t make any money. However, if you’re willing to put in a lot of effort, there are a few people who do make money selling USANA products. The catch is that many of these people make their money by aggressively recruiting others to join the company.

One of the biggest criticisms of USANA is that they make disingenuous and irresponsible marketing claims in order to recruit new members. This has led some people to view USANA as a scam.

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Reasons Why I Don’t Recommend USANA

USANA is a well-known MLM company that offers various health and wellness products. While it may seem like a great opportunity to make some extra income, there are some significant issues to joining USANA’s MLM program that you need to consider before signing up.

Biased Reviews

The majority of positive reviews of USANA are written by affiliates who are paid a commission for every new member they recruit. Therefore, their reviews may be biased and not trustworthy. If you’re considering joining USANA, it’s better to read reviews from non-affiliates to get a more accurate picture of what you’re getting into.

Low Success Rate

Like most MLMs, the success rate with USANA is low, with 72.5% to 99.9% of members losing money. This is because members are required to meet sales quotas to remain eligible for commissions, which can be difficult to achieve.

Losses Framed as Investments

USANA uplines often reframe financial losses as “investments” to keep their reps in the MLM scheme. However, these “investments” are unlikely to yield a positive return and can result in significant losses.

Cult-Like Culture

MLMs like USANA often have a cult-like culture that discourages critical thinking and isolates members from their personal lives. Leaving an MLM can result in rejection from former friends and even family, causing significant emotional distress.

Purchasing Products

If you don’t have a large network of friends and family to sell USANA products to, you may end up having to purchase products yourself every month, leading to significant financial losses.

Overpriced Products

USANA’s products are often overpriced, making it difficult to sell them to potential customers who can find similar products at a lower price elsewhere.

Bad Reputation

USANA’s MLM business model has a bad reputation, with many people considering it to be a fundamentally flawed business opportunity.

Exaggerated Claims of Income

USANA, like most MLMs, makes exaggerated income claims that are rarely achieved by its members. In fact, over 99% of USANA distributors never make a profit.

Recruiting is Required to Succeed

USANA’s MLM program heavily emphasizes recruiting others, making it difficult to succeed without a large downline. This can be a significant barrier for those who prefer to focus on product sales rather than recruitment.

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Pros and Cons of Joining USANA MLM

If you’re considering joining USANA MLM, there are some pros and cons to consider before making a decision.


  • USANA has received a lot of positive product reviews, which can help with selling the products.
  • The company has been around for a long time, since 1992, which gives it credibility and stability.
  • Many athletes have endorsed USANA, which can be a selling point for sports enthusiasts.


  • USANA products are on the pricey side, which may make them less accessible to some customers.
  • There haven’t been many success stories with USANA MLM, which can be a red flag for potential recruits.
  • The niche market for health and wellness products is already crowded, which can make it challenging to stand out and make sales.

Overall, USANA MLM may be a good fit for those who are passionate about health and wellness products and have the skills and resources to successfully sell the products. However, the high price point and crowded market may make it a challenging business opportunity for some. It’s important to weigh the pros and cons and do your research before making a decision.

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Final Verdict

Alright, I’ve come to the end of my USANA review and my conclusion is pretty straightforward – don’t join USANA to make money. It’s not as easy as they make it sound.

At first, you’ll face a lot of challenges when it comes to finding recruiters who can add to your USANA commission. To make matters worse, you’ll likely have to ask your family and friends to join your USANA business opportunity, which can be pretty uncomfortable.

Your upline will continuously follow up with you to encourage you to buy more Business Support Material, even though you’re struggling to get people to join your downline. In reality, you’re more likely to lose money than to make any substantial profit. And according to a case study on the FTC’s website, 99% of people who join MLMs break even or lose money.

People often feel immense pressure to succeed in MLM-type businesses, and that’s one of the main reasons they quit. So, if you’re looking for a way to earn money and enjoy a flexible schedule, I suggest you try starting your own online business.

You’ll have the freedom to choose what you want to promote, rather than having someone else dictate it to you. In the next section, I’ll tell you how you can build a legit online business that’ll allow you to earn passive income in a sustainable way.

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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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