Thanks for stopping by to check out my Youngevity review. I must admit, I’m a huge skeptic when it comes to supplement companies because it’s difficult (if not impossible) to prove their claims. The word scam immediately comes to mind because they can sell you anything at a high cost. Also, the name Youngevity is a bold statement. Are they really a fountain of youth, or just an MLM company making promises they can’t keep?
Please note, I am affiliated with Youngevity in any way. This review has been researched with information and testimonials that are available online in the public domain. Any conclusions drawn by myself are opinions.
What is Youngevity?
Youngevity is a multi-level marketing company founded in 1997 by Dr Joel Wallach. They manufacture and distribute health supplements and related products such as beauty and personal care, sports drinks and other food items, as well as home and garden products.
There are two parts to Youngevity. Like all multi-level-marketing/pyramid-type companies… there are the products, and then there is the opportunity.
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On their website are listed 31 different brands under 18 catagories. In addition to their flagship products, you have thousands of other products available to sell.
The products are (almost) always secondary to the business opportunity in MLM’s, but it’s difficult to separate the two. Your success as a distributor depends on quality products at prices people are willing to pay. And, although multi-level-marketing companies often claim superior quality to justify a higher pricing model, there is rarely any proof.
The real reason that prices are so high is because there are several levels of commissions that need to be paid out to distributors.
How Does It Work?
Youngevity works much like all MLM’s work. You make money by buying products at member's discount rate and selling them as a distributor. You also make money by building an organization of distributors underneath you and earning commissions and bonuses from downline sales.
To get started, it will cost you $25 for the welcome pack. This doesn’t include any products, but they do have additional start-up packages that range from $115 (basic package) up to $500 for either the Healthy Start, Weight Loss, Anti-Aging, Coffee, or CEO Mega Paks.
You do get products for that price, so it's not unjustified... but it is a little steep if you're on a budget.
Of course, the real money in MLM's… the residual income, comes from building your own team of independent distributors.
There are problems with the MLM business model (no business is perfect).
- As already mentioned… the pricing. The profits you make must go to pay many levels of your upline… all the way to Youngevity’s owners and staff. This immediately puts MLM products at a pricing disadvantage, and despite the claims of better quality, superior distribution channels and smaller marketing budgets… products sold by network marketing companies cost more.
- Recruiting people. No one likes doing this. I know first hand (and you probably do as well) friendships and family relationships that have been ruined over this. And, as a result of this pyramid structured business model (which is nothing like a regular business which hires qualified people to market and sell it’s products), the unfortunate consequence is that only people at the top make real money.
- Your business is not yours. You can spend years building an organization, but it will always belong to Youngevity.
In an MLM, you are always a rung on a ladder dependent on the your upline, downline and the overall system supporting everyone. You are committing a lot of time and money into a business and organization that’s not really yours.
- You are selling lifestyle, not products. I won’t lie, my biggest reason for not liking MLM’s is that I’m not good at them. I spent a couple years in Amway and after I convinced my friends, co-workers and family to join, I recruited people by standing at Supermarket magazine stands and striking up conversations. And I hated every minute of it. Doing something you don’t like doing is not sustainable.
MLM's are not all bad. There are some advantages they provide as well,
- They provide a large community of support.
- You can plug into their marketing system, leveraging the brand name, strategies and brand.
- There are established channels of distribution, and you don't need to have your own products.
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Is Youngevity For You?
Multi-level marketing companies thrive because they are selling a dream. A dream that they know full well 90% plus of it’s members will never achieve through their opportunity. As a result, those people will be left feeling discouraged, and empty.
Because they hammer the point home that the system is proven, that it works (and you can see by the numbers it makes sense), the failure must be yours. But that’s simply not true… and it’s a tremendous weight to put on someone’s shoulders.
The real reason people don’t succeed at multi-level marketing is that it’s not something like to do, want to do, or are particularly good at doing.
There are some key skills, along with a distinct personality that’s suited to multi-level-marketing, and most people don’t have it. If you wouldn’t sell cars or insurance for a living, you probably won’t like selling a business opportunity and it’s products either.
People who make it in MLM’s are unnaturally outgoing, charismatic and can comfortably talk in front of people.
That doesn’t describe most people.
Many who succeed might also have unique networking situations. Perhaps they’re leaders in their church or community. They may run a business such as a dance or martial arts studio that brings them into contact with a lot of people on a regular basis.
Some will also have an uncommon level of authority already, such as a doctor or law officer.
There are lot of factors that lead to success in multi-level marketing that have nothing to do with the amount of effort you put in, or your level of motivation and willingness to learn.
It’s not unlike building and running an online business. I spend a good part of my day sitting in front of my computer. I enjoy it (especially in morning with the crisp air and a coffee 😀 ), but I also consider myself to be an introvert... so hours at the keyboard doesn't bother me.
If you’re not someone who likes being in front of computer… building an online business may not be for you (just like building an MLM organization is not for someone who doesn’t like to recruit people).
There’s another quality that successful network marketers require. The ability to absorb a ton of rejection, which is also not a common trait. There’s a reason that the sales industry ranks high on the list of professions that lead to depression. I spent ten years doing B2B sales and I can comfortably say that rejection gets old.
The Youngevity Compensation Plan
Like most MLM’s, Youngevity’s compensation plan reveals a complex matrix of commission levels and bonuses.
Percentage payouts are based on your rank, which ranges from multiple associate levels, to star rated tiers (1 through 5), and then onto an Ambassador status which starts at Emerald, then Ruby, Diamond, and finally Black Diamond.
Depending on screen size, the text in the above image may not readable. You can view the Youngevity Compensation plan on their site.
Also, similar to other network marketing companies, are the dream car and trip bonuses, as well as giveaways… which are all part of the “lifestyle” sales strategy.
They say there are more than 10 ways to get paid with a Youngevity business which include,
- Retail sales profits,
- Monthly free products,
- 30% quick start bonus,
- 8-level residual bonus,
- Infinity bonus,
- Coding bonus,
- Car bonus and dream car giveaway,
- Global revenue pool,
- TAC dream vacations,
- CEO events and training, leader recognition blazers, diamond trips and lifestyle bonuses.
Even though these companies create all these levels, bonuses and names because of the pyramid scheme type structure… I don't understand why their compensation plans have to be so complicated. Probably as a motivational tool, offering many incentives... as well as providing some "meat" for their recruitment presentations.
Is it A Scam?
No, Youngevity is not a scam. MLM’s at this level are multi-million-dollar corporations with huge organizations. They are accountable to a lot of people, and to operate they must remain within the guidelines of the law.
Although they are not legally a scam, they are a pyramid structured scheme that many people consider to be. Strictly speaking however, they are not.
What I thought might be a scam here, are the products and maybe even Dr Joal Wallach himself.
I found conflicting information about whether or not the products work, but I think it’s safe to say, when it comes to all supplements there is a risk you are just spilling your money into the toilet (literally). Not that Youngevity is lying about ingredients, or even their claims. But, the entire debate over supplements and their effectiveness is still undecided.
My personal opinion is that a whole foods, proper diet is a better approach... but I'm not a medical professional.
As far as Dr Joel Wallach being a scam, I don’t think so. There’s enough literature online to confirm that, although he’s not a medical physician, he has significant experience and knowledge in these areas. For example… I researched this comment which is found on the Youngevity website.
“His (Dr Wallach) tireless efforts and dedication to the public’s First Amendment rights to complete information on the therapeutic benefits of nutrition prompted the FDA to establish Qualified Health Claims for Selenium (“may reduce the risk of certain cancers”) and Omega-3 Essential Fatty Acids (“may reduce the risk of coronary heart disease”). Only a few Qualified Health Claims exist, placing Youngevity in a unique position among dietary supplement and direct marketing companies.”
What I was curious about was the FDA paper on the Qualified Health Claims for Selenium and although it’s a long read, the primary conclusion says this,
“We have considered the scientific evidence submitted with your petition and, as appropriate, have also considered other pertinent scientific evidence. Our conclusion is that there is not significant scientific agreement about the science underlying the statements that "Selenium may reduce the risk of certain cancers" and that "Selenium may produce anticarcinogenic effects in the body."
So, I thought maybe I had found evidence of a lie here, but…
Consistent with the claim on Youngevity’s website, is that the FDA document does follow up their previous comment by stating there is sufficient evidence for the Qualified Health Claims Statement provided the wording does not mislead consumers, which allows them to say that Selenium “may” reduce the risk of certain cancers… which is exactly how they say it on their website.
It's also curious that Dr Wallach is not mentioned anywhere on the FDA document. That doesn't mean some of his research hasn't been used in this case, but the wording on the website might be interpreted to imply he is directly responsible for the FDA decision.
The integrity of a supplement company is dependent on the quality of it’s claims. Personally, I’m a skeptic when it comes to such claims, but as I mentioned earlier, I’m not a qualified medical professional and therefore, my opinion carries zero weight here.
If I had to make an assumption, and again, this is just an opinion… if someone's business, reputation, and decades of effort becomes dependent on his or her research, it's a reasonable suspicion that the research may be one-sided and incomplete.
What I Like
- There is a diverse product catalogue which means you can specialize in multiple areas and find non-competitive niches to market in. Years ago, before online marketing, this wasn’t as big of a deal… but now that you can have thousands of people all pushing the same products and opportunities in the same social media groups for example… diversity is important.
- Everything here seems to be legit, they’ve been around a long time (since 1997) and like most MLM’s… the support you need is available if you ask.
What I Don’t Like
- It’s an MLM, and as mentioned… success here requires a unique personality, set of skills and circumstances. There’s a reason so many people fail.
- Steep investment at the beginning relative to other business opportunities. Prices are also not very competitive.
- I’m a skeptic when it comes to supplements.
If you’re outgoing, enjoy sales and doing what is required to succeed here comes naturally to you, Youngevity is certainly worth looking at.
On the other hand, if you don’t like selling or recruiting, I would recommend looking at an online business if passive income is what you're looking for.
One of the keys to success in my opinion is matching your strengths and passions to what you do. Success is hard, and if you’re trying to achieve it by doing something you don’t like doing, it’s nearly impossible.
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Finally, thanks for stopping by to check out my Youngevity Review and I hope you found it helpful.
Please leave a comment below; your opinions are valuable. Do you have experience with Youngevity products or the business opportunity?
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