You are probably asking yourself… is Youngevity a scam?
Most people know that it’s possible to make money from MLM companies. It’s just that something always seems strange about how they work exactly.
Like will you have to sell to your friends and family to make money?
The person who introduced you to the opportunity probably told you not to worry, it’s possible to make money without doing that.
And they are telling you the truth… it is possible.
But is it easy?
This honest Youngevity review, with videos, will expose the hidden truths about the MLM program and let you make an informed decision as to whether the opportunity is right for you.
Youngevity review- The overview and rankings
- Name: Youngevity
- Founder: Dr. Joel D. Wallach in 1997 (70 out of 100)
- Website URL: youngevity.com
- Type: Nutrition MLM company
- Products (Including Pricing): 20 out of 100
- Success Stories: 10 out of 100
- Price To Join MLM: $25 (but really $500+ just to start) (10 out of 100)
- Maketimeonline.com Rating: 27 out of 100
What To Look For In An MLM:
- Low start-up fee – ❌
- High-quality products – ✅ (very expensive though)
- You don’t have to carry inventory – ✅
- Generous compensation plan – ✅
- An affiliate-like system – ✅
- Company is in the early momentum phase – ❌
Youngevity pros and cons
- Publicly traded company
- Member of the Direct Selling Association (DSA)
- The Revenue has continued to grow in recent years despite being over 20 years old
- The products are too expensive
- They have a product for anything… which means they don’t have an “ideal customer”
- 99% of MLM recruits lose money
- The company makes false health claims without science to back anything up
- It is not transparent and there are sceptical income claims from distributors
- Expensive start-up costs
- Hidden additional fees
- Youngevity’s parent company is traded as a “risky penny stock”
- The revenue goes up… but the earnings go down!
What is Youngevity?
Youngevity is a nutrition-based Multi-Level-Marketing company.
“Youth” + “Longevity” = Youngevity!
It has expanded and developed into many categories over the years and even includes nutrition for your pets these days.
The MLM opportunity gives real “everyday” people the chance to earn money from home by promoting the products and the company.
You can learn more about Longevity in the 7-minute promotional video below…
As you can see it’s been running for over 20 years now. Just from seeing this video it looks like a pretty good opportunity!
So let’s dig into who runs the company.
This often shows how ethical a company is and what this means for the future…
Who owns Youngevity?
Dr. Joel D. Wallach founded the company in 1997.
You can see that he is a veterinarian and a naturopath.
If you’re like me you’re probably wondering what the heck a “naturopath” is. Well here is the American Cancer Society’s summary of Naturopathy:
“Available scientific evidence does not support claims that naturopathic medicine can cure cancer or any other disease since virtually no studies on naturopathy as a whole have been published.”
Now, I’m not one to criticise what these big cancer research charities are doing.
But there really is a growing belief that major diseases can be prevented without the use of drugs by techniques such as diet and exercise.
Even if our diet and habits can’t prevent cancer you cannot argue that eating whole organic foods will do people any harm! And there is plenty of science that shows it prevents a whole range of other diseases.
Anyhoo… back to the point.
Dr Wallace is veterinary trained and has some question marks over how legit his “not scientifically proven” Naturopathy claims are.
He’s a man that ruffles feathers and claims there is a woman who lived to 250 years old in China.
It’s just important to be aware of where this “research” into nutrition products has come from so you can make your own judgement rather than taking one person’s word for how good the products are.
This leads us nicely onto…
How does Youngevity work?
Any MLM program works by recruiting “distributors” (sometimes called consultants or recruiters or influencers etc.) to help market the products and the company.
The distributors can get paid for their efforts in two ways:
- Earning a commission on products they sell
- Getting bonuses from people they recruit into the MLM company
Before we dig into the specifics of how to make money from Youngevity let’s dive into the…
Youngevity really just started as a nutritional MLM company. However, over time it has expanded into a wide range of different “niches”.
Here are the main categories the Youngevity has products in:
- Health & Nutrition – A wide range of nutritional supplements for different purposes
- Home & Family – This include all the household equipment for cleaning, kitchen, gardening and even pet care products
- Food & Beverage – Nutritional beverages, sports drinks, shakes, spices, wholesome foods, etc.
- Spa & Beauty – All the make-ups and personal care products
- Fashion – Apparel, jewelry, handbags and accessories
- Essential Oils – Singles, blends, diffusers and other equipment
There are way too many products and prices to explain here (that would be a whole article by itself). There are over 2,000 products, 31 brands and 15 categories!
You can find more about all of the Longevity products here.
Youngevity 90 For Life
Their flagship product is “90 for life”.
The message is that humans need 90 different essential nutrients to reach optimal health. However, the human body loses 90% of its essential nutrients because it can’t digest them.
Apparently this product contains all the nutrients your body needs… and our bodies can absorb 90-98% of them (there’s no real science that proves this though!)
The 8-minute video goes into more detail about the company and the 90 for Life product.
How to make money with Youngevity
So this is probably the part you’ve been waiting for!
So you already know the main 2 ways to get paid from an MLM program.
And Youngevity is no different.
Before we dig in, it’s important to know…
How much does it cost to join Youngevity?
It costs $25 for the enrollment fee.
This is technically the ONLY cost to get going. Apart from it doesn’t come with any products. So how exactly are you planning on selling anything?
You will really need to buy product packages that come with a variety of products.
This ranges from $115-$499.
No prizes for what you can guess most distributors will tell you to get started with (yeah they earn commission on whatever product pack you buy!)
There is also the monthly “Qualifying Volume” (QV) targets you need to hit to stay “active” within the company.
This QV actually increases as you move up the ranks. Many MLM’s require you to spend an extra $100+ a month just to stay active and receive commissions from any sales you do make.
Youngevity compensation plan
Nearly every MLM company has a super complicated compensation plan.
I’m going to make it super simple for you to understand:
- Make money if you sell their products
- Get more money if you recruit members to the Youngevity MLM program
It looks super complicated, but remember, there are really only those two ways to make money from the Youngevity MLM program.
Here are the 9 ways that the compensation plan says you can earn money:
- Retail Sales
- Fast Starter Bonus
- Infinity Bonus
- Refer 3 Get Yours Free
- Residual Bonus
- Vacations Rewards
- Status Rewards
- Car Bonus
- Global Revenue Pool
You can find out all the nitty-gritty in their compensation plan PDF.
But if you like to learn from someone explaining it, you can check out the series of videos below…
Find the Terms and definitions here:
Find more information about the quick start bonus here:
Learn more about the ranks and residual income:
You can find out more about the coding bonus in this video:
Find out about the car bonus:
Is Youngevity a scam?
No Youngevity is not a scam.
There are two main ways a “make money from home” opportunity can be a scam:
- Take your money and run off into the sunset, never to be heard from again
- Provide some information but it doesn’t live up to their promises
Youngevity certainly does provide genuine products that real people use.
If MLM distributors sell the products they can get paid a commission for doing so. Plus the company has been around for over 20 years, so it has a proven track record.
However, it doesn’t mean it’s the best opportunity for you.
The rest of this Youngevity review will help you make an informed decision about whether you’d like to get started.
Just to be fully transparent with you, I have not purchased this program myself and I do not endorse it in any way.
I have researched the website, testimonials and information on the Internet to get to the bottom of what this program genuinely does. This is because I have been burnt from programs just like this in the past and I want to prevent others from making the same mistakes. If you’d like to learn more “Ways to Spot an Online Marketing Scam” then click the highlighted text.
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Is Youngevity a pyramid scheme?
This is actually a different question to “is Youngevity a scam?”
Again, because the company does offer distributors the chance to make money by selling the products it’s technically not a pyramid scheme.
However, the reality is that to make enough money to work from home every distributor will have to recruit more people into the company.
It’s just the way this MLM opportunity is.
All the bonuses and chances to earn residual income come from creating a “downline” or distributors that you sign up.
Unfortunately, it’s impossible for every distributor to do this as you’re about to find out…
What is a pyramid scheme?
A pyramid scheme is when a company recruits members by promising them payment for recruiting more members.
Technically there are no products sold or any other ways for recruits to make money other than recruiting more people to join the company.
The issue with this is… eventually the world will run out of people that can join!
It’s actually surprisingly sooner than you may think too!
As you can see just by recruiting 6 members each the world’s population is not enough to cope with a 13-level company!
…and most pyramid schemes require you to recruit more than 6 people each to make any decent money!
Check out the 5-minute video below to learn how to spot and avoid a pyramid scheme…
Youngevity MLM: The good
Here are some of the things I like about Youngevity…
- Black Hat Methods – Using lies and unethical methods to make someone buy something
- White Hat Methods – Being honest and genuine to help people make informed decisions about purchases
- Pyramid Scheme – recruits members via a promise for payment from referring others to the service rather than providing a product
- Affiliate Marketing- Connecting a customer to a product they are looking for and receiving a commission for doing so
- Red Flag – A warning sign
#1 Publicly traded company
You can check out the current price of the stock YGYI on the Nasdaq right now!
This certainly provides a level of credibility to the company!
#2 Member of the DSA
It is a member of the Direct Selling Association (DSA).
The DSA enforces certain rules and regulations that direct selling companies must follow to ensure business ethics and service to customers are followed.
#3 Revenue continues to grow
Yahoo Finance shows that the revenue of the company has continued to grow in recent years.
It’s gone from generating $80 million in 2013 to over $180 million so far in 2019.
This shows the company is still expanding and showing no signs of stalling as some MLM companies do.
Youngevity MLM: The hidden truths
Here are some of the bad parts of Youngevity that you should be aware of before diving in.
These are some of the things that you won’t hear from most distributors or people within the company…
#1 The products are expensive
The products aren’t even close to comparables!
I checked out a few of their nutritional products and this is the biggest red flag for me when I research an MLM company.
Youngevity’s multivitamins cost over $2 per serving.
Highly rated multivitamins on Amazon cost under $0.50 per serving!
There is a 500% mark up.
The reason MLM companies products are so expensive is that they make their “distributors” have to order a certain “quota” every month to stay active.
This means they get a huge profit just by making their products crazy expensive.
I included the nutritional values in there too so that you can’t think… “ah, but their products must be way better.”
The exact same vitamins are included in both.
Yes, the Youngevity vitamins may have higher doses but you could chew on 5 times as many pills of the other products and still be quids in.
#2 Too many products
Have you ever heard this phrase before?…
When you try to please everyone… you actually please noone
This is often a mistake that businesses make.
They try to be everything, which means their overheads are higher, resulting in less profit than keeping it simple and focus on one or two categories.
You may think having all of these products is a good thing, but wait until you read hidden truth #9 (which backs up my point I just made).
#3 MLM’S success rate (1%)
The FTC released an article with one eye-opening stat…
99% of MLM recruits lose money!
When you consider how much money it costs to get started and realistically how many people you need to recruit to start making money (at least 3 active members), you can see how this happens.
So many MLM distributors join for a month, realise it wasn’t what they thought it was and give up.
They pay the $500+ to start and realise they don’t want to sell to their friends and family because they like them… so they quit and lose money!
#4 Health claims not backed by science
If you can think of a disease that exists, chances are Youngevity has claimed they have a product that can fix it.
You can see all the claims they have made here!
Some are pretty ludicrous and outright lies to get people’s money.
I’m a big believer in changing your lifestyle to become healthier i.e. eating more vegetables and doing more exercise (it’s not rocket science in my opinion!)
However, using claims that you’re a “doctor” to try and say you have some magic nutritional pill that can cure people is just plain immoral (in my opinion once again!)
#5 Not transparent
There are loads of outrageous income claims from distributors.
I get it.
You make some money from a company and you want to let other people know.
But the. way some of them make it sound like it’s super easy and you can “quit your job in a few months” is again just lying.
Yes, it is possible to make money from the company and some may be able to do it quickly.
But everybody’s situation is different.
The people that make a “super success” quickly almost always use an existing community they are part of i.e. a sports team or religious group or family members.
You can read more of the deceptive income claims here.
#6 Expensive start-up costs
Another big red flag for MLM companies.
If it costs you a few hundred dollars just to start, chances are something is not right.
This is a clear sign that the main income stream is by recruiting people (as this is where you make big dollar!)
Not only do you have someone that joins your “downline” who can potentially sell more stuff to other people creating “residual income” for you. But you get a nice hefty reward when they join the MLM company.
The most ethical and legit MLM companies have a very low start-up cost and focus on actually selling the products.
I can certainly think of a few other things I’d rather do with $500…
No, I wouldn’t burn it… don’t be silly!
#7 Hidden additional fees
Well, this sucks!
Not only do you need to pay that $500 to get access to the products and actually start on the right foot, you then have these sneaky costs that nobody will tell you about until you’ve handed over your monies!
As you can see in the compensation plan… you need at least 50 PQV (personal qualifying volume) to stay “active” to be able to receive a commission.
As you can see from the picture above… 1 QV = $1 roughly.
That will equal around $50 a month additional outlay if you want to continue.
This only goes up as you progress through the ranks, which I’ve never seen before and I’ve reviewed dozens of MLM companies.
#8 Parent company is traded as a “risky penny stock”
Everyone knows penny stocks are pretty risky.
They are very volatile and the price change can be huge (just look at the 52-week range… $3.70-$9.28!)
Youngevity actually is owned by AL International in case you were wondering.
#9 Revenue goes up… earnings go down
Going back to the point about having too many categories means it increased your overheads…
The company may be growing in revenue (which is obviously a good sign) but they are also around $19 million out of pocket over the last 5 years.
That is a bad sign in case you were wondering!
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My opinion – Youngevity
Here’s my honest opinion of Youngevity…
Taking into consideration the expensive products, no clear focus on products and lack of transparency it’s not a company I would recommend.
This is before even taking into account that it’s not really growing anymore.
The best MLM companies to join are the ones in the early momentum phase when you can get in before the rush.
Here’s an example of what I mean…
Farmasi is an up and coming makeup MLM, which is way cheaper to join and has reasonably priced products. You can check out my Farmasi review here.
However, here’s the truth about all MLM opportunities…
The ones that do the best from them know how to use online marketing to sell for them 24/7/365.
And it’s rare to find any that teach you on the job (unless you get a great mentor!)
Is there an alternative?
It wasn’t that long ago that I was still trying to figure out how it’s possible for people to make money online.
I wanted to find a passive income system that ticked a few boxes:
- I could work on part-time when I wanted (I was still in a full-time job)
- Therefore I needed it to not cost a fortune to start and maintain
- Didn’t need me to sell stuff to my friends and family
It was in September 2018 that I found Wealthy Affiliate.
In September 2019 I quit my full-time job.
The best thing about it is:
- It’s free to start (no credit card details are required)
- You are taught how to get qualified traffic brought to you for free (just think about how you found this review… there was no money or time spent from me promoting this!)
- There is support from hundreds of thousands of other online marketers
- You don’t need ANY technical skills to start
You can use these skills to create your own online business about anything (including promoting an MLM if you really want!)
That is how the 1% make money from MLMs!
When you try out this program you will see why so many people recommend it.
Youngevity review: The “MakeTimeOnline” final word
So is Youngevity a scam?
It’s been a legit business for over 20 years and is still increasing its revenue.
But if you really want to get started with Youngevity after all of the hidden truths, you better learn how to use the internet to your advantage unless you’re willing to lose $500+.
Keep changing for the better,
P.S. Since you’re still here, I’m going to assume that you are interested in making money online to free up your time. So check out my review of my #1 recommended program and join the form below to get $950 worth of marketing freebies…
It does seem like the cons on Youngevity outweighs the pros massively, so I dont think I will join them any time soon. It does like a company that doesn’t even know what there looking to sell and with the huge fees it’s a complete turn off straightaway.
At this point I have tried numerous mlms and I have come to the conclusion that they aren’t a great business model to get involved in.
Thanks for spreading awareness of Youngevity
Yeah I came to that conclusion too! I think people that understand internet marketing can use legit MLM’s that have affordable products to make some extra money, but the old school method of selling to your friends and family and people in person is just not scalable.
Thanks for stopping by!
Many affiliate marketers who found themselves interested in MLM asked the question: Is Youngevity a scam?
Well, in my opinion, I find opportunities such as Youngevity to be far fetched and sometimes unrealistic. While it isn’t a scam, my red flags always pop when an initial product purchase is required and in this case a very expensive one.
I would prefer spending the time, energy, and funds on a stable system to earn money online like the one you recommended: Wealthy Affiliate. It is the best affiliate marketing step by step training, community, and complete system to follow and succeed.
Hi Jordan, thanks for your comment. Always nice to meet other people using Wealthy Affiliate and succeeding. I just think the biggest difference is having the control like you say to be able to build your own business rather than working and recruiting for an MLM like Youngevity.
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