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 not a member or an affiliate for Youngevity. This review has been researched with information and/or testimonials that are available online in the public domain. Any recommendations and/or conclusions are strictly opinions and may not to apply to, or agree with, all persons or situations. See full disclaimer for more info
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 or pyramid-type companies… there are the products, and then there is the business opportunity.
On their website are listed 31 different brands under 18 categories. In addition to their flagship products, you have thousands of other products available to sell.
Generally speaking, 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 high quality products (at prices people are willing to pay). A great product is simply easier to sell than one that's not.
And, although multi-level-marketing companies often claim superior quality to justify a higher pricing model, there is rarely any proof. That doesn't mean they're not better than their competitors, but most companies make that claim.
And to be clear, I'm talking about MLM's in general here.
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 a member's discount rate and then 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… in my experience, the products sold by network marketing companies cost more than an equivalent product you might be from a store.
- Recruiting people. Very few people like doing this. I know first hand (and you probably do as well) friendships and family relationships that have been ruined over the recruitment business model.
And, as a result of the pyramid structured business model (which is nothing like a regular business which hires qualified people to market and sell their products), the unfortunate consequence is that only people at the top make real money. It's a cliche, but it's true.
- Your business is not yours. Not really...
You can spend years building an organization, but it will always belong to the owners (in this case 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.
- Most MLM's sell lifestyle, not products. I won’t lie, my biggest reason for not liking MLM’s is that I’m not good at them, and that the "lifestyle" appeals to me... not the products.
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.
I hated every minute of it and in my opinion, doing something you don’t like doing is not sustainable. At least... doing something you don't like doing without immediate financial compensation is not sustainable.
Of course, most people go to a job they don't like doing and whether it's sustainable or not is debatable. But they do get a paycheck. In MLM's most people are doing this at a loss.
Now, those are the negatives but I'm not blind. MLM's like Youngevity do have some significant advantages if you're in a position to benefit from them. For example...
- 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.
- The training you get from many MLM's is really good. If you aspire to become a successful entrepreneur, MLM's provide an opportunity to learn new skills and develop the kind of mindset required to succeed.
That doesn't necessarily mean you'll be successful in that particular MLM but the lessons you take from that experience can be game changers if you ever step out and do your own thing.
If multi-level marketing doesn't sound appealing and you're just looking for some spending money, online surveys can be a simple and non-committal way to earn a little extra.
Market research sites like surveyjunkie.com will pay you for your opinion on various products and services. Swagbucks is another site you can do surveys on, as well as make a few bucks watching videos, visiting websites and even searching the web.
Of course, these sites won't give you an MLM "lifestyle" but they're free to join and if you're hesitant to jump into any big opportunity, it's often just taking a first step into something new that leads to bigger things down the road.
There are also alternative ways to generate passive if you're not sure that multi-level marketing is your thing.
If you want more freedom and independence but you tend to be more introverted, an online business might be what you want.
The problem is that there's so much junk and misinformation out there... so knowing how (and where) to get started the right way is what you need in order to get what you want.
Is Youngevity For You?
This is really two questions. The first is whether multi-level marketing is for you, and if it is, the second question is whether Youngevity is for you.
Multi-level marketing companies thrive because they're selling a dream. And my apologies for speaking negatively here for a moment, but...
... it's a dream that most know full well 90% or more of it’s members will never achieve through their opportunity. As a result, those people will be left feeling discouraged, and empty.
I'm sure on some level they believe in their opportunity and what it can do for people. They've seen it work for people, and they want to it to work for everyone.
But they hammer the point home that the system is proven, that it works (and you can see by the numbers it makes sense). If the system works and it's proven though, the failures (when and if they come) must be yours, right?
No, that’s simply not true… and it’s a tremendous burden to put on someone’s shoulders that they are the failures. This effect is not intentional of course.
But, the real reason people don’t succeed at multi-level marketing is that it’s not for everyone. It's not something most people like to do, want to do, or are particularly good at doing. They push through for awhile because they want the passive income lifestyle, but statistics don't lie. It rarely works.
Because there are some key skills, along with a distinct personality that’s suited to multi-level-marketing, and most people don’t have it (that's okay, most people can't dunk a basketball either).
If you wouldn’t apply for for job selling cars or insurance, you probably won’t like selling a Youngevity business opportunity 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.
And considering the kind products Youngevity sells, there will be a lot of explaining why they are better than comparable products they can buy from a store.
You will also find yourself having to defend their health claims.
Many who succeed with Youngevity might also have unique networking situations. They may be leaders in their church or community for example. They may run a business such as a dance or martial arts studio that brings connects them 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 could lead someone to success with Youngevity, or any multi-level marketing company in general, and many of those factors 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 the morning when it's quiet in here and I can enjoy my coffee 😀 ), but I also consider myself to be an introvert... so hours at the keyboard doesn't bother me.
But that's also not for everyone. I've seen a lot of people try to make money online but what they prefer is personal interaction with others.
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.
I originally wanted to provide a thorough review of Youngevity's products, but I quickly realized how big of a rabbit hole that is.
Reviews range from curing incurable diseases to Youngevity products being a flat out scam. And I'm not a health expert so I have little to offer in the debate of whether Youngevities products are as extraordinary as they claim.
People are extremely passionate on both sides of this issue.
And when you consider that Youngevity has thousands of products under their umbrella, many of which have hundreds of ingredients each with their own health benefits and claims... confusion and misinformation are going to dominate the conversation.
This is the case with Youngevity's products and with just about every supplement company.
Generally speaking, Youngevity's products are priced higher than what seem to be comparable products you can purchase online or in stores.
When reading reviews there was talk about higher quality ingredients and the manufacturing process, but I'm not sure how you can prove that. I don't expect you can take every bottle and pill you buy to a lab for testing and compare it to another brand.
The only thing I can recommend is to do your research on each product you intend to buy, compare what you're getting for the price and have a healthy level of skepticism. I certainly won't challenge Youngevity's claims, but in my opinion, if something sounds too good to be true, it usually is.
That doesn't mean Youngevity's products don't have many health benefits or that they won't make you feel better. I'm sure they will. I'm just not sure they can perform miracles.
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 Youngevity 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.
Where Do You Go From Here?
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 enough, and if you’re trying to achieve it by doing something you don’t like doing, it’s nearly impossible.
If selling isn't you thing, you can also earn money by doing simple things like online surveys with sites like surveyjunkie.com. You can also make money visiting websites, watching videos and playing games with Swagbucks.
No... these things will not give you passive income and they won't make you rich. Far from it. But if you'd like to make money online they are a good first step.
If you want to make passive income without doing multi-level-marketing, using the web to make money from home and multiply your efforts in ways that are not possible with direct type sales is what you need in order to get what you want.
If you’re an introvert (like I am), or you don’t mind spending your time at the computer, you should also check out platforms like Wealthy Affiliate which provide free online business training.
Finally, thanks for stopping by to check out my Youngevity Review and I hope you found it helpful.
If you have any questions or an experience with Youngevity you'd like to share, please leave a comment in the section below. Your opinion is extremely valuable.