Is Optavia MLM Legit? – Review
Is Optavia a pyramid scheme?
Is Optavia another expensive MLM diet?
Should you buy it?
Optavia is a well-known MLM (Multi-Level Marketing) company that focuses on weight loss by selling diet products, meal replacements, and life-style transformational plans. You can earn money by promoting their products and recruiting new members. In this review we’ll focus more on the “business opportunity” part of Optavia and if you can earn money with them.
I should tell you right from the start that I am not affiliated with Optavia. The purpose of this review is not to sell you Optavia or any other MLM company. I rarely review MLM products because I don’t believe MLM is the right way to make money online. The only reason I am doing this is because some of you have asked for my opinion about some MLM companies.
So, in this review I’ll try to answer all the above questions and if Optavia can help you make money. Here is a list of what I talk about in my review:
- What is Optavia?
- How Does Optavia Work
- The Compensation Plan
- Pros & Cons
- Final Thoughts
Now let’s take a closer look and find out if Optavia is a good business opportunity.
Owners: Dr. Wayne Anderson & Bradley T. Macdonald
Price: $199 initial fee
Recommended? No (but legit)
What is Optavia?
Optavia was founded in 2016/2017 by Dr. Wayne Anderson and Bradley Macdonald. It is a weight loss MLM company that replaced a program called “Take Shape For Life” which was created back in 2002/2003. Both Optavia and Take Shape For Life are subsidiaries of Medifast.
Medifast was founded in 1980 by William Vitale (medical doctor) and is a highly respected weight loss company. In other words, Take Shape For Life was renamed Optavia in 2016/2017.
Optavia products focus not only on how to lose weight but also on how to transform your life by adopting new healthy habits. They focus more on long-term solutions and about “living your best life”. The way they do that is by using coaches. The coaches are there to offer you guidance and make sure you succeed. Optavia has created a community of like-minded people to support each other. Their coaching program is at the core of Optavia’s business model.
One thing you should keep in mind though is that these coaches are not health experts. They are Optavia’s distributors. Anyone can become a coach and earn money by promoting Optavia’s products and business opportunity. In other words, your coach is your sponsor (the person who recruited you). The only difference between you and your health coach is that they know how Optavia’s products work.
How Does Optavia MLM Work?
Optavia sells a variety of weight loss products and meal replacements that are called “fuelings”. You replace your “normal” solid food meals with fuelings. They are designed to help you lose weight and have all the nutrients your body needs on a daily basis. There are more than 60 different fuelings to choose from. In addition to fuelings, Optavia also offers many other products like supplements, Lean & Green meals, snacks, etc.
Honestly, there is no lack of products to buy here and there is something for everyone. You can visit their shop here for more information. Here I’ll mention 4 of their programs:
- Optimal Weight 5&1 Program: 5 Fuelings (like shakes, bars, soup, cereal) and 1 Lean & Green Meal each day. There are 3 kits to choose from. Price: $414.60 or $448.60. Each kit should last for 30 days.
- Optimal Weight 4&2&1 Program: 4 Fuelings, 2 Lean & Green Meals, 1 healthy snack each day. There is 1 kit (for 30 days). Price: $408.00
- Optimal Health 3&3 Program: 3 Fuelings and 3 Lean & Green Meals each day. There is 1 kit (30 days). Price: $333.00
- Purposeful Hydration: Products to keep you hydrated throughout your day. Price: $39.95
Besides all the weight loss products Optavia offers (like we said in the beginning) there is also a coaching and community system. That is something other similar MLMs don’t have and what distinguishes Optavia from the rest. But Optavia also depends on that system (health coaches) to promote its products.
You can only buy Optavia’s products via one of their distributors (Health Coach). You will not find any of their products in retail stores. If you want more information about them you ‘ll also have to contact one of their distributors. To become one of their distributors and be eligible to earn commissions you must first purchase the “Health Coach Business Kit” at $199.
The kit contains marketing material and guides to help you get started. You also gain access to your website for 12 months. Here is a list of what is inside thist kit:
- Business tools (like Optavia Success System, Coaching Guide for the Habits of Health Transformational System, etc)
- Plan Information (Product cards, guides, brochure)
- Business Accessories (OPTAVIA Business Box, Pen set, journal, notepad, etc)
- Free access to your own personalized Optavia website for 12 months, support, subscription to the Healthy Habits e-Newsletter service for 3 months, training videos, etc).
Now that you have purchased your business kit you can officially call yourself a “Health Coach”. Besides the business kit there are also 2 more costs you need to know about.
- Yearly Business Renewal – Costs $99. It is a membership fee you have to pay every year to renew your business “license”. This allows you to sell Optavia products.
- Monthly Orders. Every month you have to order one of the product packs to qualify for the commissions you earned and maintain your level. That is common in the MLM world.
Is Optavia a pyramid scheme?
In my opinion no. Optavia is not a pyramid scheme but a legit MLM type of business. The reason I say that is because you will not earn anything by referring others to it. Theoretically, you can earn by selling the products and you don’t have to recruit anyone.
Many MLM companies rely heavily on recruitment to make money and not on their products. For their members recruiting new members is the only way to earn money. But that is not the case with Optavia. Here you will only earn a commission when your referrals purchase the products. Not just for inviting people.
So, recruitment is of course needed but you earn money by selling Optavia’s products not for referring people. One last thing you need to keep in mind is that Optavia products cost the same regardless if you are a member or a distributor. There are no exclusive discounts. The prices are the same for everyone.
Now let’s talk about how you can earn money with Optavia.
Optavia’s Compensation Plan
It is rather common for MLMs compensation plans to be complicated. Optavia’s compensation plan is no different. In my opinion, the big difference here is that you don’t get paid for enrolling new members. You can earn commissions from the products you sell and from the sales of your downline (your team).
The rest of their compensation plan is pretty confusing (at least to me). It is 20 pages long and to be honest with you I didn’t read all of it. But you can read it here if you want. If you are thinking about joining Optavia (which I don’t recommend) I believe you should at least take a look at it. I’ll just let you know there are 15 ranks in total.
Here I’ll only mention the 3 main earning opportunities:
- Health Coach: You earn a commission (15%) based on the number of products your downsides (recruits) purchase. The more products they buy the bigger the commission you will earn.
- Business Coach: As your downline continues to grow you can build your own team of Health Coaches and earn money from them and their teams. So, you can earn by assisting and mentoring your team of Health Coaches. The better they do the more you earn.
- Business Leader: You become a Business Leader once you achieve the “Regional Director” (8th rank) level and if you have helped at least one of your downlines to become an “Executive Director” (6th rank).
As you can see you can earn more money by achieving higher rankings. People in the top rankings earn bigger bonuses and commissions. And of course, recruiting people become essential if you want to earn a substantial income. The more people you recruit to your downline (team) and the more products they buy the more commissions you will earn.
Pros & Cons of Optavia
Although I don’t recommend Optavia as a way to make money online it is definitely not a scam. Here is a list of the things I like and don’t like about Optavia.
- Optavia is a legit company.
- It was part of Medifast (Optavia is now an indepented company) which is a well-known company founded in 1980. Medifast has been recommended by over 20,000 doctors since the year it was founded.
- 30-day refund policy.
- Their weight-loss programs work. Although I have not tried the products myself the majority of the product reviews I found online were positive. Of course, I found negative ones too but most people had good things to say about Optavia products. I also did come across some complaints about how their fuelings taste like but I believe that is a matter of opinion. Others seem to like them.
- Not a recruitment scheme. They don’t focus only on recruiting people but also on helping their members. Their compensation plan is not based on recruiting but on product sales.
- Health Coaches are not health experts. They are just distributors. They are not qualified and they don’t have the medical experience (perhaps only their personal experience) to offer health advice. They are mostly interested in making sales and sharing their business.
- The products are expensive. Most people will agree Optavia products are not cheap. On average a 30-day kit will cost you over $350. Similar weight-loss products can be found (either online or at a physical store) at lower prices. But to be completely honest the majority of MLM products in that niche (health & weight-loss) are overpriced. That is how MLM companies can pay big commissions to their distributors.
- Becoming an Optavia distributor is not cheap. Perhaps it is cheaper when compared to other MLM companies but still, it will cost hundreds of dollars. You need to buy the “Health Coach Business Kit” that costs $199, to renew your membership you need $99 per year and you need to have a monthly order to qualify for commissions and ranks.
- MLM products are difficult to sell. It may be a lot harder to sell these products than you thought it’d be. All MLM programs claim their products are the best but usually there is nothing remarkably different about them besides the marketing.
- Most of Optavia distributors fail to make money. Unfortunately, the majority of people who join MLM companies earn nothing. The success rate is pretty low. Usually, the reason for that is the lack of marketing skills and proper training. Sure you can ask your friends and family to buy your MLM products but what will do you do if they refuse? Most people end up wasting their money on Facebook ads and spamming their links all over the place. That is the case with Optavia too. Take a look at their Income Disclosure Statement for 2019.
- Recruiting new members is necessary. Although you can make money without recruiting I am afraid it is something you must-do if you want to make serious money. Without building a downline it will be very hard to generate yourself a good monthly income.
Optavia is not a scam or a pyramid scheme. It’s a legit MLM program that pays its members and promotes quality products. On their website, you’ll find all the information you need to know before joining such a program. Their compensation plan although a bit confusing (at least to me) is explained in detail. The fact they reveal last year’s income report is also a big plus. That what you can judge for yourself if this is something you want to get involved with. Most MLMs don’t do that.
But I don’t recommend Optavia. MLM companies are not a good way to start a business online. Most people fail to earn a profit. Instead, they just lose their money and waste their time. I believe Optavia is no different. It is not going to be easy to make money with them. In my opinion, Optavia is a bad business opportunity.
On the other hand, if you like MLM businesses and you are an experienced network marketer you might want to take a look at Optavia. In the end, the choice is yours.
I would never try to make money that way. There are far better things you can try to make money online. Building your own business online (affiliate site, e-shop, etc) is a much better way to make money online and it will cost you way less.
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