My review of USANA Health Sciences
I chose to review USANA because it is one of the biggest and fastest growing network marketing companies, in the world. Does this mean it is a good company to join or not?
If you are thinking about joining USANA, you should read as many USANA reviews as you can find. Be sure that the reviews you read are not written by current members of the USANA opportunity. They are just there to try to recruit you into the business and may not give you an unbiased review.
My review of USANA will be an independent review. I am not, nor have I ever been a distributor of USANA products or the business opportunity.
Whether you are thinking of joining USANA or any other network marketing company, I would urge you to do your own due diligence. I strive to provide you with useful information that should give you a good start into examining this company. Remember, this is only a start!
People frequently lose money while trying to build any network marketing business.
USANA reviews – the company and its history
USANA is doing business in the United States as well as 16 other countries. These include Canada, Australia, New Zealand, United Kingdom, Netherlands, Japan, Hong Kong, Taiwan, South Korea, Singapore, Mexico, Malaysia, Philippines, France, Colombia and Thailand. They told me that they are about to open a new market in Indonesia.
Their product line is in the following niches. Nutritional supplements, weight management, personal energy and personal care products.
USANA Health Sciences is well into their 23rd year of business. This is a good sign as they have made in through the first 5 years. Most network marketing companies that fail, will fail in their first 5 years of business.
USANA’s annual revenues are approaching $800,000,000. They are listed in the top 20 network marketing companies in terms of earnings.
You can find a list of the corporate officer below.
Dr. Myron Wentz is Chairman of the Board
USANA reviews – their financials
USANA is a publicly traded company. It’s stock can now be found on the NYSE (New York Stock Exchange). Today, their stock is trading at $117.00 (5/5/15).
Here is a link to Bloomberg’s page about USANA. USANA Financial Statement. You can see that they have enjoyed very steady growth over the past 4 years. Going from revenues of $581,000,000 to $790,000,000 in that time period.
In my opinion, this looks like a very stable company, financially speaking. If their financials are important to you, I’d suggest that you talk to a professional!
USANA reviews – their Better Business Bureau rating
I checked their BBB listing and they have a rating of A+, as of 5/5/2015. I like to see a company that has at least an A rating. This company meets that and more. Keep in mind that the Better Business Bureau just tracks customer complaints and how well the company resolves them.
The complaints can be anything from delivery issues to the quality of products and many other things.
If you would like to see the USANA BBB rating, you can find it here,
USANA reviews – their products
Their products are in the nutritionals, personal care and weight management niches. Prices for their products range anywhere from $5.00 for a pair of body polishing gloves to nearly $500.00 for the Deluxe 4-Pack with Serum Intensive.
I usually advise a prospective distributor to buy a sample product from the company to check out the quality and to make sure they can actually like the products. If you don’t like the products, it will be difficult for you to sell them. Unfortunately, you can’t buy a product directly from the company. You would need to find a local distributor. You could attend a home party to see the products they sell and not even need to buy a sample. You may need to get on their mailing list, but that’s a small price to pay.
I did find a lot of their products for sale on Amazon. You can find them here. USANA on Amazon.com.
The feedback about the products on Amazon is near glowing. Most products are getting between 4 and 5 stars. It is in your best interest to try some of the products before you join.
In 2013, 91% of product sales was purchased by associates. This is copied directly from the annual report.
“Because we utilize a direct selling model for the distribution of our products the success and growth of our business is primarily based on our ability to attract new and retain existing Associates to sell and consume our products. Notably, sales to Associates account for the majority of our product sales and represented 91% of product sales during 2013.”
The annual report is 105 pages long. If you’d like to read it, you can find it here. USANA Annual Report.
I talked to USANA’s customer service department about this statistic. The statement, “the success and
growth of our business is primarily based on our ability to attract new and retain existing Associates to sell and consume our products,” is pretty damning. I’m not sure how this isn’t considered a pyramid. I suppose the word “SELL,” in there, is their saving grace.
Customer service told me that the other 9% of the products are purchased by Preferred Customers.
Becoming a Preferred Customer gives you access to the products at the wholesale price. There is a sign up process to become a Preferred Customer, but there is no fee involved.
I did ask how many people, who aren’t Associates of USANA, purchase the products. They told me that their computer system was down and couldn’t give me that information. I’ll call back tomorrow and see if I can get that information. I was just told that there are 376,000 Associates and Preferred Customers, in the business. I also learned that there are 430,000 total customers. The Associates and the Preferred Customers are part of that number. If you subtract the numbers you find that there are just 54,000 retail customers who are not part of the USANA business. This means that there is about 1 customer for every 7 Associates.
That statistic raises a big red flag for me! How much demand is there for the company’s products?
USANA review – if you join
I have to be honest here, I’ve gone over the details of signing up to join the company and I’ve talked to the company’s customer service representatives and I’m finding it all very complex. I had to ask the rep if she found it to be very complex and she agreed that there is a lot to know and a lot to the whole thing.
Here goes nothing …
It costs $29.95, plus shipping, to buy the BDS (Business Development System). You get some paperwork when you join and they ship hard copies of these to you. This is a one time fee. This gives you the right to operate a USANA business, sell their products and recruit people into your business.
I may have this part wrong, but this is my understanding.
An Associate can open a Business Center, if and when they buy or sell 200 points of products. The point value varies with each product. I have no way of telling how many dollars need to be spent to achieve the number of points desired. You can have 3 Business Centers, if you want them. This gives you the top spot in the binary plan and the first 2 spots below that. This gives you the potential to earn 3 times the income. Or so I was told. To have the 3 Business Centers you will need to sell 400 points of products, in the first 6 Fridays of your business. If you don’t sell that many products in your first 6 Fridays, you just can’t have the 3 Business Centers. To make sure that you get the 3 Business Centers, the company suggests that you buy 400 points of product when you join.
The 6 Fridays could be 6 weeks, but not necessarily. If you join on a Thursday, the next day, Friday would be the end of your first “week.” Then you would have the next 5 Fridays, which would be 5 week, to achieve your sales goals. I told you it was complicated!
On the USANA website it says that having autoshipping on products is not necessary. However, if you want to be commission eligible, you need to buy 100 points worth of products, every month, yourself. If you have 3 Business Centers you need to buy 200 points of products, every month. Having the products autoshipped does give you a further 10% discount on the products. I suppose that you wouldn’t need to have autoship in place, if you are willing to order the products every month and fore go your autoship discount. Technically, they’d be right about not requiring you to have autoship in place.
That should give you some idea of what it takes to join USANA. I would suggest that sit down with a distributor who has a really good understanding of all of this. This is very complex!
USANA reviews – the compensation plan
USANA’s compensation plan is run as a binary plan. This means that you can’t “build wide” as some network marketers tell you to do. You get 2 legs under you and that’s it. The rest of your business structure would be built in depth. The structure under you does get wider and it goes deeper, but you only ever have 2 people directly under you.
The company does have a Compensation Plan document. You can find it here. USANA Comp Plan. This document is 10 pages long. To me, it’s not any easier to understand.
The company also has a video that describes their comp plan.
USANA reviews – their income disclosure statement
This is the closest thing I could get to an Income Disclosure Statement. I called the company to see if they had anything else that went into more depth. They actually told me that they don’t release that information. The picture, below, is from USANA, so they do release that information. If their numbers are to believed, then 10% of of all distributors are making between $5,000 and $15,000 per year.
The numbers also show that 12% of all distributors are making at least $5,000 per year.
I’ve been reading Income Disclosure Statements for years and I have never seen any company claim that 12% of distributors are making money, let alone making over $5,000 per year.
USANA reviews – the distributor agreement
The Associate Agreement is on the second page of the company’s application. The terms and policies part is just 1 page long. USANA is like many other companies in that they protect their name, logo and other trademarked and copyrighted materials.
There is a clause that says, “no Associate will earn money solely by sponsoring.” This seems to go against what they said in their Annual Report, above.
The first thing that I see in the Associate Agreement is that there is an annual renewal fee. None of the customer service reps mentioned this. The fee is $20.00.
As an Associate of USANA you are permitted to be a distributor of other network marketing companies. You are not allowed to sell the other company’s products to current USANA customers or Associates, if the products are similar or competitive.
There doesn’t seem to be anything spelled out in the agreement that limits the kinds of marketing or advertising that you can do in the promotion of your business or USANA’s products. However, when I spoke to the Reps, they told me that Associates are not allowed to sell the products on Ebay or Amazon. I had to laugh at that comment as there are lots of USANA’s products for sale on those sites. There is even someone claiming to be USANA, selling on Amazon. The Rep did tell me that they are very strict about the marketing and advertising that can be done. All ads and promotional material must be approved by their compliance department.
I’ve been in network marketing companies that limit how and where you can promote your business. The compliance department can be strict, but they are usually fair. Some people in the compliance department might even help you design something that will meet their requirements.
The Agreement looks fairly typical. I would have liked to see more time spent on compliance issues that might arise.
My suggestion would be to talk to the compliance department, before you join and run your ideas by them to see if they meet their requirements. Maybe they can help you, if they don’t.
USANA reviews – is this the right company for you?
Obviously, I can’t answer that question for you. You’ll need to weigh the pros and cons about the company to determine if this is the right business for you. I would suggest that you find people who are currently working in the business and also find people who have left the business. Find out what each of these types of people say about the personal experiences in the business. Would they recommend that you join USANA Health Sciences or not?
I don’t like the fact that a distributor is required to buy a lot of products each month in order to be commission eligible. I don’t like the fact that the compensation plan is so hard to understand. Even the joining process is difficult to understand. My thoughts on all of this is that you absolutely have to be able to understand these aspects of the business before you join any company. For me, I wouldn’t join any company until I was positive that I understood all of this.
As always, if you are thinking about joining this company, do your own due diligence.
The person who sponsors you is just as critical to your success as the information that is contained in this USANA review.
In the end, you must be willing to sell the products and recruit people into the business. It helps, a lot, if you are enthusiastic about, both, the company and their products!
Being that USANA is in the wellness industry, there may be some that might think that they are a scam. Let me assure you that USANA is a good and strong company. They are in no way a scam!
I am wishing you the best of luck in your network marketing journey!
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