Product Name: MonaVie
Upsells: Product purchases
What is it?
MonaVie is a MLM company focusing on health and wellness products that offers an ‘income opportunity’.
MonaVie is just like all the other MLM companies out there and dramatically exaggerates the likelihood of any distributor actually making money through the company. The complex compensation plan and range of terms and conditions places a lot of restrictions on people trying to earn money – which is one of the reasons that most people joining don’t make much (or any) profit.
Before You Buy
Make sure you read all of the terms and conditions carefully for any purchase from this company. For this type of company, purchases are often recurring or the return option might not be as clear as it seems.
What I Liked
As with most companies of the type, the website is visually appealing and easy to use. I do like the way everything looks, although it is very obvious that everything on the site is posed to the extreme.
What I Didn’t Like
Let me start of by saying there is nothing unique or amazing about MonaVie or what it offers – particularly not its ‘opportunity’.
In the recent months, I’ve been reviewing a number of companies like MonaVie and honestly, I’ve been shocked by the similarities between them and just how ineffective the approach is as a whole.
Companies like Amway and Avon are good examples of this. They have been around for a long time, yet when you start to look at their compensation plan and the way that people are meant to earn money, you start to see that the sites are little more than manipulation.
This is the case with MonaVie too and most of the approaches on the site are the same ones that I have seen time and time again.
One element of this is how MonaVie’s website is good at being convincing and manipulative. For example, the site talks about ‘empowering people’ and creating a ‘meaningful life’. The words sound fantastic and very desirable, but they are basically meaningless.
As you will see, MonaVie doesn’t really offer any empowerment at all.
The Opportunity and the Products
With MonaVie there are two main aspects to earning money. The first is selling products. So, you might join the company and start selling products like these:
Now – this might provide an indication of the first challenge with this approach. Simply put, products like this are everywhere. All MonaVie is promoting here is an energy drink. Sure, it may have their own special formula – but that doesn’t really mean all that much, particularly to the people you are trying to sell the product to.
In fact, many of the products are MonaVie are things that you can find just about everywhere nowadays. Many companies that operate under the same type of model as MonaVie even sell similar products, as do health stores, sites like Amazon and eBay and even grocery stores.
Furthermore, to make any sales you have to compete against all of those alternative products plus other distributors actually selling MonaVie’s products.
MonaVie’s reputation doesn’t exactly help matters when it comes to selling products – as the company has faced a number of lawsuits, mostly for misrepresenting its products.
You also have the price to contend with.
For example, distributors by the Citrus Zero version of MonaVie’s energy drink for the following prices:
That’s between $2.45 and $1.82 (rounded) per can – for 8.4 oz cans. Even when buying them in bulk, that’s a relatively high price for an energy drink and well above the market average. This makes actually selling the product particularly difficult, because you have to convince people that there is something special about the product that makes it worth the extra money.
Between the competition and the prices of the products, you can probably see that actually selling products as a distributor is nowhere near as easy as it seems.
The second aspect of the money making approach is recruiting other people – both as preferred customers and as distributors.
This structure means that people earn money from their own sales and from the sales of the people they recruit. In theory, it looks like a good system, but it is actually a lot more challenging than it seems.
Being successful in this type of system requires being able to recruit other people successfully and then keep them in the program. Furthermore, the people you recruit have to be successful too.
That takes time, energy, effort and luck – and it is much much more challenging than just selling the products.
That is also just the basics of the company’s compensation plan and it does get more complicated. For example, the ‘Square Qualified’ aspect of the program encourages people to recruit four distributors who enroll with a certain amount of spending or an Executive Kit (which costs between $525 and $1,050).
That would be seriously challenging to pull off.
The business approach being taken here is MLM (multilevel marketing). Some companies (including MonaVie) use the term network marketing instead, because it has less of a stigma – but it means the same thing.
The technique is actually modelled off a pyramid scheme and the biggest difference is that there are actual products involved in the approach. However, like a pyramid scheme, there are some major issues with this approach.
In particular, being successful in this type of company involves getting in early or having a lot of connections. If you were in the upper middle class with lots of time on your hands and lots of wealthy friends – yeah, you may well be successful in this company, but most of us aren’t in this position.
In fact, MonaVie’s own statistics show how challenging it is to actually earn money.
According to the income disclosure statement from 2011, 70% of distributors made an average of $32 per week. Additionally, this figure only includes ‘active’ distributors. MonaVie has four criteria for being an ‘active’ distributor – one of which is to recruit at least one other person.
This means that there are many more people who are earning little or no money from MonaVie that aren’t included in that statistic. MonaVie even estimates that 85% percent of people who signed up as distributors were considered wholesale customers because they never recruited anybody.
That’s a lot of people who aren’t being very successful in the program – something that MonaVie only mentions in the fine print. In fact, 95% of active distributors earn an average of $79 per week or less.
As you can see, the odds of actually being successful in MonaVie are very small.
Additionally, many of those people who never earned a significant amount of profit through MonaVie may well have spent a substantial amount of time and money trying to do so.
This is a failure of both MonaVie and the MLM structure in general. This structure always means that few people earn money – even while the company promotes it as being a wonderful opportunity.
Making Money the Right Way
The MLM model only really works for the company itself – as they are the ones that profit. For people looking for a way to make money, the approach is misleading, manipulative and ineffective.
In fact, even the premise is wrong.
You don’t need to be ‘empowered’ by an ‘opportunity’, particularly not in this digital day and age. The online environment means that it is very possible for pretty much anyone to be successful in making money – and you can do this without having to purchase product or work through a complicated compensation plan.
Myself, and many others, follow an approach known as affiliate marketing. This approach involves developing your own website and selling products through it, which is much easier than it sounds.
The nice thing about this approach is that you don’t have to make each sale individually and you don’t even have to directly interact with the people you are selling to. This gives you the chance to create a business that you can grow over time effectively.
So-called opportunities like MonaVie are not worth investing in. All they really do is constrain your ability to make money and make you reliant on a company that is just out to line its own pockets.