Weight reduction program Optavia MLM uses the Multi-Level Marketing (or NM) model to “market and sell its quick and simple meal replacement products via its extensive network of Independent Health Coaches.”
It’s one of many making money online programs centered around either selling the company’s products or recruiting other people to join the company as a distributor to sell products or buy the products at a discount.
The unfortunate side of this type of business model is that there are so many people who can join the program that you will be competing with.
Ultimately, with so much competition selling the same product, it makes it really difficult to become a “6 figure network marketer”.
MLMs like Optavia are a bit of a mixed bag. They CAN be a legitimate way to make money, but some have a reputation for literally ruining people’s lives – so it’s important to know what you’re getting since each one is unique.
Like most of my readers, you were probably introduced to this one via a friend or some influencer you trust online.
And it makes sense why so many people recommend them:
Making money outside of a 9-5 can be… life-changing, to say the least.
So in this article, I want to help you explore two things:
- If MLMs are actually a worthwhile business to pursue
- If Optavia is a worthwhile MLM
Before that, I want to clear the air on something.
There are A LOT of people out there who bash all MLMs in any form. I am not one of those people.
Instead, I want to genuinely educate you about them so that you can make an informed decision on how to proceed.
If you’re unfamiliar with what MLMs actually do:
They’re businesses in which you pay money to a company for the ability to sell their products.
Sometimes the products are actually kind of decent (I still remember my mom throwing pampered-chef parties when I was younger).
Other times the products are really poorly made and come with a high price tag.
Typically, the only way to really make money is to get people (mostly friends & family) to sign up with you for a recurring subscription.
If the product is 100% legitimate & valuable, it’s entirely possible to get people to sign-up and continue paying you.
If the product is subpar, you’ll usually burn those bridges kinda quickly and end up with $0 coming in each month.
The biggest issue I’ve seen is that this puts significant stress on your personal relationships, as you’re reliant on selling to your “network.”
Think about it: if you KNEW that every time your friend Sally called, she’d be trying to sell you on one of her products… you’d eventually stop answering Sally’s calls.
Now, this doesn’t mean MLMs are outright bad… it means you need to know what type of MLM you’re getting yourself into before you sign up.
Again, some MLMs provide real value to people, but MOST don’t – and so in this article, I’m going to explore the case with Optavia.
But before that, I want to ask you a question: what if there was a way to build actual recurring, semi-passive income?
- Doesn’t have inventory
- Doesn’t make you sell to your friends & family
- Doesn’t force you to recruit people onto your “team.”
Something that you could make anywhere from $2,000 – $10,000 with consistently, month after month?
A stream of income that you can build as high (or low) as you feel like building it?
If that sounds interesting, you might want to think about becoming a Digital Landlord.
If you wanna see what Optavia looks like on the inside, keep reading.
Founder: Dr. Wayne Anderson and Bradley Macdonald
Date Founded: 2016 (refreshed)
Business Address: 100 International Drive, 18th Floor Baltimore, MD 21202
Phone Number: 1-(888)-678-2842
Type of Business: Weight Loss
BBB Rating: N/A
BBB Accreditation: Not BBB accredited
Optavia History: How Did It Start?
First, it should be noted that Optavia has had several different owners. Medifast, in reality, owns the company.
The company Medifast was founded in 1980 by William Vitale, a doctor himself. He decided to make this weight management loss company. To stay relevant, the “Take Shape For Life” program was renamed Optavia in 2016/2017.
In 2016 this refreshed Optavia diet program was founded by Dr. Wayne Anderson and Bradley Macdonald.
- 1980: William Vitale founded Medifast (the parent company)
- 1995: HealthRite changed its name from Vitamin Specialties Corp
- 2002: Optavia current owners and created “Take Shape For Life” under Medifast
- 2010: Medifast is voted #1 on the Forbes list of best small companies
- 2017: Optavia becomes the new name of the Take Shape For Life subsidiary.
- 2017: Optavia relocates to Baltimore Maryland
- 2018: Optavia goes public with a market capitalization of $1.8 Billion.
What Products Does Optavia Offer?
Those looking to slim down might turn to Optavia’s line of weight loss aids. One of their health coaches can guide you through a rapid weight-loss program and provide you with healthy eating tips if you so want.
The goal of Optavia products is that you, as the customer, can establish a healthy lifestyle or two and achieve a healthy weight.
Optavia offers the ability for you to become a coach as well. When you become a coach, you will buy their “health coach business kit,” which will help kick start you off to selling Optavia products like meal replacements and smoothies.
Is Optavia A Network Marketing Company?
True enough, Optavia does produce a product of its own. The traditional MLM or network marketing business strategy is used for advertising their goods.
They call their sales force “health coaches,” but that’s just a fancy name for the distributor at the end of the day.
Is Optavia A Scam Company? A Pyramid Scheme?
Most likely, they are not scammers. Since many well-known organizations have worked with them and have had nothing but good things to say about the partnership, it’s safe to assume that they’re a reputable business.
So, don’t get the wrong idea here…
It is entirely possible to build a profitable, successful MLM business, but there are better options.
Because, unlike Optavia, it actually provides real proof of real success from real people as recently as a few days ago.
But with that being said…
Optavia joined the prestigious ranks of publicly traded companies in 2018, reflecting its commitment to sustainable business practices and sustainable health and wellness.
Public companies are for-profit businesses who commit to greater accountability and social and environmental responsibilities in their business policies. They are expected to weigh the impact of their decisions on their neighborhoods, the environment, their workers, and other stakeholders.
All these credentials should silence the doubters about the company being a scam.
As to the question of this company being a pyramid scheme…
No, it is not!
It’s actually an MLM business that sells health and wellness products. They are a legitimate business with real owners and real products to offer.
How Much Does It Cost To Join Optavia?
One-time onboarding fee of $199.
They require you to buy their “health coach business kit,” which contains products to kickstart your sales.
Income Potential Review: Can You Really Make Money With Optavia?
You must be able to sell the company’s goods and acquire new members to participate in an MLM. There is more to these systems than first seems.
Selling pricey health and wellness products is likely to be more difficult than selling other MLM products. For one thing, some people can find healthier products elsewhere that are more affordable.
Your target customers will mostly consist of people between 18-65. Children and teenagers are excluded, so the number of active consumers you will actually serve is drastically reduced.
Health and fitness are also more of a niche concept. Sure, some people would be interested in it, but many others would not. The majority of people who want to be fit and healthy are already, and those who aren’t yet may find the price prohibitive.
All of these factors severely restrict the number of customers to whom you could sell. As a result, the chances of making money are drastically reduced. How many of your social contacts, realistically, would actually consider switching to more expensive meal replacements?
Sure, you could get somewhere if you know the right people or are a good networker, but most people won’t.
Can You Generate Reliable Income With Optavia?
It’s possible to generate money using Optavia in a long-term approach. This might be both an advantage and a downside to the odd health items.
After all, people want distributors to sell trendy products. Not age-old, more expensive, health and wellness products.
The downline is another thing.
Your revenue relies on your downline, which is a problem for any MLM. This means that your earnings (and rank) will fluctuate depending on how well others do.
That is, in most people’s opinion, one of the worst aspects of an MLM. It means that you will never have complete control of your income.
The Optavia Compensation Plan
You are required to sell as a “distributor” for Optavia. Your customers will have to give you money for the products.
You’re responsible for getting people to sign up for products on retainer from one of Optavia’s product lines. From there, you manage the whole distribution operation. Since you get paid for sales and not hourly, your qualified leads must be, at the very least, interested in learning about their products seriously.
Therefore, working for Optavia does not eliminate any of the legwork associated with traditional network marketing, unfortunately. You will need space for product inventory to keep on hand, auto-ship, closing transactions, and payment processing.
Here are the ways you can earn money from the company:
Make Money From Sales
MLMs prefer to follow trends regarding what they offer their members to sell. You’ll constantly find the same things from various firms, whether you shop for cosmetics or skincare. In contrast, Optavia has nothing of the kind. This business is trying something new by emphasizing health and well-being.
Optavia health coaches actually serve as a type of middleman. Customers are simply referred to the products which seem to be the right fit for them.
There’s nothing wrong with that concept, but it may limit your earning ability. After all, the more groups there are in a supply chain, the lower the profit margin for those in the lower rank.
At first sight, Optavia’s income structure seems to be great. They divide commissions so that distributors receive 15% of the sale.
You’re also just only getting a cut of Optavia’s profit. Optavia is getting the bulk of the profit.
There’s another stumbling block. Only in cases in which Optavia health coaches sell products to others do they get paid. Essentially if they have some clients but not enough to hit a certain volume for a bonus…they won’t get credit if they buy the products themselves to get there.
Sellers reap an average commission of about 15%, but only 8.16% of Optavia sellers made more than $100 over the last year. A whopping 21% didn’t earn anything, AND less than 1% of health coaches made more than $100,000.
It certainly doesn’t inspire a ton of confidence with numbers like that.
Make Money Building A Team
In the first level of Optavia’s team-building plan, the company gives you a tiny percentage of the income generated by each salesperson you bring in. When you buy anything inexpensive, you’ll still gain a little portion of the profit. It’s not even close to the 15% you’d make if you were selling the things yourself.
Earning a small % of the direct recruits’ earnings is good, but keep in mind that this figure still depends on their earnings. It’s difficult to say what this looks like because sales are expected to vary greatly from one sale to the next.
The next step, referred to as “Leveraged Revenue Sharing,” is the next phase. This allows you to earn from up to six levels inside your marketing team. Though the brand does not use conventional terminology, they follow a typical uni-level team structure.
The percentages are reasonable, but take a look at the far right column. To advance in the business, you’ll need to recruit a lot of people. Keep in mind that recruiting five new consultants will most likely be difficult, as selling expensive health and wellness products is quite challenging.
But as you can probably tell…
To make real money with this MLM, you have to become a recruiting fanatic. You have to recruit others and then motivate them to recruit… a vicious cycle.
Optavia Review: What Customers Are Saying
Some people ask, “is Optavia a pyramid scheme?”. The truth is that they are not. They are a multi-level marketing company. However, they don’t seem to have that good of a public reputation, according to reviews on the BBB.
BBB Customer Reviews
“If there was a way to give negative stars I would give all available this company is a true fraud they take money from your account without permission or us having placed an order and then hold the money for ten to twenty days. Buyer be ware this is a total fraud!!!”
“I’ve tried Optavia off and on for several years. While the program did garnish results, it is expensive to remain consistent on and does not really prepare you to eventually stop the program. Essentially it commits you to using their program for life which is ridiculous! However, the reason I am really driven to leave this review is that I placed an order about a month ago only to realize I once again was going to have to wait several weeks to receive it. The constant delays meant that I would either have to place huge orders upwards of $500 to have a sufficient supply of food, or I needed to try something more feasible. Needless to say I decided to cancel my order which I figured would be easy enough since they had not charged my account yet, nor had my package been shipped. WRONG!! I called customer service and I was fed some excuse that made completely NO SENSE as to why they could not cancel the order. A few days later, surprise surprise, they shipped my package and charged my account. Once I received it I sent it back (I paid for shipping cost), only to have another week go by without them issuing a refund. When I called customer service again the representative just talked in circles that made no sense as to why they had not confirmed the receipt of my returned goods (USPS tracking showed it was delivered on July 8th) and opened a ticket to look into it. At this rate I’ll be lucky to receive my money back by August. Absolutely a scam of a company!!”
Optavia is a joke. $438 for 117 snack bars, 18 protein shakes, 2 identical books and 1 worthless book. The nutrition of the health bars is worse than a candy bar. ***** Bar offers better dietary nutrition. Their snack bar are high in carbs and sodium. The protein shakes are a joke, even higher in sodium and carbs. If you want to lose weight buy your own snack bars and protein drink. When you return the entire contents, all still sealed, plus the worthless books, that “full refund” is more like 30%. There is a reason why they are so secretive.
I began this program several months ago and am very happy in general however, I am having a great deal of difficulty with their delivery time and transparency regarding when items will be shipped. I was originally told that delivery is approximately 4-7 days but was later told that they are experiencing delays due to their amazing growth. My first order came after 16 days. My most recent order was made on May 6th and here we are 3 weeks later and I have still not received my order. I have been consistently been told that the company has gone international and is not able to keep up with their orders. This business is going to implode if they keep telling this to people. Last week they told me my order would be delivered by today, and yet here we are with no food. They keep telling me they will send me some free food-THAT IS NOT WHAT I WANT. I WANT WHAT I ORDERED. If I ran my business the way they are, I would be out of business. If you cant keep up with your demand, maybe you should have not gone international. This will be my last order with this company which is sad because it worked well. I will definitely tell others to stay away.
As you can see…it was hard to find positive feedback in these reviews.
BBB Official Standing
There are currently 80 Customer reviews on Optavia on the Better Business Bureau website. The average rating given by the customers is 1.53 stars out of a perfect score of 5 stars. Out of the reviews, 517 complaints were closed in the last three years, and 270 complaints were closed in the last 12 months.
Is Optavia A Scam?
So, time for the $1,000,000 question: is Optavia a scam?
No, not technically. They aren’t going to run off with your money and not give you what you paid for. It’s 100% possible to make money with this program.
That being said, it’s not nearly as simple as they want you to think it is.
There’s A LOT of work to be done upfront and no guarantee that you’ll be successful. The commissions are also fairly small.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for doing hard work now so that I can reap the benefits later.
But if you’re going to work really hard for 3 months, and your reward is a $100 check… it’s not really a great opportunity.
If I’m gonna do that, I want the rewards to be HIGH and virtually guaranteed.
I’d rather put in that same three months of work (in my spare time) & build a handful of Digital Rental Properties that each produces $500-$2,000 checks every single month afterward (AKA recurring income.)
And the cool part is that you can do it in a lot less time than 3-months (I personally did it in my first 2 weeks of being a Digital Landlord)
Unlike with MLMs, you can do it from anywhere in the world, so it’s a genuine “laptop-lifestyle” business.
All you need is an internet connection.
Some of my friends are Digital Landlords that run their 6-figure businesses from:
- Camping trips at national parks
- Beachfront in Hawaii
- On the road in a camper-van (with a pet pig!)
They focus on living an enjoyable life first, and focus on income second. All thanks to this program.
They can take weeks or months off, and money keeps rolling in.
Living happily is the top priority.
If the thought of living perpetually at your dream vacation spot interests you, being a Digital Landlord might be for you!
What Is My Top Recommendation In Making Money Online In 2022?
I’ve personally tried all of the major online business models:
- I’ve sold fidget spinners through Amazon FBA
- I’ve drop-shipped a toilet bowl putting green on Shopify
- I’ve sold women’s health supplements via Clickbank affiliate marketing
And I made money with all of them, so trust me when I say: there is no “perfect” business model.
I’ve also been on the other side of old friends trying to sell me their fancy new MLM products.
That being said, my #1 recommendation for making real money online is, hands-down: being a Digital Landlord.
Whether you’re a complete newbie, or you’ve been around the block before but have never had that “big win” to propel you forward, becoming a Digital Landlord is for you.
Time: If you’ve got a spare hour or two each day, you can do this. If you want to drop everything and go all in, you can do this. More time obviously means faster results, but even putting in a few hours per day is enough to see real success.
And because of that flexibility, you don’t need to trade your time for money. Once the income starts, it’s recurring.
That means you can take a month off, travel the country, pursue a passion project, chill on the beach, or charter a boat across the world.
But you can only do that once you’ve created an income stream that doesn’t require YOU to be there all day, every day.
Ownership & Control: With MLMs, you don’t really “own” anything – everything belongs to the MLM.
If you read the contracts, they can kick you out or change your commission at any time (it’s happened in a few high-profile MLM cases recently).
Why pour your soul into a business that could be taken away from you at the drop of a dime?
When you’re a Digital Landlord, you literally own all of the assets, which means you have ultimate control.
Big Margins: With MLMs, you’re often going to have really slim margins. That means you need to have a VERY large network to make serious money. This usually entails spending A LOT of money on ads and other methods for recruiting members.
Being a Digital Landlord, your profit margin is nearly 100%. Watch here to learn how.
Just a reminder: these Digital Rental Properties are worth (at a minimum) $500/mo in semi-passive income. And each time you create another one, your income increases, and the effort put into creating the next property decreases.
Best-case scenario, you have properties bringing in over $3,000+/mo on auto-pilot.
It’s Effectively Copy-Paste: Here’s my favorite part: once you have your first Digital Rental Property up, you can literally copy-paste another version of it and find another willing “renter” in a few days. DOUBLING your income doesn’t get much easier than that…
If you wanted to double your income with an MLM, you would need to sell twice as much inventory. And I can guarantee you that’s a lot harder than a few clicks & a phone call.
You’re Helping REAL People: My biggest gripe with MLMs is that you’re likely going to ruin your personal relationships.
The MLM may have convinced you that you’re actually helping people, but it’s often not really true.
But when you’re a Digital Landlord, you’re helping solve REAL problems that people are ASKING for help with:
Small local businesses around the world need one thing: customers. Without them, their business would fall apart. If you can provide those customers, they’re going to be really happy – and they’re going to pay you for it.
You’re helping a struggling mother or father put food on the table for their families, put their kids through college, or simply live life a little bit more comfortably.
Having this type of impact on the world is what will help you sleep soundly at night.
So, the rest is up to you. You could keep looking at other MLM programs like Optavia, which might make you money 12 months from now.
You could keep researching and researching for the next few months (or a few years), never making a concrete decision.
OR, you can look deep inside, think about those dreams, hopes, & desires, and make the decision to ACTUALLY make it happen, just like it has for thousands of other students before you.
Making a fortune while actually helping real people that need it.
If this sounds like you, click here to see how it all works.