Is MonaVie a Scam or a Legitimate Business?

By | May 27, 2014

Scam On Hook Means Schemes Or DeceitsMonaVie is yet another entry in the health drink/weight-loss/energy supplement market, with a broad catalogue of juices, shakes and powdered supplements.  In business since 2005, MonaVie presents itself as a classy, health-positive solution for weight loss, improved health and overall wellbeing through a juice-based lifestyle.  Over the past several years, MonaVie has experienced rapid growth as a business, mostly due to its MLM-based business model that encourages users to bring friends and family in to the MonaVie lifestyle.

What is MonaVie?

MonaVie markets itself as the next greatest thing in health drinks.  Made from proprietary blends of processed fruits, the MonaVie line includes juices, carbonated energy drinks, powdered energy supplements and shake mixes.  While MonaVie likes to promote its products as the answer for everything from weight loss to cancer, peer-reviewed studies are decidedly more on the fence; actual FDA studies produced few indications that MonaVie products have any real health benefits, and pregnant women and nursing mothers are advised to stay clear of MonaVie products altogether, as products derived from heavily-processed fruits have been linked to birth defects and complications in labor.

Making Money with MonaVie

MonaVie is more than just a healthy drink system: it also markets itself as a way for MonaVie enthusiasts to make additional income by selling the product and introducing friends and family to the MonaVie lifestyle.  Commissions are earned by direct sales to new customers, while bonuses come from recruiting new promoters to your downline.  The incentives at the top of the program are very attractive, including pre-paid vacations to select destinations, and a monthly allowance towards the cost of a new Jeep 4×4.  Having said that, certain of MonaVie’s income programs deserve slightly closer scrutiny: for example, the commission you earn upon yourself or your downline buying MonaVie products is comfortably twice what you earn on direct sales to new customers.  Unless you are willing not only to aggressively build your downline, but also to sell product to them, you may find building a decent income more difficult than the MonaVie advertising makes out.

What MonaVie Costs

The cost of getting started with MonaVie as an individual user depends on how dedicated you are to the MonaVie lifestyle.  Single bottles of MonaVie juice can be bought from the website for as low as $37, but MonaVie recommends that, in order to really experience the lifestyle, you buy your juices by the case, at $139 per case of 4 bottles.  The other MonaVie products, though generally higher in cost, are priced similarly: while you can buy the shakes, protein powders and energy bars individually, MonaVie makes a point of telling you how much more efficient it is to purchase the cases or packs for a full month’s supply of the product.

Of course, if you are planning to use MonaVie to make additional income, the price landscape looks slightly different.  Unlike other competitors in the field – like Juice Plus, for example – MonaVie encourages you to buy product up-front and sell it directly to your clients, distributors and downline to get them invested in the MonaVie lifestyle.  To get started as an Independent Promoter the startup kit will cost anything from $499 to $1,575, depending on how much sample product and sales support you want to get your business started.

So, is MonaVie a Scam?

Unfortunately, all the evidence points to a resounding yes.  Once again, you’re dealing with a product that has absolutely none of its advertised health benefits, making it little more than a vastly overpriced placebo.  With a single bottle of MonaVie juice costing $37, you’d get a better deal on a decent bottle of wine – and probably more health benefits too.  Just like most of its competitors in the field, MonaVie just doesn’t have any real science going for it.  The end result: any time you sell a MonaVie product, you’re scamming your customers, and whether you’re okay with that is up to you.

More than that, though, is the fact that MonaVie toes the line between MLM and illegal pyramid scheme very finely, and plenty of lawsuits think it’s on the wrong side of that line.  There are plenty of legitimate MLM businesses out there, but what gives them legitimacy is the income from direct sales of product to your customers and those in your downline.  MonaVie doesn’t just put the emphasis on building your downline over actually selling product: it encourages you to make up your product volume by just buying MonaVie products yourself, making it so close to a pyramid scheme that plenty of litigation hasn’t been able to tell the difference.  Aggressively encouraging your downline to buy MonaVie products themselves is the easiest way to earn your commissions, and that’s the closest a business can get to being a pyramid scheme without removing the products altogether.

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