Is Visalus A Pyramid Scheme?

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There are countless MLM companies in the health and wellness niche, and Visalus is one of them.

Welcome to my Visalus review and the question Is Visalus A Pyramid Scheme.

Many people are interested in joining multi level marketing companies to work at their own terms, have flexible working hours, and also the chance to make lots of money.

Well, unfortunately, the reality looks different for the majority of people who get involved in the MLM industry.

So lets see, if you should get involved with Visalus. I will not only talk about the company background and products, but most importantly how to join, and the Visalus compensation plan.

Please note, that I will only touch briefly on the  Visalus products. I have not used them so I can't say if they work as promised.

Read on to find out more about the Visalus opportunity and whether or not Visalus operates a pyramid scheme .

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Is Visalus A Pyramid Scheme?

More About The Visalus Company

visalus logo

According to Wikipedia, Visalus has been founded originally in 1997 by Nick Sarnicola and Blake Mallen, who both had been distributors for another MLM company.

The official founding year though is 2005, as stated on the Visalus website. 

The company is also known under Vi or the well-known Body by Vi 90-Day challenge.

Visalus headquarter is based in Los Angeles with Nick Sarnicola as CEO.

After a lot of financial difficulties, especially the first years, Visalus had been acquired by Blyth Inc in 2008.

Blyth is a privately owned company who sells mainly home decor. By the way, Blyth also owns  the direct selling company PartyLite.

Throughout the years, Visalus made negative headlines.  The company has been accused of racketeering, operating a pyramid scheme, and most recently of violating the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) by using robocalls to marketing a new weight loss shake. [source: BusinessForHome]

Overall, not a good impression at all with a controversial background like that.


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The  Visalus Products

visalus products

So many people want to eat healthier, lose weight, and get the right nutritions at the same time.

Well, the health and wellness industry is a billion dollar market. So, no wonder, there are hundreds of mlm companies that want to get a piece of the cake.

Visalus offers, nutritional supplements, weight loss products, and energy drinks which reminds me strongly of companies like ItWorks, LifeWave, or Isagenix.  

You can either choose one of the challenges kits or shop by category from snacks, meals, drinks, and supplements.

Everything evolves around the 90-day body challenge and, what has puzzled me is that one can't easily access information regarding product prices.

Instead, one gets directed to a sign up page where you can choose whether to become a customer or promoter.

Vi Prime members have to commit to a monthly autoship order of at least $300 and get in return free shipping and 15% off the product prices.

Visalus offers a 90-day money back results guarantee.

The products are available in 15 countries including Canada, Italy, the UK, and Mexico.

Three For Free

Three seems to be the magic number for most mlm companies and Visalus is no exception.

Because the product kits are expensive, the  company tries to get customers/promoters to sign up at least three new customers so you can get your kit for free.

To be eligible, you must have a monthly auto ship order of at least $125. The same applies to the customers you will have referred into the program as well.

One time purchases do not count; it has to be a monthly auto ship delivery.

How To Join The Visalus Company

visalus how to join

There are basically three starter kits, ranging from $79 for the basic kit, $499 for the executive promoter system, and $999 for the star promoter system.

As you can see on the screenshot above, there are lots of products included in the more expensive kits as well as access to the back office (Vi Net Pro), brochures, and other materials.

Yet again, just like getting information on the product prices, it was rather cumbersome to find out about the starter kit prices.

The information is not easily available  on the website. Instead, I had to watch a promotional video to find out more.

It is also unclear if a promoter has to pay monthly costs to access Vi Net Pro. One review from 2018 stated that it would cost $29 a month.

But as I said, I couldn't find any information on the Visalus website whether or not this is the case.

The  Visalus Compensation Plan

visalus comp plan

Let's talk about money aka the compensation plan and, as Visalus calls it the Vi Incentives Program.

In order to earn a commission, a promoter has to be active which means they have to have $ 125 PQV on a monthly delivery or $200 PQV in retail sales.

To climb up the ranks, you will need at least three active legs which means three active promoters in your team who as well have a monthly auto ship order.

Again, Visalus enforces the 'magic' three.

All up, Visalus offers eight ways to earn money from commission payments on customer sales which starts at 10% and can reach up to 30% on sales over $2501.

All other commission payments are based on sales from promoters you have personally enrolled with Visalus.

Read the commission plan here.

I could put the video up here so you can listen to an hour long presentation but quite frankly it really is all about building a team of new promoters with the goal to sell the $499 exclusive promoter system to them

That is a lot o money for most people and to be honest, you can find much cheaper options for weight loss products on Amazon.

amazon weight loss products

Here is a thought: Why not create your own weight loss challenge with three friends and save money at the same time by buying cheaper products elsewhere?

Can You Make Money With Visalus

The question is, can you make so many sales and recruit new people into the Visalus company, that you can earn at least a decent income? By that I mean around $500/month as a side hustle and at least $3000 as a full-time income.

Unfortunately,  Visalus has never published an income disclosure so my guess is that it is very challenging to make an income at all.

 I am also taking into consideration that you have to spend at least a $125 a month to  be an active promoter.

Finding people who are willing to spend lots of money on an enrollment kit and pay $125 a month on products is no easy task.

And what happens,  when the 90-day challenge is over? Are you going to lose your customers you have worked so hard for to get into the program?

So, I'd say that your chances of making an income are very slim.

Let's have a quick look at the Pros and Cons ofVisalus .

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The Pros Of Visalus

  • The lowest joining fee of $79 is reasonable.
  •  The Body By Vi 90-day- challenge is popular in North  America so it might be relatively easy to find customers.

The Cons Of Visalus

  • To qualify for commissions you have to be active  with a monthly auto-ship order of $125. Pyramid Scheme?
  • The products are expensive with cheaper alternatives available elsewhere.
  • The focus is on recruiting and not selling.
  • No scientific proof from regulatory authorities that the products work.
  • Visalus has been  consistently making negative headlines throughout the years. Lawsuits have been filed accusing Visalus of racketeering, and operating a fraudulent pyramid scheme.

Conclusion - Is Visalus A Pyramid Scheme?

Visalus is balancing on a thin line between operating a legal company and a pyramid scheme.

I would not get involved with Visalus as a promoter and the focus of making money.

Here is a great  article from the  Southern Investigative Reporting Foundation, who thoroughly looked at Visalus and  came to the conclusion that investors are most likely to lose money in this scheme.

Even though the article is from 2012, it is still valid. 

As mentioned a few times before, on top of Visalus controversial headlines, the company is not transparent regarding the income disclosure, ongoing additional costs for promoters, and the actual prices for the products.

The focus is clearly on the recruiting part in order to make an income.

Thumbs down for Visalus!

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