Pyramid Scheme, Scam Or Up-And-Up: USANA

I have some 'friends" who are into this USANA group, pushing nutritional products.

These people are relentless. They are starting to make Scientologists seem like laid-back folk.

Is this USANA group a subtle pyramid scheme?
Are the products any better than your average Flinstone vitamins?
Any federal lawsuits pending?
FDA approved?

(And if you are answering this, be honest if you are also one of the USANA pushers.)


I’ll tell you what I know. I was, for a very short time, a “USANA pusher.” Their product is excellent (better than your Flintstones vitamins), but very expensive (like most good supplement products sold through Network Marketing). I stopped doing it because (a) it was expensive and (b) I wasn’t interested in building the business.

As for the pyramid scheme: no. But you have to understand the line between pyramid scheme and legitimate Network Marketing (or Multi-Level Marketing – or whatever you choose to call it). But USANA is definitely legit. They have a good product that can be bought and sold without having to recruit others. That’s simplistic, but true. A pyramid scheme relies almost entirely on ‘you’ going out and recruiting other reps. With USANA, you can make money simply by selling the product.

Unfortunately, reps for companies like USANA often have a similar attitude and zeal that you would find in a pyramid schemer. But as far as Network Marketing companies go, USANA is pretty good. (This is based on my knowledge of them in the 1996-97 time frame–I assume not much has changed.)

As an aside, my first job out of college was as an editor for a Network Marketing company. They sold pre-paid phone cards. Fun job. Total pyramid scheme. I didn’t think so at the time, but now I can see it was. I never really built a business with them, they just paid me to write their newsletter and edit all their sales material. But that was much more questionable than your USANA, Amway (an annoying company, but very legit), etc. I looked at a few companies like USANA and Amway, but in the end, that industry just wasn’t for me. I don’t have much against them in principle, but they can certainly be pushy to the point of annoying. There should be an unwritten law the people who are selling for an MLM only get to mention it to their friends once. After that, it can never be brought up again! :smiley: (Unless, of course, that friend is interested.)

Hope that helped. If you have the money and want good supplements, give USANA a try. Otherwise, tell your ‘friends’ to stop bugging you.

Oh, and I just re-read your question. As for lawsuits pending, I’ve never heard of any. As for FDA, I don’t believe at this time the FDA regulates nutritionall supplements, but I could be wrong. So they probably wouldn’t need, much less be able to get, FDA approval. (Someone tell me I’m wrong on that one–if I am :slight_smile: )

Good luck with your ‘friends’!:smiley:

Well, it’s multi-level marketing, which is legal, unlike private sector pyramid schemes.

Don’t know about the lawsuits, but I’ll be this stuff is marketed as “diet supplements,” which does not require FDA approval.