Is LifeVantage a Scam? Pyramid Scheme or the Real Deal?

Welcome to our LifeVantage Review!

My guess is that someone has just introduced you to some amazing anti-aging products by LifeVantage or they have even told you that you could make money with their business opportunity?

First off, we are so glad to find you are doing your research before buying into any “seemingly good” product or business opportunity.

That is the best way to avoid scams and find legitimate ways to make money online!

The reason that up to 99% of MLM distributors lose money is because they jump into it blindly… there is a lot to factor in with an MLM.

To be transparent, we are not associated with LIfeVantage in any way, so relax, we are not here to pitch you any of their products or business opportunity to you.

Instead this honest review, will give you an unbiased review of this company.  We will expose the real truths behind this company so that you can make an informed decision about whether this is the right move for you.

Let’s start with a quick overview…

LifeVantage Review Summary

Product Name: LifeVantage

Founder: Darren Jensen in 1988, now a publicly listed company (CEO – Darren Jensen)

Product Type: Health and Wellness MLM company

Price: $50 + $350-$1,250 packages + $130/month

Best For: Those good at networking and recruiting



  • Positive Product Reviews
  • Public Listed Company
  • Giving Back to Charity


  • Pyramid Scheme in Disguise
  • False Health Claims
  • Expensive Products
  • Hidden Monthly Costs
  • Difficult to Cancel Autoship
  • Duplicate & Ineffective Website
  • Most People Failed!

Summary:  LifeVantage is a health and wellness MLM that offers some unique anti-aging products that seem to be rated very highly by many people, but there’s not enough evidence to suggest that they actually work at all and there have been reports of taking too many having some negative effects.

Know that there is a huge emphasis on recruiting other people into the business opportunity, which makes LifeVantage operate more like a “pyramid scheme in disguise”.  We have also found evidence of lawsuits being taken against LifeVantage for being a Pyramid scheme.  Either way, know that you will be expected to pay a lot to get started and have to do a lot of recruiting… But the income disclosure suggests not many are actually finding any success.

Rating: 20/100

Recommended? No

Table of Contents

What is LifeVantage?

LifeVantage is a health and wellness Multi-Level Marketing (MLM) company that produces a range of anti-aging products that are claimed to help people live longer.

They label themselves a nutraceutical company that claims to be a leader in Nrf2 science, which can help reduce free radicals within your body, improve your health and potentially help you live longer.

To be honest, they are just trying to make their products sound reliable and backed by research by using some complicated science talk.

Simply put, they are trying to reduce “oxidative stress” to our body through their products.

Watch this video, to learn a little more about the company:

To go into the history of the company, LifeVantage was founded back in 1988 as a traditional retail company.  It was formally known as LifeLine Therapeutics, LifeLine Nutraceuticals and Yaak River Resources, Inc.

Afterwards, they adopted the Multi-Level Marketing (MLM) business model and then started to recruit people into their system.

They are now a publicly traded company on Nasdaq with a symbol “LFVN”.

Is LifeVantage a Pyramid Scheme

No, LifeVantage isn’t a pyramid scheme.

Their distributors are able to make money from selling their products without the need to recruit.

But as recruitment is the only real option most have to make decent money at MLMs, a much better question to ask is… Is LifeVantage a pyramid scheme in disguise

What’s a Pyramid Scheme?

A pyramid scheme is a company that promises payment in return for you recruiting more members into the company, instead of by selling any products or services.  In fact, a pyramid scheme typically doesn’t have any products or services to speak of.

Most countries have made pyramid schemes illegal, as it is impossible for everyone to make money when recruitment is the only currency.  They become unsustainable very quickly, meaning they collapse quickly too…

This diagram from Wikipedia shows you why…

pyramid scheme

Now, most MLMs including Nikken, offer a legitimate range of products.

But it is also true that many of them hide behind these products to cover up the fact that the only way of earning a decent income ($1K+ a month) is by recruiting more and more people.

These companies operate as a pyramid scheme in disguise, and it is very hard to distinguish them from a legitimate MLM company.

We’ll get into more details about Nikken shortly, but for now you might find the 5-minute video below useful in understanding how to spot these pyramid schemes in disguise…

Success is Rare at LifeVantage

Success is rare at all MLM companies.  It is not an easy business model…

Did you know that between 72.5% and 99.9% of MLM members are losing money?

The main reason why so many MLM members are losing money is the monthly sales quota they have to achieve to remain active.  If you aren’t able to sell enough products, the only option you have is to buy the products yourself.

But the other way to avoid this expense is to start recruiting a lot of people, and pass that burden onto them…

But the bottom line is that their own income disclosure statement proves that only 0.61% of their distributors earned what we would consider a decent salary from this.  With 69% of their members only earning an average of $67 a month, before you take costs into account.

How Does LifeVantage Work?

LifeVantage products a range of health and wellness products.

They also offer everyday people the chance to work from home and sell these products to family and friends in return for commission, or to recruit them into their downline team for bonuses.

It sounds like a win-win situation…

But LifeVantage saves millions of dollars on marketing campaigns.  With the hard job of promoting the brand left up to these everyday people.

Before we take a look at this business opportunity in more detail, let me show you their product line…

LifeVantage Product Line

Before considering joining any MLM, it’s always a good idea to research into their product line.  You’ll be expected to become the expert, so that you can sell them more effectively…

LifeVantage have a wide range of products that all revolve around looking younger and becoming healthier.

Their product range covers a number of different aspects, and also have a range for your pets!


Here are their main categories:

  • Nutrition – supplements and probiotics, etc. ($40-$127 monthly)
  • Beauty – shampoo, hand creams, moisturisers, anti-aging creams, etc. ($13-$141 monthly)
  • Fitness – whey proteins, fat burning pills, etc. ($41-$141 monthly)
  • Pets – supplements ($26 monthly)

Here is a list of their main products:

  • Protandim (Nutritionals) – Protandim is their flagship product, but it also the most controversial product they sell as well. It is a dietary supplement, which is also available for dogs
  • TrueScience (Beauty) – a series of skincare products which include facial cleanser, perfection lotion, eye serum and anti-aging cream
  • PhysIQ (Fitness) – supplements that help you lose weight, burn fat and supplement protein
  • AXIO (Energy) – an energy drink that claims to help you on two fronts, your physical health and your brain health to increase focus, clarity, concentration and alertness

Are LifeVantage’s Products Reliable?

It is a tough question to answer, and it is because we are not sure.

They make a claim that their products are based on science, but there is evident to show that the company themselves paid for those scientific studies.  This makes that research biased and inaccurate.

Of course, the company and their distributors will claim that they are accurate…  This makes it a bit controversial.

But the most important factor to know is that none of LifeVantage’s products have been FDA approved! (Food & Drug Administration)

What we think?

This is all to do with trust, you need to be able to trust the people who are pitching these products to you.  If there is any doubt, it will affect the decision to purchase.

Research is key to understanding all aspects and our research shows that this is a controversial standpoint, and there is no 3rd party research gone into whether the products can do what the company claims they can do…

That leads us to give you a question…

Would you want to get involved in such a controversial company/product even though it might sound very attractive?

Another factor you should consider that LifeVantage is not the only MLM that sells these types of products.   

There are hundreds of other MLM companies, all selling health and wellness products.  Examples include:

I’m sure there are plenty more, as we have reviewed many of them…

Haven't Made Your First $1 Yet?

Studies have shown that more than 70% of the people who want to make money online have not made their first dollar yet. So, you’re not alone!

How To Make Money with LifeVantage?

LifeVantage is a typical MLM company, so the way to make money can be very complicated according to their compensation plan.

But in short there are a couple of ways you can earn money with LifeVantage:

  1. Earn commission by selling their products
  2. Recruiting people into your downline

Please note, that you don’t actually earn money for recruiting people, that would make them an outright pyramid scheme.  Instead, you earn bonuses based on your downline teams sales.

But in order to be eligible for these commission, you need to go through some steps and invest quite a fair amount of money first…

Getting Started with LifeVantage

First of all, you will need to purchase their $50 Starter Kit.  This includes all the necessary training materials for you to get started with your business.

Now, this might be the only “compulsory” requirement to become a LifeVantage distributor, but you still need to purchase their products.

How do you promote their products without trying them first or having samples to show your potential clients?

So, once you have paid for the $50 Starter Kit, you will be introduced to four different product packages, which they will tell you that these can help you save money:

  1. Silver ($350) – 20% savings
  2. Gold Pack ($650) – 25% savings
  3. Gold Performance Pack ($650) – 25% savings
  4. Platinum ($1,250) – 30% savings

This is only just the start of your costs associated with this business opportunity.  There is also the fact you need to achieve a 100PV sales quota each month.  This works out to about $130+ of products each to remain active.  If you cannot sell that much, you will need to buy $130+ of products each month or your account will be suspended.

However, the small print also tells you that you also need to personally buy 40PV each month.  That is around $50 that you must spend on LifeVantage products to remain active.

Worst case scenario, if you are having to buy the products yourself to stay active, you could lose $3,460 in your first year.

That doesn’t even take into account any other costs of running a business, other than the requirements the company puts on you…

This is the exact reasons why so many innocent people get themselves caught out and end up further in debt, just by starting an MLM business.

When it doesn’t work out, they end up calling it a scam!

P.S. This program enabled us to Create a 4-Figure Monthly Passive Income Stream.  It’s Free to get started and costs only $49/month to go full-time!

LifeVantage Compensation Plan

There are 8 different ways for you to earn commission from LifeVantage:

  1. Retail Sales
  2. Smart Start Bonus (30-40% commission for people you recruit and the “starter pack” they buy)
  3. Launch Bonus (200PV+ needed to get bonuses of your downline recruits)
  4. Royalty Commission
  5. Generational Matching Bonus (10% match of your downline unilevel commissions)
  6. Elite Bonus Pool (4% of total sales gets spread to all “active elite distributors”)
  7. Achievement Bonus (one-time bonus for achieving one of the top 3 ranks)
  8. Multiple Business Centers

The major concern for me when looking at their commission plan is that it doesn’t even mention retail profits as a way to make money.  They are all focused on getting paid to recruit more people into the system.  This is a big sign that LifeVantage could be a Pyramid Scheme in disguise.  But it is very evident that the money is in recruitment, and the only people making the money will be those at the top of the pyramid.  Leaving little room for anyone trying to come through the ranks…

If you want to learn more about their compensation plan, here is a video we found going through all the details you need to know:

Or you may want to see their full compensation plan PDF?

Is LifeVantage a Scam?

Just to be completely transparent with you, I’m not a distributor of LifeVantage, nor do I endorse LifeVantage in any way.  I have researched the website, testimonials, and information available on the internet to get the details about what this program genuinely does.    I do this, as I have been caught out by a scam in the past, and am trying to help others avoid a similar fate…

Tired of MLMs? Check How We Make Money Online Here!

What We Liked About LifeVantage

Here is what we liked about LifeVantage:

#1 Products Receive Positive Reviews

It is important to see what consumers think of a company’s products before deciding on pursuing a business with them, and LifeVantage’s products do receive positive reviews.  Below you will find a couple of examples we found:


#2 Public Listed Company

This gives LifeVantage a credibility over other similar MLM’s in the health and wellness sector.  LifeVantage is a public listed and traded company.

#3 Giving Back to Charity

Some MLM’s use charity work as a way to make their company seem more “likeable” …

The hard bit is determining whether a company is genuinely giving back or it is some kind of publicity stunt.  But either way donating to any charity or giving back to the community is always a good thing, no matter what the reasons are for doing it!

What We Didn't Like About LifeVantage

Here is what we didn’t like about LifeVantage.

#1 Pyramid Scheme in Disguise

When a company puts all their focus on recruiting rather than selling a product or service, you will end up with a pyramid scheme in disguise, which will look a lot like this:


The FTC even states that pyramid schemes are businesses that focus on recruiting instead of providing products or services.

Many will say, LifeVantage does have its own products so it can’t be a Pyramid scheme…  we are not saying they are an out and out pyramid scheme, what we are saying it is a pyramid scheme in disguise.

There have even been lawsuits that have accused LifeVantage of being a pyramid scheme in the past.

We think that they are just using their own line of health and beauty products as the method of recruiting downline reps, so it doesn’t appear like a pyramid scheme.

It all comes down to the compensation plan, it is so heavily weighted towards recruiting others and the retail profits don’t even come into it. 

MLM is so reliant on recruiting and many other companies have got themselves into a position where people think they are a pyramid scheme.  Even if they are not, it is not a label you want for your business.

But ultimately, the only way you will make the money you desire from an MLM is to do a lot of face-to-face sales, but more importantly, recruiting!

If that doesn’t sound like something you want to do, you could try Affiliate Marketing (it is how we make money!)

#2 False Health Claims

Their flagship product is Protandim but it is also the most controversial one. There have been some claims made about it being able to cure cancer and things like that (the claims could have been made by their distributors).

But the problem is…

No matter how powerful or magical they claim their products are, it is not regulated at all.  Multiple studies have shown that there is nothing special about Protandim.

It is just a combination of common herbal ingredients with some good marketing behind it.

Don’t believe us?

Here is a warning letter in 2017 by the US Food & Drug Administration about the inappropriate and false health claims of their products.

#3 Expensive Products

It is something you have to factor into your business planning, the costs of the products.  It can also be a good sign on whether they are operation a pyramid scheme in disguise…


LifeVantage’s probiotics are over 200% more expensive that other very highly rated alternatives.

Seriously, let’s think about that for a minute.  Who would buy products from you that are more than double the price elsewhere?  Where are you going to get your sales from?

Would your family and friends pay that price to buy stuff from you?  But who does end up buying the products… lets answer that for you…

#4 Hidden Monthly Expenses

The answer is LifeVantage distributors themselves.  LifeVantage distributors are the company’s biggest consumer.  Why?

Because the fact that distributors are required to buy $50 worth of products every month to remain active:

When you also factor in what we told you earlier, that if you do not sell your 100PV quota each month, you need to also buy products to that value to stay active as well.

That ends up being a huge monthly figure that you are not prepared for and will undoubtedly put you further into debt and no closer to making money.

#5 Difficult to Cancel Monthly Order

We have also discovered evidence where customers have found it impossible to cancel their monthly product order, and they kept getting charged for it.  See an example below:


This is not uncommon within MLM’S.  Many MLM’s have a really complicated cancellation process, which is a highly unethical way of taking money from innocent people.

Melaleuca is an example of having a complicated cancellation process (you have to send in a letter!)

#6 Duplicated & Ineffective Website

With the $50 Starter Kit, they claim that you will be given a website of your own without any recurring fees.  All you need to do is to send people to your website and it will do all the hard work for you…

You will get compensated for anyone who purchases products through your website.

Well, this is far from the truth.

Yes, you will have your own website to sell LifeVantage products on.  But it will not be an original website.  It will be a duplicated subdomain website.

In fact, it will be exactly the same as every other LifeVantage distributors’ website.

That is a problem on a number of fronts, chief among them is the fact that you will not benefit from being able to use free sources of traffic

Your free duplicated website will not appear in Google search results, because search engines will not rank duplicate content.

This will only leave you paid forms of traffic, such as:

  • Paid Traffic – Facebook Ads, Instagram Ads, Solo Ads, etc.
  • Social Media Marketing
  • Word of Mouth

The thing you need to know is that paid traffic is really expensive, and you also need to know what you are doing.  Trial and error can be expensive and yield no results.  Building a brand on social media will take you time, but each month that passes without sales will cost you more in achieving your PV.

Word of mouth will rely on you pitching your products and business opportunity to your friends and family and many relationships have been hurt because of an MLM.

If you wanted to build a website and make it work for you (like our website does for us), then you need to learn the necessary skills and don’t just HOPE things will happen for you.

Building a website is great (and a lot of fun).  It can work for us 24/7 so I can make money at any time of the day.

It is also how we managed to earn a 4-Figure monthly passive income.

Check out this program if you’re interested in building your own website.

#7 Most People Failed

This is unfortunately the truth for many MLM’s.  99% of people lose money with an MLM opportunity.  It is only the people at the top are those that earn the big money that is pitched in their sales videos.  The success rate is so small.

Take a look at LifeVantage’s income disclosure:

  • Only 0.61% of distributors earned more than $35k in 2018.
  • 40% earned an average of $12 a month
  • 69% earned an average of $67 a month

The facts are…

Not everyone is good at selling and there are a lot of people who hate face-to-face selling…

The same could be said for recruiting…

Whilst LifeVantage does some forms of training like:

  • Virtual Vantage University – interactive training modules
  • Company hosted events and conventions

Ultimately, there is still a lot of hard work to do and most people just lack the determination and persistence to get there.  But if you do not really believe in the products, then you are going to find this extremely difficult anyway.

#8 Exactly Like Jeunesse!

At this point I would like to mention Jeunesse

I have just completed a review of this company and I was surprised by how similar these 2 companies are.

They both:

  • Focus on anti-ageing products
  • competing in the health and Wellness niche
  • heavy focus on recruiting
  • have many accusations of being a pyramid scheme?
  • very similar start-up costs and monthly requirements
  • their compensation plans are also very similar

Let’s face it, the health and Wellness niche is very saturated with so many companies competing with one another. Examples include Shaklee, Essante Organics, Youngevity, etc.

When you start to check them all out you’ll soon start wondering what makes LifeVantage so special…

Haven't Made Your First $1 Yet?

Studies have shown that more than 70% of the people who want to make money online have not made their first dollar yet. So, you’re not alone!

My LifeVantage Review - Final Conclusion

Is LifeVantage a Scam?  No, it is a legit MLM company that is publicly listed.

But that doesn’t mean we would recommend it.  It could be possible for you to earn money with them, but you have to factor in your ability to sell to people face-to-face or your recruiting skills. 

You will need to spend a lot more than the monthly PV to ensure you cover the costs of the products you are expected to sell.

But there is going to be a lot of pressure to recruit.

I am not sure there is anything special about their products that make them any different to all the other MLM’s out there.

But if you do decide to go down the MLM route, you might find this post useful…

How We Make Money Online

I’m not a fan of MLM, not because it’s illegal or not profitable, but because of all the restrictions and expensive costs involved.

Instead, Affiliate Marketing is our top recommended business model for anyone looking to make money online

The reasons are simple…

  • You can promote anything you want and aren’t restricted to only promote products from one MLM company
  • You don’t have to recruit anyone to make money
  • You never need to sell to your friends and family
  • It’s free to get started

In fact, with affiliate marketing we’ve been able to Create a 4-Figure Monthly Passive Income Stream.  If you want to learn more, click here.

Thanks for checking out our LifeVantage Review!  If you have any questions or comments to add, then please write them in the comments section below. 😉

Sharing is Caring…


$50 + upsell packages ($350-$1,250) + hidden costs

Overall Rating



  • Products Receive Positive Reviews
  • Public Listed Company
  • Giving Back to Charity


  • Pyramid Scheme in Disguise
  • False Health Claims
  • Expensive Products, Hidden Monthly Expenses
  • Duplicated & Ineffective Website
  • Most People Failed, Exactly Like Jeunesse

8 thoughts on “Is LifeVantage a Scam? Pyramid Scheme or the Real Deal?”

  1. It’s great to see that so many people are waking up to the dangers and lies of MLMs. While there is great potential to make money in an MLM, the system is designed to take advantage of distributors and VERY FAR from being a great opportunity to make easy cash. It’s important to let people know that they will not “own a business” and they are not “facing the opportunity of a lifetime”. The vast majority of people who join MLMs just line the pockets of the MLM owner.

    • Hi Kit,

      thanks for checking out our review.  It is unfortunate that so many end up down the path of MLM without the support they need to succeed.  I have had some distributors coming back saying the company does offer training, but it is the support they get that will be the huge factor on whether they succeed.  Just because you introduce someone to a business opportunity, does not mean they automatically understand all they need to know to succeed.

      For example, the website is practically useless.  People need to know how they can create their own and drive targeted traffic to it.  No MLM will effectively teach that.  That is just one of the problem for a beginner trying MLM.

      People lose money to these MLM’s because they are not geared up to get going from day one  MLM’s expect you to hit the ground running otherwise the costs will shoot up exponentially.

      That is why we prefer Affiliate Marketing, the start up costs are minimal compared to an MLM and affiliate programs are free to sign up with.  Why restrict yourself to one MLM where you have to buy products every month and end up in debt, when you could promote thousands of products and only pay for the upkeep of a website, which is much much lower than any MLM…

      You are right, MLM is no longer the opportunity it used to be and if you are not inclined to sell face-to-face or recruiting is not your thing, then we would not recommend any MLM to you but rather point you to our top recommended business model – Affiliate Marketing.

      thanks again Kit


  2. Hello there, thanks a lot for sharing this wonderful piece of information here with us. I must say i really did enjoyed going through your article. I saw your last review on Jeunesse and that helped me a lot from the stress i would’ve gone through and after seeing this and it’s similarity to Jeunesse i think i will have to stay away from this as well. Thanks for sharing

    • Hi Phil,

      thanks for checking out our review!  It is clear that you are looking for ways to make money online, but unfortunately any MLM will require face-to-face sales and recruiting, plus an expensive start up cost.  This is why we feel you might benefit from starting an affiliate marketing business instead.  the start up costs are much lower (the cost of a website + training), there is no restriction on what you promote and you can choose a niche that you are actually interested in and products that you believe will benefit your audience.  There is also no need to sell face-to-face or recruit.  In fact, if you get the right training your website will do all the work for you of selling, and you can just concentrate on helping your readers by creating content.

      That is how we make money, and it is 100x better than any MLM

      All the best


  3. I know that finding a good article does not come by so easily so i must commend your effort in creating such a beautiful website and writing an article to help others with useful information like this.

    LifeVantage has a nice product though, but although there are some dissatisfying facts i found during this review, lifevantage is no pyramid scheme although it seems like it because of its heavy focus on recruiting.The essence of being an online company is the ability to sell products offline but i think its preferable to do so otherwise(face to face).

    • Hi Wilson,

      thanks for checking out our review.  We are not saying it is a Pyramid Scheme, but one that is in disguise and the reason is that our research has shown an overwhelming push towards recruitment before selling their product.  Most of their sales come from their distributors and not normal sales, so they are exploiting their distributors and calling it a business opportunity.

      The product is irrelevant in one way…

      All the best


  4. Hey nice review you have about LifeVantage there. I have heard little about LifeVantage from a friend, having stumbled into this review, I now have a better understanding of its framework. Though it is a lucrative platform where one can earn little money, but is not suitable for an introvert, because it involves direct interaction with customers to convince them to buy the product.

    • Hi Edah,

      thanks for checking out our review!

      Being able to sell and recruit is a must with MLM, that is why it is not ideal for a beginner or an introvert.  Affiliate Marketing is a much better business option, rather than MLM.

      All the best



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