Youngevity Review: 500+ products, compensation red flags
Youngevity launched in 1991 and are based out of the US state of California.
The company operates in the health and wellness MLM niche, and is headed up by CEO Steve Wallach.
Wallach’s father, Joel D. Wallach is one of the co-founders of Youngevity.
A biomedical research pioneer, Dr. Joel D. Wallach spent more than 40 years in the field of Veterinary Medicine, observing and researching the effects of individual nutrients on animal health, before becoming a Naturopathic Physician in 1982.
Ma Lan is Youngevity’s other co-founder:
Dr. Lan received her medical degree from Beijing Medical University and her Master’s degree in Transplant Immunology from Zhon-Shan Medical University. She also has extensive training in Traditional Chinese Medicine.
As for Steve (right), his Youngevity corporate bio credits him with ‘nearly two decades of sales and network marketing experience‘.
In addition to his work over at Youngevity, Wallach was a co-founder of DrinkACT.
DrinkACT launched in late 2007 and marketed an energy drink under the “Vitalagy” brand.
In early 2013 DrinkACT was acquired by Youngevity. The two companies merged and the DrinkACT brand was dropped.
Acquisitions are a recurring theme over at Youngevity, with the company having acquired Javalution (2011), R-Garden (2011), Bellamora (2011), Financial Desitination Inc. (2011), Adaptogenix International (2011), Heritage Makers (2013), GOFoods Global (2013), Biometics (2013) and Good Herbs Inc. (2014).
In 2014 Youngevity also partially acquired Beyond Organic.
The company still operates as a stand-alone enterprise, however the affiliate-bases appear to have been merged:
Youngevity has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire certain assets and assume certain liabilities of Beyond Organic, Inc.
As a result of these business combinations, Youngevity distributors and customers will have access to Beyond Organic’s products and programs.
In turn, Beyond Organic distributors and customers will gain access to more than 500 high-quality, technologically advanced products offered by Youngevity.
Read on for a full review of the Youngevity MLM business opportunity.
The Youngevity Product Line
With all the acquisitions that have taken place over the years, combined with their own in-house product lines, Youngevity’s product line is an exhaustive catalog of health and wellness, personal care and personal finance themed products.
A press release from the company states that there are over 500 product lines available, which I’ve summarized below:
- health supplements
- weight management
- energy and sports drinks
- healthy chocolate
- general food
- makeup, hair care and spa and personal care
- art and craft
- home and garden
- pet products
The Youngevity website itself has a readily accessible catalog of their products, with full information about each line and retail pricing provided.
The Youngevity Compensation Plan
The Youngevity compensation plan pays out retail commissions, upfront and coded bonus commissions on affiliate purchases of CEO Packs and residuals via an infinity-deep unilevel compensation plan.
Stock options and additional performance-based bonuses are also available.
Youngevity Affiliate Membership Ranks
There are nine affiliate membership ranks in the Youngevity compensation plan.
Along with their respective qualification criteria, they are as follows:
- Junior Independent Marketing Director – maintain 50 PV a month
- Independent Marketing Director – maintain 100 PV a month
- Regional Marketing Director – maintain 150 PV a month and personally recruit at least three Junior Independent Marketing Directors
- Executive Marketing Director – maintain 200 PV a month, personally recruit at least three Independent Marketing Directors and have three levels of downline generating at least 1000 GV a month
- Senior Executive Marketing Director – maintain 250 PV a month, personally recruit at least three Regional Marketing Directors and have three levels of downline generating at least 5400 GV a month
- Vice-Presidential Marketing Director – maintain 300 PV a month, personally recruit at least three Senior Executive Marketing Directors and have three levels of downline generating at least 7500 GV a month
- Presidential Marketing Director – maintain 300 PV a month, personally recruit at least five Senior Executive Marketing Directors and have three levels of downline generating at least 10,500 GV a month
- Vice-Chairman Marketing Director – maintain 300 PV a month, personally recruit at least six Senior Executive Marketing Directors and have three levels of downline generating at least 27,000 GV a month
- Senior Vice-Chairman Marketing Director – maintain 300 PV a month, personally recruit at least nine Senior Executive Marketing Directors and have three levels of downline generating at least 43,200 GV a month
Note that PV stands for “Personal Volume”, and includes an affiliate’s own purchases and those of their retail customers.
GV stands for “Group Volume” and includes sales volume from an affiliate’s downline, capped at three levels of recruitment.
Retail commissions are offered on the sale of Youngevity products to non-affiliates.
Retail commissions are paid out as the difference between the wholesale and retail cost of a product. The Youngevity compensation plan states that this may be “up to 30%” of the retail price charged.
When a recruited Youngevity affiliate purchases a “CEO Pack” ($399 to $499), a recruitment commission of $100 is paid out to the affiliate who recruited them.
This commission is paid out whether an affiliate purchases a pack when they join the company or at a later date.
Quick Start Bonus
Orders made by newly recruited Youngevity affiliates in their first thirty days generate a 30% Quick Start Bonus for the affiliate who recruited them.
The Quick Start Bonus is capped to 750 BV per order made.
In order to qualify for the Quick Start Bonus, a Youngevity affiliate must have an autoship order of at least 100 PV or more.
Residual commissions in Youngevity are paid out using a unilevel compensation structure.
A unilevel compensation structure places an affiliate at the top of a unilevel team, with every personally recruited affiliate placed directly under them (level 1):
If any of these level 1 affiliates go on to recruit new affiliates of their own, they are placed on level 2 of the original affiliate’s unilevel team. If any level 2 affiliates recruit new affiliates, they are placed on level 3 and so on and so forth down a theoretical infinite number of levels.
Commissions are paid out as a percentage of the sales volume generated by affiliates in the unilevel team.
How many levels a Youngevity affiliate is paid down is determined by their affiliate membership rank:
- Junior Independent Marketing Director – 5% on levels 1 and 2
- Independent Marketing Director – 8% on levels 1 and 2 and 7% on level 3
- Regional Marketing Director – 8% on levels 1 and 2, 7% on level 3 and 6% on level 4
- Executive Marketing Director – 8% on levels 1 and 2, 7% on level 3 and 6% on levels 4 and 5
- Senior Executive and Vice-Presidential Marketing Director – 8% on levels 1 and 2, 7% on level 3, 6% on levels 4 and 5, 8% on level 6, 4% on levels 7 and 8 and and 2% on all remaining levels
- Presidential Marketing Director – 8% on levels 1 and 2, 7% on level 3, 6% on levels 4 and 5, 8% on level 6, 8% on level 7, 4% on level 8 and 2% on all remaining levels
- Vice-Chairman and Chairman Marketing Director – 8% on levels 1 and 2, 7% on level 3, 6% on levels 4 and 5, 8% on levels 6 to 8 and 2% on all remaining levels
Youngevity’s Coding Bonus is tied into affiliate purchases of CEO packs ($399 to $499).
Up to $190 is paid out, with how much of a payout is received determined by an affiliate’s membership rank:
- Regional Marketing Director – $15
- Executive Marketing Director – $35
- Senior Executive Marketing Director – $100
- Vice-Presidential Marketing Director – $140
- Presidential Marketing Director – $170
- Vice-Chairman Marketing Director – $180
- Senior Vice-Chairman Marketing Director – $190
Up to $190 is paid out on each CEO Pack purchase, with the system searching the immediate upline to pay out the remaining balance to if the affiliate who first receives the Coding Bonus is not a Senior Vice-Chairman Marketing Director.
Eg. A Youngevity affiliate recruits a new affiliate who purchases a CEO Pack. Their immediate upline is an Executive Marketing Director so they are paid $35. $35 from $190 is $155, which remains to be paid out.
The system then continues to search up the upline for a Senior Executive Marketing Director or higher ranked affiliate. Any Regional or Executive Marketing Directors are skipped, as their portion of the coding bonus has already been paid out.
If a Presidential Marketing Director is the next qualified affiliate found, they are paid $170 minus $35 = $135. The system then continues to search upwards till it finds either a Vice-Chairman Marketing Director ($10 would be paid out) or a Senior Vice-Chairman Marketing Director (the last remaining $20 would be paid out).
Using the above example if the immediate upline was a Senior Vice-Chairman Marketing Director, the full $190 Coding Bonus would have been paid out.
Note that in order to qualify for the Coding Bonus, an affiliate must have purchased a CEO Pack themselves.
Youngevity’s Car Bonus is a monthly bonus put towards the lease of a car.
Note that qualification for the Car Bonus requires the recruitment of affiliates beyond what is required at the applicable membership ranks.
The Youngevity compensation plan does not make it clear if the maintenance of these recruited affiliates is an ongoing requirement after an affiliate promoted.
- Senior Executive Marketing Director – $300 (must have recruited at least 12 International Marketing Directors)
- Vice-Presidential Marketing Director – $600
- Presidential Marketing Director – $800
- Vice-Chariman Marketing Director – $1000
Senior Vice-Chairman affiliates can be awarded an actual car, subject to the following qualification criteria:
- 3,000,000 GV a month for three consecutive months with no more than 50% coming from any one unilevel leg – Corvette C6
- 6,000,000 GV a month for three consecutive months with no more than 50% coming from any one unilevel leg – Ferrari 458 Italia
Global Revenue Sharing Pool
Youngevity place 0.5% of global sales volume into a Global Revenue Sharing Pool.
Affiliates can qualify for a share in the pool by achieving the Senior Vice-Chairman Marketing Director affiliate rank. All affiliates at this rank receive an equal share in the pool.
As a publicly traded company, Youngevity extends this incredible unique opportunity to become a shareholder at a discount!
What is a stock option? Simply put, it is the right, but not the obligation to purchase shares of stock at a pre-established price – at a time in the future, when the value may be much higher.
Can we guarantee that? Certainly not – but wouldn’t it be nice to have the option?
Youngevity Stock Options are begin at the Executive Marketing Director rank as follows:
- Executive Marketing Director – 250 options
- Senior Executive Marketing Director – 1000 options
- Vice-Presidential Marketing Director – 4750 options
- Presidential Marketing Director – 15,000 options
- Vice-Chairman Marketing Director – 29,000 options
- Senior Vice-Chairman Marketing Director – 50,000 options
Note that in order to qualify for Stock Options at any given rank, said rank must be maintained for a minimum of 90 days.
Basic affiliate membership to Youngevity is $99.
In order to become CEO qualified (required for various commission qualifications), the purchase of a “CEO Pack” is required ($399 to $499).
The difference in price between the various CEO Packs available is attributable to the various Youngevity products bundled in them.
With such a large product range it’s obvious that there are plenty of retailable products within Youngevity.
The question is whether or not these products are only being bought by affiliates, or whether there’s significant retail activity taking place.
Analysis of Youngevity’s compensation plan doesn’t leave me convinced it’s the latter.
The most obvious red flag in Youngevity’s compensation plan is the $100 commission paid out on CEO Packs. Affiliates are the only people buying these packs, so effectively if bought by a newly recruited affiliate, you’re looking at $100 a pop paid out on the recruitment of a new affiliate.
Given that “CEO qualified” is the only way to qualify for various commissions and bonuses, there’s a big question mark over whether affiliates who purchase the pack are doing so out of a genuine perception of value in the pack, or whether they just want to pre-qualify themselves for various commissions later on.
The coding bonus in particular sticks out like a sore thumb, paying a coded bonus on the purchase of a CEO Pack and also requiring the purchase of a CEO Pack in order to qualify.
Due to the relatively high monthly PV requirements, should an affiliate not sell product to retail customers and just autoship the required amount, there’s a definite potential for large affiliate downlines to be generating commissions on nothing but affiliate purchases.
And on the topic of autoship, I felt the monthly PV requirements only led themselves to autoship abuse.
Take for example the first two Youngevity affiliate ranks. The only difference between the two of them is 50 PV.
What are the odds a newly recruited affiliate is just going to pay an extra $50 for autoship and make up the 50 PV themselves?
One level higher, and another 50 PV is required (again likely to be an increase in an autoship order) and the recruitment of three affiliates.
The Quick Start Bonus wholly encourages an affiliate to sign up for autoship, and from a very early level then sets a precedent of retail sales taking a backseat to affiliate-purchase PV qualification.
In order to fend off possible autoship/recruitment abuse, Youngevity would do well to implement a cap on how much PV is counted from autoship. 50 PV I believe is reasonable, with the remainder required to be retail sales volume.
I don’t believe we’re going to be seeing something like that anytime soon though. Take for example this description of a successful Youngevity affiliate (from the compensation plan):
If you personally enrolled only three Distributors on level one who, in turn, did the same through 8 levels… You would have 9,840 IMD’s in your pay structure.
This truly separates you from the norm in Corporate America – where people are just trading their time for money.
Think about this: In this example, you only did the work to develop three Distributors – if they duplicate your efforts, and those efforts compound, you can get paid on 9,840 people’s efforts!
You recruit three affiliates, who recruit three affiliates, who recruit three affiliates and so on.
Retail isn’t mentioned at all, with it being implied that everyone is on a monthly standing autoship order. The only duplication is the recruitment of three affiliates down eight levels of recruitment.
If one were to engage in this, you’d be part of a chain-recruitment pyramid scheme.
And remember, this suggestion is coming from Youngevity corporate in an official compensation document.
That’s why I have little to no confidence that retail is a significant portion of Youngevity’s total revenue.
That said, I did find the restriction of GV on an affiliate’s first three levels to be a good incentive to focus on building their immediate downline.
That said, if it’s just everyone recruiting three affiliates and paying autoship fees each month – we still have a problem.
The stock options offering was an interesting twist. As per Youngevity’s definition of a stock option, a snapshot of their stock price reveals there might be something to it:
That said I’d definitely treat the options as an additional bonus over something to strive for. Stock prices of MLM companies are notoriously volatile.
Given the nature of Youngevity’s compensation plan and the nature of the inherent “recruit three, who recruit three etc.” culture within the company, I’d strongly advise prospective Youngevity affiliates to enquire with their upline as to how much retail volume versus affiliate downline volume (within their first three unilevel levels) they are making each month.
Anything other than a reasonably close to 50/50 split might indicate they’ve adopted Youngevity’s “recruit three, who recruit three etc.” strategy.
If that’s the case, one can reasonable expect to have to do the same (recruit three etc.) in order to get anywhere in the company.
Approach with caution.
Thank you for the info like always Oz!
One of my friends actually has been involved with this MLM for some time and I couldn’t get any dirt on it – whether its because I had no time to research on the subject, or I just let it slide because my friend is extremely prideful.
I’ll just go over with him this info and I hope he’ll see how bad of a fix he is in – although he invested a lot of money already (I’ve heard).
Pride is going to be an obstacle to get through though…
Basically Youngevity has no product focus and no “Schtick”. Most of the wellness companies have some sort of a schtick, from ‘stem cells’ to ‘sea scum’ (marine phytoplankton) to ‘kitty litter material’ (zeolite). Youngevity basically claims to have EVERYTHING.
Well you know the saying K. Chang
You throw enough *blank* at the wall..eventually it will stick.
Wow. Thanks for the info. I actually left skinny body care for same reasons but I thought I joined good program with youngevity. I guess I made another mistake.
Thanks for the information.
I think he means urine.
You obviously missed the smilie at the end. 😉
And what do these two companies have in common?
Figure that out and you won’t make another mistake. Good luck.
the fact is that Wallach did not start Youngevity. Youngevity was originally founded by Craig Keeland and had a much different product line and much less of high end push.
I was proud to be associated with Craig and Youngevity in the 1990s through 2003. It was a low key MLM with the emphasis on the products and most of my teams sales were retail.
Craig sold Youngevity to Wallach in 2003 who really wanted the name rather than the product line which he phased out.
So what, Lan and Wallach are fraudulently listed as founders on Youngevity’s website then?
here you can read a forum entry by Wallach on the facts:
So Wallach is in actuality the founder of a Frankenstein company that he acquired through acquisition.
What with all the acquisitions of other companies Youngevity has made over the last few years, I guess that makes sense.
Talk about disingenious though, they could at least acknowledge they’re not the original founders of Youngevity. There’s no mention of the original acquisition in either of the “co-founder’s” Youngevity corporate bios.
And this from the biography page of Craig’s website, listing himself as the founder, President, and CEO of Youngevity which I know to be true:
Wallach’s father (Joel) was the originator of the Colloidial Silver fad and the infamous Dead Doctors Don’t Lie tapes.
that’s correct OZ
Well I guess we’ll chalk up the disingenuous co-founder claims as yet another red-flag then.
It *could* technically be true… if Youngevity got acquired by X, then X renamed itself Youngevity. So the founders of X can claim to be founder of Youngevity, though technically it’s Youngevity 2.0.
(Seen it done before, albeit, different industry)
Money is not the only reason to join or use the products. You can earn your CEO status without having to by the CEO Pack.
As a distributor you can set up retail or you can follow the MLM layout. To call it a scheme, is just adding a word that is seen as negative to Youngevity.
All business are pyramids! Our government is a pyramid, but does that mean all businesses are bad? No. There are tons of businesses that claim there’s a new way to do MLM besides the traditional “pyramid” format.
I have never been a sales person and was never comfortable with signing people up and talking to people about stuff that I was trying to sell, I hated selling Girl Scout Cookies!
I wanted to try the products for myself and see what benefit I saw from them and then I stopped taking them, to see what happened. I didn’t realize how much my health had improved till I stopped taking the products.
If you’re just wanting to make money, there’s money to be made here. I’ve seen it, but if you’re wanting to improve your health and help others do the same, that can be done also, but it’s a slower road to travel on.
This doesn’t negate the fact that you can buy CEO status within the compensation and get directly compensated to recruit other affiliates who do the same.
The rest of your excuses are irrelevant.
Yes, everything is a “pyramid”. Its not the SHAPE of the structure, it how the math plays out, and how people are paid WITHIN the structure that causes the issues.
Everyone claims to be different. Few can back it up.
But not all businesses are pyramid “SCHEMES”.
And how often is this done? If this is only done only rarely, then it’s irrelevant.
So… got some stats? Or are you just barking up the wrong tree?
Thanks for this article because it has helped me make a decision.
As I was reading through the comments, I concluded that this company has a little bit for everyone. The retail prices are compatible with products from other companies that are not MLM companies, so this is how I gauge the viability of this business.
I’m going to give it a go as a retail operation. If others want to follow the yellow brick MLM road, they are free to do so; that doesn’t mean that I will. No one forces people to go into the MLM structure.
Having said this, you are alerting people to the possibility of getting stuck in the MLM spiderweb, and that is a good thing!
Anyway, I’ll test the retail pricing out there and see for myself. As for the products, they are very good, quality products that benefit health and keep people away from allopathic medicines as the first go-to.
Thanks again for this article!
No worries. Glad you found the information useful.
“Approach with caution.” -??
I fail to see any problems here. Recruiting IS the strategy in ALL MLM businesses. MLM is all about “recruit, recruit recruit”. It is all about building a sales TEAM – an organization of sales people.
This multiplies and leverages your time and effort. Instead of selling to only 100 customers you recruit 100 and they sell to 10,000 customers. You get paid commissions on all those thousands. What is the supposed “catch”? There is no catch. That is the name of the profession.
I get your point about incentivizing the gathering of personal customers, but that is also built into the strategy: “Get three and yours is FREE”. Meaning: “Get three customers to buy the Healthy Body Pak, And your Pak is free”. That automatically incentivizes getting customers along with recruiting.
So in conclusion I see nothing wrong or dangerous, or immoral about the Plan. I see great things ahead for Youngevity…
Recruiting affiliates on autoship is not “building a sales team”. Nobody is actually selling anything to retail customers.
Free product is hardly the equivalent of commissions. As it stands there’s nor real incentive to focus on retail sales over affiliate autoship recruitment, which is clearly reflected in the tone of your comment.
If “recruit, recruit, recruit” is the core of the Youngevity business, the FTC would likely disagree.
I don’t see how autoship is a bad thing. It saves you shipping costs.
If the next person you sign up is also ordering via auto ship and the people they sign up are doing the same thing isn’t that retail sales? The products are being bought by customers who happen to be distributors add well.
Not if they’re affiliates.
The reason retail sales are required is because otherwise you end up with product-based pyramid schemes (affiliates on autoship are the majority of customers).
If an MLM’s products are retail viable (on autoship or otherwise) then there’s a problem somewhere.
That still doesn’t make sense. A person isn’t going to make money after the initial “sign up” of the new distributor unless the products continue to be bought.
If people are happy with the product and see a user they will continue to buy it, if not they will drop out.
In a product-based pyramid scheme the products are purchased to fund the compensation plan.
Ie. You’re recruited and qualify for commissions via autoship. Those commissions are affiliates you’ve recruited also on autoship and so on.
Without retail it’s all defacto recruitment commissions. If people are happy with the product then healthy retail activity shouldn’t be a problem.
There is no pressure from the company to recruit or sell. No one sends you things, calls you, requires you go to any meetings etc.
Since everyone that joins is on autoship – you get paid anyway.
You and everyone else isn’t interested in trying to sell “products” they are just recruiting people to join.
Wake up and see – you are a recruiter and not sales person.
If people are happy with the money and see a new recruit they will continue to buy it, if not they will drop out.
Ok I fixed that for you.
I accidentally hit the send button before proof reading. You can purchase the products as a preferred customer and not recruit. (I don’t recruit)
You can also order the products monthly and pay shipping if you like. It was supposed to say if people use the products and are happy with them they will continue to purchase them, if not they can drop out.
I buy the vitamins for myself and my family. You have no idea how much they have improved my health when all the doctors wanted to just prescribe meds to cover the symptoms not fix any root causes.
I am not quite sure why your tone is so nasty. I simply was asking for clarification as you were not clear in your explanation.
What you can and can’t do does not change the fact that affiliates purchasing product (via autoship or otherwise) being the primary source of revenue for an MLM company constitutes a product-based pyramid scheme.
So are you a Youngevity affiliate or retail customer then?
So you don’t tell anyone about the products or care about making money from it at all?
I think you already gave your answer above a few times. Long as you have autoship you don’t need to sell the product.
I think we are done here.
Sure I tell people about the products but not because I am recruiting. I use them and love them and they work.
(Ozedit: Offtopic derail attempts removed)
So you have a downline?
Cut the crap. Either you’re earning money or you’re an affiliate with no downline who should be a retail customer.
Vemma trotted out the usual arguments and lost in court (preliminary injunction).
A reader wrote in to request a Soul Purpose review.
It came up today and I was trying to find a copy of their compensation plan to no avail.
Turns out Soul Purpose is owned by Youngevity. I note the reference to “CEOs” in their comp plan summary.
While Soul Purpose is owned by Youngevity, Soul Purpose is still run from its own website.
With respect to a Soul Purpose review, as far as I can tell the two companies sharing the same compensation plan. I believe this is why there’s no comp plan provided on Soul Purpose’s website or anywhere else.
If anyone wants to correct me with a copy of Soul Purpose’s compensation plan I’ll go from there, otherwise that’s where I’m leaving the Soul Purpose review.
If your in it to make money to each his own but this product is very good for you.
i have a job so I’m not so much concerned on making money but this product is good for you to take and with all this covid BS going around your health is important …
I let the other comment slide. If you want to make COVID-19 claims about Youngevity’s products though your going to need to provide peer-reviewed medical studies.
That goes for any medical claims.
Shamefully, I have been in many mlms just for the fun and learning.
This company’s stock is at $3.50 a share. When they purchase competitors, they change the ingredients. Cheaper, yes.
The entire mlm lie started in the 1950s by convincing people that since they were buying direct from the companies, they were saving the middle men commissions and markups.
Big lie. You can have a $50 bottle of mlm vitamins made for $1 when you order 10,000 bottles.
Every bonus paid out to so called uplines is to benefit the company. It is a money redistribution game. Only an ignorant individual will defend an mlm company as a viable method of distribution.
Many gullible folks are good religious people that want to help people. Unfortunately, they trust too much and fail to check company founders out.
It is not always easy to follow the money because it is hidden.
Stuff you read on Business For Home is not honestly portrayed and updated according to the real numbers.
Similar to the pandemic claims of 800,000 deaths. The majority of these deaths had horribly bad pre-existing conditions before they tragically passed away.
Around 3.4 million died in 2020. 2019 had 2.8 million deaths. Final for 2021 is coming.
People are just sick. People have sad eating and sleeping habits. I always hoped there would be a magic bullet.
MLM was a god for me to help others while my ignorance cost me tens of thousands and years of my life.
Start your own business. Be good to others. Help people avoid the lies of MLMs. Good luck everyone.
Thank you Behind MLM. Keep helping others.
Hey, Oz..how about doing an update on this company even if it’s nothing much has changed kind of thing?
This goes back to 2014 and here we are 8 years on.
I’ll queue Youngevity for an update. If there’s substantial changes to the comp plan I’ll publish an updated review. Otherwise I’ll record what I find here.
Thanks for the suggestion.