There’s a lot of talk about AdvoCare being a pyramid scheme scam. This AdvoCare review tells you if there is any real substance to these claims or if this is a good business opportunity.
AdvoCare in a nutshell
Did an AdvoCare distributor approach you or message you on Facebook to tell you how this company could help you achieve “financial independence” and let you take control of your own destiny?
In that case, I want to say congratulations to you! A lot of people would simply jump into the opportunity without thinking twice but you were smart enough to do your due diligence on this company before making a decision.
This review is intended to tell you everything about the AdvoCare business opportunity and by everything, I mean everything – including the bits AdvoCare distributors would deliberately not tell you. You will learn what you need to do in order to succeed and you will also learn why most distributors fail.
You are in for a real treat if you stick around till the end of this review…
However, I completely understand that some people might not be able to sit through this long detailed review due to a lack of time or patience. If you’re one of such people, sit tight for a minute and read through a point-form summary of some important things to know about the company:
- AdvoCare sells nutritional, weight management and sports performance products
- The company operates a Multi-Level Marketing (MLM) business model
- To become a distributor, you will need to pay $79.99 for a yearly membership
- There is a minimum monthly sales volume distributors must meet in order to earn commissions. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find the exact number.
- It is this minimum monthly sales volume that forces distributors either make regular sales or purchase products themselves every month
- Recruiting is necessary to go up in rank within the company, making it a product-based pyramid scheme
- 98.2% of all distributors earn less than $2500 per year and this does not even reflect expenses incurred by each distributor
- This is certainly not a work-from-home opportunity.
- If you would like to make money from the comfort of your home, click on the link below.
What is AdvoCare?
AdvoCare is an MLM-based company that sells nutritional, weight management and sports performance products. The company was founded in 1993 by Charles Ragus.
AdvoCare has a variety of products spread across the following categories:
- 24-day challenge: A program designed to help people achieve their set body goals within 24 days
- Trim: The product line that is supposed to aid weight loss
- Active: A product line that is supposed to give “increased energy, hydration and mental focus”
- Well: The line designed to solve “stress, mental capacity, and digestive support”
- Performance Elite: Supplements for athletes
I have not tried the products myself and therefore I cannot tell you if the products work or not. What I can tell you are some of the problems distributors are likely to face when trying to market the products:
- Nutritional and weight loss products are sold everywhere. Unless you have used the products, gotten results and you have proof to show you did, you will be grasping at straws trying to promote these products to rational people.
- Even though the company strictly forbids this, some of the products are listed on eBay. Now tell me why anyone would purchase from you when they could get it at a cheaper price on eBay. eBay listings also show that distributors are struggling to make physical sales.
- Rank advancement within AdvoCare does not depend on sales but recruiting. This automatically puts a cap on your earnings and it tells a lot about the real priorities of the company
- The obvious problem of having to find leads in the first place. You are going to need a real system of finding people to sell to other than your family and friends.
The Business Opportunity
Every MLM company will always give distributors the option to make product sales and/or recruit. However, only the most ethical companies will make sure the focus remains on the products rather than recruiting.
Unfortunately, AdvoCare is not one of those ethical companies. The real business opportunity here lies in how many people you are able to recruit to become distributors of the company.
I know this because I was fortunate enough to be disturbed on Facebook by an AdvoCare distributor trying to talk me into the “financial independence” the company could offer me. I have now learned that the exact words he used were the same words taught in the training AdvoCare provides its distributors.
The cycle is typical to most MLMs: Invite your family and friends to a “party” and try to sign them up to become distributors. Keep your fingers crossed and hope they do the same and sign others up too and so on.
This cycle is how the pyramid grows, your downline/team grows, you advance in rank and consequently, your potential income increases.
The way you are taught to go about this is by following a script that tells people how they can be able to control their own financial destiny by becoming distributors.
The “warm market” approach is terrible for business due to a couple of reasons. At some point, you will run out of friends and relatives to recruit. What happens then? You will have to rely on the friends and relatives you have recruited.
When these people decide to start recruiting and they read the script, they will see that you fed them the exact same lines the company gave you in order to recruit them. This is why MLMs succeed in ruining a lot of relationships.
Eventually, reality sets in and either you or them would have to quit because you will be spending a lot of money to meet the monthly sales volume requirement. The trust is broken because you sold them false dreams and they believed you.
Not all MLMs are like this but companies like AdvoCare sicken me to my stomach!
In summary, here are some of the problems I reckon you would face if you decided to try and recruit people into the company:
- How do you find people to recruit? When you’ve exhausted your friends and family, what next? To be successful in any business, you need a system of finding regular leads.
- There are a lot of not-so-positive reviews about this company online. If people do their due diligence like you are doing now, you’re going to have some explaining to do.
- The company has had its own fair share of controversies. In 2009, Olympic swimmer Jessica Hardy tested positive for a banned substance attributed to AdvoCare.
- To make a real income off this, you will have to recruit people and those people will have to recruit more people and so on. Every recruit in this cycle will go through the challenges in 1-3.
Remember that at every stage of all this, there is still the lurking minimum monthly volume you have to achieve to remain a distributor. If you are unable to make as many sales or recruit as many people, you will have to match the monthly volume by purchasing the products yourself.
I have read numerous comments by ex-AdvoCare distributors saying how they spent thousands in order to remain distributors, simply because they were holding on to the false dreams they were sold.
The Compensation Plan
Instead of having to write the compensation plan, I will just let an AdvoCare distributor explain it to you in the video below.
**The person in the video is an AdvoCare distributor and is obviously biased. I do NOT endorse the video. I’m sharing this solely for educational purposes.
He only mentions the good stuff in the video but let’s learn some harsh realities:
- In order to become an “advisor” and earn 40% commissions, you need to either cough up $2,100 or work your way up to it
- Your earnings and rank are dependent on the sales volume of your downline
- The attitude and participation of members in your downline is what determines your success or failure in this business
- Recruiting is necessary but not sufficient to make a killing in this business. To remain successful, you have to follow up on your downline and make sure they remain active distributors
- While you might know your own direct recruits, you might not know their own direct recruits personally. Therefore, your fate largely depends on people you might not know personally
- Each rank has its own minimum recruiting and PQV requirements a consultant much achieve to maintain their rank
- Since you are not taught how to get leads in person or online, most distributors end up having to pay for products in order to maintain their PQV
- This implies you are paying to remain a distributor of the company, which is basically being exploited by AdvoCare.
Let’s take a look at the official AdvoCare Income Disclosure Statement for 2015:
Here are a few things to note:
- AdvoCare had 623,003 distributors in 2015
- An active distributor is anyone that got at least 1 payment from AdvoCare in 2015
- There were 177,443 active distributors (about 19% of all distributors) in 2015
- The average annual compensation paid to active distributors in 2015 was $1,586
- The average annual compensation paid to all distributors in 2015 was $452
- 71.52% of all distributors did not earn a single dime in 2015
- Based on figures on the chart, 98.2% of all distributors earned an average of less than $2,500 in 2015
- Based on the above figures, 93.7% of active distributors earned an average of less than $2,500 in 2015
- None of the figures above reflect any expenses incurred by distributors like product purchases and costs to obtain leads
What I liked
- It is cheap to join compared to most MLMs
- Distributors are not required to purchase products if they are able to achieve the PQV threshold through leads
What I didn’t like
- No in-depth training on how to get leads
- This lack of training causes distributors to have to purchase products monthly in order to remain distributors. This is the company exploiting its distributors
- The above point makes this opportunity expensive all of a sudden
- To be successful, distributors will need to invest in things like paid advertising and proper marketing training
- The average annual earnings are beyond pathetic
- There is a far greater emphasis on recruiting than product sales
- This is a close to an obvious product-based pyramid scheme as you are ever going to see
- The company has had its own share of controversies in the past
- Dishonest marketing tactics
Is AdvoCare a Pyramid Scheme?
From a legal perspective, they are not a pyramid scheme because they sell real products and they have deliberately masked their figures to hide whether they make more from distributor purchases or retail sales to regular customers. This is enough to keep them on the good side of the law, at least for now.
From an objective standpoint, they are an obvious product-based pyramid scheme and I would think twice about joining this opportunity. Because the company could not build trust with the quality of their products, they resorted to buying endorsements from athletes. This speaks volumes of their desperation.
Anyway, unless figures are presented to prove otherwise, I stand by my initial claim that AdvoCare is living off the revenue they get from exploiting their distributors.
ESPN published a very interesting piece on this company. Here’s the link to the article.
Is there a chance you could be successful as an AdvoCare distributor? Yes, albeit a very slight one. Would I recommend it? No, because the failure rates are extremely high and this company is a pyramid scheme in my opinion.
In any case, whether you choose to take a chance with AdvoCare or you decide to build your business elsewhere, you are going to need to learn how to get consistent leads.
If you would love to build your own business without recruiting, cold-calling or hard-selling, check out the program that taught me.
Product Name: AdvoCare
Price: $79.99 per year
Founder(s): Charles Ragus
Overall Ranking: 30/100