Can you make money selling Optavia? Let’s take a look at OPTAVIA’s 2021 Income Disclosure Statement to find out.
As a reminder, I have an MBA, I am a Certified Public Accountant (CPA), and have almost 15 years working in finance and accounting. These are my opinions based on researched facts and my understanding of those facts. However, this is not legal, financial, or tax advice. If you need legal, financial, or tax advice, you should reach out to a professional for a 1:1 chat! All opinions are my own.
To skip right to the PDF of the Income Disclosure – Click Here.
What is OPTAVIA?
OPTAVIA is a multi-level marketing (MLM) aka Network Marketing Company that sells products for weight loss. OPTAVIA is owned by Medifast. OPTAVIA had over $1.5 billion in revenue for 2021 according to Business Insider. They sell meal replacements in the form of shakes and bars. They also sell their own versions of snacks. From a quick look, it reminds me of NutriSystem, where they ship you most of the food you need to eat while you’re on their “plan”.
OPTAVIA 2021 Income Disclosure Key Takeaways
First I’ll start with some high-level Key Takeaways – but if you’d like to skip to the full PDF of the compensation plan – click here.
- OPTAVIA’s kits for a 30-day supply range from $400 – $500 dollars. So assume a minimum of $5,400 per year to be able to have enough products have a 30- day supply of fuelings
- At least 82% of all Coaches earned less than $5,400 per year
- 20% of all coaches made no money
- Only 2% of Coaches earned more than $50,000 annually (before expenses)
- Only .24% on average make $200,000 or above (before expenses)
- Only .46% on average make between $100,000 – $200,000 (before expenses)
- Only 1.6% on average make between $50,000 – $100,000 (before expenses)
- This means there are likely less than 2% are truly earning enough to support a family comfortably
OPTAVIA Compensation Plan
It is no surprise that OPTAVIA’s compensation plan is complicated, just like any other MLM or network marketing company. What is interesting about OPTAVIA’s Income Disclosure Statement is that they don’t tell you what rank everyone is who made earnings. They simply share what percentage of overall coaches earn different income brackets.
However, after reviewing the compensation plan and reviewing many other MLMs and their compensation plans and income disclosure statements, I can safely say the only way to reach the top 2% of the company making any real money will be to recruit a downline.
In fact, on page 7 of the PDF of their compensation plan – they even explicitly state that “In order to maximize the earning opportunity with OPTAVIA, a Coach must build and mentor Coach Teams”.
OPTAVIA offers many different bonuses to help boost earnings, but to earn them, you must have built a team in order to achieve those qualified rankings.
How Much Does it Cost to Join OPTAVIA?
According to their website, to join OPTAVIA you pay $199 for their business kit. Then annually you’ll pay a fee of $55 to remain active as a Coach. On top of that, you’ll likely be encouraged to follow the diet plan to a T. This will be to help promote the product, but also earn those above-you commissions (though, they won’t come straight out and say it). This will cost you at least $400 per MONTH. Making this one of the more expensive multi-level marketing (MLM) aka Network Marketing companies out there. You should plan on at least $5,000 of expenses associated with this “business”.
Lawsuit Over Auto Renew
In April 2022 a class action lawsuit was filed against OPTAVIA, and their parent company Medifast, regarding their alleged business practices of auto-enrolling customers into a monthly auto-ship without proper disclosures. This results in consumers paying hundreds of dollars for products that were auto-shipped. As of the time writing this article, I’m unable to determine if this has yet to be resolved, so I’m assuming this case is still open.
OPTAVIA is a diet that restricts calories to result in weight loss. It is a very restrictive diet that replaces meals and snacks with OPTAVIA’s products. There are many nutritionists out there that do not recommend this restrictive diet. If you spend some time Googling or searching on YouTube you can find many different opinions on this. It is strongly recommended you speak to your doctor before starting this, or any other diet program.
Should You Join OPTAVIA?
My opinion on multi-level marketing companies and network marketing companies is that I would not recommend anyone to join one. I feel even stronger about that with OPTAVIA. The cost is so high each month to be a part of this. If you’re doing this as a business opportunity, you can be out thousands of dollars without earning any revenue. After doing my own research, I also would have health concerns for anyone participating in OPTAVIA and if this is a sustainable lifestyle.
Why You Should be Skeptical of Network Marketing/MLMs
Network marketing also known as multi-level marketing (MLM) is something you should have a healthy skepticism of (and in my opinion avoid). Let’s talk about some of those things:
The majority of people who get involved with MLMs lose money.
This has been proven time and time again by reviewing income disclosure statements and this study that was published by the FTC.
This study is a little dated, however, I have reviewed many Income Disclosure Statements and find that the results are still valid. See all the Income Disclosure Statements I’ve reviewed here.
Focus on recruiting those already struggling financially.
Oftentimes, when people are recruiting others on social media, it starts with a relatable story about how that mother was struggling to help support herself or her children. Therefore recruiting someone who is unlikely to have money to spare for a “business opportunity” and will likely lose money.
Uplines Make Money Off Downlines Losses
The way multi-level marketing and network marketing businesses are structured is that those in the upline make money off the sales of those in the downline. Oftentimes, MLMs require a certain amount of personal volume (PV) to stay active in the company. This results in consultants spending money to buy products to remain active. This results in them losing more money while their uplines earn commissions off those “sales”
Lack of Transparency In Where Sales Come From
Currently, MLMs are not required to produce any reporting that identifies how much of their sales come from customers or from those involved with the “business”. This makes it very difficult to establish where the line falls between MLMs and Pyramid Schemes
The FTC warns that MLMs and Pyramid Schemes can look very similar.
The FTC has an entire article (click here to read) on its website that has a lot of great resources, including questions to ask someone who is looking to recruit you.
Many network marketers will argue their MLM isn’t a pyramid scheme because pyramid schemes are illegal. However, illegal things happen every day until people are caught. I would not give this any merit.
My Final Thoughts on OPTAVIA 2021 Income Disclosure
I strongly recommend anyone considering purchasing OPTAVIA as a weight loss plan or a business opportunity that you do thorough research from sources outside of OPTAVIA. Given their own income disclosure statement, you’re unlikely to earn any money from this business. You also need to take into your health considerations before starting a new diet.
OPTAVIA 2021 Income Disclosure PDF
See below for a downloaded version of the 2021 Optavia Income Disclosure Statement.