Thursday, December 20, 2012

USANA Sticks It To Their Distributors With Product Price Increases - Merry Christmas!

As if the U.S. economy hasn't suffered enough, now USANA Health Sciences, Inc (USNA) claims they are forced to raise the price of their products because Vitamin E Succinate is becoming very expensive. This will be in effect on January 5, 2013. Even though USANA has never experienced any problems maintaining a "large profit" every quarter for the last 20 years, USANA feels they deserve more by raising the price of their products. They must do whatever they can to get their overall revenues and profits up without regard for their distributors. Consider this the equivalence of a tax increase on distributors since they are the only ones who will suffer from this.
PRODUCT 2008 Prices Current Price New Price New Price Increase % Increase Total Vitamin E (IU)
HealthPak100 $107.00 $110.00 $114.00 $4.00 3.6% 11200
Essentials $39.95 $42.50 $45.45 $2.95 6.9% 11200
Body Rox $17.95 $19.95 $22.50 $2.55 12.8% 5600
Usanimals $12.50 $12.50 $13.95 $1.45 11.6% 2800
Mega Antioxidant $30.95 $32.50 $35.50 $3.00 9.2% 11200
Mega Antioxidant without Vitamin K NA $30.95 $35.45 $4.50 14.5% 11200

Poor distributors just got through experiencing a price increase and now they are faced with another. Good thing shipping is free. Oh wait, it's not? So add on about $8 to $10 in shipping and you got yourself a product nobody is going to pay for, except distributors. Looks like USANA simply pulled some numbers out of a hat and thought nobody would notice their inconsistency. USANA even increased the price of the Usanimals by 11%, and you thought it was all about the children.

I believe the reason they increased the Usanimals by 11% is because distributors will continue to buy it as part of their "Charitable Donation". USANA makes a killing on this one. Charge the distributor full price ($13.95) and claim it as a "Charitable Donation". USANA then sends a single bottle of Usanimals to the Children's Hunger Fund charity at their cost (about $2). USANA pockets the rest of the money. That's very sleazy and is proof enough to me that it isn't about helping children. USANA should send $13.95 worth of Usanimals to the Children's Hunger Fund, which might be about 5 or 6 bottles, not just 1.

Now 90% of USANA products sold are purchased by USANA distributors who are paying over $110 to $220 every 28 days to meet their personal sales volume "Personal Purchase Volume" business requirements. Only 10% of product is actually purchased by someone outside the business opportunity. The only people who are going to suffer from these higher prices are the hundreds of thousands of USANA distributors that make up the lower 99% of the distributor force who are unable to turn a profit. They are the ones who have no chance at ever making a profit and now they have to fork out even more money to participate in USANA's compensation plan.

In order to participate in USANA's business opportunity, distributors must "personally purchase" a certain amount of product every 4 weeks (13 times a year). If the distributor fails to make this personal purchase, that distributor loses (stolen back by USANA) any points they may have accumulated from their preferred customer sales or from their downline distributor's own personal purchases (who also face the same dilemma). The distributor is also no longer eligible to collect any commission. This is the main premise of USANA's pyramid scheme. Your not paid upfront to recruit. However, you are paid commission from your recruit's required personal purchases, which is still a pyramid scheme. USANA would collapse if they removed this personal purchase requirement.

There is some good news though. Retail customers do not need to worry about these price increases because they (the retail customer) do not exist. So at least there is one group of people who will not suffer, imaginary as they are.

I'm all for capitalism and believe companies have a right to succeed and profit. But they should be required to do it legally and legitimately. Running a pyramid scheme is illegal. According to the FTC "...a multi-level compensation system funded primarily by payments made for the right to participate in the venture is an illegal pyramid scheme." It then goes on and states "Modem pyramid schemes generally do not blatantly base commissions on the outright payment of fees, but instead try to disguise these payments to appear as if they are based on the sale of goods or services. The most common means employed to achieve this goal is to require a certain level of monthly purchases to qualify for commissions." So USANA would be a pyramid scheme by this definition.

Friday, December 14, 2012

USANA - Myron Wentz Sells $30 Million in Stock In Last 30 Days

USANA Health Sciences, Inc (USNA) took a dive today dropping $4.43 (10.58%) to $37.44. In the last 30 days, Myron Wentz (Founder of USANA) sold $30.3 million in stock. No mention of this has been made in the news, but I think someone has been selling on insider information. Also don't forget about the Citron report on the illegal recruiting of Chinese Nationals into USANA's MLM business opportunity. That could very well play a role in this drop today as well.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Citron Research Reveals Evidence of USANA's Illegal Activities In Mainland China

Citron Research has just backed up everything I have written about USANA's fraudulent China activities. They even have undercover investigative evidence! Be sure to read the full investigative report! Allegations are that USANA has been illegally recruiting Chinese Nationals into their Hong Kong MLM compensation plan.

For additional information regarding the allegations of USANA's fraudulent China activities, read through my blog and you will find several years of information revealing it all!

Monday, October 1, 2012

Dr. Mehmet Cengiz Oz, The USANA True Health Foundation, and The Sanoviv Medical Institute

Updated October 9, 2012:
The "USANA True Health Foundation" charity may be violating IRS laws regarding "Self Dealing" by having tax deducted donations pay for Sanoviv medical treatments in which Myron Wentz, Dave Wentz, and Elaine Pace all have a direct financial interest in.
 USANA's True Health Foundation charged 200 of their distributors $150 each to have their picture taken with Dr. Mehmet Cengiz Oz during the 2012 USANA distributor Annual Convention in Salt Lake City, Utah. That's a wonderful thing, $30,000 right there going toward USANA's new charity. Also on April 28, 2012 guests paid $150 to the USANA True Health Foundation to have their picture with Dr. Oz at the USANA Healthy Living Summit.

Dr Mehmet Cengiz Oz does not endorse USANA or its products. I am repeatedly told that Dr. Oz endorses USANA, but that is not true. USANA issued the following statement to their distributors and those who had their pictures taken with Dr. Oz. My Emphasis in bold red.
How to use your photo
  • Show your friends and family and let them know you got to meet Dr. Mehmet Oz in person!
  • If they missed the event, let them know Dr. Mehmet Oz will be attending and speaking at USANA’s International Convention in Salt Lake City, Utah, August 15–18, 2012
  • Share your support of and information about the USANA True Health Foundation and its exciting sponsorship of HealthCorps
  • Use your photo for commercial or advertising purposes, including using the photo on Facebook, Twitter, or any other social media sites
  • State or imply that Dr. Mehmet Oz endorses, certifies, partners with, sponsors, supports, is affiliated with, etc., any product or company, including USANA Health Sciences and its product line
  • Copy, modify, reproduce, upload, post, transmit, display, distribute, disseminate, broadcast, or circulate the photo in any way. It is for your personal use only.

Now about this USANA True Health Foundation that Dr. Oz is supporting and having his picture taken for.

The USANA True Health Foundation is a charity run by Myron Wentz (Founder of USANA and Sanoviv Medical Institute), Dave Wentz (CEO of USANA), and Elaine Pace (President of USANA True Health Foundation and President of Sanoviv Medical Institute).
The following is stated on the USANA True Health Foundation website regarding the donations. My Emphasis in bold red.

How is the USANA True Health Foundation making a difference?
Your donation to the USANA True Health Foundation will go to one of three areas: Area of Greatest Need, the Sanoviv Medical Assistance Program, or Children’s Hunger Fund.

A donation to the Area of Greatest Need will, in part, be used for organizations or causes that require immediate aid, such as worldwide disaster relief.

Many friends of Sanoviv Medical Institute have expressed interest in helping others benefit from the world-class medical care Sanoviv provides. This program allows for those who would not be able to afford Sanoviv’s services to experience care and healing in this special environment. Please note that donations to this program cannot be designated for a specific individual.

The USANA True Health Foundation also expands and further deepens USANA’s support of Children’s Hunger Fund.

Through the USANA True Health Foundation, USANA Health Sciences also provides support to HealthCorps, which provides health education to children.

When someone goes to the Sanoviv Medical Institute, they are put on a dietary regimen. Of course it's USANA's own dietary supplements. Need proof? Check out the Sanoviv website regarding USANA's products: My emphasis in red.
Dr. Wentz recommends all of the great products offered by USANA. He personally uses them every day, and they are used as the base of treatment in every Sanoviv program. 
Dr. Wentz even explains it further on his blog regarding USANA's products used at Sanoviv back in a 2009 posting. So now that I have established the fact Sanoviv uses USANA products for all their treatments, I will like to show how much it costs to be treated at Sanoviv.
How much does it cost to come to Sanoviv?

Complete Health Assessment (CHA)
The current price for the CHA is $3,875 per person.
Detoxification and Regeneration Program
First week (includes the CHA/Complete Health Assessment) $4,950
Second week $3,500

Comprehensive Medical Program  (includes the CHA/Complete Health Assessment)
First two weeks (per person) $10,500
Subsequent weeks (per person) $4,700

Intensive Medical Program (includes the CHA/Complete Health Assessment)
First three weeks (per person) $21,800
Subsequent weeks (per person) $6,000

Companions: permitted to accompany individuals on the CHA, Comprehensive Medical Program, and Intensive Medical Program.
Companion rate includes meals, classes and use of pools. (per night) $100.
Many of the holistic treatments at the Sanoviv Medical Institute cost the patient several thousand dollars. Many of these treatments are banned in the United States (which is why Sanoviv is in Mexico).

So to sum everything up:
  1. Myron Wentz founded USANA.
  2. Myron Wentz and Dave Wentz founded Sanoviv
  3. Elaine Pace becomes president of Sanoviv
  4. Myron Wentz and Dave Wentz founded USANA True Health Foundation
  5. Elaine Pace becomes president of USANA True Health Foundation
  6. USANA True Health Foundation uses charitable funds to help pay for Sanoviv medical treatments
  7. Dr. Mehmet Oz partners with the USANA True Health Foundation
Don't get me wrong, I'm all for charitable givings to help others. However, something here is not right. You can draw your own conclusions here. I'm just surprised Dr. Oz supports a charity that is used in this questionable fashion.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

If Nu Skin Loses Their China License, USANA Might Lose Their China License As Well

There might be a very good reason Citron Research made the following Twitter comment today:

I can think of several USANA "China issues" that I have mentioned on my blog over the last several years. The biggest one that stands out is the illegal recruiting of Chinese Nationals into USANA's Hong Kong MLM compensation plan. It is illegal for any Chinese National to participate in Multilevel Marketing companies. China has outlawed MLM because it is a pyramid scheme.

I have pointed this out many times to my readers over the past several years. USANA's Hong Kong market exploded in growth a couple years ago and when the active associates in that market represented 1 out of every 100 Hong Kong citizens, it seemed pretty obvious to me that something is wrong. I have pointed out an internal USANA memo that admitted to sending a "LARGE SUM" of product to mainland China. There is no reason for a large sum of product to be sent to China unless they were going to distributors over there.

Then Dave Wentz and Fred Cooper actually admitted they have people signing up from mainland China in USANA's Hong Kong market. When a stock analyst asked USANA what percentage of USANA's Hong Kong market were Chinese Nationals, USANA refused to answer claiming they did not know (and never provided an actual answer). The analyst was satisfied with the non answer and dropped the subject.

I believe USANA has had tens of thousands of Chinese Nationals join USANA's MLM compensation plan. I believe USANA knows about it and is even training their associates to recruit Chinese Nationals into the MLM plan. The Fraud Discovery Institute uncovered this 5 years ago! According to the Fraud Discovery Institute (FDI), they had an undercover couple go into USANA's Hong Kong office and one of USANA's employees told that couple (who claimed they were from mainland China) to open up a bank account at the China Merchant Bank and use an address in Hong Kong. Also according to FDI, the USANA employee claimed there were 30,000 Chinese Nationals signed up in Hong Kong. Remember, this was 5 years ago. I believe this to be true.

Shortly after this China Report came out, FDI settled a lawsuit with USANA for an undisclosed amount and all the FDI material on USANA was removed from the internet. Then several years later Fred Cooper and Dave Wentz admit that Chinese Nationals signed up in Hong Kong.

Let it also be known that I brought this information to the attention of PriceWaterhouseCooper (USANA's Auditors) regarding the "LARGE SUM" of product being sent to mainland China as well as the recruiting of Chinese Nationals. PriceWaterhouseCooper ended their communications with me after I sent them all the information. Seems they didn't really care. But just for the record, they cannot claim they weren't informed about it years ago.

If there are tens of thousands of Chinese Nationals in USANA's Hong Kong distributorship, that could represent a very large portion of USANA's net revenues. Without this China recruiting, USANA's net revenues could have been on the decline like their United States market is. With such a decline, USANA's stock would be drastically lower. Which gets to my point about USANA executives selling their stock recently for millions of dollars with a stock price over $45. If these insiders know about the Chinese National recruiting scheme, then they know the stock price is grossly inflated because of the inflated earnings. I believe this is a form of stock manipulation.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

USANA Executives Sell Millions of Dollars Worth of Stock

Myron Wentz sells $4,735,010 worth of stock in the last couple days (Sept 12 and 14). So I will update the figures below with the latest data. Someone should ask USANA to disclose what days the company repurchases the stock. Today it appears Myron Wentz sold his stock at the last 15 minutes of trading. (Update Sept 14, 2012)

Over the past couple weeks USANA's CEO Dave Wentz sold $2,960,088 of his stock.

Since the beginning of 2012, USANA executives have sold a total of $14,573,605 in stock. They have purchased $0.

Wentz Dave $2,960,088.00
Wentz Myron W $8,616,930.00
Macuga Daniel A. $515,973.30
Woo Deborah $500,436.24
McClain Jerry G $103,737.70
Guest Kevin $970,099.00
Iiekking G Doug $348,718.20
Fuller Gilbert A $164,095.00
Bramble James $196,329.00
Truett Roy $197,199.00

And I'd like to remind the readers how Dave Wentz responded during a past conference call:
John San Marco at Janney Montgomery Scott LLC:
"Do you know what the percentage of your Hong Kong associates that are actually Chinese nationals?"

Dave Wentz replies back with:
"We definitely have a number of people who are building in Hong Kong. We do not have a percentage or have a number that we could point to with any accuracy."

Also this Internal USANA Memo that admits to sending product to mainland China:
"IV. What is the biggest market that buys our products that we are not eligible to operate in?

i. Once again I couldn’t give you an exact answer on this. Since I work with our Asian markets, I know that a
large sum of product ends up in China, but I’m sure product somehow gets shipped to other unauthorized markets as well…"

And also what USANA's ex-president Fred Cooper stated:
"we have a large group of Asian Associates who are involved with USANA only because of the products and are buying in Hong Kong for consumption only."

So USANA executives are fully aware of the Chinese Nationals that are recruited into USANA's MLM compensation plan through Hong Kong China. And has I have written about for years, the ratio of USANA distributors in Hong Kong to citizens in Hong Kong is about 1 in 100. That's a major red flag. Now USANA admits to the recruiting of mainland China citizens. The problem here is, it is AGAINST CHINA'S LAW for any of their citizens to participate in MLM. Why is that? MLM is against the law in China. So USANA is knowingly circumventing foreign laws and the SEC should investigate this matter.

As I have stated before, I believe that if you remove the net revenue generated by these illegal distributors, USANA would no be growing, but actually declining!. Thus, the stock price would be far lower. I believe the stock price is grossly inflated because of the illegal recruiting of Chinese Nationals and believe the executives selling their shares at these inflated prices could land them in hot waters.

It would be very interesting to find out how many USANA distributors are illegal recruits from foreign territories that restrict MLM from operating in their own borders. 

Friday, August 17, 2012

USANA Rebrands Themselves and Makes Impossible Promise To Their Distributors

Get ready for the new USANA! After 20 years, USANA announced at their 2012 International Convention that it was time to re-brand themselves. They are starting with the United States first. USANA redid all their packaging, sales tools & literature, website, and even their logo!

USANA's New Logo

USANA states that their new Brand Promise is the following: "We promise everything we do will help you love life and live it — and that will help you help others do the same."

 I think USANA's new logo actually looks like something out of a nightmare. Maybe the Mirror Prison in the first Superman movie.

Unfortunately, 99% of USANA's distributors never make a profit. In fact, according to USANA, less than 1% of distributors are even considered "Full Time" working associates (0.76% to be exact). USANA considers a distributor full time if they are a "Gold Director" or higher. To get to Gold Director, a distributor must max out their "Business Center" four weeks in a row. To max out a business center, the distributor must accumulate 5000 "Group Sales Volume" (GSV) on their "Left Leg" and 5000 on their "Right Leg". The distributor accumulates this volume of points from either "Preferred Customers" or recruited distributors in their "Downline".  There are over 3 distributors for every preferred customers, so obviously preferred customers are not relied upon for this volume points.

In order to accumulate 5000 GSV on a leg, they need their downline to personally purchase at least 100 "Personal Sales Volume" (PSV) worth of points through an "autoship" plan. These aren't really sales however, they are personal "Purchases" made by each "active distributor". A distributor is active as long as they personally purchase 100 PSV every 4 weeks (13 times a year). These personal purchases count as GSV for each distributor in their "upline".

So, 5000 GSV can count for 50 distributors who each personally purchase over $110 worth of product. This needs to happen on both left and right legs of the downline. So to max out a business center, it may take 100 distributors to do it. Doing it once only makes you a Silver Director. When you do it however, you get a new business center at the bottom of your one of your legs so you can continue recruiting more distributors and make more money. So to max out four weeks in a row, you need to time when you recruit your distributors so they order at different times during a 4 week period. So maxing out 4 weeks in a row may take over 400 recruited distributors.

Now the reason each distributor makes these 100 (some cases 200) PSV purchases every 4 weeks is because it is a business requirement by USANA. If the distributor fails to make that personal purchase, then that distributor will lose any GSV they may have accumulated and can not qualify or collect any commission that may have been owed to that distributor.

Imagine what it must take to become a Diamond Director, or 4-Star Diamond Director, or 10-Star Diamond Director. A Diamond Director must have 4 business centers all maxed out four weeks in a row. A 10-Star Diamond Director needs to max out 14 business centers four weeks in a row! That takes upwards of tens of thousands of distributors in their downline, balanced between the legs, and actively personally purchasing 140,000 volume points of product (about $154,000) each week!

Now how many downline distributors does it take to cover the cost of these personal purchases? About 10 actively purchasing distributors. So 10 would give about 1000 GSV (500 on left leg, 500 on right leg) which pays out $100 in commission. You only get paid a commission when you accumulate enough GSV according to USANA's pay plan. This $100 still doesn't cover the $110 + shipping for something like the Healthpak100. So lets just say it takes about 11 distributors to cover the cost to participate as a USANA distributor. Right off the bat, USANA has designed the compensation plan to fail 11 out of 12 distributor.

Unfortunately there are many other problems with the compensation plan and how USANA pays out commission as well as other factors that cause about 99% of USANA's distributors to lose money and never make a profit. So only about 1% distributors even have a chance to make a profit. These are fixed percentages designed into USANA's Binary Compensation Plan. It's even evident by USANA's own statistical figures that show only 0.76% of distributors are Gold Directors or higher.

And now we have USANA stating that "we promise everything we do will help you love life and live it — and that will help you help others do the same."

Here's what I think would be a more appropriate logo for USANA:

I call it "Suffering MLM Distributors Trapped in a Web of Deception and Misfortune"

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Time For a Name Change? USANA's Failure in the United States May Leave No Other Option.

USANA has failed miserably in the United States territory for many years now. Even after all the contests designed to increase the recruiting efforts of their distributors in an attempt to increase their "Active Associate" numbers in the US have failed. Even after USANA added a "Matching Bonus" to their compensation plan, their US territory has failed. Even after dishing out all sorts of bonuses for recruiting distributors and becoming platinum pace setters, USANA has failed in the US market. USANA even stopped publishing their Active Associate numbers for their United States territory because they are so bad and instead give a combined total with Canada, Mexico and even Europe. So what else is left for USANA to do? Change their name - Amway did it in the past with Quixtar.

With a name change people in the US wouldn't know they are still dealing with USANA. In other words, get the bad taste out of everyone's mouth. However, 99% of distributors would continue to lose money... Doing almost any kind of Google search on USANA brings up my blog and my website "", which certainly is a problem for USANA distributors trying to mislead others into joining a pyramid scheme.

USANA announced that shipment of any USANA product will be on hold between August 10 and August 14 until after the convention due to a big announcement at their annual international convention. Either USANA is understaffed and nobody will be at their facility to ship product, or USANA simply doesn't want the product shipped due to a major change. It should be noted that Diamond Directors make a lot of money during this convention because USANA pushes attendees to purchase a lot of product for their business.

I have seen many cars advertising Monavie, Herbalife and other MLM companies, but never have I seen anyone driving around with a USANA advertisement. Other MLMs have been expanding in the United States, except for USANA. There isn't much left for USANA to do to improve the US distributorship other than to pull an Amway and change their name. Better yet, USANA should just move their headquarters to a foreign country since the majority of sales is outside the US. Not only that, but the founder had renounced his US citizenship in the 90s and moved his assets to Lichtenstein, which is considered a method of tax evasion. So USANA is simply a foreign owned company.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

USANA Should Answer The Following Questions During Their July 24, 2012 Second Quarter Earnings Release and Conference Call.

(Updated July 26, 2012 at bottom of posting)

USANA's second quarter earnings will be released Tuesday July 24, 2012 and a follow up conference call will take place on Wednesday at 11:00 AM. I have a few very simple and important questions analysts or shareholders should ask USANA during the conference call for the second quarter earnings release. It is in the best interest of the shareholders that USANA answer the following questions.

1) How much (or percentage) of the distributor incentives was the result of active associates purchasing the minimum requirement every 28 days in order to be commission eligible? (VERY IMPORTANT QUESTION)

2) Of the distributors that USANA considers "Full Time" (Gold Directors and up), ON AVERAGE how much (or percentage) of the commission paid to them comes from preferred customers and how much (or percentage) comes from downline distributors? (VERY IMPORTANT QUESTION)

3) How many active associates and preferred customers are in each of USANA's territories? (Australia, New Zealand, South Korea, Japan, Malaysia, Philippines, Hong Kong, Mainland China, United States, Canada, Mexico, etc...) Please break it down by territory and not region.

4) How many distributors either renewed their distributor membership or purchased a Business Development System (BDS) in the last 12 months? (Will tell shareholders how many TOTAL distributors USANA has)

5) What percentage of USANA's net revenue was the result of product being retailed to customers outside distributor membership program? (If there are no retail sales, then why are associates being lured into the distributorship?)

Questions 1 & 2 are extremely important and shareholders and analysts should demand an answer to them. Its about time USANA explain where the commission comes from that pays tens of millions of dollars to their Full-Time (Gold Directors and up) distributors while leaving the remaining 99% of distributors profitless.

I challenge at least one of these USANA analysts to ask the above questions.

Scott Van Winkle - Canaccord Genuity, Research Division
Rommel T. Dionisio - Wedbush Securities Inc., Research Division
John P. San Marco - Janney Montgomery Scott LLC, Research Division
Frank A. Camma - Sidoti & Company, LLC
Timothy Ramey - D.A. Davidson & Co.
Per Osland (ph) – Jefferies & Company
Mimi Noel - Sidoti & Company
Doug Lane - Jefferies & Company
Diederik Basch – Canaccord Adams
Madeline Miller -- D.A. Davidson & Company

(Updated July 26, 2012)

Of course important questions like the ones I proposed above do not get answered and USANA continues to hide falling distributor numbers in many of their territories. Beginning last quarter, USANA decided to stop disclosing United States, Canada, and Mexico distributor numbers and instead just grouped them all together. Okay, not a big deal. However, USANA now includes their newest territories from EUROPE in the North American distributor numbers. For those that don't know, the United States and Europe are separated by about 3000 miles of ocean. So it is completely irrational for USANA to combine the European segments along with the North American segments because they are so incredibly geographically different. The only reason for USANA to have done this is to mask the continuing dismal distributor numbers in the US and Canada by including a new territory that is expected to have somewhat rapid growth. I call this sleazy and USANA's stock analysts are too blind to have noticed.

If you wanted to take the United States revenue and divide it by the number of active associates for the United States territory, then you can forget it.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Evidence of USANA Inventory Loading Their Distributors

Inventory Loading is a key sign of a modern day product-based pyramid scheme.

USANA requires their associates to purchase a MINIMUM of 100 points worth of product every 4 weeks. This comes out to about $120 in product purchases. Each "active" associate made such purchase. But why? Every active associate who I have conversed with on the internet has claimed that they "wanted" the product, so the purchase was okay. But are those claims true, or just something USANA has conditioned these active associates to say to make excuses for these ongoing purchases?

If active USANA associates were just consumers of their own product and is why they purchase about $120 worth of product every 4 weeks, then why is it that Preferred Customers (those who are actually consumers who "want" the product) only purchase on average $70 worth of product every 4-weeks? Perhaps you are wondering where this $70 figure comes from.

According to USANA's latest financial SEC filings 67,000 Preferred Customers were responsible for $15.4 million in net sales, which is 10% of USANA's total net sales (associates accounted for the remaining 90%!). This works out to an average of $70 per preferred customer every 4 weeks. I use a 4-week calculation because USANA requires purchases from their associates on a 4-week cycle (13 times a year).

To me, this is proof that associates are primarily making these ongoing $120+ purchases every 4-weeks so they abide by USANA's rules and remain "commission eligible" for the 4-week period. If the associate fails to make this mandatory purchase, that associate is no longer considered "active", is stripped of all accumulated groups sales volume generated from their preferred customers and downline associates, and unable to collect any commission. That's a pretty severe penalty, especially when upline associates (typically the leaders) are continually pressuring their downline to remain on "autoship" and make those $120+ payments every 4-weeks.

Since most product purchases from USANA are from the active associates (219,000 of them), and each of them has to purchase about $120 worth of product every 4-weeks in order to participate in USANA's compensation plan, and the fact that preferred customers only account for about $70 on average, it is no wonder the primary focus in USANA is to market a business opportunity rather than product. The product is only a disguise as well as "tokens" used in a grand elaborate modern day product-based pyramid scheme.

This mandatory requirement for associates to purchase USANA products is known as "Inventory Loading". That is, the associates are being forced to purchase more product than they can actually resell. Assuming the associate only really consumes at most $70 worth of their $120 purchase, they are left with $50 sitting in their cupboards. USANA claims they can "retail" this product to make a profit. However, preferred customers obtain the product "at the same discounted price as the associates do". This means, there is no chance that any associate can resell their personally purchased product for more than they paid themselves. Unfortunately, the associate is also stuck with a nice shipping charge as well. To top it all off, many USANA associates resort to EBAY to "dump their inventory loaded purchases". These typically auction for 50% less than the associates own cost. Inventory Loading is one of the key indicators of a product-based pyramid scheme.

So if active associates were telling the truth, and that they really wanted $120 worth of product every 4-weeks ($1560 a year), then why does USANA have this "Mandatory" purchase in the first place? What would happen if USANA could no longer be allowed to "force" their associates to make these $120 purchases in order to participate in the compensation plan and be eligible for commissions? I think the answer is obvious. USANA would go out of business in a matter of months because associates would only purchase the amount of product they actually wanted. I would go as far to claim that most associates would not purchase any product at all.

So here's a challenge to USANA. Why not be one of the first MLMs that does not require their distributors to personally purchase the product they are trying to sell? What would USANA be afraid of, reality???

If you are an ex-USANA associate or know someone who is, I suggest filing a complaint to the FTC if you feel you have been cheated out of your money. I have an blog posting that explains how to go about filing a complaint and why it is extremely important to do so. See my Filing FTC Complaint Against USANA posting.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Ex-USANA Associates Need To File A FTC Complaint If They Feel USANA Operates A Pyramid Scheme.

If you believe you have been victimized by USANA and believe they are operating a pyramid scheme, then you need to file a complaint with the FTC. This is very important.

Most people who have joined USANA's business opportunity have lost time and money. I strongly believe USANA is operating an illegal pyramid scheme. According to the a FTC letter: "...a multi-level compensation system funded primarily by payments made for the right to participate in the venture is an illegal pyramid scheme." It should be noted that 90% of USANA's net revenue comes from their distributor's own purchases. It should also be noted that USANA requires their distributors to purchase about $1560 each year for a 1-business center account and about $3120 each year for a multi-business center account. These required purchases give the distributor the right to participate in the business venture and be eligible for commissions. If the payment is not made, the associate will lose all group sales volume accumulated (converted to commission when enough points accumulate). Seems like a pyramid scheme to me!

The federal agency responsible for investigating Multi-Level Marketing (MLM) companies is the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). The only way the FTC will investigate whether USANA is a pyramid scheme is for "enough" victims to file a complaint. So the most important thing anyone can do who believes they were swindled is to file a complaint with the FTC. It is very simple to file a complaint, although the task may seem daunting. I will provide a step by step walk-through to help guide you through the process.

Click on the following: FTC Complaint Form. This will open into a new window. You may receive an annoying popup from the FTC regarding a survey, just close that window. (That's just one of their attempts to annoy you and prevent you from actually filing out a complaint)

Fill out your contact information and whether you are submitting this complaint on behalf of someone else. Lawyers or attorneys might fill out the form on behalf of their client. However, since there are no actual instructions with this complaint form, I'll assume anyone can fill out this form on behalf of a friend or family member who is being or has been swindled by USANA.

Next, answer whether you are a member of the armed forces or a dependent. Not sure how this is relevant to the complaint, but whatever.

The next step is to choose what type of complaint you are filing. The correct option on this screen is to choose "OTHER" because none of their initial options have anything to do with business opportunities.

Now choose "Business Opportunity and Employment Offers" in the upper menu box. After a few seconds, you'll be able to choose "Multi-Level Marketing/Pyramid Schemes" in the lower box. I find it interesting that the FTC groups those two terms together.

Choose ow you were first contacted regarding USANA's business opportunity. Your choice will will result in a different set of follow up questions. "Email" contact will ask many questions regarding emails. "Phone" with its own set of questions.

Eventually you will come to the question that asks if you know the name of the company or individual in your complaint, or have additional information about them? This option should be chosen as "YES"

This part of the form asks that you tell the FTC about the company (USANA). Company Name "USANA Health Sciences". Address is "3838 West Parkway Boulevard | Salt Lake City, UT 84120". Phone: 801-954-7200.

Additional information is desired but not mandatory. Questions such as how much money you spent on the business opportunity, When you were first contacted, The name of the individual who contacted you, etc...

Now you are asked about "Consumer Information". Here is where you enter who the victim is. It may be the same information as the one entered earlier for the contact info, or may be the person you are filing this complaint in their behalf (Friend, Family Member, Client, etc...)

This next part is the meat of the complaint form. Here is where you get to explain how you were victimized. Perhaps you were told by your upline that you must stay on autoship for the business to work. Maybe you were told only quitters fail. Perhaps you were told you could make millions and were shown pictures of fancy houses and cars in their literature. The FTC needs to know your story.

Finally, you will see a confirmation screen where all the information you entered is displayed. Once you have confirmed the information is correct, click "SUBMIT" at the bottom of the form.

While the FTC complaint form seems long and tedious, it is very important to do. Many people might not file a complaint because they feel embarrassed or ashamed to have been suckered into a scam. Perhaps you were told over and over that USANA is not a scam because they have been in business since 1992 and are a publicly traded company. Perhaps you are told that it was your own fault you couldn't make any money and that you shouldn't blame others for your failure. These are all very serious statements that the FTC really needs to know about. I have received many emails from people who feel this way. Don't blame yourself. 99% of USANA participants lose money. The compensation is actually designed to fail this many people.

If you know someone who lost money in USANA, encourage them to file a complaint.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

USANA First Quarter Earnings Release After Markets Close

USANA's first quarter earnings come out today: April 24, 2012. As usual, I believe the United States, Canadian, and Mexican active distributors to remain flat or even decline further. I think the only area that will increase will be China / Hong Kong. Preferred Customers will continue to decline across the world. With the opening of several European markets for preferred customers only, there might be some small increase there, but that remains to be seen since I think they opened after the quarter ended anyways.

More comments to come after earnings are released.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

USANA Announces Fourth Quarter and Full Year 2011 Financial Results.

USANA releases their Fourth Quarter 2011 Earnings today. In a nutshell, it is business as usual. Declining United States active associates, declining preferred customers world wide, and increasing Asian active associates. USANA made an error on the number of customers in China and took them an entire year to correct it. USANA continues to claim they are working hard with North American distributor leaders to stop the declining numbers, but they make these claims almost every single quarter. USANA has contests every quarter to encourage associate recruiting. It's all about the active associate data.

I don't think the fourth quarter was much to brag about. Here are some interesting facts:
Year over year, USANA lost 12000 customers (active associates & preferred customers combined) for a 4% decline. However, USANA managed to make $8.4 million more in revenue for a 6.1% gain. I believe this is due to USANA's increase in associate fees to activate a business center. USANA calls it a product purchase, but distributors are required to personally purchase over $200 worth of product before they can participate in the compensation plan and receive commissions. Many associates purchase the Professional Package for $1200 in hopes their business can make them rich.

Quarter over quarter, USANA gained 6000 customers for a 2.1% increase. USANA also made $2.4 million more in revenue for a 1.7% increase. Doesn't seem like much, but at least from quarter to quarter the revenue seems proportional to the number of active customers. Certainly nothing to brag about

My favorite line out of USANA's press release announcing their fourth quarter 2011 earnings report is this little footnote at the end that states the following:
3. The Preferred Customer count as of January 1, 2011 has been updated to correct an inaccuracy reported for BabyCare under Greater China. The Preferred Customer count previously reported for BabyCare was 14,000, which brought the Preferred Customer count for Greater China to 16,000. These numbers have been corrected to 7,000 for BabyCare, and 9,000 for Greater China. This correction represents a change of 7,000 to total Preferred Customers reported as of January 1, 2011.
USANA overstated their Babycare preferred customers by 100%. That is a huge error. They claimed they had twice as many preferred customers for their newest territory than they actually had. Their preferred customers for that territory has been declining ever since. Interesting that USANA used the excuse last year when their Babycare numbers had declined and blamed it on Chinese New Years. Where were USANA's auditors, sleeping??? It took USANA an entire year to correct this error. Can we trust USANA when they claimed they had 12,000 BabyCare associates during that same time?

Here's some information stockholders may not hear about but could have unseen consequences. USANA's latest contest "USANA in China: Rewards for Referrals" is one that pays associates for referring a Chinese National who joins BabyCare. I thought it was illegal to pay MLM distributors for recruiting. Has the Direct Sellers Association lobbied for that change as well? Here is a quote from this contest:
You have to be a Chinese National Citizen to build a business with USANA in China, but you can still benefit from the lucrative bonus possibilities available to other USANA Associates. With the USANA Partnership Program, you will receive a residual bonus for every qualified person you refer to USANA in China who begins building a business.

The USANA Partnership Program is better than anything you’ve seen in the past—instead of a one-time bonus, you will receive an ongoing percentage of everything your referrals generate. Although you can’t add Chinese National Citizens to your own downline, you can still make residual income from the points they generate as they build their own businesses in China!
It is against China's law for MLMs to recruit Chinese Nationals into the downline of these pyramid schemes. So USANA has devised a way to circumvent China's laws. Instead of these Chinese Nationals being placed into a downline, they are simply left out of their sponsor's downline while still generating “residual income” for that sponsor. So a USANA distributor in the US can recruit a Chinese National into BabyCare in China and still collect commission from that Chinese National. However, China has outlawed MLMs from participating in their country. I believe this is breaking China's law. Plus, I believe it breaks US laws by paying a commission to the distributor for simply recruiting the Chinese National. Paid to recruit...

I still hold true to the belief that USANA is operating an illegal pyramid scheme where associates are forced to purchase overpriced product (that cannot be retailed for any kind of profit) in order to collect commissions. The majority of revenue made by USANA and the majority of commissions paid (mainly to the top 1% of associates) comes from the hundreds of thousands of distributors who are all purchasing product in order to be "commission Eligible" and participate in the business venture. If USANA did either (1) removed the requirement to personally purchase any product in order to collect commission, or (2) did not pay out commissions to upline members for the product personally purchased by distributors (because they are forced to purchase the product in the first place), then USANA would no longer be a pyramid scheme. However, if USANA actually did either of those two things, the company would go out of business in just a couple months because only those who actually want to purchase product would, which I believe most would not.

Most associates would stop purchasing product because almost every associate that has quit the business has also stopped purchasing the product. In fact, most people who have either tried USANA's business opportunity or joined as a preferred customer have stopped purchasing USANA's product and left the company. That says a lot about the company and the product.