If you've been approached by an Advocare distributor and you're asking yourself "Is Advocare a scam?", then you're in the right place.
After reading this, you will know about Advocare's history, products, compensation plans, and more. The aim of this review is to help you make the most informed decision and decide for yourself if Advocare is the right opportunity for you.
Let's get to it.
Advocare Review Summary:
Product Name: Advocare
Product Type: MLM Scheme
Best For: Nobody.
Summary: Faulty product line riddled with controversy and a company with a history of shady practices. Buyer Beware.
What is Advocare About?
Advocare is an MLM company that was founded in 1993 by former Herbalife distributor and Omnutrition International founder, Charles Ragus. It is headquartered in Plano, Texas and in 2013 has 250 registered employees.
Advocare utilizes a typical multi-level marketing system. Their main products are dietary supplements, and they distribute them through a network of approximately 570,509 distributors across the United States.
Now, let's talk about their products and what people are saying about it.
Most Advocare product's are designed for weight loss and energy, so there are a lot of energy-bars, protein-powder shakes, and various supplements.
In most cases, the products are recommended with a 30 Day Challenge weight loss plan. It is unclear if the plan (exercises and cutting calories) or the products are responsible for the weight loss.
Let's see what customers say about Advocare's products.
Advocare Customer Feedback:
There are a couple of negative reviews for Advocare and their products ranging from products not working, customers nearly costing them their lives and business malpractice.
Look at some of the images below:
These are just some of the complaints, and these reviews are readily available in the internet. Imagine selling Advocare products to someone and them finding out about this!
You will not only lose customers but also your credibility.
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Advocare and Weight Loss:
From reports online, it seems like people do experience weight loss when taking Advocare products. As mentioned earlier, this could be due to the calorie deficient, not the actual products. Regardless, some people swear the products are beneficial. Let's look at some of the ingredients.
Advocare's core product is called Spark, a supplement designed to improve energy and mental focus. Spark is designed with 20 vitamins and other minerals.
For the most part, it seems like people enjoy the supplement. On Amazon, it has a 4/5 rating and plenty of positive reviews. Most people use this product as a caffeine alternative.
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On the other hand, though it does contain plenty of vitamins, it also contains artificial sweeteners, which can be a downside if taken in large quantities. You can grab a canister with 41 servings for $67.95 on Amazon. So, for the most part, the products seem decent, albeit expensive.
But it's not all great.
Advocare's Scandals and Lawsuits:
Like many MLM companies, Advocare has their fair share of scandals and lawsuits.
- ESPN's Mina Kimes dug into the Advocare business model in 2016 and found that it’s a scam.
- Before founding Advocare, Ragus’ Omnutrition Intl. faced FTC investigation for it being a pyramid scheme.
- New York times published an article in 2005 criticizing Advocare for selling energy drink with caffeine to children.
- Jessica Hardy, an Olympic swimmer filed a lawsuit against Advocare after she tested positive for performance enhancing substance which disqualified her from the Beijing Summer Games.
- In 2017, two former distributors of nutritional supplements from Advocare filed a lawsuit in federal court claiming they lost thousands of dollars in the deal and alleging that the sales program is essentially a pyramid scheme.
These allegations and lawsuits are pretty controversial, even for an MLM company. So it is clear something's not right here. Another MLM company that was involved in FTC lawsuits is Success by Health.
But can you make money with Advocare, even with their past reputation?
Wait a Minute!
Promoting a MLM Company is NOT a good idea.
Let's take a deeper look into Advocare's compensation plan and see if you can really achieve financial freedom with this MLM company.
Advocare Compensation Plan:
There are 5 ways to earn in Advocares pay structure. But when you get started as a distributor, only two of these will be available for you which are:
- Retail Profits
- Wholesale Commissions.
The rest will be unlocked once you reach the rank of Advisor.
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Retail Profits and Commissions:
Generally, the idea is to buy product and sell products while also adding other distributors to your down-line to earn bonuses. Standard MLM system. It costs $79 to enroll as a distributor, but it is recommended to buy a kit as well.
Below are some ways you can earn with Advocare:
Please Keep in Mind:
Though there are five total ways to earn, only the first two are available to Independent Distributors, the rest are unlocked when at Advisor Rank or higher.
Retail Profits (Independent Distributor)
With retail profits, you earn commissions by selling products locally. You will receive a 40% discount as an Advocare representative when you buy a product.
You're then free to mark it up at your desired rate, earning you an instant commission. This discount is slightly more than other MLM companies, so in this regard, Advocare is a bit better.
Wholesale Commissions (Independent Distributor)
You can also sponsor Distributors to earn between 5 and 20% of their total sales.
Advocare Adviser Level:
Below are the earning options for the Adviser rank. To reach this level, you'll need to buy a Distributor Kit and place a retail order of at least $3,000 for personal use or sales. On top of that you need to maintain a $500 Personal Volume every 3 Pay Periods, or you'll lose the rank.
Total cost: $3,000 + $79 = $3,079
Seems expensive to me. But maybe it's worth it?
Take a look at the bonuses below.
Override Commissions (Advisor and Up)
Once you have reached the Adviser rank or above, you will then be eligible for override commissions. Here, your GV or group volume is calculated by all your personal Adviser positions production.
The commission you earn from this is 50% of the product purchased multiplied by 5-7%. It has the potential to grow as your team grows.
After you reach the Silver level rank, you will earn an additional bonus along with other bonuses you get from your Adviser rank. Then, when you move up a rank, the bonus is added from the rank prior to moving up. Which means the bonuses keep racking up as you go up the rank.
Other Incentives and bonuses:
Occasionally, the company will arrange a contest to help build momentum and excitement. The amount given away depends and is not fixed.
Basically, the more distributors you have in your team and the more they get to sell the product, the bigger your commission gets.
Advocare Income Disclosure
Like all MLM's, Advocare entices their potential sellers by offering products at a discounted rate. Though discounts are at 20-40%, they are already heavily marked up making the product difficult to sell.
An Advocare distributors average annual income in 2016 was $1,476 though the median is only $116.
The distributors at the top of Advocare (<1%) change the average towards a more appealing number to attract new distributors, the median income is a clearer identifier as to what one might actually earn.
We also should take note that these numbers represent gross income and don't include any business related expenses incurred while selling the product, which can be quite a bit.
Between 2015 and 2016, Advocare's income declined by over 18%. Less than half of the percent of distributors earned over $10,000 and 0.06% earned at least $100,000.
In other words, the average member is not making cash.
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Pros of Joining Advocare:
There are not much to like about Advocare but I can only think of one.
1. Relatively Decent Products:
For the most part, the products seem to work as promised. They do seem to boost energy levels and help a bit with weight loss. I don't think they're any better than natural fruits and vegetables, but it looks like most people are happy with Advocare products. My only complaint about the products is they seem to have a lot of sweeteners and they're kind of expensive.
The Cons with Advocare:
And here are the cons to joining this very controversial MLM company.
1. Enemies on Both Fronts:
I'm talking about the various lawsuits and allegations of business malpractice both from customers and former distributors.
Now that says a lot, and in the retail business, this kind of publicity would only hurt you in the long run if you decide to join.
2. Products Not Working as Advertised:
A couple of bad reviews here and there won't hurt, but when you're looking at a certain issue that has 3-5 people complaining about it, then that's a different story. I have found several other bad reviews all saying the same thing about Advocare products.
In the business of selling, don't expect to sell a lot of product when there's a lot of costumers leaving bad reviews about it.
3. Calling All Recruits!
If you study Advocares compensation plans, it's very clear that you have to constantly recruit and grow your team to earn more income. And what do you call an MLM company that focuses on recruitment for income growth?
Yup. A pyramid scheme.
Is Advocare a Scam?
To be honest, your journey up the ladder will be hard if you don't have prior experience and a team to recruit skilled distributors to start.
Though it's not impossible, you're looking at a very sad statistic of 200 to 4. Meaning for every 200 distributors you recruit, only 4 will have the potential to help you build a profitable team.
What happens when you run out of people to recruit or sell to? Exactly.
Though Advocare has weathered all the lawsuits and controversies thrown at them, I would not recommend it.
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Hopefully this is Advocare a scam review answered all your questions about Advocare.
Leave a comment below if you have any questions.